Wednesday, August 31, 2011

School: Day Two

Sending Paige off to school was emotionally exhausting. But we did it!

But here's what's whack. She had to go back again the next day! School is hard for parents.

Again on day two, Traci followed the bus over to school, just to make sure Paige was safely navigating the system. Traci kind of lurked in the shadows while Paige played on the playground before the bell rang. When it was time for the kids to line up and go to class, Traci made her appearance known.

"What are you doing here, mom?" Paige asked, as if to say, "Why are you here when I can clearly do this on my own?"

So, Paige is surviving just fine.

I don't know that Curtis is doing as well. I think he's a little jealous.

When Paige came home from school yesterday he asked, "Paige, how many recesses did you have today?"

"Three. Like I always do."

"Ask me how many recesses I had," he prodded.

"How many?"

"A hundred."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The First Day of the Next Twelve Years

There were a lot of tears this morning as Paige prepared to go off to kindergarten. Fortunately, none were shed by Paige. (Despite the overcast morning, Traci had to wear her sunglasses as we walked to the bus.)

She got on to the bus like a champ. I walked up the steps with her, led her to an open bench, and gave her a kiss. Just like that, she went away to college kindergarten.

Traci and the boys followed Paige to school to make sure she got from the bus to the classroom. There she learned that the kids are dumped off at the playground until the bell rings.

She looked around for Paige, but couldn't spot her anywhere. She finally found her by herself, hidden among the throngs of big kids.

"I don't know where I'm supposed to go, Mom."

Traci's heart was instantly broken.

Only to finally be repaired when the bus eventually came back with a very happy five-year-old.

"We had THREE recesses!"

While mom and dad spend conjuring up the infinite of number of things that could go wrong, Paige was having the best day ever. How you beat three recesses?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Last Day as a Pre-K

Paige starts kindergarten tomorrow. In less than 24 hours, we will watch her ride off to school...on the bus...all alone.

She's excited. I'm the one who's having anxiety about it and waking up at 4:00 in the morning to feel sad.

Song of the Day: Streetlight Manifesto - One Foot on the Gas/One Foot in the Grave

Just about every day, I look at the thousands of songs on my iPod and think, "I don't want to listen to any of you."

Scrolling through the tracks this morning, somehow it just felt like a Streetlight Manifesto day.

I'm a sucker for both singer Tomas Kalnoky's clean voice and his raspy punk rock screaming, both of which get a little time on this one. Streetlight Manifesto is probably the only band in punk rock history who actually pull off five-plus minute songs.

P.S. If you can handle a few (well-placed) swears, my favorite track on this album is The Receiving End of It All.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Great Nature Experiment Continues On

Last year, I decided it was time to finally start enjoying the beauty of Utah. Yes, nature. Summer is almost over and we hadn't added to our hiking legacy. Until last night.

Again accompanied by my tour-guiding sister, we went up to Silver Lake at Brighton. Not really a hike, but perfect for a family with a little guy in a papoose.

The kids had a great time chasing the squirrels around, and the mosquitoes had a great time sucking our blood.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sometimes I Read Books

I just finished Tina Fey's Bossypants. It was a quick, enjoyable read. Much like 30 Rock beyond season two, it often made me smile but never laugh out loud.

I took the book to the ranch with me last weekend. My two nine-year-old nephews looked at the cover and were highly amused.

"That girl's got man arms."

"That's weird! That girl is a man!"

"Wow. Her arms are sooo big."

In other literary news, Traci recommended I read the The Hunger Games years ago. I finally got around to it, and knocked out the entire trilogy in a couple of weeks. I really enjoyed all three of them.

But you don't have to take my word for it...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weezer v. Kermit the Frog

It didn't surprise me at all to see Weezer contributing a song to the upcoming Muppets movie soundtrack--it is called "The Green Album," after all.

I didn't, however, expect to see Alkaline Trio on the track list. Alas, the band who is usually inspired by death (and sometimes thinks I'm their stripper), offers up "Movin' Right Along." I was a little less surprised when I realized bassist Dan Andriano was doing the singing. He's always been a softy. He also has a new solo record out. It's pretty good. You can hear a couple of the songs on his Facebook page.

NPR is streaming the Green Album here.

Chubbin' Right Up

Tate is now four months old. He's still a skinny little dude, but he's starting to get a little bit of meat on his bones. He rolled over for the first time on Sunday. This was likely motivated by a desire to escape his evil siblings.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Are We There Yet?

Our kids love to go on vacation. But like all kids, they always forget that it takes time to get from our house to said vacation.

On our last trip to the ranch, Paige was asking "when will we get to the mountains" about 10 seconds after we pulled out of our driveway. When we got to the mouth of Parley's Canyon, I thought I'd point out that we had at least reached a change in scenery. "Paige," I said, "Do you see where we are?"

"Yes," she said excitedly. "Center lane rumble strip."

Nothing gets by our little reader.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tate's First Baseball Game

We finally made it to our first Bees game of the season. Surprisingly, it went better than I could have hoped for. Not only were we able to avoid standing in line for 45 minutes to ride the litte train from left field to right, but I actually got to watch a pretty good chunk of the game.

Somehow the kids stayed entertained. About every two seconds, Curtis asked me who was winning and Paige would see the batter's name on the jumbotron and then look up his picture in the program. (Next time, I'll teach her how to keep her own score card. That'll keep her busy.)

It was the bottom of the fifth inning before Paige decided she needed to sit on my lap, which of course made Curtis want to sit on my lap. Paige got off my lap and sat in Curtis' now-unoccupied seat, which caused him to yell at her, which made her grab him, which made him kick her in the face. (It felt like Sacrament meeting, but I was holding a hotdog instead of baggie of fishy crackers.)

All the while, Tate blew happy spit bubbles.

Couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Song of the Day: David Bazan - Won't Let Go

For much of his Pedro the Lion career, David Bazan used third person narrative for his tales of disception and infidelity. On his first solo full-length, he switched to first person and the songs were about losing his faith, becoming an alcoholic, and generally letting his wife and family down. Maybe that's why this love song to his wife feels so gripping.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Hate Every Chimp I See, From Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Z


Though I have no intention of seeing the new Planet of the Apes movie, I am happy that it allows me to think about the Simpsons version of the story. (Thanks to Tim Gill for sending.) 

Man, I miss that Troy McClure.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Sutherlands Go Country

Best seat in the house.

It's nice when your little buddy's got your back.

 Fisherman Tate

We stopped by the Summit County parade in Coalville yesterday on our way up to our ranch. As we were listening to the country music playing over the PA speakers, I thought about what it would be like to live in a small town.

With his love of construction machinery and John Deere tractors, Curtis would be just fine. But what about Paige? With her catalog of knowledge about Daft Punk and Matt & Kim and her editorial opinions on the superiority of Weezer's Green Album over the more widely accepted Blue Album?
Sure, Traci could work at the local library. But what about me? I would only bring comedy, as the locals would likely be mildly amused (at first) by my utter lack of handyman-ery.

No, Coalville is not ready for the Sutherlands.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Might I Recommend: The One AM Radio

If you like midtempo, melancholy electronica (a la Hot Chip, Postal Service), you should probably give The One AM Radio a listen.

I interviewed the band a couple of week's ago. I got some of the most intelligent music-guy answers in recent memory. I guess the lead singer's Yale education paid off. You can read the full article here.

I love the slightly snarky response to this simplistic question:

ME: Is it a happy album?

HIRWAY: No, it’s not a happy album, but “happiness” and “sadness” rarely ever come to me in pure form. That’s one of the side effects of no longer being a teenager.


You may want to check out these tunes as well:

When You're Sleeping (YouTube)
Everyone But You (YouTube)

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Boy Named Goo

Have I ever revealed that I'm a closet Goo Goo Dolls fan? Well, now it's out there. If all goes well, I'm going to force Traci to go with me to watch them play under the stars at Deer Valley next week.

I interviewed Goo Goo bassist Robby Takac a couple of weeks ago. We talked a bit about Blink-182, the Rolling Stones, and the awkwardness of hearing your own song playing at the grocery store. You can check the story out here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Seven Degrees of Kirsten Dunst: My Connection to the Stars

It all started with the ESPYs. Justin Timberlake, who Traci looooves, handed Jimmer Fredette the award for Male College Athlete of the Year.

"I'm friends with Jimmer's sister and Jimmer's meeting Justin Timberlake," Traci exclaimed. "That's like two degrees of separation!"

Hmm. That got me thinking (all the way through Sunday School and halfway through Elders Quorum). How far removed am I from my favorite folks?

(I'm sure I could have gotten to some of these people a bit more directly, but I only have so much mental RAM on Sundays.)

John Elway
  • I met Steve Young at a seminary fireside in high school. (I also fluffed a dozen LoveSacs at his Park City cabin.)
  • Steve Young's San Francisco 49ers defeated John Elway's Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV (a fact that still saddens me).
The Beatles
  • I worked for Shawn Nelson at the LoveSac Corporation
  • He won a million bucks on Richard Branson's TV show "Rebel Billionaire"
  • Branson was knighted by the Queen of England,
  • Who knighted Paul McCartney,
  • Who was a Beatle

Michael Jackson
  • I interviewed Deron Williams for Utah Business Magazine
  • He and the Jazz always get beat by the Lakers and Kobe Bryant,
  • Who dunked on Michael Jordan in 1997,
  • Who was in the video for Michael Jackson's "Jam"
Kurt Cobain
  • I met Dave Grohl after the first ever Foo Fighters show in Salt Lake
  • Dave was, of course, the drummer of a little band called Nirvana
Kylie Minogue
  • I interview Anthony Wiggle of The Wiggles,
  • Who featured Kylie Minogue on their hit single "The Monkey Man" (Kyle was dubbed the Pink Wiggle)
Lauren Conrad

  • I've interviewed Alkaline Trio a few times
  • On one episode of The Hills, Audrina Patridge goes to the studio to watch the band record an album
  • Lauren Conrad shows up to the studio as well, but gets bored and decides to go get coffee with Lo.
Paris Hilton

  • My friend Chris Wilson played in Good Charlotte with those Madden twins
  • One of them dated Paris Hilton
Britney Spears

  • I interviewed Linkin Park recently,
  • Who was touring with the Prodigy,
  • Who was asked by Madonna to produce her record in the late '90s (they refused)
  • Madonna french kissed Britney Spears once
Barack Obama
  • Jon Hunstman came to Insurance a few years ago to celebrate our 25th anniversary
  • That made him want to move to China and work for Mr. Obama
Lady GaGa
  • I talked to Vanilla Ice on the phone a few years ago
  • He got all the royalties to "Ice, Ice Baby" shaken out of him by Suge Knight,
  • Who was Tupac's label owner,
  • Who was originally friends with Biggie Smalls,
  • Who was homies with Jay-Z,
  • Who's married to Beyonce,
  • Who recorded "Telephone" with Lady GaGa
Kirsten Dunst
  • I chatted with Death Cab drummer Jason McGerr the other day
  • He's in a band with Ben Gibbard,
  • Who married Zooey Deschanel,
  • Who was in Elf with Will Ferrell,
  • Who was in Megamind with Brad Pitt,
  • Who starred in Interview with a Vampire with Kirsten Dunst