Friday, May 28, 2004


This guy would be a terrible boss. Always with the head-yanking-offing.

I gave my employer two weeks notice today. I got a new job with a raise, more responsibility, chances for advancement, and no taking a letter. Ever.

I am filled with grinning, face-punching glee. Quitting has only been this satisfying once before, and that was ten years ago.

I left Stan in a tight spot, too. I was working in his photo lab after I got out of college. He told me after three months he'd give me a raise. After three months he got me back to part time. He knew he was going to do that, too.

As luck would have it the day I got offered a better (but, in retrospect, still horrible) job Stan had a darkroom full of work he was expecting me to do. I told him he could do it himself.

Today wasn't that satisfying, but it was pretty good.

It's going to be the best Memorial Day weekend ever!


John loves tags.

On a stuffed animal, for instance. You know how stuffed animals usually have a tag on them? John will turn the stuffed animal over, find the tag, and study it for twenty minutes at a pop. He'll look at and rub it between his fingers.

Or maybe there will be one on his blanket. Those, he puts in his mouth.

And he'll hang over the edge of his bouncy-seat to check out the big mattress-style tag hanging off the side of it.

So today I find a link to this - a company that sells tag-festooned baby gear. I'm going to get John one. It may keep him busy until he's seven.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Way to perpetuate the stereotype, folks.

From the Associated Press:

Arkansas family celebrates birth of 15th child

Fayetteville, Arkansas -- The labor pains must not be bothering her that much.

An Arkansas woman has given birth to her 15th child -- and her family says she wants more.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar's (DUH'-gurz) latest son is named Jackson -- following in the footsteps of all his brothers and sisters, who each have names beginning with J.

The 37-year-old mom began having kids when she was 21. She home-schools the children -- when she's not busy helping to build the family's new home.

The dad is a former Arkansas state legislator who says he'll leave the decision on having more kids to his wife.

Monday, May 24, 2004


From the latest Television Without Pity recap of American Idol:

"Could you imagine the songs Jasmine might write? 'I love you and whatever. / You really, like, know how to make me feel, you know, good inside. / Let's dance a hula.'"

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Busy Morning

Since John got up at seven he has:

  • Taken a healthy crap
  • Had a bottle of food
  • Gone with me to walk the dog
  • Played, played, played,
  • Helped me load the dishwasher
  • Drank some juice
  • And currently he's taking a nap

It's three minutes after ten. That's a busy morning for a six month-old.

Thursday, May 20, 2004


Because my kid is the cutest. Kid. Ever.

John takes a bath!


These guys have kids, too!

These are all stay-at-home dads, true, but I used to stay home, and I'm a dad now, so I feel for 'em. Hell, if I could stay home with the kid I would. In a heartbeat.

So if you're in to the being-a-dad thing, these guys are really good.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004


John's got a bit of a cold and a nasty cough that bothered him all weekend. Sonya took him to the doctor on Monday and she assured Sonya that it's nothing serious. The doctor did give John some cough syrup with codeine in it, though, so he can sleep.

And boy does he sleep! Thirty minutes after he gets a dose he passes the hell out and he doesn't get up until the next morning. This morning I had to wake him up.

It's not like we're getting the whole dose down his throat, either. He's learned to very efficiently thrash his head from side to side so that most of the medicine goes onto his cheeks and under his chin.

He's passed this nasty bug on to Sonya; she stayed home today, raspy-voiced and coughing. She said she barely slept last night. I told her she should have a hit off of John's stash. He likes to share.

Friday, May 14, 2004


Aw, man. My hometown screws over my favorite local author:

"...I hadn't had a humiliating signing for a long time, but Memphis ended my streak: six (6) people showed up, plus one guy who stumbled in by accident...The six people who came on purpose couldn't have been nicer, but it's hard to do a good reading when you know everyone there is feeling sorry for you, and even worse to deal with the embarrassed chagrin of the bookstore people..."

That makes me feel like crap. If I still lived there I totally would have gone! I guess Memphis just isn't freaky in a Poppy Brite way.

And talk about vertigo-inducing - she's writing about Cozy Corner while I sit in New Orleans, reading about it. Weird.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Glowing Carcasses

There are lots of safety rules for handling hazardous materials where I work. One set of rules for handling dead animals, another set for handling radioactive materials, and yet another for the handling of dead radioactive animals.

All I know is I want to work wherever it is they produce the dead radioactive animals. I mean, there's bound to be some cool stories there, right?

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Shattering The Mood

Last night I was sitting on the couch, holding John. His eyes were very heavy and he was lying in my lap quietly, about to go to sleep. The lights were dim, the TV was turned down.

Sonya came over and kissed him on the head.

"Mommy loves you," she said quietly, "yes she does."

"Go ahead and go to sleep," I murmured, "we'll be here when you wake up."

We were having a nice little our-little-Dakota-is-a-precious-gift-from-God moment.

And then John let rip one of the loudest farts I've ever heard from anyone, young or old. He opened his eyes wide and smiled.

If it were possible for two people to die from too much laughter John would be an orphan.

"You totally ruined the moment, kid!" I told him once I recovered. He just grinned.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Other People's Work

And New Orleans-centric, too:

Poppy Brite has a blog! She's a birdwatcher! And a foodie! And she watches the local sports teams on television! And it looks like her new book is pretty good, too. She seems more than a little uncomfortable with her cringe-inducing wackiness of years past, which I can relate to a little. She seems incredibly normal. It's very, very compelling stuff.

I love, love, love the look of the new Nine Inch Nails website. White background, black text (artfully mussed), minimal graphics. Every website should look just like this.


We were in West Memphis this weekend, doing the family thing - birthdays, Mother's Day, that type of thing. We were just there for 48 hours, so please don't feel bad if you didn't hear from us, beloved friends. There was just No Time.

So Saturday night we get the kid to sleep and I figure I need to get my grandmother a Mother's Day card. Also, I'm a little hungry. So I go to Walgreen's and I shop through the (pretty picked-over) selection of grandmother-centric cards. All the while I'm doing this I realize the signals coming from my stomach are not saying "I'm hungry" but rather "I kind of need to puke." So I put aside my idea of grabbing a couple of tacos. They've demolished the Krystal in West Memphis to completely rebuild it; if they hadn't I would have said fuck it and got some food from there. I would have been very sorry later.

So I get back to the in-law's house, customize my grandmother's card and go to bed, figuring I'll sleep off my stomach funk. This doesn't happen. One time I wake up freezing and inexplicably wrap the dog's blanket around my head; later I was burning hot and lay there sweating in the dark. All night I had horrible dreams about Al Swearengen (the bad guy on HBO's excellent Deadwood) menacing me if I didn't make the right incisions in an intestine-like tangle of knots.Finally at four o'clock I knew the yakking was imminent. I got up, went to the bathroom, peed, and just got the toilet flushed and on my knees before the festivities commenced.

Sunday morning I wasn't puking, but I had to make repeated trips to the bathroom for other, more horrifying purposes. The ride back to New Orleans was not fun.

And it was a ride; I was semi-conscious in the back seat the whole way, only coming out of it enough to request bathroom stops. Sonya's first Mother's Day was very special.

So I stayed home from work yesterday, even though I was feeling quite a bit better. That's cool, though. Sonya took John for his six-month shots and then brought him home to stay with me. We had a nice day, playing with toys and laughing at each other and taking little naps.

Wacky Apartment!

Last weekend - not this one just past, but the one before that - we came in on Saturday afternoon after a brisk day of running around. I was going to make a traditional English breakfast for dinner.

[Digression: Cost Plus World Market is a few minutes away from our apartment. They carry honest-to-God English baked beans. If we go there, we always buy a few cans. They are good.]

So I'm messing around in the kitchen - but I haven't yet turned the oven on - when the smoke detector starts to screech. But it sounds kind of gargly.

That's because there is water pouring out of it. That doesn't usually happen.

So Sonya and the baby and the dog go out on the porch to get away from the horrid watery screaming. I stuck a bucket under the flow of water and pried the cover off of the smoke detector. I found that it's one of those that is wired directly instead of battery-powered. This made me quit messing with it immediately. I called the management.

Surprisingly enough for late on a Saturday afternoon, they sent someone right over. He reached right up and unplugged the damned thing like he wasn't even afraid of electrocution. Then he went upstairs, to the apartment above us that I was pretty sure was empty.

He came back a few minutes later.

"I gotta go get a key for the third floor," he said, "it coming from up there."

He came back about an hour later.

"The guy who lived up there must have flushed his toilet and left," he said, "'cause it flooded his place, the one over you, and got all the way down here..."

"So you're saying," Sonya asked, "that all of this is toilet water?"

"Someone else's toilet water," I clarified.

It also stained our walls around the bathroom door and made a most unpleasant cold and wet spot on the carpet by the same bathroom door. But the management knows it's not our fault, so what can you do?

And then! Friday morning I get up and take a shower. The water wasn't too hot. I noticed it, sure, but I didn't think anything of it. Then Sonya got in the shower and proceeded to hoot and screech!

"Cold! Ooh! Ooh! Cold cold cold!"

And the hot water was gone.

Friday afternoon we got home and there was no hot water. At all. Again the maintenance man was called. He spent all of two minutes in the bathroom, looking at the hot water heater.

"We're gonna have to replace it," he told us, "but don't worry. That's an emergency issue - it'll be done tommorrow."

"It better be fixed," I said to Sonya later, "'cause all the hot water was one of the reasons I rented this place. That's a nice amenity."

We left town Friday afternoon. We got back Saturday night. Lots of hot water!

Friday, May 07, 2004

John Goes Nuclear

I had just finished dressing John yesterday morning. I sat him up in the middle of the bed.

"I'm going to walk the dog," I told Sonya, "keep an eye on the kid." She gave me the thumbs-up.

I came back in about ten minutes later. At the front door - on the other end of the apartment from the bedroom - the unmistakable smell of babyshit hit me.

I went back to the bedroom and it was just hellish. Crap all over the bed, running out of a diaper, smeared on the sheets. Sonya was cleaning the kid with a big wet cloth. John looked very pleased with himself.

We put the horribly soiled clothes in a plastic bag, stripped off the sheets and hit the mattress with Febreze. We scrubbed and re-dressed the kid. All this - a horrible fecal misadventure! - put us maybe ten minutes behind schedule.

Last Weekend

Last Friday night we dropped the kid off with some friends to go out: we had tickets to see David Bowie.

The evening started inauspiciously when we were walking to the Saenger and Sonya tripped and fell on Tulane, skinning her hands and one of her elbows. She said "fuck" in front of a little girl and felt pretty bad about it, too. But then we went in the Saenger and noticed the crowd was old. They probably averaged a good twenty years older than Sonya and I. But what are you gonna do?

Bowie rocked the fuck out, I tell you. Rocked! Lots of hits, lots of obscurities, some good new stuff mixed in with the crowd-pleasers. I thought the crowd was kind of quiet, myself, but apparently Bowie was so pleased with the show he might be using some of it on his tour DVD. And what do I know? The last concert I went to was Better Than Ezra the Friday night before Mardi Gras in 2003 - a show known for rowdiness. Anyway, Bowie was very cool. He carries himself well, I think. He'd make an excellent role model.

The set list:

01 Rebel Rebel

02 New Killer Star

03 Battle For Britain (The Letter)

04 Cactus

05 Fashion

06 Pablo Picasso

07 All The Young Dudes

08 China Girl

09 Modern Love

10 Fame

11 The Loneliest Guy

12 The Man Who Sold The World

13 Looking For Water

14 Hallo Spaceboy

15 Sunday

16 Heathen (The Rays)

17 Under Pressure

18 Days

19 The Supermen

20 Reality

21 Ashes To Ashes

22 Quicksand

23 Changes

24 White Light, White Heat

25 I’m Afraid Of Americans

26 "Heroes"


27 Slip Away (With The Polyphonic Spree)

28 Hang On To Yourself

29 Five Years

30 Suffragette City

31 Ziggy Stardust

Saturday we went to the motorcycle show! Woohoo! See, a friend of Sonya asked us to take her son - he really wanted to go, and the friend had no interest at all. So we went.

"I was expecting more biker gangs," Sonya said later, "and they were there. But it was mainly a family thing."

And it was. We stood in line to get the autographs of the American Chopper guys and some other yahoo I'd never heard of. But the kid was thrilled. And we saw some crazy-ass stunt bikers jump over a bunch of shit. And lots of cool motorcycles. Sonya wants a pink and black Vespa. I was rather fond of restored '68 BSA.