Friday, May 27, 2005

How Not To Parent 3

Pulled up at school this morning. I turn the car off, but the radio is still on, hooked up the iPod. The Billy Idol classic "Cradle of Love" (from the summer of 1990, possibly the best summer ever) started up.

I turn around and John - still strapped into his car seat - is bobbing his head and juking around, totally loving the song.

"This is a good tune?" I asked him.

"Tooooon," he grinned, still chair-dancing.

How Not To Parent 2

As sometimes happens, John crapped his pants last night. I prepared to change his diaper.

"Come here, Stinko," I said, grabbing his arm as he walked by.

"Stinko stinko stinko," John chanted for the rest of the evening.

How Not To Parent 1

We went to Florida last weekend. We stayed on the beach in Fort Walton. There was seafood and sand and sun and everyone had a really, really good time.

Sonya has always said she wanted to stop in Mobile and see the U.S.S. Alabama, the World War II-era battleship permanently docked in Mobile Bay. I went once when I was a kid, and I remembered it as pretty awesome. We stopped there Sunday on the way home.

It was pretty awesome, though Sonya was a little leery of the steep stairways - and I was cautious about carrying a squirming little boy up and down them. But it was neat. Sonya was impressed with how massive the guns were. John ran around happily.

We were walking from the aircraft pavillion to the U.S.S. Drum, a grounded submarine that you can crawl into. Very cramped, but cool. On the way to the sub we passed a concrete bench.

"Put John on the bench," Sonya said, "and I'll take his picture."

I put him on the bench. Normally, John likes to have his picture taken. He'll give you lots of nonchalant profiles and then bust out the big cheesy grin. Not this time, though. We was squirming and muttering to himself and looked uncomfortable. Sonya got the picture.

"What's the problem, kid?" I asked him as I helped him off the bench.

"Hot," he said, "hot, hot, hot."

I felt the bench. Yeah, it was pretty hot.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Wise Dave

I was walking along this morning, thinking about a situation in my life, when I recalled the wise words of Dave Norris, my former coworker:

"Stay the course. Don't rock the boat. If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

All meaning, basically, don't mess with a good thing.

And then, as if the little machine could read my thoughts, it served up Pete Ham, a catchy tune by Dave's band. All was right with the universe.

Elmo wants to know more.

The greatest phrase ever spoken on Sesame Street, which John and I were watching this morning:

"Elmo wants to know more about balls."

Thursday, May 05, 2005


John and I walked in to the daycare this morning just as the rest of the kids were getting ready to go out. John, seeing his buddies moving toward the door, turned around and started to open the door himself - and they've got the pull-latch style doorknobs, so he would have done it, too.

Except one of the little girls - she's probably a year or so older than John - pulled his hand away. "No!" she said.

John stuck out his quivering lower lip. Crying was imminent.

"You've hurt John's feelings," one of the teachers said, "tell him that children aren't allowed to open the door - only teachers are. And tell him nicely."

"Nicely," the little girl said.

"No," the teacher said, "tell him children aren't allowed to open the door - only teachers. Say it nicely."

"Children aren't allowed to open the door. Nicely," she said.

And the teacher said "close enough."

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


You know what was fifteen years ago tonight? Prom! From my journals:

Friday, May 4, 1990 - 4:05 p.m.Two weeks to graduation. Cool. They said that if everyone in the senior class was there today they'd let us out early. Everyone showed up, so we got out right after lunch. The Pulsar is washed and vacuumed. Off to the shower.

6:20 p.m. Damn, Sonya is smoking hot in the Dress! Cleavage! Legs! I'm the luckiest seventeen year-old in town. I gotta say, though, I'm looking good in the tux/mullet combo. Stylish.

7:30 p.m. Would you believe the girls were supposed to get their dresses "approved" by the administration - even the girls who don't go to the Christian? Fuck that shit. Sonya didn't buy her dress for my little party - she got it for hers. I brought enough money to cover dinner if we got kicked out, and right on cue Mrs. Dale told me as soon as we walked in to tell my date to "pull her dress up." "I'll tell her!" I said. And I did. Sonya laughed. And they didn't kick us out.

9:45 p.m. [yelled in the car as we cross the bridge back to Arkansas, windows down]"You like this, Sonya? Motley Crue to the Cure to Led Zeppelin? You're right, it does rock! What I did was take a lot of songs I like and put them all on one tape! I call it a 'mix tape!'"

Saturday, May 5, 1990 - 12:15 a.m. Soaked with sweat after dancing for two hours, we swing by Jon's apartment. "Let's head to Sonya's, boys - and bring the booze!" Sonya's parents have vacated the house for the evening. They rock, too.

1:59 a.m. [after several Passion-type drinks] "That was awesome! I love Uncensored! Now let's watch The Wall!"

2:43 a.m."Whua? Wha? Ha! Ha hahahahahahaa! Ha!"

9:25 a.m. A quote from Sonya's dad: "You look a little green, son." Violently ill moments later. Sonya's parents most amused.

10:15 a.m. Jon taken home, tux dropped to sleep the rest of the day.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Take It Easy

My iPod loves Take It Easy, the absurdly catchy piece of guitar pop by Andy Taylor (and his website has the greatest name of any website, ever. I'm thinking about changing the name of this place to Beyond Thunder 2). Since I uploaded it a few weeks ago it pops up almost immediately after a reshuffle, guaranteed. It's as if the machine can't wait to hear the song again.

It's a goddamn shame that this song isn't one of the signature tunes of the '80s. It shamelessly rips off T Rex's Bang a Gong but it does it with style and one of the most memorable sets of guitar riffs to come out of that over-amped era. There's even hand-claps and na-na-nas in it, for God's sake. It's like Andy Taylor somehow acquired that guy from Weezer's notebook full of catchy parts from different songs and put it all into this one tune.

I remember the video from '86, too. The song itself was on the American Anthem soundtrack (awesome line from one of the IMDB reviews: "I was an extra in this film, a face in the crowd for the competition scenes. Even then, it was clear that this film was destined to fail.") and even then I was a sucker for a catchy pop song. I remember that, yeah, but I also remember the smoking hot Janet Jones doing flips and whatnot. And then I promptly forgot about the song until well into my married years when Sonya came home with a spare copy of the movie they were selling at Midtown Video. And there at the end of the movie was the video for this awesome, awesome song.