Monday, December 21, 2020

Noisewater Family Updates

So what's new over at the Noisewater place?

Well, the wife and I are employed, working from home during the pandemic. The kids are in school and daycare, respectively, so we are able to actually get some work done around here. One of us was working in the baby's room, which is a pretty good office, and the other one was working in the common area. It's a pretty small condo that we stay in. What we noticed was that we kept derailing productivity when one of us would go into the common area for a snack or a workout or to switch laundry. I think we just talk to each other to kill time and get ourselves off track. So, what we discovered works better is making the toddler's bedroom into another office by putting one of those fold out desks into the wall. Is it weird when I'm on a work call and my clients see bunk beds and toys in the background? No really, when you're a teacher and your "clients" have bunk beds in the toys in their background as well.

It's tough to get kids to show up to class. Sometimes they show up for attendance and then think they can be slick and sneak off for a nap or to play video games or something. So when you suspect that you just call on them to see if they are really there. The other day I got tired of Sydney  (not even close to his real name) pulling that move day after day, so I was like "Sydney, just checking in if you're interested. We are giving away $500 and a Playstation 5 . . ." No response. It got a big laugh, which is really what I'm going for as much as anything else these days.

I got two weeks off of work right now, and I thought I would have to keep the kids out of their mom's hair while they tried to work, but it turns out the baby's daycare lady will take the toddler too! Which means, Winter of Kenneth has begun! Only 3 days of no kid time, but I'll take it. Today what did I do? Dropped off the kids, did an online training for work, went to Costco for shopping, vacuumed and mopped, and did a workout with some muscular butt ladies on the TV. That's not too bad, right?

How about you guys? Got any time off and how are you using it?

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Sword Fight!!!

Fellas, do you guys remember when you were a little kid and you said you had to pee and your brother or a friend said, "I gotta go too," and then one of you said, "Sword fight!" So you ran into the John together, dropped trow, and peed simultaneously into the same bowl, moving your stream back-and-forth across the other guy's spray, likely hitting the seat and the floor in the process. You have all had a sword fight or two in your day. Stop lying.

Would if I said that my 4-year-old son and I have done this a few times? I'm thinking that you would say I'm the most immature and inappropriate father you have ever come across, and that really wouldn't be too far from the truth. I know it is stupid to do, but every once in a while we will have to both take a leak before leaving the house and it just kind of goes down that way. 

What usually happens is we unholster our weapons at about the same time, but he starts firing away much quicker. Sometimes he is done before I can even get started because I have an old as hell engorged prostate the size of a 16-inch softball softball. Sometimes I'll say to him, "You win again, buddy. You got the quickest weenie in The West. My old wiener just can't hold a candle to yours.

So, the other day he beats me to the punch again and goes, "I win again, daddy. You got the oldest, slowest, yuckiest wiener in the world." Now, wait just a minute. I may have said old and slow in my analysis during previous competitions, but "yuckiest" was entirely his own editorializing. Uncalled for if you ask me.

Okay, just a quick blog post I have been kicking around in my head. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season despite the current pandemic situation. And I hope none of you call up the Special Victims Unit for the slightly inappropriate father son activity you just read about. 

I needed a pic of Ice, and the one with bagels was obviously the funniest. Apparently it's because he has never tried bagels or coffee? Fascinating.

Monday, October 26, 2020

You always hear about when people run into celebrities and it's always one thing or the other:

1. He was such a cool guy.

2. The guy was a total dick

I used to like to fantasize about my mythical celebrity life, and every time I was just the most gracious and nice guy you could ever know. But as years go by, I get why stars get a bad reputation and a slanderous story for someone else to tell. I think I would be the "total dick" in 9 out of 10 encounters with fans. Now that I have a family too I completely see it. The guy telling the story would be like "I saw Kenneth Noisewater when he walked up to the fountain drinks to refill his Mountain Dew at Taco Bell, and he totally blew me off when I brought up the third movie I liked him in." Yeah, I got my family in the booth and I don't want to talk to a some deranged fan all night - one who might start to think he's my friend and stab me some day if I don't brush him off now and not later when he is too intertwined into every aspect of my life.

In my celebrity fantasies I’m very much about the people and still dine at places like Taco Bell.

So now I'm thinking back to two my celebrity encounters.

1. The time I met Pau Gasol who was playing for the Chicago Bulls at the time. Believe it or not it was the night I proposed to Mrs. Noisewater. I had to say something on my way out to him because his table was positioned on our way out the room. So I did a drive by. I never stopped my momentum, just swept by and said, "Go Bulls! Keep it up!" In a whisper, so no attention was drawn to him. The Bulls were riding a little win streak at the time.

Very smooth and unobtrusive, right? Well, let's look at one from a few years before that.

2. Then there was the time maybe 10 years prior when I "met" Dee Snyder. I was going into the House of Blues in Chicago, and the one and only Dee Snyder was coming out. We were in a revolving door at the exact same time, and I'm a mere inches away from his face with just that glass between us going full Chris Farley on him, "Yeah! Fucking Dee Snyder! You fucking rock, bro!" There is no way in hell he didn't see or hear me, but he still managed to completely ignore me. He looked pissed about something. 

I used to get mad when I would think back to my moment with Mr. Snyder. And if his name came up I might have been inclined to say that Dee was less than welcoming to me in our encounter. However, now I'm like, hey, Dee might have been having a bad day. And I had a few beers in me and was probably annoying. I don't hold it against him in the slightest.

Dee, if you're reading this, you know longer have to worry about that time you mistreated a fan. There. I've absolved you of your sins. Now go forth and rock with a clear conscious. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

 So tonight my sons are getting a little rowdy and the 4-year-old throws a playful punch in the direction of his 1-year-old brother. I was mad at him so I said, "Hey! You don't hit your brother!" He looks me dead in the face and says, "Yeah, and you don't hit your wife." I just laughed and agreed with him. Damn it. He made me laugh with that one and made me break character.

Then he has this habit of whispering way too close in your ear so it tickles like crazy, so he leans in and goes, "And you don't punch Mary."

I said, "You mean like Mother Mary? No. You don't punch her either." He goes to a Catholic pre school even though we aren't religious - so he learns a bible thing or two up there.

Then he goes in for another whisper sesh and lets me know "And you don't punch Jesus." I told him, "Nope. Not him either."

Then this is when I lost it because he softly whispers, "And you don't punch the angels."

Oh man, just imagine running through those clouds socking all the angels you could right in their jaws, their halos flying off. It's hilarious.  I wish I could make a video game like that. I would play it all day until I got the all time high score. 

Good night, folks. Try not to throw any right crosses at any of your biblical figures.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Okay, The Last of the Aunt Linda Chronicles

 We had my Aunt Linda's ashes in the rental car for a few days coming along with us, and it felt kind of weird. It was good feeling waking up that final day in town knowing we were sending them to their final resting place. Aunt Linda lived a good amount of her life in a house she designed with her late husband high up in the mountains of Colorado. My mom got in contact with the people who currently owned that house as well as her neighbor and longtime friend who would be our guide to the stream where the ashes would go. This neighbor's name was Joe, and he gave us the much needed detailed directions, as GPS would wave bye bye as we ascented into the mountains. 

The higher we climbed into the mountains we saw why Aunt Linda loved living up there. Sure, UPS and the US Postal Service wouldn't deliver to you. Sure, any time you wanted to buy something you would have wind your way up and down a half hour trip each way, but wow, if you saw this place you would know what they mean when people say the live in God's country. Her husband, Jim, died and for around nine years she lived by herself up there chopping wood and maintaining the place as best she could until the bats took over. The place we ended up cleaning out was the one looking up into the mountains with the strict homeowners association, the one where her heart was never in it, where her gutters grew trees and her grass grew like Vietnam. Her heart was never in it and she was too old to care. It made me understand that where her ashes would be spread by her former property, where she spread her late husband's ashes, that's where she would want to be. 

Joe said we would see his white pickup truck, and sure enough there he was. He stepped out smiling, and he looked to be in his 80's. The first thing we noticed is that he had a Norway shirt, and he told us that Linda bought him that shirt when she went on her trip to see her relatives. This broke us all up. Joe led the way in his truck, and our rental car probably didn't have the right all wheel drive setting because we were slipping all over the place. Eventually we got up to Linda's property, and wow. I got it now. All those Christmas cards she sent with photos she took, they were all from that property. It's as gorgeous as you could ever imagine. Joe led us on foot downhill to the stream, and he was slipping and making me nervous because he was so old. I told him that I could go in front and he could just fall into me if need be, and he seemed to take a bit of offense saying something to the effect of, "I've lived here all my life."

We finally got to the stream and Joe gave us a little space to do our ritual. I had the ashes in my hands, so I took the lead with the pouring of the ashes and the speech. My sister filmed, and my mom cried for one of the only 5 times in my life I have seen. There is video of this, and maybe I'll put it up some day - but I'm yet to watch it. I'm not ready.

I only took a few things from her house, but one of them was an envelope of all her Christmas cards over the years labeled "KEEP!" I noticed one of them was a shot of what looked to be that very stream where we dumped the ashes from 2007. I texted my mom that picture and asked what year Jim died and she said "2007" and a sad face emoji. Fuck. I lost it. 

Seeing those ashes flow into the river, becoming part of it, to be forever lost in it, the final resting place just absorbing into that stream, it's so permanent. Brutal. We only have so much time on this earth. Shit. I don't have anything else to say, guys. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Second To Last of The Aunt Linda Posts

Day after day we pulled the rental car up to Aunt Linda's house, with her car parked in the driveway, and went in there to clean up, throw things away, and decide what was worth the sentimental value for the family or of value to anyone else. By the third day in a row driving up there I must admit it felt like punching into a job that I hated. The work was hard physically as well as emotionally. We finished the days drained with our feet aching like we were waiting tables on a double shift, our knees and backs hurting from being on the floor in funny positions going through endless stuff, looking for her will, finding what would need to be shredded, and what would go into the endless trash bags. 

The kind of things aunt Linda kept were the kind of things that didn’t make it easy to just throw things away. You had to sort through all of it and then you had to pull out all her little sticky notes that she had in her books because you couldn’t give them away to someone else with your aunt's crazy notes inside. She had so many notes written down on envelopes and kept them long-term. Why?

Prior to living in the house we were cleaning out, her and her husband Jim lived up the the mountaisn of Colorado in a house they planned entirely. But for some reason they had extra everything such as wall outlets and electrical sockets. After her husband died she got to old to maintain the mountain house, she couldn't chop all the wood anymore at her age, and bats of all things took over inside. When she moved out of that place to a nice Colorado community back in civilization, she took all of the extra stuff from when they built the mountain house, all the door hinges, electrical outlets, and everything else to the point it was like an aisle at Home Depot if you wanted one of some shade one just every single type. So someone who wants stuff for their garage to have everything would be nuts about that but if the niche person doesn’t come to an auction then it's all going into a landfill.

My mom said it was definitely a stressful way to spend her birthday but it was an enjoyable day because she spent it with her kids and she has great kids. We for sure had some nice times at night reminiscing. I tried to explain to my sister and my mom what was so sad about my days working in Aunt Linda's home. Her having such a cluttered house forced me to have to sift through her whole world, all her areas of expertise, photography, sewing, alternative medicine, architecture, birds, and motorcycles to name a few. As a result I learned more about who she really was for really the first time, and she was already dead. I was too late. But the process forced me to properly mourn her. Of course I didn't get through trying to explain all this without crying, and I had a hell of a time stopping. I can't remember the last time I did that in front of anyone. You ever notice when people start crying when they hadn't planned on it, it's often when they try to explain why someone or something was so important to them? It's something about that explaining process where you're trying to get it out and just lose it. 

Oh, and then on the plane ride home we had one of those giant planes with the rows of two on the sides and a big row of four in the middle - and it was totally full. Very scary thinking about catching Covid on that thing. Then this Asian guy in tinted blue glasses hops on board the plane without a mask. The woman next to him said something about being scared of getting sick, and this asshole says, "We're all going to die some time. We can't live in fear. Then he launches into something about how he has guns and how he pets his gun like an animal, and how he will shoot anyone on his property. He says he lives in California and the governor there is a communist. He's saying this all loudly to make sure people around him hear his nonsense. My sister says to me just as loudly, "This would be a great time to put on some headphones!" I said back even more loudly, "Yes, some loud music. The louder the better!" And then my sister tipped off the flight attendant that this guy wasn't masked up. He put it on, but then since he was in front of me diagonally, I could see that he would let it dangle off his ear for long stretches of the flight. I double masked it. What a festering pile of bat guano this dude was. Like the bat guano that took over my aunt's house so long ago.

Okay, that's all I got. Take care, everyone. And reach out to those relatives you don't talk to enough. If you don't have kids of your own, reach out to those nieces and nephews. Or just make sure you keep a nice circle of friends as you get older. I would hate for any of you to let your circle shrink and shrink to the point where you're just pounding vodka all day and letting all your hobbies and interests sit in tons of Tupperware tubs for your relatives to have to sort through in an emotional weekend like the one I had. 

Friday, October 02, 2020

Aspen Trip For My Departed Aunt Linda

 Day one of the trip with my mom and my sister to clean and sort through my Aunt Linda’s belongings is done. But I’m up at 4AM, which is due to equal parts too much coffee, too much emotion, and just being used to waking up every night from my kids even when I’m not with them  I did a 3AM workout in the hotel fitness center and even that didn’t knock me out. So I figured I would be productive and post a blog on the phone  

The day before I left I told my son, Erik, I was a little sad to go on the trip it will be not fun and because I will miss my family and he says “Yeah but when you don’t want to go somewhere and you have to go, you just have to go.” This kid just turned 4 last month, by the way. 

The airplane was the smallest one I’ve ever been on. I hit my head on the roof of the airplane because I kept forgetting how low the ceiling was. Then I’m reading the Bill Wymann biography on my Kindle and just after Brian Jones died the book abruptly ended. What?! He still played and toured off of some of the greatest albums ever through out the entire 1970’s but none of that he wanted to cover? I was only like 20 minutes into the flight and now had nothing to read because you can’t download new books without WiFi. Thanks a lot, Bill. Now I’m reading a cooking magazine, and I hate cooking. My sisters was the across the aisle, tapped me on the shoulder, and while silently laughing impersonated my angry flipping through the pages of complex recipes with a million recipes and procedures that I would never dream of attempting. 

My mom’s birthday is tomorrow so will do a nice dinner out. But yeah, we will be sorting through her good friend’s junk during the day on her birthday. Don’t die if you’re reading this. And getting old, losing your loved ones, it’s all hard, but when no one is around to keep you in check, don’t randomly turn to alcohol in you 70’s when you were never a drinker. It’s just been emotionally draining sorting through all this stuff, seeing the places on the floor where she fell and laid there for long stretch of time before getting help, and then the other spot where she had the fall that took her for her final hospital stay. 

I saw a box labeled “camping” and I could tell she knew what she was doing because I camp a little. I never knew she camped. So I took a little knife that goes in a sheath that I can put in my camping tub to take with me, and I can think fondly of Linda when I unsheathe it. 

Hey this is random, but I heard “Valarie” by Jerry Garcia, and I caught one of those types of lyrics that I love, the ones that are so simple yet so incredibly impactful. “Valarie, what’s your complaint? I try to be everything I ain’t.” I think we all try to do that sometimes. Me, I try to cook. And I hate it. But I try. 

Good night, blog friends. I think I can finally get some rest. The workout, burping the worm, the shower - none of that worked. This worked. Thanks. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

I lost my aunt Linda recently. And that's a wrap on my extended family. I have a small family. My mother was an only child and my father had one sister - Linda. All my grandparents are dead, so I'm fresh out of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And what's killing me is she was the extent of my extended family for 30 years and I never bothered to pick up a phone. I'm not saying I could have saved her from drinking herself to death, but I could have called her on her birthday at least.

My mom is the best person and someone who I love talking to, but she never just calls out of the blue. I was on my way to play volleyball with some friends I hadn't seen in a long time when I saw her call. Even though my Aunt Linda, while not in great shape, was not in any immediate known health risk, I knew it was the call saying that my aunt Linda had died. And I ignored it. Instead, I pulled into a liquor store to buy a six pack to drink on the volleyball courts. I grabbed a retro pack of Miller Lites and got in line behind a hardcore alcoholic who was getting a lecture from the man working the register. "Have you eaten anything today, Cleave? You need to eat, man." But he still sold it to him. I found it weird that Cleave should wander into that store with my aunt having just died of late onset alcoholism, and people close to her said she had similar patterns of drinking heavily and hardly eating.

I listened to the voicemail confirming what I already knew and got to the forest preserve where my friends were set up with tents, BBQ, coolers full of beer, and a volleyball net set up in a beautiful clearing of land. My volleyball friends gave me shit for never playing anymore because none of them have kids. They don't get it, but I don't get mad at them for it. They'll see. There's no time once you got kids. Through the course of the day I drained the whole sixer. I sucked for the first few games because I was tight, but believe it or not I got okay as the day went on - and I started hammering spikes. The piss I took in the woods led to those prickly things sticking to my gym shorts, and believe it or not they stuck to the shorts after a wash. What are those damn things?

Now, I may be a shit nephew, but my dad is a terrible brother. He has only been out to Colorado once to see her. My mom was actually friends with Aunt Linda before my dad met my mom - it was a set up. Isn't that nice? My mom is the one that went out to Colorado a couple years ago to help Linda clean out her apartment and try to get her back on her feat. My dad doesn't like traveling, so he didn't go. His wife went out there to help his sister out. My mom met one of Linda's friends out there who was trying to help, but Linda was pushing her away - likely due to the alcoholism. This friend was trying to give Linda some tough love, and I think the demons of alcoholism get threatened by that and push folks like that away aggressively. But the shock of the booze problem was news to my mom and all of us.

And it's weird because I never knew my dad to drink to excess until his 70's either. He started getting worried about his heart, got worried about a heart surgery, and starting hitting the sauce harder than ever. I had seen my dad drunk zero times in the 80's, 90's, and 2000's, and then late in the 2010's he was passing out, trying to order dessert after we just did, and my nephews were laughing at him as he was lying on the floor blind drunk. I can't help but think there was some unresolved stuff in my dad and Linda's upbringing, but who knows.

My mom and sister flew out a couple of weeks ago to clean out Linda's house and figure out what to do with her estate, and it's a total mess. The house is all over the place. She lost faith in U.S. banks and had money in all kinds of European spots, and there is no clear cut will of any kind. I have to go out there now in a couple of weeks and sort through all of the stuff. They need my manpower now to move all the junk around, but I really should have volunteered before they had to ask me to do it. In a lot of ways I'm a lot like my dad. Just trying to avoid problems.

My sister is a little older than me and remembers Linda in her glory days a little better than me. I guess my sister went to Linda's house and spent the night there. It was the first time my sister listened to records with headphones and it sounded amazing. Aunt Linda gave me a bunch of records, and that might be one of the last times I saw her. I catalog all my records in a spreadsheet and put in where I got them. Aunt Linda's records bequeathed (I know she was alive so not the right word- but such a fun word) to me are all in pristine condition, and I still think of her every single time I pull one out. Lots of Willie Nelson. Apparently she was quite an athlete in her day. My dad still boasts about the time the two of them beat me and my neighbor friend in 2-on-2 basketball on the driveway.

So off to Colorado I go. My sister came back a little depressed for a while, thinking about how sad it was for someone to die all alone like that. Her husband died around a dozen years ago or so, and that's when she slowly drifted off into alcoholism. Around a year or so before she died she had an incident where she fell and couldn't get up and was there on the floor for a day or two before getting any help. Jesus, I get sick just thinking about that. Imagine that. When my mom and sister were going through receipts they found that she had bought hundreds of dollars worth of vodka and then would find another receipt for just as much vodka few days later. My two sons are amazing for a lot of reasons, but one really good reason is someone will hopefully give a shit about me when I reach that age and not let me slip into that state. I mean, daughters would be better in that capacity, but I like to think I'm charming enough to keep it going into my twilight years.

To Aunt Linda. 

I always enjoyed the cards you would send with your own photography. I have no idea why you wanted to live in the middle of the mountains where you had to have a gun with you at all times in case of bears, but I have to admire the badassery involved with that decision. Jesus, the mailman wouldn't even go up to where you lived. We had to send stuff to a P.O. Box. Anyway, I'm sorry I was a shit nephew and didn't pick up the phone to give you a call. You were probably lonely but too proud to reach out yourself. 



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

So my kids go to two different locations every morning. The 4-year-old (Erik) is going to a Catholic preschool for in-person masked-up learning, and the 1-year-old (Desi) is goes to his nanny. More often than not I have been picking them up with the bicycle and the little chariot thing that they ride in. Sometimes it's the only time I get outside, and I figure life is going really, really suck when it starts getting cold out soon. Also, there are times where it's my only exercise for the day. It's about 8 miles there and back, and that's no easy task when you're pulling all that weight. 

I got some of it down to a science. One thing that has been working out great is using one of those exercise belt/fanny pack deals with the water bottle holsters. I found one that will fit my mammoth phone, my Costanza wallet, my janitor style keys, and a Covid mask or two. I never feel good about stuff in my pockets when I'm biking. And then one trick I figured out is I could get a wire from my phone to a speaker tucked into one of the water bottle holsters, with that water bottle at home. Voila! Except when the 4-year-old wants to tell me about random things along the way so I have to pause the jams - such as jeeps and muscle cars that he has spotted on the road. 

There are those days where Erik starts screaming because Desi is pinching him, but then there are other days where they're nice and quiet, I look back there, and Erik is holding Desi's hand. And that's just the best. 

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Random, Random, Random Updates

1. So we were thinking of being the X-Men for Halloween as a family. I'm going as Gambit because I think he is just such a cool character who was never represented well in the films. The wife is going to be Storm. She and I are just going to piece together our outfits with thrift store stuff. Erik (who will be 4-years-old next month) is going to be Wolverine - probably will have to spring for a costume. And do you know what Erik said? "Do you know what would be funny? Desi (our 1-year-old) can be Professor X!" It's actually a great idea. We can push him in the stroller when we trick-or-treat and make the stroller look like a wheelchair with big X's for wheels, put him in a suit, and he's already pretty much bald. It's going to be great. If there is trick-or-Covid-treat. 

2. This upcoming weekend we are going to stay at a hotel with a swimming pool for a little "staycation." We got two adjoining rooms so that hopefully we can put the kids to bed and enjoy a little alone time. That's wishful thinking, so we will see. 

3. I finally got my used mountain bike working and will test it out on some trails this weekend with my good friends Choo Choo Train and Night Train.

4. Today I took Erik to school with the jogging stroller for about a 1.2 mile run, and then did another 3 or so miles or so, pushing an empty stroller for a grand total of 4.38 miles. But then I was able to push it around the grocery store and carry groceries in it, so it felt worth having it. When I went to pick him up I walked the jogging stroller up there with his scooter and helmet in it, and we walked all the way to the library and back home, logging in another 3.72 mile walk for me. My feet are killing me now, so no running tomorrow. 

5. One of my fantasy football leagues has a professional wrestling theme this season. This is a dream come true for me, but I'm a little disappointed in myself for not coming up with a good team name. So far my finalists are The Diamond Dallas Cowboys or The Dog Faced Gremlins. I'm not in love with either. Help me out if you can!

That's all I got, friends. Hope all is well with all of you. Hit me with a random, random, random update in the comments. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Nothing!! I have nothing to share!!!!

I feel like the guy at the end of this clip going, "Nothing. I have nothing to sell." I actually have nothing to say here, but I'm doing it anyway. One of the ways I stopped blogging was by saying I had nothing to write about. I'm just going to start typing and see what shakes loose.

So I have a friend who got a mountain bike recently, and he started getting up early and going for a long ride before work. My thought was I would buy my own and then join him some morning. I don't know if you know this, but bicycles are one of those COVID items that are really tough to come by. I'm 6'2", so I can't buy just any old bike. What I was looking for is around a size 21" frame, but some people selling the bikes have no idea what the frame size is. I took shared bikes all the way into the city late last night to try out someone's bike, and I looked like Debo from Friday trying to ride that tiny thing. I was like the bear on the unicycle at the circus. 

This was me. Only with a lot less upper body strength. 

Then today I found one that was "vintage" but finally the size I needed. I got to the guy's house, and it appeared to be an aged 50 plus man living with his mother. The gear shifters were something I had never come across, and this is because the bike was from the late 80's or early 90's by a brand I had never heard of. It looked like an Ocean Pacific t-shirt. Ultimately I was desperate to get on those mountain bike trails, so I bought it. Him and his mom said that if I had any trouble with it to come on back. 
(The font and colors are actually a lot like this. And the internet says this shirt is from 1991, which is about when the bike is from. I'll show you the bike if it comes out of the shop and if the guy in the shop says it's worth fixing/keeping.)

A mile or two down the rode, after stopping at a stoplight, I put my foot on the pedal and heard a snap. I figured the chain had just come loose. Nope. The chain had snapped in two. I googled the nearest bike shop and walked it quite a ways only to find the guy who works there outside talking to two different customers, saying they would have to leave their bikes and he would likely get to them early next week. What could I do? I wasn't going to walk it to another shop miles from there. I know the dude and his mom said to bring it by if I had issues, but that's crazy. If they sold me a lemon, well, they got me. 

Not only that but during the brief time that the bike was working I stopped to buy a new $60 lock for it only to find out that Mrs. Noisewater had a spare one at home that she said I could use. 

Being out in the heat all day with stuff going wrong had me frustrated and tired, but making homemade pizzas with the family and pouring a tall vodka and ginger ale certainly helped. 

How you doing, Seven Readers? Have you been trying to get something for yourself during quarantine? 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

 Well, Erik had his first day of school today. We got him in a school that is doing in-person learning during the pandemic, so it's a little scary. But there are tons of policies in place where we feel pretty good about it. Erik wasn't the least bit nervous. His mom took him, and she said he pretty much just said bye and ran inside. After that I took him to pick out a new backpack and got him an ice cream for no reason.

Last night there was a small gathering of friends going on, so I rode my bike over there for a bit. I had a beer or two and said I would try to get back later after putting the kids to bed. My time away from the party could not have been more than about 2 or 3 hours, but people had gotten themselves into a completely different state in that short time. There was an unopened cake in a box, and one gal said, "I so want to just dip my hand in there and take a bite. F' it. I'm going to do it." She just waltzed over there and dug out a huge fist full that amounted to more than half of the cake and just bit and licked it off her hands as we all laughed our asses off. It was a lot like how Desmond ate his birthday cake at his first birthday party on Sunday.

How about you, Seven Readers? You got a bucket list weird thing you have always wanted to do at a party? Or just anything else you want to comment upon?

Friday, August 21, 2020

Our family camping trip last weekend was a lot of fun. It's the second time we have gone to this place. We like it because it's well maintained, quiet, and you can walk to the beach. Aside from the mosquitoes biting us at the campsite and the horse flies biting us at the beach, I would say everything went without a hitch. 

Erik always wants to stay up late enough to see all the stars. He always makes it late enough to see about half of them, and then a mere minutes after he falls asleep there are double. He did his darndest this time with a bunch of glow items to play with, but eventually he said, "I'm so tired. I'm sorry I couldn't stay up late enough." I reassured him that I was proud of him for listening to his body, and he was under no obligation to stay up any later than he wanted or needed to. He's an awesome kid.

The other day I played a bunch of tennis for probably the first time in at least 15 years. I met up with a couple of friends that I was playing online team trivia with. One guy I know pretty well, but for the other guy it was the first time I met him in person. He is really cool and gave me two really good tips that I'm going to use.

1. He had tires on his bike that don't require any air in them. To me it would be worth it to put those on to never have to worry about a flat or puncture, and to never have to go through the time of checking the PSI and pumping up before a ride. 

2. He also shared with me that he is coming up on one year sober. He said that he has had trouble supplementing one addiction for another, and his nicotine consumption went way up, sometimes in the form of Snus nicotine pouches. So, he found tea bags that you put under your lip, and the only drug in there is caffeine. I must admit that I throw a snus in from time to time, and I know it's a horrible habit. I'll be at a baseball game, for instance, and then decide at a certain inning that I'll just snus up for the remainder of the game to cut off the booze intake. But that strategy would turn out to be a terrible one if I ended up getting mouth, throat, or any other kind of cancer as a result. So, I ordered up a four pack of tea packets to try out. 

The tennis itself was mostly pretty terrible, but we had some pretty solid volleys from time-to-time, had a lot of fun, and got some good outdoor exercise. The courts have some cracks and weeds growing out of the ground, but courts few people know about that are right on the lake with this view are an amazing find.

What is really funny is how there are apartment buildings just beyond the fence on the other side, so if you accidentally launch a homerun (something you don't want) over the fence, you can land your ball right on someone's balcony or porch. Those folks probably never have to buy their own tennis balls. 

Tomorrow night I'll be heading out for a "guy's night" over by Choo Choo Train's place. It will be the first time all of us guys have been in the same place together since the Covid hit. I have Desi's first birthday party the next morning, so I plan on implementing the tea pouch technique at a certain hour so that I'm not a hungover sack of doo-doo at my own kid's party. 

Fare thee well, Seven Readers. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

 This week's film discussion group is about Point Break (1991). I was shocked to see this choice, but I guess my friend who runs the group wanted to do a female directed movie and knows the woman who did it. I did my homework today and watched it for the first time since probably 1995. Here are some thoughts I had.

1. Keanu Reeves plays Johnny Utah, an undercover FBI agent who played quarterback for Ohio State in the Rose Bowl a few years prior. His first case is going undercover to bust surfers who rob banks disguised as "The Ex Presidents," Reagan, Carter, Nixon, and LBJ. They skipped Ford, so maybe it's the four most recent elected presidents? That just wouldn't be as catchy.

2. There are at least two hair metal songs on the soundtrack, Ratt and L.A. Guns. The movie came out in 1991. Had it come out in 1992 there would have been zero hair metal songs. That's how swiftly Kurt Cobain and the rest of the grunge bands eradicated those bands from the face of the planet. But you have some crossover in the film from one band who would take things over because Anthony Kiedes from the Red Hot Chili Peppers appears as a member of another criminal surfing gang who would be mistaken for the bank robbing ones. There is a scene where he is shooting up, and he probably didn't need a whole lot of direction to know how to do that properly.

3. Another cameo is by Tom Sizemore. Remember him? He had a very promising career and then I think he chose heroin over acting. Two heroin points in a row - not intentional. The last I heard from him he was romantically linked to Heidi Fleiss, The Hollywood Madam. To his credit, his acting was excellent in the scene that he is in. 

4. I also really liked Gary Bussey as Johnny Utah's partner. You forget just how good an actor he was because of what a parody of himself he became in his later years. Watch him in Lethal Weapon to see just what a bad ass he was in his day. 

5. It is a film that is exciting, it has some incredibly shot and choreographed action sequences, and then you have Reeves pretty terrible acting and some completely implausible leaps of faith that one must take. Once you just have a good laugh at the acting and remember that none of this things could really happen, it's a hell of a good time. In fact, I think I would argue that it is the best bad movie of all time. 

6. There is a scene where a bad guy is trying to shove Keanu's face into a running lawnmower, his skin less than an inch away, and it is done so well that I was squirming and screaming, even though I knew his chissled jawline would never make contact. 

7. One of the other great sequences comes when Johnny Utah is chasing Bodhi, the Ex Presidents' leader, who wears the Reagan mask, portrayed beautifully by the late Patrick Swazye. Bodhi is in the process of lighting the getaway car on fire to dispose of evidence via making a torch out of the pump. When Utah tackles him, Bodhi is lit on fire and is running away from the FBI agent he most certainly recognizes as that man he thought was his friend. After putting the fire out on his tux while running, he then runs through a series of houses and backyards, a lot like Ferris Bueller, only higher stakes. At one point Utah chases him through a back door and the second he gets out of the front door, Bodhi chucks an angry dog in his face. I mean, it's just a goddamn fun movie, people.

8. What ever happened to Lori Petty? She plays the love interest of Utah, one of Bodhi's former girlfriends who teaches Utah to surf and introduces him to Bodhi and his gang. I don't think she ever had the leading lady status because she never really had the classic leading lady beauty, but she works well in this film. Of course, everyone looks like an acting champ opposite Reaves. But here's the thing, would we want anyone but Reaves in the role of Utah? No way. Once you have seen it once or twice, some of those poorly delivered lines become perfect. Anyway, I never heard from Lori after League of Their Own and Tank Girl. I remember Ice Tea portraying a rat faced guy in Tank Girl, right?

9. The things that were hard for me to get passed as a teenager and remain crazy to me as an old dude are the ones where Utah and the Ex Presidents continue to hang out when they know that they are bank robbers and the undercover guy trying to bust them, respectively. And then when Bodhi throws his gun across the plane and jumps out of the airplane, Utah jumps after him knowing he has no parachute of his own! He just grabs his gun, jumps, and glides over to Bodhi and latches onto him. Now that's really wanting to get your man at any cost. Give that man a promotion!

10. And it ends with the classic move of the cop throwing his badge, in this case into the ocean. We don't know if Bodhi dies from that monster wave he has been waiting his whole life for, we don't know what Utah will do next career wise, and none of that really matters. Just cue that Ratt song that never became that one last hit they would need to pour into their savings when Cobain crushed their careers, and role credits. 

What say you, Seven Readers? Ever seen the movie? Any other insights you have? Any other topics that you think I should bring up in tonight's discussion? Do you like surfing? If so, is it as spiritual of an event as Swayze has so perfectly convinced me, worth robbing banks, killing people for? 

Friday, August 14, 2020

 Went to the zoo today

Monday, August 10, 2020

Random Photo Gallery

 Hey, check out what the Noisewater family has been up to via series of photographs, like in the old days when you went to somebody's house and they pulled out their damn slide projector. Hey, quick side bar (slide bar?) story - I remember as a kid we traveled to Florida and my dad got in contact with a very eccentric man that he used to work with. We were back at his house and he says, "Hey, you want to see my pictures from India when I went to the Sex Temples of Virupaksha?* No one said "no thanks" in time, so he giddily fired up that slide projector and up on the big screen came a series of shots of ancient sculptures engaging in kinky sex in a variety of positions and groupings. I was like 9-years-old. Learning a lot. Anyway, here are my very G Rated Slides. 

* That may not be the name of the sex temples he visited, but he knew the name of it. I just searched on Google, found a link for 7 Sex Temples in India and picked the funniest name.

** I copy and pasted the name of the temple and it changed the font and it made a weird highlighted thing over this section of the post. I tried fixing it and made it worse. Let's look at some pictures, shall we?

On Saturday morning I took Erik with me for a socially distanced yoga class that a friend teaches by the lake. She hits you with a lot of cardio and strength stuff, so you're really banged up when it's over. Plus it's a chance to sort of connect with people, even if you're not talking with them a whole lot. Erik got bored with the iPad, ran out of snacks, got bored of looking at boats, got bored with the three or for poses he attempted, and then at minute 40 of the 60 minute class I decided that he lasted a lot longer than most 3-year-olds would have given the circumstances, so we hopped back on the bike and headed out. 

For being such a good sport at yoga I rewarded him by finding a park with water sprayers. He's the guy with the mask. I would say about 2 out of 10 people at the park had masks on. Erik is a solid dude. Never complains about wearing it. And I think a lot of parents with more than one kid will tell you that when you give a kid some time with just him and a parent, they are so wonderful to be around. He isn't competing for attention with his brother, his mother, or anybody. We were just hanging, and he was a blast to be with. 

On Sunday we didn't feel like going anywhere, so we locked ourselves and the kids in our crummy little urban front yard area with bubbles, baseballs, a bat, a volleyball, a couple of chairs, and a couple of beers. That's Desmond in the picture. He is coming up on 1-year-old and can pull himself up to stand, as you can see. I thought this picture was funny because he looks like an exhibit at a zoo. The "yard" is mostly weeds and dirt, so he was a mess after crawling around there for the better part of an hour.

Mrs. Noisewater is most certainly the artist of the family, but by god if Erik wanted a rocket ship, I was going to draw him one. Notice the Transformers shirt. The kid knows his 1980's Transformers trivia, and it's damn impressive.

This is the whole Noisewater famn damily in our Chicago Blackhawks outfits ready for the big game. I have been so sports starved with everything cancelled that I am going absolutely batty, yes I chose that word on purpose, over my Hawks. They won the game that night and advanced to the next round, probably directly correlated to Desmond's Patrick Kane jersey with the belly flopping out. 

What's new with you, Seven Readers? Go ahead an answer one, two, or all of these: Ever been to the sex temples? Ever endured someone's vacation videos or slides? Got any sports teams you've been supporting? Got any exercise programs you have been trying to stick to?

Friday, August 07, 2020

Electronic Bikes Give Dr. Ken The Need For Speed


Chicago introduced "E Bikes" (Electronic Bikes) into their shared bike system. The regular shared bikes are blue, and there are black electronic ones scattered through out the city. There aren't many of them, but you can search on the app to find where one is nearby. So when I had to go get my car from the shop I found one quite a ways up the road but still on the way to the mechanic. So, I took a regular bike to the other station with the E Bike. And holy crap is it ever fast! I got the need for speed now. I have actually never driven a motorcycle, scooter, vespa or anything, but I think I love this thing. What is cool is that you actually do have to pedal it to make it go faster. But I think I'm bringing a helmet next time because I was getting a little carried away. 

Thursday, August 06, 2020


The wife and I knock back a tall glass of Metamucil every night. It's a nice little ritual. Pour the glasses full of water, scoop out the powder, stir it around, chug it down, usually feels clumpy and gross. But it helps you poop.

Then the other night I was in the next room (think I was blogging with you people) and heard Mrs. Noisewater doing the Metamucil ritual; I could hear the clinking of the spoon against the glass. And she never offered me a cup! A severe breach in Metamucil etiquette if you ask me. But we got it straightened out. We are going to keep each other honest and be the most regular couple you ever met. Like clockwork.
In other news, the wife had a nighttime zoom meeting, and I was in charge of the kiddos. I put Desi, the almost 1-year-old, to bed, but he was crying like crazy. Erik, the almost 4-year-old, was too engrossed in the movie he was watching to remember to get to the toilet to pee. He ran in there and told me that it was too late. He hasn't had an accident like that in months. Must have been a good movie. As the pee is pooling up in a puddle around his bare feet he says, "Crap-a-doodle-doo." That's one of those phrases that I don't really realize I say, but right when you hear it from your kid, you know it's your doing. I was super stressed out at the time with my daddy skills not going well, so hearing that gave me a much needed laugh.

What's up with you, good people? Enjoying any good quarantine nights lately? Had a good laugh you can tell us about?

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

The Mystery Shot

I brought you, my seven readers, into the office with me for a blow-by-blow account of my vasectomy a while back, and did you know that you have to go back in to test out if it worked? COVID-19 hit so I never went in to have the test; just assumed it all went to plan. 

Then I started hearing from friends where people they have known have had something-or-another grow back or fuse back together, or whatever the heck happens, and they ended up with one kid too many. I don't want to sound insensitive to anyone who is trying to have a kid and cannot, but the idea of being responsible for a third child right now sounds like an absolute nightmare, so I made a point to finally book my test to see if there were any baby-makers in my baby batter.

It turns out Mrs. Noisewater needed to go to the same hospital for something around the same time, so we rode our bikes there together. That morning some guy in Chicago tried to evade an arrest at a police station and shot three police officers, one of which was taken to the hospital we were going to, so every intersection within a square mile was swarmed with cops, probably amounting to fifty cops in all - not exaggerating. So it was tough to find a route in, but I was not going to let a tragedy stand in the way of my nut inspection. No way.

The nurse took down my information, handed me a cup, and said that I could go to the bathroom back down on the first floor. In all the movies they provide you with a nice room that is just for wanking, but that just is not the reality anymore. Maybe they just figure that if people got all that information on their phones, then why provide archaic DVD's, VHS's, and sticky magazines? I get that part, but why make me use a bathroom that everyone else needs to do their #1 and #2? Because while I'm in there doing a #3 all that knocking on the door is going to throw off my concentration. I had to rule out anything with sound because how do I look a someone in the eye who needs the bathroom for an emergency when I'm making them wait because in there pleasuring myself standing over the fold-out baby changing station? Don't judge me about the baby changing station. It's where they sent me and that was the best flat surface available to set down my phone and the vial. 

Nothing like this was afforded to me.

I won't go into too much detail (Yes, I will), but when I was eventually able to finish, I don't want to brag, but because of the recommended three days of abstinence, I powered off a blast Peter North would have tipped his hat to. The initial shot missed the cup, but thankfully I was able to dribble the majority of it into the test tube. When I was cleaning up I felt like Ben Stiller in Something About Mary because that first fleet out was nowhere to be found. That's when the knocking started at the door, but I really did want to get everything tidied up good so that some poor baby's head didn't lie his little head of hair directly into my joy juice. I had a backpack with baby wipes on me knowing I would need to do some clean up, but what good was that when I couldn't find some of it? 

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I guess where that sucker landed will just have to be one of those mysteries for the ages. Hey, the fact that an old man like me can still have a Bermuda Triangle sneaky turbo jettison like that is something to hang my hat on. Or something hanging off someone's hat? 

How you doing out there readers? Sorry for the delay in posts, but I'm going to try to make sure I get around 10 posts per month, even if I'm off to a rough start. Been to any doctors lately? Any good indicators that you're not quite as old as you thought you were? Anything else at all you want to share - doesn't have to be gross like what I have told you?

Monday, July 27, 2020

Okay, it's been 5 days since I've posted. I am trying to do about every other day, so I'll have to step up my game.

On Saturday I went out to a bar with friends for the first time since the COVID came. I have been to a couple places with Mrs. Noisewater, but this was the first time with buddies. Wow. I've missed it. 

It was a bit of a project to find a spot where we could watch the Cubs first game on a television at an outdoor patio that would let us make a reservation. We found the spot, but the lady on the phone said there was a 2 hour limit per table. Not to worry, she said all we would have to do is make 3 different reservations with 3 different members of our party. Problem solved! Then with only a few days to go the mayor of Chicago announced that no groups bigger than 6 could sit a table. That's a fair rule, but we just had our 7th person join. Dang it! It ended up all working out because someone had to cancel, but it was all and all way more involved and complicated than getting a beer with friends should have to be. 

There are a lot of funny images like the one above floating around of Mayor Lori Lightfoot popping up to tell people to go home. I like this one because this painting is in the Art Institute of Chicago. "Sunday In the Park In . . ." Nope! Go the F home!!!

Don't worry, the bar had lots of good social distancing protocols, and we followed all of them, putting masks back on when we walk to the bathroom, etc. The Cubs won and a good time was had by all. 

I just miss cracking jokes with friends over a few too many beers and laughing my ass off. I was laughing the entire night. I miss socializing. 

Anyone else losing their minds a little bit? Anyone else have a personality type (the entertainer in my case) that does not lend itself well to quarantining? When I can't make people laugh I go a little nuts, and I'm finding that seeing the "lol" on a text isn't enough. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

I have another one of those quarantine film chats tonight. This one is on Yojimbo, a Kirusawa film. I didn't like it too much. My plan is to stay pretty quiet on this one and bow out early. There is nothing worse than one guy ruining it for everyone by saying, "This movie stinks!" I got a couple jokes cocked an ready to go, and that is about all I'll say. I notice there are a few guys on there who choose their comments very carefully, barely saying a thing. I want to be one of those guys tonight. The problem is that I have a little bit of a buzz going from getting carried away watching the DMX VS Snoop battle a minute ago. Anyone watch those? DMX has a huge beer gut and he can't catch his breath. It's really messed up to participate in a death pool, but if anyone is doing that, he would be a great pick, given that he isn't that old and could kick over any minute. 

Tomorrow I'm going to take the kids out to see my parents. There is a dealership nearby them that I go to, and I have to get my car radio fixed. What happened was somehow my son's bunk bed already arrived and then we got a second one for no reason. Don't ask me why. You would have to ask my wife, but I guess the upshot is that IKEA sucks. So I got these giant long boxes filled with an extra bunk bed to take back to the store, loaded in from the back up through the console. A guy in front of me hit the breaks suddenly, one of the boxes slid forward and smacked into the radio, and now the Sirius Radio function doesn't work. If you know me at all, you know that if I can't hear the Howard Stern show in the car I start to go a little bit psycho. And also Erik Noisewater said, "Can you put on crazy songs?" which means the heavy metal station, so I got to get that shit fixed like yesterday.

Okay, my friends. In the comments feel free to talk about rap battles, death pools, grandparents, Sirius Radio, Howard Stern, IKEA, or heavy metal. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Filling the Void

During Covid if you want to go to the zoo you have to book a time online, social distance, wear masks, and all that good stuff. The time we chose was Saturday around 10AM when it was 106F heat index. We slathered ourselves and the kids in sun screen, drank lots of water, drank a couple beers, ate some ice cream, saw some animals, saw some animatronic dinosaurs, and went back to the car right about the time we were pretty sure we might melt like at the end of Indiana Jones

As we were strapping the kids into their seats and putting the stroller in the trunk I said to my Mrs. Noisewater, "Well, wet did it. Got it done." That is what life is kind of about when you have kids. There is very little, "Holy crap! That was so much fun!" It becomes, "We booked the day to do the zoo. We completed the zoo. I think the kids had fun. It's over. Mission accomplished. We passed the time."

This is a dangerous trend. Pretty soon all you're doing is passing more time, getting through more stuff, and then you're 135-years-old (I eat my vitamins) and you're wondering where all the good times were. I think the trick is having fun with your kids, laughing with them. I was doing armpit farts and watching my 3-year-old laugh tonight, and it was pretty great. That is a free activity where he laughs and I laugh. 

What do you think, readers? You ever get in a rut where you're just filling the time and forget to find the joy in life? 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Speed Date Spectating

Do you guys know Nikki Glaser? She's a comedian I started following because of her appearances on the Howard Stern show. She is an attractive woman who sometimes makes raunchy jokes but seems like a nice person. She opted to quarantine with her parents in St. Louis, and she is doing live speed dating with fans. I clicked on there tonight to check it out, and I was so nervous and uncomfortable. My ass is still sweating, actually. That is super nervous when you get that ass sweat flowing. What is that? I should really be asking a doctor about that or something. And it was weird being nervous because I wasn't even on the dates myself, but maybe it is that much more awkward because it feels like I shouldn't be watching. Like I'm snooping. And it isn't at all like watching a reality show because that is edited. This was live! So weird. Also her parents were in the next room cooking dinner and dad popped in to say hi in between dates. Let's break down the four dates I watched before the butt sweat became too uncomfortable to continue. 

Guy 1: The Philosopher

He took the call from a bathroom, which immediately made me think he was married and hiding out from his wife. Also, he said this was his second date with her because I guess he did another speed date a different night. He really shouldn't have logged on for another one, so that rubbed me the wrong way too. And he was trying to impress her with all this philosophy stuff he was reading, but he didn't seem all that bright. Good looking though. Looked like Jay Cutler, former QB for the Bears. And I hate Jay Cutler. Very aloof like him, like he didn't care, and she said she liked that quality in him. Then when she was trying to wrap up he was clambering for more time, and that just came off as needy. So he's a needy guy trying to act like he doesn't care? 

Guy 2: The Dog Guy

This guy appeared in his back yard showing off his garden with his dog licking his face every few minutes, but I have to say that I liked him. He really listened to her, laughed naturally, and he asked her questions. He would answer a question and then keep turning it back to her. He was a good looking fella, just not nearly as much so as the first guy. He seemed intelligent and nice, works as an engineer in LA. If I have any complaint it would be to get up and move to get away from the dog and the licking, but that's it. Other than that this guy seemed great and all the comments agreed. Did I mention people were commenting during the date? She makes it so she and the date can't see the comments during the date, but she reads a few of them in between dates. 

Guy 3: Tea Guy

This dude was drinking tea, and when she asked what he has been up to, he said drinking tea. Is that a hobby? He was a good looking guy and a little bit effeminate. He works as a manager at a comedy club in NY that she plays at regularly, and he said he already met her, gave her a check for a gig once. She could not remember meeting him, but he said he was shy. She asked about a memory he had, and it was a story about his father chasing down a balloon that his sister dropped, and I really was riding with him for it to be a good story. It just wasn't. He got hit hard in the comments about that too. He seemed nice enough, just phony. 

Guy 4: El Pulpo

Nikki was mentioning that she needed more people of color for her dates, so when this Black guy appeared he said, "I heard you needed a black guy!" Very charming and funny guy, just not a very good-looking guy. He is a lawyer, so he was confident, but he was living with a bunch of roommates, so that was odd. She asked why his Instagram handle had 6-finger in it, and BLAM! He shows that both his hands have six fingers! I went with El Pulpo for this guy's title because that was the nickname of a 12-fingered pitcher on the Chicago Cubs years ago. El Pulpo means the octopus in Spanish. I had to cut this date short because I got tired and my phone was running out of batteries, but he seemed popular in the comments. Just entering the friend zone is all. 

In the comments let me know an answer to any of these questions:
1. Who sounded the best?
2. Who sounded the worst?
3. Why do you think I get a sweaty ass when I'm nervous?
4. Why in the hell did I get nervous watching speed dates that I wasn't on?

Friday, July 10, 2020

I'm a couple Tito Santana and Ginger Bakers deep, but I had to duck out for a second to get a blog posted. I'm trying to stay committed to a post just about every day. I figure it only takes 5 or 10 minutes and then I'm back to enjoying my Friday night. The kids are in bed, so I'm just throwing on some 90's indie rock, sipping this way too strong of a libation, and clickety-clacking out this story I want to tell. It's a quick one.

So I have this friend I haven't seen in years, but he used to tell this story when we were drinking beers around a fire in his backyard about a little league baseball coach he had as a kid. It seems this coach was often irritable and quirky, prone to sweating profusely and rambling incoherently. One thing the team of youngsters got talking about one sunny afternoon was how all of the t-shirts he wore had 3 holes all in the exact same places. Each practice and game he would arrive in a different shirt with those same three holes. What could possibly be the explanation for something like that?

I don't remember exactly how my friend came upon this information, but evidently this coach was multi-tasking one day doing his laundry and cooking crack cocaine and dropped his piping hot rocks directly into a pile of his freshly folded shirts, burning a hole all the way to the bottom. 

So be careful out there folks. And maybe don't combine cooking illicit drugs and doing laundry. And maybe don't do crack and coach little league. That's another bad combination. 

As for the comments, I have no idea what anyone can say to this. How about just tell me what you're up to this weekend

Thursday, July 09, 2020

I'm trying to post most every day on here, and since I have no topic in mind for today, here are answers to some random questions.

1. How long do you think you would survive in a zombie apocalypse?

Not long. 

My strengths are that I am loyal, have good cardio, and can go a while without eating. 

Here come the weaknesses: 

Not all that bright
Not very handy
Not terribly creative
Clam up during conflict
Poor sense of direction

I would give myself a couple of weeks. Unless wise cracking funny guys are suddenly a hot commodity for the comedic relief. 

2. If you got in a fist fight at a bar, what song would you want on the jukebox?

I think some really aggressive heavy metal would help me out. One time I was really drunk and at a party at my old apartment with my wife before we were married. I put on "Cowboys From Hell" by Pantera, as if anyone else there wanted to hear that song. I reared back as the intro was winding up, gearing up for when the heavy part kicks in and unleashed a monster start to head banging - right into my wife's head. My head is like three times the size of hers. She was in massive pain, and I felt nothing, except shame and embarrassment. 

I guess my point is that heavy music like that can fire me up and perhaps make up a little bit for my lack of fighting skill or experience. And apparently my massive head can become a weapon. 

3. What's the nicest compliment you've ever received? 

I remember when a girl broke up with me years ago a good friend of mine could tell I was feeling down. Instead of saying "there's other fish in the sea," "It's her loss," "better to have loved and lost . . ." He just said this: "You're Kenneth Noisewater." Yeah, damn it. I am Kenneth Noisewater. I guess it's weird to say that the best compliment I ever got was someone reminding me what my name was, but there was something about the way he said it that was a reminder that I am important, a good dude, and the right girl would see that. 

4. How did you meet most of your friends?

I had a female roommate in Chicago who was very much into Boston sports. She would go to these watch parties at bars all of the time, and I would tag along because I liked drinking, socializing, and I didn't like staying home. A lot of times when people ask how I know so-and-so, I find myself saying that it is from watching Boston sports with them, even if I don't support the Boston teams. The female roommate has since moved to Connecticut, but some of the friends I have met through her remain some of my closest friends. Who says drinking buddies aren't for life?

5. Would you rather be the world's worst NBA player or the world's best cricket player?

I'm only answering this one because it is such a stupid question with such an obvious answer. I would be the world's best cricket player. Sure, I would have to move my family to another country, but I would be the best in the world at something. Sure, an NBA basketball player might pay a little more and be a little more glamorous and cool, but if I was the worst in the league then I would likely get cut and be out of a job. Cricket it is. Just as soon as I learn the rules. 

6. Would you rather spend a year in jail or a year being homeless.

This is the best question that I came across. I'll take homeless. The advantages of jail would be knowing where you can sleep every night and 3 square meals. But if I'm homeless at least I have my freedom. And a decreased chance of rape. That's also kind of a big deal to me. The first thing I would do as a homeless man would be is to save up for bus fair to go somewhere that is warm all year round. I really don't understand the homeless guys in Chicago, sleeping outside in the freezing cold. I'll never forget a homeless guy in Denver, where it is always sunny, with a big smile on his face who said hello to me. I was trying to look away, dreading what kind of pitch was coming next. Nope. He just wanted to say hello. And he was so happy. Great tan, shirt off, just saying hello to people. So, I'll take homeless. Also, I wouldn't have to have a criminal record when the year was up like I would with the jail sentence. I would just have to learn to like eating garbage. Or I would have to move out into the forest and learn to learn wilderness survival and . . . Nah. That would take us back to question 1.

Okay, friends. Pick one of these 6 questions and give an answer in the comments. I would love to hear your perspective. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Neighbors On Wheels

I try to get the kids outside every day during this COVID stuff, and since parks are off limits, this usually means a long walk pushing the baby and Erik scooting. Sometimes we will go over to the train station where Erik can fly down the ramp on the scooter and slam on the breaks before smashing into the wall. Always a harrowing adventure. Sometimes we just go around the neighborhood, and every once in a while I will come home with a six pack of beer, or "yuck juice" as Erik calls it, from a local brewery. 

We have a neighbor around the corner who has giant action figures of the Cybertron native Transformers Optimus Prime and Megatron, leaders of the Autobots and Decepticons, respectively, proudly displayed in his window. Young Erik as an absolute Transformers freak so he just about lost his mind when he saw his heroes living a couple buildings down. Now no matter where we were headed, he has to first greet his favorite robots in disguise. Then one day the guy who lives there heard the commotion of my son spouting off Transformers information in his one volume level he likes to use, 11, and the dude who lives there slid his window open and said hello.

They got big pew-pews. I try not to let Erik say gun much, so we say that. 

It turns out Transformers Stan, as we have come to call him, writes and draws comic books for a living right there in his basement. Now he regularly gladly stops for a break from writing to chat us up when he hears us going by. I cannot say I have ever known a comic book writer, and the fact that he is a fan of Transformers and wants to write books about them is that much cooler. Erik has gotten me way back into the world of Transformers, and I think that is kind of common when you have kids. I remember my sister started to get more into collecting Thomas the Train than her kids, but I think it is even cooler when it is something you liked as a kid. I recently spent way too much on a Transformers coffee mug, and it's the first one out of the wash and into the Kuerig every time. 

Tell me that ain't the bee's knockers.
Tell met that ain't the bee's knockers. 

As hard as it can be to make new adult friends, I think it would be cool to hang out with Transformers Stan when this whole Covid thing is all done and check out the comics he is working on. Erik is convinced that he will be able to get over to Stan's and play with all his toys, but I tried to explain to him that adults just like to collect toys and display them, not play with them. That is really hard to understand when you're a kid. 

We got a lady in the neighborhood who walks a dog with no hind legs, and she pulls the dog with some wagon wheels attached to the dog somehow. One day I made a joke out of earshot of the woman (and the dog) and said, "Look, Erik! A Transformers dog." I for sure blew it because now he goes nuts and calls him Transformer Dog loud enough for the woman to hear every single time he sees the dang dog. I really should apologize to the woman, and perhaps Dogimus Prime, next time he does that. 

We also got this next door neighbor who shoots off awesome illegal fireworks in the alley every 4th of July, usually dangerously close to the power lines. We always watch from our balcony and cheer him on. This time he stopped the show and let us know that the show was moving to the front because some woman came by asking him to stop because it was spooking her rescue dog. I don't know if said woman was the owner of Dogimus or not. At the time I was mad about someone taking the time to walk all the way over to complain on her dog's behalf about something you expect to hear every 4th of July , but in retrospect I guess you don't want some shell-shocked dog rolling around the apartment bonking into everything. The thrill of those fireworks perhaps hitting cars, the power lines, or even us is fun and all, but we got to think of Dogimus Prime and his post traumatic stress disorder from that explosion in whatever dog war for Cybertron he was fighting at the time. Support your veterans.

If you're taking the time to comment, how about what you did on the 4th of July if you celebrate it, a story about an interesting neighbor, stuff you liked as a kid that you are still into, or anything at all that you want to talk about and I'll be sure to respond.