Posts Tagged ‘Google’

MVT (Most Valuable Time)

October 23, 2010

Andrew Hicks

I’m near the end of the glorious downtime that occurs only once in the daytime hours. Both babies are asleep. As parents know, an hour lasts 120 minutes when your kids are awake and 30 minutes when they’re not. So this is the most valuable time of the day for me. It’s my 1909 T206 White Border #366 Honus Wagner baseball card*, if you will. This is when I take my laptop outside and write this blog.

It’s another great day out, too. Even the faint smell of Liggett Lady’s secondhand smoke and the sound of her intermittent hacking cough seem to be harmonious with nature. Only the back issues of the Farmer’s Almanac will be able to say for sure, but I suspect this September and October have been home to the most beautiful days I’ve ever slept through.

This is the fourth day I’ve been getting around with a cane rather than crutches, and it’s been a major advancement for me. My in-laws are still taking good care of Sarah and Silas, for which I’m extremely grateful. Tiffany comes up on the weekends, too, but each day sees me resuming more and more of the responsibilities of caring for my own children.

Probably one more week of assisted-living exile, and I’ll be back at home, facing 45 hours a week of solo daddy time. I’m having to relearn old stuff and freshly learn new stuff. My body’s still healing, too, which leaves me feeling exhausted a lot more easily. It’s hard for me to resist sleeping when they sleep, and nap time is over far too quickly.

The naptime wakeup ritual has taken a strange turn this week. For four consecutive days now, sometime during her nap, Sarah has removed her pants and diaper. No poop episodes yet, but everything in her bed that could be peed on got peed on. Parents of kids older than mine have been warning me this would happen. And, yes, I had noticed Sarah randomly pulling her pants to her knees and then walking around with them like that, but I just figured it was because VH1’s been showing 8 Mile twice a day for the past month.

The potty-training days are drawing nigh. We’ve been watching the Elmo’s Potty Time DVD on almost a daily basis lately. Having seen “Sesame Street” with Sarah for more than a year now, it’s weird to watch their format be adapted to talk of poop, pee and diapers for an entire hour. Three quick examples:

  • A disconnected shot of a soundstage with twelve to fifteen preschool-aged kids standing around and all simultaneously announcing, “I really need to urinate.”
  • Lots of bathroom-themed songs, including one called “Dirty Diaper Blues.” It’s a decent rendering and all, but the great Elmore James recorded the definitive version.
  • When Baby Bear, the muppet character with the speech impediment, calls himself a “potty animal,” it sounds like he’s saying “potty enema.”

I’ve been more or less out of commission with Sarah since AB2KX**. She’s gotten better at her tricks. Sarah moves fast, she hides my cane when I’m not looking, and she frequently outsmarts me. After just one afternoon back on the job, I was ready to call local adult-contemporary radio and dedicate Sade’s “Smooth Operator” to my daughter. Some people count to 10 to get their anger under control. I get Delilah’s people on the phone.

Sarah is a really fun, warmhearted, loving little girl, and I treasure the time I spend with her. It’s been great to be able to play outside again minus crutches. Sarah likes me to pretend-chase her around the yard, and I can finally do it again. The ground is unlevel, so she kept falling down. I was moving conspicuously slow and unsteady and could never catch up with her. It was like we were reenacting a scene from a bad ’80s slasher movie.

Then we went inside, and I gave her cookies and let her eat the outside of a banana (pronounced “buh-mah-muh”), which Sarah insists is the tastiest part. I’m getting back into the swing of things.

*I just Googled a few “most valuable _____ in the world” queries, and that was the baseball card match. Several sites I hit first all proclaimed the most valuable thing in the world is “time.” Indeed, I wasted five minutes reading about the value of time and another five pondering the simple irony of wasting valuable time reading about how valuable time is. Then about 90 seconds typing up this footnote that no one in their right mind will read all the way to the end. Pickle shoes. Cinnamon and gravy.

**a.k.a. Ankle Break 2010. I’ve decided to get all acronymy on you. But aesthetically, especially with that double asterisk weighing it down, the phrase AB2KX looks like a hack-job. It doesn’t make me cool. Just Google AB2KX and see what I mean.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Sarah and Silas with my father-in-law Jim, our child-care MVP of the past month and a half. Thanks, grandpa!

iCane

October 20, 2010

Andrew Hicks

Today we have what a hack television detective would excitedly refer to as “a break in the case.” Obviously, in the 38 days (yes, I am counting) since my ankle popped through my skin, I’ve been hesitant to use phrases with the word “break” in them. But this is a game-changer.

I can walk with a cane now. No more crutches! My mobility status has been upgraded from Invalid to Old-Ass Man. I’m only weeks away from being back where I started, as Sweaty, Outta-Breath Fat Guy You Don’t Want On Your Softball Team. I can’t wait to just be out of shape again.

What I will miss least about crutch transportation is not easily being able to carry anything from point A to point B. If it didn’t fit in my pocket or hang in a plastic bag, the only way to move, say, a dinner plate was to take one step at a time and switch the carried plate from one hand to the other with each step. It was a slow process and, I might add, hilarious for second and third parties to watch.

Sadly, the Neck Basket does not actually exist.

It’s too bad the Neck Basket is a hoax and not an actual infomercial-shilled product. It looks like the shower caddy I used in my college dorm days, only suspended from a neck chain. Just like the Medic Alert bracelet I mentioned yesterday, the Neck Basket is a product I would have considered utterly useless until Ankle Break 2010 made it utterly useful.

Plus, I could wear that thing out in public, attach a placard with a simple, hand-written, all-caps sob story underneath, and accept crumpled cash donations in it. Thing would pay for itself in no time.

The crutches are behind me — like the hospital stay, the leg cast and the walker — and I look forward to seeing what kind of odd search engine terms lead people to my blog now that the cane-walking era is upon us. WordPress, my blog host, has a complete list of the typed-in phrases that have led readers to this corner of cyberspace. These are the:

TOP TEN CRAZIEST ACTUAL SEARCH TERMS THIS BLOG MATCHES

10. fiberglass leg cast kid
9. diaper stories catalogued
8. beard growing blog itchy
7. tosh.0 one legged salsa dancer
6. body clock diary
5. amputee fantasy crutching
4. leg brace and crutch erotica
3. miley cyrus air ankle leg cast
2. tinky winky purple gay teletubbie
1. she put nine diapers on me stories

We’ve come a long way since the days of the public library card catalog. If I remember my Dewey Decimal System correctly, “She Put Nine Diapers On Me Stories” is 812.45 in the stacks. I did a research paper one time, long story…

Search engines should install the opposite of an adult sites blocker. If people who want porn sites are searching nasty terms and end up on my PG-rated blog, obviously that’s a waste of their time and it makes me look bad. I don’t want the “There goes the neighborhood!” effect to lower my blogosphere property value. So why can’t there be a content filter that eliminates straightforward comedy writing from matching pervy Google queries? I just want to go back to writing innocent posts about poop, pee, puke and rubbing bars of soap in my ass crack for a wholesome, God-fearing audience that’s into that sort of thing.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Sarah and Silas, ready for travel.