Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holiday Cards - the Curse of Parenthood

I have never in my life sent holiday cards. I can barley get out a thank-you email, much less a thank you card. The idea of sending a "Happy Holidays" card is foreign to me. Putting a picture of myself on one and sending it to everyone I know is even stranger.

Don't get me wrong. It's sweet that some one would take the time to address each of their friends to wish them a happy holiday. There's no better time of year for it. But when I get them from friends and family, I feel torn. Am I supposed to reply? Does this warrant a return-card, phone call, or email? Is it rude if I don't send one? What are the moral implications of the pre-printed picture postcard vs. a Hallmark greetings card? What made me so special that I get a card, or does everyone they know get one?

Now that Lilah is here, my outlook has changed. I get why parents send a picture of their kids to all their friends and acquaintances. You might never get a chance to catch up with some of these people and show off your kids. I don't get so much why a single person would send a holiday card (maybe it's something their parent's did?), but it's still sweet.

We might start sending cards just to keep up with the rest of our newly-wed/new-parent friends & family. It's all up to Harley, as I can't be bothered. This is very much a girl thing anyway. Guys don't have time for Holiday cards (it's NFL playoff time!).

Friday, December 22, 2006

More Dark Crystal Info

The Muppet News Flash Blog has a bunch of amazing news on my favorite movie:

- There will be a graphic novel series released around March, 2007. The first will be titled "Legends of the Dark Crystal #1: The Garthim Wars" and is a prequel to the 1982 film. It will showcase many established characters (the Skeksis, the Mystics, Aughra) and introduce many new characters (Larh and Neffi, two young Gelflings).

- The Jim Henson Company are planning a 2-D anime-style series. It will be a prequel, showing life before the crystal cracked, what happened when it did crack, how the Gelfling race was eliminated, and a lot more of the Dark Crystal. The show will premiere on Cartoon Network's "Toonami"; a date hasn't been set.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Panorama of Everest

Check out this panorama from the summit of Mt. Everest. You can see what the view from the top of the world is. It's amazing!

If you're like me, you've been watching the reality show that tracks a team of climbers trying to make it to the top. It's unbelievable what people will go through just to make it there. A human drama in an inhumane setting - I really hope they put this on again next year.

The program is riveting and surprising, particularly in how matter-of-fact death and frostbite become. It also shows that getting to the top is the "easy" part, as you're already exhausted when you start coming down. You have to turn around before you get tired, which can be tough after 6 weeks on the mountain trying to make it to one spot.

This is a great website, with panoramas of some of the most amazing places on Earth. Make sure you check these out:

- crater of Mt. St. Helens
- Machu Picchu
- Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Rocky VI

I was appalled when I heard there was a new Rocky movie coming out. But this article may have changed my mind.

Stallone was apparently the driving force behind this. Even his wife tried to talk him out of making it. In the movie, everyone tried to talk Rocky out of this one last fight. Art imitates life.

There's a line in the movie that sums it up. Rocky says "I'd rather do something I love badly, than to feel bad about not doing something I love." You have to respect that! I suddenly want to see this movie.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Rockin' The Baby

Lilah was fussy Tuesday night. Harley had been with her all day, so I tried to calm her down, but she was not feeling it! I laid her down in the bedroom on the bed and she stopped squirming for a bit. I ran and got the acoustic guitar and started playing Beethoven for her. She hated it.

Then I started singing, and she loved it. She stopped crying and started kicking. Turns out it's not the music she loves, but the voice behind the music. I played her all the stuff I like, mostly Phish. I had to make sure the focus was on my voice and the melody, not the notes. It was a quick adjustment but an important one. It's the difference between kid's music and songs for a more adult audience. The voice matters most, the human communication.

I had to make sure to play the songs softly so I didn't scare her. Phish songs are pretty much for kids anyway. I find that most good songs are simply and melody fpocus. Beatles fore Babies is hugely popular becuase the melody is the focus. Nirvana was clear that they wanted their songs to be kid's song.

It was so much fun. It lasted 15 minutes, but that's pretty good for a 1-month old! It was something I'd been looking forward to for quite some time (playing guitar for my child). Can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Back at Work

This is my first week back. It picked up right where I left it. I had 7 voice mails this afternoon while I was out at an all day meeting. I have things from this meeting that need to be done by Friday. I already have things that need to be done by Thursday that I can't get to. I'll be in many meetings Wednesday to keep me from doing any of those things. On top of all this, so many people are out of the office that it's impossible to get anything done in the first place.

This is my everyday. It's a fast-paced, over-achieving rat-race where the wheel you run on keeps getting faster and smaller and the cheese is nowhere in sight. I thought that this was due to my current situation, but I'm starting to see this as a symptom of the current business culture. Everything is faster and time is the most valuable commodity no one can find.

I'm trying to do a few things to help myself:

1. Don't let is get to me. It's up to me to make sure I'm happy.
2. One thing at a time. Focus on the task at hand. Don't bring your computer to a meeting so you can do 2 things at once. I openly end up doing both things half-assed.
3. My schedule is my own. I can only be 1 place at one time.
4. Remember why I'm doing this. Come home to Lilah and Harley and leave work aside.

I try, but it's hard. I can say "this will have to wait," but sometimes they can't. If that happens, then what? I don't know. That's where my anxiety comes from. Too much at once. I don't see a solution in sight. The best I can do is deal with it, which is not easy when I get 4 hours of sleep a night.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Year of the Comeback

I'm suddenly struck by how many actors are having comeback this year.

- Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) of Doogie Houser, M.D. fame is back and finally respectable. It's ironic and somehow fitting that a gay man is revitalizing his TV career by playing a womanizing yuppie - and doing a damn good job of it. I love that show!
- Alec Baldwin is now a comic actor. He seems to have built on his SNL performances and made the move from drama to comedy. All of the sudden, being a Baldwin isn't so bad (but only if you're funny).
- Patrick Dempsey is probably the most famous comeback star. While he'll never outlive Loverboy in my eyes, he's suddenly a runner-up for sexiest man alive.
- John Stamos is back from his exile on Broadway and staring in ER. He's apparently very hot now, with a new A&E TV movie that shows him off. I knew he was known to be good looking, but much like Patrick Dempsey, he's handsome with a vengeance.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fraggle Rock: The Movie?

Holy sh*t!! Ahemt Zappa, son of Frank and brother of Dweezil, is making a feature-length film of the Henson classic. With CGI effects to a minimum, the film will be produced by Henson's daughter, Lisa, and directed by his son, Brian.

Ahmet Zappa might seem like a strange guy to champion The Fraggles, but he comes from a family that's built a legacy on turning the strange into art. There's a clear connection between Frank Zappa and Jim Henson as visionaries. He's also been writing songs for years and has a children's book out, "The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless."

I am sooo taking Lilah to see this movie.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lilah's Astrology Chart

I love astrology. Not that I believe in it or use it to help guide my life. I don't even check it more than once a month. But I do love it as a system to understand people and personality types.

It has a total of 12 signs, but it is really a series of 6 polarities. Each sign has an opposite. For example, Cancer is the sign of home and family. Capricorn, the opposite, is the sign of career and public life. By seeing the differences between the 2 and understanding the opposition, we better understand the essence of each.

My beautiful little girl has the following:

Sun: Scorpio - the sign of inheritances and legacy. We are concerned with the things in life that you can't touch, what you leave behind. The opposite is Taurus, which is the sign of possessions and material. With a Scorpio Daddy and Pisces Mommy (both water signs), there will be a lot of emotion in this household, but a lot of love and empathy.

Rising: Aries - The sign of the self and the individual. Headstrong and bold. The opposite is Libra, the sign or partnerships and relationships.

Moon: Libra - Opposite of the rising, this will help balance out how she feels with how she acts while creating a dichotomy between the 2.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Britney's New Image


Still, knowing 2 kids already came out of there kind of takes the magic away, don't cha think?