The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Where's My Ron MacLean?

I've been referred to, at times, as the Don Cherry of music - I know what I like, and I'm happy to tell you why you should like it too. Don't get me wrong, I have a very open mind. I'll give any artist or genre a honest try, and I'll rarely chide someone for listening to crap; but I will tell you why "I" think it's crap.

Like Folk music. When Folk music is good, it's great. Problem is, most Folk is just bad poetry wrapped in the guise of a song. It's so freaking earnest it makes me want to stick a screwdriver in my ear. What happened to melody? Phrasing? And don't even get me started on poetry...

So the other day P brings home a personalized music CD for The Boy, guaranteed to sing his name no fewer than 20 times. Oh honey, why didn't you just stick a dagger in my heart and get it over with? He was enjoying Gomez, The Jayhawks and Eels just fine, thank you very much. She popped the CD in, and I have to admit it is funny how the performers insert his name between beats or in random spots during the song; like a melodic non-sequitur. It makes us laugh.

The cutesy children's songs are (barely) tolerable I guess. It's no laughing matter when the folk songs come on though. Oh sure they sing The Boy's name, but AAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHH! How do these performers sleep at night?

I remember when kids tuned into the Kroft Supershow to get down with Kaptain Kool and the Kongs. How come they don't make children's music like that anymore.

Am I showing my age? Yeah, I think I am.

Monday, March 27, 2006

At Least He's Not Eating Corn

An unexpected consequence of solid food - solid poo. An evil surprise if you're not expecting it. In hindsight I should have seen it coming, I mean really, put two and two together, but the first diaper change after we introduced solids and whoa baby.

So what's so bad about it? Well unlike 100% breast milk poo, it smells. And you have to empty the diaper contents into the toilet before retiring it to the diaper pail. Before we just whipped the diaper off, tossed it in the pail and moved on. Now we have to shake out The Boy's little 'treasures' each time. We can't leave him unattended on the change table while we dump the contents, so we have to leave the diaper out, festering, until he's dressed.

Then we discovered Flushies, biodegradable diaper lines that you can flush. Now we just pull the Flushie out, roll it up and toss it in the toilet. We still have to dress him first, but the Flushie waits patiently for you at the side of the change table in a tidy little package. No fuss, no muss.

Life is good again.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Seven Month Review

A couple weeks late, but here's what's been happening in The Boy's world - Cole's Notes version.

  • He's now about 19 pounds.

  • He has eczema under his armpits and appears to have inherited P's sensitive skin. Our doctor has recommended we moisturize his skin after every bath. "I would have suggested that earlier, but moisturizing his whole body just seems so gay, and I'm not gay." You're not? You mean that hernia test you gave me was for real?!?

  • Our poor little guy has four upper teeth coming in at the same time - ouch! His first two lower teeth weren't too much of a problem, but these four are giving him fits especially at night. It's been better the last few days, but before then it was a long stretch of sleepless nights.

  • Suddenly out of the blue The Boy hates putting on a shirt. The tears, the screaming, the flailing. Then once we get the shirt buttoned it's all sunshine and lollipops again.

  • We had him remeasured and he's no longer short.

  • The Boy eats everything we've thrown into his mouth so far, except the unripe Kiwi. If you've never seen a baby pucker before, give unripe Kiwi a whirl, it's actually kind of cute.

  • Here's my favourite picture from last month

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Who's Your Daddy?

The other day P came home from the Mother and Baby drop-in with some news, "You know those red marks on the back of The Boy's head? They're called Stork bites, and it's quite a common birthmark."

"Uh huh."

"Mostly caucasian babies get them."

Ah Hah!

The Boy is half Asian (Me) and half Canadian (P), but I swear there's no Asian in him. I mean he was born with pale skin and deep blue eyes - I can safely say that doesn't come from my side of the family.

Skin and eye colour aside though, he looks nothing like me. He's a spitting image of P, with a bit of her brother thrown in. Hey... who's the father of this child?

"Oh go on. You're the father. Look, he's got your ears."

My ears?!? The only feature of mine The Boy inherited are the ears? And the genitals too I guess, he didn't get those from P that's for sure.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hotdogs and Hockey Games

The Boy and my 'guys' weekend took a turn for the better last Saturday, when my friend Dave invited us to a Vancouver Canucks hockey game. And I'm not talking nose-bleed seats, these were prime Siemans Club Seats, lower bowl, Row 19. What better way to spend a guys-only weekend than going to watch live sports?

At first I turned Dave's invitation down. The game was way past The Boy's bedtime, and his entire evening routine would be interrupted. But after talking to a few other parents that took their babes to a game, "... they loved it." "... fell asleep on my lap...", I thought this just might work. Besides it was either this or Caligula.

The seats were as good as I thought they'd be; center ice, just above the glass, servers bring beer to your seats - it was shaping up to be a great night. The Boy and me taking in our first hockey game together, I just might be the best Dad in the whole world.

The referee dropped the puck, the action was fast, I thought about ordering a beer. The night had all the ingredients of going from good to great. Then at 6:43 of the first period, that's when The Boy started to cry.

I've always been proud of how adaptable The Boy is, he usually just blends into any situation we throw at him. On this particular night, my easy-going baby hit his easy-going threshold. It was past his bedtime, so he was overtired and cranky as it was. Then throw in the neon, music, flashing lights, people and loud PA announcements and we had ourselves a recipe for a meltdown.

I spent the rest of the first period in the concourse trying to calm him down, but even the food court provided little protection from the ceaseless neon and PA announcements, "Guests in section 112, row 16, you've just won yourselves a free hotdog..." "Laura Lewis, you've just won yourself a free lunch courtesy of Subway Sandwiches." " pepperoni pizza courtesy Boston Pizza." (Apparently all of the night's contests involve some sort of processed meat).

Just as The Boy started to doze, the PA would boom in with another meat raffle or something and he'd startle awake. "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, [Canucks mascot] Fin will now shot prizes into the crowd." Lord, I dearly hope he wasn't firing hoagies.

And so it went for the next hour. He'd start dozing, the PA would boom, he'd start crying, I'd get him settled. Repeat. Forget about watching the game, it was all I could do to settle The Boy down. He was freaked, verging on terrified; I felt like the worst dad in the whole world.

Eventually Dave, the nice guy that he is, suggested we watch the rest of the game at my house. I felt so badly, living where he does he doesn't get a chance to see too many Canucks games, and now he's leaving before the second period is even three minutes old. Dave, if you're reading this, the next game is on me.

Sunday morning The Boy wakes around 6:30. Usually P feeds him in our bed while she dozes. And sometimes The Boy dozes again or contently plays by himself for a while longer. I can't feed him in our bed, but I'm tired so I'll try dozing with him. No such luck, he spent the rest of the morning scratching my face and kicking me in the nuts. Payback for the previous night I guess.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I'm Still Around

Just too busy to write anything at the moment. Lots of topics queued up, just not getting any computer time lately.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Me and The Boy

P has taken off for a weekend girl's retreat with her friends from High School. So it's just the guys. Me and The Boy. Male bonding. Whatever you want to call it, just don't call it a Men's Retreat.

No new age get in touch with your inner-self, talking stick bullshit here. We're going to sit around in our underwear and watch sports. Hey, maybe we'll rent porn; guys do that don't they? I'll start him off with something easy, like Caligula.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Why My Commute is Interesting. Reason #47

The train is crowded. I squeeze in. The guy to my right smells like cigarettes. The guy to my left smells like waffles.

Due to the mixing aromas of nicotine and Eggo, I now appear to be addicted to waffles.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

One Man's Trash... another man's treasure. So the saying goes.

Swap meets. Flea Markets. I avoid them with a passion. Usually they're full of Professional Swap Meeters, people who scour other swap meets for things to sell themselves. Pro Swap Meeters rarely cut you a deal, and generally treat you with contempt - now that's customer service. As for the shoppers flea markets attract; Wal-Mart People. Now shopping a Wal-Mart doesn't automatically make you a Wal-Mart Person. A true WMP, well, you know who you are.

So when P suggested we hit the Cloverdale Kids Swap last Saturday, you can imagine my reaction. I have no problem buying things used, just makes sense with a rapid-growth babe in the house, but a Swap Meet? What about the PSMs? And the WMP?

"Get over it, we're going." Yes mam', I'll start the car.

Fifty minutes later we're in the suburbs. My mood is glum as we navigate the sea of minivans for a parking spot. A huge hall full of people I'd rather avoid, this is going to be a fun morning.

To my pleasant surprise this swap meet isn't all that bad. And hey, these suburban moms are kind of cute. Hey!

Seems Kids Swaps attract a different sort of crowd. More family-oriented and way less seedy, and that would make sense. There were still the usual suspects, but the majority were young parents buying or selling their stuff.

After few minutes wandering around I see that the sellers broke down into three basic groups. Rookies who've likely rented a table for the first time. Regular sellers, amatures who rent a table when they have excess kids stuff to unload. And the PSMs.

Rookies are easy to spot. They anxiously wait for you to check out their table, swell up when you approach and then look defeated when you walk away. The regulars take the tire-kickers in stride, but are friendly always willing to make a deal. The pros, they don't seem to care if you buy or not:
Me: How much for this soft book?
PSW: Four Dollars.
Me: Four Dollars? Why don't I just bend over
But if you were careful, avoided the pros and bargained a bit, there were some decent deals to be had. Two hours, a weak cup of coffee and forty dollars later, P emerges with several bags of cloths and an activity table. I think we just may come back next year.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Shoot Me Now

It's Oscar Night, and I'm sitting in front of the TV with The Boy showing him first hand why the Oscars suck. The only reason reason the TV is even on is because Jon Stewart is hosting the show, and doing much better than David Letterman I might add. Come to think of it, the last time I watched the Oscars was when Letterman was the host.

We're huge Daily Show fans, so we think the Jon Stewart bits are great, very funny. Then Jon introduces the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the show goes downhill from there. This is EXACTLY why the Oscars suck so much. I mean really, who the f*** cares who the President is, and what he has to say. There are only six categories anyone cares about:
  1. Best Actor
  2. Best Supporting Actor
  3. Best Actress
  4. Best Supporting Actress
  5. Best Director
  6. Best Picture
Everything else is a wank. I'm not saying that these sound editors, focus pullers, best grips, clipboard holders and coffee go-getters don't deserve recognition, They do, it's just incredibly boring to watch. Then toss in the tributes, film montages and acknowledgment to people who mean nothing and we've got ourselves three long hours of uninspired television.

Six categories, Six winners. The show could be packaged and over in half an hour. Batta Bing, Batta Bong.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Any Port in a Storm

The Boy is really fun to hang out with now. He's become quite interactive and loves to play with us. He particularly likes getting a Raspberry on his belly. He cackles, giggles and sports a big shit-eatin' grin. One of the best times to surprise him with a Raspberry attack is on the change table, where is belly is exposed and just asking for it. Yesterday P took it too far.

She was changing him on the change table. The Boy was having a blast; flapping his arms, snickering and writhing in delight - perfect time for a Raspberry attack. But he was holding his legs up, so what was a mother to do? Undaunted, P did the only thing she could and gave him a Raspberry on his ass cheek, his left cheek to be exact.

The Boy didn't care, he starting laughing harder. On the other hand I was appalled, but maybe deep down I was just jealous.