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Thursday, May 20, 2010

I do stuff

I have to stop buying dress clothes at Ross. I do this to myself a lot more often than I should considering how many times I have been burned, but then again, I’m an idiot so what can I really expect from myself. It’s just so titillating. What do you mean wool dress pants are only $10? I’ll take 5 of them! Then I do, and they end up in a Goodwill bag a month later because they dyed the skin on my thighs grey. Don’t get me wrong. I love a bit of Ross. If you sift through that place for long enough you can walk out the door with some decent gear for really cheap. Many of the staples of my wardrobe (mostly T-Shirts) were plucked from those hallowed racks, but about once a year I will forget how ass all the dress clothes in that place are and buy something that I will never wear again. Take the shirt I’m wearing for instance. Just a standard white button down. Calvin Klien even. Piece of shit. I spent 20 minutes ironing this thing last night and it looked like a fucking curtain before I even got to my desk in the morning. Yeah, I only paid $16 for what was (supposedly) a $50 shirt, but still. It’s unwearable. That’s $16 bucks I could have spent on diapers! Calvin Klein should be ashamed to have his name on such shoddy haberdashery. Calvin is lucky I didn’t actually spend the $50 the original sticker suggested I would have paid at a real store because if I had I would seek him out and personally cock-punch him. It would be worth the jail time. Then again, I suppose there is a reason things end up at that place.

Ross does weird things to your shopping standards. It looks like a fucking refugee camp. If you pluck something off the rack and don’t like it you can drop that shit on the floor and no one will bat an eyelash. The dressing rooms look like the French/Serbian whorehouse from Taken that Liam Neissen drives his Jeep through and there are always random ass, unpackaged products lying around that have nothing to do with anything else that is sold in the entire store. Is that a wooden crossbow? And there may as well be a sign on the door that says “SHOPLIFTERS WELCOME!” That place does not. Give. a FUCK. And that starts to rub off on you once you’ve been in there for 5 minutes and get into the flow of things. Suddenly you start convincing yourself that things look better than they do because the funhouse mirror in the dressing room isn’t reflecting right. It’s only 9 bucks so what’s the difference? The difference? The difference, my friend, is how you look on the day you try to wear your new Ross purchase to work. Suddenly the price tag on those pants is far greater than you ever knew. How much is your dignity worth? How much is your time worth? These are the questions you really have to ask yourself. Because when you show up to work looking like I did today people get concerned. Richard looks terrible. Is he on drugs? Why is he dressed like a homeless person? WHY IS HE DRESSED LIKE A HOMELESS PERSON?!?!?! And in addition to your co-workers thinking you are a smack head who can’t be bothered to dress himself for work you have to go through the rigor of throwing the piece of shit item somewhere that will remind you to take it to Goodwill, leave it there for weeks, not do anything with it, put it in a bag that will stay in the garage for another 4 months until you need to clear that space to make room for more crap you are trying to get out of your face then ultimately trudging it to Goodwill and trying to drop off your unwanted Ross gear without having to speak to anyone, which never happens because there is always some perfectly sweet old lady working there that wants to talk to you until you have to pretend you left your baby in the car so she will shut the fuck up and jet out of there before she judges you. It’s a whole thing. And I’ve done it to myself again. So anyway, when you go to Ross stay away from the dress clothes. Learn from my mistakes.

Glad we could have that talk. Sorry to be incommunicado for so long, but this baby situation is really cutting into my nonsense blogging time. Lucy is good btw. Really cute and starting to show signs that she is aware of the world around her, but I’m not any closer to a good nickname. She’s more of a Hulk baby now than ever before. She can stand up on her own. No lie. All I have to do is balance for her. And she can roll. 7 week olds are not supposed to be able to do either of these things. And she is HIGH maintenance. She has a pattern going where she will wake up and immediately demand food. She eats, then give us about ten minutes of awake baby fun time, then she starts flipping out until we rock her to sleep. Sleeps for however long she feels like it. Usually she sleeps just long enough to invoke that first-thing-in-the-morning feeling where your alarm goes off and your brain understands you have to wake up but your body won't move for another few seconds. She starts crying and even though I know I am going to have to get up and do daddy work I will sit there for a second begging for it not to be true. But it is. All too true. And the cycle repeats.

I've burned a lot of calories trying to find different ways to calm her down, which is completely absurd to me. Being held should just do the trick, right? I tell her all the time that she is in for a rough life because it will never get better than having a human hammock that feeds you, adjusts to your every movement, sings to you, rocks, bounces, and basically exists exclusively to please your every whim. Nothing will ever be this comfortable again in her life yet she spends most of her time crying like she's having a tooth pulled no matter what we try to do for her. For a while there we were just in survival mode and everytime she cried it was immediately onto the exercise ball because that was all she seemed to want. That destroys your back though so now when she comes through with the cranky, prove-how-much-you-love-me cry we can kind of wait it out and see if other stuff will calm her down. Like I found out that I can sit with her in the glider, read a book aloud and once she picks up on the rhythm of my voice reading to her she relaxes and eventually falls asleep. And it doesn't even have to be a kids book or anything. I can just start reading whatever I pull off the shelf and she will roll with it. Much easier on my back and I am being forced to read. They call that a win win kids.

Last bit of news, then I will leave you with some pics and a special video presentation of my sweet ass fence that I built all by myself! Well it was pretty much built already when I bought it, but I had to drill things and put concrete in the ground so I am taking the credit for the whole thing. Why build a fence when I already have one? Good question. It's more of a holding cell for our retarded gangbanger dogs. Our back yard looks like a wasteland. It's a shame too because when we bought the house the yard was gorgeous. Great landscaping and beautiful grass. A real pain in the ass to keep up with but we did it out of respect. It was too pretty to let go. Then we got Lou. We may as well have gotten a horse. At least then we would have an Earth friendly mode of transportation to show for the Shantytown our back yard has become. I don't know how he did it but he managed to kill everything. It's like fucking locust got a hold of that place.

Anyway we are going to try and sell the house this summer so the party is over. We had been talking and talking about getting the yard/house ready and two Sundays ago we received an omen. Pam was headed out to do some shopping and I was sleeping in a chair with Lucy. As she was passing by the house on the corner of our street she saw a pallet of sod with a sign indicating whoever got it first could have it. She rushed home and told me about it. The last thing I wanted to do at that moment was get dirty and do a bunch of work but we knew we had to act quick. We didn’t think it would last long and we were right. Having a yard in this state is a constant struggle to keep your grass alive, and that “Free Sod” sign in my neighbors front yard really got the party started. The only things I can think of that would get Floridians to move that fast would be free giantic FL Gators stickers that take up your entire back window of your car, free confederate flag liscence plate frames that say Heritage Not Hate or free coppies of Sarah Palin's book. GOD DAMN THIS TOWN IS FULL OF HICKS!**********Ugh...sorry. I blacked out there for a second. Anyway we managed to scalp about 1/3 of the pallet for ourselves so now we have a little patch we’re trying to nurture before we do the rest of the yard and we can’t let the dogs tear it up. So they are banished to the side yard. I made a little vid about it on my phone but I couldn't get it to upload so you guys will just have to imagine it for now. Here are some pics of a cute baby.

Aright peeps. Until next time…

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vegas Baby Vegas!!!! (older post; explaination of the VKOD)

What up everyone. I was feeling lazy and very worn out this week, but I found a good post from one of my old blogs that I thought I would share on Quit Hittin' Yourself since the VKOD will be a prominent concept on this blog and in our lives. Here it is...


That’s right. Just got back from a weekend in Sam’s Town in honor of Matt’s upcoming nuptuals. I guess as far as Vegas bachelor parties go we were pretty tame. Pretty much a bunch of married or almost married guys drinking heavily, gambling a lot, and talking about life, sports, and Robocop (yeah, that’s right…robocop)

We stayed at Planet Hollywood which was fantastic! I’ve only been to Vegas one other time, but from what I have seen of the other casinos on the strip PH is right up there with the best. There were 8 of us in the Back to the Future II Suite which never stopped being awesome to me. We had all kinds of random stuff from the movie decorating our suite including hoverboards, costumes, and props from the best Back to the Future of the 3 in my opinion. One thing I was really dissappointed in was the lack (nary a mentioning!) of the Flux Capacitor. I know it was somewhere in that hotel and my failure to see it in all it’s 1.21 jigawats was the major dissappointment of the weekend. Well that and all the money I lost. But mostly it was my failure to see the Flux Capacitor that will hang over this trip with that one-that-got-away feeling.

Oh, yeah…the money. It could have been a lot worse, but I was still peeved to walk away from the weekend down $200. Mostly because three separate people in our group walked to the Airport with 4 more figures in their bank account then what they showed up with! More on that later. I wasn’t jealous. Well, yes I was. BUT that’s not really the issue I have been dealing with in the wake of my poor performance. I’m sad to say that the Varela Kiss of Death is still a looming presence in what is otherwise a terrific existence for yours truely.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the VKOD, here’s how it works. When Richard Varela (that’s me) wants something. When, in his heart of hearts, he truely believes something can be attained. When he is CONFIDENT (that’s the real key) in the likelihood that whatever it is he has an opinion on is true…the oposite is what will happen.

A couple of examples. I went to UNCW. Not because I wanted to go to UNCW, but because I DIDN’T get into Carolina. I had the grades. I had the scores. Dumber kids than me from my high school got in. But not this guy! Why? Lot’s of reasons I’m sure, but the foremost being that I truely believed I was a lock to be accepted. The same thing actually happened 7 years later when I applied to Law School at UNC on the heels of what I thought was quality work at UNCW and a few years of real world experience under my belt. I surely couldn’t be snubbed twice! Alas…

The VKOD basically is that when I want something badly enough and subsequently have the confidence that I will get what I want. I don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I just thought the VKOD was vanishing into obscurity. Between marrying a girl as wonderful as Pam, getting a job I actually like, and a number of other positive results for your boy in the game of life I was sure the VKOD had moved on to another poor soul.

Well, then I hit the Blackjack table. See the first time I went to Vegas I was very unprepared for gambling and was thusly punished for not respecting the table. I didn’t learn the rules before sitting down. I did stupid things. I lost a lot of money. I even had trouble doing the math quickly which led to this exchange:

(Cards are dealt and I have 13 against a dealer 7)

Me: Hit (it’s another 3), Hit (Ace), Hit (9)

(with a straight face like I am concentrating on my next move) Stay.

Dealer: You already busted.

Me: Oh yeah, I knew that. I was just testing you. Good work! Now punch me in the face as hard as you can and I will be on my way.

You get the picture. ANYWAY I was not going to let that happen again, so I have been studying my blackjack. I had been playing it on my phone, studying odds, and talking to more experienced players about techniques. I was ready! But worse…I was confident. I thought if I played the right way there was no WAY I could lose. I figured the worst case scenario was going to be that I log a couple of marathon sessions at the tables, crack jokes with the boys, drink the complimentary vodka, and possibly walk away from the table after a couple of hours at break even or just slightly down.

One of the big problems with the VKOD is that it’s too smart for me. I can’t reverse it by saying I feel differently than I actually do to throw it off the scent. So if I had tried to combat the VKOD by saying I wasn’t sure about gambling and that I wasn’t planning on winning I would have, of course, been lying to the VKOD and possibly causing it to further incur it’s wrath! I didn’t tempt it, but it got me anyway.

I walked down the the tables with Chris and Matt with the confidence of a Matador and promptly lost $100 before I even got my second drink. Yipes. I made a mini-comeback during that session and ended up coming out of it relatively unscathed, but without logging the hours at the table I had planned on. We didn’t even make it an hour at that table but I didn’t want to risk it when the dealer who had just given me some of my money back switched out with some lady that looked like what I can only best describe as a PirateNinja. I can’t explain what that means really, but I think we can agree you don’t want to play against one in Blackjack.

So we were out of there. We had other stuff to go do that night so there wasn’t anymore blackjack until the next day, and at that point I was poised to strike! Riding the confidence that got me through my comeback I sat down prepared to win. I brought $175 (I was only down $25 at this point and $200 was the limit I set for myself) and I told myself I wasn’t going to get up until that money turned into $1000. And the crazy thing is…I almost had it.

I have a feeling I’m going to have nightmares about the number 11 for years and years. Or at least until my next Vegas trip. I was up. I was up pretty big, but not quite to my goal. And it happened. I was increasing my bets little by little which is how I got up, but a couple of bad hands saw the dealer chipping away at me. After a few up and down series I hit 11 against a 6 and doubled down. Dealer blackjack against a 17 for me. A couple of hands later I hit 11 again. Against a 2! Double down. I hit 19. Dealer hits 20. I hit 11 four other times against weak dealer hands, doubled down each time, and lost EVERY ONE OF THEM! I wonder what the odds are of something like that happening. I’m gonna say pretty slim, but the VKOD came through BIG TIME on that one.

I left the table shaking my head, but in my battle with the VKOD I will NEVER surrender. “We will not go quietly into the night. We will not give up without a fight!”

On to the winners. Eric had to get back home to his new baby boy and his lovely wife but he got a 24 hour pass to come out there for the first night. And boy did he. Eric was in a cab to McCarran airport on Saturday morning with $1300 more than he showed up with thanks mainly to a video roulette machine. Yes. A video roulette machine. Whatever Eric has is the polar opposite of the VKOD and he has been using it to his advantage his whole life. It came through once again. Maybe he and I are some kind of cosmic force that was separated at the creation of the universe and now we’re best friends because our opposing states of being are somehow attracted to each other like a magnet. That’s for another blog though.

Scotty sat down at a blackjack table long after I had given up on it, and made $1000 in about an hour. He was betting big, but he was getting the cards. Well done.

Mitch is the story of the weekend though. There was a point on Saturday night when he was down $2000 and sporting the not-sure-if-I-will-still-be-married-when-I-get-home face. I had never seen him so visibly upset about anything. Well, in an unprecedented display of softball shaped cohones, Mitch walked to the roulette wheel.

Mitch: What do you think? I’m gonna put $2000 down on Red or Black.

Me: WEll, that’s insane, but if I have learned anything from Wesley Snipes in my life it’s to always bet on Black.

Mitch: I’m going red.

The wheel spins…………and spins………..and spins…………..

bounce, bounce bounce….RED!

The color returned to Mitch’s face as we cheered. The VKOD was poised to strike. But Mitch countered it. And defeated it. I’m just glad someone did.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Our Life with a Zombie

I watched a lot of "Married With Children" in in it's heyday, and now that I am older I have a whole different appreciation for it. Although I haven’t seen an episode of the show in well over 10 years I find myself thinking about it from time to time because one of it's central themes is been something I have been wrestling with since I graduated college. One of the deepest comedic wells MWC always dipped into was that being a grown up is kind of a buzzkill. Doesn’t matter if you are a shoe salesman, a professional golfer, or a mid level management employee at a freight railroad. If you are an adult with any feeling of responsibility toward anything, the pressures of the real world can overwhelm the shit out of you. But what the hell? When you have a family that loves you, friends that are there for you, a steady paycheck, food on the table and beer in the fridge is anything else really that bad? Hell to the no! So turn on the game, crack a cold one and rest your hand down the front of your pants goddammit cause you’re the man or woman (we are SO women’s lib at “Quit Hittin’ Yourself”) of the house and this is your domain! This was what Married with Children was so good at. Telling its audience that everything was going to be ok, no matter how hard things seemed to get.

And no character on that show said it better than Al. Outwardly he was a worn out, angry shoe salesmen who seemed completely miserable. Half the jokes on that show were at Al’s expense in a vein of humor that said, “look how awful my life is and how much I hate everything. Guess old Al Bundy is just never gonna catch a break” *trombone goes wah waaaaaaaaaaaah*. But MWC always offered a little wink at the audience. Within the context of the show’s framework it consistently gave Al these soft, redeemable moments that let us know that even though he was rude to his wife, annoyed by his kids, didn’t seem to particularly enjoy the company of his friends, never had any money and acted as if his life was nothing but a cliff he jumped off of once his Polk High glory days were over there was still love in Al’s heart. And somewhere in there Al was glad to have what he did. Having watched so much of it in the 90's I constantly find myself thinking about Al Bundy when I get down on myself. Nothing can be THAT bad right? Now let’s move on before I realize my understanding of adult life and how to navigate it was cultivated by a sit-com. Crap.

Anyhoo I have been thinking about Al lately because one of the things I always thought was sweet about him was that he never referred to Kelly by her name. He always called her “punkin” and he was the only person in Kelly’s life who did this. Just one of those redemptive winks that let us all know Al was a big softee underneath his weary disposition. Now I don’t have such a depressing visage as my buddy Al, but as I said, I can relate to some of the things he was dealing with in his life. Maybe I am a little (only a little!) dramatic about it sometimes, but being a grown ass man with grown ass man responsibilities kind of wears on me sometimes.

Now I have 2 levels when it comes to expressing hard to channel emotions. Even keel and blinding intensity. Anything that falls in between those extremes is dealt with mostly inside my own head because whatever I am thinking about at the time is probably too stupid or petty to be worthy of a conversation. This can be misleading. Because I have a shitty poker face, I always appear to have more critical things on my mind than I acutally do, and sometimes Pam thinks I am upset with her when I am actually just being a baby. When you don't use words, you leave things open to interpretation which is not a good idea when your wife is trying to have a conversation with you on the heels of a drastic change in your lives. Last week she saw me over at the computer doing the monthly budget with my head in my hands, sporting a glassy, 3 mile, where-did-it-all-go-wrong kind of stare and when she asked me what was wrong I just sort of grunted. I was pouting. Not taking her perception of this response into consideration I didn't realize she may think I am over there regretting our choice to have a baby and live on one income. She may think I am wishing I had a different life and I am sitting there plotting my escape(ed. note: this is what she was thinking) when all that is really going on is that I am over there pouting because I want a goddamn X Box but I had to pay the stupid electricity bill instead and that makes me sad.

Only I know how truly ridiculous I actually am, so when Lucy is old enough to pick up on the fact that daddy is in his head about something I want her to be sure it’s no big deal and that no matter how weird I am acting it could not possibly be because of her. I really want her to feel like we have a good relationship, and one of the things I think would be cool is if she has a nickname that only her daddy calls her like Al had with Kelly. So I have been trying to come up with some things, but I don’t want to pluck some random bullshit out of the air. Something like Punkin or Angel would be so generic and boring, and I don’t want to be lazy and just call her LJ or Lu Lu or some other play on her name. I mean, I am sure we will be calling her any and all of those things at some point, but I want us to have something that only I call her. I want it to be something I came up with that shows her how well I know her and how in tune I am with the person she is. Something that only someone who loves her as much as I do could come up with.

Only problem is, she doesn’t really have a personality yet so my initial attempts at giving her the perfect nickname have been…well, how can I properly convey this?…Oh I know…a COLLOSAL FUCKING FAILURE! Here’s what I got so far: Alien Baby. Animatronic Baby. Hulk Baby. And my favorite…Zombie baby. And I wonder why she punches me in the face so often.

It's not that I have something against her. I just calls 'em like I sees 'em. And from what I have seen this baby is pretty much an Animatronic, Zombie, Ailien, Hulk child. Let me explain.

We've already covered Lucy's otherworldly baby strength in this space, so I won't harp on that. But her kung fu grip and propensity for issuing beat downs has earned her the Hulk title.

The Alien/Animatronic titles are related. They all stem from her inability to control her own motions. She's only 2 weeks old so she's not really aware of her limbs and digits yet. All of her movement is involuntary and reactionary and the look on her face always makes it seem like she's very surprised that her body is in motion. She gets all bug eyed and starts shifting things from side to side and up and down in a robotic looking way. I shit you not, the first thing I thought of when I saw her looking around, doing her robot thing was the scene in "Aliens" when Sigorny Weaver was falling to her death and the Alien she was pregnant with pops out of her stomach and starts flailing around. Lucy looks just like that, but much much cuter, you know, like a human. It just didn't seem right to walk around associating my baby with Sigorny Weaver's Alien love child, so Alien baby became Animatronic baby.

I'm working on finding a more palletable substitute for Zombie baby right now, but Lucy is not really helping. It just that...she keeps acting like such a fucking Zombie. Being a 2 week old baby Lucy gets hungry quite often. Her lack of body control sometimes makes things more difficult than they need to be and she sometimes has trouble latching onto her food source. When she's not able to find the grub she goes nuts. She starts frantically rooting around, bobbing her head up and down, and snorting in between bursts of very angry, scary crying. It's crazy to see. She moves so fast and so violently! Now these may not seem like zombie-ish qualities in the traditional sense, but if you have seen "28 Days Later" you will know what I am talking about. At this point I would embed a video, but I can't figure out how to do it (or if it's possible) to embed something from the web so here's a link. Just watch.


That's pretty much exactly how Lucy acts when she is hungry and not getting what she wants. Lucy's hunger cries and subsequent freak outs are uncannily similar to the 28Days Later zombies' thirst for brains. Sometimes when she's flipping out it even sounds like she is screaming, "BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS!" It's just too obvious to ignore.

Needless to say, these nicknames will be on the scrap heap before Lucy is old enough to know what is going on, but if she wants better nicknames it's really on her. Like I said, I want this to be an organic process and I want her name to reflect her personality and to show how well I know her. And I feel like I do. We've spent a lot of time together. Clearly we need to work on this, but Lucy, I beg you, a little help here. Until then...


Thursday, April 1, 2010

This Week in Uncontrolable Weeping

I was a little dissapointed in myself when Lucy was first born. If movies and TV have taught me anything the birth of a man's first child is supposed to be this trancendent moment where he feels the greatest love he has ever known. A love from which he can never return. That moment is supposed to be special and beautiful. The first words out of my mouth when I saw my daughter for the first time? "Holy shit." I kind of whispered it to no one in particular and I don't even know if it was audible, but still...I know what I said. And I know what I felt, which was nothing in particular. Not good. Not bad. Just kind of like, "Welp, that certainly is a baby. Hope I don't fuck this up."

I haven't told anyone about this because, honestly, I couldn't shake it and I was begining to wonder if I am some kind of soulless freak that doesn't feel things anymore. I mean if a guy can't love his own child unconditionally at first sight that is a serious red flag. We were talking about how much she looks like me the day she was born and my sister in law told me that babies look more like their fathers when they are born as a biological defense mechanism that prevents the father from eating his own young. She was on to me.

OK, obviously I wasn't going to EAT her. Those little ribs could be a choking hazard! But my feelings on that first day ranged from "I hope Pam is going to be ok" to "I hope I don't fuck this up" with nothing about how madly in love I was with my new baby daughter and much more about how cramped our stupid hospital room was and how I couldn't wait to get out of there. Don't get me wrong. I have held that little girl, talked to her, and done as much "good daddy" stuff as I could possibly do since the day she was born. It's just that...there was no bond. No immediate connection. And it made me feel like a total scumbag.

I had been trying to manufacture it for days with nothin' doin' so I stopped beating myself up about it and resigned myself to being the scary, intimidating dad from The Wonder Years. That would be my role. Hopefully Pam would pick up the slack. I kept on keepin' on with the duties of parenthood, but there was just this weird, nothingness kind of feeling about the whole thing that was seriously bumming me out.

So I am at work on Tuesday listening to some Pandora radio at work and the Pandora gods selected "Float On" by Modest Mouse for my listening pleasure. I had never really paid attention to the lyrics to that one before then, but since it was all up in my earhole in a quiet office I paid more attention. It's a very positive song about how life can be hard sometimes, but that's ok because even though bad shit is going to happen to you from time to time good times will be just around the corner. When I heard lyric right before the bridge, "We'll float on, good news is on the way" I imediately flashed into a daydream about having a conversation with Lucy and trying to cheer her up when she feels bad about something. I would give her this exact advice. And as I sat there, having a fake conversation with my daughter in my head, I started to well up. Realizing what I was experiencing were genuine tears of happiness, joy, and love for my baby girl got me all crazy emotional. The first domino had been tipped, my friends, and I let out a straight up SOB and was sporting a serious happy cry face. It took me a solid minute to reel that shit in.

Guess Lucy doesn't have to worry about me eating her anymore. We gon' be 'aight.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Incredible Hulk Baby will have none of your Insolence

I have talked to people. I have watched Youtube videos. I have read a few (one) baby books. Everything I have ever been told about swaddling newborns is that they love it because it simulates being in the womb and it will totally calm them down and help them sleep. Well, as she has been known to do since she burst onto the scene, Lucy is flipping the script on all of us so called grown ups and bringing the real talk back to the streets. “Swaddle? Maybe instead I will grip your face with my INCREDIBLE BABY STRENGTH and start bashing you til you get it right old man!” When Lucy doesn’t get what Lucy wants…Lucy ANGRAAAAAAAAY! Can you see the twinkle in my eye? Watching her work these past couple of days I can see that I have clearly passed on the most distinctive Varela trait in our bloodline. Pure, unmerciful RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!

Like Vito Corleone said to Michael all those years ago, “I didn’t want this life for you.” I was hoping it would skip a generation or be dormant in the female species of Varela, but as I watch her Hulk rage grow stronger every day I only hope I can teach her to harness its power. I don’t know why we are like this. I have been involved in numerous (mostly avoidable) confrontations in my life because I have some burning within my soul to give my opinion where it has not been requested. Not to mention I have no patience for anything and a gross inability to control the volume of my voice when I am excited/annoyed. Surprise! It doesn’t always go well. And the Force is strong with young Lucy.

Currently she doesn’t understand the forces of her own nature, and like her daddy before her this can be to her detriment. The swaddling thing, I get. She’s not a big fan. But sometimes she IS (being finicky is another Varela special). But since we can’t communicate the only way I can find out if she wants to be swaddled is to do so, pick her up and start rocking her. If she doesn’t calm down within 5 minutes or so I know that’s my cue to get her arms free before she frees them herself and makes me PAY FOR MY INSOLENCE. She has a pretty sweet move actually. She seems to like it when I whisper in her ear while trying to calm her down. This works most of the time. But when she doesn’t want to be swaddled she will play possum and just cry for a minute and wait for me to put my face down by hers. Then she drops the hammer! Those arms come out and the next thing I know I’m on the Cobra Clutch train to Haymaker city. I never see it coming, and it is my understanding that most babies are not this violent. I’ve also been punished for not being Mommy when it is time to eat.

Now this is all justifiable in my book, but then I will see her fighting at the wrong time, and realize this is where she will need my help. And honestly I am really hoping for a student-becomes-the-teacher moment sometime around 12 years old because I am terrible at this as well. She has not learned to harness her considerable feistiness and pick her spots to unleash the beast within. Like when she is hungry. Clearly the problem here is that there is not milk in her mouth at that moment. Rather than give a good cry and open up sometimes it’s more like, “Someone better get over here and give me some milk. There’s not milk in my mouth. GAAAAAHHHH, RAAAAAAAGE!” Then she’s over there pushing and Cobra Clutching poor Pam who is merely trying to give her exactly what she wants. Reel it in little girl. Reel it in.

We’ll see. I’m sure she will learn there is a time and a place for Hulk rage, but for now…Put up your dukes old man. Cause one of us is getting some milk and a nap. The other one is getting mushed. Guess which one is you…

Monday, March 29, 2010

Baby Time

Ok, here we go again. This will be my third attempt at keeping up a blog, so I am not making any promises. Not that you were asking for any. The reason I have not been a good blogger is that I am largely uninteresting, but now we have a new caveat. Lucia Jane Varela. She's only 5 days old but people seem to be very interested in her, and with good reason. Babies are facinating. Everything she does is catagorically awesome because she has never done anything.

I will warn you right now that this is going to be one of those blogs by a new parent that thinks every mundane thing his baby does is completely fucking amazing. I won't neccessarily always talk about Lucy, but she is the star of the show and the only interesting thing about me. So expect a heavy dose of, "Oh man, you should have seen what she did today. Totally picked her nose. You should have been there. Classic!"

Speaking of which, we found out today that our daughter is the strongest baby EVER. Was she exposed to gamma radiation in the womb? Bitten by a radioactive spider? I don't know, but how do you explain the massive sideways pullups she was doing at the doctor's office today? Huh? I wasn't there but apparently she was grabbing onto the bars of the crib/table apparatus at the doctors office and pulling herself up and down the table, which the doc said she had never seen before in her life. So Lucy is already changing the game on 'em and I totally missed it! Oh well, there will be more. Apparently newborns aren't aware of their limbs, but my little girl's already way past that noise. Her pimp hand is already strong and she's already doing (something that looks like) pull ups. Ballin.

The first few days of parenthood have been awesome. And not awesome. Pretty much what you would expect. She likes to eat, doesn't like to sleep, is super duper cute, kinda loud, very sweet and so DEMANDING. But it has been altogether educational. I have already learned so many things.

Like that I don't know the lyrics to any songs. Babies like singing. More specifically, they like whoever is holding them to be singing. It must be a the way your chest vibrates or something, but I have learned that singing does the trick. I don't mess around with kids songs because I feel like it is my responsibility to introduce her to the good music. Doesn't matter that she is 5 days old. She should be listening to The Black Keys. And aparently so should I, because everytime I break into a song I get the chorus and the first line then start mumbling nonsense to the tune of whatever I am trying to sing. I can't even get the ones that EVERYONE has heard millions of times. I couldn't even remember the every-little-thing-is-gonna-be-alright, Bob Marley song. I've heard that song litteraly hundreds of times. Can't get past the 3 little birds part before its, "*mumble, mumble* Tis is my message to you u u." I'm and idiot.

OK, I won't get too wordy on the first post, but expect more soon. For now, here are some pictures of the little superstar.