Thursday, September 23, 2010

Toy Chest Child Bed

Randi woke up late today, my fault. I had reset her alarm to remind me to do an interview yesterday. Now she is rushing. Yay me. :-(


So a little progress report on the Brooklyn Baby Baby. (Which no longer applies. Now I have to find her another nickname.)

We went to the doctor's office two days ago. She is 30 and a half pounds, and I am not exactly sure about her height. But she is just about average as far as that stuff goes. The doctor was impressed by how affectionate and vocal she is.

She sings all the time, and makes up songs too. Her newest one is called "Ballerina Cat," which is just as lovely as the image it conjures. She also made up one called "Baby In The Water," which goes something like this. "Baby in the water, baby in the water, baby in the water, octopus." Sometimes she substitutes "baby octopus" for octopus. I should video tape this stuff, because it's so precious. There I go again, it's not video taping old man, it's recording.

A relatively recent passion is her stuffed animals and toys. As in having virtually all of them on her bed at all times. (She moved from a crib to a toddler bed when we moved to Kentucky about two months ago, she loves it.) Right now she is asleep, it's morning, and she has at the head of her bed probably 15-20 stuffed animals, a stuffed pie toy and, a book and yes, a tea set. She refuses to go to bed if all these things are not right where they should be, i.e. taking up 40% of the available space on her already not too big bed.

Last night before bath time she and Randi had a tea party. She took all her toys off the bed and put them down on the carpet in her room so that they too could get some tea. Then she completely ignored Randi and spoke almost entirely just to the animals. Of course the moment Randi left the room she cried and cried until she came back. Even if mom is only watching she still needs to be there for the party, I guess.

I should take a picture of this phenomenon and put it on this blog. I have been bad about posting pics recently. I know that for some of you this is a vital and important part of the blog "experience."

Stella has a very good vocabulary and can say words like "stupendous," and talks nonstop virtually all day.

She loves her preschool, Adath Jeshurun. (You know, the Jewish preschool that is 25% Jewish.) When I drop her off in the morning she walks with me, hand in hand, through the halls of the school until we get to her class room. Then she abandons me, immediately starts to play, and has to be reminded to say goodbye and give me a hug goodbye. She even did this the first day, except on that day the hallways were simply filled with screaming children. Not Stella, she looked totally at ease, and ready to go.

When I pick her up, though, she typically runs over to me. By the time we get in the car, though, she typically wants something that I had forgotten to bring. Either a book left at home or something like that.

We have discovered some nice local playgrounds. Louisville has a really, really great parks system. The majority of the marquee parks were designed by the Olmstead and Law firm, who also designed Central Park in Manhattan and my beloved Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The neat thing about these parks is that the major ones are all linked, they even have a bicycle race that traverses all of them.

We are still getting to know some local parents. I miss the playgroup support we had back in NYC, but I am hopeful that we will have some nice playgroups in the fall.

As for me, I am gradually getting into the swing, I hope. I have founded a rock band, again, I hope! We have two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer. I found the members via Craigslist, and wrote a fairly long and heartfelt ad about the kind of bad I wanted to start. I listed bands I liked (Beatles, of course, 'Stones, Velvet Underground, Ween, REM, The Dead), and said what I do and would like to do. I wanted to play mostly originals with some tasteful covers thrown in. But I wanted it to be an originals band.

I do realize this is an uphill climb. People want to hear what they already like. But I wanted the chance to see if some of the songs I wrote hold up.

Well, here's what happened. I had one drummer fire us before he ever even played with us. He wanted to play covers. A second guy showed up in a Skynryd T-shirt, played some songs with us, and then quit without another word. (Both of these guys were recovering alcohol or drug abusers. I think I met the only sober drummers in North America. Just kidding drummers!) Another bassist played with us a couple of times, and was good, but quit because he wanted to develop more time to his Stevie Ray Vaughan-ish power trio, and a keyboardist couldn't keep up with it because he wanted to devote more time to his other projects.

All this I understood and expected. I recruited based on a few criterion. Did they like the songs? (Most important one.) Would they be easy to deal with and work with? Do I like them as people? Do they understand that I am a married guy and dad? (Meaning I can commit for what I can commit to, but not hang out all night and party.)

I am happy to say, touch wood, that so far the four guys we have match the criterion above. The other guitarist, Scott, writes and sings, which I love. I also write and sing but I definitely have a soft spot for just being the guitarist in the band. Stepping out of the spotlight and just playing. I loved this role in my former band, Connecticut, but grew frustrated over time because I couldn't bring any of my songs to the band, it was not allowed. Eventually, not surprisingly, this helped contribute to the breakup of the band.

This is a shame, because had I been able to contribute we could have made a lethal combination. Now the remainders of that band are still playing some of the same dives we played, more or less, eight years ago.

The bands I always wanted to be in as a kid typically functioned as collectives of some sort. The Beatles, everyone sang, three of the four guys wrote. The Dead were a collective in many literal ways, with multiple singers and writers. Squeeze was based on a partnership of two guys, REM and U2 are total partnerships in all ways. This always appealed to me, I have never been too comfortable with it being The Dave Show. (Maybe this is why I gravitated to improv comedy in NYC, not standup.)

Of course I also love solo performers like Bruce, but the guys in his band seem to accept that his band is a benevolent dictatorship, and they don't seem to mind. But Bruce is also a genius and perhaps the world's greatest performer so I guess it's cool. Nirvana was also the intellectual work of one guy, as a songwriter, although the band's sounds was indelible and as important as his writing.

Anyway, I don't want to jinx us too much here, so I will drop it for now.

Fall has fallen, summer is over. Shed a tear for its memory and move into the new.

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