Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Captain Underpants

The best part of my day today was taking Youngest to the "P" section, for Pilkey, to pick out a new Captain Underpants book. Cuz it turns out, if you like a book, and you go to the library, sometimes they have lots of books like that.

And I had forgotten how exciting that is. Until Youngest showed me.

You know why? Because he can read, that's why. He's a bad-ass reading mo-fo, and he knows it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Daughter Fencing

Daughter wields a sword these days, an effective negotiating tool when asked to clean her room.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pics: What We've Been Up To

Happy family photos with cheesy captions!

Youngest singing at assembly.

Eldest started track this year, and loved it. He's the one in the white shirt with the maroon stripe.

Special friends day. The guy on the left is special. Not in a short bus sort of way.

Eldest with his confirmation sponsor. Sponsorship is like Catholic NASCAR: Unkin J will guide Eldest in the preservation of his eternal soul, and Eldest will wear Unkin J's logo on his unitard whenever he goes to mass.

Daughter and Best Friend before their band concert.

Why he's spoiled.

A new garden in the yard. We're growing smiley kids, though the big one on the right needs more sun.

Taken just before he devoured her head in one bite.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Teenager’s Perspective of Rock on the Range

Eldest the Headbanger attend an all-day rock festival yesterday with a friend and the friend's dad. Here's his review.

Rock on the Range turned out to be a hard rock lover’s must-attend event of the decade. Even if you came across a band you had never heard of, there was plenty of head banging and dancing to do. Music was always playing, even in between main band sets as lesser-known bands had a smaller stage of their own. And for those of us who were too lazy to get up and go to the smaller stage, classic rock songs would play during the forty- minute set-ups.

Let’s start with the lesser-known bands. I only went to see a couple of them, but the definite stand out was Theory of a Deadman. The crowd went crazy with their awesome set, and they were better than some of the main bands. Theory was so good, that I bought a T-shirt on the spot. This band definitely deserves to be invited back next year as a main act, and get a taste of the bid stage.

To the main stage: I got to the concert to late to see Finger Eleven, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, despite the fact that their two biggest songs are “One Thing” and “Paralyzer”. “One Thing” is a slow song, maybe better suited for a not-so-hard-rock concert, and “Paralyzer” has an edge, but is simply not a head banger at all.

Shinedown rocked hard, and received a great reaction from the crowd. Unfortunately for them, however, Killswitch Engage got their chance next. The hilariously, obscenely inappropriate band rocked the hardest of any band that had been seen yet. As the lead singer forced a mosh pit among the field-dwellers, the crowd’s excitement peaked.

Next up was Serj Tankian, who was not as exciting as expected, but still made his set worth our while. Sadly, though, he seemed to be more of a comedian than a rocker. And although his music was good, he seemed to be a little too liberal, screaming anti-Bush and government messages in between songs.

Staind was one of the disappointments of the concert, playing boring slow song after boring slow song. Their attempts to redeem themselves were almost a success with harder songs, but they still weren’t enough.

After Filter played their small secondary set, the highlight of ROTR roared onto stage with “Fear.” Disturbed was by far the best of all of the bands, and the crowd let them know. At one point, lead singer David Draiman screamed, “Show me those F*[edit by Father]ing fists,” a sign for all of us infected with “The Sickness” to put up our fists to symbolize one of their hits, “Ten Thousand Fists.” As Disturbed played great song after great song, the song the crowd had been waiting for finally came. Disturbed rocked “Down With The Sickness” harder than anything I’ve ever seen. The worst part of the concert, yes worse than Staind, was watching disturbed walk off the stage.

Stone Temple Pilots were actually a huge let-down, and it came to the point where it seemed leaving during their set would give you more traffic problems than leaving after them. The lead singer looked like a skeleton, having just gotten back from rehab, yet he moved around like an octopus. Their energy just didn’t transfer to me the way they wanted it to. If placed in order of rocking, least to most, the bands (I saw) should have been lined up like this: Staind, STP, Serj Tankian, Shinedown, Killswitch Engage, Disturbed.

To sum this concert up in one weird mismash sentence: Killswitch on the Shiny, Disturbed, Deadman.