Category Archives: Miscellany

Two month countdown

Until my kids turn one year old?  Not quite.  Until I embark on some fabulous adventure?  Nah.

Nope.  Only two more months until the Summer Olympics.  Hooray!

I’m a nut for the Olympics, especially summer.  I love so many of the events, and could watch rowing and gymnastics and track & field and weightlifting and table tennis all day long.  Yes, there’s certainly controversy over the whole Beijing/China thing.  I don’t deny it, but I don’t really feel qualified to take on the political ramifications of it all.  Regardless of where the games are, I just love watching it all.

When I was 13 years old, my dad and I went to Paris together. As it just so happened, it was also the year of the summer Olympics in Barcelona.  My dad called in a few favors and got us some tickets.  Water polo, equestrian (jumping events), and even the semi-final basketball game with the first “Dream Team.”  Michael Jordan, Larry Bird… everyone was on that team!  It was awesome.

Needless to say, I will not be flying to China in August.  Instead, I’ll be glued to my TV. I love the athleticism, even in sports I don’t fully understand. I love the flags and the anthems and the pride.  I love the personal interest stories, even if we make somewhat inappropriate jokes about the Chinese gymnasts being taken from their families at age 3 to practice uneven bars 8 hours a day.  I totally cry during the medal ceremonies.

This weekend was a bit of a preview on TV.  There were major gymnastics and track events on TV, and the women’s softball trials.  I was already hooked.  I can’t wait for the volleyball and swimming, shotput and soccer. I know, I know… babies aren’t supposed to watch TV.  But I may have to make a few exceptions this August…

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Nada

I love that, as soon as I commit to writing every day this month, I feel as though I have absolutely nothing to say. So here, friends, is some miscellany from my brain. I’ll try to do better…

First, I think there are few things cuter than babies and little kids in baseball hats. I got these from Old Navy, and I just love them. Sometimes the kids even keep them on their heads. Call me crazy, I also like that they don’t have any particular baseball team on them. That’s a source of debate in my house. We live in Boston, so Red Sox are always an option. Except that M grew up in southern Connecticut and is a Yankee fan, and I can’t put that on my kids’ heads and risk them getting beat up before they’re a year old. And I’m from Chicago and my family is a bunch of die-hard White Sox fans. Oh, what to do… just go for team Old Navy, apparently.

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first niece. My stepbrother’s wife has apparently been contracting every 6-7 minutes for the last three days. As of last exam, not dilated. Oh, and any time she tries to eat something, she pukes. Not surprisingly, she’s apparently on a very short fuse. My stepmom is out at their place in Nevada, and sent them off to the hospital a few hours ago. Fingers crossed that something good will happen and the poor thing won’t have to go through this crap much longer.

Rainy day, laundry to do, no mental energy. Sorry for phoning this one in… 🙂

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“Snacktime” Review

OK, so I pre-ordered Snacktime from Nettwerk back in… oh… MARCH. Has it arrived? No. What is the point of pre-ordering if you aren’t going to get it to people on time? Especially in the era of iTunes. Yet again, Nettwerk screws the pooch on the pre-order front. But I was taking the kids to the show, so I had to hear the new songs before I heard them live! I bought it on iTunes, anyways. (Yes, it might all be a ploy by Nettwerk to get me to buy it twice. Grr.)

But all that aside, I’m in love with this album after all of two listens. Great combination of funny, random, sweet, and all friendly for the kids while providing a giggle for mom and dad. It’s fully 24 songs, but most of them are pretty short. While I think you should go straight to your friendly iTunes store and buy it, here’s my thoughts on individual songs, in case you feel like getting all à la carte. I wanted to put them out there before we head to the show… which we’ll do as soon as the kids are up from their morning nap!

7 8 9 – The first “single” from the album, 7 8 9 sounds like Rawhide, and is based on the old “why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9.” Leave it to BNL to take a two-sentence kiddie pun to it’s absurd extreme. You can download the single for free from BNL’s website, and you can see the silly animated video on YouTube.

The Ninjas – Apparently we think Ninjas come into our room at night. They also, apparently, sometimes vacation in Ireland. I know, weird. But only a minute long, and very catchy. You’ll be singing along before you can help it.

Pollywog in a Bog – Remember elementary or middle-school science when you learned about tadpoles and pollywogs and frogs? Well, here’s that lesson in song form. It’s got a funny sort of reggae bit in the middle, just begging for you to dance around like a goof with your kid.

Raisins – Um, random much? Much like the rap bits in One Week, the lyrics are basically non-sequitur, stream-of-consciousness… but a great tune, and you’ll be singing along (and fumbling the lyrics) immediately.

Eraser – An ode to the humble eraser. I will admit that I don’t tend to love Kevin Hearn’s songs right away. That said, they usually grow on me, and this one already is doing just that. I’m not sure how they managed to do a part-polka, part-soul, largely-Weird-Al-esque song about erasers, but it works.

I Can Sing – A great little bluegrass tune. Yes, BNL does bluegrass, too. And pretty darn well! Great harmonies, great banjo… just plain fun.

Louis Loon – Sweet pop song, just telling the story of a Loon, whose friends want him to stay and play. That’s all.

Food Party – It’s like beat poetry, with flavors and textures. Including umami, I swear.

Canadian Snacktime Trilogy, Part 1: Snacktime – Ethereal, and I think it’s Gordon Lightfoot singing. But the best part is the middle, where you have a bunch of people saying their favorite snacks. It includes phone-ins from (among others) Sarah McLachlan, Lyle Lovett, and Weird Al, as well as each one of the band’s kids! Cute.

Canadian Snacktime Trilogy, Part 2: Popcorn – What popcorn would sound like, if it were a song.

Canadian Snacktime Trilogy, Part 3: Vegetable Town – Eh, not my favorite, to be honest. I mean, it’s sort of whimsical, talking about a town that’s made out of different vegetables. But it’s just a little to slow for me. But they get points for having their kids sing backup. 🙂

Drawing – Very 80’s synth Devo-esque. You parents who were children of the 80s will dig it and bust out your old dance moves, much to your kids’ amusement.

Humungous Tree – I love it, but I find I’m lacking the vocabulary to describe it. Sort of bossa nova, sort of retro, sort of jazzy, the beat/rhythm has a lot of great movement.

My Big Sister – Short and sweet. A funny, faux-dramatic song about a boy who doesn’t want hand-me-downs from his sister.

Allergies – Loud, fast, rocking song… about allergies. I feel like a kid with a lot of allergies would get a kick out of this song. If they have to be so careful with things in their life to avoid their allergies… this song is anything but careful. Energetic and fun.

I Don’t Like – Honestly, I think this one’s mainly for the parents. As I read somewhere else, it’s the new “If I had $1,000,000” as far as between-verse banter.

What a Wild Tune – Sweet song about the music in nature.

Bad Day – It sounds kind of depressed to me, but I think it might be a nice song for a more sensitive kid who likes to have a quiet day sometimes. It sounds a lot like some of BNL’s other slower songs, so it will feel familiar to the fans out there. And, it appears, Steve busted out the flute again.

Things – Very, very short. And yet, kind of sweet. Maybe it’s just the mommy hormones.

Curious – Feels a lot like a “kid” song, but tons of fun. Playing with words and rhyming, a good one to sing along with.

A Word for That – I love that it’s the adult trying to figure out a word, and it’s the kid who tells him what the word is. (I think it’s Ed’s kids, but that’s just a guess.)

Wishing – A silly, fun blues riff. Sounds like a classic southern rock tune.

Crazy ABC’s – Hi-fricking-larious. The banter cracks my shit up, and the choices they find for the word for each letter… You’ll laugh your butt off. Unless you’re like M, who audibly rolls his eyes at me. 🙂 Haha, Zed for Zed Zed Top… I’m dying here.

Here Come the Geese – I notice they like to end albums with Kevin Hearn kind of flowy songs. They aren’t always my favorite songs, but I guess there a nice way to wind down at the end. It’s a good song, just not really my favorite.

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