Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ivanna

I had a bachelor party at a beach house in Hermosa Beach, California for a good friend of mine named King of the Beach (not his real name), and we met someone named Ivanna (also not her name).

We spent a lot of the week playing volleyball on the gorgeous beaches, bumming around the beach house, going to bars, and going to other bars with naked people, as is customary for the occasion. One night we are at a rooftop bar, and when we looked over towards the bar, one of the more mild-mannered gentlemen in our group was talking to a fetching leggy woman at the bar. He introduced Ivanna to us, and the first thing we noticed is that she is 5'11" and taller than me in heals. And she was absolutely loaded on the Bolivian marching powder.

Ivanna is a former model and singer (of sorts) born in Russia or some place similar and raised in Australia. And she absolutely loved us. All 10 of us men. Sure, it could be the endorphins in her brain triggered by the piles of cocaine she was doing in the bathroom, but we took it as just being great dudes and her good "mates." She said mates a lot. Here's the thing: She managed to be kind of charming even though she was talking loudly and a mile a minute.

The poor gal had just wrapped up a bad first date with a guy who only wanted to talk about how much money he made all through out their dinner. She wanted to go up to the bar for a drink, and he didn't want to go. At least I think that was her story. They got into some sort of argument, but most of us were guessing that she was way, way too high and the dude split as a result.

Ivanna told us that she used to date a guitar player who played in a high profile 1980's musician's band. She met a lot of famous musicians and other celebrities during that time. Sadly, guitar player boyfriend died. She brought her deceased ex a number of times, and I was getting the feeling that she was nowhere near over this event - and it seemed to be a trigger for her to want to drink and do more drugs. Oh, also she told us she was 42-years-old but looked and acted 22. I actually felt bad for her at times, but mostly I was laughing and having a good time at the outrageous things she would say - and I don't want to say I was laughing at her all the time, because that wouldn't be true. She was funny intentionally too.

But her singing was absolutely horrible. I think she said she used to be a back up singer, but I'm guessing they just had her look good in tight outfits, swaying back and forth with a tambourine and her microphone off. It wasn't all that loud at the bar, but she felt a need to lean in and sing loudly into everyone's ear. She had an affinity for the 1980's, so we instantly became good buddies. I remember her trying to sing lots of Foreigner and Hall and Oates jams, and when she found out my one friend was a singer, she tried to impress him even more. And the harder she tried, the worse she got.

She told me that she thought I was attractive and then motioned towards our respective genitals and pointed back in forth and said that down there it was going "woo! woo!" Like our genitals were carrying on some sort of intense conversation down there. I laughed and said that I was flattered but that I have a wife and a kid at home. Ivanna was very flirty. She told one guy in the group that he had "bedroom eyes," and he was eating that up. We called him Ol' Bedroom Eyes all weekend, of course. So, truthfully I was not all that flattered because she loved all of us. She kept saying how we were such great guys with good energy, but I think she just needed a friend badly - someone with whom she can overshare and sing songs to.

Ivanna told me that this wasn't her worst first date. She went on another one where the guy told her at the dinner table that he would like it if she stuck things into his rectum later that evening. She was offended and didn't see him again, but she admitted that until that point he had been pretty charming She may have indulged him had he been a little more patient. She said she does piles and piles of cocaine (duh) and she can get into just about anything in the bedroom with the right amount of chemical assistance. Let that be a lesson, gentlemen. Don't overplay your hand. You may get all the wonderful things into your butt that you want if you just exercise a little forbearance with your freaky-deaky requests.

We also had a random business man from France come into our crew and another blond woman from I-don't-know-where. Ivanna was the perfect scientifically proven element for repelling the stuffy tight-asses away with her loud shitty singing and drawing in the right types of people who like to have fun. We had to get to the next stop on our itinerary, and it seemed as if Ivanna was going to continue on with French man and blondy. However, after yet another trip to powder her nose, the two of them had opted to part ways with their third six foot third wheel* and sneak out while she was gone. Dejected but likely determined to find more friends willing to stay up until 7AM, Ivanna went out into the night. Alone.

Ivanna brought us a boost of energy and left a lasting impression upon us, as we were still discussing some of her awesome antics when we had a break the next morning in between volleyball serves. God love you, Ivanna. May you find the man who will help to get you at peace after losing your fallen love, and wherever you go, let it snow down coke in a good times establishment full of bedroom-eyed folks ready and willing to sing loudly and poorly right along with you. My first beer at today's Cubs game is for you, Ivanna.

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*Six Foot Third Wheel is the best band name I have thought of in a long, long time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

He's a Good Dude

First off, sorry about not posting for over a month. That's messed up. Having this kiddo is not an excuse to drop blogging all together. I'm going to make a better effort. I have him in daycare every Wednesday this summer, so I'll try to make that my automatic posting day.

Today at the gym two goofy things happened. The first one was when I looked up at a guy who was hollering at me from his treadmill. I was blaring an album by stoner rock legends Sleep at that moment so I couldn't hear what he was saying. When I took out my ear buds I ascertained that he was hollering at someone on his headphones phone device. But why look right at me when you're berating someone else? I was scared for a second there because I don't know how to fight and the dude was big.

The other odd duck was a middle aged man who stopped a young Asian woman to ask if she was using a machine. That is normal gym behavior. Then he said, "Can I work in with you?" That is also an okay request, I think. But then he asked, "Do you have a sister?" I'm not sure about that last one.

The other thing is that I have a pretty awesome kid. We are all a little biased, right? But from where I'm standing, he's a good dude. Erik is 10 months now, and he likes to do little tricks all the time. He waves, points, sniffs, does mouth popping noises, flaps his arms, and shakes his head. Those are the ones I can think of right now. I'll ask him to do "sniffies," for example, and without seeing me for a cue, he starts sniffing away. And the sniff face is mean-looking so it looks like he is mean-mugging people and everyone has a good laugh. He will do one or more of these things and then look at you to see your reaction, and when you do it back to him, he thinks it's hilarious. This kid is going to be funny. His mom and dad are funny too, so I think there are going to be a lot of good times ahead.

Erik also smiles at everyone, which makes everyone he meets feel special. "He smiled at me!" I don't tell them that he does that for everybody because why spoil their moment? He also likes to share, he likes to laugh, and he can dunk a basketball. Sort of. And in that video he hadn't quite learned how to crawl, so he was doing the worm. So break dancing is something I can add to his list of tricks. Talking? Not really. Just "Mama" and "Dada" thus far and not always in context. But I got this little man doing tricks like a dog. His mom gets mad at me because he will growl/grunt and I'll do it back to him, and we will be on the floor together grunting like a couple of cavemen. Mom thinks that I should be saying more words to him instead, and while she is probably right, the growling is a blast. It's a good life.

How about you, readers? What makes you proud of your kids? And if you don't have kids, who are you proud of? Or if you aren't proud of anyone at all, have you seen any weirdos at the gym or elsewhere lately?

Saturday, May 06, 2017

The Captain Costco Kid

While I'm pushing Baby Erik in a shopping cart into my local Costco today I see a family of four coming in as well. They consisted of a father, a mother, a son dressed in every day little kid clothes . . . and then another boy in a full God damned Captain America costume. I'm not saying that he had a t-shirt with the emblem on it because that would be completely acceptable.

(That one hand in the pocket with the thumb out always lets the ladies know you're a man about town and a little dangerous. In fact, the thumb of this Captain America points right to his very own "captain" if you look closely.)
No, I'm talking head-to-toe tights with built in fake muscles and a mask. A mask! Your kid isn't Zoro, The Lone Ranger, or any other masked avenger. He is a scrawny little son of urban yuppies, and you're allowing him to make a decision to break all social norms for no better reason than he thinks he's special. Well, he's not. Let's put it this way: Do you want him doing his grocery shopping in an outfit like that when he is 30? No, because then he would likely be insane or some sort of village idiot.
This wasn't exactly the costume, but it was the closest I could find. The kid had no shield, but if he did I would have thrown some cheese at him to test his blocking skills.
Here are the scenarios I came up with that could explain why a family would allow their son to run around thinking he is a pint-sized crime fighter on an otherwise typical Saturday morning in Chicago.

1. It's his birthday.
At first I thought maybe it's cool to let the young man wear the get-up of his favorite comic book hero once a year, but then it occurred to me that there already is a day that the little rascal can do that; It's called Hallo-Fricking-Ween. One day is enough, kid. Don't push it. Halloween is the day where tons of kids, and even adults, are out in costume. So on that day you look perfectly normal dressed like that. But on days that don't fall on October 31st you look like a little dork. I'm sorry, but it's true.

2. Maybe the kid has severe behavior problems and wouldn't leave the house unless he got to dress as Captain America.
Well, if this is what is going on, mommy and daddy might as well piss on the fire and call in the dogs because this young man is running that household. Why can't they just say no to his outfit choice for the day? Are they scared he will throw his plastic shield at them? He's 7 for Christ's sakes. Just because he dresses like one does not mean he is that captain of that family.

3. He wants to have big muscles.
You're just going to have to put in the time at the gym like the rest of us, little fella. We all can't just slip on a muscle suit. What kind of message does it send to him if he thinks he can skip all those sit-ups for those wash board abs and just key up and rush deliver a muscle suit on Amazon? I read once where Sylvester Stallone commented on when action movies took a turn for the worse: "It was the first Batman movie. The action movies changed radically when it became possible to Velcro your muscles on. I wish I had thought of Velcro muscles myself. I didn't have to go to the gym for all those years." So, you want to know why you suck, kid? Just ask Sly.

So what to you think, friends? Would you allow this sort of clothing choice for your kid? Also, what are you up to this weekend, oh captain my captains? . . .

So here is a picture from today of Erik (on the right) and his homeboy Diego (on the left).  Earlier, Erik saw the Captain America Kid. Hardly a good excuse to post a baby photo, but they're cute, huh?

Monday, May 01, 2017

The other day I went for a swim at a gym location and time that was strange to me, and it turns out that is the time when all of the older (perhaps retired) people use the pool. Few were swimming. Most were walking laps up and down. When I stopped on my end to take a break, I looked up to see a heavyset woman barreling her way towards me. Usually you ask someone before sharing a lane, but I'm not one to ever say no. Also, I found it odd that I recognized her as someone who was already in a lane. So, why make the jump into my lane? It turns out she wanted to talk to me while she did her pool-walking-laps.

Her: Am I the only one bothered by this? 
(She motioned towards of the other swimmers)

Me: What?

Her: The rules say for everyone to wear 'proper swim attire. We all have bathing suits. Why can't she put one on.
(Now it was clear to me that she was talking about another woman walking laps with foamy weights wearing garbs in accordance with her religious practice. Looks like I was in the midst of an aquatic holy war)

Me: I don't know.
(At this point I was pulling my goggles back on and trying my best to stay out of it.)

Her: I told the woman that she needs to wear proper swim attire, and she swore at me. She said "great googily-moogily. 
(she didn't actually say this gibberish. She stated some swear words in another language that I didn't recognize. I found it odd that the racist woman cared enough to research the curse words of a culture she hates.)

Me: Yeah, okay . . . 

Her: You know, you can't say anything to anyone anymore without getting arrested, or something. I already told the management about her, and they didn't do anything. 

Me: Okay, I'm going to finish swimming now.
(At this point I looked over at the woman with the religious garbs to see her pumping her foam weights emphatically and muttering angrily to herself. There really was a holy war erupting between these gals. Or perhaps just a Holy Cold War. Either way, I wasn't sticking around to find out if it was going to come to blows with bloody noses gushing all over the joint)

I don't think reporting someone to management is appropriate. The gym can't throw someone out of the gym for wearing what this woman was wearing. First Amendment rights still apply at the gym, right? And how could what someone else swims in possibly bother anyone else? If anything, I could have complained about the lady hopping into my lane without asking and unloading her hate speech at me. And why was she coming at me like I was going to agree with any of it? Just because I was a white male?

The second I hopped out of the pool and opened the locker room door, I found a couple of guys who should have been reported to management. Despite the fact that there is already music playing, they were blasting their own loud rap music with a little stereo while trying to yell over that and a couple of hair dryers to have a conversation the whole locker room had to listen to. Also, the rap music was that auto-tune robot vocals crap that all these rappers use these days. And I hate that shit. So when I come out of the shower to use one of the hair dryers, right when I turn the corner to where they are, I am hit with the awful stench of steamed body odor. These two morons were evidently drying off the stinky clothes they just worked out in with the only two hair dryers! If you ask me, leaving the sweaty clothes on would be far less offensive than heating them up, especially the socks because I think that is the smell that was really permeating all through the immediate area. 

After I got changed, I went back by the hair dryers to see if they were available to see that they were, but the stinky clothes were still on the sink and the stereo was still playing. One of the guys was rapping every word coming from the stereo 30 feet away loudly from his shower. A guy from the front desk came by to ask if it was my radio, and I said, "No. But I bet you can guess whose it is." 

Hand weights Muslim lady is welcome at my gym any time. Steamed sweat socks duo? You two need to learn some gym etiquette. And basic hygiene. And science. And music taste. And just how not to be idiots. And, just maybe work out from home with your robot vocals songs and never expose anyone to your steamed body odor. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Two Random Weird-Ass Topics After a Month Off of Blogging? The Balls On This Guy!

1. Too Much Empathy Ruins Childhood Programming for Young Boy in Chicagoland Area

Some of you may know this, but I work with kids for a living. This may come as a surprise if you have read older blog posts from my crazier days, but you'll just have to take my word for it. I got thinking the other day how I have always had a pretty strong empathy even as a very young boy. I remember liking "The Munsters" because the mom was hotter than the "Adam's Family," they had a dragon living under their stairs, and Grandpa Munster had that bitchin' car, The Dragula. But what I just couldn't get past was how sad I felt for Herman Munster who so desperately wanted to live a normal life in the suburbs and interact with his neighbors, but he frightened the living daylights out of anyone he came into contact with. Had Herman just said "the hell with it" and holed himself up in his castle in the cul-de-sac, I may have been fine, but he just kept putting his best giant boot forward, experiencing that screaming in fear and rejection over-and-over. I just couldn't take it.

Then when I would try to watch "Tom and Jerry" it wasn't the violence specifically that bothered me - violence I'm okay with - it's that I felt so bad for Tom getting his ass beat, chopped up, and exploded time and time again by a little mouse that was just too smart for him. I yelled at my TV (not unlike I now yell at my Chicago sports teams as an adult) for Tom to just find a dumber and slower mouse or even eat out of the garbage cans in the alleys like Top Cat. Ol' Top Cat lived a pretty luxurious and awesome life when you think about it. Believe it or not, I was excited when they would air those rare episodes where Tom and Jerry got along and didn't fight. Those ones are likely unwatchable like when "The Three Stooges" didn't poke each other's eyes out, but I just wanted their to be peace in the valley on Saturday mornings.

2. Birdy Num-Num

When I first fed my son, Baby Erik, with a bottle, I was amazed. I was thinking, "He's drinking it! He loves it! I am helping this baby LIVE!" Then at 6 months (he's now 7 months) we started with solid foods, and that is even cooler to me. Mrs. Noisewater and I mix up crazy concoctions like spinach, banana, and cherries, and he knocks it down and cannot get enough of it. The little guy starts banging on his high chair tray demanding more. So the other day as I'm spooning it in, I say, "Do you want some num-nums?" Then I started saying "birdy num-num." Then I said it with an Asian Indian accent, and I'm trying to think why in the hell I'm saying that. Finally I remembered that it is from "The Party" starring Peter Sellers. It's not that great of a movie, but it does have that awesome phrase that has been so fun to say during solid food feedings with my boy. In "The Party," Peter Sellers plays an Asian Indian actor who gets invited to an exclusive Hollywood party on accident and screws everything up. At one point he sees the bird food labeled "Birdy num-nums" and starts saying it over-and-over. Then he says it into the intercom system for all the confused guests to hear. I watched the movie around 20 years ago, and that is just about the only scene I remember. And I barely remember it at all. It's something that may have never came to the surface of my brain to be lost forever had I not blurted it out while feeding Baby Erik the other day. Try saying it a few times, readers, and don't forget the accent. Ready? Birdy num-nums. Fun, right?






Sunday, February 26, 2017

1. Here is the vicious cycle I go through when I'm watching my son during the day and he won't fall asleep for a nap:

"Jesus, Lord would you just go the F to sleep already! I can't take this crying any more. Even if you just sleep for 30 minutes, I know like 8 things I could get done really quick before you get up. Wait, he is rubbing his ears - this is good. Those blinks are getting slower and slower - this is very good. And there, eyes closed. Okay, I'll just set him down slowly like Indiana Jones changing out that sand for the artifact thing or whatever the heck was going on there . . . Now slip my arm out without jostling his head too much. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Okay, he's out."



"I love that boy. He's just the cutest. I can't wait until he wakes up again so I can play with him."

Repeat.

2. Mrs. Noisewater and I are collecting all the good Disney movies on Blu-Ray so that Erik can watch them some day, but mostly so her and I can watch them on rainy afternoons. Believe or not, Mrs. Noisewater has never seen the original cartoon "Jungle Book." She has only seen the live action version, which wasn't too bad, but you can't beat the original. It has the classic songs "Bear Necessities," "I Wanna Be Like You," and then at the very end you hear what I would argue is the worst damn song in any animated film in the history of the world: "My Own Home."



This is the song Mogli overhears a little girl singing as she fetches water from a stream for her family. The lyrics are her saying that now she is getting water, but some day she will be cooking for everyone in the safety of her own home, sending some other poor sap little girl to fend off wild jungle snakes to get the water. It is not unlike when Louie Anderson is talking about the fast food progression of washing the lettuce up through the two year grind to make that assistant manger position in "Coming To America."



Also, I can't help but think that the song is a little sexist with all those gender roles. This is not the most empowering female character either. Also, (SPOILER ALERT) I always hated her for being the jezebel temptress drawing the man-cub Mogli out of the jungle and into the life of those darned villagers. His boys Balu, Bagheera, and whatever the vulture guys names are got in a scrap with the most feared tiger in the jungle and nearly died for him, only for Mogli to split on his jungle friends the minute he sees his first potential piece of ass. I took that hard as a kid. I grew up early with a bro's before ho's mentality. Never mind what I said a minute ago about what is and is not sexist if I'm going to be tossing out the phrase bro's before ho's, but it's just funny to say goofy things like that about Disney films. Wait, I made reference to a cartoon girl as a "piece of ass" too. Okay, I'm messed up.

3. One last thing. We have noticed that Erik is much more likely to fall asleep with me than he is with Mrs. Noisewater. The problem is that when she is holding him, he burrows into her boobs looking for milk whether he is hungry or not. I told her not to take offense that he doesn't want to just snuggle and sleep with her because who could fall asleep at a 24-hour buffet? If I'm trying to sleep at the Sizzler, I'd be like, "Okay, I am stuffed to the gills. Let's get some shut eye. Oh snap, are they putting out the breakfast stuff already? I think I can get down some biscuits and gravy even if I'm completely bloated. Because . . . Biscuits and gravy. Am I right or am I right? Or maybe a better analogy is like when my buddies and I hung out at the Taco Bell for hours-and-hours, filling up our soda cups with endless cups of Mountain Dew. Either way, I don't fault my boy for indulging himself.

See you next time, friends. You go and Indulge yourself in something good too.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

I got a text the other morning that a friend and coworker of mine, Cesar, was mugged. There are two types of muggings.

1. The one where you hand over all your belongings and no one gets hurt.
2. The horrific and traumatizing kind.

My friend had a Number Two, and it was the worst I have ever heard of.

Every Sunday morning Cesar likes to wake up early and walk over to the coffee shop to catch up on work. You know, doing what he is supposed to do as a functional and productive member of society. This is when he sees a car with four young men (who contribute crime and awfulness to society) do a u-turn, and he thinks nothing of it. Evidently they did a u-turn to rob him because moments later three men sneak up from behind and are all over Cesar. One shoves him into a fence, and the other two dig into all of his pockets, taking his phone, keys, credit card, and a bus card. Conceal and carrying a firearm would have done him no good with how fast these guys got into all available pockets, and then the likelihood of him getting shot would have went up - plus there would be another gun on the street.

Cesar yelled out "help" as loud as he could, and this is when two of the men punched him in the face, breaking his jaw. They asked for the code to unlock his phone, and he gave it to them. Between the three men, they could not remember it. The one guy still in the car yelled out that it was taking to long and to just "pop him." One of the men on foot then showed Cesar a gun. The guy in the car then leaned over to get something out of the glove box (likely another gun) but banged his head on something and was screaming, swearing, and bitching about how much it hurt. Between the head bumping and the guys not being able to memorize four simple numbers, it is likely these guys were strung out drug addicts. When the other three turned to check on their partner in the car, Cesar made a break for it. The three pursued him on foot, and the guy in the car zipped ahead of Cesar and pulled through an entrance to an alley to block the sidewalk in front of him. Much to the driver's surprise, Cesar leaped over the hood of the car like God damned "Night Rider!"

Walking in the opposite direction, completely oblivious to all the hollering, commotion, and crimes happening around due to being engrossed with his phone and ear buds playing loud music, was an Asian-American out for a stroll. Cesar was running towards this citizen and yelling to get his attention to no avail. So as he is running past he snatches the ear buds out of the man's ears and yells, "You're walking straight towards criminals, and they're trying to kill me!" Now Asian-American guy is turning and running in the same direction as Cesar, and the two of them ran into a local 7-11. They frantically asked the guy working there to lock the doors because the hooligans were close behind and headed towards the store, but the guy working there did not seem to believe them.

The bad guy driver actually pulled into the parking lot, but as it turns out the headlights made it impossible for the camera to see the driver, make out a license plate, or even tell the make of the car. The criminals must have known that they would be seen on cameras if they went into the 7-11, so they did not enter the store. It's a good thing the Asian-American fellow stayed for when the police came because the policeman had no idea how to track a stolen iPhone. I think the policeman should have known how to do that, but that is not the focus of this blog entry.

Cesar had to have a three hour surgery on his jaw with only local anesthetic, so he was awake for the entire uncomfortable three hours. He then had his jaw wired shut, and it will remain wired shut for six to eight weeks. The only things he can eat are liquids that can fit through his teeth. The doctor said he will likely lose around fifteen pounds, and Cesar is a thin guy to begin with. He is also traumatized, and any time it starts getting dark out, if he sees a black car, or if he sees a car do a u-turn, he begins to panic and relive the event.

Cesar's situation was one of those times where I felt so terrible for someone that I felt like I had to do something. The first thing I did was organize a Tuesday Juice Day where myself and two other coworkers switch off who is buying smoothies (one of the only things he can "eat") that morning and hang out with Cesar before work. The first Juice Day we got together is when he told us all the details about the robbery. I think it just helps him to talk to people about what has been going on with him. Two ladies who recently retired volunteered to drive him to all of his doctor appointments because Cesar does not have a car and they have the time. How nice of those ladies, right?

The second thing I am doing is on a more city-wide scale. Like me, Cesar is a jogger, and I have been coming up with a plan for a Joggers Neighborhood Watch (still looking into a clever name, so chime in with one if you have any good ones). I figure joggers could be out on patrol in those early morning hours where the criminals often strike, and we are often hyper alert when we are running. What I am envisioning is a Google Drive spreadsheet for each neighborhood where folks can fill out a calendar for what time of day they will be with a group of people on a jog (preferably groups of at least two, and even better if three or four). My hope is that as it gains popularity, folks will agree to choose that 4AM block of time if they log on late and it is one of the last slots, especially if we have an incentive program at the end of a week (like a pizza party with lots of beer) if we fill all the time slots. Joggers can check another box saying how many are in their group, what materials they have with them (whistle, pepper spray, phones, etc), and any suspicious activity they saw. My hope is that more presence out there can reduce crimes like the one that so badly impacted my friend.

If you have any other ideas I can add to this plan, please let me know in the comments. If you want to outright steal my idea, go right ahead. I'm not making any money on this, and you will be making the world safer, which is my goal anyway.

Be safe out there, friends. Don't look at your phone all the damn time when you're walking around. Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Your safety is more important than Facebook updates or Candy Crush. Ubers are everywhere, so take advantage of this and go door-to-door in a car when it is late at night or early in the morning. And if you have to walk alone late at night, do so with a friend.  

Okay, blog buddies. Thanks for listening/reading. See you next time . . .