June 28, 2007

Claire's Baptism

We have been terrible about uploading pictures, so thank goodness for Natalie, Claire's new godmother, who posted to Flickr several pictures of Claire's baptism this past weekend. In this photo, Father Bill (who married us and baptized Evie) holds a wet-headed Claire, while Natalie (godmother, far right), Angelo (godfather, far left) and "GG-Mom" (Lisa's grandmother and Evie's godmother) look on...

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September 7, 2006

Claire's Photo Debut

Enjoy the photos of our beautiful little girl and her big sister.

Claire Savannah

Instructions for gallery:

You may click through the images using two methods.

If you hover over the large image on the left or right side of the image, an arrow will appear. Clicking on the left side of the displayed image will take you back one image; clicking on the right side of the displayed image will take you to the next image.

Alternatively, click on each thumbnail to display the picture. The arrows visible on the left side of the screen (beneath the thumbnails) will cycle through each set of 9 thumbnails.

To save an image:

Right-click on the image and choose "Open Image in New Window". NOTE: If you have a pop-up blocker enabled in your browser, you must allow pop-ups (see notice in top of browser window). The image should open in a new window. Right-click on the image and choose "Save as...".

The gallery requires Macromedia Flash (a free download). You likely already have it on your computer, so try to view the gallery first before worrying about it.

[cross-posted on The Rhodys]

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September 6, 2006

Claire Savannah

Claire Savannah has arrived! Several events, including power and Internet outages, have precluded an earlier online announcement. Of course, I understand you care less about the announcement per se, and more about pictures. All in due time, all in due time. Now that our Internet is working (and hopefully continues to do so), we'll try to share our little Claire (aka, "Baby Bean," as she's been called by Evie for the past 9 months) with the rest of you.

Details: Claire was born at 11:36 pm on August 29th. We arrived at the hospital at around 7:30 pm, and after being told the nurses were "not terribly impressed" by Lisa's contractions, we suspected that they might send us home. Lisa, never one to turn down a challenge, impressed the nurses forthwith, and the phase known as "active labor" (an oddly redundant term) began. Within a few short hours (short, says the man whose primary task was to say "breathe honey; remember to breathe"), our wonderful doctor announced that the stage was set. And within minutes, Claire arrived and introduced herself with a steady wail. She was 7 lbs, 15oz and 20 and 3/4 inches at birth.

Both baby and Mommy are doing quite well, and Big Sister Evie has welcomed Claire with open arms (we'll see how long this lasts when they want to borrow each others' sweaters). More - including pictures - to come (our Internet connection comes and goes lately, so online access has been quite limited). This posting and more will be available at the family website: therhodys.net.

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December 14, 2005

Tea Parties and Pumpkins

Tea with Puppy
Originally uploaded by Jason R.
Lots of new pictures of the family at Flickr, including Evie's "princess-ballerina tea party" (where she wore at least 3 different outfits... at once) and our pumpkin-pickin' excursion with the Eubaileybanks in October.
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December 8, 2004


I wasn't quite sure why my father was running me all over town on Saturday, though it was perfectly natural for us to get a pancake breakfast and wander the aisles at Barnes & Noble. Or why, when I called, I heard that my mother felt the need to mop our floors, which weren't that dirty, thank you very much. The evening was planned and simple - a local dinner at an Indian restaurant L and I wanted to try, followed by a play downtown. A nice, relaxing evening. Never mind that our daughter decided to wake us up at 4:45 that morning to wish me a happy birthday. We would be plenty awake to watch the play and, if not, I was sure the seats would be comfortable enough to snooze in.

But then the mobile rang - my parents, babysitting, couldn't find the thermometer. They thought that perhaps Evie, our daughter, was running a fever. Luckily, they called right before we pulled onto the highway. A quick stop to help and then we'd be back on their way.

As we pulled up, I wondered briefly why the house was so dark. Only for a moment did I think that I saw a flutter of streamer through the window.

My wife, who had layered so many obfuscations on me the past few weeks, including an accidental and utterly convincing "slip" that she was going to take me to a play as a surprise (including the rounds of self-flagellation afterwards for "ruining it for you") - well, she got me. As did the many wonderful friends and family members who came to help celebrate.

So, having now spent a few days in the Dark Side of 30, things appear to be just about the same. I truly can't complain. Healthier than last year (thank God). Check. Same beautiful, thoughtful, and intelligent wife. Check. New lovely, adorable, and intelligent daughter. Check. Roof over head. Check. Great family and friends. Check. And I still have a fairly wicked Scrabble game. On balance, a good year and looking better all the time.

It does say something, I suppose, when almost every single gift you get for your thirtieth birthday has something to do either with video games or comics. But I'm too busy playing my new Xbox to think on such things...

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October 7, 2004

The World on My Shoulders

My Little Girl

[more pictures if you click above]

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August 18, 2004

Baptism Pics

Pics of Evie's baptism via the image below.

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August 13, 2004


Summer 2004. Ill-defined. We moved to a house on Memorial Day weekend, welcoming more space, a yard, sanity, and escape from a dungeon-like condo that shed light rather than received it and thrummed with the pounding of those living above us, who we dubbed the "Cement Feet People." The next weekend, a day before our daughter was christened, I had an ultrasound. "We found ill-defined masses," they said. Ill-defined. What does that mean?

The "C" word became a common currency, our household economy. We were concerned. Friends referenced Lance Armstrong, and we watched him begin his Tour, anticipating strength and victory. Surgery was recommended, relatively minor in scope. Some snips, some stitches. Rest for a few days. Wait to hear. We talked about it and we didn't. Too many contingencies lay on the other side of that report. It made little sense to fret about what we didn't know. Rational, but I'm not sure it prevented us from actual worry.

And then we heard good news. Vasculitis, they said, not cancer. Your blood vessels up-and-died. Your symptoms, they said, are "ill-defined." Again, that phrase. A whole new series of concerns and doctors, all culminating in a watch and prevent attitude. You look healthy, they say. You feel healthy. If anything changes, they say, let us know. We'll keep tabs and look carefully. Otherwise, they advised, be glad, feel fortunate.

It's been an ill-defined summer. Overly busy, leaving little time to read, write, and think. We are both anxious to return to our dissertations, to our intellectual pursuits. We want time to go to the zoo, to introduce Evie to the panda bears (at a safe distance, of course). The family blog has gone far too long without new pictures. And our daughter is growing and advancing faster than we can keep track.

So, I'm looking forward to a well-defined fall. An unpacked and settled house, with pictures hanging on the walls. Introducing my daughter to the changing leaves. Writing, again. Playing and reading. Spending time with my wife. Letting work settle into a routine and leaving it at the office. Getting my damn dissertation done. Enjoying time with friends. Spending less time in a doctor's office.

Being glad. Feeling fortunate.

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March 26, 2004

Two Months

wherein the beautiful daughter poses for her 2 month old portrait

Yep. She's cute. More pics on the family blog.

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February 2, 2004

More Pics of Evie

[click on the image to go to the full gallery of 24 images]

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January 27, 2004

My Girl


[click on the image for a few more pictures]

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January 26, 2004

You are on the edge of a breathtaking view.

Our daughter, Evalyn Grace Rhody, was born at 1:30 pm on Sunday, January 25.

Everyone is doing well. Lisa was a champ; Evalyn Grace, a blessing. She is, of course, the most beautiful child on the planet.

More details and pictures will be available in a few days at our family website:

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January 15, 2004

Scattered Thoughts

Such is my mindset right now (we're 'in the window' - the baby's due date isn't for another 17 days, but this subset of the rhody clan is rarely on time).

Close Reading New Media: Analyzing Electronic Literature edited by Jan VAN LOOY and Jan BAETENS
[via GTA]

Other close readings: a great group of essays from Matt K.'s graduate class last semester is available at Rob Kendall’s Word Circuits site.

Also, a reminder: the Games Research Bibliography Database, with over 500 entries and an invitation for submissions.
[via GamesNetwork listserv]

Belated thanks for the review of Misc. by a member of Scott Rettburg's class. The link seems to be down right now, but I wanted to make a mental note, before I completely forgot. More once I can look at the review again.

Cheap@$$Gamer is a blog that posts good deals on games at various online and concrete retailers (and I changed the middle word not b/c I'm a prude, but because I like to avoid setting off flags at the office when checking Misc.).

Need to update our installation of MT to fix a few security issues, as well as implement some antispamming techniques (although some might not work well for Herders - more thoughts on why later). Here's a link to the description of the recent patch [thanks George], as well as what's coming in version 3.0.

Personal reminder to backup the database before the update. I also encourage any herders reading to occasionally back up their blogs through the MT interface. Our hosting providers provides backups and I do a database backup every once in a while, but redundancy's never struck me as a bad idea.

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January 6, 2004

Baby Classes

We started "Birth Class" last night, where we learned that for women to have a successful birth, their husbands should give them daily massages.

There was some other useful information there too. Like, if you want to write a science fiction novel where men are able to give birth, not only do you have to provide them with a uterus, but you would also either have to have them give birth by C-section or provide them with a new pelvis.

All of which suggests to me that certain science fictions should remain ... fictions.

We also learned that 10cm is really much smaller than it should be.

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December 4, 2003

A Different Kind of Wealth

Today, I hit 29.

The last run of my twenties.

It's always sort of convenient, for me, that my birthday is a week (or so) after Thanksgiving, because the holiday puts me in the proper sort of mood for birthdays. The sort of mood that lets you look around and think

I am the luckiest guy around

A wonderful wife, a loving family, great friends (both nearby and to visit), a roof over my head, a baby on the way, an engaging intellectual community, books to read, and a fairly wicked Scrabble game.

Who knew I could get so wealthy in just 29 years?

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October 11, 2003


Started a website/blog for my family - www.therhodys.net - a place to put baby pictures (ultrasounds, for now, of course) and news about our family without subjecting relatives to my daily ramblings about games, books, and the decline of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If you go look now, you'll see our baby giving us the "thumbs-up" ... guess that means she (or he) is ok.

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September 22, 2003

Isabel, We Hardly Knew Thee

Unlike many people, we managed to not only stay dry and avoid falling trees, but we even kept our power. I am convinced that it was my two hour search for D batteries that served as my karma umbrella. Had I not found the last 8 D batteries in the DC area, I'm sure we would have been without power for a month. Or even a year. Amazing, the value of 8 D batteries, in the long run.

Which means that I got a lot of work done, right? Two days off, plus the weekend?

Well, no. Not really. We did get to spend some good time with family and friends, who brought us enough (quickly defrosting) food to last us well into January. Rhubarb pie. Truffles (an odd contribution, since truffles require no refrigeration, but I'm certainly not complaining). And lots of seafood. Our home was part fridge, part media fix. Finally got a chance to watch Punch Drunk Love (which I thought was wonderful), as well as episodes of Iron Chef and Monster House (disco theme, this week). I set up a powerstrip so that visiting, power-less people could plug in their mobile phones.

Lisa made a wicked-good butternut squash risotto Saturday night, after we spent about 5 hours wandering the (thankfully, powered) aisles of the Babies 'R Us, registering for fun things like strollers (a surprisingly difficult choice), bibs, bottles, and baby socks with the caterpillar from Hungry Caterpillar on them. We hit the 21st week this week, which means we are half-way there (although, as the non-carrying member of this troupe, all due credit of course goes to my wife, who is not only a champ, but also gracefully lets me say things like "we," when she is in fact the one doing the work).

The ultrasound pictures, which were taken last Monday, are looking fine - everything is in working order, although we declined to be notified whether or not we should be using "he" or "she" at this moment. So we just go back and forth between the two. S/he is already a pound, which means s/he's growing very fast for her age group (proud papa already). I'll try to scan in the ultrasound sometime in the near future, if only to show off our baby's fabulous "thumbs up" picture, where s/he lets us know s/he's a-ok.

Judging by the size of his/her feet, we might have a soccer player on our hands. Which is good, because her/his mother played varsity soccer through college (I, um, played intramural). In any case, to celebrate, Lisa and I went to watch the US Women's Team totally beat Sweden yesterday at RFK stadium in the first round of the Women's World Cup. We watched many members of the same team four years ago, so it was a lot of fun to return, despite the fact that the US Women's Soccer league was just disbanded - a real shame. Another real shame was the amount that RFK charged for the game - the lowest range was $35, but the highest was $175! Now, not that I don't think it's worth it, but between the cost (in tough economic times) and the hurricane, there were a LOT of empty seats. Really too bad.

The game itself was great to watch. Sweden's team is ranked 5th internationally, so the match was strong. Mia Hamm set up all three US goals, leading to a 3-1 victory. Chastain broke her foot in the first half, unfortunately, but will hopefully be back for the second round of the tourney. The second game we watched was South Korea v. Brazil. Brazil clearly controlled the game; S. Korea showed signs of being a younger, less experienced team. But in the end, I cheered for S. Korea, who showed some true grit and determination. Brazil, on the other hand, disappointed me - the scorer of one goal in their 3-0 win was clearly off-sides (this same player cherry-picked the entire second half), while another goal occurred after the referee seemingly called a penalty (Lisa and I later thought that maybe the whistle came from the crowd, but it was confused by the fact that the ref stopped and attended to an injured player right after seemingly blowing the whistle). The first goal (and only "fair" one, in my mind) was scored by a Brazil penalty kick within the first few minutes of the game.

That's about it. We dodged the hurricane for the most part and even managed to clean the house in the process. Lots of good "home" work done, which paves the way for more dissertating and conference paper-writing in the coming weeks. And to inspire our word-weaving, we have a huge spider-in-residence on our sliding glass door. She is about the size of a quarter and puts up these beautifully spun webs. I googled the description and think she is a Garden Orb Weaving Spider. As long as she stays outside, I'm happy to have her eat our bugs.

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September 8, 2003


Two years ago, I married my beautiful wife Lisa.

I am the Luckiest Man Alive.

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July 30, 2003


Well, no new pictures of the baby from the doctor’s visit today (another regular baby checkup). We did hear the baby’s heArtbeAt for the very first time (the sonogram machine from the last visit was not equipped with sound).

The sound of a baby heArtbeAt from the womb is curious, and hard to describe or replicate. To get the necessary echoing effect, you have to stick out your lips as though you were about to whistle, or perhaps to kiss your Aunt Margaret. Your tongue should rest against your back, upper molars, and you make a guttural sound, a dual-tone precursor to hawking a lugie repeated over and over at two different pitches and speeds. Short-long, short-long. Baby Morse Code for the letter “A”.

In any case, it was cool. No, it was brilliant.

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July 28, 2003


As this is Lisa's first day of her second trimester, I thought it would be an appropriate day to formally blog-announce our forthcoming "publication" - title yet to be determined, due on February 1st, 2004.

The image below was taken of our baby during the eighth week, which is when we first saw his/her heartbeat.

We don't know the sex of the baby yet, and are not planning on deliberately finding out. I have heard of people not watching their sonograms and ultrasounds to prevent finding out, which seems a bit extreme to me. I don't need to be surprised *that* badly, and I would hate to miss out on watching the baby develop just in fear of noticing the sex of the baby.

Lisa is doing well, and handled the first months of morning (actually for her, afternoon) sickness and exhaustion like a champ. Thankfully, those days are receding, and her energy levels are bouncing back. We're both completely thrilled about the pregnancy, with the normal fears and trepidations mixing themselves in as appropriate. Fortunately, we have a great support system of friends (some who are also pregnant), family (this is the first grandchild for both sets of parents), and colleagues.

We have another appointment this week, so hopefully I will have an updated picture of the baby to post...

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