The Salsa King

While on winter break this week, Tyler’s day camp held a salsa competition, I am assuming Iron Chef-style.  At the end, only one kid’s interpretation of the world most popular condiment would reign supreme.  So whose was it, You ask?  C’mon now…


Chilling Out


An old phone box still fastened to the wall of an abandoned gas station outside of Carlsbad Cavern.

When it came time to title this entry, I kept trying to use words with a “re-“ in front of it. You know, like reinvent, (lame!), reinvent (cliché!), or even remix (somebody punch me in the face!).

“Hey! Asshole!” I said to myself. “Quit taking yourself so damn seriously. If you’ve got something to say, fucking say it. Stop acting like it all has to be unique or profound. Get over yourself!”

I deserved that.

Over the years I have taken a few hacks at the blogging thing, only to be weighed down by the intensity of a blank computer screen and an equally blank mind. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was going at it for the wrong reasons. I wanted to be the next big thing on the blogosphere (For the record I hate that word) and beyond, and thus psyched myself out before I even started.

Truth be told, I am not a remarkable man, which just took me a little while to realize is totally cool. But I think, I create, and I do. I have enough years behind me now where I have accumulated a handful of successes (My wife and kid are badass, I have shared some good stories and good drink with great people, and I haven’t died during one of my boneheaded impulses) as well as my fair share of failures (I spent a decade or longer suffocating my creativity, being “Mr. Potential” stops being a good thing shortly after college, and my liver is not always one of my biggest advocates, to say the least ). But in looking back on it all, I have started to realize now is a good time to refocus a bit as I move forward.

Funny- for all of the “new” that has entered my life over the last couple of years (new jobs, new state, working on a new master’s degree and a new career), it is the things on a much smaller scale where I am finding the greater satisfaction. Things like finally deciding to learn to play the guitar, small freelance writing projects and some really bad poetry that no one will ever see, and just sitting and drawing with my son.

Even this post has taken me way to long, as I struggled to take not taking myself too seriously still too seriously.  But then tonight I came across this post via Freshly Pressed, and remembered, again, that the moments that matter and impact are around all the time.  Sometimes I just need to get over myself to see them.

Sailing Away

One lost rudder, one busted mast, and one flaky daddy-son combo made for one long night scrambling to get ready for one competitive Raingutter Regatta.  But in the end, chalk this up to one impressive victory.

Rental Property

I’m the kinda guy who likes to be left alone while visiting the little boys room, especially at work.  I’m also fully aware that most people don’t really like to acknowledge that the people working in the restaurant they are dining in actually use the bathroom, so I generally am pretty intent on getting in and out with little fanfare.

Working in a bar, however, can offer it’s own unique obstacles that can interfere with my potty efficiencies.

Fast-forward to me, assuming the position at a discreet local which we will refer to solely as Urinal A, my head resting on my forearm that I have bracing myself against the wall, while my other is busy with, well, you know, when all of a sudden a unkempt gentleman with questionable hygiene announces his arrival by crashing into the bathroom and zig-zagging his way to Urinal B, nearly causing me to pee on my shoe when he bumped into me on his way.

I maintain my stoic gaze forward, trying to ignore the thick breathing as the guy tries to equip himself, when all of a sudden I hear a firehose-esque blast into the back of the porcelain, followed with a deep and satisfying sigh which made me wonder if a cigarette and some spooning might follow.  Instead I can feel his eyes shift over to me and I hear,

“You know you can only rent this, right?”

I meet his gaze and noticed that while he is facing me his eyes have crossed over with a dreamy glaze and a curly smirk is plastered on his face.

Zipping up and preparing to stomp on his foot before tossing him head-first into wall, I calmly respond, “Excuse me, Sir?”

“The beer, bro.  The beer.  You know you can only rent this shit bro!  For reeeeeaaal!”

I shoulda’ done it.  I so shoulda’ done it…

Welcome to the Big Leagues

A few weeks ago our local minor league baseball team held a mid-summer promotion as a token of thanks for its sponsors.  Because I convinced my restaurant to write them a check with a fair number of zeros behind it early in the spring, my invitation arrived in the mail, crisp and sealed, waiting for an RSVP.

The event had its fair share of appeal.  Besides FREE food as well as FREE beer (though I was going to have to tap the Rockies or take a ride on the Silver Bullet, which is asking a lot of a manager of a brewery), they were also opening up the batting cage where we could take a few cuts and test our mettle on the same field where the soon-to-be-big-boys play ball.  In all honesty, I could have cared less about batting practice- they had me at FREE food and FREE beer (I can stomach anything, after all).  My wife, however, a varsity softball player herself, was intrigued.  It was a date!

With all the FREE going around, we went ahead and brought along our son.  No reason to deprive him of any discount-priced calories or the chance to see mommy crank a foul ball off her wrists, after all.

Dinner went down smooth, as anything does when you are able to lube it up with ballpark chili and chase it with banquet beer.  My wife went down to get her name on the better’s  list while I stayed put to get my money’s worth before making my own way down to support her efforts in the cage.

I tried to remain inconspicuous as I tried to find a seat, but at 6’4″, 250lbs and a few plastic cups in, incognito is difficult to do, and before I knew it I was recognized and on the list myself. 


 Off to the dugout I went…

To loosen up and stretch…

…and wait for my intro music to play over the PA system before thousands (or tens) of my adoring fans (people patiently waiting their turn) raised to their feet in thunderous anticipation (drank their free beer and ate their free chili burgers and chips).

Let’s just saw I didn’t disappoint.

The first person to greet me at the steps of the dugout was my son.  I picked him up and we celebrated my trivial moment with a big hug and kiss, when I looked deep in his eyes and said,

“Hey, buddy, let me put you down.  Daddy really needs to pee.”

As luck would have it, there was a restroom at the end of the dugout.  While taking care of business, I felt the door to the tight bathroom open into my back where my son peeked around it and let me know he needed to go as well.  Suddenly I realized the opportunity had presented itself to allow me to pass along one of life’s great lessons:

“If you want to play in the Big Leagues, son, you must first pee were the Big Leaguer’s peed on their way to The Show.”

Life’s Little Lessons

We all have those little tidbits we live by– Those little pearls of wisdom we have acquired over the years, instilled in us either by those who raised us or by years of experience, that help craft how we view the world and how we interact within it.

Curious, I asked around a bit to discover a few of these “-isms” some of my peers hold close to the vest as they meander through this little game we call life.  Here is just a sampling of the results:

“Do unto others (yadda yadda yadda- we all know where this one is going, BORING!)”

“You’ll always have job security as long as you’re not the biggest retard.”

“Karma’s a bitch.”

“Never date a girl who wears orange shorts (I have witnessed  the truth of this first-hand).”

“Whatever kind of beer Jesus would brew it would be right.”

“Don’t stick your fingers where you wouldn’t stick your face.”

…and of course…

“Fuck it.”

All this begs the question of what I respond with when asked about my golden rule?  That’s easy:

Never, EVER, trust a man wearing loafers with no socks.

This douche is even wearing basketball shorts- SATAN!

Nothing good will EVER come from trusting a man wearing loafers with no socks!

That’s mine.  What’s yours?