1. Yesterday I was listening to Pandora while on a grading binge and this song came on:

which I thought was odd; I had it on shuffle, but I didn’t have any stations that were anyhow related to The Supremes. It’s a good song, and part of the fun of Pandora is unexpected stuff, but I couldn’t figure out where it came from until the baritone saxophone solo in the middle, and I realized that it came from the Gerry Mulligan station. I played bari from 7th grade through college (and I have the back pain to prove it), and always felt that the bari was under-appreciated. I mean, besides Mulligan, name one other famous jazz bari sax player. Or skip the last few sentences and identify Gerry Mulligan as a bari-ist. But you know where it’s not under-appreciated? In Motown music, where it seems like it’s the go to instrument for a lot of solos. It’s that hoarse, growly kind of saxophone. You know the sound.

2. Happy Star Wars Day! Last night, I mentioned to my kids that it was going to be Star Wars Day. Which led to this:

Oldest: It’s daddy’s birthday tomorrow!

Me: No, it’s just Star Wars Day. The movie comes out on my Birthday.

Oldest: It’s daddy’s birthday tomorrow!

3. Only 9 days until I leave for Kalamazoo for the big Medieval congress there. I’m excited, and my paper is ready, though I really should work it up just a little bit more.

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4. PhMom suggested the other day that I expand my job search to all of Texas. That’s sort of been my plan. But nobody else seems to be hiring full time College English teachers anyway.

5. We have a squirrel in our backyard that we call Scrappy (he’s probably multiple squirrels. I can’t tell one squirrel from another). The other day I was trying to get Middle Child to go play outside:

Middle: But scrappy’s outside!

Me: What’s wrong with that? You love scrappy!

Middle: But scrappy’s mean!

Me: What? Why is he mean?

Middle: Because he’s wild!

Apparently we’d explained the difference between tame and wild to him, but some of the nuances got lost in translation.

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6. Ever since we bought this house about four years ago, PhMom has been talking about extending the back porch as a brick patio. The house came with a narrow strip of concrete behind the back door, and then the yard, which is shady so it’s pretty well ungrassed. This means that whenever it rains, you go straight from concrete to awful sticky mud. Which then ends up tracked all over our house by the dogs. Well a couple of weeks ago, we decided we would just up and do it. All told, it took less than $200 worth of supplies from Home Depot and about 7 1/2 hectic hours to put together a back patio that’s ... well, no one would mistake it for a professional job, but we’re pretty happy about it.

7. Have any of you ever suffered from Monday-specific headaches? PhMom seems to get them almost every Monday that she works. She’s been to the doctor about it and has some medication that helps a bit, but they keep coming.

8. This really loud jet keeps flying overhead and I’m worried it’s going to wake up my daughter from her nap. Eisenhower was right: the military-industrial complex is the greatest threat to me getting a moment of damned peace and quiet around here, or something like that.