Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Do you want to be an iPod?

Cause my children are still deciding...and it's almost 4 p.m., so my idea bank is completely overdrawn.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Notes from a Weekend Mini-Break

In the car:
Husband: Wow, you look like a rock star!
Me: (surprised smile)
Husband: Like, one who rocked all night long.

At Wal-Mart:
Me: I forgot to pack underwear. Thus, I'm going commando right now!
Son: Me too!

At a state park:
Me, looking at Son and Husband: Oh my God, they're PEEING - agh! Here comes a car...quick, pretend you don't know them.
Daughter: Who are those guys?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

All my husband's joking about me being "Curb East" and "Larry Belle" was perhaps a bit too prescient: The Best Medicine: We Are All Larry David is scary.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hi, I'm back and have had parts of my palate attached to my gums. Can you tell? Don't you think it's a bit swollen?

My idea for today's post is "A Budget Halloween". Or, "Saving Money During Fall Despite Constant Demands from School, Groups, and Family."

First, I can tell you that Fresh Market has pumpkins, three for $10. There were no fun photo ops with the children, but they do have complimentary coffee. My son got a pumpkin, my daughter got one, and then we had one for the class project. Done.

Our costumes are all homemade this year. My son has never had a store-bought costume, or one that he wore, anyway. (I got a really cool Annakin Skywalker suit on Ebay one year and he wore it for an hour. Freak.) My daughter, on the other hand, loves a catalogue and has contributed allowance for the last two years to get some variation on a fashionable witch. This year, she's going to wear some whack outfit with her hair in some Hannah Montana style and a bunch of makeup. And I won't say a word, unlike most school mornings. My son is going to go as a rapper, or maybe a hoodlum, or perhaps a roller derby guy. Again, not much different from his regular outfit.

For the Y-Guides meeting we're hosting on Thursday, I'm saying "no, thanks" to the high-priced crafts and spreads the other dads have provided. Instead, we'll pop bags of popcorn and mix them with raisins and candy corn for a autumnal trail mix, bob for apples (buy one, get one free bags at the Harris Teeter this week!), and do the human spider web, a team-building game that some of these kids totally need to do.

All this money-saving cannot stop me from certain purchases though - I've got to have my pumpkin spice latte at least once this season, though I've found that I can get by with a cup of coffee with some nutmeg sprinkled in it. And I am very eager to make my friend Brooke's butternut squash soup, that while not too pricey to make, takes up a lot of that valuable resource, time. Still. Tis the season.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I don't like Stereogum, a music web site, as much as I used to, but I do like that they did something like this:

Stereogum Presents... DRIVE XV: A Tribute To Automatic For The People

The new REM Live disc has received mixed reviews at best. Reading the following paragraph from Pitchfork made me wince, cause I know it is more than likely exactly the case:

"Stipe testifies persuasively on "Imitation of Life", one of their best late-period pieces, and the band ratchet up the tension on "Walk Unafraid" so that it sounds positively Green. "Bad Day", from 2003, sounds particularly energized as the band graft Bush-era dissension onto Peter Buck's Reagan-era riffs, creating one of the show's best and most effortlessly crowd-pleasing moments.

Still, the best tracks on Live predate Bill Berry's departure-- as you might expect. Early in the show, they speed up "Cuyahoga" from 1986's Lifes Rich Pageant, making the original's balladic lament about corporate pollution sound more pointed and angrier, even outright hostile. Here is the first glimpse of frustration in the show, the first and strongest hint at a creative dilemma that extends beyond the reach of lyrics and melodies, as if R.E.M. realize that yesterday's change-the-world anthems have actually changed nothing. You want them to hold on to that disillusionment, to keep pushing themselves and their audience, but instead they settle for the easy answers of "Everybody Hurts"."

In other cultural reviewy type news, we finally saw "Away From Her" and it was a night of fresh, cool Canadian goodness! Sarah Polley, K.D. Lang, Neil Young, snow, "eh?"....and all from a short story by Her Royal Canadian Literary Highnesss, Alice Munro.

(Interestingly, I had read this short story in the New Yorker, and remembered it vividly, and knew the plot of the movie from reading it. And it was published in 1999. My God, I had a 16 month old and was pregnant and it was Christmas in the world????)

Anyway, I lurved the film and sat in the recliner and sobbed for a better part of a half-hour. A successful evening indeed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Worst parenting week, nay, family week ever.

Rivals the Great Gall Bladder Scenario of ’98, during which I nursed a two-month old whilst experiencing brain-numbing pain throughout my body, was perhaps even at risk of death, and my husband went to work.

He has since made up for that, though. (See: Great Salmonella Outbreak of Ought-Six)

Parenting is harder, now. More emotional, more tricky. “This is a marathon” said my husband this morning, and he’s right. Babyhood and toddlerdom are like a sprint: you are exhausted, can’t catch a breath. These days, I have time to breathe all right, but we never, ever stop running.

On the plus side, we found a good used car with all our caveats (good MPG, AWD, V6, cheap as hell). Damn, though, it’s white. No offense to you white-car drivers out there, but I think they look like belugas. Dearest 1995 Mazda 626, we will miss you....we kissed your bent, rusted antenna goodbye and trust you will find some happiness, somewhere. (As a side note, we found approximately 73 black Bic pens in the side pockets. My children counted, so do not doubt that high number!)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

In my never-ending quest to feel the Aloha spirit from our January trip even in the midst of carpool hell, I have found a band called Aloha. And they are quite pleasing. Their MySpace page has bunches of songs and some downloads. There's also a song called "Body Buzz" that is nice, at Stereogum.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Early Radiohead Buzz

It came in at 2:32 a.m. our time (I had predicted 2 a.m.) and was a zip file....I paid five pounds for it ($11 US? something like that?) and my husband was mad, but I put our precious cash into this venture for a statement more than anything. Some linkage showing how much people paid and how much they like (or don't, occasionally) In Rainbows:

stereogum: Premature Evaluation: Radiohead - In Rainbows

NY Times "The Lede" blog with hundreds of comments.

Video of the album-making process.

From PItchfork:

"In related Radiohead revelations, is reporting that the quintet has entered a unique licensing deal for the edition of In Rainbows released today, in which all rights belong to the band for this downloadable version of the LP. "[Radiohead], in cooperation with us, have created their own model of direct licensing for online," a spokesperson for UK collection association MCPS-PRS Alliance told

Rights and royalty arrangements for the physical version of the album have not yet come to light, although Radiohead's publisher Warner/Chappell has stated that "all necessary licenses will be in place to allow proper payment of publishing royalties on both physical and digital sales of In Rainbows." All righty then."

Ok - this is crazy - I have to get to work. I'm going to have my headphones on all day, though - could be tricky during orchestra rehearsal tonight! (I'm playing CHIMES!)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Here's an article - and there is an accompanying multi-media feature - that fairly well illustrates the failure of our "education lottery" to effectively fund our schools. I was proud when the piece touted Easley as one of the last holdouts, but he didn't hold out. We're now keeping our poor people's money in house (or in state) as opposed to sending it across the borders. But when almost every new school built is barely funded, when they are overcrowded, and when parents are unhappy, and when bond issues still have to be floated (and can only pass by tiny margins), obviously the whopping 30 cents on every dollar we're recouping from the lottery is not enough.

It's not enough. It's not working. I'm agreeing with right-wing fundamentalists (who vehemently opposed the lottery). Hell, people! It's frozen!

(Though Raleigh? It's hot. I long for cooler temps...)

Friday, October 05, 2007


There. I said it. I just read "The Higher Power of Lucky" and the word had the same power as the word "menstroooation" did in "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret". Both are my book club selections this month. Anyhoo - both books were banned at some point, in some places. Why not read a banned book this week? It's an appropriate time.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Monday, October 01, 2007

R A D I O H E A D - breaking N E W S

Egads....they stumped the record companies, the illegal downloaders, the bloggers...everyone! I just checked out the site above, and you can order this new disc via download by paying whatever you deem it worth. GAH. They have officially handed it to the man. The packaged disc with a bunch of collector's crap is more expensive - 40 poundsish. And ships 12/3 - but with that purchase you get the tuneage.

I'm about to vomit I'm so excited!

I can't even type. I also want that Kanye and maybe that Iron & Wine. But who knew I was ten days from a Radiohead release??? This event is more fun than the car shopping, I must say.
Just heard that New York's Mayor Bloomberg is in London this week, meeting with their Mayor about, among other things, the congestion fee & possibly instituting that charge in NYC....whilst finding out more about that, I stumbled across the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s. I've not been able to speak up as much as I like about big-ass cars due to fear, a lack of desire to mix it up, the fact that maybe its America and people should drive what they want, etc. etc. However, we're shopping for a car now and hope our purchase speaks loudly and clearly.