Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pics From a Proud Papa

Usually it is Melanie who keeps up with posting photos of Edison, but I’m so in love with the kid, I have to share some too. In just the last couple of days, he’s started being able to sit up by himself. He’s even raised himself to a sitting position a couple of times. Needless to say, we’ve gone a little crazy with the camera over it. Most of the photos below demonstrate this, as you will see. Enjoy!

I tried to nonchalantly snap this photo over Melanie’s shoulder, but Eddie was a little too smart for such antics. He looked right at me.

Here he is, looking a little tired but studly in his button-up shirt. The whole “growing up too fast” phase is officially upon us.

This is Eddie in what I believe they call an “exersaucer.” We tried it out for the first time just yesterday, and he seems to like it pretty well as you can see. While the frequency of his smiling has gradually been on the rise for quite some time now, it seems to have increased in its increasing just this past week.

And here are a slew of photos taken just today, with Ed in his studly button-up again but taking it to the next level of coolness with the addition of a denim jacket. I find these so cute, I had to post a few. Darn camera had a hard time with the lighting and ended up blurring my very favorite photo, though—and slightly washing out Eddie’s face in a couple others. Such is life. They’re still adorable pics.

And in case I don’t get to say it later this week, HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!

(We certainly know what I’m grateful for!)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Potpourri No. 15

It seems like everyday, there’s a good 24 hours worth of crap going on. Here’s some of the most recent happenings…

Feeling Peachy
Melanie and I finally got our Georgia State driver’s licenses and license plate. It felt weird, kind of like we were moving all over again. All those strange feelings of thinking, “hey, we’re no longer Utahans!” came flooding back to us. It was like consummating our marriage to a new part of the country. It’s still bizarre whenever I open up my wallet and see my smiling face superimposed onto an official, Georgia-government issued piece of plastic. But, perhaps an even bigger change, I’ve now chosen to be an organ donor. I just couldn’t see any rational basis for a posthumous coveting of my ooey-gooeys. I used to be adamantly opposed to organ donation, at least for myself, but I could no longer justify it in my mind and decided I’d much rather err on the side of charity. So … certified Benny K bits available (hopefully not too) soon!

The Buck Starts Here
Sensitive to our current financial situation and vastly limited by our four-month-old son when it comes to recreational activity, Melanie and I have started taking advantage of those movie rental kiosks that are springing up at grocery stores and fast-food joints all over the country. On the chance that you don’t know what I’m talking about, these are movie rental vending machines where, for the low price of $1 per day, you can check out a movie just by swiping your credit or debit card and following some simple onscreen prompts. The machine spits out your DVD and, once you return the movie, charges you for the number of days you’ve kept it. If you’re diligent, it’s an incredibly cost-effective way of renting movies, far cheaper than running to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. Of course, I’m just waiting for the day we get an incredibly scratched-up DVD or return a movie that somehow fails to get “checked in” and then have to call an 800-number and be put on hold for 45 minutes before we can talk to someone to get it all straightened out. It’s bound to happen. I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t. And yet I’ll keep going back until that day comes. Don’t worry, you’ll certainly hear all about it when it does.

Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Speaking of money, the other day a transient woman came up to me and blessed me, “in Jesus’ name,” that I would find $5,000 in my backpack. So far I’ve only found two out-of-ink pens and a smashed up pack of peanut butter crackers, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled and my fingers crossed.

Write On!
I’ve done the math and it looks like I’ve got about 60 pages worth of essays to write over the next few weeks, give or take. That’s a bit intimidating. But, before I get too exhausted and frustrated to admit it, I have to say this has been the most productive and rewarding semester of school I’ve ever known. I’ve never felt so personally enriched as I have over these last few months. I’m learning a ton, and I’m excited for the future. What more could a student possibly want?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Music to My Ears

Melanie has made a grave mistake.

The other day I was telling my wonderful wife how, on a rough average, I own a CD for every 21 days that I’ve lived. I jokingly said that this is a trend I need to continue. In response, she told me that, as soon as I listen to all of the CDs I already own but have never opened, I can start buying a new CD every three weeks.

Big, big mistake.

I have spent the last half week or so listening to CDs fairly constantly, and what a great deal of fun it’s been. Some of these CDs I’ve owned for years and have never taken them out of their plastic. That may sound odd, but CDs are a weakness of mine. Then again, it’s not as if I purchased these CDs all willy-nilly like. They weren’t bought on impulse. Most of them are albums I’ve already heard, ones I know I want to own, and I just haven’t gotten around to listening to them since they rightfully became a part of my personal property. Some I initially checked out from my local library, put them on my computer so I could conveniently listen to them, and then decided they were good enough to keep. So I bought them but left the original copied version on my hard drive. Because I can listen to these albums at any time without having to open anything (other than Windows Media Player), it only makes sense that the CDs themselves have been collecting dust ever since. Only a handful of these unopened CDs have been albums I’ve never heard whatsoever, and yet these are all by artists I know and trust. Those have been the fun discoveries of the week, seeing as how the majority of songs on those albums are completely new to me. Musicians with albums falling into this latter category include Edie Brickell, Collective Soul, Stone Temple Pilots, and Weezer. What fun!

Melanie admitted she’s surprised I’ve dived into this challenge as aggressively as I have. Initially, even as she witnessed my determination, she was always quick to remind me that she’s “not worried in the slightest.” She said she expects it to take me up to five years to get through all of them. But I think she’s finally beginning to worry. And rightfully so. We don’t have money to spend on such frivolities as CDs. But it’s too good an offer to pass up, so I have to pursue it. When we end up homeless because I insist on keeping Melanie to her word, I’ll definitely have to get one of those shopping carts that are so in vogue with vagabonds these days. I’ll beam with pride as I push my cart full of 600 CDs about town, mocking my fellow transients and their clich├ęd carts full of pop cans. Sure, I won’t have anything to listen to my myriad CDs on, but in that case, I’ll be getting as much use out of them then as I am now. Only my collection will steadily be growing—once every three weeks…

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Honeymoon's Over -- Or is It?

Melanie and I have now lived in Atlanta for almost three months (is that all?). The feeling of being enamored of our new apartment is gradually beginning to subside, especially as our upstairs neighbors suddenly find themselves very enamored of each other. What’s odd is that we’re fairly certain it’s the neighbors we’ve always had, yet their romantic habits have changed dramatically in just the past two or three weeks. It’s been less than subtle, which makes me wonder why, in my approximate four years of living in apartments, I’ve never heard such outpourings of love from an upstairs or next-door neighbor before. It can’t be a thinness of the walls or ceilings, for (overall) I’ve heard less of my neighbors here than anywhere I’ve lived previous. I guess my current neighbors are just a little more enthusiastic about their relationship. Or a lot more energetic. Or both.

The reason we’re so certain it’s the same neighbors we’ve had all along is that we’ve heard their affections before. Only once or twice, with weeks passing in between the occasions, but those past performances bore a strikingly similar cadence to the one we now know by heart. In fact, these passionate trysts have turned into a nightly ritual, occurring up to three times in one 24-hour period, anytime between 8 p.m. and sunrise. Recently, I even woke up around 4 a.m. and was surprised that I hadn’t heard them at all during the night. I turned to Melanie, who gave up sleeping altogether about four months ago, and said that, if we didn’t hear something within the next hour, I’d have to go upstairs and make sure they were okay. About 45 minutes later, we were relieved to hear that our upstairs neighbors were as twitterpated as ever.

Initially rather disturbed and annoyed, I’ve come to accept their romantic romps, much like you’d get used to the rumbles of a passing train car if you lived near the tracks. The episodes are relatively brief; I’m fairly certain we’ve only been privy to the last act or two of their amorous play. Still, the grand finale is quite a showstopper, something that would definitely threaten a deep sleep. Thankfully that lasts only about 30 seconds, so the total sleep lost remains fairly minimal. With these neighbors having so graciously opened up to us, I now feel obligated to take the next step, to go upstairs and meet them in person. I’m just afraid they’ll want Melanie and me to make something quite different than cookies as a way of introducing ourselves. Unfortunately, I’m not one to show off, which means Melanie and I will just have to remain our anti-social selves. Oh, and we’ll also need to buy some earplugs, just in case we do want a full night’s sleep sometime in the near future...