Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Fuzzy, Groggy, Deaf

Carly took m to the THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS concert last night for a birthday present.
Happy Birthday to me.
It was at a small venue. And very VERY LOUD!! As usual they were great. The sound system was not, but it was still quite enjoyable. TMBG is one of those great live bands. They did two encores, the second of which included a long sing-a-long and their patented "What's on the FM radio dial?" where they get an actual FM radio and run from top to bottom stopping at various channels and playing along with whatever is on. They opted not to play the mariachi song (oh well), but they played a jazzy-blues number, two country tunes, and the AM rock staple "I can see clearly now".(That says something about the sad state of Raleigh Radio) That was pretty cool.
They did not play their best live sound, IMHO, "The Sun" :(
They played the rarely heard, and my favorite, "New York City" :)

My ears are still ringing, and I wouldn't say I am wide awake. But I am glad we went.

Carly made me a birthday breakfast burrito this morning! Yeah!

Monday, September 27, 2004

A bit early to be imposing roles on it. Don't you think?

After two postponements at the OB-GYN (some women just do not have the decency to have their labors at appropriate times) we found ourselves in the office at 7:30pm Friday night. We waited and waited. This is par for the course at our OB's. If you want the best OB in town you have to deal with the lines. I guess part of me is irritated that there are such waits, on the other hand, the fact that he was there late into the night seeing people says something about him.
By 11:30pm or so, we were eventually shown in. This was basically just an appointment for the ultrasound, so we did not spend a great deal of time doing much else, we were all exhausted. Whenever there is an ultrasound I get extremely nervous. It is like being tested for a terrible disease. You might not think about it at all until you get tested, then the possibility that you could have the disease looms large. I dread the possibility of some sign of something wrong, a malformed heart, curved spine, small placenta whatever. Thankfully, the ultrasound showed a healthy spine, brain, heart, stomach, placenta and cervix, all great news. That was the most important news to me. But I guess someone of you might be wondering if anything else was discovered.
Well after a perplexing journey through layers of our little baby (ultrasounds provide cross-sections through the body, it is pretty cool actually) we finally saw two fairly meaty thighs (for fetus only 7 inches long), and nestled between them was evidence that:

We are having a Boy!

So much for feminine intuition (Carly was sure it was a girl). This sparked a quick trip to the consignment sale to by some of the traditional blue clothes. It is almost impossible to avoid buying pink for girls and blue for boys, but have managed to find things in just about every other color through extensive searches.

We would have been happy either way. I think Carly is still in a little shock at the prospect. Having helped raise my little cousin Shelbyu, she felt relatively well prepared for raising a girl, but she is nervous about a boy. I imagine that it will not be very different. Apart from (certain clothing choices) we are trying to avoid imposing gender roles anymore than biology dictates. So I don't plan on any significant differences myself. But we shall see.

I do already notice one slight difference in my attitude. I feel somewhat more protective/fearful/stereotypically 'fatherly' of my daughter's sexuality and less worried about my son's. Granted both of these shouldn't be an issue for a few years. I don't plan to be the sort of father that brings a gun to the door when Sophie's dates show up, but I feel she is more at risk than a boy. Probably just social pressure. In any case, I want all my children to be self-confident and feel love, which I believe are the two most important things to encourage good choices with sexuality.

I guess I can put worry about that for a little bit, and concentrate on keeping her from chewing through power cords.

As to our expected... we are still working on a name (please do not offer suggestions, we find that choices that looked good a few monthes ago have grown stale so we want to keep things fresh).

I am interested in your thoughts about circumcision.


I am circumcised, and it seems to work fine for me. I am not sure what to do for an uncircumcised person. I know there is no real medical reason to do it. Normally I would reject a social reason for doing it, but I don't want to add any pressure on my son (still getting used to saying that). I don't even know what the norm is any more. So, I'd be interested to hear any arguments one way or the other.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Office Update

I've now gone through the closet and thrown most of it away. My theory, if I haven't taken stuff out since we've been here (3 years) I probably won't do it ever. A kept a few things. I trashed my large collection of KODTs and threw away all of my old D&D notes and dungeons. Most of that stuff is on disk, so no real loss there.
I still need to get some little baskets for the case we have, and maybe a paper organizer for the closet. But apart from that it is pretty much all done. It is amazing how much space is in here.
Once baby X is born, and we move her crib into the baby room, we will probably be moving some of the furniture from in there, in here. So that should begin to make the room seem full. I am contemplating gaming in here on a occasion. I will have to see what it would look like with a table and chairs. I think it could work. But I am not sure. As it stands Colin is pretty allergic to cats, so we probably won't play in here for a bit.
I am tired...It is a lot of work. It is really incredible how stuff expands when you pull it out of its place. This room did not seem full of stuff (other than the big desk). But once the desk was out, and I started moving stuff out of its place, the room seemed to fill up with junk. Sadly much of the junk is stuff we need.

Oh.. I got $67.77 for used books at Edward McKay's! And these are books I am preety sure I never read, nor will I ever. Sweet!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Endless Campaigns, Instant Campaigns

Aristotle once said (roughly) "moderation in all things."

Last Year Arnold Swartzeneggar won a very short election. There was little time for people to really think about who was more qualified, there was only a single debate, and there were no run-offs, so many candidates of similar persuasion may have cancelled each other out. Too short elections seem to favor BIG personalities over qualifications.

This year, and last year, we are faced with the extremely long election between two candidates that were pre-selected long before the recent conventions. In this tie I think people are getting exhausted by listening to the arguments. Many of the swing voters seem to be frustrated by continuing to here of mismanagement of the war, the economy, health care, accusations of dodging service, illegal funding, collusion with big business, etc... My conclusion overly long elections favor whoever has the 'nicest' or most approachable personality. People like Bush, and a year's worth of evidence of his incompetance merely tires them, they don't want to hear it any more.
The long election might get him elected because the message gets old after a while.

Maybe both sides are aware of this. The question is, can we stop it? Or failing that, can anything be done to deal with it?

Monday, September 06, 2004

Goodbye Office

Andy and I broke down our office desk this morning.
Making room for baby #2.
A little history. Since moving out of my parents' home I've never really had the desk I wanted. Small spaces and lots of roommates left little room for a big desk. For the longest time, I had a this armoired desk that barely fit a computer much less anything else. School work was a pain, but gaming was nearly impossible. Especially if you knew the sort of stuff I was doing at the time. Then when I moved to Raleigh I finally got the desk I wanted. I was huge. It filled the window area of our apartment, and later a whole room in our house. It wasn't beautiful, but it was big. It was a cubicle style desk with a hutch, and ell so the desk formed a big C shape. I could spread out quite a bit there. Of course, when we added the printer, and the paper cutter the space got smaller, but once I got rid of the desktop, it was still big.
Well, it is now gone.
No big loss really. I look forward to using the space for other purposes in the future. And it is a much lighter space now. I am full of hope. Sadly, it does mean I need to go through the room and purge it of files, old books, and maybe even my collection of KODT. Oh well, it needs to be done.

So what is this symbolic of? Umm.. come on people help me out here.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Another School Year

Well, I am a couple weeks into the school year. Nothing major has changed. I am always optimistic that I can make a difference by the way I teach, but when it comes right down to it, I think the students have more control over that than I.
My tiny honors class is doing great. They do their homework and seem to get the major points of the book. We have good conversations in class and people seem energetic.
My other classes are okay, but there is a kind of lethargy there. Like they just can't bring themselves to work hard in my class. I don't know if it is because of the fact that they are required, or because the classes are so big. In any event, I am laboring to make them more exciting and energetic for the students.
I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the work load I gave myself, too many homework assignments and quizzes. I really, should just have two papers in each class and be done with it. That way I wouldn't be constantly reminded of the situation.

Labor day is game day. That will be good. I've missed it.