Periodically I have written letters or essays to or about my daughter, who turned two years old in February 2012. But my writing has always been a little haphazard, infrequently squeezed in between things like school assignments and work schedules. Basically, I want to document more, partly for Addison's sake, and partly for mine.

See, I love this little monkey, but with each passing month I find that I forget a little more about the early days with her. Addison is so vibrant in the present that I have a hard time imagining her at any other time, and that makes me a little sad. I don't remember very well what it was like when I was up with her night after night when she was first born (intellectually I know that I sometimes wanted to smash my head hard between a door and the door jam, but what did that really feel like?). And I can't quite recall what it felt like to cradle her on my shoulder before she could lift her head.

I have other, equally powerful moments with her now (what a trip it is when she very somberly says to someone else while patting my leg: "My daddy. My daddy."), but my early memories of her seem more intellectual than visceral. I can't say I would want to relive every experience over again, but I wish I could remember them better.

Not that I think writing stuff is going to somehow prevent my memories from fading, but I think it may help me to process them a little before they slide from my head. And right now I happen to have some time to write about this kind of thing, since my family's right in the middle of a transition.

My wife and I just recently finished school -- I finished my undergrad with a double major in English and film studies and Lindsay finished a Master's program in marriage, family, and human development. For the last few months we've been living with my wife's parents, and we'll probably stay living with them for a while longer, perhaps until housing in California becomes affordable (read: we may be here for a very long time). We could have gotten our own place, but that would have meant we'd have to get jobs. Eff that.

Instead, we're both making a go of freelance writing. I founded and ran an SAT-prep business for about six years while in school, and that, along with the money my wife earned while in her grad program, will carry us over for a while.

We've given ourselves one year to start making money. If that doesn't work, my back-up career involves sitting on street corners jangling loose change in a tin can. While impressing people with my SAT vocabulary. Or perhaps teaching high school English.

Lindsay is still working on some papers related to her thesis work, and was even working on a book project with some professors for a little while. For no pay. And I'm playing a lot of Fallout 3. We're hoping that this is a business model for success.

Really, we're trying to be home together as much as we can. Lindsay has chronic health issues, and so we try to split the childcare evenly between us. And when one of us doesn't have Addison, the other is supposed to be working. Lindsay ends up doing a lot of logistical stuff like dealing with health care and insurance, taxes, etc., but she also writes her own blog and is really serious about producing more research in her field, and finding practitioners who can use it. I'm working on a variety of different writing projects, but currently I'm focusing on a science fiction short story about pirates. In space. Space pirates. And I write a science fiction and fantasy review blog. My wife hates science fiction, and she rolls her eyes when I start dreamily talking about it, but for some reason, she supports my efforts. Except for when I go whole days without eating food by following the endless link-jumping game on Wikipedia, starting with Helium-3 mining on the moon, or with viable possibilities for interstellar travel . . . and then there's the "random article" button, where I just learned about Kanzi . . .

I've set aside about 10 hours per week to work on this blog. That means writing essays, recording conversations and experiences, and paintshopping my daughter's head onto raptor bodies. It's possible that I'm mainly writing this blog to justify that last category.

Finally, I sort of hope that some of my good friends over the years might read some of my thoughts and be able to do a little virtual but painless catch-up. Hopefully they'll realize that if I've been out of touch, it's not because I've moved on . . . it's because I'm a hermit. I still reminisce about the good times and people I've known, but I'd rather get a punch in the eye than talk on the phone, I still haven't learned how to text, and frankly, I'm awkward (as many who know me might corroborate). I wasn't voted by my high school graduating class as most likely to disappear and survive alone in the wilderness for nothing.

So, welcome, to those who know me and to those who don't. I'm curious to see who shows up.

-April 13, 2012