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Here’s the 4-11

Mary J. Blige ain’t having that.

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10-Point Analysis of Babies vs. Tattoos

Oh my, over at The Ugly Volvo is just the most wonderful point-by-point comparison of getting a baby versus a tattoo, which uses as a framework the top 10 (usually unsolicited) pieces of advice people give you about getting a tattoo. You need to go read this right now: “10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER, EVER, EVER GET A TATTOO ACCORDING TO MY MOTHER (but having a baby is fine).” This article is so full of perfection that I can’t really add to it, except to say that I’ve had both a baby and tattoos, and the tattoos are far less maintenance. Also less maintenance: my dog. Which is why I also love Ugly Volvo’s An Open Letter to My Dog After the Birth of my First Child. Enjoy!

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9″ of Bowie

Duet on their 1994 tour

Duet on their 1994 tour

“I’m Afraid of Americans” is a song David Bowie wrote with Brian Eno that is about Bowie’s horror at American culture taking over the world. His apprehension doesn’t stem specifically from the qualities of American culture so much as from the concept of homogenization—really, this song could have been applied to England during its empire days, or to Rome for that matter. (I like how at the end of the song, he worries that “God is American.” So some evangelicals would have you believe.) Anyhoo, I found out that a rough draft of this song appeared in the movie Showgirls, hilariously enough, although at that time the line read “I’m afraid of the animals” (??). Later, Nine Inch Nails got a hold of it, remixed it, and made it a hit. Then they made the music video together (which you can see below), with Bowie making his way around NYC looking stylish, urbane, and slightly concerned (so, just like Bowie on any given day) while being chased by the glowering, menacing Trent Reznor (so, just like Trent Reznor on any given day).

These guys toured together in 1995 and formed a bond, which is not surprising, considering both are consummate, independent-minded artists. Here’s a wonderful account of that tour, during which they merged their bands and sang each other’s songs. During that tour, Reznor turned to Bowie for help with his drug addiction and describes the advice he received as “shamanish.” (That sounds about right, doesn’t it? David Bowie is an otherworldly creature, after all. He should really have an advice column.) When Bowie released his surprise album (The Next Day) last January, Reznor wrote a lovely essay in response, giving the album the ultimate praise of “when I’m sitting alone to listen to music, I reach for The Next Day.” Aw, that’s so nice! These guys! By the by, Nine Inch Nails released Hesitation Marks last September, and it is my favorite NIN in years; you can hear it in its entirety on Spotify or Youtube.

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The 8 Sins of Bull Durham

1. Lollygaging the ball around the infield.
2. Lollygaging your way down to first.
3. Lollygaging in and out of the dugout.
4. You know what that makes you? A lollygagger!
5. Thinking: don’t think; it can only hurt the ball club.
6. Announcing your presence with authority!
7. Striking everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist.
8. Holding the ball so hard. It’s an egg. Hold it like an egg.

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Zero 7′s Destiny

You know, I’ll forget about this song for a while and then I’ll hear it again, and then I have to listen to it twice. Some  of Zero 7′s songs can be a little too chill, but this one is just a pretty song, and I like the take on crossing back over time zones as if it were magical: “On a clear day, I’ll fly home to you; I’m bending time, getting back to you.” Enjoy some Destiny today!

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6-Line Poem

You don’t see too many freestanding sestets out there—usually the 6-line stanza is paired with an 8-line stanza (the octave) to form a sonnet. Emily Dickinson, though, always did her own thing and created a self-contained sestet. Here it is:

Behind Me Dips Eternity

Behind Me — dips Eternity –

Before Me — Immortality –

Myself — the Term between –

Death but the Drift of Eastern Gray,

Dissolving into Dawn away,

Before the West begin –

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5 Reasons I’m Blogging

Thas' right

Thas’ right

Tonight I’m going to Live Mom‘s Bloggin’ Mama Social, a meetup of mom bloggers in Austin. I’ll be meeting lots of other bloggers, and I’m interested to find out why they all blog. Here’s my listicle of why I blog.

1. The concept behind this blog is that I post each day with content somehow related to the date (for example, today is the 5th, so I’m creating a list of 5 things). In theory, setting myself the task to post every day means I have to develop discipline, which has never been my strong suit. In practice, I often end up posting two in a day because I forgot to finish the previous day’s post. Baby steps, right?

2. Posting here is a challenge to myself to do something imperfectly and be OK with that. Uh, like forgetting to finish & post, thus publishing 2 posts in one day, even though I set out to really stick to my plan of posting 1 each day. I can deviate from the plan and it’s all gonna be OK.

3. I’m also trying to be OK with creating imperfect content. I’m often hampered in creative attempts by the belief that every little word has to be perfect, every post compelling, well-conceived, and well-executed. But it does not and I do not have to hold myself to that. This blog isn’t for a grade and neither is life. So I’m trying to force myself to loosen up and JUST POST SOMETHING (and by extension, in everyday life, just do something without pressuring myself to do it perfectly). Each post does not have to be world-changing or significant. Just take some sort of action and don’t worry so much, right?

4. Fulfilling this blog’s format challenges me to learn something new every day, or share something every day that I love or find useful and want others to enjoy. Good for me, good for everyone. I mean, have you seen the April Fish art? How cool is that? I would not have experienced that wonderful weirdness otherwise, if I hadn’t gone looking.

5. I just enjoy doing this, and am delighted when I produce a post that turns out to be a fully fleshed-out attempt to do something creative. Sure, some days I’m just embedding videos from the Step Up movies, but some days I surprise myself with writing something that I’m proud of.

And now I’m hitting “Publish” so I don’t forget to later, or end up stressing about word choice, and whether I could have come up with better reasons, or…



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