Friday, December 28, 2007

Hello, Stranger

A couple of weeks ago, we attended an infant care class and the teacher said to think of a newborn as a stranger. They are unfamiliar with the world that parents live in. The one they knew was dark, compact and reassuringly full of whooshing, fluid noises. The new, bright, occasionally quiet, colorful, spasmodic place they now reside in is a jarring change to the biological home they were just evicted from.

They are strange to themselves. Arms that were held against their bodies now can flail about. Twitches and reflexes have them wriggling about without intention. They will know how to manage these parts and pieces, make sense of what eyes and ears tell them, but not for the near future. They are learning machine, just newly turned on.

Most importantly, to my understanding, they are strangers to everyone around. As familiar as they may seem, you have only been introduced to each other recently. You don't know what they like, dislike, what their moods are like, and so on. "Get to know me," should be stamped on every kid.

We have a mysterious kid of our own. This one promises adventures, despair and joy. Already, I find her quite charming. So, I say to her with the tenderest of voices;

"Hello, Stranger."

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Baby FAQ:

D.O.B 12/26/07 (two and a half weeks ahead of due date)
7 pounds 7.5 ounces.
18 1/2 inches.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Yes To This Nutcracker!

I have a particular dislike of the Christmas holiday. It wasn't due to some childhood holiday gift request never received. It just mainly stems from the double barrel attack of stunning bad traffic around the nearby mall and the inevitable, craptacular Christmas music. The traffic situation will stop only when the shopping feeding frenzy stops. However, when I find good exceptions to the musical offerings, it almost redeems the holiday. The Vandals did a great punk version of "Dance of the Sugerplum Faries," which is a favorite cover of mine.

This year, the Austin-based Invincible Czars released their take on Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. It kind of sounds like the Secret Chiefs 3 doing Christmas music, which would be a good thing. I may be hunting for this when I go buy the missus some gifts. I really should buy her something.

Some live performances of this release can be heard on a lengthy interview with the band. A short and entertaining video of the band performing can be seen here.

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Free MP3s at Christmas music blog FaLaLaLaLa Christmas with the Vandals: Oi to the World!: Music: The Vandals

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lights in the Heights - Houston, TX

I know the pictures aren't fitting in the blog correctly. Anyone with template expertise is welcome to provide advice.

And now, on with the lovely holiday pictures from Houston's "Lights in the Heights."

Dragon Santa, originally uploaded by laanba.

Seal Pup, originally uploaded by leafy tenement.

Flickr Pix: Ole Jesus & Houston Boot

Ole Jesus, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

Houston Boot, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gov't Vacation - My Robot Friend

"I went away on a government vacation,
it was the best time that I ever had.
Shipped me back home from a secret location,
my legs came back later in a plastic bag."

I'm just loving the song Robot High School, a sweet synthsation by My Robot Friend. That, and Lily Allen's cover of Mr. Blue Sky. It's a perfect combination of her accent and my love of both ELO and covers in general.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Houston Archival Maps, 1891 & 1912

More map fun from the Library of Congress' American Memories site. I really like their panoramic maps section. Houston has two maps online, an 1891 in color and a 1912 black and white.

This map faces south so that explains why Washington Ave is below Glenwood Cemetary.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Signs 'O The Times

Roll-n Bar Sign, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

It's not always easy finding the good neon in Houston. I get photo-crazy when I see a good sign. I may ask that one of my birthday presents this coming week be a drink at the Roll-n. Tonight there was a big black Rolls Royce in the parking lot. Maybe the owner or a big spender chilling with the peons. They used to have cheap shots every time the train went by, but a review on City Search says that's no more. Still want to go there.

Roll-N Saloon - Houston, TX, 77027 - Citysearch
Houston Music and Nightlife : Houston Bars and Clubs: Dive Bars
Roll N Saloon in Houston, TX - AOL City Guide