Friday, December 24, 2004

Ho, Ho, Ho. Yo.

I Guess That Would Made Alex "Rudolph."

Merry Christmas!

Passive Job Hunting and Early Christmas

Yes, it's true for you Christmas purists out there, we have indeedy already celebrate Christmas kinda early. The kids have already opened the presents and savored the sweet goodness of presents and material bliss. The thing of it is, we're heading down to Pullayup tomorrow morning and then to Redmond for Christmas day, and lugging around presents for kids doesn't seem to be the best idea, really. We're already squeezing five souls into a Honda Civic, which is technically a subcompact car. Actually, we're squeezing mostly JL, because I have my driver's seat and my wife has the passenger's seat, and the babies each have their own car seats. JL has this little slot in between the car seats. Ah, it builds character.

So everyone did come out a little short in a way, we used to be buried in presents and goodies, but our presents are much more modest and practical. I got two little things that I had to buy myself, so it wasn't too terribly exciting. In fact, one of the presents was a CD player that I had just broke last week, so it wasn't something that I didn't already have - it was just a replacement present. This is the part whereby I say that it's not important what we get and didn't get, it's the people we're with that makes this a great Christmas. And you know, that's true, but when you work in retail like I do and you see all that spending - it does wear on you that you're not providing enough dough for the family.

I've been thinking about a job change lately, trying to mastermind my way out of auditing so I wouldn't have to deal with stupid employees treating me like crap. I don't even mind the customers so much, but the employees, and today a Home manager, actually said to me, "It's days like this when you should disappear." Yep, he actually said that to me. But I've been thinking about other jobs, anything in Seattle that pays well enough I'll take. I've been searching around town, looking for something to justify my college degree, and there's been some interesting positions, but I've been mostly underqualified for them. A few of them, like the wedding videographer position for the Bellagio casino in Vegas, seems quirky enough to consider, but it was an old posting. There was another videographer/editor position at some beauty supplier, but they're located in Texas, which I'm a few shades too dark to consider.

I've also considered rebooting my own videography business, but the management end of it keeps coming up, and I'm just a horrible businessman, period. Couldn't keep books to save my life. So, the quest for better employment continues. I could always be a videographer for the combat unit in the U.S. Army. Yeah, that's plausible.

On the idealistic end, I've been thinking about writing a full length feature again, another short to compliment that, and even a book about parenthood. I doubt half of these ideas will ever materialize, but it's certainly things that I can hang on to to keep from being utterly depressed.

I did have a breakthrough the other day, surprisingly while watching a movie. I highly recommend "The House of Sand and Fog", which has Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley in it. I put off watching the movie despite the rave reviews - mostly because I knew it was about two parties fighting over a house. But the other night I had the babies by myself, and I decided to give the movie a shot. Now, just to warn you, HERE'S A POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT. Skip these next two paragraphs if you're the type that'll figure things out while watching a movie.

Without divulging too much of the story, Ben Kingsley's character comes to a difficult moment, and the man frantically drops to his knees and prays to his God all the sacrifices he's willing to make, all the amends he's willing to give, everything in his soul he'll readily hand over, if the situation would just reverse itself.

I cried so hard at that scene and I don't think I would've done so if I wasn't a father. I realized that I would do the same for my son, because I wouldn't trade a day I spend with him for anything in the world. All these perceived loss of freedom and free time seems so minute and unimportant when I think about how much love is in my heart for Alex. He means so much to me that I would give up everything for him.

That night, while we were doing the ritual of watching the light display on the ceiling from the baby monitor before his bedtime, I held him and wept. I touched his little head and shoulders and hugged him tight, weeping at the thought of my world without him. He looked at the stars above, swaying back and forth and bopped his head - not a care in the world.

The movie devastates, but it's a good movie. It goes beyond the stars, the egos, the fakery of forced emotions and gets right down to the humanity and emotional core of the audience. Ben Kingsley has made a fan of me for life.

Okay, I have to go cheer up now by finding some lighter fare.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Critical Beatdown

Alright, the title has nothing to do with anything, just happens to be the name of the song I'm listening to.

Well, the whole family's asleep after a busy night visiting my wife's older daughter, her husband and the two grandchildren, my step-grandchildren if it were. And you know, to be a step-grandfather at 28 isn't all that bad. They seem to really like me a lot, just coming up to me and letting me truck them around on top of my shoulders. It's odd that even Alex doesn't really do that all that much, but I suppose he just doesn't like heights. Dunno.

We did notice tonight that his hitting tendency probably has to be curbed a little more. Whenever he gets upset or even excited, he'll hit. It stopped being funny after a while because whenever he got picked up, he would smack me in the face and then laugh about it. At one time, it was funny because he was still little and it didn't hurt that much. But now he's gotten punchier and his hits actually hurt, it does matter, especially since his little sister's too little to defend herself.

But overall, tonight the little boy had lots of fun chasing and screaming with the other two kids. There was even a time when Alex and Joseph was just cracking up, laughing at each other. Joseph would shake like a maniac, and Alex would laugh like one. It was the cutest comedy team ever.

So we got the calendars from Officemax and I was quite disappointed. They did screw up one page (though they were all labeled) but most of all, I was really dissatisfied with the quality of the calendar. It was basically color photocopies binded together, whereas I would expect that for 20 bucks and my own photos, that I would get photo quality prints. I guess it did slip my mind that they call their printing "Copymax" and not "Photomax." They'll pass as okay calendars, but no, I'm not very happy about them and 100 bucks is an expensive way to find out that they're not up to standards.

Zoe is slowly getting bigger on us, because she's already reaching for the toys that are dangling above her when we put her on the playmat. It's pretty amazing how much easier she picks up on these things. On the flip side, she's gotten hard to put to bed the last two days. I was up till almost two in the morning last night trying to get her to fall asleep. I said a lot of bad words and fumed, but finally she did surrender to her fatigue. It's been a while since I've had to deal with a non-sleeping tired baby, and I can honestly say that I won't miss it one bit.

Even if she's as cute as Zoe.