Friday, February 16, 2007

Aidan's 4th Birthday Party

Well, the day before I had my little injury, Aidan had his 4th birthday party, his 1st in Texas, which meant that this was the first birthday party with extended family in attendance. I was a lot of fun, different from last year's party, but fun. In addition to Aidan's grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles, we also had some friends in attendance. Aubrey Griffin and his parents, Jerry and Emily Griffin, were there and so was Aidan's friend from school, Jett. Kids' birthdays can be a burden and potentially annoying, but I had fun, and I think everyone who came had fun too, and that's what it's all about. Even the pinata was cool. Thanks to everyone who came. Click the picture above to take a look at the pictures from the party, and check out the podcast for the video, courtesy of Uncle Kyle.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Can I get a break?

So I'm playing a friendly game of roller hockey on Sunday evening with my wife and kids (only Kari and I were in skates). I'm playing forward, making what I believe be a pretty good maneuver through the hole to the net, when out of nowhere comes a pink blurr. Regan, a pretty good defensivewoman, delivers a massive crosscheck, I swerved to try to avoid it, but in doing so, my skate stayed still, snapping the lower fibula and shattering the lower tibia in my right leg at the top of the skate boot. After making a splint out of hockey sticks and packing tape, Kari rush me to the hospital. On Tuesday, I had surgery to insert a rod in my leg to help the fibula heal. (Apparently, the tibia is superfluous, so they didn't do anything with it.) I also had a metal plate and screws inserted in my ankle because there was a fracture in my ankle as well.

I was released from the hospital on Wednesday evening, and I've been home recuperating since then. Kari's has stayed with me most of this week, and she has been absolutely incredible. No doubt this ordeal has been much harder on her than it has been on me because of the incredible burden she has had to bear. She is truly an incredible woman and my angel. I've also been helped by my parents and grandparents, who have all taken days off to be with me at the hospital and at home. This has been much easier to deal with because of their help and support. We are so grateful to be back in Texas where our family can help with emergencies like this.

On Monday I go back to work. That will be a challenge. Simply getting there will be difficult because I can't drive, and we'll have to figure out a way for Kari to get me and the kids where we need to go before getting herself to work downtown. We'll see how that goes. It's going to be an interesting 3-6 months.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Currently listening: The Shins and The Earlies (and still Of Montreal)

I recently bought three incredible albums from iTunes, three that have all jumped to the into the top tier of my favorites list. The first from Of Montreal, "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?", I've mentioned before. It is an incredible and striking album without a single weak song. Favorite songs are "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse", "Gronlandic Edit", "She's a Rejecter", and "We Were Born the Mutants Again With Leafling".

To that one, I have also added the new albums by The Shins and The Earlies. I think the The Shins new album, Wincing the Night Away, is their best to date. The lyrics are very moving, and the music is some of the most beautiful I've heard since Beck's Sea Change. My favorite tracks are "Phantom Limb" (the first single), "Sea Legs", and "A Comet Appears".

The Earlies new album is very good to, but in a slightly different way. I first heard of The Earlies a few years ago before they had released anything or, to my knowledge, had even recoded anything. My brother, Kyle, is married to the lead singer's sister-in-law, and the two of them had been friends in college. So Kyle had told me about the unusual beginnings of the band. They released their first album, "These were..." in 2004. I thought it was good, but not great. Although none of the songs struck me as particularly memorable, the overall feel of that first album was interesting enough that I could hear the potential for some really incredible work. Their second album, "The Enemy Chorus", came out, and boy oh boy, it fulfills much of that potential. The tracks are much more full and complete. The sweep in the way that psychedelic rock tends to do, but without drowning in itself, as that type of music can do sometimes as well. They are more complete stories through music, not just lyrically but musically as well. Their first album was simply too amorphous for my tastes, but the new album seemed more structured, but without losing the appearance of spontaneity. Favorite tracks are "Gone for the Most Part", "Foundation and Earth", and "Breaking Point"

Of Montreal - "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?"
The Shins - "Wincing the Night Away"
The Earlies - "The Enemy Chorus"