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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Parenting 101

Although I was raised by two loving and caring parents, some might even say an idyllic childhood, I was FAR from prepared to be a father.  You can never really be.  Certainly when children are growing up so darn fast these days and the technology (read:dangers) moving faster still.

So, after a dreary Monday which saw my wife and I battling the cold/flu that has made its way around our incubation tank of an office you will excuse us for getting sucked into an episode of A&E's celebration of schadenfreude Hoarders.  Our daughter was not in the room when it began.   She was off being creative somewhere.  She was however, there for the conclusion.  I mean, you have to see how it ends, right?  And isn't this a teaching moment?

Wilma and Nora, the principals in last night's episode, were both bat shit crazy.  They both alienated their children, denied a problem existed, and otherwise fell off the freaking deep end.  Change the names and rural towns and the show is the same every week.  Same goes with Intervention.   That speaks to several points.  First, we are a society filled with raving lunatics and addicts.  Second, if you filmed just about everybody in America (with the right producers) it promises to be interesting and entertaining.  We all love a good train wreck.  Fortunately, we are all separated by one degree(if that.)

The little one grabbed some dessert and wondered in to see what kept mom and dad quiet for so long.

"What is this show?  What are you watching?  Who are these people?  Why so many things on the floor?  Did she really just say she resented having children?  To her children???? "

Oh, there were teaching moments.  And tears.  And for a minute, there was a realization that maybe her parents weren't as bad as she thinks.  We may not have the biggest house or the baddest SUV.  But we have some empathy.  We want her to have everything on Earth and experience all life has to offer.   OK, at the very least we want her to have a better opportunity than we had and smile while going after it.

And like any good parent who makes his child cry...  you make it up to them.

She happened to write to her Christmas Elf, Alex, last night.  Apparently the kids at school have been getting letters from their magical little friend.  I typed away on her KidPix Mac application using a Christmas Hearth background and composed a letter to Alex's favorite 9 year old.

When she saw it on her desk first thing this morning her eyes lit up.  Magic in the modest little house that has seen its share of grief and heartbreak over the past several years.

Another positive sign that transcends the fear, and confusion, and anger that can interrupt a family during the day to day grind.

It is why we agree to celebrate her 1/2 birthday at school today (during Christmas week!!)

It is why we head to the mall and brave belligerent crowds to get the perfect gift.

It is why several loaves of banana bread will be made for the school party.

The constant reinforcement and reminder that we are not Wilma.   This house can be steady.  She can be confident and secure thinking her folks have her back.  After all, isn't home where the heart is?  Provided you have one.  Turns out I might.

Some quick hits...

A Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friend out there.  No idea what the Holiday means or what the 8 lights represent.  They changed the mass for Catholics recently and that will take about 30 years to figure out so don't even bother explaining it.  Saturday Night Live usually provides my post graduate religious education.  So with that...

"Christmas Time for the Jews"  Robert Smigel is too good.
"Hanukkah Song"  Adam Sandler.

And for the non-comedic...  some Yo La Tengo as they get ready for their 8 gig stand at Maxwell's in Hoboken.

"Autumn Sweater"  Performed live on a short lived MSNBC show circa 1997.

"You Can Have it All"  From a 2000 Conan O Brien episode.

"And The Glitter is Gone"  Good old fashioned rock and roll.  Here filmed for Pitchfork TV (2009) atop a roof...  Brooklyn probably.

For more Yo La Tengo:

Curious if anyone has seen the new Rhianna video for "We Found Love?"
Forget the song, it's terrific and once again displays abilities.  The video is a bit disturbing though.  This ties back to the parenting issues faced with Hoarders viewing.   As a woman who suffered domestic abuse should she be shying away with this content or embracing it?   What exactly is the message her for today's youth, and in particular today's young girls?  The car scene is so darn creepy (one cannot help think of Chris Brown assaulting her.)  And I haven't even mentioned the substance abuse.  I understand the need for artistic expression.  Rhianna can do whatever the hell she wants to and that is great.

This is adult material however, and should not be played for the countless young kids one bad grade or Facebook post away from self cutting or over-eating.

Finally, a moment for dearly departed North Korean dictator Kim Jung Il.

Who am I kidding?  South Park has said it best so without further adieu:

"So Ronery"  Some explicit language here folks...  but satire at its finest.

Here he is killing Alec Baldwin:

And a wonderful scene feeding Hans Blix to sharks:

PS...  I am very much buying what M83 is selling.  After watching a few live clips from their NYC show last month it is apparent they are the real deal.  Real Estate, White Denim and these guys are on the top of the 2012 live wishlist.  Who is on yours???  Join the conversation!  Thanks.

M83 "Midnight City" This song has become a part of my DNA.  One of the years best for sure.

M83 "We Own the Sky"

M83 "Wait" from 11.22 Webster Hall, NYC show.   Trippy goodness with a big finish...  wait for it.  Reminiscent of Dresden Girls "Sing" from a few years back.  Love the slow ballad building into epic crescendo.  You?

And here is the aforementioned "Sing"

For more:

1 comment:

  1. Never, I repeat, NEVER snack while watching hoarders! It's all fun and games until there's an episode with flattened, mummified pets or a food hoarder that eats puffy, green yogurt. Matt Paxton has a great podcast if you're into that stuff.