Friday, July 27, 2007

Breastfeeding in the USA

My wife may be earthly but she is not some crazy tree hugging hippie. Yet, people are amazed and impressed by her commitment to breastfeeding our son, Baby Jake, who just turned nine months.

There are so many benefits to both the mother and child:
  • Reduced risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer for mother
  • Quicker weight loss for mother - stimulates the uterus to contract back to its original size
  • Free - don't have to pay $100 a month for formula
  • Easy - no warming up bottles, cleaning parts, etc.
  • Lower risk of obesity for child
  • Provides all nutrients to child - fatty acids, lactose, water, and amino acids
  • Baby receives antibodies from mother to protect against disease
  • Breast milk is always sterile
  • Sucking on breast promotes good jaw development
  • Creates an early attachment between mother and child
  • Lower risk of SIDS
  • Prevents against sleep apnea

    With all of this evidence, only 65% of US women nurse their children in their first few days of life and only 36% of women breastfeed at all by 6 months per the Center of Disease Control (click here for data). This is despite the World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics recommending that women breastfeed exclusively for the first six months.

    Of course there are some benefits of formula - Less Nipple soreness, Don't have to expose your breast as much in public, Mom can smoke and drink guilt free - but these are pithy compared to the upside. So American women - embrace nursing!! It is a beautiful thing that requires a little getting used to. And please don't look at my wife like she is a Hillary loving tax and spend anti NRA Phish loving beatnik.
  • Friday, July 20, 2007

    Cool Music For Old Guys

    Here is Chicago there is a radio station WXRT. They think they are cool because they play the new song by the Rolling Stones or some crappy John Mayer song. Every once in a while, they mix it up by playing a blues song by Buddy Guy. Perhaps, some dude in his 50's might get the illusion that he is happening by blaring this on his European convertible but in reality, it is lameola!!

    Trying to stay hip after the age of thirty takes a good commitment. You have to be able to listen to new stuff and a lot of it is bad. I know I find my way over to the oldies station or listening to lite Jazz, which plays George Benson, Sade, and Robin Thicke. The four concerts I have gone to or am going to this year are Morrissey, The Police, Genesis, and The Cure.

    Based on different reviews I read and people whose taste I respect, I download some songs to hear some of the newer artists. Below is a list of artists that people over 30 can listen to and feel somewhat legitimately cool but not look as if they are trying hard:

    * Amy Winehouse - You may have been disappointed by how boring Nora Jones is. Amy doesn't have the soft sultry voice but packs a powerful wallop of soulful fun songs.
    * Death Cab For Cutie - Some songs are hit and miss and the singer's voice is a little effeminate but the songs are all very catchy and easy to bounce or have a background music.
    * Lilly Allen - The cool version of Gwen Stefani. Like Amy, another British chick with some spunk with songs that are fun with great lyrics. Give a listen to LDN or Alfie.
    * Muse/Killers - They are too different bands but have the same feel - Modern Rock with retro synthesizers. The only difference is Muse is less lame.
    * Arcade Fire - A more edgy Bon Jovi. They aren't soft and sissy like Dashboard Confessional and some of their songs have some great lyrics, like Intervention.

    There you go. You have been spared from Fergie and Daughtery

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Jake's Cool Music Taste

    Jake rocks. He is only 9 months old and listens to the coolest music. He loves "Safety Dance", which I replace the words with "Monkey Dance" and make his stuffed monkey perform. He also enjoys Elvis and Barry Manilow as well.

    The other reason why he is so cool is that he doesn't let going to bed bring him down. We have an awesome CD which is "The Cure" songs remade into lullabies. After he is laid down in his crib, the CD is turned on and he drifts away to sleep to "Pictures of You", "Boys Don't Cry", and "Just Like Heaven". Click Here for a link to the CD.

    Est and I are excited because this morning we got tickets for The Cure show in Chicago in September.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    What Is Wrong With Mark on 'Age of Love'?

    Mark, Mark, Mark. You are beginning to scare me with the people that you are letting go on the program. Last week you got rid of Lynn, the most attractive of the 40 year old group, and this week you give the axe to Tessa. What is more disturbing is that you kept on Crazy Mary who cries she realizes her shoes are untied. Can anyone look at this picture and choose Mary over Tessa.

    There was one aspect of last nights show that redeemed Mark in the eyes of all guys. When Amanda asked him about the other women he had kissed, he replied that "I may have kissed the other girls but you are the only one that I 'kiss kissed'." Anyone with any amount of common sense could tell that this was a bunch of semantic crap. But, little Amanda-the fake breasted hockey cheerleader-ate it right up. Way to go Mark Philipoupopussossuoss.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    Are They All Really Heroes

    Baby Jake loves TV. Actually, he is interested for 30 seconds and then diverts his attention to the ceiling fan or to mommy who sings "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to him. I love for him watch TV so that I can get an extra 10 minutes of sleep or get dressed in the morning. One channel I know is safe for him to watch is the Disney Channel. The show I put on almost daily is "Higglytown Heroes".

    On the show, these wobbly dudes jump up around and sing song until there is a problem. On one show, there is a bee hive in the backyard so the Higglytown Hero was a beekeeper. On another episode, a cat is stuck in a tree and a fireman rescues the kitty, making him the hero. These seem like legitimate superstars.

    Within an city limit, there are only a limited number of job classifications that can be considered heroic. There was an episode where some shirts get dirty. The laundry attendant therefore became the Higglytown hero. Grocery clerk, waitress, baker, window washter - These are all jobs that needed and those who perform these tasks should be respected. I just feel weird teaching Jake that a tour guide is some kind of icon that should be revered. Why not just call them "Higglytown Nice Guys". I would be okay with that.

    Friday, July 6, 2007

    Viva Air Guitar

    I went to The Police concert last night at Wrigley Field in Chicago. They were rocking pretty good. Some of there not so good 3 minute songs they extended to 10 minute songs. I had a good time being out with my wife having some adult time together. (Side note: why does saying adult time make one instantly think of pornography?).

    During the song "Can't Stand Losing You" they did a five minute instrumental break. At this point in time, I pulled out my air guitar I had snuck in past security. I spread my legs into a mighty power stance and strummed my first chord. From there, I frantically moved my left arm up and down the neck of the instrument to reach all of the notes while my right hand picked away. My jam was so jamming that I switched to the bass half way through. It was at this point that my wife pointed out that I was the only one in the crowd who was doing the air guitar to which I replied "Awesome"!

    This beckons the question - Is the Air Guitar losing its ground? It was so much an intregal part of my adolescence. Rocking out to Ratt, Warrant, and Poison would not be complete without this mighty instrument. Has this millenium brought forth a change in tide when pantomime and rocking no longer can coexist?

    I anticipate that in one hundred years scholars at Ivy League schools will track American Music and study the lost artform of air guitar. They will pay special attention to the overbite, the kick-out, the ground spasm, and (my favorite) the spin the guitar behind your back.

    Oh air guitar. You will be missed. Thank you for so many lovely memories. In honor of the Air Guitar, I have compiled a list of the all-time top air guitar songs:
    • Prince - "Let's Go Crazy"
    • Van Halen - "Panama" and beginning of "Really Got Me"
    • Derrick and the Dominos - "Leyla"
    • Foo Fighters - "Everlong"
    • Guns N Roses - "Sweet Child O' Mine"
    • Pearl Jam - "Alive"
    • Poison - "Talk Dirty To Me"
    • AC/DC -"Back In Black"