Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let's hear it for the boy!

Went to visit my new nephew and his family yesterday. If you don’t have babies in your life regularly, you kind of forget how sweet the little puddin’s are.

And how soon they start to show personality. My mom was feeding Dec, his first time on formula because he needs a little more than what his mama is able to “cook up” right now. And he took to formula just fine. But when he had enough, those lips pinched shut and the chin went up, and No, ma’am, he just wasn’t going to be having any more. My mom said she thinks she just got a sneak peak of my sister’s life for the next 20 years. This kid may have inherited the family stubborn streak. And he definitely inherited the family chin. My dad looked at him and said he knew that chin, because he’d been shaving it for 50 years.

Babies are just loads of fun. Who else would you let fart on your arm and think it’s just adorable? Or throw up on you? Or any of the other bodily fluids that adults usually don’t share with other people unless there are large quantities of liquor involved. Newborns smile and it’s enthralling. They cry and it’s a crisis. Who else on the planet is this enthralling?

And, of course, for a knitting auntie, it’s the culmination of all those years of practice. Why else did I learn to knit if it wasn’t to make adorable things for adorable little people? So, without further ado, here he is, Declan. In the knitted baby cocoon from the aunt who thinks he’s perfect.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ain't that Mister Mister?

Okay, here’s why I hate Train.

And first let me define “hate”. Because there are levels there. I hate train so much that I was driving in the desert with their first big CD playing on my car stereo. I suddenly went from loving Train, to such a level of loathing that I hit eject, whipped that puppy out of the stereo and with one sweeping motion flung it out the window with such force that it soared like a toxic Frisbee into Sonoran night. Whaaaa-paaaaah! I hate Train so much that I littered. Where I should have taken only pictures and left only footprints, I deposited that horrible, horrible CD. At this very moment there could be an innocent coyote choking on Meet Virginia.

That, my friend, is hate.

Why? Their new song Hey, Soul Sister is a perfect example. Their stuff is catchy as hell. It’s been used in 3 TV shows that I’ve counted so far. It’s a monster hit on the hippy radio station. Within 3 notes, that song will have you singing along and butt dancing in the car. Catchy as hell. It is the lite rock version of Brick House. 20 years from now, it will be played at weddings, and all of the women in the room will rush the dance floor so that they can form a big circle, throw all their handbags in the middle and start “dance like no one’s watching” while giving each other knowing looks and saying “Ah, yeah, girl. I love this song. Wooooo!”

And yet . . . within the lyrics, which are clever, kitschy and evocative, and have the same communicability of the Ebola virus, is contained the phrase “your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains.” Okay, first, as far as images go – gross. What is he, dating a zombie? Second, it does not scan. Yeah, yeah, I get meter and rhyme. And I do make the occasional allowance. For 12-year olds. But for a guy who makes a living putting words to music, that’s just lazy. Then to take that failure to grammatically launch, and attach it to a hook that is sunk into the front lobe of my left side brains (see? I can be gross too), so that it repeats over and over again in my head? That’s just cruel. If that song was 20% less catchy, and I wasn’t paying attention to the lyrics so that I could accompany my butt dancing with vocals, I wouldn’t have even noticed. But I did notice. And now it won’t go away. Grrrrrrr!

And that is why I hate Train.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tripping the Light Fantastic

Wow. For once a museum piece is screwed up just because someone tripped, rather than because someone went bat guano crazy. Kind of a nice change.

Of course, it also gives me that moment of abject empathy. This is EXACTLY the kind of klutzo move that I would make. Walking through a museum, blabbing, not watching where I'm going, tripping over my own feet, and gouging a whole in a Picasso. I can actually see the slow-motionness of this happening - whaa-ahhhhh-oooohhhh-nooooooohhhhh! Ooops. Actually, I think it's less embarassing to be bug nuts. At least then you can blame the voices in your head, rather than your own two left feet.

Everything changes

Well, it was a big moment weekend. First, I became an aunt again. My sister had her first baby, Declan. From pictures, he appears to be sweet, yet grumpy. So he’ll fit right in. Mama, baby, Daddy and sisters are all doing well. I’ll go over and see him in real life on Wednesday. As an older sister, it’s my job to come over and coo and fuss over this new little person and tell his mama what a good job she did. And as an aunt it’s my job to tell him he’s perfect and I will love him forever, no matter what.

Then we celebrated my niece’s 18th birthday. Truly a rite of passage. She’s actually my friend’s daughter. But she came along at a time in my life when I was ready to be an aunt, and my brother and sister weren’t ready to oblige. My friend is a single mom, so having another adult who was willing to give her some occasional breathing space was a good thing. So we’ve done movies and plays, and shopping and ice cream, and talked about important stuff.

So, as her birthday present, I took her to see a play on Sunday night. It was billed as a cross between High School Musical and Lysistrata. Right up her alley. And as we were driving downtown, I remembered the first time I took her out was to see Stuart Little. I got a little misty. I also told her after the show, that now that she’s 18, I don’t have to worry about being a bad influence when I take her to see something a little racy. Something I started doing probably a little earlier than a responsible adult should. Then again, what’s an aunt for? The kid has seen a lot of raunchy comedies, and has a pretty damned good sense of humor for her age. Something I take some modest credit for.

But now that she’s an adult, and she and her mom don’t need my help so much any more, I guess it really becomes her choice on whether we stay friends. They grow up, huh? Oh, shoot. Misty again.

Ah, well. And get ready, Declan, my boy. Auntie’s got things to teach you.

TIME: Quotes of the Day