Sunday, June 20, 2004

Father's Day

Today is my first Father's Day.

For some reason, this year, I have been hearing about Father's Day a lot. Jaime started making references shortly after Mother's Day. We noted that the Smokie Hill River Festival is always in the vicinity of Father's Day. It seems like ever time I turn the radio on, the program is talking about Father's Day. A day has not gone by this week without multiple references to Father's Day. When I awoke this morning one of my first thoughts was that I FORGOT TO DO ANYTHING FOR MY FATHER FOR FATHER'S DAY.

I hope that I am a better father than I am a son.

Happy Father's Day, Father.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Sunflower Music Festival

I know my son is hungry, but instead of just eating, he is writhing, chomping, screaming, and making his whole body as rigid as a board. If I take the bottle away, he demands it, which is no surprise. At his last feeding, he only ate two ounces because he was distracted and over-stimulated by loud music and a scary audience.

We went to the opening of the Sunflower Music Festival together. This is a two-week long classical-music series presented at Washburn University. The outing was a moderate success. People like to applause a lot. They applause when the conductor comes out, when the orchestra comes out, when the orchestra tunes their instruments--"bravo! Well tuned!" Topeka is the Capital of the State of Insecurity. We applause all the time just to cover our bases--"should we be clapping? Well, I better, just in case." All this applauding got David really upset and he began to cry just as bows touched their strings. So we spent the first half of the program in the lobby. Fortunately he fell asleep during intermission and either slept or ate through most of the second half. But even though he gnawed at his bottle for over 30 minutes, he did not drink much because he was too busy looking at the lights and the people and trying to figure out where all that music was coming from. He was also perturbed by the first violist, feeling that he playied mechanically and without emotion. This made him fussy so we had to leave before the end.

I was the hero for taking him, though. People were just pleased as punch that I was exposing him to classical music so soon. "Start them young, and they will be whining elitists when they grow up." He played his part well. He is at the stage where every time he sees a new face, he smiles and makes cute cooing noises. He is a big hit. I now seek out opportunities to introduce him to new people--"look son! We haven't met that man wandering own the street muttering to himself! Let's go smile at him!" On the whole, it was a good evening. A good start, anyway. I will keep taking him and he will get used to the applause, then he will learn how to be annoyed by it, and then he will be loudly sarcastic about it and we will have to stop taking him out.

But at least by that point he will be able to feed himself and I won't have to fight to keep him on the bottle, which he wants but WON'T DRINK. I try repositioning him. I reach under to lift--OUCH! Hard metal stabs the back of my hand. I have left my keys on my belt where they have been nestling in the back of David's thigh. I remove them and settle him back in for a quiet feeding more appropriate for a boy of refined culture. If he gets to the bottom of the bottle, maybe I will applause.

Monday, June 14, 2004

pictures, email, festival, cute cute cute

Wow, I have a lot to post about. I know that it has only been a couple of days since the last post, but in internet time, that’s, like, three weeks.

First off--PICTURES! That's right folks, pictures as promised! Step on over to Buzznet in the right column and see cuteness in action. We have baby shots, nature shots, even sports shots.

Secondly, we don't have your email address any more. Our computer ate poison and we had to have its stomach pumped and your email address is in a bio-waste bag behind Best Buy now. So please send an email to the address in the right column (just above the PICTURES!) so that we can get your email address back into our address books. Thanks.

David has been a developmental steam-roller this past week. He spent most of last week with his left arm extended in front of him with his fist clinched. It looked like a little "Black Power" salute--except it must have been a "Baby Power" salute (“We didn't land on Plymouth Rock, we spit up on Plymouth Rock”). Then, for his finale, at the end of the week, he bent that arm and brought his fist directly to his mouth, where it has been ever since. I noticed today that he has started saluting with his right hand, so we'll see if he makes it to the mouth.

I had him on my lap yesterday and was holding a toy in front of him. He swung his right arm forward and hit the toy so that it made a noise. Then he started swinging his arm over and over, hitting the toy. I didn't know if it was random or deliberate, so I took the toy away and counted how many times he swung. In thirty seconds, he swung three distinct times. I returned the toy and waited for the next swing. It came and I began timing again, he swung 13 times in the thirty seconds thereafter. I was impressed. Really, that has become pretty standard. He is honestly responding to all kinds of things. He will smile at any new face (I call it the "don't eat me" smile), and I can get him to smile by smiling really big at him. Nevertheless, every new reaction is a joy.

The greatest joy comes at the noises. He is becoming very vocal--cooing and laughing and squealing. His face contorts like he really trying to talk, really he is, but he just can't figure out actual words. I think he is getting eyebrow control, though. Jaime and I are both eyebrow talkers. We use a flick of the eyebrow to punctuate just about any statement. I'm doing it right now. See how it adds depth and texture to the blog? Anyway, he has started with the eyebrows. He moves them around in the cutest little expressions. His newfound ability to grab includes grabbing one hand with the other in front of him. This, combined with the eyebrow, pretty much has us convinced that he is planning to overthrow the world.

We spent Friday and Saturday in Salina with Grandpa Brice and Uncle Cory. This was the weekend of the Smoky Hill River Festival, an annual arts and music festival in Salina which we always attend. It was David's first trip of that length and his first out-door event. He got to wear his little sun hat and ride around in a little front-pack baby-carrier thing, which he enjoyed. He looked darn cute. We didn't take any pictures, so you will have to take my word. It was also his first stay in a hotel. Between his barfing and his vivid, Technicolor farts, I really feel for the cleaning staff. He also went to his first baseball game where he got to see uncle Cory hit the ball, but not get a "hit." You can read all about it at the new blog that Grandpa Brice has set up to keep us up-to-date about baseball and other less-important life events.

In spite of the weather forecast, Jaime and I drove home on Saturday night through storms that killed several other people. It was bad judgment and ranks as the first time that we endangered our son's life. But it is probably not the last.

I think that makes for a pretty long post, so I will sign off now. Don't forget to send me an email and look at the new photos.

later, fanatics.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

radioactive data

Dear David,

You mother and have searched our hearts, read our books, consulted with our faith and have decided that by-and-large, we do not want to use corporal punishment.  We are opting for "natural consequences" discipline instead.  However, you need to understand something:  if you grow up to be a computer programmer and you design programs that sneak onto innocent people's computers and wreck them, the natural consequence will be for your father to beat you like a rug, extradite you to whatever country has the most draconian internet crime laws, and abandon you.


I share this with all of you because I love you: If you are reading this email on a PC and you don't have an internet protection program running that was updated a few minutes ago, then your computer is being infected with programs created by high-school kids who are really bitter because they cannot get a date.

I am not saying that there is a chance.  I am not saying that you are "at risk."  I am saying that you are, as you read this, being attacked.  The Web has simply become radioactive and you must don your radiation suit if you are going to go online.  Even that is not enough.  When you log off, you will then need to clean out the nasties that get past whatever form of protection that you think is protecting you.  Picture it this way:  the internet is a flood zone of hostile code and when you sign on, you are opening your window and letting the waters in.  Not only do you need sandbags of Norton Internet Security outside the window, you need a Spyware Sweeper sump pump inside the house.  

I could go on for awhile about the nightmare of my diseased computer this last week, but I won't bore you.

You Mac users can just refrain from emailing me with snide comments.  Your life is about to get more difficult as well.  

later, data victims

Friday, June 04, 2004


Daddy is big-time now, baby!

On Tuesday, somebody in Minnesota found this blog with the query "four years
olds and stranger anxiety" on a Yahoo! search. Just think, four billion Web
sites and they chose me, briefly, before leaving and not returning.

Sorry to disappoint. I hope your four-year-old gets over his or her
stranger anxieties. It could be worse. You could be searching
"four-year-olds and homicidal behavior." Just putting it in perspective.
Just here to help.

later, searchers

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

"honey, I want a baby blog"

I often hear that people with a college education tend to have fewer
children and have them later in life. I think that the Web log phenomena is
going to turn this around. Now we, the more highly educated, have a reason
to have children without compromising our rhetorical genius. Let's face it,
we all really want a blog. We just know that, in spite of our higher
education, we have nothing to actually write about and deep down inside that
pains us. Well nothing fills that hole like a baby to self-publish to the
whole world about.

I bet that some college on a coast is going to offer a humanities course
studying Web logging. I predict that the spread of such a course offering
to Universities across the country will be directly proportional to a rise
in college pregnancies (planned ones, not the ones that are directly
proportional to the increase in liquor sales in college towns).

That is my first blog prophesy--a blophesy. I'm a blophet. If I was saying
this just to trick you, I would be a bluffet. And if I were naked, I would
be a buff bluffet--a buffet.

later, disciples

val's new writing project

I have known Valerie Eakes (-Kahn) for something like 19 years now--albeit with large gaps in our actual contact. She was the coolest artsy sci-fi intellectual math literature French singing acting writing chick among our friends and just plain nice to boot. She is the kind of person you feel good being able to call "friend"-- like it makes you a better person by association. She published a book of poetry our senior year in high school that still ranks high among the collection of poetry books on my book shelf. She even wrote a novel last November. We recently read the Epic of Gilgamesh together. We were supposed to be reading the Iliad together, but apparently she has been laying out a Web log and a layette instead. That it ok. No one is more deserving of the opportunity to self-publish to the whole world about being pregnant than she.

Congratulations, Valerie and Ed, this one is for you:

keep it down in there
a generation gestates
cucumbers and dill