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In case anyone missed the transition, I'm now moving all blogging stuff to Facebook.
Well, seeing that I'm not a 14-year-old girl, I guess I'll be trading in Myspace for Facebook.

I was reading Lily a Valentine's Day book Jen had checked out of the library the other day, and when we flipped to a page with a Roman god lounging on a cloud, Lily said "Lupercus."

I said, "Who's Lupercus?" and she said, "That guy" and pointed to the picture.

I read the page, and sure enough, his name was Lupercus.

Later on, I was playing City of Heroes, and Lily wandered up and asked who the green lady was. I told her that the green lady was named Green Fuse, (after the Dylan Thomas poem The Force that through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower which is an awesome title) Lily asked me to make run around and make her look through binoculars and do jumping jacks .So I did that, and then it was time for bath time, so I shut down the game we had her bath.

Then, five days later, I'm playing again and Lily crawls up on my lap and asks, "Where's Green Fuse?" I mentioned the name once, and while she knows her colors, she certainly doesn't know what a fuse is. It's just amazing that she has such a specific recollection of new words.

My brother Jeff is up from sunny Florida. We've been trying to get in touch with my other brothers (including the one that lives three blocks away), but so far we've had no luck arranging a visit. We haven't done a lot (I've been pretty busy with work), but much like me, Jeff is pretty content to hang out with his computer all day. We might head to Peddler's Village/New Hope tomorrow. Anyone want to meet us there?

Daddy's not a baby!

My little brother Jeff is visiting us and it's great to have him up here. He's only been up here for short little visits, once for our wedding when he was ten, once for a week after Lily was born. It's good to have him up here now that he's more or less all grown up. It was his first time seeing snow. It snowed on Friday morning and he took a picture with his cell phone.

Lily was shy around him at first, but she's warmed to him considerably. The other day she was coming out of the bathroom with Jen and she yelled "Daddy! Jeff!" and ran right past me to get to him.

Jeff was talking on my phone to his girlfriend and he said "Hey, baby," and Lily thought he was talking to me. "Daddy's not a baby!" she called from the other room. Heh heh heh.

She's been a bit sick for the past couple days. We've been pretty lucky in that she hasn't really had any major illnesses up to this point. She is getting better and she sounds fine, except when she gives a heartbreaking, hacking cough. We must look sad when she coughs like that, because she'll pat me on the head and say "Don't be sad, daddy. Don't cry."

We took her to the mall because Jeff needed to get his glasses fixed.  She was playing on the cars they have for kids at the mall and a little boy sat down beside her and asked if he could play there. Lily nodded and smiled and then gave a big hacking cough right in his face without the slightest inkling this might be inappropriate. Jen hustled her away.

Also, we had our first love lovey. After we got her back into the car and buckled in, she asked sweetly, "Where's the Christmas Tree blanket?" (She's got this little white blanket and it, along with her Baby Bear and Ariel pillow, have become the trio of loveys that go with her everywhere.) So Jen drove around while I ran frantically through the mall backtracking to everywhere we'd been. I finally found behind the table we'd used at the Chinese restaurant and ran back to the car, trophy in hand.

Time Out

So, we took Lily's temperature last night. I distracted her and Jen slipped the thermometer in. She looked very surprised for a moment, and then started crying. Afterwards, she was fine. We put a band aid with a picture of a horsey on her bottom and she found the thermometer (after we had cleaned it up) and asked me "Do you want me to stick this in your heiney?" I told her that I was okay, but suggested she stick it in her Baby Bear, which is what she did.

She was naughty earlier in the day, and we put her on time out, to which she said, "You're on time out."

It goes against my nature to say, "No, you're on time out." There is something fundamentally flawed about me that leads me to believe that I can reason with a toddler, so I hunker down to her level and lovingly but firmly say, "No, let me explain why you're on time out. I'll give my answer in five parts, with the first part last and the second part third..."

Dodecahedron

So, it looks like Obama has hit the ground running. In the first 48 hours he has released three executive orders: closing Gitmo in Cuba by the end of this year, using the Army Field Manual as guideline for fair and equitable treatment of detainees, and no tolerance for torture.

I think he's going to be a very good President. His approval is at 77%. That's pretty astronomical. A lot of the coverage is focusing on the fact that he's the first African American president, which is interesting and all, but I don't think it's relevant to the kind of president he's going to be. It's just one of the many traits that makes him who he is, and he is acting not as a black man or as a white man, but as representative of the most powerful nation in the world, and other people will be interacting with him in that capacity.

More Obama posts in the future, but now I'll be posting about Lily.

So the other day, I was sitting on the floor, playing with vast collection of multi-sided dice (you know, like normal people do) when Lily came up and said, "Whatcha doin', daddy?"

I said that I was looking at these dice, and that one was called a die and more than one were called dice. She pointed to the twelve-sided die, and said "What's that one called?" and I told it had twelve sides, so it was called a twelve-sider or a dodecahedron, which is an awesome word for a two-year-old. She's been reciting it all weekend in a little sing-song voice, "Doe-deck-a-hede-ron!"

I'd actually been familiar with the word since I was about 10. I saw it in an episode of Doctor Who ("Meglos", the one with the cactus Tom Baker) and I impressed the hell out of my math teacher later that year by knowing the word for a twelve-sided solid off the top of my head.

Later on, when building a line out of my dice, she paused to look up and say "You're the best daddy in the world," which I knew, of course, but it was nice to hear.

For a brief while , she was also saying, "You're a towel!", if somebody mentioned a towel or "You're a duck!" if somebody mentioned a duck.

I asked "Is that your new catch phrase?" and of course she replied,  "You're a cat-phase!"

Inauguration!

I 'll have a longer post up eventually, but I thought this summed up things nicely.

Rosa Parks sat so that Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so that Barack Obama could run. Barack Obama ran so that all children could fly.

My spell checker doesn't recognize Barack Obama, but that will change soon.

Flowers are red

Lily's been...active, these past couple days. She wandered into our bedroom and started pulling the covers off of me. "It's light outside. Time to wake up,daddy."

In the bathtub, she found her nipples and asked, "What are these?" Fortunately, Jen was there to field that one.

Jen found some measuring tape and said "Lily, we're going to measure your little body so we can buy you a belt."

"Don't measure my little body!" Lily exclaimed.

The other evening, she want wanted to play on the computer because she saw daddy doing it. I put her on my lap and held her far enough away that she couldn't touch the keyboard.

Lily: "I can't reach it."

Me: "That's a feature, not a bug."

Lily: "I don't know what that means"

I think, as she gets smarter and more independent, the trick is getting her to behave without dampening her spirit. I've always thought the saddest song I've ever heard was Flowers are Red by Harry Chapin. It's about a boy who colored his pictures of flowers in all these different colors. The teacher punishes him until he gives in and tells the teacher that "flowers are red, and green leaves are green." When he goes to a different school, he continues mechanically painting flowers red and green, to the dismay of his new, kind teacher.

(In the live concert versions, Chapin extended the song's ending to: "There still must be a way to have our children say..." before featuring the little boy's chorus again and bringing the song to a better conclusion. A version of this is featured on his album Legends of the Lost and Found.)

According to wikipedia, The idea for the song came to Chapin when his secretary told him about her son who brought his report card home from school one day. The teacher had written a note in the card saying: "Your son is marching to the beat of a different drummer, but don't worry we will soon have him joining the parade by the end of the term."

And I'm happy to have a smart, inquisitive little girl. I just wish she didn't have a photographic recall of where I hide my cookies.

The Philadelphia Experiment.

Jen and I went down to Philly for the wedding of our friends Karen and Andrew. Along the way we stopped to visit some other friends.

First we stopped down where Jen used to work. We were expecting her friend Stacey to be seven months pregnant. We weren't expecting her to be a mommy already. She'd had her baby very early, but she's back at work already because the baby is in the hospital full time. (She's saving up her maternity leave for when she can really use it) And the baby is healthy, with none of the health problems that afflict preemies. She's just tiny. Jen and Lily plan to come down there one Tuesday to see them.

After that, we met Tom and Jen at the Plymouth Meeting Mall. We were planning on eating at Bertucci's, but they had put in a Dave & Busters in in the interim, so we went there instead. Tom was dressed up as Batman and kept telling us how Batman (and it was the Adam West Batman, he was very insistent about that) could beat up Superman with nothing more than a sock filled with kryptonite soap. (See also, this comic) Dave & Busters had a very disappointing selection of games, however, we had a fun time on the seven player trivia game. Jen won 104 tickets in one game. She bought two kazoos and some Dora temporary tattoos.

After Tom was removed by mall security for waving some lime rock candy at a guy in a Superman shirt, Jen and I walked around the local IKEA for a bit, then Jen went into the store to change into her wedding dress. Somehow she left her wedding dress in the car, so she just changed into it in the parking lot.

We set out for the wedding from there, but there was a car accident on the road we needed to travel, so we spent almost two hours traveling twenty miles. When we got to the intersecting road, we turned left, as the google maps directions instructed us, and not right, as we actually needed to. So we wound up at a prison and not at a country club. Hilarity ensued. But really, who among us has not made that mistake?

We finally got to the country club, entering the room literally less than a minute before they started playing the wedding march. The ceremony was nice. It was short, which is always good. Weddings are one thing that don't need any padding, and I think this was a good one. The had what they needed to make it great, and nothing more. Also, no reading from Corinthians. It was quick, it was fun, and it was appropriately dignified.

After the ceremony, we went to get our seating card. Ours says "You are seated at table thirteen." Jen did a quick count and noticed twelve tables, none of which were labeled. So we picked one at random and sat down and ate appetizers, and discussed which lies we wanted to tell people at our table. We figured since we didn't know anyone there, we could just reinvent ourselves. I decided that I had come from the future and I was there to ensure that the wedding went off successfully. I had accomplished my goal early on, so now I was relaxing and there to enjoy the party. Jen decided that she was in the US Marshals, and she was there as part of the witness protection program.

Then they moved us all to another room, one that actually had thirteen tables, and we abandoned all our carefully laid plans.

Even though we didn't know anybody, the wedding reception was very fun. Our table-mates were fun and friendly. Karen looked like she was having a HUGE amount of fun.

I am enormously fond of Karen not in the least because she shares my bleeding heart sensibilities and my untidy stew of neuroses. I've only hung out with Andrew a few times, and I mostly know him through Karen. They clearly make each other very happy. When I first met them, I was afraid that they were going to be one of those couples who live together forever, but never get married. I am pleased beyond words to have been wrong about that.

Karen and Andrew are a very good couple. I want to say that they deserved the happy ending they had this weekend, but there are no happy endings, because nothing ever ends. It's just a beginning. Tim was the best man at our wedding, and he had a nice quote on the topic.  For the life of me, I can't remember the exact words, but the sentiment was that "Every step each of you has taken has been towards this, and now every step you take will be taken together."

So here's to a happy marriage and a happy beginning, Karen and Andrew!

Pretty Maids all in a row

Resuci Annie is out of the office today, which is good news, because working with her is like having a Caesarian section every day.

Jen bought our sister-in-law a gym membership for Christmas and she got three one-month passes for herself. She gave two away and she's using one for herself. Since the clock is running on them, she's trying to go to the gym as often as she can.

I asked Lily what she thinks mommy does at the gym. I expected her to say "She runs around", because that's how she answers me whenever I ask what she did at preschool.

Instead, she thought about it and said "Umm...plays with monkeys?"

Heh.

Speaking of monkeys, we saw The Forbidden Kingdom, which is an interpretation of the Chinese Epic, Journey to the West. Journey to the West was formally set down in the 16th century, but it existed in folk tales for easily twice that long. The central figure, the Monkey King, is a trickster figure as old as human myth. The story has been told and retold since before there was an America. But in none of these interpretations is there a goofy white kid from New York City. Jesus Christ, Hollywood. You've got Jet Li and Jackie Chan in your movie. Do you really need an audience identification character?

Other than that, really good. The two leads are undeniably appealing, (and they did spend a lot of screen time abusing Whitey, so bonus) Yuen Woo Ping always choreographs great action scenes, and it had the appropriate mythic feel.

Lily's new thing is lining things up. She'll dump out all her toys, and then spread them in a long row. She calls this "Doing her work".

Last night, Lily was in the bath tub, I was upstairs and Jen stepped into the kitchen to do some dishes. She could still hear Lily splashing around in there, and would poke her head in to check on her every couple minutes. After Jen had wrapped up the dishes, she went back to the bathroom and found that Lily had pooped in the tub, and then arranged the little turds in a neat little line along its edge.

Blech.

"Are your hands clean, Lily?"

"They're pretty clean, mommy."

New Who

So, we saw the Christmas episode of Doctor Who, "The Next Doctor". Pretty decent. Easily the best of the Christmas episodes. David Morrissey was having a lot of fun with the role, and David Tennant gave a nice, understated performance.

In other news, it looks like 26-year old Matt Smith has been cast as the 11th Doctor. Not only is he barely out of diapers, but his previous acting experience has primarily been opposite Billie Piper. Fuck! This is a slap in the face to all Doctor Who fans! A SLAP IN THE FACE!

Ehhh....seriously, I'm not thrilled about the choice, but we'll wait and see. Right now, it seems like a bigger line of turds than one on our bath tub.

Jen and I went to New York last Tuesday. It was nice. We did all the touristy things, Central Park, FAO Schwartz, watching the skaters at Rockefeller Center, walking up Times Square. It was neat. I wanted to see MOMA, but they're closed on Tuesdays.

Self-defenestration

Golly, my little corner of the world finds itself in the news again. What is wrong with this place?

EASTON, Pa. – A supermarket is defending itself for refusing to a write out 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell's name on his birthday cake. Deborah Campbell, 25, of nearby Hunterdon County, N.J., said she phoned in her order last week to the Greenwich ShopRite. When she told the bakery department she wanted her son's name spelled out, she was told to talk to a supervisor, who denied the request.

Karen Meleta, a ShopRite spokeswoman, said the store denied similar requests from the Campbells the last two years, including a request for a swastika.

"We reserve the right not to print anything on the cake that we deem to be inappropriate," Meleta said. "We considered this inappropriate."

The Campbells ultimately got their cake decorated at a Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania, Deborah Campbell said Tuesday.

A Wal-Mart spokesman told The Associated Press on Wednesday that in light of the incident, the company would review its guidelines regarding cake decorations and other requests.

"It's clear that in serving this customer, some people were offended," spokesman Greg Rossiter said. "As a result, we're going to review our policies."

Heath Campbell said he named his son after Adolf Hitler because he liked the name and because "no one else in the world would have that name."

The Campbells' two other children are named JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, who turns 2 in a few months, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, who will be 1 in April.

Campbell said he was raised not to avoid people of other races but not to mix with them socially or romantically. But he said he would try to raise his children differently.

"Say he grows up and hangs out with black people. That's fine, I don't really care," he said. "That's his choice."

He said about 12 people attended the birthday party Sunday, including several children of mixed race.


Delightful.

In other news, Toyota has reported its first operating loss since 1941. Since they seemed to have turned a profit in every other year they've been in operation, including the year we dropped nuclear bombs on them, I can't help but see bad things ahead for the industry.

Lily said to me the other day "You've got a monster in your nose!" She had previously found a ladybug up there. I know it's not the most attractive nose in the universe, but sheesh! I told her that I was going to make a blog post about all the weird things she's said about my nose and she said "You're ka-razy!"

There are things that make you proud of your kid, and then things that remind you that kids are sometimes very selfish. We told her that Santa was flying around the world and giving presents. "For me?!" "For you and every little girl and boy!" "Not for them!" she said and maintained this, to the point where she said that she'd rather have nobody get any toys if she had to share them with other girls and boys. Isn't that precious? Fortunately she forgot all about this in the morning.

I got Jen Birdscapes, a cool shirt (hers is a pink baby doll though), a sun jar and another nature book. Lily got a ton of stuff. She got me a tube of toothpaste. My friend Dave got an X-Box 360. I feel a little bit cheated.

Lily's new word is going to be defenestration because she keeps throwing her dollies out the window of her dollhouse.