First day, third time.
We brought Gracie over to school for her first day today, she started crying as we were leaving the class. Little silent tears.
I know she’ll be fine, I know she’s probably fine already, but I left my little girl crying in a room full of people she doesn’t know, and I don’t think I will ever be…
Repost, two years later.
I’m still really upset and angry. He did it once, the camera happened to be on him, he did it once and I think it’s the funniest joke that’s ever been on our show. - Michael Schur (x)
I was listening to Songs: Ohia’s “Didn’t It Rain” album on the walk home from work last night, it’s one of my favourite albums and I listen to it often but there is something extra special about listening to it through headphones on a cold dark evening. I was about three songs into it and suddenly I remembered that Jason Molina was dead and I stopped walking, saddened and upset all over again.
"If you think you got it,
they’re gonna beat it out of you,
through work and debt,
whatever all else there is.”
"Didn’t It Rain" isn’t Molina’s best album, most people agree that honour goes to "Magnolia Electric Co." (Which coincidentally is ten years old and a deluxe edition is streaming over at NPR’s First Listen ) but it is by far my favourite, it was the first Songs: Ohia album, the first Molina album, that I ever listened to and remains one of only 6 or 7 albums that I will listen to all the way through each and every time.
The album was recorded live, with no overdubs, with all the musicians in one room ,all the singers sharing microphones, and that gives these songs the room to breathe that they deserve. And it is that breathing room that stops this album from being overwhelming, oppressive because it is a dark, occasionally depressing, album, full of sadness and sorrow.
But the light shines through the darkness, especially when Molina sings with Jennie Benford, and despite the sadness, and the loss of such an amazing talent so tragically early, this album never fails to make me feel better after I’ve listened to it.
Songs: Ohia - Blue Factory Flame
I sent an email last week, telling someone how much I liked their new blog. I wrote it, signed off with a “love you” and sent it.
Except I didn’t say “love you”, I accidentally said “I love you”, and that changes things.
That changes a cheery goodbye into a declaration, and it’s a big declaration, and in this case an unintentional big declaration.
And I can’t email again to explain it, because I only noticed two days later, and to send an email about an errant “I” is the act of a lunatic, a lunatic who has already declared love. A lunatic who, after declaring love, is now unsure, now wants to retract that love. And a retractor of declarations of love isn’t just a lunatic, he’s a cad and a bounder.
And maybe it wasn’t noticed, and maybe to email would draw attention to it, would magnify a tiny letter into something important, something huge.
And maybe it was noticed, and dismissed as the triviality that it clearly was.
And maybe a blog about it is a huge mistake.
My mother believes that things happen for a reason. And I believe that too, the reason I sent “I love you” is because I’m a fuckwit who never reads back over anything I write.
I’ve been listening to M.I.A’s new album Matangi and I’m liking it quite a lot. I’ve also read Alexis Petridis’ (largely positive) Guardian review of the album and, though I mostly agreed with the review, took exception with him saying it was “hard to take in anything other than small doses”.
Then I realised that, while listening to this album, I also watched. The Everley Brothers perform two songs, Jerry Seinfeld break down a joke and Miley Cyrus sing Lilac Wine and Jolene (twice, once with Dolly Parton, who is her godmother (and fucking hell can you imagine having Dolly fucking Parton as your godmother?))
I’m one of that increasingly rare breed, I only listen to albums. I don’t listen to the radio, I avoid singles, and only occasionally listen to EPs. I love albums, I love the way they unravel themselves, how they reveal themselves over 45, 60, 72 minutes (or more, but it should never be more, looking at you Arcade Fire) .
I love hearing the way they’re sequenced, would never listen to an album on shuffle, not even a best of. The very idea of not listening to an album, especially a new album, from start to finish without a break is unthinkable but that’s what I’ve done with this album.
It’s a good, maybe very good, album, but it’s a hard album to love, a hard album to listen to in one session, but, as Petridis says, you can’t help but be glad it exists.
It’s my week off, I’m playing with the kids, Aimee is a talking pink horse named Flowers and I am a monster who she kills, by saying “now you’re dead” . Over and over again.
At the same time I am also a normal man, trapped in a fire and Grace has to rescue me. Gracie is a fairy called Daisy who has a superpower, FIRECATCHER, the ability to trap FIRE ! This is a cool superpower, but it does tend to limit the game, every single time there has to be a fire that starts in a different way.
Luckily, a decade of watching London’s Burning has given me plenty of inspiration. All I can remember are chip fat fryer fires but we’re making do.
I’m off for the week, and we won’t be doing much, we can swing a trip to the cinema perhaps, and we’ll go to the playground if it’s dry. But mostly it’ll be like this, playing games with them, games of make believe, games of heroes and villains, fairies and witches, horses and other horses.
Separate games for the most part, Grace thinks Aimee doesn’t follow the rules of the game, Aimee thinks “bollocks to the rules” and if she want to be a talking pink horse named Flowers instead of an elf named Tulip then she will, and daddy can be Daddy Horse, no, just Daddy, no, a monster.
It’s a delicate balancing act, playing two games at once, and occasionally I mix them up, at one stage I was a horse who started a fire in a forest while camping. There will be sulking, there will be tears, oh so many tears, but they’re brief, and soon forgotten and replaced by laughter.
We’ve laughed a lot over this long weekend, and we’ll laugh a lot more this week, and I can think of nowhere I’d rather be.