Burning Flags Press The website of Glen E. Friedman. Renowned for both his work with musicians like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Slayer (and many, many more) as well as his groundbreaking documentation of the burgeoning skateboard phenomenon in the late `70's, Glen has been privvy to (and has summarily captured on film) some of the coolest stuff ever. He's also an incredibly insightful and nice guy to boot.
SoHo Blues - Photography by Allan Tannenbaum Allan Tannenbaum is a local photographer who has been everywhere and shot everything, from members of Blondie hanging out at the Mudd Club through the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center on September 11th. You could spend hours on this site, and I have.
Robert Otter Photographs Amazing vintage photographs of New York City, specifically my own neighborhood, Greenwich Village.
oboylephoto Just some intensely cool photographs of abandoned places.
The Weblog of Spumco's John K. The weblog of cartoonist John Kricfalusi, crazed mind and frantic pencil behind the original "Ren & Stimpy," as well as "The Goddamn George Liquor Show." Surreal, unapologetic, uncompromising genius.
Here during what is essentially the last gasp of summer, my quest to be re-instated into the work force seems to be stuck in irons, to use some incongruous sailing terminology. "It's the summer doldrums," friends and well-wishers inform me, "anyone who'd even consider hiring you is on vacation right now." I'm attempting to take some comfort in that theory, being that my cell phone has been deafeningly silent and my e-mail inbox has been utterly bereft of content in the last couple of weeks. As such, I've been taking more time out in Quogue to make the most of the summer. Still, I can't stop myself from feverishingly checking my e-mail at every conceivable opportunity. It's quite frustrating.
Having such a large amount of free time on my hands has been a bizarre luxury, but I'm sincerely hoping things will pick back up again after Labor Day. I came back into the city this week as my friend Rob M., a fellow member of The Gathering and erstwhile lead screamer for the ferocious Headcount, is coming to NYC for the first time and I've been drafted as tour guide, which will invariably involve visiting many record stores and many bars. That should be fun.
I'll be back out to join Peggy and kids in Quogue before the end of the week for the fleeting, final days of the season. The end of the summer is always a melancholy time, but with so much on the line these days, I honestly cannot wait for it to hurry up and end so I can get on with my damn life.
I've been fielding a number of very nice e-mails from readers in regards to the posts in the the Vanishing Downtown category and accompanying photo album. Since initially compiling those photos in the summer of 2005, a lot has changed -- or continued to change, I should say. A few of the spots pictured in that album have gone through further transformations and, in a couple of cases, are now virtually unrecognizable. So, to bring things up to speed a little bit, herewith some updates....
CBGB is, of course, now long gone. The space it occupied remains dormant thus far. The surrounding neighborhood, meanwhile, continues to go through a radical transformation. There are now vast high-rises all around. A massive complex of steel and silvery glass now stands atop the grave of 295 Bowery, a.k.a. McGurk's Suicide Hall. Construction is the order of the day up and down the Bowery. Everywhere you look, there are huge, oblong towers being erected. Were Dee Dee Ramone or GG Allin or Klaus Nomi or Johnny Thunders or Wee Gee or Mae West or any other since-departed neighborhood regular to rise from the dead and stroll down the Bowery today, they invariably wouldn't recognize it.
A similar transformation has swept up the area to the Southeast. Ludlow Street now plays host to a pair of towering structures (one occupying the former parking lot across from Katz's Delicatessen and one in the former footprint of the Luna Lounge). The street and its surrounding neighborhood still act as a magnet for young hipsters and the like, but the vibe is immeasurably different. Across town, the area surrounding the fabled Ear Inn at the far west end of Spring Street has gone through the same transformation. Martin Scorsese filmed huge portions of "After Hours" on these streets, handpicked for their aura of spectral desolation, but two decades later, this little pocket just above TriBeCa is a thriving hive of high-end residency and corporate office-space. The Ear is protected, I believe, as a landmark, but over the road a piece, I wouldn't be surprised if Don Hill's gets excised like a sore tooth sometime soon by its new, stroppy neighbors.
Down in TriBeCa, I recently strolled down Vestry Street. In 1990, my friend Sam lived in and looked after a loft owned by his university at 67 Vestry. It was a really cool space, but apart from a somewhat decrepit deli two blocks away, there was simply nothing around there. In her animatedly potty-mouthed memoir, "Paradoxia," No Wave enfant terrible Lydia Lunch claims to have lived down that way as well for a while. In the late 90's, my friend Tod lived in the same building. The neighboring building was an abandoned, burnt-out, rat-infested shell that forever smelled of urine and death. A little over a decade later, those formerly barren, forebiding streets now play host to unbelievably prized real estate. The burnt out building next to 67 now has an upscale cosmetics company and a posh wine store (with tasting room) on its ground floor. My how things do change.
Several blocks to the East, the building that once housed the fabled Mudd Club -- 77 White Street -- was recently purchased by a former neighbor of mine. I ran into him on University Place about a year or so back and he told me about the purchase, but he was completely unaware of the building's storied past. I've been meaning to follow up with him to see if I can take a look inside and see what he's done, but I kinda don't know him well enough to just ring him up. Stay tuned, though. Despite having never been inside it, I'd be very curious to see it now. It must be strange to know that, say, Arto Lindsay & DNA once played discordant skronk-rock in the space that is now your kitchen. I kinda doubt my ex-neighbor appreciates that in the same way I do, though. That all said, I walked by there this afternoon and there's now a freakin' plaque about it (see the pic and click to enlarge). I guess that's better than nothing.
Back here in my neighborhood, the site of the Lone Star Cafe is in a state of steady decline. The Korean deli packed up and left one day and a fire broke out shortly afterwards. The building now sits unoccupied, boarded up and rotting, which is a shame, as it's a fairly choice location. Over on University Place, the spot once occupied by my beloved Cedar Tavern becomes more unrecognizable by the hour, as they cram a giant Erector Set of a building into its footprint. Again, I'm told it will re-open, but the bar as I remember it -- as far as I'm concerned -- is gone forever.
I believe I mentioned it elsewhere here on Flaming Pablum, but my love and nostalgia for downtown Manhattan only digs thimble-deep in comparison to the city's bigger picture. I mean, while I'm busy weeping about scenester bars, cramped little live music venues and rinkydink record stores that were only open for five or six years, there are whole sagas etched on these very streets that date back centuries. I just finished a great book on the subject, actually, by Pete Hamill called "Downtown: My Manhattan," and it's a beautiful encapsulation of the city's history written in an accessible, conversational style. If you are as captivated by New York City as I am, I cannot recommend it enough.
Ultimately, lamenting gentrification seems akin to getting mad at the ocean's tides, i.e. it's an exercise in complete futility. As Heraclitus wrote, change is the only constant. This is especially true in the urban environment. New York City will continue to evolve and transform itself. I just can't help thinking, however, that its losing all its gritty splendor.
Time will tell.
ADDENDUM: For those of you keen on wallowing in nostalgia, re-visiting old haunts or finding out more about places you were simply too young to experience on your own, please do avail yourselves to the Creative Time Page (`twas they who put up that afore-mentioned Mudd Club plaque), for a sonic tour of a lost downtown. Very cool stuff.
Sorry for the relative delay in activity here, but there hasn't really been much to report. Shortly after posting that last missive (regarding my fifteen nanoseconds of blathering on WNYC), we packed the kids and gear back up into Mom's long-suffering Ford Taurus and sped back out to my sister's place in Quogue for one of the remaining weekends of the Summer. I kept up my e-mail vigil, hoping to hear back from one of the fabled "four outlets" that I've interviewed with in the hopes of impending employment, but the only e-mails I've been getting are the usual yakkety-yak from the Killing Joke list and the odd message from one of my wisenheimer friends. No one offering me thick wads of cash or anything like that. Insert big heavy sigh here.
Quogue was nice, though. We had at least one sunny beach day, which the kids loved. During some of the less-beach-friendly days, we hopped over to the nearby Quogue Wildlife Refuge for a long, pastoral stroll around the trails. I've been exploring that place since I was Charlotte's age, and its expanse, isolation and chilling quiet have always captivated me. There's also a great "Blair Witch Project"/"Into The Wild"/"Picnic at Hanging Rock" sorta vibe there --- i.e. "they wandered wordlessly into the woods and were never heard from again," and I love that sorta shit. Regardless, we made it out alive.
Charlotte continues to be somewhat mercurial in the behavior department. We're chalking it up to a combination of factors. She's clearly now noticing all the attention that her little brother is getting, and there's probably a twinge of jealousy. Secondly, she's in a bizarre limbo period between being still somewhat of a baby herself and being a "big girl." Most of the time, she's disarmingly sweet, but her capacity to lose her little temper and become entirely irrational is hair-triggered. As such, there were more than a few "time outs" in the last five days, which have been honestly exhausting for everyone. Again, there's nothing here out of the ordinary, but we're hoping she passes through this patch soon.
Despite his penchant for pungent diaper-filling, Oliver's remained his happy little self, and is becoming more coherently communicative by the day. Unlike Charlotte at that age, however, Oliver is a tireless troublemonkey -- effortlessly finding the exposed outlets, jagged edges, tight spaces and other "hot spots" in any given space. In this capacity, he requires somewhat constant supervision, lest he knock over entire book shelves, climb into the fireplace and/or stick his little fingers a fan. He also insists on getting up at 6 am, which is frankly a big ass bummer.
Motivated by the hope of some activity on the job-search front, I boarded a city-bound Hampton Jitney last night, leaving Peggy and the kids back out in Quogue to enjoy the fleeting last gasps of the Summer (although weather-wise, it feels like Autumn's already here). On the bus ride home, my iPod decided to freeze again. It played music, but I just simply couldn't turn it off. That suited the trip home fine, but now it's pretty fucked up beyond all recognition. Great.
Back here in this uncharacteristically quiet apartment, nothing is happening. I still haven't heard back from any of "The Four," and a phone interview I was supposed to have with a media consultant friend of a friend didn't materialize. To get a change of scenery, I walked out into the rainy afternoon and bought myself a copy of Howard Devoto's debut album, Jerky Versions Of The Dream (the single off which being the apt song, "Rainy Season"), which has finally been released on disc after twenty-four years. Now I'm back in front of my computer. Waiting. Always waiting.
Ever wonder who calls into radio talk shows? Unemployed folks, that's who. As such, I was sitting in my kitchen this morning, listening to The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC (a great radio station that my fellow New Yorkers really oughta support), and a topic gets introduced that strikes a particularly familiar chord, namely "Things To Do Before You Have Kids." I wrote a post on just that very topic several months ago, and had been discussing it just this morning with a friend whose wife is expecting. So, the show kicks off and I figure, "what the hell?" and picked up the phone. And guess what? I got on the air. And I managed to only sound marginally like an idiot. Check it out, I'm the second caller:
TITLE: "Black To Comm" ARTIST: The MC5 ALBUM:Are You Ready To Testify? The Live Bootleg Anthology RELEASE DATE: 2004
As I've been laboriously moaning about for the past several weeks, it's been a bit of a bummer of a Summer, largely due to my sudden lack of employment last month. And as I've mentioned in several of the last posts, the ensuing weeks have been occupied by my tireless search to get re-situated. Things seem to be starting to happen now at long last, but I'm not out of the quicksand just yet. In any event, it's taken a toll on my mood, and I haven't really been my normal, (arguably) cheery self.
I was especially caught up in a maudlin state last week. I was on the subway, on my way home from a job interview out in Brooklyn and my head was swimming with hypothetical situations, projections, worst case scenarios, etc. My medical benefits were slipping away, and my financial responsibilities were -- if anything -- mounting. I started to fret. My confidence started to falter. Will I be able to make this all work? Will we be alright? Will I get my family out of this and find a great new job that won't drive me bananas?
In an effort to snap myself out of it, I slipped on my headphones while stuck between stations under the East River. As if by divine providence, the first song to come exploding out of my headphones was "Black To Comm" by the MC5. I knew instantly that everything was going to be alright.
I could blather on here about the storied legacy of the MC5 and how they were playing Punk Rock a good decade before even my beloved Ramones had started to beat the snots out of each other in a Queens garage. I could wax rhapsodic about their sprawling influence on everyone from Kiss, Patti Smith and The Clash through Black Flag, Rage Against The Machine and Green Day. They've been covered by everyone from Blue Oyster Cult and The Damned to Primal Scream and Jeff Buckley. I could put on my rock historian hat and explain what the title of this song, "Black to Comm," actually means. I could pound my fist against my keyboard and assert that the late MC5 frontman, Rob Tyner is one of the most sorely undersung rock vocalists the world's ever known. Outside of greasy, acne-speckled music geek circles, the MC5 are reduced to little more than a footnote, despite the fact that witless wannabes can now buy "vintage" MC5 t-shirts at crap outlets like Urban Outfitters. Justin Timberlake -- of all people -- infamously appeared on the cover of VIBE a few years back decked out in a MC5 shirt. I actually don't mind a lot of Timberlake's music, but I'll bet you fifty bucks he can't name even two songs by the MC5, if even that. In any case, if you want the history and significance of the band -- the White Panther Party, The Guitar Army, "Dope, Guns & Fucking In The Streets," the Yippies, the Chicago `68 riot, etc. -- there is a host of information out there. Check out John Sinclair's book, for a start.
But the proof in this specific instance, meanwhile, is simply in the listening. This particular recording of "Black To Comm" (there is no studio recording of it, to my knowledge) is from a box set from a couple of years back called Are You Ready To Tesfity? which culled a few widely circulated bootlegs from decades past. I already had a clutch of MC5 boots on cassette (along with their seminal live debut, Kick Out The Jams), so originally wasn't going to pick it up. As fate would have it, however, I was pitching reviews to a prominent entertainment magazine at the time, and zealously pleaded with them to let me review this box set (they declined, -- instead, they had me write an album by a "trip hop" also-ran which was basically dead on arrival). But I'd jazzed myself up so much that I just went out and bought myself a damn copy of Are You Ready To Testify? anyway. My paltry "trip-hop" review ran in the magazine, and I never wrote for them again, but I didn't care, because Are You Ready To Tesfity? had rekindled my love for the MC5, and all was right with the world.
While the sound quality varies through the three discs, there is a slew of amazing, balls-out moments of rock'n'roll here. But absolutely nothing rocks quite as hard nor taps directly into that primal wellspring of adrenalized sonic fury like the recording of "Black To Comm" from the band's performance at Michigan's Saginaw Civic Center on January 1st, 1970, captured on Are You Ready... at the tail end of Disc Two.
"Lookout!" barks Tyner just as guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith busts into that feral, relentless two-chord riff. Apart from some false-stops (allowing Tyner to proselytize and rile the crowd up some more) the riff in question will not change for the next seven minutes (there's another recording on this set that goes on for eleven minutes). Two chords. That's it. Your Mom could probably play it. But when "Brother" Wayne Kramer on the second guitar first strikes his strings (at exactly 00:41) before joining Smith and ushering in the rest of the band with that pounding, unstoppable riff, it is fucking BRILLIANT. There is no bridge. There is no middle-eight. There is no deviation. There is no apology. There is no escape. There is only "Black To Comm."
"D'YA FEEL ALRIGHT?"
Tyner's exhorting here is very much of its era and shows a studied adoration for James Brown's similarly rabble-rousing shitck (albeit a lot less funky), but his delivery is so passionate and cathartic that you can hardly fault him for it. Personally speaking, I find it nigh on impossible to not get the hell up out of my seat to strike any number of moronic poses -- legs akimbo, fist aloft, etc. -- when I hear this version of "Black To Comm," and that's probably just as Tyner, Kramer, Smith and the rest of'em would have had it. For all its ferocity and high volume, this is joyous, life-affirming music that provides a catalyst for my mood like precious little else. Back on that stalled subway car, I'll be damned if I didn't stand up (as I said, I cannot sit when this plays) and sneer discreetly behind my sunglasses, fighting the urge to maniacally strum an invisible Fender along with Brother Wayne. Everything's going to be alright. Drop The Bomb. Black To Comm. Play It Loud.
One of the joys of being an independent record label in the vinyl era was the opportunity to add a personal twist to the world of mass production by "writing on the land."
Land is that flat piece of vinyl between the run off groove and the label. It's where the cutting engineer would scratch the matrix number - how else would the pressing plant know which bleeding record it was - and you could always ask the engineer to add a message of your own. (If it was Porky of Porky's Prime Cuts, Portland Place London, he would insist; and PPC, just for your info, the great indie cutting room at the end of the '70's, was owned by Chas Chandler of the Animals and Jimi fame now I think of it).
My favourite message was on Joy Division's double album Still. The idea of Still was to round up all the spare tracks and add a live performance from Birmingham, to draw a line under the JD phenomenon and stop all those bloody bootlegs (that worked well then). If your grandfather has a copy up in the attic, check out the land. Around the first three sides you get chicken's feet. Then, on side 4, "The Chicken stops here".
If you haven't seen Werner Herzog's great movie, Stroszek it doesn't matter, but you should probably read more.
I'm reminded of these halcyon days by thinking on the plight of record shops in the digital age and remembering something we wrote on the land of an earlier Joy Division release, "Transmission" or "LWTUA." Anyway, what it said was "Oh, Lord, please leave me record shops." This had been the strangled cry of drummer Stephen Morris a few weeks earlier after I had explained to his group one night how chart hyping worked. Back in the day, chart shops were complicit in falsifying the UK chart. Retail strike force foot soldiers would slip the shop a box of "Police" albums in exchange for half a dozen ticks on chart return form for some dodgy piece of shit (I'm not saying that the Police weren't a dodgy piece of shit but at least some idiot would buy them whereas no-one was going to buy the hyped single - until it hit the chart). It was a harrowing story of minor corruption, hence Steve's outburst. For Steve, like so many of us, the record shop was the shining beacon in the high street, the provider of art and inspiration, the cathedral of our hopes. In a grey and uncaring world, the record shop was the entrance point to our dreams. How could they be cheats? Oh, Lord, Leave me record shops.
And now it's the digital age and the record shops are leaving us. HMV, the historic UK chain just issued profit warnings and forecast a reduction in CD sales of around than 25% over the next 12 months.
What happened; simple; shops are for physical product and the industry has happily downgraded the role of the physical product in its relentless quest for excess profits to keep its senior execs in the Porsches to which they have become accustomed.
Let me tell you a story about Bob Dylan; everybody's got a BD story, this is mine.
Two years ago Greil Marcus, the greatest rock writer of them all (pace Paul Morley) sent me a home cut, not for repro, CD. It was a collection of wonderful songs. (About six months later I realized that it was the soundtrack to his book on the anniversary of "Like a Rolling Stone.") A few days into listening to the CDs in my car I get to track 9 on disc two. Suddenly, "Whoa, what the fuck is this? Genius. Epic, where the fuck is this from; why haven't I heard this before." It was a live version of something called "Highlands." There's a five minute section where Dylan turns a desultory conversation with a waitress in a Boston diner into an epic of Proustian proportions. I discovered that Dylan had made his first great album since Blood on The Tracks back in 1997 and no bastard had told me. "Time out of Mind" is dazzling from start to finish and I went straight out to a record shop to buy it.
And the CD was great. But the packaging. Oh, the packaging. Where one might have expected at least a little illegible booklet which got buckled when you managed to drag it past the annoying little plastic lip thing, instead you got a single piece of thin paper with the cover image on the front and an advert for four back catalogue Bob items on the reverse. Fuck you CBS. Fuck you. Maybe Bob deserved his work to be screwed - for doing over David Geffen who'd revived his career with the Rolling Thunder tour and then, while Geffen was lying on a beach in Hawaii, re-signed to CBS, jilting Geffen's Asylum records - "It's only money, David." - so maybe Dylan deserved the cheapening of his product.
But I didn't. Dylan's fans didn't. We deserved an object to treasure; like that 12" double sleeve whose depth of colour and image went some way to mirror the depths of the beloved "Blonde on Blonde." While the rest of the world understands the merchandising imperative in all our souls, the deep desire to purchase a physical connection to our heroes/idols, the record industry forgot it, and come the download age, it is paying the price; in its own life-blood.
I'm English and a supporter of a football team called Manchester United. We became the biggest team in the world back in 1980's by understanding human beings and learning to sell shitloads of replica shirts. (Wait till Beckham gets to LA.) Even in our industry, don't look at CD sales to see how important Panic or Fall Out Boy are. Check the t-shirt sales. We used to say, "Reality is a Royalty statement." Forget that, reality is your merchandising deal. It's why I don't hate ring tones; what is rock and roll at its best other than a way for a kid to say, "This is me." You used to show your mates these plastic things you had back at home; now every time your cell rings, it is a statement.
(I used to have "Stan" on my phone till it rang in front of a thousand people while I was interviewing Lyor Cohen, then of Island Def Jam, and the audience began screaming, "Fuck me, Wilson's got Dido on his phone - I now have "Chop Suey.")
And my last question; how do we bring back physical objects, and bring back record shops for that matter?
I was thinking about the best band in the world the other night. They're these young kids from St Albans just north of London and they are quite simply the best band in the world today. (By a fucking mile; and the last time I was wrong was when I gave Harvest a bad review in my university newspaper, which I regretted two weeks later and have agonised over ever since). I have not got an art judgement wrong since so you can believe me. I saw Enter Shikari live last October, before I got ill with cancer, and the sight of these boys on stage with 200 fifteen year old kids with glow-sticks and glow rings going fucking berserk was the most exciting thing I've seen since the early Sex Pistols gigs back in '76/7.
And as with any band who capture a new generational spirit, God has given them the gift of melody. I never understand how that comes about, but that's a different essay. This is about the return of the object, the creation of something that gives you your little bit of the group, "to have and to hold, from this day forth."
Someone in the UK has released a single on a USB and I was thinking about it. OK so you'll put a nice graphic on the USB, but can you go further?
I texted Ian, Enter Shikari' s manager, and suggested a release of the album on USB, but having the USB as a glow stick. I'd buy that for a dollar. I felt pleased with the idea and Ian said he's going to look into it.
In the meantime, for anyone from Manhattan reading this, we're going to provide the ultimate souvenir of Enter Shikari: the band playing live. The most exciting phenomenon in modern music is scheduled to play the Nokia Theatre as part of In The City of New York on either June 13 or 14. And after Malcolm only took the Pistols to minor markets, you're just fucking lucky we like New York so much.
Thank you for listening.
Tony Wilson is best known for being the co-founder of the legendary Factory Records and the influential Manchester club Hacienda (not to mention the host of So It Goes, and presenter on Granada Reports). Since 1992, Wilson and his partner Yvette Livesey have founded the yearly In The City festival and music industry conference and also F4 Records, the fourth imprint of Factory Records.
In The City has become the date in the music industry calendar. By day, Manchester, UK, becomes home to the brightest and best in the business, as industry leaders debate the present and plot the future. And by night Manchester hosts the biggest city-based music festival in Europe, In The City Live, as 3,000 industry delegates and 100,000 music fans take to the streets.
Rightly regarded by the global music community as the premier new music event in the world, In The City has helped launch the careers of Oasis, Radiohead, Suede, Elastica, Coldplay, The Darkness, Doves, Foo Fighters, Elbow, the Stereophonics, Muse, the Raveonettes, Funeral For A Friend, Daft Punk, Kings Of Convenience, Placebo, Arctic Monkeys, and many, many more. In The City Unsigned has the highest signing ratio of any new talent event in the world.
In The City Of New York will take place from June 13-14, 2007 and will bring the same high-level music industry panels and bands to American shores. During the day 500 industry insiders will get together at the W Hotel in Union Square for panels, seminars and master classes. At night the conference switches over to Times Square's Nokia Theater for two evenings of shows featuring the best of emerging British talent including a newly signed, unsigned and established British artist.
I have to say, there was a point in the middle of the day yesterday when I really thought that I'd reached the end of my rope. Charlotte had single-handedly blazed a new frontier into a shrill new realm of whiney brattiness heretofore unexplored. My friend Sean had gamely invited us over for a last minute play-date with his son, Owen (just shy of Charlotte's age), but even that went South quickly. In alarmingly short order, it was clear that a meltdown was imminent, so I bid Sean and his lovely wife a hasty adieu and hauled my feisty brood homewards. Hitting vocal octaves with piercing entreaties that I'm dead sure only dogs could accurately decipher, Charlotte had clearly reached her little wit's end -- much like Daddy. Had it not been for a merciful mid-afternoon visit from our beloved baby-sitter, Sarah (a font of seemingly everlasting patience), it seems likely that my daughter and I might have slain each other, with little Oliver looking on, giggling cherubically.
Charlotte's clearly in the midst of what we nervously optimistic parents refer to as "a phase." She's currently in a transitionary period -- much like adolescence. As such, I'm told it's perfectly routine for her to be as defiant and unreasonable and even unmanageable as she's been in the last few weeks. It's nice to know that it's nothing out of the ordinary, but it doesn't make the experience any less painful and unpleasant for all parties concerned. Little Oliver, meanwhile, has been an absolute bundle of cheer. Despite being worryingly hyper-kinetic and ever-mobile, Oliver is ebullient and resilient in equal measures, babbling happily as he wobbles and trots around the apartment, banging his little noggin against every available hard surface.
Eventually, my three days of solo parenting came to a close when Peggy walked in the door last night around 10 p.m. I'd managed to keep our children alive through seventy-two hours, five playground-visits, eight patience-eviscerating meals, innumerable diaper-changes and an incalculable eternity of sanity-destroying children's television. They may not have eaten healthily while in my care, but at least they ate and we all lived to tell the tale.
Today, back in what working folks refer to as the Working Week (a distinction I haven't had to trouble myself with for a little over a month), I'm again facing that confusing shell game of securing new employment. As I've mentioned, I've had four interviews with four different media outlets so far. Obviously, I'm interested in certain ones more so than others, but I'm actively pursuing each of them to fruition. Ideally, I'll have a selection to choose from in the end, but at this point, a single offer would be encouraging.
I do have a follow-up interview with my favorite of the four tomorrow, though, so things might be looking up. As always, don't touch that dial.