Thursday, December 31, 2009

Time keeps on slipping...


2010 is almost upon us.

I have the inevitable feeling creeping in that there are so many things that I want to accomplish in the coming year. The list is long and overwhelming.

I think my first resolution will be to not be so overwhelmed; to deal with one thing at a time. To be steady and consistent. To know that I will get it all done.

That's a good place to start.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

5 to 10?

I don't know about some of these kids shows these days.

I'm driving Sean home yesterday, and as we came up the street, we passed by a Paddy Wagon. Sean looked over and said "That's a police car, right Daddy?"

"Yeah, Sean, that's a big truck that they use to take people to jail in."

"Oh. Dad, how long would somebody be put in jail for slapping a cop?"

Pause. Uncontrollable laughter from me. Catch breath. Regain composure.

"I don't know, Sean. Maybe like 60 days or so. Probably more."

...

"Sean, what would make you ask a question like that?"

"It was on iCarly. There was a guy who asked that, and the cop said 90 days, and then he slapped him!"

"Oh. Well, I guess it sounds like a long time. That's why you don't do bad stuff...'cause you go to jail and jail is a bad place to be."

"I know dad, but I'm not even old enough to go to juvy yet"

"Sean, how do you know about....never mind."


The Follow Up

So I feel, after watching the rest of that movie, that I owe a little more respect to Mr. Page. The truth is that I have a lot of history with him, whether he knows it or not. You see, it all goes a little something like this:

The very first Heavy Metal show I ever saw (I think I can call it that), was Poison at Lawlor Events Center when I was about 14. I had just used my bus boy money to pay for my first CD player ("boombox", actually...an important distinction...it could actually record tape to tape, OR tape from CD, which was more than handy for making mix tapes...the only reason I got any action in middle school, I'm pretty sure). My very first two CD purchases were The Black Crowes "Shake Your Money Maker" and Poison's "Flesh & Blood". I played the shit out of those two CD's, and to be honest, I think that they have stood the test of time...The Crowes a little stronger musically, but God Damn if Brett Michaels hasn't found a way to sell more records. Anyway, when Poison announced that they would be playing in Reno, along with openers Slaughter and Firehouse, I was at the front of the line with my friends for tickets. This was the first concert without parents for me, and sure to be a treat. My buddy Jim and I listened to a LOT of Poison to get ourselves ready for the show. I tended to hit the harder stuff with awesome drum solo's. I knew all of the musicians, and where they shined in each song. It was a real treat to see the show, and then hear Brett announce that it was guitarist Cee Cee Deville's birthday that evening, and as a birthday surprise, Jimmy Page (who was in Reno recording at Grammy's Studio on Plumas) was going to get up on stage and play with the band during an encore!

Now I was pretty young, but I knew who the fuck Led Zepplin was. I prided myself on having a little bit of knowledge about the roots of Heavy Metal. To be honest, looking back now, Zep was more Heavy Metal than Poison would ever know, but that's beside the point. Jimmy was on stage, and not being subjected to playing Unskinny Bop or some other bullshit. They busted right into Stairway, and it was pretty righteous. About halfway through the song, however, I watched Jimmy slowly walking and playing as Brett was doing his best to not totally disrespect what Robert Plant had originally made famous. As Jimmy played, he took a couple steps back on the stage and *whoosh* disappeared into a black hole designed for stage hands to hoist up guitars and water bottles and makeup or whatever to the band members. I guess Jimmy had no real knowledge about the lay of the land up there, and who could blame him? It would have looked like a really cool effect, him dropping out of sight during an eerie song, but the monotone blare of the E chord echoing off of Lawlor's less than forgiving acoustic nightmare made me realize this was a total accident. Poison continued to play for a few more bars before realizing something was totally amiss. The music stopped. The crowed wondered what was going on. Suddenly, stage hands were pulling Jimmy up from the hole, and medics were taking him to the hospital to deal with a broken arm. It was a totally anticlimactic finish to an otherwise special evening. Thanks alot, Cee Cee, for being born on that day. Asshole.

The next time I saw Jimmy, aside from in the several TV appearances and old Zep videos, was when I was in college in San Diego. My friend took me to see "Page Plant" at the Sports Center. I was kinda stoked, but also skeptical of seeing these two old shrivs diminish the respect that I had for the Zep I had listened to an nauseum over my high school career. It was Robert Plant and Jimmy page, but in place of the deceased John Bonham was his son, and instead of John Paul Jones, the guitarist from The Cure stepped in and rocked pretty hard. I was totally blown away by Robert Plant, and honestly to this day I can still say that I think that he gets better with age. I couldn't BELIEVE how hard he wailed, and how much BETTER EVEN he sounded than on the Zep albums. The guy was born with a gift. Jimmy, on the other hand, seemed like he had lost a step or something. I don't know if it was his colored curly hair that didn't work, the fact that Plant live is so much different than Plant recorded, or if I had a bad hot dog, but I didn't really give Jimmy his proper respect. I felt a little let down, and now that I look back, it wasn't Jimmy...it was my own perspective.

Having watched the movie below and seeing the roots of where Jimmy came from...having come to the realization that yes, he DID invent Heavy Metal...having seen footage of him in his honest, unashamed flowing white hair (he has so much more of it that I ever did...who cares what color it is)...having thought about all of it, I have come to the conclusion that Jimmy Page is my new idol. Musically, at least (please don't kill me, Chuck Norris). Here is a guy who has survived the test of time, stuck to his guns and never compromised his integrity, made it through some long years of trying new things, but ALWAYS done what he was put here on Earth to do: Rock.

You Rock, Jimmy.

I hope that when I am your age, I can have just as much integrity, and still get so much pleasure out of doing the things I love to do today.



Times are crazy right now. The people I look up to and am surrounded by are struggling along with the rest of the world. The things I have grown to believe are all changing. It's good to have something to write about that is true and pure. For me, right this second, it's a rock star.

So what?


Sunday, December 27, 2009

It might get loud

Leaves are falling all around
Time I was on my way
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged
For such a pleasant stay

But now it's time for me to go
The Autumn moon lights my way
I smell the rain
And with it pain
Is headed my way

Oh sometimes I get so tired
But you know there's just one thing I got to do





I'm watching a movie called "It might get loud" with Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge.

It's awesome. I couldn't find a video snippet of this one part where Jimmy Page lays into "Ramble On" all by himself, as he describes whispering to the thunder...the real poetry coming from his guitar as he alliterates about musical dynamics. So I put a Page/Plant video on this post instead, as those two together are pretty good about getting the message across.

I am feeling really inspired by this movie, life, and some other recent events. I can't go 15 minutes into the movie without running to my keyboard to work out ideas, or stopping to blog on it like a total dork.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eve of the Eve


Santa, if it's not too late, I want this vest back. It was sweet.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

HA!


HA!
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
"Happy Holidays"

That's what he was shouting at the exact moment. I know it's hard to believe that Captain Anonymous could be so P.C., but that's how he rolls these days.

And Huggie...always a good smile, too.

Thanks for being there, guys. Goodtimes.

Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Observations

I have always been complimented on my eyelashes. People say they are long and pretty. It bothered me as a kid to be called pretty in any way, but at 34 I take anything I can get. I have noticed that the hair growing in my nose very closely resembles eyelashes. Sometimes it gets pretty long, too...peaking out of the nostrils to say hi until I finally tame it back with a tear-jerking torture device that I use on myself every so often. What I'm wondering is: Why doesn't anyone compliment me on the pretty noselashes and the glorious lengths they can grow?

I am the same weight that I was in high school. Everyone always liked to say "we need to fatten you up" throughout my life. I got married and tried to put on some weight, but my metabolism just isn't slow enough. Fat guys would tell me to "enjoy it while (I) can" because once I hit 30 it would all be downhill. Sorry, dudes. It's weird to me that we live in the most obese society in the world, plagued with cancer and heart disease brought on many times by an overweight and unhealthy lifestyle, yet people want me to be more than the ~180 pounds that my 6'2" frame seems to like. Well, everyone except the medical community. They say I'm doing just right. For the last year, especially, people have told me that I look too skinny. I have lost too much weight because of the stuff I have been going through. I need to take better care of myself. A couple of lovely friends even said "You look like shit". Thanks for that...I feel the love. Again, I don't know if it's their concern for my health, or their desire to have something to point to as a way to fix myself because I must be broken. Whatever the case may be, it's taken me a long time to love myself for being born tall and skinny. I like it. It suits me. And suits, by the way, fit me too.

I wish I had a better observation about my baldness, but it just isn't that cool. "The more hair I lose, the more head I get" ?? I saw that on a bumper sticker, I think. Not true, btw. Although, there is a special someone in my life who says "bald is sexy". So bring on the MPB!

Cheers.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Onward


Tonight I am just tired. Long week flew by without leaving me much to show for it. On my way into work again for a long night ahead. I just miss these two so much right now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GraduaMOtion


Congratulations, Mo Mo!!

I wish I was there to see you walk. I am so proud of you. You look beautiful, and I am so happy that you continue to find your way in this world with the most true and honest smile I know.

I imagine that when you were handed your diploma, you gave a little squeal of excitement, and did a 360 degree twirl into the rest of your life!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snowmuscles

There are a lot of painful sighs that happen when the Winter Storm Warning goes on all weekend in Reno. The sigh of waking up and thinking about shoveling the front porch, the walk, around the car, the steps and walks of the apartments, the patio at the bar, and all of the other places that may just have to wait for the sun to clear it up. There's also the sigh of the test of patience from following inept drivers going 7 miles per hour down the street...their 2 wheel drive sports cars unchained and unfit for conditions that the High Sierra often provide. The sigh-coupled-with-an-F-bomb when a bump from behind at the stop sign indicates that some people should TRY driving 7 miles per hour. The sigh of awareness that 6-and-3-year-old ears should not be subject to profanities...oops. Most of the time, sighs are a result of something painful.

Sometimes, however, they are a release of stress.

I had a nice, big sigh of relief yesterday when I finally sat down with Sean and Ireland to munch on a warm afternoon lunch, knowing that some kick-ass snowmen were out front watching over the street...reminding me that there's nothing better than fresh snow on the ground!



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hello...hello, hello


Is there anybody OUT there?!

Mom, I know you are in New Zealand, but in case you are checking the blog, I thought I would post this picture of your car the day after you left:

I tried to text it to you...probably too expensive to get picturemail in Kiwiland. I tried to text it to Mo...probably doesn't use the iPhone. This, I figured, would be the next logical way to communicate what I believe to be a pretty funny shot. You are likely enjoying the warm (if wet) NZ temperature of approximately 63 degrees. I know this because MY iPhone tells me so. Here in Reno, we have dipped below 0 for the first time in over 10 years. In fact, the high a couple of days ago was something like 7 degrees.

Anyway, I hope you appreciate how well timed your departure was. I have since cleaned off the snow from your mint green SUV and moved it around. I have avoided major catastrophe on the icy roads. I love the butt warmers.

Hope you guys are having fun. CONGRATULATIONS TO MO MO on her Graduation!!!

That is all for now.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Three to the Four

Get ready, it's a doozy.

What can I say about the last year? I guess you will just have to wait for the autobiography, because the blog post about how I spent my 33rd year on this Earth would take me weeks to think about, cry over, laugh about and construct. It's been a lot of blood sweat and tears, but the light at the end of the tunnel shined down on me this weekend.
The last couple of weeks have been a real challenge, as I have been busy with work, recovering from Thanksgiving, and making it through another successful Egan Cup bowling tournament!

I followed that all up with a big move onward and upward in my life, in many ways. As I have discussed here and there on this blog over the past year +, I moved out of my house and Babymama and I are headed for a divorce. It has been a long time coming, and the actual legal action delayed longer than I wanted due to the fact that I have been trying to make sure she and my children have a house to live in...that has been worked out now, and I have turned my attention onto making my own life a little better, and more accommodating for Sean and Ireland. Living in my apartment has been very difficult. I have been lucky to have a place to spend the last 14 months or so moving on with my life, but I haven't really been able to have my kids stay with me, and I have been so busy with all of the work I have been involved in that my time for them has been limited to a few visits, lunches, dinners and hang out sessions every week, but nothing like the fatherhood I imagined myself having when I brought them into the world...and unacceptable to me. It's been beyond stressful, and there are very few things that have helped me stay sane, but life is not bad, by any means. In fact, I feel so very grateful to have so many friends and family around me supporting me through this struggle, and one of those people is about to surface here on this blog.

This is Anna.




She is many things to me. She's the manager of my bar. She's my friend Cody's little sister. She has been around my family since she was a little girl. She was also around Babymama's family too...she babysat Anna as a little girl...but don't mention it to her, because she's not her favorite person at the moment, (understandably), because Anna is my girlfriend.

Yep, I have a girlfriend now. I have for a few months, actually, and it has been very, very nice. Not only has she been loving and caring, and accepting of me and my life, with tons of support in a time when I really needed it, but she has been ready and willing to move forward with me and all of the beautiful baggage that I bring along. She and I have moved in together, into the first house that I bought with Babymama. Imagine how challenging this is as a woman, to accept and embrace the situation and move into the house. She is a very mature, hard working person, however, and she has worked through those trivialities to see the big picture of helping me make a home for us and for my kids that will bring joy and comfort to us all. She and her sister Kadie helped pick out some amazing colors for the paint, and cleaned the SHIT out of this house from floor to ceiling. After being a rental for the past 2 years, it needed some serious scrubbing! So that's what we've been doing for the past 2 weeks; getting the house ready and moving up stuff. It's not done yet, but it is warm and getting there, and we are happy to be settling in.


I turned 34 yesterday, and I wanted to keep it mellow and lay low, surrounded by family and friends. I couldn't have had it play out any more perfectly. Anna switched her Saturday night shift so she could hang out, and I texted a couple of friends to come in and say hi. Little did I know that Anna actually let quite a few people know about it, and got the bar packed with a bunch of my friends. She decorated top to bottom, brought in food, and made it extra special. She also pulled a fast one on me by bringing 3 of my favorite musicians to play an impromptu gig! Her brother, Cody (who recently got his MFA from Cal Arts) played percussion. My buddies Fernando Flores and Jimmy Hoover (both from Sol Jibe), played bass and sax. And the big surprise was when I looked up and saw my own keyboard on the stage and was told that Brian Egan would be playing too! I was nervous as hell, especially because I am so disgustingly out of practice, but I sacked up and tried to work through the buzz I had going...and I played with 3 of the best musicians I know.



We had a great jam session, and people actually stayed around and listened...and I think actually enjoyed themselves! I think I am inspired to get back after it again with playing music, and I refuse to be caught so off guard again, so I will be practicing more and ready next time I get shanghaied into a jam session!

One way I plan on keeping my chops up is to jam a little more often with Sean. This will be not only possible, but a regular occurrence, as the drums and keys are now set up at my house! Last night, as a matter of fact, I had a real birthday treat when I jammed with Sean. And it was even more special, because he and Ireland got to come and stay at the house for the First Time!!

When they came over last night, they were so excited to see what we had in store for them. We had made a trip to Ikea to get some inexpensive but SUPER CUTE kids furniture to make them feel welcome and comfortable. If you can see in these pictures, the stuff resembles The Cat in the Hat, and it made for a nice reception when they saw where they would be spending the night last night, and for many nights to come in the future.









We had pizza for dinner, and a birthday cake after.


They made me birthday cards, and brought up a plate full of my favorite: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies! We watched a movie, and read some books, and although they were a little scared of the new environment, they nestled down to bed and slept soundly all night. They woke up to a foot of snow on the ground outside (and still coming!), which meant NO SCHOOL, and MORE TIME TO CHILL with them this morning.





The night was also topped off by a first...Sean's first lost baby tooth, which meant that there was a fairy floating around my house last night!! (And money in a special "Tooth Fairy" silver container that Anna just happened to have packed up, waiting on Sean's nightstand in the morning).



I could go on and on about this last couple of weeks, or even just about last night, but the point is this: probably the best birthday ever. I think 34 is going to be an amazing year. There will be struggles, as always, but things are going in the right direction for me. I feel like I have the fundamentals falling into place to have a positive environment around me, and plan on being more of the father I want to be.