let the worrying begin and the riddle of gary shandlings teeth

The grandparents left this morning and Linette and I are all alone with this baby of ours. Its weird I was just standing outside with her, worrying that someone I know might walk by and that I might instinctively raise my hand to wave, dropping her onto the sidewalk, headfirst.

Damn my OCD.

I may have said it before, but OCD is like a gift and a curse at the same time. It sucks in that the panic and the intrusive thoughts seriously decrease (if not completely eliminate) ones quality of life, but its great in that it makes you see every eventuality, every permutation of ever situation. In looking for the worst possible outcome of every scenario youre confronted with, you also get a lot of good ideas. Most of them are useless, but some are worth writing down.

On the subject of super-powers, I had a conversation with someone the other day that worked at a large research university on the east coast. He said that if I wanted him to, he could irradiate an insect or animal and then we could have it bite me. (We were talking about the new Spiderman movie, which happens to be quite good.) I think Linette said a sloth I was partial to the cicada. I thought that it would be neat to just super-powers for a few days every 17 years. (Perhaps I should trademark Cicadaman before someone rips me off.)

Which reminds me of a dream that I had last night. It had something to do with people that raised their children underground, like cicadas. They would have their babies on the surface of the earth and then carry them down into the dirt like tiny grubs to feed on plant roots and decomposing leaves.

Back to my random interesting thoughts, I was thinking today, as I was standing outside with Clementine in my arms, that it would be strange to be beaten up by someone with old, metal typewriter letters affixed to their knuckles. I cant remember what prompted the thought, but by the time I was done considering it, Id come up with an idea for a set of brass knuckles that spelled out YPSI in reverse, so that youd leave a permanent YPSI imprint on any person you hit with a closed fist. Im not a big fan of violence, but I did kind of like that idea.

So far, the anxiety (of having a baby) hasnt been unmanageable. I have the occasional thought like the ones I just mentioned, but I can deal with them Im not sure whatll happen once I slow down though, once I have a chance to really think about things. The last few days, Ive just been running around, taking care of Linette and the baby; cleaning the fridge, preparing food, taking care of the animals, changing diapers, doing laundry, making appointments, filling out insurance forms, scrubbing the tub, and all the rest of it. Im definitely in a kind of manic state. I just keep pacing around the house, looking for things that need to get done. Its like Im possessed.

I have no idea what Im writing about. Its the sleep deprivation the depravity of sleep We havent been getting much this past week (depravity or sleep) and its beginning to take its toll.

One last thing.

The night before we went into the hospital to have Clementine, Linette and I were watching the TV show Freaks and Geeks on DVD. Our generous friends Patti and Andy loaned us their whole 6-disk set and it really helped pass the last week before Clementine’s birth. So, we were watching it, and theres this part where the character Bill gets home from school, makes a grilled cheese sandwich and turns on what appears to be an the Dinah Shore Show. Well, in the clip that they show, there are several frames of the young Gary Shandling (circa 1980) performing standup in front of the audience. I dont consider myself an incredibly superficial person, but what I saw just amazed me. Shandling, a man that I very much admire, had the worst teeth that I had ever seen on broadcast television (and, yes, that even counts Extreme Makeover). They were seriously horrible to the point that it looked as though none of them even touched when his mouth was closed. They were painfully crooked. Anyway, I had to rewind and watch it a few times. During this excercise, I had three thoughts. One, I was surprised that I hadnt heard about his teeth before. Two, I was impressed that hed had the confidence to go into showbiz in spite of it. And, three, Im absolutely convinced that someone working on Freaks and Geeks used that close-up on Shandling on purpose because it really showcased his former teeth. My guess is that it was someone with a grudge. (I suppose its possible that he was just performing a bit that required the wearing of fake teeth, but I doubt it.) If I had more time, Id dig into it… but, alas, this child of ours is keeping me from my important work.

And, here, in case you were tired of seeing photos of my beautiful baby, are photos of Gary Shandlings teeth.

If you happen to know when he had them fixed, let me know. I’m curious to know at what point it was determined that his career couldnt go any farther without beautiful, straight teeth. (I’m bored with politics. These are the kinds of things that interest me now.)

I need to sleep now… Sooner or later I will get around to telling you about the birth.

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