Thursday, August 10, 2006

Poozer Patrol

My wife had to have surgery today.
I have been up for two straight days, and it looks like it will be three as I need to take care of Little Leab AND my wife.
I'm tired, haven't eaten in 36 hours, and I'm frustrated as all hell at doctors.
Thus, this will be my post for the night.
If MN Speak puts up my post, then you can read about how I got drugs at North Memorial Hospital for my wife without having to show ID.
That could be trouble.

The GPA Disbands

I've been reading about Artie W's GPA issues in his Spanish class recently, and it got me thinking about my graduate school career.
You see when I was in college, I didn't take my GPA seriously. When you're doing technical theatre professionally, no one looks at your resume to see your grades. They only care to see if you can do the job at hand. Unfortunately, the world of education doesn't quite work that way. We are requested (which the polite way of saying required) to put our GPA on our resume. This means that we have to answer questions about it (more on that later).
In my whole life, I've never received a 4.0. My sister had a 4.0 (she may have also had a 4.1 at some point, but that's neither here nor there), but I never came close.
In the final year of graduate school at St. Thomas, I had a 4.0. That was, of course, until I took Adolescent Literature.
The school had put too many students in the class but was loathe to lose any money. So, they hired a teacher to take one of the sections and then split us 50-50. Half of us (the graduate students) went with the new teacher (who, for the purposes of this post, we'll call Adam). The other half (all the undergrads) went with the teacher who normally teaches the class. This illustrates my first problem: the grads pay more than the undergrads, but we were given the guy who had never before taught the class. Oh so fair.
Adam was a nice guy. He was a cowboy of sorts (loved his horses and went riding every weekend), and he taught English out in Osseo. However, he had never taught a class at a level higher than high school, which was evident from the way he looked at us when he walked into the first day of class. We were quiet, organized, and ready to learn. Every single one of us. I don't think he was expecting that.
The description of the class fell into two parts:
1. Look at how modern literature aimed at adolescents meets their reading needs and desires.
2. Develop ways of making kids want to read those books (including lesson plans).
Adam, however, saw the class much differently than its description. His version was this:
1.Test the graduate students on their English skills.
2. Read and discuss books that have been taught at his school.
Very different in my opinion.
On the first day of class, we got our first assignments. Read the entire book of
The Secret Life of Bees (ok, we had a week, not a problem), jot down five questions that you ask a class about the book (all right, annoying, but useful), prepare a five minute presentation on the chapter you're assigned following a rubric given to us by Adam (starting to realize that he doesn't know that some of us have more than one class and a job), AND write a book report (wait, wait wait....A book report?! I'm a grad student...I haven't written a book report in YEARS! What the hell?). Yes, we were required to do all that work, but the book report was insulting. What did we as teachers (almost all of us to be secondary) gain from writing book reports? Grumbling, we left our first class.
The book reports would become a major issue for everyone. Adam had not made it clear that he would not be grading us on our content, but solely on our writing skills. This was exacerbating. He couldn't have cared less if our information about the book was correct. How do I know? Well, when we read
They Things They Carried, I put incorrect information into my paper on purpose. I then had two English teachers and a former English major proofread the paper. It was grammatically perfect. I got an A.
This proved it: Adam only graded us on our grammar skills. He was a Grammar Nazi. He took our first papers, copied them, and then put them on the classroom overhead and proceded to destroy us for the way we wrote. Hell, if he read this, he would comment on the fact that I am using "it" which you NEVER do...according to him. "Look, I'll start looking at your content," he said, "when you all can actually write."
As we finished the first half of the semester, NO ONE had an A. I was holding down a B, but only because I was damn lucky and great at preparing presentations. Coming home from class, I would be so angry, because I saw my 4.0 slipping away from me, and I couldn't stop it.
Our class turned into an educational version of Survivor. We lost a person a week until the end of the semester. Some were able to get into the other class (which I would later be jealous of as they actually prepared lesson plans and...oh...I don't know...learned!), while others just left the class in sheer disgust. Hell, we even had someone gain immunity every week: that person's paper wasn't put on the overhead.
As the semester came toward a close, Adam gave us our final project. A fifteen minute presentation and a four page paper. It would seem easy except there was that whole grammar issue again, and this time it would also apply to the way we speak. He was going to grade our speaking abilities. This meant no "ums," "uhs," or, "likes." (Someone later told me he was once a speech coach.) Looking at my grade, I figured out that if I got a solid A on the project, I could get an A for the class. This was exciting to me. Somehow, I was going to survive this test.
My book was Animal Farm. It was perfect, as I knew the book backwards and forwards and had a source on Orwell in the form of my father (wrote a book on it). The piece I prepared was on how Animal Farm could be used to show propaganda. It was a great piece. I still teach it today and had colleagues copy the lesson plan. My presentation time came up, and I was feeling nervous but good. I watched myself doing the presentation and never heard the offending words Adam had mentioned. Even my grammar, which is normally terrible, was in step. Feeling good about the way it went, I took questions from the audience. This, too, went well as I never was stumped, though one gal did ask me a hard question about modern propaganda in the form of pop-up ads.
I felt great. When I got home, I told my wife the whole story, and she said, "Shouldn't be a problem. You'll get that A."
Our final class, Adam gave us our grades. Much like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, I was in for major disappointment. My final grade was an A-. I had lost points during my presentation for asking someone to repeat the question. You read that right. He took off ten points (giving me a 90 instead of a 100), because I couldn't hear one girl's question and asked her, "Would you say that again, please? I couldn't hear you." Full of anger and literally seeing red spots, I asked Adam why I got an A-.
"When Cindy (not her real name) spoke, you asked her to repeat her question. That showed me that you weren't really listening to her, which you have to do in order to be a good teacher."
"But," I replied, "she was so quiet, and you set us over by the vents. How can you expect us to hear every single thing ever said? That's impossible, Adam."
"Not if you really care about students."
Suffice to say, I managed an A-, which was one of the higher grades (some people flat out failed). However, this meant that I no longer had a 4.0 in a program where ALMOST EVERYONE DOES! I was ashamed to put "3.93" on my resume.

I mean there was a gal wanting to become an English teacher who didn't know that William was Shakespeare's first name...and SHE got a 4.0. That hurts.
Everyone around me tried to reassure me:
"No looks at that."
"They won't ask you about it."
"Concentrate on the other stuff."
I rolled into the
Education Fair feeling like a million bucks. "There's no way I wouldn't get interviewed," I told myself. "I have a great resume."
Yet every school I talked to asked the same question: "Tell me about your GPA. Why don't you have a 4.0?"
Are you kidding me? Never mind that I have the credentials, you're going to harp on my GPA?
In my mind I wanted to tell them about Adam. "There was this guy who was a Grammar Nazi...," but that would show I couldn't take responsibility (and you only get a short time with each person). Instead I answered, "Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you'll still fail. If you learn from it, the experience makes you a better person. I'm not perfect, but I'll never stop trying to be."

I thought it was a good answer. Most schools ended the interview there. One school (ok it was Blake) ripped up my resume right there in front of me and threw it out. Apparently I wasn't Blake material (I heard this happened to many people).
I will admit that even though I have a job now, I still think about that damn class. I was so close to perfect. The problem is that I could outteach many of the people in my class, but they all had perfect GPAs, so they were considered before me.
My students hear from me all the time that their grade point average is just a number. That's all, but in this world of competitive colleges, they are told that it is everything.
The problem is that as more people buy into the whole GPA garbage, the more some awesome minds are being left out.
I saw Adam recently, and I told him, after a long conversation, that he almost cost me having a job. His response to me was interesting, but also backhanded. He told me that a school concentrating on my GPA only cares about how it looks and not how the students are doing. Then he went on to say that I could have worked harder.
It just angers me that our educational system focuses on numbers (not unlike the business world) and not on the people.
Then again, what do I know? I'm the guy who got an A- in the "Everyone gets a 4.0" program. I could be wrong.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Touring Frankens

I ran into Al Franken today in downtown Minneapolis. While my wife was seeing the doctor, I took my son to walk around Minneapolis (as nice as Robbinsdale is, there aren't a ton of sidewalks). As we walked up Nicollet Mall, there was Al Franken walking at a brisk pace. I have mentioned before: I am not star struck. It's very hard to get me to a point where I cannot talk to someone.
We both had to stop at the light as cars flew past. He turned, look at my son in the stroller, and said, "Cute kid."
I said, "Thanks Mr. Franken."
"Oh, you know who I am?"
"We've met before," I replied.
This had his eyebrows reaching toward the sky.
It's true. I met Al Franken while I was a student at Washington University in St. Louis. Franken was looking at schools for his son, Joe (who would later end up at Princeton, I believe). The head of the
department, Jeffery Matthews, wanted someone to show Franken and his son around the school. I was chosen. Why? I still have no clue. Maybe it was because I would answer his questions truthfully without holding back. Or maybe it was a test (I was not good at the political game when I was in got me in trouble now and then).
Jeffery prepared me in his office a few hours before the visit.
"Oook. Make sure you say something nice about his work. Maybe Saturday Night Live or something. Say something nice about his son (his name is Joe). This is VERY important. Do you understand?"
Say something about his work? If this had happened to my parents when I was looking at colleges, they (and I) would have been pissed. Yet here I was standing outside the Performing Arts Department trying to figure out what to say.
So, Al and Joe Franken appeared. They talked to Jeffery for a few minutes, and then we were introduced. I shook Joe's hand first, because this was about him, not his father (Jeffery was not happy about that).
At this point I was looking right at Mr. Franken and began to shake his hand. The first thing out of my mouth was, "You know, sir,
Stuart Saves His Family was underrated and quite good. I really enjoyed it."
"Well...thank you, I guess," was all he said.
It took the Frankens on the tour. Explained everything I could and answered every question I could. Al seemed to be interested in the fact that I was from New York, and that I was a Techie.
"So do you like working with actors?" he asked me.
"As long as I don't have to eat with them," I replied.
There was a slight chuckle.
After a few more minutes, we finished the tour. We shook hands and then I "blew the deal," as Jeffery would and probably will tell me everytime I see him.
Somehow, a photographer showed up. You see, Harold Ramis, who Franken had worked with, had gone to WUSTL. In truth, Ramis based a great deal of Animal House on life at Wash. U (Not Dartmouth and not any other school that claims it). There is a "Wall of Fame" where the professors of the department have their pictures with students and famous people. The head of the department, for example, has a picture of himself with a student and Kevin Kline (he also refers to Kevin Kline as, "Kev.") on this wall.
The photographer was supposed to take a picture of Franken, Jeffery, and myself. However, Joe, the whole reason Franken was there (supposedly), was not to be in the picture. He was told, by the photographer, to, "sit over there (indicating a bench) until we're done."
That didn't sit well with me. The kid was being marginalized in the name of helping the school.
So, I excused myself. Jeffery had a look of terror on his face. I said, "Mr. Franken, it was nice to meet you. Joe, good luck, and if you have any questions, you have my email. I need to get to a lighting rehearsal." Granted, it was only 1 pm, but it could have been true.
Without the student, the whole thing wouldn't work. Why would perspective parents care about a celebrity meeting with the professors? They would want the students involved.
Maybe the blown photo op was the reason why Joe didn't go to Wash. U. I don't know, and I don't care.
I enjoyed showing the Frankens around the school, but it felt weird. It was almost like being part of a show where everyone knows the script except you.
So, with that in mind, I looked into Mr. Franken's eyes and said, "Yes, we met at Washington University in St. Louis when your son was looking at schools. I gave you a tour."
He nodded and said, "Oh sure," which really meant, "I don't remember, but I'll be nice as I am very Minnesotan and will forget this meeting almost immediately after I cross the street, person who is a nobody."
The light changed. We crossed, he much faster than I.
"Have a good day," I said.
"You too," he replied.
My son and I continued walking at our slow pace watching Franken move quickly on to his destination.
The best part? Honestly? Hearing my son be called cute. Makes me a proud papa.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A War With No Winner

Ok, I have a confession to make here.
When I was younger, I was a HUGE comic book collector. I admit it. Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Green Lantern. All of them were a part of my week. New comics would come out every Wednesday. My mother would give me a ride to the place I bought from (ironically called: My Mother Threw Mine Away) and I would spend hours pouring of the artwork and words.
I can even remember the first comic book I was ever given. My father bought me Flash 1 in 1987. That was my first comic. I was hooked right away. I started buying Spider-Man, Action Comics, and more.
There was always something about the comic book world when I was kid. Before the true modern day comics, the good guys always won. The Flash would save the girl and beat the bad guy. So would Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and more. You could count on Captain America to fight for America and stay on the right side of the law (more on that later).
My favorite comic books, though I am slightly embarrased to admit it, were The Punisher and Batman.
The Punisher. Frank Castle. He was a New York cop whose family was murdered by mobsters, so he took the law into his own hands in order to avenge his wife, Maria, and children. The Punisher had no powers. He couldn't regenerate like Wolverine, he couldn't stick to walls like Spiderman, and he didn't have hyper senses like Daredevil. He was just a slightly above normal guy (ex-marine and cop) with access to weapons. He had standards about the men he killed and the way he did it. No women, unless truly necessary, and no children. In the end, however, he fought for the little guy, took on the very worst of mankind, and did it in the name of justice.
Batman. Bruce Wayne. A man whose parents were killed in front of him. Again, here is a man without powers. He uses his brains and training to take down the bad guys. What was always interesting to me about Batman was the fact that the rogues he faced were all psychologically created:
Joker: Crazy, yet brilliant.
Two-Face: Multiple personality disorder
Catwoman: Classic dominatrix
I could go on and on.
Both Batman and the Punisher were the closest you could get to regular people in the super-powered world.
Of course in the modern world Batman created ways to destory his teammates, and the Punisher committed suicide and then came back and operated outside the rest of the marvel universe.
Now, a little history before I get to the real point of this post. DC Comics (the home of Batman, Superman, et al) has fictional cities. Gotham City (Batman) and Metropolis (Superman) are actually the East and West Sides of New York. Flash operated out of Keystone City, while Green Lantern was in Coast City. You get the idea. Though the cities represented real life cities, they were not the same (though recently DC has put heroes in Seattle, New York, and Detroit).
Marvel, on the other hand, has always, according to former leader Stan Lee, been based in the real world. Many of the heroes live in New York, though some base themselves in Chicago, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. There are heroes who are gay, Jewish, Muslim, and more. Marvel has made it clear that they live in our world, so the President of the United States in the comic books is George Bush. War is happening in the Middle East. There are made up nations, of course. Doctor Doom leads Latveria, The Black Panther is king of Wakanda in Africa. Off the coast of Africa is Genosha, an island made for mutants.
The reason it is important to note that Marvel's characters live in our world is because of their current storyline:
Civil War, which has asked a simple question. A short synopsis:
A group of c-list heroes on a reality tv show attack some bad guys. One of the bad guys is named Nitro and has the power to explode. He is being attacked and crashes against a bus at a school. Fed up, he explodes, killing children, teachers, and parents. The government decides that superheroes are to dangerous to let run around anymore (as one guy puts it, "They're living WMDs). Thus they propose the Superhero Registration Act. This act would require the heroes to reveal their identities, list themselves in a database, and then get government training and work through a federal agency. Some heroes are all for it, while others feel it is not up to government to decide who the heroes fight.
It's a brilliant idea, but the heroes you would think would be on a side aren't. What do I mean?
Ok, Spider-Man. Here is a man whose girlfriend at the time (Gwen Stacy) was killed when his then nemesis (the Green Goblin) learned his true identity. He has his wife (Mary Jane) and his aunt (May) who have been put in jeopardy in the past when others (such as Eddie Brock, the man who became Venom) learned how Peter Parker (Spider-Man's real name) was the hero. Even though, for over forty years, Spider-Man has been extremely private about his real identity, Marvel has made a major turn and had him expose his identity to the world. That's right. Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, called a press conference to show how some heroes are backing the Registration Act. Spider-Man, to show his allegiance,
took off his mask on International TV. The results? Well, his family is now in danger as his rogues gallery knows who he is, he is being sued by J. Jonah Jameson for all the money he made for taking pictures of himself while working at the Daily Bugle, and many of the other super heroes he called friends now hate him.
My biggest gripe is that you don't have someone who acts so private suddenly be ok with outing himself. Think of JD Salinger, who has avoided the public for years, suddenly coming out and saying, "Please...ask me questions about the work I have done and where I have been."
It betrays the character. It would be like Superman turning on America when he promises to uphold, "Truth, Justice, and the American Way."
Even more interesting to me is Captain America. Ole Cap is actually leading the resistance against the Act. That's right, the man who has upheld America's image, no matter what, is now standing against the very country he fought with for so many years. When asked to help the government, Captain America shouts back, "Don't play politics with me! Super heroes need to stay above that stuff or Washington starts telling us who the super-villains are." It's a viable argument about where federal power ends and creating a system of national ID (which we're discussing with the whole immigration thing). And, just like in real life with the Iraq war, many countries in the Marvel universe are not going along with America's plans.
The reason I call this a war with no winner is for a few reasons:
1. Marvel's head writers have stated that the outcome of this war will have ramifications for years to come and it won't have a happy ending. Unlike your typical comic book where the bad guy is defeated, here the heroes are both good and bad. No black and white, all grey.
2. The real world is starting to take sides...sort of. For example, when Fox News ran a piece about the story arc, they phrased it like this:
Marvel's superheroes are split into two opposing factions. One side, championed by heroes such as Spider-Man, is in favour of the new law. The other side, however, which has Captain America and his sort, refusing to turn their identities over to the government.
Ouch. When you use words like "championed" and "sort" in a piece, the reader or listener is automatically supposed to know who the right and who the wrong are.
However, NPR has a different spin:
A group led by Iron Man embraces the government's demand that they register as living weapons of mass destruction and reveal their secret identities while attempting to force others to do as they want. On the opposing side, Captain America and his allies refuse in order to protect civil liberties and private freedom.
Now this version of it makes it seem as if Captain America is right, while the other side is wrong. That's why this story line is so interesting. It takes the whole, "how much and whose freedom would you give up," idea and takes it to another level.
In a recent discussion between the Fantastic Four's Thing and Invisible Woman, he asks, "What should we be doing? You wanna take up arms against our own government?"
Her reply? "Disagreement isn't disloyalty. Sometimes, the most patriotic thing you can do in a democracy is disagree.''
That's a long way away from, "Stop, villain. Your end is at hand!"
If you want an interesting article about the storyline, read
this from the Miami Herald.
The story is only three issues in with the fourth to be coming out very soon. It's unclear right now which side will win, but the Superhero Registration Act has passed in the world of Marvel, so the heroes will now have to deal with the fallout.
As for the outcome being happy. Well, that's really up to you, dear reader. If the world is all for the SPA, will you cheer or jeer? As one guy put it, "If the readers agree with the Act, then everything Stan Lee and his colleagues built since day one will be betrayed.
So far more people seem to be for Captain America's side than Iron Man's. The ACLU chapter in Florida actually put out a statement agreeing with the character. Joe Quesada, the editor-in-chief at Marvel, has stated that he has had real politicians contact him about the Act. Some of them have, "said they agree with the [SPA], while others have voiced that they feel strongly against it."
The interesting part is that many people are reading the book who aren't normally comic book readers. I recommend you pick it up and read it. It's an interesting look at the way America is today.
Of course what do I know? I'm just some nerd who reads comic books. I could be wrong.

Ramblings for the Evening (8/06/06)

Sunday night, and I'm home with my son.
I guess this really makes me an adult.
So without further ado: CASTLE AAAARRRGGHH!
Way back before my son was born, my wife and I signed up for an infant/child CPR class. That class was so full at the time (between last September and this past June) that we were forced to wait until today to be able to go to class.
There was something both nice and horrifying about leaving my son with the neighbors. They love him. The gal next door REALLY wants another child, but her guy is fine with one...JUST one.
Anyway, I felt both happy to be away from my son and sad that I was away from him. My first thought as we drove to the hospital was, "It will be nice to have an adult conversation."
I was wrong in thinking we would.
The class was in the basement classrooms of North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale.
Though we were a minute late, my wife and I were the first couple there. Thus, the class started late as the instructor waited for the other people to show up (including us, there were supposed to be sixteen people, but only ten would show up).
Some highlights:
-We basically watched a video in order to get certified. No tests.
-We did get to work with dummies, however, which was fascinating. The instructor had "rigged" one dummy to go haywire when the breathing started. It scared the hell out of the couple behind us.
-They brought in an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and demonstrated it, but the idiot couple in the corner had spilled water and not cleaned it all up, which led to the instructor getting shocked. It was mild, but still: the couple should have apologized.
-The class was supposed to be from 9 to noon, but we all left at 10:45.
-As we practiced the Heimlich Manuver, the instructor came over to my wife and me and commented that I shouldn't push on, "the navel of a pregnant woman." My wife...she's no longer pregnant. It was hard on my wife and the instructor. It got worse when one of the gals in the back, who was a rail, said she had given birth only three weeks before the class. She then explained that she, "gained ten pounds and felt like a pig."
I spent the entire walk back to the car and ride home trying to make my wife feel better. I also had to stop her from beating the holy hell out of that girl.
-Sitting in the front of the class was the creepiest couple ever. The guy had a camera and recorded everything, while the woman started crying (I mean BAWLING) during the video when the kid was choking.
Now it's possible that they lost a child, but they were super-touchy and super-creepy.
-There was a "hipster" couple who showed up in pajamas, talked smack the entire time to the other people in the class and the instructor, and bitched about how their time was wasted and they could be shopping with their kid. After listening to them bitch for two minutes, I gave my wife an embarrassing moment when I told them to, "shut the hell up and leave if you're so upset." After a quick sneer, they stopped talking. This was a problem later as well and made for a very awkward elevator ride when the four of us rode together.
This got me thinking, however, how much I'm really getting sick of the whole hipster parent generation. You see so many people my age don't want to act like adults. I listened to one couple talk about how they couldn't discipline their child because, "they wouldn't be friends." What? Friends? What the hell?!
You're a parent, not their buddy.
Look, I'm friendly with my students, but I'm still the authority. I don't let things slide because I'm afraid they won't like me. What the hell is wrong with you that you would let your kid do whatever because you're afraid they may hate you. Help your child.
I think I need to write a post later about how I feel about the whole hipster thing and how disappointed I am in my generation (most of you suck. Sorry, but you do).
All in all, I'm glad I can help my son if there's a problem, but I feel like I could have done the whole thing online and had as much teaching. The only difference would be the dummy.
Hype the Music:
Every once in a while, I give you a site that I think has a great deal of potential. I directed you to Slanderous, I linked you to MN Speak, Margaret, Michele (can't do the accent my dear), and Worm's various personalities (all in my student section to the right).
Now I give you
The Hype Machine. If you're a fan of MNSpeak's Aggregator, then you'll love Hype Machine. It's a music aggregator that collects music placed throughout the web. Maybe there's a song you've been looking for in stores. Search the machine and you can find where to buy it online for your ipod (or in certain cases, as I have found, some people have FREE downloads).
Go check it out.

and finally,
Poozer the Player:
My son is a major league player.
Little Leab went to Arbor Lakes with his mom and dad today. While mom was trying on shoes at Aerosoles, dad was sitting on a cube in the corner holding the Poozer. Holy cow did women flock to him. At one point, I placed him back in his stroller only to have a woman come over and stick her face right in there with him. Some highlights that prove his player abilities:
- I went into Yankee Candle to see if my favorite scent was still available (it's Hazelnut Coffee, and it's sadly discontinued). As I turned the stroller to ask for help, Poozer smiled at the manager. She melted! Not a little, mind you, she went full puddle. She started in with baby talk and was all over him. Upon seeing this, two other workers came over and started cooing over him. One woman went so far as to fondle his arms and tell him how strong he was. It's at this point that I also learned how dangerous it is to not have your wedding ring on when with your child. One woman started talking to me about (and I quote), "how hard it must be for you to raise your son all alone."
I explained very quickly that my wife was next door.
-In Aerosoles, woman after woman wanted to see him, talk to him, hold him. The most awkward moment came when the rather large-breasted sales clerk leaned into the stroller to see him. He obviously saw her breasts, because he stared smacking his lips. When she asked me what he was doing, I merely said, "Well, I think he's trying to say hello to you." My wife and I, however, shared a knowing look with each other and a major laugh when we left the store.
-My son also has met his future wife...apparently. A woman with her six month old daughter stopped us to look at William (that's his name, by the way. I know I haven't written that before as I wanted him to have anonymity, but I guess he'll be ok. Most people still don't know my first name....moving on.) and commented on how good looking he is. Wait, it gets better. Because he was, "so handsome," and because he had such, "beautiful eyes," she decided that her daughter (Rory) was going to marry my son. Never mind that they had never met before, and who the hell knows what the next 25-30 years can bring, this woman was convinced. She gave my wife her phone number and told us, "not to be strangers." It was weird.
-Apparently men with babies are sexy. I don't know why. I was wearing a black shirt that had been spit up on after my son ate, a five 0'clock shadow on my face, and the smell of milk on me, but that didn't stop women from talking to me about how "great it was," that I was a father, and how, "so many men would be ashamed to hold a baby." The best was the woman in Anthropologie who was flirting with me...and I had no clue. My wife was really angry at me, though I'm not sure if it's because the woman was flirting with me, or because I had no clue and just thought she was being nice. I mean I really thought she was talking to me because she liked the kid. In retrospect, as my wife pointed out, she never looked at Poozer once after first seeing him. I hadn't noticed until she said something about that.
-The boy also got me a discount at Border's. We didn't have our coupon, but the woman dug one out for us because, "your son is SO cute." can I use him to get a new car much cheaper...hmmm...would crying or smiling work better.
I'm just kidding. I wouldn't exploit him that way...yet.