Sunday, October 15, 2017

Beer For the Runners

First let me get this out of the way. My son was eating chili with his hands and got it all over his sweatpants. I thought Chili Sweatpants might be a good band name, or perhaps a good album title. Mrs. Noisewater thought that should go on the blog, so there it is. Chili Sweatpants on that ass.

In other news . . .

I got an email about volunteering for the Chicago Marathon, and I saw it as a sign because I always told myself I needed to do that some day. When I ran my one and only full marathon years ago I had no one supporting me. I was so thankful for all the volunteers and random people along the way cheering my name (I had my name written on my chest, which I highly recommend for this reason). I saw this email as a good opportunity to make good on my promise to give back.

After registering online the confirmation email gave me my assignment: It said I would be giving out the free beer to the runners. Oh hell yes. I was made for this job.

When I got there the row of taps on the sunny side were all taken, and very few of the early finishing runners were coming to the dark side. Zero of the wheelchair participants (who have the early start time) came our way, and the few really competitive guys, mostly Kenyans, that came through didn't want the beer anyway. Here is a rough estimate of beer consumption based on levels of performance.

2 hour finishers: 1 out of 10 drink the beer. They all look like their entire body has gone into shock, and some are close to throwing up. One guy was wretching, and while I felt odd offering a gagging person a beer, I felt it my duty to put it out there to everyone. To be honest, some of them were so out of it after what they put their bodies through that they didn't even notice there was free beer to be had. I haven't reached the level of exhaustion where I don't notice free beer, but maybe I'm just not working hard enough. Or maybe I'm just a drunk.

3 hour finishers: 3 out of 10 drink the beer. There are fewer Kenyans now, and a few more beer swillers.

4 hour finishers: 6 out of 10 drink the beer. Now we're having some fun. I basically never have to stop pouring by this time. It's a waterfall.

5 hour finishers: Somewhere between 8 and 9 out of 10 drink the beer. And every 10 minutes someone asks if it's okay to drink two. I usually would say, "No, sir. We are not allowed to do that," as I winked at him and handed him his second. Other times I would say, "Sure, to hell with it. What are they going to do, fire me? I'm a volunteer! Drink up!" Like I said, I was made for this job.

I noticed that the maintenance guys going around to check on the kegs, replace them, and pour more ice were drinking the whole time. I didn't believe in drinking on the job myself, especially during the morning. However, we reached a point where my shift was officially over and there were still runners coming through. I couldn't just pack it in and leave after all these hard-working, albeit slower, marathoners were still trickling through the finish and every bit in need of beer as their speedier cohorts. There was no way I was leaving my post. However, since my shift time was officially over and since it was beyond noon, I figured now was an excellent time to drink on the job.

It got a lot more fun at this point. One for you, one for me. I remember one guy saying, "Can I get one more beer for my wife?" I said to him, "You don't need a story, sir. I remember on Halloween asking for one more Snickers for my little brother. I didn't have a little brother. Still don't. Here's your second beer, sir. For your knees."

I was getting a bit of a buzz on and no longer had to be jealous of them getting to drink while I had to "work," but here's the thing: I had to admit that I was a little jealous of them running the race. That feeling started for me on the train ride downtown. I was thinking back to the nerves I had the morning of the race and the fantastic playlists I made to push me through. b

So I decided to sign up for next year's Chicago Marathon. I think my plan will be to run it every other year with the alternating years tapping those kegs of Goose Island 312 wheat beer and handing cups of it out to the athletes with a smile on my face all day long. It will be a fine pattern for me every fall.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

1. So the other day I'm taking care of Baby Erik Noisewater all day, and I get a text from his mom saying that he has the best daddy ever. I appreciated the compliment, but I had to tell her that moments before I received that text I was taking a pee with the door open. Erik wandered in and stuck his hand right into my pee-pee stream. Now, I don't know who the best dad ever really is, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't piss on his son.


2. I'm going to the Cubs games today and tomorrow with two of my good friends who live in L.A. One doing really well directed television shows, and the other is a singer and the guy from the Ivanka post. It's the singer's 40th birthday, so we are all getting together at Wrigley Field for Cubs games today and tomorrow. Our Cubbies are already in the playoffs, so the game is just a chance to catch up and drink too many eleven dollar watery domestics. Many of the guys I'm going to this game with were friends I have known since grade school, and we have been going to games since we were kids. A few of us were fascinated that there a seats that dwindle down to rows of three, two, and then ONE! In either corner of the park there is a row that is just one seat, so one game when we were in high school, in a mostly empty rain delayed game when the Cubs stunk, we waved to each other from the one-seat rows. This is a little before we discovered booze and women.

3. Sometimes people ask if Erik Noisewater is a momma's boy or a daddy's boy, and I put it like this. He loves his daddy. His daddy makes him laugh like crazy. But he needs his mommy. When he starts getting cranky and his mom isn't around he just says "momma" over-and-over, and then when he sees her, he will snuggle up to her in a way he and I just don't. But, I can make that little rascal laugh until he damn near hyperventilates, so we both have our roles. But rarely will he say "dada." He does sometimes, but he likes to point at me and say "ma!" He smirks at me too, and I'm positive he is trying to be funny - and succeeding. He also does all kinds of funny tricks to keep people laughing. The kid is funny and blond, both like daddy.


Monday, August 21, 2017

The Two Crazy Guys We Met During Date Night

Mrs. Noisewater and I have a new plan where we go on a date night and then immediately lock in the next one. That way we don't ever let too much time go by between dates. It is kind of like when you get a haircut and then book the following appointment when you pay. We also have a rule where we don't meet up for drinks with anyone else. It's a night just for us. That is, unless we meet some weirdos organically, which often happens when it's a Noisewater date night . . .

Dinner was lovely. The place had a mescal lounge. It was my first experience drinking mezcal, and I enjoyed the smokey tequila flavor. It got a nice fire going in my belly.


After dinner we tried to go to a pop-up bar that was modeled after the TV show "Stranger Things." The line was pretty long, so we decided that paying a babysitter while waiting for anything was not a good use of our money and time. I suggested a rock n' roll bar that I've been meaning to try, and my wife is the coolest so she agreed. There was live music and a cover, and I didn't like what I was seeing and hearing. The singer was a white guy with cornrows, and while they were trying awfully hard, it just sounded pretty shitty. I asked the guy at the door what the band was all about, and he was not even trying to sell them. He said, "I don't know, man. They're trying to be punk, but it's not really punk." As he said this he was lifting his shirt and scratching his big bare belly. We took belly-man at his word and decided not to go in. The problem was there were no bars in the immediate area.


We decided to call an Uber from a nearby Mexican restaurant that smelled like a sewer. Probably not a good idea to eat there, but we did knock back two frothy and refreshing margaritas. With time running out on the babysitter, we decided to ride back to a spot where we could walk home. There we met a hilarious drunk dude. I can't exactly remember how it is that we got talking, but it might have been about the preseason Bears game since that was on. This dude was hammered and sitting at the bar slurring stories to me while his wife was more upbeat and bouncing around the bar from person-to-person telling other stories, and in one case the same story she had just told Mrs. Noisewater.

Drunk dude told me that his wife was crazy and that she held a knife up to his throat the other night. He said he is 59 and his wife is much younger. He called her a grave robber. We got talking about our kids, and he incredulously informed me that his 12-year-old daughter was receiving dick-pics from her classmates. "Do they even have pubes at that age," he asked me, outraged. I told him that I didn't get a thicket down there until a year or two after that, but it's possible. He then told me that the same daughter and her friends drank/ate all of the jello shots at a recent block party. I guess these kids were pretty hammered, and all the parents were pissed, as I'm sure you can imagine. Most of what this dude said had me laughing, but this was the hardest I laughed.


Drunk dude then asked what myself and Mrs. Noisewater were drinking. I started to tell him, but then Mrs. Noisewater suggested we get going. That was a fantastic idea because I would have listened to goofy stories from that guy all night, especially if he was buying, and I felt hungover enough the next day as it was.

So, get out for a date nights with your special someone. And also, talk to some weirdos at bars. Weirdos at bars have the best stories.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's Baby Book Review

I thought I would help other parents out there by letting you all know which books have been helpful when putting Baby Erik to sleep and which ones totally suck. Some of the pictures came in sideways, but whatever. My web master is on vacation.

Knitting and listening to ZZ Top














"Goodnight Moon" was written in the 1940's, and it has been used steadily by parents to put kids to sleep all these years for a reason. All babies seem to love it, I am finding in my limited exposure to my baby and a few others. You basically say goodnight to everything in the "great green room," and at one point there is a little old lady whispering "hush." When I say hush and put my finger up in the hush-motion, Erik always looks up to me for that part. It's all about routines for babies when you're putting them down to sleep, but sometimes I mix it up and go with the ZZ Top version and say she's the little old lady just looking for some tush. It's also all about keeping yourself sane.

"Go on! Take everything! Take everything from me!"

This kid in "The Giving Tree" is a real turd, right? Take, take, take. That's all he ever does. The rat bastard robs the tree of everything over the years to the point where the tree is just a stump and the boy sits his now old ass down on the tree when the tree has nothing else left to offer. You could just as easily have called it "The Taking Boy."

You can't tell me that monkey isn't up to something sinister.

Swiper will pay for his crimes against the lemonade stand.

I have two books with Dora the Explorer. They're cute, and I like to expose the young man to a little bit of Spanish. I will say there are a few too many words, which will lead to the baby trying to turn the page or reach for another book. This is when you have to make up a more abbreviated narrative for each page, or if you're a psycho like me, make a sick joke. For example, you'll see the picture of Dora and Boots the monkey having a sleepover, but look at the evil and maybe a little drunk look on that monkey. He's up to something just as the mom is turning out the lights. Sometimes for kicks I'll say, "Mom, don't turn out the lights for a human and monkey sleepover! That's how AIDS got started!" Yeah, I'm nuts. Sorry. Then you will see Dora and her monkey friend picking lemons to make lemonade while the evil little weasel with the lone ranger mask, Swiper, is stealing the lemons. This is when every once in a while I will say, "So for stealing the lemons, boots held him down while Dora beat Swiper about the head shoulders with a bicycle pump. 

The tear jerker.
Let's move onto a serious note. This is the book that you will read to your kid, and you will cry. Every single time. The worst of these times for me was when Mrs. Noisewater was getting her appendix out right around Christmas time only a few months after Baby Erik was born. My family was nice enough to hold off on the Christmas activities until she was out of the hospital and feeling better. So, one night Erik and I had just left the hospital to go home, go to bed, and come in the next morning. When I read this line to him I cried like no other:

"And if someday you're lonely,
or someday you're sad
or you strike out at baseball
or think you've been bad . . .

just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there."

I since have bought this book for two other new parent friends of mine, and they loved it too. I highly recommend this one.

Star Wars: A Daddy's Perspective

A good friend of mine got Erik this Star Wars book with original artist renderings of what they envisioned the movie would look like. I spoke earlier about having to make up quick things to say when there are too many words, and here is another great example. There's almost more space for words than pictures. So, for example, in the picture above I will say, "And then the ungrateful Luke Skywalker so hastily attacks his father who had just so generously offered to rule the galaxy side-by-side with his only son." I like to give the story that daddy perspective.

Alexander came to wish you an unhappy birthday. In Australia. 
Here is a classic that I also read as a little kid. I think it's cute that Alexander is obsessed with Australia. But I will say, he seems like somewhat of the brooding emo pessimist type. I would wager he listened to The Smiths in his teenage years. He's a good kid. 

"Try it and you will see!"

Here is the takeaway from "Green Eggs and Ham": Sam-I-Am is the best salesman ever. He approaches a customer with a product that the customer completely hates and tries every angle to find a way to make it work for the customer, be it eating those eggs on a plane, on a boat, or (my favorite), with a goat. Cracks me up every time. What would a goat bring to the table aside from spitting, howling, and smelling bad? Yet he tries that angle anyway to exhaust all the possibilities. Without a doubt the salesman of the year over there and Green Eggs and Ham, INC.

Dinosaurs actually became extinct at the hands of giant babies.

Kids go bananas over pop-up books, but that is also the problem. In their excitement they will beat the shit out of pop-up books. Just look at that once mighty dinosaur. No match for Erik's fat finger beat-down. 




Where the jerks are

Here is another classic, "Where the Wild Things Are." And here is another pretty awful little kid, chasing the dog around the house with a God damned fork, and hammering nails in the wall. So, his mother sends him off to bed with no supper, which is when he envisions going off to an imaginary land with monsters. There he becomes their king and sends them off to bed without their supper. Jeez. Rather spiteful, right? 

My kind of town

We have many friends who got us Chicago related books, and those are a lot of fun for a baby growing up in the Windy City. The Cubs one is especially fun, and that "C Is For Chicago" one has amazing drawings. I only read the Cubs one after a win. S is for "sore loser." 




I'm sure many of you remember "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." I had not seen it in a number of years and got to the end to find the last page was the one on the right. So, that's it? The caterpillar ate too damn much and got fat? That's the lesson for the youngsters out there? Don't eat like a pig or you'll be a fat-assed caterpillar of a kid? No, that's not how it ends. The final page where he becomes a butterfly was ripped out by my nephew. It's a darker and more cautionary tale without that last part. 


And here you see Erik at his office carefully helping his dad write this blog during his lunch break. It was no-pants Friday at his work. They have fun days like that over there. Hope you enjoyed the book reviews and it can be helpful to some of you with kiddos of your own.

Any other children's books recommendations that you care to leave in the comments?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ivanna

I had a bachelor party at a beach house in Hermosa Beach, California for a good friend of mine named King of the Beach (not his real name), and we met someone named Ivanna (also not her name).

We spent a lot of the week playing volleyball on the gorgeous beaches, bumming around the beach house, going to bars, and going to other bars with naked people, as is customary for the occasion. One night we are at a rooftop bar, and when we looked over towards the bar, one of the more mild-mannered gentlemen in our group was talking to a fetching leggy woman at the bar. He introduced Ivanna to us, and the first thing we noticed is that she is 5'11" and taller than me in heals. And she was absolutely loaded on the Bolivian marching powder.

Ivanna is a former model and singer (of sorts) born in Russia or some place similar and raised in Australia. And she absolutely loved us. All 10 of us men. Sure, it could be the endorphins in her brain triggered by the piles of cocaine she was doing in the bathroom, but we took it as just being great dudes and her good "mates." She said mates a lot. Here's the thing: She managed to be kind of charming even though she was talking loudly and a mile a minute.

The poor gal had just wrapped up a bad first date with a guy who only wanted to talk about how much money he made all through out their dinner. She wanted to go up to the bar for a drink, and he didn't want to go. At least I think that was her story. They got into some sort of argument, but most of us were guessing that she was way, way too high and the dude split as a result.

Ivanna told us that she used to date a guitar player who played in a high profile 1980's musician's band. She met a lot of famous musicians and other celebrities during that time. Sadly, guitar player boyfriend died. She brought her deceased ex a number of times, and I was getting the feeling that she was nowhere near over this event - and it seemed to be a trigger for her to want to drink and do more drugs. Oh, also she told us she was 42-years-old but looked and acted 22. I actually felt bad for her at times, but mostly I was laughing and having a good time at the outrageous things she would say - and I don't want to say I was laughing at her all the time, because that wouldn't be true. She was funny intentionally too.

But her singing was absolutely horrible. I think she said she used to be a back up singer, but I'm guessing they just had her look good in tight outfits, swaying back and forth with a tambourine and her microphone off. It wasn't all that loud at the bar, but she felt a need to lean in and sing loudly into everyone's ear. She had an affinity for the 1980's, so we instantly became good buddies. I remember her trying to sing lots of Foreigner and Hall and Oates jams, and when she found out my one friend was a singer, she tried to impress him even more. And the harder she tried, the worse she got.

She told me that she thought I was attractive and then motioned towards our respective genitals and pointed back in forth and said that down there it was going "woo! woo!" Like our genitals were carrying on some sort of intense conversation down there. I laughed and said that I was flattered but that I have a wife and a kid at home. Ivanna was very flirty. She told one guy in the group that he had "bedroom eyes," and he was eating that up. We called him Ol' Bedroom Eyes all weekend, of course. So, truthfully I was not all that flattered because she loved all of us. She kept saying how we were such great guys with good energy, but I think she just needed a friend badly - someone with whom she can overshare and sing songs to.

Ivanna told me that this wasn't her worst first date. She went on another one where the guy told her at the dinner table that he would like it if she stuck things into his rectum later that evening. She was offended and didn't see him again, but she admitted that until that point he had been pretty charming She may have indulged him had he been a little more patient. She said she does piles and piles of cocaine (duh) and she can get into just about anything in the bedroom with the right amount of chemical assistance. Let that be a lesson, gentlemen. Don't overplay your hand. You may get all the wonderful things into your butt that you want if you just exercise a little forbearance with your freaky-deaky requests.

We also had a random business man from France come into our crew and another blond woman from I-don't-know-where. Ivanna was the perfect scientifically proven element for repelling the stuffy tight-asses away with her loud shitty singing and drawing in the right types of people who like to have fun. We had to get to the next stop on our itinerary, and it seemed as if Ivanna was going to continue on with French man and blondy. However, after yet another trip to powder her nose, the two of them had opted to part ways with their third six foot third wheel* and sneak out while she was gone. Dejected but likely determined to find more friends willing to stay up until 7AM, Ivanna went out into the night. Alone.

Ivanna brought us a boost of energy and left a lasting impression upon us, as we were still discussing some of her awesome antics when we had a break the next morning in between volleyball serves. God love you, Ivanna. May you find the man who will help to get you at peace after losing your fallen love, and wherever you go, let it snow down coke in a good times establishment full of bedroom-eyed folks ready and willing to sing loudly and poorly right along with you. My first beer at today's Cubs game is for you, Ivanna.

-------------------------------------------------
*Six Foot Third Wheel is the best band name I have thought of in a long, long time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

He's a Good Dude

First off, sorry about not posting for over a month. That's messed up. Having this kiddo is not an excuse to drop blogging all together. I'm going to make a better effort. I have him in daycare every Wednesday this summer, so I'll try to make that my automatic posting day.

Today at the gym two goofy things happened. The first one was when I looked up at a guy who was hollering at me from his treadmill. I was blaring an album by stoner rock legends Sleep at that moment so I couldn't hear what he was saying. When I took out my ear buds I ascertained that he was hollering at someone on his headphones phone device. But why look right at me when you're berating someone else? I was scared for a second there because I don't know how to fight and the dude was big.

The other odd duck was a middle aged man who stopped a young Asian woman to ask if she was using a machine. That is normal gym behavior. Then he said, "Can I work in with you?" That is also an okay request, I think. But then he asked, "Do you have a sister?" I'm not sure about that last one.

The other thing is that I have a pretty awesome kid. We are all a little biased, right? But from where I'm standing, he's a good dude. Erik is 10 months now, and he likes to do little tricks all the time. He waves, points, sniffs, does mouth popping noises, flaps his arms, and shakes his head. Those are the ones I can think of right now. I'll ask him to do "sniffies," for example, and without seeing me for a cue, he starts sniffing away. And the sniff face is mean-looking so it looks like he is mean-mugging people and everyone has a good laugh. He will do one or more of these things and then look at you to see your reaction, and when you do it back to him, he thinks it's hilarious. This kid is going to be funny. His mom and dad are funny too, so I think there are going to be a lot of good times ahead.

Erik also smiles at everyone, which makes everyone he meets feel special. "He smiled at me!" I don't tell them that he does that for everybody because why spoil their moment? He also likes to share, he likes to laugh, and he can dunk a basketball. Sort of. And in that video he hadn't quite learned how to crawl, so he was doing the worm. So break dancing is something I can add to his list of tricks. Talking? Not really. Just "Mama" and "Dada" thus far and not always in context. But I got this little man doing tricks like a dog. His mom gets mad at me because he will growl/grunt and I'll do it back to him, and we will be on the floor together grunting like a couple of cavemen. Mom thinks that I should be saying more words to him instead, and while she is probably right, the growling is a blast. It's a good life.

How about you, readers? What makes you proud of your kids? And if you don't have kids, who are you proud of? Or if you aren't proud of anyone at all, have you seen any weirdos at the gym or elsewhere lately?

Saturday, May 06, 2017

The Captain Costco Kid

While I'm pushing Baby Erik in a shopping cart into my local Costco today I see a family of four coming in as well. They consisted of a father, a mother, a son dressed in every day little kid clothes . . . and then another boy in a full God damned Captain America costume. I'm not saying that he had a t-shirt with the emblem on it because that would be completely acceptable.

(That one hand in the pocket with the thumb out always lets the ladies know you're a man about town and a little dangerous. In fact, the thumb of this Captain America points right to his very own "captain" if you look closely.)
No, I'm talking head-to-toe tights with built in fake muscles and a mask. A mask! Your kid isn't Zoro, The Lone Ranger, or any other masked avenger. He is a scrawny little son of urban yuppies, and you're allowing him to make a decision to break all social norms for no better reason than he thinks he's special. Well, he's not. Let's put it this way: Do you want him doing his grocery shopping in an outfit like that when he is 30? No, because then he would likely be insane or some sort of village idiot.
This wasn't exactly the costume, but it was the closest I could find. The kid had no shield, but if he did I would have thrown some cheese at him to test his blocking skills.
Here are the scenarios I came up with that could explain why a family would allow their son to run around thinking he is a pint-sized crime fighter on an otherwise typical Saturday morning in Chicago.

1. It's his birthday.
At first I thought maybe it's cool to let the young man wear the get-up of his favorite comic book hero once a year, but then it occurred to me that there already is a day that the little rascal can do that; It's called Hallo-Fricking-Ween. One day is enough, kid. Don't push it. Halloween is the day where tons of kids, and even adults, are out in costume. So on that day you look perfectly normal dressed like that. But on days that don't fall on October 31st you look like a little dork. I'm sorry, but it's true.

2. Maybe the kid has severe behavior problems and wouldn't leave the house unless he got to dress as Captain America.
Well, if this is what is going on, mommy and daddy might as well piss on the fire and call in the dogs because this young man is running that household. Why can't they just say no to his outfit choice for the day? Are they scared he will throw his plastic shield at them? He's 7 for Christ's sakes. Just because he dresses like one does not mean he is that captain of that family.

3. He wants to have big muscles.
You're just going to have to put in the time at the gym like the rest of us, little fella. We all can't just slip on a muscle suit. What kind of message does it send to him if he thinks he can skip all those sit-ups for those wash board abs and just key up and rush deliver a muscle suit on Amazon? I read once where Sylvester Stallone commented on when action movies took a turn for the worse: "It was the first Batman movie. The action movies changed radically when it became possible to Velcro your muscles on. I wish I had thought of Velcro muscles myself. I didn't have to go to the gym for all those years." So, you want to know why you suck, kid? Just ask Sly.

So what to you think, friends? Would you allow this sort of clothing choice for your kid? Also, what are you up to this weekend, oh captain my captains? . . .

So here is a picture from today of Erik (on the right) and his homeboy Diego (on the left).  Earlier, Erik saw the Captain America Kid. Hardly a good excuse to post a baby photo, but they're cute, huh?