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Briar's Birthday Party!

Here are some pictures from yesterday at Teal's son's third birthday party.

The Dad of birthday boy wasn't able to make it because he had to work, and he is not happy about that. I was thinking I'd try to make him feel better by telling him it wasn't that great, that he didn't really miss anything.

But then I asked myself, 'How you gonna tell a dad that he shouldn't feel bad about missing his kid's third birthday party?'

Just not gonna happen. If one of my kids was turning three, and was having a party for it, there's no fucking way I wouldn't want to be there for it. Just to be there in the kid's memory, you know? Just to show support. Although, Todd didn't miss for a bad reason--the family needs money, and if the job is hassling him about time off, then he's kinda gotta bite the bullet and do it and keep providing.

Thanks, Teal. You rock. Todd, you rock. Both of you are strong foundations of support for your family.


Internship Fair Success

Yesterday I went to an internship fair at UW. My first as a participant, and was it ever an experience I won't soon forget. The world virtually opened up before me.

My competitive advantage over my younger colleagues was soon very, very obvious as I schmoozed my way around that room, talking to business representatives, marketing myself, taking my time and waiting in line where appropriate, shaking hands and introducing myself to those more formal, and for others just going in with, "So do you have anything in the communications, social media, marketing, and PR realms?"

The responses ranged from, "How about all of the above?" to, "No, we're looking more for software engineers who can do coding, but you should check back with us at X time."

I handed out many, many copies of my resume, to probably a little less than half of the businesses there. That may not sound like much, but there were plenty I didn't want to work for. And it was really nice to be able to avoid them, and to have the ability to choose my destiny. To be selective in my career path feels like the greatest freedom and power. My experience in school, writing, working here and there, and the maturity that parenting forced me to quickly adopt, are all finally adding up to a pretty impressive totality that I can put to use for myself--too feed and care for my family.

Because they're who I'm doing it for. And myself, of course, but I want to see my kids and Megan provided for, and be able to live comfortably. Not to be beautiful and take vacations all the time, but to afford, like, new gaming systems, games, and albums when they're released. And a variety of instruments to keep my talents up, and the equipment to record their sounds and the nice padded room to do it in.

Do you remember me mentioning my competitive advantage over my colleagues at the internship fair? Want me to explain myself? Good, me too. One word: people skills. It amounted to basically overcoming my fear of sounding dumb and just going around and being the People Person that I am, talking to impressive business reps I'd never met before, feeling comfortable, asking if they had anything open in my fields of study--and getting lots of results. More than I expected. I mean, like, in my backpack right now, there's a folder with eleven or twelve business cards and flyers for companies who are waiting for emails from me.

Two fellow students that I spoke to afterward, who had been at the same fair, did not have the same results. One scored a shitton of free candy, and the other was hoping for more of a ... something. As for the younger students, they were dressed really nicely, often awkwardly, like it was their first time putting on a tie and tucking in their shirt. Then, there were other kids who had really nice, snazzy outfits on, well-fitted and smooth business greys and UW purples.

Anyway, the more inept youngsters spent way too long talking to just a few businesses reps, asking them elementary stuff they could figure out on their own, like how to write their cover letter. I mean, I waited in a line for about 10 LONG minutes, in that hot, sweaty, huge, and packed conference room with my heavy coat and backpack on, to talk to a Fred Hutchinson rep for like five seconds. This greasy boy at the front of the line kept asking inane questions, incredibly nervous and unable to offer any responses, smiling and laughing nervously, and just going from question to question. I questioned whether anything was sinking in.

The next table over was for KEXP, a cool Seattle radio station, and that was much more fruitful. The guy there was really helpful. He was sitting there sweating, and had gotten done with his own long talk with a really tall, really young kid with rock and roll sensibility but not much business sense. Reminded me of myself at that age. I opened with, "Sick of talking yet?"

Luckily it worked. He laughed and said he doesn't talk much in his normal life, so it's extra weird here. But we got to gabbing, and it was much more my speed. There's an opportunity there with their little-known metal show that I'm gonna try to edge in on, and a few others that are up my alley.

After that I got a bit more confident and just started making my way down the three aisles, lined on both sides with businesses, dancing through the crowd with my big awkward messenger bag on, asking around, feeling people out, schmoozing. Throwing my resume out when appropriate, always asking first, and alternatively just writing down contact info when desired. Some reps didn't want a resume, but the majority did. You just have to be able to feel people out and ask the right questions.

All the middle-aged reps and I were very comfortable with one another. It was great. Even Denise, public defender for Pierce County, who, when I asked what was the appropriate way to address her, said, "Denise," with a laugh. A couple reps turned out to be fellow fathers and we ended up talking about kids.

The internship fair was scary and stressful going in, but once I got going it got a lot better, and afterwards the stack of opportunities added up  pretty high. I'm quite pleased.

Now to figure out what zillion pages I'm not going to be able to get done reading before class tonight. International political economy (which the lessons from helped me schmmmooooze successfully to a potential employer who exports his product to developing nations).



"Toot," Birthdays, BB in a Ponytail

Every time I exhude whinde from my ahnus, my little 1yo BB says, "Toot," all nonchalantly. Early morning to early evening.

Yes, folks, my second and final daughter is four or so months away from turning 2.

Holy shit my birthday is Feb. 27. I'll be 31. How did that happen?
I want the Zelda: Hyrule Historia book for my birthday, and a gift certificate to get Grand Theft Auto 5 when it comes out this spring, and a Wii U. And a practice amp for guitar and bass. And a bigger bass cabinet to play out on.

So but for my daughter, yeah she's getting like trains and puzzles and shit. Books, you know. Fun stuff. Yeah.
We have four birthdays four months in a row in this house:
February, March, April, May
Myself, Lucille, Megan, Beatrix
31, 4, 30-wouldn't-you-like-to-know, 2
And aviator sunglasses. And a nice black shirt that's made of material that's like a step up from cotton, but not quite silk. I want a shiny nice black shirt. And some black ties and a blue, red, and purple one. Flat colors, preferrably, unless there's some really sweet elegant design you could see Obama wearing.

I love my birthday time of year! The days are starting to get longer, winter's icy hold is beginning to loosen to make room for the warmth of the sun, and Neptune's Razcissor grants us all +2 Charisma (Barter, Speech skills).

Today BB let a ponytail stay in her hair for at least 20 minutes. Usually she pulls it out immediately, but I smoothly cooed, "Let it stay in," and to my surprise she did. The effect made her look older and more feminine.

Her hair right now is the biggest, curly blonde baby mop you've ever seen. It's pretty long, but isn't straight like mine or her sister's. And since she's a grubby little 1.75-yr-old, always dirty from rolling around on the floor and leaving food caked to her face and hands and everything she touches, her personality kind of becomes a grubbly little ragamuffin too, but it's offset by her sweetness. Indeed, they're interrelated: such a high-pitched small voice, innocent and pure, could only come from someone so ... liberal in their cleanliness choices.

Her face and neck and general skull shape were exposed in the ponytail. She looked so refined. Elegant, almost. The change--to me, as her father with plenty of biases towards her--was pretty extreme. She's got this beautiful face and a huge smile with deep dimples, which is cast in a completely different light depending on what her hair is doing.
Soon my ragamuffin will grow up out of this state and get cleaner, more coordinated, wiser. Sister Lucy is the mature one. The difference between them brings up images of how Lucy used to be, and how she didn't. I mean, they're the same and different.

One big difference is that Lucy is way less cautious than BB. As a toddler Lucy was always falling down and smacking her head against sidewalks and floors. It made the worst kind of thunking sound you've ever heard. BB's more hesitant and cautious. She also doesn't ever wear socks--another difference--which gives her feet better grip. 

But lately she's coming out of her shell with her body getting bigger and the daily language and motor coordination improvements.

You know what else? Lucy's going shit and piss in the big toilet now! Huzzah! Now I don't have to dump her excrement out of the little green toilet into the big one and have to wipe it out and rinse it out and wipe it out and wipe off the toilet rim and wash my hands every time she excretes!

I'm gonna study some motherfuckin Interpersonal Communication, a class taught by genius Professor Mac Parks at the University of W.


My Wife: Achiever of Goals

My special lady has been on a diet for a long time, and it's not been the easiest thing in the world for her. It's boring to eat nothing but healthy food all the time! Not to mention staving off hunger is a bitch.

It's all in preparation for this biometric screening that her work offers--a multi-step test that gauges blood pressure, weight, etc. The better her score, the more of a discount she gets on what her store sells.

And it's all going on today. So she's gonna come home and see this after it's all over. Hopefully it doesn't embarrass her too bad.

Img courtesy of Tim & Eric
She works on the admin team, in the position of badass, for a major grocery chain here in Seattle. You can ask her about it sometime if you want.

She's skinnier than she's ever been in her life. And not that I value anyone's skinniness over any other character trait, but she's worked really hard at it for about a month now. And before that, she's always striven to eat healthy, making kale smoothies for lunch and staying away from greasy and sugary shit.

Image courtesy of A Damn Beast
And she's not gonna publicly brag about this stuff, so I will. Megan is cool and kickass and she has an inspired haircut that's off the chain!

Great job, Megan. Shoutout to my not-common-law-wife of 14 years.

Who cares what your score is today. You score a flawless victory with me.

But the real reasons to feel good ...

... are the cheeseburgers and fries we're going to eat tomorrow night.
Image courtesy of McDonald's