Rockcrit and A-Mama Ann Powers thinks way too hard sometimes

Friday, October 21, 2005

Deep Trivialities: Laundry; Song: Stars

Pulling some pants out of the dryer yesterday made me think about the reality of the term "love/hate." The clothes had been cooling in their metal holder for, I don't know, a week. I just hadn't bothered to take them out, which is typical. Lifting and folding, I realized that I love/hate doing laundry. Another way to say this is, I desire/avoid it. A dodger of all chores (cooking is not a chore!), I choose laundry over all the others; perhaps it's because it's fairly self contained, and involves nice smells more than disgusting ones. When, on a Saturday, I think, I should clean up, I inevitably head toward my Maytag. However, I'm also prone to leave laundry sitting forever, either completely untouched or halfway done. On the other hand, I do the dishes pretty much every night. Laundry illuminates love/hate for me by becoming a kind of artificial horizon -- I can chart my progress by it, be drawn to it as a goal, but when I get up close, it's just a little puddle of activity. This can be similar to certain love/hate relationships with people: that girl, for example, that you're glad to see when you walk into the cocktail party, because you know her at least and her presence will center you; but five minutes in she's bugging you with some boring anecdote and you're wishing you'd taken a chance on just standing alone for a while. So many tiny choices make up our every day. It would be intimidating, if it weren't just life.

"Stars," by Switchfoot, has been on my radio recently as I round Green Lake. I reviewed this Christian (post-Christian?) rock band for the Blender and only gave the latest two stars -- production was just too vanilla-ice. But hearing "Stars" on the radio, with its reaching chorus and subtle lyrics about seeing "someone else" in the exosphere, is as fine an example of stealth Christianity in pop as I can imagine. Will it convert anyone? Not to Jesus, not right away, but those missional types only need you to step halfway there. At first.

Parental moment -- Bebe gave me her flu. Ten days after she had it. One week after Eric had it. Day care may or may not be bad for your kid, but it's sure hell on the parents' immune systems.


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