Fists and Roses

So the 2-year-old comes trotting down the hall. He stops when he sees me and beams. Some sister has carefully arranged a beautiful circlet on his head just so, its flowers half buried in his curly hair, the ribbons hanging down in ever so lovely a manner.

He stands there a moment so I can admire. Then a gleam comes into his eye and he charges, slamming into me full force, trying as hard as he can to knock me down. Despite his best efforts, he doesn’t. Instead, he bounces off and sits down hard and proceeds to belly laugh for half a minute before getting up and trotting off again.

Boys are different.

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22 minutes and 25 seconds

That's how long it took me to wash the dishes tonight. I know, because it took me exactly as long as the first 5 songs of U2's War album. You see, that's pretty much my relationship to music these days—how long it takes me to wash the dishes or drive somewhere or rock someone to sleep. 

Used to be, back when I was an angry young man / pathetic young whelp, music and I were soul mates. We loved each other truly, madly, deeply. And it was a two-way street, no matter what music might say about me these days. You know how fickle music can be. Oh, it seems faithful, and it might be for a long, long, long time, maybe even forever with some people. And yet with others, suddenly one day, BOOM. It'll turn on you, without warning.

Parked in an orange beanbag chair located precisely between two big Klipsch speakers, seated an ideal 7.34 feet away for maximum stereo separation and sonic clarity, a double LP sleeve designed by Hipgnosis in my lap, I would not so much listen to the music as commune with the msuic, enter into dialogue with the music, become one with the music. Why, I was so hardcore, I didn't just reserve this sort of serious study for Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy or Pink Floyd's Animals or Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or Astral Weeks. Oh, no, not I. No, I was so badass, I once listened to "Daydream Believer"—that's right, by the Monkees and, yes, this may be the first time anyone was ever described as badass for listening to the Monkees and that shows you just how badass I am or was because I love that song and am not afraid to admit it—for two hours straight, putting that one track on repeat, delving into the mysteries I was sure were contained within its saccharine lyrics and intoxicating melody. Okay, fine, so it was after yet another miserable dance sophomore year and I was pretty hammered on peppermint schnapps and I think I actually passed out after about the third spin and woke up around the 37th. BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT. 

The point is…you know, I'm not sure what the point is, 'cuz between the last graf and this one I had to put two kids to bed. But I'm pretty sure there was a point and it was really cogent and insightful and oop, now someone needs help in the bathroom and I gotta run. Sorry, music: you've been replaced. Guess maybe I was the fickle one after all. But maybe someday, if you're willing to wait a while? I'll be back. I promise. Probably.

Posted in Fambly, Music, U2 | 1 Comment

Expert Opinion

So we're driving home when I realize I've forgotten tortillas. 

"Well…rats," I say. 

"What, Daddy?" asks the senator from the back seat. 

"Oh, nothing, punkin," I say. "Just…well, I kinda screwed up what I bought for dinner." 

She's silent for a few seconds, considering. Then with the sagacity gained during her four and a half years on this planet, she says, "No…no, I like what we bought." 

Well. Okay then.

(And she ate every bite.)


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Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom

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I Love Tax Day

So a couple writers have new editorials about taxes. Friend of a friend Steve Almond's is here. And here's one from a writer named JK Rowling. And while I've had my issues with some of her other writings, I have to say, I think she hit a home run with this one. 

Here's a piece I first wrote a few years ago. It's still true, even if the glorious yet oh so dysfunctional state of California did totally sodomize our savings this year—perhaps even more so. Ah, the price we pay. 

I loves me tax day.

Well, okay, not really. I hate it just like everyone else, only even more so because, well, I’m me and I feel things more passionately than anyone else alive.

(Just like everyone else.)

I’m disorganized and hate details (unless they pertain to who played what on which song on this or that precise date). And, of course, I’m poor. But not quite poor enough (and clearly not nearly rich enough) to avoid paying taxes.

But paying taxes is simply how we invest in this great nation of ours. So when I pay my taxes, I feel good(ish) because I know I’m paying for some poor kid somewhere to have a decent breakfast and then maybe I’m the one who bought him the biology book he’s going to be using. And maybe he’ll grow up and cure cancer.

If you’re to the right of me—and there aren’t many who aren’t—be happy: when you pay your taxes today (provided you aren’t too rich to ever actually pay taxes, having your accounts off-shore and all), you’re buying body armor for our brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Well, strike that: no one apparently pays for that except their families. But your taxes are what built our newest aircraft carrier, which keeps these here United States of America safe from them who plot day and night to do ‘em harm. And how cool is that?

I don’t exactly like shelling out a lot of money to buy my kids shoes, as happens every other month it seems. But it needs to be done because, well, it turns out after careful examination, children need to wear things on their feet so’s they can run and jump and be let into stores and it seems socks alone aren’t always quite enough. So you buy the shoes. Because you need to. And because you love your kids enough to want them to do well, and children without shoes, studies have proven conclusively, don’t do as well as children with shoes. Also? After a while? Their feets get kinda bloody and raw. Or so I've heard. And you do it because appropriately shod with a good pair of shoes, who knows where or what those kids’ll be able to do? You do it because you love them and it's the right thing to do. Still not a lot of fun, maybe, but more more than worth it in the end.

So. Thanks to all of you out there for buying my country a pair of shoes today.

(Metaphorically speaking, of course. As far as I know.) 

Posted in Banking, Fambly | 1 Comment

His Pain

I feels it.

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Artists Who Hate America

I love the internet.

I just read the following comment:

do the lirics to Springsteens song 
" born in the USA" bother anybody else besides me???

And I wanted to say:

Yes! Thank you! I thought I was the only one!

Although, you know what's even worse? Have you ever read The Grapes of Wrath? Oh my goodness! You won't belieeeeeve the way America is portrayed. 

It's shameful, really. 

UPDATE: Ah, now I see why the lirics bothered the aforementioned internet poster. 

It always goes back to Glenn Beck, doesn't it? What we do without him

Posted in Books, Bruce Springsteen | 4 Comments