Tuesday, July 31, 2012

April 28th, 2012 is a day that will go down in famy. It was the day I went from being only a son and having a father to having a son and being a father... along with still being the son and having the father. It was arguably the most exciting and scary experience of my life. And it wouldn't be a difficult argument to win.
My son was born at 3:55 am on Saturday, April 28th, but the excitement and drama all began a little more than 8 hours earlier.
It started off as a normal Friday. I arrived home from school and was looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend. I had a round of golf on the schedule for Saturday and was really happy to be getting out on the course for the first time of the year. Little did I know, golf was soon going to be knocked off my to do list for quite some time.
Alyssa was feeling very pregnant and was not looking forward to another month of gaining more weight and feeling even more uncomfortable as the weather became hotter. More than once she expressed relief in not being pregnant through the summer months, but April had already approached temperatures that didn't agree with her.
It had been a few weeks now that Alyssa wasn't able to carry anything of any considerable weight up or down stairs and it was my job to move things to wherever she wanted them moved. Fulfilling my job as the caring and considerate hubby, I took it quite personally when Alyssa would not bother asking me to lift something and did it herself. I became stern with her more than once because she continuously tried to do too much.
And it was while in this mood that I took it upon myself, without the slightest provocation from Alyssa, that I decided to do a little laundry. Heading down the basement stairs, I felt like a man on a mission. Throw the wash in, turn a few knobs and dials, head back upstairs and think about all that the rest of the day could hold.
What a plan!
Upon reaching the base of the basement stairs, I noticed water on the floor by a couple pipes. In my mind, I hear, "Crap!"
I wasn't too concerned at this point because our water was flowing fine upstairs and toilets flushed with glee.
I made my way over the the washer and dryer to discover more water, a lot more water.
Again, there was a voice in my mind, however, this time words much more colorful that "Crap" were being shouted.
I informed Alyssa of the predicament in the basement and phoned my father, he would know what to do. He arranged for his plumber to send a guy over. But the damage was done, MY WATER HAD BROKE IN THE BASEMENT.

The plumber arrived and made short work of the mess in the basement while Alyssa made herself comfortable on the couch and we began the pre-discussion about our plan for dinner for the evening. As the plumber came up from the bowels of the house, which I really consider bowels now, since I saw inside a few choice pipes and got up close and personal to the cause of the clog, I turned toward Alyssa to see her make a strange face.
"What's wrong?" I asked her.
"Something weird just happened in me," she replied.
"What'd it feel like?" I asked.
"Kind of like a water balloon popping inside of me."
"That could be your water breaking."
"No, it's too early for that," she said still calmly.
"Have you ever felt something like that before?.
"I think it might be your water breaking."

To be continued...

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm a dad

So I'm a dad now. Pretty awesome. When I get a spare minute or two I will write the whole story out and let you all know about it. Just not today though.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lines and Crowd Situations

The funny thing about traveling abroad is that you pick up on some of the characteristics of certain people from different countries and notice different aspects about Americans whether you are sitting on an airplane, waiting to de-board in Spain, or sipping a cafe con leche (coffee with milk) at a sidewalk cafe in Barcelona.

So here are a few of the idiosyncrasies that Alyssa and I noticed on our trip to the Spanish land.

Alyssa read a book titled Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost. It's the story of a guy who visits China and tries to understand the culture. Anyway, he ends up buying a train ticket but when the train arrives, turns out people in China don't stand in line, so there is just a mob of people trying to get on the train. He ends up not making it onto the train because of all the people pushing and shoving to get on the train.

So basically, there are no lines in China.

Cut to our flight from Grenada to Barcelona. On any flight there is always a line of people waiting to get off as the passengers in front of them get their luggage from the overhead compartments. It is never fun waiting for everyone to get their bags, but it is necessary. However, we were on the plane with people from China.

And let me remind you, there are no lines in China.

So, while everyone else was waiting for the people in front of them, the passengers from China (we know this because we saw their passports), who were in the back of the plane, gathered up their luggage and sprang into action. Squeezing and pushing, bumping and shoving past everyone, they made their way off the plane. Everyone passenger that they made it past just stared incredulously. Alyssa and I remained in our seats and just watched this mini fiasco. Awesome.

Onto the Americans. Throughout Spain it was obvious who the Americans were. They were a bit louder than most people, slightly heavier, and much less sophisticated in their dress. For example, I wore tee shirts all week.

It was at one outdoor cafe, one night, that we were absolutely sure that the loud, boisterous table next to ours was surely a group of Americans. But, as it turns out Canadians can be just as noisy and gregarious as we, Americans, can be.

Americans also stare much more at nude sunbathers than people from any other country. And people from every country outside of the US have a much more open minded policy to public nudity. It was pretty awesome. Aviator glasses are pretty much essential for anyone going to a European beach who do not want to appear to be American.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Relationship Guru

I don't know how it has come to pass, but it seems I have become an expert in the dating department. Turns out that since I've been in a relationship that has spawned an engagement, which in turn spawned impending nuptials, those in my social circles consider me a relationship savant.

Lately, friends and acquaintances have sought out my "expertise" on the merit and life expectancy of other relationships shorter in duration than my own. At some point in time within the last month I crossed a threshold. I have entered into the club of guys who "know what it takes" to make a relationship last. Who would have thought? If only such a club kept a leash on its membership fees, right? You know what I'm saying? (Honey, I'm totally kidding)

Obviously the qualifications for such a club have to do with longevity and appearance to others. Which is funny when you think about it. Length and looks. Real subtle girls. The mantra that "he must be doing something right" comes to mind. The fact that they have lasted this long signifies success.

Though this type of thinking isn't completely off base. Relationship longevity is one good indicator, but there are plenty of couples in which their friends haven't a clue as to why they remain a couple. The outward appearance is usually the hint for those steadies who make everyone aware of their problems.

On the other hand how often do two people break up and neighbors, friends, relatives, and mistresses say, "they seemed so happy." So there is definitely more to it than that. So, in turn there must be more to it for being in this couples' club. People must see something else in a couple than just length and looks when checking out the success of a relationship.
And that can be only one thing. They must have me under surveillance.

I knew I wasn't paranoid.

Progression of Beer

The first sip may or may not taste that great.

You have to give it time, you have to wait.

After a dozen you know your own fate;

In another round or two, it's too late.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm baaaack!

That's right! I'm back! But not in the creepy Arnold Schwarzenegger (I almost spelled that right the first time) way when he's just letting the maid know he's home after a long day of killing terminators, Colombians, the devil and state budgets, and is ready to have his pipes cleaned. No. Not in that way at all.

It's been a busy year. Sorry. Life took precedent over Blog. But no more! (probably a lie)

The wedding is approaching and the most recent headache came in the shape of a shiny, navy blue suit. Don't worry it is not anything like Jeff Daniel's ensemble in Dumb and Dumber... it's better.

A little back story for you. There are 6 groomsmen in the bridal party, 1 bridegroom (that's the old fashioned way of saying groom-- read a book), 2 fathers, and 2 grandfathers of the bride-- and everyone is getting a suit!

Think Oprah. Imagine her shouting, "You get a suit! And you get a suit! And you get a suit!" You get the idea.

Only Oprah wasn't the one at the suit store, with everyone's suit size, picking out the colors everyone wanted or was being forced to wear, and dealing with the master salesman Claude.

Long story short, it took a number of weeks to get everyone to visit their local neighborhood tailor guy to get sized. Then, the order was placed. Every suit would come with flat front pants (not pleated) and the bride and groom would pick up the suits, a rainbow would appear in the sky, and they would skip to a Disney song, written by the Sherman brothers, sung by Julie Andrews, and peace would break out in the Middle East. Everyone would smile and be happy.

But no, it was not meant to be.

Every suit came back as requested except for one. The only suit to come back pleated was the groom's. There were some options. The tailor could take the pleats out, which meant he/she would need to take the pants apart, thread by thread, seam by seam, for $65. Or get a different suit.

I did not like the idea of wearing pants that were going to be completely disassembled. I worried about this as much as Johnny 5. How could the pants ever possibly be what they once were, nice looking pants? So, after much deliberation, and multiple trips to the dressing room, which anyone who knows me knows how I feel about dressing rooms.

I'd rather be in a port-o-potty deciding if I should risk getting some sort of bacterial/viral infection by taking a seat than go into a stupid dressing
room to try on clothes.

I finally decided on a different suit of a similar color, but with a stripe. Oh well.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Movie Etiquette

After years of being irked, in the words of Howard Beale embodied by Peter Finch, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore."

It is time that I deliver the 9 Movie Theater Commandments. I have seen hundreds, most likely closing in on a thousand films in theaters all over the country. From Reno, Nevada to Hilton Head, South Carolina. From New York, New York to Boise, Idaho. I have seen films in the large chain multiplexes to small art house cinemas. I like to think that besides seeing the films and learning something or other about the human condition I have also learned and mastered what it takes to enjoy and allow others to enjoy a film on the big screen. So without further ado, I present the 9 Movie Theater Commandments.

9. Please save the make out sessions for the car or a hotel. I do not need to hear two people sucking face while I'm trying to focus on the complicated plot of Inception. Yeah, it was funny on Seinfeld during Schindler's List, but that was a sitcom. In real life, stay in the parking lot and save twenty bucks.

8. I was in a sold out showing for Dinner for Schmucks and there was actually someone complaining to theater staff that her and her friend's seats were stolen. Saving seats is not illegal at the movies. It is a fact of life. But to avoid an incident like the one involving the schmucks, clarity is the best quality. Leave at least one friend to stand guard over the seats. Items of clothing are best used when distributed equally and visibly over the seats in question. And never respond to "Are these seats taken?" with something like, "Haha, uh huh. They are. Next time try working on your punctuality, movie geek." They might have really big friends who steal your friends' seats.

7. No throwing food. In the dark, and while sitting down, that big headed dork in front of you could be a Jersey Shore castaway tweaking on PCP. And those pieces of popcorn you threw at him could resemble napkins thrown up into the fan at D'Jais and then he starts fist pumping and hits you and ten other people and ends up ruining the movie for everyone.

6. If you have an annoying laugh please try to control yourself. If you don't know that you have an annoying laugh, chances are none of your friends want to sit next to you during a comedy, and the one who gets stuck next to you never ends up enjoying the movie. So please, do all of the movie watching public a service and save the comedies for movie nights at home.

5. I don't care what ethnicity a person is because this is not directed at any one race. I have seen people of all races and creeds who are guilty of this. With that said, stop asking questions or making suggestions to the characters on the screen. They cannot hear you and will never answer you. The only thing your questioning and suggesting does is annoy the hell out of the people in the theater and make you look and sound like an ignoramus. And if you are one of these people, an ignoramus is an idiot.

4. Pee before the film starts. If you need to go, I'm only letting you by twice; once to go and once to come back. Any more than that and I just might push you over the row in front of me.

3. Don't put your bad parenting skills on display by bringing your seven and eight year olds to see Predators. You're a horrible parent, and possibly a horrible person, and you are keeping the door to your kid growing up and becoming a mass murderer that much more ajar than it probably already is. Save yourself and society by checking out Toy Story 3 instead.

2. Nothing rips me out of a movie trance more than a damn text message or ringtone. How can you not realize that everyone within earshot and eyeshot wants to tear that phone out of your dead, rigor mortis-ed hand (they've all killed you) and shove it "where the sun don't shine." Silence is golden and darkness is preferred.

1. Babies. Everywhere else, cute as can be. In a darkened movie theater, a crying baby makes baby punchers out of nuns. Get a babysitter. Call your mom. Leave a bottle in the crib. Roll down the car windows. Give the bum on the corner a fifth of Jack and tell him you'll be back a little later. I don't care. Just don't bring the infant into the movie theater. It shows a complete lack of class, respect, upbringing, couth, caring, parenting, money, responsibility, sense; you name it.