Monday, October 29, 2007

A moment of silence please.

It has been tough these last few weeks. We knew the time was coming. He finally passed tonight.

Let me take you back.

In 1996 I started working at Circuit City and Nana expressed her concern that perhaps it was a bad idea due to my known love of electronics, music and movies. She thought I would squander all my income. Oh she had no idea! (alright, who am I fooling, she knew everything, but never complained, just let me make my own choices)

My prized possession was a surround sound system that was way too big and way too loud. Two front speakers with 12" sub woofers built into each speaker to provide the best bottom end sounds. But the prize in the whole system was a JBL sub woofer. The thing could boom with a good resonance, not that cheap boom you hear in low rider cars (guilty pleasure: We Like the cars that go boom-Le Tigre. Sorry only owned it on Tape. Hey it was 9Th grade, we all made mistakes in our adolescence years.)

In its eulogy, I remember two things:
1. How the boys always watched my glee when the THX promo came on at the beginning of movies. (Which they always did with both hands over their ears)

2. My all time favorite experience with the ol' boy. THE GUY DOWNSTAIRS had a cheap AIWA mini-system. Not to bad for a little shelf system, but still little. The guy downstairs loved to play rap music really loud, it was obnoxious, not because it was rap music but because it sounded bad. One day Mike Ike, my roommate and I took these huge tower speakers and tipped them over onto the floor of the apartment sending the sound to The Guy Downstairs. I dipped into my pre-ipod CD collection (I know kids, dad is old) and busted out Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (TocattaandFugueinDminor.mp3), da da da (pause/rest ) da da da da daa daaaa daaaaaaa. Then the bass really kicked in, ah sweet torture. We would go down three flights of stairs to see if we could feel it, not hear it on the bottom floor, to feel it. Oh, we could, and it was beautiful!
After coming back up the stairs I went into my bedroom while Mike Ike jumped into the shower. About a minute later, I heard what I thought was pounding at the door. I poked my head out of the bedroom and saw, THE GUY DOWNSTAIRS. . . upstairs. I think he was mad. I couldn't really tell, he was yelling but I could only see his mouth moving, I must not have got the message because he eventually reverted to sign language although if I ever see my kids using that kind of sign, I am washing their hands with soap. I stood there and he stood there, I think I heard the counter melody of wha-aaa-aaa-aaa, wa, wa , wa. (you know, Clint Eastwood, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly) The guys downstairs was a big dude. Looked like Karl Malone, I was basically John Stockton sized compared to him. I was just stalling for Mike Ike to get out of the shower, cause he always comes out with just a towel on, and he was a big boy. When Mike Ike came out, The GUY DOWNSTAIRS went back downstairs, decrescendo. . .mezzo-piano. . .piano. . .pianissimo. . . pianississimo. The 'ol sub must have made Bach proud.

So please pause your movie, and for one breif moment, let silence ring.

OK, all done, come on boys we're going sub shopping. Here is a song that I would not normally post, but I think the sub would have wanted something with a little bass. I'llBeMissingYou.mp3

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So Tired!

A complimentary song:01SoTired.m4a by Eric Clapton (new Clapton autobiography just released this past Tuesday)

It seems like it should be Spring not Fall. Everyone is having babies. First question is what is wrong with you people? Do you like suffering? Who in their right mind wants to be pregnant in summer? Anyway, with the thought of all of you (Walkers, Johnsons, Ferkins, and more) I dedicate this blog entry.

Back in the Spring of '01 we where a young struggling family. I was working 3 jobs and we had our first baby, Monkey. (Get your nachos ready cause here comes the cheese) He was our everything! We dressed him "cute." We were at his beck and call. While we were not condescending enough to think that he was the cutest little baby ever, he was the cutest we had seen. I remember taking him home from the hospital and pointing out the trees and the sky telling him about the order of the Cosmos. I was the typical overprotective parent, but only half that of Wifeys. That car seat belt had to be no less than 1 centimeter from his chin, and you know my work was inspected every time. Sound familiar to all you first time parents. The one thing I don't do is preach to you, do what you want, spoil, do it now while you can.

People used to tell us Monkey was a great baby. All I remember is that every time I turned around in bed my wife was gone. She was "always" up. I used to freak out when there was a noise. I don't remember a time we were so tired. Because I worked so much at the time and I am a fumbling idiot when I am awakened in the dead of night, Wifey did all the work. Even then,I thought he would never sleep through the night. Like Clapton says paraphrasing a little: thank goodness your momma is a natural!"

So flash forward to '07. The children don't cry through the night, but they have a tendency to visit our bed. Either they are that good or I just sleep that deep that many mornings I awake to them in the bed and I have no idea when they showed up. Last night Sqwuak came to bed and started scratching. It is like nails on a chalkboard for Wifeys and me because we know he is tearing himself up.) He has eczema and if you ever met him you probably think he is accident prone, not so, just scratches a lot! So much so that he has open sores in every hinge on his body. He scratches so much he has thick scar tissue under the sores. While he sleeps he scratches. We try and get him to stop, of course that just makes him mad and he starts kicking and crying. Then we try to scratch for him because we won't dig into his skin with our nails like he does. That makes him mad, so then we try and give him lotion. Inevitably one of us parents usually leaves the bed and heads for the couch. Last night, Sqwuak got up and followed wifey around. She would come back and he would come back, she would go and he would go. It was odd. Eventually she got him to sleep on the couch. The last thing I heard from her is, "you're getting up with the boys in the morning." We have had our children around for 6 years and they still get us up almost every night.

Monkey is scary at night. No, not scared, scary. He moves in stealth. He sometimes needs to go to the bathroom. He will come and stand by the side of the bed. I don't know how long he stands there, I just know that when I wake in the middle of the night, I don't expect to see a face a few inches from my bed. (now you know why I don't sleep with a bat under my pillow) In the morning when he decides he no longer wants to sleep he comes and sits on the bed. He will sit there awake for 45 minutes. Trying every so often to get one of us up. He is learning to tell time and will ask what time we are getting up. (Once he learns that certain times mean he should still sleep, I am changing the clocks in the bedroom back a few hours.)

I used to be amazed because Nana never got up to an alarm. I understand now, I painfully understand.

One would hope we could nap during the day time. Don't even think about it. I think the boys have super hearing and recognize the change in my breathing pattern, because I will have just fallen asleep and I will be hit with something, jumped on (sqwuaks favorite move) or just told to wake up really really loud. I had a friend once who could sleep with his eyes open, it was freaky then, I covet that now.

The good news, I still love'em and even though I don't come to every beck and call, I still think about it.

See if this will help get the buggers to sleep: 2-13GoodNight.m4a by the Beatles, but you already knew that.