Saturday, January 9, 2010

Something(one) different

When a parent tells you "You don't understand until you have one," they're right.

Understand, I knew fatherhood would be an experience that would forever change me.  I knew that I'd do anything for my child that it needed.  I knew that it would make me love Carrie more.  I knew that it would be the greatest accomplishment of my life. "It" would be great.

I never thought of my baby as an "it," but I never had anything to fill the blank left by my imagination.  Sure, just like everyone else, I would imagine the ways my kid would be different from others and exactly like me.  What I never knew before wasn't the list of experiences.  What I never knew, was Lela.

My mom use to say "You don't understand how I love you, but you will one day."  I used to hate it and love it at the same time.  I felt as if my mom didn't understand how much I loved her in order to say such a thing.  I get it now, I think.

Every day, my kid smiles at me in a way that makes my inevitable death a little less bitter.  Now, I don't mean that I'm looking forward to dying.  What I mean is, just like my wife saying: "You're a good man" calms the deepest part of my soul; seeing my baby girl giggle is an experience that is sweet enough to not need anything more to say I've lived a good life.

Lela reminds me of things I experienced as boy, and gives me a glimpse of what my sweet wife was like before I knew her.  It's amazing.

When my mom used to tell me I didn't understand, I think she was saying a lot of things that Carrie and I feel about Lela.

You will never love us in the same way that we love you, and that's more than okay.

Your smile is enough to make me sentimental.

I'm proud that I had any hand in teaching you about life.

I will never forget the first time you giggled, called us by "Mama" or "Dada," or the feeling of your fingers wrapping around my finger.

Your safety and comfort means more than my own.

You don't understand how we love you, but one day you will.


Friday, January 8, 2010

The Awkward Truth.

The truth is, we make time for the things that we want in our lives.

     Me:  Dude, you never call me back.
     Various other artsy friends:  Dude, I don't call
               anyone back, f'real.
    Me:  Really?  How does that fly with...well, with anyone?
    VOAF:  Dude, I'm just busy.  Don't take it personally.
    Me:  Cool.

Well, I guess this is me not taking all sorts of people "personally."  I'll take them "blogfully" instead.

If you're a buddy on any should call back.  Don't get me wrong, I've been that punk friend that didn't call back for like, I dunno 2 days (and yes, I've learned how deeply annoying that can be as well), but it's not the same as leaving someone on the other side of life saying "hello?" to no one.

When you do that, what you're really saying is:  "I'd rather not tell you 'you don't matter,' but you don't."

I know, I know...harsh words. It's true though.  Anyone that's been on the other side of these kind of friendships eventually abandons them.  When they leave, they usually wonder if that was what you were shooting for to begin with.

So, in short...Either learn to talk back, or set your outgoing message to something more realistic:

"Hey!  You've reached [VOAF].  I'm not here right now, but if I feel your attempt to extend the hand of friendship is worthy, I'll call back...or at least intend to."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Work Crap.

At work, we all repeat certain tasks ad nauseam.  For the most part, I would say that these small items are a part of my subconscious.  For another part, I know that when I do screw them up, even just a little, there will be a supervisor there to see it.

1.) Send print job to printer.
2.) Retrieve print job–oop...crap.  The printer is jammed...
     well, it's probably something simple, right? 
       a.) Unjam printer
       b.) Resume printer–dang it.
       c.) Unjam printer
       d.) Resume printer-DANG IT.
       e.) Unjam printer
       f.) Res–ARE YOU FRIKKIN' KIDDING?!?!?!
3.) Seek out supervisor for advice on a service call, or just a second
          set of eyes.
       a.) Supervisor is on the phone–come back in a minute
       b.) Get menial task complete–menial task becomes more
          involved,prepare for imminent supervisor arrival...

Just like clockwork, that's the very instant that my supervisor (I have 8) attempts to print to said crapwad printer.  Well, guess what...he can't, cuz my job is hung while I'm working on something else...I know, I hate it when people do that too.

What stinks is, no one can creep in my skull and know what was running in my head except the one person not my superior.  Too bad I can't do my own employee review.

BizHub 500s are crap.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


This morning I woke up and heard a very soft, sweet voice in my daughter's room.

Lela: Buck-Id. Buck-id. Buuuuuck-id.

Then I remembered a promise I made the night before.

Me (last night): Babydoll, you can't sleep with your bucket.
     What if I sit it right here on the bookcase, and you can
     get it first thing in the morning?

Lela: buck-id. (big, beautiful, blue eyes–pootched bottom lip)

So I took the much-loved bucket (fully furnished and subsidized by her loving aunt and uncle on halloween) and sat it on said bookcase. Lela very hesitantly allowed for this. Carrie smiled, kissed our baby, and laid "little bit" in her bed.

Now some might think Lela woke up, saw the bucket, and began asking for it. I believe that she whole-heartedly understood our previous night's negotiations. She had fulfilled her portion of the contract, and was swiftly holding me accountable to mine. My child is brilliant. Your child is the beneficiary of coincidence. I think it's time to start looking at schools for brilliant kids. Uh...those schools cost how much? Maybe I'll just get her some more "little Einstein" toys...

Anyway, It's crazy what kids latch on to and when. I mean, we've had that bucket for 2 months, but over the last couple of days it's become a necessity for tranquility.

I love that crazy kid.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I want to be 10 feet tall and blue.

So what happens when you take the script from a Saturday morning cartoon, and cross it with the worlds biggest budget for a motion picture?  

That's right, baby...AVATAR happens.

My mind was numb and blown all in the same sitting.  It was like eating candy with arsenic in it.  You can't taste the poison, but you know something's just not right.  Here's a line from the script that you may be familiar with, as uttered by a saucy soldier in a situation that is heaped with tension: "I didn't sign up for this!!!" and don't forget the grizzled war vet that growls: "I wanna get home in  time for dinner, boys!"

I say you may be familiar with these lines because they've appeared in terrible movies more times than Lindsay Lohan has heard sirens in the last week (and that's a bunch).   Don't get me wrong, I can excuse a bit of bad writing, but this writing was so bad as to warrant being lumped with "Armageddon," and "G.I.Joe."

Yep, it's that bad.

The good news, is that it's unbelievably, heart-thumpingly, holy-crapingly fun to watch.  This stupid movie is so beautiful, it doesn't matter that it's dancing to a craptacular script.  I mean REALLY, it's that beautiful.  See it now, see it in 3D, see it with your brain turned off.

Oh, and there is one perk to the script being so unimaginably bad.  It's a preachy little movie.  For me, the idiocy of the script and dialogue made it absolutely impossible for me to care that it had a message.  It's kinda like being taught ethics by an out of breath 6 year old:

" should, shouldn't um...yunno, cuz you can't, um...shouldn' ...can I have a cookie?"

Friday, January 1, 2010

Caricature cliche

So, I figure all industries have those common occurrences that are so common, you wish they'd stop occurring.  My brother, previously a server, could ascertain at first glance the type of customer he might have.  One of his favorites is the "infant orderer."

          Server:  Hey guys! My name is Rodrigo.
               I'll be your server today; what can I get for you?
          Frazzled Mommy (talking to babbling baby): Billy, te–BILLY,
               tell the–BILLY, TELL THE MAN WHAT YOU WANT!!!
          Babbling baby:  Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeh.
          Mommy: Billy, tell–
          Babbling Baby: No. (the only word baby will say consistently in
               public.  He once said "Sprite" by accident, but has since
               refused to repeat that event.)

Don't be this mommy.

Likewise, drawing caricatures* comes with a series of events that happen at every single gig**.  For your information, and potential enjoyment I present this list of cliches that might make you "this mommy" to a caricature artist.

1.) The "she doesn't have a mustache" guy.  This guy is the same guy that laughs loudly at his own jokes, and wants more than anything for that nice pretty girl that accidentally talked to him once, to "stop playing hard to get."  This guy stands behind the artist, points at his drawing of said pretty girl and trys to say something funny, but instead his voice comes out.

2.) The "can you draw my kids from this grainy cell phone picture?" lady.  The key to any caricature is likeness.  If a drawing looks like a person, it can be mediocre.  If a caricature doesn't look like the subject, it doesn't matter how pretty the drawing is it's not gonna please.  Drawing from a 6 year old picture with inaccurate hair and sunglasses is sort of like asking a chef to make a burger out of tofu (take that tofu-burger).

3.) The "Pet caricature" lady.  I love drawing animals, but not yours.  The only thing less fun than drawing your shih zuh, is having to hear the phrase "my dogs are my kids."  If your dogs are your kids, you're delusional.  Dogs are along the same line as cows, but fortunately for them they don't taste as great on a bun.  I understand that you love your dogs, really.  I'm a dog person, and always have been.  Dogs don't compare to kids, it's just math. Your dogs will always pick food over you, accept this, and skip the caricature.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate any of these people.  The arrival of one or all of them proves that I'm on a caricature job.  Drawing caricatures is one of the sweetest deals in the world, but even on a caricature gig, there are "infant orderers."

*Caricatures are intended to be a silly representation of the subject, along the lines of a cartoon.  Unfortunately, an ugly kid will still be ugly when we're done. :)

**I use the word "gig" not as a delusional musician or beatnik, but instead to fit in with my other caricature "hommies."