Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mad Angels

'Mama, what's that on top of our tree?'

'Her?  She's an angel.'

'I don't like her.'

'Why not?'

'She looks mad.'

'Do you really think so?'

'Yes.  She was sad and now she's mad.'

'Why is she mad?'

'She's mad at the girls.'

'Why is she mad at the girls?'

'Because they told her to stop.'

'Stop what?'

'Stop crying!'

And… cue maniacal laughter.  I should be a lot more concerned.  But it's been a tiring week, what with the children at home, visiting relatives, and one very sick cat.

On the plus side though?  Arcade Fire's latest album, Reflektor?  Is perfection.

Happy New Year everybody.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Minute Christmas

Somehow, despite my best intentions, I got my act together late this year. Although, really, I should just be happy that I got my act together at all.

It wasn't entirely my fault.  I ordered my cards, but got them a lot later than I expected.  And then my husband couldn't get the mailing labels to print properly. Oh, the joys of being in a house that runs on open source software.  (OK, actually, there are some big advantages to that.  Running labels just isn't one of them.)

We bought our Christmas tree two weeks ago, but it fell over twice.  An issue that we're not really used to dealing with- I don't even think that's ever happened to us before.  We got a lot of advice.  Shims.  Cutting more off of the bottom.  Attaching the tree to the wall, which I didn't even know was  a thing.  But apparently lots of people do it, my mother included.  Of course, my mother gets like twenty foot trees because her family room ceiling is two stories high.  So it makes sense that a tree stand alone can't keep them up.  But still, I had no idea.  In the end we didn't have to do that (so far, fingers crossed).  Thankfully, because I couldn't figure out where on my walls I felt like putting in hooks to attach fishing wire.

We are all good now though.

As a result of falling trees, off center labels, and late holiday cards, we didn't decorate the tree or work on cards until late last week.  I crammed tree trimming and card writing into an eight hour period.  Instant Christmas!  I now have a trimmed tree, a decorated mantle, and cards in the mail.  Presents are even purchased too. The Husband and I are determined to get them wrapped during the day tomorrow.  As opposed to 11:00 at night on Christmas Eve like we usually do.

We are still grocery shopping though.  Still!  After two trips to the Strip District.  And I've been at Whole Foods just about every day for the last two weeks.  But we're doing a Seven Fishes dinner tomorrow, and realized that when we planned our menu we only came up with six fishes, not seven.  So, there's a menu re-do going on.

Anyway.  Tomorrow will be busy, but I think the actual Christmas Day will be very laid back, which will be awesome.  Just presents and eating.  And, I guess, college football, because my dad is here.  But otherwise not too much to do.  So looking forward to that.

Happy happy whatever you celebrate this year.  May it be joyful and relaxing.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Oh Come On

Me: So, what do you want for Christmas?

The Husband: I sent you that link for the headphones I wanted…

Me: I know.  I just thought it might be nice to get you a couple of CDs.  Maybe a book?  Is there anything like that that you want?

TH:  I don't know.  Let me think about it.

Me: You know, Iron & Wine has a new one out.  It's pretty good.

TH: …

Me: I mean, I know that I like him more now than I used to.  Now that he has a band and all.  And I know that you don't like him as much as you used to.  I know that you liked him better back when he was all by himself and it was just him and his beard and his guitar.

TH: You get me.


And then, this afternoon The Husband asked if I'd heard of The Julie Ruin.  And I hadn't.  So then I watched this video.

And I love it.  I mean, God bless The Julie Ruin for bringing Riot Grrrl back.  And now I officially feel old, because I've been in denial that I'm old enough to have to watch the kids bring back things like Riot Grrrl and keyboards.  Even though keyboards have been all over the radio this past year.  And I'm sure grunge is just around the corner.  Unless it's already happened and no one has told me.  Which is totally possible.

UPDATE: And now I feel so, so dumb.  Because that is none other than Kathleen Hanna.  And The Husband said to me, isn't that Kathleen Hanna?  And it looks and sounds like her but for some reason I didn't think so.  I'd heard that she'd been really, really sick so I didn't think that she'd been recording.  But I guess she's better and she's back and I'm very happy about that.  And also?  Not feeling old, because it's the original Riot Grrls bringing the Riot Grrrl and not the kids.  Yet.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Saturday Night

The kids were making me crazy on Saturday.  The Boy had woken up in a bad mood and had been asked to rein it in for the afternoon.  The Girl was…  I'm not sure really.  Being very three, although we're not actually there yet.  The Husband was going out with a friend for the evening, and said friend's wife invited the rest of us over for dinner with her and their kids.  I had to sit the kids down before we left.

I asked if I could expect excellent behavior at our friend's house.  Because otherwise, I pointed out, it wasn't really worth it for us to go over.  I just wasn't up for it.  The Boy said yes, excellent behavior.  Of course.  The Girl nodded, thought for a moment, and then said, 'I won't say poop or fart.'

The Boy and I tried very hard not to laugh.  OK, I said.  That's great.  Another pause.  'Or stupid!  I won't say stupid.'

The Boy was laughing now.  And wanting to know what else she wouldn't say.  But we quit while we were ahead.


Dinner at our friends' was probably just what I needed after a long day.  We got Chinese takeout.  And my friend and I were actually able to watch a movie while the kids hung out in the family room.  We watched The Way Way Back.  Which was wonderful.  I loved it.  Because I am a complete sucker for coming of age movies.  But also because it really is a very very good movie.  Also, The Husband and I watched Adventureland a few weeks ago.  It was kind of funny to go from a movie that is centered in an amusement park, to a movie that features a water park.  

By the way, the amusement park in Adventureland is Pittsburgh's own Kennywood Park.  Having been there many times, it was actually pretty cool to see it on the big screen.  They do a nice job of showing it off.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Late to the Party

I am under no illusions here.  I know that I am not in-the-know the way that I used to be.  When I worked at a radio station and went to concerts and movies all the time and went CD shopping every month.  I'm home with two kids and usually get my latest pop culture news through the filter of a ten year old boy and his friends.  I try- I really do- but I forget to write things down that the kids on the college stations play, and my copies of Uncut often go unread.  And most of my grown up friends are in the same boat as me.  I used to roll my eyes at people who got stuck in an era with their music- like classic rock radio.  But now I get it.  You hit a certain point in your life and it requires some effort to stay current.

So, I know that Waxahatchee has been around for a couple of years.  And I know that she's had a lot of buzz this year, especially since her second album, Cerulean Salt, came out this past spring.  I even heard a couple of songs off of it over the last several months on NPR and college radio.  But we just listened to the whole album this weekend on our way to Hidden Valley and, damn.  Is it good.  I mean, it's just crazy good.  And I felt like I needed to share that.  Because if you're like me and you have a hard time keeping up these days, then you should know about her. And if you already know about her and you're rolling your eyes at me, well that's ok.  I'm sure that you'd like to hear this song then anyway.