Monday, July 31, 2006

A Nation of Wimps: "Who do you Blame When Your Kid is a Brat?"

"...Blaming the kids is a lion of shame
You know exactly who's to blame:
The mother and the father!"

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Lyrics found here)

"I wish my parents had some hobby other than me."

The above quote is from the 2004 Psychology Today article A Nation of Wimps.  I just stumbled across it again, after reading it some time ago. Even though it is a few years old this article voices much of what I think is wrong with parenting today.

It is amazing to me how coddled, protected and damaged kids are by parents who are unrelenting in controlling what happens to their kids.  It revolves around over-protecting kids from mental and physical harm.  Yet, this isn't creating a generation of better, stronger, wiser kids.  "...Having overprotective parents is a risk factor for anxiety disorders because children do not have opportunities to master their innate shyness and become more comfortable in the world."

I always feel that kids are being screwed after reading about their over-litigious parent suing for some weak reason.  Just Google "parents sue" and you will see a slew of headlines, and many just leave me shaking my head.

How is it that generations have managed and thrived without the modern-day revelation that children need protection from everything!  For every advancement that we now live with: slightly better social gains of tolerance towards gays, women, different nationalities/races, medical breakthroughs like antibiotics, science... a long list of things that make life truly better, we seem to find ways of really screwing it up!

While me and the missus don't have any kids as of yet, there are things that infuriate us in what we read and see.  And hopefully that will translate into better parenting when it comes to that.  Will we have a fantastically happy kid, full of life, self-esteem and unlimited prospects?  It's hard being a kid, even worse being a teen, so there will be times when the kid(s) could be depressed, angry, uncommunicative, and undecipherable.

But, hopefully, we won't be the cause of more damage.  And hopefully, they will come out of their experience intact.  But, if it's a choice of not letting them have experiences for the hope of keeping them from feeling pain, then pain it is.  They will learn to live with stress, how to handle anger, learn how to put on a band aid and slow down when healing from an injury.

Kids will be out of parental influence more often than not, and while outside of their protective reach the best thing parents can do for their children is give them all the tools to deal with what life will throw at them.  It will make for a better childhood and eventually make for stronger, more resilient adults.  And that is the best thing a parent will be able to take credit for.

... where did that come from?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Love Means Never Saying "Ouch"... After the Meds Kick In

I really stressed my shoulders carrying some band equipment last night. So, when I ask my sweet wife for one of her nicely potent muscle relaxers, what does she say...

"Would you like a cocktail with that?"


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Friday Night: Harry Merry, Quintron @ The Drunken Unicorn

Now that my wife has finished up her time-consuming dissertation and is a "Dr," we can start having a life of movies, drinking and bands.  Last night that meant going to the Drunken Unicorn to see New Orleans' Mr Quintron and Miss Pussycat.  

Playing last, he threw down something fierce, covered in a sheen of sweat in front of an organ decked out with the grill of a Lincoln.  He gets a huge sound out of his sound system, deep organ swells and analog dance beats from his self-created Drum Buddy.  The second to the last song was "Witch in the Club " (mp3), which was more pop-singly than the rest of his set, but I loved it.  The mp3 sounds good, but Quintron is all about shock-and-awe performance and needs to be seen to hear the songs in their full sonic glory.

The second performer was the most bizarre musical experience that I ever had.  Harry Merry is a one-man keyboard band from Holland.  With his glazed-over confusion at sound check, apparent unfamiliarity with his keyboard stand and bizarre Dutchboy wig and sailor outfit, we couldn't figure out if he was real or performance art.  But his songs, crazed, child-like keyboard romps, were fantastic, bizarrely named ("The Appetite Gets Satisfied Each Bite"), and often too long.  Listen (and download) the indescribable on his myspace page. I'll be curious to see if the pictures I saw taken end up online, here's hoping.

The first band that played were Thee Crucials.  A solid and highly energetic old-school rock band.

Our first time at the Unicorn was good, the bands were all great and 22 oz. Sapporo cans a bargain. Future music plans include definitely going to Muse, and hopefully seeing Ladytron and Nouvelle Vague at the Variety Playhouse in September.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Quintron on Flickr

Mr. Quintron - Wikipedia

Harry Merry on Tocado Records

Thee Crucials on Myspace

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I (heart) Music

My love affair with music is one that came about partly due to my hatred of the musical soundtrack to my high school years.  Smalltown (population 1,400) fans of Def Leppard, Skynyrd, Van Halen and Iron Maiden had me searching for a musical oasis.  Instead, angry young Rob discovered Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Severed Heads, Scraping Foetus and Tuxedomoon, amongst others.  While maybe not the best thing to do, my parents let me DJ at a college station at age 13.  WSUC's huge music library introduced me to many a band that I loved, collected, and later left behind.  If none of these bands mentioned live in your mental jukebox, then no worries.  It was the sound of teenage depression and I'm sure Mom and Dad worried that the noise coming from the bedroom would drive me to suicide.  Which was close, but I lacked the nerve.

Forward fast to a happy, healthy v. 35.8 of myself and I still love music.  Now, internet enabled, many an hour has been spent surfing MP3 blogs, adding files to my iTunes library.  I haven't totally embraced the Atlanta local scene, but I do love the occasional Athens/Elephant 6 band that comes from east-of-Atlanta.  Despite the fact that file sharing has actually kept me off peer-to-peer networks, I still find myself making new weekly discoveries via the net.

Simple example, today I was listening to KCRW.  Heard a song that was just gorgeous, the playlist said it was The Bird and the Bee, looked for the song on Hype "discover, listen and buy music discussed on the best mp3 blogs," found it on Loudersoft and voila... I now have their lovely song "I'm A Broken Heart."  And before complaints of stealing come up, I'm buying this one hopefully tomorrow.

So, the internet is great, even when it comes to feeding my need for covers, be it bizarre (Soundtrack to "Grease") or inspired (Matthew's Celebrity Pixies Tribute). Seriously, Pixies fans, check the "Bee-Gees" cover of "Wave of Mutilation."

And Friday, we see Mr. Quintron. Yeah, music!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Me on

Sunday, July 23, 2006

You Know Who Is Very Wrong...

Kevin Smith.

Yes, it was an evening with Kevin Smith. Caught "Clerks II" today. After that it was drinks and bad service at the Highlander.

And after that it was wandering inside a neighborhood house that was for sale and being gutted. No one was home and the doors were wide open. So, there you go.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Westfield XI: More Things I Want But Will Never Get

Do I want a reproduction of a Lotus 11 for less than most econo-cars or do I want a Messerschmitt micro car replica that gets 75 miles per gallon?

"...Pre-orders for the Westfield XI are being taken with prices starting from US$17,995." Manik Technologies, LLC - North American Distributor for the Westfield XI

With the exception of a lack of cargo space, I can't think of the reasons not to get... both!

Thank you Retro Thing for showing me more things to covet.

Monday, July 17, 2006

"Really Spectaular Sex Research" in Atlanta

Who knew Emory University was such a hotbed of sexual exploration?  The reward for late-night TV surfing was finding something both smutty, educational, and about Atlanta. Doctor Drew Pinski, host of Strictly Sex with Dr. Drew, interviewed Emory University's Stephen Hamann about his research into sexuality and the human brain.  

The episode had married male/female volunteers get into an MRI for 30 minutes, and be shown 200 pictures.  From puppies and bunnies to sexually explicit images, the images were linked to specific activity in the brain.  When asked by her husband how his brain looked, his sweet wife responded, "it looks big and masculine."  Just the answer a guy wants.  

The show did have one unexpected bit of news for myself.  For "typically heterosexual" men, they have a "same-sex threat response" shown by brain activity in the primal areas of the male brain.  Pictures of nude men evoked the same unconscious reaction as if the men had seen a picture of a snake or an angry face.  This was even true of the Dr. Drew.  

Women do not respond this way.  Meaning, from this day forward that man on the show will be begging his wife for the threesome he always wanted but never dared ask for. And for that she has science to thank.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gumby in Atlanta, Dammit!

Gumby will be having his own retrospective in Atlanta. Starting the first week of August, the Center for Puppetry Arts will be displaying original props and models. Opening night will have rare movies and a Q & A with members of Art Clokey's family.

Original link & Gumby image from Cartoon Brew .

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

From the Center for Puppetry Arts' Museum Special Exhibits Page...

"Art Clokey’s Gumby: The First 50 Years - NEW!
Curated by Susan Kinney, Deputy Museum Director,
Center for Puppetry Arts
August 4, 2006 - March 4, 2007

Fifty years old and still without a wrinkle, Art Clokey’s famous green clay character, Gumby, is here, complete with entourage. The pop-culture icon that ushered in stop-motion animation dresses up in shining armor to join the Knights of the Roundtable, gets suited up to set foot on the moon, and visits his long-time friend, Pokey, the amiable red horse. Clokey’s creation has spawned more than 200 Gumby television episodes, a feature film, and a video game and has been an inspiration to a myriad of animators, including Tim Burton. "

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Weekend: ATL RLR GRLS

The only thing done for fun on the weekend was Sunday's rollerderby match at Stone Mt. I'm not sure, but we were guessing at least 300 people were there for the complete stomping of the Denim Demons by the Apocalypstix. Great skating by the winning team.

Why am I so liking rollerderby? It's local, cheap and great fun. What's not to like. Looking forward to the last two local matches.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Buildings I Want to Buy in Atlanta: 292 Moreland Ave, Atlanta GA

There's an old mansion on 292 Moreland that my wife and I have always commented on.  Mainly the comments sound like, "Let's buy that" or something to that effect.  Yesterday I stopped by the old building and saw a sign saying the "Wrecking Bar is now closed." Starting with that business name, the internet led me to finding all I could want to know about the Victor Hugo Kriegshaber Mansion.  

The realtor selling the property has a great downloadable PDF flyer (complete with neighborhood statistics and building floorplans) and the Atlanta Urban Design Commission has a detailed residential and commercial history of the building.

Finally, the latest chapter of the building was written about in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2004, and reposted on Candler Park's Community Bulletin Board.  Here is the all-too typical story of the building's last owner, Wilma Stone.

"'I had such grandiose ideas for an elegant restaurant or a bed and breakfast,' Stone says.

But that was before her rheumatoid arthritis became so painful, before both her hips needed replacing. Stone opted recently to close her architectural salvage business, an icon called the Wrecking Bar, and sell the place to someone who would renovate it."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Free Rollerderby Tickets: Sweet!

It pays to have WRAS's number on the cell phone.

I won tickets to Sunday's rollerderby. I was already planning on going, and now my wife said she would drive. So all the money not spent on tickets can now go to beer.

And my Muse tickets came in as well.

Summer in Atlanta is turning out just fine!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Girl-on-Girl Violence: Weekend Update

The Atlanta Rollergirls are having their July bout on Sunday, the 9th at Skate Escape. Anyone local to Atlanta interested? Leave a comment if you do. In addition to the roller derby, me and the missus have plans to hit the Rainbow Golf & Go-Kart that's next to Skate Escape.

Tickets can be bought at Skate Escape the day of the match, or in advance at the following places:

Criminal Records, located in Little 5 Points.
466 Moreland Ave NE, (404) 215-9511.

Play It Again Sports, located in North Dekalb Mall. 2050 Lawrenceville Hwy, Ste C-2,
(404) 329-2005.

Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party, located in Candler Park. 1645 McClendon Ave., Atlanta, GA

Sweet Java Brown, located in Kirkwood.
1994 Hosea L. Williams Drive, Atlanta, GA

Lily Moon Clothing, located in downtown Decatur.
431 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 1, Decatur, GA

The Masons & The Atlanta Museum of Design's New Show

Two completely unrelated things in one place!

Prince Hall Masonic Temple on Auburn and Hillard St., Atlanta, GA (Google Map). A few blocks away from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Museum of Design opened its latest show, "Design Made in Africa." The gallery shown above is the second floor gallery. It's a good looking show and admission is free.

285 Peachtree Center Ave, Atlanta, - Google Maps

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Nuanced Arguments: The Internet & Immigration

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and Atlanta blogger Daily Dose of Dave both have something in common, a wealth of knowledge on topics of interest to them.  Read and learn, about the Internet from Ted and immigrants from Dave.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially...

...the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."

Read more of the senator's comments at 27B Stroke 6 or listen to this mp3 for the previous comments and his arguments against Network Neutrality.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mustard Shot - Pic 4, originally uploaded by davidpbrown.

"If I were to bludgeon to death an illegal immigrant, should I not be allowed to walk away scot-free? I mean, if they weren’t in this country illegally my bat would have not been able to hit them.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not advocating the harm to illegals. I’m just trying to put all this stuff in perspective."

Dave has made persuasive arguments in the past about immigration issues and reform and in the post quoted above he continues to impress.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you Ted for trying to keep the internet tubes free of clogs and thank you Dave for showing how sporting-goods and immigration security can be combined into one fun activity.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Screen on the Green & Getting Some Green Fairy!

Good question, originally uploaded by mingaling.

Thursday night was spent with bloggers for the last Screen on the Green.  Piedmont Park was packed with people, parents and kids for Willy Wonka.

Amongst those in attendance:

Daily Dose of Dave
Lady Crumpet
Mostly Muppet
and Mr. P'body.

Also there were non-blogging partners/spouses, bloggers I am forgetting, and Duane's new girlfriend.  Turned out the most entertaining part of the night was not the movie, but Mostly Muppet's crazy/cute kid and her booty shaking.  She was loving Duane and Bobafred. How can one argue against procreation when there are kids that cute?  It totally cuts down whatever arguments I try to make when one giggly dance routine destroys my resolve.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker..."

Absinthe.  A notorious liquor with an undeserved reputation for causing hallucinations, madness and violence.  Long regulated or banned since the turn of the century in America, Africa and European countries, new E.U. laws are allowing for its revival. New Orleans chemist T. A. Breaux reformulated a recipe from a rare and unopened bottle, and has since started creating several different lines of absinthe.

I am working on getting some for myself.  Specifically a bottle from T. A. Breaux's Jade Liqueurs.  A friend visiting Germany for the World Cup has graciously said that he would try to find some while there.  While not illegal to possess in the States, the real stuff is not sold here, thus the international search.

Interesting video interview with the chemist, showcasing vintage absinthe preparation apparatus.

Wired Magazine Article The Mystery of the Green Menace