The Good, Bad, and Annoying

The good: I found a preschool that has openings for the fall.
The bad: Brian has to be potty-trained first.
The annoying: It’s a church school that has bi-monthly story time with the minister and bible verses as part of the curriculum.
The good: Our air conditioner is working! And the repairman didn’t charge us.
The bad: He had to rewire bits around, which permanently disabled the furnace, because the whole thing is shot. He’s hoping to get a whole day’s worth of cool air before the thing collapses again. This is just another expense we don’t need right now, especially in light of my recent, unexpected dental bills. BAH to teeth! But this is something we NEED. We can’t not have a furnace. (We did that for a few days last year when the furnace broke.)
The annoying: If we’d known how ruined the unit was last time we had it repaired, we could have just replaced it then. Booo to the other repairmen. (It took two, one of whom left and never came or called back!) I am sure they are used to dealing with customers who just want the thing fixed, but we’ve had multiple problems with this unit and I’ve been trying to get to the root of the problem. Grrrrr.
The good: We went to the pool!
The bad: The river and whirlpool were broken.
The annoying: Nobody broke into the house while we were gone and did the dishes.
The good: TV drama: You have to watch this short clip!
The bad: Real life drama: 3609 military deaths in Iraq.
The annoying: No drama: Several people thought National Bingo Night was a good idea.

A Happy Post About Rock n’ Roll

I listen to music almost all day every day during work. If I’m at my desk, I’ve got my headphones on, and I’m listening to something. My pared down library (I backed up a bunch of stuff I never listen to) in iTunes is over twenty-five gigabytes.
I’m no music critic, but I know what I like, and I like a lot of different weird stuff. I go on binges, listening to a band’s entire catalog for a week, a month, sometimes longer (my Massive Attack and Morphine binges lasted years). Right now, I’m in love with The Constantines. It’s funny, I’ve been gobbling up Canadian alternative rock since discovering the CBC Radio3 podcast. The Constantines are only the latest victim in my Canuck buying binge (I like to think of them as Morphine on 78 with a guitar player instead of a saxophone – the bass is that good).
When you hear the band for the first time, it’s easy to get lost in the feedback, gravel-voiced garage rock of it all. But, after a couple listens, the layers start coming out. Their lyrics, even on the balls-out rockers, are intricate poems of love, loss and depression. The bass player is amazing (and it sounds fantastic through headphones). Sometimes, I listen just to pick out the bass line.
If you’d like a sample of their stuff, I highly recommend:
* St. You, Soon Enough and On to You: Their slower stuff is gorgeous. The guitar is still there, but the lyrics and melody are awe-inspiring.
* Working Full-Time: This song kicks all the asses in Canada – at the same time. I love how the intro builds on the simple snare and guitar riff into a smashing crescendo of ass-kicking rock goodness. And then when the bass comes in… you’ll get chills.
* Poison: Fantastic bass line in this song. Your head will bob along like hula doll on a gravel road. Not a barn burner, but that bass line keeps me coming back for more.
* The Long Distance Four: There’s a lovely harmony between the guitar and bass in this song that shows up in several other numbers, but I really like this one (*Justice* is another good one).
I need to get back to work, but I’ve posted too many consecutive bummer posts… so I had to post something resembling happy – and music certainly makes me happy.

Not Working? Let’s Change the Name!

The White House is going to retool the Iraq mission. If you read the article carefully, they’re not actually going to change anything except they’re going to rebrand it.
Yes, people, this is what we’ve come to. June was the bloodiest month in Iraq since the beginning of the war, the Iraqi government and military have met none of their benchmarks, and the White House is embarking on a rebranding effort. It only proves they have no idea what they’re doing.
We’re not going to buy it, Mr. Bush. We don’t believe you or anyone who works for you anymore. You’ve proven yourself to be a liar, and by association, everyone who works for you is tainted by your dishonesty (or, hired by you because of their talents for dishonesty). You’ve failed every test put before you as Commander in Chief. Why the hell should we trust you now?
It’s time for Congress to do their jobs and get us out of this thing. Senator Webb’s amendment to force the military to keep active duty soldiers at home for at least as long as their deployment is a good start in actually supporting our troops (three times as long for guard and reserve troops), but it’s time to do more. The surge isn’t work and isn’t going to – not because there’s anything wrong with the troops or even with the military other than they’re being stretched too thing. It’s not working because the orders from the civilian leadership in the White House are wrong, have always been wrong, and show no signs of improving.

If train A leaves the bedroom at 5 am…

Kevin is totally awesome. He cleaned up the kitchen this morning and then took the boys to the pool while I caught up on sleep. Brian has been waking me up at the crack of dawn and it isn’t cute anymore. (Although it is further proof he is an angel, like from the City of Angels.) Since Kevin doesn’t go to work on the weekends, I get to crash after he wakes up. It’s sort of heavenly, except we aren’t seeing a lot of each other. Now I must pretend to be a functioning adult and tackle my chore list. Or lunch.

Happy Weekend!

Our weekend is going to be fabulous and I hope yours is too!
Friday night started off with a bang when Kevin had an impromptu Happy Hour to go to after work. He decided to take Max with him because he is Max’s ride home from camp. Since this was obviously a low-key thing, Brian and I crashed too! There was another kidlet there, Clara, age 13 months, that Brian could not stop staring at. While she was walking around after dinner, working off some energy, Brian kept his eyes glued to her. When she went behind a booth where Brian couldn’t see her, he would constantly scan the area waiting for her reappearance. It was adorable. Brian didn’t say a single word to her though, but did wave when she left.
Saturday is going to be full of swimming for the boys. Max is going to try the big slide and is very excited about it! I am going to continue clearing out the basement in preparation for the remodel. (I finally got the last estimate. Woot. Now the hard part comes.) Hopefully swimming won’t totally kill Kevin like last week’s trek to Down Pour, the water park at Algonkian Park, did. I’d like him to be able to unwind and/or do some work around the house, too.
Sunday is going to be all about the Dim Sum and Cindy! Maybe I can talk Kevin into doing something else downtown-y while we’re there. Any suggestions?
Ooh, today while grocery shopping, I totally spied some peach ice cream and had to buy it in honor of Aunt Margie. It was only a pint and on sale, so triple win! YUM!

The 4th of July for a Slave

I read this yesterday and it’s one of the most eloquent and damning speeches I’ve ever read. I can only imagine what it would have been like to hear Frederick Douglass give it in person. You should read the whole thing, but here’s my favorite paragraph:
bq. What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.