Leaving Your Kids In The Care Of Strangers

I dropped my 4½ year old daughter, Caitlyn, off at pre-school today for the first time. My wife has always done it, so I didn’t give it much thought before now: I’m leaving my kid with strangers who don’t know she eats tomatoes like apples; she has to have sea salt on her sliced cucumbers; her first fish, Fishy Fish, died after six months and is now fertilizing our garden, which she thinks is “awesome”; can name all the planets, thanks to that Blue’s Clues tune (The sun’s a hot star, and mercury’s hot too…); loves going to my “church“; loves to watch MythBusters with me (Adam sure is silly, Dad)…

I didn’t know where the classroom was in the school, so Caitlyn led me around, taking her shoes off outside the room, digging for her sneakers in a box full of tiny kids’ sneakers, hanging her coat up on the little hanger, then running into the room without giving me a second glance.

No response.
She looks my way, wondering at the annoyance that’s calling her name.
“What Dad?”
“I’m going.”
“Okay. Bye.”
“C’mere and give me a hug or something before I start crying.”
“Don’t cry, Dad”, she says as she runs over to me. “You won’t miss me because I’ll see you again after school.”


It Wasn’t Danny Schmidt

Danny SchmidtThe hotel I stayed in last night at Southfield, Michigan has free breakfasts. As I entered its dining area this morning, I exchanged glances with a guy sitting at a table drinking coffee. My first thought was, “Holy shit, that looks like Danny Schmidt“. If you’re the regular reader of SWT (Hi, Phillip), you know who Danny is.

So I get my orange juice and bowl of cereal (they were serving biscuits and gravy as the hot entree. For breakfast. Ugh), and sit at a table behind this fella about 15 feet away, this fella who looks like Danny Schmidt. As I eat breakfast I’m thinking: This guy has black hair, a scraggily, unshaven look, wears a brown hat, and wears casual clothes. Sorta like Danny. How can I find out? If it IS Danny, I’ll regret not going up and saying, “Hi, are you Danny Schmidt? I’m Jody Cairns. You know, Phillip’s brother.” And he’d either say “Fuck off” (this IS the Detroit area) or “You got to be fucking kidding me!” What to do, what to do… I mean, it’d be REALLY cool if it was him. Shit.

Well, I thought too long about it; he finished his coffee and left. I checked Danny’s website for his touring schedule, hoping he wasn’t in Michigan now, and he wasn’t; he’s in the U.K.

Normally I wouldn’t think of approaching anyone famous-ish (he’s an artist I respect. That’s “famous” in my book); I don’t care about them nor they about me. But in this case, he would know me. He sang a song for my daughter while doing an interview at Whole Wheat Radio. Maybe Phillip will post the MP3 some day.

Eating With The Blues

Memphis SmokeI ate at the Memphis Smoke for supper, where I had blackened catfish with creole rice, washing it down with a cold draft. As we were eating, a band unexpectedly went on stage. It was a competition held by the Detroit Blues Society, with five bands competing to go to the International Blues Challenge 2006 competition to be held in Memphis.

The first band was all middle-age white guys. After jamming for a couple of minutes they announced the singer, who walked up with a black cowboy hat and leather pants: a tiny, frail looking black women about 50 years old. She sat down on a stool, picked up an acoustic guitar, then she started belting out one of the best damn blues melodies I ever heard. Awesome. They went downhill after that: the guitarist was dull and the tunes were unimaginative, except the first tune. They should’ve quit after the first song.

That was the first time I’ve been to a pub in about 15 years. It was cool, though too damn loud, which is the main reason why I don’t go to pubs and concerts now.