The Lydster, Part 72: Lydia is Six


Here are some things about the daughter that I think I’ll remember forever, but fear that I will forget:

*She’s 50 inches tall, weighs at least 65 pounds. I can still lift her, though I prefer the over-the-shoulder method of transportation.
*She’s in kindergarten, going to school with the wife.
*I make her lunch four days out of five. She eats a cheese sandwich (sharp cheddar) on whole wheat bread, with the crust cut off. Every day. That’s what she wants. She’ll get carrot or celery sticks, fruit cup or apple sauce, pretzels or fig bars, and a juice.
*She has developed a bit of sweet tooth, but she’ll eat yogurt as often as ice cream, and seem to find them each acceptable.
*Her favorite cereal used to be Cheerios, but when she tried Froot Loops when we visited my mom in Charlotte in June, that was the only cereal she’d eat for about six months. Lately, she’s really into Life cereal.

*She was the fastest girl in her class this fall in the Apple Run, by a considerable margin.
*She dances to EVERYTHING – TV theme music, especially the outro. She’s taking ballet once a week, and she likes to choreograph her parents.
*Her favorite show is Martha Speaks (PBS), about a talking dog, though she’ll watch her Nick Jr. favorites such as the Backyardigans, Ni-hao Kailan, the Fresh Beat Band and the Wonder Pets.
*She hates it when I pretend I don’t remember her name, or make a variation on it. Yet she often makes a variation of MY name or title, and THAT’S funny.
*She doesn’t seem to have a single favorite book. Carol’s reading the Little House on the Prairie books to her, while she prefers that I read the Dr. Seuss books or other texts. She can read Green eggs and Ham herself; we tend to take turns reading it.
*She’s somewhat less shy than she was last year.
*She still covers her ears when she sees conflict on a TV show or movie.
*She’s lost at least seven teeth; I believe she ahead of schedule. And she’s gotten five back, four lower and one upper.
*Usually, I dress her in the morning and put on her pajamas at night, except Thursday night, which is my choir night.
*She’s increasingly more helpful, putting away her clean clothes in the drawer. she also has this system to pick out her clothes for the week.
*We bought her trucks and blocks and other gender-neutral items, and she still is more a girly-girl than I would have anticipated. She likes pink and purple. Someone in Salon was fretting about her girly-girl daughter, who to be fair is even moreso than Lydia. Lydia will wear pants.
But I guess I don’t fret about it. If she wants a Disney princess tent and sleeping bag for Christmas, I don’t object. I may cringe a little on the inside, but she is who she is.

I love the girl.

ROG

Peevish QUESTION

I wrote a little piece about pet peeves a little while ago. But I’m interested in asking you folks if there are things that really bug you, especially if you have not much to do with it. Maybe it’s the political discourse that’s distasteful.

I was at work helping someone with a question, and I rediscovered that there are a couple issues that really have been bugging me, and really are, in the end, none of my business. Though I will make a case for the idea that, at least the former issue is a public health issue and therefore everyone’s concern.

Issue #1 is the huge number of Cesarean section births in the United States. From this document, the CDC notes that the C-section rate went up for the 11th straight year in 2006 up to 31.8%, the highest ever reported in the country. Lowering the rate was a governmental objective for the last quarter century. The mission actually seemed to be working for a while – the rate went from 22.8% in 1989 to 20.7% in 1996, but it’s been going up ever since. The optimal rate is between 5% and 10%. The whys are varied, but it concerns me regardless. And it worries some in the medical community as well.

The other issue involves pregnant women smoking. I know that tobacco is addictive, but when I see it, it makes me crazy anyway. Low birth-weight babies are often the result.

So what issues that really don’t affect you directly nevertheless gets on your nerves?

ROG

Condiments

So, today is my birthday. How the heck can I remember how old I am? It’s not as though it’s a round number.

Get a bottle of ketchup.

Ketchup? What will…

Brand name.

You mean like Hunt’s?

The other one.

OK, so what does…

Look at the bottle.

Hmm. What am… OH, 57!

57.

But what will I use NEXT year?

We’ve got time to work on that.

***
AP — Celebrity birthdays: March 7:
TV personality Willard Scott is 76.
Actor Daniel J. Travanti is 70.
Bassist Chris White of The Zombies is 67.
Singer Peter Wolf of The J. Geils Band is 64.
Actor John Heard is 64.
Keyboardist Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum is 64.
Guitarist Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers is 58.
Blogger Roger Green is 57.
Actor Bryan Cranston is 54.
Actor Bill Brochtrup (“NYPD Blue”) is 47.
Comedian Wanda Sykes is 46.
Singer Taylor Dayne is 45.
Drummer Randy Guss of Toad the Wet Sprocket is 43.
Actress Rachel Weisz is 39.
Singer Sebastien Izambard of Il Divo is 37.
Singer Hugo Ferreira of Tantric is 36.
Actress Jenna Fisher is 36.
Actress Laura Prepon is 30.
ROG

Feeling Your Age QUESTION

One of the things I hated about some of the music of the 1990s was that it sounded like songs I knew, sort of. This wasn’t just a copyright issue (Hammer, for one, was very good at attribution of the original source). It was that I would be briefly lulled into the familiar, only to be jolted into…something else. P. Diddy’s music did that to me a lot.

(Though the Every Valley from Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration was a GOOD surprise.)

So my family was at the 60th birthday party of the colleague of my wife’s. And this song comes on. I think it’s Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, a song for which I have deep affection. Turns out to be some popular tune by Kid Rock that I had somehow missed. And, just for the moment, I was feeling my age.

What makes YOU feel like, just maybe, you’re not still a kid?
***
Blue Is Frustrated from Blue’s Clues. Pray tell, what is Blue frustrated about?
***
GORDON’S BIRTHDAY TODAY.
ROG

Smokey is 70!


If William “Smokey” Robinson was known just for the songs he performed, he would be a memorable artist. But the fact that he has written over 400 songs, according to ASCAP, and probably hundreds more and is a producer as well, then you have a musical force.

The first song released by his group the Miracles was Got A Job, a response song to Get a Job by by the Silhouettes, written by Smokey, Berry Gordy and Roquel Davis.

Here are just a other few songs written or co-written by Smokey. The group listed usually is NOT the only artist who’s performed the tune:

You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me- the Beatles; also performed by the Miracles
My Girl-the Temptations
My Guy -Mary Wells; anyone who could write My Girl AND My Guy is the consummate songwriter
No More Tearstained Makeup – Martha & the Vandellas; a relatively obscure song with one of my favorite lines: No sponge has the power To absorb the shower Of what pancake and powder couldn’t cover
Who’s Loving You – Jackson 5ive. From the 1st J5 album, a cover of the Miracles tune. Isn’t Michael preturnaturally experienced in love in this tune?
Ain’t That Peculiar – Marvin Gaye
Tears of a Clown -the (English) Beat. But it was from the Miracles’ version that I first heard of Pagliachi, which led me to find out that the reference was to a Leoncavallo opera.
Don’t Mess with Bill – Marvellettes
The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game-Grace Jones, covering the Marvelettes’ tune
Get Ready -Rare Earth, a song I first heard from the Temptations
No More Water In The Well – the Temptations, with a relatively rare Paul Williams lead vocal, from arguably my favorite Temps LP, With A Lot O’ Soul, 1967.
Still Water (Peace) – Four Tops
Floy Joy – the Supremes

I suppose I should do a couple more Smokey songs. I pick the oft-covered Tracks of My Tears and I Second That Emotion.

So, happy 70th birthday to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters’ Hall of Fame inductee, as well as 2006 Kennedy Center honoree, Smokey Robinson!

1993 photo of Smokey from LIFE magazine, for non-commercial use

ROG