Monday, June 15, 2015

Update

Our weekend was good!  Back before Raylan even arrived on the scene we had bought tickets to go see Rhett Miller (of Old 97's fame) at Strange Brew.  We enlisted my parents to do some babysitting, and they actually ended up taking Raylan to their house to spend the night while Amy and I went out.  It was weird to have a night without Raylan around (there might have been some anxious phone calls late at night and first thing in the morning), but in the end everything went well.  Raylan had a good night, by all accounts, and Amy and I had a nice date night to ourselves.
Rhett Miller's show was really good.  Salim Nourallah opened for him, and his performance was a little weird.  Nourallah mostly played along with a pre-recorded tape of background music.  He played a little bit of acoustic guitar from time to time, but mostly he sang along, karaoke style, to his own music.  It was odd.  I wasn't sure how a guy his age was getting gigs doing stuff like that.  Then Miller took the stage and explained that Nourallah had been the producer for a number of his albums.  I'm guessing that Nourallah is mostly a producer first and a recording artists/performer second.  Anyway, he might be good with a backing band, but I think the dude should steer clear of the solo/acoustic shows.  If you can only perform by singing along with a tape, you probably shouldn't be going solo.
Rhett Miller, on the other hand, did a great job.  He just got up there and sang for an hour and a half (or longer) and rocked it out on an acoustic guitar.  He maintained a really high energy level throughout the performance, his voice sounded good, and the songs sounded really tight.  I think he was a little weirded out by the sort of quiet, intimate, slightly intense experience that comes with playing at Strange Brew (he's not really a mellow singer-songwriter, after all), but he seemed to enjoy the experience more and more as the show progressed, realizing that the audience was really into the music.  The audience is really quiet during the songs at Strange Brew, and many of them are seated, so that has to be sort of odd for musicians who are used to playing to audiences at bars and nightclubs where people are drunk and talking throughout their set.  The Strange Brew audience is enthusiastic, though, and they applaud and hoot and holler enthusiastically between songs.  Once Miller started to really understand what the place was all about and started to get the fact that the audience, although not rowdy, were really, truly enjoying his music, he started to enjoy himself much more.  Maybe he'll come back.  I would definitely go see him again in that setting. 




Rhett Miller at Strange Brew
So Friday night was a lot of fun.  Weird to come home to a house without Raylan.  But we had fun.  Saturday morning we got up and went to Kerbey Lane for breakfast.  Then we went grocery shopping.  Then Amy went to a hair appointment while I drove out to Steiner Ranch to pick up The Boy.


("When I go to Gramma's house I get souvenirs!!")

(babysitters)
Seems like everything went fine out there.  Mom and Dad said Raylan was pretty happy and easy to deal with while he was out there.  I visited with Mom and Dad a bit, fed Raylan, and then drove back to South Austin. 
Saturday night we ordered pizza and just sort of hung out.  I'm not sure what we were doing.
(beautiful, happy people)

(raindrops falling on the fam)
On Sunday we actually took Raylan out to go run a few errands.  It was the first time we'd done this.  We put him in his carrier, and he mostly slept while I walked around Buy Buy Baby and Homegoods with him.  After we got home Jamie stopped by and visited with us for a while.  It was good to see her.  Sunday night we watched the season finale of Game of Thrones. That show is starting to wear me out.  I'm just getting tired of the relentless awfulness.  I'm also getting tired of the way that victimizing people, particularly women, has become the single favorite plot device that the show employs in order to keep its audience engaged.  I know that George R.R. Martin and the show's writers can point to all sorts of awfulness throughout history as real world precedent for the awfulness on the show, but I still find the constant shock factor to be: 1) no longer all that shocking now that the violence is so expected, 2) lazy (the plotlines of many characters increasingly seem to boil down to little more than wandering around sort of haplessly until something bad happens to them, and sort of unrealistic (despite the insistence of show creators that the awfulness is supported by historical precedent, it seems like every awful thing from the all parts of the world throughout history have been distilled down to fit into this one program).  Anyway, I know that I overthink things, but it also bothers me that one of the top-rated shows on television relies so heavily upon the victimization, particularly of women, in order to score its ratings.  I'm reminded of aesthetics classes and questions about whether the things that we choose as entertainment have an impact on our minds, morality, and soul.  I'm not sure about the answer to that question, but GOT is starting to make me feel uneasy.
Anyway, enough about that.  It's the end of the season.  We'll see if I feel the need to see how things play out next year.
In the interim, I'll be doing a bunch of late night diaper changes with this guy.  Speaking of ruthless tyrants....  ;-)


("I like to wake up when you are trying to go to
sleep.  It's hilarious.")

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