Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Toddler Adventure Continues...

This week, our little Snookerdoodles had her second Birthday. “Where did the time go”; it’s a cliché for a reason. When we first brought her home, I remember reading and commenting on Blogs with her sleeping in the crook of my left arm. Major life change, to be sure, but in hind sight, it was so easy then. Except for her winding-up and crying for 4-5 hours, starting at about 8:30 PM.

Now, she has words. She can actually converse, and it can be mind-blowing, after nearly two years of interpreting the pitch of her wails. The rude awakening came when we were driving somewhere, and speaking with Andrea, I referred to another driver as a ‘douche.’ From the back seat, I heard “Doos.”

We had her party last Saturday, with a ton of family and friends over. It went off without a hitch, after a week of cleaning and other preparation. Beforehand, however, we tried to put her down for a nap (a futile effort that day), and we were eating subs, discussing who would shower first, and we were interrupted with a THUMP! We got upstairs so fast, it was like we had been raptured there, and we found her out of her crib, on her hands and knees, and not too dazed to greet us: “Hi…”

She hasn’t escaped again since, but we’ll have her in a toddler bed really soon, believe you me. We also need to make up the other bedroom for her. And the projects march on.

A few days later, I had a pretty rude awakening. I her effort to master her environment, Chickerdoodles was climbing on the couch, and fell off. The bump on the head and the startling had her in tears, and I was doing the standard Daddy thing; cuddling, with the “Aw, Sweety…” I got the brainstorm to call the dog onto the couch, in the hope of making her feel better. I gotta admit, it kinda hurt my feelings when she preferred cuddling up to the dog in her grief.

This made me think; I’ve gotten into the habit of letting the TV occupy her while I get things done. This can be pretty handy, but I’ve got to put in the time with her too. So on my last day off, We played together more than we have been. We had a great day, and when it was time to put her to bed, she cuddled into me instead of just sitting on my lap for her bottle.

I’ve always known in theory that it’s the time invested that makes a good parent, but I forgot that in my daily routine. I’m sure I will again. But this week, I read the signs, and corrected myself, and hopefully, I can continue being aware of things like that in my home.

Monday, September 19, 2011

As the big studios are trying to crank-out several Blockbuster Extravaganza’s per year, they are increasingly mining the past. This has often worked well, as was the case with Transformers and even The A Team.

Much of the audience approached these movies with a sense of hopeful nostalgia, and they weren’t disappointed. Well, I’m sure that many were disappointed; nerds are notorious for poo-poo-ing any efforts to revitalize a classic franchise, but that’s neither here nor there.

Which brings me to the colossal disappointment that was the G.I. Joe movie. To be fair, what did they do right? Well, I enjoyed the emphasis on Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. And, there was some nice eye-candy. I also liked the origins-of-Cobra-Commander part.

How about the classic character of Scarlet? Known and loved for decades, they spent minutes on the character, and her “I-don’t-believe-in-emotions-because-they-aren’t-tangible” speech nearly made me throw my TV out the window. Really? I’m sure that only the most damaged High-Schoolers are buying into that bullshit dichotomy.

And how about those power-suits that the new recruits enjoyed? NOT NECESSARY! The GI Joe lore has quite enough to fill a movie, and make it exciting. I’m not 100% sure that there weren’t these Power Suits, but it just came off like a visual gimmick. Granted, it did work as such, but it would have been better in another movie.

And WTF with the Baroness turn-coating at the end? They were plainly setting up a series (or a sequel, at the very least). Having a primary antagonist switching sides at the end just did NOT make sense!

Like a lot of people my age, I have a soft spot for G.I. Joe, and I was very disappointed in this movie. Did they even test-screen it with an appropriate age group? It seems that they were thumbing their noses at us, and trying out some new special effects tricks. If that was the case, good for them, but please, do NOT tack a well-established name on it.

And that’s my spleen-venting for the week. Thanks for hanging in there.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Spreading Yourself -- When Is Another Blog A Good Idea?

What a turn out for the Insecure Writers Blog Hop! Great idea, Alex. I already know what I want to write about for October; just goes to show what a rich vein of inspiration our insecurities can be :P

I had a bunch of people start following me that I was already following from the Crusader Challenge in January, so if you aren’t seeing me pop-up as a new follower, that’s why. On the same note, check to see if you may be double-following me. (I’ve done that. No sense in having more in the Blog Roll than you need, eh?)

When I go to visit commenters, I click on the name on the comment and go through the Profile. I’ve noticed that several of you have more than one Blog. How do you decide to start another platform? And, where do you find the time? I’ve played with this idea from time to time, but budgeting the time would be tricky. Lately though, I’ve been getting up an hour before Chickerdoodles a few days a week, and this works well for Bloffee time. I’m really not in a writing headspace at this time of day (6:30-7:30), but it’s prime for visiting.

I also get more ambitious at this time of year. I love autumn, and in September, I still get this back-to-school, time-to-buckle-down feeling. Time to ride this wave, eh?

So do you have a second (or more) Blog? Why, and how?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pissing People Off

For the Insecure Writers post, our fearless Ninja Leader Alex wrote a thoughtful piece on alienating people, and fear of losing friends.

I recently finished George Carlin’s memoir, “Last Words.” A major theme was how he broke away from the conformity of the status quo. He is abrasive, and proud of it, and he made a good living at it. There are plenty of Blogs that also get abrasive and offensive, and are very popular.

In the Blogging circles I frequent, however, we’re pretty nice. Even when asked, I find it hard to be critical of other Bloggers’ writing. But there have been instances where I’ve read posts where political opinions just rub me the wrong way. In such cases, I’ll put my two cents in, but respectfully. I am figuratively in their house, after all.

On the other hand, in my own space, I’m tempted to go-off on some political stuff sometimes. That wasn’t the purpose I had on setting up the Blog, so I usually don’t, but I sometimes think that something is important enough to bring up. This could get offensive, and of course, I want people to like me. But I think that people (and Society at large) can grow from needing to face difficult questions. Half a century ago, some difficult questions were being raised about Civil Rights, and a LOT of people were upset by this. Many died in this struggle, but now, there a are a lot fewer people against these rights, and there have been generations who treat Blacks, Hispanics, Homosexuals and Women the same as themselves. We have a long way to go, but celebrating the progress helps us progress further.

The big take-away message from the George Carlin book, for me, was how important it is to be genuine. Is it more important for me to be genuinely provocative, or supportive? Honestly, I think that unity should be the end-game, but without provocation, we tend to stagnate. I guess that it’s all about time-and-place. I’m thinking that I should keep this yardstick handy, and to keep in mind that being phony will make me miserable.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pea Issues

I just had such a clever moment, I had to put it on the Internet. As Chickerdoodles was eating her lunch, I excused myself to the washroom. Since she’s nearly two, I keep my ears open, and do what I gotta do, but rarely for more than a minute. When I returned, I found that she had gotten a pea up her nose. I mean, really up there. An average sized pea looked like a small pea, as much of it was around a corner.

I had a similar problem with half a Cheerio, but it wasn’t nearly so far up; it was barely out of reach. I covered her mouth and other nostril, and the cereal just floated out on a wave of air and snot. Problem solved.

I tried this with the pea, but it was clearly futile; the larger item wouldn’t simply float out. Plus, she was looking at me fearfully, and I decided that covering her airways for an extended period of time could cause quite the emotional trauma.

Needing another plan, I tried to get her to mimic me, blowing aggressively through my nose. She found this quite amusing, but not very helpful. I sneeze would have been great, but inducing one would be tricky.
The next best thing was laughing. My next plan was to take her to the living room and tickle her. That got it! After about a minute, the offending vegetable was safely on the floor! Yay, Me!

Have you ever had to get something out of a child’s nose or ear? I’d love to hear your stories, just in case tickle-therapy doesn’t work next time.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How DidThey Cope Without Pee Wands?

In this wonderful age, it isn’t difficult to find out if a woman is “in a family way.” These lovely bathroom wands will clear up the question right quick.

But how did they determine pregnancy in previous generations? Did they wait three month, and if there was still no “cycle,” they figured they knew their condition? That’s one option. I understand that there was a procedure involving a rabbit (from what I’ve pieced together from an Aerosmith song and an episode of M*A*S*H*, the poor fellow didn’t survive the procedure). But since not everyone had access to a rabbit, or had to keep their rabbits for breeding and stew, some of our clever ancestors had to develop another method.

If a man suspected that his wife (or other “Lady Friend”) was expecting, he would eat a clove of garlic. After an hour, he would return home. If he opened the door to find the lady in question had a disgusted/mortified look on her face (the look usually reserved for when one farts at her parent’s dinner table, or in Church). If the man was greeted with “Sweet Mother of GOD, You STINK!” the mystery was solved. Time to build, or dust off, the cradle.