Go Yellowjackets

Michael received an email earlier this week with the enticing proposition of $10 Georgia Tech football tickets.  Of course, he couldn’t resist.  It ended up working out well because we had already planned on visiting friends in Atlanta that weekend.  Michael convinced his parents to make the trip as well and we were off to the game.  Michael’s dad graduated from Tech so he had a great time reminiscing.  Our seats were about as far into the stands as you could go, but the stadium is fairly small so it still wasn’t too bad.  This was Graham’s first football game ever and Michael’s first Tech game, so Michael was very excited.  He had Graham chanting, “Go Yellowjackets” all week.  I secretly was extremely worried though about how Graham would hold up.  How would he stay in one area for almost 4 hours?  Amazingly enough, he did really well.  Graham usually stays entertained if he can find a girl to flirt with and he found a couple.  He mainly feasts his eyes on older women.  I really have to teach him that it is impolite to stare and drool.  After a slow start, Tech had a great second half and ended up winning 35-21.  Go Yellowjackets!

Go Tech!

Family at the Game

Graham and Poppy at the Game

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Saturday Wedding

Michael’s best friend’s daughter Kate tied the knot last Saturday in Greenville.  It was a fantastic wedding at St. Mary’s and a fun reception at the future history museum.  Supposedly, Greenville will have a history museum at some point.  In the meantime, the history museum is trying to raise funds by having wedding receptions, parties, and what not.  The wedding gave us a great opportunity to catch up with friends especially Michael’s MWA buddies. 

Michael and I at the Wedding

MWA and More

Call Me

Mooching

Recently, I ran into a problem I have had many times before- too many books and nowhere to put them.  I am no good at getting rid of books.  I just love to see books in my surroundings.  It feels warm, comfy,  and familiar.  Although I rarely even have time to pick up a book since Graham was born, I still like to think that one day I will get around to delving into these books.  Luckily, we have a lot of bookshelves so book storage hasn’t been a problem.  Until recently that is.  My dad is selling his house and I still had quite a few boxes of books in his garage.  It was time to move the books back in with me.  Reliving the books from my high school days was fantastic.  I hadn’t laid eyes on my Ayn Rand, John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, even Catcher in the Rye since high school and early college days.  I knew they were there and it was so great to get them out of the boxes and put them rightfully in place on the bookshelf.   But, moving these new books in also meant having to move some old books out.  I just didn’t have enough room for all of them.  Some books such as “My Boys Can Swim” (a gift to Michael after news of my pregnancy was announced) were easy to part with.  For others the choice was so necessary, but difficult!  I put them in a box and called Bentley’s to see about trading.  Bentley’s told me they were taking no more books.  So, I decided to bring them to Goodwill.  That is until I just stumbled upon a new website http://www.bookmooch.com/ This site allows people to list books they want to get rid of, while mooching books from other people around the world.  Points are earned for listing books and sending books.  And then points are taken for mooching.  You have to pay to send the books, but you can get a book in return equally.  I am so excited! Of course, now instead of getting rid of books, I’m trading them for more books.  I guess more bookshelves will just have to be built.

Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats

Geraldo Pino & The Heartbeats – Heavy Heavy Heavy

Geraldo Pino

Lately, the music trail I’ve been wandering down leans heavily towards rhythm for some reason.  After years of wandering with my preference for melody, this year I’ve been guided towards the other end of the spectrum.  Don’t get me wrong, just this weekend I marvelled at the perfection that is “Odessey & Oracle” by the Zombies for the thousandth time.  But I know I’ll listen to that a thousand more times, so for now, it’s on to another path.  Maybe it was seeing Mamar Kassey at a festival a couple of years ago that started it?  I thought I was witnessing the very familiar ideals of two of my favorite, hereto now disparate, genres: mid 70’s English prog and 70’s American funk.  Isn’t this what King Crimson was trying to do in the 80’s?  So, after further reinforcement from some live Afrobeat shows which proved to add a third of my favorites, jazz, I was hooked, soaking up the rest of the Fela Kuti catalog and wandering on from there…  Now, isn’t it considered regression to proceed from the bliss of a strange Beatles chord change, the dissonant counterpoint of Gentle Giant, or the symphonies of Brian Wilson to music that , for the most part, subverts melody and turns every instrument into percussion and repetition?  Maybe I’m becoming dull in my old age.  I recently read an interview with Alice Coltrane where she’s discussing John’s later musical work involving the “higher principles of rhythmic structure and repetition”, and it struck me that many of the greatest musicians took this similar journey.  Am I inadvertently doing the same?  Miles Davis abandoned melody.  Sun Ra became obsessed with texture and rhythm at the expense of melody.  Even the Beatles discovered drone in India.  So, maybe my little trip to West Africa is not so backward. 

Anyway.  Wow, this makes you sweat just listening.  Singer, guitarist and bandleader Geraldo Pino, from Sierra Leone, was one of the pioneers of the early soul/funk/Afrobeat movement in West Africa.  He was a huge influence on Fela Kuti.  Fela spent a large part of the 60’s avoiding touring in places where Pino had been because “after Pino came through and tore up the scene, there wasn’t nothing I could do.”  This music was recorded between ’62 and ’67 and was largely unheard by anyone since.  Great old analog keyboards, funky polyrhythms, and super tight guitar work, makes you wonder how much great stuff is out of print…

The Zoo

It’s Labor Day weekend and we initially had plans to join up with friends at the beach.  But, storms were rolling in and our friends had some unexpected additional family members joining.  So, we figured we would stay at home, try to clean our messy home, and have some family time.  Nana and Poppy Lewis called us up this morning and invited us on a trip to a zoo.  Avoiding cleaning a little longer seemed like a good idea at the time, so we went along.  Graham had a great time with his cousins Aubrey and Avery.  Our zoo is kind of small, but I like it that way.  It makes it easy to walk around for an hour or so and get out in time to have lunch. 

Avery as a toucan

Aubrey and Graham get eaten by a lion

Lion GrahamToucan Graham

On Friday, I went to pick up one of my students from class.  As we were walking down the hall, I asked him what he was going to do over Labor Day Weekend.  He said that he was going out of town to visit his aunt because she had just gotten out of the hospital.  I said, “Oh, has your aunt been sick?”  He responded with, “She had to go to the hospital because she had a Mid-East crisis.”  I said, “A Mid-East crisis?”  He said, “Yes, a Mid-East crisis, but she’s feeling better now.”  Oh my!