Saturday, July 29, 2006

Recommended title: Baby Brains

Baby Brains.
by James, Simon, 1961-
Candlewick, 2004.
Subjects: Babies -- Fiction
Intellect -- Fiction
ISBN: 0763625078

Simon James's story about the smartest baby in the world was a hit with our girl as one more title in the baby preparation program. As one reviewer attests parents might like it too but do so with a sometimes odd, wry smile of self-recognition. How smart is your baby? Check out this title and see... Find it at a great bookstore or in YOUR local library

But don't just take my recommendation on its own..Over 25,000 UK kids selected this book for the Red House Children's Book Award

This book has me psyched to check out James' first book The Day Jake Vacuumed, too.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Shhhhhh...... everyone is sleeping; so, maybe I have mo' to talk to you guys. Are you ok? We're you worried? Did you think I was just going to give him the blog now that I am outnumbered by offspring?


I am well, just busy. I think it is starting to level out the expectations/efforts realistic to this scenario. Main thing is that today I got more than a couple fleeting moments to cuddle with each of the kids, it was great; everything SAHM'ing can be about.

Yes, the obligatory glorious birth story is in draft. Yes, I have me fears about my adventures in solo parenting next week.. you'll hear all about it. For now here's the Cook's tour of my not-so-new, aka latest and greatest, mommyhood.

1. It was hot last week. I am quite surprised my son recovered his birth weight in 10 days based on the langres-emulation lactation product on offer.

2. If one more dumbass stomps my bliss with some 'how are you coping' question I am gonna blow! You, know I get sick of the whole parenting as complaint-vehicle at the best of times but when I am all proud of the fact we eat 3 squares a day while being still completely clueless about how this is all supposed to work it really, really, really pisses me off. It sort of goes like this...

Well meaning twit: Ah, how are you surviving?
Snotty know it all mom, inner dialogue: Well, pretty good considering the fact I have just wasted .15 of the my rec. time of the day on someone who does not get that I LIKE my family. Have you seen my kid? He's great! Me, I feel well after squatting a noggin' a foot and a half around out my area! ... We are spoiled shitless.

I am surviving fine, dumbass*!

3. It was hot last week, still is sort of... But, you know I had a revelation. There is vodka in the freezer and I may drink it!

4. Something about the way Miss Fancy says soapy residue makes me imagine a 7 foot tall Mr. Clean funded character on a cartoon show. And, now introducing the latest superhero Soapy Residue!

5. Miss Fancy says fuck it now. As in, sitting in restaurant for Grandpa's birthday... Fuck it! Hee hee. Fuck it, Grandpa. Say it! I really think p-man should go back to work, already. He has been a big help sure, but it seems his work is done here. (Grandpa, of course thought this was really funny shit. Great!)

Thanks again everyone for the nice notes and comments we got quality readership round here; love you guys.

ps... at my end of work farewell dinner I was described in a top 10 list. Number one thing my 'customers' like about me (remember I work in IT) I never use the word dumbass when answering a question... At least not with my outside voice, I guess!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Gluteus Wednesdimus

I'm not sure who is a bigger ass (although the ass-ness complained of did not all occure this week). My nominees are this fine entertainer and this concerned dad. While I favour, almost ritually, political figures, there is not much to laugh about right now, and, more importantly, I'd have to read the news or something time consuming like that.

The new math: 1 child=1 child. 2 children = 5 children. I daren't think what 5 children would be like.

(As for the image, there appears to be an ass tollbooth indicated near the centre of it. Or a peach. I don't care.)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Not a Dry Enough Heat

Vancouver is experiencing some kind of heatwave. In other words, it is abnormally hot, and has been so for a little while.

I may have stated earlier I am unaccustomed to the heat. Right now it feels hotter that the nutsack of a spandex-clad triathlete at mile 24 of the running portion at the Hawaii Ironman event. Or, turning to something with which I have had experience, that of a large diaper-clad 6-day old in a post-war bungalow lacking in a/c. If this global warming thing turns out to be more than some fly-by-night scientific theory (and what are the odds of that?) I had best move to Prince Rupert now. (For those unfamiliar with the town of PR, ity is very far to the north of where I am presently typing and sweating. I think it is the cloudiest or rainiest place in our fair dominion or something like that. I trust this brief yet vague description will assist all 6 of you in appreciating the high-brow family entertainment I am brewing here.) (And original. Did I mention it is also strikingly original?)

Mo is presently feeding the baby giant and is so doing with great relief. Now, I am a decidedly ignorant man, but from what she tells me, she received her delivery of milk in the last 2 days, but le geant has preferred to doze while her milk waits on the porch in this heat, making her a little uncomfortable regarding quality control. Maybe it's quantity control. Or pain management, I'm not sure which, but the not-news regarding Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson has really captivated me of late. I can hardly sleep at night thinking of the sweet love they must make. (I wonder if video of their sweet love will appear on the internet.) It's like, besides that fine tale of true love, there's no good news anywhere. Nobody is getting along, except the shrub and our head of state who spent some time, according to reports, under shrub's desk during his recent visit. They're getting on too well, I'd say. No-one's allowed to mention the 'soft wood' issue.

Anyway, the pump was out, some hoovering performed, but it is hot, so the activity is less fun than it looks. My access to the device, for experimentation, has been restricted. Our son is well. He was, after 2 days of deliberations, given a name. It is not Daquelle, or D'ontarious, or Fuzzy. As if. Our girl, she is bearing up well, all things considered.

I feel blessed. And tired. (And hot.) In this mad (x4) world where PMs blow Presidents, people blow each other up because they are mad, downtrodden, uptrodden, righteous, less-than-righteous, and so on; where cute little owls, funny blubbery whales, and stripey tigers are disappearing because we need to kill helpless leafy trees, or herd plastics, or something; where baseball is more popular than tennis; and where white middleclass lawyers and librarians do not use perfectly good names for their son like "Jedediah", "Cletus", or "Demarcus", it is easy to lose hope. Based on my experience it is all too easy.

I'm not going to Dutch out here (I lack the patience, the research skills, the personality) and attempt to spin some homily for general consumption out of my personal experience (unless I do so, in which case I am merely being disingenuous, but how would you know that, unless I embarked on this navel-gazing nearly-the-end-of-the-post sentence-athon?). That said, today I feel like the act of having children with someone I love and building a family of some type, appears the most effective antidote to any hopelessness arising from within and a highly personal message to any of the aforementioned malfeasants, global and local, that I won't give up. Of course, having a family with actual human children may not work for you. Maybe you prefer pets. Maybe you'd rather have no family, and furtively practice unlicenced animal husbandry on ungulates at a zoo near you. You get my point.

Of course, that could be the heat and the sleeplessness talking. Yep. That's it.

We'll try to fashion a post soon with links and punctuation and like, an idea, or something soon.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Our little bundle

The nuthatch, aka Baby A.
Born July 17
10lb 3 oz

Well worth the wait. We are all doing very well and thank everyone for their kind wishes. Just another day to contemplate not just how much I want my kids but how much I need them.

Thank-you for coming little man.

Monday, July 17, 2006

This Just Out...

D'Qwell Dontarrious Muir-Kovalski arrived at 1226 h on July 17, 2006 at Vancouver. Birth weight 10lb 3oz. We'll maybe call him Tiny for short.

A huge hug and kiss go out there to the fairy blogmother and class act baby namer, Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah.

Look for more to come. We're glad that's over.

Ten More Albums I Own and Deplore

Twelve, actually. But who wants to read through a list of twelve. It's a number more suited to quantifying chicken embryos, donuts, or something.

No baby news other than my deep anxiety is channeling itself into record reviews. Unleash your inner music critic! (or Onan, whatever.)

Speaking of wanking, I was, and remain to a certain extent, a fan of what has been referred to as 'progressive rock.' I believe this moniker is intended to refer to the practitioners trapped in this pigeon-hole tending to play in unusual (read: undanceable) time signatures and to compose lengthy songs, suites, row houses, or condominia wherein they describe Frodo being buggered by an Orc, or something possibly more clever than that. In any event I admit to owning many (too many) records made by prog-rock bands from the 70's and even some of their solo and spin-off projects. It is fortunate that the latter efforts were made so I can keep the one-album-per-act thing going, because, I will admit against interest, I still enjoy some of the albums I own by the said 70's acts. (Go ahead, Crouton Boy, lay it on me.)

Without further ado, the last ten records for the purpose of this list which I own and hate but used to love, or at least liked, or thought I would like for some reason but was horribly wrong.

95. JEFFERSON AIRPLANE Surrealistic Pillow (1967)

The sign of things to come. Lame opportunism disguised as psychedelia. If this album is, in point of fact, what San Fran is built upon, I suggest everyone move far away from there.

94. CHRIS SQUIRE Fish Out of Water (1975)

I loved Yes. All it took was ignoring the lyrics and then it was simple. I thought, gee, I like the band. I'll bet I'd like this album. I thought wrong.

93. ROBERT FRIPP THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN The League of Gentlemen (1981)

I thought very highly of Mr. Fripp until I listened to this album.

92. McDONALD AND GILES (self-titled) (1971)

Wow, the half of the King Crimson line-up which produced 'In the Court of the Crimson King'? I can't believe my fortune in locating this hard to find nugget of prog-history! It... it... it... sucks.

91. SYD BARRETT The Madcap Laughs (1969?)

Wow, the genius behing Floyd's greatest album produced a solo album, after those bastards kicked him out of the band HE CREATED, saying he was erratic? He's a genius! I'll bet this album is great. I'll bet he proved them wrong.

Again, I lose the bet. I know there are those who romanticize this man as some kind of Byronesque figure and I used to count myself as one of them. The fact remains: he's nuts. There is nothing glorious or romantic about being in that predicament. This album is a journal of a young lunatic. It is depressing.

90. ROBBIE ROBERTSON (self-titled) (1987)

I can't believe the world waited 10 years for this steaming three-coiler of slick self-indulgence. I will misquote Rick Danko when he referred to the Band becoming "4 guys and an asshole". (It may have been prick.) Buy this album, hear Robbie pucker!

89. HUSKER DU Warehouse: Songs and Stories (1987)

This album and anything by REM led me to avoid all things tagged as "indie" for over a decade. Should be called "Ouhouse".

88. U2 War (1983)

Let the whiny self-righteous poseurific pomposity, already begun, increase. Who knew Bono was going to save us from ourselves? Indeed.

87. SUPERTRAMP Crisis? What Crisis? (1975)

Pick an album, any album, by these guys and test it for doneness. Half-baked MOR nonsense.

86. CROSBY STILLS NASH & YOUNG Dallas Taylor & Greg Reeves DEJA VU (1970?)

Why don't we name this band after each of us. We're stars, man!

Yeah, and let's put the session men's names in the band name too, 'cause they're totally cool... but smaller, because they aren't as ascendant as us. And Garcia. And Sebastian. Yeah, they're cool too, and they must play like, ..., 16 bars each... fuck 'em.

Let's name the album after the guy who sold us the schnee! Cut me a line. And another. And another. And another.

Oh, what pompous and overblown twaddle, from pompous overblown twits, is this. Teach your children well: BURN THIS RECORD!

85. THE FUGS It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest (1968)

Not even the album title can save these guys from sounding like angry stoned college boys. There may have been a time and place for that, mind you (like when I fit the description, maybe), but I am not sure it required the application of these sounds to vinyl. I'm pretty sure it didn't.

84. GENESIS A Trick of the Tail (1976)

WHAT was I thinking? This band sucked. Mike and the Mechanics sucked. Phil Collins sucks. I haven't even heard the other projects by the former members but I imagine they suck too. Peter Gabriel is pretty close to sucking too but I think he got out of this band just in time. This album is the aural equivalent of cooked noodles. Noodle noodle noodle.

All right. in the next album-related post I will make myself all vulnerable and such by identifying albums I actually own, like, and am unafraid to identify as such.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The librarian is overdue

Yep, as of today we are 1 week overdue... Or put another way we are so overdue we just don't want to even talk about it anymore. Well, we virtually don't.

It does suck as of today. I have had questions for 2 nights already and dread another 'is this going somewhere' night. The out of town MIL is getting antsy and I think I will tell her to just come when she wants... I am getting frazzled with the 500 phone calls. ergh.

I even completed a wide range of nesting rituals today in an effort to get the superstitions going. Sorry, I just wrote off the wisdom of washing my floors pre-labouring after the waste it was for me last time. But, at this moment the floors are gleaming, I've made the cookies, over there a crib lies made and empty... Come on baby!... Hopefully a quiet post will break the spell, or at least, get me comfortable with further delay.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Who Can Possibly Enjoy 100 Albums At Once?

The gauntlet has been dropped by me on this gentleman or by he on me. (I am uncertain who started it and as with any outbreak of hostilities I will play the role of the innocent naif who was so shocked to discover that this blogging icon owned, had owned, enjoyed, or had enjoyed a record made by Cinderella and was willing to talk about it that I saw red, ate over 6 dozen Twinkies, and put the P on him. It is a Twinkie-self-defence defence people. Cinderella. Fuck me. I will take the first shot here but I am citing Chapter 7.)

Somehow I am supposed to think (because I am self-indulgent) of 100 albums (because my taste matters, or you will learn something about me, encoded in my pattern of music consumption and appreciation), which I own (because I am a materialist), that belong on this list without any artist-duplication (because my tastes are diverse, wide-ranging, capital E-clectic). Here are the parameters if you care.

My solution to the quantity problem is to identify albums I used to like quite a bit, or once liked enough to purchase, but now despise. These shall comprise the early entries.

100. WALL OF VOODOO Call of the West (1982)

What was I thinking?

99. STEVE HILLAGE Fish Rising (1975)

What was I thinking? In my defence, I was very very high for a very long time. Perhaps I purchased this record during that period.


Wow, this music is really different... atmospheric... different... shitty!


Of all the flatulent albums these wankers produced (numerous of which I own, sadly) (and I assure the uninitiated, there are many windy passages in the ELP catalogue) this one really sucks. And blows. Maybe the triple-LP live set is worse in terms of volume but the badness on this one is more dense.

96. GRATEFUL DEAD Europe 72 (hmmm, maybe 1972?)

(Speaking of horrible and bloated 3-LP live albums by 70's dinosaurs...) The argument I can remember which applies to this album purchase (and of Aoxomoxoa, Terrapin Station, & c.) and the various trips to the US to see these fossils in action (inaction?) is referred to at #99, above. The running joke, of course, being the audience member's response to the act once the acid wears off: This band sucks! My member had that response. (That doesn't sound right.)

I am warming to the subject of album purchases I now regret. I will have more on this subject soon, presuming Mo doesn't go into labour shortly, and I have the time to locate all of the LPs in the basement which are presently used for... let's see... they have no use. They are crap!

P-man out.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Name that store

Mo and I just completed an IKEA put-the-damn-thing-together project and we are still together. For this I am grateful. Mo reminded me mid-gripe I had many things for which I ought be grateful and that made me doubly grateful because it was she who was there to remind me. My wife kicks ass. If it had been Mo, e, and one of the cats reminding me, my gratitude would have been increasing at a geometric rate rather than plodding along arithmetically.

On the subject of gratitude, I will be grateful to the nuthatch if he or she is born soon and before I have to assemble any further IKEA products. I feel like such a loser, I am buying a brand that says I can't afford real furniture. C'est la vie. Notwithstanding these feelings of self-loathing I return for more. More IKEA. More of those little Allen Keys.

I would like to propose to the big blue box store in question a new, truth-telling, slogan. My now deceased friend John H. said "IKEA is Swedish for I am arguing with my wife." (Meaning, he said this before he died, not, like, right before he died, as far as I know, but while he was living and not dead. It seems unlikely that the dead would return to this realm to dismiss IKEA to the living, but who knows? IKEA is everywhere.) I had suggested IKEA, "Swedish for you pay to put it together." Now I am thinking it is Swedish for "Sketchily designed furniture, made in the third world, and assembled by amateurs." Of course, I don't know any Swedish words or whether they favour umlauts, if it is they who indeed possess that elevated colon (besides Motorhead that is), or what IKEA might actually mean, if anything, other than "Give us your money. At least you aren't shopping at Wal-Mart, or Target, or whatever. Have a meatball. Have 100 for $9.99."

There probably is, or ought be started, an IKEA self-help program. IA. To those of you with IKEA assembly stories, or any IKEA story which is not boring, I ask you to share your stories. Together we can recover.

P-man out.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Still waiting

Still nothing new to report.

Can't complain... After the last few weeks we've had we are all really enjoying a little extra prep time and we are having lots of fun with the girl. Back to the doc's on Thursday and then we'll see how we feel.

ps from p-man...I can't speak for Mo but of late, and amidst the happiness I have enjoyed with her and e over the last couple of days, I have felt like I was stuck here, listening to this(*). Thank the creator for this.

* I expect this may show up in somebody's "100 Favourite Albums" List soon. Oh man.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Well swum swan

The Sunday call with the my MIL included a remonstration of my going swimming yesterday. Well! Honestly, when she was pregnant she was banned from swimming. P-man, ever the peacemaker, keeps reminding me... 40 years ago, dear. They said, Smoke YES! Swimming, NO! Take it in context.

This is really no help at all. I kinda wanna tell her to stick it up her mucus plug!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The hardest part

of waiting for the nuthatch to hatch is not the waiting. It's the interminable repetition of the chorus to "The Waiting Is the Hardest Part" by Tom Petty. I cannot recall a jot of any verses to that song. I cannot say there are any verses in that song. That would involve google research and that is another hard part of waiting: my already brief attention span is, uhm, what was I saying? Shiny object, baby, Tom Petty, Mo, Tom Petty, fuck leave my brain alone, tasty coffee, Mo, shiny, Mo, baby, Tom, baby, Tom, Tom, ack!

This is not to say I am impatient. E arrived 7 days past due, so to speak, and I am not the panicked expectant father I was in 2004. Rather than sit around the house today, it being the due date, and shatter Mo's nerves with some kind of revision of the early narcotic experience (Sitting in a room, staring, asking "Are you feeling it yet? Did we get ripped off again?") we looked for something else with which to occupy ourselves. In the morning we went to the Y for a swim and in the afternoon attended some overpriced open houses so I could distract myself from Tom Petty in contemplation of this inflated market (7-figure teardowns - how on earth can whiny, self-entitled, middle class aspirants such as this correspondent ever afford to live on the west side without lottery winnings, the bane of tenants, or of these?), increasing lending rates, the gnashing of teeth, pulling of hair, the gnashing of hair, and pulling of Tom Petty...

On the way home, as we tried to assist e in some brief shut eye, we lost the battle. E's voice of parental command returned and I drove home to the following directives: turn the music on Daddy, turn the music on Daddy, turn the music on Daddy. Turn it on. Turn it on! Don't turn there, go that way. Go this way. Go this way. Don't do that. Daddy, don't do that. Don't do that, daddy. Get a room Daddy. Get a room Daddy. Daddy, get a room.

P-man out.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Recommended title: My mum

My mum / Anthony Browne.
Doubleday or Random House, 2005.
Subjects: Mother and child -- Fiction
ISBN: 0385608217; 0552552348

Summary Note: A child describes the many wonderful things about "my Mum" who can be the boss, make anything grow, roar like a lion, be as comfy as an armchair.. and be my Mum!

Oh my God!.... Just in time for pre-sibling quality Mama and Child week at the Wo house... Miss Fancy selects this recent gift from the book aunties for reading and re-reading? Such a wonderful book, has us a bit drippy eyed around here but I am sure all our readers made of sterner stuff will not have such reactions. The killer is that at the huggy punchline my daughter throws herself at me for a cinematic quality embrace. Lovely. (Also, have to love the real life look of this Mom, no airbrushed, photoshopped Mommy like in all those run of the mill kids books! hee.)

ps... Thanks to everyone for the get well wishes. I am on the mend and regaining my strength in preparation for birth to take it all away from me again.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

All the Ass You Can Eat Wednesday

I am en route to what looks to be a truly noxious examination for discovery, so I will be brief. Today I nominate my "ass of the week" candidates. In no sensible order they are:

1. The driver of Allied Van Lines truck No. 5472. (I think that's the number, I don't know for sure, you were moving so fast as you bore down on me from the rear, before swerving onto the shoulder of Marine Way, without checking your speed, in order to crush the slightly swollen corpse of the roadkill raccoon. Big Man.) You, sir, are an ass.

2. That little guy from N. Korea with the limp missile problem. Clearly his star turn in Team America (which role was made for him) has gone to his head. I know it is difficult to discuss anything with the Shrub (who is also an ass of immense proportion) (and will be nominated soon, as soon as I read the news and find some risible quote) when he is busy on his latter day crusade for justice, or petroleum, or sand, or whatever it is, I forget, it keeps changing but to blow your wad in such an unceremonious manner suggests to me that you, sir, you are an ass.

3. The dead Enron guy. How dare you pop off prior to sentencing! How can anyone extract their putative pound of flesh when you are but a mouldering corpse? Unless there was some kind of 'Bulgarian Umbrella' scenario here (and I have no clue, did I mention I am in a bit of a rush? Quantity quantity uber alles, oom pah, and what about that semi-final match between Italy and Germany yesterday - it's almost enough to make soccer appear interesting, which is something, given the lack of gimmicks involved in the sport, such as cheerleaders, half time appearances by dinosaurs or the sartorially challenged, or blaring bertween-play music, all devices for those who have, or soon will have, the attenuated attention spans of gnats) in which case maybe the pound has been taken. In any event, you sir, you are and were an ass.

4. The sport of cycling. I thought that, in this modern age, the only person needful of a complete blood-change was Keith Richards, the only moron requiring growth hormones was some chubby baseballer, or a track star, but no. All of those who chase Mr. Armstrong's accomplishments are perhaps seeking some competitive edge, the edge some suggested Mr. A partook of (of which he partook, of, of partook which...fuck). A pox on your saddles, you silly spandex-loving cyclists. You have brought shame to your families and your sport. You are all asses. (My theory of Mr. A's success: one nut.)

(So there, he says, putting away his blowdryer.)

Today when I got home e said "thanks for coming home" and, well, it's kind of hard to stay bent out of shape. Children are yoga for the soul.

P-man out.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hack, hack, wheeze, pull-eeez

So Friday was my last day of work. Tomorrow will be my return to stay-at-home-momedness! This could be good.

To celebrate the freakin' virus that p-man had for like 3 weeks took hold of both me and the kidlet. In a word FRACK!!! Kid recovered in a couple days. Me I am goin' into day 6 and am thoroughly pissed. I only booked myself 1 week of solo child time and this is how I am going to spend it? 300lbs, no cleaning power and hacking all night? And, did I mention that it is 50 million degrees outside? Further, I am suffering a secondary hyperbole infection!!!

So, bring it on reality! More stress. I can take it. Silver linings so far unfurled:
1. Determination that ex utero child will continue to sleep when others move about the house leaking and wailing at 1, 3, 5 and 7 am, good news
2. Response time on the maternity call group to be rated good to excellent
3. Quality of foods prepared by p-man under kitchen strike conditions Satisfactory ++ (god bless bbq season)
4. Husband 'pulling himself up by fabled bootstraps' to 'just do it' partial differential equation, ∂w ∂x + y = y (x, λ) -- worth knowing
5. Complete railroading of herculean nesting instincts of the mater in question, definitely for the best at this point

Now pardon me ... my airway is nearly completely constricted, AGAIN. Bless 'em for the green light on the cough syrup after all.

ps... all those great plans to catch up on my blog commenting are a bit askew at this point, forgive me friends... hopefully I'll have a lovely baby photo to make up for it soooooon.