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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Admit it: these are the cleanest rocks you have ever seen.
Admit it: these are the cleanest rocks you have ever seen.

Notes from the crib

Even as a professional and private writer, I find myself wishing I wrote more stuff down about my kids so someday when I'm a nostalgic, old lady, I can torture myself. That said, I managed to scribble down a few things here and there, so here's a peek into what's been going on in my "mom life."

1. "Does This Hurt?" The boys have a new game called "Does This Hurt?" It already sounds like a bad idea, doesn't it? Basically they like to squeeze each other's arms from very softly to with all their might, and ask, "Does this hurt?" each time they squeeze. They also play this game by pinching each other. I have this vague memory of biting my own hand as a kid, trying to find my pain boundary, which is a similar concept. I think (?) this sort of thing is important and normal, but it's only a hoot until someone ends up with a fiery, uber-squeezed arm.

2. The washing of the rocks. Recently, I read an online list of ways to occupy little kids, and "washing rocks" was on the list. This instantly made sense to me because my guys, like most little people, love to play in water. Plus, rocks change colors when they're wet. So, we collected a bunch of rocks by the river and since then, they have become fanatical rock washers (and dryers). It sounds like something one might do just after watching grass grow, but hey, it buys me enough time to read my e-mail.

3. Amateur jousting. I agreed to buy the boys toy swords after they  begged for them at every festival and fair we've attended in the past two years. This was a big deal for me, because I grew up in a household so anti-gun that I wasn't allowed to own a squirt gun.  Although I lightened up on the toy weapon thing, I still don't want to witness lots of violent imaginative play. However, I don't think I have too much to worry about, because when I asked Levi what he was going to do with his new toy sword, he said, "I think I'll stick it in my belly button." Hmmm …

John Corbett missed out on "Sex" but he's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
John Corbett missed out on "Sex" but he's eatin' good in the neighborhood.

"Sex and the City" is Aidan-free

At first, I was bummed that John Corbett was not cast in the "Sex and the City" movie. I was a big fan of his role in "Northern Exposure" and as Aidan in the HBO series of "SATC."

And then I heard his voice as the spokesperson for Applebee’s.

It's not that I'm a restaurant snob. Hell, last weekend we ate breakfast at Denny’s. But when I heard Corbett say the Applebee’s menu features "soups, salads and sandwiches,"  I swear he said "SAMwiches." I replayed the commercial again and I was convinced.

In my opinion, "Samwiches" is one of the most annoying mispronunciations of a word in the English language.

Then, while writing my review of the "Sex and the City" film, I found quotes online from Corbett that said he wasn’t in the movie because he was "a big movie star" now and the film couldn’t afford his $20 million-per-movie price tag.

Wash that samwich down with a glass of melk, John.

Los Angeles-based indie rock band Rilo Kiley played a sold-out show at The Pabst Theater Friday.
Los Angeles-based indie rock band Rilo Kiley played a sold-out show at The Pabst Theater Friday.

Short 'n' sweet Rilo Kiley show worth the wait

Friday's Rilo Kiley show at The Pabst Theater started at 8 p.m. with a performance by Nik Freitas. At 9:15, The Spinto Band took the stage. By 10:15, the audience was clearly ready for Riley -- yelling out their name and walking out on the opening act for restroom and beverage breaks.

By 10:25, I wasn't sure we were going to see Rilo Kiley at all. But at 10:35 p.m., we finally, finally did.

And it was definitely worth the wait.

The sold-out show lasted a little over an hour, followed by a two-song encore, but it was a Jenny Lewis love fest from start to finish.

Lewis, the lead singer of the band, was dressed in a signature sparkly leotard and tights. She was clearly the coolest and sexiest girl in the room -- she even laid on the stage in a bedroom lounge pose at one point -- but her demeanor was sweet and friendly. (Translation: She's the girl other girls would love to hate, but just can't.)

Lewis said few words to the audience, but what she didn't offer in conversation, she made up for with the quality of her voice.

Inspired by strong, country female singers like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline, Lewis' voice is clearly flavored by her favorite ladies. Prior to Rilo Kiley's 2004 upbeat, indie rock release, "More Adventurous," Lewis had more of a melancholy country sound than today, but those influences remain.

Half of the material performed during Friday's show was from the August 2007 release, "Under the Blacklight." The band opened with "Close Call," and went on to deliver "Moneymaker," "Dreamworld," "15" (dedicated to the 15-year-olds in the audience) and big hits "Breaking Up" and "Silver Lining."

"Silver Lining" featured massive, confetti-filled balloons dropped on the audience.

Rilo Kiley dished up deeper cuts, too,  like "Absence of God," "With Arms Outstretched," "Ripchord," "It's A Hit" and, in the encore, "Portions for Foxes."

The band's songs have appeared in "The O.C.," "Da…

Sometimes, mommy feels much better after blowing her stack.
Sometimes, mommy feels much better after blowing her stack.

Top seven mommy guilt trips

I received an interesting e-mail today from about the top seven reasons why moms feel guilt. In fact, according to its survey, 94 percent of the moms polled said they feel guilt or shame over some aspect of their child raising. 

Here are the top reasons why moms feel guilt, according to

1. Feeding your baby formula
2. Using TV as a babysitter
3. Being environmentally unfriendly
4. Feeding your kids junk food
5. Leaving your child with another caregiver
6. Yelling at your kids
7. Not being able to afford all the extras