Heater, Mother of Lance

An interstellar burst

A couple of weeks ago my brother and I agreed to meet at a sushi restaurant for lunch. A few hours beforehand he texted me to make sure our plans were still firm:

(Putting it “in” my website. HOLY SHIT I SEXTED MY BROTHER.)

We ordered a ton of bait, and every five minutes or so we’d joke about taking a picture of a piece of albacore tuna hanging out of our mouths and sending it to our easily nauseated father, he who is so repulsed by sushi that he would not touch a piece of it even if someone was holding one of his children hostage. He’d be like, nice knowing you, kid! We had some good times, and now your part of the will is going to the Republican National Committee! Lemons out of lemonade! Where’s my hamburger?

I haven’t seen my brother in a long time, so we spent a good two hours catching up. Whenever people ask me in interviews what I think about when I sit down to write, I always say: Ranger. My brother. He is the funniest person I know, and whenever I’m crafting a story I try to visualize things that would make him laugh, because that laugh shakes his whole body and fills the room. That’s where the phrase cockadoodledo fart came from. I had an image of my brother getting to that part in the story and having Diet Coke suddenly shoot up and burn the inside of his right nostril.

Right before we said goodbye he said he had one more thing on his mind, something I would most certainly appreciate. And I was like YOU’RE CRUSHING ON RYAN GOSLING, TOO?! Let’s get matching Notebook tattoos!

Sadly, no, he’s not, but it was even better than that! YOU GUYS! My brother discovered Radiohead!


COME. ON. The only way I can describe the meaningfulness of this is, like, take a nerd who has studied The Lord Of The Rings so thoroughly that he has legally changed his name to Gandalf Angelic Being of the Undying Lands of Valinor. Right. (You may not know this but the full name on my drivers license is “Guitarist Ed O’Brien”) And suddenly this nerd has a captive audience who won’t mind him going into excruciating detail about every single character and place and battle and how far superior Legolas is to Aragorn DO NOT EVEN GET HIM STARTED. You did. You got him started. Great. You’re about to discover why he’s 52 years old and has never seen a vagina.

He and I are now constantly texting about certain songs and structures and agreeing that Thom Yorke’s falsetto in “Reckoner” is the perfect foil to the song’s bass line.

(now even the crickets have left)

Today he said, “I can tell you exactly what it is — they are a seamless combination of the old Bee Gees sounds (“Holiday” and “Wouldn’t I Be Someone”), my love of classic Pink Floyd, and layer upon layer of bass and note progression that is unexpected.” Talk about nerd goosebumps. He’s so right. I mean, I did once sit down and analyze every chord progression in Kid A and WAIT! WHERE ARE YOU GOING? COME BACK!

  • cselkins

    2012/05/17 at 1:41 pm

    Radiohead?! YES, please. And my brother and I text song lyrics and movie quotes constantly during the day. Mostly from the 90s alternative/grunge genre. Which is all in between him being offered a piece of bloody chicken for lunch by the school janitor. Don’t they have teacher’s lounges anymore? My brother, the teacher. Who woulda thought they would hire anyone who used to play with WWF dolls, ahem, I mean “action figures”.

  • HowToBeADad

    2012/05/17 at 1:49 pm

    Next he’ll be listening to Arcade Fire and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and wearing horn-rimmed glasses with a PBR in one hand and a Proust book in the other while riding a fixed-gear bike to his job at a graphic design company. This is Hipsterism starts, Heather.


  • Rosie R

    2012/05/17 at 2:25 pm

    Yes, yes, very cool, but I have something much more pressing to ask you: Where did you get the dress that Marlo is wearing in today’s Chuck photo?? My daughter is in dire need of that dress.

  • dooce

    2012/05/17 at 2:33 pm

    @Rosie R I got it in Mexico.

  • EliBailey

    2012/05/17 at 3:05 pm

    I absolutely love Radiohead and would change my name to IloveThomYorke if I could. Best band of all time in my opinion. But if you had asked me about them ten years ago I wouldn’t have had a clue. It wasn’t until 2004, after my ex and I separated and I was moving into my own house when my son asked me to sit down and listen to them. So we sat and listened to one song, then another, and another, and another, and I fell in love with them right then and there. Radiohead helped get me through that whole mess and also got me started listening to a lot of other good music. I credit them (and my son) for saving me from music mediocrity. And when I met my husband online the first thing we talked about was Radiohead. I took that as a good sign.

  • TigerLily

    2012/05/17 at 4:11 pm

    Fuck Radiohead. I love Ranger simply because of, well, Cockadoodledoo Fart. Best Dooce post EVER!!

  • Rosie R

    2012/05/17 at 4:39 pm

    @dooce Excellent find! She looks darling in it. Clearly I need to hop on a plane to Mexico immediately.

  • Annie007

    2012/05/17 at 7:36 pm

    Very funny text and stories. Good to hear you two connected. My sister just visited me for a few days last week — I”m in Atlanta and she’s in Boston. I miss her. There’s something about growing up together and suffering the same parents that creates a lifelong bond.

  • Jen

    2012/05/17 at 11:32 pm

    I totally get your reference. I’d be jumping up and down in nerdy excitement, too. I’ve gone off on tangents a time or two about Pyramid Song or You and Whose Army? and I can see peoples’ eyes glazing over. They just don’t get it. I have hope, though.

  • the_grapes_of_ROUGH

    2012/05/18 at 5:31 am


    They’re coming to DC in a few weeks (or maybe they were already here? I can’t be bothered to remember these things). The point is, none of my philistine friends would go with me and I missed/am missing them. Gutted.

  • lala34mc

    2012/05/18 at 8:06 am

    I am still here and I love you for this post! Going to see them again in a couple weeks here in Boston. Eeeeee. Wanna come?

  • lisdom

    2012/05/18 at 8:47 am

    Aw, you’re getting me excited to see them at Bonnaroo! I’ve seen Radiohead twice already, but who ever gets to the point where given the opportunity to see Radiohead they say no? That’s right, nobody.

  • annalitchka

    2012/05/18 at 11:45 am

    Rosie R., I live in Austin, and the dress that darling Marlo is wearing is a very traditional Mexican dress, which has been made for many years in all sizes for all ages. Here in Texas we see a lot of them. I do see one for sale on eBay.

    I bought one like that for my mother about 30 years ago in a Mexican market. It’s a very classic style. I don’t think you’d have to go to Mexico to find it. Good luck!

  • annalitchka

    2012/05/18 at 11:49 am

    Rosie R., check out http://leosimports.com/ to find those dresses, they call them Puebla dresses. Not expensive at all!

  • SweetAdeline

    2012/05/18 at 12:03 pm

    As though I haven’t been maniacally texting the countdown to the two shows I magically got tickets for on this tour to everyone I know, just seeing “interstellar burst” in the title of this post made me want to dance for joy and smell my tickets. For a weird looking little guy with a droopy eyelid, Thom Yorke sure gives me some intense feelings. I could go and on about how “All I Need” is the sickest most twisted and perfect love song, or how Fade out popping up during my commute changes the tenor of my whole day. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a cult. Best. Cult. Ever.

  • Pandora Has A Box

    2012/05/18 at 12:10 pm

    It’s posts like this that make me a wee bit sad to be an only child.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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