Thursday, July 27, 2006

I guess I should start by apologizing for yesterday's blog. I was a little tired and a little grumpy. I should also apologize for today's blog because I'm even more tired and more grumpy. Sleep is the new black. I'm not sure what that means but it sounds trendy and chic, which I also don't understand. Anyway, the upside of not getting much sleep is it enhances my ability to tap into my inner rabbit and give myself over to free writing. Obviously I don't literally mean I have a rabbit inside me but rather something in my consciousness that is small and fluffy and likes to burrow and hop. And so I am reminded of the Glass House. Last night the Glass House (ABC TV) celebrated its 200th episode. This was pretty much lost on me because I have only seen about ten of them. I kept thinking, "What's all the fuss? I've only seen ten. You don't see me jumping up and down." Even if I had been jumping up and down, they wouldn't have seen me.

DW would have though. She watches me sometimes with that look of any-minute-now. Its like she expects me to slip over or drop something valuable. She gets even more worried when I actually pick something valuable up. She always makes sure I dress with pockets in case we go into an expensive store. Either that or I get to hold both kids, to keep my hands full.

The truth is, DW looks out for me. She is there when I need her. Like a couple of nights ago, when I had the worst nightmare I have had in years, DW was there. And had I woken her up and given her time to calm down, she would have given me the biggest hug ever, which she did the following day when I got back from work. I then told her what the nightmare was about and she hasn't slept since, such was her worry for me.

You may be wondering what this has to do with The Glass House and me being clumsy and to be honest, it has more to do with the inner rabbit, but I'm not sure how. Only, suffice it to say that had the rabbit and The Glass House featured in the nightmare, the sleep deprivation would have had less chance of affecting my mood and making me grumpy with celebrations with which I have no real understanding of because of lack of significant relevance to the manner in which DW and I choose to shop when with the kids because of potential breakages. I hope that clears things up.

Hopping a little to the left, Interest Rate Rises. Yes, the number of people interested in my blog has risen to six, marking the biggest rate increase since the last one. It stands to reason that I am no longer able to consider this just a personal indulgence and I must take stock of where I am headed and take responsibility for the enormity of the impact I am now having in the world. My thoughts and opinions, were they understandable or sensible, could actually influence other people, and that's a heavy burden. Its entirely possible that some of the reason my incoherence is such a feature is because I don't want to carry that load. I hide in my babbling so that no one has any real reason to take me seriously and I can't say anything controversial because everything is said tongue-in-cheek. Or it could be because my mind is full of rabbits.

Anyway, its time to say something important. Something people will listen to and say "Hmmm. You know, he has a point." I am going to break new ground here and actually do something useful with this blog. Only, as I write this, I can't think of anything. Ok, now I have something. I am going to comment on war. No, that's a little bit too big to start with. How about something closer to home, like the new Industrial Relations Laws? Ok, that's probably a little beyond me as well, at least for now. Relationships? DW would still have power of veto. Kids? Too many people already know what sort of parent I am. All right. Its obvious that I have no idea what to talk about and its like when someone asks you to test a microphone and you can't think of anything to say.

However, I am not going to give up that easily. I am going to issue a challenge to my loyal reader and the others that also read this blog. What would you like me to discuss? I can't guarantee I'll know much about the topic but I'll give it a go. Who knows, maybe I'll learn something. So feel free to make a comment or suggestion and I will endeavour to include it in a future blog. Don't worry, even if I don't get any suggestions, I will keep writing, because my head is still full of rabbits.


Thought for the Day: Has black ever been the new black?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

As promised, I will bring everyone up to speed on the current state-of-play for our home upgrades/improvements/etc. They seemed to have stalled a little. To begin with, our bedroom, pretty as it is, hasn't actually changed at all since we put the new bed in place. We still have big plans which include painting one wall and a new chest of drawers, but recently we have found our weekends disappearing so fast that we simply don't achieve anything beyond catching up on the cleaning that didn't happen during the week. This past weekend, apart from the dog poo hunt, we only managed to begin planning the backyard makeover.

Now I will explain how it is actually everyone else's fault. To start with, I'm going to blame the weather. Yes, winter sucks. Actually, I quite like some aspects of winter, as I have said before, but at this time of year I leave for work in the dark and return in the dark and ofen go for a whole week without seeing my house in daylight. Its not the cold I mind. Well, that can be annoying also. Its the dark. I find I can't see as well.

I will also blame work, for making me work such long hours and being so inconveniently located in Melbourne rather than say, Avalon. I would like to work at the University of Melbourne, Avalon campus. I could also watch the planes at the airport and whistle jaunty tunes, 'cause that's ok at Avalon. Not so at the Parkville campus. If I had a dollar for every time I've been told to stop whistling that jaunty tune, I'd have a dollar, or close to.

Who else? Public Transport! I know its hard to believe but Connex and V-Line have actively conspired to prevent me from fixing up my backyard. I have no idea how they are doing it and that just makes me even more angry and frustrated.

And the dog. The dog does its business in the backyard, not only because it has no other option, but also because it wants to prevent me from actually improving the yard. So it "mines" the place. Admittedly, dog poo and landmines are not the exact same thing, but you can see what I am up against.

Princess and Little Man do what they can to prevent me from doing what I need to do. They keep me awake at night with their crying and their "oh, my poor gums are sore because of new teeth" and "daddy, I had a nightmare. Do sharks eat people?". And during the day its, "Da-da-da-da" and extremely annoyingly cute smiles and desperate attempts to walk to daddy, with arms outstretched, hoping to be caught and cuddled. Princess always wants to play games and chat and dance and sing and daddy has to be their to applaud and help and cuddle and so on and it never ends. What do they want from me?

DW says I just make excuses to not do stuff in the backyard but she chipped the paint on the new bed while vacuuming. And she says I act like a child. Well, she does more. Anyway, because I am not a child like some DWs I know, I will overcome all the obstacles and start doing something about the backyard, beyond clearing the mines and occasionally mowing. I will dedicate myself to finding some computer software to help me design the ULTIMATE backyard, complete with Pirate Ship, putting green and the world's greatest sandpit. And all shall tremble before me. DW thinks I have delusions of grandeur, but she will tremble as well, though possibly with laughter. I'll take whatever trembling I can get.

Now, you may be wondering how I manage to fit both feet into my mouth at once. If so, I suggest you re-read the above and see if its not obvious.


Thought for the Day: Failure is not an option. Its a life-choice.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hi there, blogfans! Time for a little update on life in the Meade lane. Yes, my extended family is big enough to have its own lane. We hire a function hall for family Christmas gatherings, and don't invite the cousins due to space restrictions. Anyway, my own little brood is growing in height if not number. And for the record, we are not planning another addition at this stage, mostly because I think "Other Little Man" or "Princess II" would sound silly.

So, let's start with Little Man. I know the Wayan brothers (of crass Hollywodd fame) have made a movie called Little Man and I would like to point out that I did not copy this moniker from them, nor is it derived from a combination of names of the first two atomic bombs dropped on Japan. It just worked out that way. He also gets called Buddy, Grot, Sir Slobberlot and The Terrifying Fart Monster. Well, the Four-legged Poo Transporter is about to become Two-legged as he rises to stand and takes his first ungainly steps towards the ever increasing list of items he should not put in his slobbery, two-toothed mouth. Yes, Little Man is walking. Truth be told, he is walking like a Little Old Man but his confidence increases daily and his resistance to sidelong attacks from the Princess improves almost as rapidly as the frequency. Yet he stands tall, falls over and stands tall again. He does tend to keep his feet quite a long way apart, either because of his emerging balance, his nappy or he's been riding a very fat little horse. For several days. Seriously, whack a badge and some six-shooters on him and tiny little cowboy hat, and we'd have the makings of a new sheriff, Grinny the Kid. And with the constant attacks from Princess, our lounge room could easily be called Dodge.

Aside from his walking (he's able to do several staccato'd steps so I'm calling it walking - DW calls it posturing), Toothy McGrin has started to employ his new weapons on foodstuffs that are not paste. He can even eat toast. Of course, he pretty much crushes any food into a paste between his squishy little fingers and apparently he likes the feel of vegemite in his hair. His formerly quiet demeanour has be replaced by a quite meanly deformer, or maybe a formed meekly admire. That makes no sense. Anyway, he's loud and brazen and not afraid to state his opinion as forcefully and without words as he can. And he reinforces his non-point with furious gesticulation and ceremonial hurling of his dummy. It sounds cute. It sounds funny. And with a certain, sleep-deprived whimsy even I can smile at it. Except at 3am. Not much makes me laugh then. However, when its DW's turn to get up to Little Man and she grumbles and gesticulates furiously and ceremoniously spits the proverbial dummy, I have a little chuckle quietly to myself. Very, very quietly.

Amazingly, Princess sleeps not two meters away from Little Man and sleeps right through the whole show. Most of the time. A couple of times we have had to move her to another room but mostly she is pretty good. It took a very long time to get her sleeping properly through the night but we managed, through perseverence and much gnashing of teeth. I joked to DW that we just got Princess to the point of sleeping through so we decided to have another baby and start the whole thing again. It turns out that was something I should have said very, very quietly to myself.

Anyway, Princess is changing every bit as fast as Little Man, only in her case, its most obvious in her mental development. I'm sure Little Man is also developing mentally, but when he headbutts the sofa fifteen times in a row, we pride ourselves on how tall he is. Princess on the other hand, may not be tall but she is astute. No longer can we speak in carefully crafted codes without some significant risk of her working it out. Also, she likes to argue her point and while logic doesn't play a major role yet, her enthusiasm is boundless.

With the grass growing long and often being wet, I haven't mowed for a couple of days, and by a couple I mean nine or so, and by days I mean weeks. Anyway, winter hasn't stopped the dog from pooing in the backyard and because I leave home in the dark and return in the dark, it means my most unsavoury job on the weekend is dogpoo hunting. In long, wet grass. Princess likes to help. She does this by running around yelling "DOG POO! DOG POO!" Even the dog is embarrassed by her sometimes. Yesterday I was being helped by my dog poo spotter when she said she hated dog poo and when she grew up, she didn't want a dog because of the dog poo. She then asked if cats do dog poo and I informed her that cats do cat poo. In fact, I said, all animals do some kind of poo, just most of them don't leave it our backyard to ruin my weekend. Princess then informed me that she didn't want a pet that did poo. So I guess its a Pixel Chick or a RoboSapien for her this Christmas.

Well, that's a quick update of the littlest people in my house. Tomorrow, I will explain how our home renovations/upgrades/developments/projects are progressing and how I can fit both feet in my mouth at once.


Thought for the Day: Today isn't the first day of the rest of your life. Its the last day before the rest of your life starts, which is tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I recently had my first "comment" posted by someone I don't know. Aaron, who shall remain nameless, wondered what it was that I didn't like about the Bunnings Ads because he found them quite amusing. Well, firstly I should say, that's perfectly fair and I don't wish to discourage Aaron from posting comments, or anyone else for that matter. Everyone has an opinion and unfortunately many people don't share mine. Obviously they would be happier and more well-adjusted if they did, but it does take time, so stick at it guys.

Secondly, to answer the specific question, I shall reply by saying "Nyeh!" And what's more, I know the message they wish to communicate is that they have a really big store, but its coming across as "really big but too cheap to pay actors so we are going to use people we are already paying." The problem isn't that the people aren't actors but that I don't actually go to Bunnings to see the staff. My interest in the staff is in their ability to tell me where stuff is and how to use it. If one of them actually said to me, "Whaddya think of the store? Big, isn' it?" I'd probably want to whack them on the forehead and say, "I'm already in the bloody store, you idiot!"

Bunnings used to have the little line guy in the ads and that was fine. They still use him/her for advertising specific specials and that is also fine. People telling me that their store is so big, people lose their spouses is meaningless and annoying. Maybe its cheaper than divorce? Maybe they like to say things like, "You've lost your wife but what about this very pretty, young hammer and its on sale!" Next we'll have a superstore open in Mt. Thomas of Blue Heelers fame where the crims are being chased by the cops and say, "Quick, into that Bunnings. We'll lose them there!"

I actually like Bunnings and I buy a lot of my hardware and timber requirements from there. The prices are pretty good and the quality is also good. But I doon't like the ads with the people. I like the ads with the cartoon line guy. Does the cartoon line guy make me want to buy stuff? No, but he doesn't make me want to stab myself with a fork either. Do I really hate the Bunnings ads so much that I would actually consider hurting myself even if I didn't do it? In an word, no. I don't. The intention was to simply convey that I REALLY don't like the ads and capital letters only go so far.

I am usually pretty careful not to portray myself as a critic. I'm not really sure what makes so many people so sure that their opinion should not only be highly regarded, but also adopted by those who have thought less about a particular subject than they. I know my own opinion is rarely shared, and perhaps just as rarely justified, but I don't offer it with the intention of others adopting it. Rather, I would have them consider it in light of their own circumstances, or I would not offer it at all. In case you are wondering, Aaron's comment did not upset me in any way nor did he intend it as a challenge. Or maybe he did. The point I am making is that we often forget that others don't necessarily gain the understanding we intend when we communicate our opinion, so I try not to direct people in their thinking. No doubt I am not always successful.

I guess part of this issue stems from a recent conversation I had with the editor of the newspaper for the university where I work. Its a big Uni and the newspaper has a wide circulation, both internally and externally. The editor asked a colleague of mine if he was involved with online blogging, to which my colleague replied in the negative, citing his own lack of anything interesting to say as the reason. The editor in turn replied by affirming my colleague's position by saying, "You'd have to be a complete nutter to think that people would be interested in what just anyone thinks." Apparently determined to destroy my chances of ever being published in the Uni paper, I piped up with, "Gee, I hope not! Still, maybe..."

Well, I don't think I am a complete nutter but the editor still has a point, if somewhat overstated. However, as long as anyone can be just anyone and still have something to say, then they should feel confident in saying it and anyone who wants to listen may. Editors are not custodians of words or thoughts. The printed page may be thier domain but that just makes them better than the rest of us. Hang on, I think that's his argument. Basically, I am just going to say what I want to say and if people want to read it then they may. If you have read anything I have written so far, hopefully you should know to take it with a grain of salt. Actually, you should probably use the whole sachet. And for the record, I may be a nutter but its DW who completes me.


Thought for the Day: Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep and thought they had been stolen. "Bring back my sheep, you filthy creep, or I'm gonna tear you a new one!"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Having racked up a couple of days of TOIL at work, I was thoroughly looking forward to some R&R. The plan was to have a long weekend full of peace and tranquility. The plan was to take Friday and the following Monday off and try and regain some sense of self. The plan was to take a trip into the country to recharge my soul. I discussed this plan with DW. I'm pretty sure the plan didn't include piles of frozen ants. The plan didn't include freezing my bum off while searching for scraps of paper to start a fire using large, wet, icy logs of wood. The plan did include an amount of strenuous activity, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't carting large, wet, icy logs of wood for the fire. And next time I "plan" such a trip, I "plan" to take a shotgun and I "plan" to blow away any stupid, chirping, too-damn-high-to-reach, faulty smoke detectors.

Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little. I must say, DW's Police record doesn't do justice to her ability to light fires, even with large, wet, icy logs of wood. And to be fair, she did such a good job that she managed to warm up the whole house in just a couple of hours and its a very big house with high ceilings. She also managed to keep the fires blazing the whole time we were there, so fortunately my bum didn't freeze off, just went a little blue for a while.

The freezer looked as though someone threw a shovel of dirt inside. Upon closer inspection, hundreds and thousands little ants where piled on top of each other, frozen and bumless, all stuck in the "Everyone push" pose against the door. Clearly they had not made it to "...three!" I'm not sure what they were after but my money is on the tub of low fat ice-cream, which they probably thought would be lighter. Ants are not too bright. Its also possible but less likely that they were trying to open the fridge to get the light to go on. Its a great party game until everyone freezes to death but you just can't tell some people or ants.

Ok, so there was also the whole wood thing. I admit I threw that comment in there because of the cadence of the paragraph. I actually quite like wood and wood fires, but obviously not as much as DW, though she assures me fire is just a tool, not a passion. Actually now that I think about it, I'm wondering what she means when she cries out "Bern! Bern!" Anyway, I grew up in a house that had a wood fire oven and I was pretty damn good with that but I didn't get within cooee of the matches this weekend and had to sneak bits of wood I'd smuggled inside in my underwear onto the actual fire when I wasn't looking. I had to do it when I wasn't looking because if I'd seen myself do it, I wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face.

Princess is used to visiting this house, owned by her grandparents on DW's side, and being the centre of attention. Actually, Princess is used to being the centre of attention at whatever house she visits. But for this particular visit, DW's parents had decided "its too bloody cold!" and headed to the sunnier climes of far north Queensland. "Just drop in and check the place if you could" they said. "Stay a couple of days. There's plenty of wood and help yourself to anything in the freezer." Sorry, off the track a little. Princess found the idea of Grandma and Grandad not being at their house a little strange but what she found even stranger was that there was no-one to fill their role of doting servants. She wanted me to play with her. She wanted DW to feed her treats. She wanted Little Man to stand up for himself, though she means that literally. She wanted everything, the whole weekend. Dancing monkeys, a ball of cheese the size of her head and even a side of ham dressed as Ghandi. Where she comes up with these crazy ideas, I have no idea. It rained the whole weekend so we didn't go outside much but finally we caved in and let Princess prance about in the garden with her umbrella, pink boots and overly large raincoat that looked like a wall at a kindergarten. If she hadn't looked like a Ken Done painting on Speed, she could have been straight out of a pre-school version of My Fair Lady.

Little Man on the other hand, is just learning to stand up for himself and the Grandparents house is full of things that look like they must taste good to a nearly-one-year-old. When we weren't chasing Princess or carting wood, we were pulling things out of Little Man's mouth. More than once we found several strands of Princess' hair in either his mouth or hands. And the grandparents are in for a sticky surprise when they next use any of their remote controls.

So, that was our weekend away. Fun, fun, fun. I blame the ants.


Thought for the Day: I should have known it was going to be a bad day when I took the top off my drink and inside the cap it said "You are not a winner. Just thought you should know."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The whole world has changed! Fortunately, not by very much so you needn't be alarmed or concerned or even aware. Its ok. Given this important bit of non-information, I have decided to correct an unrelated blog entry from several weeks ago. The Big Brother ads did NOT, in point of fact, make me want to stab myself in the leg with a fork. It was the Bunnings ads that caused that particular outburst and I would like to apologise to the producers of Big Brother for any suggestion that their ads should illicit the same response. I would also like to note that the Big Brother ads make me want to punch the producers of Big Brother and slap all the contestants and yell, "You're not real! You're a puppet and a git!" Just thought you should know.

I don't believe simply declaring yourself royalty is sufficient to make it so. Hang on a minute. Ok, I'm back and still not royalty, though I may have fooled the vagrant in the alley behind my building. However, it may be possible that by simply telling someone often enough that their blood flows blue, that they actually come to believe it. Take Princess for example. Last night at dinner she interrupted us and announced that she had something to say. She may have even banged the table a little. When all faces were turned to her she said, "I was thinking, let's have a chat about me." As loyal subjects, we consented and asked her what about her did she wish to discuss.

"Well," she said with a flourish, "I was just thinking that I am sooo good that I should have a chocolate frog."

I don't know who taught her how to bat her little eyelids but she has the whole thing down to a fine art. She also maintains a special part of her stomach just for ice-cream and has two imaginary friends called Baxibax and Batasha. How this makes her royal I don't know but she certainly acts like she owns the place. I guess that if we don't do as she demands, she will send her imaginary friends around to open an imaginary can of imaginary whoop ass on our sorry, imaginary selves. Imagine that.

Princess has a very open and natural way with people and for the most part, they don't mind. Recently DW braved the shops with Princess and Little Man in tow and on seeing a rather obese woman walk past, Princess announced to the whole shopping centre that "we should follow that great big bum." The owner of the great big bum did not smile as so many around did, but did say, "Isn't she precious?"

Princess didn't get her people skills from me. I know not to insult people. Actually what I mean is I shouldn't insult people. A colleague recently was having some difficult seeing a stereo 3D object I had printed, which requires you to focus at a distance, like with Magic Eye pictures. I explained to him that it was most likely because his eyes were unusually close together and a little smaller than average. He took the whole things as a joke which I realised later is how I meant it.

Princess is at a very interesting age, which apparantly lasts until whatever age I am. She has mastered enough of the English language to be dangerous and is insightful enough to be able to pinpoint the very things that make anybody stand out. And she has no fear of reprisal. Which is fair enough, because we can't exactly tell her off for telling the truth. Technically, I do fear the reprisal, but not enough to keep my big mouth shut. Anyway, if you are ever feeling like you're just one of the crowd, let Princess tell you what makes you stand out and I guarantee you'll wish you were still just one of the crowd. I thought it was supposed to be good to be the king.


Thought for the Day: People on trains in the movies sing along. People on real trains don't.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Howdy blogfans! Its time for more bloggy goodness. I can't guarantee you'll get any here but let's just see what happens, shall we? Things have been pretty crazy at work and yesterday marked the completion of an important and time-consuming project, which means I don't have to panic anymore. I wasn't required to panic before either, I simply chose to. So, the pressure at work has let up a little, how about at home? Its hard to say. Because DW reads this blog. I'm only kidding (really kidding). Sleep has become the new currency in our house. We trade it for looking after the kids in the middle of the night or doing the dishes. We trade it with Princess for extra TV time or another story and occasionally even ice-cream. We had a system.

Then came Little Man. Little Man and his Little Ways. Oh, he seemed innocent and quiet and lulled us into a false sense of security. Then, BAMM! He finds his Little Man voice, which is ironically not so little. He has cut a second tooth only two days ago which hopefully accounts for his restlessness but nothing really prepared us for his yelling. He is not unhappy. He is loud. Controlled crying only works if the little bugger cries. There is no such things as controlled yelling, controlled whining or controlled grumpy.

Interestingly enough, Princess can sleep through the whole lot, no matter how loud he gets, as long as it occurs reasonably soon after she falls asleep. And when she falls asleep, it is like witch laughing her head off.

"I don't wanna go to bed. I'm not tired. I'm not even sssssszzzzzzzzzzzz...."

Once when we were on a very long drive, Princess impressed us by talking for 115 minutes of a 2 hour trip without taking a breath. When she stopped speaking abruptly, I checked the mirror and saw her little blue head slumped forward as she started snoring. A couple of minutes later, at our destination, Princess woke up the instant the car stopped and announced that she may have fallen asleep and picked up where she left off as if nothing had happened. I tend to lose my train of thought if I fall asleep, but not Princess. Her train stays firmly on its tracks and resumes course at the earliest opportunity.

So, back to Little Man and his great big happy voice. He has discovered that he can assert himself and has decided to make up for all those months of being passive. He has even taking to clocking the Princess if she gets too close. One of my more interesting IMs from DW was to tell me that Little Man was chasing Princess and hitting her. Little Man thought it very funny and pursued with great vigor while Princess was starting to get annoyed. And so they went around the lounge room. DW decided she would intervene at the intermission and made herself some popcorn and watched the show. I should mention that Little Man, as determined as he is, can't actually hurt Princess unless he pulls her hair, and she has lost enough hair to be wary of that now.

So that is the current state of affairs at my house. It is fun to watch the kids play together and enjoy each others company but they can be a whole lot of tiring. I don't expect they will always get along so well so I should enjoy it now, and I do. Did I mention the tiring? Anyway, DW cops it far more than I do so I can't complain too much. So I guess we'll just keep on hoping that his teeth will settle for a while and he doesn't get over stimulated during the day. Did I mention that he is just about to start walking? Damn!


Though for the Day: I thought I knew what I knew I thought but now I think that I think I know the thoughts I knew when I thought new thoughts. I think.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Its a brave new world folks! So much has happened recently that I barely know myself. In fact, I may temporarily be someone else, though I'm not sure who. So, where to begin? Starting at the start seems a little cliched so I'm going to hop about like a temporal madman, ok?

Little Man has finally cut one! I know you are probably thinking "How is that news?" but this time I mean a TOOTH! Yes, the tiniest little white sliver of the tip of an itty bitty tooth has perforated what must be the toughest gums in history. And it came as a complete surprise to us. I know we have been telling people that Little Man has been teething and he has - for about five months. Its a little hard holding your breath for five months and eventually the symptoms of teething were no longer symptoms, but just how we describe Little Man. So when it actually happened, we were so numb with the broken nights, drooling and revolting nappies, it took us by surprise. Don't think we weren't happy. My four hours sleep the two previous nights hadn't left me with enough energy to get really excited, but we are very proud of the little guy. To be honest, we had nothing to do with it, and he was also little more than a spectator to the event, but we have now officially made it through the first tooth. Its a big step. Wake me up when the next one is ready.

Now, before I discuss later events (see that time hopping) I should go back to the beginning of last weekend. DW finally decided the bed was ready. Just reading the previous sentence probably doesn't really convey the moment. Maybe the word "ready" should have been in capitals. And perhaps an ellipsis between "bed" and "was". Also, "bed" should have started with a capital. And it needs an exclamation mark. Let me try again.

DW finally decided the Bed... was READY!

That's better. DW worked her butt off and by that I mean she worked really hard and not that she is now buttless. She researched paint colours, she found a special priming paint that grips to metal, she spent countless hours putting on two undercoats and two top coats with a tiny little brush designed not to leave bristle marks. And she loved every minute of it, though the actual seconds sucked. She was down on her knees for longer than I have ever seen. Even her hairdresser found bits of white in her hair days later. And, boy, was she sore. All because of the new bed.

Our wonderful new mattress had also arrived and Sunday saw the actual move happen. It was with great trepidation that we transported the bed frame into the bedroom. DW was beside herself, whispering tragedy in her own ear. She was terrified that I would scratch the paint. I laughed off her needless concern, then scratched the paint with my watch band, took my watch off and set about screwing the rest of it.

DW waved the instructions several times in my face and I said if God had wanted us to read instructions he would have said... something. How hard could it be and since when has three attempts not been seen as thorough? Fortunately we had guests at the time so DW was on her best behaviour, though had she directed her gaze at the bed a day earlier, the paint would have dried quicker. Now it was in danger of peeling. But its like water of a ducks back to me. She knows I'm an idiot so there is no use pretending otherwise. But finally the frame was ready. Now for the mattress.

I think DW's little heart might have fluttered somewhat when I tried to do that thing with scissors where you open them a little bit and slide them rapidly forward, slicing open the plastic covering the mattress. Well, it snagged a couple of times but I managed get all the way through. DW was white as a sheet and frozen to the spot and I gave her my goofiest smile which brought some colour back to her face. She usually finds that smile funny, though not so much this time. So then we put the mattress on the bad, without scratching or me making any stupid jokes, only good ones.

Then DW stood back and swore. Princess, who had been mysteriously transformed into something mysterious, like a paint scraper only more mysterious, was quickly encouraged to go and play somewhere that was less here and more elsewhere. Apparently, the colour was wrong!

isntit?" I said, with perhaps the mildest touch of panic in my voice.

DW may have sworn again. I don't know. I ran away.

When I came back, DW had made up the bed and I must say, I thought it looked like something out of a magazine. Seriously, had my underwear not still been on the floor, it would have looked exactly like a magazine photo. The bed looked fantastic. The linen looked fantastic. The bedside tables looked fantastic. The curtains looked fantastic. This is the last time I will use the word fantastic in today's blog. And you know what I said to DW. "Wow. It looks... not bad. Great even."

You know, if you are going to put your foot in your mouth, closing your mouth only results in kicking yourself in the face. Actually, despite my blunderous first attempt, I was able to convey to DW that she had done a magnificent job and that she should be very proud. She has completely forgiven me and I will probably even be allowed to sleep in the new bed this weekend, you know, when she is ready for me to.

So before the bed and the tooth but after the painting and mattress getting, was the movies. You read that right. DW and I went to the movies. With other grown ups. And NO KIDS. Princess and Little Man spent some quality time somewhere or another and we indulged ourselves in Gold Class at Village. We saw Superman Returns and even I cried a little, but that was at the sheer luxury of the recliner chairs and three course meal and waiters who creep about on all fours like puppies bearing tasty treats. Hell, they needn't have even run the movie, such was the bliss. However, they did run the movie and I must say, its pretty damn good. I like Brian Singer's directorial style and I think he pretty much nailed it with this effort. He's a very talented man supported by a bunch of very talented people. We had a fanta... wonderful time.

So, after months, nay, years of being unable to pursue many of our favourite things, DW and I have started to edge back into a life that contains, you know, a life. Ok, we still aren't getting nearly enough sleep but there is light at the end of that tunnel. In fact, before Little Man came along, Princess was sleeping pretty well, so we have high hopes of that returning now that his first tooth is through. I must say, to all those parents out there whose kids have had no teething troubles, you really can't appreciate just how exciting that little white sliver can be. When Little Man opens his mouth, the clouds part and a ray of what DW calls "Jesus light" shines down like a spotlight on the tooth and a choir of Angels sing "Rock me Amadeus". I get a little weepy.

Finally, now that my tenure as pseudo-quasi-not even really-acting-temporary-I don't think so-get out of my chair-fake-manager has come to an end, my life can return to normal. I no longer have to scowl at my colleagues and mouth "you're next". I can stop sending emails criticizing senior management and telling random people off for photocopying their bum, even if they didn't. The pressure is off. I can be me again. So watch out.


Thought for the Day: Smelling people can tell you a lot but mostly that people don't like being smelled.