Monday, January 15, 2007
A few holiday blog nuggets:
What, exactly, is the difference between a songwriter and a composer? This came up in conversation last week, and I couldn't answer it.
I had my first phone interview, which was actually a sort of pre-interview. The college has hired a headhunting firm, and the firm is doing a first round of phone interviews, presumably as a sort of 'bozo filter.' I'll be severely bummed if I don't make it past the bozo filter.
In the tub, The Boy announced “when I fart, it makes my winkle go up. That's how I teach my winkle to raise its hand!” I had no idea what to say to that.
I heard from my brother and his wife this weekend. They're in that awful will-the-sleep-deprivation-ever-end stage with Little One. Hearing them talk about it, the memories came rushing back. I remember being so tired one night that I walked directly into a wall. From an evolutionary perspective, it's utterly amazing that anybody makes it past the first three months.
The Boy asked us why MLK was so important. It's kind of hard to explain to a five-year-old, since I don't want to inadvertently introduce him to the idea of racism. Bless his little heart, I don't think the concept has crossed his mind. I know he'll need to learn about it eventually, but I don't know if a five-year-old has the emotional sophistication to grasp the concept without getting self-conscious or otherwise weird about it. His classmates are incredibly multiracial, and the school has been artful about saying that MLK was about treating people the same, even if they look different (and leaving it at that). So far, that's pretty much what we've tried to do, but I'll admit that a statement as anodyne as that loses much of its meaning.
I blame the media for not previously altering me to the utter coolness of the following: Amy Rigby, Laura Cantrell, the Wondermints, and Joanna Newsom. Emusic.com is a fine, fine thing.
For Christmas, The Boy got a DVD of “Popular Mechanics for Kids,” which was a Canadian tv series showing how lightning worked, or how igloos stay up, or how airplane builders use wind tunnels to test resistance on wings. I put it on one afternoon out of sheer desperation to quiet TB. Lo and behold, it was hosted by a very young, but recognizable, Elisha Cuthbert (from '24'). Apparently, she's Canadian, and she knows how to build an igloo. They should have used that on '24.'
That's not to say that all Canadians know how to build igloos. Just want to stave off the inevitable flaming, there.
For that matter, not all Canadians have been on '24,' either.
I took TB to a planetarium show, and, true to form, fell asleep. In my defense, the seats lean back, and it's dark in there. I mean, honestly.
I wish I had fallen asleep during The Holiday,which The Wife and I saw over Christmas break. Verily, 'twas a steamer. In retrospect, the guy in the row behind us who spent five consecutive minutes crinkling cellophane for no discernible reason was actually trying to improve our moviegoing experience. Jack Black's career trajectory is starting to look like Janeane Garofalo's, and no good can come of that. And as much as it pains me to admit it, Cameron Diaz couldn't act her way out of a paper bag. It wasn't even campy-bad, like the old Batman tv show or William Shatner. It was just there-go-two-hours-of-my-life-I'll-never-get-back bad. Sleep would have been a far better use of my time. Or learning how to build an igloo.
Wonderful Freudian typo.
My MLK story for tomorrow's class concerns stopping at a gas station in MS on our way back north from TX via the Corps of Engineers river research lab. Circa 1966. How convenient! They have a spare bathroom, undesignated, for anyone to use. Learned that day that it used to be designated, and that racism was institutionalized enough for major oil companies to have two different floor plans for their stations: Yankee and Jim Crow.
I've just been thinking about playing the "I Have a Dream" speech for my class tomorrow.
I agree about Amy Rigby. And was the last person on my block to finally buy The Be Good Tanyas. And the Wailing Jennys.
It is illustrated and geared to a child's understanding of the civil rights movement.
Mrs. Carr is a dear friend of my in-laws in Montgomery--I have personally met her twice, and both times--I knew that I was in the presence of greatness. She is a quiet warrior for the cause. A wonderful woman.
I highly recommend the book as a way to introduce your children to the meaning behind the civil rights movement. Granted, 5 years old is pretty young--but your son seems to be pretty intuitive, and as such would grasp the concepts of "not treating people the same" etc.
Have a wonderful week!
Kim in Nebraska.
Granted not everyone up here knows how to live with the snow, but it's a useful set of skills to have.
(Due to some technological glitch, you dropped off my bloglines reader, and I didn't notice for more than a week. Travesty!)
My husband and I have regular discussions about language and its uses, the meanings of words, the importance (or insignificance) of things like the pronunciation of the word "ask" (I maintain that "axe" is not an alternate [read: acceptable, for example, for use in a job interview] pronunciation of the word but a mispronunciation [read: corruption] to which he usually says, "Baby, it's all good.").
I think that the word "songwriter" implies some sort of connection (however vague or ill-defined) to popular culture, i.e. music composed for popular or mass consumption.
The word "composer", however, transcends what is popular (and, sometimes by association, sometimes deserved, capricious, banal, lacking intelligence, gratuitous, coarse...) and appeals to that which, in us, is more "civilized" (whatever that means), e.g. an appreciation of the mystery in La Gioconda's smile and revulsion for anything having to do with Paris Hilton or Kevin Federline.
Of course, this begs the question: Where now do we place Aaron Copland and his rousing composition "Beef: It's What's For Dinner!"
Enjoy your blog. Thanks -
Staff, Four-Year Public Research University
Never let it be said the government never did anything for you. Snow shelter manual