Posts Tagged ‘Smash Mouth’

100 posts, six months

March 9, 2011

Earlier this week, I celebrated the six-month anniversary of this blog and my hundredth posting. In honor of both occasions, here are my picks for the top ten posts to date…

BEST OF THE BLOG SO FAR

1. January 24, 2011 – The night I met her
“I was watching her earlier, out of the corner of my eye. I could tell from a distance that this girl had a magnetic personality, a natural beauty and just something different. Something crazy. She tells me she’s at the casino by herself, like I am. I tell her we should take the escalator down to the ground floor and cruise the tables. I overheard a cocktail waitress say ‘American Idol’ star Chris Daughtry, who played a concert earlier tonight in the casino showroom, is playing blackjack on Table 7 and is way shorter and uglier than you’d think from TV. But we don’t go anywhere. We stay at the bar and talk and laugh, and my Budweiser draft disappears with a quickness.”

2. November 3, 2010 – Sarah’s birth day
“Someone announces that they see a head. The curtain is blocking all the action. I look into the reflecting glass of a medical cabinet on the wall to my left. There, I can see the flurry of movement by well-trained hands, then the silhouette of a tiny body being lifted from its mother’s womb. A quiet, quick second passes, then… we hear the baby cry. A stuttering, hesitant billy goat bleat that soon escalates into a full-blown, hyperventilating wail. ‘Baby’s crying?’ Tiffany asks me. Yes, I tell her happily, choking back tears. The baby’s crying. A voice on the other side of the curtain announces that it’s a girl. Another voice announces the time — 8:06 am. I squeeze my wife’s hand and brush her left cheek. I’m also in charge of making sure her drool gets collected in the maroon plastic kidney-shaped bedpan. Side effect of heavy anesthesia, the drool.”

3. September 16, 2010 – Ambien and physical therapy
“Since I compound-fractured my ankle, my wife has been an all-star. She has earned a great big Thank You gift. I just need to have her help me into the car, drive me to the Hallmark store or wherever, get out my walker for me, carry around whatever I decide to buy, figure out how we’re going to pay for it, help me back into the car and probably wrap the gift for me, too. I’m a horrible gift wrapper.”

4. January 31, 2011 – My quiet neighborhood
“The house next door to us on the opposite side is vacant. It’s tiny and dilapidated, and it looks like it hasn’t been lived in for at least a decade. Still, during the nice-weather months, whoever owns it shows up promptly every Saturday morning to cut the grass and edge the yard. He cuts it with a diagonal crisscross pattern and everything, and it always irks me that the abandoned crack house next door continually has a nicer lawn than mine. Although, I will add, it doesn’t irk me enough to do any extra work on my yard.”

5. October 6, 2010 – Tubby custard hobblicoition
“I learned something new today. The term ‘abasiophilia’ describes the fetish of having sexual desire for someone in a cast or on crutches. My wife is not an abasiophiliac, and I’m pretty glad she isn’t. If Tiffany did have a cast fetish, I’d probably always be suspicious that she was trying to push me down the stairs or run me over with the car to achieve her own perverse ends. Because nothing turns a lady on like having to do all the housework and pay all the bills yourself while your husband is immobile. That’s white-hot, ‘Funky Cold Medina’ stuff right there.”

6. October 8, 2010 – I get the boot
“My exiled recovery has left me kind of like eccentric, late-period Howard Hughes minus the money. I’ve peed in the jug and let my beard and fingernails grow wild and free. When my leg cast was removed, I was grateful for the talons I’d cultivated as I dug in with some full-on calf, ankle and foot scratching. Seen the ‘Seinfeld’ where Kramer ends up dating the coffee shop waitress because she has elongated nails and he has a previously unscratchable itch? Same thing. My fingernails and my newly exposed cast leg were a match made in heaven. Howard Hughes meets ‘Seinfeld’ meets Andrew the Uniplegic.”

7. September 20, 2010 – Nurse Ratched’s sledgehammer
“My mom is so devoted to my recovery from this broken ankle that she’s going to turn into Kathy Bates from Misery. I’ll be typing away on the laptop one sunny afternoon, and the door will open. She’ll say ominously, ‘You’ve been out of your room.’ I’ll say no, I don’t know what you’re talking about. She’ll say, ‘Andrew, my little ceramic penguin in the study always faces due south.’ Then, out will come the sledgehammer. It will be for my own good.”

8. December 31, 2010 – Twelve new Christmas memories
#3, Christmas Eve: “Some might have received my proclamation that my family would start our holiday shopping on Christmas Eve as a joke, but this is what in fact happens. The snow is still swirling from the sky as we spend well over an hour stuffing a WalMart cart with our entire haul of presents. We pick out a couple things that we want for ourselves under the guise of, ‘This is your Christmas present to me,’ and later we get a big box of bargain Christmas cards from Walgreens. I used to have a cheat sheet listing which relatives received which bargain cards (‘Grandpa = puppy in stocking, 2008,’ ‘Tiffany’s sister = winking snowman, 2009,’ etc.), but now I get to experience the rush of possibly giving the same relative the same card several years in a row. Will they call me out on it? They haven’t yet.

9. September 7, 2010 – Day One of daytime daddydom
“When we had our second baby, child care began to cost us $13,000 a year. We abruptly decided I was going to quit my daytime job and watch Sarah and Silas for free. Mind you, I’m not high-income. I just celebrated – well, ‘celebrated’ is not really the word for it, more like ‘wincefully acknowledged’ – the tenth anniversary of my intended-to-be-temporary foray into serving and bartending at mid-priced chain restaurants. I graduated college with honors at the age of 21. I was going to take a year off and write a book. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s not 1999 anymore, although the band Smash Mouth and I both sometimes wish it was.”

10. February 13, 2011 – Seen Jamaica?
“The Wal-Mart checker was, I’d guess, in her late 70s. She was about halfway into the process of scanning my 56 items when she looked to her right and realized there were eight people in line behind me, and none of them had more than six things to buy. ‘Where’s Jamaica?’ the elderly checker asked loudly. ‘I need Jamaica! Hey Susan, have you seen Jamaica?’ I figured Jamaica was the name of another checker who’d turned her light off and left her line unattended because it had been dead all night, but what if there was another explanation? What if this old lady’s visions of visiting or moving to Jamaica, the beautiful Caribbean island itself, were the only thing keeping her going through this barrage of graveyard checker shifts in the twilight of her life?”

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Advertisements

Day One of daytime daddydom

September 7, 2010

If you would have run into me a week ago, and we started talking about my kids, I would have launched into a stock bit. About how I was totally cool to take care of one baby or the other at a time but that I hated being charged with both babies simultaneously and now had full appreciation of the burden foisted on single parents, etc.

A week ago, I had no idea I was going to start watching Sarah (almost two) and Silas (barely two months) every weekday from 8:30 to 6. It was an abrupt decision. Tiffany had just gone back to work from maternity leave, and we’d started taking both babies to the same babysitter. This service, by the way, was projected to run us about $13,000 a year. We figured we’d make it work somehow.

Mind you, I’d just celebrated – well, “celebrated” is not really the word for it, more like “wincefully acknowledged” – the tenth anniversary of my intended-to-be-temporary foray into serving and bartending at mid-priced chain restaurants. I graduated college with honors at the age of 21. I was going to take a year off and write a book. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s not 1999 anymore, although the band Smash Mouth probably wishes it was.

I had a party-filled twenties and got some writing done that I didn’t really form into anything publishable. It wasn’t until I fell in love, got married, moved away, settled down and opened the baby factory that it seemed both feasible and imperative to get back to writing and performing words that make people smile and laugh. I started doing open mic standup last Christmas. The day Silas came home from the hospital, I joined Facebook. Two new outlets where a year before the only thing on my social/comedic radar was karaoke night.

Then this decision – go on a leave of absence from my daytime job, switch to all closing shifts at the nighttime job, and stay home with Sarah and Silas during the day. No immediate financial loss stands to take place, and things are looking good for my wife and her job. I’ve been wanting to start a new blog but was at a loss for a theme. This ending just wrote itself.

So this was Day One of the new arrangement, and I didn’t need an alarm clock to wake up for it. An alarm clock to me indicates putting an end to sound sleep. Me, I sleep for a few hours here and there when there’s no one crying. Last time was between 5:30 and 8:30 this morning. Both babies came to life just after Tiffany left, and I started my day in triplicate. Feed Baby #1, feed Baby #2, feed myself. Change Diaper #1, change Diaper #2, take a crap. Put Sarah in Outfit #1, put Silas in Outfit #2, put on my old black Sublime shirt with the pinprick hole in the belly.

This mundane process actually takes hours. I might be able to shave off a few minutes after I’ve been doing it a couple months. Sarah can at least pull her shoes on now. She’s obsessed with socks and shoes, actually. The “socks” part I’m not too concerned with, but the “shoes” part down the road could break the bank.

Meanwhile, I’ve got the entire PBS Kids lineup playing in the background: “Dinosaur Train,” “Sesame Street,” “Sid the Science Kid,” “Super Why?” and Barney’s bitch ass. These are a daily staple. Sarah’s at the point where she can name the main and secondary “Sesame Street” characters. She can’t name any state capitals yet, but she knows which one’s Telly and which one’s Prairie Dawn. I don’t even know which one’s Prairie Dawn. All the “Sesame Street” girl muppets seem interchangeable to me.

My mom was kind enough to buy us a Graco DuoGlider double stroller. This thing is a serious piece of hardware. Silas gets mounted facing me in his car seat, and Sarah rides up front. She’s like six feet away from me when I’m pushing them. We just broke in this stroller a week or so ago, and I’ve had Tiffany show me how to unfold it six times. But while Silas is inside asleep and Sarah is strapped into the single stroller next to me, it takes me ten minutes and a hundred attempts to get the thing open and ready. If I was even remotely famous, you’d be seeing footage of this atrocity on tonight’s “TMZ.”

I feel like an idiot, but I don’t give up, and soon the three of us are walking to the bank, to the post office, and then to the park via milelong bike trail. Silas sleeps the entire time, while I let Sarah run free over an empty football field and chase the geese up toward the lake. The weather, by the way, is absolutely perfect. It couldn’t possibly be any nicer, and there’s not another human in sight.

Last week at this time, I was rolling a stack of silverware while listening to some girl ten years younger than me bitch about her love life. I think this is a change for the better. I got a new blog out of it too.