Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution

A guest blogspot by my partner, DRD

Monk is a lot like his dad in that one of his “guilty pleasures” is listening to heavy metal--particularly bands whose lyrics are not always entirely edifying. Monk’s current favorite album to listen to on the way to his hockey games is AC/DC’s Back in Black. He thinks of the title track as his team’s theme song, because they often wear black jerseys, and he like to imagine them blasting the song through the rink’s sound system during pre-game warm-ups. But he told me today that his favorite AC/DC song, which he’s had running through his head for the last couple of weeks, is “Hells Bells.”

I’m not entirely comfortable with this. I’m sure Monk likes the song partly because he thinks of hell as a curse word. I don’t think he gives much thought to the concept of hell, and AC/DC’s comically absurd glorification of it—which always put me off as a churchgoing teen. And I know he likes the ominous feel of the guitar part. He’s joked more than once about how his teacher last year always invited the kids to bring their favorite music in to be played at school, and he likes to imagine how she’d react if he’d brought “Hell’s Bells” in to be played for his third-grade class. But he thinks she probably wouldn’t do it because of the curse words.

When he mentioned that today, I seized upon the “teaching moment” as an opportunity to undo some of the damage I’ve done in introducing his nine-year-old mind to these songs. I said something like “Well, I’m sure your teacher doesn’t want to play music in class that some of the kids or their parents would find offensive. You know some of those songs really don’t have a very good message about how to live—like where ‘Hells Bells’ says, ‘If you’re into evil, you’re a friend of mine.’ ”

He says, “Yeah, I know, sometimes their lyrics aren’t so good--other than that one.”

I was a little baffled, and asked him what he meant.

He says, “Well, that song basically says what God says--that no matter what somebody’s done, even if they’ve done some really bad stuff, you should still be their friend, still love them, still stick with them.”

You gotta love a boy who hears the gospel in his AC/DC album.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

N'est Pas Fumer

Yesterday I took Monk to a doctor's appointment. The nurse was running through the routine beginning: measuring his height, weight, taking his temperature. She turned to me and asked a couple usual questions, finishing up with: "Does anyone smoke at home?"

"No," I answered.

"Only when she cooks," Monk quipped.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tooth Telling

I spent a bit of time in the dentist's chair this afternoon getting my first-ever cavities filled. (I'm 38, in case you're wondering.) I always prided myself as a kid on never getting a bad report from the dentist. Although, having no cavities growing up certainly didn't spare me from the misery of being in the dentist's chair.

I come from a Welsh heritage (among other things--a real mutt am I). And I'm convinced a trait of being Welsh (besides being tremendously supersititous) is big ol' teeth. My dentist decided when I was little that my mouth was too small to hold all my teeth. So every time I went to see him, he would shoot me up with Novocaine and yank out a couple teeth. Let's see, over my lifetime I've had at least 14 teeth pulled, eight of those were adult teeth. (This doesn't include my wisdom teeth.)

The last time my dentist pulled my teeth (two on the top) he didn't wait long enough for the Novocaine to work. Because I was still just a kid, he didn't believe me when I told him I could still feel what he was doing. What a miserable, miserable experience.

The cumulative effect of all this was a bit of trauma related to the dentist--keeping me from setting foot into a dentists office for much, much too long.

But with the new job came dental insurance and my excuses ran out. Last week I went for the first time and got my first bad report. And today I went to get a couple teeth drilled and filled.

Because of my fears, especially in connection to the needle, I paid extra out of pocket for the joy of Nitrous Oxide. What a beautiful thing. After several minutes, I was able to relax and let everything go on around me without getting stressed out about it.

A bit of irony for the whole experience? There was construction going on right outside the window. They were using a jackhammer out there. Kind of put the sound of the drill in perspective. :)

The fat lip feeling has finally just worn off. So I'm ready to consider eating a little something for dinner.

I'm very proud of myself today. I did it. I really did.