Hedbanz and Bieber beat back a bad mood

Even an old guy can experience — and enjoy — new experiences.

For me, it was coming home grumpy, which doesn’t happen often these days — only to find Janet, Macy and Jacob at the kitchen table, eating dinner and laughing and proclaiming it to be Taco Tuesday. Then, the kids serenaded their mother by singing along with Justin Bieber and Ludacris. (If one generously labels as singing the vocal stylings of Bieber and Ludacris.)

headbanndzWhatever old-person cred I may have gained by identifying Bieber and Ludacris, however, was quickly erased once we sat down after supper to a game of Hedbanz. It took me forever to realize the cards I had drawn said in order: Gorilla, clock and Harry Potter.

But it did give me somewhere else to focus my anxiety about an exciting project that presented itself last week and is requiring contributions from everyone at work. It has to do with this show at the Muscatine Art Center. I really hope a big crowd turns out for the show’s opening reception with artist Pamela Houser, which will be held from 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday at the art center, 1314 Mulberry Ave.

This project is going to be a big success. I am sure of it. Everyone has really pulled together. But work on this project helped make me late for an appointment at 4:30, which led to me being 30-some minutes late for another appointment at 5:30. And that resulted in my standing on the sidewalk, thinking I was locked out of the building where the meeting I was to attend was being held.

Even though it was sunny and beautiful — really the first spring-like early evening so far this year — it felt as if a dark cloud was following me around.

I gave up and grumpily headed home, where I found plenty of reasons to brighten my dark mood. It’s impossible to put a price on listening to the laughter of kids. Even when some of their fun was at my expense. It’s still sort of a new experience for me — one for which I am very grateful.

And today is going to be a new and better day.


Anyone who knows me even a little knows how little I really know about Bieber. You Can, released last month by Jamey Johnson, is more to my liking. He rocks. Even when he writes and performs a love song.


Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping

One last listening recommendation: Much has been written in the past three years about Muscatine’s developing relationship with China, thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Chinese groups are frequent visitors in Muscatine. And so many Muscatine residents have traveled on exchanges to China that some of them are even suggesting I need to make the trip.

Because of Muscatine’s relationship with China, I listened Tuesday night to a podcast of “On Point with Tom Ashbrook,” a show on National Public Radio. It featured a discussion about Xi and his ongoing anti-corruption campaign in China.

It’s worth a listen.

Have a good day, everyone. It’s time to make the doughnuts.