340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Thursday, April 26, 2007


B's been ex utero for nine months now, and she hasn't wasted a moment: every day, I can practically feel the extra ounces accruing on her muscular frame. From her healthy (though, in hindsight, impossibly small) birth weight of 3.1 kg, she's ballooned to a powerful, sinewy 9.4 kg (and counting). Her musculature is developing before my eyes and I watch her features change seemingly on a daily basis -- though she retains her mother's expressive brow, generous giggle and prehensile toes.

B's growth was so rapid, her frame so delightfully chubby, that C used to joke about expressing 35% cream, and I think there's something to it. Breast milk is a freaking wonder food and I for one am distressed that no equivalent substitute exists for adults. Antibacterials, immunizing agents, complex proteins... magic. I gotta get me some of that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bleak Houses.

One of the first shows I downloaded for iPod viewing was Huff, an ensemble drama developed by the perpetually-underrated Hank Azaria for Showcase. After watching Blythe Danner win back-to-back Emmys for her role on the show, C and I were both curious as hell about this much-lauded series we'd never heard of.

Ostensibly a drawing-room tragicomedy about a psychiatrist's extended midlife crisis, Huff features a phenomenal cast (Azaria and Danner are joined by the smoldering Paget Brewster, charmingly precocious Anton Yelchin and powerhouse Oliver Platt), chewing their way through thick, meaty roles with gusto. Unfortunately, the series collapses under the weight of its characters' psyches, imploding like a narrative black hole.

I feel I should reiterate that this is a well-written, well-scripted show with a dynamite cast. The characters are real, three-dimensional people brought to life by skilled and talented actors; in addition to Danner's sublime work, Platt deserves special mention for his scene-stealing portrayal of the relentlessly self-destructive best friend/devil's advocate.

Huff grapples with some heavy issues in its first season — suicide, survivor's guilt, professional accountability, incest, alcoholism, adolescent sexuality, etc. — Though initially mesmerizing, the récit succumbed to the combined mass of the characters' neuroses and over time I became less and less motivated to watch. Also — and on an entirely personal note — watching the disintegration of a happy marriage is depressing as hell. At the conclusion of the first season, I surrendered: the second season remains on my hard drive, unwatched (and perhaps unwatchable).

If there'd been a touch more comedy in the mix, a less cynical sense of humour applied to the situations, I probably would've relished another go 'round; as it is, I'm content to let the story end in mid-sentence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

C'mon little girl, put that down.

As our daughter approaches the point where her time spent out of the womb will equal her time spent in it, I'm transfixed by her learning process(es). Whether it's opening my cellphone and thumb-dialing in order to keep the screen lit, using both hands to take a swig of water in between mouthfuls of sticky cereal or just old-fashioned crawling, each developmental milestone impresses the hell out of me. Coming, as they do, after many half-starts and missteps, these achievements are hard-won signs of a robust and rapidly-maturing creature whose astounding potential is matched only by her terrifying fragility.

I'm not just impressed by my kid — though she is awesome beyond description — I'm blown away by the human form.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I wear my sword at my side.

When friends learned that we were courting disaster becoming parents, we were peppered with all kinds of dire prognostications and instructions to bid a fond farewell to the chief currency of the childless: leisure time. "Say goodbye to X," we were told, "because you won't be savouring any of that for a looong while;" where X stood for sex, novels, music not specifically made for developing ears, movies, TV, etc.

I am pleased to report that this, as with a great deal of advice we've received, is a load of crap.

Granted, our ability to continue consuming the media we love is entirely dependent on smooth-edged digital totems lovingly wrapped in satin-lined bags. These wonderful little talismans &mdash specifically, the 60Gb video iPod C lovingly, presciently, wonderfully got me for Christmas &mdash have allowed us to keep up with movies, TV and (to a lesser extent) music. A constant companion to C while she nurses and me while babygirl naps in the saddle, this device has been our 3-square-inch portal into pop culture.

Through it, we've watched dozens of movies and entire seasons of shows we'd have otherwise missed, alleviating some of the inevitable sense of isolation that comes with becoming new parents and finding oneself marooned in the living room &mdash at least during the claustrophobic winter months.