Thursday, April 30, 2009

Looking For A Unique Title

Today suuuuuuuuuuuuu-uuuuh-uuuuh-ked. I'm not even going to get in to all the crap that got dumped on me at work cause I'm starting to realize that I can really ruin a party that way. I got word from a few close friends (and a few close friends from far away) that they were putting in a good word with the Most High for me and mine. That and the continued reinforcement of the advice to focus on the good.

Only one person barfed at my house today. That's GREAT! The Short People are acting somewhat charitable toward one another again. SPECTACULAR! The Missus and I are finally gaining some ground on the housework. She's been battling the laundry with some help from my Mom and I've suddenly found motivation to scrub things. (I think Target puts some good stuff in the Method cleaners. Hope it's not habit forming... or maybe I do.)

I've got a gig tomorrow. Nice. After a total debacle two weekends ago I could totally use one that goes right. And now the big news. I gave my buddy in Nashville a call about mixing at a stage at Cornerstone in June (it's a big Christian music fest that's basically the who's who of the industry). I'm in. To quote the guy, "Jonny, you need to come to Cornerstone with us, hand out a thousand business cards and quit your day job when you get back."

Between that and a number of other opportunities that are popping up locally and on the road it looks like I could be burning through the time off I've racked up at work this summer. It's making The Missus nervous for me to be talking about freelancing again so I'm not hanging my hat on anything just yet. It is a pretty sweet daydream to think forward to the day when I can tell my boss off and grab my tools but realistically that's likely still a long way off.

The simple fact that I can rely on though is that God provides. If it takes surviving through two awful jobs to finally get to the point where he can put me where the deepest desires of my heart will be met then I can hang on a bit. Meanwhile I'll just be praying about help making good decisions and asking the praying type folk that I know to put in a word for The Mister as well. To all that already have, thanks, and good night.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Suck

The Missus and I have both come down with a bad case of feeling like we suck. It's not hard to see why. With finances never really all the way in the black and not going five days in a row with a healthy household for five months we're a little bogged down. I haven't felt like writing, haven't done much more than give the occasional glance at the blogs I read. We're down.

Work sucks, the kids are cranky, everything is either a mess or needs fixing. But that's just another day in paradise right? Looking back tonight we figure it's been more or less like this the whole time we've been married. So we started looking at all the stuff that's better now than it used to be. That helped a little. We asked a few close friends to pray for us too, we have high hopes based on the previous track record with stuff like that.

Anyway, I haven't got much to say excepting that. Mostly I just didn't want anyone to think that I had dropped off the earth. Here's to looking for the bright spots. G'nite.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Finally!

Last post I said that something big was in the works. Two nights ago, after some doing, two of my best friends got engaged to each other. And it happened right here in my driveway! I got asked to be the best man. I won't bore you with all the details but this has made a lot of people very, very happy. And we could all use a little bright spot around here.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Dear The Missus

Dear Wife,
Watching two of our friends fall in love, start dating and all of that has jogged something loose with me. I miss my wife. We're so busy with work and the kids and so run down by all the stuff that we do. It seems like such a long time ago that we were just young and crazy in love. Admittedly going on tour for three months after we'd only been married for two and getting you knocked up fifteen minutes after I got back wasn't exactly the best family planning in history, but it's been working out all right.

Even though I know that work is only going to get more insane, and so are the kids I want you to know something. Despite being exhausted to degrees I never knew were possible I'm still crazy about you. It's not the zingy new romance stuff it once was but it's there. I. Am. Deeply. In. Love. With. You. Babe.

I had no idea what love really was until I held our first child and looked over at you. I didn't have a clue about selflessness until I watched you with our kids. I still don't think I know enough about being a husband to really be the guy you deserve, but I'm not going to stop trying until I get there.

When you smile it's just the best thing ever. Your eyes still flash just like they did over that first cup of coffee. When you pay me a compliment I still feel like a seventh grade boy down inside (that part of the zingy stuff hasn't worn off I guess). So here's the idea. I try to find a way to get more done around here, and make more money so we worry less, and you try not to do way too many things and bog yourself down and maybe we'll find some time to pretend like we're young and in love again. Naaaaah. It'll never work. I am going to try and kiss you like I mean it at least once a day though. Because despite sounding all greeting card, you are the light of my life, sometimes the only light I see.

Love you Babe.
-Your Mister

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Finally Resting Easy (er)

It wasn't a totally normal day in the primate house at the zoo. Lil H-Bomb was still pretty sick, but finally started keeping Pedia Lite down. And also a few bananas. A lot more exciting junk happened this weekend but there's more to do before I can write about it.

Stay tuned... it's exciting!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sign Of Spring

It's shearing time at my house. A sure sign that Spring has sprung. All Saints to Easter is the time for whiskers, and now it's time for that timid creature known as The Mister's Chin to come peeping out to explore the budding world.










Still Bushy for insulation's sake.













Fooling around real quick with a look that The Missus would never let me out of the house with.









People always forget what a handsome devil I am under those whiskers!





Ahh!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lacking Eloquence

Yeah, lacking the words for once. Also lacking the energy. Contemplating infant mortality while evaluating one's self worth in a chosen field while struggling under day job conditions that are at best tolerable really takes it out of a fella. I wish I had Irish Gumbo's eloquence when it comes to a head full of racing thoughts. I'm like a centrifuge.

Love is the pill though, the one that's suppressing the shakes and keeping me off the guard rail. My kids are getting really good at expressing it, and I'm finally learning how to see it in less obvious ways from them. The Missus isn't exactly a greeting card, but love from her is like a force of nature. And I've got some friends who give me a good dose. Voicemail, texts, e-mails, the occasional hug, a prayer or two, and... their simple presence. Nothin' says lovin' like just being there.

I wish I had time for a hobby. Even blogging and keeping up with blogs is getting to be too much at the moment. I scan, I don't comment much, I'm feeling kind of meh about the whole thing. I feel like there's some part of me that's observing all the discrete insanities of my life right now and that part's hobby is keeping tabs to see if I can remember everything I need to. (The safe money is on no)

In a way I'm slightly jealous of the "company men" of the fifties. Sign on as a young man, put in your thirty years. Get a watch and a pension, retire to an armchair or the bocce court. Naaaaaaah! Those guys were probably bored as shit!

Ah well, a couple things got canceled this weekend and a couple things popped up to do with the Fam. Maybe I can find an hour or two to just veg with a book and listen to the carpet grow. Probably not, we got a garden to plant. But at least I'll have a chance to learn how to interpret getting kicked in the nuggets as a form of love from my children. It's good to be loved (cringe).

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random

Honestly, I'm not really a fan of the whole Random Tuesday thing. I don't know why but the idea just grates on me. But things are just too random around here to get them all in to one post.

Friday I was leaving work early for a big, weekend-long gig up in the big city. On the way there I got a text message that the guy who was supposed to arrive with my gear that morning had his truck break down. Scratch four hours off the day and the show starts an hour and a half late. Nobody's pointing fingers but I still feel like I suck.

Right around the time of that first text message I got another one about how my two week old baby was on the way to the big hospital in the city with a fever. When they're that little it's a pretty big deal. Especially if they have MRSA, which he didn't. But he did have staph and it took a botched spinal tap, dye injections in the brain, and a number of other unpleasant experiences to figure out. The antibiotics worked. He gained weight. He learned to smile. The Missus got a much needed rest while other people took care of the rest of the Short People. I stayed at the gig.

I decided to stay at a friend's house. The kids were all right, The Missus was all right. I got next to a camp fire, some bourbon and four friends. I'm good at suspending feelings. I had a blissful two hours of feeling all right before I passed out. Didn't sleep much and got up with the sun.

The gig got worse and worse. The bands took sound checks longer than their sets. The speakers took an average of an hour longer each than they were allotted. Gear failed. Paperwork was lost. And just about the time I was cramming the third full band on stage (with all the stuff from the first two still up there) the fourth band showed up for their sound check. Yeah, fourth band that I hadn't heard about yet at that point. (Despite all being church folk it was still pretty scary to face down a band of Native Americans and have to tell them that, as Whitey, I was pretty much going to have to shaft them.)

Eventually it all ended. We packed out and went back to the same friend's house. We grilled, we drank, we watched musical theater and Motörhead on YouTube, we smoked big, stinky cigars in the yard. On the spur of the moment I adopted my friend Amanda as my pretend little sister. Eventually I drank some coffee and drove the long road home.

I fed the kids. I took the kids to church. I fed the kids. Some friends came and took the kids, and fed them. I put the kids to bed. Then... in that first moment of quiet The Missus came home. I had been thinking all weekend that at that moment I would finally stop feeling like I was going to throw up and probably cry. I didn't though. My sweet wife and sweet babe came in the front door and with a barely audible click my world was right again.

Work just sucks. The contractors are all starting to catch on to the fact that my hospital is a black hole. You can't find anything. There's no schedule. They all want new jobs too now. We laugh a lot when we talk. A little game I like to call "Laughing To Keep From Crying". Apparently it's quite common in the construction industry. I had no idea. I thought it was just my own little way to cope with my insecurities and the pressures of the job.

The gigs keep rolling in though. I just booked another one tonight. I may have a regular Friday night thing starting in the fall. Still waiting to hear about a short tour in May and a festival in June. Not enough to think about quitting the grind, but every little bit helps with morale. Even a shitty day on a gig is better than a good day at work.

Some other random stuff from the Short People.

Miss O on Sunday morning: "No we are not having candy for breakfast! We are having cereal!" Good on ya girl! Way to run the shop while Daddy's in a coma from not sleeping all weekend.

H-Bomb while changing his diaper, "Cookie Monster! Don't eat da PENIS!" Ya...

J-Man while pulling down his pants, "I got a bump on my booty... see?!" Son! What did I tell you about those hookers down at the wharf!?

I'm beat and I still have two hours of audio to cut from two weekends ago. I also miss my wife. See ya.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

She's Knocked Up Again

Welp... The Missus is knocked up once again. It's true. Her OB is already feverishly writing a paper to submit to all the journals and the folks from Guinness have called twice. (We're not hearing anything about an entry in the record book until we start hearing about some free stout, thankyouverymuch.)

So yeah, we had always joked that we were the two most fertile people on the entire planet and now we've gone and proven it. Judging from the early ultrasounds it looks like the date of conception was actually three weeks before Sweets was born. So that happened...

Go ahead and take the hook out of your mouth if that one actually snagged you (sucker). She's most emphatically not preggers and never will be again. (I'm going to see the vet next week and get that taken care of.) In other news...

We had a shop meeting this week without the Big Boss around a lot of stuff came spilling out on the table. After a month of fear and rumors everyone wearing a blue collar is on the same page. We set up a committee to hear grievances and take them to the appropriate boss (we have four you know).

As of the close of business today our VP heard our gripes and was surprised to learn what turmoil our shop is in. There were policies in effect that he had no knowledge of whatsoever. He also asked if there were issues with the Big Boss (conveniently out of town on vay-kay this week) and when the answer was a resounding YES!!! he got sort of a resigned look on his face that gave all the appearances of a man ready to wade into a situation.

There apparently is a non-negativity policy being drafted in HR as all this is going on. Nobody knows if it will ever see the light of day or what it will look like if it does. But for now things are getting livable again. Big love goin' out to all my readers and Twitter pals who sent their well wishes. Somebody must've been praying cause this has that God-took-care-of-it feel to it and I know I for one was too ticked off to ask Him for help this time.

In other, other news. We got started on the garden today. The Missus picked up some peas, asparagus, and rhubarb and we got them in while the children ran around without any pants on. It was a pretty good day.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Time To Lawyer Up

I need to know if it's legal for an employer to make employees sign a policy that restricts them from any sort of negative speech. I realize that they want to maintain a good image and all, but wouldn't doing a good job make better sense? Wouldn't doing things that make sense make better sense?

If anyone knows I'd love to hear about it before Wednesday morning so I know whether to sign it or quit.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

What A Weekend

Well, I had Thursday off this week and felt like total crap. I had to work on Saturday, and felt like total crap afterward. I felt like total crap this morning and then spent the entire day with my MIL over. What a weekend. If work wasn't such a sucky situation I'd almost be looking forward to going back tomorrow.

Don't take this to mean that I had a totally rotten weekend though. I spent some real good time with the Short People and The Missus. That was much needed. The kids totally loved their Easter baskets and I don't think we spent more than thirty bucks total on that operation. Totally, totally, totally. There. I've said that word enough.

There's not a lot else to report except the following.

- I changed a lot of my blog stuff over to a new e-mail address: missusdaytonsmister@gmail.com No particular reason except that I'm trying to separate business and blogging a little bit. Any of you who already correspond with me, feel free to keep using the old address. I still check it every day.

- I'm keeping track of a couple other threads on my other blog Simple Terms. Those would include an alternative energy project for Dayton Headquarters - North America and some possible turmoil involving leaving my job to be a freelance sound guy again. Yikes.

- There's a couple new blogs I stumbled upon this weekend but I'm getting a headache so the links will have to be forthcoming another time. For now I'll just say hi to Styro and The Wages of Din Are Deaf.

- I'd also like to take a minute to personally thank a couple people who helped talk me down off the figurative ledge on Twitter this week. Y'all are good medicine and I'm glad to count you among my friends.

That's all I got for ya.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

The Old One-Two!

I got an hour at home by myself today. The Missus had taken the enti-ah family to Sweets' doctor appointment. I found dinner waiting in a pan on the table, slapped it in the oven, took a shower and braced myself.

It was a good thing I did that bracing thing. The Short People were in rare form. Watching The Cat In The Hat (Mike Myers version) got them even more fueled up for some pre-bedtime shenannigans. Little H-Bomb started in before the movie was even over, rolling all over the place litke a total whack-a-doo.

The worst of it happened during the closing credits. The Shorties always like to dance to the closing title music so I made myself busy getting the chairs and tray tables out of the way. When the last chair had been set out of harm's way I grabbed J-Man by both hands and started swinging his arms back and forth. We swung it for a few measures and I let his hands drop at which point he immediately punched me in the dick.

Like... swing, two, three, four, swing, two, three, four, PUNCH!!!! (!) Like it was a well rehearsed finish to the ol' swing dance with Daddy.

I did the only thing you can do when you're lying on the floor, cradling your nuggets and trying not to laugh so the kid doesn't get the wrong idea. I threw a shoe at him and told him not to hit. (It was one of the kids' Crocs so you can stop looking up the number for Child Protective Services, mmmm-kay?)

New Rule:
Section I, Paragraph 2, Subsection i, Line 4:
No punching Dad in the dick. Ever. (!)

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Haircuts

In keeping with our Crunchy Granola lifestyle we took the Short People to a friend's house for haircuts. Fantastic Sam will never get his grubby little mitts on any of our greenbacks. So there we all were in a gigantic pile of humanity, enjoying each others company... and dancing on the table.

Yeah, that's right... on the table. By the time I made it in the door our baby was in his travel bucket on their kitchen table with two of their shorties standing right up there just taking in the sight. Frickin' awesome! Usually I hate going places but I had a blast.

Within ten minutes not only were all the Short Folk playing relatively nicely with each other but climbing all over the bearded guy in the leather jacket too. And so it went until we had all been pruned.

Miss O went for the biggest change. She went from having Pocco Poca Poccahont really long American Indian Style hair to having a super cute sophisticated bob cut that she tops with a most excellent punk rock pink skull cap. The fam looks hawt!

And wonder of wonders I have tomorrow off. I've got to work Saturday but who cares. I've got tomorrow off and we got sent home with a whopping great platter of some sort of breakfasty goodness that I'm probably going to straight up lie down in once we heat it up. We even prepped the shorties in an attempt to sleep in tomorrow.

Life is good. Now I'm going over to Simple Terms to bitch about work.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Aren't There Any Parents Around Here?

I'm that guy. I'm so that guy who through his inattentiveness allows his children to become scarred.

Deep breath...

And so it came to pass that The Missus took little E and Sis fabric shopping and left me with the two mid-sized members of the troop. I had promised J-Man that he could watch Hoodwinked clips on YouTube till his eyes bled if he would just finish his dinner and whaddaya know? The little guy held me to it.

It's not a difficult exercise. The Short People are more than willing to stare at a screen of any size, from my iPod on up. Just plunk em down at the computer, type in "Schnitzel" and off we go. J-Man takes the helm after that and the clips just keep on coming.

I should pause now and bring you up to date on the whole YouTube debacle that's happening at our house. Harken back with me if you will to a time last weekend when J-Man and I were perusing the cartoon fare and stumbled on to one that looked like fun. A cute little cartoon monkey and a cute little cartoon dude. It started and for some reason the scenery was mostly disabled military vehicles. No matter, we press on. Within fifteen seconds those two were in a raging battle and before you can say schnitzel that little monkey bastard cut off the dude's hand! We "ex-ed it out" right away and went on to do other things but that severed hand haunted the little fella for quite a few days.

The Missus and I had agreed that the kids were not to watch YouTube unsupervised and so I was just puttering around in the background and assisting with the selections. Pretty soon J-Man had stumbled on these montages of scenes from the movie, overdubbed with pop music. (BTW he also watched seven clips of a Spanish language kids show and a Dora The Explora
montage dubbed with the audio from a Pirates of the Caribbean trailer. Holy crap was that funny!) Easy pickins for the Media Supervisor. Annoying pop song ends, peep head into room and make sure next clip is more of same.

It went on like that for about twenty minutes and then I peeped around and caught sight of a monkey and a snake on the screen. As I stepped into the room the cute little snake wrapped itself three times around the cute little monkey. I took a step closer and the cute little snake started squeezing the life out of the cute little monkey. The cute little monkey started screaming. In the time it took for me to fly across the room the cute little snake plunged itself through the cute little monkey's ears and caused its eyeballs to pop out and bounce out of the frame.

God I SUCK!

Glancing quickly at the progress bar and realizing with horror that we were only halfway through it I opened my mouth only to see that J-Man was already hunting for the X with the mouse. He stood up silently on the computer chair and said, "I want to go to bed now" (For those of you not familiar with the little fella's habits that's like Eminem saying he wants to go to church.) Then there was a lot of crying and H-Bomb started crying because the movie got turned off and me fumbling for something, anything to change the subject.

Fortunately there was the Bill & Opus Christmas Special DVD close at hand and that held their rapt attention until I could prep for bedtime. J-Man was way ready for that and kept bursting into tears but he made it all right. As I snuggled him under his covers, freshly recovered from a tickle battle with his stuffed elephant, he looked like he was ready to sleep the sleep of the just.

As I look back over it all it could have been way worse. There's all manner of nonsense that he could have stumbled on that might have lead him to do all manner of real-life nonsense. I imagine him catching an episode of Jackass and trying out his bwanket as a parachute. In a way though I'm kind of glad that he'll be a little afraid of the computer. I'm thinking that he's not going to go near YouTube without a grownup nearby from now on. And that is the kind of behavior we want folks. Having seen the kids who lead sheltered lives go off to college and get addicted to crack and knocked up, I don't feel so bad that he had a little bit of a scary experience.

Damn that monkey though. Damn his eyes!

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Two By Two

There's quite a bit of fisticuffs between my two young men. Ever since lil H-Bomb was old enough to throw a punch it's been on. It had gotten so bad a few months ago that when Sis complained about one of them pulling her hair The Missus just shouted from the kitchen, "Hit 'im!". (She didn't... well trained that one)

The squabbling that goes on is particularly irritating because when it's H-Bomb doing a snatch-and-grab it's usually only a matter of seconds before he's done with whatever he grabbed. As adults we just have to keep reminding ourselves that the Short People don't have whiskey coping skills, nor are they adept at taking the long view of things.

The thing that really makes my blood boil though... the thing that no amount of reasoning can sort out for me is the screaming that takes place over the items that we have two of. In particular there are a pair of giant Tonka dump trucks, big enough for the boys to lounge in and give each other rides. The only minute difference is in the color of the hood ornament and yet great disputes rage over possession of the one "dats my fav-o-wit cuw-er".

So I'm resolving to just let the little buggers angels sort it out themselves. No amount of parental intervention seems to get them straightened out. I'm willing at this point to see if letting them just hammer on each other will drum some sense into their wittle skulls.

There. With that off my chest I'm ready to pour a cocktail and watch my infant son (who has not yet developed mad street fighting skills) do cute baby things in his sleep. G'nite.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Guest Post Funnies

The Missus has been inviting folks to post while she is enjoying the first few days home with the baby. Steenky Bee was today's writer and it seems she took issue with some of the ground rules that were laid out for her. I was hoping it wouldn't come to it, but I had to bring up a slightly unpleasant reminder of some of our past experiences. You may want to read them both so you can't say you haven't been warned can enjoy some tasteful word jousting.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Wall

Today I hit the wall... and man does it feel good.

At least one member of my family has been sick since before Christmas. Sick in groups. Sick one at a time. And in all that time I never caught any of it. It's like God chased off every sneeze and cough and left me free to keep at it. Not that I've done a spectacular job of bringing home the bacon or keeping said home in tip-top condition, but I've been on my feet the whole time.

It seems like now that the baby is here and The Missus is OK I finally got clearance to crash. I had a sneaking suspicion last night that today would me my day. I sat down on the couch at nine with Sweets so The Missus could take a long awaited shower and we both promptly fell asleep. That's all I remember until he woke me up around one. I was hungry so I supposed heh was too and brought him upstairs, changed his nappy and handed him off. This woke H-Bomb and the only fix for him was to get in the big bed. So, still in my sweaty uniform and with scratchy throat, I headed back for the couch.

When my cell phone started chirruping at me to start the day I just looked at it and laughed. A couple snooze alarms later I dialed work and left a message, "It's Jon D, I'm sick, see you tomorrow." The Missus called down a while later to see if I was up. "Called in". My mother showed up to help with the boys, "Are you going to be late for work?" "...called in".

I finally stood up at nine to help get Sweets buckled into the car seat for his doctor appointment. Miss O was at school, the big boys were at Grama's and I was about to have the house to myself. Despite not being actually, infected-with-germs sick I still felt like a bucket of manure. It's been two and a half hours and all I've managed is a bowl of cereal and some beard pruning (fairly major, actually.)

Hopefully the rest of the day includes lunch or at least coffee with my darling wife, whom I miss, and after a bit of a rest, some much needed horse-play with my Shorties. Looks like hitting the wall might not be so bad after all.

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