Thursday, December 12, 2019

2 Holiday Confessions

Sorry I missed a post yesterday. The heat went out on a freezing Chicago night with a baby and my mother-in-law in the house, so I was a busy man last night.

But I'm back with a couple of Christmas television confessions.

1. I love watching The Great Light Fight where people compete to see who can have tackiest, gaudiest, most expensive, elaborate Christmas decorations on their house and yard. I got questions. Where do they store all that crap the rest of the year?
How high is their electric bill in the winter months?
Are their neighbors pissed off from the ultrasonic lights blasting into their windows and anamatronic Santas singing songs all night long?

2. I also like to make sure that every holiday season I flip on at least a few minutes of a Christmas episode of a daytime soap opera. This one is harder to explain. I can't really say why I like it. It's just so corny and the people are so pretty and acting sometimes sucks so hard. I just like it, okay? Not everything needs a reason.

Happy Holidays, Seven Readers.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

We like to sit down and have dinner as a family every night humanly possible, and during that time the television is not allowed to be on, unless it's a Chicago sports playoff game or "Wheel of Fortune." We figure it has letters and words, so it's kind of like learning. As a matter of fact, young Erik Noisewater calls it, "The Letter Show."

It turns out Pat Sajak is sick and Vanna White is hosting! Apparently this has happened once before, but this is the first time I have known about. I found her quite charming as a hostess. Also, she is 62-years-old and looking really good. The wife and I were noticing that she had to check the little card a little too often to verify that the person had solved the puzzle, but I do that too when I'm playing poker, or even UNO, even when I'm almost sure I know what my one card is - I still check to be sure. So I can't pick on Vanna.

With Vanna hosting who would turn the letters? Well, she just touches them now, but I'm old enough to remember when she had to rotate them. I'm also old-ballz enough to recall when the contestant took they money he/she won and went shopping in a living room packed with crap. "I'll take the love seat, and I guess the ceramic dog."

Okay, that's 4 days in a row posting a blog by my count. Pretty good considering I had just gone like 6 months with complete radio silence. So, even if it's a mundane detail such as who I saw host a game show, you're getting an update, damn it.

Not 62 in this picture.

Monday, December 09, 2019

My wife and I quit on shows at an unbelievable rate. Sometimes we are midway through the pilot episode when we have decided we don't need that particular show taking up time in our lives. Do you know what the best quality in a series is for all ages, all over the world, based on my research of a handful of people I have talked to? Running time. If a show is only 30 minutes compared to 60 it instantly moves up the top of the Netflix queue. There is only so much time in the day when you're a working parent, so why waste it on a show you don't like that much. And oh, what a relief when you and your partner agree to shit can a show! Goodbye, Billy Bob Thornton. You're my boy and I'll watch you in just about anything, but this third season of Goliath with all the dream sequences and where I'm unable to tell what's real and what's drug induced . . . I don't have the energy at the end of the day to figure all that crap out!

But I will tell you one show that I stuck it out with even though some of the time I was thinking, why in the Sam Hill am I still watching this . . . Dark Crystal Age of Resistance! The puppet movie in the 1980's scared the hell out of me, and maybe that is why I got excited when I heard about a full series prequel. Yes, there are those times where it honest to God felt like work to get through it. But then I reminded myself of all the hard work that went into moving all those puppets around and creating entire worlds with very little help from computers in an age of lazy filmmaking. And plus I'm a big fan of Jim Henson and thoroughly enjoyed his biography a couple years back. It kind of felt like getting through War and Peace. How many people have quit on that book? And the ones that did stick it out probably can't shut up about it, and that's how I feel about my deep understanding of the planet Thrash's and the origin of the races of Gelfling, Skeksis, and Mystics.

But that's the only one I will gut out like that. All other shows get shit canned on a whim so that I can get back to raising children, being a decent husband, working out, and getting back to posting a blog every day. Got 3 in a row going so far . . .

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Yesterday I took both kids over to Choo Choo Train's house to watch boxing. The fight was in Saudi Arabia, so the main event was at 3:45PM Central Time. That's where it's at! I'm down with those rich oil tycoons booking all the fights out there for that sweet start time. Us dads were loving the timing of that fight and having a couple of cold ones. Choo Choo has two of the craziest untrained dogs of all time. We love hanging out there, but those little dogs scare the hell out of all the kids. Erik Noisewater asked me, "Are the crazy dogs going to be there? They jump on the couches, and they jump on everything." At one point I stepped out back and Choo Choo is like, "Wait, watch your step!" And I stepped in dog poo that was directly off of the back step. That's where they poop? And you just leave it there? It's nuts over there, but we get used to it.

Thanksgiving back in the Bay Area in California was a great time, but the weather was no better than Chicago. 40 degrees and rainy all weekend. I hit a personal record in the turkey trot race I do out there every year. Not bad for an old fart. 

Erik Noisewater is up an hour past his bedtime, talking gibberish in his bedroom, but I'm determined to post every day that I possibly can. So I'm ignoring the little rascal. For now.

My mother-in-law is in town for a few months helping us with the kids, and she really is just the best. She took us out for Chinese style duck tonight, and we feasted like animals. It's great to live with all the Asian restaurants down the street on Argyle Street. For my money it's every bit as good as actual China Town. 

Okay, this kid won't sleep so I have to tend to him. Be well, friends. 

Saturday, December 07, 2019

It has been one heck of a long time since I have posted, and I think the most noteworthy thing to update my zero remaining readers about is that we had our second (of two and two only) kiddo in September. We had another boy by the name of Desmond Noisewater, and he is a very contented and happy young man thus far. He came a little bit early and unexpectedly so we had no one to care for his big brother, Erik Noisewater, during the birthing process. My parents got on a train to come watch Erik, but we had to take him to the hospital until they got into the city. Things progressed pretty quickly, and his mother was in quite a lot of pain and screaming, rightfully so. Erik looked really concerned and was saying, "What's wrong with mommy?" so I had to get him the hell out of there and back to the condo until my parents arrived. Wouldn't you know I ended up missing Desmond's arrival? A little bit of a drag to miss the birth of my son, but what is important was that he was born healthy. However, there is one minor mishap in that he has a low functioning and enlarged kidney due to some sort of mass inside his belly. It doesn't seem to be causing any problems for him, but it's still something in the back of our minds to make us worry and lose our minds about every now and again.

I'll make a confession here, because I know I can trust all of you. The second baby is not nearly as fun. With the first it is a lot of "Oh my God we have created life! We are keeping this youngster alive by feeding it! He has all our DNA and we are extending the survival of the human race!" Then the next time around it's more like, "For real? More sleep deprivation and live shits blasting during diaper changes and pee shooting into the wall and splattering all over me? And I'm trying to get the new guy taken care of while the older one won't leave the the F alone and won't put his dang shoes on?" All the magic and wonder you had with that first one is replaced with annoyance, and you have zero time for yourself. It's rough, I'll admit, but the alternative is leaving your kid as an only child, which my best friend and own mother can attest to is a crummy upbringing. So we do it. And don't get me wrong, we love our Desi-Bear (Yeah we call him that, so F-off), but it's just a matter of forcing yourself to be sure you're sure to will yourself into being as excited as you were for the first one and pay him as much attention as you did the other guy.

I just had to get back on the blog because I have been feeling like I am busy as hell with work and family but really losing my identity as an individual  - and on top of that feeling a little stressed out and depressed. I know that when I pump a blog onto the internets it keeps me more sane, happier, and it affords me a place to get my thoughts out. I know that when I go to a dark shitty place as I allow to let my negative thoughts spiral, one particularly nasty way I like to beat myself up is to let that inner dickhead voice say to me, "And what ever happened to all that writing you used to do, you loser?" So, the plan is to try to get on here and post a lot more, even if it's a quick few sentences on my phone during Erik's basketball or gymnastics practice. Help me out, guys. Instant message me to shame me for lack of posts every now and again. I welcome it.

What's on tap for this weekend? Kid shit. Always kid shit. But it's really what it's all about now; to see the kids happy is the best. We had a brunch at a theater nearby where you can meet Santa in one of the theaters. Anyone ever notice that all the Santas these days are actual old guys with authentic white beards? I swear to God every Santa I saw in the 1980's was a young guy with a beer gut and a fake white beard clipped behind his ears. This one was good, but he was more of the take a picture variety and not big on the "What do you want for Christmas, little boy" type." I think this stressed out Erik because he said he wanted some Transformers in a meek voice a handful of times, but old Santa with his actual old ears heard none of it. What I should of done is chimed in and said, "Okay, Erik. Santa is putting Soundwave and Shockwave down on his list and  Beardshis Elves will get right on building those boys for you." I always have stress and anxiety about the dumbest things ever like getting the picture, so I don't live in the moment and relax and think of what I need to. Why is every day bull crap so nerve racking for me? This is why I need to get my ass in front of a computer and blog more - because I have lots of thoughts like these that I cannot make sense of until I type them out.

Okay, blog buddies. I'm off to run down the blogroll to see what all of you have been up to in my admittedly long and inexcusable absence. I hope I can keep my pledge to get on here more, because I know it's good for me. Thank you.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Since I Haven't Blogged In Like 5 Weeks, Here Are 5 Updates.

1. I scrolled through some old posts to check, but I don't think that I've told all of you that we are due for our second kiddo in September. It's actually the same due date as Erik Noisewater, so there is a possibility they could have the same birthday. I suppose that would be the most important update for me, creating more human life and all, but let's move onto the random stupid items because if any of you have been reading a while, you know that is what I'm better at reporting on.

2. I've been doing the intermittent fasting about 4 to 6 days a week. I'll stop eating around 630pm and not eat again until 10:30AM the next day. I have to say I feel a lot better when I stick to it, and when I do I'm regular as a the sun, since you asked. It is also a good fit for me because I can get in bad patterns, such as knocking out entire rows of Girl Scout cookies. Mrs. Noisewater was all excited about a cookie after work only to find that after a few too many IPA's one Saturday evening I had ingested my standard entire row amount to polish off a box. Now it is a battle of wills. I bought another couple boxes to make it up to her and to prove to myself that I can control my inner fat kid impulses. So now when I need that little jolt of chocolate I'll open up the fridge and squirt a small amount of Hershey's syrup directly into my mouth like an uncivilized pile of crap human. Essentially it is like going to the methadone clinic for the heroin addict. Nowhere near as good as eating a row of cookies/mainlining smack, but it gets you through.

3. My good friend HLP (Heterosexual Life Partner) and I have been hitting a concert every month or every other month as our music tastes have aligned to a lot of the same doom/stoner/desert/fuzz bands. One thing we do is switching off who buys the tickets, and the other system is kind of a genius strategy that I am now sharing with you, my friends. What we do is look up the setlists of the one or two, sometimes three bands that we like on the bill on You'll find that most bands these days don't stray from the exact same songs night after night, so we will take all those songs and make them into one giant (especially if it's three bands) mixed up Spotify playlist that we can share with one another. And we alternate who does that task too. And viola! Now we can listen to that playlist over the course of a few weeks and will be totally familiar with all of the songs the bands will play without wasting any time at all with songs that won't be in the set list. Feel free to steal this system for yourself because, while I do admit it's pretty darn ingenious, I see no possible way to monetize it.

4. And speaking of the rock and roll music, the wife and kid joined me for one of my favorite days of the year, Record Store Day, and we had one heck of a good time (at least I did). What I did is look up which stores were giving out free donuts and coffee and such and made a nice route to hit around four stores. Erik Noisewater had his heart set on a pink donut with sprinkles, and by god I found one for him and four records for under twenty bucks for the old man. While at one tiny store I noticed that there was a good deal of sections for hip hop, trance, drums and bass . . . . But where in the hell was the damn rock music? Then I saw around thirty or fifty vinyls filed under "Dad Rock." That is where they file their very limited actual rock music with guitars. And sure enough the dad with the kid running around the store asking for donuts picked himself up some very, very dad-like rock, a Jerry Rafferty album.

5. Do you all feel like you get smarter or dumber as the years roll on? Recently I started getting the notion that my wits were going in the wrong direction. There was a time where I walked into a room and fancied myself one of the sharpest blokes in the room, and sadly I just don't feel that way quite as much anymore. This is something I feel like I have to turn around, so I started some new habits like reading the newspaper cover-to-cover, doing crossword puzzles, and limiting my social media time. And hopefully writing more. I gotta write more, guys. I'm sorry I have slowed up so much with my output, but that is just another step I have to take to avoid gradually growing duller like the rest of America.

Okay, friends. You got any input on any of these five items listed above? If not, then just tell me something else that will make me laugh because laughing is good for the soul and the gall bladder. Mostly the soul.  

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Dreaded Drinking Double Shift

It's St. Patrick's Day Saturday in Chicago, perhaps one of the drunkest messes you will ever see. You know how I spent it this year? Mrs. Noisewater and I to our kiddo to his swim class, then a baby cafe to kill time until his music class. Then home for a nap for all three of us. That was all before 12pm. But people on this day and in this town get to the bar at 7AM to get started with the festivities. When I participated in that sort of thing I made it a point, no, a rule, to not even leave the house until 5pm when all the kegs and eggs early shift folks had already thrown up and passed out. It actually was a great day to go for a jog and have a few laughs, and of course, you had to be hyper vigilant to avoid stepping in puke.

Only one year did I go out for the 7AM shift. Another rule I have is not going to any bar with an Irish name because it will just be packed with douche bags, and why wait in line for an American bar that happens to have an Irish name? So yeah, I broke the starting way too early and the "Irish" bar rule. I was destined for a bad night. I also had this idea in my head that if I drank mixed drinks I would sip them really slow and not get too drunk too early.

Fast forward to me blind drunk before noon. The hard liquor theorem had been disproven beyond any reasonable doubt. I was dating a girl at the time whom every one of my friends and family pretty much hated. She really was evil when I look back on it. Deep down I knew it too, but I fooled myself into thinking it was a matter of me changing to try to make her happy. Or in this case of this day it was a matter of fighting with her all day long and tipping back way too much booze in frustration.

Fast forward yet again to around 4pm and our whole crew was getting separated because we were all practically sleep walking. I found myself playing beer pong with strangers, breaking a third rule of never playing drinking games in my 30's. My partner was a very friendly and pretty Asian Indian girl. I remember thinking, oh yeah, girls are a hell of a lot more fun when they're charming, friendly, and they aren't making a point of trying demean me and make me miserable. I was so bombed that when the girlfriend at the time found me, I didn't even stop flirting with the new gal I met. This may have been a mistake on my end, but I barely even knew my name by this point.

Fast forward a third time to around 8pm and I'm dancing. I didn't do a lot of dancing by this stage of my life, so if I was I was either at a wedding or blasted beyond belief. Every so often I would see this guy trying to dance with my girl. Eventually I told him, "Hey, I think it's time you fucked off." I thought this would do the trick, but he kept coming back. Each time I would get madder to the point where I said, "You really do need to get out of here before I kick your ass." What? I don't kick people's asses. Who was this guy saying this? Then we are in each other's faces, and it is me who says "Well, let's step outside then." Step outside??!? I have no idea how to fight and I had been drinking for like 12 hours. I would have been lucky to have punched a wall successfully. But it was too late. I had said it and we were walking outside to have ourselves a fight. Suddenly security swept in. I was being thrown out. I was saved! But they only took the dude out and let my drunk ass stay. Seemed strange, but it turned out a gal in our crew was sitting back and observing everything take place and had security remove him. I really do owe her a drink the next time I see her for saving me from a certain ass whooping and possible arrest.

It was not until weeks later that someone told me that my lady friend at the time was baiting that dancing fellow back into the fold time and time again. Now I get it. The guy was getting the signals, she was hot, and how can you even be mad at the guy knowing that? And I pretty much set myself up with my behavior earlier in the evening right? It was jus a crazy-ass night.

My son just woke up so I gotta run. Hey, moral of the story, don't drink all damn day. There's no point. After that 10th or 12th hour you're not even yourself anymore. I think that is why you see all those domestic calls coming in on holidays where people drink too much. It's those double-shift drinkers who have become some drunken jerk they would hate if they could see it. So that's my public service announcement.

Tip one back, my friends. But be safe. And know when to punch out of that shift.

(No proofreading at all so hopefully will get a chance to do that soon)