Tuesday January 28, 2003 10:51 PM
Rockin' Out!

I had a lousy day at work today. I spent the whole day beating my head against a wall trying something again and again with different parameters, never getting quite what I wanted, only to discover that I was laboring under a fundamental misunderstanding about the functionality of the program I was using. Then, when the secret was finally explained to me and I was ready to move on to the next phase of the process, I met almost instantaneously with further complications and difficulties. I was worn out, frustrated, and had accomplished effectively zero percent of the work for which 16 hours had been accounted after 24 hours of work. So I went home.

Yesterday was better. Yesterday I'd borrowed a Led Zepplin CD from a guy at work and I was Rockin' Out as I toiled away. I looked away from my screen and noticed several people looking at me from the cube on the other side of the rat-maze lane from mine (about 8 ft or 2.4 m away). I slipped off my headphones and asked if they'd said something to me since if they had, I'd surely not have heard them. They hadn't said anything to me. They were just watching my facial expressions and head motions in time with the music they could clearly hear.

Like I said- I was Rockin' Out.

Last night we went out to our favorite local cheap mexican restaraunt- El Mezcal. Isaiah had had the idea earlier in the day and, though my inclination was to decline his request, I decided that for a number of reasons, not the least of which was to reward Isaiah for the remarkable progress he is making with a certain rite of growing up, we would enjoy the cuisine offered by our Hispanic friends.

And they are like friends. I say "Number eighteen, please" and they cut me off with "No lettuce, right?". Not all of them do that. The new guy waited on us last night, but he was outgoing and friendly just like all the rest. The place is always festive- even when Ruth, Isaiah, and I are the only ones in there all the employees are smiling, joking around, and singing with the peppy mariachi/mexi-hip hop music that never stops.

Isaiah was enjoying the music there last night in a fashion much similar to that which caused the amusement of my coworkers earlier in they day. His widley smiling head was bouncing back and forth in perfect rhythm with the fast-paced music.

"Do you like that music, Son?"

"Yeah, Daddo, I'm be-boppin'!"

"That's cool. I was Rockin' Out at work today. That's a lot like be-boppin'. In fact, you might like the music I was listening to. I know you would like the CD cover- it's got guys in space suits on it."

"Can we look at it when we get home?"

So when we got back, I got out the CD I had not only borrowed, but brought home, and showed it to him. He indeed was impressed with the artwork on the cover depicting the members of the band- helmetless (I don't know how they'd have fit their hair in a space helmet anyway) but obviously wearing standard issue NASA space suits and wanted me to play it.

I put the CD in the computer and selected the quintessential (in my opinion, but probably just about everybody else's too) Led Zepplin song, perhaps the quintessential rock n' roll song, "Whole Lotta Love", hit play and twisted the volume knob to the right.

With the very first "DA na n'nah NAH" to come out of Jimmy Page's guitar Isaiah was grinning and dancing goofy all around the room. He was be-boppin' and clapping and having a good time acting silly with me (I was behaving in a similar manner) and when the song was over he wanted to hear some more. There was a video track on the enhanced CD so I played that for him and he enjoyed watching the performance of "Dazed and Confused".

"What's that thing that guy is playing," I asked.

"That's drums just like I play at Uncle Mike's house!"

Ruth had been in the basement working on laundry while I was making Isaiah's official introduction to real rock music and she came back upstairs just a few minutes after the video ended.

"Hey, Mommy," Isaiah shouted, "we were Rockin' Out!"

"I know," she answered with an eye-rolling smile, "I heard you guys Rockin' Out through the floor."