Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And We're Back!

The NeverTown has long sat silent and empty, cold winter winds whistling through the barren streets that never were. My apologies. I've been finishing up my first semester as a doctoral student and research assistant at Tech... and in case you hadn't heard, I have twins. We just finished a trip back home to Louisiana with the boys in tow. It was nice to see everybody there, but the trip really had only one primary purpose: to introduce Benjamin and Kristopher to my one last living direct-line relative who cares about them. Grandma Mabel was pretty excited to say the least. Gotta say, though, I was very disappointed that she didn't have a chance to make her famous gumbo. Damn, I miss that gumbo. Despite that, she remains my favorite person in Louisiana (although my good friend Kristy has got to at least be in the Top 5).

Also got to hang out with some old friends (where I learned I was Eternal, Chunky, and Pure), and revisit my briefest of workplaces, Best Buy #1157. Nice to see the old crew again, but nicer to know that odd men named Bubba can no longer yell at me for failing to instruct my team to sell services to people who don't honestly need them. I like to think I subscribe to a more ethical version of salesmanship, which served me well back at Schwan's and Trustfile, but maybe I just don't want it enough. Who knows?

The boys are doing well... ever since Debby started them on a tight schedule of feeding, sleeping, and pooping (seriously, even their diaper changes are strictly timed), they're happier, fuller, and sleeping better. They do continue to projectile vomit, though. Oddly, they only do it when they're looking at poor, sweet Debby. Not once have they vomited on me. Or whizzed on me (knock on wood to both of the preceding). It's kind of funny the way she screams like she just saw a mouse run out from under the sofa. The last time I heard anyone yelp like that was this tall guy with functional asplenia and an absence of parenchymal vascularization on color Doppler sonography. But at least he tried to hide it and keep it secret.

Which is not to say that my own time with the kids has been without disaster. In fact, every time I've tried to feed them both simultaneously, some disaster has erupted. One time a tornado touched down in the Atlanta city limits. Another time South Korea was attacked by North Korea, with the U.S. threatening involvement. The third time a Kenny Chesney song inexplicably erupted from Pandora. Like I said, bad things. The boys have definitely benefited from the presence of several kind ladies who have come to stay with them for a few days, including Debby's mother Debbie (which can be just as confusing as you might suspect), Godmother Carrie (who - back me up here - really needs to develop that 'Pirate vs. Ninja Task Manager' iPhone
app we've been begging her for), Aunt Kate (who I think was a little disturbed by my non-traditional grace-saying at the dinner table), Tonya (who really helped Debby get a lot of the girl-talking out of her system), and Jasmine (who's a hell of a cook, but really needs to learn to deal better with Saints victories). I can only offer my heartfelt gratitude to them all.

The first semester at Georgia Tech ended well, with me finally coming to a conclusion on my long-pondered link between self-monitoring and authentic leadership. The answer: it depends. That should be a suitably scholarly type of answer for my new profession, I think. I'll probably get really excited about it and elaborate in a future visit here to the NeverTown. Or maybe I'll just keep it to myself until WikiLeaks gets interested.

I've gotta say, I'm loving it at Tech and I'm loving the group of people I'm working with, from Party Girl Kerry to Inappropriate Elliott to Cutie-Goth Gamze to Data-Loving Samantha to Dana-Who-Constantly-Denies-Her-A-Plusses. And we're learning about all kinds of exciting things, like false promises of sex in research experiments, heteroscedasticity, shocking subjects with electricity, and the hippocampus (a part of the brain related to memory and spatial ability).

All in all, the apartment's small, the salary's small, the free time's really small, but life is good. I've got Rock Band 3, the kids are happy, and I'm learning enough about science to start to have opinions about things like surveying gays in the military (opinions which I think I'll just keep to myself for now, thanks!), so I can't complain. I'm starting to feel just a little like a scientist, which is kind of cool, even if I don't yet feel quite like a father, which is just weird.

Promise it won't be quite as long until before I revisit the NeverTown again. And next time I hopefully won't be struggling to deal with a promise like this.


  1. What, no tags about tall people, spleen tinyness, or secret struggles?! I haven't been so disappointed since the time C-3P0 tried to reassemble a Wookie on Bespin.

    -Unca Ben

  2. Oh, it's there. Just haven't mentioned it quite enough to create a label for it yet.

  3. You're really lucky. The very first time Gonzo decided to lean over face-to-face with our babe on the bed, Donovan projectile vomited right onto his nose. I was lying right beside them, so I got the perfect profile view. :) So glad things are good with you guys! ~Heather