Monday, April 23, 2007

A 50-50 shot...

Sometimes in sporting events, when the officiating is all around off, people say “At least their consistent.” I feel similarly.
Practically every part of Paula’s pregnancy has been opposite of what we’ve expected: we thought it was too soon for us to be pregnant – it wasn’t; we didn’t find out she was pregnant at home – we found out in the hospital; morning sickness never happened – Paula was sick at night. And today was the ultimate twist. We were sure we’d be having a boy….if there’s one thing I can say about this child, she’s consistently surprising.
A girl. I am going to be the father of a girl. It’s mind-bottling – when things are crazy and it is like your mind is trapped in a bottle. There’s no disappointment, none at all. There is what might qualify as stunned disbelief. I feel as though my margin of error in child-rearing has shrunk dramatically. Before this revelation via Lisa the sonographer I was just excited to be a dad; now, I’m excited and nervous and worried and cautious and more and more aghast at how little clothing women wear. That’s someone’s daughter, for crying out loud!
It was an incredible experience to see the little one on the ultrasound; she was laying on her back and we saw a perfect profile, with beautiful little legs and toes and fingers; her seeing her nose close up was when I knew we were having a girl. I know that is ridiculous, since even after a baby is born you really can’t tell if it’s a boy or girl, but something about the profile of that face made me sure it was a girl. She’s real and little and perfect.
I don’t know if I’m qualified to raise a girl…that’s not entirely true because I feel one of the major influences in my life has been family; however, there is a certain amount of angst that clutches at my heart. How can I, someone so imperfect and flawed and lacking be trust with such a precious little child sent from our Heavenly Father? How can I comfort her when she’s hurt by harsh words? What if they are my harsh words? What if she is wonderful and beautiful and smart and funny? What if she’s not? How do I help her understand that just because all the other girls have serious boyfriends that she shouldn’t? How do I let her know I love her when she’s done something wrong? What do I do if she rebels?
I don’t know. I think there’s only one Parent that does. And, knowing that and that He knows me and is willing to help when I ask and teach when I don’t know…it bestows upon my anxious heart a degree of peace because I know Paula and I won’t be alone in this. And that’s awesome, in the truest and purest sense of the word.
In summary, I’m the proud father of a little (and by little I mean 10in, 10oz) girl. It’s going to be incredible and my already outnumbered X chromosome is going to really have its back against the ropes. But not to worry, little buddy, because we may bend but we shall not break. The room may be pink or purple; the toys may be dolls; the clothes may be frilly. But even so, this one thing shall not change – I’ll find a way to incorporate Cougar blue.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Century Mark

I was born in December of ‘81; 16 months later, Nathan was born in April ’81. This would be of little consequence except that it’s taken the exact same amount of time to reach the century mark for posts on Cyber Commorancy (12/05-4/07). Yeah, I was thinking the same thing…Twilight Zone.
This post is commemorating this significant event, so break out the bubbly and put on your party hats cuz it’s gonna get CRAZY! Or, more realistically, stay in your pj’s, take time out of work or a break from homework. If there’s a vending machine near by, maybe you can buy a soda…I'd use the bathroom first because it's hard to sum up 100 posts.

A Girthy Post
I never realized I was so diverse and wise (some would counter with ‘scatterbrained’ and ‘egomaniacal’…touché) until blogging. Nor did I realize how many words I could make up - like the word ‘Girthy’.
Regardless, there have been a myriad of topics discussed - more vast than Rosie O'Donnell's waist line and just as scary. Of the past hundred posts, 18 have addressed moral/political issues; 14 have related to family; 12 have been “Shout Out’s”; 6 have been catch-ups. Of the rest, football and the break-in have pulled 3; x-box and the Buck got 2; Oprah, Dr. Phil and Verizon each got 1.

What’s the Scuttlebutt?
One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most over the past 100 posts is the feedback from you, my loyal fan base; let me change ‘fan base’ to readership as I’m pretty sure some regulars loathe me. Political and moral diatribes actually draw the least amount of comments; humorous and shout-out based postings get the most. In general, we feel obligated to say something when something’s said about us and not too many people care enough about social issues to say anything. Or it's been put so eloquently no one has anything else to add. (If you're a gambler, I'd put money on the former rather than the latter.)
Of the first 100 posts to Cyber Commorancy, the top comment-garnishing posts are:

My Top 10 – (5) My favorite tunes from high school.
Weight For it…Weight for it – (4) My ever growing waist line and beard.
If You Haven’t Already Heard – (4) Announcement of a little one on the way.
Shout Out: The Buck – (4) Eulogy to the greatest car a guy could have.
Shout Out: The Sound – (4) Tribute to a little game called ‘Halo’.
House Sitting – (4) A chronicling of the weirdness of living in another’s house.
6 Degrees to My Biznas – (4) Tracing how fast gossip travels
An Ounce of Prevention…And a Slug – (3) Recounting the break-in of our apartment.

Of the 94 comments left over the past 100 posts, some are instant classics. They range from odd to funny to gratifying. Here they are, unedited and uncut:

Jeff: Weird, wild stuff: Having done a statistical research project with you in Sis Hendricks (to which the quote from you of "I wish I had a gun to shoot myself in the face" will live in infamy) Math is certainly not your strong suit, nor mine. But are you really serious about the count being that high?

The Ames Family:
Complete: (This comment by Shantay was funny, but really long. Click on the link above to read it. Worth your troubles, I promise.)

Shout Out: The 1st Sister-in-Law: Good post. Made me love my wife more, and made her cry. In a happy way.

Lindsay and Rachell:
Complete: Logi-After much deliberation, Rach and I have just recently decided that you are hilarious. There is a certain and distinct hilarium about you. We enjoy you very much. Thanks for the continued entertainment you provide two lonely and bored sisters. Love-Rinds and Lach

If you hadn't already heard: Congratulations! Molding a legacy is a lifetime effort, with huge rewards. Good luck! BTW: Walter Payton is a good name, as well as Mike Singletary, Dick Butkis, and Brian Urlacher.....- William –

Breakfast Memories: "Hurrah for Cream of Wheat!" exclaims the random passerby.I was surfing blogger for tips on how to jazz up Cream of Wheat, and your blog was in the top ten for "most recently updated." Thanks for the tips on that and other inexpensive breakfast foods!

Happy Birthday... : You're good, real good. BTW, happy birthday to you too. May there be many more years of both you and your blog!

Shout Out: The Buck : The Buck Died? When did this happen? How did this happen? Is there anyway to save it? Seriously, I got a little choked-up when I read that last line.

Shout Out: The Sound : I have just spent two hours reading your blogs instead of doing my homework.

Something You Didn't Know : Great diction...would you like to come teach a writing class to my students? Give us more.

Archie: Shout Out:
Archie “Slam” Ames and Zach “Cack” Shoemaker : Thats some serious "SHIZZLE MAYHEM." There's nothing like the good ol' college days. Oh wait a minute i'm still in college and it sucks now cuz the LTrain left. We will meet again though and he will probably lose to me at Blitz like he ussually did.-SLAM

Location, Location, Location
Girls get around more than guys - I mean, their blogs do. They have this intricate network of acquaintances – I'm not even upset; that's amazing. Anyway, I use this awesome tool called Google Analytics to track the hits on Cyber Commorancy. It was really cool until I realized Paula gets a ton more visits to her site than I do; then it really stunk. Anyway, as time has gone on, the word has gotten out and reader hot spots have grown and changed, not totally unlike Barry Bonds' forehead since he's been popping 'roids. I’ve had random hits from all over the world and I’ve taken three snapshots in time from the tool and thought I’d give you an idea of who’s reading where. The bigger the dots, the more hits from that area. (Click on the maps to get them big enough to see.)

June and July 06
In the beginning was...the South. When I started using Google Analytics mid June, the local friends and family really kicked this thing off. As you can see, nothing else was even close, though I did get some love from back home and friends at the 'I'.

Dec 06 and Jan 07
Happy Holidays! The dynamics changed some; though Metro Atlanta still led the way, LA was second, followed by a sudden spike in Greenwich, Connecticut. My peeps in Idaho and home remain true. As you can see, there was some spotty international reading, but almost nothing that stuck; however, some faithful readers in Canada still read. I attribute this to Lindsay and her international roots.

Mar and Apr 07

Currently, there are four major hot spots in a little place I like to call the USA. Metro Atlanta still carries the most weight, but Idaho and LA are really showing the love. Greenwich virtually disappeared, but Minneapolis has shown up with a flurry of activity, so we're Even Stevens. I also noticed some hits from Communist China. If they change to an elected form of government, I think I deserve some credit. If I don't deserve it, I still want it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip down memory lane as much as I have. Just want to give a shout out to you, the folks who make Cyber Commorancy part of your life.
Whether you read for fun, to keep in touch, out of spite or cuz you're just plain bored, I appreciate you reading - 3,092 visits and 5,111 pages views (since starting tracking in June)- and the numbers are growing. I’m stoked for the next 100!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"Since You've Been Gone...

...I can breathe for the first time. Since you've been go-One..." Oh...this is a little embarrassing; you've caught me in a Kelly moment. Sheesh.
It’s been a while since I've posted, (the song reference was to this lapse, not my wife being out of town last week) so I’m just going to throw together a hodgepodge of events that have occurred because I have neither the time nor the inclination to write detailed descriptions. Plus, it’s sort of fun to have a fast, quick hitting post.

The Bachelor – Paula went to Utah this past week to hangout with her best friend Kami who just got back from her 1 ½ year church mission in Taiwan. So while they spent money and talked about the intricacies of Kami’s newest boy-toy out in the Rockies, I embraced one of the Seven Deadly Sins – sloth. I didn’t do a thing on my three-day weekend – between sleeping, Xboxing and sleeping, there wasn’t any time. When in Rome…

6 Degrees – I got this call from my brother Nathan late Friday night, almost Saturday morning. I missed it because i was in the other room, but the voicemail was: "Hey man, call me as soon as you get this." Then there was a text message with the same request. So I did. Twice. With no answer. I'm a little nervous, so the next morning I call. The urgent incident that made me worry? "Hey, I'm hanging out with Michael Eav and he has a good one for you for '6 Degrees to Kevin Bacon' and I wanted you to try it." (Hulk Hogan was in Rocky 3 with Sylvester Stalone [1] who was in Demolition Man with Benjamin Bratt [2] who was in Red Planet with Val Kilmer [3] who was in Top Gun with Tom Cruise [4] who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon [5]. 'YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!')

The Big Chill – A couple weekends ago we were invited to Augusta to visit Greg and Melissa, our friends who recently embraced the connubial life. (Great word; look it up) In all we had a crew of 11 people at their house, ages 25 to 31, eating and laughing and eating some more. It was pretty awesome. I’d say the highlight of everyone’s weekend was the many different facial hair motifs of Greg. It started with a beard, transitioned to biker/mechanic and ended with this mustache do I say frequently see on an episode of Dateline’s ‘To Catch a Predator’ series. Hilarious.

Epitomizing Meatheads – I love BYU football. Love it; want it; need it. Anyway, this weekend a couple of morons were arrested for burglary when they went after some guys who tossed a water balloon out a window that got one of their girls. You can read the details here, but suffice it to say this linebacker and tight end kicked in a couple doors looking for the mischievous aqua-bomb lobbers. The funniest thing is the second door they kicked in was the right one, but the perps were hiding in a closet and the police showed up in the nick of time. Awesome.

It’s All About Sex – In a couple of weeks, (April 23rd) we find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. Yikes. The moment of truth. I think most people would have been nervous that they were expecting a child; not me. I’m nervous to find out what it is. If it’s a boy, I’ll be excited and not too nervous – my confidence is strong to very strong when it comes to raising a boy. If it’s a girl…I might need meds. I have no clue what to do with a girl. There are questions, no answers: How do I discipline her? How do I protect her? What do we name her? What happens if she looks like me? How will I console her if no boys ask her out on a date? How will Paula console me when they do? Most important: how can I decorate my daughter’s room in Cougar Blue?! AARRGHHH!

The Century Mark – Soon I’ll hit my 100th post. Like this week maybe. That’s a lot of posts. On Seinfeld, for the 100th episode they did this collage of episodes that was hilarious. Maybe I’ll do the same thing. The Greatest Posts in Cyber Commorancy History. Feel free to cast your votes. I think it might be a very small post. Here’s the plan: leave a comment about your favorite post. And I’ll share those with the world. Unless I don’t get a lot, then I’ll make some up. In a different font. With flashing lights. And streamers. Yeah, definitely streamers.