Monday, June 28, 2004

The Birthening

Here is the story of how we got John. Not the making-the-baby part; we did that in the usual way. This is the going-to-collect-him part.

We stopped by Canal Place on Saturday afternoon; Sonya needed to get some make-up at the MAC counter in Sak's. We walked off the elevator on the third floor and I swear you could have body-surfed on all the liberals that were there to see Farenheit 9/11.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Pizza Song

John has a toy slice of pizza. It's magnetic, and it has four buttons on the front. Three of them are shapes: a circle, square, and a triangle. Press each one and the toy says what kind of shape you pressed. Press the circle, for instance, and the toy says "circle."

The fourth button, though, is a musical note. Press it and the toys plays what I like to call "pizza music." You'd recognize it if you heard it; it's the music that comes to mind when you see some guy with a big moustache flinging pizza dough in the air.

I made up lyrics to the pizza music!

The pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza song

(sing fast)Mommy and Daddy ate too much Papa John's in college and now they think it's gross

(slow down)The pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza song

Pizza sure does taste good so get me some, Steve.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


So I'm driving home yesterday and for no good reason I start thinking about beauty pageants.

One in particular: the big one where I went to college. I was the sound and light guy in the big auditorium on campus, and I always worked the big beauty pageant. It was a big deal, too; it was an honest-to-God feeder to the Miss Arkansas pageant, and it brought out all sorts of pageant queens, pageant moms and young gay men. I worked closely with one of the girls who coordinated the thing, too, so I knew all the secrets of boob-taping and tooth-greasing that went on backstage.

And specifically, I was thinking about the girl who played the marimbas.

Marimbas look like a big, big xylophone. Every year, that girl would roll out her marimbas. Every year, she didn't win. The winners, as a rule, either sang or played piano. Guitar players, dancers, and especially marimba players had no chance of winning. That's just the way things work.

She was fooling herself. She could have taken her mallets (and yes, you play marimbas with mallets - I looked it up) and stuck one in her ass and the other in her twat and played it that way and she still wasn't going to win.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Things That Make The Boy Laugh

You know, I used to bitch about it when someone's online journal that I'd previously enjoyed reading became entirely devoted to their new Little Gift from God. People who had once written about snorting coke off a stripper's stomach and robbing pharmacies would suddenly record every coo and gurgle and become bit players in their own story.

Let me assure you, though, that I rarely do anything interesting anymore. I drive a Volvo, I have a kid, I live in the suburbs. What do you expect from me? The boy, though, is always doing something that's at least semi-entertaining. Like it or not, he's the best content I've got these days.

Therefore, I present things that have made the boy laugh recently:

  • Getting bounced around on the bed. I put him on the bed. Sonya falls over on the bed. The boy bounces around and laughs like crazy.

    "It's like shaking without all the brain damage!" I said.

  • He and I were sitting in the bedroom floor the other night. Roxy came to me with a toy. I took the toy away from her and threw it down the hall. She ran to get it then ran back at top speed, heading straight for John and only veering away at the last minute. Sonya heard him laughing on the other end of the house.

    Anything the dog does is funny, really. John can watch her bark and chase her tail for twenty minutes or so, grinning and chuckling to himself the whole time.

  • John and I went to walk the dog yesterday. Roxy was on a leash, John was in the BabyBjorn. Over by the dog park I found a tennis ball. I started kicking it along. Every time I'd give it a good kick and send it flying down the street John would laugh. I got back to the apartment and starting kicking it against the wall. He laughed harder.

    What was so funny about that? I don't know.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


We went to the mall this weekend! And not any half-ass mall, either. We went to the Esplanade Mall in Kenner, which is the Good Mall in New Orleans.

Everybody has a kid. Did you know that? Everyone! The strollers were bumper to bumper. John enjoyed his trip, riding in his stroller and giving everyone the eye. When we'd stop for too long he'd yell. Not crying, just yelling. Like, "hey, let's keep it moving! Nothing to see here! Move along!" Maybe he'll be a traffic cop.

We stopped at one kid's clothes shop with two cute girls working behind the counter and a TV showing kid-centric stuff. I stopped in front of the TV to see if John wanted to watch. He started flirting with the girls.

That's my boy.

And Sunday was Father's Day! My first! I've never really celebrated, true, but now I think it's a fine thing. Sonya gave me a bag full of stuff - underwear, gum, a new toothbrush, a frame with a picture of the kid in it. John, for his part, seemed to know it was my holiday. He clung to me all day long like a friendly little monkey.

Friday, June 18, 2004


I was dropping John off at school this morning. His cough medicine didn't make it home last night, so I'd just given him a dose as soon as we got to school. I was rinsing out the little medicine-syringe thing when I turned around.

A little girl was stuck.

We were in the baby room, sure, but the bigger kids wander in and out regularly. She was probably two or three years old. She was standing next to a crib with a mobile attached to the side. The mobile was screwed on to the side of the crib using a big plastic nut-and-bolt type thing. The bolt was hollow in the center. She'd stuck her finger in the bolt and gotten stuck. All the workers were busy.

I walked over to the little girl.

"You stuck?"

She nodded. I took her hand and pulled it gently. Wow. Her finger was really jammed in there. She gave me the big-eyes.

"Don't worry," I told her, "I'll take care of it."

I went back to the sink. I got some hand soap and mixed it up in my palm with water. Then I took the medicine syringe and sucked some of the soapy water into it. I walked back over to the little girl and applied the soapy water around her stuck finger, grease-gun style.

Her finger slid out. She ran off and hid.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Chocolate Twinkies

Did I ever talk about the Chocolate Twinkies? I don't think I did.

During Mardi Gras Sonya and I were pushing the stroller straight up St. Mary to St. Charles to watch the parades. It was an easy couple of blocks from our apartment. A bonus with this location was that there's a Walgreen's right across the street so if you need a snack or a pack of smokes or some diapers it's all right there.

(And why this particular Walgreen's doesn't sell booze - at least during Mardi Gras - is beyond me. They could make a killing. But no Walgreen's sells booze, right? Except for the one in my home town. The one in West Memphis has a fully stocked liquor store with one of the best beer selections in the mid-south. Seriously, it's a great liquor store. I haven't seen this phenomena repeated in any of my travels.)

So during one parade Sonya goes across the street to get some stuff. She came back grinning.

"You're not going to believe what they have for sale over there," and she hands me a bag.

Inside the bag are Chocolate Twinkies! Just like regular Twinkies, but the cake is chocolate, not yellow! It's like a Hostess Ding Dong (or King Don or, as my family used to unfortunately pronounce it, King Dong) or Cupcake without the chocolate icing, and shaped like a Twinkie. They were delicious parade food and went splendidly with beer.

But here's the thing. I've kept an eye out for Chocolate Twinkies since then and they are nowhere. Not at other Walgreen's, and not at that one. Not at any grocery store or convenience store I've been to.

Have you seen the Chocolate Twinkies? Do you know where I can get some?

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Job Description

Here's a story from the crappy old job, now that I don't work there anymore:

One morning I came easing in to work and I had a voicemail. I checked it.

Now, at the crappy old job the department fax machine was in my office. I chose to ignore it. If I started paying attention to it I would end up as Fax Boy, and I didn't want that. So it sat on the other side of my desk all day, beeping and booping and ringing and spitting out paper. I paid it no mind except for the rare occasions when I needed to send a fax. Then, if I found that it needed paper or toner, I would tend to it. The rest of the time I forgot about it.

So I've got this voice mail, right? So I check it.

It's from the head of the department, and he's basically ripping my a fresh new asshole over acting like I'm too good to check the fax machine.

"No one is above anything in this department! If you have a problem with this, let me know, and I'll add taking care of the fax machine to your job description!"

Two notes on that:

  1. I doubt this man would know how to send a fax if it was that or take a knife in the gut. I certainly never saw him near the fax machine.
  2. Changing a job description at the crappy old job was a Sisyphean task. He would have done it, though, just so it was clear who worked for who.

At that point I already knew I desperately needed a new job. That just sort of underlined the whole thing. The next week I gave notice. I was tempted to let the entire text of my resignation letter me


But that would have been wrong.

So the new job seems fine, so far. Certainly more of the kind of thing I'm used to, anyway. The people are nice. The work is agreeable. I have no idea where the fax machine is.

We went to Memphis this weekend. John made his first trip to the Rendezvous Friday night and Saturday we went to a swank outdoor wedding on the river.

Very little to report right now. But everything's fine, I assure you.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004


Excellent games from Channel 4 via Jamie Zawinski:

Ant City: Use your gigantic magnifying glass to set people on fire.

Insaniquarium: You feed the fish. The fish shit money. And then aliens attack! Also, there's a pregnant fish and when she gives birth the sound is excellent.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Who's the other girl?

Sonya and I watched the new episode of Coupling last night. [Spoiler] It ended with Susan giving Jane a big, tongue-filled kiss to get Jane out of a date with Oliver, the new character. Steve, Susan's boyfriend, saw all this and thought it was pretty great.

"How would you feel if I kissed some other woman?" Sonya asked me.

"Well," I responded, "who's the other woman?"

"Does it matter? How would you feel?"

I thought about it for a minute.

"I'm not comfortable making a general ruling on that," I finally said, "that's something I'd have to deal with on a case-by-case basis."


I met Reagan, you know. It was 1990 and my class went on our senior trip to L.A. Somebody knew somebody, I guess, and one morning we went to Nakatomi Plaza, where Reagan's office was, and went right up to meet him. We were actually in his office, too, standing around his desk. He had a magnificent view and said we should have been there on a clear day - but they were pretty rare.

He was sharp and gracious and sweet - pretty much just like the way you think a semi-retired (and very successful) granddad should be. He seemed tickled to have us.

I studiously avoided having any political opinions until I turned 18. I figured: why have an opinion about something I can't do anything about? So I know some people liked him and some didn't. But he was nice to me.

I've got a picture somewhere, too. I'll scan it if I find it, maybe.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

All The Latest

The holiday weekend was nice and quiet. John had a nasty fever Thursday night, so Sonya stayed home with him and took him to the doctor on Friday. He's got antibiotics, he's better now. Saturday and Sunday we hung out with friends (and my ex-coworkers) Mark and Ann. Saturday they had a birthday party for their kid, Shelby, so we went. Lots of family, lots of other ex-coworkers. John, displaying the tact of a heroin addict, fell asleep in the middle of the party.

"Oh, look," everyone said, "he fell asleep in the middle of all this noise."

"He was bored," was my standard response, "it's not a very good party."

And Sunday found us back at Ann and Mark's, eating the leftovers from the party and actually visiting while the kids played.

Oh, and Sunday night we watched the Coupling marathon on BBC America. That show is fucking funny, dude. I'm gonna rent the DVDs when I get the chance.

Things are low-key and, I'll admit, a little tense at work. Since my big notice-giving last week the bosses haven't given me any more work. I suspect they're piling it on the other editor and busily denying my existence.

"He's dead to me," they think and maybe actually say at their super-secret boss meetings, "I have no second editor."

But you know what? I'll sit here quietly until the end of next week, and then I'll leave. Then they can all dress up like pinatas and beat the crap out of each other, as far as I'm concerned.

Oh, and I actually saw some commercials for the show this article talks about when Sonya was watching something on the network in question - Absolutely Fabulous, maybe. And I thought to myself, "that looks painfully unfunny."

And! And I finally beat a mission in GTA: Vice City that has frustrated me for over a year now. See, you've got to pick up your crew at a bar, drive them to a bank, rob the bank, then get away and get your car repainted so you can give the cops the slip. I've always been able to do the robbing part easily; it's the escaping that's given me trouble. But the other day I did it! Woohoo! And then last night I finished the two missions that the completion of that one triggers. Very satisfying.