I’ve never been afraid to embarrass my sons with my bungled attempts at humor and middle age antics–I consider it part of the job description of being a “Dad.” But truth be told, whenever I do something they think is cool, it thrills me to no end. But please don’t tell them that, because that would ruin everything.
For instance, my recent acquisition of a taste for (and reputation for listening to) rap music. Well, not all rap music, but one song in particular–“Huntsville International” by the local rap group, G-Side.
Here’s how a mortuary-white, hopelessly off-beat, middle age, pointy-headed pseudo-intellectual got turned on to a piece of hip-hop:
I’ve a long-time fan of the magazine Oxford American, which is sort of a distinctly Southern version of The New Yorker or The Atlantic.… Read the rest
I had a Close Encounter of the Creepy Kind with my iPhone this week. This has caused me to pause and reflect on our relationship with all our bright and shiny electronic doodads.
It happened last Sunday as Eyegal and I attended early service at a local Episcopal parish, as is our habit from time to time. It was the First Sunday in Lent (Note to my Baptist and Church of Christ friends: Lent is a 40-day period of repentance preceding Easter. It is part of the church calendar, which is actually pretty official and has been around a long, long time–like, several centuries before the founding of the United States–and has more on it besides the date of the Ladies Retreat and the next church-wide potluck.… Read the rest
And Pensacola means McGuire’s Irish Pub, a steroid-enhanced, Gatlinburg version of one that I’m sure a real Irishman would scoff at and probably scrap over if anyone dared to call it the real thing. Aye, I think he would.
But the filet was melt-in-your-mouth wonderful and the, ahem, “root beer” was just what the doctor ordered after a hard, six hour drive. We had a seat near the stage, so we got an earful of some loud and raucous Irish music, all of which bore the same basic theme–whiskey and fightin’.… Read the rest
“Our pew” is on the right hand side, two thirds of the way back. That’s where we always sit when we attend Christmas Eve services at our second church home, Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Huntsville. I’ve written of our experiences there before, and as longtime readers know, that’s our refuge where we occasionally go in order to escape the tyranny of the modern (e.g. PowerPoint!) and surrender instead to the power and holy mysteries of the liturgy.
Picture in your mind the quintessential Christmas Eve setting: an old, storied building topped with a 150 foot Gothic Revival spire reaching toward the heavens, the nave bathed in soft candle light and bedecked with festive, seasonal greenery, a 12-foot Christmas tree near the front, beckoning with a thousand starry lights.… Read the rest
Not the drink (although my father-in-law, bless his heart, did slip me a little shot of whiskey last night after I threw out my back pulling down the stairs to the attic), but the a cappella music group which is all the rage after their Youtube video spoof of “Twelve Days of Christmas” recorded 10 years ago when they were all in college at Indiana University (Hoosiers do music?) went hog-viral last year about this time.
Although I’m currently in Nashville with Eyegal (saw Hansard/Irglova at the Ryman last night–it was pure magic!), I’m coming home. Following the lead of Senator McCain, I have decided to suspend this mini-vacation and all my daily activities, including personal hygiene and marital relations, until such time that we have a bailout deal in hand.
Speaking of bailouts, here’s some of the apparent rationale for the $700 billion requested by Treasury:
“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”
Data, smata–who needs it? Since we can just pull very large numbers out of thin air, may I choose the amount of my tax refund year?… Read the rest
The Huntsville City Recreation Service’s Concerts in the Park summer series continued Monday night on an unseasonably cool and dry July evening. Citizens turned out in droves at Big Spring Park near the Huntsville Art Museum to the listen to the chillin’ sounds of two local bands, Anchor’s Eye and Band of Moose:
Man, you know you’re getting old when the kids that you used to coach in t-ball and soccer are performing live on stage and recording a session in Nashville next week to boot. Where did the time go?
It was a time to bring your camp chair and beverage of choice, enjoy the music and meet and greet old friends:
And new friends:
The politicians were out in full force, including long-time Huntsville Mayor Loretta Spencer who is running for re-election and is seen here talking to a constituent:
She even gave me this cool fan, although I didn’t really need it that night:
No, that’s not the Mother Ship from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.… Read the rest
The boys turned me on to Chris Martin and Coldplay a while back. Since then their stuff has become my favorite chill-and-escape-while-I-workout-at-the-gym-after-a-hard-day-at-work music on my iPod. I get so lost in “Clocks” on the elliptical trainer that I totally forget what time it is.
That’s right, put me down as a Coldplay man. How bourgeois of me, I know.
Speaking of fancy French words, Coldplay’s latest album Viva la Vida is here and I’m listening to it as I write. For those who think Chris Martin’s screeching falsetto is like fingernails-on-the-chalkboard, you will be greatly relieved that there’s much less of that in the new album.… Read the rest
But you can take my word for it, the movie Once is everything the critics say it is: mesmerizing, enthralling, ethereal, transcendent, and all the other fancy, multisyllabic adjectives that have been used in the hundreds of reviews that have been written. It is a tour de force of powerful storytelling employing a minimalist approach: a shoe-string budget, hand-held cameras and a simple narrative arc told in a naturalistic manner and setting (the streets of Dublin, Ireland).… Read the rest