What day was State of the Union? I wanted to watch it live, but it started just before the baby was going to sleep, so instead of me watching it by myself while Honey put the baby down, she suggested we DVR it and watch it together. Rock'n'roll, Baby, whatever turns you on.
But apparently it wasn't a romantic date. An hour later, when we actually started watching, she was a little tired. When Obama said what he said about the Supreme Court, and Alito, who decided to go without his glasses to look cool, shook his head and said, "Simply not true," I said, "Honey, did you see what Alito just did?" And she said, "Yes." But then I realized her eyes were closed, and probably had been closed for a while.
I had a friend in school, who always took his glasses off to impress the girls. He sometimes even had a cigarette in his mouth. But he had Asthma, and he couldn't see without his glasses, so that look didn't really work for him.
Anyway, did you see that Baltimore thing, with Obama vs. 140 Douchebags? Motherfucker is gooood. These people spend their days calling him a Kenyan terrorist Communist Muslin abortion loving pervert, but when he comes over, they push each other to get his autograph.
A few weeks ago, last time it snowed, our crazy neighbor started shoveling the entire block at 6am. I woke up and just stood by the window, watching her, thinking about the most offensive thing I could tell her. Honey said I needed to relax.
Today's snow storm has just ended, which means the neighbor is down there now. It's 10pm, and she's just started shoveling the block. Again, I stood by the window, and Honey told me I needed to relax.
"What the fuck is wrong with her?" I asked.
"You need to relax."
"Look at her... It has to be a perfect square. She can't just shovel a path. It has to be perfect. Look at that. It's like it didn't snow today. And... Oh my God, she's moving to the next house... She's crazy!"
"You need to relax. You can't just stand there and watch her all night."
"OK. What if I told you there was a crazy person doing crazy things outside? Wouldn't you come to the window and watch him?"
"Yes, but she's been shoveling our snow for seven years now."
So now I'm downstairs, waiting for the neighbor to finish shoveling the block. I've been banished.
It was my birthday this week. 37-years-old. I don't know what else to say. I love round numbers, so 37 is just stupid.
Now the dogs are barking. Maybe it's because there's a crazy woman with a shovel outside. Fucking cunt. Sorry.
Things have been pretty good here. It's not easy right now, but we'll make it. And it's worth it. If she has Honey's face and my brain, that girl is going to be beautiful. Not that clever, but beautiful.
By the way, I wrote another review on Ask And Ye Shall Receive. It will probably be out there on Monday. Have fun reading it and tell me what you think.
It's been half an hour. I think I'm supposed to go upstairs now.
So there's the Daddy Group thingy I go to once or twice a week. It's winter, so now instead of going to parks, we meet indoors. Last week we met at this guy's house. Of course, I've already established here that I'm a douche, so the first thing I do when I enter is tell him his Ravens sign is all wrong. I've never been to his house, I hardly know the guy, and that's what I do. It's just... I had to say something...
See, the sign had the big Ravens logo, and underneath it said (with the capitalized words painted purple), "Count ON Losing This Saturday." Which doesn't spell COLTS. It spells CONLTS.
But he laughs, and I think maybe he didn't understand what I said, which is probably for the best.
A bunch of us are sitting there. Some of the kids play with each other, others play by themselves. He's giving out coffee and bagels. He has a lot of toys. The whole thing is pretty pleasant.
Then, while everyone starts eating the bagels, one of the host's 4-year-old twins blocks my way to the kitchen. With his leg. Now, I have a few options.
1. I can ask the host to ask his son to move his leg.
2. I can walk around the boy.
3. I can ask him to move his leg.
4. I can move his leg.
5. I can grab his leg, kick the table with it, and say, "Why are you kicking the table? Are you crazy? What's wrong with you? Stop kicking the table!"
So now that kid, his twin brother, and another girl are chasing me around the house. They stand in front of me to block my way. Then I turn around and they start climbing over me. Now I'm looking back and see these two blond identical twins hanging on to me, and I'm no longer in their father's house--I'm in a horror movie. These kids will start eating me soon, and they will not stop until I pray for the sweet release of death.
But I get over that, and while they're still on top of me, holding on to my clothes, I sit down on the couch, with the host's kids as cushions.
And I'm thinking to myself, "I've made the right choice. Kids like to play, and I like to play with kids, and sure, it was a bit rough, and for a moment, a bit scary, but in the end, it's all about having FUN!"
But my thoughts are interrupted by the twins' tearful screams. Apparently I went too far.
So the day started bad, with the cable box not working. I call Comcast and press all the option buttons, and finally a guy comes on and says, "So you unplugged it and plugged it again and it still doesn't work?"
"Oh, I didn't do that..."
So I unplug it and plug it again and it's alive. But I'm still angry because I was ready for him to say he'll send someone over in a week to fix it, so I say, "What happened there?" And he says, "Probably it wasn't plugged in all the way." And now I'm really angry because IT WAS PLUGGED IN, DAMNIT, so I say, "Well, I'll call again next time it happens!" And he agrees I should do that.
That's just an introduction to what comes later in the afternoon.
The network-router-thingy comes in the mail. I unwrap it, put the CD in, and get an Error 301 message. So I call Cisco and this evil Tech Support woman answers the phone. I think she's going to tell me she'll mail me a new CD or a new router or have someone come over and see what the problem is, but instead she walks me through the entire complicated installation. And I'm not ready for that, because the boy has just had his lunch and he's throwing stuff around and singing, and shouting, "Look! Look! Look!" because obviously I've never seen a Lego tower before, and at one point I turn around and there's a Swifter stick inside my shirt. And the woman is this stereotypical SNL Computer Guy, telling me every few seconds, "Obviously we have a problem here because you don't seem to understand what I'm saying. Do you know the difference between Wired and Wireless?" And she's so mean, and I have Lego towers on my lap and a broom sticking out my back, but I get it to work.
One last thing to do: put the network USB adapter in the back. I bend down under the table, stick the adapter in, and am about to get up, when I realize Liam turned the computer off. Pressing buttons is so much fun in the Science Center, after all. So I turn it back on and get an error message. My Config/System file has been corrupted. So I lie on the floor and wait for Death.
That's how Honey finds me when she gets home from work. Lying on the floor with the spark of life gone from my eyes, and a Lego tower on my chest.
She takes the baby upstairs, giving me the energy to fight on. I call Gateway. We can solve it, but it'll be $60. Well, I guess that's a small price to pay to save all the documents and the baby pictures. Thirty minutes on hold, listening to slap-bass improvisation solos, which I guess are supposed to calm me down, and a Gateway Tech Support Professional is ready to save my computer.
First, he tries to start the computer in Safe Mode.
Second, he tells me to insert my original CD. We're going to format the hard drive.
"Wait. Wait! Does that mean deleting everything?" Yes. That's what it means. And there's nothing else we can try? No. File is corrupted. It's all gone.
So I tell him I'll call him back, and I use my cellphone internet to search for "Config System Corrupt," and I find this page, and ten minutes later this is what I see on my computer:
Rachel took a picture a day in 2000. Now she's taking a picture a day in 2010.
And it's not simply a "Wow! We look older!" What she gets here is a view of growing up and maturing as a person. But more than that, she also gets a view of the changing world in the last 10 years. Maybe I'm seeing too much here, but I'm allowed, because I'm the beholder.
I wonder, for example, if I'm the only one who sees the 2000/2010 photos in light of 9/11. I wonder if she also thinks there's a different feel to the country. Maybe. Or maybe it's in my head. I have always been cynical of the idea that the world changed on 9/11, but maybe subconsciously I do feel this way?
Maybe I just like it because I lived in New York in 2000 (well, Brooklyn), and looking at the blog, I feel like I'm looking at my own transformation.
Here's one example from her blog. The top picture was taken in January 4th, 2010. The bottom one is from January 4th, 2000.
A young man, about 16 or 17 years old, was lying at the edge of a cliff, looking at the clouds. The young man felt alive. The world was in him and around him. A tiny little speck of happiness, he was nothing and he was everything.
A few years later, the man left his country and found a place where he could evolve and learn. And the more he learned, the more he realized how much more there was to know. He set himself humbly before the world and opened the door to the knowledge and the beauty around him.
Then, after a while, that man then became pretty proud of himself, to be honest.
Because now, he was smart, and he was beautiful, and he knew what kind of people he wanted by his side and what kind of people were wasting his time. He was edgy, and he was rebellious, and he believed in himself.
And the more he believed in himself, the less he thought of others.
And you know what? That's really something you can get used to.
That twenty-something guy would have looked at me chasing my kid around Chuck E. Cheese yesterday with pity, or more likely, with condescension. I would have been one of them. You know them, right? They are the people who chase their kids around, holding their cameras in one hand and the snot rags in the other. They're the ones who think their kids are special. They're the ones who go to Chuck E. Cheese with no sense of irony, as if they could recognize irony if it rained on their wedding day.
But that younger person would have seen it differently. He would have realized that the beauty he found at the edge of the cliff was everywhere, actually. The vision of clouds moving slowly on a warm day was as beautiful as the sound of a child going down a slide. The same mix of living the moment and floating on top of the clouds could also be felt by a father standing a few feet behind his boy, watching his hesitant few steps on his way to interact with other kids. And that humble thirst for knowledge was what being a father was all about.
On our way back home, I panicked for a second. Was that it for me? When I thought to myself that I wanted to go back there as soon as next weekend, was it officially the death of my soul? Funny enough, it was actually the other way around.