Thursday, May 24, 2012


In grad school, I had a frightfully smart/bordering on psychotic theory professor whose major thesis of all his work was that all of western culture was, at its heart, about infanticide. It was maddening, particularly because his classes left you feeling as if something had gone horribly wrong, but you were completely unable to figure out where things started to go wrong. It didn't matter what you were talking about, what you were reading, whatever, because 97% of the time, he would work the conversation back to infanticide. Moreover, this trend toward infanticide was completely at the hand of men, because (paraphrased) "motherhood is one thing which is known beyond a shadow of a doubt, yet fatherhood can never be proven to any degree...which is why men gain revenge for the lack of certainty on their fatherhood by committing (you guessed it) infanticide."

I always suspected (as I did with many of this professor's proclamations) this was wrong, but I never was able to prove it...until I became a father myself. Because there's utterly no doubt this kid is mine.

How do I know? Several ways, actually. There is a definite physical resemblance. Many people have told me she looks very much like me. I would then do the typical self-deprecating thing and exclaim "Poor girl!," "But that can't be...she's cute!," or something similar. In fact, some of my "friends" are saying similar things to this day.

My next clue was her feet. She has DuBose toes. My whole family was blessed with extremely long (bordering on finger-length) toes. Sylvia has them too. I have freakishly long toes, and I sometimes amuse myself by using them to pick objects off the floor...which amuses myself greatly. Lately, Sylvia's been doing the same thing...when I change her, she'll grab the clean diaper with her feet and yank it out of my reach...the little imp.

Then there's the gestures. When she was a few months old, I was trying to make her laugh while she was sitting on my lap. She gave me a look of withering contempt before sighing and hunching her shoulders. My blood ran cold...I'd seen myself doing that exact gesture over and over. I could see Sylvia inflicting upon me every single annoying thing I did to my parents.

Then there's music. Shortly after learning to crawl, she started going up to my living room guitar and bashing the strings. She still does this. It makes my heart soar every time I hear it. Lately, she's discovered that if she howls into one of her hollow plastic toys, it adds reverb. I also love this beyond words...because it proves she, just like me, also loves effects.

Of course, there's plenty of my daughter which does not come from me...her piercing eyes and her cuteness, just to name a few. But it all adds to the fun.

Life, 1--pseudo-psychotic theory professors, 0.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

musical foibles

When my daughter is in a decent nap, one of my tasks becomes clearing out the DVR. Yeah, I know...hard work, but we're moving in a few months, and just in case we can't get satellite tv in our new place, I want to make sure we lose as little programming as possible. By now, I'm deep into the recorded program list, and it's fun seeing where my taste was when I actually recorded some shows. Right now, I have a music documentary on: Women Who Rock from PBS last November. There's a lot I'm learning (first one which springs to mind? Why in the hell I don't own a ton of Ruth Brown or Bonnie Raitt?). Being me, though, I have to focus on the foibles. There are two in particular
  1. Why does the definition of Rock and Roll suddenly become extra broad on occasion? Cindy Lauper is the host, and there's a segment on her. While there are songs of hers which I can appreciate, how in what world is she rock and roll? I've already seen one clip of Madonna in the "current superstars" montage, and there's also a full segment on her as well. She also ain't rock and roll; she might be musically and socially important, but she's an important disco artist. Folks, say it with me: pop and rock and roll are not equivalent. It seems I need to formulate and popularize a definition of Rock and Roll...then become king of the world and punish anyone who deviates from it.
  2. The documentary had a nice segment on Tina Turner. Turner is, for the record, awesome and obviously important. Along with praising her vocal delivery and her stage style, though, one of her best qualities was (according to the narrative) "the ability to recognize a good song." Um, okay. Is that, in and of itself, all that worthy of acclaim? It was almost said as if writing the song or performing the music was secondary...which seems praise better suited toward a music business executive than a rocker. Granted, I know many genres of music have a separation between songwriting and performing (country music particularly), but isn't one of the tenets of rock and roll being a combined unit? Writing and then performing your own stuff?
As you might've noticed, I have somewhat strong opinions when it comes to music

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

pet possibilities

I ran across what might be the most fun news story of the day. Scientists have apparently discovered the fossil of (language fans beware) a miniature mammoth. Previously, I always wanted some kind of very large cat (perhaps a Maine Coon or Mokave, as it would be fun to have a 25 pound feline. Now? I kinda want a mini mammoth. Damn their extinction.