Eh, It’s Just a Little Blood

I looked down to read the next sentence and there it was: one big blob of blood, quickly soaking into the virginal white page and turning from a reflective dark red to a dull rust brown. No way was this coming out.  I quickly used a finger to swipe away that which was still pooling on the page and wiped my finger clean on my shirt.

And that’s when I saw more, streaking down the side of the book, touching the edge of every page, seeping in just enough that with every turn of a page promising white, there was an eye catching, creeping brown. And this all seems appropriate.

For the last few years I’ve owned Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.* I’ve read it a few times and flipped the pages casually dreaming of what I’d make but only now did I force myself to find a time slot just big enough to break it in with a classic:  beef bourguignon.  It just happened that flinging around some stew beef I got a bit sloppy.

With most books I’d be damned well pissed at myself for ruining them with carelessness. But with Juilia its alright; in the kitchen anything goes. And a little baptism by blood never hurt a cookbook.

*I give mad props to myself for buying it before Julie and Julia became all the rage.  Follower? Nay! Trend setter, I am.

You Ruined Everything

I always liked the melody to Jonathon Coulton’s You Ruined Everything but it wasn’t until Simone spewed forth our beautiful spawn, Bella, that it (and Coulton) officially entered “The Vaunted Halls of Things Peter Nabicht Geeks Out Over.” Seriously, for keeps.

For a lot of parents, having a kid is a conscientious choice.  You are living your life, thinking: “We’ve got this down, this whole living our life thing. It isn’t so bad. We can handle it. In fact, we’re so damned good at it, we should have a kid and share our mastery of life with offspring. No problem!”  This is a noble but stupid assumption, roughly akin to thinking a successful grocery trip qualifies you to solve world-wide hunger.

It isn’t long after having the kid that you ask your new, less well groomed and rested self, “What was I doing? I had life down. I was the man.  And then I went and had a kid? I was not prepared for prepared for this. What I used to have is gone!”

This is what You Ruined Everything is about is about. It is a lovely song that captures being a parent right after you realize your identity has changed and it will never go back to how it used to be. But at the same time you are completely and utterly in love with a person you only just met and can’t hold her own head up. If you aren’t a parent, trust me, it is an odd odd feeling.

The song popped up on my iPod today and while working, I heard the first lovely verse:

I was fine I pulled myself together

just in time to throw myself away

Once my perfect world was gone, I knew

You ruined everything in the nicest way.

You should know how great things were before you

Even so, they’re better still today

Now I can’t think who I was before

You ruined everything in the nicest way

It has been a while since I’ve seen Coulton live so I decided to find out the date of his next Chicago show.  And low and behold: it’s tonight!

Fantastic! I’m going. I’m buying some tickets, even if I have to pay double to a scalper. I’m calling up my wife and telling her to put on her dancing shoes because hubby’s takin’ her out! We’re going to see JoCo — Yeah!

But wait, that’s what the old me would do. The new me — the parent me — just wants to go home and make dinner for my daughter.  Then we’ll read books with 4 word sentences that we’ve read umpteen-thousand times before and maybe sing about wheels on a bus. And I know, to the uninitiated this sounds horrible, but it isn’t. It is the picture of a wonderful night.

So while I really really want to live the perfect life of the old me, where I could last minute decide to go to a concert, I’d much rather go home and be the new, dad-me, scared shitless that I’ll screw something up but diving headfirst anyway.

Bella, you ruined everything in the nicest way.

Peter Nabicht was peeved.

“Peter Nabicht was peeved.” That’s the first line of a new article that was released yesterday (no link since it requires payment).

I like hearing myself and my presumed emotional state referred to so bluntly. And it comes across great on the page. Plus, I wasn’t all that peeved, at least when it comes to the subject — market data entitlements. I was more bemused.

Peter Nabicht was bemused.

That doesn’t play on the page as well.

But the more I think about the current state of affairs the more the author was unintentionally correct. I am peeved.

The economy is in the toilet; our education system is shameful; people confuse chanting USA at sporting events for civic pride; corporations have no sense of duty to the community they are in; selfishness often trumps selflessness; our country’s leaders are more concerned with re-election and political games than doing their jobs.

The list goes on and on and on and if I spend too much time thinking about it all at this point in the morning then my whole day will one long miserable fit of anger.

Peter Nabicht was peeved? Was? Puh-lease! Past tense has no place here!

Peter Nabicht is peeved.