Sunday, December 29, 2019

4 Topic Sunday

1. Ryan Reynolds-Looking Super Dad

I was at the library with the family yesterday. At the Chicago Public Library you can get museum passes for free entries for your entire family. Nice tip right there for the 4 people still reading this page. Anyway, so I'm diddling around on my phone while my 3-year-old son is playing with other kids and another (and better) random dad, and I hear young Erik Noisewater say, "Let's make a Transformer!" The kids and the random dad were building things out of giant Legos that were about a foot across. I hear the random dad say in a slightly effeminate voice, "Does this look like a Transformer?" I look up to see that the son of a bitch had whipped up an amazing five foot tall robot in a matter of a couple minutes, and Erik was smiling ear-to-ear. This guy looked like gay Ryan Reynolds, he was in better shape than me, better looking than me, and on this day for sure, a better dad than me. He was on the floor with everyone's kids like the Deadpool Pied Piper Super Father doing all these creative things and with boundless energy. I'm so glad that this dude exists in the time he does so that he can get legally married to another man and have a family without judgement from anyone. Just think, if he were born 50 years ago he may never have been able to be the super dad he was born to be.

The face you make at other dads when you just made the perfect Lego Transformer.
2. Bane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The other night I'm putting Erik to bed and he says to me, "Daddy, why don't you have muscles like Bane? Then he starts squeezing my pathetic arms, searching everywhere on them and saying, "Where are your muscles?" Thanks a lot, kid. I mean, I can't live up to the standard of cartoon super hero physiques, but he is right that I could certainly stand to put on a touch more muscle up top. He's like my little personal trainer now. I did some push-ups with him on my back yesterday, so he and I are working on it.

Overdeveloped the trap muscles a touch, if you ask me.
3. The 1980's, the Decade of Amazing Walkie Talkies

Do you ever notice in 80's movies the kids all seemed to have walkie talkies where they could talk to their friends from their respective bedrooms from a mile away? I was a kid in the 1980's, and I didn't know one kid who had those. We had the G.I. Joe ones where you were lucky to hear your friend in the next room, and even then it was like a bad McDonald's drive through sound so you couldn't make out what the F he was saying, as if it what he was saying was anything more important than "Can you hear me?"

We have the Jolt cola. Repeat. We have the Jolt cola!!
4. How was everyone's holiday?

Mine was pretty awesome. It was our first one waking up in our own house with Santa coming for the kids, so pretty exciting stuff. We discovered a new drink too: Captain Morgan and egg nog. We call it Captain Nog. I just love that name. Captain Nog sounds like a ruthless cutthroat gangster on the high seas. Drunk with white goop all over his beard.

Captain Morgan Freeman himself.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The other day Erik Noisewater was having one of those mornings where he was not at all helpful with the whole getting ready for school process. Everything was a no. He kicked and tried to squirm away as I dressed him, and then in the car he was laughing and straightening out his legs, intentionally making it impossible to buckle him into his car seat. I said, "Erik Noisewater, you're going to make me late and get me fired." Perhaps that was a touch dramatic on my end and not entirely fair to blame a toddler - I could have always gotten up 10 minutes earlier.

This is when he said, in a teasing voice, "Someone's going to get fi-red."

I stopped dead in my tracks and wondered why in the hell he would say such a thing to me, even if I deserved it.

A few minutes later on our drive it dawned on me that it was a quote from "Bumblebee," a Transformers movie that he has seen 9 times, and he applied the quote to the perfect circumstances. In the scene the female main star is working at a shop at the amusement park when she accidentally spills a tray of sodas all over the handsome popular guy's shirt. He doesn't even seem mad about it, and in fact sees it as a great opportunity to take his shirt off and show off his chiseled abs. However, evil popular blond blog girl says to her, "Someone's going to get fi-red." Later in the movie evil popular blond girl also teases her about her father being dead. I was kind of hoping Bumblebee would run her over, but he does stomp on her car, smushing it up like an accordion. So good enough. For now.

No, there aren't any love scenes - before you ask.
Bumblebee is actually an enjoyable film; the only of the live action ones worth watching in my opinion. It actually has a great soundtrack since it takes place in the 1980's. The girl's favorite band is The Smiths, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Be good, friends. And remember, sometimes when a kid gives you some shit, you just have to laugh and remember that you just may have had it coming.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

My friend was visiting from Spain this weekend. It was awesome to get our kids together. His 4-year-old was teaching my 3-year-old Spanish, and it was amazing. We all watched the Bears lose, but it was still great.

Erik Noisewater and I watched the Rudolph special that has been airing every year since 1964. Do you think there are any civil rights undertones going on with Rudolph being hated on for his red nose and the Island of Misfit Toys? I tried to help Erik understand why the characters might be sad given today's climate of making America hateful again.

I missed the staff party at my work, but apparently it was interesting. So a guy called a woman a bitch, and her husband works there, so husband says "say that again," so he does, and then they get in a brawl rolling on the floor, and . . . I'm just glad I wasn't there.

The Rudolph show had me all emotional with my son, and I know it's one of those years where "It's a Wonderful Life" will have me bawling. It does me in every time. Do any of you have some forms of art where you avoid indulging in it too much out of a fear that it will lose its power? You just can't pop on "Stairway To Heaven" every week. You got to save it up, man! That's how it is with "It's a Wonderful Life" for me. Sometimes I take a pass on it to ensure that it will still kick my ass emotionally as hard as it did the last time.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

2 Holiday Confessions

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

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

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

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

Happy Holidays, Seven Readers.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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

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

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

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

Not 62 in this picture.

Monday, December 09, 2019

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

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

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

Sunday, December 08, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 07, 2019

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

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

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

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

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