29 August 2008

Presidential, baby

I'll have more to say about this when I can guarantee that I am indeed living on this planet (been dealing with a back injury for the last week or so), but I the speech by Barack Obama tonight was easily his finest hour.

Yes, I've exposed my blatant Obama-bias in the past, so my feelings should be no surprise, but that speech was gold.  He is miles of a better choice than McCain.

I'll say it again: if Obama loses in November, it will be solely due to the fact that a majority of America cannot deal with the idea of a black president.  He is exactly the kind of president that this country needs in the aftermath of Bush-Cheney. 

If we blow this, America will never be the same.

Time to see if I can get back into orbit.  I've seen more stars this past week than Halley.

22 August 2008

Reeling us in

Desmond was eight months on Thursday.  He celebrated by spending most of the day sleeping, as he has his first ever cold.  He's handling it well, except for the moments when he realizes that he cannot breathe through his nose and ERUPTS in a cauldron of anger, nasal fluid and dismay.  It would be heartbreaking if it weren't so damn cute because it only lasts a few seconds and as soon as it is over he goes back to his smiley self.

He's a pretty happy kid.  I know his parents are as well.  We expected parenting to be a roller coaster, especially when our child would be unable to communicate with us in our own language, but he is so easy to read.  He cries when he is upset, be it hunger (the full spoon of food had better be back in the mouth less than two seconds after its been removed or there will be heck to pay), pain (he has rolled into a few hard structures lately with no permanent damage, and his teeth are cutting through his gums like a machete cuts through sugar cane) or frustration (he understands now that if we take something away from him we are impeding on his fun); it's pretty simple to determine why he is fussing, and he generally stops in appreciation when we address it.

Ah, we get along well.  I have a hard time believing that this kid will ever scream "I HATE YOU!!!" or want to sneak out of the house or eat his own shoelaces rather than tell us anything, but I know someday he's going to be a kid instead of a baby, and then a teen instead of a kid, etc etc etc (cuing my inner Yul Brunner here...); I guess this is why we start out as babies, so that our parents will fall completely in love with us and therefore tolerate whatever crap we try to pull once we start growing.  And by "tolerate" I mean "not kill us."  Looking back, I must have been one heckuva cute baby because I drove my folks nuts once I hit ten, and yet, here I still am.

Our son flirts with strangers.  He wraps them around his finger in about two seconds.  He knows he is doing this now, and he enjoys it.  He understands the power that he has.  We are thinking about paying people to ignore him.

I thought that there would be times when he was a baby that I would toss my arms up in complete confusion with no idea as to what he wanted or what was wrong, and just try to plug my ears until he fell asleep.  Hasn't happened.  I speak the same language that our baby does, and when he cries, all I think about is how much he needs us.  We're fortunate that he really doesn't cry much, that he seems so happy all of the time, but we also know that we probably control none of that.  He could wake up tomorrow and decide that he wants to do nothing but cry just to confound us, and we'll react the same way. 

He's got us hooked.  He knows it.  We don't even try to hide it.  The center of our universe is twenty-eight inches long, weighs twenty-five pounds and has as many teeth as the average ninety-seven year old. 

07 August 2008

Pinky and the Brain

So, in what I have to admit is a stroke of pure super genius, Paris Hilton has put out an ad in response to the McCain campaign including her in the Obama "Celebrity" attack ad.

Well played, Ms. Hilton.  Don't get me wrong-I still despise you; I still think that you are the biggest waste of DNA ever, and I still can't understand why anyone would admire you-but you do have a sense of humor.  And your delivery here is spot on.  The fact that I could watch you speak for more than ten seconds is proof of a miracle.  Wait a sec...


I'll get back to Ms. Hilton in a moment, but the news about Favre just pre-empted my watching "Baseball Tonight" on ESPN.  I couldn't care less about Brett Favre.  The attention that football gets year-round drives me bonkers.  Here in Chicago, there could be a nuclear attack in Europe tomorrow when the Bears open the exhibition season against Kansas City and it wouldn't be enough to knock the Bears off the lead story on all local newscasts.  I like football, but it's not a year round sport, and I would lose this argument to 75% of the population here.  I digress.  I think sending Favre to the Jets is great, because he can slip in under the radar there, since the NY media is so ambivalent.  It will be a long, long time before we hear about Brett Favre again.

(Question: should it be required that sarcasm be written in a different font, or maybe a different color?)

OK, back to Paris: this is your moment.  Or should I say "was."  I implore you to go away for a while, say two decades, so that the genius of this spoof is not lost.  Go into the vault for a spell.  Sure, it would be very tempting to give your pal Britney Spears a call and make a series of follow-ups where she is your vice-presidential running mate, but I fear that would get old fast.  And as we all know, old is not hot.

God, I just made a reference to Paris Hilton's catch phrase.  Where am I, and what have they done with my universe?  We'll always have Paris.  That is one of my greatest fears.

I've never needed to cleanse my pallet more, so I'll segue into Desmond.  It's been far too long since I mentioned my son, who is 7 1/2 months now.  Sigh (that's both a wistful and content sigh).  When he was a newborn and the days turned into weeks and then into months, things seemed to be going by in a proper perspective.  Somewhere a few months ago that changed and time stared going by faster than ever.  I woke up a few days ago with an infant, and now he barely seems like a baby anymore.

For every addition there is a subtraction.  He has one and a half teeth; he cannot sleep comfortably on my chest anymore.  He rolls around on the floor like a golf ball on a cart path; he can't be left alone to nap in the middle of our bed by himself.  He has his own personality, and his complete and utter dependence on his mother and I seems gone, like if he wanted to, he could find a way to get by without out us for a day or so if need be. Not that he'll be cooking his own meals anytime soon, or even changing his own diaper.  It's just that I can see him laying the bricks on his road to independence already.

Everything new makes me smile, and the realization that some things about him exist only in memory now does not break my heart as much as I imagined it would six months ago.  I know that he is barely half a year old, but I think the latter realization is the first step towards letting go.  I think about Desmond as a grown man a lot for some reason.  I am in no hurry to see him twenty years from now obviously, but I also know that as life progresses we are left with no option other than watching our kids become adults.  I'd rather accept this in pieces than all at once.

When Desmond is happy he purses his lips together and blows, making a sound like a motor boat.  This is unfortunate when he is eating and makes me wonder if I could patent a plastic baby-feeding bubble, but otherwise it is a sound of glee.  It is an especially pleasant sound to wake up to.  Then there are the times when we mistake him for a parrot because of the loud squawks that erupt from him when he discovers that he can now put his toes in his mouth when he lies on his back, or that when he goes into the highchair food almost always follows.  He's very excitable.  Wouldn't have it any other way.

And now the news for parrots. 

Man, I love Monty Python.  See the second title of the video in the 'related' column?  "Sheep in Wainscotting."  That happens to be the name of a band I played in when I was in college.

No, it wasn't.  I leave with this: a week or so after the 9/11 attacks I walked over to the grocery store across the street from the drug store that I was managing at the time, and immediately noticed a small display table by the entrance full of plastic containers of red, white and blue miniature cupcakes.  A handwritten sign hanging off the table read "Patriotic Cupcakes $1.99."  And ever since I have fought the desire to go out and discover the next big singing group, name it "The Patriotic Cupcakes" and produce their first hit single "Only $1.99"