March 27th, 2004


Was That Spring I Felt ?

It's always a novelty when we get spring weather in New England when the calendar says “spring,” but no less welcome. And it set the tone for the rest of the day.

O and I had breakfast with S0 at his school. After we all chowed down, the children in the class serenaded us with “Mr. Golden Sun” (Raffi) and “Here Comes The Sun” (Beatles). Having been made sunny, O and I then walked back home to wait for O's friend to whisk her away to scenic Albany, one of the sites for the NCAA Hockey Regionals this year. I found another job that looked good (the company is in the old Lotus Development building), then went to what I thought was going to be a short semi-interview with another place in Kendall Square. It turned into an hour-long conversation. The company has that funky MIT startup feel and I think I'd be a good fit.

Then I hopped the Red Line to Chinatown for dim sum with two friends. I stopped back in Harvard Square for a few minutes with one of them (mmm, iced coffee from Tosci's), then headed back home.

The next mission was to find that Goldeneye that eluded me yesterday. I took the kids to Great Meadows, and they had a great time running around. S1 was very excited about the red-winged blackbirds. We heard a strange burbling sounding from the reeds near the path, but it was no bird, but a muskrat. Come to think it, it did sound just like that sound effect in that Captain and Tennille* song. My binoculars were too weak to get a good look at all of the many ducks that were swimming on the water, but fortunately there's a rather powerful scope at the top of the observation tower at the refuge parking lot. I'm pretty sure that I found the bird I was looking for, but I might just go back again to make sure. Many of the male ducks were peforming their little “hey look at me” moves for the ladies. Mating dances on Friday night; 'twas ever thus.

During dinner at Bertucci's in Lexington Center, O started SMSing (text messaging) my phone from Albany:

O: I am not very happy
Me: Is Maine losing ?
O: 4 to 1.
O: Make that 4-2. Now 4-3.
Me: Keep scoring !
O: It's tied !
In the end, Harvard managed to blow a three-goal lead in the third period, then lost 5-4. One more win and Maine is in the Frozen Four. Go Blue ! (Except, next time, please don't give us a heart attack.)

Postscript that threatens to be longer than the entry it augments: I just read this page more closely, and something really freaky struck me. A “Brad Laner” mentions he was in the all-kid band that played “Muskrat Love” on the TV show Kids Are People Too (and here's the evidence in Quicktime). Now, I know about a “Brad Laner” who was in Medicine, a 90s alternative band that owed a lot to My Bloody Valentine but took the shoegazer-distorto-pop concept a few steps further. Laner has a solo career and connects to another band called Failure which I really liked. He also mentions that he was a DEVO fanatic at the time, and gives Daryl Dragon props for playing with the Beach Boys (nods to the Beach Boys are now de rigeur for all indie hipsters, especially if your name is Sean O'Hagan). So maybe it's the Brad Laner from Medecine.

Of course, he has to go confuse the issue with this very strange bio from his web site:

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Anyway, if he played with the Captain, wow.
* I bet you thought I'd never mention the Captain and Tennille here, would you ?

An Open Letter To Today's “Power Pop” Artistes

You know, it might not be as contemporary as screamo or able to move units like the latest half-naked pitch-corrected quasi-jailbait fembot, but I still appreciate you people out there who are trying to write classic pop songs. But, listen, you've got to tone down the potty mouth. I can't put your album on in the car when the kids are around, no matter how rockin' it is, because of the occasional (and admittedly well-deployed) cussing contained therein. And you've even done songs for kids !

And there was the time I was listening to our recently born-again commercial “alternative” station a few weeks ago when they were playing a crunchy pop nugget that prominently featured the word for female dog in the chorus. WHY ? Oh sure, it feels good to tweak the nose of the FCC, but a lot of parents aren't going let their kids listen to this, even if they don't mind it themselves.

Maybe you think you're keeping it real. I bet even Herman's Hermits could curse a blue streak in private, but did they put on the longshoreman's act on record ? NO. Leave that gank to Eminem.


an advocate of Good Clean Fun

into battle

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The weather started out warm and variably cloudy today. S0 went on playdate while S1 and I did the grocery shopping, and took a long walk around one of the ponds at Great Meadows. Some kind soul let me confirm the Barrow's Goldeneye sighting with his scope. Yeah, someday I'll get a Swarovski and I'll be hardcore like that too.

We also witnessed perch (fish) valiantly trying to swim upstream into the pond, half out of water, sometimes exhausted on their sides, struggling for oxygen, swimming back, and trying again. The context is that the refuge maintainers have installed barriers, including a very shallow spillway from the pond out to the stream, which are designed to keep out the carp – large, exotic fish that can do severe damaged to the ecosystem of the refuge.

We took it easy in the afternoon, when it turned dark and threatening but never rained that seriously. I heard “I Beleive In a Thing Called Love” as we left dinner at Chili's and it never sounded so right as it did there. After picking up this book as a remainder at Barnes & Noble, I gave the kids a bath and put them to bed.

Meanwhile, O is headed home, happy that Maine won in overtime. See ya in Boston, humps.