Sleep began as a concept for my 6-year-old daughter. Last November, she asked me to record an album for her to listen to as she fell asleep. The first track I recorded at the time was what became “Rapid Eye Movement,” and she immediately declared it a failure… it was too creepy for her to fall asleep to, she said.
I quickly realized that any album I made about the concept of sleep was going to veer off into dark and mysterious territory not suitable for peacefully lulling a 6-year-old off into dreamland. And maybe that’s the point. Sleep is not just peaceful rest. It’s a dark and strange landscape where our minds confront their deepest fears and desires, where our subconscious comes out to play… or to wreak havoc. Sure, there are also moments of peace and bliss, but sleep is many different things, sometimes all at once. This album seeks to capture the essence of sleep in all its complexity.
After my daughter wrote off the album, I largely did too. Or so I thought. But over a period of months I accumulated a grab bag of musical sketches and partially-complete tracks, composed primarily late at night on my iPad as I lie awake in bed. Then in mid-June, my 9-year-old son drew a surreal picture he called “The Super Weird Face.” It had a strange, dream- (or nightmare-) like quality. Immediately I knew it was the cover art for the album, and it inspired me to collect all of these stray musical ideas I had been working on and turn them into the final collection of 17 tracks that comprise the finished album.
My one sentence summary is this: The album is a sonic journey into, through, and out of the landscape of sleep and dreams.
Please have a listen and let me know what you think! (If you really like it, you can also buy the CD for $8.99 from Kunaki.)
I’ve spent the last year-plus tweeting the musings of my 4-year-old daughter. Tomorrow she becomes my 5-year-old daughter, so this seemed like a good time for a compendium of her “greatest hits.”
I need to acknowledge the great iPhone app Momento, which made gathering a year’s worth of tweets possible (if still not quite as easy as I would have liked… I still needed to manually pull them out of a text file using TextWrangler, and I didn’t bother to reorganize them from its default reverse chronological order). Momento is a great app for automatically turning your tweets, Facebook status updates and blog RSS feed into an automatic personal journal. You can also write private entries directly within the app. It’s fantastic, and well worth the $2.99 price tag.
Here we go…
4yo daughter: What’s the car alarm for?
Me: To scare off someone trying to break in.
4yo: It should just make a ghost come out. Monday 21 March 2011, 12:22 PM
4yo daughter just sheepishly approached me and said “I accidentally did this.”
“This” being writing her name on her leg with a marker. Sunday 20 March 2011, 9:08 AM
I love what comes out of kids’ mouths sometimes. Last weekend we joined the YWCA, substantially to be able to take the kids swimming whenever we want (or whenever they need to burn off some energy). We’re going to go back again tonight, and my 5-year-old son was explaining to his 2-year-old sister why we won’t need to spend as long when we get there before getting in the pool as we did the first time:
That was just for our remembership. But now they remember us.
Cute. Dangerously close to “Family Circus” territory, but still cute.
I have to admit, I’m no great environmentalist. I’m a typical wasteful American, but I at least try to be aware of how wasteful I am. I avoid blatant acts of waste, and in true Midwestern Lutheran style, when I do waste I am overwhelmed with guilt, even if it doesn’t actually stop me from doing it.
But then I see something like I did today. My kids are watching Go, Diego, Go! and then on comes a commercial for Dixie paper plates. The overall message of the commercial is that if a mother really cares about her kids, she’ll use Dixie paper plates, pretty much for every meal, so that instead of spending time doing dishes, she can have “extraordinary moments” with her kids. I’ll try not to fall off my high horse here, but I think it’s shamefully irresponsible for Georgia-Pacific to promote this kind of egregiously wasteful behavior as both the duty and the desire of anyone aspiring to be a good parent.
In my previous post (written an hour or so ago) I mentioned car dealerships calling me.
That’s because, as I prepare to start a new job in the suburbs, I find I must, with regret, say goodbye to light rail transit and return to the world of commuting by car. Since we presently have only one car (the 2000 Civic I bought the last time I started a new job in the suburbs), and with the added scheduling complexity of life with kids, it’s time to get another one.
Thinking “family,” we had been eyeing the Subaru Forester for quite some time. It has lots of room to haul kids and their attendant necessities, and it’s not a minivan or monstrous SUV, which we’ve tried to avoid. But then we took a really close look at one for the first time and fell out of love. The salesman mentioning, almost in his first breath, the “significant depreciation” they suffer the moment you drive them off the lot didn’t really help either. So we kept it in mind but decided to take a drive through the lot of a nearby Honda dealership.
We’ve owned a total of four cars in our dozen-ish years of marriage, and they’ve all been Hondas. So with Honda, we know what we’re getting, and we like it. But we don’t want another Civic, and we don’t really want an Accord. We considered the Element and the CR-V, but then we saw…
The Fit is it! (The only thing I don’t like is “The Fit is go!” But I expect slogans to be stupid.) So unbelievably small (looking) on the outside, but get inside and it’s like the tents at the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (OK, maybe I shouldn’t admit how easily that reference comes to mind.) It is truly a marvel of design. There’s just about as much passenger and cargo space in it as in the Forester, but it is small and low and unobtrusive (which is how we like it, contrary to many Americans these days, it would seem). And it gets an extra 10 miles per gallon. Besides, it just looks cooler. I mean, come on. You can take a picture of the Forester in every picturesque city on the Adriatic that you want, that doesn’t make it look any better. (Even if that seaside village seems to be straight out of Project Gotham Racing 2. Am I right?)
So, the search is on. I’ve talked to a few dealerships in the area. Soon the test drives and the purchase and the financing and the payments. And the driving!
Ah crap, I wanted to surprise my parents with it though, like they always do to us when they get a new car. Dad, stop reading this! Too late.