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So, I've decided it was about time to go ahead and come to terms with having left the only home I've know, moving to the metropolitan jewel of the South, Atlanta, GA. I had a number of reasons for doing so. From bettering myself, a bit of a fresh start, proximity to friends, and perhaps a few reasons I won't even admit to myself.

Lucky for me the company I work for has an office here in Atlanta. So there was no job hunting involved, just a smooth transition. The co-workers are nice, I've been out a few nights with them and had a beer or two. I've also experienced my first Mellow Mushroom with them for lunch. These guys are a really good bunch, but I mean, you can probably say that about anyone you can have a Transformers vs. Gobots argument with.

Outside of work has been ok. I haven't really met anyone yet. I have found a place around the corner from the house. A decent seeming pub. I look forward to visiting again, and maybe making some new friends in the area. I've also been able to make a few short trips to visit some friends. I'll be honest, the highlight of the previous week for me was being able to treat a friend to dinner that I don't get to see that often. It was also a bit quicker to get to Augusta for the weekend than was my normal drive.

I'm also slowly getting everything unpacked into the new apartment. I think the bookshelf is next on the list. I just have so many boxes of books, I have to sort through them and decide what's actually going up on the shelf. The kitchen is mostly unpacked. I still have to make a trip home to pick up the rest of my things. Maybe in a few weekends, after Dragon*Con. That and getting my house sold will I think complete my transition. At least until I start on my Master's Degree.

The thing I learned camping this summer that sticks most in my head:

Angela's got a wicked throwing arm. You know those plastic, velcro-covered discs you strap to your hand to catch overly-fuzzy baseball-shaped things that you find in the anemic toy aisle of local pharmacies? She pitched a ball at me that I caught clean and shattered the backing of it.

30 seconds later, she did exactly the same thing to the other one.

DRUNK.

If you're gonna throw like a girl, throw like mine.


- - -


I've started thinking about baseball.

I was on a baseball team as a kid and, with the exception of the one year when I was bigger, stronger and faster than most of the other kids in the league, I didn't like it much. I could catch practically anything and could knock the ball over the fence, but I got nervous when I had to throw and, more often than not, over-shot my target. I played a lot of first base.

Throwing a ball around, though. I could do with a bit of that now, as an adult.

My dad was sending me a package from home, and I asked him to put my old baseball glove in it. It's a Wilson, all black, signed in gold by Kirby Puckett. I knew this, I realized, before I had opened the box.

It had been sitting in a box in the closet for a decade, more than that. It needed to be oiled.


- - -


There are hundreds of ways to oil a baseball glove. This is the only one that matters to me:

You oil it with your oil of choice. Some people swear by Vaseline; I don't like the texture of it. Glove oil is fine, but it's just mineral oil in a tiny, comparatively expensive bottle. It's still cheap enough for me - a buck will lubricate two gloves if you don't skimp on the oil.

You don't skimp on the oil. You put a baseball in the pocket, wrap it tight with twine, wrap the whole mess in a towel.

You sleep with it under your pillow, and in the morning it's a glove. In my case, it's a glove again.

A two-part fatherhood daylog

  • 15 August, 2008

    I'm starting to adjust to fatherhood - mostly, so far, it involves breathing exercises to try to ease out this ball of tension in my guts. My sleeping hasn't been too bad but I'm SO tense. I went to work Wednesday and today, and I'm sitting here with tension tummy. Yesterday, I was supposed to bring Joshua into the centre of town to meet his mummy (who was off getting her hair done for the first time in about 6 weeks) and I couldn't leave. That's right - couldn't leave the apartment with the baby. I was running through a million things in my head - what if he cries, what if he needs changing, what if he wakes up hungry, what about all the noise, the pollution, cars, what if someone tries to take him, oh my god. I started feeling a migraine coming on, and my stomach was so twisted up I felt sick. So I phoned Jo and said I wasn't coming. Let's try again another day, I said. The two of us, gently.

    I'm not actually a stressed-out person, normally. I was telling myself in my head that there was no need to feel like this, and that I was being irrational. It was a pure physical reaction and no amount of breathing or Tai Chi or rationalization was helping. I think I'm having an overload of protective hormones.

  • 17 August, 2008

    Well, we brought him out for his first trip into the outside world and it was fine. He slept through almost all of it. It was raining for two days and Dublin has been flooding, and seabirds, some of them as big as the baby, were ambling around the Grand Canal docks looking for crumbs and fighting each other for territory. He was all bundled up in a giant blue outdoor suit with a hood, and every now and then he'd wave his arms around in his sleep. We sat by the water and drank coffee and ate chocolate. I was ecstatic, Jo was exhausted; when we got home again, Joshua woke up and Jo went to sleep.

    That's how it's been - we sleep in shifts, like emergency workers. Last night I took late duty from 11pm to 2am and Jo got up at 5am for the graveyard shift while I slept through till it was time to get up for work. I feel a weird combination of energy and exhaustion. My back hurts from holding the baby (he likes to be held a lot, and has 3 different reasons for crying - 1) He's hungry, 2) He needs a nappy change, and 3) He just wants you to hold him, and sometimes sing to him.)

    I've already made up, and forgotten, at least twenty songs, some of them quite creative. I've sung him to sleep several times. When he cries, Jo leaks milk. The whole thing, when you compare it to my life up to this point, is quite mad, and quite beautiful.

I think I'll be daylogging more than normal for a while. Normal service will probably be resumed at some point, but for now, my "real" life has suddenly become far more interesting and demanding than anything that I could read about or pull out of my own head.

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