Sunday, December 29, 2013

Smartie Sicko

Back from another Christmas in the Lou.  We had a few more days this year, but for some reason this Christmas seemed busier than ever.   Sam was still kinda sick all week and not sleeping well, which means that none of us slept well.   It feels good to be home, although at the moment Sam is wailing in his room and just having a hard time of it. 

He seemed to make a bit of a cognitive leap this week -- he's getting his colors right, and he's saying more words, and getting people's name right.  I think that being around a lot of people, getting near-constant attention and stimulation, was good for him. 

Went to a gathering at Eric E's house on Friday, and got to see The Drew, which was nice.  I kinda wish that the 3 of us had been able to sneak off somewheres, but alas, no such luck.  If only I had been able to say longer; it seems I had to leave right when the sitting-and-talking portion of the evening was beginning. 

Hmm.  I feel like I had more to write when I sat down.  Should I try and have more dinner? 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry (barf!) Christmas!

Perhaps I am doomed to never arrive in St. Louis before Christmas eve.  The fam and I are scheduled to fly out tomorrow morning, but last night Sam decided to start puking at around midnight, and the jury's still out as to whether he has stopped yet.  He's asleep now, and he hasn't woken up to puke, which is a good sign, but not definitive.  We're waiting to see if he can go 4 hours without yakking, and then we'll consider him in the clear.   Let me just say that his barf smelled terrible last night.  Ugh.  YOU OWE ME, SON.  AND YOU OWE YOUR MOTHER MORE. 

Not how I expected to spend my night (or day today) when I got off work yesterday.  Work ended on a high note, with a very productive meeting with our theatre consultant who was in town from N. Carolina.  Got some questions ironed out amongst our contractor and our performance lighting subcontractor, and the theatre consultant (who designed the system).  I was definitely the dumbest guy in the room, but nobody seems to mind too much.  So that's good.   Also, I found out that a lighting console is included in the contract, which is good because I was figuring that it wasn't and that we would have to dig up another 10 grand somewhere. 

What else?  Gonna be a weird Christmas, but I'm looking forward to it.  I hope the little guy is feeling better when he wakes up so we can get away on time rather than trying to deal with the headache of trying to switch our flight at the last minute, 3 days before Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


An example of what I really like about my job:  this week, I've been working on fixing a set, loading/unloading and assembling said set on a high school tour, playing Horatio in the show that's touring, brokering a deal on the alarm system for the new building, and figuring out A/V needs for the new building.  It's quite a mixed bag, and I can do a lot of it (but not all of it, which is good cause I need a little bit of provided structure) on my own schedule, I can do some of it by myself and some of it with others, some of it during the day and some of it at night.  Pretty much the exact opposite of standing in the same spot all day doing the same thing day after day while encountering the same fairly annoying people.  Lovin' it!

My favorite thing in the world to do right now is to crank up Arcade Fire's song, "Afterlife," on the stereo, pick up Sam and dance with him in the living room.  He will get a big smile on his face when the song come on, run to me with his arms out and then put his head down on my shoulder while I hug him and we bounce and sway and swoop.  It's pretty great.  I love that he likes music.  I like that he can be fussy in the car and then I put on The National's cd and he pretty much instantly calms down and just sits and quietly entertains himself (except for in-between songs when he puts up a little bit if a fuss until the next song starts). 

A few years ago, Jeannie and I made a deal that we would never watch Law and Order on Netflix, because that seemed like the lowest point of lazy TV watching, and L&O is just the type of "this-isn't-really-that-good-but-it's-here-and-I-want-to-avoid-doing-other-things" television that Jerns and I were trying to avoid by not having a TV.  But the other night we were both pretty tired and we were looking through Netflix for something to watch, and we didn't want to try something new, and we didn't want to invest the time in a movie, so we ended up watching L&O.  And damn if it wasn't awesome, and damn if it didn't make me feel like it was 2002 again, and that I was 25 again, and now I see that Law and Order is perfect for an hour of TV just before bed.  You can give it 15% of your attention and it will completely clear your mind and turn you into a blank slate that is entirely ready for a restful night's sleep.  Plus, I also get to repeatedly do my Sam Watertson impersonation, and that's one of my favorites. 

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Whizzdom Teef

The Jeanners had her wisdom teeth taken out today.  She was doing ok for most of the day but then puked a bit as I was getting Sam ready for bed.  I think it was a particular medication that caused the puking, so I think I'm going to not give her that medication anymore.  But the pain meds that the dentist gave her seem to stay down OK, so I'll keep up with those.

Anyway, I stayed home from rehearsal tonight to look after J, and she's snoozing now so I've got an unexpected free evening in front of me.  Feeling a little bored, but also pretty tired because it was a pretty busy day -- looking after Sam, making sure Jeannie was ok, and fielding a bunch of work e-mails and appointments and such.  So I'm thinking it will be an early night.

Tomorrow, depending on the health of Jerns, I will try to head to work for a meeting in the early afternoon and I will spend a good chunk of the day working on a Hamlet set at home.  Sammyboy is at the sitter's for the day, which should make it a bit of an easier day.  Hopefully Jeannie is able to keep food down and keep pain meds down and isn't too bruised and swollen.

By the way, having something done to my wisdom teeth is like my scariest nightmare ever.

Fuck.  That.  Shit.

(pardon my language)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

No. Carolina

The family and I got back from North Carolina this evening, where we were visiting Jeannie's brother and meeting his fiancee.  Jeannie's other brother came up from Florida and her dad drove out from St. Louis as well.  So we hung out there for a couple of days, and had a fairly relaxing Thanksgiving, and Sam did surprisingly well in the car, especially today.  Today he slept for the first 2.5 hours of the drive and then just kinda hung out and listened to the music and looked at books and played quietly with toys in his car seat.  Very little fussing.  It was awesome.  Very thankful for that. 

What else?  Jeanners is gettin' her wisdom teeth out on Tuesday, which I am anticipating to be sucky for her, but I will try to keep her entertained as best I can. 

Had a nice little visit with the Beej on Tuesday night before we left.  Always good to see the Beej, and things seem to be rolling along pleasantly for him.  Wonder where he will end up? 

The time between now and Christmas should be very busy, work-wise.  Good busy, though, hopefully.  And the first holiday season of no-retail.  Huzzah!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Loofah / China

Earlier in November I decided to buy Jeannie a loofah, because the loofah that she's been using has been falling apart.  So I went to target and couldn't find what I was looking for, and I looked at Bed Bath and Beyond but I couldn't find it there, either, so I said screw it and came home and ordered it on Amazon.  It was like 5 bucks and I thought it was weird that it said shipping would take 3-4 weeks, but whatever.  I figured it was just Amazon over-estimating how long it would take.  Well, 3 weeks later I thought it was weird that the loofah had not arrived yet, so I tracked the order and it said that the thing was somewhere in China.  And then it arrived yesterday, and sure enough, it was packaged up and shipped by some guy (or gal) somewhere in somewheresville, China.  My five dollar loofah.  I have a picture of a little Chinese boy hurriedly riding a bicycle miles and miles across some Chinese province and handing it off to some Mongolian horsemen, who take it north and sneak it to some Russian border guards, etc., etc., etc. 

Thanks for the loofah, everybody!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


My back/neck's been hurting for the last week or so, due either to poor leaf-raking technique or a monster-sized toddler who wants to be lugged around all the time by his pappy. 

I have come to the conclusion that I sometimes over-hyphenate, but that I don't mind and that I want it to be part of my personal style.  If it bothers you, I apologize. 

Yesterday we had a staff retreat at work, and we got a friend of ours to let us use a conference room at her large, international company's office building.  A building which was large and happened to be right on the harbor and had a great view of Baltimore.  And I was not expecting much from the retreat, because it was sorta last-minute and it seemed like only one person in the office really wanted to do it.  But I enjoyed it, because my boss did what I think was a really good job leading it, and it was productive and not a complete waste of time.  Plus, free lunch and stuff. 

You know, if there's one thing I hate, it's having work done on the car. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Last night Jerns and I went contra dancing for our anniversary.  Contra dancing is like square dancing, but instead of being performed by the Amish and hillbillies wearing overalls and straw hats, it is performed by aging hippies wearing skirts and sweaty headbands.  It was kinda fun, but I prefer my dancing to be monogamous, intimate, and sexy rather than communal and happy.  It was sort of like having to make small talk with a lot of different people, set to string band music.  But anyway, it's been on our list of things to do, and now it's done, and I don't know that we'll be going back anytime soon.  It left me dizzy and with a headache.  And I don't think it's something that's worth getting a babysitter for.  But it was good to get out and do something different. 

What else?  Work is keeping us busy, Sam is talking a lot and trying to say whatever Jeans and I say, and also starting to imitate us while we sweep the floor or rake leaves. 

We will be heading down to Jeannie's brother's house in one of the Carolinas -- I forget which one [Carolina, not brother] -- for Thanksgiving.  Also trying to see if we can get Jeannie's dad to fly down there, too.  Might be a bit of a weird holiday season this year....

Saturday, November 02, 2013


Dracoola has ended, which is good.  Ready to be done with it.  Ready to have evenings mostly free, ready to not worry about the weather forecast, ready to not be screwing around with fishing line and fake bats made out of wood and felt.  The show, though, was a success, and mostly a lot of fun to work on, and a great way to start my job at ChesShakes. 

Jeanners and I had a good day of being outside today, she working on getting the garden cleaned up and me mowing the lawn and being on Sam duty.  It was a pretty day and a good day to watch afternoon light spill through the autumn leaves on the trees.  Sam got his first haircut yesterday, so he looks like a tidy, cute little boy instead of a cute, wild-haired, androgynous hippie child.  Mixed feelings about that, but he's pretty danged cute even without the curls.

Next week should be a busy week at work.  Lots of meetings about building-related things that I've been putting off.

It's been a little over 3 weeks since I've had any booze.  Hasn't been too bad.  I don't think I was ever really physically addicted to alcohol, but I was definitely in the habit of having a drink or 2 every night.  It's been fairly easy to substitute lemonade for my nightly drink and Sprite for when I'm out at social events.  Definitely nowhere near as bad as quitting smoking. 

The other day the writer of the Wazoo Farm blog left a comment on my last post.  It's weird, because I've never met her (she could probably best be described as a friend of a friend of a friend), but we apparently read each others' blogs with at least semi-regularity.  So I feel like I know her.  But I also feel like I don't know her.  Sort of in the way that you feel like you both know and don't know celebrities.  So when she left a comment on my blog it was kind of like having a celebrity leave a comment on my blog and made me feel special and a little famous.  Thanks, Kimberly!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nap Time is Not Going Well

Sam said he wanted to take a nap, even though he hadn't eaten lunch yet, so I put him into bed, and then just as I was putting him into bed he changed his mind and decided he didn't want to be in bed, so he's been laying in there moaning to himself for the last half hour or so, and then I went in to ask him if he wanted lunch, and he said no, and I asked him if he wanted to take a nap, and he said no, which made me realize that he just wanted to get out of bed and play, which is NOT an option, so I just put him down into bed and he started crying a little bit but has just now within the last few minutes stopped crying and, I think, fallen asleep. 

So he'll have lunch when he wakes up. 

Also, I have been scheduling a meeting between architects (who said that they would attend the meeting as long as I provided candy) and a guy in the Mayor's office (who has a very weird name which I will not reproduce here) (but his first and last name together rhyme with "Hollywood").  It can be tricky scheduling meetings amongst multiple parties via e-mail.  Still better than working at the Nobes, though. 

Speaking of the Nobes, I had a dream last night that they needed somebody to cover a shift there so they asked me if I could come back and work it, and I did and it sucked. 

What should I have for lunch? Breakfast, really, cause I haven't eaten anything yet today. 

Went to the Y and worked out, though. 

Monday, October 14, 2013


Well, I have officially retired my trusty Motorola Razr in favor of a phone that can text message and surf the internets.  It is both exciting and sad.  I do like that flashlight app, though. 

Had a shitty weekend of Dracoola.  Rained out on Thursday and Friday, then on Saturday I was the senior company member at the show, and thus in charge of making the call as to whether we cancel or go on, with a close to capacity crowd, and it decided to rain off-and-on again all night.  And rain just hard enough to NOT cancel the show.  So we got a complete show in, but everybody got wet and uncomfortable as hell.  And we might have ruined some borrowed furniture.  But the audience loved it and we made good money on the show, so we can afford to buy the ruined furniture and buy everybody in the cast a drink so that they don't get too crabby, so I guess everything works out in the end. 

I'm still loving the job.  I feel like I have been dead for the last 10 years and somebody just came and woke me up and now I get to be alive again.  It's really quite wonderful.  The only thing the job is missing is a nerf basketball in the office. 

Oh, and since I'm feeling generally better about life and my hangovers seem to last for about 3 days now, I think I'm going to try and not drink all the time.  Yay, me!

Sunday, October 06, 2013


Opening weekend for Dracula is over.  It went pretty well.  I'll still have to do some work at future shows, but now that the show is open I'll be focusing most of my attention at work on new building shit.  Getting the phone/network systems designed and some incoming phone line issues straightened out and starting work on maybe trying to get the address changed.  Things I'm not really looking forward to, but things that need to get done.  I think I'd much rather be building a coffin outside on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. 

It will be nice tomorrow to spend an evening at home, a luxury that hasn't happened in awhile.  My vow is to not waste it watching any TV shows (although maybe I'll waste an evening later this week doing exactly that).  Haven't had much quality time with the J-Dog lately, although we've found that we both enjoy me being away some evenings.  That way she gets some time to herself, and I'm not sitting around waiting for her to get home from work only to find that she has to spend the evening working at home.  And it makes us miss each other a little bit, and I have a theory that since we (Jeannie + I) spent a good part of the beginning of our relationship missing each other that it's something that we need to have in our lives in order to feel like things are normal. 

Going to see Junip at the Ottobar on Wednesday with Abby and a friend of hers.  Looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Parenting fail.

The lil' dude fell down our concrete front steps this morning as we were heading out the door to the baby sitter.  He only fell about 3 steps, and it wasn't a very percussive fall, but he's scraped up his face fairly decently.  So I feel pretty bad about that.  Basically, I was trying to carry too much shit and didn't get a good grab of his hand as we started to go down the steps.

Other than that, it's been a pretty decent day, and I actually found some time to come home between work and rehearsal, which is good because I think i'll be at rehearsal a bunch in the coming week.

I really really like the job, though.  I hope it doesn't start sucking too quickly.  I remember a day when I used to like working at the Noble...

Monday, September 23, 2013


It is a little after 5 and I am in the office, not working but catching up on computer shit.  Actually, I am working a little bit because I was tallying receipts and whatnot.  But also doing online definite not-work shit. 

Today was a pretty good day.  A gorgeous, cool, sunny day that I got to spend outside leisurely painting set pieces and listening to music.  Rehearsal tonight.

Tomorrow I am off and spending the day with Sammers.  Not sure what all we will do, but I think we'll hit the YMCA and I'll work out while he plays with trucks.  Then maybe we'll go for a walk somewhere in the afternoon. 

Not too much else going on.  Jeanners and I have been watching the final episodes of Breaking Bad and we are mostly caught up.  Looking forward to watching last night's episode at some point. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

bom chicka wah wah

Found out today that two of the companies that licensed my songs are porn companies.  One of the other ones is a European wristwatch company that used a song in a commercial video on their website.  The last one might be EuroDisney.   It might not. 

Other than that, life has been very busy.  Busy good. 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Working Late Again (from "The Christmas Box")

First week of work is over, and I enjoyed it very much.  I put in a lot of hours and I wasn't home very much, but it feels good to be working on creative endeavors with people that I like, and also to have a decent amount of control over my own time.  It looks like I'll be splitting my time between a little bit of office work, working at the site of our fall show, working at our storage units, and working at the new building.  And as the new building progresses, I'll be spending more and more time there, especially when we're not working on a show.  Although once the new building is complete, we'll pretty much be working on a show all the time.  Here's what the new place was looking like yesterday afternoon:


Sam spent 3 days with babysitters this week - one day at the home of what will be his regular daycare person on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and two days with a different babysitter at our house.  He did much better on the days when he was at home, it seems.  But I'm sure he will get more used to it, and I think it will be good for him to spend some time with other kids at daycare, although I'm thankful that we only need to use it 2 days a week, both for financial reasons and also because I want Jeannie and I to be able to spend some time with our kid and not be working all the time.  I don't think that would be particularly healthy for us.  

Speaking of healthy, life has felt much more balanced this week than it had all summer.  I think that when Jeannie and I both get to spend some work time and some home time, things work better.  I enjoyed being at home with Sam, but I would spend all day at home waiting for Jeannie to get home so we could spend some time together, then she would get home and need to spend her evenings working, and it just felt very hard for everyone to get what they needed.  So anyway, I hope things continue to feel balanced.  

What else?  I got the new resonator guitar on Wednesday and finally got a chance to get it set up the way I want last night.  I had to do a little bit of work on it (I had read online about someone else doing similar work on this guitar, which is what gave me the idea to do so), but now I've got it up and running, and I really like the sound of it.  And I enjoy having a guitar that I can just keep in open tuning and grab when I need to.  

Jeannie and Sam are back from their run.  That's all!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

To the Loom

Today is my first official day working for ChesShakes, although I am not actually working.  I mean, I did do a little bit of work, but it's not like I had to go into work or anything.  That won't happen until Tuesday.  But, according to my job description, I started today.  Yay me!

Today Jerns took Sam to some sort of cookout or picnic in Frederick, MD, so I had a 4-hour chunk of the afternoon to myself.  Pretty wonderful.  Started with a big nap and then worked on sanding some door jambs.  Hopefully we'll get some trim up and have our dining room (and maybe living room?) painted within the next 2 weeks or so.

Yesterday we had our annual ChesShakes company member retreat, and it was a good time.  Jeannie's brother was visiting us from Florida for the day, so Jeannie and Sam stayed home and I was by myself at the retreat.  Which was fine.  I didn't drink too much and I didn't say anything too stupid, which is what I usually worry about at places like that, so I will count the day as a success.

I decided last week what to do with some of the unexpected royalty money that I made -- I bought myself a resonator guitar.  Which is something I've been wanting to do for many many years, and I saw that they had some cheap (but still decent-looking) ones on Amazon that got some good reviews.  So I did it.  It should be arriving in a day or two, and I'm very excited to be able to have one guitar here that is in standard tuning and then keep the resonator in an open tuning.

Not too much else to report.  Tomorrow I'll be spending the day with Sam, and then on Tuesday he'll be heading to a babysitter, which will be a new experience for him.  I think he's ready.  The boy needs to spend some time around some other kids and learn how to share.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Fun surprise:

About 10 months ago, there was an option through Soundcloud (a website where I have uploaded some of my songs to share with random people) to license the songs through Getty (which is the company that licenses pictures and stuff for public use.  They do music, too.)

So I licensed the songs, which consisted of clicking a mouse a few times and sending off a tax form to Getty.  Pretty much on a lark.  It doesn't cost me anything but a stamp, so why not? 

Then I promptly forgot about it.  Completely forgot that I ever did it. 

Then on Friday I got an e-mail from Getty that said I should update my contact information and view any royalty reports that I might have, and I was like, "Oh yeah, I remember doing that.  Let me go to that site and see what it looks like."  And I went to the site and the first report that I looked at said what most reports of that nature that I've looked at say:  "No data for the specified time period."  But then the second report said that I've got royalties of $228 coming my way.  So I looked a little more in depth, and it seems that since February, 4 of my songs have been licensed (2 in the USA, 2 in France) to the tune of 650 bucks, and my 35% cut is $228.  So now I have made exactly $228 more than I ever thought I would off of those recordings.  And now I want to license everything I've ever done, cause who knows? 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Trouble Will Find Me

The Jeanners is up at the YMCA for a late-night gym session.  i was supposed to go outside and sand some trim tonight, but she convinced me not to.  Instead I have spent my evening reading old blog posts from 2009.  2009 was a good year for us, I think.  It was the year we bought the house and we got off our asses and started to move things forward a little bit.   Although if I knew then that the house still wouldn't be done in good ol' 2013 I probably would have shot myself in the head.

My blog posts were funnier in 2009, I think.  I think I'm getting progressively less funny with each passing year.  I think the "with each passing year" in that last sentence was redundant.  "Progressively" pretty much covers it.

I've been thinking about my life lately and how different it is now than how it used to be.  The main difference, I think, being having a kid.  I remember days when I used to not have anything to do.  And really, my days are still kind of like that except that there's a kid here who gets pissed if I look at the internet all day.  Oh, and he would also probably get sick and die because I wouldn't be feeding him and de-pooping him if I was looking at the Internet all day.  But anyway, he demands attention.   Much like every kid, I suppose.  And he's cute and funny and fun.  But some days I wish I could sit and write an e-mail without someone banging on the number pad.

Got an e-mail about a production  meeting for 'Dracula' next week.  I'm really looking forward to working on that show.  Outdoor, autumn, good people.  And getting paid!  All good things in my book.

I continue to binge on this album by The National.  It doesn't help that I've discovered that it's a good album to run and/or workout to.  Now I listen to it exercising, in the car, and at night.  Which is pretty much the major times of day that I listen to music.  During the day Sam and I listen to the mix of music that he likes, which consists of Iron & Wine, The Samples, Mavis Staples, The Band, Josh Rouse, Lord Huron, Daft Punk, U2, and Bonnie Raitt.

I miss my friends!  For awhile now it's felt kinda like Jeannie and I have been living in a vacuum.  Is everybody OK out there?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Vole in the Hole

What's been going on?

I'm down to 2 weeks left of no-job.  I am both ready to go back to work and not ready to go back to work.

I had a birthday somewhere in there.  I'm now 36.  Jeannie got me candy for my birthday, which was awesome, and some of the ugliest coasters you've ever seen, which was less-than awesome.  And a big ol', double-burner, cast-iron griddle, which was way awesome.  Now I can cook up mass quantities of bacon and/or eggs.  I can also make 2 (maybe even 3!) pancakes at once.

"Vole in the Hole" is going to be the title of my autobiography (if it's not already taken).  It came to me today, as Jeannie and Sam and I were on a lovely nature walk, and we saw a hole in the ground, and I postulated that there might, perhaps, be a vole in the hole.

I just looked up 'postulate.'  Turns out it's not quite the word I was looking for.  What's a better word?  Hypothesized?  Posited?

Anyway, the nature walk was lovely, somewhere we'd never been before, and it culminated in what was described in the description of the hike as an "idyllic pool and rock formation."  I think it was a pretty good description.  The pool was pretty cool, and perhaps made more idyllic by the fact that it was kind of an overcast day and we were the only ones there.  Probably less than idyllic when there are a handful of teenagers around pooping on everything good.  Or whatever it is that the teenagers do these days.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Young Congregation

My parents were here visiting over the weekend.  It went OK, although the visit was probably about a day too long and we had to struggle a little bit to find something to keep my mom occupied.  Keeping her occupied keeps her from continually suggesting that we work on our house.  In addition to that suggestion, she also suggested we:

1.  Send our child to a Catholic grade school that she knows nothing about. 
2.  Put a stick on our curtains so they're easier to close.
3.  Put our vincas in the sun, where they would thrive. 

But, aside from those suggestions getting a little annoying, it wasn't too bad.  Coulda been a lot worse.  And the visit was otherwise enjoyable.  It was fun watching my Mom and Dad play with Sam, and also fun that we were able to get a semi-major job scratched off our house-list with the help of my Mom and Dad. 

But they left this morning, and Jeannie and I are looking forward to life getting back to normal.  We had a meeting this morning with a woman who will probably be watching Sam for a couple of days a week when I go back to work in September.  We both liked her, and she's in the neighborhood, and relatively inexpensive, and Sam immediately started playing in her house and didn't really want to leave, so we'll probably end up using her.  It feels good to have a solution for that particular problem. 

Ok, gotta go.  Gotta take a car to the shop for a recall of the passenger airbag and other minor repairs. 

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Big Brass Lamp Kinda Girl

What life looks like right now:

Sitting in this room drinking a G&T, listening to The National's latest album (Trouble Will Find Me) while the Jeanners works in the back bedroom and Sam sleeps the night away.  

Also:  I have rediscovered my love of hand-held electronic bathroom Yahtzee.  Although now I don't do any reading at all.  

Monday, August 05, 2013

Bubble Cocks

I must write fast because I must go clean up toys and books and pine cones out of the living room while J-Dog puts the Samsonite to bed. 

Over the weekend we went on a 24-hour vacation to stunning and tropical Frederick, MD.  We spent Friday night at a suite at the Courtyard by Marriott and ate Mexican food at a perfect Mexican restaurant and listened to Sam as he tried to go to sleep in an unfamiliar place.  He had a little trouble.  But once he fell asleep he slept through the night and Jeannie and I had a chance to watch "Orange is the New Black" and eat Newman's Own brand microwave popcorn.  Then on Saturday we hiked on Sugarloaf Mountain.  The highlight (for me) was singing a 45 minute long version of "Old McDonald" in the rain while we hiked down the mountain and pretended we were in the south of France. 

Speaking of "OitNB", J-Dog and I were in bed the other night and were almost asleep, and we were talking about "OitNB" and whether it was a book before it was a TV show, and who wrote it, and blah, blah, blah, and I told her that one day they were going to make a TV show out of my blog and did she know what they were going to call it? And she said, "Bubble Cocks."  Or maybe it was "Bubblecocks."  Anyway, I found it funny.  Why would they call a TV show made from my blog "Bubblecocks"?  You'd have to ask Jeannie.  She mostly didn't remember the conversation the next day. 

I went and helped with the strike for the summer shows today.  It's become quite a large operation.  Good to see how it's done so I can hopefully figure out how to do it next year. 

My folks are coming to visit this week.  Must straighten up the house.  And porch.  And yard. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stones and Gas

The title of this blog is going to be the name of the new cereal that J-Dog and I are gonna sell.  If you'd like to invest, PM me.  (PM means "private message.)

I have been having some very whack-ass dreams lately.  Like, every night.  One dream I had the other night featured the line, "The biggest turds come from the littlest buttholes."  In another one I was given a George Foreman Grill as an end-of-the-year PSR class gift.  (PSR stands for Parish School of Religion and was a class that I had to go to as a kid every Monday night to learn about the Jesus.  It was because I went to a public grade school that I had to go to PSR.  Actually, it was because my parents made me.)

The Jeanners' super crazy busy time at work is over, thank god. 

Sam continues to transform from a baby to a little boy.  He's running around and falling and jabbering and seems to be doing OK. 

We've been trying to get little things done around the house during the summer (we've made a list of things we want to get done by the time I have to go back to work in September) and I am amazed at how long each little job takes.  For example, in order to put the trim up around one doorway, these are the steps (and when paired with the hurdles of watching Sam and only working around Sam's sleeping schedule, each step takes about a day or two):

1.  Strip the door jambs.
2.  Put jamb extensions on the door jambs.
3.  Clean up and sand the door jambs.
4.  Strip the trim.
5.  Sand the trim.  
6.  Prime the trim.
7.  Paint the trim. 
8   Install the trim.

So that's about 8-10 days of work for 1 doorway.  And really, it's still not done then because you have to go back and fill all the holes and caulk and then repaint everything with another coat.  So anyway, it's kinda sucky.  And the work isn't bad, it just takes a long time.

Sam seems to be taking craps about every 3 hours.  I'm getting very tired of cleaning up poopy butts, including my own.   I'm putting the boy on an all-cheese-and-bread diet.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

BJ Party

Today, myself and the fam will be heading to a BJ party, which does not stand for 'blowjob party,' but rather is a party for one Benjamin Joseph and his betrothed.  Should be a good time, although it's balls hot and there is potential for a storm this afternoon. 

Been a relatively uneventful week.  Jeannie's been busy at work, I've been watching Sam, we've been trying to get some shit done on the house in the evenings.  This week we got the door jamb between living room and dining room stripped of paint, and also the basement door sanded, primed, and halfway painted.  Tonight or tomorrow hopefully we will finish the basement door and get it hung.  We've got a schedule to keep, dammit!   Next up on the list is making a little built-in desk and bookshelves in the rear bedroom. 

I have no idea where Jeannie and Sam are right now, other than that they went there on foot.  I went in to take a poop and when I came out they were gone.  Was I in there that long?  I hope Jeannie has not decided to leave me.  My guess is that she has busted out the stroller and taken the little dude to the park. 

Been really enjoying the latest CD by The National (Trouble Will Find Me) over the last few weeks.  

I bought some new sheets for our bed, and they were supposed to be the good kind -- high thread count and all that -- and they feel like sleeping in a burlap sack.  I believe I also likened them to sleeping inside of a Treader Joe's bag.  Which, maybe it's not like this near you, but the Trader Joe's that I go to uses fairly heavy, rough brown paper bags.  Hence the humor. 

Today my severance period is officially half over. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Good Times

Hi-lite of my day yesterday: lying on the living room floor amidst toys and books, listening to Jeannie feeding Samuel some dinner in the kitchen, listening to new-ish Greg Brown on the stereo, watching the ceiling fan spin, thinking of Seanyboy, and half falling asleep.

 Also, I forgot to mention in my last post that the groundbreaking ceremony was pretty danged awesome. Definitely in the Top 10 Days of My Life list.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Blue Train, Bitches - Suck It" (or something like that)

The groundbreaking is over and went well. We were able to get the A/C in the building turned on an hour before the event started. The Mayor spoke. Nobody got hurt. Good press was pressed. Many people complimented me for doing an amount of work that I didn't actually do. That kinda seems to happen a lot. People say, "Wow, thanks for all your hard work! Everything went really well thanks to you!" when I really didn't do all that much hard work. Maybe 4 or 5 hours worth. But anyway, it beats selling Member Cards, fishing turds out of urinals, and chaperoning half-naked homeless people while they take makeshift showers in B&N's bathrooms.

Jeannie's older brother came for a visit for a few days, which was great except for the fact that Jeannie was working all of those days so she only got to see him in the evenings. But he had not met Sam before (he travels a lot), so it was nice that they got to spend some time together and get acquainted. I think they took to each other nicely.

 I'm expecting to not get to spend much quality time with my lady friend for the next few weeks. She's getting a little crazy busy at work, and probably will stay that way until the end of the month. So I'm resigned to it but not looking forward to it. Maybe we could sneak in a date night somewhere.

Jeannie's brother discovered a decent Indian/Nepali restaurant a mile and a half from our house that has free delivery and is relatively cheap. Score.

The title of this post was said by my wife last night while playing the family board game "Ticket to Ride."

Monday, July 08, 2013

Mayor McCheese

Wow, it's been a long time since I've written.  But weirdly, things have been fairly busy, considering I am smack in the throws of blissful unemployment.  Jeannie was out of town, and then she was in town but working a lot, and then Gena B. came to visit, and then the Schluetermetz' stopped in for a quick visit, and then we had the fourth of Joo-Luy, and then a couple of days that were actually free, and now Jeannie's brother will be coming in tonight for a visit.  And then tomorrow is the groundbreaking down at the new building and the Mayor and other biggus wiggus folks will be there.  And we've had trouble getting the air conditioning on at the new building so it might be warm.

So anyway, that's what's been going on here.  All of the visits were fantastic, it was great to see Sam getting to interact with folks other than me and the missus, and of course getting to catch up with long-term friends.

Also, I built a set of the game 'Washers.'

Only 7 weeks left of free money!

Time for dinner.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This Is Why I Love Jack Kerouac's Writing

THIS IS AN OLD DINER like the ones Cody and his father ate in, long ago, with that oldfashioned railroad car ceiling and sliding doors - the board where bread is cut is worn down fine as if with bread dust and a plane; the icebox ("Say I got some nice homefries tonight Cody!") is a huge brownwood thing with oldfashioned pull-out handles, windows, tile walls, full of lovely pans of eggs, butter pats, piles of bacon - old lunchcarts always have a dish of sliced raw onions ready to go on hamburgs.  Grill is ancient and dark and omits an odor which is really succulent, like you would expect from the black hide of an old ham or an old pastrami beef - The lunchcart has stools with smooth slickwood tops - there are wooden drawers for where you find the long loaves of sandwich bread - The countermen: either Greeks or have big red drink noses. Coffee is served in white porcelain mugs - sometimes brown and cracked. An old pot with half an inch of black fat sits on the grill, with a wire fryer (also caked) sitting in it, ready for french fries - Melted fat is kept warm in an old small white coffee pot.  A zinc siding behind the grill gleams from the brush of rags over fat stains - The cash register has a wooden drawer as old as the wood of a rolltop desk.  The newest things are the steam cabinet, the aluminum coffee urns, the floor fans - But the marble counter is ancient, cracked, marked, carved, and under it is the old wood counter of late twenties, early thirties, which had come to look like the bottoms of old courtroom benches only with knife-marks and scars and something suggesting decades of delicious greasy food. Ah!

The smell is always of boiling water mixed with beef, boiling beef, like the smell of the great kitchens of parochial boarding schools or old hospitals, the brown basement kitchens' smell - the smell is curiously the hungriest in America - it is FOODY insteady of just spicy, or - it's like dishwasher soap just washed a pan of hamburg - nameless - memoried - sincere - makes the guts of men curl in October.

-Jack Kerouac
From Visions of Cody

Monday, June 24, 2013

Home Alone 3 (or, SHOWERPUFF DOWN!)

The Jeanners has left for the day, and she will be traveling to Atlanta, where she will be spending the next 3 days.  So I am home alone with the little dude, left to fend for ourselves with no feminine assistance.  Here's what I am predicting:

1.  A decent amount of time at the Y.

2.  Lots of Civilization III playing after the dude has gone to bed.

3.  Probably not a lot of leafy greens goin' on. 

4.  Attempts to clean the house and get it ready for a week's worth of visitors that will be commencing on Thursday. 

This morning I made a mosquito trap.  It will hopefully decrease the number of mosquitoes in our yard as the number of mosquitoes inside the trap increases.  I am skeptical, but hopeful. 

I think I have been settling into unemployment nicely, thank you very much.  Although to be honest, being unemployed from B&N doesn't feel all that different than being employed at the B&N.  In a weird way.  I just don't have to go there anymore.  But really, for a good chunk of the week I didn't have to go there during the day, anyway, and then there were lots of nights that I didn't have to go there, either.  So think that my schedule there was just erratic enough that it makes the absence of the schedule seem not that different.  Don't know if that makes any sense. 

It's taken me like 4 hours to finish this blog post.  I hope the time and effort shows in its well-craftedness. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Separation Anxiety

Been working on getting Sam to be OK with being away from Mom and Dad for any period of time.  There's a little daycare at the YMCA and he pretty much just screams and cries the whole time he's there.  And then when I get back there after a 20 minute workout or run he comes tear-assing over with tears streaming down his face and gives me a look that says "How could you leave me like that?  Don't you like me anymore?"

So that's what we've been working on.

Aside from that, having a Y membership has been awesome.  Totally gives me something to do with him every day, if I want or need to.  Cause he really likes the pool, and being in the pool with him is easy and fun, and kills an hour or an hour and a half.

Jeanners has entered her busy season at work and has been putting in a lot of hours this week, so I've been on Sam patrol more than usual.  It hasn't been too bad.  Tomorrow I've got a meeting down at the building, and I'll be taking him with me, so I hope he stays calm and quiet.  I'll have to bring some books and tows and stuff.

What else?  I'm currently watching Pretty in Pink, which I have never seen.   I think I was pretty much Duckie in grade school and junior high.  The whole "riding your bike by a girl's house a hundred times" really rings a bell.  I think I had graduated to Blaine by high school, though. 

Not working has been fun so far!  I feel like Jack Kerouac, except with a kid.  I guess the kid kinda ruins the whole free-wheelin', On the Road vibe, though.  Oh well. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

All Done

No more working at the B&N.  End of chapter.

We joined the YMCA last week, and took Sam for his first swim this morning.  He seemed to like it a lot, splashing and shrieking and occasionally trying to drink the pool water.

Now it is nap time!  Where's Jeannie?  Doesn't she know it's nap time?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Beginning of the End

3 more shifts left at work.  Tonight's my last closing shift.  After tonight I will never again say:
Attention, B&N customers.  The time is now 9:45 and B&N books, music, and cafe will be closing in 15 minutes.  We ask at this time that you bring any final purchases to the registers on the upper or lower levels.  Once again, the time is now 9:45 and B&N will be closing in 15 minutes.
 I was always pretty good at that.  I've got a good voice for overhead announcements.

The Jeanners and I have joined the YMCA.  Gonna try and have a healthy summer and get the lil' dude exposed to some poolin'.  Also, as I told Jeannie this morning, the Y is the "perfect place to lick d**ks."  

What else?  Not much.  Just counting down the days.  Sam is cute, and walking more.  Sometimes across the room.  He's also been pooping on the floor when Jeannie lets him crawl around without a diaper. 

We've been getting a lot of rain.  Before we got all the rain, we used our rain barrels to water the garden, and it worked perfectly.  Which is nice, because if it didn't work I would've been sad because the rain barrels were expensive and, really, if you can't water your garden with them then they're kinda just useless and ugly.

Thassall for now. 

Tuesday, June 04, 2013


Worked my last changeover at the Nobes today.  That probably means nothing to anybody who hasn't worked in the music dept. of the Nobes, but changeover is like the one day a month when I actually had to do work, when I had to be organized and move quickly and tell people what to do.  So I guess I've done about a hundred of them over the last 10+ years.  No more for me, and I might miss them a little bit but not too much.  I'm guessing the new job will have many more opportunities for me to do work, be organized, move quickly, and tell people what to do. 

Not much else going on.  I had another dentist appointment yesterday, and I took the magic drugs that feel like they're not doing anything, and then you go home and sleep for 4 hours and when you wake up it seems like everything that happened at the dentist was a dream that you had 5 years ago.  It's pretty nice.  It sucks that it makes a dentist visit waste an entire day for me and for Jeannie (who has to drive me around and then take care of the kid all by herself on a day when we're both off work), but awesome that I can now 1) go to the dentist, and 2) go to the dentist without freaking the fuck out or feeling like I would rather die three painful deaths than go to the dentist. 

 I don't have a plan for tomorrow, which sometimes makes for a bad Sam-watching day.  The days always seem to go more smoothly (i.e. less whining) when there is a plan and an activity and some get-out-of-the-house time. 

Jeannie's reading in bed next to me.  I just ate some cheese and crackers.  We just watched an episode of Paul and Jamie, and I just drank a G&T.  Life feels pretty good. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Home Alone 2

The J-Dog is in Chicago (well, she's not there yet, but she's on the way) for work until tomorrow night, and the Sambone and myself are left alone to hold down the fort.  What is on the agenda?  Perhaps a trip to Robert E. Lee State Park, a trip to the bank, maybe T. Joe's,  Anything to keep the boy out of the house and non-whiny, really.  Tonight I'll be dining on chicken breasts and scalloped potatoes made from a box. 

11 days of work left at the Noble.  Woo-Hoo!  Can't wait.  Yesterday I gave my official letter of resignation to my boss. 

I'm about midway through 1Q84 and still enjoying it.  For awhile I was reading so much at work that it was giving me headaches, so I've had to slow my pace.  Now I'm only reading when I take shits. 

Speaking of taking shits, I think Sam is doing exactly that right now.  Also, he (I'm assuming it was him) pooped on the floor yesterday during his "naked time," but Jeannie didn't find it until a few hours later.  Ha!  The downside of having a heavily-patterned living room rug:  you don't find poops until several hours later.  They never tell you that sort of thing in the store....

Thursday, May 23, 2013

16 days

16 days left at the Nobes.  Still weird.  Still exciting. 

I should really just stp now and go to bed.  I don't really have anything to write about, and I have to work tomorrow morning. 

Today I was outside pushing Sam in his swing, and one of our neighbors asked me if I was on vacation.  I've had a feeling that our neighbors wonder what in the hell our worklife situations are in our house, because I'm always home during the day at weird times, and then Jeannie's home during the day other times, and it all probably looks weird from the outside.  So I explained that Jeannie goes into work during the day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and that I go into work in the evenings on those days, and that I worked during the day on other days.  I also explained that I would be switching jobs at the end of the summer and that I would have a bunch of time off this summer. 

Sometimes when I get off work at night and I'm walking to my car, I imagine our little dude asleep in his bed and it makes me feel like everything is right with the world.

I should go poo and then go to bed.

Monday, May 20, 2013

18 days

18 days left of working at the Nobes.  Weird, weird feeling.  I have worked at the Nobes pretty much the entire time I've been in Baltimore, minus a month at the beginning.  Another weird thing is that I'm feeling tremendously excited to start working for ChesShakes.  Like, so excited that I'm not really even thinking very much about the delicious, paid, two-and-a-half months where I don't have to work at all, I'm just thinking about when those delicious, paid, two-and-a-half months are over and I get to dive into this unknown job for which I am probably totally unprepared and unqualified, but which I get the chance to do anyway.  Some things that frighten me about the job:

1.  The skills that Lesley and Ian think I have (designing, building, organizing, etc) are actually skills possessed by my wife and not by me.  My guess is that there is probably some truth to this fear, but not as much truth as my head is currently assigning to it.

2.  The fact that I've never really had a job that required me to put a lot of myself into it.  I've always been happy working not-very-hard jobs for not-very-much money.  And then going home and focusing on the stuff that I really enjoy, i.e.,  LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK.  And this job has the potential to be a job that I will actually enjoy, and WANT to put a lot of myself into, and WANT to put a lot of time and effort into.  Which I think could have the potential to be tough for the Jeanners, and maybe tough for Sam, and maybe tough on me.  Because none of us are used to having to share/split my attention or interest.  So there might be a period of adjustments at the beginning, and figuring out how everything needs to work in order for everybody to be happy.

3.  This third one is both the biggest fear in my head right now and kind of the easiest one to think away:  I WILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING.  AND IT WILL BECOME EMBARRASSINGLY CLEAR RELATIVELY QUICKLY.

Enough about jobs right now.

After a brief attempt at another re-read of Infinite Jest,  I have decided that I might be done re-reading it for awhile.  I was kind of missing the language and mood of Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, so I decided to pick up another Murakami book at work and started 1Q84.  So far I have found it to be more engaging than W-UBC and have been really enjoying it.  I worked all weekend (and tonight), and ended up getting over 250 pages of it read.

Was there anything else I've been wanting to write about?  Probably, but I know some of it is work-related so I'll save it for another day....

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Magooby's Knuckle Masks

Saturday night, as a little pre-mothersday activity, and thanks to the generosity of my co-worker Abbey who last-minutely agreed to come over and babbysit, Jeannie and I went to Magooby's Joke House (worst name for a comedy club ever?  Or best?) to see Paul Reiser, aka Paul of Paul and Jamie (aka Mad About You, aka Jerns' favs TV shows).  It was weird (cause he's basically the same wacky, nice dude that he was in the 90's but in an older man's body), and funny, and we enjoyed it.  We were, however, definitely on the younger end of the age spectrum of people in the room. 

The board of ChesShakes has voted to go ahead and start construction, which means that I am now 98-99% sure that I will have a job come September, which is pretty darned good. 

Today I am off work, and have numerous errands to run with toddler in tow ( I think he's maybe a toddler now -- he definitely toddles...).  Grocery stores of all varieties except health and halal, liquor store, who knows where else.  He is currently hanging out in his playpen cooing to himself. 

I had a dream the other night that featured knuckle masks, a concept that, I'm pretty sure, nobody has ever thought of before. 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Mr. Wind-Up Bird

Just finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.  Weird book.  But I liked it.  And strangely enough, it seemed to fit perfectly with all the stuff that's been happening in my life recently.  It's a book that feels a lot like a David Lynch movie, with shifting identities and seemingly random pieces and stories running through it.  And at the moment, being a relatively new parent who's about to end a 10+ year job and start a new one, I feel like I'm going through a somewhat major identity shift -- I think when I'm old and look back on this time I will mark it as the beginning of my adulthood.  Is that good or bad?  Probably bad!  Ha Ha.  Who knows.  Probably neither.

Oh, I should mention that I spoke to Lesley the other day and we set a starting date for me at ChesShakes for the beginning of September.  Which means I will be leaving B&N on June 15th, taking the severance package and getting paid through the end of August, and then starting the new job in September.  So really, it all is working out pretty perfectly, or at least it seems to be at this point.  Tomorrow I'll probably find out that the ChesShakes building has burned down or that B&N has yanked away the severance offer or something like that.

The lil' dude was a bit annoying this afternoon, but in his defense he was sick with a fever and highly snotty and, by all appearances and signs, just not feeling very well.  But I was very happy when Jeannie got home from work and was able to take over and I could go in the other room and fold laundry and not listen to him whine.  Luckily, days like this a few and far between.  I guess that's why humans have lasted this long.

It is very very weird to me to think that I won't be working at B&N in just a little over a month.  I feel a lot like a passenger on the Titanic who has just been very politely offered a lifeboat.

I kinda feel like Wind-Up Bird has gotten me in the right headspace to re-read Infinite Jest.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Big Fucking Q

I'd write more, but I'm too busy flushing the toilet, brushing my teeth, and drinking all of this Nyquil. 


Thursday, April 25, 2013


Tonight at work I was told by my boss that, as of June 15th, the company would be eliminating my position company-wide.  This is a move that I've been expecting, but I didn't think it would happen quite this early.  I'm not really panicked, because the CSC job is waiting in the wings, however the timing of things could be a little tricky, depending on CSC's fundraising and construction schedule.  Although, actually, it's also possible that the timing could work out quite perfectly and I might end up getting a severance package that I wasn't expecting to get.  So we'll see.  I always try not to worry about things until I have to worry about them, so I'm gonna try and keep on the sunny side of this one. 

In other news, it is just about time for my little boy's first birthday.  Sam, please allow me to be the first to wish you a very happy birthday, and congratulate you on your many accomplishments during the past year.  Seriously, though, I can't imagine having a child that I like more than I like him.  I am a very lucky and a very grateful man. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Labor Day

I heard When in Rome's "The Promise" on the way home from work a little while ago and it made me think of Eric and Catherine. 

Also, I just caught a whiff of something that made me think of steak and now I want a steak. 

One year ago, right around this time of night, just as we were getting into bed, Jeannie started going into labor with Sam.  Wow!  Who would've known that he would be as awesome as he is.  Today he and I were running errands, and I would look back at him every now and again, and he would just be chillin' back there in his car seat, head turned to the side looking out of the window.   He's a fun kid. 

The wind seems to be picking up outside. Rain in our future?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Drugs Don't Work

I went to the dentist yesterday for the first time in a long time.  And I took drugs (legal, prescribed) in order to do so.  When I got out of the dentist office I said to Jeannie that I didn't think that the drugs actually did anything, that they just made me stumble around a bit and that was it.  Today, however, as I look back on the events of yesterday I'm realizing that there are large chunks of the day that are missing and that there are times when I remember that I was talking about something but I have absolutely no idea what I was saying or doing.  I am fairly certain, though, that I didn't do or say anything that was inappropriate or embarrassing to anyone, and for this I am thankful. 

I think that the drugs were probably the equivalent of drinking about 5 or 6 of my homemade G&T's, but not nearly as fun as drinking 5 or 6 G&T's.  Much more boring. 

Time to watch some Paul and Jamie.  That's Mad About You for all the non-initiated out there. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Turd flinger

I accidentally dropped one of Sam's turds on the floor yesterday.  That's why I'm a turd flinger.  Luckily, it was pretty damned solid and only flattened a little bit, rather than splattering.  Splattering would have been bad.

I'm experimenting with a two-nap day today.  Lately, he's only been taking one nap a day, and it's been going pretty well -- he's been sleeping through the night for about 12 hours at a stretch.  But he's been sick with a little cold for the last few days, and he seemed really tired this morning, so I put him down at around 9:30 rather than his usual 11:30-ish slot.  He just went down a little while ago for nap #2, and hopefully we won't sleep very long and it won't screw up his nighttime.  We'll see.  Enough nap talk.

By Thursday evenings I'm usually tired of not getting to hang out with my ladyfriend very much, and I'm usually a little depressed.  Today seems to be no exception.  Work tonight could suck, although I have work to do to keep me busy, and also the manager that I think I'm working with tonight is one that turns a blind-eye to Wind-Up Bird Chronicle reading.  The book has gotten better, although it seems to be more of a simmering pot than a boiling cauldron.  Not that I prefer boiling cauldrons or anything.

Been trying to get our garden started lately.  Also, we put up a swing for Sam in the front yard.  I think he's going to love being outside this summer.  Also, if you stand him up in front of you, he will totter 1 or 2 steps to get into your arms.  I think he'll be walking very soon.  When he stands up on his own in front of me, it makes my heart beat a little faster and makes my breath feel short for a breath or two.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Candy Beans

The Jeanners and I have returned from a week-long trip to St. Louis that, in my opinion, was pretty great.  The highlights for me include (but are not limited to):  

1.  Meeting the family of Jeannie's long-lost cousin, as well as the relatively new husband of Jeannie's aunt. 
2.  Running into, entirely by chance, our old friend J. Sparks.  She was Jeannie's best friend growing up, and I dated her briefly in high school, and we haven't seen her in about 12-13 years.  
3.  Getting to hang out with Eric and Catherine, who were thankfully available without much notice, and who entertained us with their discussion of nocturnal foot-position. (mine stick out to the sides, by the way, like a very wide "V")

4.  Taking a solo day trip up to Kirksville to hang out with Ron and Randy and visit the past a little bit.  I was mildly surprised by the few things that have changed and greatly surprised by the many things that haven't.  But it was great to see Ron.  Also enjoyed the drive.  Through Columbia, Moberly, and Macon on the way up, and then back down through Edina and Hannibal on the way home.  Had some CD's of  Car Talk, This American Life, Prairie Home Companion, Taylor Swift (no joke), Tegan & Sara, and Trixie Whitley for the ride.    

5.  Getting to hang out with Uncle Rico, who was also thankfully available on short notice (I guess we like to spring things on people), and who I am sending positive refi vibes to.  And you should, too.

6.  Getting $850 worth of Southwest Airlines travel vouchers for agreeing to let them bump us off our flight and taking a later flight.  The nice thing is is that the later flight left only 20 minutes later and only added maybe an hour and a half to our travel day.   Which means we made $566.67 an hour.  Which is more than I make at the Nobes. 

During the trip, Sam had some exciting foods for the first time.  Ice cream, soda, cake, and probably others that I'm forgetting.  All given to him by grandparents.  He seems to be a lot older than he was just a couple of weeks ago.  Very curious, into everything, very close to walking, and his hair is growing curly in the back.  Lets listen to him laugh:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shamu Jr.

On Cheers, after the cold open, the opening credits and theme song would play, and then there'd be a little 5 second shot of, like, some buildings somewhere in Boston, and then they'd start the show inside the bar.  During that little 5 second exterior shot of Boston, there'd be a short little line of music, maybe 5 seconds long or so, just long enough to play over the shot, and it would be snappy and jazzy and usually bass-heavy with a melody played on clarinet or saxophone.  I want to start a cover band that plays only those little 5-second jazzy numbers.

Tonight I wanted to make my Facebook status this:  'Oh, my poor bottom.'  But I didn't. 

Shamu Jr. is a Mexican wrestler mentioned on a This American Life episode from 1998. 

There is no greater joy in my life right now than when Sam wakes up in the morning and gets his diaper changed, and then I put him in his playpen and he picks up books and looks through them, chuckling and cooing to himself while I go about my morning business of making eggs and pooping and starting the laundry. 

Last week Jerns and I bought a bird feeder, and put I put it up last Friday or so, and we've been getting excited whenever we've gotten birds come eat at the thing (mostly cardinals, because we are proud St. Louisans at heart), and today there was a damned squirrel that discovered it and ate a good bunch of the bird seed out of it.  And I felt a lot like my dad, because he used to become infuriated by the squirrels that would violate his poor bird feeder on a daily basis, and he would sit by the back window with a BB gun, waiting for the squirrels to come out so he could shoot them if they went after his bird feeder.  I always used to think he was a little bit nuts, and I still do, but now I understand that squirrels stealing birdseed from lovely, innocent, hungry birds can make you a little bit nuts. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Jeannie Doesn't Mind the Corners

Another week over.  A good week.  Got to hang with the Beej twice, got to hang with A-Train, got to hang with Pat, got to play geek games.  Also, of course, got to play with my little boy (this week we got him his first balls to play with [no comments, please]) and my lovely wife.  She made a funny joke about not minding the corners that only BJ and Aimee got to hear and if you missed it, well, you should come over to our house and hang out more often and you wouldn't miss things like that. 

I also went to the dentist this week for the first time in over a decade.  At the behest of my wife, because my mouth is turning into something that looks and smells like this:

You can thank E. Elz for bringing that picture to my attention, by the way.  Anyway, I hate the fucking dentist, and I'm sorry for the profanity but there really is no other way to say it that gets the point across.  I hate the fucking dentist more than I hate anything in the world, and to be honest I really think there might be something wrong with people who want to stick their hands in peoples' mouths all day.  And then, like, poke at their gums with sharp tools.  Doesn't that seem wrong?  So anyway, I'm going back to the dentist in approximately a month and they're going to drug me up and then do all the shit they need to do, and for the sake of my wife and son I am going to try and be a good example and see the dentist with some regularity (but probably not frequency), or at least not be such a big baby about the dentist so that my kid isn't a baby about the dentist and hygiene and going to the doctor and all that baloney. 

I tell you what, it's a good thing that we don't keep doritos in the house because if we did I would eat about a bag a day, and the poops that eating a bag of doritos causes are not something I want to be dealing with all the time. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Tonight as I drove home from work I was stopped at the light where I turn from Perring Parkway onto Echodale, and a car pulled up behind me that had the brightest blinker I've ever seen.  Seriously.  You could've used the thing to guide ships in the harbor on foggy nights.  It lit up the whole intersection and all the houses and apartments and stuff that are around the intersection. I hated it, and it also made me feel proud of my little humble blinker that seemed to have downcast eyes and lit up maybe the area 2 feet in front of it. 

And then I got home and went in the bathroom to take a leak and saw some of Sam's clothes on the floor left over from when Jeannie must've given him a bath tonight, and it made me miss him and wish he was awake so we could play.  And then he woke up a little bit (on his own, I didn't have anything to do with it) and I heard him cry out in his crib and I immediately started praying, "Pleasegoddon'tlethimwakeup, Pleasegoddon'tlethimwakeup, Pleasegoddon'tlethimwakeup...," and so far it has worked, he hasn't woken all the way up.  I think it might be the light from the bathroom that lights up some of the hallway, and then because there isn't trim around his bedroom door yet, the light in the hallway must go into his room a little bit.  Cause he seems to stir a little whenever somebody goes into the bathroom, even quietly.

I finished re-reading The Lord of the Rings, and I enjoyed it.  I think I enjoy all the info that is part of the story but isn't in the actual story most of all.  I mean, all the stuff that's in the appendices and of course all the related material in the Silmarillion and stuff.  And I also watched the movies, which I did not enjoy very much.  Too much CGI, of course.  I don't understand why people like movies with really blatant CGI in them, because to me they always look really really bad.  Just awful.  And I guess I just can't get past that.

So I'm currently without a book to read, and that hasn't happened in awhile, and I even don't feel like re-reading Infinite Jest or any Kerouac again, and that hasn't happened in, like, forever.  So I need suggestions on what book to read next.  I would like something big and life-changing and something that has the power to define my thirties the way IJ seemed to define my twenties.  Thought about trying some Murakami but I read a little bit of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at work and couldn't really get into it.  So, suggestions?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Big Fans of the Sausage

Jeanners and I have been making some homemade pizzas lately that have been outstanding.  I attribute the pizza awesomeness to the fact that we recently purchased a pizza stone, and also recently started putting Italian sausage on the pizzas regularly.  And a good dough recipe that makes nice, crispy, relatively thin crusted pizza. 

Where is the Jeanners?  I arrived home from my Monday-morning meeting a few minutes ago and Jerns and Sam are not here.  No note left, either. 


1.  Old men with military service advertised on their hats
2.  African-American kids on skateboards
3.  Stutterers
4.  Nuns

Jeanners is home. 

Yesterday had it some beautiful weather and we were all able to get outside and do a little bit of work in the yard.  Sam is still getting used to grass and soft ground and doesn't quite know what to make of it all yet.  But he seems to like being out in the sunshine and the breeze, and really likes it when he gets to play with our neighbors' dog, Cameo. 

Monday, March 04, 2013

What Are You Looking For in a Pope?

Why is it that when the Jeanners and I have a kid, and life feels interesting and actually worth writing about, that there seems to be no time or energy for writing?  Well, I will say that I am sacrificing much-needed sleep in order to stay up and write in this blog (although I'm also sacrificing much-needed sleep in order to stay up and drink this much-needed G&T). 

What's been going on?  This:

1.  work
2.  keep an eye on Sam and change his poopy diapers and give him food and keep him entertained
3.  little tiny steps of progress on the house

For the past few months Jeannie and I have been trying to decide what type of flooring to have in our kitchen, when here Sam goes and makes the decision for us:  our kitchen floor will be made of stepped-on Cheerios and corn puffs ground into old hardwood by shoes and feet.  

Jeannie and I have just bought tickets to hit St. Lou in early April.  I hope to take a trip to K-ville to see Ron Rybs.  Also want to spend some quality time with the fam and let them soak up the wonderful terribleness of a baby becoming a toddler. 

I purchased the TX-8050 Stereo Receiver about a week ago (nobody got it for me for my birthday) and so far really like it.  Next step is to buy some speaker wire and set up some speakers in the kitchen so I can blast my fucking Car Talk in several rooms of the house. 

The post that I just linked to in the previous paragraph is called "BTC's", and I have no idea what BTC could possibly stand for except "Big Time Cocksucker."  That might have been what I was thinking when I wrote the post but then again it might not. 

I ate too many peanuts today.  Tummy ache.  A lesson never learned. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Romance In the Air

Yesterday Jeannie brought Sam to visit me at work (always makes for a fun day in and of itself) and also brought flowers and a card that said that she had gotten a babysitter for the evening and that we would be going out for a nice dinner.  Pretty awesome!  So when I got home from work, Nyoka came over to babysit, and the J-Dog and I headed over to an Indian restaurant that was new to us, the Ambassador Dining Room.  Very cute, relatively expensive, romantic place in Charles Village.  The food was very good, the fireplaces were nice and warm, and we had a very enjoyable dinner.  For a minute I even forgot that we had a kid.  Then we spent about an hour walking around Charles Village, which we hadn't done in such a long time, and an hour was about all we could handle before both of us were pretty worn out and ready for bed.  So we headed home around 9:30, hung out with Nyoka for a little while and then went to bed around 10:15.  What a fantastic surprise evening.  I am a very lucky person. 

Since Sam was born, I've been taking a few film pictures here and there, and I finally used up the roll the other day and went and got them developed. Some pictures turned out pretty well, some pretty bad, but it was fun to take a little stroll down down the lane of memories of the last 10 months.  Also fun to be reminded of how crazy his forehead was there for awhile.  I'm glad that he's growing into his head.  Ha Ha. 

Tomorrow is the last event at the new theater for awhile:  a public open house.  Should be pretty low-key, I think, much less involved than there was for the fundraiser-type party there a few weeks ago.  We're still waiting to hear whether we got a major grant that we had applied for.  Whether we get the grant will kind of determine whether we move forward immediately with the renovations or whether there is a pause while we round up some more money.   Of course, we'd like to move forward right away, but it's probably more realistic to expect a pause.  But somehow the history of the company has always seemed a little charmed when it comes to lucky business things of this nature, so who knows.

The Jeanners and I are spending the afternoon cleaning out the basement a little (while Sam plays in a cardboard box) to get ready for lots of stripping of doors and trim.  Fun times await. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Nobody Steal This Idea, It's Mine.

The other day Jeannie and Sam and I took naps, and mine was particularly good.  During it, I had a dream about a musical instrument that was a cross between an accordion and a pedal steel guitar.  I believe it was made from an ivory-like material. 

Anyway, I just wanted to get this idea down before I forgot it. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Catching and Throwing (Up)

Well, Jeannie's birthday on Tuesday was not low-key.  It was disgusting.  She and I both had some form of food poisoning, or maybe a super-strong, super fast version of the flu, and took turns running into the bathroom every 20 minutes.  Thank god we took turns.  When we bought this house, we were worried about only having one bathroom, and we described this very scenario to ourselves with worry - 'what if we both get sick and we only have one bathroom?'  Well, it turned out OK, although there were a couple of close calls.  And we did have a "Dan Will Shit in the Bathtub" contingency plan all worked out, but luckily never had to call it into play. 

The worst part was that Sam was sick with a cold, and so awake for a good portion of the night, at one point wailing in his crib while Jeanners and I were writhing on the floor of his bedroom, moaning, groaning, and hating life. 

So anyway, we're both feeling better now, thank you very much, and life has resumed its busy pace.  I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and a bit falling-behind, mostly due to the fact that my days off recently have been filled with ChesShakes building stuff rather than getting-stuff-done-around-the-house stuff.  I think a nice long vacation is in order. 

Today a little family time in the morning, then I head off to work in the afternoon.  Tomorrow, a little family time in the morning and then I help Pat get ready for his show and get a few things done at the building. 

Hokey-Dokey, Sam is requiring my full attention.  Must go!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Empty Theater

Pretty much every muscle in my body feels sore right now.  I've been heading down to the theater the last couple of days and moving a lot of stuff around, and I think my body is not used to doing that kind of thing on a regular basis anymore.  There was a fiasco with a Genie lift yesterday that involved about 6 guys attempting to move the thing in a manner in which it was not designed to be moved.  The moving also involved a car jack, several two-by-fours, and a cart.  And it (or some other activity that I did) has left me feeling sore.

All the activity has been in preparation for the "Empty Theater Party," which is where we opened up the building to some of the movers and shakers of Baltimore, a chance to bring in potential donors and let them see the space and hopefully share our enthusiasm and get them interested in helping with the project.  And there was tasty catered food and lovely decorations and some live music and a couple of short speeches.  But most of the day was left for mingling and schmoozing, two activities at which I am no good, so I spent most of the day talking to people that I already knew or walking from place to place as though I had something important to do.

Tomorrow is the J-Dog's birthday.  I fear it will be a relatively low-key one, but she'll be at work most of the day anyway. 

What else?

Spent a good part of my morning sending e-mails about conduit.   

Everybody needs sleep.  I really should just stop writing and GO TO BED. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

No More Farts!

Not much to write about lately.  Jeannie's been busy with work stuff, I've been busy with building-related stuff and work, and Sam's been sick with cold and ear infection.  So he hasn't been sleeping well, which makes everyone exhausted.  Although Jeannie and I are the only ones showing it.  Actually, during the day he's great.  All smiles, good naps, playing well.  But it seems like when he's sick he just wants to take little naps during the night, too, and wake up every couple of hours and do some more playing.  All of this is exacerbated by the fact that we (Jeannie) took down the bedroom door a week and a half ago to refinish it, and it is currently downstairs in the basement waiting to get painted.  So at night it's kinda like he's yelling right there in the room with us even though he's down the hall.  It's pretty sucky.

[portions of this blog post removed to protect the innocent.  or not so innocent]

This Sunday is a big party at the new building, a party for the movers and shakers of Baltimore City.  A party where we hope to raise money to pay for the renovations.  We're kind of banking on the fact that once people get inside the building and see how cool it is, and see the architects' plans for what the building could become, they will want to help us.  I think if I had money and saw the building, I would want to help.  Although I've realized over the years that I tend to not think in the same way as those people who have a lot of money.  I get along with them and enjoy their company (for the most part), but I don't really think like them.

Been craving a homemade hamburger lately.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

If You Were on ER, Who Would You Be?

Last night the Jeanners had to take Sam to the emergency room because he rolled off the changing table while she was getting him ready for bed.  She took literally about 1 second to reach over to the left and grab a fresh diaper and he rolled right off the table.  She said that after he hit the floor he was stunned for a few seconds, then he started wailing, his eyes rolled up into his head, and he threw up.  So that was enough cause to take him to the ER, I think. 

She called me at work and told me what happened, and I met her at the hospital, and by the time I got there about 30 minutes after it had happened, he looked and acted pretty normal.  One of the doctors noticed that he had a big ol' knot on the back of his head, and that combined with the fact that he threw up made them decide to do a CT scan to make sure there wasn't any internal bleeding or anything.  So they checked him out, and everything looked ok, but they decided to keep us in the hospital overnight so they could keep an eye on him.  He's seemed fine and back to his normal, smiley, cute self.  So we got home this morning at around 10, and I pretty much spent the rest of the day in bed until I had to get ready to go to work this evening.  The Jeanners, I think, also turned in pretty early.  She's asleep now in the other room. By the way, I would also just like to say that I have reached to pick up a fresh diaper with him on the changing table about 500 times, so it's pure chance that it happened while she was here and not me. 

I actually really kinda like hospitals.  I mean, I hate being in one tiny cramped room for extended periods of time, just waiting.  And I hated the experience of Sam's delivery, but as far as the people go, and the actual buildings, I really love them.  My experience has been that the people are all really nice, or super talented and efficient and pleasantly confident, or a combination of all of those things.  And the buildings have all been clean, and efficient, and have the combined qualities of a super-insulated hush and a noisy bustle.  I don't know.  Maybe it's because I've always been at the hospital because of someone else's situation.  Maybe I wouldn't like hospitals if I was the one who was sick or if I was the one having a baby pulled out of my loins. 

In other news, my Dad went skiing for the first time today.  He's 75.  My mom got him a gift certificate to go skiing at this place near their house.  I think it's something that he's wanted to do for a long while.  He's always been pretty athletic, although in a run-all-day sort of way rather than a get-pumped-and-huge sort of way. Anyway, I am weirdly proud of him, because I know that he was excited but also nervous and scared about it, too.  And trying new things is not usually his strong suit.  So I'm glad that my Mom got him the gift, although if he had hurt himself (a pretty good possibility), I probably would've said she was crazy for giving him the gift. 

Anyway, let's all try something new tomorrow that scares us a little bit.  Also, let's avoid trips to the emergency room.  Is it possible to do both?