I'm at the very end of my Clark-inspired FMLA and I'm sick. Sort of a mild, non-vomit fever. It seems to be about over, but it's been miserable for a couple days. Unfortunately, it peaked during my sister's wedding, so I was in too much of a haze to enjoy the wedding cake. I always find it fascinating that, when you're sick, it becomes impossible to remember what it was like to not be sick.
Other than that, it's been a great vacation, a huge opportunity to get to know Clark without the stress of work in the way. We've been lucky in that Clark has taken to us right away. They say that babies don't actually start identifying and remembering faces until the fourth month, so we picked him up at a great time. It's thunderstorming right now and he's watching the rain through the window.
One curious aspect of being off work is seeing my neighborhood's natural daytime activity. At the beginning of the summer, we had a white trash family move in across the street. They have plenty of kids, all the same age (preteen). The preteens are always up at 8am skateboarding around the development. Don't these kids have video games? Other adults are constantly showing up and ferrying off different combinations of the kids and parents (several times we have witnessed the parents simply leave for the day, lock the house, and let the preteen skaters roam wild and free.) And they're always yelling at each other. When they leave, they're yelling. When they return, they're yelling. The parents don't seem to have jobs, or they could be teachers with the summer off, OMFG. It is pretty obvious that they are just renting - renters always have a giant middle finger attitude about them - so maybe they'll be gone before fall.
Clark had to have blood taken for some tests, which was a nightmare ordeal. We let him get butchered by a local lab annex before going to the area hospital and getting it done right. It was a stupid decision on our part - between the two of us we know about a million nurses who could have told us that you can't get 10 vials of blood by heel-sticking a damn baby - but we thought it would be easier to avoid the monolithic, perennially under-construction mega-hospital. Wrong!
In other big news, my car is finally dead. We can remain a single car family for another two months, but by the time Rhon goes back to work, we'll need to have figured something out. My Dad and I went around to a couple dealerships and looked at some Neons, some Rios and some Ions. Most of the cars had stupid unnecessary "sports" packages, with spoilers and pinstriping. The Ions all had dedicated AUX-INs on the stereo, which is nice. Everyone should be doing that by now.
Took the iMac down to the Apple Store on Thursday. We were planning to go anyway to look at the Shuffle accessories, and that very morning the iMac started making noises. Like a turn signal, almost as if the superdrive was trying to eject but failing. So I initiated a panic back up, which couldn't finish because the noise would get worse and eventually cause a performance slowdown. So we threw it into the car at headed for the mall.
Thinking ahead, I made an appointment for the Genius Bar, which pissed off some people who had been waiting when I walked in and was talking to a tech almost immediately. It sat on the Bar for over two hours, during which it made no noise at all. We even did the back up DVD burn that I had failed at home (and they let me keep the burned DVD for free.) It has stayed noise-free ever since we got home, so maybe a cat toenail got stuck inside it and shook loose during the car ride.
Imported the soundtrack to the Katamari sequel, We Love Katamari. Don't know what to think of it yet, since the game isn't out yet for me to hang experience on. There's a lot of fun variations on the Katamari theme, plus some crazy cacophonous stuff that actually isn't that easy to listen to.
Also received Koe, the CD single of the theme to Fatal Frame 3 by Tsukiko Amano. She did Chou, the theme to Fatal Frame 2, which has become a massive favorite of mine. Likewise, since I haven't played FF3 yet, I don't have the emotional connection to Koe as I do for Chou... but Koe is similarly moody and dark. Fatal Frame 3 is a must-have game this fall for me.
Started playing Urban Dead, a browser-based online multiplayer game. It's a text-based zombies vs. civilians battle, but you get a nice clickable map and lots of buttons for your items and actions. So it's not like you're typing "WALK NORTH" like in the old days. The quirk is that you only can perform 50 actions each day - which you can easily blow in a 15 minute session. So there's no way for diehards to sit at their machine for hours and eat everyone in sight while you go to work. I kinda like that, but it's weird to have to budget out your moves to make sure you get back to a safehouse before you run out of action points.
In fact, this week Urban Dead has been undergoing server problems because some jive-ass website linked to it and caused unexpected bandwidth strain... so I was actually caught outside during an overload crash and killed by some level 6 zombie jerk before I logged back in a day later. So now I'm a zombie. I just killed somebody myself, because it's about the only thing you can do when you become a zombie.
I finished and reviewed God of War. I suppose I was hard on it, but I really didn't feel there was much to it.
Since there's not much going on in the world of video games, I went back and finished Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban. Yes, it was awful. I only bought it (a year ago!) because it has a collection of EyeToy games on it. But since I have it, I thought I might as well play it. We're reading Half-Blood Prince right now anyway, so I'm in a Potter mood, which made the game more bearable.
I'd like to be playing Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, but I don't know how Clark will take the noisy bongo banging. That's the sort of thing you judge carefully when you have a baby around.