It's one more random than 10!
Yesterday The Lovely Becky and I went to the movies for the first time in a year. In fact, over the last year, we've been out alone only a handful of times. We decided it was time to start having some date nights.
We haven't really missed going out that much. We had plenty of time to have date nights during the decade we tried to have a kid, so we gladly traded those nights out for a chance to stay home and soak in our parenthood.
As much fun as that has been, we realized recently that we needed to take some time for ourselves. TLB and I have always been great talkers—even after nearly 15 years of marriage, we love talking with each other. Our best conversations have always been when we go out to eat, maybe because we avoid the easy distractions of TV, videogames, online poker, work, and now parenting. We get to focus on each other and really pay attention.
We also realized that it had been a year since we had been to the movies. We saw Iron Man right before TLB had Libby, so long ago that Robert Downey Jr. could have gone through three rehab stints. One of our babysitters offered to watch Libby one night a week, so we decided to inaugurate our first night back in Socialville with dinner and a movie.
A big night out deserves a big movie, so we saw Star Trek (set phasers on fun!). But what happened during our first foray into the movies since we had a kid? Someone brought their kids to our movie. A couple behind us had two children who were too young and too disinterested to sit through two hours of a Star Trek re-imagining. I have been through this before, and I will never understand why someone thinks its a good idea to bring kids to movies that aren't for kids. If I wanted to miss crucial moments of dialog because of a child distracting me, I could stay at home.
Luckily, the clue phone rang a few times and the parents took the kids outside when they really started acting up, so it didn't cramp our enjoyment too much and I didn't have to pull an Opposite Costanza in the theater. We were able to catch all of the little nerdy in-jokes J.J. Abrams packed into the movie, and we returned home satisfied that we had gotten out and gotten plugged back into to movie-going society.
Hopefully next time, everyone's kids will be at home.
1) "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)," Neil Young and Crazy Horse. I put It's better to burn out than to fade away right after Hope I die before I get old on my list of all-time great rock lines. The funny thing is that the authors of both of those lines have lived long after many of their contemporaries lived out those lyrics.
2) "The Have Nots," X. The thing that the Republican Party forgot when they ran against "socialism" last year is that the American people are only against government intervention when they don't need it. When Bear Stearns went down, even the biggest lassiez faire assholes who thought welfare queens should eat cake stuck their hands out for handouts. While I certainly wish the economy had not taken that terrible turn, it was pretty amusing to see how quickly Wall Street crapped itself and turned to Washington for a new pair of pants.
3) "Tangerine," Led Zeppelin. The tender ying to the juicy yang of "The Lemon Song." Who knew you could say so much with fruit?
4) "Devils & Dust," Bruce Springsteen. One of those artists I respect more than I enjoy. I appreciate him with my head, but for some reason most of his music has never hit me on an emotional level. I have to give him kudos for the way he looks: I hope I look that good when I'm 60 and sliding around a Super Bowl halftime stage.
5) "Memento," Public Property. What's more improbable than Iowa leading the way on legalizing gay marriage? Iowa producing a pretty damn good reggae band.
6) "Titanium Exposé," Sonic Youth. I've been told that the key to baking cookies is to use the right amount of butter: that the butter is what holds all the ingredients together. Kim Gordon is the butter in the cookie of Sonic Youth. Her bass keeps all the noise together, anchoring it to the song so that it doesn't dissolve into a help of melted mush.
7) "Stick It Out," Rush. For a nerdy band, they fared quite well in the Three Bulls Dirty-Sounding Song Title Awards, with this song placing along with "In The End" and my favorite, "Beneath, Between, and Behind." The irony is that, as much as I love Rush, I could never, ever have sex to Rush. Even if The Lovely Becky suffered some kind of pod-person personality change where she suddenly liked Rush, I would probably start air drumming and ruin the moment. Because few things kill the female libido faster than air drumming (except maybe playing Rock Band drums).
8) "These Days," Joy Division. Seriously creepy synths in the background, burbling like ghostly whispers. I'm relieved when the guitar comes in and chases them away with a six-string exorcism.
9) "Dragonfly Pie," Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. This pie needs more butter. Or maybe less. Either way, it's a bit of a mess.
10) "Sultans of Swing," Dire Straits. One of the most perfect integrations of lead guitar and vocals ever. It's like there are two singers, except one of them is made of wood. You could say the same thing about Celine Dion, but here I mean it as a complement.
11) "Rebel Rebel," David Bowie. Hot tramp, I love you so. Especially when you show me your perfect, bouncy riffs.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend. And if you hear someone playing Freedom Rock, tell 'em to turn it up!