Rock and roll, man. The band was supposed to practice for our next “gig” at one, although my wife said she thought the email had changed it to two. (Since it’s a school event, all the relevant e-mails come to her through the Mom Grapevine.) I checked the email, and could find no such reference – although it’s hard sometimes to read these things, since everyone copies the entirety of the previous message, and you end up with emails longer than a Tolstoi novella. One it was, then. I told (G)Nat I would be back in time to take her to “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” one of those 943853 movies greenlit after the success of LotR and Narnia. She was looking forward to it very much. Well, I got to the studio, and there was no one there.

Two it was, then. I went to the office to kill a little time and check some things; called home to say I might not make the movie. She had that catch her in voice that indicated severe disappointment and possible tears, and I felt bad. My own “Behind The Scenes” family vs. the band moment. Went back to the studio, discovered that the drummer hadn’t heard me knock, and everyone else had been late anyway. One it was, then.

We really should rename the band the Mothers and the Fathers. Two of each – a mom on rhythm and vocals and a mom on bass and vocals; me on “lead” guitar and a dad thrashing the skins. Since we’d already played a previous event, or “gig,” we could pick things up easier than four people starting cold, and I had so much fun I ripped a cuticle while bashing my guitar, and bled all over the strings and whammy bar. Rock and roll, man. After we felt good about the first song we took a vote and decided to feel bad about the second one: no one wanted to play “Best of Both Worlds” by Hannan Montana for reasons that would take a large majority of the internet to describe here. It boiled down to this: boring to play, overproduced, hard to duplicate with a four-piece without a keyboard player, annoying lyrics, and general raw hatred of the song. So what to play in its stead?

“We Got the Beat,” by the Go-Gos. Since this is the Read-a-thon closing ceremony, at which the accumulated hours of the students will be revealed, we’ll change the lyrics to “We Beat the Goal.”

Rock and roll, man.

Great fun. When it was done I got back in the Element and noted that I might make the movie after all – drove home fast, only to see the other car gone from the garage. They’d gone on ahead. I drove to Southdale, bought a ticket, and went to the theater, expecting shiny happy faces from the family: you made it! But they weren’t there. Ah. Well, they’d gone to the Mall of America. As it turned out, they’d gone to an earlier show, had left soon after I arrived, and (G)Nat wasn’t feeling well at all, and threw up in the car.

At least someone threw up, then. Rock and roll!

She had a stomach ache all night, a version of the grippe that’s been trying to KO my wife all weekend. I didn’t know that then, so I lingered at the Mall and picked up supplies: the annual Chuck Taylors, a sure sign of spring, and some refills for the bathroom air freshener. It’s Eucalyptus Mint, aka Koala Fart. Then home for the night’s work.

Hey, Dick Contino called on Friday. He would be happy to see the pictures. He was kind and grateful and gentlemanly. He preferred I mail the photos; he has a computer, but, well, his wife is on it but he doesn’t much use it.

Saturday I went downtown to shoot some video; stopped off in the skyway to take some shots unmolested by passersby or security guards. I’d already been rousted at the Crystal Court by security guards for taking video; that is FORBIDDEN, because of terrorism. Such nonsense. Such blithering nonsense. I hate having to snap pictures on the sly, feeling like a criminal or a suspect, waiting for the security guard to fix me with a fish eye and ask what I’m up to: oh, I don’t know, I’m either recording the shape and form of the city today or figuring out the best place to enter if I’m wearing a suicide vest. West entrance? North? It’s an art, in a way.

Here’s a shot of a late 1920s light fixture I snapped, and there was probably a security camera whirring away as well, dispatching guards to detain me. What an excellent place for an ANTHRAX RICIN BOMB. Never would have thought of it if I hadn’t taken a picture.

I understand getting hinky about people showing up at the perimeter of nuclear power plants and taking pictures, and I understand that all public spaces are possible targets, but this is not sensible; this is the equivalent of making you put your liquids in a Zip-Loc bag. The point of the policy doesn’t matter; what counts is the application of the policy.

See you at; if you missed it, there's the lengthy weekly review up at And a new matchbook, of course. Interesting stuff en route tomorrow; this evening was given over to some video work and small-child stomach consoling. More tomorow.