Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Parenthood (Ongoing) part 7

Dear god... 24 hours later and it's all he does. Standing at the couch. Standing at a chair. Standing at a wobbly sit-in toy. Standing up against the front door and refusing to move so I can't get in. Standing at a box. Standing at a table.

STANDINGSTANDING falls and strikes his head then gets up and STANDINGSTANDINGSTANDING.
Now we're worried because everyone says he's too young to be standing, but shit, it's not like we put him in braces to make him stand. He's doing it. And we certainly can't stop it. I want to spit at people telling you your kid is headed for trouble because of something good he's learned. Don't let him stand so young or he'll grow up and look like this:
A complete stranger was cooing at Painter today at a local coffee shop and came over for small talk. A baby person, you know. After a short while (when I'd run out of things to say that might satisfy her so she'd wander off), I mentioned the standing thing and her response was an undue gasp followed by: "He's standing?! No, no, my Bobby didn't stand up like that until he was 11 months. It's bad for them, honey. You can't have him standing up yet." Baby people.

Eh, she's just jealous because my kid can stand on her kid's ass. What's the big deal, anyway? He does it. It's time. He knows better than I do. And it's not as if there's an Olympic relay standing team for him to look forward to.

So, I listened to this lady describe scoliosis and rickets and whatnot, just sitting there. Painter grew slowly grumpy and was tired, but fighting it. Eventually, I tired of tuning most of her out and told her I had things to do, but thanks for visiting with my reproductive triumph.

Come over, say hello, play with the baby, but don't dog the poor boy. He just won't stand for it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Parenthood (Ongoing) part 6

Well, she had all these odd antics to get the baby to smile but none of it seemed to be functional. Mostly, they were sudden noises of an agitating and spurious nature that Painter just stared at, baffled. Maisy and I took over and he was fine. We know the good noises, not the odd Wal*Mart noises this lady made. There are only two places in town to get baby pictures done. The other is a studio that will take your home to pay for a single image. So, Wal*Mart it was.
The last time we did this, there was another girl working the picture center, or whatever they call it. She was stranger and had stranger noises, and she had this sleazy boyfriend guy that sat in the back of the picture area and kept giving my brother and I the shit-eyes. I don’t know what his problem was. He just sat there clocking us like he wanted to kill us. I thought maybe it was all in my head until my brother turned to me and said, “Okay, what’s with the little whitey gangster guy over there and why is he trying to pick a fight with us?” It was the standard, A-typical lazy-tweaker-who-leeches-off-his-fat-girlfriend-and-throws-wannabe-gangster-tantrums-and-shows-up-at-her-work-to-act-it-up-yet-is-still-somehow-too-dumb-to-realize-his-lifestyle-is-dependant-on-her-job-that-he’s-going-to-get-her-fired-from. Weeks later, my brother was in Wal*Mart again and saw him holding her by the arm roughly and muttering to her while she tried to type at the photo center keyboard crying. God I hate Wal*Mart. An old woman once called me the Antichrist in a Wal*Mart because I had a visible tattoo. Also, Wal*Mart tends to have more fat asses per aisle than its competitors.
So, we got some more pictures taken. Painter was great. It was a new lady without a schmeely bastard watching over her and ruining her job. I paid around $12 for a CD with the images on it, as an extra, thinking I could have some fun with them on my computer, maybe post one at my site. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I got home that I realised the CD they gave me for $12 was actually only a diskette and the images on it were very low-resolution (take a look at my son’s hand in the shot at the end of this post). $12 is a rip-off. On a different note, Painter not only learned to crawl, and fast, this last month, but I caught him yesterday standing up in his crib. I wasn’t expecting that at 6 months, but he seems to expect it, so there he is, standing up, looking at me as if he’s gotten away with something. I dig being a dad more than just about anything. Shit, any man that doesn’t like raising his kid is a fucking idiot. This just rules.

Painter Succre, 6 months, looking an awful lot like his dad at 6 months

Another one

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Routine Maintenance on Medium Baby

Flap-Lock(tm) feature allows baby to remain open, making maintenance easier.


1. Separate top flaps of baby. Push flaps down, along the sides of baby.
2. Pull baby open. Top of baby will now stay open for easiermaintenance.
3. Turn baby over and close bottom flaps. Seal bottom flaps withtape.
4. Return baby to upright position. When maintenance is finished, slice tabs, close flaps and secure them with tape. Use knife to cut tab after maintainance on baby is complete.
5. Enjoy!

Also available are baby marking kits, storage units, and handy baby folders for filing and retrieval.

Should baby show signs of wear and tear, Flap-Lock(tm) offers 100% buy-back guarantee.

Got a baby? Flap-Lock(tm) it.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Good, The Bad, and the Clerically Ill (ongoing) Part 3

To revamp: The Good represents a rejection in a more positive or unique mode. The Bad indicates a response that was either negative or annoying. The Clerically Ill represents a rejection/irresponse based on clerical error or a response that is simply confusing and/or a mess in general. So, this new round goes to...

The Good:

Robert Lane @ Malleable Jangle. This was very simple and up-front. I like a simple response. Brevity is useful to me. Just about everything I’ve sent to Australia gets a response quickly, and with no overexplanation, sales gimmicks, guilty pandering. It should be the country motto in all the travel commercials: Come to Australia. No Bullshit.

The Bad:

Joel Chace @ 5_Trope. Received a not-so-prompt email from editor stating the magazine has a large backlog and wouldn't be accepting for some time. Personally, I feel they should have stated that on their guidelines/submissions webpage, instead of prompting you to send your work in. They have added that their response time might be sluggish, but not that they’re currently not accepting. It would save time for submitters as well as the magazine if it were posted. I should add that, though 5_Trope made this round’s Bad rank, it’s a unique and exceptional magazine with a keen online layout. Also, I don’t use the word keen often.

The Clerically Ill:

John Barton @ Malahat Review. This was a response to a rescinsion notice I sent. They responded by sending me this agonizing email about how it's a poet's responsibility to ensure there is proper postage for the SAE and that I needed to send postage when submitting. They stated I hadn’t sent a SAE at all. Also, they kept my poems for 6 months and then destroyed them, as is their policy. They also stated in a that I must send IRCs when submitting to another country and then something along the lines of: [you can’t use] American stamps, as Canada is a separate country from the U.S.” That was a little annoying. No shit? Is that why the border patrol asks all those stiff questions when you enter the country? Because it’s a country? They sent me a newsletter some time ago IN MY SAE. And what, I wonder, would have a publication in this circumstance keep someone's poems for 6 months anway? In the odd hope that the author may begin badgering them so they can let him/her know why the magazine hasn’t responded? Isn't that a bit like sending someone a party invitation, only to find out they’re pissed at you for not calling to make sure they got it, months after the party? Besides, they had my email address the whole time. I include it when I submit.

Editors: It might be a good idea to come up with a minimal form-response for this kind of situation, so you can easily cut-paste-send to a submitter if there’s a problem or mix-up.

Well, that’s the drill this time.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Come to the Circus!

I woke up and it was a beautiful day. I felt great. I'd had this nightmare about being attacked by a large dog (bigger than me) that was trying to drag me off my porch and kept going for my throat while I screamed for Maisy to get a knife... but I felt great when I woke up.

Maisy asked if I wanted to go to the circus, and since I hadn’t been to a circus since the age of 7, I agreed. We normally don't get circuses and whatnot in our small town. It sounded of interest, at least. We had to babysit our nephew (5) and niece (3), and so decided we'd take them, too. Kids love circuses, right? What fun! The popcorn, exotic animals, clowns, the ringmaster... what fun... Maybe we’ll get a souvenir!

When the Brazilian clown, Condo Rico, came and got me, I thought I was being kicked out of the circus for using a camera with a flash on it while the elephants were doing their thing. It might spook the elephants. I had taken the picture after the ringmaster or ringleader or whatever, made this quite loud order that no one use flash photography. It was an accident. Maisy thrust the camera in my face and said, "OOOOOH! Elephants! Get a picture get a picture get a-" I snapped the picture and the flash went off. So, immediately, there was this clown staring at me down at the bottom of the stands. He waved me over. I didn't want to go. He waved angrily. I gave Maisy the camera, sighed, and went to meet with the clown, who I was certain was going to tell me off and make me feel stupid for being told off by a clown. Instead, he told me to follow him. I did, and he eventually led me away from the crowd (I was fairly sure I was being kicked out at this point) and into a bullpen. There were all these circus roadies from Mexico and Brazil, Honduras... I think some were drunk. They looked at me with twisted smiles and a few chuckles.

Oh shit, they’re not kicking me out of the circus at all... they’re going to beat the shit out of me... And they brought a clown...

I think I could have taken the acrobat down easy, maybe the fatass elephant trainer (a couple in the kidneys and he’d go down like a wet sack of shit), but the clown... there’s no way I could take that fucking clown. He looked like about 50 years of serial murders and pit-fights. The clown then said, "I tell you 3 times! 1, 2, 3, you jerk!" I was a jerk? Fuck him. He's a clown. In the end, there was no fight, they just chained me to a board while all the roadies spoke in spanish and, I think laotian as well. They were lauging. I was getting pissed. It occured to me now that I was going to have to be in the circus. Great. Just what I always wanted. They tied a black bag around my head. Then they led me into the center ring, did this big intro, made fun of me, and finally, with the black bag over my head, tied to the board (this is what it's like when you're caught by terrorists in Iraq), the clown shouted 1, 2, and 3. It occured to me that's what he meant earlier. I wasn't a jerk (that he knew of), I was SUPPOSED TO JERK away from the KNIFE. Of course, with the black bag on my head, I had no idea where he was going to throw it. Then, I heard him grunt and I jerked a little in a few half-inch directions.

The clown drunkenly threw knives at my face and genitals until everyone got their laugh and the circus roadies carried me off. Then I was able to join the crowd again. My wife thought it had been all planned out, as if I’d met the clown earlier in the day and volunteered to have knives thrown at my face and genitals, but I hadn’t. It was random and I was really pissed off.

Though, it would have been a great way to go. Ray Succre, writer killed last weekend at the circus when, shackled to a board with chainlink and his head covered with a black velvet bag, a homemade 8” steel knife plunged into his head after being hurled by a drunken Brazilian clown.

Under, they’ve got around 90 infractions, including some rather severe ones. For instance, two chimpanzees dragged their trainer up into the crowd and then mauled a child. Uh, a tiger burned to death after catching fire from jumping through a flaming hoop. Also, the electrocution of their elephants as a disciplinary treatment got them quite a few fines and whatnot. Eh, also some fierce clowns that were arrested many times for various crimes you’d expect from a Manson family member.

I couldn't find a picture of Condo Rico, so I made my own:

I went to bed and had nightmares about the clown. I felt grotesque. He was worse than the dog.

Fuck the circus.