Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The summer is flying by.

Erik has had a half-day camps so it doesn't afford me much time to get much done when I drop him off at 12:30 and have to go get him again at 3. Plus I'm dropping off Desi at his daycare at 8 and picking up back up around 2PM. The E-Bike has been helpful in zipping around the city, but I'm getting sun burned a lot out there so much. It can be fun to ride that thing fast, but I only like to really get on it when there are no kid passengers.

We sail off on our Disney Cruise next week. I'm a little nervous about a couple things. Will Erik be a brat and embarrass me in front of my in-laws? And will Desi attempt death defying acts and try to hurt himself? I guess what I really need to do is just do my best to stop those things, and just try to make sure that they have a good and memorable time. Will I have any fun? That's not really important anymore I'm finding. 

I'm doing my best to get continuing education classes for work done. They take a lot of time, and I'm on daddy duty a lot this summer. I just knocked down another essay for a class at a coffee shop before beginning the pickups of each kiddo. 

What's popping this weekend? Really not a whole lot. On Friday there is a concert in a park near our house where we can let the kids dance around and enjoy a "yuck juice" or two. Mrs. Noisewater was out of town for a long stretch and then went right back to work, so it will be good for the two of us to enjoy some fun time together. 

Okay, I'm hopping on Electro (that's what Erik and I have named the E-Bike) and burning some rubber. Thanks for listening, Beloved Seven Readers. 



Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Sheer Henry: The Bomb Pop Uncle

I was driving my kids in the car the other day and needed them both to take a nap and found myself giving them captive audience rock music history lessons. A song by Queen was on so I just launched into every bit of information I could think of in a stream of consciousnous until I looked back somewhere in the midst of naming songs off of Sheer Heart attack to find that they were both sound asleep. It totally worked. My dad told me that he you used to recite poetry to my sister and I. He insists that Dylan Thomas did the trick more than the rest of his favorites. Since I don't have "A Child's Christmas In Whales" committed to memory, I just pick a band/artist and rattle off an essay. I'm really not bad at it. The 40 something rock biographies I have read are finally good for something. One time I was telling my boys all about Marvin Gaye and realized it was a horrible idea to tell them that his own father murdered him. I swear I did not mean it as a threat. I just wanted them to sleep. You have to believe me!
I've always thought this was the best sweaty cuddling album cover.

Before I go I just want to tell you a couple things about Erik Noisewater, my now 5-year-old son. He is absolutely incensed that there has never been a woman to walk on the moon. He was asking how many people have walked on the moon and while I was looking it up I happened to mention that all 12 have been men. He was pissed, and I'm proud of him. I think this little dude could write some letters and get some traction going because he is awful cute and convincing, especially when he wants something, like dessert. If I told him he could get a lifetime supply of Bomb Pops if he could get a woman to the moon, he would have it done by the middle of next week. 

The perfect treat on the birthday of our country, even if I'm not nuts about our country lately.

The other thing about our guy Erik is we signed him up for a theater camp because he is expressive, not shy, and he can memorize dialogue and songs inately. The day camp was a week long and at the end of the day Friday they performed The Wizard of Oz. I thought for sure with his charisma he would land a meaty role like that of the Scarecrow, who is loveable and silly, just like our guy Erik. Then when I saw he was the only boy in a cast of all other women I thought for sure he was a lock to be maybe even the great and powerful Wizard himself! When I picked him up on day two one of the teachers said, "Erik, tell you dad what role you have!" He said he forgot and the teacher let me konw that he was Uncle Henry. Uncle Henry?! I faked like I was excited about this news and then walked him to the car muttering to myself, "Who in the hell is Uncle Henry?" I later realized that he is Dorothy's uncle, but I could not even think of one thing he says in the movie. However, later in the week I got the news that the little girl playing Auntie Em was not going to be able to participate anymore. I let Erik know that Uncle Henry was a poor farmer raising an orphan girl as a single father, and to me, he just got promoted to the biggest hero in the entire story. 

Put that respect on Uncle Henry's name!

He was very cute and did great the day of the show, as did all the other young ladies. He is signed up to do the Lion King at the same theater in a month when we get back from our Disney Cruise. Yes, that is another thing I need to talk to you guys about. Talk to you later!

Saturday, January 29, 2022

What's Your Couch Break Moment?

 It's 6AM on a Saturday, and I woke up this morning wide awake at 4AM sharp. I blame the canned espresso stuff I keep in my desk drawer for emergencies that I had late into my Friday workday. I try not to ever dip into those unless I'm really tired. When I got home I was still amped up. I asked Mrs. Noisewater if we should invite some neighbor friends over, a friend from Erik Noisewater's school and his family, and she said that was a good idea. So in my caffeinated turbo mode I cleaned the entire house. Both bathrooms spotless, and I suddenly grew very annoyed with clutter I had looked over without thinking twice about for countless days. I was suddenly a 1950's housewife jacked up on diet pills that were actually speed before we knew what speed was.

"Check weight, clean entire house again."

We ended up going over to the neighbors' house instead, but at least I got a clean house out of the deal. We had a great time. Yeah, I drank 3 beers. A dry January that made it like 25 out of 26 days of the month has now just completely ended short of the full 31. But anyway, the kids got along great because they have kids roughly the same ages (ours are 5 and 2 and theirs are 4 and 2). When we got home Mrs. Noisewater thanked me for taking the initiative to set that up so that we are not hermit crabs (or crabby hermits?) every weekend. I may never have picked up the phone to call the other dad had I not been euphoric from canned evil coffee. I seriously wrote a review on Amazon saying that stuff is way too strong. 

Behold. Pure demon pee.

Okay, time for one more thing to write about. Also perhaps because I had the energy of ten men, I decided to get haircuts for myself and both sons after work. This barber is from Eastern Europe, does amazing job on kids' har, he is all business, even does the hot foam on the neck and the straight razor, all for an insanely cheap price. We looked like three damn studs rolling out of there. But here is thing because that sidebar about his professionalism and prices was completely not needed: The story is about this great big fat guy that was in the shop.

I'll give him a plug. What the hell. A plug for Seven Readers who don't live in Chicago, but still.

The heavyset man (roughly 375 pounds) was just wrapping up his cut and proceeded to sit in a chair (as the couch had a sign that said not to sit on it), maybe waiting for a ride, casually making small talk to me and the kids. Midway through one of our three haircuts a guy with paint on his pants and a power drill comes to talk to the barber. Then right when the overweight fella leaves, the barber says to me, "Can you believe that guy broke my couch?" How embarrassing. Yet the obese man was all smiles, did not in a hurry to leave, and the guy coming to fix the couch came in while he was there! He did not seem the least bit embarrassed. 

Still the funniest show ever.

So, Seven Readers. I have come to the end. Maybe breaking a couch was the wake up call that man needed to make a drastic change in his life, like switching to diet soda (which maybe is worse?), and maybe our couch break moment could be something else as a reminder to switch something up. Like maybe I better throw those amphetamines in a can out when I get to work Monday morning. I'll start there.

So, what's your couch break moment? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Wedding Knocks Kenneth Hard Off The Wagon

 I talked myself into allowing myself to skip one day of the Dry January for a wedding I was attending. I allowed myself to take in input from people, knowing full well no one was going to say, "Stick with it!" No way. Everyone was saying, "Oh you got a babysitter overnight and a hotel? Just drink, man! And they just said what I needed to hear. 15 Miller Lites and a couple edibles later and I was hungover for 2.5 days. 

So, I'm back on that damn Chuck Wagon. 30 out of 31 days of the month still wouldn't be too bad. I intentionally bought and intentionally drank my first six pack of non alcoholic beer tonight. I just wanted to feel like a man with my beer in front of the TV for a must win Bulls game. I opted for Beck's non alcoholic skunktastic crappola slop. Wow. Mrs. Noisewater said to me, "You never go with a green bottle." Dang, she's right. Heineken, Becks, and Rolling Rock are all yucky. They taste green.

Green Hell

You know what else? 45-years-old feels old. The other night we were watching that Peacemaker show on HBO and that actor from Terminator 2 was in it, the T1000. Mrs. Noisewater was like, "Wow! He looks old." I told her, "Yeah, he is old. That came out in like 1991, and I was 14. You figure he was was like 30 then. And I'm 45 now, so he's gotta be . . . God damn, I'm 45? The T1000 is old and so am I. He can't run like that anymore and I never could.

T1000 vs the T45

But, I think this not drinking thing is going to be good for my health. There are even abdominal muscles trying to poke through. They're like, "Hey, there's no IPA and greasy hangover fat in here, now's our chance to shine!" Sorry abs, your asses are going right back into hiding in February when I go right back to my horrible patterns. Or will I? I just need to assess at the end of this month.

The family is good. Desi is a wild man still. We came home the day after that wedding to a freezing home. We went into panic that something was broken, but nope. That little two-year-old impish gremlin turned off the heat switch in the basement. Erik is still hilarious. Tonight when I was tucking him in the top bunk he was in was creaking like crazy. I said, "What is that?" He goes, "That's just my weight. I'm Lord Humongous." I love when my kids say goofy stuff back to me that I don't even realize I say. Lord Humongous is the big bad guy in "Road Warriors" who may or may not have been into some homosexual S&M stuff, but I think he got the name for having bulging muscles all over the place.

Just. Walk. Away. and Just. Go. To. Sleep, Erik Noisewater.

Okay, I'm out of here. Hoping to keep up these basement posts every few nights. I need your support, Seven Readers. Let's keep each other motivated. I'm off to do the rounds on the blog roll. Let me know if there's anyone else I should be reading. I've been out of the game too long and have lost tough. Bye.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Dry Stag Party For One

 I know I've been out of the blogging game for quite some time now, but I know that writing will help me get some thoughts out and feel better. When I go down a mangy rabbit hole of self-loathing, one of my plaguing thoughts that pops up is, "and you never write on your blog anymore, a-hole." So, it's good to get back on here more often.

I'm down in the basement . . . of our new house! That's right. We saved up and bought a house in Chicago. Certain things are really nice to have, like the unfinished man cave basement I'm typing from. I got a projector so I can watch the Bulls games on the wall, and there is a mini fridge and a bathroom down here. Mostly there are exposed pipes, laundry machines, Hot Wheels and Thomas tracks . . . So, it's a man and kid cave. But after 8pm it's like a stag film man dungeon down here.

"I think that's a booby!"

We also have a garage, and a lawn, things like that. We aren't talking a big lawn or anything. The people who lived here before gave us a lot of stuff in their garage, like the plug in lawn mower I use to mow the weeds, I mean grass. Mostly weeds. But, it's just nice to have storage to put things. In the condo we were always having a battle of how to pack more stuff in there, and we even had a storage unit at the end.

COVID is getting old, huh? Jesus. Our older son, Erik, has both his vaccination shots. He's 5-years-old now. Desmond is only 2-years-old, so there are lots of things that we are scared to take him to. This can make it tricky to find things to do for the whole family, especially in the winter where you can't be outdoors as long

Erik is a really good artist. He will come home from school and go right to an art project, and we have him in an art class on Sundays. He's also really good at math. We don't really teach him much; he just picks stuff up. Desi (that's what we call Desmond) is talking a lot more, which is great because we were worried when he seemed delayed. Being able to express himself better has greatly improved his behavior, but he is still bonkers and full of energy. Beating my old ass is hilarious to him. I turned 45 the other day, by the way. Jesus, how did that happen?

Sorry it wasn't too funny this day, and I'm not the writer that I used to be. But I need to start somewhere. 

Oh, one more thing I wanted to talk about: Dry January. The first weekend was brutal for me, and I was extremely crabby tonight too. I have a weird relationship with alcohol. I feel so at ease when I have a couple, but then I really don't get a whole lot done. Then the next day I'm hungover, and then Monday I'm tired as hell. I have been walking by various forms of booze in the house and my mind plays tricks on me, just like the little devil on my shoulder in the movies. "Why are you even doing this dry January? What will it prove? You'll feel better if you just have one craft beer." So I eat a lot of junk food and cheese instead. And I knock down sparkling waters like you wouldn't believe. And I'm only 10 days into the month! I will say that I'm working out a lot more, and on Saturday I cleaned the entire house. I have been starting to think to myself if this is super hard for me to do, then maybe I should do a dry every month? I'll see how I'm doing at the end of January. The problem is that there is a wedding to attend next weekend. Those are tough to do sober. You'll be the first to know how that goes, Seven Readers. See you next time. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

 Okay, so not such a great week. 

1. I got word that a former student of mine died. Actually, his whole family died. They were on the side of the road when a car struck them, killing him (16-years-old), his little brother, and his mother. He was a funny kid, had a certain star quality to him. And now him and his whole family are gone.

2. Then a friend of mine went missing. I guess he was at his girlfriend's place in the suburbs, came home, and then they had plans to go out to lunch near where he lives in Chicago later that day. Apparently he left his apartment and never came back. It is said that he liked to walk on the lake front, but it was freezing that day, like 17 degrees. 

As the days go by things look more and more grim. When he didn't show up to work on Monday morning I knew it was bad. I was holding out hope that he just turned his phone off and got the F' out of Dodge for the weekend, planning to return to work. Then with each day it's really looking more and more hopeless. I'm searching for scenarios where he is still alive. Maybe he dropped everything and became a Buddhist in a temple somewhere? Or maybe he just assumed a new identify in another country, but would he really just never talk to his father, sister, or girlfriend ever again? And wouldn't he have packed some things, and wouldn't there be records of travel or spending?

The other possibilities are just too sad to think about. It could have been foul play, like maybe a robbery went wrong. And sadly, it could be that he took his own life. But in either case, how has his body not been found?

I saw my good friend who is pretty much best friends with the missing guy on the local news, and my heart just sunk. It's just so real to me after seeing that. When you have stuff like that going on, you still go into work, come home and take care of your family, and life just goes on. But then seeing that it's on the news, my friend is pleading for someone to come forward with information, his sister is talking about how it just doesn't make sense, how they knew something was wrong when he missed his weekly phone call with his father, it's all just so damn sad and such a mystery. 

Everybody get out and live your life. You never know when your number is going to come up or you'll be a part of a real life damn "Unsolved Mystery." This thing is nuts, you guys. Thanks for listening. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Yesterday I was driving Erik Noisewater (age 4) to school and telling him about the dream I had. I said my recently departed Aunt Linda was in the dream, and she was young and beautiful. And I was so happy she was alive somehow. Then, of course, by the end of the dream I learned that she was dead after all. I told Erik that I was crying but couldn't remember if I was crying in the dream or while I was awake after it was over. He said, "But parents don't cry." I told him parents cry too. I said I hardly ever cry, and when I do I almost never do it in front of anyone - so he just hasn't seen me cry is all. Then I reminded him that he has seen his mother cry. To which he said, "Yeah she cries and you just go, 'I know! I know!'" 

Wow, the way he said that, the way he imitated my response to his mom crying - it was bad hearing that. There was an incident the other night and I was not exactly the most empathetic husband of all time. I don't want to make it seem like this is dinner every night at the Noisewater dining room table, but it happened. I think everyone is breaking down in these damn COVID times. It's tough. It's wearing on everyone. 

"I know! I know!"

What an asshole.

I'm going to be better.