Archives: Personal

Increments

20141206_135634

My wife endured a car accident yesterday. She’s fine, for the most part. I took her to a clinic for evaluation: She probably suffered some minor whiplash, and I’m watching her for signs of concussion. Puts me on nurse duty and full time baby care for the weekend. Dole out the pills, serve up the meals. I don’t mind, my two ladies are worth it. How’s the car? Not so fine. I’m not looking forward to the diagnosis. A cursory visual inspection doesn’t reveal any obviously significant vehicular carnage. I’m not so sanguine. It wasn’t driveable and that doesn’t bode well.

I wrote just last week about entropy. Yeah. Kicking fate in the shin. Good idea.

But this is what we sign up for upon exiting the womb. Pitfalls. Slings and arrows. Wicked right-crosses. What you do is leap the pitfalls, dodge the slingstones and the arrows. Roll with the punches. And keep moving on. One step at a time.

A Singular Birthday

IMG_0129

I hoped to reflect upon today’s event of personal note, my daughter’s first birthday. But the first impression I can summon up is a feeling of deep weariness. This, I suppose, is the common experience of parents. Raising an infant is exhausting. This does serve to illustrate the concept that the more rewarding a thing is the harder it is to achieve.

So, we’re marking a momentous year. Victoria Valentina blossomed from just under four pounds to the vicinity of twenty. She’s been walking for several months now. I spend an inordinate amount of time chasing her from room to room. Did I mention that I’m tired?

But what if I am? She’s got a carbon arc torch of a smile. She’s smart and engaging. She’s already shown a predilection for books that makes this bibliophile happy, even while her habit for bending and spindling pages makes me cringe.

So to hell with my whining. I’ll chase her around as long as needed and enjoy the race, enjoy the growth. No question this game is worth the candle.

But I could use a nap.

Father's Day

Father’s Day has never ranked as a red letter day on the calendar for me. Today marks something of a shift in that perspective. Today is my first as an honoree. I received some lovely photographs, a professional shoot of my beautiful and talented wife along with my beautiful and talented daughter.

My Beautiful and Talented Daughter

My Beautiful and Talented Daughter

I also played golf, poorly and in the pouring rain. So, yeah, terrific photos. I’m going with that gift as the memory.

Contest, Qui audet adipiscitur

A short story I wrote entitled “Resource” appears in the anthology “The Ways of Magic” released last week by Deepwood Publishing, which published another story of mine “Escapement” in the anthology “Ancient New.” So that’s pretty cool. Check it out.

But let’s switch things up a bit, do something a bit different in this web log. I’m going to present a contest in support of neither of the projects mentioned above. Instead let’s focus on my novel “Reunion” from Twilight Times Books. “Reunion” is available digitally now, with the print edition to follow in mid-June. I have a couple Advance Review Copies of the print edition sitting in a box in my library. I would like to send a signed copy to the contest winner. Here’s what I propose: anyone who purchases a digital copy between now and, oh, let’s say Wednesday, April 16th can enter the contest. To enter just send me an email with your digital receipt of purchase, that is, the email acknowledgment you received from Amazon or whatever digital store you bought “Reunion” from. On the 16th I will select a receipt at random (maybe using some polyhedron dice that are gathering dust since I don’t have a D&D game going at the moment) and will mail the winner a signed copy of “Reunion.” Hey, if you win, you get an advance review print edition for less than half the retail price and free shipping. If you don’t then you’ve still got a book to read.

Fine print. Contest limited to United States residents at least eighteen years old. Digital receipt must carry a date of sometime between April 6 and April 16. Odds of winning depend upon the number of valid entries received. Void where prohibited. Swim at your own risk. No life guard on duty.

So there you go. I told you I’d do something different with this post.

2013 in Review

And there goes 2013. So, yeah. Can you believe it, we’re well into the second decade of the twenty-first century. Hardly proceeding as scripted, but that’s another post.

Interesting year, 2013. Personally a rather extraordinary year. As I type I can see my daughter sleeping in her bassinet. Ken procreating: many have considered that one of the signs of the impending apocalypse. But you can’t hang the end of the world on me, whether it’s via asteroid, zombies, super-flu, nuclear holocaust, or Vogon destructor fleets.

Introducing to the World, Victoria Valentina Lizzi

Saturday took a more eventful turn than anticipated. After celebrating my wife Isa’s birthday on Friday I assumed I’d disposed of family birthdays for awhile. But the little one who’d been gestating in Isa for over thirty-seven weeks had other ideas.

Not that we’d been bereft of portents. The signs of impending arrival were there, but the contractions were nowhere near the frequency we’d been told indicated labor. Some disconcerting physical manifestations convinced Isa to call the doctor. The doctor suggested she come in for a precautionary exam. Everything was routine, precautionary, just-in-case. We figured we be home by the afternoon.

Nope.

Your standard labor is filled with sufficient drama as is. We weren’t asking for any theatrical upgrades. Got ‘em anyways, gratis. High blood pressure, magnesium sulphate drips, dislodged placenta. Then, many hours later…

A large room crammed with doctors and nurses. Your humble web logger as supernumary, dressed for a NASA clean room. Beeping equipment (though sadly absent the machine that goes “bing”), muttered medical jargon, flashes and glimpses of viscera – things externalized that should best remain internalized. Then…

Victoria Valentina Lizzi. A miniature human being. Quite miniature: about a jigger short of four pounds. Tiny but perfect.

The doctors scooped the innards back into Isa – all the pieces in order, one hopes – and stapled her shut. She’s had a chance to hold little V.V., but given our daughter’s current minuscule proportions the two currently occupy separate rooms. I’m sharing a post-partum room with Isa while V.V. enjoys the company of her peers in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

So, yeah, interesting Saturday. I’m a father. Wrap your head around that one.

Getting Real

Step by step it grows increasingly real.

My beautiful wife attended her baby shower last night and returned laden with ridiculously tiny outfits and boxes containing gadgets of arcane purpose. The boys bought me beer at my nearby watering hole and reminisced. Today I assembled a three-wheeled stroller and puzzled out the method of locking a baby seat into the stroller’s frame.

Something is changing.

There is a certain tradition in Mexico – or so MBW tells me – that the husband purchases his wife another ring to commemorate a new child. Today I picked up a piece of jewelry, sterling silver and blue and white topaz. MBW will need to resize it once the swelling in her fingers recedes.

Step by step.

I have new furnishings that I can make no use of. I have plastic contraptions that rattle and beep. This place once felt pretty roomy. Each new preparatory accretion renders the condo more and more – let’s say cozy.

MBW is laundering a pile of towels sufficient to dry off an army. Well, an army of very small soldiers. And we’ve got blankets enough to keep each miniature myrmidon warm.

I attended a class on infant CPR the other day. I filled those plastic lungs with my own breath and compressed that little chest.

So, yeah. Getting real.

Cats

Cats

We’re cat-sitting at Casa Lizzi for the next three weeks.  There are two of them now making free with the place, climbing on everything and shedding enough fur to line a parka.  So I’ve been thinking some about cats.

What is the fascination fable makers have with cats?

Football Season

It is that time of year again. The weather remains sunny and hot but the days are growing shorter.  The first hints of autumn appear: yellowing leaves, an occasional shower or an overcast day breaking up the pattern of one sunny day after another.  This is nature’s way of telling me football season has started.

I realize this means nothing to many of you.  Football, or for that matter sports of any kind, are for some a matter of indifference or even abhorrence.  I understand that.  Sports, organized games, physical activities constrained by arbitrary rules are from a certain perspective pointless.  They celebrate the physical over the cerebral, prioritize group-think over the individual, and seemingly reward disproportionately achievement in meaningless contests above excellence in more objectively important endeavors.  They revel in war metaphors, rejoice in naked brutality and organized violence.  They engender divisions, create tribal affiliations of enthusiasts who despise one another for no reason other than supporting a particular team of ball players.  As if we need one more reason to hate each other.

To all of which I say – phooey.  I like football.  I like the visceral, second-hand thrill of watching my team make a remarkable play.  I like the glow of a victory.  Even the despondency of a defeat adds a certain bitter seasoning to life.

I like stories, drama.  But too often with a novel, movie, television show I have a pretty good idea of what will happen, the beats, the ‘surprise’ twists.  Football, sports in general, provides unscripted drama.  I truly have no idea what will occur.  And this spectacle often comes accompanied by beer and chicken wings.  So there’s that.

Football, and to some extent baseball, lend themselves to viewing while reading.  These are episodic sports.  The duration between plays, between pitches, generally provides enough time to get through the average length paragraph.  Basketball, soccer, and other sports in which the action is mostly continuous lack this multi-tasking aspect.

And let’s address the tribal division concern.  Stipulated that competition is inherently divisive, both for players and adherents.  One need only consider the riots in Byzantium caused by followers of the chariot teams, the blues, the greens, etc.  But there is another side to this coin.  Comradery.  The fellow-feelling between two supporters of the same team can bridge divides.  A bond can exist between two strangers at a bar pulling for the same team to win.  And that’s a good thing.  Hell, Hunter S. Thompson and Richard Nixon found common ground discussing football.

So, I don’t mind if you disdain or enjoy football.  I understand both positions and my attention is not to convert anyone to my point of view.  But I’m utterly content right now.  Let the games begin!