Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sorry Second Child But You're Screwed

People will tell you that they love all their kids equally (except for maybe that know-it-all one -- he’s such an ass). This may be true, but all kids born after the first one are getting the shaft. Some parents may not be willing to admit this, but it’s true. Let’s take my household for instance. I love our second baby. She’s female, adorable, and looks just like Telly Savalas. But she really has to go out of her way to impress us.

Smiling? -- Pshh. Seen it. Done it.
Sitting up? -- Congratulations, you are no longer in the bottom percentile of our kids that can do this.
First word? -- It’s about time! Your sibling is now forming sentences.
Crawling? -- Guess what, pokey? You’re the last in our household to obtain this ability.  

These are impressive events for a new child, and typically get memorialized in a baby book of some kind. Assuming they were done by a first child. Our first child’s baby book is like a exquisite set of leather bound encyclopedias that contain every nuance of his first few years of existence. Our second child is now 11 months old and we still haven’t gotten around to buying hers. Don’t get me wrong we do cherish these events. But due to the utter exhaustion that is having two kids, we just cherish them in different ways.

First Child
Me: “OH MY GOD!!! COME HERE!  COME HERE AND SEE THIS!!!  IT’S AMAZING!!!  HE TURNED ONTO HIS SIDE!!! OH MY GOD, IT’S SO FUCKING GLORIOUS!!!”

Wife comes running in with the video camera, hysterically screaming “OH MY GOD!!! OH MY GOD!!!” as she fights back tears.

Second Child
Wife: “She turned over onto her side”
Me: “Shhh,  I’m watching  that cable show about how they move big houses.”

But even with putting aside the whole been-there-done-that factor, there’s also the issue of logistics. With a crazy, maniacal first child running rampant around the house, there just isn’t as much time to devote to the child with the poor timing. Like when the second child is crying because they want to be held or fed (Jesus you just ate an hour ago!), but the first child is currently trying to climb into your stove. You need to handle the stove issue first. Sorry second child but you’re just going to have to wait. Unfortunately this kind of thing happens a lot.  

For the first child we made sure our two cats stayed clear of him due to concerns of him being scratched and the fear of him developing allergies if he was near them too much as an infant. As for the second child, were so busy all the time that the cats are practically raising her on their own.

So as you can see it’s different with the second child. Unless your first child is that know-it-all-ass kid, the second one is going to have a hard time making a name for themselves and getting the attention they deserve. And don’t even get me started on what a pathetic attempt at specialness a third child would be (sorry third children, but it’s true).


Pat:  Not sure if you wanted my input on this one, but given that I’m in a similar boat I figured “what the hell!” By the way, I LOVE Telly Savalas. At least I think I do. Was he Daddy Warbucks in “Annie”? If not, then I LOVE Albert Finney with a shaved head so he looks like Telly Savalas!

Yeah, there’s not really a diplomatic way around this one. Second kids get screwed! I’m assuming that third, fourth, fifth, etc. kids get screwed exponentially worse, as you suggested. My wife’s father is the fourth of nine, and I can only imagine what life was and is like for his youngest sibling. What is the word to describe “eight-times-worse-than-invisible”?

We have embarrassingly fewer pictures of our second child, there is no baby book to be seen documenting her childhood, and no landmark clothes or toys that don’t already have her older brother’s name inked on them. We’re not entirely sure she exists.

But then I remembered that I am a second child (and don’t forget that you’re a third, Mr. Neglected-Pants!), and that it wasn’t all that bad. Sure, I just went through the old family photo albums and was painfully reminded that I take up two pages to my sister’s 43, but...that means that I had to pose for far fewer awkward and drawn-out photos than my sister. I had fewer recitals, fewer moments to document in 35mm film, slides, and Kodachrome™. Further, I had far less pressure to perform, as does my daughter. I can’t imagine the pressure our oldest feels, as though he is the first being on earth to do every act that we witness, and if he doesn’t do it then humankind will likely not advance. That’s more expectation than I could ever endure!

Meanwhile, our youngest just looks on, picks her nose, eats it, and ponders the world of opportunity that opens itself up when there is no pressure to do anything. Everything will be done for you, laid out in advance for you with instructions and without fanfare, so that you can just sail smoothly through everything.

Seriously, should we really put that much emphasis on our first child’s first poopy? After that kind of attention, every subsequent movement can’t help but be inadequate.

Christian: To be accurate though, my siblings and I are separated by a lot more years than the norm which means I’m kind of both a second and first child. You, on the other hand, are a true second child and I’m sure that you would agree that the the resulting tremendous psychological damage is quite apparent.

Pat:  I love how you somehow equate being the third child with being a hybrid of the second and first. Yes, dear friend, 1 and 2 do add up to three, but you cannot isolate your birth order number in order to have TWO birth orders. World don’t work that way, daddy-o!

Tremendous psychological damage indeed! I remember clearly, at age 7, realizing a terrifying potential: given the inherent timing and spacing of our births, I would be the last in my family to die. “Suck on that one, seven-year-old” said the wicked master of realities, and I spun into a pit of loneliness and despair.

But, being the rational and more patient second child, logic soon took over and I applied enough of my inherently superior academic intellect to research life expectancy worldwide, only to find that men live, on average, seven years fewer than women. This anxious 7 year old’s problem was eased! I’m two and a half years younger than my sister, so I’m gonna’ die an easy five years before her. Who’s going to be lonely now?! Second child rocks!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vasecto-You Not Me

I enjoy having minor surgery just as much as the next guy. Especially when it involves receiving morphine. But when it comes to surgery on my “special purpose” - I’m not a fan. On the other hand, I am completely done with producing offspring (Man alive is that true!) and the only sure fire way for a man, like myself, to prevent future spawn is to have a vasectomy (I think women can have it done too but it’s called spaying).

Last summer Pat went under the knife to have.. oh my god! Just thinking about it... LA LA LA...  I CAN’T HEAR WHAT I’M TYPING ... LA LA LA.... Ok. Let’s just just say last summer Pat had this procedure done. He agreed to answer any questions I had and share them on our blog so that myself, and others, can get a better idea of what to expect from the experience.

Christian:  First off, I think what I, and everyone else really wants to know most is, were you given any morphine during or after the procedure?  

Pat: No, Christian...FIRST OFF, you are wrong. You say the only sure fire way to prevent future offspring is to get a vasectomy (there it is buddy. See...it can’t hurt you. Go ahead...say it. That’s right, “vas...” let that soft “s” really draw itself out so it feels good, “ectomy”. There you go. Not so bad, right? Good job champ!), but our blog is going to go platinum with hits and responses from hard core religulous right-wingers if you don’t also acknowledge that you and your spouse could just quit making sweet sweet love. “You have your two”, sayeth the Honorable Rev. Smith-upon-Avon, “the lord is happy, and your loins shall henceforth be girded.” But not you, my friend...no. Your loins are afire, and you want two things. Unfettered Biblical style “laying down” AND pre-pubescent biology, and for that, there is only one thing...THE VASECTOMY!

All said, it was a piece of cake. Not that I was cool throughout the procedure (and by “procedure” I mean the weeks leading up to it, the entire 24 hours of the day it occurred, and the weeks that followed), but all things considered it was pretty smooth.

No morphine. I think they stopped issuing that as anaesthetic when the last Union soldier came off the battlefield. No...instead, upon leaving my consultation, I was given two pills, described as “valium” and to be taken an hour before the procedure. I have a friend who now has twelve of these “valium” stocked up in his bathroom. He’s been through lots of consultations (but no procedures). Apparently that happens a lot.

So, the day of the severing arrives, and, being me, I did a little thinking about the day. Some problems were identified:

1.  My wife had to take the kids to school in the morning and thus could not get me to the 7:30 appointment. Yes, there are some issues there. No, we haven’t dealt with them yet.

2.  I had never taken “valium” but thought it might be a bad idea to drive myself the six or so miles to the clinic after taking them.

3.  Looking ahead at the day, it looked like I wouldn’t be getting any exercise, and I was going to be in a reclining position on the couch or bed for a good portion of the day. I’m not a good stagnant person.

So...I decided to ride my bike. Popped the pills, put on my helmet and iPod™, and made my way for northeast Portland. It was a nice morning, and I really enjoyed the ride. I REALLY enjoyed the last 1/2 mile or so of the ride, though apparently I was nearly sideways for it. It took me about as long to travel the last 1/2 mile or so as it did the first 5 1/2, though I had no idea of that fact. I locked my bike up at the clinic, and then went for a short walk as I got there too early and the clinic had not yet opened. It was a BEAUTIFUL walk, and I saw lots of flowers and butterflies, and I remember the colors green and blue for some reason. When I got back to the clinic, I checked in with the receptionist, who looked at my helmet, and then looked at me very strangely. Turns out she knew something I didn’t know. They say “valium” because people tend to be more familiar with that term. What I really popped was Diazepam, which might be different, I’m not sure. In any case, I would almost go so far as to say that the hour before the procedure, one that made up for all of my lack of pharmacological experimentation in college, was well worth any discomfort that would follow.  

And I hadn’t yet met the Vicodin that they’d prescribe for me later that day!  Next question?

Christian: Ok. No on the morphine but yes on the Diazepam and Vicodin. Got it. So if it’s not morphine that you get when having surgery what is it that Doctors give you that knocks you out and causes you to wake up so happy that you want to have the whole procedure done again the next day?

Pat:  Well, they don’t GIVE you anything. You take the Diazepam that I told you about, which gets you so sufficiently relaxed and stoned that you really don’t need anything else. I know this will make you cringe, but imagine someone saying to you, “We’re going to pierce your scrotum now with a needle and anesthetize your package”, to which you calmly and almost happily reply, “Okay”. That’s about how it went. I asked if he minded if I listened to my iPod™ as he worked his magic, he said okay, and 30 minutes later or so it was over. Sidenote:  I find the guys at the StuffYouShouldKnow podcast make for a GREAT vasectomy distracter!

There was a short period of a nurse taping parts of my body to other parts of my body (apparently they’re worried about parts of your body escaping), and comments from her about me not getting too excited by all of the physical contact, but I didn’t really get what she was talking about or what was going on. Refer back to the effects of Diazepam for an explanation.

Then you go home. Be sure to stop at the drugstore and pick up your Vicodin, because that stuff is key. I don’t really know what it does, but at the slightest sign of discomfort (gas? sideache?  headache? toothache? right-wing radio call in shows?) pop one and the world becomes a really nice place. In case former addicts read this, please know that I no longer engage in the use of such pharmaceuticals, nor do I recommend addiction to them, but god put them on this planet for a reason, so please respect my religion and let me enjoy my sacrament!

What else do you want to know? When are you getting one? Can I have some of your Vicodin?

Christian: With my luck they would probably accidentally prescribe Viagra instead of Vicodin. Either way you can’t have any.  

Wait, you were conscious during the procedure? No morphine and no unconsciousness? This is just getting worse and worse all the time. Next thing you’re going to tell me is that you can’t have sex immediately afterwards.    

Pat:  I think you can have sex whenever you want afterwards, seconds afterwards even. But I think the medical professionals SUGGEST you wait a few days for the appropriate healing to take place. Relax...healing simply means letting the massive gaping wound come to complete suture. Or maybe they use staples. Not sure.

Interesting for me to learn was that it is advised you use a condom for about two months after the procedure. That seemed odd to me, as I thought that was the precise reason I got the procedure...to avoid such actions. Turns out, logically enough, that there are still some live fellas inside, and you have to get them out of there before going freestyle. It got me thinking...imagine how lonely that would be. To know that you are the last of your kind, and that your entire life and legacy was in the hands (maybe literally) of some being you had no influence over. I think there’s a deep philosophical and ethical discussion to be had there. Perhaps another blog entry.

Christian: Yes, just like Fanta!

I think that’s all the questions I had. I’m kind of disappointed with the whole being conscious situation, but I typically have that complaint about most things. Anything else I should know?

Pat:  Ooh!  I think Fanta would make an excellent blog entry. I have LOTS to say on that topic.  Yeah...looks like we brought non-closure on this one, but talked it through well enough. I think our blaudience will be dying to know whether I convinced you, however. Might I suggest a physician?

Christian: Well, I am married and my wife doesn’t want anymore kids, which means I will eventually have this done whether I want to or not. One way or another. And yes I was planning on having a physician do it. Thanks for the suggestion.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Social Acceptability: Toothbrushing

Right off the bat, I’m going to confess that I’m a two-timer. After breakfast and after dinner (and drinks and dessert and post-dessert salty snacks and potentially drinks of the “nightcap” variety to wash down the salt). To the chagrin of dentists everywhere, I have never been good at, nor plan to become good at, that post-lunch toothbrushing. Morning and evening...like the alpha and the omega, and that suits me fine. I’m not good about flossing either, though I fully recognize and appreciate the merits of doing so. Too much blood.

Here’s the question for you:  when should one commence the morning brushing?

Simple question, right? I thought so too, but have found out that there are some unspoken social norms out there you might want to check out before you continue on your potentially culturally inappropriate brushing rituals.

I’m a firm believer in the idea that you brush when you are completely done with your morning meal. What’s the point in cleaning if there’s only going to be more dirt coming soon? Most mornings (during the week...weekends are different and occasionally less hygenic, by accident not by design) I eat a small bite before getting into the vehicle to go to work, or, in the case I’m “on the go” I might take my vittles with me and eat them on the way. Food is done by the time I get to work, so time to brush, right? Not so fast...while I can wolf down a sausage and egg biscuit, I like to savor my morning drink of choice.  

Having been scarred in fifth grade by a wonderful teacher with terrible coffee breath, I vowed never to inflict such discomfort and grief on my students, so I wait until my coffee is finished to brush my teeth. At work. Usually while walking down the hall towards a spittoon. I get weird looks, sometimes comments, as though what I’m doing is some outrageous or exotic eccentricity, and I contend that I am simply practicing proper dental hygiene.

Where do you stand on this one?

Christian:  You probably couldn’t have picked a worse person to ask this question.  Congratulations. First off, I’ve never had a cavity. Yes I know. I’m amazing. Or any kind of teeth issues for that matter. I even still have my wisdom teeth! Second, I hardly ever, if ever, eat breakfast. And lastly I can’t stand the taste of coffee. Therefore, in my case, I always brush my teeth in the morning before I head out.

But to help you out I’ll try and put myself in your shoes to see what I think is the best approach:  OK let’s see, I’m a teacher with horrid teeth issues and a major addiction to caffeine and I can’t quite figure out when I should brush my teeth.

Umm... yeah, this is easy. You should not leave the house before brushing. Period. Maybe if you were a chimpanzee or one of the lower primates, this kind of behavior might be ok, but for god’s sake we’re part of a species that has written grand symphonies and invented port wine cheese.

At the same time I don’t see any issue with brushing again after you finish succumbing to your addictions. Seeing someone with their toothbrush in hand at work or in public shows an edge of sophistication and class in my book. These people appreciate the finer things and take care of business when it needs taking care of, is what I think.

Pat:  Umm...nowhere did I refer to myself as being a teacher “with horrid teeth”, Christian. Look, I can take criticism, but please just say it to my face (now all our Blaudience knows I have bad teeth!). Thanks.

Alright, I AM open to input on this one. So you’re saying that leaving the house without brushing is simply inexcusable? I get that. But you’re also saying that brushing again at work seems reasonable, even admirable, right? So...I am technically gross for setting out into the public with a foul mouth, but I’m not weird for the public brushing. Cool. Damn the naysayers!

Seriously? No cavities? You suck, man! There is no fairness in this world.

What the hell is port wine cheese? Is that the orange-purple marbled cracker spread they sell at Hickory Farms? Speaking of, did you ever go to the Hickory Farms in Eugene and load up on the samples? Remember that summer sausage stick? They always saved it ‘til near the checkout...that was awesome!

Christian:  Did I ever go to the Hickory Farms? Um hello... my mom worked for that Hickory Farms for a few years while I was growing up. We used to have family dinners entirely made up of free samples.  

But stop trying to change the subject of this post which is your horrid teeth issues and how we can fix them. Let’s see... Have you ever considered seeing the dentist quadruple-annually? I know it sounds excessive, but it may be needed, if we ever want to get you smiling with confidence again. What’s your toothbrush situation? Please tell me it’s an electric.

Pat:  Electric toothbrush? Check! (At home.  At work I go old-school medium bristle.)

Quadrannual visits to the dentist? Totally outside the scope of my health plan, fella! My check-ups have been just fine over the past decade, except for that mother of a root canal a couple of years ago! I can smile with the best of them, and except for a crooked alignment that three and a half years in braces-hell couldn’t even fix, and some slight yellow discoloration from the coffee noted above, I do just fine! You make me out to be some Oregon version of Shane MacGowan.

To credit your view however, last week I tried brushing both before work AND after coffee, and the results were shocking. Better outlook on the day, more confidence, weight loss and lots of new friends. Not really, but I did notice a slight difference. Truth will out when the dentist takes a gander at my gums!

Christian:  Society and I thank you.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Best 80's Song?

Pat and I are children of the 80’s. Which, from everything that I have heard, is much better than being children of the corn. Those people are spooky! With that being said, I thought we would now give our opinions on what the best 80’s song is. Pat?  

Pat:  Where to start...

It’s going to be hard for me to not come off sounding like some pretentious asshole on this one, Christian. For example, we are, by societies standards, “children of the 80s.” But I was born in ‘72. Doesn’t that make me a child of the 70s? Moreover, more of the music that I define as foundational to my development was created in the 90s. I could go to town on this decade thing alone!

Secondly, through way too much of my own analysis (I really should have tried to date more), I have reasoned that the “Best Song of the...” question is a thought experiment (Gedanken, for our German readers) akin to Zeno’s dichotomy, that age-old query that posits that movement cannot occur as we are continually halving the distance between us and the thing we are trying to reach, thus...ah shit, look it up! Anyway, “Best 80s Song” is a trap!  

Do you mean the song that best captures the musical advancements of the 80s? Synth drums? Keytars? That thing that the Hooters made famous (I think it was called a “hooter”)?

Do you mean a song sung and played by a band whose hair (products included) weighed more than the clothes they wore?*

Or do you mean the song that best captures our modern day impression of what 80s music was, which is really focused on a small portion of all of the music that was created during the decade, a genre I would devotedly refer to as “New Wave”?

So...before I can even “go there” with you, buddy, I need you to define your terms.

*When I started this sentence, I first thought of bands like Stryper.  But then I remembered Richard Marx...he had some pretty killer hair too, and I guess should be up for consideration.

Christian: You’re wrong. It’s Take On Me by A-ha.

Pat: That’s a pretty killer song. Even though, in ways, it’s kinda’ lame. When is Norway going to rock the pop world again. They went straight from A-ha to black death metal.

Christian: Ok I see your point on defining the terms. Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction album has some great classic songs on it but most people wouldn’t consider it 80’s music despite the fact that it came out in ‘87.  

So when I think which is the best 80’s song I think which single song would best represent the decade. And the term 80’s music has become more of a description to a style of music than a time reference, which as you mentioned could also be described as New Wave (Defining what New Wave truly is, is a whole nother story). Thus following these guidelines the only logical answer is that A-ha’s Take On Me is the best 80’s song. Plus it had a killer video. Comic books coming to life? I’ll have seconds please!

As for Norway, you may not know this but my Grandma was 100% Norwegian. Which, if I remember my fractional arithmetic correctly, makes me part Norwegian. She always told me, “You can always tell a Norwegian but you can’t tell them much”. Well, either she told me that or I read it on a bumper sticker. Anyways, have you heard some of that Norwegian black death metal? It’s pretty good.

Pat: Yeah, it’s really good. ‘Cause I need more noise in my life right now.

No shit, you’re Norwish? Whoulda’ guessed? I always picked you as more of a Balkan fellow, but Norway is just fine. Nothing to be ashamed of.

You SHOULD be ashamed, however, to have used one of my all-time pet peeves of a word, simply because IT IS NOT A WORD AT ALL!  “Nother”? It started as a minor irritation when I was young, like when you forget to take off the little plastic tag on a new shirt and every now and then it scratches you. Then it turned into a slight tic. When I heard someone use it my left eye would wiggle a bit oddly. But when I read it in your paragraph above, I first winced, and then shook my head in disbelief. We gotta’ be careful with that stuff, Christian, or China is going to win grammatically too! I might be able to tolerate “‘Nother” (<---- did you see that skillfully placed apostrophe, giving it the feel of a casual vernacular pronunciation?), just as someone might lazily indicate that they come from the country known as “‘Merica”, so as not to offend our fellow Americans from the central isthmus and southern continent.

Anyway, I still disagree on the music note. “Take On Me” is simply a good song, as good today as it was then, and therefore not just good in an 80s sense. In that vein, I offer you “Kiss Me” by Stephen “Tintin” Duffy.

Christian: Stephen Duffy? Who in the hell has ever heard of Stephen Duffy besides you and Stephen Duffy? I had to look him up to see who he even was.  

It appears his biggest claim to fame is quitting that 80’s going nowhere band Duran Duran a year before they hit it big. Smart. Although to be fair he was their lead singer at the time and after listening to “Kiss Me”, I say thank god he did quit. Otherwise Duran Duran would have ended up with a whole nother career path.  

So let me get this straight. When tasked to pick a song that best represents the 1980’s decade you pick some random obscure song that only qualifies because it was poorly written and recorded in 1982? You need to pick a whole nother better song than that.

Pat: Hey there, padrĂ©...you’re not the boss of me! You can’t tell me what song I can and can’t choose. I stand by Mr. “Tin Tin” Duffy BECAUSE he is virtually erased from existence outside of the 80s. It’s almost like you need a time machine to even prove he was there, in England, with his synthesizer, wooing young girls and bisexual boys with his dreamy lyrics.

Still...if you’re not happy with that one, I’ll give you a few to choose from. Below are some songs that rocked (or popped) the 80s, in my humble opinion, and are highly effective at bringing those 80s feelings back upon listening:

1.  “In a Big Country” by Big Country. Not very creative in the title (or band name...not sure which) department, but VERY good at making guitars sound like bagpipes;

2.  “Heat of the Moment” by Asia. I miss the whole geographically named bands thing;

3.  “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco. Weird arty Austrian history rock. Cool, huh?

4.  “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” by Jermaine Stewart. Maybe this song made me feel better about being a late bloomer. Maybe.

5.  “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr. I remember a middle school dance where my hands made it on the butt of a girl I was dancing with to this song. It rocks simply for that memory. And it’s about as close as I get to the R & B catalog.

There’s a start for you. See what you did? I have THOUSANDS more I could name, but will limit my compulsion to the five (six, if you’re willing to entertain my original entry) selections above.

*I’d like to add an addendum! I was just sitting in a dark wood panelled meat-based chain restaurant for a work-related meeting and the song “Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone” by Glass Tiger came on. That song screams “80s”!

Christian: OK, now you’re trying. Although, I am going to have to immediately throw out the Jermaine Stewart song, Glass Tiger song, and the song you like to grab underage girls’ butts to.  

I would file the Jermaine Stewart song more under “Songs that are so annoying they make my hair hurt” than Best 80’s song and the Glass Tiger and Atlantic Starr songs are just as forgettable as the name’s of the bands that performed them (Adding an extra ‘r’ at the end of the star isn’t fooling anyone Atlantic Starr).

If the category was “Best songs that kick ass” I would consider “Heat of the Moment”. As for best 80’s song though, it has too much kick assyness to represent the 80’s (Yes, this does makes total sense).

“In a Big Country” is a good 80’s song, and represents the decade well, but is rather confusing. Are they talking about being in a country that occupies a large geographical area or are they talking about being in their band? I don’t know, and I’m too lazy to look up the lyrics, which means we will never ever know the answer to this question.

“Rock Me Amadeus” does have a lot going for it. It’s weird in a very 80’s way, it’s from Europe, and it was done by an artist who went by a single name that made most people think he was a band (bonus points for that). But even with all that, I’m sorry Pat, it’s no “Take On Me”. Did I mention the comic books coming to life video?

Pat: Okay, so I’m noticing two trends in our conversation here. First off, you seem stubbornly fixed to the idea that A-ha scores for the best ‘80s song ever-- are you secretly working with the band to launch some 25 year reunion tour, and building up hype before they set out to re-conquer the world with semi-animation-- and I am hopelessly indecisive on the issue (case in point: I was sitting at a bar in Seattle yesterday when “On the Dark Side” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band came on, and I audibly remarked that “THIS is the best song of the ‘80s!” I’d only had one beer, and I didn’t even get deterred by the conundrum of trying to figure out what a Beaver Brown Band even looks like, all of which simply seems to say...STOP PLAYING THIS GAME!). My brain is just too fickle to pick one song that best represents the decade I most wish to forget, not because of my own experiences, but mostly due to fashion trends (day-glo?  shirts that change colors when you sweat?) and bad film-making. The more I listen to the music of the decade, the more I’m torn in my conclusion. See...I just started singing “Here Comes Your Man” by the Pixies, and I remember that it was released in ‘89, so...

So, good friend, I defer to your selection, not at all because I agree with you, but simply because I cannot offer a suitable counter. A-ha it is.  

Asia did kick butt, didn’t they? Under-rated, man. Under-rated.

Christian: A-ha rules!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Origins Of This Blog

Performativity!  A little background: We wanted the first word of our new blog to be something exciting and powerful (like our sex appeal). Or if not exciting and powerful, maybe something shocking or controversial (more like our sex appeal). We pondered on it a bit but couldn’t come up with the right word. We considered Might! Dynamo! Shazam! Waffles! But none of them seemed to be the right one.

But eventually, Pat came across Performativity. It’s confusing, hints at a measurement of action, and only has a slight suggestion of something positive (exactly like our sex appeal!). It was perfect. But what does it mean? The drunkards over at Websters claim performativity is not a word, but google yields this definition:

Performativity is an interdisciplinary term often used to name the 
capacity of speech and language in particular, but other forms of 
expressive but non-verbal action as well, to intervene in the course 
of human events.

Some may find this a little confusing but the gang at wikipedia clears it all up:

Performativity accounts for situations where a proposition may 
constitute or instantiate the object to which it is meant to refer, as 
in so-called "performative utterances".

Exactly. Now that we had our first word out of the way we could begin figuring out what our blog would look like and less importantly, what it would be about.

Pat and I decided to meet for beers at a local drinking establishment to hash out ideas. Armed with a laptop and our wits, we brainstormed, conceptualized, and plotted. The ideas flowed like fancy seasonal beers from a tap. Pint after pint. To ensure none of this mental gold was lost we took notes and Pat e-mailed them to ourselves that night. The next day we found two e-mails in our inbox. The first one just contained one sentence:
    
             We're high on ourselves and people like us.

The second contained the following:

more ideas (I didn't mean to hit "send"

Debbie Harry was naked in Videodrome
links
Do I need a phone for that?

Useless. What does any of that have to do with blogging or even mean for that matter? As you can see our intoxicated selves severely let us down. Damn them! It’s frustrating how irresponsible they can be, not to mention their arrogance. Who do they think they are anyways?

Since the brainstorming while drinking plan didn’t work out, we began e-mailing back and forth to try and figure out what we were going to do with this whole blog thing. Here’s our e-mail exchange discussing what the format should be:

Christian:  As for the blog format. One idea would be to do a back and forth thing within the same post vs. you writing a long post, let’s say on lawn mowing, and then me writing a long response and posting each of those as separate blog posts. So the idea being that the literary dynamite we end up with would be one blog post of us going back and forth. Each response could be just a few sentences or just a few words or longer if desired! Hopefully I'm making sense here. I'll try and think of more ways to ramble on in my explaining of it and get back to you if you need further rambling. I've also decided not to go back and reread this message, for clarity and ttypos, before sending it to you. 

Pat: So...are you thinking our posts should be longer or shorter than
your instructions on how long our posts should be?

            Christian: I was picturing our back and forth comments going into
            a single post vs. posting each of our comments as individual single 
            posts. Or we could also do back and forths as single long posts too 
            and post them as individual single posts. I don't understand why this
            isn't clearer to you.

Pat: huh?

Christian: Cool. I'm glad we are on the same page now.

After more deliberation we realized figuring out a format was just too hard. Therefore we decided to narrow down our format to having no set format. Meaning it could take any format we wanted to write in at the current time. We now needed to figure out what our blog would look like.

            Christian: How about for our logo we show a picture of the two of us
            surrounded by a bunch of cool guys like Han Solo and George
            Clooney or Aragorn from Lord of the Rings?

Pat:  Can it be girls too because I would like Maya Angelou. 

Christian: umm... OK, how about this? We split the screen in two
            with me on one side surrounded by cool guys like Han Solo, George
            Clooney and Aragorn, etc. and you on the other side with Maya 
            Angelou and whoever else you want?

Pat:  Also, don’t you think there should be some kind of kick 
ass unicorn too?

Christian: Of course. A kick ass unicorn goes without saying.

The logo above is what we eventually came up with. If you are reading this in the future it may have changed by then, but since you are probably having this blog telepathically implanted into your self-consciousness as instant memories, what do you care spaceboy.

Next we needed a name. This was hard but we eventually settled on Point Counter-Point Point Point. Mostly because we couldn’t think of anything better. My thoughts on it were that it somewhat describes what we will be doing here: discussing our different points of views on various topics (The Point Counter-Point part) in addition to writing out our individual thoughts and ideas on our own when we desire (The Point Point part). Pat on the other hand thought the Point Point part was signifying how we tend to really ramble on when trying to make a point.

Lastly, we needed to figure out what we would actually write about. We did some research and found out that about nine out of every ten blogs weren’t about anything specific and were basically just the random ramblings of the author(s). Therefore we decided that the obvious thing for us to do would be to do the exact same thing in the hopes that we could eventually reach that elusive 10 out of 10! Thus our blog will be about nothing specific...uh... I mean our blog will be about everything! Current affairs, parenting, frisbees, grocery cart detailing -- any topic! You name it and we now have the freedom to write about it. Take that terrorism!

There you go. The origins of our blog and our first blog post. If you are wanting to learn more about us as individuals, we have an About Us page for christsakes.