December 2006

  • Welcome to Parenthood: Eleven Months


    Happy Lad
    It’s been a while since I wrote much about my young apprentice. Contrary to some ugly rumors, this is not because we keep him confined to the crawlspace beneath our living room.The name “crawlspace” certainly implies that this area would be ideal for Kyle, given his current mode of transport. Nonetheless, he remains blissfully unaware of the space and its grisly history. Laura and I have had some discussions as to when Kyle should be made aware of it. Laura seems to think that I’ll send him in to retrieve various stored items as soon as he is able to walk (a reasonable assertion, as I have to fold myself in half to maneuver through the crawlspace). I, on the other hand, am of the opinion that the existence of a hidden room beneath our feet is something that ought not be revealed until the boy is old enough to appreciate the threat of exile to said space when he misbehaves. He lives among us, exploring his own personal microcosm (which is approximately eighteen inches high and spans across the living room, dining room and kitchen), except on those occasions when he rides atop my shoulders, something he enjoys a great deal, if the shrieks of delight and excited fist pummeling my cranium are any indication.There was an unfortunate incident involving rather a lot of vomit and my cornflower-blue shirt last week. Kyle didn’t seem too bothered by the contents of his stomach suddenly spilling out onto my shirt and pants, the wall and carpet in three distinct hurls, but I learned an important lesson: when it sound like he’s gonna puke, it’s probably because he’s gonna puke. Also, don’t put a sick boy on your shoulders; he may puke.

    Until recently, the Xbox, DVD player and home theater receiver were all within Kyle’s microcosm, protected from his eager little fingers by a baby gate across the front of the entertainment closet. We were all too aware that those little fingers were capable of reaching through the gate and pressing buttonsKyle is particularly fond of turning on the Xbox (which pleases me) and he removed the shuttle knob on the DVD player (which didn’t please me so much).but I put off addressing the situation until last weekend, when I was watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Kyle began cycling through the surround sound options. He flipped from stereo to all-channel stereo to Dolby Digital to orchestral and so on, and so I scooped him up, plunked him down in the Pack-n-Play and spent an hour and a half wrestling with the tangle of cables necessary to connect the various components to one another. The end result: Kyle will not be able to reach the Xbox until he is able to stand; the remaining components will remain out of his range until he is five or six years old.

    After the cable-wrangling was complete, we watched The Incredibles and then played Marvel Ultimate Alliance for a while. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that Kyle figured out how Spider-Man’s web-swinging ability works before I did. This shame is only somewhat alleviated by the fact that the Kyle-controlled Spider-Man spends much more time running into corners than he does web-swinging.

    Speaking of super heroes, one of Kyle’s favorite toys is a plush Spider-Man with flat, rubber, chewable hands. Kyle has been teething on and off for several months, so anything that can be chewed will be chewed, and Spider-Man’s wacky hands are perfect.

    Just yesterday, Kyle was introduced to another super hero: Batman. Miscellaneous G™ gave him a two-foot tall Batman pillow, complete with cape. Batman is a bit taller than Kyle, and he looks very stern, but the important thing is that he’s soft and cuddly (not exactly the image the Dark Knight was going for, I’m sure). Check him out…
    Batman Pillow

    Kyle was very pleased with the gift. The only thing he needs now is his own Robin costume. A billionaire benefactor wouldn’t be bad, either.

  • Non Sequitur: Catching Up


    Despite the lack of activity on the web site, it’s been a busy December.

    The important stuff:

    • My father-in-law was laid to rest on Wednesday the 13th at the Kirtland South Cemetery. This cemetery is the resting place of a number of his relatives and contains a very nice Sperry family monument. Coincidentally, my father-in-law’s grave site is next to one of his old friends who was killed in Vietnam when he was just twenty years old.
    • At some point in the past two weeks, the sump pumps in my mother-in-law’s crawlspace failed and the crawlspace flooded. Among the items stored in the crawlspace were all of her Christmas decorations. Fortunately, the family came to the rescue. My brother-in-law, JayHe’s my sister-in-law’s husband. Does that make him my brother-in-law? I don’t know, but that’s what I call him., provided a real live Christmas tree and Laura and I brought all of our Christmas decorations (we hadn’t planned to put them up this year). We spent the day yesterday decorating the tree and eating leftover KFC biscuits.

    The other stuff:

    • The Round Table has been put on hiatus through January. I suspect we’ll be recording some stuff for International World Creation Month in January, but we won’t be doing a full-fledged round table discussion until February.
    • Speaking of International World Creation Month, I’ll be collaborating with game designer and fellow podcaster Sam Chupp on the world of Yesterday’s Tomorrow in January. We’re using Google Docs for our collaboration tool and Sam has already outlined some very cool stuff.
    • On December 1st, Chris Miller and I put together an audio trailer for J.C. Hutchins’ 7th Son trilogy. Interested parties can listen to it here. Note: Contains some mild language.
    • Speaking of audio shenanigans, Chris, Julia and I also recently did a promo for Leann Mabry’s excellent podcast, Tag in the Seam. Listen to it here. This one doesn’t contain objectionable language (though I suppose that’s entirely subjective), but I think I was channeling the Brawny Man when we were recording.
    • I’ve received a few early Christmas gifts, including a Sudoku Cube, the first and second seasons of The Family Guy on DVD, Marvel Ultimate Alliance for the Xbox and a book containing 365 recipes for soup and stew.
  • Thank You


    Whether you’ve done so on my website, over on LiveJournal, through e-mail, over the phone or in person, I want to thank everyone who extended their sympathy and support to me, Laura and our family following the passing of Laura’s father, Tom Sperry, Sr. We have been positively overwhelmed with the outpouring of kindness and generosity from our family, our friends and acquaintances, and even from complete strangers.

    The visitation on Friday evening was attended by something like two hundred people, and I believe there were more than a hundred people at the service on Saturday afternoon. I can’t possibly thank everyone individually right now, but I personally want to extend special thanks to the following:

    • To my mother, for being here when we needed you.
    • To Ann and Mario, for your friendship, support and generosity.
    • To Matt and Sheila, for making the drive from Lansing to attend the funeral on Saturday, and for spending the day with us yesterday as well.
    • To Coz and the Marauder-Intruder Group (MIGs), not only for attending the visitation and the service, but for sharing your fond remembrances of Tom as well.
    • To J.C., for your kindness and support.
  • ·

    My father-in-law, Tom Sperry, Sr., passed away early yesterday morning after a kidney transplant. My sister-in-law, who donated her kidney for the transplant, is doing well and will probably be released from the hospital in the next few days.

  • NaNoWriMo, Aftermath: The Best Laid Plans…


    My final official wordcount for NaNoWriMo is just over 15,000. In truth, I wrote another thousand words last night before midnight, but was unable to get the total updated before the NaNoWriMo website shut off the counter for the Eastern time zone.

    Out of the Shadows is by no means finished, and if you enjoyed the excerpts I posted during the latter half of November you may be pleased to learn that I plan to make more of the story available online in the near future.

    Yesterday’s Tomorrow isn’t finished, either. I’ll be developing the strange world that Bannister Proulx awakened in for International World Creation Month in January. A lot of what I had planned for Yesterday’s Tomorrow was borne out of a discussion with game designer and podcaster Sam Chupp, and I hope to have some more conversations around the story and the setting with Sam in the near future. Perhaps I can convince him to collaborate with me for IntWoCreMo next month.

    Unfortunately, I caught a bit of a cold over Thanksgiving weekend and decided to skip the Jonathan Coulton show last night. Chris Miller attended and assured me that it was simply dreadful and that I didn’t miss much. Of course, he also informed me that he bought pretty much every CD Coulton has released, not to mention those from the show’s other act, Paul and Storm, which makes his assessment of the show’s quality somewhat suspect.

    Last but not least in the “Things I Didn’t Do Last Month” category is National Blog Posting Month. While I was never an official participant, I had planned to make at least one post in this blog every day in November. A look at the archives reveals that I was doing well until the 22nd, when I fell off the wagon and didn’t post a thing for the remainder of the month. I blame Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson.