Archive | April, 2009

This little piggy

30 Apr

No, this blog isn’t about the swine flu.

Yesterday I babysat for a friend.  She has three children under the age of 4, including an 8 month old infant.  Babysitting is not my most favoritest thing in the world, so I generally try to avoid it, but I had casually mentioned to this friend that if she needed anything she should give me a call, and darn it all if she didn’t take me up on it.  Oh well.  I love my friends.  I can handle two and a half hours of just about anyone’s children, right?  Well, maybe not anyone’s children.

But these kids were OK.  I mean, there was some pooping of the diapers and some crying and some drooling and some smashing of apple into my living room rug and some picking of noses and then wiping of boogers on my living room rug and some more drooling, but all in all it wasn’t so bad.  My favorite part was getting to admire some chubby baby piggies.  There’s nothing like a fat baby foot with little, stubby toes poking out in all directions.

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I occasionally wax nostalgiac for the Fred Flintstone feet of my childrens’ earliest days.  Not enough, mind you, to try to recreate it in another little Bythelbs.  But still, there are days when my children are sad or scared or hurt or extra adorable or total brats that I wish I could plop them in my lap, cradle them in my arms, and make everything better with a little chorus of this little piggy.

Everything is so much more complicated when the little piggies grow up.  They stop believing you when you try to tell them how awesome they are.  They don’t listen when you try to warn them with the wisdom of your own past experiences.  They accuse you of not loving them when nothing in that moment could be farther from the truth.  And you just have to pray that every once in a while they’ll remember you were the one who could wiggle their toes and make everything all right.

Sigh.


Speaking of piggies, I was helping Mr. T clip his toenails the other night.  (How I long for the days when my children have the strength and know-how to take care of their own mani-pedi needs.)  Before I started clipping, Mr. T informed me of his toenails’ names.  I think he was hoping that if I thought of them as real…people?  characters?  entities?…I would take greater care, maybe be a little gentler.

tylers-toenails

Facebook TMI

29 Apr

Chuck found this notification on his Facebook home page yesterday.

fb-tmi-1

I feel a shun coming on.

dwight-shun

 

Yeah, like that.  Only without the UN.


My e-mail conversation with Chuck:

Me:  Fortheluvva…  Can I post this on my blog if I edit her name and picture?

Chuck:  Yeah, I don’t care if you use her REAL name and picture…doesn’t she bring this on herself?  Not sure how you edit the name and picture…but you are good at that stuff.  Too bad Facebook hasn’t added the “Dislike” or “Shun” button…I would use it!

Phooey on phood

28 Apr

Sunday a friend of mine at church said, “Are you shrinking? You look like you’re shrinking. Are you shrinking on purpose?” I assured her that I was not really shrinking. Perhaps I was on the down swing of my 5-6 lb up/down pendulum, but no doubt in a couple weeks I’d be right back up again.

Truth be told, I have wanted to lose 10-15 lbs for the past 10-15 years. Chuck’s taking me to Hawaii for our 15th anniversary in June, and I thought it would be nice to make the trip with just a little less me. I don’t think I look bad, but I think I could look better. And I’ve been thinking I would enjoy the process of swimsuit shopping a little more hate the process of swimsuit shopping a little less if there was just a little less me.

But I certainly haven’t made any concerted effort or “diet plan” or anything.  If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I’m programmed for complete diet failure.  Complete.  Failure.  I think we’ve had this conversation before over the Christmas fudge.  Anyway, I’ve just been trying to cut down a bit—maybe have one piece of toast instead of two, two cookies instead of twelve.  You know, little stuff.  And it’s been kind of working until my sweet friend had to open up her big mouth on Sunday.  Her innocent and even complimentary shrinking remark triggered my body’s screw itself mode, and last night I found myself sick.  And disgusted.  And all around oogie-feeling.

The day started out innocently enough.  I had a bowl of Special K.  I like Special K.  It’s crispy and ricey.  A little while later I had a small handful of almonds.  A few nuts are good for you, right?  Protein and stuff.  Then a little while later I felt a little grumbly in the tumbly so I had a 90 calorie cereal bar.  I had a box of them in the food storage in the garage and it seemed like a safe snack.  Less than an hour later I found myself in front of the pantry again.  This time I had a spoonful of peanut butter.  A teaspoonful isn’t so bad, eh?  More protein.  Fifteen minutes later (it was lunch time then—time for lunch!) I decided to make myself a couple of eggs sans toast.  Heaven knows I love me some eggs, but it’s not exactly the best taste to leave in your mouth.  I should have brushed my teeth or popped a tic-tac or something, but no, it was back to the pantry for more almonds.  Almonds are salty, though, see?  So I needed a little somethin-somethin to balance that out.  Enter the mint oreos.  I just had one.  Then two minutes later I had three more.  At this point, it was about 12:15 pm.

I managed to go another two hours before breaking out the popcorn.  It was healthy pop, mind you, which as far as I’m concerned is like eating nothing because it doesn’t really taste good.  Isn’t that how it should work?  If you don’t actually enjoy the food, it shouldn’t count as actual eating?  I think that should be one of the slides on those weight watcher point calculators.  You’ve got the calories and the grams of fat and the taste scale.  Obviously, “delicious” jacks the points way up, whereas “tasteless styrofoam” automatically negates all of the other factors.  I guess as long as I’m pretending I should make the delicious food count for nothing, but that would just be too good to be true, and even I’m not that delusional.  So I had a bag of healthy pop kettle corn.  Not one of those mini-single serving bags.  An entire bag.

I was set for another whole hour, and then it was back to the peanut butter.  Another spoonful.  I did manage to resist the urge to put chocolate chips on it.  Then I did my marathon stretch of non-eating and stayed out of the kitchen for two and a half hours until it was time to make dinner.  I’m not a big fan of making dinner.  I stared at the fridge and the freezer and the pantry for several minutes.  Then I went out to the garage and stared at the food shelves for a good long while.  Funny how nothing really sounds good to cook let alone eat when you’ve been eating crap all day.  I finally settled on tacos, and while I was chopping and dicing and browning and stirring, I probably consumed a good three dozen tortilla chips.  Because, you know, they were there.  On the counter.  And heaven forbid I should not eat something when it’s just sitting there.

By the time I put dinner on the table, I felt good and sick, but I still managed to eat two tacos and some beans and some more tortilla chips.  Then as I was clearing my plate I passed the oreos that one of my children had very thoughtfully left on the counter, and I had another one of those.  Yeah, just one.  Because it was the last one.  I spent the rest of the night in a terrible, terrible mood.

Last night I had a dream.  Our family was going on a road trip.  I don’t remember where.  We packed all kinds of food and snacks for the trip, including two big boxes of brown sugar and cinnamon poptarts.  (I don’t even like poptarts.  Maybe that’s why I packed them because I could eat as many as I wanted and it wouldn’t count as actual eating because I wouldn’t enjoy it.)  We stopped at a small restaurant for breakfast.  I don’t know why we were stopping for breakfast when we’d just barely started driving, but we did.  The place was called Mother’s and looked like a nice, cozy little family owned restaurant.  They seated us almost immediately, and then we sat at the table and waited for the waitress to take our order.  We waited and waited.  Finally, after about an hour I went to complain.  The waitress told me with a super fake and patronizing smile that she was sorry, but they were really busy and she was the only one working.  She’d be with us soon.  A half an hour later, she came to our table.  I said, “We’ve been waiting for an hour and a half to place our order!”  She said, “It has not been an hour and a half.”  I looked at my watch and said, “Well an hour and 22 minutes then.”  Then she started to take our order, but left halfway through.  She never came back.  We were still just sitting there when I woke up this morning.  And I woke up super pissed.

What do you think it all means? 

What did you eat yesterday? 

food-mosaic-1

The kILLERS

24 Apr

Wednesday night Chuck and I saw The Killers at the WaMu* theater in Seattle.  I bought the general admission tickets a couple of months ago on a whim.  After doing a little research on the venue, I was a little worried about the mixed reviews.  I was having a really hard time trying to find anything that would tell me what the floor/seating setup was for general admission tickets, and I was a little worried about spending several hours standing.  (Chuck’s not getting any younger, you know.)  With that and the fact that I haven’t been completely sold on their newest album Day & Age, my expectations weren’t super high.  Let me tell you, I was wrong.  Dead wrong.  The Killers—I know I should be avoiding the obvious here, but—killed.  Big time.

We arrived at the venue about an hour early since we weren’t familiar with the set up, and were relieved to find that while the floor up by the stage was standing room only, there was tiered seating not too far back.  We settled into a couple of seats (padded even!) six or seven rows back just off from center, and had a great view of the stage.  I think we were maybe 50 yards back from the stage. 

wild-lightThe opening band, Wild Light, came on at 8 o’clock.  They’re an Indie rock/pop band from New Hampshire with a pretty cool laid back sound.  They played a ten song set from their new album Adult Nights (nice name, huh?).  While there wasn’t anything particularly impressive about their stage presence—they had a few kind of shy, awkwardish interactions with the audience—we enjoyed them.  They’re a four man group who share the vocals and the instruments.  It was kind of cool to see them mix it up with the lead vocals, and the songs with multi-part harmonies were great.  A couple of my favorite songs were Lawless River and Red House.  (You can listen to the songs here.  Stay clear of California on My Mind if you’re not one for f-bombs.)  

They opened with this song, New Hampshire (the camera work on this is pretty suckish, but the sound was better than on the other videos I could find):

Overall, I think it’s a pretty good album—one I’m tempted to pick up.  And as far as relatively unknown opening bands go, I thought they were great.  It was definitely worth arriving early to catch them before The Killers came on.

killers-1After what seemed like forever (we seriously waited a good 45 minutes after the opening act), The Killers came on stage.  The audience, of course, went wild, and after a “You guys are all right” from Brandon, they started right in with Spaceman then followed that up with another off the new album, Day & Age, This Is Your Life.  Then they kicked it up with a fan favorite from Hot Fuss, Somebody Told Me, and followed that with For Reasons Unknown from Sam’s Town.

The set was a great mix with all of the albums being pretty evenly represented, and included all the fan favorites.  At least this fan’s favorites.  Here’s the set list from the Seattle show:

1. Spaceman (Day & Age)
2. This Is Your Life (D&A)
3. Somebody Told Me (Hot Fuss)
4. For Reasons Unknown (Sam’s Town)
5. I Can’t Stay (D&A)
6. Joy Ride (D&A)
7. Bling (Confession of a King)–(ST)
8. Shadowplay (a Joy Division cover off Sawdust, a compilation album of b-sides, covers and re-mixes)
9. Smile Like You Mean It (HF)
10. Human (DA)
11. The World We Live In (DA)
12. A Dustland Fairytale (DA)
13. Sam’s Town (ST)
14. Read My Mind (ST)
15. Mr. Brightside (HF)—(bizarre video made awesome by the creepy Eric Roberts)
16. All These Things I’ve Done (HF)
*encore*
17. Bones (ST)
18. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine (HF)
19. When You Were Young (ST)

brandon-flowers2Brandon Flowers has great stage presence and a kind of subtle, dramatic energy.  There wasn’t a ton of storytelling or audience interaction, aside from the invitation to sing along with some of their more popular chorus lines (I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier!), but Brandon was a great host. He did introduce a few of the songs in a round about, poetic kind of way. Before For Reasons Unknown he said (and I pieced this together from a few frantic notes I made on a napkin found on the floor), “Ever been in love Seattle? Sometimes love comes quickly and as easily as a beautiful girl with her hair falling down over her shoulders. Sometimes love goes quickly. You wake up one morning and the butterflies are gone. And you want it back—you want to fight for it. You want to breathe that fire again.”

He started to introduce Mr. Brightside, but then changed his mind for some reason and they ended up just launching right into the song.  I found the introduction we missed on a youtube video of a show earlier this year:

Like I said, I had kind of low-ish expectations after reading some mixed reviews.  One reviewer said they seemed to be going through the motions at the concert he attended.  I didn’t see that at all in Seattle.  They looked like they were having a great time, and seemed to have a genuine appreciation for the fans.  Another reviewer said they sound even better live than on their albums.  I didn’t really get that until I experienced it.  I hadn’t been super excited about Day & Age, longing for the edgier, more raw sound of Hot Fuss, but hearing them perform the tracks live has really sold me on the album now.  I considered it a little mellow before, but they picked up the tempo and really kicked up the energy for the live performance, and I had a new appreciation for these songs, especially This Is Your Life and The World We Live In.

Overall, it was a fantastic concert experience.  Brandon sounds great live.  He really has an amazing voice.  They put on a fun, exciting show (complete with confetti launchers and pyrotechnics!), and their choice to pretty evenly represent all of their albums, including all the fan favorites, showed, I thought, a real deference to their fans. 

If you were totally anti-Killers before, seeing them live likely wouldn’t change your mind.  But this was definitely not a show only a die-hard fan could love.  No doubt on the fencers would find themselves pretty solidly in the fan camp, and fans like me who thought it might be kind of nice to catch them live once, will likely find themselves picking up another ticket next time they’re in town.

Not that you can tell from this pic, but we really had a great view of the stage (Chuck took this with his cell phone).  That speck on the left side is lead guitarist Dave Keuning. 

killers-concert1

 

*Another side note about the venue.  I read some complaints about crappy acoustics.  Now heaven knows I don’t know jack about acoustics, but for me the sound was just fine with the normal amount of distortion one would expect from a live show.  I thought the music and vocals sounded great.  I had come prepared with ear plugs, but didn’t end up using them.  Not once did I find myself instinctively bringing up my hands to protect my eardrums, and I didn’t experience any tell-tale ringing as I left the show.  So the sound, I think, was at least something that the WaMu got right.

Back tomorrow

23 Apr

Chuck’s home today.  We had a late night at The Killers concert.  I’ll be back with a review tomorrow.

Happy Thursday!

Wacky Search Term Wednesday moment

22 Apr

Speaking of brave fashion choices:

dressing up a snuggie—Oh, dude, I gotcha covered.  Right here.

 

Thanks to Boquinha for providing the GFY link.

Reason #783 why I love Mr. T

22 Apr

Watching American Idol last night.lil-rounds

Me, with Lil on stage:  Wow, that’s a brave jumpsuit choice.

Mr. T:  Isn’t any jumpsuit choice a brave choice?

Indeed.