All posts by Philosofer

FMD: Do You Realize

The other week, when we were talking about those stealth music attacks, funerals came up a few times. Then last week I got to present on some wills and estate planning things and one of the other presenters talked about funeral planning. So it's been on the brain for me, of late (eh? late? eh...?).

So I'll put the question to you plainly: what do you want played at your funeral?

There are no wrong answers. Seriously. Even "Tubthumping" works... (Jokes are the best way to put the "fun" back in "funeral).

FMD: Lullaby

What do/did you sing to your kids to get them to sleep? What do you like for yourself for the same?

I've been cycling through the same handful of songs, adding one or two with each of my kids. The rotation is pretty much:
"Hallelujah" (More Cohen than anyone else, when I sing it)
"When You Dream" (BNL)
"Salvation Is Created" (Chesnokov)
"You'll Be In My Heart" (Collins)
"Leaving On A Jet Plane" (Peter, Paul, & Mary)
"You Are My Sunshine"

Occasionally some others make it into the mix, but the kids usually request these ones, and I know 'em.

We've also found that Don Williams and George Strait work pretty well for rocking a baby to sleep.

FKB: Father of the Freakin’ Year

I've made some pretty boneheaded parenting moves over the last month.

First: I left the baby sleeping on the bed while I went downstairs to get breakfast for the other kids. She seemed completely out. Of course she woke up a short time later, and didn't make a sound until she fell onto the floor. I think she probably had a mild concussion, given the way she was acting for the first half hour or so after the fall. I had a thing scheduled at work and I made plans to take her to the doctor after I got back from it, but she was back to her old self by the time I got home. Still, it was kind of horrifying.

Second: It took me more than a month to really respond to Aquinas' complaints of bullying before I took action. And it seems like that action was much needed, and has gone a long way towards correcting the problem (thank goodness for the fact that they're first graders, and still open to being good kids instead of blaming the one who told on them). My fear of ruffling feathers was too strong and my kid paid the price.

Third: And yet, in communicating about this issue, I may have inadvertently sent some signals that didn't exactly endear us or my kid to the teacher. I'm not quite sure why we can accurately observe that one kid is faster or stronger than a different one, but we can't observe that one is smarter than another? (I didn't straight up say anything like that, but I fear some unintended implications were taken (look, the class isn't particularly rigorous, and there is some classic "things are going too slow for him" stuff going on (I don't say this to brag about Aquinas, only to observe that this class is moving really slow. Halfway through the year and he's still doing math work that he did at this point in Kindergarten.)(also, he's absolutely going to keep getting 90% on everything you teach, no matter the difficulty, let's not act like 100% is needed to move on...))).

Fourth: Here's the biggie... I forgot my kid. I usually pick up Aquinas from school. If I can't, I arrange for him to take the bus to daycare. Well, I had a hearing out of town and... I forgot. So he walked to my office, per usual, only I wasn't there and the door was locked. So he started walking to the daycare, which is about a mile out of town. On the way there someone - a stranger to him (and us, but not other relatives) - stopped and offered a ride. He happily accepted because, as he put it, "he was tired of walking." The stranger brought him right to daycare (and apparently has done the same for other kids), so in a way it's a "no harm, no foul" situation. Except that my kid accepted a ride from a stranger. So... big time foul.

Anyway, I'm working at this parent thing. This morning I built a huge pillow barrier around the baby as she slept on the bed, and still went up and checked on her just about every other minute, and caught her just as she was waking up 6 minutes into me leaving her there... And I remembered to have Aquinas take the bus when I was gone on Tuesday. And I bribed him, so he got 100% on his spelling test last week. Maybe by the time they leave home I'll feel like I'm on the right track.

FMD: To Listen List

I recently discovered a new artist. Just in the past few days. It's someone that I am absolutely loving. At the same time, I have to say that y'all have let me down. I don't think anyone on the WGOM has ever suggested I listen to Sturgill Simpson. The good news is that, despite the WGOM's silence, somehow he still creeped up to the top of my "To Listen List".

I'd heard some of his music here or there (well, I'm almost positive that it was never here) over the past few years, and I've always liked it, but never sat down and really gave it a listen until a few nights ago. Oh, I had long been meaning to, it just hadn't happened. Other things always took the place, and sometimes trying out new music just isn't what a person is in the mood for. So it sat for far too long. Maybe if someone here had recommended Simpson at any point I would have listened sooner...

Anyway, it turns out he's pretty good. Fantastic voice, excellent guitar work, creative (and somewhat seditious) lyrics... the whole works. You should check him out too.

And, in light of my recent discovery, I'm wondering what is at the top of your To Listen List? It seems like whenever there's something you know you should try, that doing so seems to pay off. At least that's been my experience. So what have you not gotten around to checking out that you've been meaning to for ages? What did you wait too long to try? And what should go to the top of my list, now that I've finally picked up Sturgill? (And, by the way, Sturgill should go to the top of your lists too... Maybe then we could all talk about him sometime?).

FMD: Stealth Attack

Pepper shared the following quote with me from some thing she read that I admittedly haven't gotten around to reading yet (it'll happen... it hasn't even been 24 hours since she sent me the link):

As a delivery device for moments of inner emergency, no art form can approach the immediacy of popular song. A novel cannot assault you while you wait in line at the supermarket; a painting cannot reach out and turn your head as you walk on by; a poem’s feet cannot chase you down the street; a movie cannot screen itself. A song, though, can steal upon you in the dark, on a road, far from home, blow out your tires and leave you sobbing, in gratitude, at the wheel. All other art lives and dies in a medium that mandates we engage if we are to receive its gifts. Songs live in the air.

It's a great enough idea that I'm sure different parts will hit people differently, but the thing that really stuck out for me was the idea of a song "steal[ing] upon you in the dark". A song can come out of nowhere and hit you, big time. It seems like these are often sad songs, but not exclusively. I've had the same happen happily too.

So this week, I'd like to talk about stories of a time a song hit you, by surprise. What song. When and where were you, what were the emotions, how do you relate to that song now, have you ever captured that lightning in a bottle again, etc. I think I like this topic.

FMD: On The Road

I'll be driving a bunch today. I'll probably mostly just flip radio stations until I get frustrated and turn on MPR News. Wait. It's a member drive. Alright, I'll probably just get frustrated.

What do you listen to when travelling? Let's make a "recommended for the road" playlist?

FMD: Let’s talk country

My mother-in-law recently bought a George Strait greatest hits CD. It's... kind of fantastic (despite missing a few obvious selections). Wit the exception of, say Sturgill, we don't talk country music 'round these parts too often. I listened to a fair amount of country in high school, mostly while working in the summers, and that era of Country still hits a sweet spot for me sometimes. I've also listened to a good amount of older outlaw country over the past, say, decade. I still loathe new country, for the most part, and the few good songs aren't worth wading through the rest, imo. For me, country music's decline started with Lonestar. Anyway... What thoughts have you on Country? Not just what you like/tolerate/hate, but... More. What stories, reasons, feelings... Etc.

FMD: Proposed Covers

There's something about cover songs that really appeals to me. Probably the obvious: someone putting a new spin on a classic makes it fresh again. Or maybe it's the less obvious: like a Star Trek alternate universe, it lets you reimagine the world with things changed, but somehow still familiar?

Anyway, this week I thought it might be fun to talk about cover songs that you'd like to see happen.

To kick it off, I'd say Marilyn Manson covering The Police's "Every Step You Take" could be interesting. I'll see if I can think of others.