hell yeah you can be both mother and artist.

There was a piece that came out earlier this year in New York Magazine's The Cut that asked the question, is parenthood the enemy of creativity? Perhaps you remember this piece. It was wildly circulated online, especially this: 

"The point of art is to unsettle, to question, to disturb what is comfortable and safe. And that shouldn't be anyone's goal as a parent." 

I understood what the writer was saying when I first read the piece -- I still do -- but I also WHOLEHEARTEDLY disagree.

As a parent, my goal has always been to guide my children through the unsettled, to raise them to QUESTION everything they feel needs questioning and to fit them with the proper emotional, philosophical and intellectual tools so that they may feel ABLE in an uncomfortable and dangerous world. 

I am not here to build a wall around my child. I believe that innocence is a virtue but ignorance is not. I also believe as a parent, in the same way I do as an artist, that TRUTH is power. And the truth will never be comfortable and safe. Not in art. Not in life. Not in anything.

ED: When did parenting become a safety net of fear and delusion? Life is a collection of failures and messes -- all important to experience firsthand. And yet we CONTINUE to cut our children off from those experiences and the tolerance needed to become IMMUNE to failure/ABLE to independently succeed. Failure is far more important than success. One cannot grow from constant wins. Our children are not "valuables" to protect but human beings with developing minds, bodies and senses of self.

I bring this up today, all of these months later, because a friend (who I met through my Aunt Dot while in Ashland in the spring) sent me the following article entitled, Why Motherhood Won't Hinder Your Career as an Artist, and my ears immediately perked up:

"Motherhood did not change my identity or curtail my ambition—it only reinforced it. While it did, of course, create logistical obstacles to navigate, it also made me more efficient with my time, and more motivated. I wasn’t just working hard for myself anymore, but now for my son, too."

BAM, right? (To me this was A GIANT YES.) I am a force of creative nature BECAUSE of my children not in spite of them. They inspire me to look further into the bigger picture with more curiosity, to be more humble with criticism and to explore my independence as an EXAMPLE to them AS WELL as myself. Motherhood has also taught me what it means to be a better (more strong-willed, vulnerable and compassionate) leader.

One cannot lead without listening. One cannot be trusted without trusting. One cannot influence without being flexible to change. I was 23 when I found myself pregnant with Archer. I was ambitious before his birth, but nowhere near as much as I am 12 years and 4 children later because I have a need to provide for THEM as well as MYSELF. Financially, absolutely, but also creatively, introspectively, spiritually... 

In the NY mag piece, the author doubles down on the idea that family life and art are in opposition to one another, writing:

The L.A.yman's Guide to Magnet Schools


This week, Hal wrote a guest post specifically for Los Angeles parents (hi!) looking to go the magnet school route... which is what we did/are doing with our kids post elementary school. Archer is currently in his second week of middle school (his school is actually 6-12) and we'll be collecting points in the same way with the girls so that they can attend the same public magnet school. For those unaware of what a magnet school is (and what the differences are between magnet schools and charter schools) there's this. Also here's a quick summary of how magnet schools work via LAUSD eChoices.  Take it away, Hal! 

Little kids in the big city? Everyone I know who’s absconded to the safety of suburbia/exurbia is always so concerned.

“Is it dangerous?”

                                “Do they have a place to play?”

                                                                                    “Isn’t it expensive?”

            “How are they going to learn to drive?”

Honestly, there’s only one pain-in-the-ass deal about raising kids in Los Angeles and that’s the school thing. Where should they go? Do we move somewhere to take advantage of a particular zone? Is LAUSD the mess everyone says it is? What's the difference between charter and magnet? Am I supposed to start applying to schools before my child's conception? 

Shhhhhhh. My friends, there is hope.  Even in a big city school district embroiled in such scandals as iPad conspiracies, bathroom-makeover embezzlement and terrorist threat hoaxes, there are good people fighting the good fight to help your children eventually graduate high school with a solid sense of the world. 

The truth is, your child can go to a great (public!) school AND you can still live in the city. But you’re gonna have to wiggle within the current system. Wiggle it, just a little bit.

First off, let’s start with an immediate positive. There are actually a bunch of GREAT elementary schools in Los Angeles/LAUSD. You can search some of the sites that rank schools and most likely find something in your general vicinity that’s decent. So, those formative TK – 5th grade years can be easily solved by public institutions, either by moving to the appropriate zone before your child is ready to matriculate into TK or K, or by simply realizing you’re already zoned for something you would have chosen, anyway. (Our kids go to a great public school IN our neighborhood. And while we are not zoned for said school, we were able to lottery in when Archer was in kindergarten and now his sisters, because they're siblings also attend the same school.) 

Middle school is when it gets tricky. There are MANY things to consider when looking into middle schools—location and quality of education being most important. And although some of you might live in the areas of town where your public middle/high schools are top notch, chances are you’re in an area where the school you’re zoned for is borderline OK—or maybe not so much. 

Which brings me to MAGNET SCHOOLS. (Magnet schools = untethered by zoning/hence the “magnet” idea, whereby these schools draw kids from all over the city. They were founded in the late 60s and 70s as a way to integrate and combine children from all racial, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds by creating specialized academic environments. Some magnets specialize in the arts, some in the sciences, some in math, film... etc. There are also "gifted" magnets. 

But how do you get your kids accepted into said magnet schools? 

Perhaps you’ve heard about the ungodly amount of applications versus the paltry amount of spaces, and it’s immediately disheartening. And you start thinking – fuck it! We’re moving! We’re going to the country! A little red schoolhouse with Laura Ingalls Wilder! Real chalk and that piece of twine to hold their 4 books together.

And to that I say do not get discouraged/overwhelmed! Help is on the way! And by help, I mean me, so maybe that whole “I’m moving” thing might be your best bet. At any rate, here’s my simple two-step plan to make it happen!


The first stop you need to make is to LAUSD’s echoices.laused.net – the home for all things magnet-related. Put this right into your bookmark bar. This will be where you will plot and plan your child’s world-dominating education by selecting the right magnet for his/her interests. Other than each magnet school’s particular focus, you should also weigh their proximity to your home. Look, I’m not gonna spend one second on how bad LA driving is. There aren’t any ironic/sardonic/moronic/electronic/hydroponic things left to poke fun at. That said, many magnets DO have busing systems in place (ours does for kids who live 5 miles away or more) and for older kids, there is always the Metro bus. (Which is what Archer will use when he's a little older.) You can find more about busing systems, here.


What are these points, you ask? For most magnet schools, the number of applications outweighs the number of spaces by a lot, and by getting "points," you increase your odds, giving your child a better chance of getting into wherever you want them to go. The more magnet points your child collects, the better chance they will have at getting into a magnet school.

So for the moment, let’s just put the 11 aside. You can’t control them. But the other 12? Those are wait-list points, and YOU CAN TOTALLY MAKE THIS HAPPEN! 

Here’s how. 

1. When your child is in second grade, you apply to a magnet school for third grade that you wouldn’t mind him/her attending if they happen to get in. You'll want to apply to a school that is HARD to get into because the hope is that your child DOES NOT get into said school.  You are simply doing this to collect points. And in order to do this, your child needs to get wait-listed. 

Let me use my kids as an example. There are a few magnets in our area that would be fine for my children to attend, but honestly, I really like our kids' school and so do they. So I don’t want them to leave if I can help it... AND YET...  if they were to get into a magnet before graduating 5th grade, I would most certainly send them to get the automatic 12 magnet points (more on this below). 

So, I look for the elementary magnet school in our area that has the least amount of spots with the most applicants. For us (we live in West Hollywood) it’s Wonderland Magnet. (Wonderland is a regular elementary school, as well, so transferring into Wonderland elementary IS NOT the same as being accepted into the magnet program.) I fill out the application and I don’t put any other choices. (You can list up to three, but  if you like your current elementary school, only put one.)  Then I hope I get denied. 

Why? Because denial gets you 4 points for being wait-listed! And these 4 points carry over to the next year, which will technically give them a better shot at getting into the magnet, but it probably won’t help at all because the school is so hard to get into. Great! Booyah! 4 more points! 

Repeat the process in 4th, and heck yeah! 4 MORE POINTS. So when I apply to the magnet program for middle school (my true intention all along), I will have 12 points. You could start applying earlier, but 12 points is the maximum amount of wait-list points, so if you like your elementary school there’s no need to start until 2nd grade.

What if this backfires and you actually get into the magnet school? If you don’t accept, you LOSE your wait-list points, which would be particularly painful if you had 8. Also, by getting into a magnet for 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade, you automatically get your maximum 12 points for middle school.  That's why you want to make sure you apply to a magnet that you are willing to accept if you get in.

Another option is to find a “feeder school” in the area that guarantees entry into a magnet middle school – for instance Mid-City Prescott School of Enriched Sciences is a magnet school that guarantees a LACES (Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies) placement and the odds of getting in are pretty good. (We have several friends who have gone this route and it's a smart one.) Here’s the e-choices points FAQ link for a better understanding.

What if, after all this, you don’t get into a magnet for middle school? Keep applying! If you miss out on middle school, there’s still the chance of getting into a high school magnet program.

TAKE AWAY: It’s a bit of a pain, but it’s totally doable. Yes, tough choices might have to be made with regard to your child changing elementary schools, but if you want into the magnet program, you gotta get while the gettin’s good.  

Good luck, and if you have any questions, or just want to talk, comment below with any questions/comments/concerns you may have. I'm here. 
Now back to your scheduled GGC programming...

"The kids are back in school? what on earth will you do with your time?"

I would like to say that he was joking.  I would like to say that anyone in their right mind would be joking to say such blatantly sexist/out of touch/ignorant things, but alas, that was not the case. 

The women, all friends, all very successful in their various fields of work including one Agency CEO, smiled and laughed in the way women typically smile and laugh when dudes say stupid shit COMPLETELY unaware that they are saying stupid shit. Which, I hate to say, is often. WAY TOO OFTEN. EMBARRASSINGLY IS-THIS-EVEN-FOR-REAL often. 

There has always been an assumption in my community--which is, btw, as privileged as it is progressive --  that "when the kids go back to school" moms are FREE to throw  parties, day drink and relish in their alone time, and while this might very well be the case for some, I do not know a single mom/woman for whom this is the case. So,  I would like to talk for a minute about what we--men AND women--can do to put a stop to this antiquated logic. STOP THE MADNESS, GUYS! YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS! I KNOW YOU CAN!

And while my first instinct is to rage because, REALLY, DUDE!? YOU ARE ASKING THE CEO OF AN AGENCY WHETHER OR NOT SHE'S GOING TO GO GET HER NAILS DONE NOW THAT HER KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL BECAUSE YOU ASSUME THAT HER BUSINESS ATTIRE IS JUST... I DON'T KNOW... FOR DROP OFF-- I really want to get to the bottom of this issue and why it's A. so offensive and B. something I tend to laugh off instead of confront.

And while, I am one of those rare cases of work-from-home moms available for drop off and pick up (and taking days off to meet friends for lunch, which I will do on occasion) I resent those who assume that kids in school means ME TIME in a way that is very particular to me and other women being, well, women. Even Hal, who was with me at drop-off and heard the whole exchange go down, was like, "was that dude for real? He wasn't joking? He had to be joking."

"Nope. Welcome to motherhood, my darling. Welcome to MOM JEANS and MOM LIFE and MOMMY NEEDS A DRINK." Welcome to women making themselves useful over brunch and yoga. Welcome to a revolution that consists of gossip and mimosas.

NOTPSYCHE. It's opposite day. 

The thing is, it wasn't dude's fault; he didn't know any better. Google "back-to-school" and see what comes up -- memes of "moms" dancing and high fiving each other like OMG WE ARE SO FREE. Commercials depicting "moms" rolling their eyes while doing piles of laundry. Viral videos of "moms" partying at Target by choice. And while, again, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ANY OF THIS, there is something VERY wrong with ASSUMING that a woman's life outside of her children is... Target and laundry and mani-pedis with the girls. Because for MOST WOMEN -- and I would venture to say MUCH MORE THAN MOST -- it isn't. In fact, most women I know are the primary breadwinners in their households and that is a FACT. Most women I know have to get up BEFORE school and BEFORE work and BEFORE their kids even wake up in order to squeeze in some yoga... Metaphorically speaking, most moms I know have to walk ten miles in the snow to get to work every. goddamn. day. Add 100 miles to that trek for all the single moms I know.

You can read the rest of my post, here. 

this is a back-to-school mix tape. with love.

My kids went back-to-school yesterday so I made you a mix tape. All the emotions, you guys. Here we go... 
1. Kids by: Current Joys

I am just a kid 
I've never seen the world 
And I haven't quite decided 
If I'm a boy or a girl

2. I am Not a Robot by: Marina and the Diamonds

It's okay to say you got a weak spot.
 You don't always have to be on top. 
Better to be hated than loved for what you're not... 

3. Party Police by: Alvvays

You don't have to leave. 
You could just stay here with me... 

4.  She's a Rainbow by: The Rolling Stones

See the sky in front of you. 
Have you seen her dressed in blue?

5.  Clementine by: Sarah Jaffe

...I wish I was a little more delicate...

6. Drop by: Chloe x Halle

...vibrations move those mountains...

7. Forever Dumb by: Surf Curse

...But its hard when I don't know what to do 
I'm angry and I'm tried and confused...

8. Beach Bummer by: No Vacation

...I'm the only one. Inside. Today...

9. On the Regular by: Shamir

...You can kiss my fingers 
and I'm not saying hi...

10. Upward Over the Mountain by: Iron And Wine

...Mother, don't worry... 


Happy Back 2 School, sons and daughters, mamas and sisters, brothers and fathers.

Solidarity. Godspeed. Forward!

Back-to-School with Stranger Things

stranger-things-600x319 960
I know, I know. Another blogger weighing in on Stranger Things with a think piece... or should I say a THING piece. But I can't not say something about this show -- especially because, this might just be the first time in my entire life that I've:

A. Watched something scary.

I don't watch scary/violent anythings ever. I can't even with Game of Thrones. I think it's despicable. Walking Dead? You would have to pay me huge sums of cash to even THINK about watching such filth! That said, I will pretty much watch anything that is teen drama related--ESPECIALLY period teen dramas that focus on the trials and tribulations of suburban tweens and teenagers. And while I was but a toddler in the early 80s, I know that world. I grew up with E.T. And Goonies. And smocked dresses and Huffys.  You got me, Stranger Things. You had me at de de de de de de de de...

B. Binge watched something this fast.

Hal and I watched Stranger Things over the course of a few days and now I'm all end-of-summer balmy with thoughts -- and in the case of today's post, attempts to draw parallels between Stranger Things and parents (and older kids/teenagers) preparing for back-to-school. Oh and P.S. THIS SHOW IS NOT FOR YOUNG CHILDREN AT ALL. THIS SHOW IS FOR ADULTS OR OLDER TEENAGE CHILDREN. (Common Sense Media says 14+ and that seems accurate.)




1. The Upside Down is basically The Internet 
A dangerous place that is essentially the inverse of real life? Where scary things can snatch you up and feed on your very soul? A place that is very hard to escape once you're in? I mean, let this be a cautionary tale, my darlings. THE INTERNET IS A MONSTER.

Not all the time, mind you. But here are some helpful (hopefully) tips for parents and children who are new to social media/the Internet.

- Keep social media accounts private.

I personally believe every child has his/her right to their own privacy and do not believe in snooping through text messages/etc. I do believe in non-judgmental communication and being super open and honest with my own social media/teenage missteps and mistakes. Being the example, in my experience, is always the best way to guide.

- Put time limits on social media - limiting screen time at night.

This is pretty self-explanatory but important to reiterate. Teenagers need A LOT OF sleep and studies are finding that these days (I just shook my cane in the air), they're unable to unplug and get the rest they need. Keeping phones out of bedrooms is a great way to enforce better sleep habits. (For parents, too.)

- Have the Internet porn conversation

If your kid has been on the Internet for longer than a week, there's a good chance he/she has stumbled into Internet pornland. More than once. If you're not talking to your kids about Internet porn, you really need to think about doing so. And regardless of whether you have parent controls on your own Internet/your kids devices, you cannot parent control everything. (Just because you have Hustler magazines underneath your bed, doesn't mean your kid's BFF's parents haven't hidden theirs.)

You can start by asking your kid(s) if they have ever seen anything they didn't understand online and go from there. For me, talking about Internet porn is very similar to talking to kids about ALL THINGS THAT ARE NOT REAL.

Just because it looks like people are enjoying themselves, doesn't mean they are.

Sex is something you will want to do someday but this IS NOT SEX in the same way science fiction books are not real life and talking animals are not real. 

Also, here's a GREAT RESOURCE for talking to your kids about Internet Pornography. 

- Discuss "likes" and their effect on social media users (of all ages and genders).

Likes are the worst. I wish there was a way we could select NO on making them available because they CAN ONLY NEGATIVELY affect. That said, they are a reality for anyone who uses social media.

- Model positive social media skills. 

How often are you on Instagram? At what time of night do you turn it off? What kinds of things do you post? And how would you feel if your child was posting the same things? All important questions to ask, I think.

2. T(w)eenage girls are the most powerful human beings in the world
This is important for both boys and girls to recognize and not in a sexist-toward-boys kind of way. Girl power is real and it affects boys (and men) in ways that even boys (and men) don't fully understand. This is why TALKING to our daughters about their power over their own lives AS WELL AS BOYS is important.

Typically, media shows girls as boy-crazy lunatics, but the fact of the matter is, boys are THE EXACT SAME WAY but aren't given diaries to write about it or love songs or games like MASH to play in the PE locker room (Do people play MASH? Did I just make that up?) Hell, boys aren't really given any outlet at all.

The truth is, in the same way teenage girls are struggling with their own sexuality and pressures therein, teenage boys are, too. A lot of boys don't know what to say to girls or how to say it and are modeled (care of music/movies/media) pretty horribly sexist shit.

As a teenage girl, I knew I had power. And as the mother of a soon-to-be-teenage son, I am only NOW seeing what life looks like from his POV and while I believe that all girls, teenage or not, should own their power, we need to give our boys the tools to better navigate their feelings about that power.

3. Assholes "slut"shame. Don't be an asshole
This goes for parents of teenagers as much as it does for teenagers, themselves. NEVER define nor degrade a girl based on WHAT SHE DOES AND DOES NOT DO SEXUALLY. EVER. If you have a problem with someone because of the way they provocatively dress, don't say so out loud in front of your young children. You are merely reinforcing that it's okay for them to do the same. (One can express worry about other children/teenagers behavior without shaming other children/teenagers.) Also, calling out women (or girls) for their sexual prowess (falsified OR real And let's be real, A LOT OF WHAT IS SAID during the teenage years is rumor-laden and falsified.) Saying or acting negatively toward a girl (or woman) based on her sexuality/physical identification is bullying, plain and simple. It also promotes rape culture, reinforces double standards, and is DANGEROUS. Remember, as a parent, your kids are LISTENING to your words. They are INTERNALIZING your judgement. And they are, most likely, passing it on. 

Signed, someone who spent much of her high school years trying to rinse the word "SLUT" off her driveway...


You can read my post in its entirety, here. And if you haven't already seen Stranger Things, dial that shit up tonight like whoa...

Evening Standard

"Bedtime?" "Yeah right. It's still light out." - my kids every night this week when I try to convince them that NEXT WEEK MEANS BACK TO SCHOOL MEANS WE NEED TO START GOING TO BED EARLIER.

But it's still light out, so... 
IMG_4056 IMG_4043 IMG_4042 IMG_4057 ... No. 

oh, to preschool you go: a respost

Okay, Back-to-Schoolers. It's about to get very Back-to-School-esque up in here, starting with this repost from two summers ago when my babies started preschool. (Sob.) Next week Bo and Revi start TK at the same elementary school as their big sister, so this poem is no longer ours to keep. For those of you with babies starting preschool this week/month/season, this one's for you... 

Godpseed mamas and papas. Sending great big love to you and your littles...  xoxo infinity
Oh, to Preschool You Go

Today is your day!
I sobbed as I wrote this
(Because that is my way.)

You have bags on your backs
And big smiles on your faces
You're both still in diapers
(But not always the case...s)
You're in this together
Because that's how twins rock
You can use your words, now
And you know how to walk.
You'll meet lots of children and make them your friends.
You'll meet teachers with bandaids for booboos to mend.
With your bags full of lunch you may not want to eat.
Because there are too many veggies and not enough treats.

But one day you'll thank us? Or perhaps you will not.
One day you'll be glad of these lessons we taught?

And you will also be angry we did what we did
Because that's what it means to be somebody's kid.
We all do our best but still, there are some days...
When parents cannot be quite sure of their ways.

In that case, of course, you will hate us sometimes...
...and like us and hate us (that's totally fine.)
We've all been there, girls. And we somehow lived through
With our parents still loving us for all that we do.

This just took a turn for angst-ridden teen
For a moment I forgot that you're not seventeen
But that's just the thing about being a mama
Every new milestone feels chock-full of drama.
For, two seconds ago you were up on the screen
And that was, like, yesterday, so it all feels quite nuts.
To be saying "you're off!" when we're still wiping butts.

But you're ready for this
I just know that you are
You've been ready for months now
You scream in the car...
When we drop off your siblings
saying, "I want to go!"
And for a while I've been saying,
"Okay, girls! I know!"
photo 3
And so, here we are
Lunches packed, backpacks on.
And me with my face that says
"Nothing is wrong!"

And you in your dresses you picked just for today
Last night in your PJs with so much to say.

To Preschool you go!

You'll paint all the time!
You'll nap and you'll sing!
And you'll learn nursery rhymes!
You'll do yoga a lot Because this is LA
And it's important you know how to live NAMASTE.

It won't always be easy for you or for me.
Accidents will happen,
And your school is not free. 
And if this school is anything like the last one
You may catch some head lice which is really not fun
And you may make a friend that has to change schools
And you may find you have a hard time with new rules
And you may become homesick (that's just how I was)
And you may decide school is the worst just because
And you may hurt your hand or your foot or your face
And you may feel fenced in and in need of more space
And you may want to paint longer than you are allowed.
Or find you're not tired and want to be LOUD.
fist pump

But that is just part of the up we must grow!
And learning these lessons is just part of the show.
So enjoy it, my darlings! Hold your heads high
For you are now entering the where and the why
The who, you have covered, the what will come, too.
The how we shall find out when this isn't all new...
Oh, to preschool you go! There is fun to be done!
There are prints to be handed and songs to be sung!
And the magical things you will do with your minds.
Will make you realize that you're (two) of a kind.
With the kids lining up to hold onto your hands!

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.
I'm afraid that some times
You won't be all that.
Your painting will tear
And your clay will go flat

And you may want to follow in the times you must lead
And your happiness will not always be guaranteed.
And there will be times when you will get picked last
And you'll fall on your face when you're running too fast.
And all of that's good and it's fine and it's great.
Because you are a human and that is your fate
But I want to say this because THIS I must say
As your mother who loves you and is proud of your way(s)

And by "ways" I mean chutzpah. You both have it in spades
You are two of the strongest kids I've ever made...
So stay true to that sparkle, those fists in the air
Stand up for yourselves and remember to share.
And please don't let ledges keep you back from the view
And if you must jump near edges (cause that's what you must do)...
Be mindful my darlings. 
Be kind, brave and strong.
Watch over each other. 
Go forth, girls. Forge on... 


be your name Boheme or Bobo or Bo
or Reverie Coconut, Baby GoGo (her alter ego)
you're off to big kid school.
Today is your day.
A new world is waiting.
And, yes, girls, we'll stay... 

(... for an hour or so, until they shoo us away.)


DEQN-250-23-EDITED image via


276. Magenta by: Deqn Sue

12 Tees for Tweens for Back-to-School

Today on Mom.me, I have a lineup of awesome t-shirts for back-to-school, thanks to Archer who helped me put this post together based on shirts he thought were gos. 

Anyway. These shirts are pro-science, pro-puns and pro-conversation pieces. They're also middle school appropriate. High five.

Psh to all four star hotels. This is my new favorite t-shirt ever. GET IT, YOU GUYS! BECAUSE THERE ARE 5 BILLION STARS IN THE SKY AND THE EARTH IS LITERALLY A 5 BILLION STAR HOTEL FOR LIFE!!!??? So good.

This shirt was chosen in Fable's honor. Fable's love of sloths knows no bounds. Mine, too. Archer chose this shirt for us because he's the best. 

Yes, I know not all of us are Team Hill. But we're with her in our household and this fall, the election will be dominating our minds AND our closets. Because of course. 

To bee or not to bee. That is always the question when shirt shopping, is it not? This shirt is rad. The end. 

5. Whales

Insert whale pun, here. This shirt is also rad. To be honest, I'm pretty sure it was the narwhal that sold it. Note to shirt-makers: narwhals are always in style.. And speaking of always in style... 

Happy Friday!

to the Beat (Bugs) and you don't stop

The following post is sponsored by Netflix. Come together with Beat Bugs, a new family show inspired by the music of the Beatles. Now Streaming.
If I were to create an all-time “top five albums that sound-tracked my early childhood” list, High Fidelity style, The Beatles’ albums would take up AT LEAST three of those spots. The White Album, Abbey Road, Sgt Pepper's... these were the albums that defined my mother's teen years, and because of that, they defined my early years, as well.

Besides my mom's Beatles albums, the only other records I can recall listening to over and over (and over) as a small child are The South Pacific soundtrack, Springsteen's Born to Run (Hey, Dad!) and James Taylor's greatest hits. Cat Steven's Tea for the Tillerman was definitely in rotation as well. Carol King Tapestry... a little Linda Ronstadt...

In our household, we're a little more scattered with our music. I have 78978698264978698 songs set on random play at any given time. Hal does, too. (We have completely different tastes in music so what’s playing depends on who's manning the stereo/car stereo/acoustic guitar.   The music that reverberates in our home is pretty unpredictable.) My kids will grow up pretty familiar with every possible genre of music but no committed relationship to any one album, which I think is also pretty cool. 
IMG_7360 IMG_6917
Anyway... I knew most all of The Beatles songs by heart by the time I was a teenager and was brought up to believe they were the greatest band of all time.

All these years later, I don't disagree. (If I had to choose one band's catalog to take with me to a desert island, it would definitely be The Beatles. To me, every. single. one of their albums feels like home.)

Beyond that, SO MANY of their songs lend themselves to a child's imagination: from Octopus’ Garden (my childhood favorite) to Yellow Submarine (which I cannot stand but my kids love it) to Blackbird (if I had a dollar for every time I've witnessed someone pick up an acoustic guitar to strum an impromptu Blackbird...) to I Want to Hold Your Hand (a parent's anthem) to All You Need is Love (a parent's mantra) to Bo and Revi's personal favorite, Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da...

One can EASILY create playlists for kids via The Beatles extensive catalog. And taking that one step further into on-screen storytelling, it's not surprising that Beat Bugs was born, a new series for children:

Each episode takes classic songs made famous by the Beatles and turns them into animated stories. Think Across the Universe meets Fantasia meets A Bug's Life. I watched the first two episodes of Beat Bugs with Bo and Revi last month and they gave it four thumbs up. It was creative, adventurous, silly and chock full of positive messages. Most importantly, though (to me, anyway) it was FULL OF GREAT MUSIC -- specifically hit Beatles songs covered by artists including Sia, Eddie Vedder, The Shins, Pink, Regina Spektor, James Corden and more.

Beat Bugs is now available to stream on Netflix AND The Beat Bugs soundtrack is available to download on iTunes, here. You can follow Beat Bugs on Facebook, here. For those of you who don't currently subscribe to Netflix (AND for those of who do) I have (5) gift cards for three-month free Netflix subscriptions to give away. To win? Comment below and let me know what the MOST influential albums of your childhood were...  I'll choose all winners at random on Friday, August 12th. Good luck and rock on!