Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Cool Meter

Baby: I'm not particularly cool. I wasn't a cool kid. I think I manage to stay current and slightly hipper than most men my age. That is to say that on the cool meter (the cool meter goes from 1-10 and is graded on a curve so you are only compared to people of the same sex in your age group, in case you didn't know. I have to remember to write that book called The Cool Meter so I don't have to explain it every time.) I was about a 5 as a 21 year old, but with so many men dropping off the meter altogether I am now a 7 as a 36 year old. I avoid most of the aging hipster cliches while staying current on denim trends, headware and t-shirt designs. I don't wear giant sports jerseys, pegged jeans or dirty white tennis shoes. Is the baby going to change all that? Will I care? I know the baby will be the most important thing in my life, but how much of my current life will still exist? A lot of men around my age have become frozen in fashion time. You see them wearing clothes that were cool 10 years ago when they stopped caring about what they looked like. Will I still find time to read the many, many magazines I scour to learn about good music? People with children always complain about how they don't get to the movies anymore. Will I still go? Will I only have time for the blockbusters or will I still get to see the independant stuff? Will I finally join Netflix and see them after everyone else has in the privacy of my own home? These things will be determined in time. For now I just can't wait to see the face of my very own child.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

the cat's out of the bag

Baby: My parents were in town over the weekend to help with my latest rehab project. We had them and my in-laws over for dinner on Saturday night. Between the entree and dessert we dropped the bomb about the baby. They were thrilled as expected. My Dad shed a tear and my Mom wanted to go buy baby things for us right away. It made for a memorable meal.

We talked a lot about baby names after they found out. I have dozens that I like for a little girl and none that I like for a boy. Jen likes Nathan, Oscar and Allen or Alan. She loves both Woody Allen and Alan Alda. I have baggage with so many boy names and don't want to burdan my son with a heavy moniker. I think the girl names in the lead are Sofia (Sophia) and Emily. I had a great Aunt named Emily but everyone called her Milch. It's such a horrible nickname that we think it's funny. My Dad could call her baby Milchie.

Music: 2005 is getting off to a good start as far as music releases go. There are several things that have come out in the last couple of months that I'm really enjoying. [Cake - Pressure Thief, Andrew Bird - And the Mysterious Production of Eggs, Josh Rouse - Nashville] I hope the rest of the year can stay as strong. It's time for the industry to swing back away from Hip Hop and bad R&B and back towards musician inspired pop and rock. Viva la Revolution!

Rehab: Got a lot done on the house over the weekend. My Dad and I removed the cast iron plumbing stack. My Mom pulled up the subfloor and vinyl floor in the downstairs kitchen only to find more vinyl stuck directly to the pine floor. I think that means we'll tile the kitchen. My Dad and Mom both pulled all of the nails out of all the trim so that it can be reused. And we finished gutting the front parlor/living room.

I also got an estimate from my HVAC guy on Friday. It's high but reasonable and I'm asking him to do quite a bit of work. I'm still looking for a rough carpenter to frame out some walls and haven't decided on a plumber or electrician but I am making progress. The new roof should go on this week and take care of the waterfall on the back wall of the house.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Pressure Point

Rehab: I've attended a few conferences, several classes and meetings about preserving the city of St. Louis. When I say preserving I am referring to both the buildings and quality of life. I've decided that people in St. Louis need to get out more. Maybe I can arrange a giant field trip. STL has a lot of things going for it, but longtime residents, and I don't believe this is unique to STL, tend to see the negative or see slow progress as no progress. I've lived in STL for 3.5 years now and the city that I know has changed drastically in that time for the better. I hear call into radio show listeners prefacing their statements by saying "I realize that Saint Louis is one of the most segregated cities in America, but..." Are you crazy. You know how segregation works in many cities? Blacks in the city and whites in the county. We could use a little more crossover between north and south city, but things are not as desperate as some would have you believe. We need to continue making progress there is no doubt. There is a solid base to work from, however, thanks to the good residents of the city of Saint Louis, MO.

Now if the city would just stop knocking down the buildings to make parking garages we'd really have something!

Music: That woman that plays sax for The Zutons is one crazy dancer! Saw her on Conan O'Brien. I'm a little worried about her stability. Awoo Hoo Hoo.

Baby: Jen's belly is getting a little pooched out. The baby is like the size of a grain of rice right now so it isn't that it's getting that big. Apparently the poochiness is due to the fact that her uterus is just preparing itself to grow. I've got to start taking pictures. Then we can do a flip book after it's all over. ; )

For Valentines Day I bought Jen a little baby outfit that has a tattoo heart on the front that says MOM. Our baby will look like a little longshoreman, but I'll love it anyway.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Malcolm Gladwell

Baby: I just got back from listening to Malcolm Gladwell speak about his book Blink on the campus of SLU. I've really enjoyed both Blink and The Tipping Point. After reading the books you can actually see everyday things in a different light. That's pretty powerful. I went to the event by myself because Jen had made a date to hang out with 2 of her nieces this evening. She's really good that way. After the BABY comes we'll have less time to do things like we did this evening. Our entire world will change. But only temporarily. Just for the next 20 or so years.

Music: While Malcolm was speaking I was wondering what kind of music he likes. He's a little older than me, he's Canadian, but he lives in NY and was wearing a track jacket to a public speaking engagement. I think he likes music that is more electronic than what I listen to. Probably some British stuff like The Streets. I don't wonder what kind of music everyone likes. Most people I could care less that they are a huge fan of 3 Doors Down or Evanescence. But some people are harder to figure out. I know I'm pretty snobby about music but there are people who like a totally different kind of music than me that I still really respect. I guess it would have to be different but even more obscure than what I like for me to respect them. If you are the world's foremost collector of North Korean electronic folk music recorded over Russian made telephones then more power to you. Just don't expect me to like it too.

Rehab: Tweaked my back today. This is the first injury sustained on this project. I'm sleeping on a heating pad tonight and hoping it doesn't slow me down. The back staircase has been removed. I was going to just take down the walls but I went hog wild and pulled it all down. [Sorry Mom and Dad. They'll be plenty of other "fun" projects for you.] Now the room at the top and bottom of where the stairs used to be are square. It's much easier to look at a square room and get an idea of what you can do with it. I've decided to put a laundry room downstairs off the kitchen with a chute going from the master bath to the laundry room. I was going to put the laundry facilities in the basement but it's not a very pleasant basement and I have the room.

A possible heating and cooling guy might be coming by tomorrow. I have a lot of questions for him. On the phone he sounded exactly like the kind of contractor I'm looking for. Now I just need to settle on a plumber and electrician just like him.

Blogging: I was looking around Blogger and noticed that a lot of the people are Libra's. I'm a Libra so they certainly stand out but I did see more than any other sign. I wonder if that says something about Libras. I also noticed a lot of people that made 2 entries over a year ago and have never come back. This is my 3rd entry so I hope that I have gotten over some kind of hurdle. Peace out girl scout.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

When I grow up I want a baby

Baby: Are we going to have a baby? There are no visible signs. Maybe I dreampt it. I'll have to call Jen and see if we really are expecting.

Yep, she confirmed it. She's pregnant. Holy carp! (I can't say crap I'm going to be a father.)

Music: "When I grow up I want a baby. I'm gonna name it after Ralph Stanley. And I sure won't mind if it cries all night. Just as long as it looks like me." - from Kasey Chambers song Pony from her album Wayward Angel

Rehab: Decided last night to take out the rear staircase. I kept the rear staircase in our house and love it, but I was able to open it up to the second floor. This one is different. I'll probably remove the walls around it today and leave the stairs for my parents to take out. They're coming to visit in a couple of weeks and want to work on the house. Boy do they have a surprise in store for them when they get here! Removing the back staircase! Oh yeah and finding out that they'll have a new grandbaby in Rocktober.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

We're having a baby...and nobody knows it yet.

I haven't really read any blogs before but I think this will work best if I keep it short but do many postings rather than just a few lenghthy ones.

Baby: We're having a baby. Nobody knows and the secret is eating me alive. It's not a total surprise. It was an intentional act, but I didn't know it would WORK?! I'm going to be a Father!! Exclamation points don't really do that sentence justice. They need an atomic bomb icon to follow that sentence to convey the enormity of it.

We're not kids. We are both in our mid-30's, but that doesn't really mean that we are more prepared. Am I going to be like the parents on "Supernanny" that fail miserably in every way even with the best of intentions? Man I have a lot of worrying to do in the next 30 years. I hope I can fit it all in.

Music: Stacy F. turned me onto the library as a source of free books and music. Don't know why I hadn't thought of it. There is a beautiful one right down the street. You can go online and have stuff transferred there from all over the city. I just read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and am listening to Begger's Banquet and Goat's Head Soup by the Rolling Stones and they didn't cost me a thing! OK, well technically taxes helped pay for it.

Rehab: I'm doing demo. Heading into my 3rd month of demo. Doing it all by my lonesome. Hauling 2 buckets of plaster at a time out to the dumpster. I'm on my 4th dumpster. I really do enjoy this kind of stuff. I'm my own boss. I do all of the planning, labor and marketing of my work. But sometime into your 3rd month of demolition it starts to get a little old. And I've got a baby to start planning for!