Wild or Tame Unicorn?/ Boys Hate Sparkles

Just back from a trip to Austin. Joyful reunion with the girls. On my last trip, my gift to them was two Spongebob Squarepants Six Shooter cowboy figurines purchased at Burger King when I stopped for a soda on the drive back. (It was a desperation move, just to have something.) Iris’s comment about that one was, “Why did you buy this for us, daddy?” — very earnest. So this time I did better:

-gummi candy in the shape of the letters of their name. Unfortunately I got two “S”s and only one “I” for Iris, but I bit off the end of the S and it became a twisty/snakey “I” that she more or less accepted.

-remaindered Peep bunnies. Just threw these in. The proprietor (of this amazing candy shop on South Congress) insisted they were entirely fresh.

-charm necklaces with little ceramic puppies (on pink ribbons). These were the real gifts. I would’ve gotten two different charms but of course that’s a serious gamble with twins. A big hit.

-also two sets of colored pencils

All is back to normal. Just overheard: Celie was yelling/crying. Sarah went to see what was up and Celie said “Iris doesn’t want to play what I want to play! I want to be the owner and she’s my pet unicorn…” Iris, defiantly: “But I want to be a WILD unicorn.” Sarah brokered a compromise where Celie would slowly domesticate Iris by picking wild flowers and (this was Iris’s idea) placing them in her antlers. [oops, I guess it must have been around her horn.]

p.s. overheard as C&I decorate a drawing of a heart: C: “hmm, somebody didn’t do very good sparkling here.”

I: “It must have been the boys.”

C: “They really didn’t do very good sparkles.”

I: “Yes. They hate sparkles.”

[N.B. these were imaginary/ straw man boys]

9 Reasons I love Los Campesinos!

9. Phony World Music name meaning “the peasants” (they are from Cardiff, Wales)

8. Song title: “”This Is How You Spell ‘Hahaha, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics'”

7. Do justice to illustrious lineage of UK art-school punks (Mekons, Joy Division, Buzzcocks, Art Brut)

6. Simultaneously sound totally sarcastic and totally earnest (“I spent the last seven years perched on the edge of my bed/ Scratching ‘I am incredibly sincere’ into my forearm”)

5. Cover one of my favorite Pavement songs (“Frontwards”), which sounds like a terrible idea, I realize

4. Super-catchy sing-along guitar pop bubbling up with weird musical ideas (glockenspiels, etc.) that occasionally make the songs sound like U.K. holiday-season radio novelty singles

3. Video featuring rainbows, feathers, kittens, and a unicorn

2. Could not be more cute but somehow not twee; acknowledge sexuality, the economy, adult reality generally

1. Great nerd boy/cute girl dynamics (“Four sweaty boys with guitars tell me NOTHING about my life”)

The album on Emusic