"But your kids are gonna love it"

That's what Marty McFly announces at a 1955 high school dance in "Back to the Future" after failing to strike a chord (pun intended) with a rocked-out "Johnny B. Good." And I tend to think the same concept applies when people are deciding which albums to put on their lists of all-time best. Like a fine cheese -- or wine, if you will -- it seems a good rock album must age about a decade before it reaches truly cool status.

I was thinking about this awhile back, after I asked Lee what his faves were (if you haven't checked out his blog, by the way, I recommend you do so ASAP ... despite his failure to update, I caved and am adding him to my links because his humor is well worth the read). Anyway, there was a part of me that wanted to put U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" on my list. But wouldn't I sound lame? Everyone knows "Joshua Tree" is the correct answer. Afterall, it did come first.

This situation didn't turn into too much of a dilemma, however, since it happens that "Achtung Baby" is probably my first choice. But back to my point -- why should people just nod in agreement when I fondly recall the greatness of Silverchair's "Frogstomp," but roll their eyes when I say "Diorama" really knocked my socks off? Can't they both be good, or do I have to wait another five years?

I realize by writing this, I'll probably be labeled for my rock 'n' roll naivete. Save yourself the trouble; I know I'm not an expert. But I know the score. Afterall, I had to wait 20 years before "Captain and Tennille's Greatest Hits" became super cool.

I am Cameron Diaz

Or so the neighbor children have deemed me. Upon exiting our vehicle the other night, my husband was met with the usual "Hi Justin Timberlake!" greetings. Then one girl broke away. "And look, it's Cameron Diaz!" Pause. "Can we call you Cameron?" she asks. Hmmm ... let me think about for a nano-second. "Yes, I can live with that."

ihearttexas requests, and I comply

The neighbor children have taken to calling my husband Justin Timberlake. And no, we don't know why.

It all started when the man returned from another night at the gym. I was sitting in the living room when I heard scrambling up the complex stairs and little voices ringing in the walkway. Then the door started to open. "Drat," I thought. "How did they manage to do that?"

But in walked my husband, bewildered yet smiling. "Goodnight Justin!" one girl says adoringly. I'm a little confused myself. "What the..." "Oh ya, the neighbor kids are calling me Justin Timberlake," he says ho-humedly. "OK, start from the beginning."

I expected a little explanation here, but there wasn't much of one. The minute he got out of our car and started up the sidewalk, two or three of these kids trolled around him, asking him all sort of questions about being a celebrity and whether he has a girlfriend, etc. etc.

I cannot imagine what's got into their little heads -- either it's an elaborate, nonsensical joke or the little girls think this is a good way to express their crush on my husband (who is handsome, by the way, but not a ringer for Timberlake). Then again, if he's Justin, does that make me Cameron Diaz? I suppose I can live with the fans a little longer.

Faith like a child

I thought about this phrase in a different way last night. The neighbor kids had knocked on our front door a total of five times, announcing their "yard sale" downstairs on the apartment's common lawn.

"Well, I'm making dinner right now" -- which I was -- "but I'll try to make it down after that" -- which I knew I probably wouldn't." Their faces lit up. "Thank you! Thank you!"

I can imagine their incredulity when it got dark outside and I had not yet shown. I remember that feeling. When you're young, a "try" or even solid "maybe" was as good as done. And when someone didn't follow through after promising the old college try, it was really pretty shocking. Why would someone say it's a possibility when it really isn't? What was stopping them?

If you're a kid with any decent childhood at all, it takes awhile for doubt to take root in our hearts.

I think this is what "child-like" faith is all about -- a strong sense of trust, if only because we have no reason to doubt. As a grown-up, I often find myself thinking exactly the opposite. When someone says they'll meet me at 5:30, I count on them being late (because they have been dozens of times). Then of course I'm bowled over when they make it.

Oh that I had that child-like faith -- not in the people around me, but in the only one who's never given me a reason to doubt.

Quote of the day

For those of you keeping tabs -- and really, who isn't? -- "Wilmer (Valderrama) is definitely the new Ashton Kutcher." (Michelle Lee, executive editor of In Touch Weekly)

Good to know.

Why I love neighborhoods

While on a walk through our suburban neighborhood, I passed small clusters of children playing together outside (yes, kids still do that).

1. Two 10-ish-aged boys with a garden hose, dousing another boy and girl by the gutter. "You are NOT going to get me wet!" says the girl jump-roping with an escape route in every direction. Five seconds later: "Oh ... you did."

2. Three 12-year-old-looking boys shooting hoops from the road (for distance purposes, I assume). "There's a lady coming, get off the sidewalk." I like that he said "lady."

3. Two boys, age 10 or so, in the middle of the road, taking turns kicking a football into the air. "...Not even my dad can kick that far." "Do you think that one was 10 feet?" "Ten feet is nothing; watch this!"

4. This one just made me sad: A girl who looked to be about 9 was playing tether ball by herself. Just after I passed, I heard her dejectedly say to herself, "I suck."

5. Walking back upstairs to our apartment, I see one of our neighbor boys zooming around the sidewalk on a scooter, showing off a bit for the girl standing by. Five minutes later, my husband returns from the gym and meets me in the living room. "There's a kid down there with a bloodied-up knee and some girl is helping him put Neosporin on." Ah, to be young again.