Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Hurt Locker

Not sure I get the title; was the box of bomb parts under his bed his "hurt locker?" Was the job itself a locker in which he hid away his hurts? I don't know. It was a worthy addition to the American combat movie genre, though. And I want to see more of this guy. He's dead sexy. We sort of kind of started to watch The Unusuals a bit here and there, but couldn't get into it. This dude wasn't the worst part of it, though, fo' sho'.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cucumber Daddy and the Boy Genius

Thumper was calling me Cucumber Daddy for a while this morning.

Oh, but wait! First, I have to tell you: one of the ladies at the child care center at the gym asked me today when I picked him up, "How old is he again? I mean, I know he's two, but when does he turn three?" When I told her, her jaw dropped. "He JUST turned two? He's so smart! He knows all his colors, and not just the easy ones! He even knows black and white! And he was counting. He said, 'One, two, three, four, five... Five million dollars!'"

"Yeah," I said, "I don't know where he got that five million dollars thing. I ask him if I can have some, and he says, 'No...'"

She was still gushing. "And he told me that the red pick-up truck on his shirt was 'Kinda like a fire truck.' He's so smart!"

Yep. That's my boy!

Oh, yeah, anyway. Cucumber Daddy. We went to the playground, and we brought his scooter. Man, he loves that thing. He's actually getting pretty good at it, too, pushing with one foot and scooting along. He has a hard time scooting and steering simultaneously, though. This is the second time we brought it to the playground. Last week, one mother, after watching him work it, said, "I thought those were for three- and four-year-olds!"

I thought the scooter might be a little advanced for him, but he's proven me wrong. There was a four-or-so-year-old there with a tiny bike with training wheels. When the kid had abandoned it, Thumper went over to investigate. The kid's mom told him, "I don't mind, but you have to ask your dad if it's OK." Thumper walked up to me, nodding, and said, "It's OK." So we experimented with the bike for awhile. After a few minutes and a seat adjustment (the mom whipped out an adjustable wrench and lowered the seat for him! How cool is that?), he was climbing onto the seat by himself, placing his feet on the pedals, and doing his best to push. As with his tricycle, he couldn't quite get the rotary motion going, but my two-year-old was riding a bike today.

Oh yeah. Cucumber Daddy. I keep going off on Boy Genius tangents. After he scooted for awhile, and before he discovered the bike, he played in the sand box. The sand box has this thing in the middle that makes it look like it used to be a water feature, like a mini-splashpad, but that they filled it with sand at some point to save money. Or something. Let me see if I can find a photo of it... Ah, here! The thing in the background of this photo.

So Thumper's climbing on the tall part in the middle. I get distracted doing some people watching on a family that gave all appearances of being prolific breeders that homeschool, with the dad sort of nagging his older kids in this cheerful, sing-songy voice. "Don't push Baby Ethan so high on the swing, Princess. You'll scare Baby Ethan. Of course you have to wear your shoes, Goofy. I know they get rocks, but they're protecting your feet." Etc. Suddenly, a mom near me jumps to her feet and gasps, covering her mouth, and I hear Thumper say, "Oh. Uh. Yeah." I look over at him, and he's done a sort of flip over the top of the sand box thing. He's doing a handstand, with his feet at the top, and he's trying to figure out how to extricate himself from the situation.

I say, "What, are you doing gymnastics now?"

"Yeah," he says.

"Do you need some help?" I ask. But he gets himself free and gracefully lands on his feet before he can answer. Grinning, he starts climbing up again.

"Wow," says the mother who leaped to her feet. "That's one cool-as-a-cucumber daddy. My heart almost stopped!"

"Yeah," I say, "he takes a tumble now and then. He's already scraped his elbow this morning with that scooter over there."

"I know," she says. "I saw." Maybe with a not-so-subtle tone of disapproval. Maybe. I think about telling her that he can be a nervous kid, so I try not to teach him that the world is a dangerous place by reacting too strongly to minor incidents. Then I figure, eh, what's the point? She probably won't bother to call CPS on me, anyway. So I keep my mouth shut and look back at Thumper.

"Cucumber Daddy!" he says. He's climbed to the top again and is leaning over so that his feet start to rise. "Do it again?"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thumper's Work

The boy got a camera for his birthday. I deleted a whole bunch of completely black or completely white ones, though he might object that I didn't understand his thematic nuances. Here are some of what were left:

Self-Portrait: The Darkness Inside


Wherefore God?

Recliner with Window

The Hand That Feeds

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Social Media for Retailers

I often think I stumble my way through life, tripping and falling by accident into some of the best things that have happened to me. My mother would probably say that it's no accident; the things, and more importantly the people, that we need present themselves to us as we need them. Or maybe she'd say we draw them to us. Or that we are guided to them. I'm not sure. Anyway. The course of my life does not follow the straight line of someone who knows where they're going and how to get there; it follows the meandering course of someone blindly blundering along, tripping over obstacles and falling face first into opportunities.

Take copywriting, for instance. I started this blog because I was bored out of my skull at my last job. I killed a lot of time playing online games. Eventually I became bored with those and began looking for other ways to fill my day. One of those ways was reading blogs. The more I read, the more I wanted to start my own. So I did.

Over the same period of time, my on-again, off-again relationship with my sister turned on again. She works for an online retailer of children's furniture and toys. The company had its product descriptions and other copywriting needs met by another company that, as I recall, was using Pakistani contractors. As non-native English speakers, their work was... Well, anyway, my sister's bosses began to gather together their own stable of copywriters, and my sister suggested that I might be a good addition. She pointed them to my blog, and they contacted me.

I was shocked. I had no experience with copywriting. I knew nothing (and know very little) about Search Engine Optimization or keyword placement. I have no background in any kind of marketing or advertising or in otherwise trying to convince people to buy something. But they began sending me work anyway. And I guess I'm giving them what they want, because they continue to send me work. I'm still stunned when I stop and think, "Huh. I'm a copywriter. I'll be damned..."

Recently, they expressed an interest in using Twitter and Facebook to enhance their operations, and they asked me if I was interested in doing it for them. They asked me to write a proposal on how to implement it.

Huh? Me? OK, I'm interested. I use Twitter and Facebook. But a proposal? I was thinking more along the lines of you tell me what you want, and I do it. I don't know nothin' 'bout no Social Media for Retailers. I can't imagine why someone who just purchased some nursery furniture would want to follow on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook of the company that sold it to him, which makes it hard to write a proposal.

So I asked the one person that I could think of that would know something about it, the brilliant suttonhoo from detritus. I knew she was some kind of big wheel in some company that did something about online retailing. More importantly, I knew she was much smarter than me. Or I. Or whatever.

stumble trip, it turns out that when she's jetting all over the country like she does, one of the things she's doing, when she's not living well and writing thought-provoking and sometimes heart-rending poetry and prose and taking beautiful pictures, is giving presentations on just this very subject. She gets quoted in Internet Retailer in articles titled "Going Social." This is, like, what she does. And she's helping me out, just because she's nice like that, with all kinds of info of which I've only just begun to scratch the surface.

So, very many big thanks, Ms. Hoo. I just scrabble for whatever revenue streams I can find to help support this at-home dad gig that I love so much. I appreciate you trying to help me look like maybe I know what the hell I'm talking about.

I WON'T Get Haircut!

Thumper's all about asserting his will these days. Almost anything Aerie or I suggest is met with, "I WON'T _________!" Today, it was, "I WON'T get haircut!" A couple of weeks ago, when we were posing for the SAHD's Group Photo, he would only cover his face and say, "I WON'T take picture! I WON'T take picture!" He won't brush teeth; he won't change diaper; he won't sit on da potty; he won't pick a book; he won't drink milk; he won't cottage cheese. Funny, though; he never says no to popsicles or ice cream.

So, anyway, the header photo was going to be my before haircut shot, with an after to follow. But he still WON'T take picture! My status update to Facebook this morning, which apparently evaporated into thin air, never to be seen again, was:

"I WON'T get haircut!" We'll see, little man. We'll see.

Well, we did see, and it turns out he was right. He WON'T; he WOULDN'T; he DIDN'T.

We went to Sharkey's Cuts for Kids today, which offers two-year-old boys haircuts for $18.95, I think the lady said when I called, which is $8 more than his last barber shop haircut. But we had a coupon for $5 off, and I thought it'd be nice to give him a fun experience after sticking him in the car all morning for our Meals on Wheels route.

We walked in, and there was no one around. He saw the Barbie Jeep barber seat and went straight for it. It looked to him, I'm sure, just like the coin-op rides at the mall that I never put money in but let him climb all over. He was doing his best to climb up into it when one and then another of the employees appeared from the back. They both descended on him, since we were the only customers in the joint. I tried to tell them to back off a bit and let him ease into it himself, but they were determined to get right in his face and offer him a lollipop and cartoons on the TV and an XBOX controller and show him how all the buttons on the various car-shaped barber seats made their engines rev and their horns honk. They also tried to redirect him from the Barbie Jeep to the Ferrari, which I thought was pretty funny.

And of course, being the kid who's convinced that lifeguards are out to get him, the harder they tried, the more nervous and upset he was. The more nervous and upset he was, the harder they tried. It was a doomed proposition from the beginning and ended with us leaving, sans haircut. Oh well. I guess when he wakes up from his nap, I'll try the clippers. But he probably WON'T stand for that, either.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I've been neglecting my blog. It's partly Facebook's fault. It's partly because of my part-time work obligations. It's partly because my blogroll is too big and I can't face it.

It's mostly because I'm living through a boring routine that I love, a routine about which can't think of anything new to say. Thumper and I spend our days doing the same things, day after day, week after week. How many times can I tell you that he's big, he's brilliant, we played, and I love him?

But my blog is a great way to keep some of my family involved with and informed about the boy. And after I spent some time catching up on my blogroll today, I remembered that I like reading blogs.

So, I don't know what else I can say. What I spend my days doing is raising the boy, enjoying him, and sometimes getting annoyed and yelling. I don't know that I have anything interesting to say about that. I guess after two years, I'm at that point in my job where I feel like I've got a good handle on what I'm doing. There's not much more to learn, not that much anxiety or discovery. Don't get me wrong; he is constantly changing, but the change itself is now part of the routine.

So, anyway. Sorry I haven't been writing much. Or reading or commenting much. I'm happy, and bored, and boring, and happy.

Oh, but we did go to the doctor today for his 2-year checkup. He's big. He's brilliant. I was mildly chastised for not following the doctor's 18-month suggestions about physical therapy to stretch out the boy's achilles tendons since he likes to walk around on his toes a lot. Is that a thing? Really? Should I be concerned? He can walk flat-footed; he just chooses not to. But the doctor was vaguely annoyed with me and mentioned the possibility of the necessity of laser surgery down the road to correct tight tendon problems. Seriously? Is this a thing, or do I have a pediatrician that's in the pocket of the physical therapy industry?

Is Two Too Young for a Scooter?

So the boy's two now. We had his party on Saturday. He likes birthdays.

Cupcake Love

He got some great gifts, like a bubble mower:

Bubble Mower

And a scooter:

Scooter Pose

Scooter Practice

Luckily, it came with all of the necessary safety gear, though so far, he's had the good sense to do his crashing on the grass:

Scooter Wipeout

Though he got lots of great gifts that he loved, and some adorable clothes that Aerie and I loved, the best toys of the day were, of course, Grandpa's stick:

Grandpa's Stick

And an old box:

The Box

But the best thing about a birthday party, as far as Thumper is concerned, is having friends and family come over to play. Well, that, and cake.

Related Posts with Thumbnails