Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You Use the Tools That Are Available to You

We did the "three questions" thing again tonight, and he's still asking bizarrely eclectic questions.

Tonight's list:

1) Why are you and mommy married?

2) Why do we have a fan in our room?  

3) Why do we sleep on pillows?

Seriously, this kid makes me think.  I mean, think about it.  Why do humans sleep on pillows? He won't take an answer like "just because."  He wants a real actual reason.  I told him it was easier on your neck to sleep on a pillow, but fuck if I know.  

Later, he was telling me that there were monsters everywhere.  Monsters in the ceiling - "and they have really long arms, and they can touch the door and touch the fan at the same time! And even your guitar, too!"   Monsters were in our bedsheets.  They were living inside the fan.  "And they even set up a house next door to the fan where they live!"  Suddenly, inexplicably, our bedroom was lousy with monsters.

When he presents a problem like this (i.e. sudden monster eruption), I don't bother trying to solve it anymore.  When he was younger, I had a can of air freshener that I relabeled as "Monster Spray" that I'd spritz around the room to scare away the monsters.  Or I'd dutifully look under the bed, in the closet, under his pillow, and shout to scare away all the monsters.   Now, I just make him deal with it.

"So, Oliver," I ask, "what should we do about the monsters?"

"I don't know," he shrugs. 

I tried to guide him to a solution.  "Will your friends -" the various stuffed animals on the bed with him - "help get rid of the monsters?"

"No," Oliver shrugs," they don't have power like me."

"Oh, well then, how are you going to get rid of them?" I ask.  "What kind of power do you have?"

"I can shoot fireballs out of my penis!"  he shouts gleefully.

He gestures toward his crotch region, imagining a giant flamethrower rising out of his pull-up.  And makes fireball-shooting noises.  Pew pew pew!  He does this for a minute or two.  Shortly after that, he drifts off to sleep.  

I wonder if he does this with Mrs. B.  

Friday, July 17, 2009

Three Questions

For the last couple of months, Oliver has insisted on us telling him a story every night. It's exhausting. Usually, we're exhausted by the time we get to putting him to bed, and the sheer brainpower to come up with a new story is painful. Usually, I resort to telling him fables or new versions of old stories: "Once upon a time, there were three bears, and they lived in a third-floor walkup apartment..."

So I tried something new last night. A friend gave me the idea: he can ask me three questions, about anything he wants. And then I struggle to answer. Easy, I thought.

So these were his three questions last night:

1) Why does the world spin around and around?

2) Why does Chloe have a tail?

3) Why do they put that floaty stuff (helium) in balloons?

Easy. No problem. I just had to explain planetary rotation, the basic principles of evolution, and the elemental properties of helium. That's it.

I just looked on Google to try and find a simple answer for 1), and this is the best I found. It's mind-boggling.

I think he's going to be a scientist, and a brilliant one at that.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Workout Playlist - July 14, 2009

Still doing the 30-minute workouts, although I'm debating upping the time a little bit.

You Know You're Right - Nirvana
Night of the Living Baseheads - Public Enemy
Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle - Nirvana
Huddle Formation - Go! Team
Great DJ - Ting Tings
A Shot in the Arm - Wilco
The Bends - Radiohead
All Because Of You - U2


The right Nirvana song can turn a casual workout into a full-throttle berzerker throwdown.

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Julie and Julia" and Me

This is going to be a little bit self-indulgent, so bear with me. I just saw a preview for Julie & Julia and I got unexpectly choked up.

I'll explain. Julie Powell started her Julie/Julia project as a Salon blog, around the same time I was starting up my original blog. I feel a kinship to her, even though we've never met and for all I know, she's never even looked at my blog. She was one of us, along with Meg and Patia and the Grumpy Girl and Phil and Nancy and the guy who did Fried Green Al-Qaedas Virtual Occoquan.

And then Julie exploded into a huge phenomenon. I don't think I knew at the time how big it had gotten, but I knew she had gotten to a level that most of us hadn't and probably weren't.

But that's was cool. I'm proud of her, even though, again, nothing whatsoever at all to do with her success. I can't wait to see the movie. And when in the trailer, they showed a quick shot of her computer with the old blog banner (albeit a completely different blogging service), I got a bit verklempt.

So congrats, Julie. I feel a little like the kid who used to play playground basketball with Michael Jordan before he became Michael Jordan. But I'm thrilled that it's come this far, and hope you're having all kinds of success and wish you nothing but more.

P.S. Oddly enough, I just looked up the old blog, and stumbled across this article about the movie. Apparently, there's a bit of controversy about the way her blog is depicted in the movie. Salon's Kerry Lauerman is quoted.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Workout Playlist - July 8, 2009

Hmm, let's see if this works. This was my workout playlist from yesterday's workout.

Get 'em High - Kanye West (feat. Common & Talib Kweli)
Date with the Night - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Inside a Boy (Son Lux remix) - My Brightest Diamond
Scenario- A Tribe Called Quest
(I've talked before about how this isn't the best workout song. I skipped it this time.)
Thought @ Work - the Roots
It Takes Two - Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Baba O'Riley - the Who

I'll keep this post short, since I'm posting it from my iPod touch. How's it look?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Workout Playlist - July 2, 2009

Crap, I said I was gonna do this, didn't I?

Oh well. Assume that I've been doing a hell of a lot of exercise besides just using the ol' elliptical in the last week. So here's my latest playlist for a 30-minute workout. I burned, I dunno, 225 calories.

I actually listened to nine minutes of a NPR podcast to start. Bjork playing guest DJ, playing choral music by Stravinsky and weird indie artists you've never heard of. So when my actual workout music started, it went like this:

There There - Radiohead
Ch-Check It Out - Beastie Boys
American Idiot - Green Day
All Because of You - U2
Scenario - A Tribe Called Quest
Deceptacon - Le Tigre

Because the last song was "Deceptacon," I heard "See you later!" as I stepped off the elliptical. That was pretty cool.

And then it launched into "Tie Your Mother Down" by Queen, which is a fucking amazing workout song. But my 30 minutes were up.

My one thought on this playlist is that "Scenario" doesn't actually work. The beat is a bit too slow, and the song drags a bit until Charlie Brown's verse starts. I just love the different styles here, and especially that Busta Rhymes verse - he's so dynamic and flows so ferociously here. So I'll keep it on the list.