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Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

Mojo Monday

In mojo mondays on April 30, 2007 at 10:58 pm

In an attempt to get my Writing Mojo back – I feel like it’s been missing, mostly because I haven’t been writing regularly (ever since I started….or, really, my wife started having children and I started being their Dad) – I’m going to start posting things on Mondays that I’ve written. Poetry, short shorts, songs, whatever. Some of them might be new, some of them might be old, but I figure if I post things regularly I’ll be inclined to write more things to post. Plus I’ve written a lot of things that nobody’s ever seen, and I feel pretty comfortable putting it out there for your enjoyment. Or scorn, whichever you may feel. Either way.

The first one is an ode to the unpredictable month of April, from a few years ago.

 

LIT

 

April rolls over to look back at March. “Ha! It’s my turn, you useless excuse for a month.”

April has never been one for gentle transformation.

She kicks in the screen door, a raging snowstorm at her side like a pet. “You thought those 80 degrees days were here to stay, didn’t you?”

We all look at each other with the uneasiness of high school students watching a sex ed film. The smallest one speaks. “Why, yes ma’am!”

“Well, don’t count on it, you pansies. It’s my month, and we’re going to get something done around here. This ain’t the promise of May, this ain’t the anticipation of December, this is the bitch of April!”

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This week’s obsession: Disco. And Funk.

In obsessions on April 20, 2007 at 9:59 am

boogie-knights.jpg

I recently went to Vegas with my buddy Duke for some R & R, and Saturday night we went to the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay to see The Boogie Knights, a disco cover band. Complete with fake afros and disco shirts. And they freaking rocked. Or, I guess you’d say, “They freaking discoed!”

I actually was a lad during the first disco era of the 1970s; I can remember wearing one of two silk disco shirts I owned to junior high. I also remember being out on our front driveway in Chula Vista in about 1978 or so, washing my mom’s car, listening to “Born to Be Alive” or “Knock on Wood” on a boom box, and having a rocker friend walk by and say something like, “Not you, too!” The disco v. rock wars were on.

But, honestly, since 1978, I really haven’t paid much attention to disco. I mean, I’m a big fan of old soul music, which means we listen to a lot of Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin at my house, and I loves me some funk, so we get a lot of that, too. But not disco.

Until now. Ever since I saw The Boogie Knights in Vegas, with their choreographed dance moves and their classic set list, I can’t stop listening to disco. And funk. “Love Roller Coaster,” “Groove Line,” you name it I’ve listened to it in the last couple of weeks. It’s good stuff. Seriously. Yes, me, too.

And I can’t stop dancing to it, either. I’ll be in the kitchen, mixing up some mac and cheese for the kids, and I’ll have a CD on and I’ll be dancing and turning and the kids are looking at me like I’m crazy. And like I should be laying in a pile of cocaine on the floor of Studio 54.

Of course, the kids are enjoying it, too, perhaps because constant repetition is how children learn. When I got back from Vegas, I pulled out a compilation CD (with disco, funk, and some 1980s Minneapolis stuff) I made back in the Napster days and played it for the kids, and they love it. I even taught them to dance like Morris Day and the Time to “Jungle Love,” which is now one of the Mixmaster’s favorite songs.

And here’s the funny part. Yeah, I know you’ve been waiting. “Where’s the funny part of this story? He’s just gushing about disco, without his usual funny ‘look at what my kids did’ moment!” Here it is: The Mixmaster’s other favorite song? Prince’s “Get Off.” Yeah, I made the CD before I had kids, so that song is on there. Complete with all the dirty lyrics. But the Mixmaster and the G-Man sing it as if it were “Get Up.” Yeah, my 6 year old son is walking around the house going, “Get up, let a woman be a woman and a man be a ma-han!” I can’t wait for the day he goes to school and asks his first grade teacher, “Are there really 22 positions in a one night stand?” Maybe I should just put Social Services on speed dial.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

In Life on April 19, 2007 at 12:22 am

Okay, here’s a question I could use a little help with. I just got an invite to my high school graduating class’s (1982!) 25th year anniversary reunion thingy. I went to the 10 year with my girlfriend, who turned into my wife a short time later, and it was fun. But “fun” in a “huh, interesting to see you” sort of way, not in a “my God, we’re best friends still” sort of way.   I didn’t keep up with anybody from that, nor do I know anybody from high school anymore. I missed the 20th year thingy because my wife was pregnant with The G-Man.

Recognizing that the reunion will be in California, which means plane flights and all that, should I go? Is there anybody out there who’s gone to one and enjoyed it? Or hated it? Or am I, being so incredibly ridiculously old, the first one to venture down this path?

Sabiduria 3.

In mijos on April 13, 2007 at 5:16 pm

I am raising one of the future’s great thinkers:

——————————————————————————————————-

I was not paying attention to the G-Man (my 3 year old son) and he was mad about it. Conversation as follows.

G-Man: Daddy, I’m going to pretend you don’t exist.

Me: Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

G-Man: What’s so funny?

Me: You’re funny.

G-Man: Am I funny for existing?

Johnny Cash’s House Burns Itself Down

In music on April 11, 2007 at 10:41 am


Johnny Cash’s Tennessee house burned down Tuesday. Which would seem like a tragedy, on the surface. However, it seems that it had been sold to Barry Gibb, who was going to use it as a vacation home.

I was thinking about this this morning, and I think that one of two things happened: Either the house burned itself down or Johnny and June threw a match down from heaven. I mean, c’mon! Barry Gibb living in Johnny Cash’s house? The one he and June lived in from 1968 until their death? Barry Gibb? I mean, I find the Bee Gees amusing (see my disco post later this week), and Barry writes a decent song, but we’re talking about Johnny and June Carter Cash: One of the greatest love stories of American music! The songwriter(s) and singers of a ridiculous number of American music classics! Of course their house wasn’t going to be a vacation home. It should have been a freaking museum. At least.

I’m not Dannielynn’s father…or the money man.

In celebrity, Tuesday rants on April 10, 2007 at 3:56 pm

 

In the interest of fair and accurate reporting, we here at Footprints have to rewrite material that other people publish from time to time. Call us your “Watchdogs Of Media Abuse,” or WOMA. While that doesn’t make any sense at all, the following will. First up, a story published on eonline.com. Then, our rewrite. With the facts.

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Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern just became Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead.

After six months of international legal wrangling, DNA swabbing and accusations of fraud, a genetic expert announced in a closed-door hearing in Bahamian court Tuesday that the father of Anna Nicole Smith‘s child is Larry Birkhead.

“I told you so!” a triumphant Birkhead said to applause outside the courthouse, adding with hands held high that his DNA was a “99.9999 percent” match.

“I’m excited,” said the Kentucky native. “I’m happy to start a life with my daughter…Things are moving quickly here.”

Howard K. Stern, the man listed as Dannielynn’s father on her Bahamian birth certificate and the girl’s sole parental figure since Anna Nicole Smith’s death two months ago, said that he would not contest Birkhead’s right to custody.

“My feelings for Dannielynn have not changed,” Stern said. “I’m not going to fight Larry Birkhead for custody. I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure that he gets sole custody.”

While Birkhead has been established as the father of Dannielynn, a hearing to determine custody is set to take place on Friday.

Smith’s estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, filed paperwork last week asking to be named the child’s guardian.

But speaking to reporters after Tuesday’s announcement, Arthur and her lawyer struck a more conciliatory tone, saying the Texas police officer merely wanted to play a role in the infant’s life.

“All I care about and all I ever cared about is the safety and well-being of my little granddaughter, Dannielynn,” Arthur said. “I look forward to working with Larry raising my granddaughter and doing what is very best for her.”

Asked how Smith might feel if she were alive, Arthur replied: “I think she would be happy to know that Dannielynn will find out who her father is.”

Arthur, whose relationship with Stern can be called icy at best, had publicly supported Birkhead’s paternity bid. (For a guide to all the major players, check out our Anna Nicole cheat sheet.)

All three principals and their respective attorneys attended the private hearing, which lasted just over a half-hour. Birkhead was also accompanied by his brother and sister and their kids.

Before heading in to the Nassau courthouse, he told reporters he was “feeling good,” “confident” and “hopeful” that his contingent would “leave with one more.”

“I’m a little tired, but I’m ready to get this over with.”

While the disputed daddy drama played out in innumerable headlines, the case ironically wound up coming to a close in a decidedly nonpublic forum: No reporters were allowed in the courtroom, and everyone connected to the case has been, per Bahamian law, subject to a sweeping gag order.

However, due to the intense public interest in the hearing’s outcome, the judge allowed the parties to break from the order and announce what had transpired behind closed doors.

Birkhead’s paternity was authenticated in court by Dr. Michael Baird, an Ohio-based DNA specialist who tested samples obtained from Birkhead and Dannielynn on Mar. 21.

Baird testified to what Birkhead has spent nearly seven months proclaiming both in and out of court: “Essentially, [Birkhead]’s the biological father,” Baird said. “Congratulations, Larry.”

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And now, the non-fiction version:

————————————————

Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern just became Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead.

After six months of international legal wrangling, DNA swabbing and explicit money grabbing, a genetic expert announced in a closed-door hearing in Bahamian court Tuesday that the father of Anna Nicole Smith‘s child and the money said child will inherit is Larry Birkhead.

“I told you so!” a triumphant Birkhead said to applause outside the courthouse, adding with hands held high that his DNA was a “99.9999 percent” match.

“I’m rich,” said the Kentucky native. “I’m happy to start a life with my new money…Things are moving quickly here.”

Howard K. Stern, the man listed as Dannielynn’s father on her Bahamian birth certificate and the money’s sole parental figure since Anna Nicole Smith’s death two months ago, said that he would not contest Birkhead’s right to custody.

“My feelings for money have not changed,” Stern said. “I’m not going to fight Larry Birkhead for money. I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure that he gets all the money.”

While Birkhead has been established as the money man, a hearing to determine custody is set to take place on Friday.

Smith’s estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, filed paperwork last week asking to be named the money’s guardian.

But speaking to reporters after Tuesday’s announcement, Arthur and her lawyer struck a more conciliatory tone, saying the Texas police officer merely wanted to play a role in the money’s life.

“All I care about and all I ever cared about is the safety and well-being of my money,” Arthur said. “I look forward to working with Larry spending my money and doing what is very best for me.”

Asked how Smith might feel if she were alive, Arthur replied: “I think she would be happy to know that her money will be spent.”

Arthur, whose relationship with Stern can be called icy at best, had publicly supported Birkhead’s money grab.

All three principals and their respective attorneys attended the private hearing, which lasted just over a half-hour. Birkhead was also accompanied by his brother and sister and their kids.

Before heading in to the Nassau courthouse, he told reporters he was “feeling good,” “confident” and “hopeful” that his contingent would “leave with more money.”

“I’m a little tired, but I’m ready to get this over with.”

While the disputed money grab played out in innumerable headlines, the case ironically wound up coming to a close in a decidedly nonpublic forum: No reporters were allowed in the courtroom, and everyone connected to the case has been, per Bahamian law, subject to a sweeping gag order.

However, due to the intense public interest in the hearing’s outcome, the judge allowed the parties to break from the order and announce what had transpired behind closed doors.

Birkhead’s money grab was authenticated in court by Dr. Michael Baird, an Ohio-based DNA specialist who tested samples obtained from Birkhead and Dannielynn on Mar. 21.

Baird testified to what Birkhead has spent nearly seven months proclaiming both in and out of court: “Essentially, [Birkhead]’s the biological father,” Baird said.

“Congratulations, Larry. You’ve won the lottery.”

 

La sabiduria 2/And we’re back!

In mijos on April 8, 2007 at 8:26 pm

Damn, it’s been a busy year. Hell, I’ve been busier than paparazzi at a rehab center. Hell, I’ve been busier than a congressman at a page-filled coffee house. Hell, I’ve been busier than a defrocked minister at a gay bath house.

The point is, it’s been busy. But we’ll get to some of that later. For now, I give you another episode of La sabiduria de los niños:

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The G-man is sitting at the breakfast table, having some hot chocolate – the kind with the marshmallows in it. He asks me, “Daddy, is marshmallow two words?”

In all my infinite wisdom, I try to explain to him that “marshmallow” is one word, but he, at 3 years old being smarter than me, says, “Yeah, but marsh is a word and mellow is a word, right?”

“Right, son. But marshmallow is one word.”

“So you can take marshmallow and break it apart to make two words and and put it back together to make one word?”

“Yes.”

“So can you marsh stuff? Can you mallow stuff?”