Thursday, July 26

Not gonna lie, I am so totally gonna watch this...

Wednesday, July 18

Twodle, now with bonus photo action!
When we all got home this evening, Doodle got to open some presents.

The first thing he opened was a pretend cell phone from my aunt. This was such a big hit that we couldn't open any more presents until the novelty of talking on the phone wore off.

The present opening was delayed further by the fact that an episode of the Doodlebops that we tivoed put Doodle in a bit of a trance. ALL YOUR DOODLE ARE BELONG TO US

We finally opened the rest of the presents, including an Elmo doll that was a huge hit, as well. I will promise to torture you with a video of all the Elmo action later on this week.

Before we ate dinner, I managed to get two bee stings, when I pulled up a tablecloth from our back patio, where a bunch of the pesky bugs had decided to build a nest, unbeknownst to me. Luckily Doodle was untouched.

After dinner, Grammy and Poppy stopped by to say hello (and brought some Raid to quell the angry hornets who were still buzzing around in search of revenge, an hour later). Once the bees had been given the bum's rush, Doodle was able to frolic for a while in the yard. With bubbles!

I think Uncle Dom was around here somewhere, but all I see in this pic is wrapping paper. ;)

Today, my little boy turns two years old. We have been hinting to him that his birthday is coming, and that he will be two, but it hasn't registered. I sang the "Happy Birthday" song to him, but he turns it into a game where I then have to sing happy birthday to half of the known world, including, all family members, including auxiliary family members Doodle has only met one time; all his girlfriends at school, DeeDee, Rooney and Moe (the Doodlebops), Elmo, Ernie, Bert, etc. This has, however, gotten us from the house to day care in lieu of driving this distance with a tantruming Doodle in the back. Every time the tantrum begins to brew I started the song again.

Last night I went to the grocery store, picked up mini cupcakes for his day care class today, ordered the half-sheet cake for the party we're having on Saturday (I was gravely disappointed to find that they did not have an Elmo cake. They had every other kids' characters, even freakin' Ratatoulle for god's sakes, but no Elmo), and then after Doodle went to bed I wrapped his presents that we'll give him tonight (an Elmo doll and a book about ladybugs). This morning when he woke up, I went in to his room to wish him a happy birthday.

"Hi, sweetie, it's your birthday today! You're two years old! What a big boy!"
"Go 'way, mommy."
"Did you just tell me to go away?"
"Go 'way."

OK then.

Did he wake up as a teenager this morning? Did we skip about twelve years? It's hard to believe it's already been two. Let's hope that this year isn't as "terrible" as they say it is.

Tuesday, July 17

Concert reviews


This was my third time seeing JM live at Blossom, but the first time that I did not have seats in the pavilion. I was kind of bummed about that, but it turns out that the lawn is an AWESOME people-watching venue! Half the time I forgot that I was at a concert, because I was so engrossed in the human drama around me. My sister-in-law and I enjoyed this immensely.

Ben Folds opened the show, and though I only own that one CD that everyone owns of his, the one that has "Brick" on it, I still recognized most of the songs he played. Which was weird. He also made us laugh out loud by his between-song banter, where he attempted to recreate the "Brown Note" -- the same frequency the military allegedly uses to make people crap their pants. He couldn't get down low enough but he said that the low tone he played was enough to make the weaker people "shart" -- which just about killed us.

During his set, a nearby Ben Folds MEGAFAN was shouting all the words, dancing, and interjecting certain catch phrases between songs, like, "Fuckin A", "Fuck Yeah," etc. John Mayer came out during the last song in BF's set and the megafan was not pleased. Not at all. Then, when the set ended, he loudly proclaimed that he had been ripped off, that Ben Folds should have been allowed to play longer (he played for about 45 minutes), and then the Megafan packed his stuff up and left before JM hit the stage.

John's set was awesome. He opened with "Belief" which is one of my favorite songs off of Continuum, and then went into "Why Georgia" -- another good one. He played a good mix of his three main albums, plus a John Mayer trio song, and another obscure one that I have heard before but can't place.

During the set, we had, at various times, intertwined lesbians, high school idiots, college idiots, drunk idiots, and a host of others around us. It made for some good snarkage.

For the encore, John treated the audience to my least favorite song in his reporitoire, "Your Body is a Wonderland," but he did it acoustic. The last time my sister-in-law and I went to see JM, we were trapped next to these obnoxious girls who shout-sang the lyrics to this song and even had hand motions to go along with the lyrics. Smartass that I am, I performed a slowed down version of their pantomime routine during this acoustic set. It was funny to me and my SIL, but people around us probably thought I was an idiot.


As Andy Summers struck the opening chords of "Message in a Bottle," thus beginning the Cleveland show, the woman next to me (who looked and sounded remarkably like Kelly from "The Office") turned to me and said, "I bet you weren't even alive the first time these guys were on tour!" First of all, THANK YOU to that woman for making me feel not so old. But actually, yes, I was alive. I was in about the third or fourth grade when the Synchronicity album came out, and I also owned all of the prior albums (Ghost in the Machine, Zenyatta Mondata, Regatta de Blanc) on casette. This was largely due to a huge musical influence in my life -- my babysitter at the time, Carrie, who was a few years older than me and a HUGE Police fan. She and I would watch MTV and wait for the video to "Every Breath You Take" to come on, and we would listen to all the albums all the time.

Anyway, I am still riding the high from this concert. Every Police song that I could think of that I would want to hear live -- they did. They did some other great songs that fans of the Police would recognize, and they did a couple obscure songs that even I didn't know. Sting looked fantastic and sounded great. Every once in a while there seemed to be some kind of disconnect between Sting and Andy -- I couldn't tell who was at fault, but the music just seemed to be off. Also, Stewart Copeland was AWESOME. So much of what makes the music of the Police so great is the drums, and he was truly a showman. In addition to his standard drum set, he had a gong, a series of chimes and bells, and some other random percussion instruments. During certain points in the show, he would literally toss his drumsticks over his head, grab a brush, and get up to play the chimes. The song "Wrapped Around Your Finger", which is not one of my favorites normally, was probably the best song they did because of how cool Stewart's part was. When he was done on the chimes, he would again toss the brushes over his head, pick up a new set of drum sticks, and go right back to drumming. So cool.

My seats were in the LAST row of the Q (I hate calling it that, but to borrow a phrase, it is what it is), but at least we were facing the stage. There were screens set up above the stage so we could always see the action, and they also featured some retro Police graphics (for instance, the analog caricatures of the three band members that was the cover art for Ghost in the Machine, see below). So that was cool. Because we were up so high we could pretty much see everything and everyone, and that really added to my enjoyment of the show. To be part of such an enthusiastic crowd was really something special to me. I am so glad I was there.


I bought the tickets because I love Pete Yorn. But I have never seen Dave Matthews live, and I am looking forward to it. I'm not the hugest fan of his, I have his first three albums but then kind of lost interest. We have pavilion seats, which should be great, especially for Pete. I am totally going to be the Pete Yorn Megafan who is pissed that he didn't play longer.

Wednesday, July 11

Doodle's got talent
You're looking at the next John Popper (minus about 350 pounds)...

Tuesday, July 10

Parenting the parents
This is a "what would you have done" kind of situation. Since I'm still relatively new to the whole parenting thing, especially now that I actually have to "do" some parenting rather than feed, cuddle, bathe and diaper a basically helpless being, I'm unsure in certain situations what the proper thing to do would be.

Sunday morning I took Doodle to the playground. In the middle of the playground there is a large sandbox area. This little girl, probably about six years old, was playing by herself in the sand. This is important: there was no sign of adult supervision whatsoever. Upon Doodle's arrival she boisterously introduced herself to us and asked if she should "show him around" the playground. I told her no thanks, that we were just going to play in the sand. "Do you think he wants to watch a talent show?" she asked me. "Sure," I said, knowing full well that Doodle was going to do what Doodle wanted to do, when Doodle wanted to do it. So she goes down the slide and jumps around, and then for the grand finale -- the coup de gras -- she dumps a bucketful of sand on her head. Doodle thought this was great hilarity, and encouraged, she did it again. Then she offered to dump sand on Doodle's head, which I kibboshed.

She continued to try and show off for Doodle and make him laugh, but he was doing his own thing. She decided it was time for a second talent show. Right at that moment, either her mom or her grandma (could have been either) came up and said it was time for her to go. The little girl begged to do her talent show and so the grandma stood there to watch. She did the whole bit with the slide, the jumps, and then the bucket of sand over the head. When she did that, the grandma screamed in alarm and told her not to do that. Then the grandma looked at me and said, angrily, "Did YOU know she was going to do that?" I told her that she had been doing that several times.

Now here is my question. Was it my duty to parent that other little girl in addition to my own? To stop her from dumping sand on her head? Because sure, I wouldn't let Doodle do it, but other than getting dirty and probably getting all sorts of god knows what from the sand, skeeves, all over her, it was a harmless act, or so I thought.

Doodle fortuitously picked that time to toddle off, and so I went after him, but if the grandma had said anything further to me, I probably would have gone off on her for not watching her child in the first place. After she revealed herself I realized that this woman had been sitting back on a bench, talking on a cell phone, totally out of the line of sight of this little girl.

Just the beginning in a long line of struggles with other parents, I am sure.