Add to Google Subscribe in Bloglines Subscribe in NewsGator Online mr. nice feed Subscribe in Rojo

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

love bites, love bleeds/it's bringing me to my knees

t. berry brazelton, md -- "the beloved dean of American pediatricians," according to his own book jacket, so it must be true -- writes in his seminal book "Touchpoints"** that at the four month mark, the love affair between parent and child is at its most intense:
Parents and the baby are now "an item." Bonds of affection are weaving them tightly into a family ... I can reassure parents that this storm of feelings is called falling in love. -- p.83-84
i can assure you that the dean is absolutely correct. having a four-month-old is like being in an intense new love affair. all of dad's thoughts are about his perfect little girl. he beams with pride as he struts through the neighborhood wearing her strapped to his manly chest. when he minces into her room after a full night of sleep, she squirms and wiggles with delight in her crib as if to say hey, it's you again! i remember you! you totally rock! and she smiles the ur-smile, a smile unsurpassed in its brightness and beauty on any face that ever smiled before and will ever smile again. she babbles adorably in a love-language that only her parents speak. four months into parenthood is a heavenly, perfect place to be. i never knew it would be this much fun! no one has ever loved a baby this much.

sadly, our baby is now five months old.

brazelton does not extend the love affair metaphor, but lucky for you mr nice guy is willing to do the work for him. by four months, the baby has engendered all the good will it is possibly going to get -- it has political capital to spare and at five months, it's time to start cashing in. as with any love affair, things start off basically equal, but there is always some minor inherent power imbalance. there is always someone who is a little bit more emotionally invested, a little bit weaker. in the case of baby, for example, i am willing to wager that the people wiping her ass are more emotionally invested than the ass-wipee.

after the bliss-stage of the love affair wears off, the person with less emotional investment, and consequently more power, may begin to take advantage of the other's blind love. in a traditional romantic relationship, this might mean that one half always calls or e-mails the other, who just assumes that the call will be coming. or perhaps the couple always finds themselves spending the night at one's apartment instead of splitting time equally between each other's perfectly good digs.

with a baby, this shift is less subtle. already the baby is accustomed to having her ass wiped. now the baby kicks it up a notch: sure, she's been sleeping through the night for a couple months now, but that doesn't mean, for example, that at at five months of age she can't suddenly decide to start waking up SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER every night at midnight. and again at two am. and AGAIN AT FOUR O'FUCKING CLOCK. EVERY NIGHT.

sure, she's been breastfeeding since she was approximately eight minutes old, but that doesn't mean that, now that she has tiny snaggleteeth, she can't BITE down and drag her razor sharp inchoate incisors across mama's areola at EVERY FEEDING.

sure she's learning how her body works, but how many times does she really need to reach out and grab my hair and pull it like she's manically weeding some horribly infested garden? (she does this to the hair on my head, yes, but also the hair on my CHEST, the hair on my chinny-chin-chin, the hair on my wife and, to their unfathomable chagrin, the hair on my cats.)

and while we're at it, how insanely manipulating is this: oh look at me, daddy, i am so cute! i sure would smile and love you forever if you just handed me that little toy over there ... thanks for giving it to me, daddy! i love it! now i am going to throw it on the floor and you are going to pick it up, bitch!

brazelton likes to focus on the positive. maybe that's why he's the self-appointed lord god bird of american pediatricians. but if you're going to make the "love affair" comparison, you've got to go the distance. what happens when the relationship turns abusive? what happens when one is finally, ineluctably let down by his or her lover. what happens when the blinders come off and one finally sees the object of their fancy for what she truly is: a midnight-screaming-hair-pulling-pants-soiling-toy-throwing-food-spitting-nipple-biting maniac? WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

** topic of discussion: when writing about small children is there possibly, just maybe, a better title for a book than "Touchpoints?" sounds like a how-to guide for pedophiles. i'm just sayin'.


when the baby was new to this world, a jumbled ball of wants and aggravations, she didn't do much aside from the standard shitting and screaming. a friend of ours asked mrs nice guy during these dark, sleepless days "what do you most look forward to?" mrs nice guy replied: "to when she's old enough for the playground swing."

ladies and gentlemen, the baby is old enough for the playground swing. we are fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood with a playground-to-parent ratio of one-to-one, the nearest swing being a block from our home (even more fortunate, the parent-to-pub ratio is also about one-to-one). in this playground there are two sets of swings: those for children who have motor control and those for them that don't. seeing as how our child falls squarely in that second camp, we've taken her for a swing on the swing for the swinging-impaired. and she swung! sorta. she's kind of still too little. we'll slide her legs in through the holes and lean her waaaaay forward in the bucket seat before we gingerly give her a shove.

man, the rapture of this child! you would think she had been ripping nitrous shots off of whipped cream dispensers, she loves it so much. at first she is apprehensive -- what is this contraption these giants who hang out with me are putting me into? gradually, as the swing-drug begins to take hold of her central nervous system, she loosens up. she smiles her snaggletooth, 100-year-old-appalachian-woman smile (she has two little teeth now, poking up from her bottom gums). she giggles. she drools. she probably wets herself. and then she passes out.
man. reminds me of high school.

it dawns on me now that perhaps one of the greatest things about parenthood is not that it makes you a more complete person, a fuller, wiser and more patient person. sure, it does all of those things. but the coolest thing is that it lets you do tons of shit that would be totally inappropriate if you didn't have a kid: like swinging on the big kid swings (just put your baby on your lap). or, when she gets older, sliding down the slide. or watching trippy little videos with singing puppets.

parenthood: the perfect excuse for being totally juvenile.

Monday, October 24, 2005

somewhere, my 14-year-old self is beaming with pride

when mr nice guy was a budding music geek in junior high school, it was brought to his attention that the original title of Metallica's debut album was not, in fact, "Kill 'Em All." no. it was to be called "Metal Up Yer Ass." better yet, lars ulrich wanted the album art to feature a machete emerging, excalibur-like, from a toilet bowl.

well! when 14-year-old me learned this fact, he developed a little ruse: it occured to him that it might possibly be the funniest thing in the world to go into music stores and ask the clerk behind the counter: "excuse me, sir, but do you have 'Metal Up Yer Ass?'" and so he did. as often as he could. the clerk would invariably stammer and say something like "WHAT?" and 14-year-old me would reply, innocently, even naively: "it's a rare metallica record! don't you carry it?" (NB: metallica apparently was quite partial to the title because in 1997 they released a video of that very name.)

well, friends, the intervening 16 years have taught me very little, but they have taught me this: the more things change the more things stay the same. seeing as how i am home all day with a tiny squalling infant who wants her bottle NOW GODDAMN IT WHERE IS IT GIVE ME MILK OR I WILL CRY TEARS OF BLOOD, i have become quite attuned to the needs of my baby. (i also have become insanely hard up for authentic entertainment, which will explain what follows.) she likes the little avent bottles with the little avent adjustable-flow nipples. seeing as how she is five months old now, it recently became time to invest in new nipples, one size up.

a golden opportunity!

i cannot tell you how much pathetic joy it brings me to saunter into any one of the many little baby boutiques in our neighborhood and stroll up to the impeccably appointed woman behind the counter to ask, in all earnestness: "excuse me, miss, but do you have nipples?"

Saturday, October 22, 2005

wherein mr nice guy answers some mail and encourages you to reach out and touch him, you tawdry trollop

yes that's right, it's saturday night and i live in the greatest city in the world and i have nothing better to do than write an entry in my interblog. when i finish typing this i am going to defenestrate myself.

but first, at the risk of alienating two out of all five of my readers, a new feature! welcome to Mr. Nice Guy's Mailbag! every so often (ok, whenever he feels like it), mr nice guy will respond to a message or two. he will answer questions about his personal life, dole out relationship and parenting advice, and respond to grievous assaults on his character. so what are we waiting for? the supplicants demand a response from their leader.

a certain Hugh Downer, a suspicious name if ever there was one, e-mails:
You said some 5 1/2 months ago that little miss nice guy would not be dressing as a pumpkin/fairy/skeleton etc for Halloween, but rather as a prostitute/crack whore etc. Can we have photos to prove that this will be done and that you're not speaking out of your bottom please?
well, it would seem, Hugh, that you are referring to this post. allow me answer your question with a question, Hugh: do you have any idea how fucking hard it is to find teeny weeny fishnets? i have been looking. it's not easy. also there's this obstacle: mrs nice guy steadfastly refuses to let me dress the baby up as a hooker for hallowe'en ... or any other occasion, sadly. she says it will be "too cold" outside and that she doesn't want "her daughter" all "whored up" and "exploited" for a cheap laugh. tch. whatever. i do remain unmoved, Hugh, in my visceral objection to fuzzy pumpkins and ladybugs and peas in a pod. gag me with a spoon. i believe i have struck upon the perfect compromise, however, and i am not going to tell you what it is. suffice it to say, it is a costume that requires some minor do-it-yourselfitude, which is not one of mr nice guy's myriad fortes. i must take ownership of the project asap, though, so as to avoid a fate worse than pumpkin. also, what's wrong with talking out of my bottom? i bet you can't do it.

next up we have this missive from someone who goes by ketzel:
Do you live in or near Connecticut and if you do can my husband and I come over for dinner? Of course if you are brave and do not mind underdone chicken or overcooked steak you can come here.

ketzel, my dear, are you proposing one of those "dinners" where mrs nice guy and i place our keys in a hat upon arrival? if so, i am so TOTALLY trekking to connecticut! but if i understand correctly, you're not really inviting us over, are you? you are inviting yourself over here. right? now, ketzel, as often as we have total strangers who we meet in some internet back alley over to our house -- where we keep all of our very expensive jewelry, rare egon schiele prints and our baby -- for dinner where they, strangers, have invited themselves, i am terribly sorry to report we're all booked up for the foreseeable future. maybe just coffee?

so. who's next? drop us a line.

Friday, October 21, 2005

back in business!

i will not bore you all with the arduous trek through all 666 cirlces of tech-support hell from which i have just returned, but the important thing is that i am BACK IN BUSINESS.

things with paolo didn't work out. plus, while my computer was melting down, our apartment was hit by Hurricane Mother-in-Law, so my attentions were frazzled at best. my father-in-law, the coolest cucumber this side of the frozen veggie aisle, did an amazing job of trouble shooting and updating my software on out of the 1980s. then, after they left, microsoft assigned me a gentleman of ambiguous nationality called Marcus -- i do believe Paolo dumped me, i really do, after all i was prepared to do for him, too. Marcus and i cleaned up the rest of my 'puter the other day. so all systems go!

but. then. time warner's FUCKING CABLE WENT DOWN AGAIN. no interweb access. for the past two days, i have been sitting here with a high-powered, updated, clean as a whistle computer and nothing to do but play solitaire which i don't actually know how to play. i was like the captain of a world cup sailing team equipped only with tiny inflatable floaties. much like some other aspects of my life, i had become totally impoten-- oops. typo!

um, yeah. ok, so i have about 10,000 ideas for entries to write and i will probably never get around to them all (the baby, who is going through a demonic developmental spurt, is actually taking a nap at the moment, please sing your hosannas accordingly). and then i am going to take a little moment to delete 8,495 accumulated e-mails without actually reading them. i shall return with witty new entries perhaps even later this evening.

thanks for your patience. lord knows i haven't had any.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

no systems go

good sunday morning to you all. i type this on mrs nice guy's office computer, which is much fancier than our home computer but still suffers from two staggering defects: it has a much too small keyboard and porn-blockers all over it. so then, why do i type this on mrs nice guy's computer? because at some point friday afternoon, our home computer contracted an exceedingly deadly strain of avian flu. viruses, spyware, adware, worms, trojans and, i suspect, martha stewart have all conspired to bring down my puny hard drive.

so this is just a quick note to say that i have no idea how long it will take to fix this but microsoft assigned a very nice brazilian case worker named Paolo to talk me through all the necessary fixit steps (all of which i have taken, thrice, to no avail). i am going to keep plugging away at this tedious problem, but in the meantime there will probably be silence on this site. paolo and i have gotten very close these past two days. i am thinking about asking him to move in with us.

have i ever mentioned how much i fucking hate computers?

sure, this site is made on a computer, you are reading it on a computer, and the wonder that is modern technology has connected the two of us in ways that we would probably never have connected before (believe me, if you saw me walking down the street, you would go miles out of your way just to avoid any type of encoutner and yet here in cyberspace i am your GOD). sure, computers give me free porn. and unsolicited parenting advice and offers for viagra. and i earn my meager living on a computer. but jesus hebrew christ i loathe the little fuckers when they freeze up and deny me access all my precious, precious music. i don't think i can go another day without putting at least one new song in my itunes library. how will i survive?

this isn't what i had planned to write about. i had planned to write, in greater detail than i can stand to deal with at the moment, about two sweet milestones that have recently passed unnoticed around here:

1) my daughter is now 5 months old. do you have any idea how surreal it still is to write that sentence. every word in it buzzes with congnitive dissonance. my daughter? five months old? when and how did this happen? also. how come people never told me before how awesome babies are? i will quote mrs nice guy's succinct evaluation of our child here: "she fucking rocks.""

2) as of two weeks ago, this website has apparently been in business for a full year. let's all sing it a round of "happy birthday" and treat mr nice guy to some hookers and blow.

or, hell, a new computer.

paolo? a little help?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

a journalistic first? we report, you decide.

ok fine, i'll bite.

a friend of mine in mormon country asked me if i was planning to authoritatively weigh in on the sunday times' front page story about toilet training seven-month-old babies. my initial response was no. mostly, i replied, i am more inclined to write about things that "render me blind with rage" and this particular article didn't quite make the cut. sure i had seen it, but i couldn't even be bothered to read past the jump.

granted, it's annoying that my child will not be among the new army of uber-kids, toilet trained before they're walking, charting the course of the master race by second grade and in therapy at the age of 10. of course i would prefer it if my daughter were not still besmirching her shorts when she gets to college, but i am not all that angsty over it. frankly, i just don't have the get-up-and-go to start toilet training my five-month-old. i just don't. for those who do, i salute you ... actually, i don't do that either. i just sort of acknowledge that you exist. barely.

but then i got to thinking. this IS a remarkable story. there IS something worth commenting on, after all. this DOES require my searing insight. and here it is:

i could be wrong, but i do believe this is the first time in the history of our "paper of record," the gray lady, that the front page -- prime journalistic real estate! -- prominently featured a photograph of a person sitting on the can.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

the jokes, sometimes they write themselves

check out this e-mail a friend forwarded to me (italics are definitely not mine. except when they are):

Seeking featured talent for the new Strokes video shooting this weekend. [ah, so the strokes finally admit to having no talent and are forced to go begging via mass e-mailings?]

IMPORTANT: The video is cutting edge and we are looking for talent that is comfortable with getting physical on set. Do not submit if you are uncomfortable making-out with members of the same/opposite sex (depending on scene). [yes, tres cutting edge. in 1957.]

Please denote the role you want to be considered for.

LESBIANS, 20s-30's, "Victoria Secret" model-type lesbians, prefer Caucasian. The scene involves kissing and being affectionate with another woman. [you mean all i needed to do to find these was send out an e-mail? now you tell me! all these years, wasted!]
Prefer REAL Couple** - must have someone to audition with [if any of you young victoria's secret lipstick lesbians turn up unaccompanied, mr nice guy will consider biting the bullet and standing in]

HEROINE CHIQ [sic] HIPSTER MALE, Caucasian, 20's-30's (reference: Nick Stahl in "Bully") The scene involves an aggressive make-out session in a taxi with another female. [i never saw "Bully," but i will happily add it to my netflix queue right after i finish watching Faces of Death XVI. how's THAT for tuff?! now come here and let's have a snog, just mind my track marks.]

GAY MALE COUPLE Good-looking, East-village type exhibitionist males, 20's-30's, any ethnicity. The scene involves an aggressive make-out session between to males.
[what's with all the aggression, people? also, what the fuck is this video about anyway? a bunch of people making out while pulling hair and listening to bad music? if i wanted that, i'd just stay home.]
** Prefer REAL Couple** - must have someone to audition with

GRAFFITI ARTIST street-punk skater guy, any ethnicity, 20s-30's. Must be real Graffiti artist [doesn't the graffiti guy get to make out with anyone? poor lonely graffiti guy. i bet he has aggression to spare, too.]

HOT COUPLE, male and female, mid-20's, must be hot, sexy, rock n'roll, downtown hipster. The scene involves an aggressive make-out session between the couple.
[i feel so bad for the inevitable couple that shows up to audition and is clearly neither rock nor roll nor hot nor hip. specifically, i feel bad for myself in my little baby bjorn.]
** Prefer REAL Couple** - must have someone to audition with

If interested or available, please submit recent photo and contact information to: [PLEASE! i so want someone who reads this to go and audition and tell julian casablancas that mr nice guy says he's dreamy and should ignore all the critics who say he's "derivative" and "getting by on daddy's name/money"]

Auditions: Thurs. Oct. 13 (Yom Kippur) [because nothing says "atonement" like aggressively making out with ethnically ambiguous hipsters of all sexes. why don't they just come out and tell us: JEWS NEED NOT APPLY???]
Callbacks: Possibly Fri. Oct. 14 [but then again, possibly not]
Shoots: Sunday Oct. 16 and/or Monday Oct. 17 (could be a night shoot for Monday)
Location: NYC
Rate: $200 [two crisp benjamins for making out aggressively while listening to crap brilliant music? i am TOTALLY there]

Monday, October 10, 2005

this post is extremely juvenile and scatalogical and i would recommend that you read something else that is less overly concerned with feces

when we all woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 in the AM, my daughter had not had a bowel movement in four days.

these are the types of facts that occupy the uppermost part of my powerful brain these days. this is what lives in my noggin's top real estate; prime head-space is devoted to the colon of a lilliputian, drooling tourette's sufferer. life, she is a vile and taunting strumpet.

anyway, yes, the day started without a single poop on her behalf in around 90 hours. my god! i will spare you the details of mr nice guy's own lower-intestinal output, but it's damn near the reciprocal of once every four days. (thanks primarily to you, delicious coffee.)

my theory is that it was the solids. she had started "eating" solid food (organic carrot pudding spackle, smeared liberally about her face and bib) in earnest just a few days prior. for at least a week she had already been partaking of single-grain organic rice cereal farmed by celestial virgins in hand-sewn organic cotton tunics. so my poor child's innards, which had been subjected to nothing but sweet, sweet breastmilk for four-plus months were suddenly being bombarded with grains! and veggies! a viscous backlog had understandably built up. by late yesterday mrs nice guy and i found ourselves engaged in a spirited game of hot-potato: whoever was holding mount baby when she erupted would be responsible for clean-up.

well. today, i lost.

three times.

ladies and gentlemen, we have entered a terrible new era of Real Human Shit. at some point around 10:30 this morning i knew something big was going down. she was not enjoying her rice cereal. she would not eat. i suspected she was teething for she had been chewing with renewed virulence upon, well, everything. but suddenly a new look i had never seen before crossed her face. she appeared simultaneously determined, afraid, confused and in pain. then she grunted. her entire body bunched up as she bore down. then, of course, there was a new odor, never hitherto associated with my daughter.

anguish and stink. oh vile, pernicious child, my own private judas iscariot, what hath thou wrought upon my home?!

anyway, there were three subsequent movements of increasing magnitude and excruciating density throughout the day, three thick toothpasty loads of meatloaf stool between 10:30 and 6:30. whenever she wasn't crapping or sleeping she would just sit there, angry at the world, going "meeeeh-eh-eh. bleegggghhhh!" not as cute as it sounds. and each time the special instant arrived, the same new possessed look would cross her face. never before had i made eye contact with someone at the very moment she was voiding. i was worried that some freaky friday moment might transpire and we would suddenly find ourselves in the other's body. but no. after each dramatic diaper-deposit the child cried hot tears (of a dear god what is happening to my sphincter? is this what johnny cash is singing about in "ring of fire?" nature). the child would scream. she would cry. it was heartbreaking. if only i could switch places, i would make it so she never had to excrete solids again!

but! then! when she was finished, she would be in a marvelous mood. she would sleep for at least an hour! "constipation," you say. "poor baby," you say. well, i say: "three times in one day! three naps! in one day!"

oh, solids. the overture of baby fury and the epilogue of high-pressure hose cleanup may be steep prices to pay for an hourlong nap, but it's on. today carrots, tomorrow fiber in all its forms: wheat bran, beans, barley, rye and pure 10-gigabit ethernet optics! child, you will learn to appreciate the multi-feceted faceted joys of a rich and complex diet (and the attendant naps). and it will be good.

for the love of L.Ron, keep it down, woman!

good luck with that, katie.

Friday, October 07, 2005

martha, martha, martha!

a generous anonymous reader directed your hero's attention to this site:
Calling all Mr. Moms: Be a part of the "Mr. Mom Show" on Martha. It's National Men Make Dinner Day and you're invited to join 164 stay-at-home Dads in the live studio audience. Join us Thursday, November 3rd. It's all about you, Dad!
there are so very many things wrong with those four sentences, i have no clue where to begin. but i'ma give it my best.

first of fucking all: mr. mom?? "mr. mom?" jumping moses, this is 2005, people! i ain't no 1983 michael keaton fired-from-work clueless stay-at-home careerist douche battling gender stereotypes and finding myself suddenly discovering "gosh, parenting is hard work too!" FUCK! i mean, i know how to change a diaper in 0.08 seconds. i know how to do the grocering; i am a fucking laundry WIZARD. i don't just "do" the dishes, i become them. (i know how to clean house too, but i am totally ok with admitting that i hate and avoid it at all costs.) also: i like my kid. a lot. she is not some foreign bizzarro entity who happens to live with, and urinate upon, us.

second of all: "national men make dinner day?" GODDAMN IT I COOK DINNER ALL THE FUCKING GODDAMN TIME. thai duck curry, anyone? or maybe something lighter, like an heirloom tomato salad with homemade vinaigrette? pork chops with pear-leek compote and a side of kale-potato hash, perhaps? how about some spicy chana masala and aloo gobi? YOU GET THE PICTURE.

third of all: Martha? you go girl and all, but, please leave me out of it.

fourth: am i really invited to join 164 stay-at-home dads in the studio?! really?? *squeal!* oh, goodie! oh, thank you Martha. thank you for this rare and life-changing opportunity. excuse me for wetting myself, but i simply cannot wait to swap stories with my reclusive ilk! just think of all the things we'll have to talk about: "so, you're a stay-at-home-dad, eh?"
"hey, me too!"
"that's swell, chief."
"um ... don't you think Martha totally got screwed by the Man?!"

fifth: nov. 3, right? would that be to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the colony of Massachusetts' offering a bounty of 20 pounds for the scalps of native american children under 12? waaaait a second! what exactly does martha have in mind for my child?

sixth: "it's all about you, Dad???" actually, no. it's all about my daughter. you know, the one i stay home for? my 16-pound drooling, episodically-defecating, grunting, napless, non-rolling-over, impatient, ADD-afflicted, hairless, bleating goat-girl. thank you for your smarmy condescension, though. i feel so good about myself now.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

mission creep

a little over a month ago, mr nice guy posted a wee mission statement. it was a lofty list of goals for his time on leave. i have no doubt that the faithful among you are dying, DYING, to know: how is it going? art thou meeting thine goals, goodman nice guy? well, let me tell you!

1. the sideburns: ah. well, the sideburns suffered a setback. you see, i did grow a manly set of deadly burning chops. and the lord saw that it was good. then my hair got very long and afrolicious and my little *cough gag* "soulpatch" got real mangy. in short, i looked like the banjo player of your least favorite bluegrass band (we interrupt the regularly scheduled nice-guy-programming for this banjo-oriented joke: How can you tell if the stage is level at a bluegrass concert? The banjo player is drooling from both sides of his mouth.). anyway, i looked like some feral unabomber bear hunter. something had to go. it was the sideburns. stupidly, the next day i got a last-minute unplanned haircut. so. in one day i essentially went from Grisly Man to Opie. i went from looking like a child-molesting 48-year-old to a 12-year-old child molestee. i was stymied. flummoxed, even. and so, i have grown back the sideburns! they are back! and now i look like a mangy 12-year-old with sideburns. not sexy, people. not sexy.

2. the ipod: MY GOD. at this point i need tangible proof that steve jobs doesn't have it out for ME and ME ALONE. i have had three ipods in 14 months and ALL OF THEM HAVE DIED HORRIBLE DEATHS FROM AUTO-IPODIC ASPHYXIATION. they just stop working. i brought my ipod in to the egregiously inaccurately named "genius bar" at the otherwise glorious
apple store. i showed my ipod to the "genius" (MAN, CAN YOU TASTE THE IRONY??) and, shaking with epileptic anger, i said "i have not dropped, kicked, drop-kicked, thrown, doused, set fire to, stabbed, urinated upon, swallowed, stuck in the coffee grinder, froze, grown sideburns near, or otherwise besmirched my ipod AND YET FOR THE THIRD TIME IN A ROW IT HAS DECIDED TO STOP WORKING." he shrugged and said "it's a piece of hardware. sometimes they stop working. here's a free replacement." i said "i love steve jobs, even though he so clearly hates me." the pendulum of rage, her swing is fierce. she is fickle. and my ipod? now that it is undead, it is better than yours.

3. the figuring out how not to work and still become independently wealthy: actually, we might have solved this problem after all. it seems that in mrs nice guy's office building there is a modeling agency for babies (ahhh, only in new york) called Funny Face. the other day i paid mrs nice guy a visit at her office, but not before being stopped by a craggly old smoking lady on the sidewalk who said: "ehh, that's a good lookin' baby you got there. you should bring photos by my office. you know, funny face." coming from los angeles, i missed not one beat: "oh so you're an agent," i said, thoroughly nonplussed. she said "yeah, i'm an agent." but she said it in this tone of voice that was meant to convey: "agent?! i am the BEST IN THE BUSINESS, SWEETHEART. watch your step." so now i am constantly hectoring mrs nice guy to bring photos to the baby modeling agency. imagine: college tuition paid! baby needs new pairs of shoes! free vacations on baby! but, sadly, mrs nice guy is not so hot on the idea. i sense a heroic battle on the horizon.

4. the feeling sexless in the bjorn: guess what! mr nice guy has succeeded in getting hit upon while wearing the bjorn! yes! it's true! i was in a store with the kid this weekend, browsing, and the proprietrix sauntered up and totally busted a full-frontal move on me. ("hiiii! how are you. how is your day going? it's so good to see you.") what's the rub, you ask? ah, the rub: mrs nice guy was standing right next to me. so flagrantly devastating was the shoplady's come-on that, upon exiting the store, mrs nice guy turned to me and, with rage-spittle in the corners of her mouth, sputteringly inquired "WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ALL ABOUT????" honestly? here's the story: i bought mrs nice guy her birthday gift there earlier this year. while buying the gift, i spent some time casually, innocently, non-flirtingly, chatting with the aforementioned proprietrix, who, i should note, pointed out that she was engaged to be married. i bought mrs nice guy gifts--a very handsome imitation leather bag and some fancy flip-flops. mrs nice guy, for her part, decided to return the handsome imitation leather bag. last week, as we were passing the store, mrs nice guy demanded to go in and see what she could get for her store credit. it turns out that seeing a newly-married/apparently-disgruntled proprietrix get her freak on all over mr nice guy was not what the wife had wanted in exchange. my theory: it was the bjorn.

5: the knee surgery: oy. my knees could write a blog of their own. the long and short of it is that i was pretty sure i needed a quasi-experimental meniscal transplant surgery. apparently, one of my many, many teenage-era knee surgeries was a
medial meniscectomy on my left knee, which means that my left knee no longer produces milk. that was then. as for now, the transplant surgery is apparently no longer an option because it seems that my knee is too far gone to repair. like ten years too far gone. but wait there's more: the lateral meniscus of the same knee, the little meniscus that actually remains in that knee, is torn. so at 30 years of age i have arthritis. bone is grinding against bone. the joint is beginning to bow. it hurts all the time. in a word: i am 100% grade-A 30-year-old man-meat with 100% grade-F 90-year-old knee-meat. i saw a super knee guru at the "hospital for special surgery" (so named because the "hospital for patients who should relinquish all hope of ever walking ever again" sounded too grim) and he said "here's a knee brace. there's nothing we can do. you're fucked."

Monday, October 03, 2005

what we talk about when we talk about our daughter

mr nice guy: she hasn't pooped today.
mrs nice guy: that's more than 48 hours without pooping!
mr nice guy: i know. she's farting a lot, though. i think she's cooking up something good.
mrs nice guy: i hope you're wearing a hazmat suit.

UPDATE! the poop, ohhh, when finally it did come, it came fast and it came furiously. and when it came ... mrs nice guy was holding her!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

beaches, babies and bemoaning

a kind, eagle-eyed reader pointed out that zipcar gives all of its cars wacky names, meaning that it was not toyota's fault the car was called "mort." apparently it was not some attempt at a snazzy foreign-sounding name given by the manufacturer (like "fiesta" or "aztec" or "pinto"), but rather an unsnazzy old-jewish-man nickname given by zipcar itself. so, mort is not french for "fiery death by molten car," but rather yiddish for "oy! slow down already. whaddaya want? to run me off the road?" subtle difference, but it's there.

anyway, the nice guys went to the jersey shore yesterday. beach, beer, briny air -- it was really a delightful afternoon. it was our child's first time on the coast and i could tell that, like her papa, she loves herself some beach. like me, she is a wild wayfaring woman, except, um, i am, most days, not a woman.

was that awkward for you too? so, moving on, friends were staying at their parents' beach house. they have an 18-month-old daughter. other friends came by with a nine-month-old kid. so do the math: six parents, three kids under two. bedlam, i tell you; it was bedlam!

first of all, whose fucking idea was it to let kids walk? bad idea. this is a trend i would like to see reversed. secondly -- the reaching! the grabbing! the knocking over! the running full-speed into traffic despite 13 pleas from your parents to come back and eat a brownie or something, anything, to just stop moving for one blissful, motionless millisecond, please. jiminy cricket, is it too late to send our baby back before she reaches any more "milestones"? third, and this one's for the nine-month-old: sand is not for eating, ok? beaches are fun, sure; sand is great for digging and sculpting and general revelry, yes. but eating? no. neither are: sunglasses, hair or smaller babies.

i asked our friend with the 18-month old if it's gotten harder. she said "yes, but." and that was it. the sentence ended. THERE WAS NO BUT.

oy, slow down already.