Saturday, August 25, 2007


This week's nicknames:

--The Incredible Mr. Hiccups
--Kicks-like-mule (his 'Lakota' name)
--His Excellency

He continues to become aware of a world of active phenomena all around him. His responses and reflexes seem promising. The crap pipes are in superior shape. He can do a killer Popeye impression, one eye open and the other squinting.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I was playing around with my MacBook's PhotoBooth application, trying to take a good picture of my chin, and Master Blaster wriggled his was into the photo. Camera hog.

From what I can tell, the kid has four different mental states. They are:
1. Too hungry to sleep
2. Too tired to eat
3. Vaguely frustrated
4. Mesmerized by a corner of the ceiling or something (lasts up to 30 seconds)

He's slowly adjusting to his parents and their bizarre world. Let's all wish him luck.

Friday, August 17, 2007


The New Yorker has graciously bestowed literary worthiness on Philip K. Dick, with a surprisingly good essay on the man and his 1974 religious freak-out in the latest issue. As usual, the New Yorker is late to the party celebrating the talents of this unique author and announcing his influence. Bookforum was on this one back in 2002, Wired in 2003, Time in 2004. The New York Times also chimed in earlier this year, proclaiming their approval as the Gatekeepers of Literatoor, and yours truly promptly complained about it.

I shall bitch, and I shall moan, but I must admit I am capable of appreciating those moments when a literary highbrow shares his enthusiasm for a writer from the fringes, as Michael Dirda did in the Washington Post about Clark Ashton Smith. Good on you, Michael--doubly heroic since Smith is hardly in vogue like PKD, and triply so because Smith's books are being reissued by a very worthy press.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Here he is, my little boy. I have now fulfilled my evolutionary imperative; I have extended my genetic material into the subsequent generation. In Darwinian terms, I am now free to put my feet up and have a beer--or get eaten by predators. I'm keeping an eye out for lions, alligators, and the like. Probably not a good idea for me to visit the zoo anytime soon.

So Master Blaster's nicknames for this week are:
--The Guzzler
--Sultan (look at the photo)
--Dr. Fussenstein
--The Amazing Soiler

We're all adapting here at Casa Toner, though it strikes me that accomodating a new kid isn't the same as adjusting to a new co-worker. For one thing, Blaster is so open about his needs that it doesn't take a lot to figure him out. I've gone from regarding him as this puzzle to be figured out to missing him when I'm at work in no time. I am succumbing to his cute voodoo. Must obey.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I've been a parent for almost a week now, and every day things are a little less bewildering. I would have been perfectly happy with an ugly baby, but the kid is a real cutie, and while he tends to demand attention during the wee small hours, during the day he's very easy to manage--a little TOO easy. Maybe I'm in for it down the road.
Several shirts and pants of mine now bear the patina of parenthood, those stains and smears of formula, urine, spit-up, and other gobs of crap that stick to fabric more furiously than red wine. I'm probably getting that continually dazed, sleepy look too. My nicknaming reflex has gone into overdrive, and already I've come up with an army of aliases for my offspring, some highlights being:
--Big Guy
--The Wriggler
--Master Blaster
--Lord of the Squirm
--Republican Presidential Candidate Fred Thompson

He earned the 'Master Blaster' tag after making the windows rattle when he took his first poop, and every so often he pulls a repeat performance. I occasionally ask him "Who run Bartertown?!?" prompting head shakes from my tolerant wife.

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