All posts by Philosofer

FMD 11/8/2019: Musical Wishes

Let's try something a little different today... I'm curious about people's musical wishes. That could be anything from "I'd love to see [deceased performer] in concert" to "I wish someone would make a Mama Mia-style musical featuring the songs of Limp Bizkit" to "I'd love to be able to play Classical Gas on the guitar."

I think we've all got these types of musical desires, right? And most of us are not musicians in our own right, such that we could make these things come true. But let's indulge those wishes for a day. What are your musical wishes?

Game 147: Twins at Cleveland

There is baseball. It seems like every time these two teams meet they're heading opposite directions, and then they switch, despite the series going the opposite way. When the Twins took 2 of 3 out of the All-star break, it looked good. Then their lead slowly eeked away. When the Twins hosted the next series it didn't go so well, and Cleveland pulled ahead. But then they swapped right back. Last weekend the Twins came in looking good, and now a week later they're stinkin' up the joint. Since this is the last meeting, it's the right time for the Twins to pass that stink right back to the Indians. Let's hope they can grab a game or two in the process, and then wrap up the season beating on the bad teams.

Let's also hope for some home runs. Max Kepler is back in the lineup, and he's my call to do some damage, along with Sano. Heck, Sano is back too. This is good!

Parentgood: Golden

Today is Aquinas's golden birthday. He's 10. As cliche as it is, I still cannot believe how fast the time has flown by.

Aquinas is the person who brings me closest to understanding the mind of God. I suppose that's what parenthood is, really. Their joy is your joy, their pain your pain. You want for them so much more than you want for yourself. You both see the person they could be and love the person they are. It has been a decade, and the effect this kid has on me continues to grow.

I've documented on the site some of our hard times - his struggles to fit in with kids who aren't much like him, how a small town makes those problems seem bigger, some bullying, etc. I want so very much to take away all of the pain and hardship he faces, or be able to gift him the tools to expertly overcome those problems. But I can't do that. So instead I wanted to take a chance to document just a few good developments too, because there are so many of them, and they feel like they're very much parenting related.

Aquinas was born in D.C., and as his birthday gift Philosofette and I flew out there with him for a trip over Labor Day Weekend. It simply could not have been more perfect. The museums were a tremendous hit. We saw a play at the Kennedy Center. We hung out on the Mall at night ("This is exactly what I pictured!" he exclaimed). He met old friends of ours and their kids, and saw our beautiful old neighborhood. And most important, especially coming from a small town, he was able to broaden his perspective on the world. We know how important this is for him - especially for him, as opposed to some of his other siblings, given his experiences and personality - and being able to deliver... it feels like a real accomplishment.

Aquinas seems to have some genuine creative ability. It's a big reason why we've enrolled him in piano lessons (finally). He's somewhat hesitant towards the lessons themselves, but just in the past couple months he has started tinkering around on his own, and I think it's really growing on him. The idea that we were able to nudge him into something he could be very good at - and enjoy - is incredibly rewarding. Always the balance between pushing too hard and not pushing enough. This feels like an area - at least for now - where we're succeeding in helping him to be the person he could be.

We started Lego League recently. Basically, you build a robot out of legos, and program it to complete tasks. I specifically started this league because our community members need something other than sports, and because Aquinas specifically is one of those community members. This is one of those parenting areas where I'm modelling my Dad. He was my baseball coach, and I remember him staying up late at night after work to watch videos about how to coach, and what drills to run, and things like that. I learned a ton listening to him discuss coaching philosophy, not just about coaching or baseball, but I learned about priorities. What was important wasn't winning or losing. That probably wasn't even secondary. And so when the Lego League opportunity popped up, I jumped. Aquinas can learn those things too, I hope. And hopefully find some other kids, and an activity, that he enjoys in the process.

Anyway... I'm kind of rambling, I realize. This isn't a well-thought out post with a point, other than that it seemed like a good time to share. He's our oldest - our golden child - and it's his golden birthday. What better time to celebrate?

My wish for Aquinas is to be the best person he can be, with all the success, happiness, and virtue that come from so being.

Game 141: Division Chasers at Division Leaders

Last night's game felt special. Cleveland lost early in the day. There was a chance to extend the lead. Things weren't working amazingly for the offense, but they did enough, and the pitching really stepped up. It had the feel of a team that knew what they had to do, and just executing. And then that final play... Winning a game on a memorable play like that... it seems like the kind of thing you see from the teams that are putting the pressure on others, not dealing with it themselves.

And tonight, the Twins get to apply that pressure directly. With a 6.5 game lead and just 22 to play, Cleveland is running out of room fast. Every win the Twins rack up this weekend further dents the Indians' chances to make to playoffs. It's a stark difference from the last time Cleveland left town, having tied up the division. Two very different directions for the clubs, and now it feels like the Twins can play loose and easy, and let their game be what it is.

I'm looking forward to a great weekend series, and hopefully, maybe even a Francisco Lindor concession speech.

FMD: Songs About Real People

On Wednesday of this week I heard The Vaccine's "Norgaard" (not a new song, and not new to me either), and I got caught up in who this person was that they were singing about. It felt like there had to be a specific muse, at a minimum. Turns out, there's a whole story there, and the person's name actually was Amanda Norgaard.

It was pretty fun to track this down, learn a little bit about a person I had previously been unaware existed, etc. I had kind of the same experience once upon a time with Leonard Cohen's "So Long Marianne". And while there are plenty of songs about people who are famous or otherwise known to the public, I think there's something especially engaging in a song about a real person who is unknown to you.

Anyway, talk songs about real people, especially the unknowns, and drop lists if you got them.

Game 122: Twins at Rangers

What is there to say at this point of the season? It's a beautiful August evening, the Twins are in a pennant race, we've got a few weeks left of summer (today's discussion notwithstanding), and the weekend is here. Crack open a cold one, crank up the 'CCO, find some outdoor project to tinker on, or neighbor to chat with, and listen to the Twins bring another W home.

This is the good life.

This is why we're here.

Game 116: Cleveland at Minnesota

Alternatively titled: In Which The Twins Get Off Their Butts And Start Winning Games Again, Thus Marking The Part Of The Season Where They Take Care Of Business Like The Professional Hitters They Are, And Also Who Does This Shane Bieber Think He Is, Anyway?

Let's see what this Smeltzer kid has when he's used as more of a conventional attack than a surprise one, eh?

Featured image courtesy of our division lead.

FMD: BNL

So on my summer mix for 2018, I ended with Barenaked Ladies' "If I Had A Million Dollars". My kids had been listening to the mix again, and my daughter and I were driving last night and that song came on. She asked about the artist, and I mentioned that she knew a couple of their songs ("Old Apartment" - also on a summer mix, "When You Dream" - often sung to them at bedtime). So I pulled out my old Stunt CD and started listening to that.

Man, there were a lot of songs on there that I had no desire to listen to.

But! There were other songs that I absolutely adored and wanted her to hear.

At the time it seemed a somewhat strange dichotomy. And really, though I acknowledge it isn't all that uncommon, isn't it a little weird? Are there authors who you say "I love these 3 books, but can't stand these other 3?" Probably not too many. Or painters where you look at half of their paintings and love them, but you'd be glad to toss the other half? It seems unlikely.

So what is it about music that can make it so hit or miss? And are there other artists out there for you where this is the case? Who typifies hit and miss music to you?

And drop lists if you got 'em!