Thursday, October 31, 2002
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
I could not for the life of me figure out why on earth anyone would produce, perform, or attend a play about shit.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to clean up after the dog, refill the cat litter, and change some diapers before I go to bed.
Tuesday, October 29, 2002
I wonder if they picked up exactly where they left off, and filmed a bunch of episodes of Kiefer Sutherland sleeping, getting up to use the john, cursing himself for working too hard, sleeping again...
Monday, October 28, 2002
It is so satisfying to say, "I'm retired."
It isn't quite so satisfying to stop myself from saying, "And I wouldn't work in tech theater again for a thousand dollars an hour, so don't ever call me again unless you want to pay me more than that."
But I do manage to stop myself, even if they call at ten o'clock at night, when my kids and wife are trying to sleep.
(I shoulda said it...)
Still, it's kind of depressing when the first check you've seen in months with your own name on it is only forty dollars... and it's just a rebate check for some software you bought a while back.
Sunday, October 27, 2002
My mother, when she visited last weekend to look after the kids, brought along a copy of Nick Hornby's How to be Good. I read it this afternoon and it was very good but I didn't understand the last sentence. Help, please.
(The post was a little better written than that originally.)
Saturday, October 26, 2002
I'd love to be full of bravado and say "Oh, I was never frightened, I knew they'd be caught" but the truth is, I was pretty well terrified. I knew, certainly, that many more people died from other causes in those 22 days... but the sheer randomness of the shootings, and how unusual they were, really did a number on my rational side.
Naturally, it wasn't a white van or truck. Nor were the killers shooting from where I was looking out for them (the top of a building, behind a tree, et cetera). So all the "preventive" measures I took were for naught anyway, except possibly the one about not gassing up near the interstate.
I think I'm most glad that Halloween will happen as usual.
"Walk in the sun, Washington..."
Friday, October 25, 2002
When we arrive, and sit down in the booth, the aroma we smell is not that of food--and that's when it hits me: the diaper bag.
Yes, they both took advantage of the situation. So off I walked to the CVS next door (where I found only JUMBO packages of diapers) and then back into the bathroom. Incidentally, why are all changing tables in restaurants (at least those few that are in the men's rooms) designed for midgets? How am I supposed to change a baby that hangs out at knee-height?
It must be well-hidden, though, because if I told my friends I was egocentric, they'd all fall down laughing. Self-piteous, yes. Fishing for compliments, sure. Egocentric? That's like saying Mike Tyson teaches anger-management classes.
If only they knew.
And on another note, E HAS THE BEST SMILE!!!! :):):) Ahem.
Thursday, October 24, 2002
I think narcissism is a hell of a lot better than what I have, which is... what would you call it... grandiosity? The thought that when anyone makes an elliptical comment, they're referring to me? It's not paranoia, because it applies to complimentary statements as well. It's a hellish delusion to have, running around convinced that the whole world has an opinion about you.
They don't... do they?
Anyway, my curiosity is satisfied. And I also feel very small. And there's no one to blame but me, so don't feel guilty. (Not that anyone would, anyway.)
Could I be more unclear...?
This is kind of an apology, by the way. I should mind my own damn business.
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Still and all, I have to disagree with one of his Basic Assumptions, namely the proposition that atheism is a "provable" religious theory. (In fairness, this isn't an Assumption per se, but a sentence within an explication of an Assumption--say that five times fast.) If you can prove that atheism is true, I'd love to see that proof. It would make my life much easier when the Jehovah's Witnesses come knocking at my door.
I mean, come on, I'm an atheist myself, but I would never argue that atheism is "provable"; just that there is no evidence that there is a God. (Potatoes shaped like the Virgin Mary are not evidence.)
Monday, October 21, 2002
Wait a minute... didn't you major in Performing Arts?
Sunday, October 20, 2002
It was somewhat more lengthy than my own wedding, where K's uncle's rendition of "Ave Maria" was longer than the entire rest of the ceremony and some of my friends missed the whole thing because they arrived ten minutes late. (I guess they were Catholic, too.) I think our ceremony was so short because the minister was late for a bingo game or something.
As an atheist (please don't take out a fatwa on me, Jerry Falwell!) it was simultaneously unnerving and liberating to not join in on the "Thanks be to God"s and "And also with you"s. It was also discouraging to find out that the only way to love is by loving God. (Man, if I had known that I woulda gotten a cheaper engagement ring!)
God was not with whoever wrote the directions from the church to the reception--they said to go north on a certain route when they meant south. The newlyweds arrived before many of the guests. Not quite the welcome they were hoping for, I think.
Friday, October 18, 2002
And on another political note, I fully expect to hear the war drums start beating against North Korea, since they're on the Axis of Really Really Evil and they have nukes. Well? Anyone? Bueller?
Oh, right... our president won't bother North Korea, because it was one of the few countries Poppy didn't invade...
Thursday, October 17, 2002
I remember the best thrill in my entire life happened eleven years to the day of that entry, coincidentally enough. That was K's and my first kiss. It still thrills, thinking about it...
There is nothing like that first flush of love: the jumpy, queasy feeling in your stomach; the wondering what will happen next; the joy of knowing someone feels the same way about you.
And another thrill happened that same date, but just this year, two days ago: I got E to laugh for the first time. I picked her up and bounced her while K drew her bath, and for some reason she thought that was funnier than Sid Caesar. It was great, that little newborn laugh. Still not the same kind of thrill, I grant you.
I like knowing that someone who loves me is always there for me, will always want to hug or kiss me, will smile at me when I come home, or will always want to cuddle. But is there a way to recapture that old thrill, when everything was new and unknown? Even if I don't want it, I have to admit--not knowing what to expect was thrilling. Alongside the new puppy love was the angst, self-doubt, worry--it all fits together. Can you have the thrill without the worry?
We will never leave each other--I know that like some folks know that Jesus saves (Satan spends). But we'll also never be nineteen and twenty, living in the same dorm, discovering ourselves and each other day by day... what a beautiful time.
And then what if cuddle time is what your spouse needs to stay sane?
Note to self: advise your friend, whose wedding is this weekend, that the key to a successful marriage is negotiation.
Then remind yourself of the same thing...
Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Anyway, when we got there, I saw neither a solitary white cargo van nor a white box truck, both of which have been described as leaving the scenes of the murders.
I saw a white cargo van with a box-truck-like trailer attached. It even had pale lettering on the side of the box, just as described.
Big deal, you say. But wait a minute. This would be a somewhat likely explanation for the conflicting reports. Either the sniper is using two different vehicles, or the witnesses saw an unfamiliar thing and fixed it in their minds as something more familiar--say, a box truck if they saw it from behind, or a van if they saw it from the front. Before you throw up your hands (and why were you eating your hands to begin with?), remember that in the heat of a moment, memory becomes very unreliable. That's why eyewitness testimony is never as damning as forensic evidence.
In any case, being the good, cautious citizen that I am, I circled the vehicles and committed both their tags to memory, then went and found a parking spot. (I looked for a pen with which to write the numbers on my hand in case I was taken out--damn it, if I had to die at least I could help the cops--but I couldn't find one, so my posthumous heroism would not be.) I took D and E out and put them in the stroller as quickly as I could, then went into the store, never more conscious of the steep, high, tree-filled embankment next to the store and directly behind me, where the van and the trailer were parked.
That wasn't the scary experience, though.
That was when we were on our way home. I was in the left lane, preparing to turn onto my street and going maybe fifty miles per hour. When suddenly, the prototypical Old Man in a Buick decides to turn into my lane from another street. Except he's going only twenty miles an hour, and OK, he's just stopping at the divided highway, he'll let me go, oh no he won't, he's continuing to drive like I'M NOT EVEN HERE, OH SHIT, LEAN ON THE BRAKE AND THE HORN, THERE'S PEOPLE BEHIND ME, PLEASE PLEASE DON'T REAR-END--
It was then I was forcefully reminded how much more likely a traffic accident is than a shot in the back. (We didn't get hit, but The Old Man in the Buick never noticed the human drama playing out behind him. Or my horn, for that matter.)
Monday, October 14, 2002
Yes, Squelch the lapsed computer science minor has re-discovered programming! And it's so much easier in Mac OS X. I love it! I'm currently, as an exercise, working on an implementation of John Conway's Game of Life. Remember that one from computer camp? (Yes, I went to computer camp.)
Excuse me, Squelch, your geek is showing. Whoops! How embarassing.
Friday, October 11, 2002
Thursday, October 10, 2002
Several cops passed as I was driving home, most slowing down to examine my Chevy Venture closer. I saw one white van pulled over. But they never stopped me.
I was slightly hurt.
Monday, October 07, 2002
Squelch: Hi, I'd like to renew a book, please.
Clerk: Do you have it with you?
Squelch: I'm afraid not. I was just passing by.
Clerk: We need the book in order to renew it. Sorry.
Squelch: Ah. That's okay. (Starts to go.)
Clerk: You can renew them over the internet.
Squelch: Yes, I know. That's why I figured you wouldn't need the book--
Clerk: If you renew it over the internet you don't need the book.
Squelch: But you do if you bring it to the counter?
Squelch: (Pause.) You know that there are internet terminals right here in the library, right?
Squelch: And, in fact, you don't even have a card catalog anymore, just computers that access the catalog online?
Squelch: And I could log into one of those computers and renew my books myself, right here?
Squelch: But you can't do it at the counter unless I have the book with me.
Squelch: (Nods.) Well. Glad we cleared that up.
Clerk: Have a nice day, sir.
Squelch: You too.
Nevertheless, with these shootings happening in my proverbial backyard, a little paranoia is probably healthy.
I'm scared. There are no leads on this bastard. How can we get any? I hope, at least, it's just one nut. If it's two, as some of the early reports had it, then it's a conspiracy, and anyone who could convince someone else to join him in shooting innocent people is twice as dangerous.
D's afternoon preschool is cancelled. I hope we're safe in our home.
Sunday, October 06, 2002
To my surprise, she was laughing out loud, and more often than I was the first time I saw it. So I guess I'll keep her.
It's somewhat embarrassing for such a rabid Beatles fan as myself, but I actually didn't see the movie 'til last year when it was re-released. I got a lot of grief about that from an old friend (you know who you are). But that does mean I'm one of the few people of my generation who saw it first in a theater.
Beatles trivia question for the day: what is the last Beatles song that features harmonica? (Turn this blog upside down for the answer.)
Saturday, October 05, 2002
It has potential as a series, but for me, the most interesting and satisfying thing about it is that when you're out in space there are no sound effects. This is the only television series I've seen that handles the lack of sound in outer space accurately! Sound waves cannot be transmitted through the vacuum of space. If something explodes you wouldn't hear a bang. (If a tree falls in outer space, it doesn't make a sound.)
It was somewhat disconcerting at first, but boy, was it refreshing. I can only think of one other work of science fiction that did this, and that's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Friday, October 04, 2002
Thursday, October 03, 2002
The tragedy? The new baby in the television show Friends is named "E."
But please know that we thought of the name before this fictional baby was born! And we don't even watch Friends! K had simply turned it on while I was out buying diapers! I mean, sure, back when we lived in Hyattsville with Doug our life seemed like a sitcom (and we would joke that people who came to visit were "crossovers" to boost our ratings), but today, we're strictly a costume drama on Masterpiece Theatre! (Excuse me, that's Exxon-Mobil Masterpiece Theatre now.)
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
And now, I sit here with a very awake E in my arms, typing this blog.
Wouldn't it be neat if I could use this blog to describe everything that I'm doing in real time? Of course, I don't have a laptop, so it would go something like this: "I'm sitting at my desk, typing this blog. Now, I'm sitting at my desk typing this blog. I wonder why nothing interesting is happening? Now I'm still sitting at my desk, typing this blog..."
E smiles far more than D did at this age. I wonder if D would have smiled more if he had been able to see. Or maybe it's just temperament. She has a wonderful smile, though. D has K's smile, and while that's a wonderful smile, too, I think E has mine. Which is nice. Of all the physical things about me, my smile may be the only thing I actually like.
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
Being a coward, I call K over. We gawk for a moment, and K tips the plant toward her for a better look.
The furball moves. "Oh, shit!" I cry.
"Hello, little guy," says K; the furball was in fact a featherball, a small bird who is now poking his head up, blinking like an infant awoken from a pleasant nap.
Suddenly present of mind, I say, "Camera." And immediately (I guess it was shutter-shy) the bird disappears, flapping away into the trees.
God, that would have been a beautiful shot. What a great way to end the day.
(Are you wondering what brought all this on? Take a guess.)
Today was better. D's napping now (not a surprise since he awoke at 5 A.M.) and E napped most of the day. Now I just have to make dinner.
What a bore this must be to all of you. Sorry. If you want entertainment, go watch Buffy tonight.
This blog is just therapy for me anyway, but at the moment, the therapist is yawning and dropping its notebook, saying "I don't have time for you; take two Zoloft and call me in the morning."