From her mouth. It gathered its small, soft body and leapt
forward, up and out. And then it was gone. She knew
because of the dark hollow in her chest, like the place a woodpecker makes,
keeps making, until it’s emptied the wood of food
and moved on. She didn’t try to stop it, because she didn’t know
what it was; what came from her mouth
looked like a white moth, the kind that eats wool, so she clapped her hands,
chased it to the window, pulled the shade down
and pretended that was that. It’s surprising it stayed
as long as it did, because most of all, she made it wait. She made it wait
while she beat a dead horse, hit the nail on the head, drove her point home,
split hairs, threw fat on the fire, killed birds with a stone.
Naturally, it grew tired of waiting,
tried to tell her, made a few practice runs, beat its wings;
she could feel it, don’t tell me she couldn’t, she could hear
the wings beat. She still feels it, like when you lose an arm or leg
and it aches but there’s nothing there
to ache. That’s how hollow she feels. She talks a lot, laughs
with her mouth open wide. Not everyone knows why,
but I do: she’s making a place for it to come back to.
This is some of the music I had playing in my headphones at SxSW. It’s a subset of Matthew Averkamp’s extensive SxSW 2012 Picks on Spotify, which had a good blend of bands I already loved and ones that were new to me. If you only have a few minutes, be sure to check out Daughter and Dry the River.
What have you been listening to lately? Let us know in comments.
Links to individual songs (where available):
Candles by Daughter
Easy to Love by Ivan and Aylosha
No Rest by Dry the River
Souvenir by AgesandAges
All the Same to Me by Anya Marina
Dance on Our Graves by Paper Route
Getting Old by Hellogoodbye
Poisoning the Pool by Billy Harvey
Pictures by Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Two Cousins by Slow Club
I Was Broken by Marcus Foster
So, moments like this are the entire reason to attend SxSW. This is Kimbra looping “Settle Down” live at the Spotify House. Get your headphones and press play. I insist.
Are you grinning now? Me too.
I caught her performance by accident, I was there to see Dry the River when she stopped by. As you can see, she doesn’t have many intimate venues left in her future. Tickets for the San Francisco show she’s playing with Gotye are on Craigslist for over $1K. I’d been keeping an eye out for her, but was still too slow on the draw. (May Songkick preserve us, amen.)
But there she was, 5 feet away. I still get chills thinking about how arresting it was to hear her. I had some uncharitable fears about seeing her live. Very pretty girls, teamed with professionals who can make a mediocre voice seem amazing, sometimes disappoint. But did you watch that video? It turns out I am a jerk.
Kimbra’s voice is not mediocre. Standing alone in a front yard with zero acoustics, with a mic and a guitar, she made my jaw drop. And watching her perform made me joyful.
What’s more, and this is a big deal to me, she seemed kind. Unassuming, ready smile, making faces when she faltered on a difficult transition. I think you guys would like her.
So, let’s keep rooting for her, shall we? If you get a chance to see her in person, seize it with both hands; kiss it on the mouth.
This post is sponsored by Clorox. Help stop the spread of germs with Clorox disinfecting products.
If you have a young kiddo, you know about the dramatic time morph that happens when they arrive. Tiny chunks of freedom take on new meaning. One minute? That’s a shower. Two minutes? Dinner. Three minutes? It’s possible you could re-tile the bathroom.
Here are a few of my parenting hacks for saving time, or finding a little for yourself, in the spaces between heart-shaped pancakes and bedtime stories.
One Minute Sock Fix
When Hank was a baby, I could never find a pair of matching socks. They were so tiny, one was inevitably missing. I know, I know — I could have solved this issue by buying all white socks. But! Those are not as cute; so boo on that. Instead, when I took Hank’s socks off at night, I’d take a minute to pin them together before I threw them in the hamper.
I still keep a little bowl of safety pins in his sock drawer next to the hamper. Now socks rarely go missing, and I don’t have to pair them out of the wash. Next I shall turn my attention to resolving all conflict between nations. I’m pretty sure the solution involves safety pins.
Two Minute Sand Trap
Speaking of socks, when we get home from the playground or the beach and it’s time to take off sand-filled shoes, I fold the top of Hank’s socks down until they cover the opening of his shoe, then remove his shoe and sock simultaneously, so the sock traps the sand. Before this stroke of genius, I was perpetually walking around with a thin layer of sand clinging to my bare feet. Glargh.
Three Minute Mani Pedi
I give Hank a bath every night before bed, and while he’s filling and emptying jars in the bathtub, I do an incremental mani-pedi. On night one, I remove old polish. Night two is filing, night three base coat, and so on. Once a week or so, Hank asks me to paint his nails, and I oblige. Then some kid in class says “nail polish is for girls,” and then I explain about rock stars, and then I paint his nails extra. With intent.
Four Minutes of Solitude
This no longer works for me, so caregivers of the four-and-under set please listen up. Hide-and-seek is your closest ally when a kid is too young to grasp that you might prefer a New Yorker article to a Dora the Explorer marathon. So send the kid off to hide, and then open your magazine. Wander around in the wrong rooms while reading. Occasionally yell “Where is Johnny? I just can’t find him!” “Wherever did Ava go?” while you learn about how Truman Capote held New York society captive with his Black and White Ball invitations. Eventually you should gather up the child, tickle them, then send them off to hide again. Ooo! Joan Didion.
Five Minute Dinner
All right, this last one is so simple I almost feel silly mentioning it, but it changed the way we eat. Every once in a while, I make a huge pot of soup and then take a few minutes after dinner to divide the leftovers into individual servings. They keep for weeks in the freezer and are just as good upon reheating. Once I have a few different types of soup stored, I can skip dinner prep a couple nights a week without ordering out, and we can still eat healthfully. It also saves me from having a quesadilla every day for lunch, which is too bad because quesadillas are so good for my bum.
So those are a few of my tricks for keeping our little family running on schedule. If you’d like to see what other parents are saying, you can check out Clorox’s Facebook page and contribute your own ideas — they’re putting together an e-book of tips as part of this project.
Meanwhile, what do you do to save a few minutes here and there? Let us know in comments.