I kid you not, child of mine. You are verging on the region of negative marginal benefit with respect to your cuteness.

I say this because this past week was incredibly unproductive. …which is not to say that things aren’t going well. They’re going fantastically. Still, at some point, I will eventually have to stop staring at you and accomplish something.

(Violet’s started cooing. For minutes and minutes and minutes at a time. Literally cooing, like as in “…gurgle gurgle coo… ga coooo…heh coooooo…”

It is unbelievably cute. Heart-rendingly so.)

So from this, I imagine you get the basic idea: such literally incredible cuteness, in that I wouldn’t have believed it, cannot believe it, that the parents actually cannot stop paying attention to the child long enough to hunt/gather and hence begin to wither away, taking along with them all sources of sustenance for the ever-more-ravenous child. It’s a cuteness death spiral, kid, and I’d advise you to be more annoying more often if you want to make it to adolescence, let alone to college. If increasing hunger makes you less cute, it may be our only chance.


We had a good weekend, though, kid. Red got to meet you and you, her. It was the first time it really felt like fall. Mom’s wearing her traditional seven layers of clothing to counteract the effect of our shoddily-constructed and poorly insulated (aka affordable) house. We went to a corn maze with quite a posse, all dressed up in flannel, and somewhere around midday, the sun reminded us that this is At-effing-lanta and so we ended up in short-sleeves with sunglasses. The next day your Mom and I and you and Red went for a walk in the woods with the dog. It was beautiful. We took lots of pictures. More of those later, I suppose.

Oh, and one time when you pooped, it was a lot, so I said that if pooping were a competitive sport, you would’ve won the “Pooper Bowl.” It was just as funny then as it is now. I love being a dad.

I’m reading Cryptonomicon and it’s a pretty spectacularly great book. I’m reading parts of it aloud to you, mostly when you’re upset, which is totally okay, despite the fact that the language is a little objectionable (if you object to certain language), I am not repeating my parents’ parenting failures by reading you Stephen King novels. It’s just a nice little — well, not little — book about codes and code-breaking and information and WWII and, tangentially, heroin-addiction and neuroses and social fluency and holocausts.

There’s an idea that has just been presented, about three kinds of people. Roughly, those who think talking is the opposite of doing something, those who think talking counts as doing something, and those who talk with the hopes that they’ll figure something out about the way things are or how things work or, as Bobby Shaftoe puts it, “what the fuck is going on.” Shaftoe notes that these kind of people usually try to engage other people, and hope they’ll join in.

It’s fun. It’s one of the wonderful parts — maybe the most wonderful part — of being a grad student. It runs in your family and extended family and I think you’ll enjoy it, too. If not, your upbringing is probably going to be pretty frustrating.

There are lots of examples – what will be the effect of new downtown dormitories for Georgia State University on the average rent in the area? More on everything later, though, eh?

For now, I’ll keep demonstrating how to make particular noises and practicing the alphabet and numbers with you. If it gets annoying, coo twice to let me know. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, coo three times. If you’re afraid we’re being overheard, we’ll have to work out a simple code. Instead of “coo” say “ba,” instead of “ba,” say “ga,” and instead of “ga,” say “coo.” That should fool ’em.