Wednesday, April 30, 2008

is there a dentist in the house?

this pittsburgh groom, a dentist by trade, literally kick-started his marriage when he delivered a kungfu kick to his new bride en route to their holiday inn room. what ensued would make amy winehouse and the late ike turner proud as hell. smacks of class, doesn't it?

Friday, April 25, 2008

back to basics

this weekend we're sans kids, staying at a hotel downtown and celebrating 7 years of marriage while my mother and sisters are in town to watch the kids. we tried this last year in chicago and it did not end up as we expected. wifey was ill the entire weekend - symptoms we attributed to pregnancy upon returning and doing a pregnancy test.

so, we're trying this again and staying local this time. she has already shared this information, in case you tune into her blog, and i like how she framed it so will leave you with that. this time i'm making no predictions since that all sort of fell through in chicago. the only call i will make is that we won't come out of the weekend with another bun in the oven.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

after school special

generally i have a small threshold for annoyance at the gym most mornings. in fact it would be fair to say i am completely cynical as i make my rounds there. it's not that i'm mad at the world or generally unhappy. simply put, i'm tired and don't particularly like working out. i mean, who does? to me it's a necessary evil.

i'm probably not the only one who feels put out when people invade my personal space or, god forbid, ask if they can work their cycle into mine on a particular machine. i find that i'm especially chafed when someone asks this and i look around to see barely a soul in the entire place.

when you get back into a gym routine faces of people become familiar, as do their quirks. this means there are plenty of targets for projection and dirty looks...enough so that the guy whose body odor smells like spoiled milk can be the bane of your existence one morning and the lady with a bad perm and camel toe can play scapegoat the next. basically it's a crap shoot every morning, as you walk in not knowing exactly who will grate on your nerves, only knowing that someone will.

lately i've noticed a guy - normal, well groomed, generally inoffensive - marching around with a rather urgent gait and a seemingly genuine smile on his face. this would all be rather unremarkable except that his atmosphere merges with mine more than i would prefer. the worst is when he power walks to the pull-up bar, which faces the butterfly machine where i am stationed, and executes a set of gyrating pull-ups. since the brim of my cap is typically pulled low, i'm able to avert my eyes and find a happy place. still, it's odd and grounds for irritation, right?

last night i'm rocking cole in my arms on the front porch and watching the jackal wrestle baci on the lawn (thank god that kid gives the dog attention because i'm borderline dead beat dog owner lately). out of nowhere a voice says hello. i look up to see a priest - clerical collar and all - standing on the sidewalk clutching a rosary. i return the greeting and look closer, realizing that standing before us is none other than the gyrating pull-up guy from the gym...and he's a priest!

some pleasant conversation landed me with knowledge that he's a priest at the catholic church a couple blocks away. nice guy. he even weathered the spanish inquisition the jackal tends to lay on complete strangers these days with a smile.

as he walked away i devoured the plate of humble pie i deserved for misjudging the guy at the gym in the first place. i even brought leftovers for lunch today. yummy...

Friday, April 18, 2008

gushing about kate nash

my friend
adam is a whiz with integrating music content into his site. we have traded emails and plan to connect so he can tutor me on the back end magic that requires.

in the meantime, i thought i'd recommend an artist in an apparently primitive way - word of mouth.

one of the hottest things about my wife is that she digs music and tends to keep up with new bands the same way i do. if i could only see her in one of her power suits rocking spoon or maybe neutral milk hotel. another of my weaknesses is a hot woman, which my wife happens to be, in business gear.

anyway, she recently picked up kate nash. driving her car the other day, since it's more economical and i had to drive to tysons corner, i played the cd. let me say that it kicked me in the balls. it's like the first time you heard the sugar cubes.

check it out when you can. the song, "foundations" will rock you.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

famous last words or just too much information?

driving home last night, my own fragility came to mind when an oncoming car on rock creek parkway swerved slightly into my lane and stirred the butterflies inside. i consider myself to be a good driver and at the wheel generally feel in control and safe. this minor non-incident last night reminded me that my own driving abilities don't really matter and that someone else could show me the exit from this world by being a shitty driver.
as i peered into the rear view mirror and exhaled, of all things this blog came to mind, which i found odd because, while i enjoy it, this is not a major facet or priority in my life. but it must be on some level, right? otherwise it would not creep into my head seconds after i almost wrecked. in any case, the context of my consideration of the blog was this: what will my last post say about me?
with that in mind, i have an experience to share that falls into the "way too much information" category. i have shared this story with a few friends and questioned whether or not to blog about it. unanimously i was told that i should, so here goes...
the other day i was doing some manscaping on my netherworld with my trustee hair clippers (#1 guard setting). this happens about every two weeks. the obvious question one might ask upon hearing this is, why the hell do you do that? to which i'd reply, why the hell wouldn't i do that? it would hypocritical for me to ignore that bit of grooming since most men sort of expect that of women, yes? the funny thing about it is that as an adolescent i couldn't wait to have pubes, and as an adult i want none or very little.
at any rate (typing this is almost making me blush), i had to sort of straddle the toilet while i went to town downstairs, lest the clippings fall all over the bathroom floor. about halfway through the job, so about 20 seconds in, the clippers slipped from my hand and plunged into the water. like a fool i did not think, i just reacted by grabbing the cord, which sent a minor jolt of electricity up my arm. it all happened so fast, but i vaguely remember yelling "what the fuck!" before yanking the cord out of the wall.
looking back on it now, i wonder what the nanny downstairs must have thought about the racket i made. i also wonder what it would be like to cry and laugh hysterically and simultaneously at my funeral, knowing that i was found naked on the floor with half my pubes shaved and hair clippers in the toilet. the scene, which thankfully did not play out that way, reminds me of the death scenes six feet under used to open with - ordinary people dying in their homes in rather extraordinary ways.
you'll be glad to know the clippers actually survived. after i dried them off they were good to go, so i finished the job.
so if this is my last post, it's sort of embarrassing. let's hope i make it through tonight.

Monday, April 14, 2008

gay for a day

Last week I promised my wife that Friday night would be my swan song. This is a tongue-in-cheek commitment to 86 all vices and clean up my act. She reminded me that I've been singing swan songs the past 7 years and have enough material to put out a greatest hits record and launch a world reunion tour. It's true, I have battered the swan song concept to death, which is why it's sort of an inside joke now. In fact, I can hardly utter the words to her these days without giggling like an obnoxious child.

Not one night last week did I drift naturally, peacefully to sleep. Instead I passed out after too much of this or that. When the going gets tough, sometimes the tough self-medicate. At least that's what yours truly did every night last week starting with Sunday. I know, as a father of two I should be ashamed, maybe even fitted for concrete shoes and tossed into the Potomac for such behavior. Well, all of us adults (hopefully all of us) figured out once we crossed a certain age threshold in our lives that our parents are fallible and generally don't have all of their shit together. In other words, they are human, not necessarily the super heroes we used to place on pedestals. Now don't get me wrong - I am not lobbying for parents' rights to do damage to themselves and shirk parental responsibilities by any stretch. I would not even say I did that since I did not imbibe last week until the kids were down for the night. Regardless, I was in a bit of a funk and skidded on the slippery slope last week. It happens to the best and worst of us, I guess.

Not lost in that haze was the awareness that I should pull over to the shoulder and get it together, which brings me back to the latest swan song remix on Friday night.

My friend Joe had tickets to the Nationals game. They were hosting the Braves, but I couldn't have cared less since I was mostly interested in checking out the new ballpark and eating unhealthy food. I'm a baseball fan - the Cardinals come first - but this early in the season it's more about the experience than the game itself, at least for me. The best part about it, probably the earmark memory for me, is that I got to be gay for a day.

Joe is gay. That label would be otherwise completely irrelevant in my book - I don't really say my "gay" friend Joe or my "white" friend Sam - except for that fact that it's sort of relevant in this instance. As a side note to that, Joe might be the biggest sports fan I know, which seems to be unique for a gay cat. In any case, we met at Joe's house late afternoon to get the drinking and smoking started. He went out to the car, and I lagged behind. When I rolled out the door, he was sitting in his VW Cabrio with the top down. I hopped in and said something like, "We are so gay together today."

On the ride there, which took a mere 5 minutes, the glances thrown at us proved that passers-by considered us a gay couple. When Joe turned on and cranked the discotheque mix at a stoplight next to a car full of meat head marines near the barracks on 8th Street I looked to the sky and cackled. The dirty looks of judgment we caught from these dudes were priceless. I can honestly say that for a second there I experienced a faux moment of gay pride, despite the fact that I am clearly not gay. Well, my wife says that I am just gay enough. So maybe there is a slight percentage of gay in me. So be it.

The rest of the night was a mess. We didn't last past the 3rd inning, and I have foggy memories of Joe spilling onto the floor at Five Guys near the ballpark. Whatever. None of it really stacks up the ride there.

What a swan song...except that I got drunk as nuts the night after at a dinner party. Such is life these days.

Friday, April 4, 2008

escalator rage

you ever have one of those mornings when you want to time warp back to college, draw the shades, rip bong hits all morning, and let indifference wash over you? i had one of those today. a wave of chaos built up around monday, crested on wednesday, and crashed our shore this morning. it's nothing new really. i mean, working parents with two kids and a meathead chocolate lab - that scene automatically lends itself to a dust storm now and then. so i get and accept it. that does not mean i am always cool and collected, which brings me to an incident this morning.
en route to the gym, i rolled out of the house, leaving the symphony of a whining 3-year-old and screaming 3-month-old behind me. i was close to jumping out of my skin. the icing on the cake was potting soil and flowers strewn about the front porch and yard. apparently a gaggle of squirrels went medieval on the asses of the flowers my wife and the jackal planted last week. needless to say, this added more edge to the morning. basically i was a time bomb, and the only thing that would diffuse me was some arcade fire on the ipod and a steady dose of cardio.
i work out at the washington sports club in the bowels of the chevy chase pavilion. the creature of habit that i am, i park in the same spot in the garage, next to the hotel elevator, and shuffle down the same escalator to get to the lower level. today was no different, except for the crusty, crotchety, curmudgeon of a woman wearing crocs and high-water, pleated khakis who decided to walk right on my heels to the escalator and down it. now, i don't walk at a snail's pace by any means. i've lived in the city 10 years, so i maintain an urban gait wherever i go. apparently that was not enough for her. neither were the two or three quick glances i threw over my shoulder to signal enough with the fucking tailgating. basically she left me no choice but to stop on the moving escalator and call her out.
do you mind?
huff. i'm in a rush to get to work. sorry. (in a very put-out tone)
i can feel your breath on my neck.
looks like you left your social skills at home in your rush out the door. now how about some personal space?
sorry, lady whoever you are. you became my scapegoat today. wrong place at the wrong time, i guess. but you know, you kind of earned it. and that outfit is likely to draw the ire of others who cross your path today. so, good luck with that.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

every whisper, every waking hour

rem's new record, accelerate dropped today, so with a blend of anticipation and dread, i rolled to the borders near my office and picked up the cd/dvd combo. (not that i expect to watch the dvd much, but it was like $4 more so what the hell...) i know itunes and other such mediums are more efficient and the wave of the future, which seems to be now, but for certain bands i still buy the hard copy material. somehow i feel like i'm remaining true to my fan hood, not to mention i like to check out the art work on the inserts.

to date myself, rem has been an obsession of sorts for me since 1986. i remember the days of michael stipe flying around the stage, his arms and ass-length braid cutting the air like an old switch your baptist grandmother might have torched you with when you were a child, of course after you cut said switch from the crabapple tree in the back yard. i digress, but it's not a terrible analogy since back in the early days, there was much angst to do with southern baptist guilt and defining one's self in light of that in their songs. after all, they originated and headquartered themselves in athens, ga for so many years, so how could the bible belt not flail into the collective stream of consciousness on occasion?

i must admit that i ripped off many of stipe's on stage dance antics when i fronted a band for four years in college. hell, i even incorporated a megaphone into the act, which he did a lot in the late 80s and early 90s. belting out lyrics into a microphone via megaphone is something i would recommend to anyone. it's a rare opportunity that fucking screams "rock star," even if it's in the framework of a college band getting by on covers and a few tragic originals.

well somewhere along the line, the band lost its mojo or plainly stopped giving a fuck. the last 3 or 4 records were unremarkable at best and forgettable at worst. it seemed like suddenly michael stipe transcended music to become just a personality, a diva maybe. don't get me wrong - i think anything the cat does is interesting, creative, and intelligent, and it would not be terribly far fetched to say that he falls onto a short list of man crushes. but his thing stopped being music, and music is what brought him to the dance, yes? it almost pains me to say these things since i have such an allegiance to this band and the ripples they have created in the artistic world. that said, i am thrilled about the reviews i've picked up so far and can't wait to check it out, tomorrow morning at the gym.

yes - it would be fantastic to soak it up tonight, but it's bath time, then there's where the wild things are, down by the bay, goodnight moon, and the very hungry caterpillar to read.

how cool would it be to read the bedtime stories through a megaphone?

hmmmmm, yeah, not really cool at all, right...