Friday, June 23, 2006

Summer Is Ready When You Are

(I don’t think I’m ready for summer, really; but I’ve no choice, and neither do you.)

My mother’s baby gift to us was a pack-and-play – like a playpen/bed you can fold-up/disassemble and take with you wherever you go, for newborns – and last night we moved it from the living room into our bedroom, positioned on Alecia’s side of the bed. We moved the red Ikea chair out of the room and shifted the nightstands, bed, and lamps away from the windows to accommodate this tan-colored furniture (that isn’t the proper word surely but I’m having trouble arriving at a better one) – there are three little bears hanging from an attachment for Malia to bat around or just stare at, whenever she gets here.

And we’ve come to crunch time, these crucial last eight weeks where for all intents and purposes our little bundle of joy could enter our lives at any time; this is the configuration our bedroom will be in until we leave the condo for good in late September. Someday I’ll be mercilessly boring Malia with stories about life prior to her ability to retain memories, and I’ll say something like “We didn’t always live in this house – right after you were born, we resided for a time in this condo in Baltimore County” at which time I will present digital photographs as evidence of this and Malia will marvel, as children will (I know I did when my parents told me we lived in D.C. when I was a toddler) at the fact that anything existed prior to their coming into being. When introducing her to my friends, I’ll become accustomed to saying things like “Uncle Bill” or “Aunt Sanjeevani” or “Miss Pearl” other authoritative variations, just as I call my godmothers “Miss Edith” and “Aunt Ena.” When as a youth I did something I wasn’t supposed to do, I was warned “Qui Dow, Raymond” by both parents – a benign but effective threat whose provenance and meaning I forget now. It will tumble unconsciously from my lips at least once in the next several years, I’m sure. The cycle – of what exactly, I can’t say, of life? Of parenthood? -- continues, and I observe it in quiet awe.

Malia has already shown up in a few of my dreams, tiny and pinch-faced, swaddled and cradled in my arms; the recollection of her face is a blur. Which attributes of ours will she have? Will she inherit our worst qualities, our best ones, or a mixture of both? Who will she become? How will she play well with others? Can we protect her from a world that seems to be more and more morally bankrupt? When she enters this world, screaming, naked, tiny fists clenched, will I be able to hold back tears? For years I never believed that I would be a parent – that fatherhood was something I wasn’t meant to experience; thankfully, I was dead wrong.

(Forgive the awkwardness of all of this – I’ve never been much good at writing well when writing about myself.)

And, in other news: We have a second baby registry now, at Toys’R’Us; Jef (er, Thom) discovers that to make it onto Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, a would-be contestant must know too, too much about Barbie’s extended family; Doug Coupland is still a lucky idiot; John Dwyer echoes DMX circa 2000 or so – “Shut ‘em down/Open up shop” – careerwise, sorta; man, I miss Chuck Eddy being at the Village Voice more now than ever; two of my favorite records of 2006 so far are named after a “body of water” (I believe) and a child’s writing instruments; amazing what Google discovers (I think I had this link years ago but lost it); as Doug Mowbray used to say with a cracked grin: “Be leery of Timothy.” (This article actually filled in a great many blanks (didn’t even know they were blanks) for me as I’d no clue Leary was ever a Harvard professor of psychology before fringing out into the countercultural LSD evangelist/guru the public consciousness remembers him as today – also didn’t know dude got pinched, broken out of jail, or shuttled off to other countries to escape prosecution.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

“For tracklist and salutation, please visit...”

Greetings! If you came to Voguing to Danzig for the expressed purpose of finding this message, then you’re in possession of one of the twelve copies of MALIA’S AMNIOTIC SUMMER DAYDREAM in existence. Before I go any further, I’d like to thank my dad for graciously taking the time to burn these – it’s deeply appreciated. This compliation is intended primarily as a tribute to my unborn daughter, even though the subject matter of the twelve (there’s that number again) songs doesn’t necessarily point to childbirth or childhood or fatherhood or anything; there’s no underlying theme or parable to be found (though if you uncover something I didn’t intend, feel free to expound in the comments section). Just some music for you to listen to at your leisure – and a collection for Malia to dip into at whatsever point she finally does become interested in pop or rock or what have you and subsequently determines that dad’s CD/mp3/holographic mind cube earbud stash ain’t cool – a way for me to share something of myself with you at this particular moment in my life. I strongly doubt that everything here is to everyone’s taste, but it’s my sincere hope that I’ve managed to include something you’ll like or love to the point of wanting to learn more or some aspect will engender internal discourse or alter one angle or another for you. Listening to the finished product on the way in to work I realize that the overall tone here is somewhat darker than originally intended; this CD is probably better suited for contemplative evenings at home than for highway driving on sunny days with the windows rolled down and sweat stinging your eyes.

Enjoy – and thanks, as ever and always, for being such a great person/friend/parent/spouse/compadre. You’re eternally phenomenal, but you already knew that.

1) HENRY JACOBS “Guitar Lesson”
2) DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE “Soul Meets Body”
3) MATMOS “Stream and Sequins for Larry Levan”
4) TOM VERLAINE “Meteor Beach”
6) THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS “Gold Lion” (Nick Zinner remix)
7) RADIOINACTIVE “Tarantulas”
8) SUNN O))) “Cursed Realm”
9) THE MINUS 5 “Retrieval of You”
10) THE ESSEX GREEN “Don’t Know Why You Stay”
11) ISLANDS “If”
12) SETH KAUFFMAN “Black Biscuit”

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'm Not Aware Of Too Many Things/I Know What I Know If You Know What I Mean

Nick's doubtful 'bout Dipset, I parlay a three-year old trip to South Carolina into a T.I. record review with limited success, Matt Fluxblog gets all Associated Press on a Thom Yorke listening party, and here's a massive, scam-detailing Clevescene cover story by Hoffman that ran the week of his wedding. Here's my first-ever book review for the Baltimore City Paper with more to come soon; I'm quite enjoying the partial shift of critical energies from one medium to the other. (In fact, I need to spend some more quality time with Cellophane as soon as I finish this post.)

Malia, Alecia tells me, is always in motion -- I have the feeling that it'll be difficult to keep up with her once she's up on two legs. That seems a long, long ways off, but then again it feels like it was just yesterday that we found out Malia was en route and now there's a little more than two months to go until she arrives, a little more than three months until we move to Pennsylvania. Still no definite job prospects; at least I've been able to grab plenty of freelance writing. Small victories, small steps.

I have a feeling that my co-workers will be throwing me a baby shower in the very, very near future -- too many whisperings and hints around here today. In case I didn't mention it, we have a registry at Target. (Which isn't a hint unless you want it to be.)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

God Bless America!

Or, if you prefer, When Patriotism Attacks. Nationalism Gone Wild? I dunno, but I get squirmy when people have to go and plaster American flags all over everything -- it's like a passive aggressive ploy or something.