Friday 27th August 2010

dad-voice practice

the timing of this entry is fitting, given the topic of my last.

anyway. you GUYS, have you heard the news? of course you have, because it was such a shock to everyone that they couldn't talk about anything else for weeks. remember?

so. i'm a little stressed about the whole thing. big surprise, i know, but listen. the more we do in preparation for the little guy, the more we get thinking about all that's required to keep him alive and functioning (not to mention, to keep us alive and functioning), and i have to say that a couple times i've had to consciously pull myself back from the verge of a panic attack. i've heard the transition from living baby-free to having a baby described as passing through the event horizon of a black hole. (you may understand why i like this analogy.) when you're on the outside, there's no way of knowing what's going on inside, because there is no way allowed by the laws of physics for the information to reach you. you can speculate and hypothesize and extrapolate, but you really just have no idea. and as your lifeless spaceship hurtles inexorably down the gravity well and space-time is torn apart around you, you only then begin to understand.

it disturbs me how something so physically small can have such a huge set of needs. i thought we were this advanced, capable species with large brains, or something? apparently no? elephants can hold their heads up immediately. horses can run the day they're born. baby cthulhu was inducing madness in entire civilizations in his first star-cycle. what's wrong with us?

i find i'm having to change my mind about a lot of stuff, in addition to changing habits. i've done a disservice over the last few years in my joyful mockery of my friends' tribulations with their own children. i'll tell you where i'm coming from. first of all, they'll repay in kind, because they're awesome. secondly, as a result of my actions they'll surely never give us a minute of free babysitting. but most importantly, and seriously, i've made light of what is basically the grandest struggle there is—turning babies into people—in a way that has probably trivialized it in my own mind, or at least my subconscious. i certainly don't mean i think it is trivial, which it certainly is not and i don't mean to say that at all. i'm saying that within my mind i've reduced it to just a source of humor without ever appreciating it or even really trying to appreciate what the experience meant to them. and i'm not sure how to feel about this, because they were living their lives just as i was, we were just at different stages in our respective lives. their lives involved the raising of a child. mine involved acting out my chosen social role, viz. making fun of that. but as i face the bizarre prospect of imminently having a son of my own, i'm seeing it a bit differently. as you might imagine.

you guys, my son is going to be a challenge. he's going to be a stubborn, slippery little trickster, and worst of all, he's going to be really damned intelligent. he will of course be quietly cerebral, and when for this reason he goes hours or days without willingly talking to us we will panic and feel like he's shutting us out of his life. beginning the day he's born i'm going to begin filling his head with nonsense but before long he will figure out my game and realize just how full of shit i am, and from that day forward my wife will love him more than she loves me. he's going to have a sense of humor unintelligible to everyone except himself; in fact he will have vast worlds in his head to which no outsider will have access, robbing us of the ability to understand the greater part of him. he's going to be a prodigy with the ladies, so all the parents at the pta meetings will always be bitter toward me. chelsey will try to turn him into the quarterback for the denver broncos and because she's his favorite (and also just to spite me; ref. comment about being full of shit) he'll actually do it, and because he's so intelligent he'll be really good at it and become a superstar and move to bermuda or wherever and we'll never see him again except in signed pictures his publicist will send us at christmas.

so of course i'm stressed. the hell of it is, though, it's not altogether justified. sure, it will be work, hard work, and plenty of minimal-sleep nights and full diapers and colic and fevers and spit-up on my new shirt, but taking care of all that is just mechanics and actually pretty straightforward. later comes the frustrating part: the inevitable teenage rebellion crap when he'll think no one understands him and blah blah. but even that is basically predictable, and even a little boring—even amusing?—from the perspective of having gone through it myself. ('oh, you've become a nonconformist, how original.') it will seem to him as though the world and everything in it is unfair, and to him it will be for a while, but he'll survive it just as we all do and he'll get to experience the absurdity of the next generation at that age, thinking they're the first ones ever to feel angst.

so where does this leave me? who knows. i often say to my co-conspirator in this matter that i'm afraid, and i suppose i am in a way, though it's not truly fear that i'm feeling, mostly just unease. at the idea that soon, this powerless monster is going to invade and turn my life on its head and demand that i keep it alive, and inexplicably i will appease it. a dear friend of mine once said, 'the secret to parenting is to remember that your goal is to raise capable adults.' i imagine i'll be repeating that to myself rather often over the next twenty years, especially when it's my turn for the nighttime diaper shift.


posted by mAtt @ 19.07 (gmt+0000)
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Monday 28th December 2009

on the fifteenth day of guy-love

the world was on fire
no one could save me but you
strange what desire will make foolish people do
i never dreamed that i'd meet somebody like you
and i never dreamed that i'd lose somebody like you

no, i don't want to fall in love
no, i don't want to fall in love
with hoth
with hoth

what a wicked game you play
to make me feel this way
what a wicked thing to do
to let me dream of you
what a wicked thing to say
you never felt this way
what a wicked thing to do
to make me dream of you
and i don't wanna fall in love
and i don't wanna fall in love
with hoth

world was on fire
no one could save me but you
strange what desire will make foolish people do
i never dreamed that i'd love somebody like you
i never dreamed that i'd lose somebody like you

no i don't wanna fall in love
no i don't wanna fall in love
with hoth

nobody loves no one


posted by mAtt @ 23.01 (gmt+0000)
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Wednesday 23rd December 2009

the space between

okay, seriously. a lot of the time i complain that i have no idea what's going on, and most of the time it's hyperbole or for dramatic effect or whatever. usually.

lately though, i feel like there's this whole separate universe being played out around me and i'm utterly not a part of it. as though there's a club with a secret entrance code, a code which everyone knows except me, and i'm standing at the entrance struggling to understand why no one let me in on the secret.

tonight, as chelsey and i were discussing how to divvy up amongst my coworkers the cookies she had made, we discovered that there were not enough gift bags to hold all the groups of cookies we wanted to distribute. no big deal, right? we'll just put some of the cookies in nice simple plastic bags and hand them out that way, because it's christmas, and they're cookies, dig?

no. dear me, no. such a thing is not conscionably done.

you see, it's the small things that matter. the cookies need the gift bags. worthless without them. it's not the making of the cookies that matters, not the time it spent with mixing bowl or oven, it's the wrapping of the cookies that matters. it's not the words that you say, it's the tone of voice in which you say them. it's not the thing itself, it's the framing and the context and the gist of the thing. it's this parallel world of undercurrents and subterfuge and small all-important para-things that completely fails to resonate with me, to which i have absolutely no sensitivity.

this is why i fucking hate christmas. do you hear me? hate it hate it, with swear words for emphasis. it's not enough that i think well of you, or that i want nice things for you. it is expected that i spend time in thinking about something you secretly want, that i go out and get it for you, and that i wrap it up and put a bow on it, and turn what would be (at any other time of the year) a gesture of goodwill and potentially unexpected awesomeness into just another thing that is done for its own sake. we've turned what might have once been called the spirit of christmas into a fat lot of empty, expected gestures.

a bit unexpected, admittedly, coming from a guy who prides himself on being mindful of the little things.


posted by mAtt @ 22.04 (gmt+0000)
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Tuesday 15th December 2009

on the second day of guy-love

every night in my dreams
i see hoss
i feel hoss
that is how i know hoss goes on

far across the distance
and spaces between us
hoss has come to show hoss goes on

near, far, wherever hoss are
i believe that the heart does go on
once more hoss opens the door
and you're here in my heart
and my heart will go on and on

love can touch us one time
and last for a lifetime
and never go till we're gone

love was when i loved hoss
one true time i hold to
in my life we'll always go on

near, far, wherever hoss are
i believe that the heart does go on
once more hoss opens the door
and you're here in my heart
and my heart will go on and on

you're here, there's nothing i fear,
and i know that my heart will go on
we'll stay forever this way
hoss are safe in my heart
and my heart will go on and on


posted by mAtt @ 21.52 (gmt+0000)
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Monday 14th December 2009

on the first day of guy-love

probably exactly one person in the world will appreciate this, or my next [small integer] posts. but that's okay; in fact that's rather the point.

ahem.


she was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene
i said don't mind, but what do you mean i am the one
who will dance on the floor in the round
she said i am the one, who will dance on the floor in the round

she told me her name was hoss reinsteen, as she caused a scene
then every head turned with eyes that dreamed of being the one
who will dance on the floor in the round

people always told me be careful of what you do
and don't go around breaking young girls' hearts
and mother always told me be careful of who you love
and be careful of what you do 'cause the lie becomes the truth

hoss reinsteen is not my lover
she's just a girl who claims that i am the one
but the kid is not my son
she says i am the one, but the kid is not my son

for forty days and for forty nights
the law was on her side
but who can stand when she's in demand
her schemes and plans
'cause we danced on the floor in the round
so take my strong advice, just remember to always think twice

she told my baby we'd danced till three, then she looked at me
then showed a photo my baby cried his eyes were like mine
'cause we danced on the floor in the round, baby

people always told me be careful of what you do
and don't go around breaking young girls' hearts
she came and stood right by me
then the smell of sweet perfume
this happened much too soon
she called me to her room

(chorus)


posted by mAtt @ 21.09 (gmt+0000)
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Thursday 19th November 2009

these are the things that are broken

ordered list, i choose you:

  1. the car thing that's supposed to save the world. you see, those awesome batteries occasionally die. and apparently they're awesomely expensive. but i have some good news! i just paid a bunch of money to someone to basically let me keep using what i had already paid for.
  2. the iphone. though at&t doesn't know it's an iphone, and that's kind of at the root of the problem. in order to avoid allowing them to ream you on the data plan you have to perform some digital magic, among other steps. but this magic has certain side effects, including people can't call you. ask your doctor if ultrasn0w is right for you—i should have.
  3. the roof. it has holes. in it.
  4. the stereo of my other vehicle. a long time ago i turned the ignition in my truck a certain number of clicks so i could listen to the radio or whatever, but went one click too far, and then back a click, all in rapid succession, and this let the magic smoke out of the shiny lights of the faceplate. and magic smoke, as any scientist will tell you, is hard to put back in a device after it has escaped.
  5. the nail of my left index finger. and now every time i use it it's like the terrorists won their war against the kittens.
  6. the dog. i've made clear my thoughts on the matter of sub-sentient life forms. they exude smelly substances and totally ignorant of this fact. they whine for attention. and not one of them has a job.
  7. the internet. conservapedia.com will eventually become skynet.
  8. my liver. and i have the other items in this list to blame.

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Wednesday 1st July 2009

right, 'manly'

this weekend the mates and i will be living off the land out of the trunk of a car, eating the food we caught bought ourselves, wearing clothes made of rawhide stitched by hand made in china.

happy anniversary of the start of a war! eighteenth century britain can suck it.


posted by mAtt @ 23.11 (gmt+0000)
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