A photo-illustrated week-in-review

Dear readers, I thought I'd take you on a week in review of my domestic life. This past seven-day-stretch has been a comparatively tough one, due to sleep deprivation and the stay-home-Daddy blues (which has afflicted me as of late), but there were moments of wonderfulness as well.

MONDAY of last week was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so Dawn didn't have to work! I was thrilled to have her company and support. Paavo and I began the day by shoveling the driveway...me with my action-scoop, and Paavo with a broken dustpan. Then the whole family got in the car and went out for a nice lunch at a developing chain-restaurant called Potbelly Sandwich Company or Cafe or Factory or Fantasy or Regime or something like that. Perhaps the greatest meatball sub I've ever consumed.

TUESDAY was a tough one. Thanks to fussy kids and goofed up schedules I engaged in intense parenting work for sixteen hours non-stop. Yup, 7AM 'til 11PM. Needless to say I was physically and psychologically spent. Also, for those of you familiar with the more obscure reaches of my musical catalog, it was the 15-year-anniversary of the composing and recording of the song "Picture Day," created with my cousin Bruce Rundman in his former house in Crystal Falls, MI (watch for the first publicly available version of that song, coming very soon!). If that wasn't enough, it was Paavo's first entire day in big-boy-underpants. By noon we had peed through two pairs of undies, but he didn't appreciate that sensation and from that moment on he kept those briefs dry and pristine for the remainder of the day! Nice work, kiddo. The potty-training has continued throughout the rest of this past week, and darn it if he isn't about 90% there. That's my boy!

WEDNESDAY finally allowed me some personal time! I went to the second of six book-study meetings I've been attending at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in South Minneapolis. I'd been hoping for more socializing with my classmates, but so far it's been a lot of listening to the teacher. She's decent, though, and so far I've learned the "four factors needed to pass along a meaningful faith experience to the next generation": CREED, COMMUNITY, HOPE, and....oh crap, I forget the fourth one. Paavo hung in the church nursery, happy as a clam. After the church thing I got to drop Paavo off at his pre-school for two hours. Sleeping Svea and I went out for lunch together and indulged in some much needed INFP personal time. Later I spent some time surfing the web and reading the ever-growing list of blogs that this very webpage has inspired (thank you very much!). Please visit the wonderful Internet epistles courtesy of my wife Dawn, my father-in-law Dean, and my friend Diane, brought to you by the letter "D."

THURSDAY was another loooong day of parenting.....this time 7AM to 8PM due to Dawn's participation in some new-fangled internet conference called a "webinar." I took my descendants to the Minnesota Children's Museum for the entire afternoon where Paavo dressed like a fireman, shot a music video with some other random kid (their songs were "Hey Now You're a Rockstar" by Smashmouth, and the public-domain classic "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain"), and learned about water pressure. Maybe the water exhibit helped him with multiple successful trips to the potty while out in public! After the museum we swung over to the Luther Seminary Bookstore to pick up some gifts, but alas, the bookstore was closed when we got there. Rats! At least we were able to once again take Paavo to the potty. (Strange side-note: while at the seminary we were followed into the bathroom by an obviously mentally-disabled guy who started talking at me about hairstyles: lecturing about hockey players who have long hair, the Beatles' moptops, how much he hates long hair on men, etc. As I tried to wash Paavo's hands in the sink, this guy leaned over my own head and went into a huge rant about MY hair and how men should keep their hair short, etc. By the end of the whole ordeal I was really annoyed and ticked off, with my personal space very infringed-upon. I don't know what the deal was with the guy....I'm just hoping he wasn't a seminary student on track to getting his M-Div. Ha ha.) Paavo, Svea, and I made it safely back to the car and zipped downtown for a good dinner at Panera and an hour of book reading and potty-using at the Minneapolis Central Library before we picked up Dawn from work. Again, parenting had fried my brain.

FRIDAY was awesome 'cause we began the day with an awesome bagel breakfast visit with my friend and Lutheran celebrity David Scherer who you might know as the rapper Agape. As part of my mission to improve my social life I've been talking to Dave about setting aside time each month for us to hang out. It was great to see him. There are few people on earth who understand this weird balance of showbiz, art, and church that I live each day, but Dave is one of 'em. Then after breakfast Paavo and I (and sleeping Svea of course) went to parent/child day at our Early Childhood Family Education class. Paavo got to wear safety goggles and play with his classmates at the toy toolbench. We got to pick up Dawn early from work and enjoy a nice afternoon together. Later that night I met my friend Joel for a 10PM showing of the movie Babel, which is up for a bunch of awards these days. It was a depressing and exhausting movie...maybe not the best choice for my current metal state. But in retrospect, maybe the movie was good. The film was so pulverizing I can't quite decide if it was good or not.

SATURDAY was a long-awaited day of productivity as I continued to unpack our family junk in our basement, and began to finalize my new studio set-up. The coolest part of the day was the discovery of 20-years-worth of rock and roll posters, some of which were on my wall in my bedroom when I was in high school.
Here are some fun pictures of my studio, and the shrines I've constructed to some of my favorite musicians, including The Silos, Paul Westerberg, Lisa Germano, The Hooters, The Pursuit of Happiness, Glen Burtnik, Sam Phillips, Annie Lennox, and Peter Case. For the first time in the six months we've lived here, I've got enough space to walk around in the studio. Maybe that means I'll start writing and recording new music for the first time in a year or two.

SUNDAY is today, and it was sleepy but pleasant. Got up really early and went over to church to play mandolin in the bluegrass band. Musical highlights included a lovely interpretation of Gillian Welch's song "By The Mark," plus a chance to play my own song "By Grace" (which I co-wrote with the brilliant Nate Houge) with full bluegrass instrumentation. Pretty sweet! Came home for a nice lunch of Finnish pancakes and went back to church for an afternoon meeting with our small-group...a get together of other parents of pre-schoolers. A very supportive and loving community of folks! Went out by myself for dinner tonight, and an elaborate trip to Target where I had to purchase such items as a small flashlight, some women's deodorant, a kid-sized snow shovel, a 12-pocket file folder, and a gallon of milk. They had it all. And I listened to "Super Extra Gravity" the excellent 2006-era CD by Swedish genius-pop band The Cardigans.

The week ahead will be great due to the forthcoming visit of my Mom. She should arrive on Thursday. I hope you enjoyed this detailed spew of my weekly minutia. If you want brief, well-written, and meaningful, you can read Dawn's blog.


Bridget said…
Now, where are those rocks of mine? LOL

I took them from last year's Extravaganza. Care, Community, Hope, and yeah. . .I don't remember the fourth either! But each little rock has one written on it! Doesn't help much since I don't know where the rocks are, though.

Stein Auf!

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