Saturday, December 18, 2004

Parenting and Gangsta Rap

One of the many ways I've been coping with the stresses of Parenthood with two babies, other than excessive drinking and pinching strangers' asses, has been the most unlikeliest of sorts. Since I got San Andreas, I've been playing it a fair share, but at the same time I've been a little interested in the music. At first I was reluctant to extract all the songs off the game to make my own soundtrack - since I'm too poor to fork over 80 bucks for all the songs. From all the station's playlist and from what I heard, I was not impressed and was a little iffy. However, after 155 songs extracted from the game, I now have the ultimate soundtrack.

Anyway, getting back on the topic - I've found unlikely solace in Gangsta Rap, specially one of the radio stations in the game called, "Radio Los Santos." I enjoy some of the other stations too, but for some reason the Gangsta Rap's really doing it for me. I've been analyzing my own brain for answers, and I think it lies in the fact that a lot of the songs are from rappers who feel oppressed, slightly paranoid, and wary of the world they live in. It's a weird comparison, but I really think that's why I'm drawn to it. Of course, I'm not about to start poppin' people on the street or doing drive-bys anytime soon, but I think some of the songs release some of the tension and pent-up frustrations I have. And yes, I do listen to it when I go to work in the morning. And I actually feel better after that.

I'm sure I'm not exactly the target demographic for the rappers either. Parent of babies.

Christmas is coming along okay. I already got my present since it's not so much a suprise sort of present, but rather a necessity sort of present. Earlier this week, my CD player flew out of my hands and the lid popped off, making it pretty much unplayable. I might try to fix it with Velcro later, but that meant that I didn't have a CD player that played MP3s. So that's what I got for Christmas. My wife also knows what she's getting, and we're probably not going to wrap the kids presents. Yeah, we're evil like that.

Hey look! A penny!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

We Dedicate our Lives to Incriminating our Children.

Here is Zoe's Debut.

Thank you, she'll be here all week.


You've been warned.

And definitely do not want to click on the movies, either.

How to Blow 100 bucks in Calendars

As a disclaimer, to dispel any finger waggers who might have noticed that my constant whining about being financially destitute will conflict with spending 100 bucks - let me explain that it was from a check from my father-in-law to us. Basically, we used our Christmas gift to purchase Christmas gifts for other people. And what they got was personalized calendars for all the parents and my wife. We got 5 calendars because I think when you're a grandpa or grandma, material things just don't mean much anymore. Sentimental things like calendars do.

And now I'm realizing I picked a bad title because I've already told the story by paragraph 2.

I forgot about this story when posting earlier, but it's worth telling. Last weekend, we were having some instant potatoes and at the end of it, Alex was a starchy mess. He eats with his hands, so his face, his chest, and his faces were all potatoey. So my wife decided that it was a good idea to intimidate me with his foodiness, so I defended myself by putting some mashed potatoes on her. My wife took Alex's leg to try to fend off my potato slinging by making him kick my arm, and that sent Alex into hysterics. And soon it turned into a full scale food fight, whereby we're scraping it off the walls and throwing it at each other. The kitchen looked a mess, but we sure did have a ball. It was good to play with my wife like that again, just like we used to.

The little boy is developing a sense of humor through sadistic actions, as we're finding out. Whenever his actions causes us to recoil or get startled, he'll laugh up a storm in the most contagious little chuckle in the world. His bathtime tonight consisted of him trying to throw water at me, and laughing like a crazy little boy. Even at bedtime, he was giggly every time I tried touching his tougue. I suppose that's not a really normal thing to do.

Is it?

Christmas has gotten us worried and cranky, because we're using up gift money to buy for others, and the gifts for others are so budgeted that we, or at least I think that it sucks. It baffles me that other religions don't celebrate the birth of their messiah with buying shit - so our secret (well, not anymore) plan may be to become devout Christians next year, and then just tell people that we're observing the birth of Christ - and we think giftings are vulgar. I dunno, I don't even really care what I get anymore, mostly because I'll buy what I need. I think that's also another thing about have babies - you get reduced to what you really need, and what's really important to you.

Like time with my wife.

Does anyone want to buy me a time machine? Or time-space freezing contraption? Or a cloning machine?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Semi-Hooky, Learning Curves, and Bad First Dates

Yes, it's true, I should be at work right now but I'm going to go into work an hour late and not make it up because I'm really behind on the blog and all my entry ideas keep falling out of my head. If I don't put it down on the blog, it eventually falls into a deep dark pit along with my early childhood memories and all the other math I ever learned in my life. It's not that I mind work really, I just prefer maintaining my sanity better.

So I was trying to do the righteous parent thing yesterday, whereby I responsibly turn off the TV and responsibly try to boost Alex's intelligence by making him utilize his analytical skills. I grabbed a bunch of "thinking" toys, or what Alex calls, "Toys that piss me off"; toys that require a certain amount of skill to operate since you gotta do this to hear that, or do that to make this move. I sat down with him and practiced with him turning the knob on the Jack in the Box, putting particular shapes into particular slots, and stacking cups. He'd get frustrated at each of them because he wasn't getting the same result as I was, and start tossing them around. I read Pooh to him as well, and he'd enjoy it until he closed the book and then got mad at it because he wasn't done looking at the book.

Eventually, I resorted to using the stacking cups as containers, and named the colors as he put little links and toys into them.

"Red! That's a red cup."
"Put it in the purple cup."

So, he's beginning to at least speak basic German.

I know I should be more patient, and I will likely try to do that more often, but I think the answer laid in what happened afterward when I took him in the bathroom with me. Once you have babies, you'll understand that babies will invariably go into the bathroom with you a great deal, so that you could keep your eye on them. So he was in the bathroom with me, doing his exploration when I farted. And I farted with so much force and magnitude that it startled him. Made him jump. He looked at me for a few seconds, then he put his lips together and went, "BBBBBBPPPPPPTTTTT." And laughed. Cracked me up so I did it, and he did it, and we were both laughing hysterically.

So, that's where Alex's learning curve is still at. Fart jokes.

Now anyone who's been reading this blog may know that JL, our 15 year old resident teenager and catalyst in training, has been seeing this guy at school, Will. He's an okay sort of guy, but he went down a notch this last weekend. Basically, despite a failing grade, we agreed to let them have a playdate on Friday, even though we had a lot of things to do on the weekend, what being the last two weekends before Christmas and all. Well, he sorta agreed and sorta didn't show up. Didn't even call on that day to cancel it. So when he called the next day, I told him that he stood US up because we were making time for him and he failed to show up, and we let JL know that that wasn't really okay. But she wasn't really upset because I suspect that her Dad's influence has dulled her natural responses to Men Behaving Inappropriately. Namely the art of making yourself the victim of circumstances and shifting blame and responsibility to someone or something else, and managing to make the woman feel sympathetic about it. So the few times he's called, I've been frank about the whole matter, saying that we were too busy to accommodate watching them. Hey, if he had the respect because he earned it, but now he's got to earn it back. We may be tough parents, but we're just looking out for her emotional well being. A quiet and forgiving and empathetic girl like JL still needs to understand what's acceptable and what's not in a relationship.

And for the record, his excuse was lame.

Argh! I'm late for work now!