Saturday, December 5, 2009

Song of the Day No. 53

I had a dream
I rode
On a unicorn
And you
Flew by
On a rocketship

We were sailing through the sky
We were sighing over a rainbow
We were soaring too high
With our baby right behind us

I had a dream
I rode
On a carousel
And you
Flew by
On a ferris wheel

We were sailing through the sky
We were sighing over a rainbow
We were soaring too high
With our baby right behind us

Cotton candy
Peppermint
Astronaut
Candy appled
Popcorn
Unicorn

We were sailing through the sky
We were sighing over a rainbow
We were soaring too high
With our baby right behind us

Song of the Day No. 52

I was a taste-tester for a cream puff factory
I had to verify that the cream was satisfactory

One day the cream caused discontent
In the assembly line there was a disconnect

The cream wasn't white, it was yellowish-brown
It made me gag, not just frown

I told the workers to hit it on the double
"If you keep this up, your sales are in trouble!"

Long story short, they found a certain worker
Had taken a nap instead of adding powdered sugar

This story has a moral and this is it
Don't be a lazy ass or your cream will taste like $#!+

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Song of the Day No. 51

A rock and roll song, obviously:

"Gimme Feedback!"

I turn my guitar up loud
So I can let it talk back
It always has an opinion
Sometime backed up with facts

I don't want a quiet guitar
That just keeps to itself
It should always talk with me
Sometimes scream or yell

Come on!
Gimme feedback!

How will I ever know
You've heard a thing I said
If you don't crank up the volume
Well into the red?

How will I know you're listening
If you never let it rip?
Help me dispel the mystery
Open up your lips

Alright!
Gimme feedback!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Song of the Day No. 50

A song about my brother in law and one about foods I like and foods I loathe.

I.

Oh, Cooper
You have an excellent beard.
Cooper, Cooper
I hafta stand up and cheer!
It is thick like a mountain man's;
I admit that I am a fan.
So let me buy you a beer.

II.

Pizza is the thing I love to eat the best
When I have a slice I feel truly blessed
But here I must be honest
If you put mushrooms on it
Then my stomach simply won't digest

A burger is delicious, if you do it right
Always cook it on the grill, never serve it fried
But may-o-naise and onions
Just give me boils and bunions
So I try to always keep them far out of my sight

Song of the Day No. 49

Here is a warning
As you wake from your dreams
It's freezing this morning
My breath is pure steam
Now stupid Ray Carter
Is face down in the stream
And my brain is working harder
Than ever before it seems

What do you do?
What do you do
-When you have a dead body on your hands?
What do you do?
What do you do
-When you realize you just killed a man?

I should do the right thing
And turn myself in
Of jealously I would sing
As they're taking my prints
He had taken my girl
Somewhere she'd never been
Messed up my whole world
An unforgiveable sin

I think that I'll run away
I'll take a bus out of town
Drifting from state to state
The law will not hold me down
They will never catch me
My feet will not touch the ground
I will be so hard to see
I will not make a sound

Song of the Day No. 48

You're gonna be next
On the chopping block
-Don't get too comfortable

You're a credit to your sex
With good taste in socks
-It's simply unbelievable

Refrain:
Watch out, now!
You're too good to be true

You've got good looks
And the brains to match
-You look so innocent

You're a very skilled cook
You've never baked a bad batch
-But don't get over-confident

They're gunning for you
Got you in their sights
-Better keep your eyes peeled

They're coming for you
Got you dead to rights
-Better kick up your heels

Song of the Day No. 47

I know it's not Christmas Eve yet. But it almost is!

The moon is out; the sky is clear.
Christmas Eve is finally here.
A million snowflakes are on the ground;
Ringing carols still resound
-It's Christmas Eve tonight!

Children just can't get to sleep;
Excitement makes their young hearts leap.
The ringle-jingle of sleigh bells
Is a sound they know so well
-It's Christmas Eve tonight!

What a lovely sight to see:
Presents underneath the tree!
Der Bingle's singing softly now
We can't wait for morning, and how!
-It's Christmas Eve tonight!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bird Days

Despite the lack of posts, we are still plugging away. We have quite a formidable flock.

"Fat Over Lean" is one of those rules of which I didn't understand the necessity before actually doing the opposite. I always just imagined Jack Sprat with his wife plopped down on top of him eating a plate full of "no lean." That's not what the rule is talking about. Oil doesn't dry out between brush strokes like acrylic. This means that if you have a thick layer of, say, dark green and you want to go back over it and add touches of light green highlights, it's not going to work. When you delicately touch your brush of light on that field of thick dark, it's just going to get all mixed up and messy. I've read there are also long term repercussion such as cracking of paint and other similarly dismal disasters. I am so glad da Vinci followed the Fat Over Lean rule on Mona Lisa's lips.

Some of my better birds include my little Carolina Chickadee and my Yellow-breasted Chat. James has a Bronzed Cowbird that I like so much I've asked him not to give it away.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What's Going On


It seems like our only posts these days are my songs of the day. So I guess we're due for a little update. Don't think we've given up on our birds, folks. We haven't. But something weird happened the other night. We both painted subpar birds. Not that we're claiming to be great oil painters or anything, but our birds that night were well below the standards we had set. Take my Mallard, for instance (left). I mean, it looks like something an elementary school kid or an institutionalized person might paint. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy outsider art. But we were, needless to say, a bit discouraged by this development. The next night we gave it a break. No birds. But now we're back into it and having fun again!


In baby news, Beatrice has added a new word to her vocabulary: "DADA." That brings the grand total up to two (2) words! The other one is "mama." She also crawls around tirelessly. She pulls herself up on things. She loves to bang on a keyboard and hum through a kazoo. She's also teething again, and it looks like she'll have two front teeth for Christmas!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Song of the Day No. 46

"Lyricists' Bill of Rights"

You may think it's wrong,
But as a composer of songs,
I have a right to write
Really bad lyrics.

Though I admit that I'm hardly
A Lennon or McCartney,
Even those composers had no
Reason to fear it.

So I resolve to write what comes
No matter now mind-numbingly dumb,
And hope the critics
Will never go near it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Song of the Day No. 45

I didn't post one yesterday, so here's a second for today:

"Gimme Apocalypse"

Chant:
Gimme Apocalypse!
Gimme Apocalypse!

Come on and drop the bomb
Come on and drop the bomb
I tell you I am not dreadin'
The sight of armageddon
It sounds like it could be a ton of fun
A barbecue picnic in the sun

Come on and drop the bomb
Come on and drop the bomb
I tell you I am not afraid
Of fallout winter shade
It seems like it could be cool and nice
So won't you please take my good advice

Nuclear war's
What we've been waiting for
Yeeeeaaaahhhhhh!!!!

Come on and drop the bomb
Come on and drop the bomb
I tell you here is what rocks:
It's called nuclear holocaust

Chant:
Gimme apocalypse!
Gimme apocalypse!
(Repeat and fade)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Song of the Day No. 43

"Bedroom Band"

I want to start a bedroom band
We won't need to purchase a van
Or write a business plan, man
We'll be a bedroom band!

Electric guitar!
Cheap drumset!
A microphone!
Blank cassette!

That's all we need
That's all we need

Song of the Day No. 42

Three short songs that I should have posted yesterday:

I.

I don't want to live
In this museum anymore
Dusting off the artifacts
Is such a boring chore

Surely there must be
Something more in store
Than waxing hardwood floors
For me?

II.

Everything is coming unraveled
The world is coming undone
The clouds have started raining gravel
And oceans are made of bubble gum
I'm watching my mind fly away in a hot air balloon
Asking me to come along soon

Everything is coming unbuttoned
Everything is coming unglued
The sky turned red all of a sudden
Now the sun is shining blue
I'm watching my mind fly away in a hot air balloon
Asking me to come along soon

III.

You were bleeding in your stories
Your twisted amphigories
That seemed more like dreams
Than any real reality

Furry animals and plants
Even honey-bees and ants
All seem to talk to you
All seem to understand

Friday, November 20, 2009

Song of the Day No. 41

"Vesuvius"

Vesuvius-
Are you through with us?
Vesuvius-
Have we worn out our usefulness?

You protected us;
Now you've rejected us
And ejected us
When you exploded unexpectedly.

You carried us;
Then you harried us,
Fin'lly buried us
When you went off suddenly.

Vesusius-
Are you through with us?
Vesuvius-
Have we worn out our usefulness?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bird Days, 10

Another late night
No time to write
Added new birds to the flock

Today I got groceries
Healthy food mostly
Trying to build up a stock

The baby's asleep
I'll check, yes, I'll peep
Hope I don't trip on a block

James is in bed
I'm writing instead
Oh, jeez, I just looked at the clock!

Bye!

Song of the Day No. 40

Another tale of Locust Hill, my fictional southern town.

"Out!"

Take me down to the Old Black River
Deep in the Dark Woods.
Take me down to the Old Black River
Way out in those Dark Woods.
Baptise me in cool November
Knee deep in red mud.

Bramble Childress wore his fav'rite
Blue seersucker suit.
Rev'rend Childress had on his fav'rite
Blue seersucker suit,
With his shock of hair all white
And his cheap patent leather shoes.

Ol' Brandon Boyles come out of nowhere,
Started spreading the devil's lies.
B.B. Boyles come out of nowhere,
Telling the devil's lies.
Gave the congregation quite a scare,
My oh my oh my.

The sunlight was starting to get dim;
The water was getting cold.
Said the sunlight was a gettin' dim;
The water getting cold.
O'l B.B. had some demon in him
Fighting for his soul.

Everyone was feeling kinda nervous,
Wondering what would happen next.
Everyone was getting kinda nervous,
Not knowing what would happen next.
The sunset hardly reassured us
With that demon standing in our midst.

Well, Bramble Childress looked that devil
Square in his red eye.
Yes, Rev. Childress stared that devil
Right in his red eye.
But he'd never sink down to his level;
Rev. Childress would rather die.

Well, a demon exorcism
Was Rev. Childress' only choice.
Yes a demon exorcism
Was the Rev'rend's only choice.
He proclaimed "the Lord hath risen!"
In his husky gravel voice.

Bramble Childress knew an uppercut
Could drive that demon out.
Said Rev. Childress hoped an uppercut
Would knock that demon out.
He clocked him, kicked him in the gut
And cried "Out demon! Get out!"

The Rev'rend's flock just stood agape
At the scene that they had witnessed.
The congregation stood agape
At the scene that they just witnessed.
Skinny B.B. was in sorry shape;
Rev. Childress'd beat him witless.

They dragged ol' B. up to the bank
Without an ounce of doubt.
They dragged B.B. up on the bank
Without a shred of doubt
That they should give the Rev'rend thanks
For driving that demon out.

So take me down to the Old Black River
Save this drowning man.
Said take me down to the Old Black River
Save this drowning man.
Baptize me in cool November;
Let me bathe in the Blood of the Lamb.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Song of the Day No. 39

An instrospective number. I rarely get so personal and confessional in song.

Chocolate is my heroin;
I can never get enough.
I'm nearly always carryin'
A stash of the delicious stuff.

I love to eat a cookie;
I love a candy bar.
I love it when it's sticky,
Clinging to my fingers like tar.

Once I get a little taste,
Nothing else will satisfy me.
Not a morsel goes to waste,
It just may fatify me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Song of the Day No. 38

Here's somthing a little lighter since yesterday's song was so heavy. A pop tune and one inspired by a fun night out with Lily, Jake, Lucy and Hudson.

"I Adore You"

As long as the sun shines
I hope that you will be mine
As long as the moon lights the sky at night
I hope that you will be mine

I adore you
I adore you
I am living for you
I adore you

As long as the earth turns
I will belong to you
As long as my soul burns
I will belong to you

I adore you, &ct.

Please, please girl
Please be mine
Please, please girl
Until the end of time

"Sake Song"

Sake, sake every night
Sake, sake, it's alright

Let's get together at the sushi bar
The one on the corner is not too far
Let's get together at the sushi bar
It's in walking distance; you won't need a car

With a shot of hot sake and a cigarette
Your cares and your worry you'll soon forget
Finish this pitcher and start on a third
Everything we talk about seems so absurd

A shot of hot sake on an evening in the fall
Is the antidote for staring at the wall
We'll get together at the sushi place
Leave our inhibitions without a trace

Bird Days, Birds 7 & 8


So James told you about how he got a little behind. Well, I did too. But, s'tch-k! Today I had a chance to catch up. I added a sweet little Coal Tit and a Red-headed Woodpecker. I tried something a little different with the Coal Tit. I did a varied wash on my surface which I moved around with turpentine to get the basic darks and lights. I built the bird from there. It's mostly grays and blacks. The wash is yellows. It looks watery. I like. Much.

I love you,
Lily

P.S. Leave me a comment so I know you love me back!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Song of the Day No. 37

"Lonely Aberdeen"

Once upon a time
Deep in the Dark Woods
In the hills of Caroline
A mossy cabin stood
The Old Black's muddy banks
All copper red with clay
Made the house all wet and dank
Splashing night and day

In that cabin no one stayed
Except a lonely hermit
Named Aberdeen Manchester Gray
And his pet frog, Kermit
Abe's skin was of a leathern texture
His hair was soft and gray
His beard was flecked with salt and pepper
His eyes were far away

Every night the demons came
As he lay in his bed
Every night the demons came
And ran wild in his head
Them demons showed him murder
Them demons showed him death
He prayed with verve and fervor
That they would let him rest

Refrain:
Lonely Aberdeen, lonely Aberdeen
Them demons is so mean
To lonely Aberdeen

Abe called out for Jesus
Each and every night
His circumstance was grievous
He was paralyzed with fright
He called out to the Lord
"Save my soul from immolation!"
But his prayers went unheard
He was the wrong denomination

He tried to drive the demons
Out from in his head
Their cold teeth were a gleamin'
Their eyes was big and red
He ranted, raved and thrashed about
He broke things and he swore
His mind was filled with grief and doubt
His soul was torn in war

Them demons made him do things
He never would've done
They even made him see things
His mind was on the run
He saw some blood a drippin'
From the ceiling in the hall
He saw a red heart beatin'
Nailed up to the wall

He began collecting knives
And hid them on his person
He started hanging out in dives
Drinking shots of bourbon
The odor he emitted
Could hardly be called kind
Freely it was admitted
The man had lost his mind

One night old Aberdeen
Passed out beneath the bar
And pissed himself in his jeans
Cause he was gone too far
They shook him and they kicked him
But he just lay asleep
A narcoleptic victim
Missing half his teeth

When they fin'lly woke him
He babbled on and on
Though he'd hardly spoken
For years to anyone
But no one understood
A word he had to say
They all wished that he would
Simply go away

The situation worsened
When Abe sprang to his feet
In frustration he started cursin'
His face white as a sheet
He produced two rusty blades
And stabbed whoever was around
'Til the bartender Kincaid
With his ball-bat took him down

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bird Days, Day 6


I'm a bit behind with my birds. One bird behind, in fact. Let me tell you, it's tough to find the time every night to paint. And if you get behind, it's even harder to catch up. But today as I started to work on my Tufted "Black-Crested" Titmouse, I noticed that I had forgotten to paint my Tufted Titmouse's ruddy underparts. And his feathers looked a little too blue.

Don't accuse me of perfectionism. These paintings are far from perfect. But it's still a lot of fun, and it's even more enjoyable when you see something you can do to improve their looks and make that happen. So even if I don't produce as much as I want, I'll be happy if I improve my skills and maybe even paint a few birds that are nice to look at.

Fortunately, Lily paints faster than I do. She's got a lovely little hummingbird for day 6.

Song of the Day No. 36

This one's inspired by my favorite band, GUITAR WOLF!

1-2-3-NOW!

Weeeeeooooowwww!
Yeah!
Aaaahhhhhhh!
Oh yeah!

Faster!
Faster!
FASTERRRRRRRRR!

Wooooowwww!
Yeah!
Aaaaahhhhh!
Alright, now!

Faster!
Faster!
FASTERRRRRRRRR!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Zzzzzz


The baby is asleep for the night so I can finally show you what I made. It's a baby outfit and it fits Beatrice just right with a little room to grow. The only problem is that it's really boyish. Maybe I'll save it for a later edition of Nichols' baby or maybe I'll give it away. Whatever. The main thing is that it fits. So now I'll just get right back to work in pinkier and reddier and purplier fabrics.
I love you,
I'll see you soon,
Leave me a comment,
Nighty-night,
Lily

Song of the Day No. 35

I want to go out tonight
I want to breathe real air
I want to see all the sights
Feel the wind through my hair

On my skateboard I am free
To do as I damn well please
On my skateboard I am free tonight

I want to smoke a cigarette
Underneath the stars
Roll around to forget
My injuries and scars

On my skateboard I am free
To do as I damn well please
On my skateboard I am free tonight

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bird Days, Days 4 & 5


Why wasn't there an individual post for Day 4? Oh, I shall tell you. When I went to write an entry filling you in on all our activities, the internet was down. Oh, well, I thought, I'll play with Beatrice instead. In the nursery.

We played and sang and talked. Then I overheard a conversation out in the yard and stuck my head out the window to get a better listen. It seems there are no less than 12 pirate cables going out from ours to another building. This, apparently, is why our internet service is so very touch and go.

Later today, service returned.

Now we have quite a collection of birds! James has added a Tufted Titmouse and is headed toward a Tufted "black crested" Titmouse. I've done a Loggerhead Shrike and an Eastern Kingbird. I love my Kingbird with his chest puffed out, fluffy and white.

Song of the Day No. 34

Short songs! Plus another chapter in the continuing adventures of the Starship Pizarro and by request, a song about Pizza!

I.

I love a fragmentary song
It doesn't hafta be too long
Include string sections or gongs
Brevity doesn't make it wrong

II.

When a soul is beautiful
It radiates a light
Bright and colorful
Drawing daytime from the night

When a soul is beautiful
It casts its glow for all to see
In a way in which the physical
Lacks ability


III.

A house is not a home
When you're all alone
A million bucks just ain't enough
When your life is lacking love

IV.

Fictionalize your life
Make it whatever you want it to be
Fictionalize your life
Turn every day into a fantasy

V. "Starship Captain Bolder"

Starship Captain Bolder
Is a woman of great worth
The President once told her
"You are a credit to Planet Earth"
Now she is on a mission
She's an explorer with a vision
The Pizarro's chief authority

Starship Captain Bolder
Is every inch a girl
Lots of guys would like to hold her
Her looks are out of this world!
But she is on a mission
So romantic transmissions
Are very low priority

I would follow her into the sun!
I would follow her into the sun!

Starship Captain Bolder
Is single, I have heard
Space travel's so much colder
Without a friendly word
But she is on a mission
Brushing up on nuclear fission
Sending missives to her sorority

VI. "Joe's Pizza"

I think that I may die
If I don't get this off my chest:
I love a pizza pie,
And Joe's are the very best!
I am such a fan of Joe,
His homemade sauce and dough
That I couldn't care less for all the rest

I've tried Tony's and Baroni's
Pizza City and Venus Pie
Peppino's and Angelino's
Why do they even try?

My favorite pizzeria
Is Joe's, I must confess
By now that should be clear
I won't settle for less
I am such a fan of Joe,
His homemade sauce and dough
That I couldn't care less for all the rest


(Special thanks to Lily for helping with this song!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bird Days, Day 3

Last night James did a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher and I did a Red-breasted Nuthatch. They were so hard!!! I think part of it may have been that Hudson (my brother) came over with some beer and we all talked while James and I painted. On the one hand, it was a real treat because we don't get to see Hudson so much these days. But on the other hand, we weren't able to really shift into the zone. The paintings turned out just fine, but I don't feel the same way toward my nuthatch as I do my warbler from Day 2. Another factor is that we got big heads and chose some pretty challenging angles to conquer. Maybe with more concentration we would have been up for the challenge. Who knows. Let's hope Day 4 treats us a little better.

Fictional Bands


We've got soooo many bands: No Yes, Darger, MBF, Charles & Henri, Johnny Hand & the Hots; the list goes on and on. Trouble is, most of them are not real. I mean, they're real in the sense that it's a group of people who get together and play original music. But they're not real in the sense of a Band that drives around in a van and works on a business plan, man. Nope, we do it for its own sake. Don't get me wrong, if someone offered me money for my music or to play a show, I would take it! But it's not a career. It's a way to connect with our friends and loved ones and hopefully meet more of them.

So we treat the bands like works of fiction. We play roles, use stage names, wear costumes. We assume alter egos. Our Wolf Note label has dozens of artists and bands, but only consists of about half a dozen actual people. And why not?

Song of the Day No. 33

You don't need fame or fortune
When you live for love
I will be here for you
When times are good or rough
Against the wind or tide
I will be here by your side
I'll love you for eternity

I'll love you in the morning
I'll love you in the night
I'll love you when we're boring
I'll love you when we fight
Against the wind or tide &ct.

Forever and ever
World without end
Forever and ever
You have a friend

I'll love you in the night time
I'll love you at the dawn
I'll love you in the evening
When the sun is gone
Against the wind or tide &ct.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Song of the Day No. 32

Five verses, all with the basic same music, varying in intensity.

"Various Crimes" (aka "Repeat Offender")

Give me all your money
And your jewelry, too
Don't laugh. It isn't funny
Don't think I'm kidding you
This's what you'd call a robb'ry
It ain't nothing new

Today I stole a baby
Took it from its crib
Gave it my old lady
With pacify and bib
She laughed like she was crazy
And thanked me for the kid

I'm a repeat offender
I will offend again
If I go on a bender
I don't want my fun to end
So set 'em up, bartender
Give me three shots of gin

I shot a man on Tuesday
Ran him through the head
Left him right where he lay
Left him cold and dead
His livid skin looked so gray
Deprived of ruddy red

Everybody sayin'
That crime just does not pay
Mama always prayin'
That I will mend my ways
Won't happend 'til I'm layin'
Just a layin' in my grave

Bird Days, Day 2


Last night I painted a Blackburnian Warbler and James painted a BIRD THAT I WANT! It is tiny and yellow and perched there on a branch all cuddly cute! I think it was an American Yellow Warbler.
Oil is so different from acrylic for me... It'll take a while to get used to. It moves, that's the crazy thing. With acrylic, I just have to hope I put exactly what I want where I want because there's no going back. (Well, I mean, I can always wait for it to dry and gesso over my work. Boring.) With oil I just keep changing the color, even on the board. It evolves.
When we paint, time flies! So much of it is just intangible, right brain stuff. It feels so good!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bird Days, Day 1


So Lily and I painted our first birds. Lily painted a plump Northern Cardinal while I did a Scarlet Tanager. They both came out much better than either one of us expected. And it was so much fun! I think I finally experienced what Betty Edwards has been talking about in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I don't draw much, and I've never used oil paints before. But as Lily and I were working, I began to notice a strange sensation that I hadn't felt before. The right side of my brain had taken over, and it was intoxicating!

Song of the Day No. 31

"Employee of the Month"

He's got a great work ethic
And he punches in on time
He doesn't smoke no crystal methic
Yes, he's worth every dime
He's the employee of the month!

He deserves to be rewarded
For the effort he has shown
His success should be recorded
His reputation widely known
He's the employee of the month!

The one whom we admire
Was selectively hired
He would never steal or rob
He's the best man for the job

Employee of the month!
Employee of the month!

There's a placard on the wall
In the bathroom in the hall
Across from the last stall
With a photograph of him for all to see

Employee of the month!

Bird Days


James and I are starting a new series wherein we each paint one bird a day for twenty days. We are painting in oil on wood. On Day 0, we gathered our supplies and prepared our surfaces with gesso (fig 1.A).

Monday, November 9, 2009

All About my Girl


I really love Lily. She is very sweet and nice to me all the time. She is playful and funny, and we laugh an awful lot together. I love to hold her on my lap and wrap my arms around her waist. I love the look she gets on her face and the way she pinches my chest with the thumb and index finger of both hands when she wants to ask me for something. I love how she looks. To me, she is the most beautiful girl in the world. She is my rainbow of happiness. She makes my life glow in bright colors.

Song of the Day No. 30

You shine so very bright
Like the flame atop a candle
Or a flashing neon light
You draw me like a moth

I'm always in your orbit
Like a planet 'round the sun
Your gravity has captured me
My darling, you're the one

CHORUS:
You're the one; you're the one
You are the sky; you are the sun
You're the one; you're the one
You are my gold and diamond

You are the magnet
I'm the shard
You are the ointment
When I am scarred

You're like the clearest winter sky
All glittering with stars
With solar systems in your eyes
You're more beautiful by far

CHORUS

Song of the Day No. 29

I met a friendly whale
Without a porpoise in life
He worked deliv'ring mail
But he never found a wife
He was sad and all alone
No one called him on the phone
And his check book was balanced
On the edge of a knife

Now he just wails and moans
He always wails and moans
He's so sad and lonely
He just wails and moans

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Baby Update


She sits, she crawls, she gets away. She uses more and more consonant sounds and has strong lungs. She's over 20 lbs! She tries to climb. She craves attention. She does this funny thing with her fingers like she's trying to snap with her ring finger. She eats bananas and drinks out of a sippy cup. She likes to play rough. She's a Daddy's Girl! Mama's chest is still her comfiest place. She loves to look at books. She loves to go outside. Sometimes she's scared of dogs.

That's what's up right now with our almost seven month old.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Song of the Day No. 28

"Billy Neon"

Where has Billy Neon gone?
He's left the galaxy
Will he be gone for long?
That I cannot see
He left us in a blinding flash
Left a ring of hot, molten ash
Where's the superhero we need?

The evil Mr. Sinister
Has come to wreak chaos
With his sidekick Jennifer
We're sure they will betray us
He took the money from our banks
Didn't even bother with saying "thanks"
That villain has surely played us

CHORUS:
Billy Neon (where have you gone?)
Billy Neon (please come home)

Billy Neon is coming home
To save us from the bad guys, yeah!
It will be an awesome show
When he sends then back to jail, yeah!
A superpowered punch or kick
Really oughta do the trick
To make them really pay yay yay yay yay!!!!!

The Dream Network

Have you ever dreamed you were someone else? I don't mean someone you know or some character from a movie you saw or a superhero or something, but a real, living human being who is someone totally other than yourself. I've had lots of those dreams. There is an explanation for this phenomenon that not many people know about. It's called The Dream Network.

When a sleeper taps into The Dream Network, he or she plugs his or her brain into a tangled web of wires that connects all the brains of all those currently online. It's sort of like the internet for when you're asleep. The only reason I even know about it is because I accidentally saw it one night as I was leaving one of those dreams. There were lots and lots of beds (more than I could count) just sort of floating around in a soft looking, ethereal environment. Everyone was asleep in the beds and clear wires ran from their heads to a central cluster somewhere in the middle.

How does The Dream Network work? When you connect, you send and receive information directly to and from your brain to other people's brains. You may experience someone else's dreams or memories as your own. It's quite a strange experience, and usually leaves you with vivid images of the dreams you just had.

The whole thing is built around a type of technology that our conscious minds are, as of yet, unaware of. In other words, nobody knows how the damned thing works. At least, no one who is awake.

BABYLEGS!!!

I did a terrible thing and I haven't gotten up the nerve to tell James. He's at work now. I think I'll let him find out right here in a public place where you will all protect me. Anybody there?

There's this company called babylegs. Don't read my story unless you know and understand the CUTE NESS THERE OF. See how irresistible they are? But do you know how much they cost? Yeah, like between $12 and $15. Per pair.

Hear me out and tell if I can really be blamed. There's a sale going on where they are only $7. Plus, if you buy 4 pairs, you get two of the "SuperSoft" pairs for free. Plus free shipping. One look at the website and I was doomed. At regular price, I would have spent $78 not including shipping. I only spent a teensy-weensy $28. That's all.

Oh, and they are so practical! You can put them with a long sleeved onesie, under a dress, under pants, on arms for extra warmth. They will help us get through winter. And I just felt so sorry for my little daughter all dressed up like a boy every day because she got hand-me-downs from uncles, the youngest of whom just turned 13!!!

And I promise I'll go without ice-cream (and any other treat I obnoxiously ask for) for the rest of the cold season. And I already gave up my allowance.

Love,
Lily

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Song of the Day No. 27

I walked in the front door
And entered another place
Floating above the floor
Was a shimmering clock face
What the . . . ?

I jumped out of a window
And slid up to the clouds
Swam around with wingy minnows
Who sang their hymns out loud
What the . . . ?

I dove into the ocean
And into a fish's mouth
Its digestive motion
Pushed me right on out
What the . . . ?

Song of the Day No. 26

Random fragments:

I.

Rock so hard that their
Heads will explode!

II.

Animated crap stew
Slap crated west main

Key Rice!
Key Rice!

III.

Once I met a friendly sprite
Flying round just like a kite
She landed on a barn
And with a ball of yarn
Made a puppy who could bark but never bite

IV.

I've got an on/off switch and a candlestick
A third grade witch and a bag of tricks
Don't underestimate them
That would be a grave mistake

V.

He's under the weather
Don't bother him
He's under the weather
Leave him alone

There's pressure on his head
Sinuses are feeling clogged
His limbs are moving slowly
He is living in a fog

VI.

You think it's good to be obnoxious
I'm inclined to disagree
Where is your tact?
Where is your tact?
You never think before you act
Where is your tact?

Song of the Day No. 25

Mini Mike was a squirrely guy
He had buck teeth and one crossed eye
He only stood three pumpkins high
And green eyed girls'd make him cry

Silly Sally fled the valley
Where her fam'ly's at
Then she moved into an alley
With all the homeless cats

CHORUS:
One buck-a, two buck-a
Three buck-a, four
Five buck-a, six buck-a
Seven buck-a, score!

Corny Connie told bad jokes
She lives in a shack with her folks
A deck of cards is in her spokes
And when she laughs she always chokes

Donnie Diamond loves a rhymin'
Every time he tries to speak
With better timin' you'd see him climbin'
The charts's very highest peak

CHORUS

Song of the Day No. 24

An anthem for a 'serious' rock band:

We're not here for the groupies
We're not here for the drugs
We're not here for the alcohol
We are here for the love

We have come to save the world
We have come to save the world

We're not here for the money
We're not here for the fame
We're not here to be recognized
This is all a big game

We have come to save the world
We have come to save the world

Song of the Day No. 23

I've fallen so far behind
In my body and my mind
Now I need a little time
To relax and unwind
Straighten out my spine
Then I'm feeling pretty fine
Let the sun come out and shine
As I'm floating on the brine
Of the sea, dark as wine
But the waves are unkind
And the sharks are keen to dine
In total there are nine
All arranged in a line
I'm looking for a sign
Or a Dionysian vine

Song of the Day No. 23

Da-
Da da, da-da-da-da
Da da.

Da-
Da da, da-da-da-da
Da.

Da da, da-da-da-da
Da-da-da-da
Da;

Da da, da-da-da-da
Da.

This is an instrumental. I have decided only to notate the melody above.

Song of the Day No. 22

Don't take your eyes off the blade
Until the spinning ceases
Don't take your eyes off the blade
You might end up in pieces

Round and round it go whoa whoas
We have found it throw whoa whoas
Hot metal shards all over you
Hot metal shards all over you

A simple A-B chorus/verse form that will be played through 3 times and then be over, all in less than 2 minutes.

James

Song of the Day No. 21

You belong in prison
You belong behind bars
You made a real bad decision
Stealing other people's cars

You are a very naughty person
With an attitude to match
Your crimes will only worsen
If the police fail to catch
-You

You complain the law is on your back
But you won't stop drivin' drunk
You refuse to leave the outlaw track
And all that crystal meth in your trunk

You're a convict and you know it
Do you really hafta show it?
You're a convict and you
Oughta be locked up

You belong in prison
You should be in a cage
Washing dishes in the kitchen
Earning a prison wage

Friday, October 30, 2009

Song of the Day No. 20

I'm going back to prison
Lord knows I messed up bad
I'm going back to prison
Lord knows I f'd up bad
I done got another D.U.I.
Parole off'cer show was mad

Judge said I was lucky
I ain't cause nobody death
Judge say I was lucky
I ain't cause nobody death
I done five years already
For manufacturing crystal meth

They gonna lock me up
And throw away the key
They gonna lock me up
In that penitentiary

Red & blue lights was flashing
When I regained consciousness
Red & blue lights was flashing
When I regained consciousness
I couldn't pay no bondsmen
Walked on my own recognizance

I'll sing the blues in prison
I'll sing 'em when I'm free
I'll sing while I have vision
I'll sing when I can't see

I'm going back to prison
Lord knows I f'd up bad
I'm going back to prison
I know I f'd up bad
Got another D.U.I.
Parole off'cer show was mad

Song of the Day No. 19

"Boss Man"

Don't expect 100 percent
Don't expect my best
You don't pay me enough
Give it a rest

I'm tired of working
For minimum wage
I feel like I'm trapped
In a cold metal cage

CHORUS:
Boss man, boss man
Get outta my face
Boss man, boss man
Get offa my case

If I ain't here on time
It's your problem, not mine
Just pay me my dime
Everything's fine

CHORUS

James

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Song of the Day No. 18

I want another chance
I want another shot
I want a better chance
Than the one I got

I gotta prove myself baby
I gotta prove myself baby

Give me a rematch
Give me a rematch, baby
Give me a rematch
And I will whoop your ass

James

Song of the Day No. 17

"The Measure of a Man (is the Size of his Soul)"

I am not measured in inches
I am not measured in feet
I am measured in rhythms
I am measured in beats

The measure of a man
Isn't silver or gold
The measure of a man
Is the size of his soul

I am not measured in dollars
I am not measured in cents
I will not be put up for auction
I am not for sale or for rent

The measure of a man &ct.

Don't judge me for belief or religion
Don't judge me for the look on my face
Don't judge me for my orientation
Don't judge me by my color or race

The measure of a man &ct.

I am not measured in gallons
I am not measured in pounds
I am measured in visions
I am measured in sounds

James

Song of the Day No. 16

"Writing Songs"

Writing songs is very hard.
Don't ever try to do it.
You are only sure to fail.
Everyone'll know you blew it.

Playing guitar is very hard.
Do not attempt to do it.
Yoy will only play the fool.
Eveyone'll say you blew it.

James

Song of the Day No. 15

Don't go to sleep, whatever you do
Here in the deep, vast and blue.
Keep your head above the surface
To be dead is no great service.
Don't get grim reaped when we need you.

Yes, we need you.
Whoever you are, we need you.

We all shared a laugh in the waterless sea
Afloat on a raft so endlessly.
Don't get ill if you can help it
Just be still and watch the swelling.
I can't steer this craft; don't look at me!

We need you.
Whoever you are, we need you.

James

Song of the Day No. 14

Bad, bad, bad, bad blues.
Got them blues so bad.
Bad, bad, bad, bad blues.
Got them blues so bad.
I'm so sad and lonely,
Lost the only girl I had.

Las' night I lost an ear;
Today I lost an eye.
They both just disappeared;
I may never know why.
Bad, bad, bad, bad blues &ct.

I always been mistreated;
I always been put down.
I'm always gettin' cheated,
Abused and pushed around.
Bad, bad, bad, bad blues &ct.

Las' night I seen a lion
With a glowing mane of fire.
I thought that I was dyin'
The circumstance was dire.
Bad, bad, bad, bad blues &ct.

James

Song of the Day No. 13

This song actually has a bit or two from an older number. But I didn't like the words of the old one and didn't care much for the melody either. The lyrics tell you how I used to feel before I met Lily. This is a bright pop song.

"Someday She Will Come"

Last night in my dream
I met a lovely girl
With iridescent wings
And stardust in her curls.
She was as lovely as a sunset
On a breezy summer day.
But she and I have not met yet;
We will find a way.

Because I know that she is out there;
I know that she is real.
I know I'll never doubt her
Or the true love that I feel.

I know that I will find
My one true love someday.
She will treat me kind
And together we will stay.
She is as lovely as the sunshine
After summer rain.
Someday I hope she will be mine.
What more can I say?

Someday she will come!
Someday she will come!
Someday she will come for me.

James

Song of the Day No. 12

We don't believe a word that you say;
You've reneged on all your promises.
But tomorrow is another day
You may regain our confidences.
Just don't lie to us.
Don't lie to us ever again.

Not everything is black and white;
Some things are Roy G. Biv.
Not everthing is wrong or right
So let's just live and let live.

James

Song of the Day No. 11

I'm very behind with publishing songs here, but I've written more than enough to cover the past few days that I've been absent. Here's the first, a fantasy:

I sang a new world
Where none was before
Didn't think the old world
Was for me anymore.
I sang for the mountains
The valleys, the sky.
I sang for the rivers
And deserts so dry.

I sang for the nations,
The cities, the towns.
Everything grew from
The shape-shifting sound.
I sang for the creatures
Of earth, sea and air,
All covered in scales, feathers
Short or long hair.

I sang for a people
Who were free of sorrow
Forgot about yesterday,
Knew not of tomorrow.
I sang for a people
Who only knew love.
I sang for a people
Who only knew love.

Nothing is wrong.
Nothing could ever be wrong
In a world that exists
Only in a song.

James

Crawly Baby


Beatrice can crawl! She is six and a half months old. OK, so she's not great at it yet. But hardly anyone is great at anything when they're six and a half months old. She just looks at you with her big blue eyes and makes this goofy little face and moves one wobbly little arm forward, then the next. Sometimes she just tumbles right over. But I swear this little girl has a ton of determination. When she sees something she wants, she finds a way to get to it, even if she has to roll in a big circle to get there. But now that she's getting up on all fours, she won't have to do that much longer!

James

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's Been Up


Oh My Gosh! We've been away so long! James and Beatrice have been sick and I've been busy caring for my family. Poor things!

First of all, let me assure you that James has kept up with his songwriting. A song a day, often more. Don't worry, he'll post them here...as soon as he gets a handle on that dripping nose of his. Despite his lingering cold, he has also stayed on top of schoolwork. He had two tests and a project on Sunday. All A's, good man.

As for Bea, she tries so hard to crawl, but her little arms just aren't strong enough. Still, she'll crawl before she sits on her own. Mmmmm, she's so cute we can hardly take it.

Being sick, we've watched a lot of movies. The Man Who Knew Too Little last night, Land of the Lost before that, Elizabeth I and The Proposal we watched together. On my own I watched Miss Congeniality and part of Monsters, Inc. and Marcelino Pan y Vino. That's a lot, even spread over a few weeks. Damn Blockbuster and their rewards card!

On that note, can I just say one thing? I am not a Will Ferrel fan. It's just that his movies are funny. I haven't seen all of them and I don't intend to, but he makes me laugh. He's got one of those faces, you know, like a lesser Bill Murray.

In other wonderous-fantasmical news, Beatrice sleeps through the night! And when she does wake in the dark hours, I don't get her. Finally, Mama is well-rested. This was all James' doing. He put his foot down after the Most Dreadful Night of Them All and I thank him for it every morning when I emerge from the bedroom blurry-eyed and dis-shevled from such engrossing sleep. I love you, James! (He plugged in the white noise generator on my side of the bed and cranked it.)

So I didn't really get sick, but at one point I thought I was getting sick. Turned out I was just in desperate need of a shopping spree. That happens to me sometimes. Luckily, Christmas is just around the corner, so I have a good excuse for the frenzy. It's like vampires on the hunt. This time, I didn't have wheels so I had to content myself with the online thing. Oh, blessed, blessed, glorious PayPal, you are so good to me!

Okay, signing off,

Lily

Monday, October 19, 2009

Song of the Day No. 10

"Reverend Bramble Childress" (based on a character created for a collection of short stories.)

Reverend Bramble Childress
Ain't from around these parts.
But he show can impress our women;
He show can steal they hearts.
His eyes are thunderstorms;
His smile's a lightning bolt.
Though his hair's all white
No one knows how old.

Reverend Bramble Childress
Is the fastest talker around.
He could sell charcoal to the devil
Or convince "up" it's really "down."
When he gets up in the pulpit
All his flock agree
They would follow him through hell
If it was necess'ry.

Reverend Bramble Childress
Is a servant of the Lord.
He cast them devils out
With his demon-killin' sword.
He exorcised ol' Brandon Boyles
'Til B.B. couldn't see,
But saved him from the Lake of Fire
And suffering eternally.

Plus two for Baby Bea:

I.
Daddy wants to give
His little girl a kiss.
Daddy wants to kiss his Beatrice.
On her - cheeky cheeky cheeky cheek!

II. "D" (Lily's been writing songs for Bea based on the alphabet. So far she has A-C. So here's "D"!)

D is for diamond and dragonfly.
D is for dynamite and dandelion.
Doorbell, detail, dizzy, doe,
D is for all these words and
"Daddy-O!"

James

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Song of the Day No. 9

Two very short songs for today:

I. "The Starship Balboa" - a fragmentary companion piece to "The Starship Pizarro" about the first planetary exploration mission that left astronauts stranded on Ganymede.

A.
She's leaving Planet Earth.
She's leaving Planet Earth.

B.
The Starship Balboa
Is the first in its class
To explore the planets
Though she won't be the last.

Simple ternary (A-B-A) form.

II. "Let's Sing a Song" - a simple singalong with a melody reminiscent of Irish drinking songs. One verse and chorus, repeat them over and over again.

Everyone, gather round, round, round.
Hear this tune I have found, found, found.
When the world gets you down
Lift your voice; make this sound:

(Chorus):
Sing a song. Let's sing a song.
Sing a song. Let's sing a song my friends.

James

Song of the Day No. 8

Another Sci-Pop song!

The time machine's almost complete.
She's got a sunroof, A/C and heat.
She can travel at the speed of light
And turn the left around into the right.
So climb aboard and take a seat.

(Chorus:)
'Cause we're going to the future,
Yes, going to the future.
We're going to the future
And we ain't never coming back!

The time machine's all that we need.
It will get us out of here at speed.
We'll learn about where we are headed
While space-time fabric's torn and shredded,
So climb aboard and take a seat.

(Repeat Chorus)

James

Pictures of Things I've Made Lately





Saturday, October 17, 2009

Good Crafternoon


Like James said, I've been spending a lot of time making stuff: I've made shoes for Beatrice and toys for Beatrice. The shoes are based on a number of patterns I found for free online. One I like especially is here. But this one is the one I've used most.

I'm in the process of altering a dress of mine into a skirt. It's a dress I made for Easter years ago. I don't like the style anymore, but the fabric is a beautiful batik that begs to be worn. By me.

Have you noticed how expensive baby clothes are these days? Instead of buying them, I'm making them. All I have to do is go up to Goodwill on the weekend (they have $1 and $.50 racks) and find grown-up clothes in fabrics I like. Then, bring them home and make nice, warm, weird things for Bea to wear. I made her some hot pink sweat pants the other day. They are super cute.

Speaking of baby clothes, I found this website where lots of good ideas live. I used their stencil technique today to turn boringly plain onesies into delights.

I made a sweater for her, too. It's one of my first adventures in crochet. Kinda bulky. Next time, maybe I'll try this one.

I have also come up with a number of stories to tell her. I wrote them all down and have started illustrations.

I did an oil painting and a crayon drawing.

That's what I've been up to.

Hopefully, my next move will be selling all my pretty-baby-handmade wares...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Song of the Day No. 7

Sometimes I draw inspiration for songs from real life. Other times it's total fantasy. This one is a combination of the two.

Everything is better
When we are together.
Everything is alright
Here tonight.

You are the sunshine
And the shore.
You are the one
Whom I adore.
You are not like other girls;
Your eyes are complete worlds.
Oh darling, please come home to me.

You are the moonlight
And the breeze.
You are the green
And all the leaves.
You are not like all the rest;
For your love I am truly blessed.
Oh darling, please come home right now.

James

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Song of the Day No. 6

There's a murder of crows
In a lifeless live oak
As the frigid wind blows
A smell of burning leaf smoke.
It's a good, good day.
The sky looks just like a bruise;
There's not a sunbeam in sight
And you have nothing to lose
The icy glare is so bright.
It's a good, good day.
It's a good, good, good, good day.
It's a good, good day to be alive.

In the snow covered woods
The wolves are hot on your heels.
You wish that everyone could
Feel just what you now feel.
It's a good, good, day.
There's a body afloat
In the river so red.
Bleeding from a torn throat,
There is no doubt she is dead.
It's a good, good day. . .

Everything is right in your mind.
Everything's alright in your mind.

If you never get sick,
How will you know when you're well?
How will you know you're in heaven
If you ain't been to hell?
It's a good, good day.
If you never break down,
It's hard to build yourself up.
If you never get out,
How will you ever find love?
It's a good, good day. . .

Note: Since I didn't post anything the last two nights, I figured I'd make up for it tonight by posting some songs I wrote on those days as well as today's.

James

Song of the Day No. 5

I gave my heart to you;
It was the only one I had.
It wasn't all nice and new;
It was messed up pretty bad.
But when I saw you, I could tell
That you would always treat me well,
So I gave my heart to you,
No questions asked.

And all I ask is:
"Take good care of my heart now, girl;
Take good care of my heart."

James

Song of the Day No. 4

I'm on a capsule to the sky
I don't have wings, but I can fly
Never thought I'd get so high
I'm spacing out
I'm seeing stars
I'm spacing out

I'm on a high speed rocketship
What a kaleidescopic trip
Like when I first tasted your lips
I'm spacing out
I'm seeing stars
I'm spacing out

In the wormhole there's no glare
Of only colors I'm aware
And I'm floating 'round the air
I'm spacing out
I'm seeing stars
I'm spacing out

James

Monday, October 12, 2009

Song of the Day No. 3

This one's a blues:

You can't forget me, baby
Even though you wish you could.
You can't forget me, baby
Down by the river in the woods.
Swirling eddies in the shallows
Underneath the long pine shadows
Kiss the red clay bank where we once stood.

You can't forget me, baby
No matter how hard you try.
You can't forget me, baby,
The one who put out your eye.
Of binocular vision you are bereft
And with the one eye you have left
All you can do is cry.

You can't forget me, baby
Although we miles apart.
You can't forget me, baby
The one who broke your heart
And dried and ground it to a powder
To add some flavor to my chowder
And I keep it in my spice rack in a jar.

James

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Song of the Day No. 2

Here are two songs for today. The first one is urgent, with the A section (first two stanzas) in a gloomy minor key. The coda (stanza 3) shifts to a brighter sound. It won't use the usual verse-chorus pop song format, but will instead have the repetitive bit at the end.

I.

In the demon forest night
I heard an unusual light,
Pale as day
But only half as gay
And retarded
By the writhing branches

Into my eyes it shined
And struck me deaf,
Sweet as grass
And almost clear as grass
But piercing
Like a thousand hollow points.

It was the light of your love,
The light of your love.
My only saving grace
In that god-forsaken place
Was the light of your love.

The second song has more of a repetitive structure: verse/chorus/verse/chorus. It will be a really short one without any intros, solos or any other extraneous appendages.

II.

I used to get so depressed
But then I burned that part
Of my heart away.
Now the night looks like day
And I feel a billion times better;
I feel a billion times better.

I used to have emotional problems
But then I took a knife
To that part of my brain.
Now there is no more pain
And I feel a billion times better;
I feel a billion times better.

Take care,
James

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Song of the Day No. 1

I'm trying a new experiment. As a way of getting back into writing songs, I want to try to post a new song lyric here every day. It'll definitely be a challenge, but I think I'm up for it. Here's the first one:

I saw you again in my dreams last night
That ugly little face I never thought I'd miss.
And though it's true that you were never clever,
Now that you're gone from me forever
I just can't go on anymore like this.

Who else will stay with me
Now that you're gone?
Who else will stay with this old dog
That wants to talk but can only bark?

Though you tried once to get away,
It was I who escaped you.
I left you all cold and alone
By that old ruin in the snow,
But now I long for you; it's true.

Who else will stay with me
Now that you're gone?
Who else will stay with this old gypsy,
This mean old vagabond?

Cheers!
James

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recent Goings On

So we haven't blogged lately. Sue us! We've been pretty busy. Lily and I want to make some more time for this though, so I figured I'd break the ice and tell a little about what we've been up to lately. I think this calls for a list:

1. September 12: Hangarfest. Lily, Jake and I played a rock show at our favorite new local venue, The Hangar on Wade Hampton in Greenville. It was a lot of fun! We played 6 songs: "Deep Space," "Hurtling Through Outer Space," "It's Kinda Weird," "All You Earthlings Look the Same," "We Are Aliens" and "Goodbye, Strange Planet." It was weird to see Lily's twelve and ten-year old brother and sister rocking out in front of us as we played.

2. Recording Jake Xingu's awesome new album It's Kinda Weird. It is going to be amazing! Jake is an ingenious songwriter and performer and I can't wait 'til this set of recordings is finished so I can listen to them on repeat.

3. Crafting. Lily has been CONSUMED with making stuff! Baby shoes, stuffed animals, paintings, clothes for Beatrice and herself and much more. I am really proud of the diversity of her talents.

4. New music video: "In the Caves" by Cooper Knights. Lily's younger brother is a brilliant if nonchalant musician. As soon as we have this clip edited we'll post it here for all to enjoy.

5. Beatrice is eating solid food now. She really wants to crawl but her little arms aren't strong enough yet. She can sit up in her high chair now. And the biggest news of all: she's got TWO TEETH! As if she wasn't cute enough already. It's almost more than we can take. Almost.

Cheers!
James

Monday, August 31, 2009

Beam Me Up

Okay, so we haven't posted anything lately... We've been busy! For one thing, Beatrice is growing up- rolling over, eating bananas, grabbing her feet and a host of other firsts. But James and I have firsts too, y'know!

We've made our first music video! It's for his song 'Beam Me Up' from the album Goodbye Strange Planet. Hope you like it!

video

Sunday, August 16, 2009

There's a First Time for Everything


Today Beatrice picked her nose for the first time. She’s quite the precocious four-month-old, wouldn’t you say? Lily, Bea and I were at our favorite Mediterranean restaurant, Pita House, when the Great Event took place. Lily and I were munching on gyro, falafel and shawarma while Beatrice chewed contentedly on her chubby little fingers. Then it happened. Her index finger slipped into her right nostril. “Don’t pick your nose!” I playfully chided her as she pulled the offending digit out, prominently displaying a perfect white baby booger. Of course, it wasn’t her first booger. We lost count of those ages ago. And she didn’t deliberately pick her nose. But it hardly mattered. It was enough to get me thinking.

Almost everything she does is a first for her. She rolled herself over for the first time last week. On Friday she went swimming for the first time. I thought about Lily’s 17-year-old brother Reuben, who is busy playing in a band these days. I’m 32. I could go into any bar at any time and get anything I want to drink. It’s no big deal to someone my age. Reuben’s pretty much grown, physically, but he still can’t go into a bar at all, much less get served alcohol legally. And Beatrice? She’s not even half a year old. It will be about 18 years before she can enter such an establishment. 18 years. That’s almost twenty. How many firsts will she experience in those years?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Perseid



Last night was the peak of the meteor shower. Jake and Lucy came over. We got Beatrice to sleep around 8:30 and waited a while.

Once it got to be pretty late, I lifted her out of her crib and we all got in the van and found a nice, dark field. Bea was fine with the transition to her carseat and she slept in the middle of the field and dew and starlight. Lucy and I lay on a baby blanket and looked at the night. James and Jake smoked cloves and talked.

I saw one streak shoot across the sky, but really the night was too cloudy for stargazing. Nevertheless, there was that magical feeling of connectedness looking up at the endless, endless. It's an ageless sensation and I can't wait to see the wonder grow in my daughter's eyes as she experiences the vastness of the night sky.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

List



What can we do on such a gloomy, rainy day? How about make a list?

clean the kitchen

read a book

write a letter to a friend who lives far away

write a letter to a family member who lives close by

decorate postcards

organize the closet

vacuum

paint a picture for a specific location in your home

draw a portrait of a favorite childhood pet

draw a self portrait

write a story

make a puppet out of your husband's favorite pair of socks

fix a delicious dinner

play dress-up and take silly pictures

exercise

shave your legs

write a love poem

write a tragic love story

memorize a Shakespearean monologue

sleep

rig up some Christmas lights inside a blanket tent

read an old journal


That's all I can come up with right now. You?


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Slumber Party


We had a lovely, busy weekend! My youngest siblings Raleigh and Emma stayed with us while our parents celebrated their 27th anniversary.

Raleigh is 12 and Emma is 10.

We stayed up late on Friday night watching Coraline and hanging out with Jake and Lucy (our friends who come over to play quite a bit but not enough. Lucy is girlrobotics.) We all ate ice-cream. Beatrice stayed up waaaay too late because she didn't want to miss anything.

On Saturday, James worked and we four got up late and three of us had eggs over toast. The kids didn't know how to eat it; they just ate the eggs off the top and didn't know what to do with the toast. Coffee.
After breakfast we went to the pool and nobody else was there. When Beatrice -who is too little to get in the chlorine pool- got fussy, we took her for a walk around the lake. Raleight and Emma were fascinated by the turtles and fish. Then it was back to the pool and a few more people showed up. James called when he was on his way home from work. We went home too.

While I nursed B, I talked Raleigh and Emma through making pizza dough. They had never used yeast before. The pizza was ready shortly after James got home and we devoured it. Swimming left us hungry and tired so we all settled down for quiet time after lunch.

We got up groggy after an hour and decided to go downtown to Cleveland Park. It was HOT. We only played for half an hour or so before we decided to head back to the pool. This time it was even more fun because we had James. Raleigh was particularly happy. We played Categories and Marco Polo.

It wasn't a late night for any of us. James made egg tacos and we all collapsed!

This morning we got up and had Lucky Charms and got the kids ready for church. Mama and Daddy picked them up at 9 and they're all coming back for lunch- a cook-out! Yay!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Treehouse, a description



Our family lives on the top (third) floor of an apartment building. We have a balcony facing a forest rather than the parking lot. Our bedroom windows face the parking lot. When we first looked at this potential home back in January or February, I was pregnant. The view out the windows was rather dull- all gray and paved. But there were branches and I knew that those branches would eventually fill up the panorama with leaves and blossoms.

Now, how cheerful it is! I go into the nursery and see so much green! And pink flowers, too! Out on the balcony, more green. And not only from the trees: James hung vines all along the railing and they do look real.

Our apartment is a two bedroom flat. There is a small kitchen and a dining/living area. The bedrooms are also small. James and I have the bigger of the two. It is decorated like a college dorm, basically. We have a duvet cover for curtains, an old hand-me-down dresser, Christmas tinsel along the ceiling, a hippie wall hanging, a couple mirrors and bulletin boards and an encouraging banner. The bed is one James had as a teenager and the comforter was one I had as a teenager. Our walk-in closet is a total wreck which I will address one of these days. All in all, our bedroom doesn’t look that “together.” It’s the only place in our home where I really let the frayed edges show. But it is comfortable and that’s what’s important.

The smaller bedroom is Beatrice’s, the nursery. It is my pride and joy. There are pink stripes going down one wall. There is a white changing table, a rocking chair, a book/clothes shelf and a crib that was my siblings’ over a decade ago. Her closet serves as our main storage space. It houses guitar cases and stuff like that. Beatrice has all of my monkeys in a basket under her window. She has my “special blanket” on her wall and her own thrown over the back of the rocking chair for quick access. Her room is all pink, white and red. So, so, so girly! (I don’t know what I’ll do if our next baby is a boy.)

The Living Room is pretty cozy. It’s all tree-house-ish. We have a brown/green sofa with a wooden trunk serving as an end table on one side and a tall wooden stool on the other with a wooden-type lamp on it. (The lampshade is one of Beatrice’s favorite things in the world to look at.) Lots of pillows. There are a couple bookshelves with all old books in them and plants on top, three guitars hanging on the wall and a brown and cream zebra striped paper lantern. There is an old-fashioned chair in the book-nook with another trunk beside it. The rug is greens and purples, the coffee table wooden. The computer area is hidden behind the bookshelves.

Our dining area has one wall painted red. I have some antique plates on that wall. There is an unfinished quilt based on a Klimt painting on the adjoining wall. My parents just gave us a table that they weren’t using. Yay!

This apartment complex isn’t the nicest, but it also isn’t the worst. It’s in a good part of town and there are a lot of trees. I’ve worked hard to make our home as comfortable as I can and there are still a lot of things I want to do… Although hopefully we’ll be able to move into a house of our very own someday!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

She's Real!



Our baby, I mean. For the past four months we’ve watched her squirm, get fat and morph into a real human being rather than the sweet little grub with the slate-gray eyes that came to us on Easter Sunday. Seeing her every day, it’s easy to overlook how much she’s changed. But when I see pictures taken from her first couple of days this side of the placenta, I’m really amazed at her progress. It’s visible everywhere, from the seemingly continual lightening of her eyes to the chubby rolls on her hyper-kicky legs. Where once was a strange little detached creature whose only means of communication was to cry or scream is now a tiny person who laughs and squeals in delight at her favorite lampshade and follows us around the room with her eyes.

From the moment we heard that first little wail our lives would never be the same. Nothing can prepare you for seeing your own offspring for the first time. Emotion has little to do with this attachment at first, although it is one of the most emotional moments of your life. These feelings are more intense than that. They’re physical. Love is unconditional for your child; she’s practically a part of your body. Her eyes are shaped like Lily’s but they’re turning blue like mine. The blood in her veins is our blood. Her drool is our drool. It’s really weird!

This miniature human being is ours. Our baby, our Beatrice. Our responsibility. And what responsibility that is! She is helpless, completely dependent upon us. We feed her, clothe her, bathe her, change her diapers. Those are the visibly obvious things. But more importantly she needs us to raise her. Providing for her is mandatory, but not nearly enough. We talk to her and sing to her. We play with her and take her everywhere with us. We acquaint her with all our friends and loved ones. We’re trying to figure out how to be the best parents we can be so that she will grow up to be a happy, well-rounded, self-sufficient woman. At the outside we’ve probably got about twenty years with her under our wings as she grows up and finds her place in the world.

And what a curious privilege it will be to witness her growth! As humans, we’re perhaps the only creatures on earth with brains developed enough to even appreciate the riveting drama that unfolds before our eyes as our children become viable. There will be so many milestones, so many hurdles to leap and bridges to cross. It’s really exciting, especially because we get to be her guides. We get to be the ones who will steer her in what we hope is the right direction and try to instill good judgment in her. It’s up to us to see that she’s educated and loved.

She’s real, alright. It doesn’t get any more real than this.
-James

Friday, July 31, 2009

video

Attributing it to the caffeine is sort of a joke. I only drink one cup each morning (okay, sometimes more). But it's usually only half-caff. From the time Beatrice wakes up in the morning she's like this. She literally does not stop moving except when she dozes after meals. She only takes cat naps, rarely more than 15 minutes. And she doesn't very often like to play alone.

So, what does this mean? Mama has had no trouble losing the baby weight!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

First Post




I just caught a handfull of baby spit-up in my hand. What a warm feeling.


Here's to parenting and blogging! I assure you that my future posts will be longer and more interesting than this...