Friday, February 25, 2005

Birthday girl!

Today's Zoey's second birthday, and I'm spending it cleaning up our house for her party tomorrow. She's actually very excited, though mostly because she wants some more birthday cake. Last Sunday, she went to Benjamin's first birthday party and had cake and thought it was pretty tasty.

We'll have her party tomorrow, a simple affair with cake and ice cream, and some balloons because she loves them. Soon after, I'll post some pictures. In the meantime, think about how fast time flies....

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

No more fun with "Next Blog"

Apparently, clicking on the button might take you to a blog that will hijack your computer with spyware and viruses. For more information, check out the following links:

Bummer. I found some interesting blogs that way. I also learned about how people used blogs to up their hit count on Google's search engine. Now I'm going to try and remove the next blog icon. If I cannot, I recommend never using it, just in case....

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Trippy and cool

Zoey really dug this link, though that worries me a bit. That, and the fact that her favorite part of "Where the Wild Things Are" is the wild rumpus/monster party bit.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Funny article below,0,588783.column?coll=hc-headlines-custom-specials

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

meoWcifer, 2 Gallants and Rogue Wave

Trey and I actually ventured out into the wasteland of Houston's nightlife Saturday to go see our old friend Gram's Oakland-based, Sub Pop-signed band Rogue Wave at Mary Jane's Fat Cat (yes, that is the complete name of the place these days). And we went early enough to see all three bands and get some chatting time in with Gram, as well as take in the first band. meoWcifer is pretty good, pretty indie-pop stuff with two girl vocals, one of whom happens to be Jen N., whom I haven't seen in years. It had been so long, and as I didn't know she was in the band, but knew of the other girl in the band, I momentarily mistook Jen for the other girl and thought, wow, that girl looks a lot like Jen. Ha ha. Gram cleared everything up for me and I was real happy to see her again and talk to her a bit after her show. She's doing extremely well, and looking extremely happily in love with her new husband Ray (or Roy...).

The 2 Gallants are two very good, very young musicians who have a song that sounds almost exactly like Billy Joel's piano man. I don't know if they're old enough to even know that song. They like the blues, man, but not that obvious stuff. Obscure! Even more obscure! Dead old black men from the deep south whom you've never heard of. Never mind, you wouldn't understand.

Rogue Wave played a tight set, but they were highly irritated by both the overly dramatic female dancers and their overweight male escorts, and the rapidly disappearing crowd. The crowd thing made me feel a little bad for them, but I have to admit to enjoying watching the little look-at-me crowd embarrass themselves. I had a flashback to old TGL shows when the IBP crowd used to have such fun trying to out-drama each other on the dance floor. Of course, they never dressed as badly as Saturday night's little clique. I swear they must have thought they were going to an eighties party. Or maybe they just thought they looked good. Who knows.

I'll see if I have a pic worth posting a little bit later. Right now, Zoey's insisting on playing on the computer...

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Saturday morning rant

I don’t have anything really to report about, as we’re still sitting around recovering from the cold that wouldn’t go away. Secondary infections for everyone! Now my parents are suffering, which is too bad (and definitely all Zoey’s fault). We had to cancel my father’s birthday dinner last night, as he just didn’t feel up to it. Just as well, who can enjoy a nice dinner when you can’t smell properly?

Is anyone else following this Jeff Gannon/Guckert thing? It seems to me there’s all this evidence out now showing how the administration is systematically using the media to propagate its agenda. Does anyone seem to care? I’m not sure. I think the country has too many people who have already chosen which side they are on, and are thus choosing to ignore any evidence that might possibly get them to take a hard look at their leaders. My very conservative brother once expressed it succinctly: People choose a side, and then just spend the rest of their time gathering supporting evidence to back up their choice. This is standard human brain stuff. We accept a belief, and then choose only to notice evidence that supports that belief and ignore the stuff that contradicts it. We see only what we choose to look at.

Here’s an interesting exercise: Look around the room you are in for one minute, and notice all the stuff that is blue. Now close your eyes….

And ask yourself to name everything you noticed that was yellow.

What? Yellow? I was looking for blue things; I can’t remember anything yellow. Exactly. We choose what we want to notice. This goes just as well for people who identify themselves as “conservative” as well as “liberal.” The labels have gone too far. Now, instinctively, I blame the conservatives for their excessive push to define the terms as “good” and “evil,” respectively, but then, I tend to identify myself as “liberal.” And of course, once I out myself as a “Liberal,” then everyone who is conservative only notices the label, assumes bias, and ignores anything I have to say as communist, America-hating propaganda. To them, I’ve drunk the kool-aid and refuse to see the “truth.”

I personally like to view myself as “liberal” because I believe in keeping an open mind about things (i.e. opposing viewpoints have their place in any argument); that there’s a lot of gray area in between the black and white, and it is in this gray area we all exist; that people have a right to choose for themselves what they want to believe and how they want to live; that there’s room enough in this country for all kinds of people; that we should accept other people for who they are and not who I think they should be; and that our society has an obligation to help those less fortunate. Unfortunately, this sort of open-minded viewpoint (“tolerance” is a bad word to some) gets lost in the right’s rhetoric.

I have a relative whom I adore—he’s a wonderful, kind and caring person—who is a conservative with a Capital “C.” And of course, he disdains liberals with a Capital “L.” But on a one to one basis, he’s full of love for his liberal-minded family members (this includes his possibly gay stepson, and a number of his sisters). He of course sees them as family, not as “Liberals.” No, the “Liberals” are just the TV personalities and the faceless hordes that march against the war or support choice, or the lazy poor masses that just suck off the government teat. I have trouble with this dichotomy. It’s like people who are racist, but have friends of other races who are an exception to their stereotype.

We choose what we want to see.

So this means I also choose, and I do wonder if I just choose to ignore any facts coming from the conservative side. Am I as blind as they are? I am uncertain, but then, this uncertainty is what makes me a liberal. I am comfortable with uncertainty. Some people are not.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Morning Commute

I wake up and notice that Zoey is still sleeping, extricate myself from her legs which have crawled up over my belly and quietly stand up. A quick glance assures me she is still asleep, so I walk around the foot of the bed toward the bedroom door. In the small hallway between the bedroom and the computer room there are a number of dust bunnies that have gathered in the corners and under the small bookshelf. I remind myself to sweep and swiffer the floor later in the day. There is also a collection of small, brightly colored magnetic letters Zoey had scattered on the floor the previous day. I pick one up, then put it back down so that I can have her pick them up (teaching moment).

The computer room is also the junk room, which always makes me cringe upon entering. We were going to move, so I have boxes of random stuff sitting on the floor. Scooter, our long-haired tuxedo cat is sitting on the guitar case containing my fender, returned from the Camper tour. It has become her special little place. She stares nonchalantly as I walk past her and sit in the chair. I have to move the mouse slightly to get the computer to wake up. After a few moments of whizzing and buzzing, the screen comes to life and I see an image of Pancho, the big-headed Mexican Buffet character reaching a hand out toward a cat-costumed Zoey, with my father smiling down at her enthralled face. Zoey loves this picture; actually, she loves Pancho, because seeing Pancho means playing on the computer, which she loves to do.

I check my gmail. Nothing. I begin my morning ritual of reading the Yahoo news page, then the Chronicle, then Buzzflash. I quickly read stories about a Palestenian/Israeli cease-fire (amazing, if it lasts), how the superbowl halftime show was boring (I watched more of the Puppy Bowl), and learn that Brittny is suing her insurance companies. I learn there may be a layer of diamonds on other planets and imagine how this might refuel the space race, that worms on fishhooks feel no pain, that 129 GIs received bills instead of final paychecks, and ponder the significance of a number of articles I decline to read (there’s a baby with mermaid syndrome? I wonder what that is, but don’t care enough to investigate). Dean is the new DNC chairman, but I don’t really care. There’s a great new column out by Paul Krugman on the social security issue. I agree with it completely.

There is no sound in the house. The quiet is glorious.

(This entry inspired by Squid.)

Sick House Update

We are still sick, though now at a different level of sick. Zoey’s on antibiotics for sinusitis. Her cough never went away and her nose still runs, though she’s definitely in much better spirits. Trey actually got the flu and was immobilized on the couch for two days, feeling like he’d been hit by a truck. I stuck with the Dayquil and pretty much stayed operable, but very tired, and now my throat feels fine but I have a persistent cough that I can’t shake. This morning I feel clammy. If I develop fever now, it probably means I too have a secondary infection and will need to go on antibiotics. I haven’t taken those in decades.

The fact that I can claim “decades” frightens me. Not because of the antibiotics, because it entails over 20 years. And while it is probably an exaggeration, it isn’t really that much of one. I mean, yikes, my 20-year reunion is this year. (This also frightens me.)

Friday, February 04, 2005

Sick house

My house is a sick house. Zoey caught a cold from somewhere, and it morphed into strep throat. She kindly passed it on to both me and Trey, and we are all feeling quite less than perfect. Zoey has been sick since Sunday; her nose is constantly runny and she has an awful sounding cough. I took her to the doctor on Tuesday because I was worried all that congestion would give her an ear infection. Instead, the diagnosis was strep throat. Yuch. But it explained why she didn’t want to eat and why she kept saying, “hurt!”

She’s at such an awkward stage of development. She can say so much—she talks constantly—but it’s still so hard for her to tell me what’s wrong. I try to get her to tell me where it hurts, so I can try and do something to salve the pain. It also doesn’t help that one of her current games consists of her randomly saying “hurt,” and when I ask, “where does it hurt?” she says, “hurt sock,” or “hurt shoe,” or “hurt shirt.” Sometimes, she’ll plop down on her knees and say, “are you okay?” So at this time, I’m sometimes not really sure that she really hurts, or is just playing her little game.

So it’s been a rough week, compounded by the fact that my sick little girl wants no one else but me around her right now. I’ve had to watch hours of kids tv, play hours of blocks (“you do it, mommy”), held and comforted and held some more. And then I got sick, which made everything that much more miserable. Yet I still play and hold and comfort. Fortunately, Zoey’s on the mend, and I’m on Dayquil, which is pretty good stuff. I just hope I don’t get the strep throat.