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3:10 p.m. - August 20, 2005
More Random News And Notes From the Sweatbox
It may be time for some random tidbits inside the gold mine. So here goes.

I often wonder how people react to what you bring up to the counter to ring up at the grocery store or drug store. I recall one night Liz and I were shopping when we were single and working a lot (and I was going to night school as well) we just basically bought all frozen stuff and microwavable dinners. I could not believe this, but someone next to us in line commented on all of the crap we were buying and asked if we were buying any real food. If we had time to really cook, twerpo, we would. Last night at CVS I bought two bottles of wine and a refill for the diaper genie. Responsible parenting, that, to get tanked on wine and then try to change the baby’s diaper. There goes my candidacy for pillar of society.

But then there was the time I saw someone come up to the counter with diapers, condoms and a big bottle of Wild Turkey. Now that’s a party! But I don’t know if I want to be invited to it.

Speaking of the diaper genie – I contend that is the most important invention in the history of parenting. The worst thing about a baby is the smell of the diapers. The absolute worst thing about a toddler is the smell of the diapers (because by then they’re eating solid food and the poo is, well, ripe).The magical diaper genie takes all that stench away and creates little diaper sausages that are easy to dispose of, plus they contain the smell so the baby’s room smells of baby, and not baby-by-products. Pure genius! Whoever invented it should get medals, parades, toasts, fetes, knighthood, sainthood, be made the next Dalai Lama, whatever!

Eggsaucted and I have commented back and forth to each other on the humidity wave going on in the Midwest. Now those of you in Iraq (or other places) may scoff, but dayam, it’s miserable here. For most of the summer the temperature here has been over 85 and the humidity has been over 70 percent. When you step outside, it feels like you are walking in jello. My undershirt sticks to my body within two minutes, it seems. (That’s a nice visual, eh? A nerdy guy walking around all pitted out and sweaty. Stalker on the loose!!) The humidity is supposed to break tonight, but today is another Saturday when you can’t really do much outside otherwise you’d turn to goo, and it’s not really fun if you have serious heatstroke in front of your family. Not good times.

This house we live in does have a drawback in this weather. This was built in 1872; it’s an old Victorian with over 2,700 square feet plus a lovely dug-out basement. (People ask if we’re going to finish the basement – I always say, yeah, if we let a group of little people live down there. The damn basement has six foot ceilings!) It’s two stories, and each floor has 11-foot ceilings. Each floor has a lovely set of bay windows with the original leaded glass in them. Plus there’s an attic. The upstairs is just impossible to cool. We had an A/C guy come out and he said the ductwork is just so old and crazy-go-nuts that there’s hardly any way to fix it. Now I wonder why the kind folks back in 1872 didn’t think of modern conveniences when they built this house. The solution was to put a window air conditioner in one window of our bedroom, and it helps quite a bit. Of course, that’s the ONLY window we can open in our bedroom. The others are painted shut. Nice.

One wonders what people went through during times like this back in the day. I guess if you’re not used to air conditioning you just toughed it out. People back then also dressed a lot formally, especially the folks who built this house. This was their summer house, and it had a double parlor, formal rooms, a maid’s quarter, the whole nine yards. Also, just think of the aromas permeating through the house with no real circulation except for the open windows. Just remember, no deodorants, or other toiletry conveniences (of almost any kind). Yikes!

(Oh, and sorry if your olfactory nerves are burning today. I didn’t mean to concentrate on smells, especially unpleasant ones. Ok, think of fresh cut flowers, a baby after a bath, bacon sizzling in the frying pan….mmmmm….bacon….OH!)

People are more irascible in the heat and humidity. I’ve noticed that there’s more road rage going on the highways and byways. I took a trip to Indianapolis yesterday on some business, and on I-65 there was definitely some tempers about ready to go. However, perhaps my air drumming to “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett while traveling at 75 miles and hour didn’t help matters much. (But by God I nailed it – a classic performance if I say so myself).

Speaking of tunes, on the playlist I’m test driving for some lucky reader – the song “Hobo Humping Slobo Babe” by Whale just popped up in my ears. This song was popular for about 15 seconds a few years back, mainly because the video included a teenage redhead with braces eating an ice cream cone, or something. (A tribute, but a lame tribute to Bow Wow Wow’s outstanding video for “I Want Candy” – of course the fact that Annabella Lwin was just a year or two younger than I was had NO bearing of my love for that video in the day. NONE, I say!) I just want to know, or maybe I don’t want to know, what the hell a hobo humping slobo babe is, was or will be? Can some younger, hipper, version of me answer me that?

It’s great when a baby starts sleeping through the night, but you do have some weird thoughts and conversations around that time. Kristin, all two months of her, has started to sleep six or seven hours at a pop many nights, and last night was another milestone. I had to cover a high school football game (first time in about seven years, and a larger piece will follow) and got home around 10:00 to write the story. Liz said that Kristin had just fallen asleep. I wrote my store, moved Kristin to her big bassinette upstairs, fiddled around a bit on the internet (not that way, yeesh!), and went to bed around midnight.

I woke up around 6:30, and Liz soon followed.

“So what time did you wake up with Kristin last night?”
“I didn’t. What time did you move her upstairs?”
“About 11:15.”
“Was she breathing when you moved her?”

Yes, that’s right. The first few nights the baby sleeps through the night, you wonder if she’s still alive. You don’t get that four-hour reminder that you have a little, precious angel.

Ain’t nothin’ better in the world than the smile of a two-month old when she’s looking right at you! Nothin’….and I mean that. Nothin’!

Not even a cold can of Foster’s Lager. Not even a 16-ounce New York cut, medium rare, slathered in peppercorns, with garlic mashed potatoes, a Caesar salad, homemade rolls, and a very nice bottle of red. Nope, not that even. (It’s close, but the baby smile wins in a run-off.)


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