Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Christmas with the Prices

Dale Price mentions my coming to the abode of himself and the fair Heather for Christmas this year, just a month after visiting Detroit for the baptism of my god-daughter Elizabeth.

One thing I learned with the Price kids this year is that presents matter, not so much for what they are as for their very existence (and by this I don't exactly mean "it's the thought that counts"). Dale mentions the Dec. 27 death of his cat Molly, including that the final collapse began Christmas morning. When I arrived at their home late Christmas morning, all three of the kids were wiping away tears and sobs. Heather told me that they had just been told that Molly, who is older than any of them and even than their parents' marriage, was dying and not likely to make it through the day.

I had left my presents under the tree the previous night (and this year managed to traipse from my car to the home without slipping, falling, and leaving bows all over the Price yard). But apparently Dale and Heather had told the kids not to open them until I got there. So when I arrived, that meant they had more presents to open, something good to think about and do other than the dying cat -- two presents each (one video and one nonvideo) and two more for all of them collectively (a candy box and a Wii game program). The tears were gone pretty quick, and stayed away for the rest of the day. Which matters more than whether D3 actually liked the Lone Ranger episode set or whatever else they got.

I also took all the kids, along with Heather, to see "The Princess and the Frog." Rachel is very *into* princesses, so I volunteered to take the girls and at least invite D3 (unsure whether he'd be interested). But Heather brought along the whole brood, including two-month-old Elizabeth. I liked the film, with its blend of New Orleans jazz and cajun music, magical voodoo, and old-school cel animation like "Beauty & the Beast" and "The Little Mermaid." Though the minute I saw that a major character was named Stella, my heart kinda sank at what a New Orleans-set work of art would HAVE to do. (Yes, I know ... Tennessee Williams and all ... but I'm still tired of other works stealing Marlon Brando's glory.) And when that inevitable moment came, Heather smiled and cheered at me from the other end of the row. Though the kids were overall well-behaved, Heather also told me later that, as she knew, the film's length proved too taxing for 2-year-old Louis. But she added that every time the movie would burst into music or song (some of the best sequences by the way, particularly the fantasy montage to "I'm Almost There"), Louis would get off his seat and start dancing, boogieing on down on the row's floor as only a 2-year-old white boy can. (Here's the film's soundtrack, where you can sample all the major cuts.)

Speaking of entertainment choices though, I think the Warren County Department of Family and Children's Services may need a call. Rachel was, as always, fascinated by my iPhone and the revelation that it could play music, using iTunes. I haven't loaded my purchases from my computer, but I told Rachel I could play at least 30 seconds from any song in the world (the browse and listen function at the iTunes store). And Rachel and/or Madeleine asked whether I could play Joan Jett. My ears popped out of their eye sockets ... appalled that these young impressionable girls are being schooled by their parents in the biker-slut-in-hot-leather-pants look. I asked the girls what Joan Jett songs they knew, and it was "I Love Rock N'Roll," ... it was ALL I could do not to show the girls this video of Joan Jett at her role-model-for-young-girls finest

... don't you just love Joan Jett as a flasher??

Anyhoo ... I regretted having to leave Detroit on early morning of Dec. 26, which made my visit a bit short, but work required it. Thanks to Dale and Heather for having me and Madeleine, Dale, Rachel, Louis and especially Elizabeth (whom I was able to get to go to sleep a couple of times) for making the holiday.


Christy said...

Joan Jett is a phenominal role model for young women! I let my children listen to her and I too am I Christian, although perhaps not quite as judgmental as you. She has paved the way in a male dominant industry for other women to come forward and play music. Have you ever taken the time to actually read all that she has accomplished? She has done so much by never giving up against oppression and discrimination. Wouldn't you say that is worthy of admiration? And may I ask you something? Is it her fault that you (in the broad sense..not personal) cannot control your sexual urges when you see a beautiful woman? Therefore there is the need to put her down. I do not believe women should be covered up as they are required to do by some Islamic sects simply because men cannot control their sexual impulses. So, as you can see, that is actually a frailty of men and not something for which she, Joan Jett, should be judged or condemned. In my humble opinion.

CourageMan said...

Is it her fault that you (in the broad sense..not personal) cannot control your sexual urges when you see a beautiful woman?

Um ... uh ... you don't come around here often, do you?

You're obviously just trolling for references to Joan Jett. But to actually respond ...

Nobody denies that Joan Jett is an incredibly accomplished artist, and became a big star in a musical genre where women were mostly treated as skanky accessories. (Or as Kelly Bundy put it after winning a role in a commercial: "today, this; tomorrow, slut in a Bon Jovi video.")

That doesn't change the fact that, in that video most-egregiously and some of her others, Joan Jett portrayed herself as a tramp. If, hypothetically speaking, she had been a conservative black man heading the Justice Department civil-rights division (this is hypothetical, you understand) and flashed herself and pointed to her crotch "you know where" -- you wouldn't be talking about Muslim burkhas but having the vapors about "sexual harassment."

Christy said... are comparing apples to oranges. You cannot compare a conservative man in an official capacity with a liberal woman in rock and roll. A more appropriate comparison would be a liberal man in rock and roll to a liberal woman in rock and roll. This has been the main argument for her entire career...the double standard for men and women in rock and roll.

And second, yes, I have to admit that I was thinking about the fact that I came out of nowhere. And I felt a little bad about that. You probably intended your blog for family and friends and then here comes this stranger commenting on your reference to Joan Jett. I just get really tired of reading unfair criticisms about her. Obviously I am a fan of hers and I realize not everyone is going to like her or her music and that is of course perfectly ok. However, when people are rude (which is how I view your criticism and name calling) every once in awhile I just feel compeled to say something.

I don't believe that she is portraying herself as a "tramp." She does what male rock and rollers do and she gets criticized, but they don't. It's hypocritical. It's because she is a woman (and probably because she looks better than the men flaunting their sexuality and there is a certain amount of intimidation in that perhaps). It's gender discrimination at it's finest.

Christy said... more comment... I must sheepishly admit that I finally took a more thorough look at your blog. Ummmm....yeah...sorry I may have jumped the gun a little bit in my assessment and how I approached my argument. hahaha When I was "trolling" (as you so eloquently put it) it only pulled up your holiday entry. So after our little "conversation" here you intrigued me a bit and I thought I'd check out your blog further. Which is very interesting by the way and if you don't mind I would like to book mark I think we may actually have similar interests in some areas. On a lighter old are you? Vapors??? Please! That's something you'd hear on Little House! hahaha (I don't really expect an answer)

Mareczku said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. Still, I am sorry about the cat. It is so hard when one loses a pet. Hope that the New Year is going well for you.

Peace - Mareczku