Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Songs and Laughing Kookaburras. And it's hot.

It was a really warm day here today. After we got the kids in bed, with fans aimed right at their little heads, Jason and I retired to the front porch. Just like they used to do in the old South in the summertime. Except, instead of whittling or shelling beans, we ate ice cream and listened to songs on Jason's Iphone. I think times have changed for the better, don't you?

We sat as it got darker out and listened to a few kookaburras going nuts in the bushland across the street. They really do sound like they're laughing hysterically. It's in moments like these that I go, "Oh yeah. We live in Australia." The temperature had gone down to a bearable 29 outside (about 84 F) but it was still hotter in the house. We stared up at the leaves of the gum tree in our front yard, watching for any possibility of a breeze. I was willing those leaves to move. They were totally still. Every now and then, one of us would say, "Look--they're starting to move a little bit!" But the breeze would die away.

So we distracted ourselves from the heat by listening to songs that remind of our college days. I must tell you, if you need to be cheered up at all, listen to "Stickshifts and Safetybelts" by Cake. Do you know this song? We were just listening to it and tapping our propped up feet on the porch railing. I can remember driving around Dallas with my college roommates, listening to this song:
"Stick shifts and safety belts, bucket seats have all got to go
When we're driving in the car, it makes my baby seem so far."

Here's an idea. Think of some chore you need to do that you've been putting off. Maybe you need to unload your dishwasher. I always need to load or unload my dishwasher. It is all that I ever do, actually. Whatever it is for you, click on this link and go do it while the song is playing. I'm totally serious. It will make you smile and you'll get stuff done at the same time. You see how helpful I'm being?

Nate could've used a happy song earlier today. Tomorrow is Ava's birthday and we went out to dinner tonight and let her pick the restaurant. She wanted to go to a local Chinese place so off we went. Nate did not want Chinese food. He did not want to put his shoes on. He did not want to get in the car. He did not want to get out of the car. He declared himself to be "Mad Nate" and wore this exaggerated upset face through dinner. Any question that was addressed to him he answered with a growl, "I'm mad."

Witness his rage. Everyday we ask the kids to tell us their two favorite things about the day. It's just a way to get them to talk a little bit about what's gone on. When we asked Nate he said, "My first favorite thing is bein'mad[one word]. My second favorite thing is bein'mad. And eating." Since I feel exactly that way about 3 days out of 5, I think we can safely say he's a son of mine.

Do you have a song that makes you happy? Or one that makes you forget that it's too hot and the backs of your knees are sweaty and you're a bit irritable. I'm not asking for me. It's for a friend. A friend I know who is hot right now.


  1. :D That Cake song did make me smile...

    These are both also good for chilling me out. (But not guaranteed to actually make you feel, you know, cooler)

    The Way I am by Ingrid Michaelson

    and Golden Days by the Damnwells.

  2. I am cracking up at Nate and bein'mad! But that Cake song is fun. I used to love them. Do you know/remember that I once went to a Cake show at a little place in downtown P'cola with Mike Lee? Where in the heck were you?

    And okay, my instant mood lifter these days is "Save it for Later" by the English Beat.

    When I hear this, played loud, I start to boogie all over, and then soon I need a designated driver.

    I mean I know it's hot there but that is so weird. So weird.

  3. If college days are what you're going for, here are some good ones:

    Smash Mouth "Walking on the Sun"
    Barenaked Ladies "One Week"
    Dixie Chicks "Wide Open Spaces"

    And because I just can't resist given that you are in a British colony..."Wannabe" by the Spice Girls. lol...

  4. Maybe an obvious choice, but...

    Course, I'd trade that in a second for a video of Amy Lippoldt singing the "Daisy on my Toe" song.

  5. And I thank God today that video cameras in phones and youtube did not exist in 1997.

  6. I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but that Miley Cyrus song "The Climb" has sort of become my personal anthem...but as far as a happy song? I can't think of one off the top of my head. But that Cake song was pretty sweet!

    Oh. Want cooler weather? Come visit us in's only been about 20-22 here! (and nothing poisonous!)

  7. Sorry I can't help you with songs but I am terribly terribly sorry and feel so silly that I forgot about Ava's "actual" birthday (as Rebekah would put it!!!! She is going to be upset with me when I tell her tomorrow morning!!!

  8. Thanks for the happy song suggestions, guys--off to listen right now!

    Beck--I didn't know you saw Cake!! Why wasn't I invited?

    David--you're right, nothing makes one happier than the daisy on my toe song!

    And Rosemary, don't worry! I still haven't given you your bday present! :)

  9. That Nate is a doll ! Why is it that his mad/angry face makes me giggle and smile? As for a happy-can't keep your body still song, my personal fave is "American Pie" by Don McLean. It's old, but has a certain pep to it that I love. I cannot listen to it without singing along. I have even been known to dance a bit to it. Love this post !