A Message to Friends

You all get a pass since last time our pregnancy was unplanned. But when this new guy/gal is born, someone better be showing up with some cigars.



Keep in mind that Laura is pregnant, so Simon has babies on the mind.

Me (as I'm getting out of the shower, and therefore shirtless): Hi, Simon.
Simon: Hi, Dad. Big belly? (points at my belly)
Me: Hmmm... yeah, I guess so.
Simon: Have a baby? (still pointing)
Me (to Laura): (doubles over laughing) Did you hear what he just said? I don't know whether to laugh or cry.



Thankful for, in ascending order:

5. Computers/Internet: Yeah, I'm a geek. I believe that the internet has been a democratizing force in the world, and will only become more so in the future. A romantic geek, I guess.

4. Music: Bad, good, whatever people like, good for them. And if it sets you free in some way, well, that's the best.

3. Electronic musical instruments, including but not limited to: drum machines, software, synthesizers, little toy instruments, DJ equipment, amplifiers, effects boxes: Again with the democratization. To me cassette 4-tracks were just a stepping stone, since you still had to have multiple expensive instruments, and enough space to contain them all, to really get the job done. Now, all you need is a computer and some booted software (the latter being the mark of a true artiste), or a drum machine and a synth, or a sampler and a mic, or whatever weapons you choose. They won't take up more than a table top and you will be able to sound as professional as much of what you hear on the radio.

2. Friends: Can't really put this one into words. The people who I love give me what it takes to get by. Which leads to...

1. Laura and Simon: You knew this one was coming, right? Both count as members of the previous item, but of course they're more than that. Laura and Simon both challenge me every day to be a better person than I was the previous, and I'm trying to keep up. Thanks, guys.


If you're like me and giggled a little bit at the reference in the last post to "Skateboard Pete" (it's Skateboard P, honey), then you'll probably appreciate this freaking hi-larious post from So Many Shrimp. I'm just going to repost the whole thing right here because picking a favorite is to hard for me (maybe the last two?):

Best rap album of 2005

1. Intro
2. Triumphant Horns of Victory (Prod. by Rocky VI)
3. After Which What? (Prod. by and feat. Mannie Fresh)
4. Let's Get Even More Blown (Feat. Snoop Dogg)
5. Euphemisms for Dealing (Feat. Young Jeezy and Juelz Santana)
6. Cars, Neat! (Feat. Someone from Swishahouse)
7. Pimping, Obviously (Prod. by and feat. Jazze Pha)
8. Heartfelt and Vaguely Caribbean (Prod. by and feat. Akon)
9. Get Laid (Feat. Trey Songz)
10. I Can't Believe We're Still Here, Either (Prod. by the Neptunes)
11. No really, Lil Wayne's Good Now (Feat. Lil Wayne)
12. Kinda Gangsta, but T.I. Sounds Bored (Feat. T.I.)
13. Lets Get This Rude Club Song on the Radio (Feat. Ying Yang Twins, prod. by Mr. Collipark)
14. I Have Bun's Phone Number (Feat. Bun-B)
15. Avant-Garde, Yo! (Feat. Cam'ron, prod. by NY No-Name and Axl Rose)
16. Yeah, OK, That'll Do Fine (Prod. by Lil Jon)

Disc Two: Screwed and Chopped

'Fess Up

Okay, who's been teaching my son that Ferrell (or Skateboard Pete?) song featuring the most boring part ever "sung" by Gwen Stefani?

Today at lunch he dropped his sippy cup and then asked, "Can you get it?" I complied, and then in typical sing-songy, repetitive toddler fashion, he kept saying, "Can you get it? You got it." I swear, upon uttering the phrase, "You got it," he sounded JUST LIKE Gwen Stefani (minus the "like that").

It was funny, and then, after a while, freaky.


We just watched the last episode of Freaks and Geeks. (Thanks, Colin!) If you haven't seen this show, you need to. Rent it, buy it, order it from Netflix.
It was cancelled after the first season, so there are only 18 episodes, including the pilot. I thought I would be disappointed with the last episode, since when it was made they didn't know it was going to be the last epsiode ever. But it wasn't at all a letdown. It was a perfect ending actually.


"It's like the love of my life"
-Laura, on Freaks and Geeks


Simon had his first haircut over the weekend, and as you can see it was quite a swanky affair. I know I've never gotten a sucker during my haircut. Even when Laura cuts it. No sucker.
It took a little while to get used to the reduction in curls, but it looks nice. That's a big boy bed and first haircut in the same week. Laura and I expect to be overthrown as leaders of the house before the year is out. Posted by Picasa


Fizzy Goodness

This beverage is currently making my wonderful life even wonderfuller. Because I'm feeling a lot of pressure to feed only the healthiest of foods to my incubating baby, it's fun to feel like I'm cheating by drinking some soda. But it's not soda! It's just juice! It's equal to a serving of fruit, according to the bottle!

Also, it contains one precious gram of protein, and every little bit adds up to help me reach my goal of 100 grams a day. Holy God, 100 grams is sooooo much, especially for someone who seldom enjoys those protein-packed foods of the animal flesh variety. Today I kept a protein log, adding up my grams throughout the day, just like I used to write down my calories when I was trying to lose weight. It's a bit tedious, but I'm willing to try anything to avoid a rematch with my arch-rival, preeclampsia. Nothing is guaranteed, but both a woman at the Farm and my nurse-midwife said research suggests ample protein may help prevent that nasty condition.

So, except for the other day when I dreamt that my uterus fell out in the shower, I am very hopeful for a better, healthier pregnancy and delivery. And hope is beautiful.

On a sidenote, I feel so grateful to be married to a man who makes the world's tastiest stove-top popcorn. Thank you, God.


Tomorrow night Paul Fitz the Almighty Scrabblor is having a party at his house, and I will be playing disk jockey. If you're in Chi and you're not too busy listening to the new Modest Mouse and reading Camus or whatever it is you kids do nowadays, you should come. Email me for his address, jitneypop @ gmail.com.


Simon is sleeping in a big boy bed tonight! Big. Boy. Bed. And the bed is old. It "came over from the old country", as my parents say. Hopefully I'll post a picture of the bed soon. Can't take one now because he's asleep.


I think you call this the chickens coming home to roost. From the Chicago Tribune, via Chicagoist:

Two groups opposed to Republican governor candidate Jim Oberweis' ardent stance against illegal immigration said Tuesday they helped two illegal immigrants file a state labor complaint alleging the dairy owner hired a cleaning firm that paid sub-minimum wages.


Oberweis initially called the complaint part of a "smear campaign" against his candidacy for governor, but he later backed away from that description and said he hoped to meet with immigrant advocates to hear their concerns. He also said his Oberweis Dairy would investigate the matter but would never knowingly employ illegal immigrants.


I love John Cage. Love him. So it should come as no surprise that I also love Silent Podcast. That's right folks, a podcast that is "pure digital silence." Unfortunately you have to use lame iTunes to listen. But otherwise, it's perfect.

Election in VA

Today there's a gubernatorial election in Virginia. A friend who's working for the VA Democrats asked me to phone bank for him, and like the sucker I am, I agreed to do it. Here are some of the choicest quotes from potential voters:

Me: Hello Mr. _____, I'm calling today to remind you to vote on Tuesday the 8th. We need your support for Tim Kaine and the entire Democratic ticket. Kaine is endorsed by governor Mark Warner, who...
Potential Voter #1: I don't like Kaine (the Democratic candidate for gov.) and I don't like anyone who votes for him. But thanks anyway.

Me: Hello Mr. _____, I'm calling today to remind you to vote on Tuesday the 8th...
Potential Voter #2: I don't need you to call and remind me to vote, man. I'm a living, breathing human being.

Me: Hello Mr. _____, I'm calling today to remind you to vote on Tuesday the 8th.
Potential Voter #3: Vote?!?! Vote for what?
Me: Umm... there's an election on Tuesday.
Potential Voter #3: What election?
Me: The gubernatorial election is on Tuesday.
Potential Voter #3: I'm sorry, we don't mess with voting. Sorry.


Just realized that the link from this post doesn't work. So, to reiterate:

I've been known to make music from time to time. Yesterday I posted a bunch of said music here. Please give a listen and let me know what you think at jitneypop @ gmail.com. All of the songs are at least 3 years old. All of my new musical efforts have been directed towards the great R&B Noise band Jitney, whose Audiri page should be coming soon.

And now the link works.

In a Far Off Land .... or, Confusing Bumper Stickers Spotted in Central Illinois

God, Guns, and Guts
Keep America Free

I really was taken aback by this sticker, probably because of the images it conjured up. I pictured the male, white-bearded vengeful God (bound to be the object of faith of the person who would slap such a sticker on their vehicle). I saw the guns of America, millions strong and enjoying their heyday. Then I imagined guts. Bloody, shredded intestinal bits strewn over a battlefield. This was the most shocking image induced by the sticker, and I was amazed that someone so blatantly patriotic would embrace gory violence in this way. I mean, I know the God Bless America crowd doesn't shy away from war, but the assertion that GUTS keep America free seemed especially harsh and senseless.

Then I remembered that guts has a figurative meaning. This sticker wasn't referring to a person's innards, but rather their testicular virility, in the famous sexist words of our governor. I guess that makes more sense, but doesn't make this sentiment any less disturbing for me.

I don't want to launch into stereotypes about my hometown. All I'm going to say is that I've never seen this sticker in Chicago.


Spot on article at Slate.com about "Rock Snobs": "...let's face it, only one thing is more incorrigible than my snobbery, people, and that's your indefensibly crappy taste in music."
Haagen-Dazs new flavor, Caramel Cone, is absolutely fucking delicious. You gotta try it.

Today I went to the Sprint store downtown for reasons related to the fact that Laura's phone has been busted for a few weeks now. At this Sprint store, there's a phone store hostess, who takes your name and your reason for being there. The lady in front of me at the hostess' kiosk, let's call her J. Doe, shook her perfectly normal looking phone in the air and sighed, "I just HAVE to get a new phone. This one is not working for me." The hostess took her name and almost immediately an employee called her name and took her to the wall of phones for her to choose from. I was not so lucky, and had a fifteen minute or so wait.

As I was killing time pretending to be interested in the phones on the wall, I managed to overhear Ms. Doe telling the person showing her phones that her old phone was "cramping her style". "It's all about your phone," she then informed him.

Later, after wandering over to the other wall, where they keep the Nextel i530 that "Adheres to Military 810F Spec", I saw J. holding her prospective new phone and asking the Sprint salesman if he liked it. She then opened it up (flip phone), held it up to her head and started talking into it, and asked the salesman, "So it looks good?" HELD IT UP TO HER HEAD AND PRETENDED TO TALK ON THE PHONE. Is this normal? If it looks good in your hand, won't it probably look good when you're talking on it? And don't all phones look almost exactly the same, save for the different basic types: candy bar, flip, and Blackberry/Trio? Someone please help me understand.

Leaving my Mark on the Streets of Peoria

Today I had my first bout with morning sickness. Now, I don't have anything to compare it to, as I never hurled during pregnancy #1, but I thought this was some pretty intense morning sickness. First of all, MY GOD, the headache. Then, the misery of driving while nauseated, trying not to think about how sick I feel, but feeling more and more sick because I can't stop thinking about it. Finally, the panicky moment when I realize it's coming up, and I'm in my dad's car, yet so close to my sister's house. Must keep driving.... must reach toilet..... must control gag reflex..... Alas, I was not successful in my efforts to stop the inevitable. So I had some put-on-your-hazard-lights-and-open-your-door-in-moving-traffic-to-puke morning sickness. Goddamn disgusting.

Why did we decide to get pregnant again? Oh yeah, because after these nine months of potential hell, we will have one of those great little pink bodies to wrap up and gaze at for hours on end. We will meet a brand new person. I, for one, plan on liking that person a lot.

I promise that if I continue to have morning sickness during this pregnancy, I may mention it in passing, but will not describe it in such detail as I did today. It was the first time ever, so give me some grace, please.


Via Atrios, via Kevin Drum (mmmm... taste the bloggy self reference) Editor and Publisher takes a look at the public's response to the Plame leak scandal and... remember those folks who said no one will care? Wrong:

Plamegate: 86% important 12% not important
Clinton-Lewinsky: 62% important, 37% not important
Whitewater: 49% important, 45% not important
Iran-Contra: 81% important, 19% not important
Watergate: 78% important, 22% not important

Wow. Didn't expect that. Clearly this has a lot to do with why Bush registered his deliciously low 35% approval rating. Damn it feels good to be a lefty.
I've been known to make music from time to time. Yesterday I posted a bunch of said music here. Please give a listen and let me know what you think at ***. All of the songs are at least 3 years old. All of my new musical efforts have been directed towards the great R&B Noise band Jitney, whose Audiri page should be coming soon.


I think my MySpace.com profile is a piece of Zen beauty.


So Bush nominates Alito. Wow. From the point of view of the Bush camp, a perfect pick. Crazily conservative, yet with nothing on his record that will sufficiently piss off the public to get much of Congress concerned enough to vote no.

He's written more than a few interesting opinions over the years, but, as all the newspapers and blogs have written already, the most controversial is Planned Parenthood v. Casey, where, in dissent with the rest of his fellow judges, he defended a provision of a Pennsylvania law that required women to notify their spouses before getting an abortion.

While I would disagree with any argument (at least that I can think of) that reached Alito's conclusion regarding the spousal notification requirement, the argument he used was particularly bothersome. He said that spousal notification was not an "undue burden" on the process of getting an abortion. Or, in other words, he asked, "How can being required to notify your spouse possibly interfere with your plan to get an abortion?" and his answer was, "It can't."

This, my friends, is fucked up. And the Supreme Court agreed. BUT, I think the sad fact is, most of America won't care enough to stop the confirmation. And, of course, many folks don't care at all, because they'd probably be happy if the spouse stopped the abortion at all costs. Damn it.