You like us! You really like us! We won Best Personal Blog at the NetGuide 2003 Awards! OK. Wow. Phew. [Pause, breathe, fumble for piece of paper]. First I'd like to salute Russell for being the instigator, main man, and throbbing intellectual heart of Public Address. [Big kiss, a la Adrien Brody and Halle Berry]. And the rest of the gang, including Matt and Karl who make the site the object of beauty that it is. [Group hug, back patting all round, more opportunistic snogging]. And all the readers, especially the ones who send feedback, and especially the ones who nominated us.
[Gulp, gasp, hyperventilate]. Oh my god, I can't believe this is really happening. I'd also like to thank my sister Gemma, who introduced me to Russell and got it all started. And my Mum and Dad, who taught me to read and write in the first place. [Surreptitiously check mascara not running]. My brothers, Greg and Ben, whose comic timing I aspire to, and Lizzie and Michael likewise. My beloved partner, who comes up with the best lines and proofreads all the others, and without whom... [Orchestra starts up].
All right all right, and lastly, New York Fuckin' City (you're so beautiful!) and the inexhaustible, smoochable Busytot, who between them provide all my material – this one's for you guys! [Dragged off stage by handsome host].
Cheers. It was very nice news to wake up to this morning, and very flattering too to learn that the judge was impeccably credentialed uber-geek god and founder of Slashdot, Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda. And we were in nice company with the other nominees (see the shortlist here). I'd have liked to see Leto and her naked lady there as well, but you can't have everything.
Thanks to the time difference, I get to break the news on the site -- although while Russell and the Cactuslads were partying up large, I was sleeping the sleep of someone who hasn't had a lot of sleep lately. Busytot has taken turning two as some sort of licence to have a system-wide brain-up, which is making it hard for him to fall asleep at night. There's a lot going on: he's speaking in increasingly complex sentences, and semi-reliably making a splash in his shiny new potty. Not surprising, then, that his little head is fizzing and popping. You can almost see the sparks.
Exercise helps, and the average toddler knows this instinctively. It's been freezing and dangerously windy here for the last couple of days, so we haven't had as much romping in the playground as usual. Last night before bedtime, he announced "I run around in circles!" and proceeded to do just that for a good fifteen minutes, pausing every so often to catch his breath and say "I getting really dizzy!" He stopped just short of doing what a friend described as the living-room Wall of Death – but then you really need to go three days without a nap to rev up for that one. It sounds wildly impressive, and I can't imagine how you get the footprints off the wall.
All this fearsome toddler brain energy reminds me of the possibly apocryphal story about John Lennon, who once dropped the wrong kind of acid and then stayed up all night staring intently out the window of his apartment, muttering under his breath, his hands curled into tense little fists and his face a mask of concentration. When Sean and Yoko found him in the morning and asked what he was doing, he said he was driving the house, and he had to stay at the wheel to make sure it didn't veer off the road or crash into anything.
So, yep, lots of house-driving going on in the crib lately – and lots of house-building outside of it. The parent who spends his working hours trying to figure out why the universe appears to have only three dimensions (when string theory tells us there might in fact be ten, or even eleven, but who's counting?), spent a good hour yesterday constructing a fire station out of Lego. Actually, out of Duplo, which is baby-Lego -- chunkier and less well-supplied with the fancy wheels and gears and bells and whistles. Impressively, given the primitive components, the fire station had a hinged front roller door that went up and down to let the fire engines out. (For blueprints, send a dollar to the physics department at Columbia University, c/- Busytot's Dad…).
But toddler concentration has nothing on the level of attention that I achieved the other morning. While Busytot's Dad looked after our boy and his best mate, I grabbed the laptop and went down the road to hang out with the other mum. The baby (who was born at home seven months ago this week) and the cat were both fast asleep. Fuelled by a giant pot of tea and a packet of precious birthday Tim-Tams, the two mums typed and contemplated and typed some more, working in complete silence for two hours. If you could bottle the mental electricity that was crackling away in the room, you could power a continent. I can't remember the last time I worked so hard. Keep an eye out for the result -- another big old Listener review in the next few weeks.
While I'm on the subject, more food for domestic thought to get you through the weekend. "Housewife Confidential" is a considered tribute to doing it the old-fashioned way. Then there's the wackily random and strangely beautiful Art for Housewives, and the intelligent Theory of the Daily. I also just rediscovered the excellent Being Daddy ("Like being Mommy. Only hairier") which excelled itself recently with a Wiggles -- Behind the Music piece, and this week brings you the latest on male breastfeeding. You know, it's nice to walk off with a prize, but I think blogging was the real winner today.