Thursday, October 27, 2005

I Wish I Were Cool/Geeky Enough to Knit

There are so many awesome knitting projects popping up out there that I really wish I had the crafting chops to tackle. In addition to the knit robots I mentioned in an earlier post there's Baby's First DNA Model (pictured, via daddytypes), Bike Helmet Ear Warmers in the first edition of MenKnit Magazine, and Crocheting Hyperbolic Space on Make's new craft blog.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


We just made reservations to go to NYC for a friend's wedding. It should be interesting travelling with a 9 month old. I'm hoping that Boyo will stay true to the personality he's developing and be MORE entertained when we're out of the house and LESS fussy when there is a lot going on.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

LCD Soundsystem

Was it a rock show? Was it a dance show? I kept going back and forth while watching LCD Soundsystem last night. I expected a much larger crowd since this band was one that really grabbed me this year. Electronic music is just not as big here as your straight-out indie rock.

My friend H said that James Murphy used his voice like an instrument and I have to agree. It must take an enormous amount of effort to sing with that much energy for that long. They put on a good show.

H is also a new mom and has not been to many concerts recently. There is something wonderful about really loud speakers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Culture Industry

On the heels of my DIY thoughts my friend in cultural studies was telling me about the theories of Theodor Adorno. I love how has a discussion about how "capitalism fed people with the products of a 'culture industry' - the opposite of 'true' art - to keep them passively satisfied and politically apathetic" and yet has this cheeky GIF on their page (check the site if the GIF isn't displaying the little lip curl correctly):

Monday, October 17, 2005

I Heart DIY

I love to see people making their own entertainment and operating outside the "You must buy this to be happy" mindset. Here are a couple of examples to inspire you.

Konono No 1

These virtuosos of Congolese thumb piano make an incredibly energetic sea of music with the sparest of resources. Check out the microphone carved out of wood in this picture:

Knit Robots

These sweet homemade robots give me a warm feeling like "Yes, I could create my own friend." These were featured as part of Make's new craft blog where you can find other great projects such as crocheting hyperbolic space and knit zombies.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Defective Yeti is just one of the blogs I read with smart, funny writers who have interesting perspectives on children and the world at large. For three days this week my husband asked me "Did you read Defective Yeti yet?" and I hadn't. Finally he sat me down and told me to read the most recent posting. It was about the recent discovery that their boy has "Autistic spectrum disorder" and the impact of this. The remarkable part is that even as he writes very personally he still manages to make it chock full of links to useful resources. They are the kind of parents we aspire to be- caring, thorough and balanced.

We know about the fear that grips you when something's wrong with your child. When Boyo was a month old the pediatrician heard a heart murmur. It turns out that he had patent ductus arteriosus , a condition where a duct that circulates fetal blood to the placenta doesn't close correctly after birth. Blood than recirculates between the lungs and the heart and the inefficient pumping causes the heart to work too hard.

After hoping that it would close on it's own he eventually had to have surgery to tie it off at three months. This was incredibly nervewracking but we felt very lucky that this would fix his condition, that it was a very routine operation for the surgeons (not open-heart surgery) and that we had health insurance.

Boyo is fine now but are constantly amazed by the new territory of parenthood. The nurse at the birth did tell me "This is not the most difficult thing you will do for your child."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Banish the Idealization of the Past

I'm subscribed to Rob Brezsny's email horoscopes and look forward to his nuggets of inspiration each week. Here is a passage that I find especially motivating:
"The rise of modernity served many extraordinary purposes: the rise of democracy; the banishing of slavery; the emergence of liberal feminism; the differentiation of art and science and morality; the widespread emergence of empirical sciences; an increase in average life span of almost three decades; the introduction of relativity and perspectivism in art and morals and science; the move from ethnocentric to world-centric morality; and the undoing of dominator social hierarchies."
—Ken Wilber, *A Brief History of Everything*
I find it very frustrating when people refer to times in the past as if they were an ideal time to live. In addition to all the advances listed above, life in the developed nations is just EASIER. It doesn't take a day to do the laundry and food preparation. We have a tremendous amount of leisure time. We are lucky. This isn't to say that there aren't serious inequality problems that we need to address or that we haven't given up a connection to nature. We now have time to be depressed rather that being forced to struggle on a day to day basis just to survive.

Once we start recognizing what we've done right we can start trying to spread those things to the rest of the world and start to fix what we've broken along the way.

Friday, October 07, 2005

'Silent Birth' Suggestion Makes Me Want to Scream

Yikes! I can't quite imagine this:


Scientology couple JOHN TRAVOLTA and KELLY PRESTON are urging KATIE HOLMES to have a 'silent birth' when she delivers fiance TOM CRUISE's baby next year (06) and follow the church's strict doctrines.

Scientologists believe children should be brought into the world without any fuss and be allowed to quietly get used to their surroundings. That means no music, no chatting and no expressions of pain from the mother.

Preston explains, "It's just because everything in moments of pain is really recorded and you want to have that (the birth) peaceful and clear of sort of suggestions or different words that can then affect them (babies) in their future."

It's especially vexing to me given that vocal toning was incredibly helpful for pain relief. I thought it sounded new-agey and ineffective too- until I tried it. This whole attitude of telling someone how they SHOULD give birth is cruisazy. I mean, you don't really know what will work until you are in the midst of trying to get through one of the difficult experiences of your life. To try to hold yourself to some higher moral ground while you're doing it just adds more stress.

Thursday, October 06, 2005