Friday, April 10, 2009

Really, I Don't Think You Wanna Waste Your Time

My brain is a bit fried after a busy couple of weeks, as well as some tough situations we are dealing with. So, y'all mind if I share a few random, all-but meaningless, disjointed thoughts with you? Sweet!

1. I was driving home tonight after having dinner with a friend, and the CD player changed over to an REM CD. It's a "Greatest Hits" one that I bought at Borders for half price awhile back. I have fond memories of REM--I associate it with my preteen years, I think. Anyway, I'm listening to the songs, skipping through to the ones I know, and then I realize. I really have no idea what the HECK any of these songs are talking about. Man on the Moon? The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight? I mean, let's be honest--it's like they took one of those poetry refrigerator magnets and just strung some words together. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, MICHAEL STIPE? And can you just get over yourself, anyway? Why have we all pretended that we get these songs? Is it just me? Perhaps it is my issue--as you know, I tend to feign competency.

2. I have loved getting to know the other moms who have kids in Ava's class. They really are a lovely bunch of women. The other day, one of them brought me some maternity clothes to borrow. I hadn't even asked, she just thought to do it on her own. I find that, after a few years here of being "new on the scene", that I really appreciate when people go out of their way to make me welcome. Often, people who have always lived in one place just aren't used to thinking about what a newcomer might need. Does that make sense? Anyhoo, I was touched by that.

3. I'm pretty sure I'm out of the running for Mother of the Year again. Last week, I took the kids out for ice cream after picking Ava up from school. We dutifully went to the bathroom, did the potty thing, and washed our hands before eating. It got to the point though, where it was beyond time to get in the car and go home, and I was rushing the kids to that end. (Warning: what follows may be an overshare.) Well, my Nate is still getting the hang of this whole potty thing, and after we get to the car, get in the car, get in car seats and all buckled up, he chooses to announce that he has to go #2. In fact, he has already gone #2 some in his underwear. (Sorry--I did warn you.) You woulda unbuckled him, unbuckled Ava, grabbed your diaper wipes and hustled your cookies back inside to clean him up, wouldn't you? Well not me! I told him that we'd roll down the windows and that he could finish when we got home. Yes, I made him sit in it. Figured what's done is done, after all. Thankfully, Nate didn't seem to mind so much.

4. You know, I really wanted to have a list of four things. Three seemed too little, five just beyond my reach. But I am racking my toasted brain, and can't think of anything that would fit in the spirit of this post. Perhaps you would like to submit a #4 of your own? Don't be intimidated--as you can see, my standards are pretty low. Anything you have to add will certainly elevate the level of content. So, please be my guest.

Next time, I'll talk a little about Easter and the Resurrection,and the power of hope and stuff. And not about poop. Well, maybe a little about poop. You just never know.


  1. i've done my fair share of listening to R.E.M. and pretending to know what's going on, so i'll say a few words on the subject. i have no sources to cite and am making this all up, but here goes:

    i think the key to "alternative" lyrics is that meaning, if there is any, is contained within lines and not within the song as a whole. sometimes, though, there is meaning in the song as a whole even though individual lines don't really mean anything. 'man on the moon' is obviously some kind of tribute to andy kaufman, but what it's trying to say i have no clue and most of the references go over my head (if that's what they are).

    many times i am able to ascribe very personal meaning to lines of songs that i know was not intended by the author. this is because the artist, perhaps unintentionally, has not claimed the meaning of the song or made it obvious enough to be indisputable. i like this.

    i think this is part of what gives alternative a high replay value, as opposed to say country, which often has more straightforward lyrics (i'm not dissin' the whole genre- this is not always true). if the song is too easily understood, though, or tells too cohesive of a story, it quickly becomes irritating, even if it was clever initially. nonsense lyrics are part of a rich tradition of american folk (or so i read in an elementary school music book).

    i think stipe is aware of all this and doesn't really put too much thought into every single line. i think fans tend to idealize songs much more than the artists intend. you certainly wouldn't have been the first pre-teen girl to "get" songs on a level no one else could. i think that's more about the emotions evoked by music than about actual interpretation.

    all that said, stipe does write some good lyrics. on that 'in time' album that you were listening to, i really like 'nightswimming.' "the photograph reflects/every streetlight a reminder" is a very succinct way to describe how reflections disappear and reappear when driving at night, and i can just see the old pic of his girlfriend on his dash, stretching across the windshield as he drives along...

    anyway, i'll stop now at the risk of taking myself too seriously.

  2. Um, yes, what she said. Definitely. Actually, I'm not grown up enough to admit that I don't get it, I'm still all "yeah, REM, they speak to me".

    Now, onto the poo - that I can deal with. You know what, not so long ago Nate was in nappies - he sat in poo. It's what babies do. I've been ready to leave the house before now and thought "hmm, suspicious smell, I'll deal with it when I get there". The time to deal with poo is not just after you've left a restaurant and buckled everyone into the car. Home is a much better place. You're an incredibly good mummy (I base that fact on the feeling that I'd like you if I met you).

  3. Mom Jeans... oh, ouch (with a hefty dose of hilarity.) And shoulder-muh-pads? REALLY?? Are her kids what, like, heading off to college?

    But good on you, for not spurning them entire. One wants to respond to the spirit of the gift, indeed.

    Re REM... yeah, I'm with you. But I still LIKE the music.

  4. ps. Will there be photographic evidence of you in the shoulder pads and mom jeans? ;)

  5. You should have tried listening to them in the "Radio Free Europe" days -- not only couldn't you figure out what the words meant, you couldn't actually decipher what they were about 70 percent of the time.

  6. OMG, mom maternity jeans! What Fraught said--how old are her kids?

    Or what I bet is that those maternity clothes have been making the rounds for 20 years. Probably she is several people removed from their original owner. Kind of a Dread Pirate Roberts thing.

    If you do nothing else this week, post pics of you wearing the clothes! Plus we want to see your belly.

  7. Thanks, melon--you're right, I know--it's the overall feel of the song and what it evokes, I suppose. And you certainly know more about them than me!

    As for the maternity clothes...this mom is older than me, but her kids are about the same age, so who knows? Love the Dread Pirate Roberts analogy though, Beck!

    And bsouth--thanks for that! Glad I'm not the only one. And you're right...we're not that long out of nappies, and um, I've been known to let that go awhile, too!

    As for the photographic evidence, Jase says I gotta give the people what they want, so I'll see what I can do over the days to come. :)