Thursday, March 25, 2004

She's here!

Not much time to post, but I'll share the basic statistics...

Emily Ava Cuthbert was born via c-section on March 24, 2004 at 5:48 p.m. She weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 inches long.

Here's her picture.


More later. I'm headed back to the hospital.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


We're pretty sure that today is going to be the big day. Misty thinks her water broke in the middle of the night, and she's been having contractions for the last several hours. We're going to the hospital for a checkup today anyway, so we may go in early if the contractions start arriving at closer intervals.

It's nice that we've actually had the opportunity to move at a relaxed pace this morning and take the time to make sure everything is squared away. It feels like we should be rushing because we're so excited, but there's no point. If we went to the hospital now, they'd just send us home, telling us to wait.

I've had enough waiting. I am ready to meet our daughter.

Monday, March 22, 2004

It is possible to love your pet too much

Last night, Misty finally decided that it's time to put her dog Bows to sleep.

Bows is very old and has been blind and deaf ever since I've known her. Most of the day for her is spent curled up on a pillow on the floor. When she is awake, she wanders around the house like a bumper car, banging into everything, reversing, and heading off in a different direction to bang into something else. She has to be physically carried outside and up and down the stairs. When she's ready to go back to sleep, she spends an hour licking her pillow before she'll lie down because she prefers to sleep in a wet puddle.

She's alive, but she's not really living. It's hard to give her affection when she barely knows we're here.

With Bows' impending demise on my mind, I saw this in yesterday's paper...
Companions for life

Whenever Florence Sands walks by her beloved golden retriever Penny, she pets her and talks to her. "Even I talk to it sometimes," says her husband, Jerry Sands, 77.

Catherine Delaney curls up with Kelsey, her golden retriever. Sometimes she'll even take her out on errands. "Right now, she's on a cedar chest," Delaney says. "When I see her big eyes, I just say 'Kelsey, Mommy loves you.'"

Shih tzu Callie keeps her regular perch in Joelle Ienner's bedroom in Alabaster. "I sleep with her every night," Ienner says.

Penny, Kelsey and Callie have been dead for months.

But that hasn't stopped their owners from lavishing affection on their pets, or at least on their stuffed likenesses. The cremains of Penny, Kelsey and Callie are ensconced in those stuffed animals courtesy of Comfort Pets, which bills its zipper-pocketed products as "urn alternatives." Its fuzzy animals look like corgis, springer spaniels, long-hair white cats, amber cats and other pals that once barked or purred or snuggled with their masters...

You read that right. You can take your dead dog's remains, stuff them into a teddy bear, and cuddle it forever.

What's even crazier is that these things cost $80 and up. That price doesn't include cremation or even stuffing the animal and sewing it up. You've got to do that part yourself. But for that price, you'd be better off going to Build-a-Bear. They've got dogs starting at $22. I can just imagine the conversation there: "Uh... Do you mind if instead of the usual cotton and styrafoam, if I put my dead dog's ashes in there instead?"

I want to be shocked by this story, but I'm not. With Misty working at an animal clinic, I've heard all sorts of tales about wackos and their pets. I just hope that Misty won't join the list and decide to get Bows sewn inside a stuffed shih tzu.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

The new address

Welcome to the new home of Impending Distractions. Not much has changed, as you can see. I'm still using Blogger for posting — they've got a good service, and I see no reason to switch.

I'll hopefully have some pictures to post soon, as such is the main reason for having moved here.

Anyway, thanks for continuing to visit!

Friday, March 19, 2004

Baby disregards eviction notice

Nothing. That's what's going on in the baby department. Nothing.

We went to the doctor yesterday to learn that Misty has not dialated and the baby has still not dropped. Her pelvis may actually be too small for the baby's head to fit though (especially since she already weighs over 8 pounds and continues to grow). We don't know yet, though. It seems we won't know until the actual delivery process begins.

The doctor told us to come back Tuesday or Wednesday and see whether things have progressed any. If nothing has changed they'll scedule Misty to be induced on the Monday following her due date. That's a bit of a contrast from what we'd been led to believe previously — that the baby would probably arrive a week ahead of schedule and if not, they wouldn't let Misty go any later than her due date because the baby would be so big by then. Anyway, they'll try inducing and let Misty labor for a few hours. Then if things aren't progressing, they'll go ahead with a C-section.

With an inducement scheduled for the evening the Monday after the due date, that would put the latest birth date at March 30. As things look now, I'm expecting to wait that long. I hope Emily decides to make her way into the world earlier, but I'm not counting on it. Misty and I are, of course, anxious to get this process over with and meet our baby girl. We're trying to look on the bright side, though. This will give us one more week to do things like read and watch movies. For Misty, it will give her a week off work to relax before the big day.

But, as with every single element of pregnancy, anything could happen at any time.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

This is not an interesting story

I had a terrible headache last night. It started when Misty and I were out and about running errands. Nevertheless, I forgot to pick up sinus headache medicine.

By dinnertime, the pain was so bad it was making me queasy. I took my regular allergy medicine and some pain relievers. After eating, I went right to bed, hoping that I'd be able to sleep it off.

I woke up with the pain still there. My first thought was that I'd pick up some Tylenol Sinus medicine on the way to work. I assumed that it was about 4 a.m. Looking at the clock, however, I realized that it was only midnight. I didn't think I was going to be able to hold out that long, so I got up, got dressed, and told Misty I was going to CVS.

There's a new CVS just a couple miles from our house, so I got there quickly. Inside, though, it was dark, and as I walked to the door I realized that it was closed. Oddly enough, the hours were not posted on the door as if it were a 24-hour establishment.

I then headed to Walgreens, which is about another 5 miles away. Driving down I-459, I looked at my dash and noticed that I was only going 55 mph. For some reason, I tend to drive more slowly when it's dark and the roads are empty. Despite my realization, I wasn't able to bring myself to speed up. I turned on the radio for something to keep me alert, but the rock and pop stations were too much for me. I settled on NPR which was playing something that sounded like Pink Floyd.

Pulling into the Walgreens parking lot, I was glad to see that the lights were all on inside the store. There were several cars in the parking lot, too. Nevertheless, the door would not open. I looked and noted that their hours ran until 10 p.m. I suppose the staff may have been in there doing inventory or something.

Annoyed, I drove on to Wal-Mart. I hate Wal-Mart. It's big and crowded and messy and evil. This would mark the third time I'd been there in as many days. But they were open at 12:30 a.m., so I am thankful for them. I bought my medicine and walked immediately over to the fountain where I popped a pair of the blessed Tylenol Sinus.

I drove back home listening to a report on solar flares. Amazingly enough, the dogs remained quiet when I opened the garage door and came inside. On my way through the dark, I managed to walk into Misty's new rocking chair, as I am not yet used to its placement in the living room. I got back to bed and fell asleep to the lullaby of one of the dogs licking her pillow.

Nearing the end... and the beginning

Don't take my week of non-posting as a sign that Emily has arrived. She's still in the oven. Misty and I are heading to the doctor this afternoon for our last scheduled visit before the due date. Misty's main question is going to be: Can we go ahead and get this over with?

I had a very productive weekend, due in part to the fact that Misty called me Tuesday morning to tell me that she'd been having contractions at work. I sped around the house getting things squared away. When Misty got home, she said she hadn't had any more contractions since before lunchtime. She didn't report any yesterday, either. Regardless, we're pretty sure the baby will be on her way very soon.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Nightmares for Christian children

From Roger Ebert's Movie Answer Man column...
Q: I just returned from seeing "The Passion of the Christ." Had I been able to wrench my attention away from all of the horrified children gasping in the audience, I might have appreciated it more.

I can understand parents showing up at this film with their children expecting something different, but after a few minutes of the tremendous violence shown onscreen, I would have thought more parents would have spared their children further horror. Shouldn't ticket sellers offer some kind of warning to parents showing up with good intentions and young children?

Carson Utz, Novato, Calif.

A: I'll go further than that: No responsible parent would allow a child to see the film. "The Passion of the Christ," the most violent film I have ever seen, received an R rating from the MPAA because the group, which exists in part to quell the fears of churchgoing America, lacked the nerve to give it the NC-17 rating it clearly deserves.

This becomes an unanswerable argument for my recommendation of an A (for adults only) rating between the R (which allows parents to take in children of any age) and the NC-17, which is irretrievably associated with pornography.

Because many theaters refuse to book NC-17 films, and many media outlets will not advertise them, imagine the irony if their own policies had forced them to boycott "The Passion of the Christ"!

Let the MPAA bring back the X, which everyone understands, for porno and establish a useful adults-only rating for films that are not pornography but are simply unsuitable for children.

I wholeheartedly agree — both that the MPAA's ratings policies are ridiculous and that we need a system that clearly distinguises porn from movies that are simply for adults-only. R doesn't cut it, and NC-17 is inappropriately feared.

In the meantime, too many parents are irresponsible and pay no attention to ratings, regardless. "Passion" is rated R. Critics everywhere (whether they like the film or not) have described it as intensely violent. Yet parents continue to stupidly take kids to see it. "Passion" is not alone here, though. I've seen parents escorting kids into many movies that were clearly too violent for them. I don't care how mature you think your 7-year-old is, he shouldn't see "Terminator 3."

The MPAA can only do part of the work. Parents and theater managers are responsible, too.

Five frivolous facts

My participation in the Friday Five is sporadic, at best, but here's the latest.

1. What was the last song you heard?
"The Hoppity Song" by Five for Fighting from "For the Kids" which Kara sent me Emily yesterday (thanks, Kara!)

2. What were the last two movies you saw?
Dead Poets Society 2 Mona Lisa Smile - not a bad movie, actually, but I didn't adore it
X2 - for the fifth or sixth time

3. What were the last three things you purchased?
On-the-Go Goldfish
Twist & Sounds Bee teether
diapers (and several other baby-related items)

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?
pack for the hospital
recycle the cardboard boxes that are cluttering up the garage
mow & fertilize the lawn
acquaint myself with the new digital camera

5. Who are the last five people you talked to?
Ryann, Justin, Amanda, Brian, and Ken - at our daily morning editoral meeting

Exercise your rights. Get sent to prison.

This pisses me off.
Woman gets murder charge in baby death

A pregnant woman who allegedly ignored medical warnings to have a Caesarean section to save her twins was charged Thursday with murder after one of the babies was stillborn.

Granted, if you read the rest of the story the woman sounds like a bit of a kook. But a murderer? Give me a break.

Before you have a C-section, you have to sign a consent form. This woman refused to give her consent, and now she's in prison. What's the point of giving her a choice then?

It reminds me of the second episode of "Forever Eden" (has it been cancelled yet?) where the "least desireable" woman could choose which man to banish. After making her choice, she was given the option of sparing him instead. Sticking with her decision to banish him, she was then told that since she chose to banish him, she'd now be banished as well.

Yeah, it's just like that.

Monday, March 08, 2004

You've got a phone on your desk for a reason

I've always hated hearing cell phones in theatres and restaurants. Who doesn't? But there's a new place added to my list — at work.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Shih tzu baby

Misty's relatives are rabid with the desire to feel the baby kick. They ask her every ten minutes or so, "is she moving?"

Since Cathy (Misty's cousin) was really drowsy after taking her medicine last night, I took the opportunity to mess with her. I stuffed Buttons (the dog) under my shirt, walked over to where she was sitting half-conscious on the couch, and said, "Cathy, the baby's moving. Do you want to feel her?"

I kid you not — she jumped up and reached for my belly before she realized what was going on.

Got a blue moon in your eyes

Woke up this mornin' (at 3 a.m.!)
Got yourself a gun (I wish)

The good news is that my family is coming tonight. No, not that family. This one.


I had a busy day yesterday.

First, of course, I went to work. On the way home, I stopped by Babies R Us to pick up a rocker/glider that Misty's mom had bought. It was a tight squeeze getting it into my car, but it fit.

At home, I set upon doing my manly duty of putting stuff together. I assembled the gargantuan stoller/carseat/trojan horse combo. The pieces all snapped together rather easily, but it took a while for me to comprehend exactly how. I hate it when directions are written with each step in three languages. It just confuses me when I read "Fasten the wheels to the rear axle. Attacher les roues à l'essieu arrière. Abroche las ruedas al eje trasero." I always read further than I'm supposed to and I end up thinking I'm supposed to attacher les roues, and I don't know what that means. I like it better when there's a different section for each language. Segregation is good. Anyway, I got the thing put together.

Next up was the rocker/glider. Its directions were very simple to comprehend, but the actual assembly was more difficult. I had to twist my arm in weird positions and tighten screws with a tiny allen wrench while I held a nut in place with a phillips-head screwdriver. My dexterity was put to the test, and I succeeded.

My manly tasks completed, I set upon what is normaly Misty's job — gardening. For the next couple hours, I crouched in the front yard, pulling weeds. I managed to get myself good and filthy. It was a nice day, so there were lots of kids out playing and people walking around the neighborhood. One of our neighbors walked by with a big airedale, which Mango and Buttons were enthralled with. They never bark at other dogs, though. Later a couple rode by on their bicycles — one of them with a baby strapped into a rear seat. The woman called out, teasing, "it looks like you've got more weeds than grass."

Following a shower to rid myself of my newly-acquired grime, I accepted the grim reality that I would finally have to clean the bathroom sinks. I'm not sure they'd been cleaned since we moved in. If they had, it was certainly not more than once. Much scrubbing was required and many paper towels were disposed of. The bathroom looks sparkley now, though.

Misty returned from shopping with her family, and we ate pizza and discussed plans for the baby shower.

Finally I went to bed for a good four hours of sleep.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Big baby

Misty went to the doctor again yesterday. It turns out that the baby has not dropped, after all. She's moved downward a little, but it's not official yet.

Emily currently weighs 7 pounds, 13 ounces. She's expected to gain about a half-pound a week as she continues to bake. If, in two weeks, she weighs around 9 pounds, the doctors are going to offer to induce labor. At the latest, though, we'll have to wait three more weeks (the expected due date). If Misty hasn't gone into labor by then, the doctors plan to induce. Otherwise Emily will be too big to deliver.

They did another ultrasound to check that the baby is pointed in the right direction. She is. I got to watch the tape when Misty got home. You can see lots more features now. Emily clearly has toes, lips, and a nose. She's cute even though she's blurry.

The departure of Saturn

The long battle between myself and the evil cat is finally over, and I have emerged the victor.

Saturn peed on the floor in the baby's room again last night. And I just had the carpets professionally steam cleaned this week, too. We weren't sure that she was still doing it since we moved her litter box, so Misty laid down a bunch of paper towels before we went to work. When we came home, they were wet.

Later on, I found Saturn sitting in Emily's crib. Peeing on the floor was already enough for Misty to decide that it was time for the cat to go, but the fact that she might scratch or suffocate the baby by jumping in the crib is even more of a problem.

Saturn is currently on vacation at the animal clinic. We've asked my parents if they'd like to adopt her, but we're not sure where she'll end up just yet.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Nothing to show for it

I drove up to Huntsville/Madison again yesterday to get my tax information from Haven's computer. This time I remembered to bring floppys to store the data.

While at Haven, I called over to Ultimate Josh's mom's house to see if anyone was home. Before Josh moved to Portland, he left a bunch of stuff he'd borrowed from me there. The list of items included a sweatshirt, a book, the two Sopranos soundtracks, my laptop, and 7 framed pieces of original comic book art (which he "rescued" from Haven when the new owners took over). The guy I talked to on the phone said it was cool to come on over and pick it up.

Josh's mom lives in Lacy's Spring — a 45-minute drive from Madison.

When I got there, I was greeted at the door with stares of bewilderment. It looked like something out of an epsiode of "Cops." The man and woman who answered the door seemed rather unnerved that I was there, whoever I was. I introduced myself, but they made no effort to do the same. All I know is that it wasn't Josh's mom or stepdad. For purposes of this story, I'll refer to them as Cletus and Bobbie Sue.

I explained why I was there, but they didn't appear convinced. I told them that I'd called a couple hours ago and had been told that I could come by.

"Who'd you talk to?" was Cletus's reply.

(Like that makes any difference.) "I don't know. Whoever answered the phone," I said.

"Oh, that must have been my brother," said Cletus. "You'll have to come back when he's here."

"Well, I live in Birmingham, so it's not exactly easy for me to stop by. I did just talk to someone who said today would be fine," I pleaded, not wanting this trip to be wasted.

This same exchange repeated about three times. All the while, a trio of dogs jumped in an out of the screen door with no screen. I couldn't understand why Cletus didn't just invite me in to find the stuff or why he wouldn't just rummage around for a bit and find it for me. I considered mentioning how valuable the artwork was, but I thought better of it. I didn't want it to end up in a pawn shop.

Finally, Cletus offered to go see if he could find my things. He disappeared into the house. A minute later he returned claiming that everything was buried in a closet somewhere and someone would have to clean it out before they'd be able to find what I was looking for.

Seeing that dealing with Cletus wasn't going to get me anywhere, I asked when Josh's mom was expected back.

"She's gonna be away until April," I was told.

"What about his stepdad?" I asked.

"I'm not sure. He's in the hospital," Cletus answered. "He was real sick last night, but the damn sombitch wouldn't call a doctor. Ambulance came and got him this mornin'."

Such answers did not sound encouraging.

"Tell you what... Let me get your name and number, and I'll have him call you when he gets home from the hospital," Cletus offered, finally opening the door and inviting me in.

Inside, Bobbie Sue was on the couch with the remote, flipping through the TV programming menu and reading the descriptions of the upcoming porn movies. She selected "Big, Black, & Stacked (part 3)" and clicked for more info.

Meanwhile, Cletus handed me a used envelope and a pen. I wrote down my name and number, expecting to never get a call. Then he told me, "Maybe I'll even go through there in a little while and see if I can find that stuff. I might be able to meet you somewhere so you can pick it up." (Don't hurt yourself, buddy.)

Agitated at my wasted trip and the rudeness of Cletus and Bobbie Sue, I left figuring that I'd just have to write off anything of mine that might be in the house. I drove 45 minutes back to Huntsville and another 2 hours home.

Cut to today. I briefly relayed my story to Ultimate Josh via instant messenger, letting him know what a jackass I thought his stepbrother was. He said there's a 99% chance that they were worried about me coming inside and looking around because I'd find their weed.

Now it makes sense. I couldn't care less about their weed, but they wouldn't have known that. Regardless, I'm still pissed off about the way things went. Next time, I'll think to have them call Ultimate Josh for confirmation that I'm not a narc.

They are warm because they toast them!

Since the #1 and #3 search words that leads to my blog are (respectively) "Spongmonkeys" and "Quiznos," here's an article for all of you who "love the subs."

How's that for blogpimping?

Surprise shower

My co-workers just threw a surprise baby shower for me and another employee who is also expecting a baby soon. Our wives had apparently been tipped off, because they showed up too. There was a cake decorated with little baby booties — half pink and half blue (the other upcoming baby is a boy). Misty and I opened our huge present to find an infant swing inside. The whole ordeal has made for a very exciting day!

Monday, March 01, 2004

He's no Shyamalan

Roger Ebert says "The Passion of the Christ" is the most violent movie he's ever seen.

Andrew Sullivan goes so far as to call the film "pornography." (read what he says before you bitch)

Apparently, Mel Gibson "was asked by a nun to reduce the violence, but responded by saying that people today are so steeped in violence that he had to make it jarring enough to disturb people so they could see the reality of Jesus' suffering."

Thanks Mel. Numb our senses a little more.

I admire a director a lot more who can invoke emotion without having to shove it down my throat.

No need to thank your parakeet

There's something that nobody seems to be mentioning about last night's Oscar ceremonies. Jack Black and Will Ferrell sang the words to the hurry-up-and-finish song, but we hardly got to hear it.

I don't know why the Academy allowed people to finish their speeches last night, but I actually enjoyed it. I've always found it rude when the winners get cut off. They'll let a guy who barely speaks English ramble on incoherently for 5 minutes, but someone else will get the music.

Last night Richard Taylor was the only person I noticed getting cut off. But it was his third trip to the stage. He'd already delivered lengthy speeches for his awards for best costume design and best makeup, and he was trying for another. I hate to say it, but dude, you won the makeup award — no one cares about what you have to say.

And speaking of being cut off by the music... Last year's most famous silenced speaker, Michael Moore, appeared in the opening skit, lampooning his "shame on you" speech. It seems Mike's being a good sport about the whole thing. Good for him. But while they're happy to use his speech as a punchline, the Academy wasn't willing to allow him to include it on the "Bowling for Columbine" DVD. That's just hypocritical.

Update: Have I got this Richard Taylor thing totally wrong? I can't find reference to it anywhere.