Enter year… uh… eight?

Amidst all of the baby raising and whatnot of last year I completely missed the 6th “blogiversary”. And since I already broke one annual tradition, might as well say goodbye to another one and mark the occasion on the correct date. Well, the chosen date.

Believe it or not, this site has now been going for 7 years and has over 1000 posts and almost 1900 comments. It has survived the ups and downs of multiple moves (mine and servers), a marriage, and a baby. While I’ve never been as regular as I’d hoped, it’s still done a pretty good job of keeping track of my life and interests over that time. Not bad.

So here’s looking forward to year 8, which is bound to include more missed promises of increased content!

St. Vincent… swoon

I do not hide my various indie crushes, but one in particular is worn on my sleeve. The delightful Annie Clark, better known by her stage name of St. Vincent, ignites feelings in most hipster hearts – and I am no different. Here is her complete performance from KCRW’s indispensable Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Be still my beating heart. Someday I’ll get to see her perform live… le sigh…

(thanks to St. Vincent)

Why does Heroes suck?

If you follow my ramblings outside this here blog you may already realize that I made the big mistake of catching up with Heroes. Yeah, yeah, I realize you all stopped watching by the end of the second season – good for you. Me? I needed real confirmation that the writers never got their heads out of the asses. And boy did I get it.

So right now I’m watching the second episode of the final season of Lost – another “sci fi” show with an excellent first season that suffered through some down times – wondering how they managed to avoid the same pitfalls. And then it hit me – Heroes tried to be Lost, while Lost was content being itself.

While the writers of Lost have spent plenty of time (too much on occasion) developing characters, they realize that the driving force behind their show is the mystery of the island. As convoluted as the show gets, we’re all just sitting on the hypothetical edge of our seats waiting for the final pieces to the puzzle to be revealed. And that’s what keeps the show moving forward and, more importantly, keeps the audience interested.

Heroes, on the other hand, found such success in its first season thanks to the intrigue of watching people discover their powers all while moving forward to a singular goal. While there were some mysterious elements (e.g. “The Company”, who was really good or bad) that was all secondary. Yet they decided that, after a season of horrendous teenage love angst, those should be the driving force. But how many times can you really debate over whether or not Sylar is bad? (He is) Or whose side HRG is on? (His own) And its not just those characters, any new characters (or old ones brought to the forefront) get the same exact treatment. Did anyone, even for a second, buy that Nathan and HRG’s government agency was a good idea for anyone? Or that this stupid carny character was anything but evil? No. So why pretend that it’s a mystery?

And this is skipping over the fact that the writers seem to think intrigue is developed simply by characters not telling each other anything. Or that a pseudo-lesbian “subplot” was thrown in out of nowhere. Or that Sylar is practically unstoppable, yet every time he is stopped the “heroes” let him go. Or any number of other ridiculous plot devices bogging down what was such a solid idea all those years ago…

Will I watch next season? Maybe the same way I did the second half of this season – online while skipping through about 80% of it. But I’d rather they just cancel the series right now. Who cares if the finale left the door open for the next chapter. Does anyone believe the next one will suddenly stop sucking?

I love my 50mm

I have been rather inactive in my pursuit of photography of late. Sometimes you just gotta switch lenses to see the world a little differently and get some inspiration. Other times you just need to step back a bit and gain some new perspective. My personal favorite lens (Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM) has a tendency towards tight shots thanks to its focal length (coupled with a digital back):

This is her 80s retro look

Beautiful? Of course. But after 800 shots or so, they can all start to look the same. But then you step back, and a whole new photo comes into view:

Showing more of our house has the potential for great embarassment

And now we have something else. The true beauty of a prime lens is that it forces you to be active in taking a photograph – none of this twisting and turning to get the framing right, you have to move your body. It makes me feel more like I’m taking a photograph and not just pressing a button.

I’ll miss this when it’s done

Kayleigh has been teething for the last… oh… 6 or 8 months. Maybe not continuously, but it sure feels that way. As soon as one tooth makes its way through, about 3 or 4 follow right behind. By my calculations she’s gotta have at least 40 or 50 in there. This has to end soon, right?

Alright, this latest bout appears to be on the mend, but if not for the Motrin – the patron Saint of parenthood sleep – I’m not sure our sanity would have made it through. Not only have the sharp objects poking through her gums been driving her bonkers, but her recent attempts at staking a claim to some amount of independence has occasionally made it difficult to sympathize. I am not necessarily a strong man, so let’s just say that it’s a good thing she’s too young to understand certain diatribes that may have been spoken out loud.

As much as I curse the day she began making diaper changes a stressful activity (after 18 months they suddenly bother her? wtf?) and look forward to a time when she’ll sometimes answer with a “yes” instead of the constant barrage of “no”, the reality is these things just aren’t that big of a deal. Already my memories of 3 AM wakings with her curling up in my arms while I skip another 3 or 4 hours of sleep for her benefit have developed a sense of fondness. Even those horrible nights in Florida when she rarely slept more than 2 or 3 hours straight and forced us to watch Brainy Baby videos in the middle of the night seem sweet today.


Like I said, this is the easy stuff. As much as parents grow anxious to ditch the diaper days, how many are excited by the prospect of dealing with the teenage years? I’m not about to romanticize the overwhelming lack of sleep, but how many of those really difficult life situations Kayleigh faces in the future will be solved by rocking her for an hour in the middle of the night? Do you think some Motrin hidden in apple sauce will get her through junior high?

Last night I came close to losing my cool during another butchering of our bedtime routine, but reminding myself that she’ll get over these new teeth soon enough and a couple bad nights really aren’t a big deal certainly helped me in the face of tonight’s disaster. We’ll get through this together – one look at that face and how can there be any doubt?

What are you looking at?