Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Be still my beating heart

Yesterday marked the beginning of week 12 of Trish's pregnancy, and something really, really, really, really cool happened. We got to hear the baby's heartbeat. It was great timing, too.

It is so very easy to lose sight of how amazing all of this is. I can get caught up in financial worries, preparation worries (everything from can I get the nursery ready to can we train the dog to go easy around the child to just how good of a father am I going to be), Trish worries (is her energy level going to increase, is her nausea ever going to get better, etc.), everyday job stress and film project needs. Add to that just being dog tired and a high 90's heat wave, and excitement goes quickly out the window.

And then we hear a rapid heartbeat (162 beats per minute; which we are told is just right), and excitement flies right back in the window. Here's hoping I can keep it around, at least for another 6 weeks when we get another ultrasound. Not just any ultrasound, either. The gender discovery ultrasound. Which is the only thing I can think of that would make me more excited the hearing my child's heartbeat.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Piece of Pavement Pie

So I had a birthday recently. The original celebration plan was that Trish and I would meet after work at Elliott Bay Book Co., and I would get a birthday shopping spree (well, a minor spree, but still). For a number of reasons, we changed the plan at the last minute and decided to have a romantic dinner at home.

So immediately following work, I went down to the Pike Place Market and bought some wine, handmade cheese, fresh strawberries and peaches, smoked salmon, fresh bread and mini chocolate cheesecake. All the makings of a light summer dinner with my sweetie.

Feeling pretty good, I headed up for the light rail station at Westlake. I was walking north just before Pine Street on the west side of 4th Avenue, and I wanted to cross 4th Avenue to get to the Westlake Mall and the station entrance, but the walk light was starting to blink. So I cut the corner slightly and ran to get across. And in so doing I caught my foot on the rim of a tree planter and took a face first dive into 4th Avenue. In front of the rush hour traffic waiting for the light to change. Cheese, cheesecake and salmon spilled out of my bags onto the street. And the light changes. Horns honk. I am trying to catch my breath and figure out what just happened. I make it to my feet with half a dozen people asking right on top of each other, "Are you ok, buddy?" I grab my stuff from the street and hustle back to the sidewalk.

A quick check shows scrapes on my hands, no holes in the knees of my pants, but I can tell I did a number of my knees from the pain, and - thank God - the wine bottle was not broken. (Priorities, people, priorities). A woman walks up and asks me if I am all right. I tell her, quite honestly, that I am fine except for being deeply embarrassed. But it wasn't embarrassed enough.

It turns out I just had to keep going north on 4th and the station entrance was on my left. No reason whatsoever to cut the corner and cross the street and taste a little pavement birthday pie.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Best of the Worst

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is named after Edward Bulwer-Lytton who wrote the opening line "It was a dark and stormy night...." (Turns out he also gave us the phrases "the pen is mightier than the sword," and "the almighty dollar" but he is remembered for a lousy opening line. Talk about no respect.) The idea behind the contest is to intentionally create the worst opening lines possible. The 2009 winners have been announced and there are some doozies. Some of my favorite results...

The runner up:
The wind dry-shaved the cracked earth like a dull razor--the double edge kind from the plastic bag that you shouldn't use more than twice, but you do; but Trevor Earp had to face it as he started the second morning of his hopeless search for Drover, the Irish Wolfhound he had found as a pup near death from a fight with a prairie dog and nursed back to health, stolen by a traveling circus so that the monkey would have something to ride.
The winner for the detective category:
She walked into my office on legs as long as one of those long-legged birds that you see in Florida - the pink ones, not the white ones - except that she was standing on both of them, not just one of them, like those birds, the pink ones, and she wasn't wearing pink, but I knew right away that she was trouble, which those birds usually aren't.
And the winner in the purple prose category:
The gutters of Manhattan teemed with the brackish slurry indicative of a significant though not incapacitating snowstorm three days prior, making it seem that God had tripped over Hoboken and spilled his smog-flavored slurpie all over the damn place.
New classics all.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Trish had an Ob appointment yesterday and there were all sorts of goodies. First it appears our home calculated due date has been revised and the official due date is Feb. 6th (we had figured the 8th).

Also, they conducted another ultrasound, and we are starting to see more of a baby. It has more than doubled in size, but is still only 2 centimeters long. Little Tigger has a head (upper right pointing towards the top right corner), a torso and hands and feet, though arms and legs have yet to develop. The best we can figure from the fuzzy picture (and I have scanned these as high resolution as I can; sorry they are not better quality) is that the baby is facing you as you look at the picture. Trish said that the baby was moving around a lot, and even waving one hand.

Apparently, here in week 8 of development:

Webbed fingers and toes are poking out from your baby's hands and feet, his eyelids practically cover his eyes, breathing tubes extend from his throat to the branches of his developing lungs, and his "tail" is just about gone. In his
brain, nerve cells are branching out to connect with one another, forming primitive neural pathways.

This just fascinates me, beyond the fact that it is my child. It amazes me to think that we all started like this, no bigger than a kidney bean and yet developing neural pathways that will form the basis for our thoughts, memories and everything else for the rest of our lives.

Anyway, we won't have another ultrasound for another 10 to 12 weeks, which will be the gender revealing ultrasound. (Yes, we do want to know.) In the meantime, the doc says everything about Trish and Tigger seems right on target. Trish is getting pretty tired of the nausea and the hunger and the fatigue, but is hopeful they will be ending in the near future. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

And speaking of geeks

If you haven't seen this yet, at the Radio and Television Correspondents dinner this weekend, John Hodgman gave a keynote address gauging whether President Obama is a jock or a nerd.

A couple of quick points: A) I love the fact that Obama was a comic book fan as a kid, but Conan? Really? B) I think Hodgman is making an excellent point in differentiating the jock/nerd issue as certainty/uncertainty and how that mirrors the conservative/liberal divide. I love it when comedians can slip in sharp, intelligent social commentary and still make it funny. C) I know, I know, he separates nerds and geeks so my title is not very accurate but it plays off my previous post, so deal with it, you nerd.

And is it just me, or does Hodgman remind you of Bob Newhart if he did political satire?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Astronomy geek out moment

Amazing footage from an orbiter that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) deliberately crashed into the moon.

Apparently it was moving at an estimated 3,728 miles per hour when it struck the moon. An explanation from the press release:

The series of continued [still] shots was taken with an interval of about one minute by the HDTV (Teltephoto) while the KAGUYA was maneuvered to decrease its altitude toward the impact position (around GILL crater.) We can see the approaching Moon surface as the KAGUYA went closer to it. After the final image, the KAGUYA moved into the shaded area to make its final landing, thus it was pitch dark while taking an image. This is the very final image shooting of the Moon by the KAGUYA HDTV.

You can enjoy images taken by the KAGUYA HDTV through JAXA Digital Archives, the KAGUYA Image Gallery, and the JAXA channel on YouTube.

The YouTube channel is in Japanese, but the other two links have English titles for easier navigation. OK, that's it. You can go back to whatever non-geeky thing you were doing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Notes from a First Father's Day

A few points to mention from my first Father's Day:
  • Trish was kind enough to take the dog on its 5:30 a.m. walk so I could get a little extra sleep, but she might have pushed it too hard as she ended up with her worst day of morning sickness yet;
  • We had to ensure the dog is over her bout of diarrhea and convince her that the bland rice and chicken we were feeding was good and good for her;
  • We enjoyed brunch with my whole family celebrating the day and my brother Tom's birthday and loving the time with my one year old nephew without the "will that ever be us someday" filter;
  • The first two Father's Day cards I ever received were both Homer Simpson cards and I am wondering if that is some kind of sign - or hint;
  • Went to the Mariner's game with my Dad and realized - again - how much I like spending time with him and hoping like hell enough of his dad skills have rubbed off on me or else the next 30 - 50 years are going to be very rocky;
  • Then out to dinner with Dad, Mom and a revitalized Trish, just enjoying the family time;
  • And finally, I was left wondering why isn't Father's Day a three day weekend.