Archive for June, 2006

Vampire hours and somnabulation

June 30, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood, Travel

A month of more ago, I joined the posters on and posted the following today.

This week I attended a weeklong conference in San Diego far from my 15 month old daughter. This is the first time I’ve been away from her more than a
day or so since she was about 7 weeks old and really didn’t know me from the
waiter at the local TGI Friday’s. I enjoy going on these various trips from
time to time with students or colleagues to various conferences, workshops, or educational
vacation trips far away, but part way through this trip I began to miss her.

Even though I can handle being away from her, it turns out
that she can’t handle being away from me. Earlier in the year I posted about
her ear infections and subsequent tubes (that turned out to be uneventful), but
part way through this week I think she realized something was wrong. Something
was missing. She just didn’t know what it was. I dress her, I change her
diapers, I drive her back and forth to day care each day, and suddenly I was
not there.

I feel badly for my wife, since Claire decided not to sleep Wednesday
and Thursday night –at all. Donna spent much of the last two evenings with
vampire hours, as Claire screamed, toddled up and down the hallway in the
house, and cried with shut eyes. We have a spare bed in her nursery where my
wife tried to hold Claire, cuddle Claire, and sleep, but that didn’t work very
well, either.

Now I head home today to see my wonderful women, and, if
need be, walk the hallowed halls all night long, tonight.

These are a few of my favorite things

June 29, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Leisure

Sitting at lunch today at the AP conference, the people at
my table began talking about hockey. Tuesday one of the woman in my group asked
if I’d look up the World Cup score on my computer so she knew which shirt to
wear the next day. Now, I am from Pittsburgh and
the Penguins were supposedly awesome in their heyday before Grezsky left for Arizona, and I visited Canada several times during my
adolescence, but I just don’t get hockey. A bunch of large, muscled men smash
each other against Plexiglas while hitting around a very small black puck on
cold ice. And I’ve seen Bend it like Beckham and really enjoyed it, but
both of these sports relatively bore me. I remember dating a footballer (read:
soccer star) in high school and watching her run back and forth like a mangled
goose while she ate oranges and wore Umbros. I hearken this to baseball. The
Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001 and the Pirates won the first World
Series ever, but give me a break, the ball is small. They hit it with a stick
and then run around in circles. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to baseball
games and enjoyed them, but that’s because I get to see things that the camera
doesn’t focus on. Like the people in the pool in the outfield (yes, Bank One Ball Park has a pool) or the man picking his nose four rows down.

I can deal with basketball because there’s a ton of
movement, but ever since college football has been my favorite sport to follow.
I remember 1995 when Penn State beat everyone and went undefeated, and I was brought up in the era of the Steel Curtain; I am
surprised how little I thought about this until over a decade later. When I was
little I even remember my father taking me to a Thomas Jefferson high school
football game. But then later I went to Penn State, and after that I returned to Pittsburgh. And then my
wife and I joined a football poll at work. This is where I really got into football
and would argue teams with my students and family.

Other than football, the only other sport I really watch is
golf. Now I know, you’re probably saying how can golf be more exciting than
hockey or, even, baseball, and I really don’t know. There are things I
personally like, and there are things I really don’t care about, like that
little black pick or little white ball.


June 29, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Adams, Religion

I finally posted my response to Devon’s Da Vinci Code perspective here.

Kitty Litter*

June 29, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Miscelany

Dear Prudie,
I can’t believe I’m actually in this ridiculous situation. I am in my late 30s, dating a wonderful woman the same age. We’ve known each other for seven years, been best friends for five, and have dated for two of those. Why the wait? My girlfriend is a widow. She married her high-school sweetheart when she was 21 and he died in an accident less than a year later. Understandably, she has been hesitant to move forward with any commitment to another guy. I decided a long time ago that I wanted to marry this awesome woman, but I have been sensitive to her need to move slowly. I have tried to show her that I respect her love for her deceased husband and her slight sense of guilt in “moving on.” When I finally thought the time was right, I asked her to marry me. She said that she wasn’t quite ready and she wanted to hold off on marriage plans until her cat died. (Strange as it sounds, I felt it was a reasonable request since she and her husband got this cat together when they were married.) This cat, Pumpkin, was 16 when we made the agreement and seemed to be on his last legs. Prudie, that was almost three years ago. I hate to pressure my girlfriend to break our agreement, but this cat is a freak of nature that is ruining my chance at happiness! What to do?
—Non-Cat Lover

Dear Non,
Believe me, Pumpkin, who is now the equivalent of 80 in human years, has long since moved on. Your girlfriend did suffer a terrible loss when she was young, but that was heading toward two decades ago. Either she is truly stuck and needs some counseling, or she doesn’t really want to marry you but enjoys your company and stringing you along. I have the feeling that once Pumpkin turns into a pumpkin, your girlfriend may enter an extended period of mourning over him that leaves her unable to contemplate marriage. While Pumpkin might have nine lives, you have only one, and you have to get going with it. Tell her you need her to set the date now, or you’ll have to look for someone with less emotionally complicated pets.

*The preceding article was posted at, which I found via the entertainment news widget on my computer.

We’re livin’ in a Crayola world, and I’m a Crayola boy…

June 29, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood, Travel

Earlier today I went out to Old Town San Diego for a Mexican
snack at a little cantina. My friend, Angelika, ordered in Spanish and I had
queso, which can very much unlike Chiles or ZTejas. Queso means cheese, and I literally received a frying pan of melted cheese. That evening I went with other friends to Little Italy for pasta. The  Italian waiters shouted back and forth in very loud Italian.

I think of Claire and the fact that she will never know a
purely white, English world where everyone looks the same and sounds the same.
I was born in the middle-70s, and I remember vividly the day I realized that
everyone wasn’t like me when I literally ran into a very large black man at a
restaurant. He knelt down and smiled at me and apologized. It was then that I
learned two things. I learned there are people different than me, and that was

We get these emails that remind us what a high school exit exam looked like in
the 1890s (do you know all 8 parts of speech?) and what pop culture references
we liked in the 1980s (pogs! Garbage pail kids!), but if we think about this
world in which we’re raising our children then we notice that they’ll never see
a United States where English is the primary language and no one is as white as
our grandparents.

This is Ok, since we’re life a friggin’ Crayola box anyway.


June 26, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Adams, Claire, Parenthood

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery . . .except when your child imitates you. Then it is eye-opening or humilating (depending on who is watching!). Proof is as follows:

Mama’s girl (watching TV): Like father, like daughter (look at that belly!):


Off to San Diego

June 25, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood, Travel

When I left for my conference, Claire waved to me from her
car seat in the back of our 4Runner. This was the first time she ever did this,
and it tickled me pink. I’ve not been away from her for this long since she was
two months old when I was on a tour of the East Coast, which she was visiting
her grandparents.

This trip will be fine, but next year Donna and I both leave
her for two weeks on a trip to Europe. That’ll be more difficult on us both, as Donna has never left Claire overnight.

Sitting on babies

June 24, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire

Tonight was the first time we had a non-family, non-adult friend watch Claire. Monthly we’re invited to a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament at a friend’s house, and tonight we had a former student babysit Claire. At first we were hesitant to ever have anyone outside our small group do this for us, but this girl is so good with Claire. The evening supposedly went swimmingly for them both. The girl brought coloring books and crayons for Claire, and I told her that I’d be impressed if I came home to a coloring Claire. Now, they sure did practice, but Claire still needs to color again. Perhaps the next time, since we were please with the girl and will have her come back soon.

So we played the shortest Texas Hold ‘Em tourney ever. We got there at 6PM and the final two were out at 8PM, so we did a cash play until after 10PM. Several times I went All In to cash out and go home, but I kept winning or they’d throw in. After 10 I had 7 2 off suit, and went all in. The dude next to me was like "he’s probably just holding 7 2" and I started laughing. Then I nailed it. I got the straight 6 7 8 9 10. Eventually, I did lose and we left. The girl was sitting on the couch in a clean house, my daughter was asleep, and all was well.


June 23, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire

My friend reads three blogs each day. Mine, Rosie’s, and Heather’s (yes, Dooce). She told me tonight that she’s disappointed that we don’t post enough. We have these monthly get togethers and tonight we invited several new employees. Talk about trial by fire. It was a fine time of drink and food, and after a few hours of Claire running in circles, we finally headed home.

We actually tried to put her to sleep in a back bedroom in her pack ‘n play, but she screamed and screamed. And when she screams her head spins around like Linda Blair’s before her scalp poured sweat. When we finally rescued her from the clutches of the back bedroom (where incidentally my friend passed out) Claire’s hair was dripping wet, so we pushed her locks back out of her face, and it stood straight up. It looked like she just stuck a fork in the light socket, and that is enough to make Liza smile for a few days until I post again.

Happy Father’s Day!

June 18, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire, holidays


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