Grad Night, Part 2

We had our final official event at St P’s last night: the graduation of L’s 8th grade class.

We got a new priest a little over a year ago after our long-time, very popular priest retired. The new guy has received a decidedly mixed reaction. As I’m not Catholic I won’t get into the details.

That said, homie knocked out the Mass in 40 minutes, which I fully support.

The graduation ceremony afterward went well. It was nice to have it be “normal,” since C’s in the spring of 2021 featured limited guests, masks, and families spread out with pews between them.

Neither M nor C won any awards at their middle school graduations. I had a feeling L might get one this year. It helps that her class is tiny. But she’s also been a straight A student and consistently gets the little awards and acknowledgments teachers hand out during the year.

She was nominated for four awards that we know of.[1] She won one, and it was a good one: the Holy Cross Values award for Cathedral that includes a $500 scholarship and automatic entry into class leadership at CHS next year. Pretty, pretty good.

That was one of the awards where they did not read off the nominees. The grads were sitting in their own section and we had a direct view of her. I had a decent idea she was going to win this one, so got to see the surprise and delight on her face when the principal called her name. She was beaming when she walked up to receive it.

So that was pretty cool.

There is always a brief reception for families before the adults leave and the kids have their final dance together. Several of us parents went to a bar to have a few drinks during the dance. I cracked up that, for most of our 90 minutes at the bar, the moms were all on one side of the room and the dads on the other. Some things never change…

L went to a friend’s house to hang out for awhile afterward. When I picked her up at midnight she said the dance was fun, although nobody was dancing. She was wearing casual clothes her friend had given her after they got to her house because, “I was tearing it up on the dance floor to try to get other people to dance and got my dress all sweaty.” Apparently there was twerking involved.

Just because the class of 2023 had graduated didn’t mean she stopped being a leader.

  1. Not sure why, but for some reason they read off the nominees for some awards and not others.  ↩

Holiday Weekend Notes

It was a very busy, extra long, extra special holiday weekend. Let’s get into the details.


L’s next-to-last day of middle school. She begged us to host the annual 8th grade pool party. After weeks of badgering us we relented. Not sure I would have said yes if her class was bigger, but only 28 kids seemed manageable.

Everyone was well-behaved, they all got picked up on time, and I felt bad for secretly hoping it would storm and cancel the event.[1]

Afterward six of her closest girlfriends spent the night. I think they were all wiped out from swimming so crashed pretty early.

S and I also went to the open house for one of M’s closest friends that evening.


Our family’s last day at St P’s! After 13 years we are done. Looking forward to stopping that monthly contribution. Not that that balances out college tuition.

I was shocked that L and her sleepover pals were all awake and dressed when I got up at 6:45. I fully expected to need to send S down to get the girls moving.

L’s last day went well. The 8th graders always have a walkout about 15 minutes before school ends. The rest of the students line the hallways, the 8th graders stroll through them to cheers and hugs, and then everyone stands around hugging and crying until it’s time to go.

Way less tears in L’s class than either of her sisters’ classes. Way less standing around and hugging. As I recall from both M’s and C’s classes, the school administrators are always gently pushing people to their cars when it is time for the gates to open. Not L’s class, or at least L. She stood around for a few minutes, then looked at me and said, “OK, let’s go.”

Easiest last day ever!

They graduate tonight (Tuesday).

Friday was also C’s last day of the year. She just had to turn a couple projects in before CHS dismissed at 12:20. She brought some girls home and had a big sleepover of her own.

That evening S, M, and I went to the folks hosting M’s big, three-girl open house in a few weeks for dinner and planning.

Yes, if you’re paying close attention, we let both L and C have a bunch of girls over and left the house, with only another sister to keep an eye on them. As far as we know there were no parties or boys invited over in our absence.


A relatively quiet day, although this was day one of prep for our family/close friends open house for M on Monday.


This is when the stress really kicked in for party prep. An entire day of cleaning, organizing, testing different strategies for how to display her stuff, shopping, etc.

L and I also ran over to the YMCA so she could get some shots up. Something was wrong with my back which made rebounding and getting a hand up in her face very difficult. That night I was in pretty intense pain. Normally I know when I do something to my back and that pain is coming. This time I had no memory of doing anything to it, which is a little concerning. The pain is finally fading Tuesday morning.

Also…race day! While doing party prep around the house we did the Indy resident tradition of listening to the race on the radio. Sounded like it was a good one. I fell asleep watching the replay Sunday night and haven’t gone back yet to watch the final 15 laps, which were some of the craziest I can recall in an Indy 500.


Open House day had finally arrived. Which meant the stress went to its highest possible level. We were still getting things organized when people started arriving, which is always fun.[2] My sister-in-law made an amazing grazing table for the main food feature.

Again this was mostly family and close friends, where the bigger party in a a couple weeks will be more about M’s friends. The nephews all got to swim. It was very warm, pushing hot, but still a nice day to be outside.

It was good to break M’s celebration into two groups. We have a big house with a big yard, but it doesn’t really feel setup for having 100-ish people wandering around. I think we had around 50 people over Sunday, but never more than 30–35 at a time. Which seemed perfect for getting to at least say hello and have a quick conversation with everyone. I also didn’t have to worry about people falling into the pool because so many people were milling about.

Oh, a story about pools at grad parties. The kid M went to prom with had his party last week. S and I did not go since we only casually know the parents. Day of their party they opened their pool to be greeted by green water. So they poured 16 gallons of pool shock into it in hopes of killing off whatever was polluting it.[3] That worked; the water was blue by party time. But also highly toxic. The parents spent all night telling people “DO NOT GET IN THE WATER!” Which was a pain because there were a ton of people there, and they were crowded very close to the pool.

We had blue, swimmable water for our party, thank goodness. I definitely watched my chemical levels a little closer than normal and ran the pump a little higher than normal in advance of our gathering.

M was pleased with how everything went, which is kind of the key.

And now it is summer. M has been out trying to find a job to supplement her weekend cooking gig. C really needs to get off her ass and find one soon if she wants to avoid the wrath of her parents. L has a couple days off before summer school orientation Friday, then begins classes next Monday. She is taking health and gym, so will be on campus all day. She also has high school basketball workouts on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings, and will likely be playing in games on Thursday nights. Kid is going to be tired for the next four weeks.

  1. Because of the holiday weekend and people leaving town, then graduation on Tuesday, we had one day to try to get the party in.  ↩
  2. They were arriving on time, we were just way behind schedule.  ↩
  3. For you non-pool owners, 16 gallons of liquid chlorinator is A LOT. I’ve never poured more than four gallons in at once, although I did put eight gallons in over the course of a day when we had cloudy water once.  ↩

Friday Playlist

I planned on taking this week’s playlist one direction, then some things happened in the music world, I realized it was a holiday weekend, and we ended our academic year, so I decided to mix things up.

“Lay Low” – My Morning Jacket
I watched a documentary on MMJ’s 2004 Bonnaroo performance the other night. Which means I spent the next hour listening to some of their best tracks. This seems like a good song to open any playlist with.

“Just Like Heaven” – The Cure
Steven Hyden posted another music list this week, this time his listing of The Cure’s best songs. Can there be any doubt about his top pick? One of the greatest song openings of its, or any, era. From the musical introduction to that first series of lyrics, it is perfect.

“The Headmaster Ritual” – The Smiths
Minutes after I posted last week’s playlist, news broke that The Smiths’ former bass player, Andy Rourke, had passed. I’m like a lot of people in that I don’t notice the bass line of songs much unless it is super interesting. Especially in The Smiths, which were all about Morrissey’s lyrics and Johnny Marr’s guitar. This appeared high on several lists of Rourke’s best bass lines. Now that I pay attention to it, I have to agree it’s pretty good.

“School’s Out” – Alice Cooper
Today is L’s last day as an 8th grader, and our family’s final day at St P’s after 13 years. C is done with finals but does have to turn in two papers this morning and then she will be done with her sophomore year. It’s getting summery AF in our house.

“Ball of Confusion” – B.E.F. and Tina Turner covering The Temptations
Oh man Tina… Such a massive loss. The greatest comeback in music history. One of the all-time great stories about overcoming adversity…shit, what she overcame went way beyond adversity. She deserved every ounce of success she earned in Act Two of her career. I loved every interview I saw of her. She had every right to be bitter about her past and always seemed like such an upbeat, happy person. She was so undeniable that even though she was really more of a middle of the road artist when she had her 1980s peak, I loved almost everything she put out.

This was one of the songs that helped her relaunch her career. B.E.F. featured members of Heaven 17 and Love and Rockets along with guest vocalists covering hits from the ’60s and ’70s. This was Tina’s first minor hit in Europe in 1982. 1984 brought the Private Dancer album, which made her one of the biggest stars in the world. “What’s Love Got to Do with It” is genuinely one of the greatest pop songs of the era. Those of us who were there for it will never forget Tina’s confident strut through that video.

“We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” – Tina Turner
This, though, was my favorite Tina track of that time. Again, why would a 14-year-old kid like a power ballad like this? Because it was Tina! So glad the second 40 years of her life were much, much better than the first 40.

“It’s Only Love” – Bryan Adams and Tina Turner
This song though? Makes total sense why the kids loved it. I’m always fascinated on duets like this, that bring together two musicians at the perfect time. That’s a lot easier these days, as you can write/record/release a song in a matter of days. But in the ’80s, when the production cycle for albums was much longer? Adams had seen Turner performing in small clubs as she was trying to claw her way back in the early ’80s. After “What’s Love Got to Do with It” hit #1, he invited her to join him on this song. I don’t get why it stalled out at #15. Maybe after five single from Reckless and seven from Private Dancer people were tired of both Bryan and Tina? If so, that just proves that people are stupid.

“My Friend Dario” – Vitalic
Happy Indy 500 weekend, to those who celebrate. Dario Franchitti hasn’t raced in a decade, but this song still seems perfect for race day.

“Summertime” – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Drums please!

Protecting Your Mailbox

A very busy week around here, so not sure if I’ll get any more proper posts up until after the holiday weekend.

I did run across this article this morning and it’s how I’ve been spending the last 30 minutes or so. If you’re sick of your mailbox being filled up with credit card offers, insurance spiels, and other unsolicited mailings, following these suggestions can eliminate many of them.

I wish there was a way to also stop the local mailings. I hate those creepy solicitations that have a big picture of your house on the envelope. Although for us it is fun since so many use either pictures from when our home was being built, or the house that was on this property before it was built. That’s a great way to get my business, people!

I Get No Mail and It’s Glorious

Graduation Weekend Notes

Grad Week

We officially have a high school graduate! The week leading up to Sunday’s graduation ceremony was jam-packed for M.

Her final day of school was last Monday. They were supposed to go in for first period Tuesday but she (and most of her classmates) opted to skip that.[1] She had little activities each day but Thursday was when things really got cranking. That morning she met with a group of girls on campus to take pictures. One of her middle school friends, who graduated from a rival school this weekend, took the photos and they turned out amazing. If you are a Facebook friend these are the pics of the group in caps and gowns around the school sign, etc.

Afterward she changed clothes and helped the other class officers paint their spot on the school wall. That evening she attended her first grad party, then slept over with a group of girls who were all on the crew to help make breakfast for Senior Sunrise.

She was up at like 5:30 Friday to get to campus and setup the breakfast. They had a beautiful morning for their last time together on the Hill, then meandered over to the gym for the Irish 500, the annual tricycle race between classes. There was some controversy this year as a team of sophomores, featuring one of C’s best friends, won for the second-straight year. The seniors claimed they cheated but C was insistent that she had video that disproved the senior’s argument. Who knew a tricycle race could be filled with so much drama?!?!

That night was the baccalaureate mass. Because of the timing we were not very environmentally friendly as a family and had to take three cars. I felt a little bad about that, even more so since parking is such a pain on campus.

The class president gave a very good speech which was a bonus. In the midst of the ceremony C looked at me and said, “Is that rain?” referring to the background noise. At an appropriate moment I slipped my phone out to check the radar and, sure enough, there was a big, fat red storm cell sitting right on top of CHS. It had not passed when the mass was over and we had to run to our cars while getting absolutely soaked. And I mean soaked. My clothes were plastered to my body. Thank goodness it wasn’t graduation day!

We had to laugh when the kids walked in for the mass. They were in alphabetical order. There was a sequence that went from Xavier Booker (6’11”) to M’s ex-boyfriend (5’7”). That just didn’t look right. We were also thankful that the ex-boyfriend comes before his twin sister in the lineup, otherwise he and M would have walked and sat next to each other. They are on decent terms but that still would have been awkward.

When we got home M was in tears. She said she was tired, stressed, and sad. I told her it was 100% acceptable to be sad, but there was no reason to be stressed. This was going to be one of the best weekends of her life and she needed to take a deep breath and enjoy it. I think it was more the lack of sleep than anything else, because once she got a good night of rest, she was fine the rest of the weekend.

Saturday her best friend’s grandmother took a group out for lunch and then she had up to six parties to attend. She ended up only going to four, but that was still a pretty full day.

Sunday was the big day. CHS’ graduation is outside at their baseball complex east of the city. An outdoor event in Indianapolis in May? Holy taking a chance! I guess they haven’t learned from over a hundred years of Indy 500s, where the biggest drama of race day is often whether that storm developing over Terre Haute is going to make it to Speedway before the race ends.

We lucked out, though. It was bright and sunny and in the low 70s. The sun felt a lot warmer than 70, and we were all very hot. Plus we roasted in the sun, sunburns for all. But at least there was no rain or it wasn’t like 57 and windy.

The ceremony went well. M gave the opening prayer. One of her classmates was supposed to follow her by offering the prayer in Spanish. Apparently the band didn’t get the memo as they started playing immediately after M finished. It was hilarious watching her whip her head around trying to figure out what to do. We went back and watched the recording of the event that night. M said the school president told them just to wait for the band to finish and then give the Spanish prayer. After she got that message she just glared at the band. I found her indignation delightful, and was glad she was sticking up for her classmate.

Anyway, the whole event took about two hours. There were a few too many speeches, especially since we had speeches on Friday. There are 240ish kids in her class and it took about 45 minutes to call their names to walk the stage. I talked to the parents of some of L’s basketball teammates Saturday about their ceremonies at the big, suburban, Hamilton County schools. Their ceremonies often take 3–4 hours. That sounds fun.

One highlight from the ceremony was learning that M’s class destroyed the school records for both total scholarship dollars offered and, since they are a smaller class, scholarship dollars per student. She said when the school president announced that, the grads were all laughing that it was thanks to Booker and all his offers. I noticed he only listed about 10 schools, and a football player who is going to Kentucky did not list a couple schools I know he had official offers from, so their class total could have been even higher. Another kid, who is just a normal dude, had like a quarter page of scholarships listed. Good for him!

L took her camera and got some very good pictures. When going through them I laughed because she not only snapped M and her friends as they walked right behind us, but also Booker and her favorite assistant coach from the girls program.

After the ceremony we came home and had an Italian takeout dinner that was a combination celebration for graduation and C’s birthday last week with S’s dad and stepmom. Then M opened the time capsule made back in first grade. It was fun reading all the things she wrote about herself back then. My only kind of emotional moment of the week was when she read the letter I wrote to her and then I read the letter she wrote about me being her hero. The best stuff.

That was our graduation weekend. M will have two graduation parties in the coming weeks. On Memorial Day we are hosting a smaller one for just family and close friends. Then in June she and two of her best friends will have a mutual party at one of their homes. She has about 1000 parties scattered around those. I think S and I are only going to a couple of those, so our calendars are much less packed than M’s.


With M home, C went straight from getting her license to driving to school most days. Which means I’m back to how I was when M started driving on her own: checking my phone every 30 seconds until I’m sure C made it to CHS safely, or that she is getting home safely after school. Glad she got her license at the end of the academic year so I’ll have the summer to get more comfortable mentally with her being out on her own.

Kid Hoops

L’s team had a tournament this weekend, although she only played on Saturday. They won those two games by 29 and 45. Even the “close” one was never really close and we had running clocks for the entire second half of each.

L didn’t score much – four and two points respectively – but did a decent job passing and playing defense. The team we beat by 45 lost to us by 40 a month ago. The mom who ran the clock next to me said they came from Ohio. I wanted to ask her if it was worth driving two hours to keep getting crushed, but kept that question in my head.

In the bracket games Sunday our girls won by 43 and then played our program’s highest level sixth grade team for the championship. That team has a girl who can literally look me in the eyes. All she does is block shots and take 3’s. They have another girl who is pushing six-feet who is mostly an outside player, too. They’ve won two different “world championship” tournaments, so they are a really good team.

Our girls beat them 45–43 in overtime. Texting with our coach after it sounds like we controlled the entire game then got sloppy at the end to let it get to overtime. But after losing by a single point in overtime twice this season, the girls finally closed one out. I mean, to took paying sixth graders to do it. But these are “world champions,” so don’t knock it too much.

That was our last tournament of the spring. We take the holiday weekend off then the girls will all funnel out to their high school programs for June. We will reconvene after July 4 for three out-of-town tournaments and then be done with this iteration of the team. In Indiana only three girls from a high school can play on the same AAU team. As we have four girls who will go to the same high school, our team will need to be split up.

The good news for L is the CHS head coach also coaches with her AAU program, so I think she’ll be able to stay with her current travel coach for at least one more year. It will just not be with all the same girls.

  1. Their actual senior skip day was May 12. She and three of her friends spent the day at the outlet mall about an hour away.  ↩

Friday Playlist

Quite the mixed bag this week. We’ll begin with a couple tracks that owe a huge debt to ’90s Brit Pop, hear a classic from that era, dive into some Aussie music, and then get even more eclectic.

“Savior” – Siracuse
I have a buddy who is super into all things Manchester. Man United. The whole music scene. But especially Oasis. The first time I heard this I sent it to him and said, “This is totally some Stephen K bullshit.” Stephen K confirmed my assessment immediately.

“Drifting” – SENSES
More Brit Pop overtones. This song has been around for over two years, but SENSES just got around to putting out a proper album that features it.

“Sulk” – Radiohead
Radiohead were never truly Brit Pop, although plenty of people tossed their first album, Pablo Honey, into that pile. It’s nearly 30 years old and The Bends is still an awesome, awesome album.

“Hook Echo” – Wireheads
Been digging this song a lot the past few weeks. They are from Adelaide, South Australia.

“All I See” – Girl and Girl
I have that sensitive ear for Aussie rock. It did not twitch on this track. I would have sworn they were Brits but turns out they are from Brisbane.

“I’ve Got the Secret” – Island of Love
Crunchy, southern rock from England? Figures Jack White would find a band that made that kind of music; these kids are on White’s Third Man UK label.

“Hungersite” – Goose
I’ve heard this band described as a jam band for people who don’t like jam bands. That’s a solid description, at least for this this song.

“Unwritten” – Natasha Bedingfield
I was digging around looking for a song to honor M’s graduation on Sunday. This popped up on two different lists. It’s obviously not directly about graduating, but does speak about a limitless future. Congrats to all my readers who have kids in the class of 2023 as well.

“Head Rolls Off” – Frightened Rabbit
I hope M and all her graduating pals make tiny changes to earth.

Reaching for the Stars, Vol. 85

Chart Week: April 23, 1983
Song: “Whirly Girl” – Oxo
Chart Position: #28, 10th week on the chart. This was its chart peak.

We love to celebrate the one hit wonders that made a big impact on the charts and the culture. Toni Basil. Nena. Tommy Tutone. Artists of that nature that you still hear today.

Then there are the bands that are lost to time because their sole hit barely scratched its way onto the chart and failed to register in our generational memory.

This song is definitely one of those forgotten tracks.

I am writing about “Whirly Girl,” which I do not remember at all, because of the story Casey Kasem shared about its background. Casey told his audience that Oxo leader Ish “Angel” Ledesma wrote it about his wife’s adventures in the 1970s.

Before marrying Ish, Lori Ledesma had partied with some of the biggest bands of the ‘70s. “That can be fun, but also destructive,” Casey quoted Ledesma as saying. “I’m making fun of her lifestyle, but that’s ok. She made it through, and nothing happened to her.”

I’m sure he had his fun in the ‘70s, and he was publicly saying it was fine that she had her fun, too. Props to him for having an enlightened view about his wife’s past.

But then I checked out his lyrics and reconsidered my opinion.

She’s been with The Rolling Stones
On their tours
And in their homes
Won’t tell you where she’s bound
‘Cause she ain’t lost and don’t want to be found

Ok, fine so far. Dropping a Rolling Stones reference is solid. Let’s continue…

This girl just combs her hair
And takes her tea
With millionaires
She’s sitting in the latest styles
With open legs
And mysterious smiles


I think it’s one thing to say “Wow, my wife sure liked to party before we got together!” It’s another to write a line about her legs being open.

Again, maybe my focus should be on Ledesma’s comfort with his wife’s past. No double standards in their house.

I might have chosen a different way of talking about her history, though. One that didn’t imply she was easy, loose, or whatever the proper term for that era was.

Casey added that the song was meant to be called “Worldly Girl,” since Lori’s journeys had taken her around the world. But as that was too hard to sing, Ish adjusted it to be “Whirly Girl.”

The song? It’s a super annoying ear worm. I’m shocked I don’t recall it because it is the kind of track that I would hate but not be able to prevent from repeating in my head. It sounds like a cheesy, show tune knock off. Or maybe a poppier version of The Manhattan Transfer. The production sucks, too. Those tinny guitars drive me nuts. It sounds like it was made to be played on a single-speaker transistor radio and not one of the sweet Hi-Fis that Lori was no doubt listening to records on with Mick Jagger. 2/10

While this was Oxo’s only hit, Ish Ledesma himself was not a one-hit artist. He had reached #9 – and topped the R&B chart – in 1978 with his previous band Foxy on “Get Off.”[1] Ledesma’s third band, Company B, hit #21 in 1987 with “Fascinated.”

  1. Foxy also hit #21 with “Hot Number” in 1979.  ↩

Tuesday Links

The Tech Toddler has struck again. Naturally it was McSweeney’s that called him out best.

As a free speech absolutist, only death could stop me from defending the rights of Twitter users to speak without censorship. Well, either death or a request from an autocratic leader asking that I censor certain content that could be sensitive for their regime. Whichever comes first.


I’ve earned a lot of credibility with my girls for openly enjoying Taylor Swift’s music. Or at least everything from the Red singles on. I think I would enjoy seeing her live, but I’m not sure I could handle everything that came with it. Especially the 20,000 screaming girls.[1]

I loved this piece by site favorite Tom Breihan about his experience taking his 14-year-old daughter to see Taylor last week. Not afraid to admit some of her songs get to me, too, although not so much that I burst into tears. Who knows how I would react if I was standing with one of my girls and watching them get floored by the moment.

The Taylor Swift Live Experience Made Me All Emotional

BTW, don’t tell M that C and I were talking about music last week and she said that while she likes the music of both Taylor and M’s fav Harry Styles, she likes Taylor a lot more because “I think she’s a good person. I think Harry is kind of a creep.” 😂

MTV shuttered its news division last week. Like many kids who grew up on MTV, my initial reaction was “MTV News was still a thing?”

I spent a lot of time laying on the couch watching MTV News during MTV’s glory years. No longer did I have to go to the school library to read Rolling Stone or Spin to get the latest music news, delayed by the natural publishing timelines. It was just entertainment news, but I think it had a profound impact on my generation’s life.

“It Was Lightning in a Bottle”: An Oral History of MTV News

I vaguely remember Skylab from the summer of 1979. When we visited Kansas City, The Jones Store had cardboard sheets for sale from which you could punch out a novelty hat that was supposed to protect you from the falling debris. And I recall sitting in my grandfather’s pickup in central Kansas, listening to the news that Skylab had crashed into remote Australia. Sometimes I remember weird shit.

Here’s the story of the Aussie who collected some of the scraps that landed near his home.

A space station fell to Earth. An Australian boy brought it to San Francisco

I love stories like this, that explain how things that are a deep part of our modern culture came from humble beginnings. It’s especially interesting to consider that when sushi was first brought to the US, World War II was still in the relatively near past. I remember my parents getting shitty looks because they bought Toyotas in the late 1970s. Can you imagine trying to get WWII vets to eat Japanese food?

How two friends sparked L.A.’s sushi obsession — and changed the way America eats

  1. One of M’s friends was at the Nashville show that was delayed nearly five hours. On the one hand, no way do I wait that long. On the other, I’m assuming thousands – plural – of dollars were dropped on those tickets, so how could you not wait out the storms?  ↩

Weekend Notes

Kid Hoops

A great weekend for L’s team.

They played in a one-day shootout Saturday about 30 minutes away from home. Our coach moved us up to the 8th–9th grade bracket, so we were worried going in.

That was dumb; both teams we played were awful.

The first was an all-freshman team. We hit two 3’s to open the game and never looked back. We had a running clock before halftime and won 59–5. It was bad. Just run-out layup after run-out layup. It reminded me of the 1989 Kansas-Kentucky game.[1]

This was L’s first game in her new ankle brace. Going in her coach said he was more interested in her being available for next weekend’s tournament than these games, so would limit her minutes if she was still in pain. Something about the brace helped her, as she had four offensive rebounds in about a three minute span. Oh it helped that the other team was awful. She finished with two points on 1–1 shooting and six rebounds.

We expected our second opponent to be better. They were from Cincinnati and were mostly tall, super athletic girls. We went out for a group lunch and came back to watch the end of their first game. We quickly saw that no matter how athletically talented these girls were, they had almost no basketball skills. They lost to a team that was shorter than us, and seemed to fall apart mentally in the closing minutes.

Still, you never know. We’ve been bothered by tall, athletic teams all year.

Turns out we needn’t have worried. We rolled them 55–29. L started and had four assists in her first four minutes on the court. She hit a 3 and a couple other shots to finish with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, and zero turnovers. That’s a pretty solid box score line.

I felt bad for the Cincy girls. They seemed pretty clueless and got down on themselves easily when things went wrong. Their most talented girl looked like a shorter version of LSU’s Angel Reese. In one sequence she had five offensive rebounds. But when her sixth shot attempt got blocked out of bounds, she smacked the ball and pouted. She had just done something remarkable – some players go an entire season without getting five offensive rebounds – but she got in her own head and didn’t do much the rest of the game.

It didn’t help that their coaches just screamed at them the entire time.

Things got a little tense late in the game when a refs T’ed up one of their players. When asked what she did, the ref said, “She said a curse word.” One of their parents asked what she said and he responded, “Jesus Christ.” That set their coach off, “OH, SO WE CAN’T SAY JESUS NOW???”

So you have a white ref who is clearly in a bad mood, and a black coach screaming at him. This seemed like it could go off the rails quickly. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed.

Best news was L survived the weekend without rolling her ankle again and wasn’t in too much pain Sunday. I’m sure it helped that she didn’t practice at all last week.

One more weekend of travel ball before we break for June, when high school activities take over.


M finished up her CHS tennis career with two matches last week.

Monday was senior night, and S and I got to walk onto the court with her before her match.

Then we sat down for the long wait until she played. I had forgotten how long these full team days can take, as both matches I had gone to this year were JV only and moved more quickly. Fortunately for us, there was a pop-up storm right on top of the CHS courts about 20 minutes into the varsity matches that brought things to a halt.

I went back Tuesday as M was one of six JV girls selected to play in the makeup matches. She and her partner played a JV team that pretty clearly featured Center Grove’s next star player. She was probably 5’9” and blistered the ball when she hit it. When she could keep it in, you had no chance to return it.

M and her partner nearly broke the tall girl’s partner, leading 30–40, but blew that game. The next game they were up 40–15 and blew that one. It took about 17 minutes for them to lose 6–0 and walk off the court laughing at themselves. I’m glad M has always kept a sense of humor about her ability.

Wednesday she played her final match. This was the night S and I were at the City and Colour concert so we missed it. She played with a junior this time and they lost 6–1. That made her 0–4 for the year, and something in the area of 1–10 or 2–10 for her career. She came close to getting another win two weeks ago when she lost in a tiebreaker.

Again, she had fun, which is all that really matters.

C only got to play one match this year, with one of her St P’s classmates. I was able to go to that match and stand with her partner’s parents. They also have a son in M’s class so we’ve know them for 13 years. We made a lot of jokes about our daughters’ abilities as they struggled to hit the ball, not giggle, and figure out how to keep score. They also lost 6–0 in about 15 minutes. In a coincidental twist, M had lost to one of those same girls 6–0 last year. I couldn’t be prouder!

C also enjoyed being on the team, and she and her partner have talked about taking some lessons together this summer so they are less clueless next year, and hopefully get a few more matches.

Girls tennis season kind of sucks. Being in the spring, practices and matches are constantly being cancelled because of weather. C was sick with the Punta Plague for two weeks and missed a bunch of practices. Getting one match out of our team fee and uniform purchases seemed like a bad return. But if she is interested in continuing to play and trying to improve, I guess it’s worth it if she had fun.

Mother’s Day

We had a pretty chill Mom’s day, mostly because that’s how S likes it. We ordered dinner from a new restaurant and were able to eat outside. She took flowers to her sisters and step-mom. We watched a movie together in the evening. Otherwise a rather quiet holiday.

We did have our old neighbors over Saturday night, the first time we’ve seen them since before spring break, so that was probably the highlight of the weekend for S.

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Friday Playlist + Mini Concert Review

My Friday Playlist pool has been pretty full this year. There was a little lull in the past month where I had to do some digging to fill out the weekly lists. Suddenly, though, I am overflowing once again. When I started working on today’s edition, I had 17 songs in the queue, only two of which were older tracks. Which is a good problem, obviously, as it means extra music for you as I work to get through them all.

“This Is A Photograph II” – Kevin Morby
My KC homie just announced his latest project, More Photographs (A Continuum), which expands on last year’s This Is A Photograph by re-imagining a few songs (like this one) and adding some new songs from those original sessions that he’s continued to work on. No surprise that it sounds like another great release already.

“I’m Going To Get Free” – Dexys
I had no idea Dexys Midnight Runners, who now perform as just Dexys, were still making music. Although a classic ’80s one-hit-wonder here in the States, they’ve never stopped recording and remain super popular back in the UK. I can’t say I’ve heard any of their music since 1983. This is their latest release and it’s very fun.

“Run To The Moon” – Beach Fossils
Super summery vibes here. It was 85 in Indy yesterday so it’s finally time to play songs like this without a healthy dose of hope for warmer days to come.

“Every Day Like the Last” – Wye Oak
WO just announced they will no longer make full albums, instead concentrating on singles and EPs. Which makes total sense in the current music environment. It also allows them to chase their always meandering muse a little easier. As almost always happens when they shift their sound, I love this track.

“Silhouette” – Human Tetris
This sounds straight out of the 1982, British synthpop world. Which makes sense, as the band is from Moscow and may just be discovering the first wave of post punk. Moscow, Russia, not Moscow, Idaho.

“Watching The Credits” – The Beths
A leftover track from last year’s Expert In A Dying Field. I always wonder why songs this good don’t make the final track list for albums.

“Mountain at My Gates” – Foals
An oldie I heard for the first time in ages this week that still sounds pretty good.

“Underground” – City and Colour
I swore I included this song in a playlist earlier this spring, but can’t find it. Apologies if my search skills aren’t working properly this morning and it was in an earlier edition.

We went to our first concert of the year Wednesday, seeing these guys at The Vogue theater. I knew very little about them, only that our friends we often attend concerts with suggested it as a good show. I listened to a little of their music over the past few months, but other than this, one of the early singles off their latest album, I couldn’t really get into them. But I figured S would really like them and it would be an excuse to hang with old friends we don’t see often enough.

I was a little shocked when we walked into The Vogue just after the opening act – Courtney Marie Andrews – began her set. The place was packed. I pride myself on at least knowing of the bands that are making waves in this part of the music world, but I had no clue how long C&C had been around or that they had carved out a loyal audience. The venue was near capacity and a lot of the folks there knew many of the words to the songs, loudly singing them back at the stage.

Dallas Green has a remarkable voice. The acoustics at The Vogue can be tricky, but his voice rang out clearly even over their songs that rock. I knew from my buddy that Green had been in a screamo band back in the day, and I’m amazed that a guy who used to shriek his lyrics can sing like this.

(Oh, you should read the story about his name. Baseball fans, he was named after the person he shares a name with.)

I found the songs I sampled before the show a little too gentle for my tastes. In concert, the band veered closer to a southern rock sound, sometimes borderline country, with several that exploded into loud solos.

I’m not going to dive deeply into their music but I enjoyed listening to them play live for about 90 minutes.

“Age of Consent” – New Order live on BBC
Someone posted this on Twitter this week in a thread about the greatest live performances. He pointed out that the band was late getting to the studio and apparently pissed off about a lot of things, and how Bernard Sumner played a totally different song early on, yet it still comes together in a scintillating performance. The entire rhythm section of this song is incredible.

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