You are finite, Zathras is finite. This..... is wrong tool.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Probably done.

I haven't posted in over a month, and while I could (honestly) say it's mostly by choice, there certainly was a degree of laziness involved as well. I've soured on the idea of a blog as a place for my more private musings, and most of the rest of what I post I simply don't have the energy for. While it would be nice to have consistent updates about Nathaniel and such, but most of the people who would be interested see him fairly regularly, and much of the posting seems to me to be pretty pointless. Perhaps it's just recent mood (dark) putting a blot on things, and perhaps I'll get around to starting a new blog which could hopefully be more about Nathaniel than my own musings at some point (if I can get Stephanie to post on it, it might actually be viable) but for now, I think this is done.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Go Team Venture!

It has been since about 1999 that I watched a show and actually looked forward to seeing the "Next time, on XXX" at the end of an episode. That long since Babylon 5 went off the air and there hasn't been a show since that I look forward to like the Venture Brothers. Sure I enjoy shows like Mythbusters and a few others, but they're not shows where the plot continues across episodes; where there's an arc. Venture Bros. doesn't really have a long-term laid out arc like B5 did, but it does have a continuity that I appreciate (something I always loved about the Tick cartoon show -- how the moon continued to have CH carved into it from an episode where Chairface decided to use a huge laser to carve his name in it.) The show's primary theme is failure, and it focuses on a washed-up dude who is living off his father's legacy. A father who was a famous super scientist, but not a great father, and who died while the main character was in college. A lot of the show seems a conscious parody of Johnny Quest, and although I didn't watch much of Johnny Quest as a kid, I do still see the parallels. This show is perhaps the real life Johnny Quest forty years later (in fact, there's a character who is clearly Johnny Quest in the show who is a strung out junkie.) The theme of later consequences of adventures and failure really resonates with me for some reason. Anyway, the show is on hiatus (again) until later November, when the one-hour season finale will air, and then it'll be God knows how long until the next season airs. Hopefully not too long. And hopefully the show is picked up for at least a fifth season, if not

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Out of sight, out of mind.

Stephanie worked yesterday and Sunday, and it was the second and third times that I drove the new car. And only the fifth or sixth that I actually rode in it. It's not that I'm angry or jealous about it at this point or anything, I just noticed it when we were going to swimming last week. The point of it is that all this while it just hasn't really occurred to me that we have a new car. To a certain extent I suppose I was aware that if I needed to go somewhere I could take Nathaniel in the Subaru, and even considered it a bit from time to time. The point, though, is that it just wasn't something I thought about until this weekend when I drove it. Despite what I wrote earlier, I just haven't thought about it at all. I suppose that's a good thing since I was worried about jealousy. have thought some about what sort of vehicle to get myself when/if that time comes, though. I've seen a lot of the two-door Honda Insights, which are intriguing, although I haven't had good luck with Hondas, and then I wondered if there would be a Smarte Car Hybrid (or if it would just make more sense to do an electric vehicle.) There have been some articles recently about plug-in cars and fully electric vehicles, and the word is that around 2012 they will be far more available. While they're going to start only on the west coast, I can only hope that by 2014 or so we'll have them more available around here. Probably not, but with some luck, there will be some nice small hybrid for my purposes, or maybe I'll be at a place where something fun will be realistic. Like a 1973 BMW 2002. I guess that's the difference between my definition of "fun" car and most peoples'. Most people would think of something like an Audi TT or a BMW coupe. I think of a forty year old German family sedan which I saw on an old episode of MacGyver and fell in love with. Oh well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My son has brown hair.

I'm not sure why this should come as any sort of a surprise to me; I mean, it's visible literally every single day. Every time I look at him (or at least, so long as he's not actually wearing a hat at that precise moment, and then only a really nice warm hat) I can see his hair, so why is it that when I looked at him while he was sitting on my lap (reading books) today that it struck me suddenly that he has brown hair?
Setting aside the point that I just noticed this, it's still a little strange to me because my hair is black, and I thought that was supposed to be dominant. My parents both have black hair, and my dad is Indian, so how did Stephanie's lighter brown come through? Who knows; maybe it will darken over time but it's just a little odd to me.
I wonder sometimes about my views on appearance. On the one hand, I know that I obviously care very deeply about how someone looks, but I also know that when asked to describe someone I'm absolutely useless. Despite having some (usually unidentifiable by most people) non-white ethnicity, I tend to not notice race in most cases, but when I do I'm very aware of it. All the women that I've dated are white, and most of the women that I find attractive are white (which is not to say all.) When we studied anything having to do with race in law school, I found myself rather conflicted, finding the issues considerably more complicated than most people like to admit (on either side.) I find the thought that I don't notice racial things most of the time to be somewhat comforting, but I also know that it's a bit of a false sense of things, and it's really more of a case of simply not noticing things around me to the extent that I probably should. Details are something that I've always said I'm good with during job interviews and such, and I've always thought it to be true, but I'm also bad with names, descriptions and people, so it's kind of a toss-up as to which one of those things is going to win out when I actually begin practicing. I'm hoping that the ability to remember details about a case will be the thing that helps rather than the inability to remember the name of the case being the thing that causes me problems. We'll see.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Von Hansen's Meats

Last night we had Stephanie's parents and sister and her husband over for dinner. It gave us a chance to burn up a lot of the wood that we've accumulated over the summer as it falls from the big maple tree in the back, and to try out the Von Hanson's meats that I bought. I got some chicken, bacon swiss patties and some blue cheese burgers. They're pre-made patties which have the cheese/bacon put in the ground meat. They were delicious. The best part of it is that they aren't actually much more expensive than regular meats would be. It's about $5-6 per package, and each package is about a pound, so the price is actually right about what it would be to buy ground beef and blue cheese and make it myself, or in the case of the chicken, it might be cheaper than buying chicken and bacon and swiss cheese. And it's tasty. I have a feeling I'll be heading there more often now, and will dig out the George Forman to make them in the winter. Those blue cheese burgers were damn good.
Von Hanson's has about fifteen stores, all in Minnesota except for one in Arizona. If you're near one, I suggest you check it out. Beyond the foods that I mentioned above, there are also Pizza burgers (burgers with Mozzarella cheese inside,) stuffed pork chops, brat burgers, home made brats (and beer brats,) chicken-bacon-swiss brats, shrimp, and various and sundry other readied meats and kabobs. Finding a good butcher is something that is really key in a new city, even if I've lived here all my life, I know it to be true. Now if only Nelson's Cheese Factory still made the same great variety of cheeses as I remember as a kid (although the store is still awesome in its current incarnation.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New update with Lemon Fresh Scent ... and PICTURES!

It's been absolutely beautiful here for the last week and a half or so. Getting up to around 70 degrees (or higher sometimes) and sunny. It's given us a lot of time to play outside, which is Nathaniel's favorite thing to do. As soon as he wakes up in the morning it's "bye-bye," meaning I want to play outside. He got a nice sand and water table from my parents for his birthday, which is one of his favorite things, and he also likes his little slide/sports climber, although it's a little less exciting these days since we've been going to the playground at Hillcrest, where there are much bigger slides.
That playground is nice in that it has a smaller playground for smaller kids as well as the main one. You'd think he'd enjoy the smaller playground, with the steps closer to his size, and the smaller slides, but he's much more interested in trying to clamber up onto the side of the playground where the bottom step is about even with his sternum. He's fearless with the slides too, demanding to go down the biggest ones on the playground, and often doing so so quickly that I have to leap off the side of the playground to catch him as he reaches the bottom, and sometimes tumbling over backwards if I'm not fast enough. He also loves to play in the sand, both at the playground and in his sand table, although luckily we've pretty much managed to stop him a. throwing it, and b. eating it. It's funny, because he was fearless with the slides and flying down them long before he was willing to try to stand up or walk on his own. He hates the swing, which is not really surprising since he also dislikes being swung around in one's arms overmuch (although he does enjoy running around in my arms.)

Now that he *is* walking, though, he really wants to go fast and far. For a while we walked up and down the sidewalk in the front with his Tonka truck in front of him, running as fast as he could and sometimes falling down when we hit a bump or a crack in the sidewalk. Now, we tend to just walk (thankfully most of the time holding daddy's hand) up and down the sidewalk looking at all the cars going by and saying "Vroom!" at them.

I shouldn't say we walk "up and down" the sidewalk, because we both walk, hand in hand down the sidewalk, but when it comes time to turn around, he decides that really means it's time to let go of daddy's hand and keep going, usually faster. I'm kind of worried about what we're going to do when winter comes around, but hopefully we'll be able to entertain him indoors, and since we have the new car (and thus the Subaru available for trips) we might be able to take advantage of some open gym time at the rec center.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Separation at ECFE

Last week was week three of ECFE. It was also the first time that we separated--adults in one room, kids in the other. It starts with us playing in the room as we have for the last couple of weeks, getting the kids comfortable with their surroundings, and then we say goodbye and let them stay with the teachers and the other kids for a while. Nathaniel didn't seem to have any problem when I was first leaving. He wasn't interested in even looking at me or paying me much mind when I said "Daddy's going to go bye-bye," just continuing to play and look around the room for new toys. When I'd left and was watching through the one-way mirror, he was watching the other parents leave and saying "bye-bye" to them as they went out the door. I was relieved that it had gone well. Then within ten minutes of us being in the parents' room, we got a call that he wasn't doing too well and so I brought down Leo and his pacifier. When we went back at the end, I could see him walking around the room while one of the teachers blew bubbles, his pacifier hanging from his overalls by it's leash. He absently put it in his mouth, and then let it fall.
I felt like I shouldn't have brought the thing down to him. I should ahve let him have Leo and then if he still needed it brought the pacifier. He does so well at home just having it in the car or stroller or at nap times. I don't want him to start using it more regularly. The teacher said that it was a big help, but I don't want him to be using it every time he needs to calm himself down. I want him to have other strategies for that. We'll see how it goes next week, but I will have to actually assert that if I can and hope that it goes better as he has done it once before.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New car.

We bought a new car last night, a Prius. I'm sure I'll be happy with the car, but I'm nevertheless pained by the amount of debt incurred, and worried about having made the right choice. The Prius ended up a good five grand more than the primary other option at which we were looking, the Nissan Altima. The Prius will save us a lot on mileage, and with Stephanie's job that actually figures to be a significant consideration; she drives a good 1000 miles per month, and the Prius gets more than twice the MPG (51 to the Altima's 23 in city driving.) But I'm just never one to enjoy spending money. I could have won the Powerball and I'd still be hemming and hawing over this kind of purchase especially, but also the PS3 that I've been trying to decide on for over two years now. I've decided that I want that over the XBOX, but that doesn't mean that I'm ready to spend the $300 on it. I'm just adverse to spending money when I know I will have some degree of buyer's remorse. For the PS3, it's always goign to nag whether it was worth the price. For the car, I'll always doubt if we should have gone with the Altime (or the Sonata.) I hope that means that I'll be good with money over time. But I kind of doubt it.

This car is for Stephanie. She'll be driving it the most (which was true of the Subaru too, I guess, but perhaps more so for this one; we'll see.) A big part of the thought process was about her work situation, from mileage to dealer location, and I am feeling a bit jealous that she'll be driving the new car so much more. It will be nice to have the Subaru around for backup when it gets too cold to walk Nathaniel up to ECFE comfortably, and to get around even when I'm just watching him, to the grocery store/errands whatever (especially as my parents gave us their car seat for it, so that we can have one in both cars). I don't anticipate using it much, probably similarly to the Corolla when we borrowed that a couple years back. It will be nice to have that option. But I'm still jealous of the new car, and then I started to think about getting myself a new car (in three to five years) and trying to think what kind of car I'd want. Part of me wants to say a flashy/fun kind of small car, but I know in reality I'm just too practical to enjoy spending money on that kind of thing (tens of thousands of dollars in rapidly depreciating sheet metal--or more likely fiberglass) so I'd probably end up getting another Prius, or perhaps a different sedan. An Insight or something. By that time, perhaps there will be more hybrids available. But more likely than any of that, would be that we get a van. By that time we'll be thinking about more kids and need the space for car seats and such, and so it's unlikely that I'll be able to get a new car for me until the kids are in the process of going to college. Or at least the latter stages of high school. Perhaps it will be different if my work situation changes and it's just not practical for me to ride the bus in to downtown Minneapolis (or wherever I end up.) But for now, I see myself being able to get a new car for me to drive in about twenty years.

Devi's visit

My godmother Devi was visiting us over the weekend to see Nathaniel. Apparently she received our picture that we sent out (12 month photo) and decided she had to come. She arrived on Thursday, though, so it was a little bit tougher due to ECFE. And he made it tougher by not napping in the morning, so he was tired for the meeting, but was still generally his happy self. Seeing Papaaaa and Soniya didn't hurt. We had to leave relatively early on Thursday, but we had a good Friday and even managed a short visit Saturday morning before she had to go. We did lunch at Little Szechuan where Nathaniel loved to look at the fish in their tanks, and dinner at Peninsula (where Devi had gone on Thursday afternoon but wanted to go again.)
I had dressed him in some of my old clothes on Thursday, but Devi didn't see me enough at that age to recognize them, but I did get a comment about the cool "retro" clothes that he was wearing at ECFE. I said it wasn't so much retro as "original" and were mine when I was his age. I think I ought to write more about ECFE and how the first separation there went.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Update on a few things

Nathaniel has now gone to two ECFE classes. They've gone as well as could be expected. He's done pretty well with not taking toys away from the other kids, and while at his age you can't expect much active joint-play, he's always been interested in watching other children. The songs are, of course, inane and slightly insipid, but that's about right for the age group in question. It's stuff that I know they will enjoy, and it's amazing to me to watch Nathaniel's face as the group around him sings "and Nathaniel's here today, and Nathaniel's here today, yay Nathaniel!" or "The sign today is Water, the sign today is water, high ho a derio, the sign today is water." He's quite interested in what's going on and just taking it all in. The classes are on Thursdays.
This past Thursday went quite well. Stephanie had to leave at least as early as usual and Nathaniel got us up in plenty of time as is normal, but then I had to try to adjust his schedule so that the class doesn't come at the absolute worst time. It's scheduled for 12:30-2:30, which is, of course, right in the middle of lunch and then nap time. So instead, I've tried to keep him awake until about 10:00 so that we can have an early lunch and hopefully be ready to nap when we get home without getting too cranky. It went well, and I think it's going to work for the long term. It might even end up being the regular schedule rather than just on Thursdays. We'll see how he takes it.
But he ate well, he slept for acceptable lenthgs of time, and was not cranky for the most part. Even when Stephanie came home for around five minutes before going out again to a retirement party, he still was in good spirits and ate well, played calmly, read books and was agreeable in getting ready for bed (even if he didn't actually fall asleep until after a good hour of rocking.) I could do with more days like that. Far too often I end up feeling like I"m doing a horrible job because he's cranky, or I feel like I'm not giving him enough attention because I'm reading or browsing the web while he plays in the living room. I worry that I'm being too selfish in hoping he naps so that I can have an hour or if I'm lucky two to myself. (I haven't been able to bike in weeks and weeks for uncertainty in how long he'll nap.) If he remains this reasonable, I think things will be Ok.

Last night Jake and I went to Town Hall to watch the Twins game. I'd been wanting a night off away like that for weeks, and it finally came and it went pretty well also. The game was a bit of a bust, we lost 10-1, and my Walleye Hoagie was very disappointing given my wonderful memories of it, and there weren't any good seasonal beers or cask ales, but the beer was still good, and the ability to just be away, talk about nothing and reminisce for three or four hours was really nice. I brought home a growler of Hope and King Scotch Ale too, and look forward to having a chance to break it out and drain it.
The Twins were supposed to have Carl Pavano pitch last night, but having re-jigged the rotation to get the playoff order they want, it was Francisco LIriano. Which wouldn't have matter the least to me, had I not earlier in the day shaved a magnificantly ridiculous Pavstache in honor of his start. I will continue to sport it today (and we'll see for how long) as he pitches this evening instead.

Star Trek and Star Wars

I recently picked up a few Star Trek episodes from the library. They were in a set of "Fan Collectives" meaning that it was a theme of Time Travel across four of the series (Enterprise was not included.) I was a big TNG fan back in the day, but now I can't really get myself to watch reruns even. It's not the case with other shows which require a difficult suspension of disbelief, and it's not about the writing, because there are certainly some good episodes; I just can't stand them any more. It's strange. Anyway, I also got Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and something struck me while I watched it. The difference between Star Trek and Star Wars... and by extension the prequel trilogy as well.

The models show a big difference. Star Trek models, indeed Star Trek in general has a very clean, sterile look. Star Wars in general has a very dirty look. Used, battered, etc. I think that lends itself to seeming more realistic. In a world where peopel are exploring planets, things get dirty and used. I realize that the idea of a perfect future like Star Trek includes magical cleaning things, but give me a break, it's just too much. I was startled to see that ILM interviews in the special features of the ST:III DVD echoed precisely this, comparing their model-making process to those for Star Wars and for Alien(s.)

Then I thought about the prequel trilogy. Everything looks much cleaner. I'd previously thought that perhaps, even though the CGI was quite good, and at times indistinguishable from model work, that was what had bothered me about the prequels, but I think I hadn't quite hit on it with that. What bothered me wasn't that it was all CGI, but rather that everything seemed much too clean and shiny for Star Wars. It's in keeping with the chronology; the prequels take place during the height of the Republic, when things were shiny and new; clean and kept up, but it still just doesn't have the same feel. And I think that's what actually bothered me about the CGI, and what made the prequels have so much of a different feeling and simply a lack of the magic that was inherent in the original trilogy, where you had the sense of a greatness lost, and could see remnants of it. I'm a sucker for lost technology and stuff like that, loving that discussion in The Lost World.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So it's been like eight years since I updated this...

Been forever since I posted on this blog, and a part of that has been the weight I feel of trying to make an update after such a long hiatus. Of course, this is the same dilemma for a number of things. If you wait too long for something, and are intimidated by the wait, it just gets worse and harder to start. So I figured, best to just post. But then it comes to actually writing something, and even with all that's been going on, I just can't seem to get the energy to write anything of any interest. I've been suffering from some depression/malaise/listlessness the last several weeks, and that hasn't helped. Anyways, I'm hoping that merely by making an update I'll be more likely to begin updating again. Also, I'm thinking that I might be better about it if I don't feel like it has to be every day again. So we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yesterday was Nathaniel's second to last swimming lesson for the session. Although they started while I was gone in South Africa, I've quite enjoyed going to the last two or three of them. He likes the water for the most part, although he gets cold after only about 15-20 minutes in the water, so the 25 minute length is about right. His favorite is jumping into the water from the sides, although he also enjoys playing with a ball sometimes as well. He's not too interested in the actual swimming aspects as yet--stretching his arms, kicking his legs, etc.--but he does splash sometimes when asked, and although not intentionally to try to transport himself he does kick a fair amount at times. I think the main goal of the exercise at this point is to acclimate him to the water itself, so that he's not afraid of it down the line. The major goal of that is getting his head under water. We try that two or three times per week, and of course he gets all shocked every time it happens. The instructors say that it's usually worse for mom and dad than for the kids, so we have to keep a happy face whenever we do it. By last night he was definitely reacting better than when I first got there. The first time, he decided he no longer trusted mommy and had to have daddy for a little while. Now, he recovers fairly quickly and is ready to start playing again. Progress.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So it's been a long time since I've updated this blog, and I'd like to say it's because I've been busy, and I have had my share of things going on, but there's really no other reason than laziness for the lack of updates. I am going to try to be better about updating what's going on.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back Home

I got home late morning on Monday. I've been trying to get back into the swing of things back home since then, but it's been a bit of a struggle. Part of it is the number of things going on, part is the jet lag (33 hours with two hours of sleep and a seven hour time difference) but I think a part of it is simply having been gone for so long. Nearly four weeks of being away really upset my rhythm, making me feel like I don't know what I'm doing at home.
As for the results, I had a blast during all four games, but despite being able to really look on the bright side of losing in the round of 16, this morning I'm really feeling the disappointment of it. It's four more years until the next world cup, and it's a bit depressing to think that it will be so long before the next really meaningful game. Qualification is two years away, but the hex is even farther. There's a friendly against Brazil in August, I think, so hopefully there will be an air of optimism after the decent World Cup performance. Maybe we can find some forwards. It would be cool if Charlie Davies were able to play in that friendly and showed himself as back to his best.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Greetings from Cape Town

The internet availability in this country is shocking, considering how built up and rich the country is the fact that there is little to no internet availability in most places is totally incredible to me. I feel very cut off, but at least I've got email on my blackberry to keep me connected a bit.

I've been journaling on paper and perhaps I will transcribe or scan the pages when I get back.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

All change

It's funny how things change with a kid. I don't mean the obvious stuff, the stuff you expect to change--free time, eating, sleeping, cleaning etc. I mean things that I didn't really expect to change. Things like books and tv and movies that I enjoy. I just finished reading a series by Timothy Zahn, the Dragonback books, which were really quite enjoyable, and I really did have a good time reading them, getting sucked in relatively quickly after re-reading the first book. But the series ended with the main character receiving a message from his dead uncle about his dead parents. For whatever reason that has set me off into a sleepless night of thinking about all kinds of things, beginning with thoughts about losing parents, and the life of a child who has lost parents at a young age (in the case of this book 3 years.) Michael Lewis told a story about having a movie ruined for him and his wife because (shortly after their child was born) a child was abducted from a public swimming pool while the father was underwater. He talked about how absurd the plot was, but that nevertheless it was just too much for the two of them. Anyways that's set me off initially, but it's spread into an overall simple depression. It's impossible to describe the feeling, or explain it, but I just have spent much of the day feeling on the verge of tears for no apparent reason; it just comes in waves and can be caused by something odd or nothing at all. Like the clips in America's Funniest Home Videos of children running from animals that really worry me -- Ostriches, kangaroos, etc. dangerous animals, animals that small children should not be able to get so close to, especially without very close supervision.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Today was always going to be tough with the long tiring weekend behind us. NAthaniel made sure to get us up early, but we were able to get him to sleep in a little bit when I took him down stairs and sat in the recliner for a while. even after he woke up, he was tired enough to just lay with me while I watched QuickPitch with half an eye and a finger on the fast forward button. He didn't take much of a nap today, but he was in a pretty good mood anyway. We took a walk in the early afternoon and then another when Stephanie got home, going to the bank to deposit our tax refund, bar stipend, birthday and graduation money. All told, it came to over $10,000. I'm still trying to decide what to do with the money that I got, but since my dad has said that he'll help me to go to South Africa, I have a feeling that a good portion of that money will be going to help me fund that trip. Lodging, food, tickets, etc. still need to be covered, even if the flight itself is not an expense I have to worry about (and thank god for that, since they're at least $2500 in the best case scenario.)

Anyways, going to try to go to bed a little early tonight since I'm so tired. Tomorrow Nathaniel will be going to his oma and opa's so that I can do some work for my dad and porbably meet with Andy to try to figure out some of the world cup stuff. Hopefully I'll be able to get a good deal done tomorrow. I want to get back to writing my other blog too, because I've really enjoyed a few books lately, and want to write down my thoughts about them.
Graduation today. It was a whirlwind, with a lot of standing around out int he sun for what felt like eternity, before an emotional entry into the auditorium. I wasn't quite ready for the entry and all the people in there--it was packed with everyone watching us enter, everyone showing the pride that I'm sure we all felt. Not only that, but my transition lenses were dark, making it a little bit trickier to negotiate the ramp as well.
After the ceremony, we went to the Glockenspiel with my parents, grandparents and Stephanie's parents and grandparents. The last time that group was together there was when Stephanie and I got engaged. It was good, and I had Schnitzel, but we ended up having to run home because Nathaniel had a huge explosion in his diaper. We cleaned him up as best as we could and drove him home in just a diaper, got him in the tub and cleaned up before the others came over.
After they left, it was a big let down for me; not because they left, but just because I'd been going on inertia for the whole day and then the itinerary was over. We were all tired, but I felt a deeper melancholy because of the ceremony, and the end of law school.
I never really have had a lot of friends, but in law school everyone was drawn together with the intenisty of the experience and the common experiences that I could talk with most of the people in my class if I happened upon them at school for a good while comfortably. There were some who I'd speak to at length, but who I wouldn't necessarily seek out outside of school, and it is sad to me that I no longer have the chance to just go and have that social aspect of showing up at school, walking around the subplaza and finding someone to talk with for a few minutes. And beyond that, Calder and Ivy are now leaving for Vegas. As I said, I haven't ever had too many friends; I usually have just one very good friend at a time, with whom I spent most of my time. Brent, Ben, Dan, and of course my girlfriends and now my wife. But it is difficult when that person drifts away, leaves town, or whatever. I know that we'll still talk and hopefully we will actually do a lot of consulting with each other both on legal matters and on our possible venture. But I never have been good about calling people on the phone, and I always feel much more comfortable talking to someone in person. This has me leaning towards getting a PS3 (rather than an XBOX) in order to perhaps have some online gaming that we could do together. But more research is needed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Drove up to Duluth today for Erin's graduation. Nathaniel slept nicely on the way there, and was happy to see everyone when we got to Erin's apartment. He and I hung out there while everyone else went to the ceremony. He slept for about half an hour before waking up, but he went back to sleep for me for a nice long nap so long as I held him. I did just that for over an hour while I finished my book, and then we headed down to canal park to beat the parking crunch we expected later. Turned out there wasn't much difficulty parking, but Nathaniel and I walked around for a bit. I didn't feed him at that point because he hadn't given me any indication that he was hungry, and I was just sort of out of it from the change in routine, so when we got to the restaurant, he was very hungry. I was just heading to Caribou to get some hot water to make him a bottle when Stephanie called to tell me that they were done early and at the restaurant already. We fed him there, and then he had another bit blow out in his diaper.

When we then headed home, he was tire,d but not really happy with getting in his car seat again. I played all the lullabies I could think of on my iPod -- Sweet baby James, Goodnight my Angel, etc. and finally got him to sleep. He slept until about Forest Lake when we had to stop for gas. When he woke up there, he was really mad about still being in his seat and expressed his displeasure loudly, but after expressing it for a while, he seemed content to wait until we got home, or at least was so tired that he started putting himself back to sleep. We got home late, but not as late as we'd feared given that it was the fishing opener.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Today I helped Calder and Ivy pack up their apartment. It was a lot of hard work up and down the stairs to their third-floor apartment, with a number of heavy things, but thankfully unlike the last person I helped move, nearly everything was already packed--there was no wrangling of hangers and shelves of clothing.

Piper was happier than I've seen her for much of the time, smiling and laughing at me a couple of times, and seeming to enjoy the company of her grandparents. Calder gave me his laser printer, which we reminisced about him bringing in to school during finals 1L year. It iwll be nice to have a printer at home again (I've got four, but the others don't really work well because I use so little ink they dry out after about five pages.)

LAter on, I went out looking for a tie to match Nathaniel's so that we could dress alike for graduation tomorrow. I went to what felt like sixteen different places before finally finding somehting close, and bought it. Then, when I got home, I discovered that I didn't have a shirt that was the right shade of blue. IT was too late to go looking for another shirt, and graduation is early in the morning, so I am borrowing a shirt from my dad. The problem is that it's a size medium with a very tight collar. I'm going to have to pin it and hope for the best. Still doesn't quite feel real that it's tomorrow, probably partially because I'm so disconnected from the majority of the goings on at school. I didn't feel anything in particular towards high school or college graduation (I didn't even go to my college gradaution) but I think this one is more meaningful, as I've said before. We'll see how it goes, starting early in the morning.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Target Field Party

We took a tour of Target Field today, and it was a very nice stadium. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it didn't feel like it was in Minnesota--it felt like the kind of ballpark that you experience on a trip to somewhere nicer. As I said a number of times "It's a nice thing they did with my money."

We got to see that extraordinarily expensive sections, including those for which you have to pay $1200 for the privilege of buying tickets, and also got to see some neat memorabilia, including Kirby Puckett's gold gloves and Harmen Killebrew's first contract (signed by his mother since he was 17 at the time.)

The party itself was ok; good food, and we spent much of the time talkoing with Calder and Ivy, who are leaving town right after graduation. I've really been not thinking about that because it bums me out.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More pictures for Nathaniel today as we went to get his portraits taken at JC Penny. He was really moving around a lot, and trying to explore the studio a bit, which made the pictures a little harder, but there were still a number of good shots and we got a few good ones ordered.
Afterwards, we went to look at recliners since the one in the basement is broken; it leans to the left and forwards, and when you rock, the glider portion hits the base. We went to Schneiderman's furniture and found a good one, which we bought. I was reluctant to go ahead and buy it; I hate spending that much money before really looking around at other stores and options, but it seemed to be a fairly good price and the chair was nice. I now seem to have found it available online for less, so I need to look into the shipping cost and whether I can get it matched where we bought it. Tomorrow I'll need to go pick it up in Burnsville. David is going to help with that.
It's going to be harder to move than the current chair, though, and it's definitely going to be harder to sit forward in it, so the cables from the PS2 are going to be an issue. I looked into it and should be able to get a cordless one for $15 at gamestop, so I will have to plan on that soon. I also have to decide what I'm going to do as far as PS3/XBOX or something else with the money I got for my birthday, but I'm uncertain what I'm going to do at this point. There's those options, a home server, and a dozen others including socking it for the world cup which is still a slim possibility.
Anyhow, it's time for bed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nathaniel went to Gillette today to see an endocrinologist. We went in around 12:30 and got out close to three, but it actually went reasonably well. Dr. Sheridan was reassuring, and told us that there wasn't anything in particular that stood out to him as something to test for, something for which there were warning flags. Because Nathaniel has been hitting (or exceeding) all of his developmental milestones, and he's so active and is actually gaining weight (at a rate of about 5 grams per day) he's not overly concerned. This put my mind to ease at least a little, especially since we mentioned to him many of the things that were back of the mind concerns.

What we did get done were some x-rays, a series of tests called "hemi-skeleton" which involved scanning the hand, arm, leg, ankle and foot all on the left side for some sort of bone-age calculations.

Nathaniel was really good for the whole of the visit; through his weight and height check, through the doctor's examination, and even mostly during the waiting times. He even laid still for the x-rays with only minimal holding from Stephanie and me. He got to get a sticker after his weight check, and after considering Mr. Happy and Mr. Noisy from the Mr. Men, we settled on Mr. Bounce. I think it's appropriate.

After that, we picked up my mom from school since Shireen still has her car and we were passing by, and Nathaniel got a chance to see (again) my 2nd and 6th grade teachers, with both of whom my mother works. He was hamming it up for them as well, before getting tired on the way home and then falling asleep basically without any help as soon as we got home.

Finally, it was picture night for Edelweiss, so we got him all dressed up in his lederhosen and Stephanie got all her Fest tracht out as well. I also got my lederhosen and various other things on and we went to the Klub Haus for the group pics. It took a long time to get everything done, but Nathaniel, Jack and Callie all managed to behave themselves quite well, and for the most part they seemed to not be unhappy for the camera. Nathaniel even shared his Very Hungry Caterpillar rattle with Jack, although I'm not certain exactly how much intent there was to share; Jack just grabbed it when Nathaniel got close, but Stephanie is excited for Jack as a therapist that he did it, and for Nathaniel for sharing.

Tomorrow he gets more pictures, as we're going to get his 10 month shots done at JC Penny, since we didn't do 9 month shots. Hopefully he'll ham it up just as he has been doing regularly for me and his grandparents for months.
Today was mother's day and I didn't do a great job of making it a good one for Stephanie. She had to work, of course, but I should have done more for her when she got done. As it was, we got takeout from the Blue Door and ate with my parents. It was quite good food, but I feel bad that we didn't do anything specifically for her. It's just hard when I don't have a good way to get around.

Nathaniel had fun with both of his grandmas on mother's day, visiting my parents for dinner (and a quick walk earlier in the afternoon) and then a little while in the afternoon he hung out at Stephanie's parents' house before I picked Stephanie up from work. He has been interested in faces for a while, and human forms in art as well, and today at my parents' house he was looking at this particular statue that my dad has up on the top of a shelf in the music room. He's been interested in the mask that hangs above our phone for the last couple of days, and he was quite insistant that he wanted to see that face at my parents', continuously reaching for it and trying to convince his grandparents to get it down for him. So we can add curator to the list of dentist, plastic surgeon, eye doctor, foot doctor and plumber to potential careers for the little guy.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I was sworn in to the bar today. I took an oath that at times reminded me very strongly of the Boy Scout oath, you know, "courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty etc." It was a nice, relatively short ceremony, where Senior Associate Justice Alan Page swore in me and around 150 other people. There were a couple of speeches, one of which included a rather odd list of well known lawyers through the years: Adams, Lincoln, Warren, (Thurgood) Marshall and O'Connor. There may have been others, but I don't recall much more than thinking it a slightly odd list. It's too bad he didn't mention one of my favorite lawyers, Samuel Adams. A man so bad at brewing beer he was forced to go into law.

After the ceremony, Stephanie dropped me off at home, and I'd intended to get a few things done since Nathaniel was with his Oma and Opa, but I just felt suddenly very very tired. Just sapped of energy. So I merely lazed around the house, reading and playing a little FFXII. What I should have done, looking back on it, is to get on the exercise bike, but it didn't occur to me. I will have to keep that more in mind in the future, because it tends to energize me when I'm feeling enervated like that, and it's good for me. I just haven't done enough working out recently, and my diet hasn't been good either. Both of those need to change.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Today was another cool one, but it wasn't so windy, so I managed to take a walk with Nataniel right after noon. Now I'd passed this house a number of times before, but I hadn't noticed the set up on this garage before. There's a large DirecTV dish on the garage, which is nothing special, but there's also that ginormous antenna up there as well. What's not in the picture is the regular sized Dish Network dish on the house as well. It's not like the house is a duplex or anything either. I hope they get good reception. . .

After we got home, however, I had more trouble with Nathaniel. He was cranky and tired, and although he did go down for a nap after a long struggle and then happily snuggle down into his crib when I set him down, less than five minutes later some f***ing credit card bullshit company robocall woke him up. He didn't sleep like he did yesterday, but I think he probably would have taken a good long nap this afternoon if he hadn't been woken up by that phone call. And I couldn't get him to go back down. His teeth were hurting him and he was tired, but not able to get to sleep. I hate getting frustrated with him because I get angry and then I feel awful about it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It was a cold, gloomy day today for the first day that I had Nathaniel back with me after spending the last two days doing a lot of transcription work for my dad. The work is fairly miserable to be honest, but I got a lot faster at it as time went by, and it's an interesting way to get to hear about the stories my dad is doing, which I usually honestly don't even really consciously think about that much. This was all about an HIV/AIDS clinic in Haiti that has won an award. Inspiring people, but also sad stories. Like a lot of my dad's stuff.

Nathaniel took a long long nap in the morning, nearly two hours, and was still tired when he got up. We had lunch and he went back down pretty quickly after that, and then went and took another nap for nearly two and a half hours starting when Stephanie got home around 4:30. I was a little worried about him and kept going in to check on him, but he seems to be okay, just needing the rest I suppose.

I made the red pepper soup for dinner and I thought it turned out pretty well. It was a little bit thinner than the last time I made it, so I think I'm going to try to use a little bit less stock or maybe some more potatoes next time. I think I was a little lighter on the carrots and potatoes this time because I was afraid of overloading the pot like I did the last couple of times I've made soup.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I biked to school today to pick up my cap and gown (and hood) and I ended up staying there longer than I'd intended to. I talked to Amber for quite a while and ran my few other errands--dropping off my keys and such. It's odd but after having virtually no feelings of nostalgia or attachment to college or high school, I feel a little reluctant to sever ties with the law school. I suppose that's because there was actually some time and effort invested on my part this time, but I'm not certain what else there is to it. Certainly I was anxious to be done with law school as I was with both college and high school, but I guess the key difference is probably that it was actually an enjoyable experience, unlike either college or high school. As I said before, it's not like college was a horrible experience at the time, but certainly I didn't have any fondness for the memories even as things were wrapping up. I wonder if I would feel differently if I hadn't graduated early.
Which brings me to the fact that the law school semester is ending; it's finals week for those of my classmates still in school. It feels somewhat sad that my 'extra' time is over, since they're all finishing school, but in reality, they've still got to study for and take the bar. Part of the reason that the extra time off has seemed to fly by so quickly is that in reality it only started in March when the bar was done, so I ought to include the time between now and the June bar.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stephanie and Nathaniel went to the Festival of Nations today, and I spent my time doing a bit of stuff around the house. Primarily I got some gardening done. My mom had some extra day lilies and brought over some bleeding hearts as well. We got the day lilies in over in the alley along the garage, and put the bleeding hearts around the tree in the back yard. We also dug out a lot of the crap that was growing behind the garage by the neighbors house, and transplanted some of the snow on the mountain to hopefully have that take it over. Mrs. Martin offered me some cedum if I want to use that to fill in that space, but we'll see if the snow on the mountain does the job first.

Friday, April 30, 2010

My Birthday

Today was my birthday. Nathaniel did his part by being a little bit better than he had been being in terms of naps. Our schedule actually worked out okay where he plays for a while in the morning and then lets me rock him to sleep while I watch QuickPitch for a bit and then he naps and I can get some things done in the morning. Lately he hasn't been sleeping much at all--like less than 30 minutes, so my exercise regimen has disappeared.
After Stephanie got home, we went to McCormick and Schmicks for dinner, and I had a delectable Fillet Mignon and Crab Cake. Stephanie had a crab cake as well with some shrimp and salmon. They gave us a free little dessert for my birthday also--a dark chocolate cup with chocolate mousse and strawberries in it. It was really tasty. Afterwards we walked around downtown Minneapolis for a bit looking at the options at Candyland, but not getting anything. We took the train back home and walked home from the station, taking about an hour for the two and a half mile walk. Nathaniel stayed at home with Diana and Erin and Isaac. Diana and Erin went to get them Davannis and I guess Nathaniel was mostly ok with Isaac but was looking for someone he knew after a bit. They also told us that he climbed the stairs on his own too. We're in real trouble with this guy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Took a walk today to go see my dad in the afternoon. He has been traveling a lot recently, so it's good to try to get some time where he and Nathaniel can see each other. He's going to be giving me some work to do as well from these trips. He's got some transcription work that needs to be done, and since I've got a pretty good typing speed and can arrange to do it on the days when Nathaniel sees my in-laws, I can get the word done and bring in a little bit of money too.
While we were there, I got some weird pictures of Nathaniel in the playpen. The ends of the playpen are sort of translucent, so there's a strange surreal effect on the pictures. Almost creepy, but if I had had my real camera instead of just the phone I think they could have been some really interesting pictures.

Monday, April 26, 2010


We've been giving Nathaniel a half of a banana each morning for breakfast the last several days, and I don't know if that's a partial cause, but he has seemed to be a bit constipated the last few days, and his poops have been pretty thick and hard, so we decided to try giving him prunes. Today was his first experience with them. I mixed the prunes with some apples and mangoes that were premixed, and he actually ate them quite well. I suppose it makes sense since prunes are rather sweet, but I wasn't expecting it. He ate them pretty well, and if he slowed down at the end, it was probably because there was more food than usual. He still ate his Cherios well.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Race for Justice

The Race for Justice 5K was today, and despite the rain it seemed to go pretty well. I got there earlier than was called for in the instructions, but found a lot of people already hard at work, so I kind of wish we'd gone in at the regular time instead of having Stephanie head to work a little later than usual. Anyways, I was stationed at the head of the Stone Arch Bridge, and watched for a little over an hour as people ran, walked, or jogged past me.
After the race I went to my parents house, as they were watching Nathaniel. My mom had gone to Ikea and bought a tunnel for him to play with and I guess he really likes it. She said that she hadn't even finished opening it all the way (it was still V shaped) and he crawled right in. When I got there, he toyed with me pretending that he'd go in, but then pulling back out of the tunnel. I did get a couple of blurry pictures, though.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

First Stars Game

It is nice to have a team to watch, but the Stars experience was essentially the same as the last few years of the Thunder. Slogging out to Blaine to watch a gritty, scrappy, and frankly poor game between two poor teams. The highlight for me was when I took apart the Thunder supporters section sign and turned the word "thunder" into "stars." I used the E to make the S, the H and the U to make the A, and the D to make the final S. The T and the R obviously I just reused. I got props from some teenagers while I did it, and I kind of hope to leave it like this rather than get new lettering because it seems appropriate, somehow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another good mail day today. My diploma came.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Our third trip to the park today, and it's definitely that Nathaniel isn't a fan of the swing. I put him in the swing again and he really looked uncomfortable. He leaned forward a lot, and reached up to be let out. I think he'll enjoy it a bit more when he's a little older and a bit bigger. He definitely does enjoy playing with the sand, though, and all the little helicopters and everything else in the sand.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Standing up

The little guy has been pulling to stand a lot today, mostly at his sound table, but generally on a number of things. He is still a little bit frustrated with the fact that he has trouble getting down, and he's not yet cruising around the sides or anything, but he is consistently getting up without any assistance. He's generally getting up on both feet at the same time--he'll get better when he starts using one at a time, but he's getting there. We're going to be in a lot of trouble.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I shaved today. I was really a little bit worried about it because I'd had the beard for so long, and since Nathaniel has basically only known me with the beard I was worried what his reaction would be. He certainly did react, though, he had a puzzled look on his face and kept feeling my face. He often reaches out and feels my face, but on this occasion he seemed to be trying to figure out what happened. I used the clippers out on the deck to trim it down, and let him watch from the doorway. He was getting ready for a nap, though, so I was a bit worried about how he would react after he woke up, but he ended up not really having any problem with me. He did show a little puzzlement as to what had happened to Daddy, but didn't seem to be concerned as to who I was.

Next it's time to trim the eyebrow

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Not sure why, but today feels like a crummy day looking back. I think I felt guilty when I woke up because it seemed that Stephanie had been up with Nathaniel for some time--or at least struggling with him. The day was really a rather leisurely one overall, with a trip to Target and Cub and a Twins game in the afternoon. After that we went to Hillcrest for a bit and Nathaniel played in the sand. He wasn't too enthralled with grass, and seemed to be scared in the swings, but he did enjoy the sand and dirt and all the sticks and such on the ground. We got him a ball at Target, which he seems to quite like, so hopefully we'll be outside playing soon.

I made steak sandwiches for dinner tonight, and i don't think they turned out as well as the last time. I'm not sure what I did differently other than to use cream of mushroom instead of cream of onion soup, but I don't think that was the problem. I think perhaps I should have fried the steaks longer without the soup or something. I'll keep experimenting and get it right at some point, I hope.

After dinner I went to Half Price Books and Byerly's with my mom, stopping at Menards on the way home. I got High Fidelity and Dodgeball on DVD on clearance, but didn't end up getting peppers at Bylery's as planned because they were even more expensive than I'd expected. There must be something going on because the price was insane both there and at Cub where the peppers were total crap, hence the trip to Byerly's in the first place. Hopefully we can stop at Aldi or something to get some. Or the Chinese market.

At Menards I got some bug stop stuff that I will be spraying on the outside of the windows to try to keep the ladybeatles out of the house. Nathaniel is interested in everything on the floors, so hopefully this stuff will actually work and keep the bugs out and out of his hands.

Time for bed though as it is late and I need to get back onto a better schedule.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Trip to the park

We took Nathaniel to the park to try the swings for the first time yesterday. We had gone on a bit of a walk beforehand, though, so he was rather mellow and didn't seem too keen on the whole experience. He also went down the slide with his mom, and while that seemed to go better, there really wasn't too much of a reaction to that either. We'd gone to the bank and Lund's first, so he was a bit tired. He did like the sand, though, so we'll be back later next week to try again.

For dinner, we went to Brasa with Nicole and Nik. We tried a number of new things including a few appetizers; fried something or other, beans, cheesybread... it was tasty. We have been planning to hit a number of restaurants with them over the summer. Brasa, Fogo de Chao, the Wienery. We'll see how it goes. It was fun, but it is hard to plan those sorts of things.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today was a good mail day. My bar results/admission letter and our state income tax return check. We took a walk down to the bank to deposit the check and then stopped at the park to put Nathaniel in the swings for the first time. He was unimpressed, very mellow and apparently uninterested. I think we was tired, so we'll try again tomorrow or on the weekend.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today was a strange one. It started out relatively normally, but after a very short nap, Nathaniel began to change the schedule. He ended up napping from before noon until after four! It totally threw off his schedule. With such a long nap, he hadn't eaten for a very long time. Stephanie was unsure what to feed him--fruit and cereal or meat and veggies. He was in a fairly good mood over all though. He did a lot of exploring, and even got a chance to wave at his grandpa on TV.

Stephanie paused the NewsHour with my dad on the screen and Nathaniel clearly recognized him and waved at him. She did it right after I left for a run to Menard's, so I didn't get to see it. It's still on the Tivo, so hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.

I managed to do a bit of reading today in the morning while Nathaniel played in the living room, and I started Night Train to Rigel by Timothy Zahn. I've quite enjoyed the first 100 pages or so, and was engaged in the book much more quickly than usual. In fact, I was more interested in reading than playing Final Fantasy XII or watching TV, which is a surprise. Hopefully I'll be able to find more books like that in the near future.
Tomorrow Nathaniel goes to see his grandmother, so hopefully I'll be able to get a few things done. I'd intended to wax the bathtub--I'd been told that a porous tub could be helped with turtle wax--but while at Menard's I couldn't figure out which of the myriad options I should use. I did some research online and now am unsure whether to use the stuff at all. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back to general daddy duty today. Nathaniel was very expressive today and made it fun. He played nicely and took a good nap in the morning as well. He ate his extra meal quite well, and was generally back to his normal self--making a mess with all his toys and exploring the house as much as I would let him.
He didn't really want to nap in the afternoon, but he did rest a bit and was in a good enough mood for me to get a couple of things taken care of while he played on the floor.
When Stephanie came home, we took a trip to Trader Joe's, where Nathaniel took his first real ride in a shopping cart. He never looked at the camera for me to take his picture as he was far too interested in looking all around him at all the colors and people to see.
He took a little snooze on the ride home, but was ready to play and kicking when we got back. My mom came over for a bit to play with him and Stephanie and I had some of the orange chicken we'd just picked up.
Hopefully he'll be in a good mood tomorrow as well. It's still supposed to rain, so hopefully we'll get a chance to take a walk, though. It's nice if we can get out of the house, and the rain doesn't help. He was woken up by the storm this morning, but hopefully the rain will hold off long enough tomorrow that he'll sleep a little later than 5AM.

Monday, April 12, 2010

So it's been a few days, and my first big absence from this blog. It came as a result of our son's first real illness. I guess on Wednesday Oma said she thought he was a little warm, but he seemed to be playing normally, so I didn't notice anything. Thursday morning he woke up regularly and went down for his nap a little early, but I didn't really think anything of it. I still didn't when he woke up as soon as I put him down. He wasn't sleeping too soundly, so I just figured that I would hold him for a while so that he'd nap. I was in the basement, so I was worried about him being too cold, so I kept checking his hands, which were warm. By this time, I should have figured it out, but I didn't. It wasn't until he was eating after taking the nap (a long-two-hours) on my lap. Stephanie called and asked if he had a temperature. I checked it and he definitely did. He got up as high as 102.7 degrees in fact. I ended up just holding him and having him nap as much as possible all day. We gave him tylenol and tried to get him to rest. He slept a lot, but every time we did get him to sleep in his crib, you could feel the heat from his body when you picked him up. Stephanie was on the phone to the nurse line, and Diana came over for a while when I went to the Stars Soccer Supporters meeting.

The meeting was relatively uneventful, but more on that later, when the things that need doing (and I agreed to do) come up.

When I came home, we planned for me to just sit in the recliner downstairs and have Nathaniel sleep on my lap all night. We set me up with my laptop, the PS2, and a movie all ready to go if I needed them. His fever finally broke around 2:30, though, so I was able to lay him in his crib from then until about 5:30, when he woke up for the morning. We'd planned for Oma and Opa to take him for a few hours (before a doctors appointment, if he needed one) but those few hours allowed me to sleep enough that we decided against packing him into the car.

Then, he seemed to be feeling pretty good in the morning. He hadn't had another dose of tylenol since the early morning, and he was playing in the living room just fine. But only for a little while. In less than 20 minutes, he was feeling warm and getting clingy again. Even so, we decided to wait a bit to see about the doctor. Later, with his temp still going up when not on the tylenol, we decided to go in to the doctor, who made a special appointment to see him (her only patient of the day) just to be certain there wasn't an ear infection or something. She checked his ears and no infection! But she warned us that he might develop one, because with fevers and colds and such the inflammation of the ear can cause an infection. We're watching it, but he seems to be feeling better, and doesn't show signs of an infection at the moment.

He started seeming to feel better, but not fully himself over the weekend, but both Stephanie and I ended up with illnesses. I actually had a fever of 100.3--the first fever I can remember having in years. Both of us have been coughing up a storm, Stephanie has had a sore throat for days and I've been hacking up really thick mucus. We spent an absolutely beautiful weekend in doors recovering.

Today Nathaniel went to Oma and Opa's again so that I didn't have to worry about still being worn out, and so I managed to get the floors cleaned in the kitchen and bathroom, and to clean the garbage can lid, which was dirtier than I realized. I also got a lot of laundry done, so hopefully heading into tomorrow Nathaniel will be back to his playful self, and we can spend the day playing, exploring, and maybe take a walk.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Work day today as Nathaniel spent the day with Oma and Opa. I didn't get nearly as much done as I should have done, as I got up late and after working for a short while got lazy. I ran the self-clean function on the oven, and it locked in for a four hour cycle, but I was actually very impressed because it heated slowly or something, creating much less smoke than I would have expected. I got the floors cleaned, and vacuumed the stairs going up to the second level, but then I got lazy. I did eventually get the bathroom cleaned, but I decided then to go bike for a while. I played more FFXII, and I think it's less distracting than The Show, meaning that I feel the biking more than when I'm playing the baseball game. Anyways, I got lazy during the bike, around 15 miles really slowing down and considering stopping. When I finally gave up on the biking (and played FFXII for another little while) it was already around 2:00 or 2:30. I ate, showered and then ran to the law school to drop off the cheesecake with Amber, and to pick up Nathaniel with Stephanie.
He seemed to have had a good day, although he didn't sleep much. He was really talkative, ba ba ba ba baing away when we got there. He was happy to see us too. His crawling has really gotten better and he's fast. I think spending time in carpeted houses (and a little bit of time in the basement here) has helped a lot. It seems that he's no longer really reluctant on the hardwood either now. I'm looking forward to spending tomorrow with him, since the floors are clean now and I can let him roam a little bit more than I have the last couple of days. If I were smarter I'd have vacuumed the basement today as well, but that would have required moving too much stuff and I was too lazy, so we'll probably be upstairs most of the day.
Tomorrow night is the supporters planning meeting at the Sweetwater, so I will have to try to watch what I eat during the day. I think I've been a little bit better the last couple of days, but I've still been snacking too much and I need to get better at just deciding to get gum or a drink or something.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day two of back to daddy duty today and it went pretty well. Nathaniel played nicely and slept a long afternoon nap allowing me to bike for 90 minutes or so. I started a new campaign of Final Fantasy XII, although I debated playing that or FFIX instead. The deciding factor was that I wouldn't have to switch out a PSX memory card. I played for about 45 minutes on the bike and a little more later this evening. I think it is ridiculous that I had to play 45 minutes just to get to the first save point in the game. Long cut scenes are irritating.

I went to the law school for an event where there was a drawing for a Kindle this evening. I shouldn't have bothered, as it turned out you didn't have to be present to win, and thus there was a 1/150 shot at best that I could get it. It really just ended up being a rather pointless trip in to the school as I also forgot the cheesecake I intended to bring.

Tomorrow Nathaniel is going to Oma and Opa's so that I can get a little more done and they can get to see him a bit. I need to clean the oven as there is a lot of smoke coming out when the oven is turned on. I'm also going to get the bathtub cleaned, since it's been too long, and there are a lot of dust bunnies that I need to get to as well. I did parts of the living room that I generally neglect today, so hopefully I can get the rest of the floors done relatively quickly. With luck, there won't be too much smoke and I can get the bathroom and kitchen floors clean

Monday, April 5, 2010

My son has learned many behaviors. Some are more noticeable than others, and some are irritating, but the one that struck me today was what he does as you carry him up the stairs. Stephanie mentioned it or I wouldn't have thought of it. As you carry him up the stairs after rocking him to sleep in the basement, he squints his eyes shut tightly. He does it whenever he's going to somewhere bright; like if I'm carrying him past the bathroom with the light on at night. I always figured it was just a reaction to the light, but this evening he did it while Stephanie was carrying him upstairs and the lights were all out. Apparently, he can sense when we're carrying him up the stairs and closes his eyes in anticipation. The light tends to stream down the stairs through the back door when we carry him up since it's usually for naps around midday. I'm glad that Stephanie pointed it out, because it's this kind of little thing that I usually miss. I spend all my time with him trying to take pictures and thinking about taking video also because I want to be able to remember and relive these times; I'm scared of missing anything, and I think as a result of that sort of thinking I often miss a lot of stuff. Similarly, when I get overly emotional at certain events (like my wedding) I try to bite my tongue, keep from crying or whatever, and sometimes find myself feeling too detached and really missing enjoying myself the way that I wish I had when I look back, or even while it's happening, but I usually can't get back into things; I just end up too cerebrally disengaged, detachedly observing what's happening to me. It's one of the things that depresses me when I look back on things.
It's kind of ironic that since I always think about how much nostalgia I have at times I have so few memories that are clear. You'd think that with the detailed centered memory that I have I would remember things that happened to me, but that's not really the case. I tend to have a few clear memories of specific things, but generally cannot point to any general senses of a lot of things. In Home Game, Michael Lewis talks a bit about how his parenting strategy differed from that of his father. I tried to think about my dad, but I can't really remember much of anything that I could compare. That's not to say my dad wasn't around or anything, I just don't remember much; I can't point to anything specific about my mother either.
I hope that as time goes on and being aware of it I can make a conscious effort to avoid the problem.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter morning began with Nathaniel crawling all over the bed. He was happy and wanted to be playing. We got him up and he played happily in the living room for a while, eying his Easter Basket a bit, but not trying to get away from our arms to get at it. We kept him from going through it until he was dressed in his Easter Suit for pictures. He looked great in his blue shirt with the white collar and sleeves, tie and vest. Haven't taken pictures off the camera yet, though.

After a crowded church service, we went to my in-laws for lunch -- ham, roast beef, potato salad, chicken salad, cheesy potatoes, fruit, and other stuff. Ate too much, then relaxed for a while, served up the cheesecakes and Stephanie's desserts, then bloatedly sat around for a while longer. Then packed up and went to do it all over again at my parents' house with steak, baked potatoes, asparagus, and more dessert.

Finally headed home and ready for bed by 8:00, along with Nathaniel. Going to read a comic or two and then sleep, I hope.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I went shooting today, and had a pretty good time. I shot 50 rounds of a .38 Special, which has a heck of a kick. I managed to get 41 of the 50 rounds on to the target, although five of those failed to hit the actual target area of the paper. Not bad, for my first time shooting. My second target paper was actually worse, I think because I tried a couple of other techniques. I had best success when I cocked the gun before pulling the trigger, as this gave a littl eless of a kick, and required less pull on the trigger.

When I got home, I began working on the strawberry glaze for the cheesecake. It's kind of pain to make, with the boiling and pulverizing of the strawberries, then boiling them some more. I really had a hard time with it this time around because I was not careful in adding the cornstarch, so it got lumpy and I had to fish large masses of it out. Hopefully there aren't smaller ones that might hinder the enjoyment of the cheesecake tomorrow for Easter. I think in the future I'm going to use the food processor to make the glaze because the strainer method is just messier; I don't think it actually does much for the glaze that the food processor wouldn't do.

We went to my in-laws for dinner and to pick up Nathaniel, as Erin was watching him today for a bit allowing Stephanie to make her dessert. More burgers and beans and corn and fries. Tasty.

Stephanie had gone to the store to get some odds and ends and said that Target had a sale on coke zero, which I figured I should get so that I could use it in my super wonderful weight loss strategy (TM) but they didn't have cherry coke; it was sold out. I figured after we got home I'd hit another Target and see if I could find it. And go get a lottery ticket as well. The numbers are not promising; 35 shows up twice. I went to Byerly's too while I was out, looking to see if I could find chocolate curls to put on the cheesecake. We used to shop at Byerlys when I was a kid. I don't really know why; we didn't have much money back then, but we would go there and get Bryer's ice cream and LIttle Schoolboy cookies. (We also got a membership card where my sister and I got a free cookie from the bakery when we went. I should try bringing the card some time and see what happens.) I remember when we moved on to Cub instead and the most excitement we got was playing around with the CubPuter from time to time. That low end technology was probably hokey even then. It was a three-button directory of items in the store (up, down and enter.) Even so, I got the best deal I've ever seen on the sodas there, and it's just a nice store. It's spacious and much more calm than Cub, Rainbow or Lund's. I think it would be nice to good shopping there for things that are on sale. I'd have to look into whether it makes sense to go there regularly, but it's a much more enjoyable experience than Cub Foods is.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Nathaniel got to see his great-grandma and grandpa today, as my grandparents stopped by before heading north to Cloquet on their way home from Texas. They'd tried to stop by yesterday, but they would have gotten here around 5:45 at the absolute earliest, and with us having to leave by 6:15 or so to get to church it just didn't seem to make sense (so we went to the Wienery instead.)
They came over in the morning, and I began baking cheesecake for Easter. I have three made now, one large classic New York Style cheesecake and two chocolate cheesecakes. One of them is only about 5" in diameter; it's an extra for which we'll see if there's appetite on Easter or I will bring it in to the law school.
When it came time for 3:00 Mass, Nathaniel was napping, so we decided to try to make the 7:00 Tenebrae. In the meantime, I went to Costco with my parents to pick up some odds and ends. Mostly I was hoping that they would have a good deal on baby food, but it turns out they don't carry it. I nevetheless spent $95. Probably well spent, though. We hit a lot of traffic since we left at 4:00 and had forgotten that it was still a working Friday for most people. I used my phone a bit on the ride because we were talking about World Cup venues, and so I got a little car sick. The headache lasted until during church, even though I took ibuprofen.

Nathaniel was at first quite interested in looking around at the new church, but quickly became tired and got a little cranky. He wasn't actually crying or screaming much; he was just talking, but even if he's making happy sounding noises, it's hard to let him make noise in church, and trying to keep him quiet results in him becoming unhappy, so I spent time in the vestibule calming him down. We walked down to church because we figured that parking would mean we'd have to walk nearly as far even if we drove. There were actually very few people in the church, but it was only a 10 minute walk and probably easier than getting Nathaniel in and out of his car seat for such a short trip.

I'm going to head to bed shortly, and I think I'm going to try to read some comics tonight; something relatively mind-light. Perhaps the Infinity War or something that I actually remember relatively clearly from my childhood. I have been meaning to read the 2099 series, but I don't know if I feel up to beginning that just yet, as it's not my hard drive right now since it is a large file. (another thing I need to do is clear off a lot of the crap on this laptop, since I don't really know where all the space has gone.)
The iPad is released tomorrow, and pretty much the only thing that appeals about it would be reading comics on it. For that price, it's ridiculous, however, and I'd have to pay more for the comics and the reader given the nature of the product (Apple) so it's just a non-starter. I'm somewhat irritated that sites are running "alternatives to the iPad" stories, as if there was a need for the iPad, or that it filled some niche that had as-yet not been filled. In my eyes the thing is a relatively poor netbook. I'd rather get a convertible netbook to use as an e-book reader at this point; it would be more versatile and easier to use for most purposes. The only thing it would lack is 3G, and I don't think that's a huge deal with how I'd be using it.

Tomorrow I'm going to the UMPD shooting range with Calder and a bunch of other law students to try my hand at shooting handguns. I'm not sure why this appealed to me beyond the idea of just experiencing something new, except that since Nathaniel was born (or a while before that, really,) I have been a little bit more conscious of security and safety for my family. If I weren't more concerned about the gun becoming a danger if found by a young child in my home, I'd consider having one around. I think it's crazy that I find myself considering that, but I guess it's some sort of protective instinct or some crazy thing like that. I know that I'd do pretty much anything in my power, including giving my life or taking another to save my family at this point. Or at least, I feel that way now; in a situation, who knows what would happen.
After that, I'm going to have to make the glaze for the cheesecake. I'm considering making a chocolate topping for the chocolate cheesecakes as well, but we'll see how I feel after the strawberry glaze, since that's a rather messy process.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today was calm enough to begin with, but ended up with a little bit more going on. I picked up my parents from the airport around 2:00, and they came over a little while later. They were excited to see Nathaniel, and he was happy to ham it up for them as well.
We then went to the Wienery for dinner, and to church for Holy Thursday. I had a Drive in Burger at the Wienery, and it was nicely spicy--to the extent that it gave me hiccups briefly. My parents both had Maxwell Streets, which I think they enjoyed, and we had a LARGE amount of chili cheese fries. We ordered four potatoes, and got two plates the size I usually get with an order of three potatoes. I ate too many of them simply because they were there.
None of us got our feet washed at church, I think as much because we wanted it to go quickly as anything else. By the time we got there, Nathaniel was fading quickly, and getting a little bit cranky with all the time spent getting in and out of the car seat, and sitting in the stroller in the restaurant. He got a little bit noisy, so Stephanie had to take him to the back of the church for a while. He got crankier in the car on the way home, but he was just tired and went to sleep without too much trouble.
It got up to 81 degrees today. When I put Nathaniel to bed, I turned on his fan! He watched it intently from when I turned it on until he dropped off to sleep, even when the light was minimal. I will go check on him soon to see if the fan should stay on for the night; he's under the blanket as well as his dino blanket, so I'm worried he'll get too hot, but I would prefer that he roll out of the blankets and/or wake up than be too cold. It's set to the winter setting still, so even though it was on the lowest setting I could barely feel it doing much more than circulating the air.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Slow day today; got up early with Nathaniel and got to play with him crawling around the living room for a little while. He has been crawling for a little while now and it's still a little bit uncertain with it. He stops and starts a lot and sometimes he just pretty much flops down onto his belly. He also tends to throw out one leg with his knee straight. Since he's just figuring it out, we're trying to entice him to crawl as much as possible. We got him to crawl from the living room into the bathroom for his (first) bath. He was reluctant to crawl once he got off the carpet; he would stop and sit up right at the edge. He was a little more willing to keep going, so we took off his pajamas and it was easier for him. He crawled from there to his bedroom and then later in the afternoon he crawled to the bathroom too for his second bath.
In between, we took a nice long walk to the library, Half Price Books, Dairy Queen and the T-Mobile store. That last because my phone was for some reason telling me I was in Mississippi, Kansas, Colorado, or something like that. They weren't able to tell me anything at the store, but it seems to be working now.
We watched Get Smart tonight too. I was actually impressed by how funny it was, and the few little nods to the old show. Get Smart was on Nick at Night when I was a kid and I remember watching it with my family, along with the Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Tyler Moore and others. I have good memories of the show, and Steven Carrell is a pretty decent stand in for Don Adams, and Anne Hathaway (who I think is generally very attractive) was quite reminiscent of the original Agent 99 (Especially in the scene with the wig.) It was fun to remember some of the things from the old show and spotting them felt like getting an inside joke. Stupid humor, but smart stupid humor. (see what I did there?)

Time for bed, though. Tomorrow grandma and grandpa come home from Boston and are looking forward to seeing their grandson crawl. I also need to get cracking on any last-minute baby-proofing since he's going to be cruising any day now.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Today I had an event at school for the firm, so around noon I headed in to the school. Stephanie and Nathaniel went to see her godmother so they dropped me off on their way.
I sat in the front seat for the first time since we switched in the newer car seat and felt like a little kid the way I was forced to sit way forward in the car with my knees in my chest. If we'd had a collision I'd have broken both my knees and probably shattered my femurs to boot. I'll be riding in the back seat or driving from now on.

The reception was nothing special; a presentation on privacy law which xwas interesting enough, although only three other people showed up, followed by the usual reception for 1Ls. I don't know what's wrong with this 1L class but they don't seem interested in anything other than their classes, even if it's something that might help get them hired somewhere. I had a good enough time chatting with my fellow CAREERS associates as well as a couple of partners and associates.

I need to start losing weight again, though. I haven't weighed myself recently, but the gauge of my belt has spoken. While a few short weeks ago I felt like the tightest notch on my belt was a little too loose, today I was only comfortable with the second tightest. It might have had to do with the fact that I'd tucked in my shirt, but I have been noticing little things like that the last few days, and I know I haven't been eating well lately. I need to get back to good habits instead of just snacking all day since I'm home. Either that or get better snack foods. I have been really craving chocolate recently for some reason, but I think if I can get more diet sodas to get the sweet flavor on occasion (and to give me a flavorful beverage instead of a snack food) I'll be ok. Just have to wait for something good to be on sale and get it. Hopefully there will be something either this week or next; it's just frustrating that both Rainbow and Cub seem to put the same brand on sale each week. Also if I can get back to exercising I know that will help both with weight loss and my general energy level.