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.


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Friday 30th April 2010

internets, it is hard to get back in a habit once you are out of the habit.

i have this short story that's been bouncing around in my head on and off for the last .. six years? seven? a hell of a long time. it's mostly written but it will never be done getting written. it rambles and jumps and has no respect for traditional continuity which makes it easy to pick up for an afternoon then set it down for eighteen months, which on the whole guarantees its development will forever be furtive.

i've picked it up semi-permanently this month and done some major rewriting of whole sections, added new material, all kinds of stuff that's really boring for you to hear me talk about but is actually quite exciting for me. i'd like to continue writing but life as a stable, unimpressive adult has a way of causing the creative juices to evaporate at an alarming pace. hopefully talking about it with an update to this blog (which also has some abandonment issues) will help keep me focused on th

ooh! i just remembered! i need to finish the geth incursions assignment in mass effect. see ya, suckers.


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Friday 6th March 2009

obligatory

i'm working a lot these days, and don't have much to say that would be of interest to anyone other than me.

but i do have some things to say, and i'll be saying them to you this weekend, and i'll probably be writing them not from my own house because i'm a little scared of my wife right now and she's temporarily kicked me out of the house so she can work on some brainy paper thingy.

i understand very little of it but she promises me once she's done i can retire and we can move some place warm, and all she requires in the meantime is chocolate and beers! i call that a very good investment.


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Wednesday 15th October 2008

you've heard about this stuff, this debate stuff. you hear it's pretty popular. this friend tells you to try it. you're given to peer pressure and you don't want to put this friend off, so you do try it. hot damn! you love the debate. it makes you all floaty and warm! during the debate nothing matters, everything is fantastic, no cares in the world. the debate ends and your eyeballs begin to itch. you do not like not having the debate. you are irritable, you want more debate, you go everywhere looking for more debate, just one more debate. you find some more on the internet but it's not as good as the original. then there's another debate! you relish the feeling! you're on top of the world. when you come to, you are running naked down main street at four in the morning. weeping, your mother bails you out. the judge sentences you to debate rehab. you fight though the paparazzi. three months later you become a spokesperson for the partnership for a debate-free america.


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Friday 4th April 2008

(in which i elaborate)


at some point in our past we had to deal with fundamental threats to survival. i mean it, profoundly fundamental: take away every comfort you know, remove yourself from the surety of your next meal, hide alternately from the snow and the sun, sleep in the midst of animals with sharp teeth, oh and while all this is going on you also have to make little copies of yourself and do your best to keep them alive as well. rinse, repeat.

under this continuous pressure, it was absolutely assured that we were always comprised of the toughest stuff possible. those with a fortunate allocation of genes departed at a lower rate than those without. over time simple probability distilled the genome.

now we're reaping the benefits of our inherited capability: as a species we're doing well. we've pretty much figured out what to do in order to avoid dying. to this end we've perfected space heaters and crop rotation and vaccines and a hundred thousand other things, and have twice that number of things in development. we have learned to modify our surroundings to suppress the bad stuff, and create environments capable of providing all of our needs. again, we truly can't be blamed for doing so—our deepest, most primal genetic mandate is to keep living, so we'll do what it takes.

but in succeeding so astonishingly, we have removed the very thing that got us here in the first place: pressure.

it's inevitable that little genetic ripples appear. in the beginning they were the cause of our success because they are occasionally beneficial—those that were not eventually corrected themselves through attrition. but with all the cushions we've placed beneath ourselves, with every safety net our large brains and modern life can afford, there is no longer any mechanism to keep these flaws out, so they accumulate.

i believe there will come a point where we will ultimately buckle under the weight. for centuries now we've been moving away from an equilibrium. we've become stagnant and inflated, and a correction is inevitable.



Thursday 7th April 2005

the units of happiness

I was so busy yesterday that it should count for two days.

ONE ha ha
TWO ha ha

the reason I was so busy gets approximately 50 magical miles per gallon and came with about four hours of paperwork. but it is ours and it valiantly protects both the environment and our checkbook from the evil oil companies. what a hero I am.

cheers, tree-huggers. and all the rest.



(this week, saturday arrived on a monday. how disorienting.)


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Friday 4th March 2005

it's the only one I get for another eight years

ah, today. beautiful today.

03/04/05.

though today is only beautiful in this sense in these united states and perhaps some scattered others I'm unaware of. yet the point remains. and besides, my shameless blatant anglophilia will allow me to relish the day again on 3 April 2005.


cheers, nerds.


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