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 setlist.fm. 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)

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Bend It Like Beckham Or Punch Him Like Sugar Ray?

Young Erik Noisewater is 2 and a half years old now, and we got young him in a soccer program. As much as I dislike the sport, it really is the best introduction to team sports for little kiddos. Believe it or not there are some toddlers in his group who you can already tell are going to be great athletes. Erik is just okay as far as the coordination and athleticism goes, but he makes up for it by being a great listener and rule follower. Each class has 10 toddlers, 2 coaches, and it is required that there is one parent per kid out there running around making sure everything goes a little more smoothly. But it's still pretty much like herding cats every Sunday.

I had to take him to a make up class on Thursday after work. All day at work I was hating everyone and pretty much thinking about how everyone seems to be deep down an asshole at heart, and believe it or not I couldn't wait until the soccer practice that afternoon to see play soccer with my great little dude - my little hope for humanity homie. But when I got there the weeknight coach was neither of the nice fellas I was used to from the Sunday class. He was a little weasely-looking, hunched over, eyes half opened and not appearing to be focused on anything in particular creeper who reminded me of a combination of Doctor Riviera from The Simpsons and Igor from the Frankenstein movies. I feel like I could not have been the only parent in the room to have that gut feeling like this maybe is not the best dude to be around kids. Let's put it this way: They give all the kids stamps on the hands at the end of the classes, and when I overheard a coach saying that they cannot put stamps on the kids' bellies anymore because a parent complained, I knew right away it had to have been after this dude lifted one too many kids' jerseys. I tried to describe his vibe to Mrs. Noisewater, and he is a guy who it is hard to say if he would be into men, women, or god forbid kids. It almost seems like he would check off the none of the above box because he is into getting romantic with animals or trees or something far more divergent.

Little of this

And a little of this. And that's our coach. 

So Tree-Humper, as odd as he may be, was running a pretty good class, but my supposed great listener and rule abiding son is completely doing his own thing. When it is time for little kicks, he is toe bashing the ball across the gym. When they are all supposed to wait in line, he is booking it to the other side of the room and trying to hop over the barricade. More often than not he seemed to be doing the exact opposite of what Doctor Igor was asking of him. I pulled him aside a few times to say, "We have to listen to the coach, Erik." There was a look in my boy's eye like, "That's not happening, bro." Who was this kid? I was used to him being one of the best in the class and feeling kind of bad for those parents who chased around their kid who seemed to have zero interest in what the activities were and seemed in their own world. And now my guy was that kid. He was the worst in the group. And I was so looking forward to this class after a crap day at work. Now I was stressed and needed a beer. Because of a 2-year-old soccer practice? Yes. And if I'm being honest with you this thought came in my head: I'm so disappointed in this kid. What? How shitty to say that about a 2-year-old? They are going to do terrible shit when they're in their terrible 2's, right? I know this. But I'm just being honest about what was in my stupid head at the time because you're my people and you're the folks I can be real with.

Out of his mind that day. But a winning smile. 
Then just as the class is wrapping up, when I can already taste the cold Apex Predator I'm going to need after this day of work and this kid wearing me out, the kids are all huddled up, putting their hands in for a big go team, and someone else's kid punches Tree-Humper square in the nose for no reason at all. Wham! A perfectly placed blow, and the coach is actually hurt, his eyes are watering, and he completely stops teaching and just tries to recover. One mom asks if he needs an ice pack. He declines. Maybe he is just being dramatic, but who knows. What we do know is that . . . in a last second buzzer beater turn of events . . . Erik was not the worst kid in the class that afternoon. I really shouldn't have taken pleasure from a toddler socking a creepy coach dead in the nose, but I was flicking thrilled. It was beautiful.

That's all I got, friends. What you got on tap this weekend? If you're like me you are going to clock this weekend in the beak with a right hook like Erik and his daddy's new favorite teammate. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

To Bird-Dog a Russian

I have to admit that in the past a lot of the stories I would tell on this blog took place at a bar. Since becoming a parent my nights of carousing are a lot more rare, but I did step out with some buddies recently for my birthday. We ended up at a place in my neighborhood with one of the biggest beer lists in the city, and although it is a classy joint with an excellent menu, they surprisingly have a no kids policy. So, I thought it was a great chance to get in there since I didn't have Erik Noisewater as a dining companion for a night.

I came in there to find my good friends Night Train and 312 bellied up to the bar. We ordered clams, a tray of fancy cheeses, you know, man shit, right? There were playoff football games on, but believe it or not this place and their clientele are way more into their beer than they are into sports. 312 flipped his phone up on the bar so we could watch, and a manager actually came over to us to say that he had to turn the sound off. We didn't put up a fight, flipped the sound off, went back to our hors d'oervres, sipping Belgian beers we couldn't pronounce, and telling lies. 

Just to give you the lay of the land to set up the situation I want to share with you, if you were there and facing the bar, the order of us was 312, Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, and Nigh Train. Our relationship status for the three of us is that I'm happily married, Night Train is in a newly committed thing, but 312 is single and ready to mingle with Kris Kringle. No idea if that spin on the expression is a thing or makes any sense whatsoever, but there you have it. 312 had a young lady to his left who was all alone at the bar, and when he started chatting her up he ascertained that she was waiting for a date (I believe their second date), and the guy was considerably late. Bad form. The late guy not only screwed up by breaking the important rule that he should have learned long ago about never keeping a lady waiting, but by doing so he allowed 312 to start working his charm. 

When Late Guy finally showed up all three of us noticed that he wasn't at all apologetic about making her sit there all alone on a Friday night waiting for him. You'll notice that our attention to the NFL had disappeared completely. Our chief concern was this Russian (did I mention she was Russia?) gal and if there was any possiblity at all that 312, in an unprecedented move, could steal her away from him. When the date went off to pee, 312 casually asked how it was going. She said he had already told a story about taking too many weed edibles and getting lost in a grocery store. Not sure how that scores a guy any points. She said at this rate she would be home very soon.

312 asked Night Train and myself for input about how he could find a way to see this woman again without looking like an alpha male jerk or something. I first suggested that when she went to the bathroom, he could intercept her around the corner so Late Guy couldn't see it and exchange numbers then, but that window closed when she sat back down. I asked if he had a business card so he could discreetly get it to her. I mean, Late Guy did seem like a turd, but that kind of puts her in an awkward spot to be on a date with one guy and get hit on by another one - so discretion was key. Believe it or not, my friends, he did have a business card in his possession and was able to do a slight of hand drop off before we made our way out. We high fived him and forgot all about it. 

Then later in the night as we are in the cab on the way to the next spot, 312 got a text from Russian Girl. By god, he pulled it off. She was interested in him. 

We had a helluva fun time that night, and the from Russia with love switcheroo gave me a chance to live vicariously through a single friend. All us married people do that with our single friends a little, don't we? 

Okay, I'm off. Got a fun weekend ahead of me, but more of a family oriented one than the other one where I was giving bird-dogging advice on the fly to a buddy. No, this weekend the family will be in a resort with a pool and spa and stuff, swimming and enjoying that beautiful memory-making time. Hope all of you also have a fun-filled weekend ahead of you. Farewell, Blog Buddies. 

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Dangerously Low On Friends With Kids

Hey, friends. Sorry for the long delay. I haven't folded up the tent yet.

I hope everyone had a good holiday season. I listen to a lot of Christmas music. One day my son and I are sitting around the house and he goes, "We need some Christmas music." I think I get this from my dad. He's that guy that turns the tunes on Thanksgiving and keeps kicking out the jams nonstop all through New Year's Eve.

You know what I have noticed about Christmas music? Not as much Christ in it. It seems like the secular songs are edging out the religious ones as the years go on. When I watched the Charlie Brown Christmas special the other day I noticed that the kids are wondering what the true meaning of Christmas is, Linus launches into a bible passage about the birth of Jesus. I don't think you would see that happen in today's world if Daniel Tiger or the dogs on Paw Patrol were presented with the same question. This is actually a good thing because it is showing more acceptance of other religions and that America is not just a white Christian nation.

"May your days be crispy and greasy"
But, the Jesus songs are usually better, right? I have a theory about this. If you got two songwriters, one an atheist given the task of writing the best possible song about his Christmas tree, he may very well write a catchy number. However, if the second guy is a devout Christian who actually deeply believes all that malarkey about Jesus being is his savior and he could go to Hell if he doesn't praise Him, well he's likely to write one hell of a song, right? His ass depends on it. Those old classical Christmas songs are God damn intense for a reason! Then again, Christian rock sucks compared to godless rock so there goes that theory. Fuck it. What the hell do I know.

Mrs. Noisewater and I have very few friends with kids who still live in the city. Many of them have moved out to the burbs, one moved out of state, and another left the country. The Noisewaters need a Fred and Ethel in a bad way. We do come across folks with kids, but we find ourselves finding reasons to justify not making friends with them:

"I have enough friends."
"I'm not going to be friends with somebody just so my kid has someone to play with."
"I like the mom, but the dad sucks (or the other way around)."

Don't they look happy? And Complete?
But lately we are starting to think that maybe we are being picky and elitists about the whole thing. You're not going to find the perfect couple to hang out with with the greatest kid ever. So as our latest round of Erik's swim class was coming to a close I suggested that we invite the other 3 sets of parents out for a breakfast afterwords. Mrs. Noisewater said that may have been nice, but we would have had to do that the week before to give a little notice. We would probably be left alone at the diner, which was cool with me; more pancakes for me. I just figured I should take a shot. But as the class was wrapping up and we were heading to the showers to wash off our kids, one of the mommies started asking us loads of questions. Was she trying to be our friend? Erik gave their daughter, Jane, a hug goodbye, which was weird because the kids were mostly naked.

While in the changing room, Mrs. Noisewater and I were discussing the conversation and thinking that we just chickened out, and we should probably go find them to exchange information before they left. I think Erik did not want it to be their last goodbye either because he kept crying, "I want to go see naked Jane!" That's my boy! We were able to exchange information and talked about a play date soon. Mrs. Noisewater drummed up some liquid courage when she was out with a friend and texted a date and time and . . . Boom! They're coming over Saturday morning to hang out for a couple of hours.

It should be a lot of fun. Erik Noisewater loves visitors. But he already said something about not wanting her to play with his trains, so maybe we will hide all of those first so he doesn't pistol whip her with Thomas or Percy, or a left-right combo with both. That would likely be an abrupt end to their friendship. I will also have to extinguish him calling her Naked Jane. She will need a new moniker like Swimming Jane, or something else less creepy. Also the dad is taller than me. I don't like when that happens, but I'll make do. Maybe throw on some Gene Simmons platform boots . . .

Okay, friends. Sorry again for the long delay. I hope to be a better blogger, and I'm off to do the blogroll rounds to see what you all have been up to.

Any tips that you guys have for how to make friends that we can discuss in the comments?