Thursday, July 28, 2005

Baby Name Game

Baby: My sister-in-law's due date was 3 days ago. She's not happy about that. It's hot and she's not sleeping and is taking care of a 2 year old during the day. Honestly though I hope Jen is late. I'm really anxious to see my son for the first time, but I could use every extra minute I can get to finish the house and prepare for the new addition to our family.

We do not have a name yet. I will not be able to choose a name. Our baby will go nameless. At least that's how I feel in this moment. My wife is pushing to name him after me. Michael was the most popular name for boys for over 30 years. It has declined while names like Jack and Max have increased, but naming your child after yourself seems self indulgent. Will he feel he has to live up to something? There are plenty of good names out there right? I just can't think of them.

Lots of people name their kids after people they admire. I've searched hard and come to the realization that I don't admire people. I don't admire things in general. I tend to admire specific things. I admire a painting, but not the artist because the artist did a bunch of crap in their later years. I admire a song or an album, but not the singer/songwriter because he was also an alcoholic that beat his wife. I admire a film but the director was a one hit wonderchild that hasn't put anything worthwhile out in 8 years. I just don't admire people. I see the flaws. I don't judge or hold their flaws against them. I just don't respect them enough to name my child after them.

One caveat is that I admire my Dad but he hates his own name and doesn't want us to burdon our child with his moniker.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Excuses, excuses

It's been tough to blog lately. My harddrive fried due to a power surge. Occasionally Jen brings her laptop home from work so that I can log on and keep in touch. I think the heat has just as much to do with not publishing too. It's been in the upper 90's for 2 weeks and is supposed to hit 102 today. I'm really working hard to get my rehab project ready to move into, but I feel like I'm moving underwater. It's so hot that I work at about half the speed I would like to be working. It's supposed to cool off this week. They are calling for the high on tuesday to be 84 degrees.

My HVAC guys finsished the rough in on Thursday and the plumbers start their rough in on Monday. I've been working all weekend to buy fixtures and tile so that the plumbers have everything they need to do the job. Hopefully I can get the electricians in either while the plumbers are there or shortly thereafter. Then the drywall goes up. All 3 mechanical contractors come back and finish up. The floors get sanded and refinished. The trim goes up. The painting happens and then we move in. Simple. Only problem is that there are a million jobs and decisions that need to be done and made in that time all by me. Yikes. In that time I also need to finish some of the things I've never completed on our house so that we can put it on the market. Hopefully Jen doesn't go into labor early and we can have a completed home for our baby to come home to. From past experience I can say that it will all work out. What I don't know is exactly how it will work out. I'm keeping my mental fingers crossed while I work away each day. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 15, 2005

July Mix Exchange

Volume 3 In the ongoing saga of my Gigposters cd mix exchange: July was a hard one for me. I wasn't feeling inspired at all and the guy that I was making the mix for likes the opposite kind of music I do. He likes really edgy industrial electronic music. I like very organic indie rock and roll.

Once I decided to just give him a mix of what I like and hope that he finds something in their for himself I was able to throw the mix and artwork together in one day. I made 2 discs. One that is more upbeat and one that is a little calmer and more peaceful. Disc one was called Keep it Up! and disc 2 was called Keep it Down!

For the artwork I used and old super 8 film tin that I found in a second hand store. I scanned the reel and used that as the art on the front of the actual discs. I left the sticker that was on the front of the tin. It was something about Christmas 1962 at Edna Jones' house. That seemed worth keeping. I also cut the liner notes out of one piece of paper and cut it to fit inside the tin.

Keep it Up!
1. Kings of Leon - Four Kicks
2. the White Stripes - Red Death at 6:14
3. Mule - We Know You're Drunk
4. Low - Monkey
5. the Hives - Main Offender
6. the Stooges - No Fun
7. the Sights - Just Got Robbed
8. Spoon - My Mathematical Mind
9. Yo La Tengo - Speeding Motorcycle
10. Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire - Satisfied
11. the Black Keys - Heavy Soul
12. Love as Laughter - Every Midnight Song
13. Broken Social Scene - cause=time
14. the Kinks - Milk Cow Blues
15. My Morning Jacket - Dancefloors
16. the Afghan Whigs - Hated
17. Von Bondies - Lack of Communication
18. Elliott Smith - Shooting Star
19. Big Chief - My Name is Pimp
20. Rugburns - Me and Eddie Vedder

Keep it Down!
1. Tilly and the Wall - Bessa
2. Lou Barlow - High School
3. Bright Eyes - Land Locked Blues
4. Cat Power - I Don't Blame You
5. Ryan Adams - Halloween
6. Jay Farrar & Kelly Willis - Rex's Blues
7. Superchunk - Detroit Has a Skyline (acoustic)
8. Ben Kweller - Lizzy
9. Brendoan Benson & the Wellfed Boys - Alternative to Love
10. Lightnin' Hopkins - Feel So Bad
11. Willie Nelson - Too Sick to Pray
12. Evan Dando - Why do you do this to yourself?
13. Nina Simone - Nobody's Fault but Mine
14. Kasey Chambers - Lost and Foundd
15. Josh Rouse - My Love Has Gone
16. Weezer - Butterfly
17. Clem Snide - Don't Let the Sun Go Down on your Grievience
18. Kelly Joe Phelps - That's Alright
19. Jon Langford - Everyone Speaks Elton John (from This American Life)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

5 Stitches

Rehab: I received my worst injury pertaining to rehabbing yesterday. I was cutting through a brittle cast iron pipe in the basement with my sawzall when it snapped off and one end bounced off the ground and the other jagged end landed on my arm. It didn't hurt very much and I thought about how lucky I was that it didn't land on my face or head. Then I saw the blood. After I rinsed off the dirt and saw the size of the gash I realized that it was more than a bandaid could fix. I figured I shouldn't drive myself to the hospital so I called Jen and she gave up a dinner with the gals from work to take me to the ER. I ended up getting 5 stitches. The most painful part of the entire thing was the 6 hours in the emergency room.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

July 4, 2005

So Jen and I decided to make a pretty much last minute trip to Michigan to see my family for the long July 4th holiday. Lately we've only been going up for Christmas and we've wanted to make more frequent trips. With the baby coming Jen has been hoarding vacation time to supplement maternity leave and the long weekend gave us an opportunity to dash up there without using up accrued vacation time. Her one request was that we go to Ann Arbor so she can get a hot dog and waffle fries at Red Hot Lovers (her fave lunch spot when she lived there). Everytime we go up for Christmas it's closed for the holiday.

Unfortunately it was also closed for the Independence Day weekend. Maybe next year? At least we got to have a lovely dinner with Ken and Nicole so it wasn't a total bust.

On Sunday my parents had a BBQ and one of my cousins
brought her 3 and 5 year old girls, 6 week old son and husband. The girls went berry picking in their bare feet and turned them purple. It was a great image of being a child in the summer.

The girls came over with a makeup kit and were offering makeovers for a very reasonable fee. The "boy" makeovers consisted of grape hand lotion. I asked the 3 year old, Riley, what she planned to do with the money she earned. She said she wanted to buy a diary. I asked her if she could write? She is only 3. She said she can write her name and "I heart you". I thought that was the sweetest thing I heard the whole trip.

On our way home sunday we ran into a little car trouble. I heard a flapping sound under the hood 400 miles into our trip and 150 miles from home. Almost immediately the car felt humid. I was 1 mile out from a rest area just south of Terre Haute, IN. We pulled into the rest area, I popped the hood and saw that the main belt was splintering off into shards and one of the shards cut through the air conditioning hose. The belt had shredded like this once before. My 2002 Liberty has 60,000 miles! This shouldn't happen twice in 2 years with a vehicle just 3 years old. The last time this happened we were in town and had it towed to the dealer where it was repaired under warranty.

I have little knowledge about auto repair and was underprepared for this emergency. I went in the rest area where they have a staff person positioned to answer tourist questions. I found out that a small town was 2 miles down the road and since it was after 5pm on a holiday we'd probably have to get a hotel room and wait for a repair shop to open in the morning.

I came back out to the car and just stared at the engine. I was dumbfounded. Having experienced this before I knew it wouldn't make the couple of miles to the next town. A man came up to me and asked if I was having trouble. I wasn't in a great mood but explained to him what was going on. He told me he could fix it if I could get a new belt. It was a holiday! Where was I going to get a new belt? He said the auto parts store was open the previous evening (Sunday) until 9pm in Ohio and he thought it'd be open on the 4th too.

I went back inside and called the nearest Autozone. They were in fact open until 8pm and had the belt for $7.99. The man offered to drive us the 9 miles back to Terre Haute to get the part and he'd install it for us. This was a strangely generous offer. I spoke to Jen (noticably pregnant which may have helped in getting attention or attracting a serial killer) and we decided to go with him. If we were going to get murdered in Indiana at least it was going to happen to us together.

In his vehicle we found out the man's name was Tom and that he was the head mechanic at a Dodge dealer in Ohio near Dayton. He had 3 weeks off and was wrapping up a visit with his daughter and heading to Vandalia to spend time with his son's family. We had an uneventful trip to the store. Jen and I later confirmed that we both were breathing sighs of relief every time he made a turn that brought us closer to the store as opposed to some dark dead end.

On the return trip we stopped at a gas station to fill up Tom's truck and got back to the car without incident. It took him all of about 10 minutes to change the belt with the wrench I purchased and we were on our way, sans A.C., but at least we didn't have to stay in a crummy motel for the night. Tom was our hero. If we were driving some other kind of vehicle he wouldn't have offered since he only works on Chrysler vehicles. Our tale turned from tragic to a simple 1 hour delay. Thank you Tom! I'm unsure of whether this was a reward, instant karma like, or if I need to now pay it forward. I am very grateful regardless.