Thursday, September 30, 2004

Kiddy Update

Zoe is filling up, as I'm told. She's no longer the scrawny little earthworm anymore, but now she's getting some meat to those bones. Her facial expressions have also progressed to 7 different versions of "pissed off" from 5, and 3 different versions of "generally discontented" from 2. I have yet to count any happy expressions. I lose count of the crying expressions because her wailing jumbles my brain, and I fail to function as a normal human being at that point. I just stare at her and will her to stop crying. I'll let you know when it works.

But she's a sweetie of course. When she's not crying and is pretty okay with the world, she's quite pleasant to look at and kiss. Once she gets used to the notion that things can be okay from time to time when she's not fussing, then the world will be a better place. Our world, anyway.

She's already rolled over from her chest position by herself, though we suspect she's doing that because she just wants to kick our asses for putting her on her front. She's down to waking up only once a night for the most part, and is adapting okay to sleeping in the same room with Alex. She even got a kiss from her older brother today, which is the sweetest thing to watch. Alex looks affectionately fond of kissing Zoe, and Zoe looks... like a stunned badger. I dunno.

Alex is making me prouder every single day. Whenever I come home from work, he always walks up to me saying, "Dah dah dah!" with the best looking smile on his face. He also says "Dah dah dah!" when he's got a sock in his hand and he's whipping the cat's head with it, so I take it for its face value. But it's nice to pretend that he's talking to me anyhow. And he holds out his arms for me to pick him up, and for about an hour after that it's impossible to put him down again. You either have to put him down in a new area he's been previously had no access to, i.e. the bathroom, or the kitchen, or a giant sponge, or he'll just start cry-whining and grab your legs.

The other thing that he's doing, that's so sweet and wonderful and great, is that he's learning to give me kisses. I would make the kissing sound while holding him, and he would lean towards me with his mouth open in some contortion, and plant me a sloppy one. Then he'd laugh, and I'd laugh, and we'd do it all over again. Sure, often his mouth would be cookie-ish or crumbly from some crap he was just eating, or he'd leave a trail of spit between our mouths (yeah, that was pleasant.), or he'd come towards me with his wide open mouth that threatens all sanitary standards of the household, but I wouldn't care. My little boy likes to kiss me, and that's the best thing in the world.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

A Wrench in the Gears

I suppose you can say that I've been looking for a new job at the back of my mind - when you work in a grocery store that has a lot of people who are working it as a supplementary job to their husband's real job incomes, you begin to welcome about your effectiveness as a breadwinner. I don't expect to buy thousands of dollars each month, but I do know that I'm worth more than what I'm making now, and I'm capable of better things than scanning 1500 items to meet quota everyday.

But the job that I have now isn't too bad - it offers me independence, my own hours, and okay pay for the kind of city I live in. For a retail position, it's absolutely fantastic. After having to work all the holidays and miss out on festivities, I can finally just schedule myself around holidays so that I can at least have it off.

Well, the wrench that we speak of was a phone call I received today. Apparently this staffing company found my resume online and they were looking for an editor/writer/webhead to help out with running a semi-major website that previews and reviews movies in Seattle. I got immediately excited, but after a while, after reading the job description they sent to me and pondering the bigger questions, it got harder to be full-hearted about it.

I may or may not qualify for the job - the recruiter was assuming that I used to get paid for my work on my college paper. Well, yeah, I got a 400 dollar stipend for the quarter - hardly what I'd define as a paycheck. I'm actually not officially qualified in terms of a journalism degree or a communications degree - for me it's just self-made credentials and a small body of work that might qualify me for this position.

But the other catch is this. The job is a contracted job, which only lasts for 2-3 months. To give up a full-time job for a short contract job may seem insane, but these two factors make up for it. It may turn permanent, or open new doors for me, and it doubles my pay. Doubles it.

Now, before anyone bops me on the head for passing up a no-brainer, here's the other catch. It's in Seattle. So if I were to commute, it would be a 2 hour drive back. And a 2 hour drive home. That's excluding rush hour traffic and any accidents. Which would make half my work day simply commuting. That's a tad insane.

So my wife and I have been pondering the whole day, asking total strangers and small animals what we should do. My brother finally gave an answer that made too much sense to have been overlooked: Apply and interview for it, and when you get an offer, decide. Then it occured to me that I haven't actually gotten the job. For all I know I could interview like a monkey on crack. They may discover that after all, I'm just a poser with bad grammar and worse run-on sentences. So basically, I was worrying over nothing.

So I summed it up to my wife in this metaphor: I gotta not worry about winning the marathon before I learn how to walk. I actually said something much dumber and nonsensical, but I remembered the better metaphor. How odd.

Well, I'll call the staffing people tomorrow and see what happens.


Sunday, September 26, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, yesterday was my 28th birthday and I had a fun little day with the fam! We didn't really have much planned - we are broke as hell in general, but more so after dinner the night before at Applebee's, whereby two alcholic drinks can cost more than my entree. We always forget why we don't like to eat there. But the riblets were good, and my wife and I dressed up for a seemingly casual restaurant and took Zoe with us, leaving Alex at home with JL. Aside from trying to eat without dripping barbeque sauce on the baby, it was a pleasant dinner. Overpriced, but probably well deserved for two brave parents.

But I saw a flyer on the bulletin board at work about Open House at the Heritage Flight Museum, or something like that. It only happened once a month, so we decided to go check it out. Free admission was the big draw, and "something different" was what we had in mind. So, after running some basic errands, we headed to the "museum", which is basically the entrance to a hangar, and sorta wandered in. The kids in flight uniforms looked at us. We looked at them. They said, "Take this. And make a donation there." "This" was a flyer for next month's open house, and the donations - well, I wanted to see what I was going to see first, but my wife made a one dollar donation which she later redeemed back as a complimentary hotdog with potato salad.

Walking into the hangar, there were about 6 planes in the parking space, and everyone seemed to be doing their own thing. I asked a pilot looking guy if we could just walk around and take pictures, thinking that would be more appropriate than, "So, where's the airshow, and is this all there is?" But that was pretty much it. Just a few WWII era planes that were kept up and maintained quite well. At the time, Alex and Zoe were taking turns fussing and crying, so the first round of walking around was a little stressful. But after a short break of feeding Zoe and holding Alex, we were actually having fun looking at the planes and taking lots of photos for me. I'm not much of a plane enthusiast, but it was nice to get out of the house and take pictures of objects other than a cat or a plant.

We got home and the children had to get some massive napping in, but my wife and I got to play "Burnout 3:Takedown", which is this new racing game that we rented. It features spectacular crashes and massive chaos, and some intense racing action that actually jolts me whenever I crash. I like the game, but I really like my wife's reaction more. She was absolutely, positively hooked on this game - not so much the racing aspect, but being the "king" of the crashing events. It was really fun seeing her so excited about causing so much mayhem.

We went out again and did some normal shopping, and had McDonald's for dinner. It wasn't a super celebratory day, but I liked it just fine. I have to buy another PS2 game to replace my birthday gift, because my wife, knowing me too well, actually bought me a game that I already own. A game that I like quite a lot, actually. But not enough to own two copies of it. I'm a risktaker that way, I suppose.

But it was a good day. This is actually the last weekend my wife and I will off together for a while. She goes back to work next week, and we'll pretty much be working opposite schedules so that we can watch the babies ourselves. So in a way, this was an excellent day for us. Whee!