Friday, April 27, 2007

Latest FILM NEWS column

Some interesting tidbits about Teamsters, movie studios and my baby boy (are you getting sick of him yet? Sorry, I'm not) in my latest column in The Austin Chronicle.

Save the book reviewer

I found this piece about the future of newspaper book review pages to be grim. Mike Shea of Texas Monthly noted by email when I sent the link to him that his space has actually increased from a half page to a full page. "The bad news is that's only enough space for 3 short reviews and 1 sidebar interview," he writes.

Hook 'em

Need we say more?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nick goes to the eye doctor

We finally got some answers on Nicholas' mostly closed left eye after a trip to the opthamologist yesterday. He's got ptosis, a condition where the muscle for the eyelid doesn't quite work right. If it doesn't clear up by the next appointment, they may have to tighten the little muscle that pulls the lid up. We were very glad to hear there is no real problem with the eye itself, so he shouldn't have to wear the glasses I've propped on him for this photo...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Finding his muse

Do I have another writer in the family? OK, the truth is Nick took control of the keyboard as I was finishing my Austin Chronicle column. He even managed to insert his name in there. Look for it Thursday.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A boy, a dog, and a grandma

Tiffany and I share custody of Spike the spotted wonder with my sister Clare. Saturday was the first meeting of the mutt and the boy. It went pretty well and involved much sniffing and licking.

My mother also enjoyed staring into Nicholas' sparkling eyes. I think they really bonded.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ode to the umbilical cord

Inky tentacle
bloody squid on fire
you stain all you touch with life

Umbilical, umbilical
Shazbat, wahoo.
All is nothing without you

Your squirmy hallway tethers
bumps of whale below,
seals heart to annexed mind

Umbilical, umbilical
Shazbat, wahoo.
Oh flowing, glowing blast of goo

Razor cut that parts the tide
You slither, wither, fall aside
leaving childhood screams

Monday, April 16, 2007

Nicholas at two weeks

Nicholas is a growing boy. At his two-week doctor's appointment he weighed in at 8 pounds 5 ounces. We celebrated by taking him outside in the evening to see the sunset. He gave it an A+.

Also a hallmark this week: The boy got his first fingernail trimming courtesy his Aunt Jennifer and Grandma Eleanor. He loves the way the ladies wait on him hand and foot.

Film news from Austin and Dallas

Vheck out my latest columns from The Austin Chronicle and Dallas Morning News with info on film incentives, projects shooting and Oprah cracking the whip.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Film incentives pass House

Wednesday the Texas House finally passed the film incentives bill on a unanimous voice vote. Next it goes to Senate committee. More in my Dallas Morning News column tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How to bathe a baby boy

Begin by having your wife's mother come stay with you so you'll get some sleep.

Next lay that little sprout out on a foam whale mat.

Then soap up the washcloth.

Commence to howling.

Put in his boxing robe.

Zip up the Elvis jumpsuit.


Monday, April 9, 2007

Bigfoot with a mohawk

Today Nicholas turned a week old. This is the moment when I must mention his humongous feet. They're whoppers with toes that splay out all over the place. Line up, girls. He's a keeper. Big hands, too.

And he grows a mean mohawk!

Friday, April 6, 2007

A pirate at four days

We call Nicholas a pirate because one of his eyes is mainly shut due to swelling from being jostled around during birth. Thursday was a big day for him. He had a followup appontment at the hospital, after which he was deemed exceptional. OK, I deemed him that, but they said he is very healthy. The photo is of him with the lactation consultant who gave us all sorts of tips to get him thoroughly on the sauce.

Also Thursday, Nick met his cousin Christopher, who is about six weeks older than Nick but about twice as big. The two boys compared poopie diapers and tricks for messing with the minds of their parents.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

An Easter miracle on Aisle 2

We stopped at the Taylor Walmart last night to pick up some cereal for Tiffany, and I came across this scene of Easter, Texas style. The Virgin statue can be yours for under $50. Note the bottles of wine behind it. and cupcakes! I need some Easter cupcakes!

Nick comes home

We left the hospital Tuesday evening crowned by a beautiful sunset of pink, purple and orange. Nick arrived in his new room and posed under a Winnie the Pooh painting that my mother's friend made for me when I was a wee lad. Tiffany's dad (he took the first two photos) and I painted the room, and that dresser belonged to her beloved grandmother, so it contains a lot of family history.

It was a tiring night, but Nicholas remains a constant pleasure.

This last photo is of a wonderful moment between mom and baby today. I'm glad I was there to share it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Film incentives vote delayed


Normally I would be at the Capitol as the Texas House considers incentives for the film and television industries. Instead I'm at the hospital with Nick and Tiffany. I'll give more details on the vote when I discover them...

Little man, big man

Back in the early '90s when I was in graduate school, I spent a lot of time with my sister's little boy Russell. He and I used to hang in the kiddie pool in the front yard and bang sticks on the edge to make music. it's a very fond memory for me, so it's all the nicer to see Russell, now nearly my height and sure to surpass me, holding Nick. I told Russell it's his job to look out for the boy.

Building the perfect burrito

I'm ready for the high-paying field of Mexican food preparation after having mastered the burrito fold on Nick. It encases him in a tasty little tortilla. It doesn't quite solve the genetically inspired flailing arms, but he makes one cool little bundle.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Nick comes clean

A first bath for a wee stinker.

Welcome Nicholas Drake O'Connell to the world

It was a long night and he tried his best to stay inside, but Tiffany and a team of doctors finally convinced young Nick Drake out into the light at 7: 23 a.m. this morning. His stats are impressive in that way that such things are to new parents: He weighs in at a stout 7 pounds 12 ounces and an impressive 19 inches long.

I'm just his Dad, so i'm prejudiced. You can judge his awesomeness for yourself in these photos.