Welcome WiseGrandkid!

A very warm welcome to the world is extended to WiseGrandkid, who was born this past week to WiseKid and his girlfriend! WiseGrandkid showed up two weeks early, so I dashed back from vacation to spend some time getting to know this sweet young thing. Okay, up until now it has been sleeping and crying that I've seen. But such a sweet young thing, with a face full of lanugo - so soft to touch!

I went along for the First Walk with the new baby buggy this afternoon, and noticed something interesting. It used to be that walking with WiseKid would cause people coming towards us to frown at us, let us pass, or even walk on the other side of the street. WiseKid likes to look mean, and scares people.

But with him pushing a baby carriage or holding the little one in his arms, the elderly folk walking towards us positively beam - and sneak a peek into the buggy.

WiseKid seems to have paid attention to some of my rants after all - he has requested No Pictures Posted To Facebook Or Other Social Media Places. I suppose he remembers still the episode in the fifth grade in which some girls googled a picture of him as a baby. We needed a lot of effort to get that one removed from Google's databases (but it did work!).

I look forward to be getting to know WiseGrandkid in the near future, and will do my best to ignore the "It-must-be-pink-or-Hello-Kitty" requests from her Dad. Wait - that makes me a grandmother. I'm not old enough for that yet!


Bruce Springsteen in Leipzig

For complicated reasons we didn't make it to see Bruce Springsteen last year when he was in Berlin with the Wrecking Ball Tour. We had seen him in the Waldbühne maybe 20 years ago, I remember finding it strange, all these Germans singing "Born in the USA" with such inbrunst! So when the concert was announced in Leipzig, we figured that was just down the road and got tickets.

We took a train down this morning (yes, 7 minutes late), visited the Museum of Modern History, drank a Hugo, had lunch-dinner and then walked to the stadium. Oh my - it was the old stadium they had the youth sports festivals at in the DDR, far too large for modern Leipzig, so they ripped out the decrepit seats and put a new, smaller stadium inside. Meaning you walk 80 steps up, 60 steps down, 60 steps back up and 15 or 20 back down. I was exhausted!

Bruce Springsteen kept us waiting 45 minutes without explanation, people were getting kind of impatient. Then, finally, he stepped before the crowd of 45.000 people and began singing.

After a few songs he went down to the front row and collected signs, singing a few of them. Perhaps he just picks the signs for the songs he will be singing anyway, but one did not please his band, it took a while before they were able to play it. He sang many uncommon songs, and then in an encore series many old favorites. He didn't give a damn about German curfew laws and sang 45 minutes past the quiet time, so we did get 3 hours of solid rock - no breaks!

He had some typical show bits like getting the cameras to focus on a hefty woman in pink just shakin' it, dancing with another woman, and pulling 2 kids up on the stage. One was great, she actually sang in English, couldn't have been more than 10! The other one was scared, just looked at Bruce in awe instead of playing guitar.

I found myself - post PRISM - uncomfortable with the American flag and some of the songs. I like the music, but "We take care of our own" sounded very arrogant tonight.
Bruce played on and on - he loves to sing and his voice was just as strong after 3 hours as it was in the beginning. We were glad we booked a room (another Bed and Breakfast without Breakfast for an atrocious price), although the Leipziger are extremely efficient carting people downtown with trams, we would have just made the last train back to Berlin. So more sightseeing here tomorrow, and Bruce on the iPod for the trip back!

(Updated to fix spelling problems from typing on tablet and links added. And no iPod on the trip back because the train was packed to the gills and we didn't have reservations. We sat on the floor.)
Update 2: Here's the set list from Bruce Springsteen's home page and some notes!