Monday, February 28, 2011

v2, d292: Anton Goes East

Oh, Anton.  (You came and you saved without tanking?)  We all knew you were probably gone after this year anyway, but still.  Traded away on the last second of Trade Deadline Day.  It seems so cold and impersonal, especially since the parent team made the deal and not the Aeros. Seems like we should have had a chance to throw a farewell party or something.  But alas, that ain't the way it goes in pro sports, especially not in the minor leagues.

It was a bitter end to a really dull deadline day.  Only two or three deals that had much bite to them.  Lots of teams shipping off minor leaguers or late picks.  The most interesting part of the day came when Canadian blogger Down Goes Brown jokingly suggested everybody on twitter send a message to Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul at the same time wishing him luck on Long Island, and then somehow it got reported on the Flyers' official web site that Lupul had been dealt to the Islanders.  DGB posted a tweet that said, "*Sigh* Sorry about that, Twitter."  Other than that, the day was a snoozer. 

And then, just before everyone packed up and went home, Russo came out with a message that the Wild had made a "minor-league deal" that would be announced shortly.  And an hour later, you were gone.  Good luck in Providence.


Longtime WBW readers will remember my fairly frequent posts about the Aeros' spectacular run to game six of the 2009 AHL Western Conference Final.  I couldn't help it.  That year's playoff run was so much stinking fun.  We won two game seven's on the road against two heavily favored teams, played multiple overtime games, instituted the Magic Shirt and the Magic Double-Overtime Oven-Baked Pizza.  We had the "Get Blown Out 8-0 One Night & Turn Around to Eliminate Them In Their Own Building" story.  We had the "Game Delayed Because The Team's Flight Was Re-routed Through New Orleans Due To A Torrential Downpour In The Midwest, Team Hops Directly On The Bus To The Yo From The Plane, Wins The Freaking Game Anyway" story.  But the greatest story of the first two rounds (both upsets) had to be young Anton Khudobin, the third-string rookie goalie who came out of nowhere to beat both the Peoria Rivermen and the second-seeded Milwaukee Admirals just to get us to the Conference Final.  And the kid was so gosh-darn nice.  It was impossible not to love him!  Possibly the highlight of the season came when Anton was named the first star of the game after shutting out the Ads on home ice on his 21st birthday.  (22nd?  23rd?  I think it was 21st)  The whole crowd sang Happy Birthday to Anton, with the kid standing at center ice, waving his stick and grinning from ear to ear. 

When Josh Harding went down before the season started (which sucked, by the way), I was stoked that Anton was going to get a chance to play in the NHL consistently.  (He was fairly awesome in spot duty last season)  However, the Wild signed Jose Theodore (another great story/great guy) and Anton was AHL bound again.  With Matt Hackett playing better hockey and Darcy Keumper waiting in the wings and Dennis Endras penciled in to be the Wild's backup next year, it was obvious that Anton just wasn't in the long-term plans anymore. 

Still.  The last trade on trade deadline day.  Even though the return is good, and the D-man we're getting back is going to help the team, and we'll be just fine calling Josh Tjordman up from the ECHL, I liked Anton.  He was one of the last ties to that 2009 playoff team, and that was a fun team.  Even if he goes back to Europe after this season (not unlikely), he'll always have a special place in my hockey-loving heart for that magical month in the spring of 2009. 

Best of luck, Anton.  *stick tap*

Sunday, February 27, 2011

v2, d291: The 83rd Annual Academy Awards

Well that was weird.  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

v2, d290: "And we can stay all day..."

Today, Kim and I both decided to devote some one-on-one time to our older son.  I watched Isaac while Kim and Robbie did a bit of cooking first thing this morning. (They tried out a new recipe and made some fantastic waffles)  Shortly after breakfast, I told Robbie I was going to take him somewhere, and that that somewhere would be a surprise.  For some reason, Robbie has equated "surprise" with "I'm getting a new toy."  I don't know how that happened.  Nevertheless, he didn't seem disappointed at all when our surprise was a Daddy/Robbie day at the zoo instead of a new plastic digger. 

I know the transition from "only child" to "older brother" has been a bit rough so far on Robbie, and on the whole he's done a great job with it, but I wanted to give him a day to remind him that he is very special and unique.  Plus, we had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon that expired on Monday and I'd been planning to take him "sometime after the baby was born."  Just in the nick, I'd say. 

We had a blast. He loved everything, and I loved him loving everything.  This was the first time we've taken a zoo trip where he's really been excited about seeing all of the animals.  He had a long list of everything he wanted to see, and he could just stand and watch particular animals all day if I'd let him.  (Particularly: any type of turtle, the two black bears, the two--yes, two--baby elephants, and the miniature ground squirrels)  He also willingly went into the petting zoo and didn't shy away from anything.  Even brushed a goat from head to toe.  He was also excited about the carousel, excited about the hot dog, excited about carrying his own ticket around all day, and (of course) excited about the playground.  What can I say, my kid loves playgrounds.

At first, he was a little hesitant to run up and play.  He tends to be shy when there are lots of kids around, especially ones he doesn't know.  He wanted me to go with him.  I said no.  I knew he could have more fun climbing and sliding and whatnot without trying to hold my hand the whole time.  He hesitantly climbed the first few steps and then cautiously crossed the bridge (he had a bad experience with one of those bridges once and has been extra careful on them ever since).  When he got to the other side, his eyes swept the crowd around the playground.  Looking for me, I knew.  When he spotted me, his face lit up.  "I did it!" he shouted.  I smiled and called back a "Good job!" or something, and then he ran across the bridge several times. 

Eventually, he climbed a few more levels.  He wanted to go down a slide, but you know what the slides are like at busy playgrounds.  Kids aren't all very good at waiting or following rules, so groups of older children would sort of push him aside and dive into the slide, or he'd try to come down and see another child coming up the slide, and he got scared.  He kind of cowered to one corner of the platform.  I should mention that, at this point, there was no direct line of sight from where he was to where I'd been standing.  So I came to where he could see me and encouraged him to be brave and go down when he had a chance. "I'll be waiting right at the bottom for you," I promised.  Eventually he went for it, and of course there I was, right where I'd said I'd be.  Again, the smile on his face could have lit up a city block. 

I watched him climbing and playing and exploring, and every few moments I'd see a worried look suddenly flash across his face and his head would go on a swivel, trying to find me.  Making sure I was watching.  Making sure I was paying attention.  Maybe even making sure I was still there.  And obviously I always was.  As if I'd be anywhere else, I thought.  As if I have eyes for any other child out here by you.  

If you could only realize how much I love you...

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!"

Friday, February 25, 2011

v2, d289: Resistance

You, blog, are just another form of Resistance. Very clever, Resistance. Very, very clever.

YOU are the reason I'm not currently contributing to the further evolution of human consciousness! 

Well, you and the NHL.  And  Youtube. 

Hey, speaking of the NHL, Clayton Stoner scored again.  On purpose this time. 

Love my former Aeros.  Also, sounded like there were a LOT of Wild fans at that game. 

Missed opening night for An Inspector Calls tonight due to family commitment.  I heard it went really well, though.  Which is a relief, because I'd heard that the entire audience was going to leave depressed and feeling as though we had just condemned them to hell ;-)

Which reminds me sorta, I finally saw The Social Network. It's a movie I wanted to see when it came out, but I figured it didn't really need the 3-D/Imax treatment to be effective, so I waited for DVD.  It was very good.  I know a lot of my readers probably wouldn't dig it, but I really enjoyed it. 

If  you have seen it, you have my permission to watch this:

Finally, a little something for everybody: a video of a cute baby ocelot.

Ocelots are no joke, folks. If you watched the video, you know there are fewer than one hundred ocelots remaining in the wild in the United States.  And you don't have to be a math minor to be able to tell that oss-not-e-lot! 

v2, d288: Excuses excuses

Three nights ago, I think I was just too tired/busy with the baby to post.  Last night, I fell asleep a few hours earlier than planned.

Still, I thought I ought to check in and let you all know how we're all faring.

We're fine.

Boring, huh?  But pretty much everything you'd expect from a family in this situation is true.  We're tired.  Kim's recovering.  Isaac eats, sleeps, burps, and soils diapers. Occasionally he looks around.  He's looking around a little more each day.  I take him for a walk outside once a day.  I think the whole situation has Robbie a little distressed, but he's handling most of it really well.  When there's been an out-of-character fit or tantrum--and there's been about one a day--I usually chalk it up to major-live-change distress.  I thought maybe I'd get some reading (or, better yet, writing) done this week, but that sure hasn't happened.  I'm kind of afraid of going back to work, because I fear this great little project I've been gearing up for is going to end up being a nightmare.  Coworkers are bringing us meals every other day for a little while it seems, which is always awesome.  Enjoyed some cheese ravioli and garlic bread this evening.  Nice to have something to check off of the "things to worry about" list for a little while.

Life's good.  Hope y'all are enjoying it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

v2, d287: "No one here but us Pens fans..."

I don't think there are any of you who don't already know this, but I am a Pittsburgh Penguins fan.  (Also: Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, Houston Aeros, and Wichita Thunder, but none of those are relevant now)  Robbie knows it and has cheered on the Pens with me on many occasions.  (During the Cup run of 2009, for example, he would hear me shout "YEAH!!!" from the back room and then sprint into the living room shouting "GO PENGUINS!"  There was also the famous "Thank you God Daddy, thank you God Mr. Travis, thank you God Go Penguins" prayer, after which the Pens won 4 of the last 5 games against Detroit to win the Cup)  A couple weeks ago, however, the Pens were playing their arch-rival, the evil Washington Capitals.  And after I said, "Go Penguins" once, Robbie countered with "Go Capitals!" and a big  mischievous grin on his face. And he wanted reaction, so I gave him one.  "What?"  I asked.  "Why would you say Go Capitals?  We like the Penguins!"  "I like the Capitals!" he laughed, and he spent the rest of the afternoon randomly spouting "Go Capitals!"

Playful antagonism just to get a response?  Surely not from my child...

Anyway, last night the Pens and Caps were on TV again. When I turned the game on, Robbie asked what I was watching.  I told him I was watching the Penguins.  He asked if the Capitals were playing. (He's asked this every game since he first became a Caps fan)  I told him they were, and his face lit up.  "GO CAPITALS!" he shouted.  "Now you say, 'Oh, man! Why do you say go Capitals?'"  He had this all figured out.  So, I played my part.  "Oh, man," I said, "Why do you say, 'Go, Capitals!'"  And he just cackled and said "GO CAPITALS!" again.

Now, I realize Robbie has no real allegiance when it comes to sports teams at this point, though he likes any team that starts with Houston and his favorite hockey player is the Aeros' Robbie Earl, so I wasn't really upset. I knew his Go Caps' were only because he thought it was a fun game.  Still, you've got to curb rebellion early, before you get to the "Stone the Rebellious Child" stage from the Torah.  So, as I stabbed a bite of pork chop with my fork, I said nonchalantly, "You know, Robbie, I think that only Penguins fans are going to get to have dessert in this house."

From the bedroom, I hear Kim's amused voice: "That's not nice, Daddy!"

I shrugged and called back.  "Hey, that's just the way it works.  I don't make the rules."

Her voice again: "Yes, you do!"

And then, Robbie calling back to her: "No he doesn't Mommy!  It's just the way it is!"  A brief moment passes, and then he exclaims, "GO PENGUINS!"

Just like that, we're all one big happy family once again ;-)


Side note: Former Aero (briefly) Jared Spurgeon got his first NHL goal tonight.  While it's not as memorable as Stoner's, it's still worth a stick tap.  Great story, this kid.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

v2, d286: Isaac

What, really, can you say about a day like yesterday?

Yeah, that'll sum it up pretty well.

We actually went in Friday night after a couple versions of the conversation from the "It's Not a Movie"  post.  Kim actually didn't really want to go in, because she was pretty sure they were just going to tell her to go home after keeping her overnight.  Which is almost what happened, actually, but Kim was able to explain her reasons for not wanting to go home with enough clarity that the doctor decided to go ahead and break her water late Saturday  morning.  After that, it happened pretty fast.  I think they broke the water at around 10:40 a.m.  Isaac was born at 1:15 p.m.  At one point, Kim mentioned the contractions were starting to hurt and requested her epidural (Wikipedia for the curious, but basically it pumps anesthesia into her spine).  Around 11:30ish I had to leave for a while, because they want as few people as possible in the room when the anesthesiologist performs the procedure, since poking around people's spines is a fairly delicate operation.  So I went downstairs to grab some lunch from the cafeteria, and when I (and, incidentally, Kim's nurse) got back from lunch, they were calling the doctor.  Half hour/forty-five minutes of pushing later, we had a baby boy.

It's a heck of a thing, watching a baby be born.  I'm pretty sure that I was focusing more on Kim last time, but this time I watched Isaac pretty much the whole way.  Heck of a thing.  Way more of an impact that watching the births on the pre-childbirth classes at the hospital.  Really, the whole process is pretty mind-blowing when you're face-to-face with it. 

"Birth: Quite Possibly the Damndest Thing Conceivable" 

You like?  You buy?

Afterward, the observing student nurse (who actually missed the entire delivery; I don't know if she was on lunch or not, but she got there just in time for the cutting of the cord) took the camera from me so we could get some full family shots.  She did a pretty nice job, given the low quality of our camera.

A big thanks to Sarah, Neil, Shirley, and Dave, all of whom helped to make this weekend work.  And everyone at Woman's Hospital of Texas, of course, though none of them read this blog.  And everybody who prayed and supported us over the past three months.  Kim hit 37 weeks at midnight Friday/Saturday (which is why the doc was okay inducing labor), and we had a perfectly healthy baby boy.  Healthier even than Robbie was, because they didn't have to take Isaac out for any oxygen at all.  (Robbie needed a few short minutes of oxygen when he was born)  Isaac was seven pounds, two ounces.  Which Kim called. When the doctor asked how big she thought the baby would be, she called seven pounds two ounces.  And there it was.  On the dot. Not even a tenth of an ounce off.  He was also nineteen-point-five inches.  So he was a pretty good size for a 37-week baby. 

Robbie was SO EXCITED to see his baby brother for the first time.  I put Isaac down in front of Robbie on the bed, and the three-year-old's face slowly lit up.  He patted him a couple of times, and I helped him hold his baby brother.

Kim is doing well (though she just called me unable to sleep because Isaac won't let her lay him down, so she's having a rough night).  She's having less pain than she had after Robbie, which is nice. Tomorrow, she and Isaac will be coming home.  I'll be taking my paternity leave this week, so hopefully I'll be more help than annoyance.  Now the real sleepless nights begin.  (Unfortunately, more for her than for me)   Soon we'll have to figure out how we're going to do four people with one car, and soon we'll have to find out how we're going to pay for two kids in day care.  Very soon, this'll get very hard, and we won't have nearly as many visitors in the early-going as we had with Robbie.  We'll appreciate your prayers.  And if blogging gets sporadic again, it's 'cause I've got diapers to change. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

v2, d285: 2/19/11

...Then again, maybe it does.

Happy birthday, Isaac!

Friday, February 18, 2011

v2, d284: It's Not a Movie

In the movies, the woman says, "My water just broke," and the husband hurries around frantically trying to get everything ready to go to the hospital, and the woman is shrieking in pain the whole way there, and they have to wheel her to the delivery room on a gurney. 

In commercials, a woman walks in the room with her hand on her belly and smiles at her husband, whose eyes grow wide with understanding, and he grabs an already-packed bag and they go out the door.  (Or, depending on the commercial, he smiles and posts something on Facebook)

On TV, the husband is probably drinking beer and watching a football game, and they have a humorous discussion about whether or not the baby can wait until after the Big Game before coming. 

Never once do you see this scene:

WIFE: Darling, my contractions have started picking up in frequency, but they don't feel very strong.
HUSBAND: What do you want to do?
WIFE: I'll lie here and see if they go away.  Check on me in an hour.
(an hour later)
HUSBAND: How are you feeling?
WIFE: Okay.  The contractions haven't stopped.  I'll start timing them and see if there's a pattern for the  next hour.
(an hour later)
WIFE: There's not really a pattern, but they're pretty frequent, and a few of them are fairly strong.  I'm not experiencing any pain, though, so going into the hospital at this time is probably not our best course of action.
HUSBAND: Do you need me to do anything?
WIFE: Not that I can think of.  I'll just keep an eye on things and do some Sudoku. 

You just never see this movie.

(No, this post does not mean that we are headed to the hospital this evening)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

v2, d283: "When no one understands you, or the little things you do..."

Today was sort of a rough day, because I kept failing to help people, which always bums me out.  There were a lot of people having bad days today, and any time I tried to step in and make someone feel better...I dunno, it just didn't click today.  It's like playing a ball game where all your shots hook left for some reason.  Or like you're Superman, and you see a piano's falling on somebody, so you swoop down and catch the piano only to discover there was a motorcycle inside the piano, and the motorcycle falls out and lands on the person.  You can't help but feel a little embarrassed and disappointed.  Even if it wasn't your fault, because really, how are you supposed to know there's a motor cycle in the piano?  Wait, I guess if you're Superman, you have X-ray vision.  So maybe not Superman.  Maybe Green Lantern or something.  Whatever.

Point is, today was a rough day for a lot of my friends, and I always hate to see people I love having bad days. 

Anyway, here's the new Thor trailer, if you haven't seen it yet.

Also,youtube fail/youtube win:

I decided to look for a snappy way to say there was a lot of snapping going on at work today--and not cool snapping, either, but heads-being-bitten-off snapping.  And I knew exactly what link I wanted for "heads-being-bitten-off," too: Handy the puppet from the classic The Tick episode The Tick vs. Arthur's Bank Account telling his human friend The Human Ton to "DON'T JUST STAND THERE, EAT HIS HEAD!"  followed by the Ton grumbling "OKAY" and chomping down on The Tick's cranium.  "See?" Handy cries, "He's eating your head, and I can still speak!  He's eating, I'm speaking!  He's eating, I'm speaking!  HOW DO WE DO IT?"  And of course, "The Tick EAT HIS HEAD"  yielded nothing useful. 

I did, however, find this when I did a general search for "head bitten off."    Doesn't get much more straightforward than that, I suppose.

Here, by the way, is the Tick episode in question.  It is a classic, and as close to "Required Viewing" as we get here at FOMW.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

v2, d282: Aw, man!

I spent, like, an hour on a post and then, as the end was in sight, decided I didn't like the idea any more.  I could have been sleeping with that hour. 

Aw, man!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

v2, d281: Circa 1997

Hello, rockers.

Monday, February 14, 2011

v2, d280: Om nom nom nom

What's sad about Robbie's day care is that his classmates' parents rarely bring candy or birthday treats that he can eat due to his corn allergy.  So when they have parties (like, say, a Valentines Day party) and everybody brings treats for one another, we have to spend five or ten minutes that evening separating the snacks he can eat from the ones he can't eat (about each of which he says, "That one is for Daddy).  The funny thing is, he seems to have grown used to this arrangement and he never complains.  He's just happy with what few snacks he does get and enjoys the party and the sharing of treats with his friends.  (And I feel a stab of self-reflection on the many V-Days I spent a sulky emo mess because I didn't have a particular girl, or any girl if I wasn't being picky that year)  So, now I'm eating many varieties of gummy candy.  High in high fructose corn syrup.  Om nom nom nom...

This morning, Kim and I exchanged our Happy Valentines Day messages and confessed we hadn't really done anything for each other.  Usually, she gets me a card and I get her a dozen roses or something similar.  But we didn't have time, and she can't really even leave the house, and how are we going to pay for this new baby anyway?  So we reaffirmed that we don't need gifts to express our love, and the circumstances aren't the best for frivolity right now anyway, and I went to take Robbie to school, go to work, and head to the doctor. 

As I was in Walgreen's to pick up my prescriptions, I decided I was going to pick up small inexpensive somethings for my two valentines.  Kim's gift was almost pathetically insignificant compared to any V-Day gift I've bought her in years past, but I went ahead and got her a single red rose anyway because A) it would be a surprise, and B) I knew she would like it.  I also got Robbie a Valentines balloon for pretty much the same reasons.  And I got really excited, not because of the reactions I knew I'd get (though those were pretty righteous) but because I knew the gifts were going to make my family happy.

This got me to realizing how wrong I've got Valentines Day my entire life.  When I was a kid, I loved it for me.  I got lots of cards with cartoon characters on it and, when lucky, a Life Savers lollipop.  When I was an emoteen, it was still all about me--or rather, about what I didn't have, and how bad it made me feel, and how justified I was in my angst.  In my few Single Awareness Day celebrations, it was still making a big deal out of me.  And then, obviously, when I met Kim, I started to make this day all about her, which is pretty reasonable given the day's usual emphasis on romance. 

Valentines Day isn't about who is single and who is married.  It's about love.  And love is the greatest gift God has given us.  It's the truest reflection of His person in our lives.  Every relationship forged in love becomes (or can/should become) a window into God's heart toward us, whether it be brother to brother, father to son, lover to lover, or friend to friend.  John tells us that "everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  The who does not love does not know God, for God is love."  God gave us the capacity to love because without it, what on this earth would be worth fighting/dying/living for?  Love is what calls us to hope in the first place.  Love is God's link to our souls, reminding us that we are part of something else, something bigger, something greater. 

The more I learn of God, the more I realize that even the things that seem like they should be about me are really not about me.  My stories are not about me, they are God's way of relating to me, allowing me just a hint of His creative heart from which all great stories are told.  My family isn't about me, it's God showing the depths of His love through provision and revelation in ways deeper than I'd ever imagined.  Not even my constant shortfalls are about me; they're His reminder that His grace is consistently sufficient for me. 

Look, I'm not clueless.  I know Valentines Day is, in fact, supposed to be all about spending time with that Special Someone and spending money on cards, candies, flowers, and what have you.  I'm not Linus on stage with my blanket, telling the world that we've all forgotten what Valentines Day is all about.  I'm just saying that God is challenging me to wrestle with everything these days, and today's realization is that often I have lost sight of the true blessing because I'm upset by the perceived slight of something I want.  That's not just me talking about romance, folks, though obviously that was the example that sprang to mind today.  (Another good example: I have a place to live, but who cares because what I really want is a house with a yard for my kids to play in.  I have some awesome friends, but it still sucks because my schedule rarely lets me out to see them.  Et cetera) 

Okay, time to wrap up this rambling.  If you're reading this, you're probably someone I love.  So I want you to know that I am truly thankful for you.  I apologize that I'm not always properly grateful for your friendship, your support, your prayers, your everything that makes me love you.  But if nobody else said it to you on this Valentines Day, more than anything else I just want you to know that you're loved. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

v2, d279: Gotta run now, gotta run gotta run now, so spryly, gotta climb gotta climb now, up so highly!

...gonna get gonna get you, Dr. Wily, I am Mega Man, here's my mega-plan, you die!

 Decided to replay Mega Man 2 tonight.  Why?  Dunno.  It suddenly struck my fancy, and I haven't really done anything impulsively lately, because my life hasn't allowed for it.  So I suppose this was my (very) small way of fighting back against fate, or whatever.  Some men challenge Olympus, I settle for mowing through Crash Man and company. 

I remembered this game being a lot harder.  Even the last time I played through it.  I pretty much mowed through the eight robot master levels.  And I didn't remember the keys to beating most of them when I started out.  The first Mega Man game was fairly straightforward.  Fire is good against ice, ice is good against electricity, electricity fries bombs, bombs blow up the big rocky guy, and what's left takes out the guy with scissors on his head.  You could put that together without much trouble.  This time around?  Trickier.  I mean, okay, the metal slicing blades will pretty much rip through the robot that in inexplicably made of wood.  After that?  Leaves beat tornado?  Tornado beats crash bombs?  Bubbles beat heat?  Boomerangs beat...beat...okay, I'm still not sure what the boomerangs are for. 

If you're wondering what set this off, it was this video

Saturday, February 12, 2011

v2, d278: A Quick Request

Hi reader.

I'm going to ask for prayer that I'll get well quickly.  I've been sick for a couple weeks now and I know the only real cure for this kind of achy stuffy congested draining whatever is sleep.  However, I just can't.  Not while getting Robbie to bed and doing the chores around the house and working both jobs.  There just aren't enough hours in the day to take care of everything and get rest, too.  Trust me, I am resting as often as I get a chance, and if I were healthy it might be enough, but since I'm not, well, nothing's really getting any better. So I'm asking for prayer for supernatural healing, since it appears highly unlikely that "natural" healing is going to find time to occur. 

All right? All right!  Goodnight!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

v2, d277: A Post that Started Out Being Random Tidbits and Ended Up Being a Reflection on a Nice Night at Home

This 'n that.

Watched Despicable Me tonight finally with my lovely wife.  Has been the first time we've been able to sit down and watch a movie together in a very long time.  It was enjoyable, as was the flick.

Was the first man in after a Dudernoise sent out the alarm that the costume shop had flooded.  Helped move stuff, threw some towels on the ground.  Towels didn't help a whole lot, but at least we got a walkway to the washer that wasn't half an inch of standing water.  Added some spice of variety to my Thursday afternoon.

No baby today, obviously. 

Had a really nice night at home tonight.  Decided to pick up some fries for Robbie's after school snack as a nice surprise.  Wasn't feeling too hot (and my entire body is achy lately), but managed enough energy to play with cars for a little bit with Robbie until I got my second (or fourth) wind.  Made the bed (with Robbie's help).  Then, heated up some leftover pizza & cheesesticks (with green beans, of course!) and set to doing some dishes and laundry.  Robbie saw me doing dishes and wanted to help.  His way of "helping" consists of my filling his sink with rinse water and his using each spoon or cup as an excavator dropping water into a larger cup or bowl while I wash and rinse dishes.  When I drop something in his sink to be rinsed that looks like it'll make a better excavator or dump truck than the one he's currently using, he gives me the one in his hands to dry off.  Then, off to the usual sock puppet/cuddle time/brush teeth/story and bedtime routine.  He didn't even ask to turn on the TV once. 

I'm very grateful God gave me enough energy and relief from headaches to enjoy tonight.  It's a struggle pulling myself out of bed each morning just due to the tiredness and the headcold-like symptoms that won't go away until I get a bit more rest. 

Bleh.  Who needs rest when you've got DayQuil, right? 

(I think I'm down to my last DayQuil, though)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

v2, d276: Not Every Adventure has a Dragon at the End...

...though this one actually does, sorta.

Last night, my good friend and frequent FOMW commenter Dave-O dropped by for dinner with my family and a night of hanging out and comparing notes on the gigantor stack of books, movies, and PS2 games that I'd borrowed from him that I've recently plowed my way through. 

Yeah, that didn't happen.

We managed to get a conversation started when Kim and I's latest Adventure in Bringing Another Child Into The World (ABACITW, pronounced "a-buh-SIT-wuh") began in earnest. Kim had been having contractions fairly frequently recently, but last night they started happening a lot.  And they were getting stronger. These weren't those "sorta" contractions, these were Capital C Contractions.  After keeping track of them for about an hour, Kim called the doctor while Dave, Robbie, and I ate supper.  (It was good)  Then Kim called me (literally, on the phone from the bedroom, because I had told her not to bother getting up) and said she'd called the doctor, and it was possible we were going to need to go in to the hospital. 

Dave, a man full of wisdom and kindness and blessed by God with an extra helping of Awesome, realized before I said it that Guys' Night was over. No, not over.  Recast. He and I would not be hanging out.  He and Robbie would be hanging out while I took my wife to the hospital.  (He stuck around, watched If I Were a Digger, and even did the whole sock puppets and story routine, none of which the guy had signed up for)  I made another few calls to get everything covered--Leah to sleep over in case Robbie woke up in the middle of the night while we were at the hospital, Hannah (who shall hereby be nicknamed "The Bacon-Saver" for the number of times she's saved my bacon this year.  "The Bacon Savor-er" would also be appropriate) to cover my shift at The Hobbit this morning, and a few other odds and ends that needed covering.  At this point, we didn't know if we were having this baby yet or not, so I didn't start calling around or sending out texts until I had more definite information.

Weeeeelll, by the time we went to sleep (around midnight), they still weren't sure whether we were going to have the baby or not.  (Side note: Thanks to Mr. Hatcher for texting me the Pens score.  Not your fault you were the bearer of bad news)  The Contractions had certainly intensified and were coming every three minutes, and they were getting stronger. It appeared as if Kim had started on a labor cycle, so they wanted to keep watching until the next morning. 

Morning came, and I had to leave Kim to wait for the doctor while I went home to take Robbie to school.  By this point, Sarah had come over so Leah could get ready for work.  (Turns out, it does take a village.  Go figure)  After I took Robbie to school, Kim called to recommend I go home and get some sleep and take a shower, because I hadn't had time to shower since Sunday night.  In fact, I'd slept in my Tuesday clothes at the hospital.  The doctors weren't going to rule one way or another until about lunch time.  By this time, I realized I had time to get to work for The Hobbit and, since I couldn't be useful until noon anyway, I went and did the show.  Afterward, I got some lunch when Kim called me back. She said the contractions had all but stopped and, while her body had started labor, it had stopped pretty early in the process, so the doc was sending her home. 

Then we came home, and then I got a brief nap, and then I brought Robbie home from school before the roads could freeze.  (Turns out, most of them dried before it froze, which is good) 

So.  Busy 24 hours.  Lots of waiting and seeing and not really knowing what was going on.  Doctor would like for us to wait until we get to 37 weeks before baby is born (we're at 34 and 5 days now), but she also noted that she's on call this weekend at the hospital, so maybe we'll see her then. 

I'm beat.  I'm going to take a shower, do some laundry and dishes, and then hopefully get to sleep before midnight so I can get to work in time for early(ish) call tomorrow. 

(Want more pics from The HobbitClick here)

Monday, February 7, 2011

v2, d275: 4.5

Robbie went down early tonight. By 8:00 p.m. he was already in bed. He was actually telling me he was a little bit sleepy when we got home from school.  This is partly because of the Super Bowl and partly because he didn't take his nap this afternoon. 

Then, shortly after he was asleep, I was asleep.  At about 8:10 I suddenly got up, went into the bedroom, and crashed hard.  It was glorious.

Now it's 1:12 and I'm awake away.  Why, you ask?  Well for one thing, I was hungry.  For another, my body is now used to getting four and half hours of sleep per night, so when 12:30 rolled around it was time to get up.  Which is just as well, I suppose, since I had some dishes that needed done. 

I did, however, have a dream about going back to college with wife and son in tow and being asked to play goalie for the soccer team. What can I say?  I guess Soccer Practice has been on my mind a lot lately...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

v2, d274: "I just want it to be a good game."

That's generally what I say before the Super Bowl.  Because let's face it, the teams I care about never get there.  I have actually liked both the Packers and the Steelers the last few seasons, but I was leaning slightly toward the Pack a) for sentimental reasons, and b) because I have more Packer fan friends than Steeler fan friends. (Facebook responses before and after the game confirmed this)  And we usually get a pretty good game.  It seemed for quite a while when I was younger the Super Bowl was always a blowout, and around the 2000s that has completely reversed.  Tonight's game was good, though I wasn't paying as full of attention as I usually do because of watching/playing with Robbie throughout the night.  Last year, we went to see some friends and coworkers and had a great time at their Super Bowl party.  The men hung out in the room with the big TV while the women hung out with the children in the front room (which had a smaller TV).  Everybody had a great time.  We had an invite to the same party, but Kim didn't feel like sitting in a car for 40 minutes at this stage of the pregnancy (I don't blame her) and I didn't want to leave her here alone when, really, the baby could come at pretty much any time (I don't blame me, either). 

Now, in the past, I've always been pretty bummed out when I haven't had a Super Bowl party to go to.  The only time since we've moved to Houston that it has happened was that fantastic Pats/Giants game.  I was pretty miserable watching it alone, and then I hurt my back somehow.  But man, what a finish! 

Anyway, I talked to Kim about making tonight a party for the three of us.  I knew Robbie would be happier with a special occasion since the church didn't have AWANA tonight, either. (He's always really bummed when there's no Sunday church)  So we told Robbie we'd have a football party after his nap, and while he (and I) took an afternoon rest, Kim made some no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies.  Then we ordered some Papa John's pizza and cheesesticks (possibly Robbie's favorite food) for dinner and set out bowls with our other favorite finger-food snacks. Fortunately, he's at the age when he'll still eat carrot sticks and broccoli even when there are potato chips and goldfish on the table.  Also fortunately, I'm once again to the age where I'll eat carrot sticks and broccoli even when there are potato chips and goldfish on the table.

We had an enjoyable evening at home.  Kim cut my hair at one point in the evening and talked on the phone with her mother and her sister while Robbie and I played with trucks and diggers while the game was on TV.  And Fox managed not to air too many commercials that would force me to change channels.  Which is good, because the Puppy Bowl is just getting bizarre these days. 

So Operation Impromptu Super Bowl Party for Three, while possessing an unfortunately long title, was ultimately a success.  Here's hoping we can get Robbie up and out of bed in time to head to school tomorrow morning after letting him stay up until the end of the football game. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

v2, d273: You will get mad. You may get furious.

This is actually pretty fun.

Most of my readers are familiar with For those of you who aren't: RT is basically a site that collects just about every review they can grab for every movie that comes out.  You can then search for the movie you're interested in and RT will post snippets from each of the reviews.  They also divide the reviews into favorable and unfavorable or, in this case, "fresh" and "rotten."  Hence the name.  There's a Tomatometer at the top of each movie's page indicating what percentage of the reviews collected were considered "fresh."  They also have a staff that gathers news and gossip and write features and what not, but really it's all about the Tomatometer. 

Yesterday, I came across their ranking of "all fifty" Disney animated movies.  (Why the quotations marks?  Because I noticed neither the Duck Tales movie nor A Goofy Movie were on the list, so I'm sure there had to have been another omission or two along the way)  Everything from Snow White to Tangled is tallied and Tomato-fied.  I'm gonna link to the list in just a minute, but first a disclaimer:

First, it's a really fun list to look at.  It's like taking a scenic tour of your childhood.  "I remember that movie.  I liked that movie!  I'd forgotten about that movie!"  You sort of realize how much emotionally you still have invested in some of these classics.  And there are a lot of really solid films on this list.  Unfortunately, that emotional attachment for your childhood that makes the list fun also makes it a bit maddening.  "How in the world is this behind that?"  "This movie has no place in the top twenty!"  "I hate movie critics!"  Et cetera. 

So a few things to keep in mind:

1) It's not ranking the movies from worst to best, nor even from least to most successful (box office-wise); it's just telling you which were most favorably reviewed by critics.

2) That said, it's not even really that.  It's a numerical tabulation based on general impressions of specific film critics.  If a review ultimately says, "Well, it's nothing special, but it was pretty entertaining anyway," that could be considered either a positive or negative review by RT.  I've seen it go both ways.  So a 91% rating on the Tomatometer could hypothetically just mean 91% of reviewers thought it was slightly better than average, whereas slightly fewer critics (say, 88% or so) who were crazy about another movie would put it a step below on the list. 

3) That said, it's a passable way to rate critic response, just not a perfect one.  So try not to take minor discrepancies personally. ;-)

4) Remember that you're comparing 1950s critics with 2010's critics.  So again, it's not a terribly scientific comparison.  When Snow White came out, people were so blown away with the fact that it existed at all that they probably would have raved about it no matter what.  They would probably have even thought Shrek the Third was a triumph.  (Man, imagine what would have happened if you'd shown those people Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)  Sure, a lot of critics gave this movie or that movie a good (or bad) review, but why?  Animation?  Music?  Story?  They were paid off by Don Bluth?

5) HOWEVER...I'm gonna admit one of my favorite things about this list was how easy it was to get riled up about it.  Because we all have our favorites.  And we all have one or two that we hate and feel offended that anybody ever liked. And they're all here (unless Duck Tales or A Goofy Movie are your favorite Disney movies).  Overall, I'm pretty happy.  Most of mine made a decent showing.  Some clearly needed to be knocked down a peg or ten, and I personally don't know what Robin Hood did to make so many critics hate it.  But hey, this is what it is, so go check it out and remember hours and hours in a  movie theater seat with parents, friends, friends' parents, or whoever you always dragged with you to watch a two-hour cartoon. 

And feel free to come back here and gripe about it in the comments. We'll have a grand old time!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

v2, d272: Much Ado....

...about nothing, it turns out. 

The whole town seemed pretty hopped up for some snow action.  We'd gone from twenty percent chance of wintry mix on Friday (this was last Monday) to sixty percent chance of snow Thursday night (this was Thursday night), and while Tarvis claims to have seen a few flurries, I kept checking out that window until after midnight and saw nothing. Instead, all of the roads in town became coated with that slick "black ice" overnight sometime between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.  And since the temperature stayed well below freezing until after sunrise, the roads were slick and dangerous all early-morning-long.  (I believe I read that there were 100 confirmed wrecked between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.)  The city therefore requested that anybody who did not have to get on the road today stay home, because they were sick of cleaning up crashed cars or something. 

Now, yesterday afternoon, all of Houston's schools and many churches already decided they were going to shut down today.  And I do understand that, because the thing with this city is that so many people are coming from suburbs and on highways, and highways are always the last roads to thaw after overnight icings, and people coming from further away have to leave earlier, so the people in the most danger would be leaving at the most dangerous times, and it's just a good idea to call the whole thing off with a nice rambling run-on sentence. 


I left for work at about 8:45 this morning.  I was prepared to turn back if things looked as bad as the TV said they were.  Fortunately, I take no highways to work, and I could tell everything in our parking area had already melted.  There wasn't any ice left on the sidewalks or the pavement, so I was pretty confident about heading down Westheimer. Got to work (drove a little extra carefully, just in case) and received an email and a facebook message about fifteen to twenty-five minutes later saying not to bother coming in.  This was 9:30.  The work day technically starts at 9, though anybody involved in the previous evening's rehearsals isn't required in until 10.  Though often people show up whenever they want to anyway.  This marvel of efficient communication and timing is brought to you by the fact that we're not very good at making Official Decisions.  But I was already there, and I had things to do, and so I didn't mind having a quiet morning around the office building. (The costume ladies were also there, and I dropped off some stuff at the other building and saw the shop crew and a box office person hard at work, too, so it wasn't creepy and silent like Omega Man or anything)

I believe, at this point, the highways were actually still closed, so several folks couldn't have made it in if they'd wanted anyway.

Eventually, the city started to realize around lunchtime that no, we weren't all going to die, so things started to pick up again, and by the time I went home it was like a normal non-school day around Houston.  Most everybody ended up coming in to work around one or two o'clock.  A lot of people were ticked that we didn't actually get any snow.  I was kind of disappointed.  Robbie was really disappointed.  In fact, I awoke this morning to a sniffly silhouette of a three-year-old standing in the doorway of my dark room, lamenting "It didn't snow, Daddy..."  It was kinda heartbreaking.  I asked if he needed to climb into bed to cuddle until he felt better. He did.  I got a little extra sleep. 

I think some of the panic likely came from the fact that we've been getting weather reports from around the country all week long of SNOWPOCALYPSE and HISTORIC BLIZZARD OF 2011, and while nobody really expected that to happen here I'm pretty sure it still held some subconscious effect on the way some folks responded.  After all, a blizzard so intense it drops snow from New England to freaking Houston?  Big deal!  Same principal explains why the city literally gridlocked itself trying to run from Hurricane Rita a month after Katrina left thousands of refugees on our doorsteps.  People get spooked. 


Oh, addendum to the other night's Goalie Fight post.  The losing goalie in that bout, one Rick DiPietro, has had the worst luck with injuries these past few years.  Which really sucks, because he's under contract for--not exaggerating--another TEN YEARS!  He's one-third of the way through an epic 15-year deal.  And the past two seasons, he was healthy for a grand total of 13 games.  This year, I believe he's already been to the injured list three times, though he has managed to play in just under half of his team's contests.  (Twenty-one games, I believe.  Or something close to it) 

Well, it was revealed today that, not only did Brent Johnson's one punch break the guy's orbital bone, but he also twisted his knee as he fell to the ice.  Some guys can't catch a break.

Or can't not catch a break, as the case may be. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

v2, d271: More Robbie

Have I mentioned that Robbie and I play sock puppets before bed every night?  Well, Robbie and I play suck puppets before bed every night.  What follows is an abbreviated version of a conversation between our sock puppets two nights ago.


R: Let's go to the grocery store!
W: Okay.
R: I got a pickle!
W: Nomnomnomnom!
R: (instantly pouty)...I wanted to eat that pickle.
W: I already ate it.
R: ....but I wanted it.
W: It's all gone, I ate it.
R: But I wanted it.
W: You'll have to eat another one, I ate that one.
R: But I wanted that one.
W: I didn't know you wanted that one, so I ate it.
R: But I want it.
W: I'm sorry, but you can't have it now.  It's all gone.  Do you want to get another pickle?
R: I don't want another one (pointing directly into my sock puppet's mouth) I want that one.
W: I'm very sorry.  If I had known you wanted that one I wouldn't have eaten it.  But I did, and it's all gone.  Can I buy you a new pickle.
R: No...
W: Do you want a better pickle?  Let's get you an even better one.
R: I don't want a better one.  (pointing in my sock puppet's mouth again) I want that one.
W: But they have lots of better pickles.
R: No...
W: (not as a sock puppet briefly) Robbie, it's just a pretend pickle.  It's not a real pickle.  It's okay.
R: But I wanted (pointing again) that pickle.  I don't want another one.
W: (a sock puppet again) I'm very sorry you can't have that one.  Can I buy you two better pickles?
R: No I want that one.
W: But I ate it!  It's all gone!  I can't get it back.
R: But I want it...
W: Okay, fine.  (Goes to the pre-established counter where we get "things" from, returns) Here.
R: I don't want that one.
W:Yes you do.  It's the one that you want.
R: (somewhat doubtfully, somewhat hopefully) Is it (points) that one?
W: Yes.
R: It's that one! Omnomnomnomnom!  Mmmm, yummy! (suddenly happy again) Yaaaay!  Good pickle! 
W: Okay, good.
R: I want another one.
W: What???
R: Let's get another pickle!
W: You just said you didn't want the other pickles!
R: Yes I do want another pickle!
W: I said I'd buy you another pickle, and you said you didn't want the other pickles!
R: I did want them!
W: You said they were yucky!
R: (laughing) No, you buy them for me!
W: I will not buy you a pickle!  You said you didn't want one!
R: Yes, but one for me!
W: Ahhhh!  I'm going back to the helicopter!


Yeah.  We play sock puppets every night before bed. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

v2, d270: HD521-2W

I hate the Compy. But I just can't get a new one in the foreseeable future.  If I were to suddenly fall into a world of cash, my first priority would be to set it aside for day care tuition for an infant. Second would be a second car.  New Compy is a little way down the road yet.

So, we'll have a contest.  If any of you lovely people know of a practical solution to the error message listed above, drop me a line.  A quick glance through The Internet seems to suggest that my only options involve losing everything we've got on the Compy.  Stories, baby pictures, everything.  It seems there oughtta be a solution that doesn't involve losing everything and costs less than $200.  Then again, I know full well that things aren't always what I think they oughtta be. 

Oh, and for the contest...whoever gets me the best solution here will win a...thing....of some sort.  Possibly autographed. By me, though, so not anything terribly valuable. 

However, let's not end this post on a downer, all righty? 

Tonight.  Pens vs. Isles. Penguins have a 3-0 lead with less than a minute to go in the third when frustrated (and almost comically-oft-injured) Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro decides to make a statement that no, these New York Islanders will not be pushed around. 

Pittsburgh backup goalie Brent Johnson skates all the way the length of the ice to say, "I heartily disagree, good sir!" and we have ourselves a goalie fight. 

Sort of.

Between this and MAF's victory "strut" in Montreal, I think it's safe to say that there is some serious attitude between the pipes in Pittsburgh this year. Yikes!   Hey, can USA Hockey officially disown Rick DiPietro now?  (One punch!   One punch!

By the way, Johnson lost the shutout, because he and DiPietro were both ejected for leaving their creases to fight.  Since he didn't play the final 15 seconds of the game, Johnson didn't hold the Isles scoreless for a full sixty minutes, thus no shutout. 

Not that it matters ;-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

v2, d269: Robbie says...

*Robbie running back and forth from the hallway to the living room*
K: I think Robbie might be getting a little bit tired.
R: *stopping suddenly, looking sullen* No I am not.
W: Yeah, I think you're starting to get a little worn out, bud.
R: I am not out of worn! 
*some parental chuckles*
R: I am not out of worn! 


*as we are leaving day care one day*
R: Kristen is my girlfriend.
W: What?
R: Kristen is my friend.
W: Oh.  Okay. 
R: I kissed my friend.


*After last night's Harry and Scary story introduced the Knock Knock Joke, it became the funniest thing in the world.  In fact, his first two words this morning were "Knock knock!"*
(G=Mema Glenda)
R: Knock knock!
G: Who's there?
R: Banana!
G: Banana who?
R: Knock knock!
G: Who's there?
R: Banana!
G: Banana who?
R: Knock knock!
G: Who's there?
R: Orange!
G: Orange who?
R: Knock knock!
G: Who's there?
R: Orange! *cackle* Knock knock!
G: Who's there?
R: Orange! *cackle* Knock knock!
G: Who's there?
R: Or-- *uncontrollable laughter* Or--*more laughter*
K: That's the joke, Mema, there's an orange knocking at your door!  Isn't that funny?
R: ORANGE! *laughs*


W: Knock knock.
R: Who's there?
W: Boo.
*confused silence*
W: You're supposed to say, "Boo who?"
R: Boo who?
W: Don't cry, it's only a joke!
R: (offended) I was not crying, Daddy.


R: Are you a girl, Mommy?
K: Yes, Mommy is a girl.
R: And I am a boy?
K: That's right.
R: And Daddy is a boy?
K: Yes.
R: And Baby Brother is a boy?
K: Yes.
R: That's a LOT of boys!!!
K: Yes, yes it is...


R: Daddy, say Gee-yi!
W: Gee-yi.
R: Why did you say gee-yi, Daddy?
W: Because you told me to!
R: Why did I tell you to say that?
W: I don't know! 
R: Why you don't know?