getting out of a rut

Let’s clear the air here first, before we do the standard blog fare: For about two weeks now, I’ve been pretty disappointed with the blog. I haven’t been able to put the right amount of time and effort into it, and it’s shown with multiple-day dry spells and bad entries. I know exactly why too – I’ve just been doing too much of everything else: hanging out with friends, yardwork, playing with the baby, reading – just to name a few. I don’t think this is a bad thing at all, but I would like to get back into some more meaningful writing (not because I feel guilty but because I actually enjoy it). So, I’m hoping to get out of the rut here soon – maybe you’ll decide to see me through it, sit with me through the doldrums and wait for the other end of the tunnel?

Hey, before you read more – go check out the big ol’ backlog of pictures I uploaded to Keaton’s gallery, you won’t regret it (she’s cute as crap!).

Sitting at the gate awaiting my flight from Shanghai back to the US. There is a brilliantly beautiful girl sitting not far from me, traveling with her family. She looks to be part Western and part Eastern, apparently the best bits of each. I’m pretty much in love with her right now. Seems she’ll be flying to San Francisco as well, so perhaps between napping, reading, watching some TV, and stealing an occasional glance of her – I’ll have an enjoyable ten hour flight. And now, much to your amazement and sure-thing applause, I bring you the next sentence from some fifteen-hours later: Sitting in San Francisco waiting for that last puddle-jumper home. The brilliantly beautiful girl is also going home, it seems, and her home is the same as my home. Although, I must admit the long flight has dulled her edges just a bit – but I must look even worse than my fresh-and-clean best too, so I’d say the mutual chances of a clandestine hookup have at least gone down proportionally. It’s OK, though, because I’m about to be home with my wife and daughter – and I’m ready ready ready…

Ahhh… the relaxation that can only come from being on one’s own couch, a full weekend ahead of him, having just returned from China (yes, it’s a rare form of relaxation indeed). Keaton’s here too, just dad and baby – while mom man’s some event up at church (she’s become quite Mrs. Involved lately with all manner of “mom’s group” doings, which I think is wonderful – and probably appeals to that sense of responsibility she cultivated and then had to leave when she started, then departed from, her teaching job). All this means dad’s got Keaton for the morning, up until her afternoon nap. After that, I plan to try and get my garden planted (providing the clouds break). I’ll get what I can as living transplants up at the Home Depot, and if I can’t find the exact breed of what I want there I’ll do seeds over the ‘net and start that way.

Speaking of my garden, the folks in Shanghai were quite astounded when I told them that I was trying my hand at the trade. Seems their notion of American suburban backyards doesn’t include gardens (wonder why) – and my desire to “farm” had them somewhat befuddled. I liked it, added to my Western sense of mystery, I’m like a storybook figure: A rich American engineering manager with two cars who can have limitless babies if he desires and grows vegetables in his backyard. All I need is a blue ox and a loom that spins gold and I’d be a timeless legend. Now I have the added pressure of a few Chinese coworkers imagining my bounty of homegrown vegetables to deal with as I tool my crop to success though – if it’s a complete bust now I’ll be letting an entire nation down.

Anyway, Keaton and I are sitting around watching the sun try to break through the morning clouds. We’re listening to the astounding-sounding MFSL version of Yes’ calssic 1972 album Fragile, which I just put on my iPod this morning after discovering, after getting a sudden and strong yen to rock out to it during my flight home, that, much to my horror, it was not already thereon. (Man, I re-worded that sentence like four times before I decided I’d placed all the comma’d-off portions correctly. If you do that “it has to make sense without the comma’d parts rule” it should read: “…after discovering that it was not already thereon,” sounds right to me). Anyway, the omission made me realize that my Yes collection is somewhat lacking, so I ran out and picked up both 1971’s The Yes Album, and 1972’s Close to the Edge, which are both sounding mighty fine to me right now.

Oh, I’ve been wanting to write about all the things Keaton can now do – more for my own recordkeeping than bragging, although a mite of bragging ain’t never hurt no one that I heard of. Anyway, Keaton can now say the following things: “bye-bye,” “hi,” “dog,” “ball,” “hat,” “night-night,” “wow,” “mom,” “dad,” “bread,” and most recently, “no.” She can correctly point to the following body parts when asked: eyes, ear, belly, feet, nose, and tongue. As of tonight, she’s taken eight consecutive steps while standing, so on the road to walking. She can make a roaring sound when you ask, “What does a lion say?” Sharaun thinks she’s a genius because of all of this, I just think she’s regular.

Just finished my taxes. I had put in Keaton’s SSN yet because I couldn’t find the card. Found it, put it in, and saw my Fed refund go from like less than $200 to just over a grand. I thought that was hardcore awesome. Goodnight.

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