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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

finally: mr nice guy's stance on burping

i really didn't mean to go so long between posts, but the Amazing Napless Farting Chickenbaby has been keeping me busy -- busy praying for her to sleep, busy rocking her, busy taking her on walks, busy performing do-it-yourself vasectomies on my boys with rusty tweezers and a zippo.

for the moment she slumbers. and for the moment i wear my ipod so in the event she ceases to slumber, it's her problem and not mine.

on friday the nice guy family went to a reunion for our supremely excellent birthing class. not all the moms showed up and besides me there was only one other dad (aww yeah, mr nice guy knows where to go to get the good lady-to-nice-guy-ratio going). it was great to see our fantastically superlative instructor there and it was a little trippy to see all the moms in their non-preggo bodies. but the true bizarreness was to see everyone's babies: all these little critters actually attended every single birthing class that i did, they just attended them inside their mothers. gives me the jeeblies just thinking out it.

anyway, the baby-on-baby action was cute. the moms shared their birth stories, the dads took pictures for everybody and that was that. our wee child chose the reunion OF ALL TIMES to take a fucking nap. so we don't have pictures of her adorably holding hands with little baby dexter, or sneaking off to make out with baby jules in the supply closet, or gossiping with baby natalie about how baby antonio has the dreamiest bedroom eyes and how baby ruby turned out to be such a dumb baby slut.

but the best part of the day had nothing to do with babies. it had to do with the nice guys' least favorite classmate who was always attempting to corner the instructor to ask insipid questions in a transparent attempt to curry favor. tch, teacher's pet. on friday we heard her ask this question, sotto voce, verbatim (i could not make this up if i tried): "so, what's your stance on burping?"

now, i only wish she had asked this question to mr nice guy. our birthing instructor didn't really have a well articulated stance on this divisive topic, something to the effect of "um, burp the baby after she eats." (i made the grievous error of giving her the link to this website, so i can only hope that in her unsurpassed judgment she has not deigned to visit it because i hate knowing that my former birth-mentor par excellence might disapprove of how stratospherically lame this all is.) mr nice guy, on the other hand, has been developing his stance on burping since he was about five years old. he has very strong feelings on burping. in fact, he has written a whole burping manifesto, a burping dissertation, and holds a phd in belchology. he has very strong feelings on burping.

i will not bore you now with my well-documented research into the role of the burp in ancient warfare. my controversial defense of the supragastric belch has ruined friendships and cost me jobs. nor will i go on ad nauseum (pun intended) on how pivotal the belch was to the development of western culture, primarily through charting its portayal at key moments in the evolution of the novel as an artform. ok one example: in heaping praise upon the "strange and wonderful" people of the island of raunch ruach, pantagruel points out "they neither exonerate, dung, piss, nor spit in that island; but, to make amends, they belch, fizzle, funk, and give tail-shots in abundance." sounds like my kind of island! also, and i know this is a play and not a novel so spare me your pedantic emails, it was no mistake that in "twelfth night" shakespeare felt compelled to name a minor hero -- he who drunkenly thwarts the dastardly malvolio -- sir toby belch.

ah, see what i've done? i've been babbling on about my favorite topic again. i am sorry, dear reader. but the next time someone asks you for your stance on burping, do not shrug it off as merely something you do to your baby after feeding. no. give your stance!

but don't do it for mr nice guy. don't even do it for baby nice guy, who has so far evinced a strong devotion to, and aptitude for, the art of burping.

do it for: this guy.

Friday, August 26, 2005

an experiment

bjorn, baby

i have to say that i was intrigued by the debate i unwittingly sparked by my baby bjorn observations the other day. so, yes, as it happens i feel a bit like a giant nob every time i strap the kid onto my chest. i love my baby dearly but, man, it's not a cool look.

the ladies in the house begged to differ. there were
many paeans to the hotness of baby-wearing dudes. women even sent me e-mails like this one, from someone who i will only identify as "crazy legs," which attempted to deconstruct the hotness of the bjorn thusly:

good looking guys carrying a baby are HOTTT!!!! [please note the use of triple T's and quadruple exclamation points, please. -- ed.] Unavailable hipster guy sweet enough to carry a baby, it ranks right up there with unavailable bad boy, too angry with the world to give the time of day.

well, then, "crazy legs," can you imagine how much i ought to be scoring by virtue of the fact that i am not only hot, but also both a baby-wearer and an emotionally unavailable asshole? so, mr nice guy decided to put this all to a test. yesterday while the wife was at work i fastened my impossibly adorable child to my ribcage and ventured forth into the strange world of weekday park slope -- a land teeming with nannies, stay-at-home moms, $800 strollers and, apparently, drunken public fornicators. not an ideal sample group for this particular experiment, perhaps, but there are definitely hormones in the air.

the question: exactly how many ladies would hit on mr nice guy during a 90-minute stroll with his baby? who would be able to resist this towering testament to touchy-feely testosterone?

the hypothesis, in the form of a rhetorical question: who could possibly resist?

the result: fucking everyone, that's who.

you know how it is when you see someone walking a large-eyed floppy-eared puppy down the street? people stop, they definitely do. but while they will spend upwards of 5 minutes petting the euphoric tail-wagging dog, cooing over it, speaking in high-pitched voices: "look at you, you baby puppy woo-woo-wooggum-shmoopsie-boopie-baby-bear," and basically wetting themselves over the puppy, they do so without saying a single word to the human being at the other end of the leash, except for, perhaps a perfunctory "she's very cute." ( i know this because i do it all the time.) so. yeah. that's exactly what happened when i took my daughter out for a walk in her baby bjorn. she was wearing a little pink plaid hat and her big almond eyes (which greatly resemble those of frere nice guy, but that is neither here nor there ... right, frere nice guy?) were all open in adorable wonderment. and then guess what happened: the most beautiful women in the world walked right up to me! many times over! and then they promptly bent right over and talked to my baby for what felt like hours without batting a single one of their luxuriously long eyelashes in the direction of my face (sideburned as it may be).

so. final tally:

  • women who fell instantly in love with, sung to and generally fussed over my baby, the apotheosis of cuteness: 8.
  • women who "hit on" me: -2 (a long story involving the last one-liter bottle of mandarin seltzer water at the bodega and liberal use of the word "schmuck").

and you know what the real pisser about all this is? mrs nice guy wasn't the least bit sympathetic.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


mr nice guy realizes he is very, very fortunate. how many people do you know who get to take 5-plus months off from work to stay at home with a child that (at least in theory) sleeps most of the time? i mean, this is unprecedented in my life! i have a sweet brown sugarmama and all i have to do in exchange for an extended vacation from office politics and groveling is change a few diapers. people! i must make the most of my time because before i know it, my leave will be over and i will be sitting at work, wearing pants, with nothing more than a handful of regrets. why didn't i spend my time more productively, i'll ask myself. there is so much i could have done to improve the house, my intellect, my body, my spirit. i could have written a book, built homes for the homeless, picked up jogging, mastered mahjongg, achieved total enlightenment. if only i had the time to do over again!

no regrets for me, people! i am a carpe diem kind of mr nice guy. so heretoforthwith allow me to present to you a simple plan, The Official Mr Nice Guy Prospectus for Self-Betterment and Community Service While on Leave Project Experiment (or, for brevity's sake, you can use the catchy acronym: TOMNGPFSBACSWOLPE). behold productivity inaction ... er, i mean, "productivity in action":

1. i swear to you, readers, i will grow the deadliest sideburns known to man. this project is already underway, actually, and although mrs nice guy has taken a page from Lysistrata and threatened to withhold sexual favors until i shave my inchoate muttonchops, i refuse to stand down! my sideburns will be known far and wide as the greatest, most feared sideburns of all time. they shall have their own area code! they will have healing powers for the pure-of-heart! they will steal from the rich and give to the poor! they will be so insidious that my enemies will not even know they are upon them until it is too late. they will be silent, but exceedingly violent when necessary, sideburns.

2. i will cultivate the greatest ipod on earth. i shall achieve the rank of
33rd degree grand master ipod-mason, undefeated in all categories: best playlists, best songs, quickest on the draw. word of my iProwess will spread through the land and pilgrims will come. rich and poor alike will travel many miles, braving pestilence, famine and charges of heresy, to pay homage to my ipod, to perhaps catch a glimpse of it on the subway and maybe -- just maybe! -- see me plug it into my bose sounddock (tm) and take it for a spin, its gleaming whiteness a testimony to the purity of every single one of the lovingly hand-picked songs therein.

3. figure out how to never work again and yet become independently wealthy, primarily by pimping off my child either to modeling agencies or black market organ-harvesting mobsters.

4. i will ponder the most inscrutible of mysteries: surely there must be a way to not feel completely sexless and incapable of delivering a single frisson of dangerous erotic intrigue to the ladies while walking down the street on a sunny afternoon with a baby hanging around one's neck. i could be Pierce Fucking Brosnan but when you strap a baby bjorn on me, instantly i become Eunuch McDoucheboy. do you know what this does to one's id, burdened as it is already by one's tiny penis?

5. get knee surgery. i have had a torn meniscus for about two years but keep putting off the necessary arthroscopy because ... well, because i have already had five knee surgeries on various ruptured parts and i don't feel like having number six. still, if i hope to be able to dance at my daughter's wedding (although, let's face it: it'll be a miracle if she ever manages to hold down a long-term relationship with anyone given the fact that she wakes up screaming and farting every 20 minutes), i better have my knee fixed. as it is, it is impossible to sit through an entire movie or flight or car ride without standing up and straightening my knee--a flaming knot of fire and pain and flaming firepain--which is greatly annoying to the person driving.

6. think up more things to put on this list while i grapple with the sudden bout of self-loathing that has descended upon me.

there you have it! the top six paths to mr nice guy's self-betterment and community service in the coming months. watch this website as i grow.

Monday, August 22, 2005

testicles, r.i.p.

so all in all, the first day flying solo was a smashing success. of course, by "smashing success" i mean "a success with such hair-straightening caveats that, if i were nasa, would lead me to ground my entire fleet for all eternity."

the successes: the child eventually napped. 20 minutes of sleep here, 15 there, a half-hour of solid ululating, some smiles and, finally, she took a good solid two-hour nap just seconds before i would have succumbed to the gas in the oven where i had placed my head. not used to the bottle, she didn't eat much all day. by about 6 pm, though, she was exhausted, bathed, changed, had been for a walk, and so she ate like a FUCKING TOUR DE FRANCE CHAMPION. great, right? right? WRONG!

the failures: the child ate, yes, but not until it was too late. mrs nice guy returned from the office with, oddly, an F-cup bra size. she had left her pump, which she hadn't employed since noon, at the office, banking on the fact that her child would be famished and obligingly drain her copious breasts. well, her child had indeed been famished, which is precisely why i fed her child 10 minutes before she walked in the door. do you think mrs nice guy said "why thank you, good husband, for washing the baby, doing the laundry, making the bed, running errands, remaining sane and not burning down the apartment today"? do you!? i would look pretty silly right now if she did! (ok, fine. fuck. full disclosure: i had sent her an e-mail at 5:30 asking if i should feed the child or wait for mrs nice guy to bring her breasts home. i never did receive the reply e-mail. or the reply voicemail at home. or the reply voicemail on my cell. all of which she somehow managed to leave simultaneously, emphasizing how detrimental to my health it would be were i to feed the daughter, for surely she would avenge her breasticular explosion.) no. needless to say, she was less than pleased to find that her daughter had been fed.

she was apoplectic. her eyes turned the color of the river styx, overflowing with the carrion of slaughtered husbands. she began speaking an otherworldly tongue understood only by the immortals ... and by wives reaching nirvana-like levels of ecstatic rage. you see, the child was asleep for the night. as it was she was depressed to be returning to work. she had not held her precious tiny daughter since 7:30 am and her mom-arms were as empty and dry as her mom-mamms were full and sloshy. she is miserable. i too am miserable: my wife has not spoken more than six words since returning home this evening, and four of those were "assface."

the cats, however, are quite happy: tonight they had the rare delightful treat of dining on nice guy testicle souffle.

oh to be at an office, in prison, anywhere else

-----Original Message-----
From: nice guy, mr.
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 10:10 AM
To: nice guy, mrs.
Subject: nap#1: 20 minutes. she is winning.

-----Original Message-----
From: nice guy, mrs.
To: nice guy, mr.

Sent: Mon, 22 Aug 2005 10:17:48 -0400
Subject: RE: nap#1: 20 minutes. she is winning.

try and make her stay down. (i know, i know...easier said.) rub her tummy. keep her in the crib. don't go to her too quickly. even consider letting her cry it out. also, before her "big" nap, you may want to give her some gripe water?

-----Original Message-----
From: nice guy, mr.
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 10:22 AM
To: nice guy, mrs.
Subject: Re: nap#1: 20 minutes. she is winning.

there is no way on earth she was going back down. she's in her gymini now having the fucking time of her life.

gripe water it is.

-----Original Message-----

From: nice guy, mrs.
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 10:24 AM
To: nice guy, mr.
Subject : Re: nap#1: 20 minutes. she is winning.

just remember. you're bigger than she is. DON'T LET HER WIN

Saturday, August 20, 2005

this is interesting only for those who care about the finer points of napping. even i got bored reading it.

yesterday was a trial run. mrs nice guy goes back to work part-time monday and i will be home alone ALL DAY with the child, who we have officially renamed wendigo. yesterday she worked half a day, leaving me all alone with my tormentor.

it went incredibly smoothly.

eleven days on the cape and vermont, followed by a week in los angeles, i believe has profoundly brain damaged the baby. so it's time to get her on a rigid schedule. enter the Nap Nazi. the Nap Nazi, as per all the experts, does not let his daughter be awake for more than two hours at a stretch. and indeed: when she has been up for about an hour or so, she starts getting a little unfocused, a little grumpy. so the Nap Nazi begins to prepare her for her nap. he reads to her, he rocks her, he puts her in the crib the second her eyelids droop. the Nap Nazi does not let her get overtired. after waking up at 8 am yesterday, she was fed, changed, played with ... and asleep by 9:40! she slept for 50 minutes! the Nap Nazi was victoriant!

after her morning snooze, she got up, got changed, played some more, ate at about 11:15, and started getting a little fussbudgety again. enter the Nap Nazi. same drill: read, rock, coo. in bed while awake, but drowsy. this time, she mounted a small resistance and the Nap Nazi doubted his resolve. but then! she slept! she had only been up for an hour and a half, but she slept for nearly two and and a half hours! the secret: apparently, the child does not like being awake for two hours at a stretch.

how do i know this for sure? because after her totally rad afternoon nap (during which she woke up, cried out ... and soothed herself back to sleep!), she did not get another nap. when we tried to put her to bed at 6:30 pm, she howled like a deranged rabid she-wolf separated from her helpless cubs ... for THREE HOURS -- during which time i introduced mrs nice guy the profound gratification incurred from punching things as hard as possible. you should see her furiously pound her little wife-fists into the bed. bless.

anyway. the lesson? this baby needs at least three naps a day. she's taking one now. it took us 20 minutes to get her to sleep, but that's better than three hours and she's been down for more than half an hour already. so, obviously i am totally almost sort of moderately ready for next week. kinda.

damn. all this doing battle has made me catastrophically unfunny. i need coffee. and a nap. and probably sex. preferably all at once.

UPDATE (just five sleepless hours later): of course you realize what the problem with the whole "nap nazi" nomenclature is, aside from tastelessness, don't you?

the nazis lost the war.

Friday, August 19, 2005

stop, children, what's that incredibly funky sound?

"now i need a pound of fatback drums" -- king curtis

have you ever wondered what it sounds like inside my head?


too bad! you're about to find out. over at the always-topnotch because i'm your father, the kind and good alan koenig asked if i would oblige him by choosing a few songs for his fantastic ongoing "blogger's choice" series. WOULD I? folks, asking me if i'd be interested in talking music is like going back in time to 1983 to ask rick james, may he rest in solemn peace, if he could go for a line of blow off a stripper's tits. the answer? BRING IT ON.

so after hemming and hawing and supreme self-indulgence on my part, i filed a list of songs and some now-excruciating to read commentary. FOR ONE WEEK ONLY, you can see, hear, smell and make sweet love to my selections here. while you're there, stick around and read his blog. tell him rick james sent you.

"you better take heed ... "

development and regression, all rolled into one

ugh. i am no longer mr nice guy. i am mr lazy blog updating nonsleeping and no longer funny except for my insane hallucinations and talking to myself guy. you know how you have a lot of stuff to talk about but you don't say it at first but then all of a sudden there is more to talk about and then you feel overwhelmed by how much is on your mind and you don't know where to begin so you don't begin at all and then it's too late you have waaay too much to say so you might as well shut up forever because you're never going to get caught up and what's the point anyway since we're all going to die someday. you know? so it's been one of those weeks.

this is all incredibly not interesting but the basic thing is that the baby, she is possessed. it's really too bad. we had decided we liked this baby. it was a baby that we wanted to keep around. she was cute. she had begun drooling a lot and making eye contact and smiling all the time and grabbing things with her hands. cute, right? you would hand her a little tiny baby toy and she would grab it! her eyes would get all wide with wonderment at the fact that she had fingers! and an opposable thumb! and she would reach for the tiny little rattle or stuffed rainbow-colored turtle or rawhide chewy bone or whathaveyou and she would GRAB IT. she had an id, or an ego or whatever. mostly she had WILL POWER. she would exercise that will: inexorably--ineluctably even!--the thing in her hand would make its way to her mouth! she would chomp on it with her gummy pink fleshy slimy babymouth. this was a very new development, like within a week or so. the thing would sometimes not make it to her mouth, motor control not yet totally mastered, so sometimes the thing would go into her eye. or smush up against her cheek, missing her open drooly cavernous toothless maw. sometimes she would just hold the thing and babble and laugh. it was so fucking cute your head would explode and your spouse would be left to clean your brains off the wall AND raise the baby alone, but she would do it happily because the child is obviously a prodigy supermodel olympic athlete.

but THEN. then, (if i may paraphrase revelation 12:9) the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him ... and all of them ENTERED THIS PERFECT CHILD'S BODY. look, mrs nice guy and i are not dumb. we were not, unlike some members of this household, born yesterday or thereabouts. we have books and we can read and we know that the baby is supposed to sleep 15 out of every 24 hours. this lilliputian dark angel, however, now sleeps a good seven or eight hours a night. not bad right? (of course, it's mildly annoying that these nine hours begin at 6 or 7 pm and end at ... carry the one ... cosine ... times pi ... 2 or 3 am. but then she dozes for another two or three hours.) so apparently she thinks we must be convinced that she sleeps enough because she has dropped naptime like oprah drops pounds on sweeps week. no naps! we put her down for a nap at 10 am and she will fake us out: she will sleep for 20 or 40 minutes. then she will wake up emitting a sternum-splintering howl that is clearly designed to summon her minions from hades to come destroy her parents and feast on their bowels. she has gas. she farts. she refuses to go back to sleep. so after another hour of bribing her to doze off again, we cave and feed her and play with her and she is her usual adorable angelic self again. until ... the afternoon nap. same drill: she sleeps for 20 to 40 minutes (this is a nap that should last 2 hours or so) and begins caterwauling to the undead. add all those numbers up and you know what? SHE IS NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP. and there is nothing we can do. we let her cry it out. we give her gripe water, which incidentally is an excellent name for a band, or Mylicon (R), which isn't. we rub her wee tum. we refrain from taking her out of the crib. we follow all the experts' advice and it's all for naught.

last night mrs nice guy had to go to a neighborhood meeting thing. she left at 7:20 pm, when the baby had just gone to sleep. usually, she goes right down at night, no problem, for the duration of the evening. so i figured, while mrs nice guy was at her meeting i would whip up a scrumptious thai chicken curry soup (in the current
Cuisine at Home, check it out even though they actually call for duck, simply delicious). since i was starting with pre-cooked meat, the magazine says this recipe should only take about 45 minutes to an hour, start to finish. aha! but the editors of cuisine at home neglected to factor in the TWO HOURS it would take me to subdue my screaming hellchild who launched into full anti-aircraft mode seconds after her mother left the house. she was still screaming when mrs nice guy came home. i was so frustrated at one point that i put the baby down, went into my room ... and punched myself in the head as hard as i could. i had never done such a thing before. i will not lie to you: it hurt not only my head, but my hand as well. still, there was something oddly gratifying about it, even though i had a headache all day today and it hurts to type. anyway, i was so glad when mrs nice guy came home to stick her tits in the infant's face because i didn't really want to eat thai baby curry soup.

but, oh, i was prepared to.

Monday, August 15, 2005

you know that cliche of needing a vacation after returning from a vacation? i'll take six, please.

ok we're back. but oh, so tired. i can't yet get into the details of our trip which managed to be simultaneously lovely and freakishly nightmaresque. i will say this: on the way to LA, jetblue lost one of my bags. on the way back last night, we had to land and refuel in rochester because of weather in nyc. sat on the tarmac for over an hour. once at jfk, we then waited an additional hour to deplane (and just being able to use that ridiculous word, "deplane," almost makes it worthwhile. almost. actually, what did make it worthwhile was being able to watch the comedy central roast of pam anderson in its entirety. twice. in a row. ah, courtney love.).

then it took another hour to get our bags. we had to call a multo expensivo car service because the wait for a taxi was reported to be THREE HOURS -- which is fine with me because nyc cabdrivers and i aren't on speaking terms right now. (the car's driver came promptly and told us that some jackoff tried to convince him HE had been the one to call the car, but decided he wanted to change his destination ... because people do that all the time at 3 am, i guess.)

we weren't in bed until 4:30. the baby, who, bless her, was a demonic firebreathing sulfurous unsleeping hellish hellbeast at her grandparents' house all week, slept like a tiny silent dozing angel on both flights. she is really doing her best to destroy us.

more later. when i have slept enough.
i would continue in the beasties vein of the previous posting and say something pithy about "no sleep till brooklyn" but, of course, that would imply now that we have returned home to brooklyn, sleep will somehow figure into our lives. haha!

ah, jesus fuck. just kill me.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

leaving on a jet plane


so in about four and a half hours my wife and i will be boarding a transcontinental flight with a three month old child who has not slept properly in about two weeks. let's just cut out the middle man and directly insert a bullet into my brain now please. thank you.

blogging may be light for the next week -- even if i do survive the flight and the ire of my fellow pilgrims. please bear with.

update from the bk

here's an awesome email i received from mrs nice guy during my last day at work yesterday. it should be noted here that my child, having realized that we decided to keep her because she had been so good lately, officially changed policy. for the past week she has refused to chill out, nap, sleep and generally not be from hell.

to our horror we calculated that on thursday the baby took one half hour nap, one 45 minute nap and one 20 minute nap. "hey, i thought you said she wasn't sleeping," you might be inclined to say. ah, yes. but we recently read that babies this age should be sleeping TWELVE HOURS a day. by my tally, one hour and 35 minutes falls just a smidge short of that.

but then! i get this note, just yesterday:

-----Original Message-----
From: nice guy, mrs.
Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2005 11:02 AM
To: nice guy, mr.
Subject: the spell
just might be broken

update from the bk.
9:30: done feeding. curls up on my chest her little fingers patting my arm -- heart swells with love.
9:40: falls asleep in a tiny ball on my chest. how could i ever be angry with this sweet, sweet girl
9:50: i get up from the rocking chair. moving slower than anyone has ever moved before so as not to disturb said girl.
9:55 make way to crib. put her down, nestled up against the side of her crib. she grunts -- i freeze. she begins to flail -- i begin to whimper.
9:56 she gets comfortable, smacks her lips a few times and closes her gorgeous little eyes. i will keep her, i think.
9:58 stroll out to the living room. pour self a glass of juice -- wonder how i will spend the next hour of delicious freedom.
10:05 what was that sound? every muscle of my body tenses. did i hear something? i scoot back from the table, tiptoe down the hall to see her little body thrashing around while she works up to a bloodcurdling yell (she is also farting up a storm). FUCK.
10:06 Find the pacifier, stick it in her mouth. PRAY like a motherfucker.

and a chorus of angels sang halleluia.

she's still asleep.

Baby: 5 Mama: 3 (but i'm catching up).

Thursday, August 04, 2005

coming to a blog near you

as i alluded to earlier, starting next week i will be taking a considerable leave from work in order to be a stay-at-home mr nice guy. until the end of this year, basically, i will be mr mom. mrs nice guy, who earns the real money, will be going back to work part time. so, of course, i will have plenty of time to write that screenplay, get back in shape, catch up on my sleep and read the classics in the original ancient greek. right? right? hello?

my supremely excellent boss, a mother herself, has told me: "i applaud you for doing this" and she will keep my job open for me. AND if i decide to take more time off (or not to come back at all) she would see to it that my career would be in no way damaged. and you can't beat that with a bat.

next week it's off to lala land to visit pater and mater nice guy. the baby will spend a week lounging poolside with her grandparents in los angeles while they (hint, hint) graciously let her parents sleep. and then it's back to brooklyn house arrest for me. i am really thrilled to have this opportunity to be a full-time dad, to bond with my baby. it's truly exciting. i can't wait to ---

ah, who the hell am i kidding? i am fucking terrified. sure, my office is very much like my home these days: there is lots of crying and pants-wetting. there are very few actions undertaken with rational forethought. but at least i get to close my door and pretend that i am all alone on a beautiful desert island with cable tv and high speed internets. there is no tv at home, no escape. there are no other adults. just me and a tiny, desperately demanding gaseous monkey. i have a feeling only one of us will be getting out of this year alive. and i am not so sure it's me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

enough to make a brother want to move to minnesota

sorry not much activity on this site lately ... not much activity with the nice guys worth reporting, frankly. yesterday, however, we did take the little monster in to have her nose electrocuted again. treatment number two. there was no reprieve this time. the event itself was less traumatic that the first zapping. we knew she would scream, we knew she would then nurse and pass promptly out. all good. and then her nose splotch would turn black and gradually the appearance of the hemangioma would subside. all old hat. no problemo.

the day's drama actually occurred on the subway there and then the taxi ride home. (of course, if you were to ask the baby, she would tell you that the drama of the day occurred neither in the subway, a ride she rather enjoyed, or the taxi, a ride she slept through. no the drama for her was getting eight thousands watts of laser fired up her nostril).

so there we were, the happy family, riding the subway to see the doctor who would assault our child. baby was in mrs nice guy's lap looking around. minding her own business. then it happened. it started as a loud disembodied voice: "ladies and gentlemen, i am sorry to bother you today. but i am not on drugs, i am not a drunk. i am a homeless widow and mother asking you for a little compassion today. god bless you." all eyes on the train instantly went straight to the ground. nobody acknowledged this poor homeless lady, because frankly, who knows what her real story is and anyway we just want to ride the subway in peace. so i applied myself to my new favorite hobby of attempting to make my daughter smile. the loud homeless lady made her way to our end of the train, cup in hand. nobody gave her any money and she left them largely unmolested. she merely proceeded down the train "god bless. any help you can give would be appreciated. god bless."

and then she spotted our daughter.

mrs nice guy (because i for one refused to even acknowledge this grinning loon, hovering menacingly over my family): eleven weeks.
insane homeless lady, leaning ever closer in: LOOK AT HER LITTLE CHEEKS! SUCH AN AAAANGEL. WHAT IS THAT ON HER NOSE?
mrs nice guy, trying desperately to make this person go away by being ice cold and very blunt: a tumor.

and then, ladies and gentlemen, this insane homeless subway train lady reached out and TOUCHED MY DAUGHTER'S HAND. oh fuck, i thought, now she has the clap. worse: i felt every individual muscle fiber in mrs nice guy's body immediately constrict in physics-defying tension. a rampaging fire flared up in her eyes. the other riders on the train, who had until this point been watching the interaction in bemused there-but-for-the-grace-of-god detachment, suddenly sucked all the air out of the train. about 100 people thought to themselves "oh no she di'n't!"

but, yes. she did.

mrs nice guy hugged the baby a little closer to her and, sporting a clenched, cold smile, said nothing, but managed nonetheless to telepathically communicate to this woman that if she came within a molecule of touching her daughter again, the MTA would be cleaning tiny bits of insane homeless subway lady out from every nook of the train for months to come. the insane homeless lady went on her merry insane way to the next car on the train.

(just to prove i am not a despicable yuptard who hates the homeless: on the elevator leaving the doctor's office some nice man in a suit reached out and touched the baby's foot. mrs nice guy actually whimpered out loud -- everyone in the crowded elevator turned to look at her. the nice besuited man did not touch the child again. (he did, however, steal my cab home! fucker!))

as i mentioned in the paragraph above, i took a cab home with the baby. mrs nice guy ventured out into the city to ditch her family long enough to get drunk and laid run some errands while i escorted the dozing post-laser-attack baby home. (a word about manhattan cab drivers: they don't like taking people into brooklyn--even though it is ILLEGAL to turn a rider away--because it's hard to pick up another fare. also, lots of them are just dicks.) with slumbering child in the back seat, our cab hurtled at egregiously reckless speeds towards the manhattan bridge. at the entrance to the bridge, we came to a light. so the cab driver stopped. he got out of his car and walked up to the cab in front of us. he talked to the driver. he came back to our car and got in. he said "i am not taking you to brooklyn. i have to be somewhere in the bronx. the cab in front of you will take you the rest of the way."

mr nice guy: are you fucking joking me?
assfucking cab driver: i am sorry.

mr nice guy: i have a baby! you would do this to someone with a baby?
assfucking cab driver: no. see the fare is $9. i will only charge you 6.
mr nice guy: how about i pay you a GO FUCK YOURSELF.
assfucking cab driver: please. only $6. i am sorry. i cannot take you to brooklyn.

not wanting to fight or, for that matter, to have to kill him and then go to jail where i would almost certainly get gang raped because of my pretty mouth, i handed him six bucks. i did say the word "fuck" as much as humanly possible, especially when the entire contents of my wallet spilled onto the chinatown sidewalk. oh, the despair! i just wanted to get my sleeping time-bomb baby home before she erupted into windshield-shattering screams of rage and hate. so i scurried over to the waiting cab in front of us. the new cab driver was very nice and very accommodating towards me, my baby and my loathing for his fellow assfucking new york city cabdrivers, who, incidentally, should take note: i gave the nice cab driver who took me home a FREAKISHLY HUGE ELEPHANTINE TIP.

the nose-blackened baby slept all the way home. before waking up and not sleeping again for hours and hours and hours and hours.