Thursday, January 29, 2009
More travel fun. I’m currently on a plane to New Orleans with four buddies. We are flying Southwest. I dig their open seating based on what range of priority you get in the A, B or C lines. The plane was fairly full, but lots of middle seats were open. Etai and I took one row, leaving a seat open between us. Tom and Jeff did the same across the aisle from us. Rich took the aisle seat in the row in front of me. Which is great because if he tilts his seat back I’m going to smack him hard on the side of his head. This is the first time ever I have prayed that the person in front of me would tilt their seat back. Please Rich, please, lean back.
Just a few more people were boarding. A gorgeous blonde gal took the window seat in Rich’s row. His gamble paid off. I got Etai, a barrel chested bald guy that I’m about to spend way too much time with and Rich gets some hotty. All the window and aisle seats were now taken in our part of the plane.
Another gorgeous woman walked on and you could see in her eyes she realized she would have to take a middle seat. I was hoping she’d take another row because there weren’t any people behind her. I’d rather have the space! Perhaps she sensed my ‘keep moving karma’ because she sat one row behind us.
No more people coming. Sweet. I buckled up and continued talking smack with the other guys. I loudly asked Rich if he had that mysterious medical problem looked at again and marveled that the doc cleared him to fly especially after that last incident on the flight to Tallahassee. I’m pretty sure the blonde leaned a little closer to the window as he tried to tell her I was kidding. It didn’t’ help that I reminded him denial didn’t help his drug problem either.
Just then, one more passenger walked on board. A large man. Probably 6’-5” and at least 250 pounds. There was a sudden qualm as people noticed him and silently willed him to the back of the plane. Where we were sitting. As he got closer, I noticed he was sweating. Great.
I sat up taller trying to look as big as I could. I told Etai to spread out and look angry. Angry bald barrel chested men are intimidating. The last passenger slowly made his way down the aisle. He must have passed ten or twelve open middle seats. I began to panic. I looked behind me and saw at least ten rows, most with open middle seats. Surely he will keep looking, especially when he sees Etai and me looking large.
Damn this man and his height. By the time he got to our row, I could see he was scanning the back of the plane and realized his only option would be a middle seat. He was smart enough to decide he didn’t want to be one of the last guys off the plane. But he apparently was dumb enough to not realize how unfuckingcomforable the three of us would be if he sat in our row.
He stopped by me and said, “Is it alright if I sit there?”
“Sure. Just let me move my bag, from your seat and the garbage I already stowed in your seat pouch. And then let me pry my spread eagle right leg out of the middle of your legroom area. And then give me a few minutes to do some stretches in anticipation of having to squeeze my body together in a seated fetal position so that you may join Etai and I, two of the bigger guys on the plane already, in our about to be formed row of giants.:
Okay, I didn’t say that. But I was thinking it. I said, “Sure.”
The large man sat down. I took a look to see if there were any aisle or window seats he may have missed. I would have gladly moved from my smart-ass friends to get some space. Alas, there was nothing. I thought about moving to another row’s middle seat. There were tiny people all around. But I had this crazy thought that besides perhaps being taken as a little rude, he may think I have a problem with black people. I couldn’t move because he is a large black man!
Ha, okay, that really didn’t stop me from me moving. I don’t think he would have thought that at all. But it was funny to think of it. I really just didn’t want to be the big guy that sat down in the middle of another row thereby bumming out two other people. One of which I’m sure would have written a blog about how they thought they were home free, getting to fly with an empty seat between them. Until some dorky big guy with a laptop of his own plopped down and ruined their little flight of comfort and rainbows.
So I stayed and started talking to the nice large man. Cool guy, despite the heavy perspiring. But then shortly after take-off, my buddy in front of me noticed somebody moved a few rows up, leaving an empty aisle seat. My middle seat mate was all over it. He was probably stoked to get away from the talkative large dude (me) and the angry bald barrel chested dude (Etai). Ha!
Everybody is happy. Now I’m going to smack Rich anyway. His politeness has become irritating.
Shit, I better close up. Retaliation looks to be flying peanuts and pretzels.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The more people I tell, the more it seems true. Kind of like advertising. If you beat something into someone’s head enough, they may actually fall for whatever you are telling them. As people asked how the family is doing, I would remind them that I am not going to get it.
I got it.
It hit me late Sunday night. I barely slept. I moped around the house all day Monday, alternating between the family room couch and the bed. I never did throw up. But I sure felt like I needed to. So much so that I carried a little white plastic garbage can around with me. It became my security blanket. It was on the floor next to me while I was trying to sleep. I’d bring it with me to the bathroom. I carried it with me to the kitchen to get water. I ate one piece of toast and a banana all day long. I had the can ready. I even started snuggling with it. I woke up one time with my arms wrapped around the little white trash can like it was a teddy bear or fluffy pillow. I actually named the can Wilson (if you haven’t seen Castaway, this will make no sense).
Wilson and I hung out all day. It was comforting to know that I could puke all over him if necessary. Kind of like a good friend getting you home safely from a night of over-indulgence. Plus, he didn’t talk too much. I have some friends that could learn a few lessons from my old buddy Wilson.
I had ESPN turned on low despite never really being awake more than an hour at a time. I do recall infomercials up the wazoo. Being in advertising, you’d think I’d be more desensitized to this, but I was still shocked at how many bad infomercials there are out there. I could have bought a three ingredients in one sleeping pill, a caulk applier, a crazy hanger set, the bowflex, a dietary supplement, classic tunes from the 70s and 80s, a magic phone service, a knife set, super glue, and a video on how to cut costs in tough economic times. Thank goodness I was too brain dead to pick up a phone.
I was worried about bouncing back for the upcoming New Orleans trip. Luckily I feel better now and am sure I’ll be 100% tomorrow when I leave town. I need this 41 year old body to behave like a 21 year old body considering the debauchery we are likely to engage in while in the Big Easy.
Since I need to behave like I’m half my age, I decided I better train. I have been accused of acting like a twelve year old numerous times, so I’m not worried about my mind. It’s the old body that needs to be party ready. I started off with the Wii. It has a physical test to determine your Wii age. I did it on Saturday (before I got sick) and came out at age 29. Sweet!! Although, I’m not really sure how baseball, bowling and tennis in a video game really tells you anything. But 29 is 29. Getting into the 20s is fine by me. Physical training over!!
I have twenty-plus years of drinking experience behind me, so I don’t need any help there. I have always loved live music and can stay up all night if the band is good. I re-loaded my ipod shuffle and have great tunage ready to roll. And I have no problem eating. Drinking, music and eating – check, check and check.
Bourbon Street is a pit. Especially in the morning. The stench is nasty. Ahh, thank goodness for the flu-bug. After two weeks of cleaning up puke and yet another Drew poop on the floor one foot from the toilet, my schnoz can handle anything. Rancid tolerance – check.
Boobs. How do I get ready for the boob fest? My friends are boobs, but I think that is different. I still have a stack of comp Playboys in my office (perk of being in advertising – name a magazine and we get it). But I’m thinking the gals in New Orleans are not on break from the Playboy Mansion and may be a little less perky and less air-brushed. So I figured I might as well stare at women’s boobs as much as possible. I was just in a meeting this morning with two women I have never met before. I still can’t tell you what they look like but one had on a nice perky white blouse and the other a smart curvy sweater. Heh.
I think I am ready. I’m going to leave Wilson at home. I hope I don’t need his services. I will bring my laptop and despite writing too much already about air travel, I have a feeling I’ll have more to report.
Oh, and let me know if you have any voodoo requests. I’d be happy to help out. There is witchcraft in my family and I’m thinking I can payback some nasty people with a little bit o black magic between hurricanes.
Friday, January 23, 2009
How I got this four night, five day trip approved by corporate (my wife), I have no idea. Seriously. I can only assume that when I get back she will announce she is going to Costa Rica for a month or some other activity that is payback plus some.
I have been to N’awlins twice. The first time was with the wife and another couple well before we had kids. As I recall, we ate a lot, drank a lot, and saw a ton of live music. I also remember the four of us popping into a strip club right on Bourbon Street. The wife and friend’s gal-pal wanted to know what the big deal is for guys to go to these places. We told them it isn’t any big deal at all. Usually the most fun is watching the regulars drop their paychecks in two hours and discussing whose boobs are real and whose are fake.
This particular place was especially dumpy with little to no talent. All four of us were thoroughly unimpressed. It smelled as trashy as Bourbon Street on a Sunday morning and we couldn’t be sure all the entertainers were sporting 100% female parts. None of us wanted to stick around to find out, so we left.
We spent just about every morning at Café du Monde eating beignets. This can be an uncomfortable moment if you are a rookie. The beignets are covered in heaps of powdered sugar. As you raise the beignet toward your salivating mouth, you have to make sure you don’t inhale. If you do, you are likely to end up with a surprise dusting of powdered sugar up your nose and splattered all over the back of your throat.
Besides tranny strippers and beignet blow, New Orleans absolutely upholds its reputation for crime and scams. My favorite minor scam was the street bums betting you a dollar they could tell you where you got your shoes. Unsuspecting tourists would hand over the buck to find out that they got their shoes right there on their feet.
The spectacle of New Orleans reminds me of Las Vegas a little bit. But raunchier and even drunker, if that is possible. You get desensitized from all the boob flashes. But the whacked out characters are never boring. We were watching a rock-a-billy band at one of the bars when a 7’-4” local in overalls came out of the audience to join in playing on his washboard.
The other time I was in New Orleans was during a work conference. Luckily I was busy during the day and couldn’t party too hard at night. But it was more of the same. Drinking, eating, and music.
The five guys I’m traveling with are all from the group of which I share Nuggets season tickets. We are going to see the Nuggets play the Hornets on Wednesday night. Yep, our excuse for going to New Orleans is to see an NBA game none of us really care about.
Our real agenda involves drinking, eating and music. Our hotel is a block off Bourbon Street and has one of those perfect balconies for throwing beads. I warned my pals that they will likely encounter more boobs than they really want to see.
I’d love some recommendations for fun places to go. I realize Bourbon Street is just a drunken party and that there are far cooler places to go outside of the French Quarter. Throw ideas at me if you have them. Or crash our party and I’ll have a hurricane with you.
Which brings me to Katrina. I have heard that there are still tons of reminders of that terrible disaster. It feels a little wrong to be going to New Orleans to party hard and then get to come back home to my comfy world again. But I know they want their tourism business back and I will certainly be contributing to the local economic well being; at least in the hospitality and entertainment sectors.
A couple guys expressed interest in touring some of the affected areas. I want no part of that. It reminds me of the foreigners smiling and taking pictures at Ground Zero in New York City. I guess to each his or her own. Maybe they just want to pay their respects.
I on the other hand, will pay my respect to the local music scene, some savory food, and very likely the makers of Abita beer. I made donations to Katrina funds in the past and will seek out a local place to drop off some more cash.
Hopefully I will not hear myself utter the words, “Show me your tits,” or “No way those are real” or “I didn’t need to eat that last half dozen oysters” or “Need more tums” or “Wow, that was awkward” or “Please cover those up” or “Did I just step in puke” or “Those aren’t pillows” or “No officer, I didn’t know that is against the law” or “Play Freebird” or “When do I get to make my one phone call” or “Where are all my friends and who the heck are you” or “What happened to my underwear” or “Bow chicka chicka wow wow” or “Dude that gal you are hitting on has nuts” or “We need more beads” or “But I thought your wife likes it when strange men thrust” or worst of all, “Ohhhhh, somebody light a match!”
Bring on those N’awlins suggestions…
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Remember this? It may look like chicken scratch, but its actually cursive writing. I’m trying my absolute best to write legibly. Believe it or not, this is ten times better than the normal way I write. Here, let me illustrate: “This is how I usually write. Were you able to read it?”
TRANSLATION: THIS IS HOW I USUALLY WRITE. WERE YOU ABLE TO READ IT?”
I think I inherited this poor scripture from both my parents. Outside of the immediate family, nobody can read a word my mom and dad write. I once seriously questioned whether they even knew how to write and were just pretending with their series of lines, peaks and valleys that resembled an EKG more than the written word.
The only time I write in cursive anymore is when taking notes, making edits by hand, or if signing something. I have developed the total professional athlete’s signature. Is it mostly initials followed
by a crooked line. I’d show you but then the Cunning Linguist will probably start a counterfeit check scheme in order to pay for risqué pictures of his female readership for his supposed forthcoming new design of his blog. Here is how I’d sign his screen name:
*note the signature in the pic*
Nice eh? I should add a number afterwards like some athletes do. But what would I put? My age?
*note the signature with number in the pic*
Why am I writing instead of pecking away on the computer? Well, I’m on a fricking airplane and the five foot two inch woman in front of me finds it necessary to recline her seat back in order to maximize her luxurious miniature lifestyle. This is resulting in my legs wedged into the back of her seat, nearly unable to move other than to shift the painful indentations of tray frame from
one side of my knee to the other. It would be impossible for me to type on my laptop like this. *editor note – inserting picture of the trauma here*
So I pulled down the tray and wedged it against my belly to create a platform for good old fashioned hand writing.
I just noticed that my writing is getting sloppier as I go on. I guess as a public service I should type a translation of this whole thing at the end. Of course that will have to wait until I can find more than six inches to open my laptop.
I’m thinking about pulling Little Miss Five Foot Two’s hair “on accident.” *editor note – insert picture of her hair here*
Not only does she have to basically lay back in my lap, but she needs her flowing hair to slink back into my personal space as well. Actually, she seems to have nice hair. I wonder if she is hot? Although that would probably
piss me off even more. Hotness on a short gal is a bit of a waste for a tall guy like me. Oh, and of course as a married guy it doesn’t matter anyway. But it does remind me of the 4’-11” gal that I briefly dated right after college. I think she was 4’-11” in heels. I had to break it off with her. I’ve written about this before, so let’s move on.
I keep peeking over her seat to see if she is hot. But the tray digs into my gut and my knees have absolutely nowhere to go. And she is so short, she is way down in her seat. *editor note – insert seat pic here – note how easy it is to see the guy a row in front of her, but she is seemingly buried in a deep hole*
Maybe I should pull the hair to get a “rise” out of her.
Okay, now its getting really sloppy. In honor of Kimmie, I think I will try to wiggle out of my seat to go use the head. On the way, I will alternately thrust my hips at every other row, male or female occupants, kids or adults – nobody is safe. A little pelvic action with a wink, followed by a
raised eyebrow and a cheek clicking sound. Yep, time to go make friends.
Bow chicka chicka wow wow…
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
He made it home today with only two more little spit ups in a plastic bag in the car. Luckily they weren’t stinky or very audible because all I could think about was Monty Python and one more wafer thin bite.
Our out of town friends that spent the weekend in the mountains with us also stayed here at our house tonight in order to catch an early flight in the morning. Well, their kid just threw up all over the air mattress about a half hour ago. It took that long for me to help clean up and get everyone re-situated.
I just know I will be seated next to someone with chronic air-sickness on the plane tomorrow. I am flying to Chicago (go cubs) for a Wednesday morning meeting with a client. I’m not sure how long I’ll be tied up with them, but I’m looking forward to enjoying my old city as much as I can since I’m there for just two nights. I hope to avoid any amateur partiers throwing up in the alley.
Shoot, I think the guest kid just threw up again. I should go to bed so I can pretend I’m asleep.
Following is a quick recap of the weekend prior to the puke festival:
We skied on Friday. It was sunny and 36 degrees. We had to put on suntan lotion. I was sweating as I pointed the tips down and cruised all over the mountain. It wasn’t crowded at all which made for some exciting speed runs. My thighs were burning and my face was aching from smiling ear to ear. I nearly plowed into a pine tree one time as I was gazing absent mindedly at the dark blue sky canvassing snow capped mountains towering above green and brown forests. It is a sight that always makes me tingle. Not *that* kind of tingle.
After an après ski beer (or three) and a soak in the hot tub, we played some games and crashed hard from the long day on the mountain.
On Saturday, we took the kids tubing. Drew demanded he only go solo, but Will let me tandem with him. My extra weight made us go faster and further. My princess loving girly guy is a daredevil stunt man at heart.
We skied again on Sunday. The mountain was really crowded, but it was warm and sunny again. I didn’t mind the longer lift lines. We went at it hard and then had a late lunch. The longer I sat eating, the less I wanted to buckle the boots up and head back up the mountain.
I had noticed a day spa nearby as we drove to the ski area. The kids were in ski school for another three hours. I thought the chances were slim that the spa had open appointments for massages with nearly no notice. I decided to call and if they had an opening, I’d take it.
Thirty minutes later, I was buck naked on a massage table getting the kinks worked out by a gal with hands like a vice. My friends were texting me asking what run I was on and which lift to meet them at next. Ha! They had no idea I was being man-handled by a petite masseuse.
We played cards that night. Hearts and Euchre while putting down Mirror Pond pale ales. In addition to skiing, soaking, drinking, relaxing and tubing, we did many other fun ings. Such as eating, laughing, jamming, talking, ribbing and lounging.
Up to the puking, the entire weekend was a blast. We left Thursday evening and got back Monday afternoon. That made over ninety hours of fun. Amazingly, the very best time of the entire weekend was something that lasted about five seconds. The very best moment was when Will and I were pulling the tube back up the hill on Saturday afternoon.
Unsolicited, Will looked at me and said, “Daddy, I am having so much fun. I love doing this with you.” I looked down at his little innocent face and he was smiling at me with his big blue eyes sparkling in the sun. This little moment was so genuine. He may forget he ever said it, but I will remember that moment forever.
So I tackled him. We fell into the tube wrestling like loony bears. Will grabbed a mitten full of snow and threatened to give me a white-wash. I countered with a belly-button hunt and proceed to shove my glove up under his coat and tickled him mercilessly. He pulled out the end-all concession of “I’m a monkey’s bottom” (so much better than a monkey’s uncle) in which case I am required to stop my attack as per our unwritten family code for rough-housing. Unless I pretend I couldn’t hear him due to his laughing, in which case I continue the joy torture until he yells, “I’m a monkey’s bottom” at least five times at the top of his lungs.
And now here I am, time closing in on 1am and it appears as if there is a lull in puking. Therefore, I shall go to bed with a relaxed mind and body. The mountains did their magic yet again.
Although Will gets the Ray Kinsella award for nearly making a grown man cry. And we didn’t even need to have a game of catch.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
As I waited for my drink, I heard someone else order a venti triple pump no water extra hot chai. Damn, what the hell is that? How many pumps do I have in my chai? More or less? Which is better? No water? Is it all milky milk then? Is that better or worse than mine? Do I have the Starbucks cajones to order a venti sugar free vanilla three pump nonfat no water extra hot chai tea latte? Would that even taste good? If I don’t like it, do I ask for more pumps or less? A squirt of water or open the floodgates?
I shifted my weight and the newspaper fell out of my armpit. I had it tucked there, under my arm, while I paid for my fancy pants drink. I totally forgot about it and didn’t pay for the paper. Again. This happens about 97% of the time I buy a newspaper at Starbucks. I am kind of a big guy and once I tuck something under my arm of steel and iron barrel chest (totally joking you know – I’m more Pillsburyish than Hulkish), it snugly disappears. I think I have unintentionally stolen about 25 newspapers from Starbucks over the years. Lock me up and throw away the key!!
I just always have so much going on in my head and am so distracted by trying to say my order correctly while already totally analyzing the entire coffee shop clientele for my own amusement that I forget I have tucked the newspaper under my arm while I pay. Fuck, that sentence was long and naked of any punctuation. Where are those darn serial commas?
I really don’t feel guilty though. In fact, I am pissed off at myself for writing this down because now I will probably remember every time I pick up a newspaper. So then it becomes a moral issue of do I tuck it away anyway in protest of the pennies they charge as tax on a paper I can get for fiddy cents from a box outside, or do I say, “This rag too please,” as they are tallying up my foo-foo morning cup of vanilla tainted pleasure?
I am not always good with morals. Ethics yes. Morals are a little grayer. Those squeaky sounds you hear are the wheels spinning in my head on this matter. Is this a moral issue or a legal issue? Or both? I am stealing and I believe that is against a number of various local, state and federal codes, statutes or law thingies. Hey, if I took a stolen newspaper across state lines or even overseas, would the Feds have jurisdiction?
If I am holding the newspaper and the clerk doesn’t charge me for it, is it my fault? If I were at a grocery store holding bananas in mostly plain view while the rest of my groceries were on the conveyor belt, you’d expect the clerk to notice, right? He or she might say, “Are you holding bananas or are you just happy to see me?” Or more likely, they might say, “Can I scan those bananas?” But if they didn’t, would I feel entitled to just walk out with the bananas? I am an honest guy so I am pretty sure I’d say, “Hey lady, don’t you want to grab my bananas?”
Writing this out is making me think there is a threshold of guilt or just blatant regard for right or wrong. I really have no problem accidentally stealing newspapers from Starbucks. But I would not steal bananas from King Soopers.
Fuck. I know I’m going to pay for my newspaper next time. I have ruined the benefits of my own ignorance.
I’m leaving for the mountains later this afternoon. Skiing all weekend long. I’ll likely be paying for my own damn paper at the Keystone Starbucks. I do not plan on having any yard sales or face plants, but I hope to see others’.
In the meantime, send me off with tales of your ridiculous Starbucks orders and thiefdom. I promise not to turn you in for either offense.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
First, let’s recap why the NBA sucks. One of the biggest reasons is because the score never matters until the fourth quarter. In college, if one team gets up by twenty points, the fat lady is singing. In the NBA, either team can be up by twenty at any time and usually by the fourth quarter the game gets tied up. Lame.
The players in the NBA are all full of themselves. I played basketball through high school and always had great respect for my coaches. I learned a lot from them and probably played at a level higher than my natural ability because I was so coachable. Players these days are millionaires by age nineteen and often think they are bigger than the game. They don’t play for the team as much as they play for their own stat line.
Prices suck. Good seats, beverages (read: beer), food, parking and it becomes an expensive night. I share season tickets with some other guys and go to about 15 games a year. It adds up.
So why do I love the Nuggets? Is it because I do enjoy sports and have an appreciation for the sport I still play weekly? No.
Is it because I enjoy going to the game with my friends and having a fun social evening out on the town? No.
Is it because I like to see the Nuggets’ stars like Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups; two of the best players in the league? No.
Is it because I like to watch the one or two stars that are always on the opposing team? No.
Here is why I love the Nuggets and my ten to fifteen games per year I attend:
I got home from the Nuggets win over the Mavericks tonight around 10pm. My wife told me what I missed:
***Quick little edit - the wife forgot to tell me that right before all of the fun below, Drew didn't quite make it to the bathroom in time and pooped on the floor***
She decided to let the kids have a breakfast dinner. That means cereal and fruit. I guess Will was eating while he had some kind of woven yarn thing attached to his hand. It was like a scarf. This yarn craft of Will’s was about a foot long. Drew decided he needed to pull the yarn attached to Will’s hand. Will laughed and pulled back. They ended up with a mighty game of tug of war. They were going back and forth and were getting a little to aggressive, especially with full bowls of cereal on the table in front of them. My wife told them to stop, but of course they didn’t listen. They kept going and she said to knock it off again and was about to walk over to take away the yarn.
Before she could get there, Drew gave a huge tug and lost his grip. His backwards momentum slammed his arms into his cereal bowl and everything went flying. Apparently milk was sprayed everywhere within a ten foot radius. Banana parts were on the walls.
My wife was pissed. It was a long day already and she was at her wit’s end. She was making dinner for herself and had a small jar of garlic in her hands. We have a kitchen island bar between the sink and the table where the kids were eating. She walked toward the kids and put the garlic jar down just a little bit too hard on the granite countertop. It shattered. Not broke. Shattered. She said there was glass everywhere. She had to throw out both boxes of cereal because she couldn’t be sure glass didn’t get inside. It was in the sink, on the counter, on the floor. She said it took her forty minutes to clean it up. And then she had to clean up the milk, banana and cereal mess. Another ten minutes.
The kids knew she was unhappy and were relatively quiet in the family room while she cleaned up glass, garlic, milk, bananas, cheerios and honeycombs.
But then Drew stepped on some artwork Will made at school. It was some kind of shell project, pasted on construction paper. Drew was walking on it and Will politely (for a change of pace) asked Drew to get off the artwork. This just caused Drew to smile and stomp on the artwork.
Will then freaked out and screamed at Drew.
Cindy blew up.
Tipping point reached, surpassed and left in the dust. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Kids sent upstairs to their bedrooms, no dinner, no books, no nothing. Lights out. See you in the morning and pray I don’t sell you to the gypsies for a bottle of Jack.
I missed all of this. I was at the Nuggets game. I love the Nuggets.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Okay, brace yourself. I am going to give the details of how I got these knee burns. I’m sure Blogger will be giving me the adult content warning as I talk about some sweaty hot passion.
We walked into the Radisson and I paid for the day rate. The hotel is pretty dingy, but all we needed was a place for us to play. We didn’t care about amenities. The room was already steamy without us having even started. Perhaps our excitement was causing the mood to be magnified to the point of the room being a conveyor of our passion. The light was actually bright, which was a nice change of pace. It is good having no inhibitions to the point of having light to help explore every nook and cranny.
We peeled off our outer layer of clothes and made sure the door was securely closed. We had a little warm up fun. We got the juices flowing and the heart beats up. The anticipation was too great. Warm up quickly gave way to full blown action.
I was hot and sweaty. My heart was racing and I was trying to maintain a steady rhythm. But I couldn’t stave off mini bursts of energy that clearly made my partner gasp. As our bodies heated up even more, our breathing became as audible as our periodic screams of “Yeah!”
At one point, I found myself on my knees, leaning over, one hand on the wall, the other hand grasping for balance as my sweaty body slid forward and then back again, ready for more. I was so into it that I didn’t even feel my knees getting scraped up on the floor.
As we carried on, there was a moment where I had my partner backed up against the wall. I was dominating. The sheer power of my strokes were overwhelming. I owned my partner. My passion for finishing it off became my obsession. The pounding was relentless.
Soon it was over. I was exhausted and very very satisfied.
Yep, I pummeled my buddy Tom in racquetball yet again. The Radisson’s court sucks, but it’s only five bucks and close to home.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I really don’t like the Yankees.
I played racquetball Friday morning. Some moron in the locker room had on a Yankees hat. I had on a White Sox hat. I don’t like the White Sox either. I’m true blue Cubs guy all the way. I wear my White Sox hat out of disrespect for them. I only wear it when I’m working out so that it gets dirty, disgustingly sweaty and stinky – just like the Sox. And I usually email my two die hard Sox fan friends to tell them how I defiled their beloved team after my workouts.
Racquetball is a blast. I haven’t played in a couple years, so it was fun to get back on the court. I mean, what isn’t fun about running into cement walls and getting hit by a high-speed rubber ball? I still have a welt on my hip, a day later. I got my buddy back though. Caught him square in the back of his neck.
Why is it that the first reaction between two guys when one gets hurt is to laugh hysterically? That is what happened both times. If you haven’t ever been hit by a racquetball before, you should try it. You can use a tennis racket if you have to. Or even just throw the ball. The key is to be less than ten feet away from the human target and to fire the little stinging rubber orb missal as fast as you can at his or her head, hip, back or legs. Bonus laughter points if you hit the ass. It isn’t funny to get hurt. But it hurts so much, you can’t help laugh at the severe pain. Weird.
I lost our first game 15-8. I am not a morning person. Plus, I think I was thrown off by the visual memory of a guy in the locker room that had no mouth. His lips were gone and it looked like he had no teeth or jaw. He had a reverse pucker the size of a large fist. Poor guy. I have no idea what happened to him, but I have never seen that before.
So on the court, I was sleepy and I kept imagining the ball hitting me square in the face and giving me a reverse pucker hole. Losing woke me up and I slaughtered my pal 15-0 the next game. Beat him 15-8 in the third and for some reason he wanted more so I took him 15-11 in the last game. Ha. Good way to start the day. Stomping a friend in a sport and getting a fricking welt in your side to remember it by all day. Nice.
Like the rest of the world, I’m trying to get my ass back in gear this year. This past week, I hit the club once and ran twice. Racquetball gave me four days in the past seven. I like that ratio. If I can pull off five in a week, that will be icing. Mmmm, icing. Wait, get that thought out of my mind. Yikes, reverse pucker guy is back.
*shaking head wildly
Okay, so my runs were interesting. It has been cold here so I did the treadmill. When I was more active a few months ago, I used to do four miles at an 8:30 clip. Okay, actually an 8:34 mile. That extra 16 seconds helps over four miles. Going from habit, I set it up for the same run. The first mile was fine. But during the second mile, I was losing steam. I wussed out at the two mile mark. I did a brisk walk, burped a few times, and called it a night.
Two nights later, I set up the treadmill for three miles at the 8:34 pace. No problem this time. I should have kept going but I told myself three was the goal up front. I’ll go for four today.
As soon as it gets warm out again, I will run outside. We often have sixty degree days in winter in Denver. So it could be anytime. And when I do run outside, I’m thinking about wearing a cape. I think that would look cool. It would flap in the wind behind me. People will say, “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a frog….” (anybody remember underdog?) or maybe they will think a superhero is in the hood. Oh, I won’t just wear a cape. I’ll have on shoes too. And shorts and a shirt. It is a family neighborhood after all.
I think the cape needs a comeback in mainstream fashion too. I’ve been dangling this idea among a few people and surprisingly haven’t gotten much enthusiastic response. You shouldn’t have to be a Count, magician or superhero to get to wear a cape. You could be going out to dinner with a loved one, playing golf, or going to work. Bring back the cape!!!
Wow, this is a lotta blog about a lotta nuthin. It is Saturday, kids are napping, and I have the writing bug lately. Fun. For me anyway.
Okay, I’m going to strap on a cape and hit the treadmill in the basement. I’d take a picture but all you would see is a blur. So use your imagination.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
So, let me talk to you about boogers.
Drew is my three year old. Three and a half if you ask him. He is the cutest 3-1/2 year old boy on earth. Yes, even cuter than yours, if you have one. He is a bit of a wild man though. I mean, look at his hair.
It’s part surfer boy, part mad scientist. Chicks dig that combo platter. Unfortunately, he also acts like a surfer boy and mad scientist. He tunes us out a lot and does some weird things.
He also dresses funny now and then.
Or dresses not much at all
And he is often up to no good.
The other night, we put Drew to bed around 8p. At 8:07p we heard his door open. Thump thump thump. He is coming down the stairs. He walks into the family room holding his index finger up.
“Daddy, I have a boogie.”
“Put it on toilet paper and go back to bed Drew-boo.”
He plodded over to the bathroom by the kitchen and then headed back upstairs.
At 8:18p we heard the thump thump thump.
“Daddy, I have another boogie.” He shows me. He picked a real winner. It looked like glistening crumb cake.
“Dude, go wipe it on toilet paper in your bathroom and stop coming downstairs. You need to go to sleep.”
“Okaaaay, good night.”
He stayed up there for the night. About an hour later, I had to use the bathroom. I walk in and see a giant boogie on the toilet paper roll. On the roll, next to the toilet! Stuck there, waiting on its own little square to be pulled and torn away by the next person.
I checked his bathroom in the morning. Sure enough, a big nasty boog wiped right on that roll too.
I guess he did what he was told.
The little booger sure makes life interesting. Sometimes kids can be a handful (or legful).
I wouldn't want it any other way.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I happen to have a Jager story that coincidentally involves a gal named Brooke. A different Brooke, but a Brooke nonetheless.
This story takes place my first year out of college. That would be the summer of 1989. Doesn’t have the same ring as Bryan Adams’ Summer of ’69, does it? That makes me 41 if you are trying to do the math. Which is the new 31. Plus I act twelve. On a mature day. So bugger off. Where did ‘bugger’ just come from? I think some of these Brits that have found their way to my blog are rubbing off on me.
Anyway, I lived in downtown Chicago in ’89. A few old high school gals just moved downtown as well. So we got together at a neighborhood pub in Lincoln Park. Burwood Tap if you are ever in the city. It is still there.
I somehow made it through high school and college having never done a shot of Jagermeister. We drank the cheapest beer possible in my cornfield of an Illinois college. So these party cultured sorority gals that attended Big Ten schools all over the Midwest wanted to start our little reunion with shots of Jager. I said I was game. They liked to have a contest where you had to hold the shot in your mouth without swallowing for as long as possible. First person to swallow had to buy the round, last person to swallow got their next drink paid for by the loser. I didn’t recall these gals being such lushes in high school, but I liked it. The fun they were. Not the shot so much.
That was my first ever Jager shot.
A couple weekends later, six of my buddies came downtown for the night. They were all lame and lived in the burbs. I decided to take them to the Burwood. And of course, I introduced the Jagermeister shot thing to them as well.
The seven of us walked in and proceeded to the back bar. I introduced myself to our tall cute bartender and asked her to line up eight shots of Jager. She questioned my math and I told her she would be joining us. She introduced herself as Brooke and started pouring.
We had a great night and followed that up with many other fun times at the Burwood. We’d walk in the back and Brooke would yell out, “How many?” She’d have Jagers poured and on the house before we were even bellied up. It was glorious.
Brooke’s sister was at the bar one time while we were cavorting. My pal JD ended up going on a couple dates with her. But then I guess he decided he didn’t like her and he stopped calling. Or maybe he told her he wasn’t interested. I don’t really know the details. If I were a girl, I’d know. But I am not, so I don’t.
The next time we went to the Burwood, Brooke did no yelling of, “How many.” We saddled up to the bar and gave her our order. She barely said hello and immediately told us how much we owed for the first round. The icy reception raised the collective hairs on our necks.
We glared at JD, drank our shots and left. He ruined the Burwood.
Moral of the story:
Don’t date the bartender’s sister.
We still rip JD today for ruining the Burwood.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I have tried to ask more questions to my mom and dad, especially my dad; so that I could uncover some family history for my own knowledge, and to pass on to my kids. My mom has spent quite a bit of time researching her side of the family and came up with some wild findings. For example, my mom is a direct descendent of Rebecca Nurse from the Salem witch trials. This may explain her wildly crooked and long bony index finger that always seems to be pointing at something. And I laugh my ass off when she says she is going to run an errand and my dad asks her if she is taking the broom or the car.
There is an assisted living home a few blocks away from my house. I have thought about going over there to see if they need any volunteers to hang out with the old folks. I wonder if the people living there have family and/or friends and how often they have visitors. Are they lonely?
Selfishly, I thought of this because I bet they have stories. Everyone has stories. The internet and blogging world has opened the door wide for anyone with access to a computer to tell their stories. I have enjoyed seeking out interesting people online whose words make me smile, think deeper, or fight off tears. And these are strangers, mostly between the ages of twenty and fifty. What about the people who have lived a long life already?
I just saw Valkyrie, a movie about select Germans’ attempt to overthrow Hitler. Don’t get me started on how miscast Tom Cruise was for this movie. Or how a better version would have been what might have happened if any of the ‘treasons’ were successful. I digress.
The point is, my dad was ten when World War II started and sixteen when it ended. He is 100% Bohemian, as far as we know. Which makes him Slavic. Bohemia was absorbed at some point and no longer exists. There might be some Ukranian/Russian in our family. What little I know about my dad’s dad is that he escaped the homeland to avoid being drafted into the army and likely being involved in a war against the Germans. He got to America and fifteen years later was enlisted in the U.S. army fighting in a war against the Germans. I really wish I knew more. My grandpa was dead long before I was born. And my dad would rather talk about the Cubs, the weather or the price of gas than anything deep or involving his childhood (he had it tough from what I can tell).
What did the teenagers of Chicago know and think about Hitler? Who was my dad’s first girlfriend? What did my mom and her friends do for fun as teens living in the hills of Ohio? What was it like for my mom to work for the U.S. government in Colombia? I have lots of stories to learn right from home.
I’d also like to hear what stories lie untold and dormant in the minds of the people at the old folks’ home. Is anybody writing this stuff down? Time flies so fast. I'm getting tired of hearing about the newest application for my iPhone or how billionaires are becoming millionaires. Wouldn’t it be cool to hear the stories and heroics of the people that are never asked?
I have been thinking of all this for a long time. And then just the other day, I stumbled on a book called City of Thieves by David Benioff. It has been a long long time since I read a book I couldn’t put down. One that I loved as much in the end as I did in the beginning and middle. I love this book. It is fiction. But it reads like it could have been real. It is a story told by a grandpa to his grandson about when he was seventeen and living in Leningrad as the Germans were invading Russia and the world. I don’t want to give any of it away, so I’ll stop there. If you like to read at all, read this book.
The timing of reading City of Thieves was so strange. I am inspired greater than ever to ask more questions in my own family. And to write things down. I barely have time to work, be with my wife and kids, see friends and live my life the way I want. But what about the people that have nothing other than time to give? Time to give their stories, their tales and their opinions. They might not be here in ten years, ten months or ten days. Will someone be able to pass on their legacy?
I write for myself. I do like getting comments and interacting with people who read my words. It is fun to have eyeballs and definitely makes writing even more fulfilling. And I have written for my kids. They don’t know it yet, but I have. I am going to try to write even more for them. I wish my parents and grandparents and beyond had written for us.
I am going to stop by the old folks’ home this weekend. Maybe I am wrong to assume they would appreciate having an ear. If so, I will offer to play some bingo and move on. But old folks beware. I am a curious sort. I’m on a need to know basis.
I will be asking.
Better yet; I will be listening.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I really am not a video game guy. When I was a kid, I played Centipede, Asteroids and Pac Man. And we had Atari – I rocked on Space Invaders. But I never played much after that. Once computers became fairly commonplace in the home, I’d often get games as birthday or Xmas gifts. But I never played. So, I’ve never gotten caught up in the Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo wars. I even missed the whole Sega generation.
I kept hearing about the Wii and how fun it is. Then, when I was visiting some buddies in Chicago a few months ago, I played it for the first time. It was indeed fun to be standing up and really interacting instead of just getting cramped hands and sore wrists from a joystick (that ending part sounds a little personal, doesn’t it).
So Santa got the family the Wii. We got my three year old a Lego Batman game. He likes it, but really doesn’t grasp how to use the controllers yet. So I play a two man game with him, making him Robin. And since he only meanders around hitting the jump button, I usually just end up kicking his ass. It is pretty fun to see Batman knock the lego shit out of Robin.
We got our six year old a Princess game. Yep, my boy is still enamored with girly girl stuff. Most of those princesses are pretty damn hot, so I can’t really blame him. Ariel in that bikini top? Jasmine in her sexy genie outfit? Cinderella in her flowing ball gown? Yeaaaaaaaah baby! Snow White is the only one that I’d probably ignore in a bar. I don’t mind the blinding pasty white skin. She is just a little too homely and that dress is so hokey. I say let Dopey, Doc and the gang of dwarves have at it. Clearly Happy likes having her around.
Anyway, Will has managed to make it through almost all the chapters already. He wields a mighty magic wand against those dirty little bogs. Will is also getting really good at bowling. He kind of dances during his follow-through and it seems to work for him.
I have boxed against Will twice. I got knocked out both times and I was really trying! The little guy is so hyperactive with his flailing arms that it must be conducive to Wii boxing. I was trying to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. My calculated punches and head bobbing were ineffective while he was bombarding me with his tiny jackhammer fists in a hurricane fury. Perhaps subconsciously, I had a problem with my Mii guy beating up his Mii guy (A Mii is your Wii version of yourself. You can create yourself and its pretty damn funny and a good representation). But then I realized he wasn’t playing with his own Mii. He created a fake gal pal called Zopena; a pig-tailed brown haired little fireball with too much blue eye shadow. She kicked my ass!!
I played tennis with my wife and she already hurt her shoulder. Her problem is that she really plays tennis and is pretty good. So she was actually lining up and taking full swings while I was doing little wrist flicks.
We haven’t been spending too much time on the Wii, but so far Will has been dominating it with his princess game. I need him to save Cinderella’s castle so we can play something else once in awhile. I’m anxious to do some baseball and try out De Blob (we haven’t even opened it yet).
I have some friends that have had the Wii for a year and they highly recommend the Wii Fit. Apparently it is a workout regimen that involves a balance board, yoga and all kinds of exercise. But those friends of mine are kind of chubby and not very athletic. It seems like taking nutrition advice from a Twinkie.
So, instead of getting knocked out in boxing by my dress wearing six year old son or trying to do a tree pose, I finally hit the gym over the weekend. It has been about two months since I went. Me and all the other lazy farts resolving to get back in shape were there. It felt great. I am already feeling rejuvenated.
In fact, I feel so good; I’m going to take Will on in a boxing rematch tonight! That three foot monster is going down!!! He can bring himself and his imaginary friend Zopena if he wants! The squirt goes down in two!
Friday, January 2, 2009
We went skiing on Monday. We were off work, the kids are on break from school and a friend was taking her daughter up to Breckenridge for the day. Despite the week between Xmas and New Years being jam packed in the mountains, we decided to go anyway.
I love the town of Breckenridge, but have only skied there a couple times. It seems like all the runs funnel down to one lift on each peak which results in long lines and too many people. And a lot of those people are Texans. Breckenridge is a favorite vacation destination for many people, but Texans particularly like it. Don’t get me wrong, I have no bias toward Texans. In fact, I love them and their country of Texas they live in. I just don’t like big crowds and Texans make the resorts crazy crowded around the holidays.
We put our kids in ski school and basically had the day to ourselves (well, ourselves and all the Texans). It was warm and sunny. I love having to put sun tan lotion on in December.
Sure enough the first lift had a ginormous line. It took about a half hour to get on the chair. We ended up next to four Texans. One was wearing a cowboy hat. Another wore a Dallas Cowboys hat. The women had designer ski suits on. Their long blonde hair was flowing out of their hats. They all had very strong accents. I do like that southern drawl. We chatted a bit after I told them I could tell from their accents that they must be from Ireland. They actually laughed.
My wife is an awesome skier. She lived in Vail for a year shortly after college and honed her skills that season. I am an okay skier. I consider my skiing career to have started when I moved to Colorado in 1995 at age 28. But really, I did ski a few times back when I lived in Chicago. We’d go up to the man-made ice hills in Wisconsin. Or for a ‘real’ ski experience, we’d venture to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. I recall skiing in jeans with the longest runs being a couple minutes of icy hell (cuz when you fell, it hurt big time).
When I moved here in ’95, my wife was still my girlfriend and she stayed in Chicago for about a year before she came out. So I learned to ski from a friend at work. She took me to Keystone. I had no idea what I was missing when I used to ski in the Midwest. My friend raced on the ski team in college, so she was a good teacher. She taught me the basics and in no time I was screaming down the mountain. Literally. “Get out of the way, get out of the way! I’m out of control!” And then I’d have a yard sale. A yard sale is when you wipe out and roll down the mountain losing gear and clothing along the way. You end up with poles, skis, hat, gloves, etc., scattered in a tornado trail ten to twenty feet behind you, up the hill. I had lots of yard sales that first ski season.
Now, I never fall. Knock on wood please. But I also don’t challenge myself. I can handle anything steep, but I don’t do bumps or trees. So I pretty much ski down blues and blue-blacks and enjoy the speed rush. I figure at nearly 6’-3” and 200+ pounds that I have a long heavy load to drop when I fall. So I don’t fall.
There is skiing etiquette that most people follow. For example:
- Don’t run people over is a good one.
- Alternating in the lift lines is probably the biggest rule of ski etiquette.
- When your friends take a break and are standing at the top of a rise, it is polite to NOT ski really fast toward them and then come to a halt within inches of them by doing a sweeping sideways slide that sprays them in a cloud of flying snow. Fun, but not very nice. I may violate this one now and then.
- When it is so cold that your friend has frozen snot on their face, it is polite to say something along the lines of “Get the slimy boogers off your face you idiot.”
- If someone has a yard sale in front of you, it is courteous to pick up their stuff so they don’t have to make their way up the mountain themselves. Usually a comment such as “Dude, that was a sweet crash, but I don’t think anyone wants your ski poles with baskets shaped like the state of Texas.”
- Tow a snowboarder on the catwalks. Catwalks suck for everyone, but those snowboarders have it tough. Tow them as much as you can and then they will be less likely to run you over as they ride without regard to most other skiers.
- Après ski is required (drinking after skiing).
We ended up having a great day despite the crowd. Standing in a lift line in beautiful weather still beats working or playing the Wii (family Xmas present) at home. The boys loved their ski lessons so it was great for everyone. It took about 2-1/2 hours to get home with all the extra holiday traffic, but it was still worth it.
I have to remember how lucky we are to live in Colorado. The foothills are so close and we can be deep in the mountains within an hour. There is something magical about the coasts and oceans, but the mountains and skies of Colorado come close to providing that aura. It is amazing what a cleansing of the mind the mountains can provide, even if you are just driving through them.
It is easy to get caught up in the stresses and routines of life. Parenting, work, marriage, friendships, responsibilities, and everything else can be overwhelming. Sometimes it takes the mountains to remind you to not take anything for granted and to appreciate what you have.
So thank you rich Texans clogging our slopes over the holidays. If I wasn’t irritated by you, then I wouldn’t have been there on the mountain with you.
Thank you mountains, for providing sanctuary for a day. I will be back.