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. 

Monday, July 06, 2020

1. I remember when my dad and I took my nephews to see the movie Avatar my dad said that he had read a short story very similar to the story entitled Call Me Joe. I looked it up when I got home, and sure enough the novellete by Poul Anderson, published in 1957, told the story of a disabled man controlling a remote being on the planet Jupiter. Evidently there was no lawsuit filed for copyright infringement, but James Cameron did rip off other sources for the story of Terminator and had to award a settlement. 

Just the other day I was with my dad and just asked him out of the blue how in the hell he remembered reading that story and connected it to Avatar when he only read Call Me Joe once around fifty years ago. He can just do that. He is always telling me stories from way back in time with an insane memory for detail.

2. I'm watching a six part documentary called I'll Be Gone In the Dark on HBO about a woman trying to solve the case of a murderer/rapist in the Bay Area from the 1980's who raped fifty people, killed 10, and was never caught. She was actually married to comedian Patton Oswalt, so he is in the film too. The details of these home invasions are so vivid, descriptive, and terrifying that I actually paused it to check that all of the doors were locked. 

3. Every day is pretty much the same in terms of the three things I try to get done: Work on my continuing education program online, work out, and write a blog. Today I completed 2 out of 3. The work out didn't really happen unless you count the shared bike ride/walk home from the mechanic and then again to go pick up the car when it was done. Also I spent over $400 on the car and made $0, so that's not a good pattern for the summer. 

Hope everyone is doing super. Drop me a comment about something you're doing to stay productive, a show you're watching, or a new thing you're doing during quarantine. 

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Film Discussion On Zoom Chat

My friend is a director out in Hollywood, does mostly television work but some good shows like "The Walking Dead. He invited me to sit in on a quarantine film discussion group, despite the fact that most everyone in the group is working in the film industry in some capacity. He has had these sessions weekly since this whole Covid thing started, but it's 10PM my time. My kids get my ass up at like 5:30 or 6:00AM every day. A few weeks ago they were doing a Mad Max movie, and while I had every intention of coming through, I just got tired as hell. But this week it was Lost Boys, so I willed myself
to man up and stay up for it.

He introduced me as his oldest friend, since we have been friends since we were 5-years-old, and he said that there is no one he has watched more movies with. I thought that was so nice of him. I tried not to talk a whole lot, just get my comment or joke in really quick and get out. One thing I had to make known is that there is a pretty boy vampire with the long dark hair in the movie, actor Billy Wirth, who I remember seeing on "American Gladiator" and he was one hell of an athlete, punking out the Gladiators and pissing them off. Here is a clip of him competing in the Powerball event, juking Nitro, escaping his tackle, and bouncing a ball off of his head before getting another. Don't do them like that, Billy!!! 

My friend said to everyone, "And this is why I invited Ken. He remembers stuff like this." It's true. Master of useless knowledge. Remembering where my car keys are at? Not so good. Fixing stuff around the house? Forget it. Why did I walk into the kitchen? Man, I couldn't tell you. But that long haired vampire really got into the Gladiators head that day, and I remember distinctly watching it in my bedroom with one of those old TV's where you turned the knob and if you didn't click it carefully, it woke your whole family up. 

I will tell you that it was really cool to get the perspective of so many film people about a movie like "Lost Boys," because you event if it's a goofy movie, it is fun to dissect it with their expert knowledge. Some points were why didn't they explore the female character more? What was her intentions all along? Why was Feldman so terrible in it while we all agree the other Cory was pretty great? It was said that he was almost fired from the film for doing too much coke, and another guy had a theory that he was trying to do a bad Rambo impression. Then guys noticed that they used a shot of them flying into their cave and then just used the same shot in reverse later. Which was a cheap move because if it's from their perspective, were they flying backwards? Cool stuff to delve deep into, actually. So I'll try to do the "homework" and watch all the films and show up for the talks. Not just when it's something in my wheelhouse. What else do I have to do?

Okay, guys. I have no idea what you may contribute in these comments because I have provided you extremely random and perhaps not even interesting information here. Do you have weekly Zoom chats that are interesting? Are you good with random knowledge too? Anyone a vampire? You can share any of that in the comments.