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Sometimes Fun Floods In

Essie wrote a song on our bike ride today: “Sometimes Fun Floods into Your Day.”

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Tambourine and Sally

Dancing to Jingle Bells

Dancing to Jingle Bells

When it isn’t even November, but your three-year-old wants you to play Jingle Bells so she can dance to it, that’s what you do.

Outdoor Instruments

Outdoor Instruments



Took a long weekend, my first time away from Ess and Mykala for any real length of time, and went to Chicago with Nils and company for his bachelor party. We had a great time! This was taken at the Pitchfork Music Festival.

My dad always talked about how fun it was to travel, but that he missed being able to share what he was seeing with his family. On this trip, I found out exactly what he meant. Walking downtown Chicago during the gorgeous summer weather, seeing the lake up close, eating at Longman & Eagle, playing foosball at a 1980s style arcade, seeing just how big a city can be from the window of its transit. Makes you want to share it.


Fooba Nane

It turns out that if you play the 1999 hit song “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child to Ess while driving in the car, she’ll listen to it, and then ask you to play “Fooba Nane” again please. Then she’ll listen to it a few times in a row, and when the chorus says “Say ‘baby I love you’” she’ll go “no I LOVE YOU, Mama!” and it’ll become part of driving.


Another Song

When the music ends, since it is usually playing from a music library or a streaming radio station, Ess expects another piece to begin playing:

“‘nother hong coming!”

She says it to Mykala, she says it to me. It’s very sweet. I do not recall her once getting upset when we couldn’t make another song start playing. It might be the only thing Ess feels particularly patient about right now. Our very toddlery toddler.


The Most Beautiful Shots in The History of Disney is, of course, filled with plenty of amazing scenes of animation. But the music, my god, hook up some headphones and behold Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Flight from the City.


Paul McCartney, 1965: “Yesterday came suddenly.” I don’t know what that means, but if I squint, it looks like he’s saying time passes quickly.

So, yesterday: I got done with work and went to my parent’s to pick up Ess. She now knows how to put her little shoes on. They look like this:


Life and Death

Just finished giving Ess a bath and putting her to bed. Her adorable, beautiful pink cheeks were sweating a bit at the playground this evening, as it is in the 80s and quite humid. Not much wind. She ran and ran and we walked behind her, steering her out of harms way and keeping her from the things for which she wasn’t yet ready. Now, the sun is setting on this summer evening, one of the longest of the year, and I sit out on the patio, watching the sun set, next to our tomato plants, herbs, and kale. Everything around me is growing and alive and I love moments like this because I can actually convince myself that all the trouble of maintaining all of our stuff and our finances, all that stuff I trouble myself with isn’t what is important. This perspective above the forest doesn’t last long until I fall back to be blinded by the trees. Weekdays seem to be more foresty, weekends more elevated.


Belly Breathe

We sing “Belly Breathe” to Essie and she sings it back to us.

Sunny Outside

It’s a sunny 42° outside and Mykala graciously extended what was already a long week of parenting through this morning so I could go workout at Lifetime. I came back and jumped into the unfolding morning: Marge had juice spilled on her and Mykala had already washed her; she was damp and drying. Ess had dismantled a few areas of the house, and was ready to play more. Mykala had to leave. With the cutest little repetition of “bye” you could possibly imagine, Essie wished Mykala well, and then it was the two of us.


Grammys Unseen

Mykala and I participate in what we call “awards season” during the dark days of late mid-winter where on Sunday nights there are Hollywood and entertainment industry awards shows. It would be more aptly called “have some fun toaster-oven food and watch parts of a live event while reading.” The latter description has been accurate for a few years. This year, however, was quite a bit different. The Grammy Awards were on, Ess was in her Björn, and we had finished up “Grammy Pancakes” (see, gold records look like pancakes!). Poor little girl had just blown out a diaper and gotten a bath, and was looking adorable in her fresh, clean jammies. Mykala tuned into what can only be called a “momstinct” or a premonition, and was cuddling Ess particularly closely when our little baby girl started making sounds we hadn’t heard her make before.


Christmas Time

This evening, I’ve listened to ten minutes and eight seconds of the new Ben Howard album I Forgot Where We Were and it is spectacular.

We did something today I hope will become a tradition — the Saturday before Christmas (today), we went over to my parent’s house and had some Christmasy time: decorated the tree, had a little lunch together, saw Katy’s new townhome! (it won’t be new every year, but it was part of of the time), just spent some time where no one had to leave or be anywhere. Wonderful. That’s the part I miss about holidays from my youth: uninterrupted stretches of time with family, being over at someone’s house for six, eight hours at a time. I remember during one of these long holidays, probably 1991, I was playing with my new Lego (Technic 8856 “Whirlwind Rescue”), and my grandpa Bup and I were looking at the mechanisms that made the winch work and the rotors tilt. There’s not time for that when you have Christmases on both sides to drive to. So, I hope we can do this Christmas-Time for years to come.



Wasn’t feeling all that Christmas-y yesterday, but Mykala pointed out that it was not going to be that warm for a long time and maybe we should get the tree so Ess can see the trees outside in their natural habit. Wouldn’t want to raise someone who thinks Christmas trees come from asphalt lots in strip malls.


My Birthday

What a great birthday. I got to sleep in for real and then as if still in a dream, I opened my eyes to a perfect, sunny day. Not too hot or cold, and beautiful. Mykala and I had a spectacular brunch at Woodbury Café; she gave me a card that made me tear up as I read it. Then we went home and sat outside on our patio and actually caught the first sun rays of the year. We’re a little pink right now.



In 1999, I was exploring this new, amazing thing: the world wide web. I wasn’t an active participant in any social areas like Slashdot nor was I a gamer. Instead, I mostly kept to myself, fascinated as I was with how this world wide web thing worked. You see, growing up, if my toys had any screws on them, I would inevitably find the appropriate tiny screwdriver and open them up. I was consistently disappointed that there was little for me to do other than replace the plastic cover I had removed.


Steve Smith

Back in the day (2001), a British fellow named Steve Smith voiced parts of an album by a band named Dirty Vegas called Days Go By. This would be high school Alex listening to this, and he was proud to have liked it before the single became hugely popular when featured in a Mitsubishi Eclipse commercial. A few things about this. First, everyone knows that the second generation (95-99) Mitsubishi Eclipse with the lump in the hood for the turbocharger and just-short-of-ridiculous and therefore stupendously awesome hoop spoiler is the best Eclipse. The ones after are merely boring cars that happen to bear the name. Second, I asked for the Dirty Vegas album for Christmas from my then-girlfriend’s parents. In retrospect, this was a tremendously stupid idea because (1) it is very hard to describe your enjoyment of British house music to a family that primarily listens to country and (2) oh my god I swear it was at least 5 years later when I was cleaning out stuff and ran across this album again that I actually noticed the angle of the shirt on the cover:



When I was in the college dorms from 2003 to 2007, students could freely exchange music between their libraries: I’ve ended up with over 20,000 songs this way, over 2 straight months of music. Running low on hard drive space, I recently took a closer look at my music library. I’ve listened to 7,033 of those songs. The most number of plays on a single track is 3572—that is the pink noise loop from SimplyNoise I used to block ambient noise when I was in school and studying in noisy public spaces. Anyhow, in college I grabbed entire discographies from artists just because I thought I should like them. The Who. Bob Dylan. 146 Bob Marley tracks.