Saturday, May 15, 2004

Lessons in Life and Death
By the Cats.

I'm not particularly looking forward to it, but there's a dead mouse on my back porch waiting for me to fling it over the neighbors fence or something. Not to worry, nobody lives next door, and I'm only doing it because I think that the biological return to earth is only a sensible one. Yeah, that's it.

Anyway, this is the lesson. We have three cats, and it seems like the oldest and sole female feline is very much proficient in catching some field mouse and killing it. She doesn't eat it, no. She's not hungry enough for that. I believe it's her little way of insulting me because somehow she knows that I'll have to get rid of it, since my wife's pregnant and my stepdaughter would probably cry child abuse or something. The other cats can't seem to catch anything, so the eldest cat is proving that yes, she is slow and considered somewhat submissive in the order in the house, but she could probably survive the best by her own. Franklin would not. He's so fat that he'd probably get picked off by some eagle and be the main course of their version of Thanksgiving.

But this is the second dead mouse I've had to deal with, and I'm not very excited about it because I don't like dead animals. It's freaky. I don't think I would response well to dead people, let alone dead field mice. There's something far too grim about it for me to want to deal with, so I'll probably do something strange like smack it way across the porch or something with a broom.

As for Alex and I, we're having a pretty mellow day. I've been acting like a cowboy in Dead Red Revolver, shooting up bad guys and making my eyes all wacky by sitting for 5 hour sessions. I'm a mean parent because I tend to decide for him when his naps are, but after some initial complaining, he just sleeps for a couple hours. He needs it, just doesn't know it.

But I've having a rather nice off day, thank you very much. I suppose I should post some pictures of him being the biggest boy. Yeah, I think I'll do that.

Pandaf Golf. Do it. Do it now and be addicted!

Ten Things that Make Me Feel Old.

10. This evening, my wife said to my son, "No, don't eat Daddy's car magazine."
9. Consumption of Diet Coke, shunning regular Coke because it's too sweet.
8. When I'm at work, Parents refer to me as "the man" to their children. They used to say, "Young Man."
7. Vitamin supplements suddenly seem like a pretty darn good idea.
6. Unexplained back pain. Constantly.
5. Having to trim nose hairs. What the hell is that all about?
4. Wearing very similar, if not the same clothes everyday and not really caring.
3. Having to worry about what I eat, how it affects my wallet, health, and weight. Damn food. Stop tasting so good.
2. Realizing Less is More.
1. My son, who is single-handedly turned me into a more responsible, and ultimately less interesting person. Wait till he gets older. Then my verbal wit will have to be reduced to Barney talk. And Angels will cry.

Friday, May 14, 2004

I think this is the first weekend for a long time whereby I'm actually watching Alex. The last few weeks there's been one thing or another going on, so it feels as if I'm barely watching him, just keeping supervision over him while I do other things.

He was actually quite kind to me today, sleeping in till almost ten. I woke up at 8:45 anyway, when my allergies overtook my nasal passages and held it captive under a sea of snort. But he's jovial and such a happy little boy when he first wakes up. Then it seems to always go downhill from there. But after being interrupted from his afternoon nap and about a half hour of extreme screaming, he's been sleeping peacefully since 4:30. That means I get some computer time! Pay bills! Yay!

I was telling my wife that Mondays and Tuesdays are kinda tough, because after a long day at work, I have to come home and watch the little boy while my wife goes to work - and as mentioned before, the little boy starts acting a little more fussy toward the end of the day. So usually I'm pretty worn out by then. If my wife was home, though, a wave of relaxation seems to wash over me because I know that I can go take a leak if I needed to, and not take him in there with me or leave him screaming in his crib. The little luxuries we take for granted. See, when she's home, I can either choose to play with him, or write on the blog, whatever. There are four hands to catch the little rugrat before he puts something dangerous, like a cat, into his mouth.

Well, once Zoe emerges from that comfy womb and joins his brother in their joint mission to drive Mommy and Daddy absolutely bonkers, Mondays and Tuesdays would be too brutal for me. We would have to rejigger our schedules so that we're not too alone with the two babies for too long. Otherwise we would not survive the first two years.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I desperately want to venture into a new template, but I'd hate to lose all the comments again and have to refigure out the stupid template. Maybe I'll just stick with this a little longer. Maybe a template change later on would be nice. Blogger just had to do it and add new templates, new commenting, and spiffy layouts that I can't resist! Argh! The agony of envy!

As the little boy gets bigger and bigger, I feel myself aging more and more. The past two days, I've been plagued by mystery backaches and lack of sleep, and all I've thought of these couple days is my bed. Catching some Z's. I've also switched to Diet Coke permanently - a taste of regular Coke the other day make me gag a little. Too sweet. Another sign of aging - when things are just too sweet. I remember when I was a kid, the only time I'd think something was too sweet was when I was frothing at the mouth and tasting the foam from my sugar-induced candy binge. Then and only then did I cave to the notion of something being too sweet. Now a swig of the regular pop and I'm throwing in the towel.

I think the worst thing about aging - the most cruelest joke that is played upon us recent grads, is watching all the youth simply squander their youth away. Juuuuust pissing it away. Sit for hours at a time watching TV. Not even good TV, but repeats and reruns and reality TV. I'm envious of them, sure. I really do miss the free time that I had before I was a parent - I cannot lie about that. Anyone who says that they do not miss the free time before they became a parent is either lying, or was a really uninteresting bored person before they became a parent.

Sure, sure - there'll be people who would be like - oh, but look at the rewards of parenthood! You're raising a child! You're giving all your love to a child! You're learning the meaning of life by providing a life for your child!

Well, that's really great - I love my son a whole big bunches, but there was a time not long ago when having some nookie with my wife did not require an appointment. Washing dishes did not seem like a good break from the norm. Washing my car wasn't a relaxing thing to do. Sleeping in actually meant 11am, not 9:30. My day actually started when I wanted it to, not after the little one's finally down for his first nap. I actually saw movies, at the cinema, like it's supposed to be. I did not used to have to preplan every little trip, even to the grocery store.

No need to encourage me with words of advice, I know it's all worth it. Just sometimes it's hard to not be nostalgic about all the free time I used to have. Just do nothing at all. Sit around and count the hairs on my legs.


Well, what now?

This is a mental conversation between me and a spider the other day, when he was crawling around on the inside of my windshield while I was driving.

ME: Ahhhhh!
SPIDER: I gotta find a good place to be right above him.
ME: Where are you going?
SPIDER: I'm going inside your ear so I can lay eggs and my little hatchlings can eat their way out of your head.
ME: I thought you were a boy spider.
SPIDER: Oh yeah. I'll just poop inside your head then.
ME: Fair enough.
SPIDER: Watch the road, bub.
ME: But you're scary. I can't stop looking at you.
SPIDER: You'll have plenty of time to look at me when I'm inside your head.
ME: I know... (Turns on air conditioning.)
SPIDER: Holy Crap! I'm freezing! I'm going to go inside the cracks of your car.
ME: HAHAHAHA... Wait. He's still in the car.
SPIDER: I'll get you next time, Poopy Head!

Thank you very much. I'll be here all week.

Monday, May 10, 2004

This is interesting. Found a lost posting on my story blog, which is now dead. This was dated March 3. Am re-posting it out of order. Woohoo!


At least, that's what they tell me.

Anyway, the last time we were at my Mom's, she made porridge. At least that's what I called it. My wife heard that and was weary of it, thinking it was oatmeal or something. And I'll tell ya, the stuff scores a zero on the presentation scale. Looks like mush with chunks. But my wife had a bite of it, and decided that she liked it. I asked my mom how to make it, and later I remembered that it was often referred to as Congee. Basically, it's rice and water/stock and maybe some meat. It's the most unfanciful type of Chinese food, kind of a cheap way to feed a lot of mouths with a minimal budget, which historically, was probably quite useful for my ancestors.

So, after so sparse and vague instructions from my Mother, I decided to give it a whirl today by buying a whole roasted chicken earlier on. Then I filled the pot with what I gathered to be a fair amount of rice, drowned it in water, and started boiling away. I ignored it for a while and when I stepped back into the kitchen, I started laughing. Well, apparently instead of a congee like consistency (watery rice) I got a full pot of rice. So now I have a ton of extra rice for fried rice, another ingenious way the Chinese like to get rid of their extra food. So I got rid of half the rice, then put more water in it, then chicken stock. After a while, I put the chicken in and realized that a whole chicken was probably too much. Now it was just watery rice with a lot of chicken. But thankfully, I just simmered it for like almost a hour and a half, and most of the rice simply turned into mushy stuff, and it was actually quite good. Everyone enjoyed it, though I have to say the presentation still needed help. Looks like it should be served in the mess hall or something. And yeah, we still have like 2/3 of the congee left.

Anyway, enough of that. Alex and I had a buddy day today, just running chores and being buddies. Went shopping and found out that my coworker's husband works on motion pictures, doing compositing of sorts. Had worked on "Van Helsing" and the remake of "Manchurian Candidate" on his home in Bellingham. How cool is that? Apparently he doesn't get to see a lot of stuff, just snippets of footage that he has to remove the wirework out of or whatever else. Sigh. Talking with her made me realize how far away I am from what I want to do.

Well, if I could only make a fortune selling videos of my baby...

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Wow, I don't post for a week and Blogger changes everything for me. I guess unless you're a Blogger user the experience would solely be mine. Moving on.

So, the aforementioned week that I've been absent has been a crazy week, and I'm glad that it's so over because it was just me - freaking out at full capacity. Between worrying about getting the Mother's Day video done in time and finding a location and worrying about the actual shoot - I've been frazzled and eating way too much candy to soothe myself.

But now the week is over, and I can chill at least for a while. We celebrated Mother's Day today by going to Olive Garden (it was that or Kyoto's, and the latter has hot stoves and fire.) because my original idea sucked. I wanted to get Alex's handprints and footprints on a canvas, and then attach some photos and have colors splashed across it and framed. Well, Alex had something else to say about that. He didn't seem to want to cooperate with me, so he just thumped his little red-stained fist on the canvas and my idea went out the window. Those cute hand prints you find on other people's art is either made from deep-sleeping babies or Little People, if you ask me. I called my Mother as did my wife, and they were both disappointed we couldn't drive down to go see them. We said that we couldn't afford it, because of the gas situation ($2.20 a gallon, I'm walking.) and we thought that going to see them empty handed might seem unthoughtful, no matter how often people said that it's the thought that counts. So, to support our excuse for not driving down, my wife told her mom that I was probably going to take my wife and the kids out to dinner at McDonalds. The Audacity! I'd much rather come off as inconsiderate than a cheapskate! I am proud to say that I used good credit to make my wife happy today for Mother's Day, so there!

The shoot last night went well - I did wish for more time and energy to keep going, that's for sure. I'm still a little beat from yesterday, but it was fun. The location was better suited for something more light-hearted, but we gotta work with what we got, I suppose.

The video I made for my wife for Mother's Day is of Alex, from his birth until early this month, just growing bigger, doing new things, and boring everyone who's not myself, my wife, or my mom to death with just minutes of footage of seemingly nothing. To explain it best, it'd be like having footage of the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. You could watch every little detail, mundane and otherwise, and it would bring back so much emotion and memories that it wouldn't seem dull in any sense. I condensed 5 hours of footage into an hour and a half, because even as parents of the cutest baby in the world have limited attention spans.

Throughout the week I've had lots of tidbits I had in mind to post, but I've forgotten them all. So, blogging is certainly a good rolodex for all the little things that happened that aren't important, but is nice to access once in a while.

And the six hour sleep just caught up to me...