They turn the summer into dust

As I’m wont to do, this is my first update in a while.  It’s been about 15 weeks, I think.  I count time passing in weeks now.  Not a whole lot in my personal life to report.  I’ve picked up running as a hobby, but I’ve been sidetracked for about 2 weeks by this awful chest cold I picked up somewhere.  I can’t take a full breath still without coughing, and that’s after I made a trip to the doctor for some medication.  I’m hoping I can pick running back up either tonight or in the next couple nights.  I’m actually missing it, which I never thought I’d say about something like running.

The big news is Mila’s development.  I was really planning on documenting that more here and I feel guilty that I haven’t been keeping up on it.  She’s 18 weeks old now, as of yesterday.  She’s really starting to develop a personality.  She’s been sleeping through the night now for at least the last 2 months (she’s 4 months old), and whenever we go to pick her up out of the crib she always has a huge grin on her face.  She smiles a lot, and only really fusses when she’s hungry or tired. She definitely didn’t pick that up from me.  She has more of a personality at 4 months than I have at 33 years.

She’s almost rolling over now, and she’s using her hands a lot more.  Everything goes into her mouth, especially her hands.  You don’t realize how big of a deal rolling over is until you’ve been around someone who can’t do it.  Instead of balled up little fists, her hands are open now and grabbing things constantly.  I trimmed my beard the other day, thankfully, because she was starting to grab a hold of that and give it a tug.  Not the most pleasant feeling in the world, but she’s forgiven… for now.

She chatters all the time, and there are times when she just lays on the floor or on our bed and stares at the ceiling fan yelling at it.  Of course I think that’s hilarious, but I’m sure people out at at restaurant wouldn’t find it amusing.  I know a year ago I would have thought “Shut that damned kid up!”, but I have a little different perspective on it now.

Having a kid has made me an emotional wreck.  I look at pictures of her on the computer and I think “She’s growing up so fast!” but realistically, we’re not even a hundred meter dash into a marathon yet.  I get all teary eyed over little things that aren’t even worth getting teary eyed over.  Pretty soon I’ll be crying over commercials or some crap like that.

I’m really looking forward to the day that we can sit together and have a conversation.  I’m extremely curious what she’s thinking all the time.  She always has such a observant look on her face, studying people or places.  We take her out all the time to see all this different stuff.  I feel guilty when I’m not up for it, or I just want Katie to take her out without me.  You only get these moments once, they don’t ever repeat themselves the way they do the first time.  I’ve really learned to appreciate the little things we don’t ever pay attention to day to day because we’re too busy, or they’ve happened for us thousands of times.

A week of firsts

First things first, I wanted to mention that my wife Katie and I welcomed our first child on June 7th. When we went in we had no idea if it would be a boy or a girl. We were both pleasantly surprised when we found out it was a 6 pound, 15 ounce baby girl which we named Milanka Elizabeth, or Mila for short

A week has gone by since then and its been one milestone after another for both Mila and Us.  For Katie and I, our first child.  For me, the first time I’ve ever changed a diaper, held a child for more than a few minutes, rocked one to sleep, and basically stepped up to be a dad.  In the last few days, Mila’s had her first bath, first smile, first doctor’s appointment, first trip outside of the house (not including the hospital), first photo session, first shopping trip and I’m sure quite a few other firsts.

So far, I’m really surprised with myself, mostly, on how calm I’ve been.  I always knew Katie would make a great mom.  She’s had a lot of experience taking care of her niece and nephews.  Me, I’ve had no experience whatsoever.  It’s a real adventure, and I’m enjoying it.  I can imagine in the future being so proud and so emotional at each little milestone, knowing that I’ve put so much time in this little person’s life and that all that time invested made for a good, contributing human being.

Contemplation

So, here it is, the night before the birth of my child. I spent the day brewing beer, and after I got that all put away and cleaned up I sat in my office for a bit. I didn’t do anything, I just sat there. I sat there and thought, “this is the quietest it’s going to be in this house for a while.” My life is never going to be the same. It’s hard to sit somewhere and know that in a few short hours, your life is going to change forever.

I’ve felt like I was ready for this, and 9 months ago I thought that this day was so far away. 9 months have gone by in a flash, and I can only imagine that the next few years will fly by too.

So many thoughts are going through my head. Excitement, anxiety, nervousness, anticipation…

I don’t know if I’m ready, but time waits for no man, and I’m definitely no exception.

Big News

I really haven’t had much of anything to say recently. I’m preparing for a huge life changing event that is going to happen in 3 months – trying to get the house in order, etc. So that’s been taking up a lot of my time.

It’s really silly that I’ve been keeping this close to the vest, but my wife is pregnant and we’re expecting our first child in June.

It’s been a lot different than I thought it would be. I expected to basically be shitting my pants on a constant basis, but I’ve actually been pretty relaxed about it. I mean definitely, my life as I know it is going to change, but I’m really looking forward to the experience. I have a lot of self doubt about myself – Am I going to be a good dad, am I going to do the right thing – those sort of thoughts, but again, I’m looking forward to it, and there isn’t that much time left before the big day arrives. I’m sure when the baby arrives (we’re not sure if it’s going to be a boy or a girl, we’re letting it be a surprise), I’ll have a lot of things to write about, granted I’ll be awake enough to convey it.

Until then, I’ll just be my boring old self.

Baldfaced Bob

I haven’t shaved at all, I mean not even maintenance work, etc, since Nov. 1st.  While I don’t mind it on a daily basis, it’s been playing on my psyche, I think.  On 2 occasions, I’ve had dreams that suddenly I’ve been clean shaven, and it scares me.  It takes me a bit to realize it’s a dream and that I still have my beard.  Last night’s dream left me with just a mustache (I like to spell it moustache, for some reason – I think that should be the official spelling).  I have no idea why I’m having these dreams and the whole situation seems pretty weird to me.

Other than that, I’ve got another week before I bottle my beer.  I want to get a swamp heater/chiller going so I can better control the temperature of my bottles and my fermenters.  I think that would help more with quality control purposes.

I got a new cap, a black New Era Montreal Expos hat, it looks like this:
Since they don’t make a black Detroit Tigers hat with a white D (or at least not one I can find easily), I decided to go with a defunct franchise (the Expos eventually migrated to Washington DC where they’re known as the Nationals, FYI).  The only problem is, I paid quite a bit of cash for this hat, and it has a glaring imperfection.  The MLB logo on the back of the hat is crooked, not parallel to the bottom of the hat, and it’s off center.  It’s not terribly noticeable, but like I said, I paid a decent amount of money for the hat and I want it to be as advertised, not some crooked shit.  New Era’s support says they’ll get back to you in 24 hours but it’s been 5 days and I haven’t heard shit about it.  And I ordered it directly from them, not from some fly by night two-bit operation – unless New Era is actually a fly by night two-bit operation, of course.

Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

HI!

I’m going to open this entry with one of the most cliched opening lines to any online blog or journal entry. “It’s been a while since I updated this thing”, but indeed it has. I’ve posted random videos and some drivel about how I’m uninspired by life in general, but I thought I’d take some time to update this space because I actually like to go back and read my old entries and laugh at myself because I’m probably the only one that thinks that I’m funny. I’m going to just hit plan on my ipod and let the funk flow while I write down some thoughts.

Oddly enough, the first song that comes up on my ipod when I just hit play is “Aquarius” by The Nat Adderley Sextet, and it goes a little something like this:

Anyhow, lately I’ve been really reading a lot about brewing beer.  I’ve been drinking beer a lot too, but I’ve been reading just about anything I can get my hands on about brewing beer and last Sunday I brewed my first beer – a honey nut brown ale.  I’ll tell you what, a lot of people say that the waiting is the hardest part about brewing beer.  Let me tell you, truthier shit has never been said.  This has been a test in patience.  I can’t wait to have some of that shit to see if it’s turned out to be straight spaghetti salad garbage juice, heaven in a bottle or somewhere in between.  I’m hoping its either somewhere in between or heaven in a bottle.

So since this is my little pet project, I’m stressing out about it.  Is it the right temperature? Is it fermenting enough?  Did I do enough of this?  Did I blah blah blah.  I have to go against that worrying instinct that I have and just learn to leave it alone – which I’m doing thankyouverymuch.  I have my fermenter sitting in my downstairs bathroom in the shower and I have towels wrapped around it, and I have the door closed so it keeps some heat in there since if you didn’t know, I live in the arctic circle (we usually keep the house at 60 degrees).  Katie likes to joke about how I baby the wort (beer before it’s beer for you common hillfolk), but hey… I’ve spent a lot of money on this shit, it better be good!  Why ruin it by keeping it too hot or too cold?  Yeah…

Work has been busy.  That’s really the main reason that I haven’t updated much.  I usually do it when I’m bored at work, but now I’m not bored because I’m always busy doing something or the other.  This week, however, has been a slow one, and I’m appreciating that like never before. When it’s not busy I like it the first day or so but then I feel like I’m forgetting to do something, then when it is busy, I don’t like being busy, but I like that the days go by faster.

also, this:

A new beginning

Since last we spoke, I have started anew.

I’ve had facial hair of some sort for the past 10 years at least, and if I’ve gone clean shaven, I’ve immediately grown it back.  This is no exception.

Yes, I’ve shaved my beard.

If you know me or you’ve read of my beard exploits in the past, you may be asking “why did you do this?”   The answer… The Whiskerino, and part of the rules were that you go clean shaven on November 1st.  I accommodated this request in order to take part in the festivities.

If you’d like to follow my new beard growth, you can check me out here.

Funny story, I was in Grand Rapids on the day of the sign ups.  I told a lot of my friends about it because I think seeing all my friends growing these beards would be pretty fun.  The sign ups started at noon and I was babysitting my niece and nephews waiting for my sister in law to come home.  Katie and I left their house at 1pm and as soon as I got home, I shaved off my beard and took pictures to prove that I was clean shaven.  I went downstairs to sign up and I got a message that the registration process was over.  Needless to say I wasn’t happy.  I hadn’t shaved for years and now I looked like a big turd and couldn’t even take part in the fun.

Thankfully I was able to email the organizer and he sent me an invitation for the site, and the rest is what they call history.

Spoilers in Modern Media

While I’m a big boxing fan, I think my interest has fallen off in the last few years. Lately, MMA has captured a lot more of my attention, and while I don’t normally get all the different Pay Per Views that are associated with MMA, I do end up catching the replays on tv or on the web or whatever.

That being said, when there is a big boxing event, I like to try to stay away from any news (which isn’t hard, since boxing gets little to no coverage on the typical sports networks) or any kinds of spoilers so that when I do finally get around to watching the fight, it’s a surprise to me. The latest “superfight” in boxing was just this past weekend, Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, and I did my best to avoid it.  I didn’t look at my google reader account, I didn’t look at RSS feeds on my phone, I didn’t look at any social media sites where other friends might reveal the outcome… nothing.  I was planning on watching it Sunday afternoon sometime, but that didn’t pan out, so I just was able to snag it out of thin air and I decided to sit down and watch it today.

Unfortunately, all of my avoidance of spoilers and everything I did to shut myself off from finding out ANYTHING about the fight was rendered impotent by what happened in the first minute of the fight.  Floyd Mayweather was accompanied by the WWE wrestler Triple H.  I thought to myself, “Hmm, I forgot all about that guy, lets see what he’s been up to on wikipedia”, as I frequently read wiki entries about whatever comes to my mind.  Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I start reading about Triple H during the pre-fight introductions, I get to a part in Triple H’s entry that tells me the outcome of the fight.  While I’m not going to spoil it for anyone else (which I’m fairly certain there’s probably only 1 person who may or may not read this entry that will give a shit about boxing), I have to wonder why something so insignificant as a guy walking down an aisle with a boxer would cause another person to put the outcome of the fight in their wikipedia article?

Lesson: In trying to avoid spoilers about anything that may be important to you, lock yourself in an isolation cell at a nearby prison until you’re ready to watch/read/play the media in question.

Insolence

The ineptitude of the people that I work with really bums me out sometimes. It’s really frustrating when these sweeping and massive changes have been made and nobody takes time to flesh out the details. The whole “fly by the seat of our pants and make it up as we go along” mentality is getting really old.

I don’t mind working with minimal direction, but it really shouldn’t be my responsibility to interrogate people in order to figure out what’s going on.

The Funky Wasteland

I have no idea where “The Funky Wasteland” came from, I thought I saw it somewhere, but I went back to where I was and it wasn’t there.  It’s one of those things where you are flying by some text and it’s almost as if these technically 3 words popped up and slapped your eyeballs.  Anyhow, that’s not what I was going to write about.

This weekend I am regretting getting totally wasted on bud lite around my in laws and being the only person to sing Karaoke on the dock to Mister Mister’s “Broken Wings”.   While I don’t regret the getting wasted, or the singing, I regret that I had to waste this incredible spectacle on the SQUARE assed people who were there to witness it, because it’s all I heard about while I stumbled up the stairs to pass out on the couch.  I’m sorry if you’re too chicken shit to express yourself to this beautiful hit of the 1980’s, but  in the words of the ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA… don’t bring me down, bruce (I know, now, thanks to Wikipedia that the lyrics are actually “Don’t bring me down, Gruß”, but seriously, don’t bring me down).

I also regret being laid out all day like an old man by the massive hangover that hasn’t seemed to go away yet.  I may also regret almost throwing my nephew off the boat several times.  While I barely remember it, I do remember that instead of actually holding onto him, I could have just as easily thrown him overboard and not thought twice about it as I grabbed for another beer.

I also was at one point taking pictures of things including myself with my phone (which I almost lost), and this one happened to be my favorite of the ones I was just reviewing.

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i pass along life undetected