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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Trains and Scott Miller 

We made it to the farmers market today — a lot of okra, a giant cantaloupe, a watermelon, and a bunch of cherry tomatoes for Celeste — and were lucky enough to not have too long of a wait for a train. At first Celeste wasn't sure about waiting around for a train to pass, but she was glad we did: After about 10 minutes of standing on the platform and eating tomatoes we spied a big CSX freight train.

Celeste was excited, but got nervous as it neared and wanted me to pick her up (Quinn was in the BabyBjörn). Celeste did the universal blow-your-horn hand/arm gesture and got several loud toots. She kicked like mad and pressed her face into my shoulder with each horn blast. I couldn't see Quinn's face, but she didn't really react to either the train or the horn, as best I could tell.

As the train passed, Celeste talked about the train on her train suit and the various trains in her books, but then we got a whiff of something bad about this particular train — among the cars being hauled was a bunch of trash from New York City and New Jersey (based upon the stenciling on the cars). Eventually those cars passed and we were back to less smelly things, like molten sulfur.

Despite the smell, Celeste was impressed with the train and as soon as the last car past and she waved goodbye, she turned to say "More train!"

A totally off-topic train story: Apparently Scott Miller and the Commonwealth has used Amtrak as his tour bus for his two of his recent tours [ MTV | Mule Train MMIV ]. I encountered Miller's first post-V-Roys album, Thus Always to Tyrants, in a bin of discarded CDs at work. I then picked up Upside Downside. Both of them fell into that category of "really enjoy, but don't really think about until you run across the disc."

I'm not sure if I'd say Miller is alt-country or southern rock or what, but he's good, and a few days ago I happened to be passing by the Live Music Archive and noticed a link for a recording of Scott Miller and the Commonwealth at The Handlebar and had to check it out. It's good, really good. I copied over several tracks to a USB stickdrive to play in my car on the drive home, and ever since it's been hard to not wander around singing "8 Miles a Gallon" [MP3] or "You Go On I Am Drunk" [MP3] (neither of which is a good idea to sing around someone who's picking up language as quickly as Celeste is) or his cover of Neil Young's "Hawks and Doves" [MP3]. The versions of both "8 Miles a Gallon" and "Hawks and Doves" on his latest album, Citation, are good, but these live versions add more cowbell to the nth degree. If you are even remotely interested in alt-country, southern rock, country, rock, whatever, it's definitely worth downloading the MP3 versions of the performance, or at least watch his "Studio 330 Session" on CMT (with the caveat that CMT stupidly requires IE and won't stream a simple Flash-based thing under Firefox ... but I digress).
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Blankie Power

We've always encouraged Celeste's security blanket, but sometimes I wonder. This afternoon, she bumped her head on the table as she was bending down and I asked her if she wanted me to kiss it better and she said, "No. Need Celeste Blankie." We found Blankie, and Celeste had it kiss her head. And only then did she feel better. At least Blankie can't read her a book ...
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