Prepping for the holidays. I'm in crafting mode, trying to get stuff done before tomorrow. Hmmm. I've got almost every present finished, but I was hoping to knit myself, Sam and O stockings before Christmas was upon us. I'm about halfway done with Sam's and that's it.

Looking forward to time together as a family. The week off between Christmas and New Year's is the one time we actually get a vacation together. This year, we're doing nothing, and I can't wait.

Ophelia is teething like crazy. Any day now, any day...

I'm working on editing some videos to post. But for now, some pics:


Our first real tree! It smells awesome. And both Sam and I had a lot of ornaments from our childhood. I have some from my mom and dad's families, and have started a collection for our own little family.

O is lying on a beautiful quilt made by the fabulous Jenny from Alaska (code name "Denali," although I keep forgetting to call her that)

Holiday aftermath


The Christmas show was great fun. Everyone was fabulous. I couldn't think of better people to work with in this town, nor a better cause. It was very cool to hear people I've never heard before, from voice to bass to fiddle. It reaffirms my faith in local music...

And, thanks to John Wendland and everyone for getting me back on stage after a 4-year absence. I miss it terribly! It really felt great, after the nerves began to subside...

I'll leave the critique to the professionals and direct you to Roy Kasten's post with photos and video on KDHX's blog.

"I have heard of your paintings too, well enough"


Our friend and local artist / musician / art shop owner Dana Smith painted a wedding portrait of us, and it has debuted on Dana's website, Asbestos Sister. Check out his work...

And, gratuitous Baby Girl photos:

With my sister Stephanie at Thanksgiving

With my mom at Thanksgiving, wearing the outfit Sam's mom gave her

With her new friend, Bob the Sock Monkey.
This was purchased when I enforced the "you chew it, you buy it"
rule at the Rock N' Roll Craft Show

And doing her two new favorite things...flailing arms and throwing!

Taken with my computer camera as we learned the ins and outs of Gmail's Video Chat.
Mutt's hiding in the back of this one, and BG is hiding from herself.



This first one courtesy of Jenny...

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

And this one because I just couldn't stop laughing...

Holiday Extravaganza


Come to the Fifth Annual Holiday Extravaganza put on by local band Rough Shop.

It's a benefit for KDHX, and yours truly will be performing "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Steve Carosello of Love Experts.

Friday, December 12th at The Focal Point in Maplewood. 8pm, 8 bucks. See the hyperlink above for more info.

I'm a bit rusty, so cut me some slack if I'm not so good...

BG is 4 months old!


Baby Girl is now 4 months and 1 week old. She had her 4 month check up, and she's still long (25.75 inches; 95th percentile) and lean (15lbs, 5 oz; 80th percentile), and has a huge head (90th percentile) which she definitely gets from her no-hat-fittin' daddy.

She grabs, she holds, she puts in mouth. She laughs out loud, and watches everyone with great purpose. Today she flew down Grant's Trail wearing her pink bear suit on her belly on blankets piled atop her stroller, but Sam wasn't stopping long enough for me to get my camera. She was thrilled. You can at least see the bear suit below. Some may think it's torture, I call it adorable.

This is baby girl in her totally mod dress and rainbow Punky Brewster-style Baby Legs, although everyone thought she was a boy that day. I thought it was appropriate clothing for our artistic adventure. We went to the museum to see the Pollock/DeKooning Action/Abstraction exhibit. Ophelia LOVED watching Pollock on video and cooed and ooed at the Pollock paintings. I told her I loved Pollock too. She was also very fond of the DeKoonings, but lost interest and started to protest as we moved into Lee Krasner and Arshile Gorky. She's got taste, my girl.

Ready for transport in her pink bear suit.

Smooching daddy at Casey and Lana's. We've started alternate date nights, so we watch Raleigh while they go out and they watch Ophelia while we're out. This weekend we were there on Friday night, and Lana was at our house with O Saturday night while we FINALLY went to see The Dark Knight. Woah. Seriously dark, seriously impressive. I'm just glad I still got to see it in the theatre. And, there was a trailer for the new Terminator movie which I am eagerly anticipating. I love Terminator, and I'll see anything with Christian Bale in it. So how great are the two combined? Awesomeness. Maybe Baby Girl will think so too, someday...

And now, an Ophelia update!!


It's been so long! Ophelia's devoted fans have been dying for a morsel of new information or a peek at a picture. So here you go:

First, election day! Ophelia was very excited, as was her Auntie Lindsay. I think you can't see it, but O's wearing an "I voted" sticker. Voter fraud. Don't tell.

Next, Halloween with a headless Grandma E!

And O's best friend Raleigh as a chicken:

And before that, Ophelia spent a few hours with Auntie Patty:

And momma returns from her meeting to a happy baby at Patty's place:

And Ophelia somehow gets super-baby strength and throws Mutt, and then looks kinda surprised with herself?

Daddy and O:

Mommy and O:
Grandma M and O:

Us, Ophelia, and her godparents, Pam and H.R. (my sibs):

She is developing so quickly. The coolest thing is that she straight-up laughs, particularly if you get up in her face. She thinks that's hilarious. Her hands are open most of the time now, and she can grab stuff and hold it, and of course put it in her mouth. She's got great head strength, and can sit up if you prop her against pillows or support her lower back. She eats her hands and fingers and sometimes sucks her thumb, particularly when she's falling asleep. She's REALLY vocal, and makes lots of noise. She's becoming more opinionated. She can sleep for 7.5 hours, but she doesn't do it every night. Today I bought her Sophie the Giraffe from France, and she totally laughed at her when I held it in front of her. Babies are weird. I think Sophie is kinda scary.

She's still unsure about the camera, which is why you see the slack-jawed look in many photos. I did take some video of her the other day, so I'll try to get that up eventually.

So that's the news for now. I'm good, busy with work and school and the Babe. I'll try to update more often, but at least expect an update after her 4 month checkup in a week or so. I think she's huge, so we'll get to see how huge she really is.

Oh happy day! (**Warning for children or the easily offended: Image at the end has bad language**)


I am humbled by Tuesday's victory. I was frequently overwhelmed with emotion that night, as I thought about all of the things Obama's election means to me.

First, a long awaited win for my party. Obama is the first Presidential candidate that I voted for who won. I believe in the ideals of the democratic party -- reducing inequality, increasing the safety net for all Americans, government-funded research (okay, that's a selfish one), change, hope, prosperity, progress, peace.

Second, a confirmation of the American Dream. I know the dream doesn't exist for everyone. For people born into poverty with limited opportunity, the Dream may not exist. For poor black children in urban ghettos, poor white children hidden in suburban neighborhoods, single mothers working hard to raise a family, women, young black men, Latina girls, rural kids, Native American boys...the list goes on and on...the Dream can be elusive. But what Obama's election means is that it's possible. Yes, Obama's story is a little different -- Harvard educated, raised by his white grandparents and his mom, he had opportunities that not everyone gets. But just the fact that he was elected means progress to me.

Third, change. I'm sick and tired of this administration, and I'm ready as hell for a new one. Let's take care of ourselves, build our reputation back up with foreign relations, and see what we can do about Iraq. I don't pretend to know the answers, but I'm ready for new attempts at solutions. Einstein defined crazy as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Let's try some new stuff.

Fourth, progress in race relations, and bringing race and gender back into the national conversation. We are still a racist nation. There are generations of people still alive who were socialized differently than those of us who are younger. They were socialized to believe that black Americans (and minorities) were inferior, that they cause trouble (and bring it onto themselves), and that they're generally part of the problem. I'm not making excuses for racism, but it's clear to me that my peers have a hugely different approach to race then our elders. We were raised in a different, more tolerant society. Enough so that we were able to elect a black President with the utmost confidence.

This final point is what often brought tears to my eyes. After weeks of watching the replayed footage from Selma, the Detroit riots, and Dr. King, we've come a long way from setting dogs and hoses on black people who stand up for themselves. Dr. King's dream is beginning to be realized. What an incredible thing.

I feel so heartened by what an inspiration Obama can be for young kids everywhere. This year on Halloween, we had two young black boys in suits come to the door. I asked them what they were. One said, "I'm the President!" and the other said he was Barack Obama. I bet that hasn't happened much before.

We still have plenty of progress to make. We still need to do something about the isolating racial segregation we see in urban areas. We still need to make sure black children can live in a place where they have the opportunity to get a good education. We still need to make sure that black and minority children aren't living in substandard housing, made to be the primary victims of environmental contamination, and have choices about what they want to be when they grow up. We still need to change the fact that blacks are much more likely to be poor, uneducated, and incarcerated. We still need to change the system so that black children and youth are given the opportunity to succeed as much as white children are.

I think were getting closer. Can we do it? Yes we can.

My mom said she felt bad for Obama cause so many people are expecting so much of him. And she's absolutely right. He's gonna have to do not just a good job but a fantastic job, both because he's biracial and in spite of it. Some will wait for him to fail so they can say "I told you so." But he does need to do a good job, because that's what we expect when we elect him. We're all counting on it. But if he fails, it's not because he's black. Maybe it'll be because he has less experience. Or maybe, it'll be because it's a helluva hard job to do. I wouldn't want it for anything.

There's a lot of pressure, yes, but I think he's up to it. This guy is fo' real. He's serious, unflappable, humble. We've got four years to find out, and it'll probably take four years just to fix this messed up country.

And now, please pardon the French, but I think this sums it up:

Baby Girl: America's Next Top Model Edition


Speaking of photography, Mandy was in town a bit ago and did a marvelous photo shoot with Baby Girl. She did some really cool black and white ones and some artsy cropping, but for some reason I can't upload those. But here are some of my favorites:

The photographer and her muse (and Mutt):