Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What Does It Say About Me That THESE Are the Video Games That I Like?

I have a friend who works at an arcade bar where they serve beers, so it's not hard for him to talk me into visiting his work place. After going around to see which games to play, I noticed that I seem to always gravitate towards Tapper and N.A.R.C. What alarms me is that these are the two games that most involve beer and drugs.

In Tapper (1983) you control a bartender pouring beers and passing them down three or four long bars to advancing customers. If a customer makes it all the way to the end of the bar without getting a drink, they pick you up and throw you down the bar (costing you a life). Also, if they send an empty glass down the bar before you can catch it, that also results in a lost life. It's a fast paced strategy game, but I'm always wondering why this doesn't staff more bartenders? I also start wondering why there isn't any security up in there? It seems like a scary place to work when a customer can whip your ass for not getting a drink out fast enough.

Believe it or not, this game was sponsered by Budweiser, there is a Budweiser sign on the side of the game and hanging up on the wall of the video game bar, and at one point they say "This Bud's for you!" I used to play this game at a family pizza place as a little kid, and even then I thought it was amazing that I could put in a quarter and be a bartender!

If you thought Tapper was nuts you have got to play N.A.R.C. (1988). In this shoot-em-up classic you control special agents looking to bring down Mr. Big, the nation's biggest drug dealer. Along the way you arrest a number of suspects, but usually you shoot them with a machine gun or blow them to hell with a rocket launcher. There are times in the game where you will blow something up and bags of cocaine will fly everywhere, at which time you scoop them up. At the end of each level it shows how many busts you made, confirmed kills you racked up, and how many drugs you confiscated.  One level there are guys heaving giant seringes at you, and then in another there are steroid abusing guys picking up dumpsters and chucking them at you. This game really put the "war" in the whole "War On Drugs" thing that was going on in the 1980's. It's a blast!

Boy, I'm getting excited just talking about these two classics. I may be paying my friend another visit really soon. See you around, blog buddies. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"If only I had one of grandpa's swords . . ."
My wife's grandfather told an interesting story over breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving. I go out to northern California to be with her family ever year, and it's always good to see grandpa. He is well into his 80's, fought in World War II, and he is one of the only guys still around who can say they were at Normandy. He is also the proud owner of one of the most impressive antique weapons collections known to man. As a matter of fact, Charlie Watts once came over to his house to buy one of his swords. Grandpa isn't a fan of rock music so he wasn't as excited about that visit as I would have been. All he remembers about Charlie is how dirty his fingernails were.

Anyway, grandpa is offered bacon and said that he better not after he had bacon with the family a year ago and drove home. Apparently the bacon was causing a serious need to get to the bathroom for the last few miles of his ride (he still drives!), and in his rush to get to the toilet upon opening the door, he accidentally kicked the trip wire he had set up and released tear gas all over him and all through out the house. Grandpa is big on keeping his home and the weapons collection tightly secured and evidently engineered the whole trip wire tear gas thing. He said that he couldn't leave the house because he still had that urgent call from nature, and he then had to sit there and finish his business, just enduring the pain with his eyes burning. He truly is from the "Greatest Generation." I would have cried and screamed loud enough for all my neighbors to hear, and they would all step outside to see what the commotion was all about just in time to see me pooping the bushes. And still crying.

What is funny is that Mrs. Noisewater's dad, grandpa's step-son, was quick to point out that this wasn't the first time that grandpa had set off his own tear gas bomb upon himself. Maybe he has an immunity built up so that he can fight off a would be intruder through the haze and eye burning? Who knows.

In any event, here's hoping your next "movement" is in a cozy and comfortable spot free of any chemical weaponry.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


I played paintball one time and one time only for a bachelor party a number of years ago, and the one thing I learned is this: Firepower matters. Our group used the rental guns which released paintball capsules kind of fast. I guess it could have been considered semi automatic. We had to play against other random people outside of our group who brought their fully automatic weapons. There really is no comparison.

One guy was wearing a hockey jersey that said "Starchild" on the back, and this dude's weapon sprayed everywhere. And I mean everywhere. When this guy lit you up, you looked like someone took one of those paint rollers and covered you head to toe, not missing a single inch. Star Child was a shorter Caucasian man who looked not unlike Wayne from "Wayne's World," which shouldn't come as a surprise considering this was in Suburban Illinois not too far from Wayne's home of Aurora. ]

I have some questions that I never got answered. 

1. How much do you suppose a weapon of that caliber costs?

2. Where is the sport in just holding down a trigger and hosing down the entire room?

3. Was that the top of the line back then, and how far has paintball technology advanced since Star Child's hey day (which was around 2001)? I seriously can't imagine a more dominant weapon on the market.

4. Just why in the hell does he call himself Starchild? Is it a reference to Parliament/Funkadelic, Paul Stanley from Kiss, "2001: A Space Odyssey" or none of the above? Or maybe just his own thing, like it came to him in a paintball dream of some kind . . .

This diaper dandy?
This KISS'ing bandit?

Or this adorable rascal with his consciousness? Or maybe a reference NOT from the 1970's like all of mine.

5. Do you think he has an entire star fleet of star children by now? Have I put way too much thought into this? I highly doubt Starchild has had a day recently where he wondered where the guy is that ducked down too fast to avoid a paintball from across the room, hit his rear end on a pipe, badly bruised his own ass, and had to sit the rest of the day out.


If you have answers to any of these questions or just want to say hello, blow me up like a Starchild buckshot in the comments. 

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Man Night

I have some friends coming over in a bit for one of our Man Nights (no wives, kids, or girlfriends aloud). After spinning records and sampling a few craft beers at my place, we're going to go down the street to a nice restaurant that I've been meaning to try. Going to dinner with just dudes was not something I did in my twenties. Back then the dinner might be a slice of pizza chased down with something in the neighborhood of 30 beers. As a matter of fact, if 20's Ken just heard 30's Ken's nerdy agenda for the night, he would makes an excuse to blow off 30's Ken and never call him again.

However, right about now, being with a collection of some of the best friends I've ever had with great music and tasty beer sounds perfect. Here is some of the stuff that will be going down so that you, my beloved readers, can feel like you're here with us. For the virtual version of the party, all are welcome (women, children, and members of the animal kingdom included).

I got this on hand. It's one of my favorite beers ever. This is not my house in the pic. I can prove it because Mrs. Noisewater and I have no fireplace. We would like one, but not as much as we would like a dishwasher.
And let's not forget the vinyl that will be spinning:

Bought this one for $0.99 over a year ago, and I haven't found the occasion to throw it on. The soundtrack to a buddy cop show is the perfect accompinanet to a buddy's night, I think. And Crocket and Tubbs would surely agree. 
I haven't played Vol 4 or Masters of Reality in a helluva long time, so I decided to just play them both. Maybe what I'll do is pick the best side of each, and play each of those sides. That's a diplomatic and time efficient solution. Thanks for pointing me in that direction, beloved readers.
I have a warped version of Santana's first album that is TWICE as bad as this one, and the thing is that despite the fact that the needle raises over an inch up and down as it spins, it plays perfectly! There are some jams on this one, such as "Jingo," but mostly I just want to show my buddies how it wobbles away and plays just fine. Looks like the less warped record in this picture is a Beatles one based on the big apple, don't you think?
I do enjoy a good cheese spread, and hopefully they offer a good one at the fancy-pants restaurant tonight. Someone told me recently that cheese has addictive qualities like drugs. I for sure suffer from this affliction because if there is a fancy cheese in the fridge, I will go to town on it when I come home drunk or during the day when I'm not even hungry. I may have a problem, but tonight I'm going to feed the cheese beast what he wants, and that's a lovely Gruyere, or whatever the fuck.
Then we will go to a few bars and possibly end up at the infamous Liars Club. At that point all classiness will come to a screeching halt, and we will be reverting back to the 20's versions of ourselves, dancing our faces off to goofy stuff like Britney Spears immediately followed by moshing around to Suicidal Tendencies. Hey, did I ever tell you about the time my buddy was taking a pee there and felt something dripping on his bare feet (he was wearing flip-flops)? It was his own pee dripping through a hole in the urinal. Now, you know a place has a certain cache' if we continue to go back there when there are disgusting health code violations such as that. I wouldn't try their cheese tray, let's put it that way.

Thanks for joining the party, readers. Hope you are also having a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I had my 20 year reunion on Saturday night and learned a few things . . .

1. I was way better at remembering the names and faces of the men than the women. This is largely due to the fact that I had crippling shyness and horrible self-esteem in high school, and as a result didn't talk to girls. As a matter of fact, I didn't go to one school dance, didn't make time with any ladies, didn't have a girlfriend . . . none of that good stuff.

This isn't something I think about very often because I made up for lost time and dated enough women in my twenty's and thirties, but it's something I was unexpectedly sad about at the reunion and during a pretty awful hangover the next day. I'm not a dwell on the past type of guy - more of a let's look forward type - but there is just something pretty shocking about talking to close to 100 people that I had no relationship with back then. They had all those parties, played on all the teams, and had all those old times to talk about . . . All I could think about were all those miserable years I spent so scared to be embarrassed somehow that I spent the whole day in hiding, avoiding human contact. I just got through the school day in hiding until I could get home to my Metallica and Ozzy c.d.'s.

2. Just like at our 10 year, we took pictures of groups of people who went to certain grade schools and junior high schools together. It was those grade school people that I most wanted to see and hit it off with most that night. There's just more history: More times of people pissing their pants and eating paste and shit. I can't explain it.

3. One guy who was really quiet back in school showed up at around 8PM completely hammered. He has a drinking problem, and that's something that I know about pretty well from his younger brother. We were cracking up watching him corner people in the most awkward conversations ever, and at one point he unleashed a whiskey fart that cleared out the one whole half of the bar. Maybe, like me, he was having some crappy feelings coming back up and anxiety about seeing and talking to people so he drank even more than usual. Poor guy.

4. Speaking of drinking, it was kind of fascinating to stay and watch which classmates stuck around late into the night and kept boozing. I made a mix of songs from 1991 to 1995 to plug into the stereo system at the bar, and I got a lot of compliments on it. I had around five hours of music listed alphabetical according to song title. I remember asking for my iPod back around midnight to head to the after hours bar with "Waterfalls" by TLC playing, so the mix was just about over. Some of the classmates at the bar had told me they had kids at home, and one of the hardest partying ladies had four boys. Everyone was cool and a lot of fun.

I really should have given people more of a chance back in high school because that was a bar full of great folks. Except for the guy who was excited to show me that he had a business card with his picture on it and said I should come stay with him next time I'm in the area in his 10,000 square foot Victorian mansion. I'm guessing/exaggerating the square footage figure, but he for sure said Victorian mansion. He was kind of nerdy back then, and now he is an over confident nerd. I wanted to let him know, "It's okay, man. Everyone is cool and grown up now. No one will make fun of you. Come, let's get a beer at the bar together and listen to "In the Meantime" by Space Hog." You too, readers, should grab a beer and hit play on that one.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Maria and the Dragon

I had lunch with my good friend, Gung Ho, the other day, and we got talking about a time the two of us were at a strip club together. No, neither of us go to those types of places regularly, but it was a bachelor party. One of the dancers had a seat next to us and we proceeded to have a fun, lively, and drunken discussion. She said her name was Maria. One of us asked "Why Maria?" and she said it's her mother's name. Gung Ho was astonished and said, "You use your mother's name for your stripper name?!" I was already dying laughing, but then it got funnier. And sadder.

It was quite a while ago, but I think Maria looked something like this.
Maria told us that she was new to Chicago and liked it so far. She said she got out of Los Angeles because she was "chasing the dragon" out there and needed a new setting. Neither of us had any idea what in the hell she meant by that so she had to clarify that she was addicted to heroin. Gung Ho said, "Wow, heroin, huh? You ever miss it?" This instantly changed the mood. Maria became forlorn, looked off to the distance, and to neither one of us in particular admitted, "All the time. Excuse me." With that, she got up from the table, walked into the back room, and we didn't see her again the rest of the night.

I said, "Gung Ho, I think you just caused a relapse!"

To this he put forward, "Maria was going to chase that dragon tonight with or without our little talk."

He may be right. 

Poor thing. 

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Hot For Professor

I was playing volleyball and drinking some beers with friends on the beach the other day, and one buddy said he wanted to wrap it up soon because he had his first day of the semester in the morning.  This guy is over thirty, waits tables, and he is working towards finishing his undergraduate degree.  He wasn't so concerned about being rested to get a good start in his classes but because he wanted to make a good impression on his hot female professor.  How does he know she is attractive?  Well, apparently there is a website where people rate their teachers on all of the more important aspects related to their job but also they get a chili pepper if they are deemed "hot" by enough students.  Can you believe this?

A couple of women we play volleyball with came over to sit out a game while we were having a beer and discussing our friend's first day of class.  I like making sure everyone is up to speed so I said, "Hey, girls.  If you're just joining us, Bob here is trying to bed his professor tomorrow morning."  I like Bob because he wasn't at all embarrassed and filled them in on the whole chili pepper thing.  The girls said that he needs to bring her an apple.  I said he should sandwich it with an apple at the beginning of class and offering to clean her blackboards at the end.  He pointed out that no professor has used a blackboard in like 10 years.  They all laughed and that got the steady "goof on someone" onslaught off of him and onto me for a while.  We all get it for a portion of the day, and it's all in good fun.

I texted him recently to ask if La Senora Caliente was worthy of the chili pepper rating, and apparently she is.  He said he wants to tell me all about it over a beer when next we meet, and I'm greatly looking forward to it.

In other news, here is a cool song I heard on Sirius radio the other day.  It's called "A.C.D.C." from 1972 by Sweet, the guys who brought us "Fox On the Run" and "Ballroom Blitz."  It's really ahead of its time if you ask me, because it's about a guy dating a bisexual girl who fools around with tons of women.  Rivers Cuomo from Weezer would write "Pink Triangle," another terrific song, years and years later about falling in love with a lesbian.  At least I thought it was about a bisexual chick, but then in the second verse they sing "you aught to see her ding-a-ling . . . In any event, "A.C.D.C." has been on my head all day today.  It's a terrific sleazy, pop, punk, glam, hard rock song impossible to pin down into any specific category.  Give it a listen.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fzCACHtdqhA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And I give you all, my favorite readers a chili pepper rating of your own.  Make that two chili's.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Airplane Joke

My dad had this friend growing up named Jay.  When they were kids, Jay would often come over and stay for long periods of time to the point where my grandmother would say, "Jay, aren't your parents expecting you home?"  He would say, "Nah, they're fine.  They don't mind."  And then he would stay for dinner, dessert, coffee, and beyond.  Jay was a well-meaning guy, perhaps just misunderstood by his peers.  As a matter of fact, most of his friends were much older, and this is where he would learn all his jokes.

Jay had a knack for remembering and telling jokes, and he had one for just about every topic.  My dad would hear many of them through out their high school years and in their freshman year of college because Jay signed up to be roommates with my dad without asking him first.  Jay flunked out after his freshman year, but he was quickly a legend on campus, as you can well imagine.  Later on he would survive the Vietnam war as a well-decorated helicopter pilot.

Jay may have kept his buddies alive by keeping them laughing.
Every now and again I will be with my dad, and he will say "that reminds me of one of Jay's jokes . . ."  Now, when I was a kid, my father would just say that across the table to my mom who would likely groan but sometimes the two of them would laugh their heads off.  My sister and I didn't get to hear the jokes because 95% of the jokes were dirty.  This was frustrating.  I needed to hear the jokes.  I remember one called "The Airplane Joke" that even after I began to hear most of the jokes, that is one where my dad would laugh and say "No, it's too disgusting and pointless."  Naturally, that's the one I needed to hear the most.

So, since I'm pretty sure most of my readers are of age and not easily offended, I give you . . . "The Airplane Joke!"

A disenchanted salesman settled into his seat for his long flight to Newark for a boring business trip when he sees the most beautiful woman he has ever seen coming down the aisle.  He begins to get excited to see that she is slowing down and checking the seat numbers more carefully, and there was a good possibility she would be sitting next to him.  Sure enough, she was, and up close she was even more sexy and gorgeous than he could have possibly imagined.  

He knew he had to say something to her because opportunities such as this just don't come up very often.  "Off to Newark?" he asked.  

"Yup," she responded, without paying him much attention.

"Not a lot to do there, but I have been a number of times and can let you know the more tolerable hot spots."

"Thanks," she said, again without much enthusiasm and perhaps slightly annoyed.

He knew he didn't have a shot with her at this point, but he was growing infatuated with her.  Her sheer beauty was mind-blowing to him, and as hours passed, he found himself growing unable to contain himself.  He was becoming aroused and dying to touch her, but he knew that was wrong.  He had never had this type of arousal before where all common sense and any rational thought was out the window; all he could think about was her incredible hotness and a need to relieve the tension in his pants.  

Before he knew it he was touching himself discreetly, and soon that gave way to more obvious fondling of his crotch area.  Before he knew it he had unzipped his pants and was masturbating in front of all to see on the airplane!  It wasn't long at all before he finished up, screaming in ecstasy and spraying his load on the back of the seat with a lout splat. 

Tucking his thing back into his fly and learning his seat back, he lit up a cigarette (you could smoke on planes back then), blew out a big puff of smoke, and a big, satisfied grin came over his face.  

Suddenly it occurs to him that he may have made a mistake!  He turns to her and says, "Oh, forgive me, you don't mind if I smoke, do you?"


Hope you enjoyed the joke, readers.  And Jay, if you're out there, I hope I did your joke justice.  I took a lot of artistic liberties and really had some fun with it because all I really knew was the basic concept and the punch line.  Thank you for your service.  And thanks for the jokes.  

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, everyone!  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

One More Quick Wedding Story . . .

It was a really great day, while I can't tell you the best moment, I can tell you the moment I laughed the hardest.

One of Mrs. Noisewater's good friends from back in the Bay Area is a fun-loving guy like me.  We spent the Thursday before the wedding with a big group of people at the Oakland A's game.  It was less than 1/3 full in there and quiet.  This guy and myself were easily the loudest people in the whole place.  I distinctly remember looking around to find that my sister and all of my nephews had been gone for the remainder of the game.  I asked my sister the next time I saw her if I was swearing or being offensive.  She said, "No, you were being nice.  You were just really loud."  And so it was with this wedding guest and myself for most of that ballgame . . .

(We also enjoyed a sparsely populated tailgate in the parking lot.  This isn't us.  These are less cool randoms off of Google Images)
So at the wedding, later in the evening after all of the speeches and dances were done and people were just cutting loose, our favorite guest (picture a curly haired short Italian man, like a young Joe Pesci) stops me as I'm walking across the room and says the following:

"Hey, Ken.  Great party.  I want to give you your gift right now (he hands me a folded up 100 dollar bill).  This is what I always do at weddings.  No, I didn't get you a card.  You don't need a card, right?   You'll get a ton of them!  And I certainly didn't get you anything on your stupid registry.  I don't even know where you're registered.  Fuck your registry!  You don't need any of that shit!  Here's a hundred bucks.  Do whatever you want with it.  Spend it all tonight at the bar, put it up your nose (I think he meant like cocaine).  I don't care!  Anyway, like I said.  Great party.  Thanks for having me.  See you around"

"Great party!"
It's when he said "put it up your nose" that I really started dying laughing.  Come to think of it, there were a few moments where I was laughing my ass off, like during my best man's (Heterosexual Life Partner's) speech.  Maybe I'll post about that next.

Anyway, have a good day, friends.  And don't go putting your money up your nose.

Monday, August 17, 2015

I have a few more weeks of vacation to enjoy, and I'm spending a little time right now at a place called Heritage Bikes in Chicago where you can get coffee and get your bicycle fixed.  At least I think they'll work on your bike because there are bikes everywhere in this joint.  Anyway, I thought it would be a good day sit outside enjoying the weather with a cup of coffee and catch up on blogging.

A few things . . .

1. So, I got married on August 1st.  When I started this blog back in 2005, I was fresh off a divorce that left me pretty scared and confused.  I thank any and all readers who have been along for any part of me documenting my misadventures in dating and other things.  It has all led me to the right lady, and I'm very happy.

We got married in San Francisco.  Mrs. Noisewater's grandfather volunteers on a ship on Fisherman's Wharf, the very boat he served on during the Normandy Invasion in World War II.  They fired off the cannons when we were pronounced man and wife, it was all pretty awesome, and everyone had a great time.  

I'll never forget waiting in my tuxedo for the "first look" photo, which in case you don't know (because I didn't until a couple weeks ago) is the photo session of the bride and groom right when they see each other for the first time before the actual wedding.  I was standing on a pier facing the bay with my back turned to my bride coming towards me (it all reminds me of some ancient Greek mythology), when this cool black man walks by and says to me "Damn, you look debonair as fuck!"  I have had a lot of compliments in my day, but I doubt I will get one with such a perfect blend of robust vocabulary, profanity, and a perfect delivery.

That's an actual picture from the big day.
2.  The honeymoon was relaxing, beautiful, and a downright love fest in Maui.  I hadn't ever been to Hawaii, and if it weren't for the fact that it's really expensive, I would probably go every year.  We signed up for a tour where a van picks you up from your hotel at 2AM and drives you up a volcano.  They give you jackets and gloves and things because it's freezing way up there, and then you watch the sun come over the horizon right at eye level.  It was pretty incredible.  You are then given bicycles and a helmets and you coast on your bike down the volcano!  We got dropped off back at the hotel at 12PM, and it was like, "What do we do now?  We've already biked down a volcano before noon!"

Here's a volcano crater sunrise pic from the internet that is better than the ones I took on my crummy phone.
 3. The other night my bride and I cooked a nice meal together and opened up a good bottle of wine.  We were looking for something to watch and she says, "Why don't we watch this beach volleyball match that you taped?"  I got the right lady.  She's awesome.  Awesome "as fuck," as a matter of fact.

This isn't us.  But this is how I felt after her DVR choice.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Weekly Butt Whippings In a Padded Room Are Good For the Doctor

Once a week a friend of mine is showing me some basic Ju Jitsu moves and technique.  I have been a fan of mixed martial arts for a long time, and it kind of makes sense to actually learn what I am watching these people do.  Also, I am reaching an age where I know I will regret not having tried certain things.

I go to my friend Choo Choo's house once a week where we walk into a little room with padded floors and walls and tie on our gi's.  His wife must be the most understanding woman ever.  She has to tell guests, "and that's our padded room."  After warming up a bit, we go over six or seven basic moves a day that are written on the wall.  It turns out that I am terrible at learning new things.  I know this about myself, but I'm determined to not let that be who I am.  What I don't want to do is stagnate.  I have to force my brain to learn the steps of these moves, and it's something really difficult for me.  But I know it's good for the brain to make it work hard.  

Yesterday he was showing me how when you have someone mounted, that you want to look up high because when you look down at the person you end up leaning down and leaving yourself vulnerable. Just for the hell of it, I asked him all the crazy stuff he could do to me if I leaned in.  He then nearly choked me to death in like five different ways.  I think it was a good learning experience to get dominated by someone half my size.  Very humbling.

Choo Choo is around the same size as the guy in this video, and I'm in the neighborhood of 6'2 and 205 pounds.

How about you, readers?  Trying any new things lately?  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

New Beer Vendor Hated By Wrigley's 500 Level Seats

I took my good friend, Beatnik, to a Chicago Cubs baseball game last night in my season ticket seats.  My Cubbies are on a roll, by the way, having won 11 of their last 12 games including last nights defeat of the Milwaukee Brewers.  But you can look statistics like that up elsewhere.  What you come here for is the minutia of meaningless and hopefully funny observations of everyday life of your good friend, Dr. Kenneth Noisewater.

Myself and the three other buddies in our season tickets package have a beer vendor in our section that we dislike and don't buy from anymore as a result.  He made one off-handed comment in response to a simple clarification question we had about what inning/time they stopped selling beer that was something to the effect of "What is this your first game?"  We didn't take kindly to it, and over the years we have built up an irrational hatred and talk about things we would like to do to the man we call Walt Disney (due to a slight resemblance), such as curb stomp him like in "American History X."  Would we ever do such a thing?  Of course not.  It's just our sense of humor to grossly exaggerate and crack each other up when we're texting each other when one of us can't be at the game live.

("That's right, Bambi!  Bite that prick's shoulder off!")
Now, not buying from Walt is really something silly we like to maintain as tradition and superstition. Our hatred for a new beer vendor in our section is quite genuine and shared by our entire section.  This new guy is an overweight older gentleman who refuses to walk up the few steps into the 500 level sections.  He will, however, walk downwards a few steps into the more expensive 400 level seats, which to me goes beyond laziness and into some sort of class debate, showing preferential treatment to those more fortunate.  It could very well turn into a working class rebellion by the time the playoffs arrive, but only time will tell.

I am not saying he won't sell to us, but he will only do so by passing beers and exchanging money right up the seats.  I have never seen this done.  You see, a beer vendor can go up or down and aisle and pass things down a row.  That is fine, and that is how it has always been done.  This lazy son of a gun doesn't use any rows or aisles.  What he does, in effect, is instead of just disrupting one row of people, he makes up to ten rows stop what they're doing to pass a beer upwards, awkwardly reaching behind and passing over shoulders.  Lots of beer can be spilled that way, and that's perhaps the biggest tragedy of this guy's horrible technique.  It's really ticking off not only other customers but other beer vendors have shot me looks in agreement when I show frustration as if to say, "You believe this guy?"

(Even in Japan they pass down the aisles, not up the seats.  And check out that Samurai cup scabbard!)
Beyond just not buying his beer, where do I go from here?  I was thinking I could take to Twitter and start lambasting the guy on there to raise awareness.  Any other thoughts on how to get this guy fired or at the very least demoted to hot dog vending?  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Pros and Cons of Having Babies

I worked a few days as a nanny (or manny, if you prefer) this summer for a 6-month-old girl.  A lot of people have teased me by saying things to the effect of "Oh, you're practicing for when you have your own kids."  Sort of, but more I would say that I'm using this experience to decide if I really want to have my first kid in my late 30's.

Here are the pros and the cons I've worked out thus far.

Con: Raising a baby is boring.  Yes, sometimes it's beautiful and rewarding and all of that stuff, but a lot of the time it's the most boring thing in the world.  No one tells you that.  People tell you that it's a lot of work, that they don't get any sleep, but you never hear anyone say how boring it is.  Well, I'm saying it.  It's boring.  I wish more parents would just admit it more.

Pro: It can be a heartwarming and wonderful experience.  All I have really done is warmed up some milk and popped it into her mouth, but you can't help but get a feeling inside you that says "I am giving this young being life!"  And this isn't even my kid.  I imagine it's ten times the effect when it's your own.

This isn't me, and this isn't the kid. But same general idea.
Con: It's messy.  The first thing I do when I get home is throw all my clothes in the wash and take a shower because I feel like I'm covered in drool, pee, poop, and woman's breast milk who I'm not even sleeping with.  Sometimes the baby will take a dump while she is sitting down and the pressure created by the floor will send the poop clear up her back almost to her neck.  Powerful ass on this kid.    Mom and dad should be proud.  Then you're trying to change her diaper while she tries to kick her feet into her own poop.  Good lord.  Parenthood is a messy existence.

"And, we're done here."
Pro: Great for meeting chicks.  I spend most of my day at a gigantic park in Chicago, whether we're walking around, playing on the swings, or just laying down a blanket and chilling.  You wouldn't believe how many women are out there, and they're all just as bored as me!  Day after day of baby time leads an individual to want to talk to some adults to make sure you don't lose your ability to converse with people without blurting out pee pee or poo poo.  So all these babes want to talk to me, but I'm spoken for.  So this really is only a pro for those single dads out there.  Or for single dudes that want to use a kid as bait to meet chicks.  There's gold in them there baby parks!

"Come, little one! Together we will be the lords of the baby park!"

That's all I got so far.  You guys got some more pros or cons, either from direct experience or as an outsider looking in?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The other night I met my good buddy, Southie, for some margaritas and Mexican food before attending a Chicago Cubs game together.  On my way out I used the establishment's ATM for some cash.  My money didn't come out, and when I called my bank to see if the $200 I requested and didn't get was taken out of my account, it was as well as random attempts at taking $20 and another $40.  I cancelled my card and made a claim about those transactions.  Important tip: If a machine ever says there will be no receipts given, cancel right away.

Fast forward a week later when I'm at the bank cashing a check and ask for a printout of my last 20 transactions to be sure there is no more funny business on my account, and there are numerous withdrawals of $500 from an ATM I have never been to on the far west side.  I am freaking out at this point, and while the cashier is looking into it for me she suddenly says, "Oh.  This printout isn't from your account.  This is someone else's."

What?  You're just handing me information on someone else's bank account and scaring the crap out of me?  To tell you the truth, I was so relieved that all was okay that I didn't even give the woman a hard time.  I have worked a lot of jobs, and in every single one of them I have made colossal stupid mistakes.  I truly believe that all is well that ends well, and there is just no need to yell at someone at times like this.  She knows she screwed up bad.  Me hollering at her won't make her get that any more.  Me yelling at the Cubs didn't help them beat the evil Whitesox that afternoon either.  But I did it anyway.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Anyone Need a Karate Announcer?

I know this crazy son of a gun who used to be a prison guard and now does security at a school.  He is all of 5'5" but is intense as hell and a scary ass drill sergeant when he needs to be.  This guy also teaches karate at the school, and he asked me if I would be a judge for a karate tournament.  I tried to respectfully decline do to the fact that I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to karate.  His response was hilarious and was this:

"Yeah, but when you see a fight, you know which guy got his ass whipped, right?"

Okay, by that definition I guess I'm a karate judge.

When I got there there was another security guard struggling through his soundcheck on the microphone in an attempt to warm up as the announcer.  He asked if I would swap roles with him.  In my estimation announcing was a way safer bet because as the judge I might have parents pissed off that I picked their kid's opponent.  And with that brilliant trade I made a switch to become the MC for the evening.

I got into the swing of things pretty quickly with my commentary.  When I didn't know what was going on in a match, I just defaulted to pointing out how hard one of the kids was trying with lines like, "Isn't he a scrapper, folks?  Let's give him a hand!"

If it was a back-and-forth tussle, I would say "We got a scrap here, ladies and gentlemen!"  The kindergarten division was particularly cute, by the way.

Just before the judges' decisions I would say something to the effect of "That was a closely contested bout.  It will be interesting to see how the judges scored this one."  Then the four judges would flip their flags to the white or red flag for which opponent won in their uninformed opinions.  It probably would have made more sense to have an odd number of judges, but whatever.  In the result of a tie there was only one way to settle it . . . Who can do more push-ups?!  I'm serious.  So then I counted out the push-ups on the mic and commented on who's arms were shaking and who was losing the integrity of their push-up form.  The organizers of this event were winging it, and I was improvising what the hell to say about it.  It was a blast.

My air time on the mic got me warmed up for my third reverend gig that I had on the upcoming weekend (I got "ordained" online to officiate weddings for friends).  My good buddy, Southie got married, and I was happy to help him out  Just like every other time, I was nervous.  I wasn't sure how I did when I wrapped it up, but I got nothing but compliments all night long.  They weren't just people who bumped into me at the bar and felt a need to say something - many made a point to come up to me for the sole purpose of saying how great they thought the ceremony was.  It felt really good to know that I made the couple's special day even better and managed to entertain and please so many guests.

The reverend rides again.  And I hope the karate announcer sweeps the leg again because that was hilarious.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Anyone ever hear "'Da Butt" by E.U.?  I heard it on my bike ride home from work today and started laughing my ass off at this line: "If you get that notion get your backfield in motion."

I'm going to say something right now: That is singlehandedly the best line ever about American football, booty shaking, or combinations thereof.

The minute I got home I added it to our wedding playlist.  This was a point of contention, but to compromise I'm going to give the d.j. a time to fade it out midway through the song, likely just after that backfield line . . .

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The Great Gig In the Sky

I had this dream the other night where I was at a comedy club, or was it a strip bar?  It was hard to tell because the late great Robert Schimmel was trying to do his set on the same stage as a stripper.  I remember being pissed at the time because there were some drunks heckling him, but that's to be expected.  It's just weird trying to make jokes with a woman to your left taking her clothes off.

Here I was yelling at these jerks to shut up, but Schimmel was so understanding.  He was saying, "It's all right.  A gig's a gig."

The real life Robert Schimmel was in a car wreck in which his 19-year-old daughter was driving and the car flipped over on its side.  His son in the car was not hurt at all, his daughter sustained some injuries, but sadly, Mr. Schimmel died from his injuries.

"Yup, she has no clothes on, but listen to this . . ."

I guess I visited him in a dream state in that great Titty Bar/Comedy Club in the sky the other night.  And he was good to see him truly at peace when he said to me "A gig's a gig."

Saturday, May 23, 2015

"Good Game"

A bunch of us went to the "American Beer Classic" at Soldier Field (where the Chicago Bears play) where you pay $65 to sample as many beers as you want all day long.  There were two sessions so we were heading in for the 3:30PM session just as the 11:30AM session was getting out.  Giant hoards of people were filing out of there in the opposite direction completely wasted before noon.

It was then that I feel a couple gentle pats on my ass and fat man who was around 6'4 and 280 pounds saying "good game" to me.  I looked up to him to see him staring right back at me.  So, I said what just about any man would say at that point: "What the fuck!?!?"  He said, "It's not gay if you say 'good game.'"  To which I exclaimed as I walked away, "Well, it's a little gay, isn't it?"

I think this guy was looking for a fight or something because if he kept doing that, I would say he would be likely to find someone ready to fight.  I'm not homophobic, but it turns out I really don't like gentle pats on my ass from strangers.  I guess I never knew that until someone did it to me.  He said "good game," and that statement goes along with one slap with decent force.  That I might have been put off by too, but I wouldn't have felt . . . violated.

These guys both thought he had a good game.
I guess for a moment there I understood how women feel powerless when they are harassed by men, to an extent, because what were my options here?  It's not worth fighting this guy, getting arrested, and losing the chance to drink all that beer.  Also, the guy was enormous so a fight might not have went well for me  Then again, he was completely drunk and I was stone sober, so I might have done okay.  But probably not.  I'm a drinker, not a fighter.

So into the beer festival, feeling a little icky, but after a few samples I had forgotten all about the man-on-man sexual harassment I had encountered moments before.

If there are any lessons here they might be as follows:

1. Don't pat the rear ends of anyone you don't know.  If you have developed a bond with someone new and you just shared a victory in a sporting even or even watched one on television, then maybe, but still no.  Saying good game and doing an ass pat on someone you never met and shared no experiences with is just weird and creepy, so don't do it.

2. Try the Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter by Horny Goat Brewing Company.  It's absolutely delicious and helps you forget things.

Good game, readers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

All This Time Off of Blogging and It's a Dang Dream Blog?

I had a dream the other night where I'm out at the bar, and then all of a sudden everyone wants to do cocaine and put things in each other's butt holes.  I don't do either of those things, so in the dream I was desperately trying to get out of there.  Even if I were to dabble in either venture, right in plain sight at the bar hardly seemed like the right time.  To make things even weirder, everyone had bright blue bungholes.

The friends in my dream thought I was the biggest prude ever when I finally got out of there, but boy was I glad to get free of those twisted, blue-butted, drug fiend, anal exhibitionists.

Tell me the last time you saw the above sentence.

And what in the blue blazes do you think the dream means?

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Coworker's Mom's Ex Boyfriend: A Bookie for the Mob

I went out to lunch during a work day, and I saw one of my coworkers sitting in a booth.  He eats there just about every Monday through Friday.  Even if I really wanted to sit by myself and read about Chicago sports and text jokes to my friends, the right thing to do was go sit by him.  I just didn't feel like hearing him bitch about work because getting out of the office for lunch is a time to think about anything but the office.  Actually, he may have been thinking, "Oh crap.  Here comes Dr. Ken to come saddle in here and make annoying observations for his stupid blog."  That's entirely possible.  Sometimes I wish people could be honest with each other and just ask, "mind if I join you?" and the other person could respond either way without hurting anyone's feelings.

So this guy was telling me how excited he was to go to the Kentucky Derby with some friends to drink a ton and bet a bunch of money on little men riding on horses running around in a circle.  He really likes gambling.  He spends every few Saturdays at a race track near his house drinking three dollar beers and betting every race until the joint closes.  He really seems to know his stuff, but then again, gamblers never seem to tell you about the times they lost.

I asked him how he got so knowledgeable about betting the ponies, and apparently his mom's ex boyfriend would take him to the track when he was a kid, starting when he was around eleven years old, and schooled him on how to research and pick a winning bet.  The mom's boyfriend used to be a bookie for the mob, but he had left that life behind to drive a taxi cab.  Still, it was still strange that he drove a taxi in the suburbs but somehow always had giant wads of one hundred dollar bills wherever he went.  I guess he was a pretty great guy, and he took my coworker out for a steak dinner and gave him two hundred bucks for his birthday every year.  Even after his mom and the guy broke up, this dude continued to take him out for his birthday dinner until my coworker was around 19-years-old.  That is around the time his health started failing and he soon passed away.  I think he was a little bit older than the mom.

I asked why it didn't work out, and he said, "I don't know because he was a really great guy.  I think my mom was just too much to deal with."

I said, "So the ex (but probably current) bookie for the mob wasn't the problem in the relationship; your mom was."

"Yeah, pretty much," he said, finishing the last few bites of his omelette and getting a look at his check.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I Guess I'm Mad Max?

I got this late night hamburger joint with awesome burgers, and it's right by my house.  During a long night of drinking, Auto Pilot Dr. Ken directs his taxi cab driver to pull right up to that place.  I then grab my sack of burgers, walk home, and find a good movie to watch on Netflix.

The other night I went in there with Mrs. Noisewater, and the lady at the counter said, "Oh, hey Mad Max!"  Evidently I was in there one night telling her that I was going to watch a "Mad Max" film that night whilst consuming burgers.  I was astonished that she had never heard of the one and only Mad Max, post apocalyptic hero in a world fighting over precious oil.  I didn't ask much more about our conversation that night because Mad Max (that's me) was a little embarrassed.  

I never understood how those marauders in the Mad Max films found oil such a precious and dwindling commodity, yet they built giant V8 monstrosities and just went around cruising, looking for trouble in their S & M outfits.  You would think they would only drive somewhere when they absolutely had to.  I guess the more I think about it, marauding S & M types wouldn't likely be conservationists.

Anyway, I really do have to slow down on the drinking and late night eating.  All those burgers and beer are rough on the waist line, and the alcohol could make my mind slower.  What I'm trying to say is that if the apocalypse goes down I'll need to have my mind sharp and look sexy in my leather bondage outfit.

My outfit will likely be like the one second from the left.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Team Strike Force and One of the Best Summers of Dr. Ken's Life

Many moons ago some friends and I played in a coed softball league and drinking team.  I'm not making a joke here; The sponsor bar actually kept track of how much all the teams drank after each game, certain types of drinks were worth different points, and the highest point getting team would win a free party for all their friends.  Hence, at the end of the season there would be a champion on the diamond and another in the bar.  This is not something that would be allowed now, and it probably wasn't allowed back then seeing as it encourages competitive binge drinking.  Team Strike Force finished near the bottom in terms of our record, but our drinking statistics were the stuff of legend.      

We weren't anything to brag about when it came to playing the actual softball games, but we did have one guy who was maybe the best player I've ever seen.  He could scoop up a ball on the run from anywhere, and throw from deep in the outfield to hit any plate he wanted right on the button.  Plus every time he stepped up to hit it was an automatic extra base hit.  Come to think of it, his girlfriend (now wife) was a really good player.  The rest of us were just biding our time to prove we were worthwhile at the bar immediately following the mere formality of the actual softball game.   

These were the two best moments on the field (because all the other memorable moments were at the bar):

1. One guy's girlfriend (also now wife) had no baseball experience whatsoever, so naturally we put her at catcher.  She was one of those people who could never get past pointing the open side of the mit straight up instead of turning the wrist inward so the open hand faces out.  You know, so you don't worry about plunking her in the face when you throw to her?  Consequently, she was very rarely able to catch much of anything, usually jumping out of the way to avoid getting hurt if you threw to her.  For this reason, the pitcher typically covered home in the event of a play at the plate. 

The RIGHT way
However, one time our stud player with the rifle arm sent one home with a runner on third and first and second base open, and our favorite female catcher was our only chance to tag the runner out.  She stepped up to the front of the plate, actually caught the ball, and jumped up and down saying "yay" as the runner trotted in behind her untagged.  There was no force at home, so she needed to apply a tag.  Nobody on our team cared because it was the funniest thing we had ever seen, and we didn't want to spoil her joyous moment of catching a softball.  Like I said, we sucked.

We would not have challenge the real Strike Force to any athletic event.  Except drinking. 
2. Then another time we were playing our arch rivals.  They had a guy on their team that was friends with a girl I dated not long before that team started.  This guy cheated on his girlfriend with a number of girls, including the one I was dating.  Not at the time I was seeing her though, but maybe.  Who knows.  She was not such a good girl for me, but at the time love was blind and I was young and stupid.  He was a butt hole on the field as well as off because he was like the coach figure, encouraging all his male players to take walks.  When you're a grown man you swing the bat.  That is what you signed up to do, right?

Also, he would yell at the girls when they screwed up.  This made us all really mad, and we found ourselves consoling his girls when they would get on the base paths and yelling at him to take it easy.  It made for a strange dynamic where the score of the game didn't matter; all that really mattered was that this a-hole drop dead.  Then there was another line drive single hit out to center field to our one good player who came up firing the ball towards home plate as Captain A-Hole ran home from third.  Boom!  The ball plunked him square in the back, and he winced in pain as he scored the run.  None of us gave a damn that he scored.  In fact, we were all cheering him getting hit with a ball.  You see, our guy is good enough to have gotten him out.  He chose to peg him in the back from fifty yards; He was that good.  It could very well have been the single most impressive athletic achievement I have ever seen and certainly the most rewarding.

We lost that game and many others that season, but again, in the bar we were champions.  I will never forget the two highest point-getters were a table tapper of Saint Pauli Girl, and a bottle of Tsingtao, a horribly skunky Chinese beer that led to wicked hangovers the following Friday morning.  Win or lose, our table would be littered with table tappers and buckets upon buckets of the green Chinese death juice: Tsingtao.  Then we would all text each other the next day how General Tsingtao had beaten us down with yet another crippling hangover.  But we would do it all again the following Thursday for the good of the team because champions fight through adversity. 

I remember one bye week (a week where our team didn't play) I still went up to the bar to make sure we at least got a few points.  I brought a girl with me who wasn't a heavy drinker.  She could only muscle down one Tsingtao that I insisted she order, and I powered back the other four in the bucket.

In the final week of the season we were eliminated from any chance of winning on the field, but we were very much in the running to win at the drinking.  The only team who had a chance at catching us was the arch rival team.  To make sure we beat those jerks we set up an evite (remember those?) and got all our drinking buddies up there.  We let all our friends know that if they helped us win, they would all be invited to the free party we would earn on a Saturday night for $500 of free boozy fun!  There were five or six tables full of friends for that last night to earn points, and some of those friends were very tangential.  We were marketing wizards and very heavy drinkers. 

And we "must have" bought a hundred that night.
The culminating pivotal moment did not come on the field; It came when Captain A-Hole from the team we hated came over to our table counting up all those buckets and table tappers and he asked, "Shit, you guys aren't team Strike Force are you?"  "You're damn right we are," we all said and a loud cheer roared through out our section of the bar.  Arch rival team only had five or six people to our giant hoards of booze hounds.  It was a lock for Team Strike Force.  We won that "free" party to drink whatever we wanted through paying for tons of types of beer we didn't like every Thursday night.  If you did the math, we likely lost a lot of money, but you can't put a dollar amount on being drinking champs and having that much fun.

I can't run around the bases as fast anymore, I certainly can't drink that much on a Thursday these days, but I can always can look back on that summer as one of the best of my life.  Let's put it this way, If someone asked me right now if I would rather be the first man on Mars or be transported back to the summer of 2005 to watch that guy get pegged with a softball in the back and tip back some celebratory horribly skunky Tsingtao, I would have to give it some serious, serious thought.      

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Super Tan Roy

Some folks I have been playing pick up volleyball with for a quite a while now went to visit a friend in the hospital; a friend who just discovered cancerous tumors in his chest and neck.  Roy, sometimes called Super Tan Roy, has to go into for chemotherapy treatments for four days at a time every three weeks.  We call him Super Tan Roy because he is always very sun tanned, and he probably lays out tanning twice as much as he plays volleyball when he comes down to the beach with us the last few summers.  This means that you actually get to know him better because he is always in the sitting out area talking to everyone, and he is just a great dude.  I have never heard him say anything bad about anyone, and he is always in a good mood.

So it was no surprise when we came to visit that he was walking around his spacious hospital room in his cargo shorts and listening to iPod speakers at high volume.  He was really happy to see us, and at no point did he seem down at all.  Apparently what he has is very treatable, and the doctors are confident that after only the first few treatments the tumors will be all wiped out.  Also, when he left after his first stay, he lived his life like normal, going to the gym and everything.  He really hasn't felt any of the side effects, and he even said that the second they hooked him up to the orange bag of chemotherapy juice, he felt better instantly.

Roy was telling us that it sounds strange, but he has never felt this good.  Seeing how many people have been contacting him has made him feel grateful to have so many great friends and family members.  Roy also stays in touch with some rock bands that he has seen over the years and who have played concerts at his house (I suspect Roy is rich), and one pretty big band that I won't say by name said that they want to do a benefit concert just for him!

I told Roy that his point of view has inspired me.  I know for a fact that there is no way I would maintain this guy's level of confidence and upbeat attitude in the face of what he is going through.  Friends would likely come visit me only to hear me blubbering "why me?"  Do you know this dude has made it a point not to turn the giant television in his hospital room on once?   He said that he spends his time emailing friends and writing blogs on his Facebook page.  I like to think that if I were in a similar predicament that it would light a charge into my writing somehow.  But who knows.  I could very likely have the TV on and guests would catch me crying to "The Dukes of Hazard" because Rosco P. Coltrane died and I was scared I would be joining him in a sad redneck afterlife.  But through my brief visit with Roy, I know that wallowing for too long would only be a waste of precious time and a downer to anyone else.

Even though I didn't know Roy all that well, I am glad I decided to go the hospital that night.  It was the right thing to do because he was happy to see all of us but also for the insight he has given me.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Walmart: It's Sad In There

I had to go to Walmart for something, and I learned that Walmart is just about the saddest place in America.  I was looking for knee pads for volleyball, and no one seemed to know a damn thing about them.  They would stop other staff members and ask them, and each person knew nothing.  Then they called over the intercom for someone for sporting goods to come over, and no one came.  The more I think about it, all the people working there seemed to be just wandering sadly and aimlessly.  I didn't take it personally that no one gave a shit.  They just seem to have really crummy jobs.

"Anything I can help you with, or shall I flag someone else down who doesn't know anything about this dump?"
Anyway, while I was there I picked up a pair of pants to wear to work.  I left the newly purchased pants folded up as is and put them into my gym bag to wear the next day.  After the next morning's workout, I'm walking to my car and hear, "Hey, boss.  You get some new pants?"  I said, "I have tags on my pants don't I?"  To which he said with a chuckle, "All over, dude."

First off, he was very much a gym bro-type-guy, a little condescending, and I don't like being called boss by people who aren't my employees.*  However, it was nice of him to let me know so that I didn't walk into work with size 34 x 34 all up and down the back of my pants.  That's why I didn't notice the tags when I put them on - they were all on the back.  That's no excuse.  It was pretty stupid on my part.  Sometimes I think I might be dumb enough to work at Walmart.

wI don't have any employees.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mr. and Mrs. Noisewater's Love Story

This is the story of the meeting of Mr. and Mrs. Noisewater that I wrote that will go on the site for our wedding.  Hope you enjoy.

Did I ever tell you about the time I met my bride to be?  It all started back when I was living at the apartment on Nelson Street in Chicago that I lived at with a revolving cast of four roommates for seven years.  We were having a birthday gathering for a good friend and a good roommate, and I was telling the guests the story about the time some middle aged woman gave me her powder blue paisley jacket with shoulder pads.  What happened was I was at a bachelor party and arrived back at the hotel before the rest of my friends and was waiting at the bar.  I saw her goofy jacket slung over the chair and this happened:

Dr. Ken: That's a sharp jacket you got there.
Jacket Lady: Buy me a beer and it's all yours.
Dr. Ken: Sure.  What'l it be?
Jacket Lady: MGD.
Dr. Ken: Bartender, one MGD please.

I didn't know it was a female jacket.  I guess I didn't notice the shoulder pads at the time.  I just slapped it on and texted my best man, Mr. HLP, "I am at the bar in a Mr. Furley jacket!

"No sticker for me?"
So here I am at the apartment telling this story when it dawns on me that I should put The Jacket on as a visual aid to give my listeners a better indication of just how awesome it is.  You just have to see it to believe it.  When we make it out to the bar, I'm in one of those moods where I just decide to go out in public donning The Jacket.  So that's what I did.

We ended up at Four Treys, a wonderfully divey karaoke spot in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago.  After singing a song or two, I'm feeling pretty tremendous when a gorgeous brunette saunters by, slaps a sticker on the shoulder of my jacket and says, "that's an awful jacket" and just walks by without stopping.  I said to my friends that I had to go talk to this one because she gave me a sticker and she has good taste - the jacket is quite ugly.

She was standing over by the Galaga machine, so I thought it natural that I challenge her to a game.  Galaga is a lot like Space Invaders, only the bad guys swoop down on you from all sorts of angles and you can rescue a second ship to get a double shot going.  She said that she has never played but would accept my challenge.  I figured knowing the whole double shooting trick would give me a clear advantage.  Wrong.  She destroyed me.  Mrs. Noisewater was deftly firing buttons to blast ships and moving her plane around while furiously dodging the alien ships and their laser blasts in a way that was demoralizing to me but sexy nonetheless.  I remember her starting to kick butt at the game and offering somewhat of an explanation for her expertise: "Careful.  I'm Asian, you know."  I tried to buy our historic Galaga machine years later for nostalgic reasons but alas, it was gone.  

Beaten but not broken, I asked for her number and we met up the following Thursday.  I remember picking her up with my car when she was stuck in Chicago's bitter cold and feeling like a hero.  Then on the third date she caught me looking up at the Bulls versus Heat game a few too many times and still liked me!    

We got nuts about each other pretty quickly, and then she got notices back from all of the graduate schools she applied to.  Jaemi was looking for a career change into urban planning, which was something more challenging and exciting for her.  She didn't think she would get accepted to any of the schools, but she got accepted to all three.  What is crazy is that even though we hadn't been together that long, we were both ready to tackle a long distance relationship with no hesitation, and off she went to live in Santa Monica California, enrolled in UCLA's Masters in Urban Planning program.

The distance was difficult at times, but it also meant taking fun trips to meet up with one another.  We met in spots in between Chicago and L.A. with trips to Austin, Texas and Denver, Colorado and spent one New Years together in Costa Rica.  I never bought into the whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing, but it was true in our case.  We were so excited to see each other on my trips to California, or her trips to Chicago where we would sometimes Hotwire a "fancy" hotel.  Also, it made us really appreciate when the two years would be over and we could be together for good.  Forever.  That's what we plan on doing, and that's what we would love you to help us celebrate on August the 1st in one of the cities we travelled to together and fell deeper in love, San Francisco.  Thanks for reading.


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Thursday, March 12, 2015

We were out at the bar the other night, and were are all picking up the smell of marijuana from somewhere every so often.  We weren't sure at first who it was, but then we saw couple sitting at the table just below us and knew they were the culprits.  You see, we were in a row of tables elevated up a step or two, and seated below us was a couple not saying one word to each other but rubbing each other's arms and faces.  They enjoyed the texture of one another's skin for the better part of two hours, and it was endlessly entertaining for us.  There is no way this was just pot they were doing because never have I seen two people out in public acting in a way as if there were no one else around, or in the world for that matter.

Or maybe some good pot is just that good these days.  But do I want to be that messed up anymore?  I mean these two couldn't even form words to talk to one another.  Or were they speaking to one another through some sort of weed ESP?

What do you think, readers? What were these kids puffing on?  You ever see anything like that?  

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Bands Women Hate

When it comes to couples and music, some is meant to listen to together, and I bet you and that special someone have songs that you dance the night away to or scream out the open windows during a road trip with one another.  But then there are others that us men need to hear on our own.  You don't want her to like that band, and you never would in your wildest dreams expect her to.  That band is just for you.

I conducted extensive research through surveying numerous men of all ages* to see which bands women hate the most.  Now, outright metal is not on then the list would just be dominated by metal, and we wouldn't learn anything from that.  Of course women don't like metal, and the ones that do are often scary and we don't want to date them.  If she can beat the tar out of me in a pit, then I tend to get scared off.  What I set out to do here is to try to find the bands that are hated by women not because they are too heavy for them, but because they annoy them for some other reason.  This way we could find the common factors of non-metal bands that are loved primarily by men.  

I conducted a study in which I played one of the top nine bands (in no particular order) that the men have determined to be disliked universally by females, and I recorded Mrs. Noisewater's reactions to them.  Here is what I discovered.

DISCLAIMER: I got midway through this project and thought that I am really generalizing and making assumptions a lot with a list like this.  And assigning gender stereotypes to music is kind of wrong.  I know this.  But I finished anyway because I was halfway through, and if I keep giving up on stupid projects like this, then I'll never finish any of my stupid projects.

1. Ween are so damn weird that when you're listening to them and someone else pops in they're like "Just what in the hell is this weird-ass stuff?"  They play stuff that is very strange at first, but eventually that weirdness is . . . it's just Ween.  There was no one else like them.  Some songs are too obnoxious even for fans of the band, but then other times it's just genius.  They have tons of songs that are in a wide variety of genres where Gene Ween sings entirely different for every song so that you can sneak them on without anyone knowing it's Ween.  Then they got entire albums worth of stuff like the song listed below that is unmistakably Ween.  And pretty darned annoying to the unconditioned ear.
Sample Song: "Big Jilm" by Ween.  
Mrs. Noisewater's Thoughts: "Halloween music and farting. Happy farts."
Mrs. Noisewater's Verdict: "I don't like it."

2. If you watch the concert video below you will see an arena filled with 95% dudes.  This is because women very rarely like Rush.  I think they have the perfect storm of elements rarely appreciated by female listeners: They're heavy, they're ugly (well the singer is.  He looks like a chicken), they sing in falsetto, and they play progressive music.  And then guys get together and air drum the hell out of their songs, and that doesn't exactly draw women into the band.  
Sample Song: "YYZ" by Rush
Mrs. Noisewater's Thoughts: "It sounds like a a promotional video for a gym with guys cycling and doing x-games stuff.
Mrs. Noisewater's Verdict: It's okay.

3. Steely Dan has the jazz type of vibe that doesn't seem to do it for everyone.  I think there are a song or two that made it big on classic rock radio that infiltrated female audiences, but it's pretty rare that you find a hardcore female Steely Dan fan.  Jerry Seinfeld really likes these guys, and he is man.  Okay, it's true.  I have zero basis for anything on this list . . .
Sample Song: "Peg" by Steely Dan. 
Mrs. Noisewater's Thoughts: "Sounds like bad wedding music.  Or maybe Romantic comedy background music.  
Mrs. Noisewater's Verdict: "Is this Michael McDonald?" - I think that is not a favorable review.

4. Prog rock bands just seem to be a dude thing, and Yes played just about the most pretentious music you could find.  Just look at the clip below: How many keyboard players are on that stage?  Three?  But I have the "Yes Album" and "Fragile" on vinyl, and they're both amazing.  Oh, also, Rick Wakeman wore weird cloaks like a wizard, and Dungeons & Dragons outfits aren't exactly pussy magnets.

Sample Song: “Heart of the Sunrise” by Yes
Mrs. Noisewater's Thoughts: This is the band where your friend wants you to go with to see them and the plays has a bunch of weird-looking dudes bobbing their heads.  
Mrs. Noisewater's Verdict: "Meh."

5. The progressive thing seems to be a very common thread in these bands, and Frank Zaapa also had the weird factor going on, like Ween listed above.  Like Ween, he also has mysoginist lyrics that additionally push the females away.  Then again, Frank's wife did make quilts out of the panties thrown on stage during shows, I am told, so apparently chicks dug him at some point in his career.  I just haven't met any.
Sample Song: "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" by Frank Zappa
Mrs. Noisewater's Thoughts: This is also like background music, but it’s too annoying to be in the background.  I need to put on a big flowey skirt and dance around with hippies.
Mrs. Noisewater's Verdict: "When is this game over?" - I think that means she hates it.

6. Grunge rock was huge with men and women alike in the early to mid 90's with bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana, but Alice In Chains seemed to be bigger with the fellas.  Perhaps it was that they played music that was a little heavier and really, really depressing.  Those songs that make you want to do tons of heroin until you die don't bring loads of babes to your shows, but it is terrific on vinyl on a rainy afternoon.
Sample Song: "Over Now" by Alice In Chains
Mrs. Noisewater's Thoughts: “Why are they playing “Taps?  Is this Alice N’ Chains!?  You know I hate Alice n’ Chains!  
Mrs. Noisewater's Verdict: "They sound like a bunch of whining teenage girls."

7. Tool played music that was heavy and progressive, and we are learning that those are sure fire attractions to dudes and dudes only.  They also had videos with disgusting imagery of weird demon-like beings doing gross shit.  I still don't like to watch that part in the "Sober" video where the monster guy opens up the pipe to find a giant bloody worm crawling through, and he touches it!

Sample Song: "Parabola" by Tool
Mrs. Noisewater's Thoughts: This makes me want to slit my wrist.  I want to drink a bottle of whiskey and cry in the corner.  This is Tool!  It sounds like an insane asylum.  It would drive me to an insane asylum and then I would throw that bottle of whiskey into someone’s face!
Mrs. Noisewater's Verdict: I knew she hates Alice N' Chains and Tool more than any other bands, so if I could have done it again I wouldn't have had them right in a row like this.  She almost quit at this point, but I talked her into sitting through the last two clips . . .(skip to 4:45 to bypass the intro)

8. I suppose Dio is the most clearly heavy metal band on the list, and I was supposed to be avoiding metal bands.  However, I did include him because of all his lyrics about dragons, sorcery, and witches.  That's not subject matter that the ladies like to rock out to and sing with their girls.  Or is it? See below . . .
Sample Song: “Rainbow in the Dark” by Dio
Mrs. Noisewater's Thoughts: "I kind of want to dress up like a slut and dance with my girlfriends."
Mrs. Noisewater's Verdict: "I like this one!"

9. AC/DC sang thinly veiled sexual innuendo rockers like "Big Balls" and "Sink the Pink."  Do women like that?  If I overheard an attractive woman singing "Sink the Pink," I would be pretty surprised.  And frisky.  But, now that I think of it, I can remember seeing a lot of concert footage of women lifting up their shirts and showing boobs and AC/DC shows.  Still, they're a pretty dude heavy band if you ask me.  
Sample Song: “Let Me Put My Love Into You” by AC/DC
Mrs. Noisewater's Thoughts: "This is a song you would hear before a sports game.  It’s like a sports pump up song."
Mrs. Noisewater's Verdict: "It sounds like AC/DC."  That's actually a genius assessment because that is exactly what can be said of all AC/DC songs whether you like them or not.  

What do you think of the list, friends?  I have nine bands so I could really use your help to find that tenth . . .
*I group texted two friends who are around the same age as me.  That was the extent of the research.