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Archive for July, 2011

Toby’s Hit Parade

The musical landscape at the time of one’s birth is fun to muse upon, and the quality of the song that’s at number one in the hit parade seems disproportinately significant. I got Mull of Kintyre by Wings, which isn’t terrible, but it’s hardly Sir McCartney’s finest work; and the top 40 that week is rather a mixed bag, with the odd rock classic among some pedestrian disco (plus the rather odd but quite splendid Egyptian Reggae, by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers).

Mrs. Monkeyshines fares somewhat better than me, with KC and the Sunshine Band’s Give It Up at number one, and a swathe of fine songs in the top ten, including Depeche Mode’s Everything Counts, which sounds like the whole of the Eighties compressed into 3 minutes and 58 seconds.

At first I was disappointed that Toby had got lumbered with Jason Derulo’s Don’t Wanna Go Home, with its weird Banana Boat refrain. But then I realised that I was looking at the wrong week, and his chart is actually pretty decent, considering the noise that passes for music these days (I don’t really believe this, but I need to start forming dad opinions such as these). Number one in the singles chart was Changed The Way You Kiss Me by Example.

Toby’s album chart topper is Progress by Take That, presumably bumped back up the charts by their current tour. As with the singles, it’s a decent top ten – you can’t cavil at any chart than includes ELO and Seasick Steve. Across the pond, Adele is heading up the Billboard Hot 100, with Rolling In The Deep; a fine song, and nice that a Brit is topping the US chart.

What do you mean, “this isn’t a new cat bed”?

And I suppose these aren't cat toys, either?

I think the least I deserve, if I must live with an attention-grabbing little hoomin, is a nice comfy cat bed. And he gets all the milk he can guzzle (which is plenty, evidently), while I have to hang around in the kitchen, doing my little-cat-lost face to rustle up a bit of sympathy. Humph.

Everything a Baby Needs to Know

In the weeks before the arrival of the Little Monkey, I encountered the same Kurt Vonnegut quote twice, independently, as I bimbled around the internet. I wasn’t even looking for anything to do with Vonnegut or babies, and yet here was a wonderful quote that captured my feelings almost exactly. It’s from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (which I’ve not read, but have now ordered…):

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies – God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

The War-and-Peace-O-Meter: Week Five

Previous weeks: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4

I finished the first volume this week, just as Mrs. Monkeyshines was going into labour. Twenty-four hours later, our first child was born, a Little Monkey called Toby Charles. Things are going well so far, and I might have a chance to snatch a few chapters over the next couple of weeks, but I think my progress will be somewhat diminished as I allow my son to bask in my adoration…