My wife hopes I die before her

A little tip of the hat to The Bloggess on the format for this one. She does a lot of me/Victor (her husband) posts that never fail to crack me up.

As we got ready for bed tonight, K and I were in our bedrom and we turned down the bed. There was. . . how shall we say. . . evidence of our last intimate encounter on the sheets.

K: “That’s nice.”

me: “What?”

K: “All I’m going to say is that it sucks that all the cleanup is on my end now.”

me: “So, what? You want me to go back to wearing condoms?”

K: “No, we can’t do that. We’re Catholic. And we confessed it already. We’d have to go to confession again.”

me: “Yes, but I already confessed the vasectomy. Both of them. So we wouldn’t we using them for birth control. Just for cleanliness.”

K: “And cleanliness is next to godliness.”

me: “Exactly!!”

K: “I hope we die together.”

me: “Why?”

K: “Because you’re the only one who’s going to be able to talk your way out of all the bad shit we’ve done when we have to go answer for it.”

me: “Well, that sucks. If you die first, I give it three days, tops, and then I’m dead. Thanks. Thanks for that.”

K: “Wouldn’t you just die of a broken heart?”

me: “Yeah. That’s it. Uh huh.”

I love these conversations. A close second is the conversation with my four year old describing what his plans were with the package my daughter received tonight, a few days shy of her birthday.

4: “I’m just going to look at her box. I’m not going to touch it. It’s her box. I won’t open her box. She can open her box on her birthday, but I’m not going to. I’m just going to look at it.”

K: “Ok. Let’s just stop talking about your sister’s box.”


Birthdays, Life, and Change

Birthdays are completely normal time to look back at your life, see where your are, where you have been, and, sometimes, to better think of where you want to go. My birthday was last week, and it definitely gave me pause to think about how far I’ve come, and potentially how little time I have left in the grand scheme of things. My wife, K, and alcohol were definitely part of that pause.
My birthday, in an of itself, was uneventful. I did get to go to the movies with my wife. Not groundbreaking, but considering the last movie we saw together in the theater was The DaVinci Code, it was notable. No big fanfare to the day, no party, no presents, a few texts and phone calls wishing me a happy birthday. And that was fine with me. Not FINE in the passive-aggressive, I’m going to remember this in six months when we get into an argument kind of way. Just fine. I mean, I’m 37. (In a row?!?) It’s not divisible by 5. It doesn’t mark a turning point in my life. There are no Hallmark cards marking 37 as a “thing.” So, yes, I was (and am) fine with it.
As I look back at my life so far, the one question that I could definitely see my younger self asking my present self (should George Carlin come back in a phone booth to my driveway) is: “You’re doing WHAT?!?” This could apply to may different aspects of my life: work, family, “hobbies.” I could pick any one and drone on for a while about any. . . which I will likely do later. Don’t think you’ve gotten off that easily. . . but I am struck by just the idea of constant change.
Sitting here today, I don’t know that any of us could believe that things would be drastically different than they are right now. We grow older, maybe get some new stuff, American Idol picks a new flash in the pan, but I suppose we all feel like life will be just the same as it is today with minor modifications. I have come to realize that’s not the case. Things can change. But, more precisely, we can change things. We can change ourselves.
This was most clearly brought to my attention by my wife, K. As a bit of background on her, she is a remarkable woman. Beautiful, funny, capable, loving, determined, and more than a bit OCD. Yet the one things that she excels at is selling herself short. In most all of the attributes listed above, she’ll sell herself short on most all of them. . .except the OCD. She’ll cop to that one. But the area in which she has impressed me the most recently is in her ability to change, and her willpower to change.
K and I started dating over a decade ago. And since then, alcohol has been a constant for both of us. Our jobs at the time were stressful, and we used booze as a means to lessen (or at least temporarily deaden) that stress. We grew, over time, to be dependent on it, whether we wanted to it admit or not. She plateaued at a bottle of Merlot a night, while my poison was Jack Daniel’s at a handle a week pace. We would give it up for Lent, and swear off of the sauce on more than one Monday morning, but we always came back to it. It was out “fwuffy bwankie” (or fluffy blankie), as my son would say. It made us feel better, it wasn’t “necessary,” but we were sure the hell happier with it.
So, this year, we once again gave it up for Lent. And during that time, K swore off of it. Done. Case closed. Now, there were no meetings, no interventions, none of that. Just a decision. And for over six months now, she’s not had a drop. She made up her mind and it was done. Game over.
There have been “normal” times since then when drinking would be considered part of life: parties, visits, vacations, special occasions, etc. She just decided she was done. And I am thoroughly impressed by this. The woman that I love, and the mother of my children is amazing, and, to me, a testament that change can happen.
I have made some changes as well, but those are stories for another time. For me, in the back of my head, it will always come down to, “Well, if K can walk away from the wine, how hard can this thing be that I want to try?”


My mind, as warped by 80s and 90s movies

I was reminded in quick succession this week, that my mind works in ways that likely no one else’s does.  And the more I thought about it, the more and more disturbing and deeply rooted the evidence of my oddness became.  It all started when I heard a co-worker say start a sentence with “I believe. . . ”  Unfortunately, as is often the case, they weren’t talking about anything that interested me, so my attention drifted off.  To make my lack of attention even more pronounced, my mind went to a completely unrelated, yet completely vivid place.  Jackson Heights.   With completely different person – Randy Watson.  If neither of those two  proper nouns means anything to you, the movie they come from might: Coming to America.

Randy Watson was one of Eddie Murphy’s (many) alter-egos in the movie, and in this case Randy was the frontman for the band “Sexual Chocolate” that played at the Black Awareness Rally.  And, right or wrong, Randy’s version of “The Greatest Love of All” is what starts to play as soon as I hear anyone use the words “I believe. . .” For your viewing pleasure (and selfishly in the hopes of jamming this song in your head for at least a day), I give you. . . Jackson Heights OWN. . . RANDY! WATSON!

I have several more of these that have occurred to me over the past few days, which have given me some sick and disturbing insight as to the influence 80s and 90s movies have had on my psyche.  I’ll pass some more of these on soon!

Everything happens for a reason

“We are given so few minutes and dollars during our time. Doesn’t wasting some of them give all the more meaning to those we used wisely?”

I just came up with that. Well, I think. Unless Google can prove me otherwise.

I feel like Even Steven from the Seinfeld episode. Let me ‘splain. I’ve been working an extra job for the past few months. Only a night or two a week, but still a few added hours onto long days. The extra money was good. Helped avoid the pressure of bills, worrying about all of that. A little wiggle room. I told myself that if I kept it up long enough, I would be able to squirrel enough money away for a MacBook Pro with Retina. I convinced myself that having one would inspire me to (a) learn to code and (b) blog/write some more. The down side is the job provides the money, but takes away the time. I hate that damn balance. So, here’s where it gets interesting…
I received an unexpected bonus yesterday. And today, I found out that the next time I would be needed at my extra job was January. So, basically, I just got this great opportunity dumped in my lap. All the reward, none of the work. Very fortunate. So, why do I have a hard time just going out and “treating” myself for my good fortune? It’s odd. It’s like I feel guilty for doing anything for myself.
Sure, there are more “responsible” things that could be done with my money and time. Retirement. Kids’ college funds. Cleaning out the gutters (where I think a two-foot weed has been sighted). But, is it all like that? I would like to believe that I could buy the computer, learn to code, and blog/write. But I fear I would instead buy the computer, and end up wasting all this newfound time.
Either way, I don’t want to dismiss or overlook my good fortune and blessings. And I realize that neither money nor “stuff” is happiness. I consider myself blessed beyond belief. I suppose it’s more of a question of drive and willpower. And I just read that we have a limited amount of willpower. That sucks. And I thought my stubbornness was infinite.

37…in a row?!?

So, I’ve been meaning to start a blog for a long time, but have just have never quite gotten around to it. I suppose I felt like I had nothing important to say, or that I was worried that no one would read it, or I would get negative/discouraging comments. I’ve come to decide that none of that matters to me. And, I’ve come to decide this on the eve of my 37th birthday… Hence 37… In a row?!?
The name is in homage to Kevin Smith, and a quote from my favorite movie, “Clerks.” For the uninitiated, it’s a crude, bawdy film with brilliantly written dialogue, all done by a fledgling filmmaker on a budget. All of these aspects of the film speak to me. Not to mention I found, and continue to find, a great deal of humor in it. And humor is, to me, one of the most important gifts of life, and in some ways part of the universal human vocabulary.
As I thought about my first post, I felt somewhat like Luca Brasi from “The Godfather.” I was mentally practicing my first few lines in my head in the shower, and when it was all said and done, if felt more like “I am honored and grateful that someone is reading my blog post, and may it be a masculine blog post on the day of my birthday for a blog post.” Important to me, but thoroughly botched in the delivery.
So, what is my blog to be about, you ask (I hope, if you’ve read this far)? Family, parenting, work, daily life, observation humor, personal evolution, my own personal slant on the world. Really whatever I feel moved to talk about. But, it’s mine. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.