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Gotta show this blog off to an unappreciative class of do-gooders today.



Soothing Teething Sister

Mama's Soothing Voice

My life is chockfull of stuff going on, yet I can't think of a single relevant thing to write. Hmm, to relegate myself to writing about what's in my head, cause that's more interesting than real life ... ?

Oh yeah, no one else is inside my head. Must ... *cold shudder* ... relegate self to writing on real life.

I'm having a hard time waking up today.

This morning, about 5 a.m., I get up to pee. Deed done; back to bed with Megan and Bebersons. I lay down. Close my eyes.

A sticky baby hand brushes across my arm. Opening my eyes, I spy, thru the dark and delirium of early, early morning, a wiggling baby giving me the hugest smile.

It made me so happy I actually forced out a coherent sentence. "Someone's ready to play, huh?" Megan takes BB out of bed as she gets ready for work.

Next thing I know, Megan's waking me up at 10 min. to 7:00.

" (something I can't remember, waking up fog) ... both girls are awake," she said. "I've got 10 minutes before I gotta go to work."

She's got the sweetest voice. It must be a mother thing. Or a female thing. Or a Megan thing. It's like.... she can use it to psychologically soothe and guide one through tough mental states. She probably doesn't even know it. It's probably totally natural to her. I'm a lucky guy.

Sometimes at 5 wakes BBTron-B; sometimes she wakes at 7 with me.
That's my new hip-hop song's opening line.

Subsequent naps approach at different times in the ensuing day for both of these wakeup times, which contributes to a general non-solid sleep schedule. It wouldn't be so bad if she wasn't teething.

Yeah, she's been a little nuts for about a month now. She shows signs of mouth pain all the time, like the grabbing of her ears, waking up a lot from what are usually long naps, and being more crazy than usual during evenings.

Of course it's difficult to tell if she's just a cranky-tired-crying baby, or a my-mouth-fucking-hurts-crying baby. Or both. Maybe it's confusion about how to console her empirical mind with her compassionate soul in an ongoing, yet paradoxical ontological struggle.

BB turned 6 months old last Wednesday, the 23rd. Happy 1/2 birthday my precious!

Daughter's Now a Sister

It's hard to pay as much attention to Lucy when Beatrix is awake. When Lucy was a baby, I know she got all my attention, all the time. I want to give BB a similar experience, but there's no way it can be the same. There's simply a sister to contend with; for both of them.

Yesterday I found myself with a seeming mountain of stuff to do, all at once--and it was all just simple stuff--feeding them! BB was on the pink carpet just outside the kitchen, watching me heat up her bottle and get Lucy whatever food she needed.

Oh yeah BB had just spilled Lucy's cup of milk with her usual grab-for-everything motions. For the second day in a row. She was cool on the floor for a few minutes, but then she bagan to fuss when I wasn't ready to feed her yet. I felt like I was pushing upwards through an invisible mountain that was trying to crush me.

Of course I shrugged that fucker off. I am Atlas.

One thing about BB is she's got thicker skin than Lucy. She can be by herself for longer periods of time than Lucy could at that age. It helps that she can sit up on her own, look around and grab stuff. She's gonna be okay, even if she can't have all dada, all the time.

Her and her sister are sure gonna be different people, tho. They look so alike, yet so different.

Thanksgiving with the 6 Bellingham Smiths was rejuvenating. Just one night over there, with the ol' holiday bigass Thanksgiving dinner complete with four kinds of pie, and seeing my brother and all my cousins, MY generation, and Guy and Laurie, the PREVIOUS generation, and Laurie's parents, the PREVIOUS PREVIOUS generation, was really awesome.

More on that later.


Self Class Awesome Hot

Philosophical Self-Analysis

I feel like I'm on a constant journey for self-improvement, letting go of all my childhood and teenage inadequacies.

It's never quite as successful as I'd like it to be. Possibly, that journey could reach it's final destination at any time, right? Nothing short of a miracle could make me a perfect person by the end of the day, but who's to say miracles are impossible? All my unfavorable personal tendencies could simply wash away, and I would be left with perfect personal satisfaction in every choice and action I make.

It makes a strange sense that this journey of mine, to a version of which few should label themselves unfamiliar, moves sluggishly: it's moving at the pace of life.

Also my skull is thick.

Life moves slowly! Personal character revelations, the big ones, would seem to naturally follow suit. That's all I mean.

(The olden ones always tell me, "Don't blink." I don't buy it.)

If I could learn everything today, I would. I mean, if learning everything had no negative consequences. Who can know?

There's an argument in favor of the slowness to be derived here: if I reached the end now, what fun would the rest of life be?

I disagree. There's ever an end to learning. Goals are to be reached, not constantly strived for and kept far away. Reach a goal, move on to the next one. That's more my style.

I am a conquerer. I am Ahab. I am also a little slow.


Class at Bar

Yesterday I met Florangela, my COM359 lecturer, at Big Time Brewery on the Ave. Stop, it was for class! We decided to meet there instead of her office. Flor wanted to have 15-minute conferences with each of us about our blogs and the two papers due that day.

I was over an hour early. Had homework to finish up. I approached the counter. There were about six people behind it, more than ready to help me out with whatever I needed. I grabbed a menu, made eye contact, smiled, nodded as if to say, "Let me look at this for a second and collect myself," and sat down. The closest person across the counter from me understood--he smiled and nodded back--a bar/restaurant worker to be sure.

I sit for a bit and peruse the menu. Make my choice. Reapproach the counter. No one there.

I stand there for a long minute. This sloppy-looking tall guy in a ball cap sees me from the back of the hallway-shaped kitchen stretching behind the counter. Walks over goofily.

"I need chili cheese fries!"

"What?" Seriously?

"Can I have some chili cheese fries please? And a Coke?"

He takes the glass, uses it to scoop ice from the ice machine. If I wasn't grossed out by his appearance already, that did it. That and I knew there was no hand-washing between touching my glass and the cardboard. Lord knows where his hands had been before that.

I ask him where to sit where I won't be in any big tables' way. He is very helpful in this respect. He's gross, but very friendly. But when he brought my food, there was no napkin, no silverware. Then I see that water, cups, silverware and napkins are up by the counter. So I leave my food to sit there and get cold while I get up, unnecessarily, to get a fucking fork and napkins.

When I open a bar/restaurant one day, my employees will be groomed and attractive.

Oh, also the bartender and I kind of had a few icy interactions. She seemed irritated with my questions about the beers, especially when I didn't order one. She didn't exactly turn me on to the idea.

Florangela was late--had a last-minute interview just before. It was perfectly okay with me--I have great respect for her. Our conference went 10 min overtime, however, setting the stage for the rest of her evening.

An hour or so later, a classmate texted me and said he had been waiting almost an hour for his!

I knew there was a reason I signed up first. For one, there's the convenience of being done quickly. For another, Big Time Brewery sucks. In my opinion. For now.


My Kids Are Mostly Awesome

In other news, Lucy and BB were angels today. BB is teething and her mouth hurts and she's constantly sweaty, sticky, tired and cranky. Poor girl. Lucy didn't nap. Like I said, angels.

I never talk about it when they're good, only when they're bad, I realize. I'm a try to correct that.


My Girlfriend is Hot

My girlfriend is hot.


Gemini's field day, P1

Playing off one another a few days ago were an interesting double occurrence. Intercourse? Occurrence.

It began with one of the more interesting coffee shop visits I've ever had.

I walk in there for the first time. The art is nice, looks like a local artist, and on sale. Good thing it's there.

Seeing the previous customer being being told to grab her own tea bag, and her resultant looking for it and grabbing it among the standard restaurant 2-tier tea box stacker, is weird somehow.

Awkwardness hits me. Can't place it. Can't define it.

Maybe it was overhearing:

"There's no medium, ok? There's four sizes." This, that, that, and the other thing. "It's a common misconception, I know it's hard to wrap your brain around, but .... " It continues a bit.

The path is clear. It's my turn. There are two women behind the counter. One is the owner, the other is the trainee. I'd describe their physical appearances but... well, hell, I'll describe their physical appearances.

Owner--female, middle-aged, British or European accent, unadorned, spotty black sweater, older-hippie-woman-behind-the-neck ponytail, black hair, grey streaks, plain.

Employee--female, young, bright-eyed, wrinkle-less, a little makeup, festively plump, black hair tied back in a french braid of some sort, little cleavage, blue shirt with lacy black thing underneath, getting all kinds of red in the face.

I walk up and order a tall americano.

"Now what do we always ask when a customer orders a tall americano?"

(Lt. Tuvok voice:) Increased redness, captain. "Um."

She genuinely wants to know, but she's being put on the spot,  treated like a child, and I'm all cute and badass and everything, and she's probably getting all hot under the collar, yep, *stretch* aaaaand Sunday, too, yeah, who's got 2 thumbs and likes them festively plump? and she's trying to keep her new job, and probably can't think straight. The pressure, in short, is on. Like at an important quiz.

She looks even younger now--maybe not even 20. Fresh. Easily embarrassed. New to the working world. (certainly new to this boss)

"How many shots do you want?" It's as if a parent is teaching their toddler rudimentary English. Also, it's as if a business owner wants her employees to behave in such a way as to reduce all chances of customer and business unsatisfaction.

The boss isn't overly mean. The employee isn't overly mature. All in all--really awkward.

The whole way through.

I don't stay long.

"Sorry it's so ... awkward, right now," the owner says to my back, "we're training the employees and all."


Man, I gotta cut this off. It's 10:32, peeps, and I'm still at school. Part  will follow. You'll like that part better. More feel-good type stuff.



Sick, Energetic

Lucy and I are sitting here at the kitchen table, watching Beatles videos on my computer. I've got two windows open--one containing YouTube, the other this blog entry I'm typing. We CAN both have what we want, at the same time.

Three of four of my family are sick. Mama is the healthy one. BB is particularly ill. It's just a cold--she's not throwing up any more than usual, but she's got lots of snot and coughs. Yesterday was her sickest day yet--she had red, baggy eyes and an inferiority complex all day long. Very needy. Quick to wail. I don't blame her.

It occurs to me that if Lucy were this sick when she was BB's age, I would have been freaking out. It's the difference between being a parent once and twice over. For me. My experience and personality are not everyone's.

My friend Terri told me an adage about having the second kid: The first one's made of glass, the second of plastic. As for whether it holds true for me? Well ....

Here's one example:
Once when Lucy was a little baby, still very new, and Megan and I were in that shitty little white cookie cutter apartment, I was playing a video game or watching tv or something. Megan hands me Lucy to hang on to while she goes to the bathroom. I laid Lucy on her back on the automan and half-watched her. I look away for too long and she rolls over, right off the automan, falls flat on her back on the floor.

Instantly I converted into "sorry father" mode and picked her up, considering what would happen if I lost her; big, heavy thoughts. I shed a few tears. Lucy definitely was crying big time. A lesson learned for dada.

Once, a month or so ago, I sat BB on the couch to watch Diego and to watch Lucy watching Diego. I go to the kitchen to do whatever. It occurs to me to check on the girls after a minute or two. I go out there and there's BB, on the floor! She didn't cry or anything.

"Oh. There you are. Umm, you like it down there?"

First one--glass.
Second one--plastic.

So while BB's sick now, I can rest assured that she will be fine and I need to do nothing.

No, that's not true. I jest. Today will be a slight challenge. It's a Sunday, which is the first day of Megan's work week. Tomorrow begins my seventh week of classes. So I'll be watching the kids until she gets home, after which I'll go to school and catch up on homework for tomorrow.

Until then, I'll have to be pretty much holding BB the whole time. It's not easy to carry a baby as big as her and do all the other household and Lucycare chores.  But I'll manage. Dada has super powers, you know.

In other news, I've got to wipe clean my red Dell Inspiron 1521 laptop I've had since 2007, when I was starting school at Western. It's been faithful, trusty, tried and true, but it's starting to show serious signs of age. I ran a malware scan, which found 10 infected items. After that, it's been freezing up and going slower than mo-lasses.

Gotta locate the startup disc, wipe, start anew. Ugh. Hopefully that does the trick.

It took me five years, but I've finally named it!



Beatrix Variations

Bb. BB. BBTron. Fembot model Bv2, aka Bb. Beber. I'm a Belieber.
     SIDE NOTE: BB was born during the rise and reign of Justin Bieber.
       Fortunate: the whole 'I'm a Belieber' thing can be applied to her name
       Unfortunate: the whole 'I'm a Belieber' thing can be applied to her name

Here's a song I rap to her:
BBTron, BBTron, BBTron, bee
BBTron, BBTron, BBTron, wee

Just look at her.

She can sit up by herself pretty reliably now. It's awesome. Megan put her in the middle of a carpet in the middle of the room today, where a cat might lay. There she was, just sitting there and looking around, pleasantly attentive to her world around her.

It was a rather tranquil sight.



Sometimes I see news that leaves me shaky and disturbed.

A Texas judge was recently caught beating his daughter on camera.

Seven years ago, Hillary Adams covertly recorded a video of her father, Judge at Law William Adams, beating her with a belt. She was 16.

She uploaded it to YouTube last October 27. The video has gone viral, and people all over the country, and the world, are responding.

I tried to watch the video. When he started to hit her I couldn't do it anymore. I had to close it. Too much. Too close to home. Too scary. My kids were both awake, too.

Here it is.

It's fucked up. There's pain depicted here that no one wants to feel.

Apparently Hillary's mom joins in and helps dad beat daughter; I didn't watch that far into it. Mom, incidentally, is currently on a path to redemption. She probably wouldn't be so apologetic, I'd wager, if she weren't in an international spotlight. The dad sure isn't very apologetic. He's been quoted as saying "it looks worse than it is."

Hillary has ataxic cerebral palsy, by the way. Read her description of the video on the YT page, under the video window.

Here's a continuous coverage page from Corpus Christi tv news station KZTV. When you open the page it will automatically open a smaller video window over the existing one and you have to close it... just so you know. It won't even play the video either.

Here's an NPR story about it. Mature coverage.

Here's my favorite comment on the video:

Judge William Adams
301 N. Live Oak St.
Rockport, TX 78382
Phone: 361-790-0138
Fax: 361-790-0185

Here's my 6 word synopsis (it's for my COM class):
Texas judge beats disabled daughter, lives

What the fuck is it with Texas? Here's a story from 2009 about a San Antonio mom killing her 3-week-old boy, gruesomely. This was the last story I read that made me react the way I did today.

Texas. Lately, they've given us the George Bush twins, Rick Perry, the San Antonio Slayer, and the Aransas Daughter Beater Judge.


So Grand Theft Auto Five looks like it's gonna be awesome, right?