A Note From Home

I just received this email at work, as dictated to my wife by my four year old daughter. Sometimes, it’s very nice to hold the title Daddy.

Dear Daddy,

I love you Daddy! I miss you very much. Well, I love you too much Daddy. I’m happy, Daddy that you go to work. Daddy, I just love you.



Fun and Games

I haven’t posted here in a while. Sorry for that.

My latest obsession has become acquiring an arcade game. This stems from watching the documentary King of Kong a few weeks back. I nearly bought a Donkey Kong cabinet on eBay this weekend, but couldn’t pull the trigger. The price was very good actually, but I always have a trouble buying stuff for myself. I always feel guilty.

I’m not giving up, though. I’m most likely going to try to sell the limited edition Coraline Nike Dunks I won last year. Only 2,000 were made. It pains me very much, but it must be done. 🙂

Yesterday, we looked at a really cute brick house built in the 1930s and designed by the first female architect in Pennsylvania, Anna Keichline. The house is in one of the nicest neighborhoods in town, on one of the streets with all the Victorian style houses. It had almost everything we would like in a house, except for central air.

I’ve been working on a new short story, that I hope to have completed today or tomorrow. I got the idea one morning last week after a pretty eventful night’s sleep. By eventful I mean I had three dreams I actually remembered that morning. This is quite rare for me, as I normally don’t remember my dreams at all. I’m not at all gifted with colorful, fanciful dreams. Mine are more of the taking out the trash or washing the dishes variety.

Anyway, I’ll post that story here once it’s complete. Unless I get that arcade machine. In which case, gather up your quarters and come over for a visit. It will be awesome.

Google Drawing

Every now an then I like to point you guys to something cool I’ve found on the web. It’s been a while, but this one is pretty good.

Google has recently released a vector based drawing application for Google Docs titled… Drawing. I realize the name isn’t that inspired, but the program is pretty cool. To create a drawing, all you have to do is go to Google Docs, then click the “Create New” button, then click Drawing.

It only took me a half hour or so to create the image below, and I’m not very good at drawing (click to enlarge – looks better at full size).

Anyhow, give it a try and let me know what you think. I think it could come in quite handy for creating quick web graphics.

Epic Epicness

Another music post here. Sorry about that. I’ve been blogging way more about music than I have about writing, which isn’t by design. It’s just that music is moving me more lately. Again, sorry.

Anyway, my wife and I went to see the Scott Pilgrim movie on Saturday for our anniversary. We loved it. In fact, I smiled nearly the entire time we were there.

I read Scott Pilgrim book 1 first but took a chance and gave it to my wife to read while I read book 2. I wasn’t sure whether she would like it or not, since she’s not a total nerd like me. But she loved it and was as keen as I to finish up the remaining books in anticipation of the film. We weren’t disappointed.

As good as the movie was, the soundtrack is possibly even better. I thought I’d share a few of those tracks with you now. This music is a bit different than the stuff I usually post here, but just as good.

Note that “Sex Bob-Omb” is the fictional band Scott Pilgrim plays in. They’re supposed to be high-energy but low-skill, but sound like something that would sound awesome to somebody in their 20s. I think Beck captured this feel pretty well. Metric is a real band. They are awesome.

Metric – Black Sheep

Sex Bob-Omb (Beck) – We Are Sex Bob-Omb

Sex Bob-Omb (Beck) – Garbage Truck

Nissan Leaf Test Drive

Here’s a video from an internet show “Fully Charged” in which they give a Nissan Leaf a test drive. It’s a pretty interesting video. You should definitely watch.

So yeah, the Nissan Leaf electric car comes out soon. It’s a pretty exciting piece of technology, to be honest. I don’t plan on getting one right away for two reasons. I park “off street”, so I don’t have a really good way to charge an electric car overnight. Two, I only have a few more payments remaining on my Element and the idea of having no car payments appeals to me very much.

That said, I could definitely see an electric car in my future, preferably with some type of solar powered charger to reduce the carbon footprint even more.

The Princess Who Saved Herself – Jonathan Coulton

I listen to kid’s music a lot. Big shocker coming from a Dad of a 4 year old and a 1 year old, right? Well it’s true and I must say there is some really good music out there. Case in point: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton.

I love everything about this song, from the fairytale feel, to the peaceful resolution of the conflict, to the girl saving herself. Just a smile of a song contained in just under three minutes of music. You can hear The Princess Who Saved Herself here. My favorite part is this:

So they got the witch a dress,
Put some makeup on her face,
They started up a band,
And the dragon played the bass.

You can download this song from Amazon for $.99. Here are the full lyrics as transcribed by a member of Jonathan Coulton’s Forums:

[Verse 1]
There was a castle by a waterfall,
With a pink and purple wall,
And a princess living there.

She had no parents and was all alone,
She got by on her own,
And she liked it pretty well.

‘Cause she never wore her socks,
She had a pet snake,
She bought a red (rad?) guitar,
And she ate a whole cake.

And there wasn’t anybody there to tell her what to do,
So she did what she wanted to.
Everybody knew the story of the princess who saved herself.
(Princess who saved herself)
(Princess who saved herself)

[Verse 2]
There was a dragon with a pointy tail,
He was bigger than a whale,
And his breath was terrible.

He scared the princess when he came around,
Tried to burn the castle down,
But she caught him by his tail.

Then she tied him to a tree,
So the dragon couldn’t fly,
She told him he was mean,
And it made the dragon cry.

When he finally apologized she offered him some tea,
He accepted it graciously.
Now he vists every weekend with the princess who saved herself.
(Princess who saved herself)
(Princess who saved herself)

[Bridge phone conversation…]

[Verse 3]
There was a witch who was an evil queen,
She was wrinkled old and green,
And she hated everyone.

She saw the princess in her silver gown,
Put the poison apple down,
Asked her where she bought her clothes.

So they got the witch a dress,
Put some makeup on her face,
They started up a band,
And the dragon played the bass.

Every Saturday they play until their fingertips are sore,
Mostly Math Rock and Cuddle Core.
And they call themselves The Kingdom Of The Princess Who Saved Herself.
(Princess who saved herself)
(Princess who saved herself)

The princess who saved herself.
(Princess who saved herself)
(Princess who saved herself)

The Glow

We had a pretty excellent weekend, thanks for asking. It included a close friend’s wedding which was very close to the town we all grew up and also a game of catch with my Dad. It also included a pretty nice visit with my rejuvenated Grandfather, who is 92 and getting over the effects of chemotherapy. It was really nice to see him close to being his old self (no pun intended).

We brought the kids with us to the wedding on Saturday, because our daughter really likes weddings. None of my friends brought their kids, though, so they got to be all relaxed while we chased our little ones on the dance floor. I regretted bringing them, but only for a little bit. Mostly, I was glad they were there. Plus, having the kids there means I didn’t drink very much, which means no hangover the next day. Yay!

Something else pretty cool other than not feeling sick all day Sunday was that the Pastor that performed the wedding was the same Pastor that performed our wedding nearly 7 years ago. That was totally unexpected and yet really cool. I was really glad we had the kids with us too because they were able to meet him. In fact, at the end of the night he requested to take a photo of my wife and I and our kids.

Even cooler was when he said that even after 7 years, what still stood out about our wedding was the way my wife was glowing with happiness that day. She simply floated the entire time. Now, we definitely have our moments, especially when we are sleep deprived by the kids, but I’d like to think that glow is still there. It is my goal, in fact, to bring it back even stronger.

On Looking Up

I was reminded today of something I no doubt have known for some time, but have forgotten in the age of twitters, and facebooks, and Super Marios. Our planet is absolutely beautiful, and it wouldn’t hurt us at all if we took a moment to just look up at the sky from time to time. Wearing sunglasses of course.

Most work days, I eat my lunch at my desk and surf the web. Not a bad time really, but not healthy or a good use of that time. I used to eat and then sit outside and read, but it has just been too hot, to be honest. It’s no fun wearing a sweaty shirt and tie the rest of today.

The weather has been turning, though. It has even been bearable, some of the time. It was sunny and less than 80 degrees at noon today. Perfect reading weather. And so, I grabbed my copy of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and headed to a bench behind my building.

As the bells rang, telling me it was time to head back in, I took just a moment to look into the sky. It looked not unlike the photograph at the top of this post. A few of the clouds were darker, I suppose, but it was pretty close. I just sat there for a moment, took a breath, and remarked just how close those puffy clouds appeared. Like if I could just climb to the top of the building, stand on my tip-toes, and grab one.

I wonder what a cloud would feel like, in one’s hand. Most likely wet, right? Probably dissolve in your hand like the mist from a humidifier. I doubt it would feel like a soft cotton swab, or a cool cotton pillow, but wouldn’t it be cool if it did?

Anyway, why don’t you do this for me. Take a moment today, as you’re shuffling from place to place, stop, and take a peek at the sky. Wouldn’t you like to jump up and give it a little nudge?