Being disassembled by a baby

Okay, so we have this seven month old, Abby. She has a couple of things going on that are making me progressively uncomfortable.

First, she doesn’t treat my face with respect. I.e., all my facial parts, to her, are disposable items attached to my head with velcro. The fact that they haven’t come off yet she attributes to her own lack of strength. Mind you, that doesn’t keep her from trying. She figures with a few good yanks on my nose every day, it will eventually come off either from structural fatigue or an eventual increase in strength on her part. My nose isn’t really a good example because I can handle that without crying. Eyelids and mustaches are another matter.

Ever wonder why babies hands are so chunky? It’s because they have a brain in them. Abby has the ability to be totally engrossed in, say, what her big sister is doing while her hands are on autonomous missions of their own. The are generally engaged in the afore mentioned facial disfigurement experiments, but can at times be assigned the task of seizing tiny objects for the immediate ingestion of the mother ship. Sometimes that’s an M&M that’s been on the floor for 2 weeks, other times that’s a dried up dog fece that happened to blend well with our living room rug. Not an optimum situation no matter how you cut it. Her little hands are capable, independently, of patiently assessing and countering any obstacle to mission completion. I.e., the nose hair is going to get yanked – maybe not now, maybe not in 5 minutes, but at some point after you either lose heart in your defensive measures or become complacent.

Unfortunately counterpunching is one of those things that will land you at odds with your wife, if not in jail. So preserving my dignity becomes an exercise in learning how not to cry in the throws of Guantanamo like pain. It would really help if someone would just tell me that it’s okay to cry like a little girl sometimes.

Tails from the Checkout Line: Caught Between Planets

We’re on a budget trip – herding kids at the Super 8 in Decorah, Iowa.  Upon our arrival, to our horror, we realized that we’d forgotten our 4 month old‘s nookie.  Being in a budget frame of mind, the local Walmart seemed like just the ticket.  I found the relevant mouth attachments without much problem, then parked myself in the checkout line behind a mountain of a woman with countless 8-packs of toilet paper heaped precariously in her shopping cart.  The cashier was staring off into space, quite catatonic while the woman in front of me pawed noisily at the dried skin on her heel.  As usual, I selected the checkout line with some form of price check in progress.

I never found the google maps client to be of much use on my blackberry – it always seems so self assured, but is almost almost terribly wrong unless I’m building a route from points of interest so popular no one needs directions to or from them anyway.  But still it’s fun to watch the thing spin it’s wheels and bravely declare where it believes you are.  That’s what I did to kill the time while our price check ensued.

What I didn’t notice was what must have been a certain degree of gravitational pull generated by the Zeppelin of a woman gliding in behind me in line.  Kudos – her cart was filled almost entirely with vegetables.  My admiration for her dietary preference notwithstanding, the practical side of me began to fathom the ramifications of 1300 feet of vegetable eating colon.  I didn’t have to fathom long – I was enveloped in a toxic cloud faster than you could say f-r-o-m-p.  The cashier awoke from her coma with a furrowed brow and frenzied motions for a manager.  Suddenly she seemed inspired to move this line along.

My accusatory glance at what I believed to be the source organism behind me confirmed my suspicions – she quickly averted her eyes and feigned interest in the Joli twins, prominently depicted in some rag on the magazine rack.  Mountain lady in front of me stopped servicing her dried up heel and began to pat her brow with what appeared to be a heavily used kleenex tissue.  It’s amazing the noxious fumes didn’t set off some form of Homeland Security alarm.

The odor was penetrating and tenacious, and induced a doomsday torpor over all the  customers and cashiers in about a 40 foot radius.  I no longer took pleasure in tinkering with my blackberry, but instead prepared myself to ride out passage of the collective kidney stone that bound, we the damned, in a wretched fellowship of lost souls.

The sun rises, the sun sets.  And so too passed the rank shroud in due course.  I emerged from Walmart today a wiser but a sadder man.

May/Walsh – We Still Don’t Hate You!

Hats off to the awesome May/Walsh beach volleyball duo.  With considerable effort it is still possible to admire their athletic accomplishment despite all of NBC’s efforts to make us hate them.  Coverage of their matches was relentless and unprecedented – it seemed as if every point of every match they played was televised – regardless of how lopsided the particular match (as indeed most of them were) may have been.  A familiar script was faithfully rattled off by the commentators for each and every match:

1. Misty’s insistence on being evaluated as a team when asked which of them was a better player.

2. The story of Misty spreading her Mom’s ashes at the Sydney Olympics, and her plans to do the same in Beijing.

3.  The whole scoop behind the black tape on Kerri Walsh’s shoulder.

4. Misty being the best defensive player in the world, and Kerry being the best offensive player.

5. The fact that Kerri turned 30 on August 15th, and the details of her birthday celebration.

6. The fact that winning this tournament would constitue Walsh’s 100th career win.

Their last match started to turn ugly in a predictable manner, from a commentary point of view.  Let serves (serves that hit the net and still go over,) when scored by their Chinese opponents were characterized as “lucky/snake bites” while, throughout the tournament, they were celebrated as examples of “making one’s own luck” when May/Walsh scored the same way.  When one of the Chinese players began to score with some consistency with a hit down the line, it was described as a “slimey” shot that Walsh needed to do a better job of anticipating.  When Wang of the Chinese team took a medical time out to have an elbow massaged, the commentators seized the moment to point out how this particular player was notorious for faking medical attention, while providing only laughable supporting evidence.

And did I mention that the coverage was relentless?  When I think about the number of sports that didn’t get any prime time coverage, it occurred to me that the May/Walsh coverage did constitute something of a “perfect storm” for the NBC agenda.  Hot chicks for which they had tons of stock footage that relished their time on camera and consistently hammered their competitors – what’s not to like?

I wonder if badminton would have received more coverage if the competitors wore thongs?  

And just when you thought my rant was finally over – Bob Costas, unfortunately for you the reader, comes to mind.  I have such a good time losing my mind over the likes of Costas, the quintessential high school basketball team student manager, when he presumes to alternately rub elbows with and scold those that are actually accomplished athletically.  Most recently his bashing of Usain Bolt for Bolt’s apparent premature celebration in the final meters of his 100 meter world record run really got my goat.  I loved Bolt’s performance as I saw it unfold because I knew it would drive the press nuts.  Already outraged that a non American for which they were caught completely flat footed (no sappy human interest package to grab off the shelf) would have the audacity to win so convincingly, the poor things had their noses rubbed in it with Bolt’s brilliant showboating.  

Bob, we really don’t need some hyper-salaried talking head preaching to someone who’s got the real goods.   We’ll trust you to cut to commercials on time, serve up the mindless banter during technical difficulties, and to fawn over pixie gymnasts – but weighing in on “sportsmanship” is way out of your league.

Baby down but talking, talking…

So here I lay, dazed with exhaustion over having spent the entire weekend within the immediate vicinity of our two year old.  I thought lying down beside my peacefully sleeping wife might afford me the luxury of a few moments rest, but alas, I’m writhing beneath the boot of the tyrannical baby monitor.   Here we have a child barely able to keep her eyes open after a brisk morning of Easter Bunny activities, church and demolition derby-like interactions with her cousins… still babbling in her room by herself after two straight hours of lying flat on her back.  Under these conditions she normally falls asleep approximately 30 seconds before we give up on trying to make her do so, at which point we are confronted with the following options:1.)  wake her up and risk suffering the full brunt of waking a two year old just after REM entry.2.) let sleep run it’s course, and experience an electric baby at 7 pm that doesn’t wind down until about midnight – and the wind down will not be a pretty one.Right on queue, she’s just fallen asleep – having finally played her hand, the entire household hunkers down into energy conservation mode – knowing full well that whichever of the two options above are exercised, the ultimate victor will be he or she with the most energy units to burn. The playing field is not exactly level in this regard.  I’m 51 years old.  She’s 28 months old.  And my wife, her child bride status notwithstanding, is 7 months pregnant.  You do the math.  Then, take a look at my profile photo/avatar and reconsider your initial assessment of my being a mere nutjob.  Think about what you might look like after 28 months of being in my shoes. Link to Facebook.

Baby down but talking, talking…

So here I lay, dazed with exhaustion over having spent the entire weekend within the immediate vicinity of our two year old.  I thought lying down beside my peacefully sleeping wife might afford me the luxury of a few moments rest, but alas, I’m writhing beneath the boot of the tyrannical baby monitor.   Here we have a child barely able to keep her eyes open after a brisk morning of Easter Bunny activities, church and demolition derby-like interactions with her cousins… still babbling in her room by herself after two straight hours of lying flat on her back.  Under these conditions she normally falls asleep approximately 30 seconds before we give up on trying to make her do so, at which point we are confronted with the following options:1.)  wake her up and risk suffering the full brunt of waking a two year old just after REM entry.2.) let sleep run it’s course, and experience an electric baby at 7 pm that doesn’t wind down until about midnight – and the wind down will not be a pretty one.Right on queue, she’s just fallen asleep – having finally played her hand, the entire household hunkers down into energy conservation mode – knowing full well that whichever of the two options above are exercised, the ultimate victor will be he or she with the most energy units to burn. The playing field is not exactly level in this regard.  I’m 51 years old.  She’s 28 months old.  And my wife, her child bride status notwithstanding, is 7 months pregnant.  You do the math.  Then, take a look at my profile photo/avatar and reconsider your initial assessment of my being a mere nutjob.  Think about what you might look like after 28 months of being in my shoes. Link to Facebook.

First entry using Journler

Okay, stand by for ugliness… this is my first attempt at using “Journler” to post to my blog.  Wow, I think this was my most interesting post yet!

Look Mom, No Power!!

Bad stuff can happen when you don’t have your crap together at bill paying time – say, 4 months in a row.  Our household prides itself on being digitally savvy in the extreme.  Bills? It’s almost like they aren’t even there – the computer just takes care of it.  Instead of slaving through a balance sheet and sticking stamps on envelopes, I can consume all manner of caffein H Bombs at coffee shops while listening to feedback wridden cowboy music, or try out a $12.00 electric guitar at Wallmart,  or solve my weight problem by evaluating the most expensive running shoe imagineable.

 There is a catch, of course.  That’s when you finally reach that level of Nirvana where you just stop checking mail.  Stop checking answering machine messages.  And at some point maybe stop bothering to walk all the way to the toilet.

If these damn creditors and utility companies want my money so bad, they can reach me through my Facebook account, damnit!  So what if we changed our phone number recently as the result of being completey raped by Vonage in the process of attempting voice over IP.

Well folks, when you stop paying the power company, they turn off your power.  OFF.  It’s 90 degrees outside, our 20 month old had just gone down for a nap, and my wife called:

Wife: “I’m pissed – they turned off the power!”

 Me: “Guess what I’m eating right now – ice cream!”  I happened to be at an outdoor work celebration type thing.

Wife: “Did you hear me?  There’s no power in the house!”

And so it went.  Not until we forked over the ENTIRE balance plus a $275 reconnection fee did the power come back.  The baby slept through the whole thing, and I didn’t get a bit of ice cream on my shirt.  And for the remainder of the day, whenever anyone asked me if I had a quarter, I told them:

“Our power was disconnected today – I can’t (sniff) give you any money.”

Surprisingly, no one gave me the contents of their wallet or purse.  No one seemed sympathetic in the least, not even when I explained that it was because we hadn’t paid a bill since April.

I wanted to go down to the power company and shout at someone – well, maybe just move my mouth and gesticulate since I wouldn’t really have much to say.

Paying bills is so trite, so old school, so pedantic.  Did you know there’s such thing as a pedant?  I’m not one of those.  When will my creditors get on board with the knowledge that I’m a free spirit needing room to breath? 

A little AC and refridgeration wouldn’t hurt either.

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