Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Various pictures of Zoe over the last few months.

Zoe's birthday (June 21st).

Zoe falling asleep at a Rockies game.

Zoe eating a tube of diaper rash prevention ointment (Desitin, not Boudreaux’s Butt Paste®, for more info, check out .

Zoe playing with the fridge. (Did you know that fridge has a "d" but refrigerator doesn't?)

Zoe sits on floor, believe it.

A recent picture of Zoe.

If for some reason you want more pictures, go to

Also, I've announced it pretty much to everyone, but just in case you missed it, we got another one on the way. Due date is March 13, 2009! Don't know boy or girl yet, give us a month or so on that one.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Songs with Strange Uplifting Energy

Songs with Strange Uplifting Energy (some calming, some toe-tapping):

"I'm Happy, She Said" - M83
One of my favorite songs is "I'm Happy, She Said" by M83. It's a great song. I used to give Zoe her middle of the night bottles while listening to it. It's beautiful, it builds nicely, but at the same time, it requires and inspires and little bit of patience.

"Nutshell" - Alice in Chains
I like their original band name better "Alice and the Chains." It's a complete meaning shift to shorten it. This is a sad and somewhat unnecessary song that came about because of an alienation of some sort. Strangely, the singer seems to understand a lot of his feelings of injury. I'd be inclined to say that the song is not just a product of ignorant rage or blind self-indulgence. But has an actual element of transcendence in the actual music. Layne Staley was great, he's another dead artist, but we notice that artists never die when performing, just when they have too much time to themselves.

"If It Be Your Will" - Leonard Cohen
This is kind of backhanded thank-you note for life. I'm not christain or jewish or buddhist or anything, but I love all people, and I treat their religions as I treat any poem that's sacred to someone I love. I may be loved or hated for it, and I'm not necessarily proud of where I stand with it, but its where I find myself when I'm really truthful to myself both emotionally and intellectually. This song is addressed to his G-d, and he says if you want me to be quiet, I'll be quiet. If you want me to sing out, I'll sing out. But the fact that the song exists and is being sung pretty directly indicates that he's received his order. So it becomes kind of a love note or a thank you note of some sort, and at the same time a commitment to surrender. Anyway, that's what I think when I listen to it.

"Headphones" - Bjork
This is an avant garde song. And to be honest, it's actually a perfect description for what happens when I listen to the first song listed above (The M83 song). She listens to a new tape with new sounds and it just opens up her mind. and intermittently she sings, "these headphones, they saved my life, your tape, it lulled me to sleep." If you've ever fallen asleep to calm alienlike music you can totally relate to this. It's kind of like a form of meditation. I like to put this song on my mp3 player, lay on my back, close my eyes, and just calmly listen. It's a great song.

"One More Cup of Coffee" - Bob Dylan
People are really likely to write abstract descriptions of Bob Dylan songs. You basically can either 1) write abstract blurbs in an attempt to weave a poor man's version of the song, 2) quote lines verbatim as if you understand them or 3) come clean. I come clean. What the fuck? Hmm, A girl rejects someone. I guess someone has been groomed to fight. We got a family of gypsy psychics. And then there's the prosaic coffee and the mysterious valley below. Death? War? Just a valley? Who knows. Perhaps there's a direct meaning and reference in here somewhere that I haven't properly researched. Either way, It's a great song and I am soothed by its mystery.

"That I Would Be Good" -Alanis Morisette
I have no business liking this song. It's clearly written by a young women for other young women. I can just pretend that I'm researching good art to pass on to Zoe when she's of age. What a lie. I like this song. It's honest, and extremely straightforward. She's got a beautiful voice. It's got a flute solo. I really like this whole album a lot.

"Plucky's Lament" - Bela Fleck
An instrumental. It feels like I grew up on this song even though I heard it for the first time 10 years or so ago.

"Going Home" from the Local Hero soundtrack (Mark Knopfler)
I love this song. It's so unobvious (not a word, but I use it regularly). The whole album is built off of this beautiful and calm riff. It's amazing. The theme actually picks up and carries you off on the back of some angel of 1980's saxophone music! Don't let yourself get distracted by the cheesiness of the happy ending. It's just a vehicle for relaxation. You'll smile when you listen to this song.

"Race Among the Ruins" - Gordon Lightfoot
Bob Dylan said that when he hears a Gordon Lightfoot song he wishes it would go on forever. Lightfoot carries tunes in such a soft egoless (another non-word) manner. You almost forget there's a person actually performing the song. And he carries it so lightly and smoothly along. It's a great song, and the lyrics are good too.

"Attics of My Life" - Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia is America's wacky uncle. He's always got that goofy smirk underneath that beard. He writes humble songs. I don't know who wrote this melody, or who's idea it was to get the potheads to harmonize on it, but it worked!! It's so simple and easy. It almost feels like they're making it up as they go, and just picking out the same lyrics by happenstance. I love hippie music. I'm always extremely aware of its hippiness, but it never distracts from the fact that its an awesome song. I could have seen this song debuted by a bunch of grungy old men with toe tickling beards on America's got talent. They'd get a standing ovation, smile their rotten tooth smiles, and then get booted off the next week. Hey buds, get back in the van, I need to talk about the next song now.

"Run Free" - Hanz Zimmer
A song from the "Stallion: Spirit of the Cimarron" Soundtrack. Really! This is probably as bad as Alanis! This song is the quintessential triumph of the human spirit song. Play it before a test, a job interview, a thumbwar, whatever? This song will get your blood pumping like no other. I like to play it so loud that I can't hear myself scream. That's the proper way to play it. Play it when you're dishing out some rocky road ice cream. Play this motherfucker. And when you're done, buy the dvd and watch that horse fly!

"Hide and Seek" - Imogen Heap
Nothing can really follow that last song. But this is just a collection, not a playlist. This song has some weird effect that kind of steals the show. The lyrics are a little too forced for me. But that's fine. It gets oddly rhapsodic at the end and kind of sparks your mind a little bit. I got addicted to it at one point.

"Shine" - Joni Mitchell
This is an unbelievable song. It has an unbelievable ability to unpack stress and frustration. It's a pretty simple song in which she basically prays for the best and worst of mankind. It's got a "Leaves of Grass" quality to it, with a little bit more truth about some of the ugliness of it. She's got some lines I don't really agree with, but that's fine. I really love this whole album.

"King of May" - Natalie Merchant
An elegy for Allen Ginsberg. But really for all the virtues that Allen supposedly embodied. To her, he definitely did. You can feel the real emotion that she feels for him in this song. It's not an overtly sad song, as "River" is. But a celebration of his life. The strings build up slowly and perfectly.

"The Teacher" - Paul Simon
The version of this song on the Paul Simon dvd in Paris is incredible. The lights are perfect. The sound is perfect. The audience is perfect. He's got that ridiculously awesome-looking guitar player. He looks like he rose out of some sort of mist with his robes and his guitar. His fingers are so long, it looks like he can wrap them three times around the fretboard. Anyway, the song and the performance are magical.

I better stop here. These are just some songs that have a strange way of sneaking on to most of the mix-CDs that I burn. They are great songs. I thought I'd share them. I can totally understand if you give 'em a try and hate them. That's just the way it is.

Anyway, I gotta work tomorrow and it's 1:04 am. See you later!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Zoe at a Year

Well, Zoe's a year old now. Her eagerness to master the daily actions of life is both inspiring and frightening. Innocence is so blissful, she's losing it everyday. Maybe not innocence, but ignorance. She's overcoming hundreds of mysteries every day. Her sense of wonder is slowly replaced by a harsh and swift understanding of the ways of the world. The sense of wonder will never be completely erased, but it is sad to watch it slowly covered over with knowledge. On the flip side, it's awe-inspiring to witness Zoe's little sponge-like mind slurp up all the objects and ideas around her.

Zoe is wandering her environment on foot now. She can walk and she can run. She's wobbly yet she moves with definite intention. She knows the drawer that holds the silverware. She knows where her rocking horse is. She knows how to open and close the toy box. She knows all these things. She's got several words as well, everything from mommy to daddy to ball to balloon to bowl to all-done to wow to hi to bye and a bunch of others as well. She's hilarious at times. Sometimes during her most uninvited diaper changes she yells "no no no why? why?" It's sad, but also very cute and funny. Usually diaper changes are uneventful.

The past month has been crazy. I took Zoe to a family reunion in lake Tahoe all by myself. Of course, we weren't alone when we got there, but it was a really challenging trip there and back. I plan to share my experiences about it later. In mid June, we had 8 visitors sleeping over at our house from out of town. Jess' parents, Doris, Jess' aunt, uncle, and nephew, and Jess' two grandmas. It was a great time. On the 21st we had a large party of like 30-40 people that came over for Zoe's birthday. Everyone besides the grandparents and Jess' dad went home on the 22nd. Jess' dad stayed a few more days to help rip out the tile in the kitchen and replace it with hardwood floors. He left before we really started installing the floor. It took that long to rip out the tile and sure-up the floor and tighten up some of the cabinetry. When he left, Me and Jess and Jess' grandma installed the new hardwood, Jess' other grandma watched Zoe. It was a good time and we are really happy with how the project turned out.

On July 2nd, Jess, Zoe, and her grandmas flew out to Indiana to attend a wedding. Jess was there for 4 days before she had to fly out to Sacramento for some special work-related training (AVID program). Zoe went with Jess' parent to Virginia. I missed Zoe a lot, as I was home alone for a week and a half. That was surreal, because it's been a long time since I've been home alone. I enjoyed the first few days, then it got lonely and boring. Anyway, after Jess' training, she flew back to Denver, and then Jess and I flew out the next day to the Virginia/Washington DC area. We stayed there from the 12th to the 21st of July. We had a good time in Virginia. There were many challenges though. Most having to do with Zoe being sick. She eventually started feeling better and the trip was capped off with a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg Virginia. It was basically a hotel with a giant waterpark inside. It was a really easy and fun vacation for kids. Jess' brother and sister in law and their two kids came along and we all got to spend time together.

Anyway, That was the last month. We had a solid month of winging-it and were very happy to get back home.

Anyway, That's all for tonight. I am having trouble sleeping. It's 1:45 AM and I have work tomorrow. See ya all later.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Zoe at 9 months

Wow, I was hoping to keep this blog more up to date. But time does what it wants regardless. Anyway. Zoe has had a great couple of months. She's really moving now. She can walk with just one hand helping. She can also kind-of walk using only her fake lawn-mower toy (though she only can stay up for a about a half of a minute before she plops down on her butt). Anyway, she's really going for it.
Her personality is really starting to shine. She laughs a lot, and loves making other people smile and laugh. We went to Virginia for Easter and she got everyone grinning and giggling. I can tell, she's gonna have quite a boisterous personality. Over easter vacation she got to meet her cousins for the first time. They are Maddox (3.5 years, and Xavier 2.25 years). She can't hope to keep up with those two. They are both really energetic and physical little boys. Maddox is basically a blur. You're lucky to get a minute of time with him before he literally sprints off to a new location. He's a great kid. He's got a really great heart, and he loves to wrestle and play ball and do all the little boy fundamentals.
It's 1am right now and I better get to bed. But here are a couple pictures from easter.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Zoe is 7 months plus change

I can't believe Zoe is seven months old already. We've had so much fun with her in the last month. She's been sitting up real well for about a month (now she never tips). She reaches out to touch everything in sight. She's been barreling around the house in her walker. We try to limit the walker time, but she loves it. She flies around at the speed of sound chasing the cat. She cries when the cat (Neeka) escapes down the "kitty-hole" to the basement. She moved on to the next level of foods. Which includes horrible meat flavorings (horrible judging by her reaction to them). Last tuesday, she had her flu shot. I took the day off with her just for fun. We had a great time together. After her appointment, I took her to the mall. The mall was open, but the stores weren't. I stumbled on a secret society of women!! There were probably 30-40 women with their babies taking walks around the mall with their babies in strollers. Apparently, that's where the moms go to get out of the house early in the morning. Since I was a dude, and there was plenty of room in the mall. I went around the circle in the opposite direction. The babies waved hi to Zoe, and Zoe just analyzed them. Eventually, Zoe fell asleep and I got a bit drowsy myself. That's when I decided to have a healthy snack (Cinnabon and a large coke). I bombed myself with sugar. Then I just took Zoe home and we played. It was a great day. I can always get her to laugh with either 1) a raspberry on the belly, 2) a 321 getcha getcha getcha countdown. She's a sweetheart.
It's worth noting that my absolute favorite time with Zoe is when she falls asleep when I'm holding her. My second favorite is taking her to the pool. Another thing I love to do, is take her picture.

She's my sweetie. Jess and I are having such a great time with lil' Z. We have two nicknames for her 1) Captain Tuddlesworth and 2) Little Z.