Saturday, January 23, 2016

I rode a Chicago bus yesterday to get up to the United Center for the Black Sabbath show last night, and somewhere around Milwaukee Avenue an older Mexican American fellow climbed aboard with his shoe shine box. He sat there rubbing his hands and wincing as if his hands were very much cold, in pain, or likely both. A woman seated next to must have noticed this as I did and offered him some gloves. You should have seen the look of surprise and appreciation on his face. It was a very tender moment of generosity to observe.

The glove giving gal was thin, looked to be in her late 40's or early 50's, was wearing a John Lennon type Army coat, had really short blond hair, and she had kind of a "butchy" demeanor, for lack of a better word. Actually, after the fact it dawned on me that she looked and acted a lot like like the actress, Jane Lynch, the boss in 40-Year-Old Virgin and the lesbian dog trainer in Best In Show.

"Hey, sport! Want some gloves?"
Shoe shining guy's English was not great, but that didn't stop glove-giver from telling him a bunch of information. After giving him the big and bulky gloves, she showed him the slimmer ones that she was wearing and said "These are for gun handling," and "These are for handling guns" - in case he didn't hear the first time. She said she was a retired cop and for some reason told a story about her and some other officers arresting a drug dealer. Apparently the dealer shot her partner and during the exchange giant bags of "china white" exploded everywhere and exposure to the drug led to her to being laid up in a hospital for 10 days, regularly hallucinating all through out her stay (which doesn't sound all bad).

(A good time. If you have a lot of free time in your immediate future)


Wow.

What started a nice moment of a woman performing an act of kindness for a random senior citizen quickly escalated into a crazy violent crime adventure story straight out of "Scarface." I did not see that coming at all, but you do have to expect the unexpected when you hop on a Chicago bus.

Be kind to others, readers. And watch out for accidental ingestian of dangerous amounts of "China white," whatever the hell that is. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Babies Spinning Plates? Yeah, I Lost My Mind.

I was out to dinner with some friends who I haven't seen in a long time, and to be honest, I barely know their wives. Some of them I hadn't even met before that night. That's how long it had been - they had met women, gotten married, and had children since last I had seen them in person. I think the last time I saw these buddies of mine was the last time I published a blog on this site. That was a joke.

The night was like this. Only in color and with slightly more casual attire.
I was kind of struggling with conversation to make because a couple of the guys that I really wanted to catch up with were way on the other end of a table of around 12 people. One couple was simultaneously checking their baby monitors on their phones as they sat down. I don't have kids yet, so I guess I can't say that I won't do the same thing, but isn't that being a little paranoid? I mean, what could you possibly see on that screen that would freak you out enough to rush home or to the telephone? I asked if the baby was doing anything cool on the screen, like juggling, or maybe spinning some plates like on an old Ed Sullivan Show. I thought that was hilarious, just picturing a baby running back and forth keeping four or five plates spinning in his little crib with that standard plate spinning song heard in the clip below. Everyone spun plates to that song, right? Then I was saying it would be a real pisser if they saw their baby doing something miraculous like that on their phone and couldn't record it. Nobody would believe them.

Nobody thought that was funny. Why am I so damned weird?


(That's the song.)


(And that's a guy spinning plates on the Ed Sullivan Show. Don't know how in the hell I couldn't find a guy spinning plates to the actual song. I guess just play them both and hit mute on the second one if you want the full effect. Ah, to hell with it.)

Then some of the wives were talking about those damned "Housewives" shows where those crazy ladies demonstrate that they haven't evolved passed middle school and are mean and caddy and gossipy about one another. There are loads of respectable mothers out there that are more deserving of their own show to be a representative of a non psycho homemaker, and what's more, some of the women on the show have their own businesses. So they shouldn't they be offended to be called housewives?

Anyway, someone was talking about the God awful British one, and I just blurted out, "Oh, she is the worst. She used to be like the voice of reason on that show, but now she is meaner than all of them. She pries and asks deeply personal questions of everyone, and then uses that info against them. And she never admits she's wrong, which I especially hate." I realized that I had said too much. I had tipped them all off that I am a man that actually watches that crap. My wife will have it on, and I get sucked into it, proving that if I want to waste time - I will force myself to get interested in just about anything. And I have been wasting way too much time lately.

Here she is. She has miniature horses and swans and shit, and she's terrible.
When I blurted out how much I knew about a specific housewife and it was evident how passionate I was about hating her so, it was hilarious to all the women on my end of the table. I made them laugh on accident. The plate spinning babies wasn't at all funny, but I got a laugh one way or another.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What Does It Say About Me That THESE Are the Video Games That I Like?

I have a friend who works at an arcade bar where they serve beers, so it's not hard for him to talk me into visiting his work place. After going around to see which games to play, I noticed that I seem to always gravitate towards Tapper and N.A.R.C. What alarms me is that these are the two games that most involve beer and drugs.

In Tapper (1983) you control a bartender pouring beers and passing them down three or four long bars to advancing customers. If a customer makes it all the way to the end of the bar without getting a drink, they pick you up and throw you down the bar (costing you a life). Also, if they send an empty glass down the bar before you can catch it, that also results in a lost life. It's a fast paced strategy game, but I'm always wondering why this doesn't staff more bartenders? I also start wondering why there isn't any security up in there? It seems like a scary place to work when a customer can whip your ass for not getting a drink out fast enough.

Believe it or not, this game was sponsered by Budweiser, there is a Budweiser sign on the side of the game and hanging up on the wall of the video game bar, and at one point they say "This Bud's for you!" I used to play this game at a family pizza place as a little kid, and even then I thought it was amazing that I could put in a quarter and be a bartender!



If you thought Tapper was nuts you have got to play N.A.R.C. (1988). In this shoot-em-up classic you control special agents looking to bring down Mr. Big, the nation's biggest drug dealer. Along the way you arrest a number of suspects, but usually you shoot them with a machine gun or blow them to hell with a rocket launcher. There are times in the game where you will blow something up and bags of cocaine will fly everywhere, at which time you scoop them up. At the end of each level it shows how many busts you made, confirmed kills you racked up, and how many drugs you confiscated.  One level there are guys heaving giant seringes at you, and then in another there are steroid abusing guys picking up dumpsters and chucking them at you. This game really put the "war" in the whole "War On Drugs" thing that was going on in the 1980's. It's a blast!



Boy, I'm getting excited just talking about these two classics. I may be paying my friend another visit really soon. See you around, blog buddies. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"If only I had one of grandpa's swords . . ."
My wife's grandfather told an interesting story over breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving. I go out to northern California to be with her family ever year, and it's always good to see grandpa. He is well into his 80's, fought in World War II, and he is one of the only guys still around who can say they were at Normandy. He is also the proud owner of one of the most impressive antique weapons collections known to man. As a matter of fact, Charlie Watts once came over to his house to buy one of his swords. Grandpa isn't a fan of rock music so he wasn't as excited about that visit as I would have been. All he remembers about Charlie is how dirty his fingernails were.


Anyway, grandpa is offered bacon and said that he better not after he had bacon with the family a year ago and drove home. Apparently the bacon was causing a serious need to get to the bathroom for the last few miles of his ride (he still drives!), and in his rush to get to the toilet upon opening the door, he accidentally kicked the trip wire he had set up and released tear gas all over him and all through out the house. Grandpa is big on keeping his home and the weapons collection tightly secured and evidently engineered the whole trip wire tear gas thing. He said that he couldn't leave the house because he still had that urgent call from nature, and he then had to sit there and finish his business, just enduring the pain with his eyes burning. He truly is from the "Greatest Generation." I would have cried and screamed loud enough for all my neighbors to hear, and they would all step outside to see what the commotion was all about just in time to see me pooping the bushes. And still crying.

What is funny is that Mrs. Noisewater's dad, grandpa's step-son, was quick to point out that this wasn't the first time that grandpa had set off his own tear gas bomb upon himself. Maybe he has an immunity built up so that he can fight off a would be intruder through the haze and eye burning? Who knows.

In any event, here's hoping your next "movement" is in a cozy and comfortable spot free of any chemical weaponry.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Starchild

I played paintball one time and one time only for a bachelor party a number of years ago, and the one thing I learned is this: Firepower matters. Our group used the rental guns which released paintball capsules kind of fast. I guess it could have been considered semi automatic. We had to play against other random people outside of our group who brought their fully automatic weapons. There really is no comparison.

One guy was wearing a hockey jersey that said "Starchild" on the back, and this dude's weapon sprayed everywhere. And I mean everywhere. When this guy lit you up, you looked like someone took one of those paint rollers and covered you head to toe, not missing a single inch. Star Child was a shorter Caucasian man who looked not unlike Wayne from "Wayne's World," which shouldn't come as a surprise considering this was in Suburban Illinois not too far from Wayne's home of Aurora. ]



I have some questions that I never got answered. 

1. How much do you suppose a weapon of that caliber costs?



2. Where is the sport in just holding down a trigger and hosing down the entire room?

3. Was that the top of the line back then, and how far has paintball technology advanced since Star Child's hey day (which was around 2001)? I seriously can't imagine a more dominant weapon on the market.

4. Just why in the hell does he call himself Starchild? Is it a reference to Parliament/Funkadelic, Paul Stanley from Kiss, "2001: A Space Odyssey" or none of the above? Or maybe just his own thing, like it came to him in a paintball dream of some kind . . .

This diaper dandy?
This KISS'ing bandit?

Or this adorable rascal with his consciousness? Or maybe a reference NOT from the 1970's like all of mine.

5. Do you think he has an entire star fleet of star children by now? Have I put way too much thought into this? I highly doubt Starchild has had a day recently where he wondered where the guy is that ducked down too fast to avoid a paintball from across the room, hit his rear end on a pipe, badly bruised his own ass, and had to sit the rest of the day out.

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If you have answers to any of these questions or just want to say hello, blow me up like a Starchild buckshot in the comments. 

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Man Night

I have some friends coming over in a bit for one of our Man Nights (no wives, kids, or girlfriends aloud). After spinning records and sampling a few craft beers at my place, we're going to go down the street to a nice restaurant that I've been meaning to try. Going to dinner with just dudes was not something I did in my twenties. Back then the dinner might be a slice of pizza chased down with something in the neighborhood of 30 beers. As a matter of fact, if 20's Ken just heard 30's Ken's nerdy agenda for the night, he would makes an excuse to blow off 30's Ken and never call him again.

However, right about now, being with a collection of some of the best friends I've ever had with great music and tasty beer sounds perfect. Here is some of the stuff that will be going down so that you, my beloved readers, can feel like you're here with us. For the virtual version of the party, all are welcome (women, children, and members of the animal kingdom included).

I got this on hand. It's one of my favorite beers ever. This is not my house in the pic. I can prove it because Mrs. Noisewater and I have no fireplace. We would like one, but not as much as we would like a dishwasher.
And let's not forget the vinyl that will be spinning:

Bought this one for $0.99 over a year ago, and I haven't found the occasion to throw it on. The soundtrack to a buddy cop show is the perfect accompinanet to a buddy's night, I think. And Crocket and Tubbs would surely agree. 
I haven't played Vol 4 or Masters of Reality in a helluva long time, so I decided to just play them both. Maybe what I'll do is pick the best side of each, and play each of those sides. That's a diplomatic and time efficient solution. Thanks for pointing me in that direction, beloved readers.
I have a warped version of Santana's first album that is TWICE as bad as this one, and the thing is that despite the fact that the needle raises over an inch up and down as it spins, it plays perfectly! There are some jams on this one, such as "Jingo," but mostly I just want to show my buddies how it wobbles away and plays just fine. Looks like the less warped record in this picture is a Beatles one based on the big apple, don't you think?
I do enjoy a good cheese spread, and hopefully they offer a good one at the fancy-pants restaurant tonight. Someone told me recently that cheese has addictive qualities like drugs. I for sure suffer from this affliction because if there is a fancy cheese in the fridge, I will go to town on it when I come home drunk or during the day when I'm not even hungry. I may have a problem, but tonight I'm going to feed the cheese beast what he wants, and that's a lovely Gruyere, or whatever the fuck.
Then we will go to a few bars and possibly end up at the infamous Liars Club. At that point all classiness will come to a screeching halt, and we will be reverting back to the 20's versions of ourselves, dancing our faces off to goofy stuff like Britney Spears immediately followed by moshing around to Suicidal Tendencies. Hey, did I ever tell you about the time my buddy was taking a pee there and felt something dripping on his bare feet (he was wearing flip-flops)? It was his own pee dripping through a hole in the urinal. Now, you know a place has a certain cache' if we continue to go back there when there are disgusting health code violations such as that. I wouldn't try their cheese tray, let's put it that way.



Thanks for joining the party, readers. Hope you are also having a fantastic weekend.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

I had my 20 year reunion on Saturday night and learned a few things . . .

1. I was way better at remembering the names and faces of the men than the women. This is largely due to the fact that I had crippling shyness and horrible self-esteem in high school, and as a result didn't talk to girls. As a matter of fact, I didn't go to one school dance, didn't make time with any ladies, didn't have a girlfriend . . . none of that good stuff.

This isn't something I think about very often because I made up for lost time and dated enough women in my twenty's and thirties, but it's something I was unexpectedly sad about at the reunion and during a pretty awful hangover the next day. I'm not a dwell on the past type of guy - more of a let's look forward type - but there is just something pretty shocking about talking to close to 100 people that I had no relationship with back then. They had all those parties, played on all the teams, and had all those old times to talk about . . . All I could think about were all those miserable years I spent so scared to be embarrassed somehow that I spent the whole day in hiding, avoiding human contact. I just got through the school day in hiding until I could get home to my Metallica and Ozzy c.d.'s.

2. Just like at our 10 year, we took pictures of groups of people who went to certain grade schools and junior high schools together. It was those grade school people that I most wanted to see and hit it off with most that night. There's just more history: More times of people pissing their pants and eating paste and shit. I can't explain it.

3. One guy who was really quiet back in school showed up at around 8PM completely hammered. He has a drinking problem, and that's something that I know about pretty well from his younger brother. We were cracking up watching him corner people in the most awkward conversations ever, and at one point he unleashed a whiskey fart that cleared out the one whole half of the bar. Maybe, like me, he was having some crappy feelings coming back up and anxiety about seeing and talking to people so he drank even more than usual. Poor guy.

4. Speaking of drinking, it was kind of fascinating to stay and watch which classmates stuck around late into the night and kept boozing. I made a mix of songs from 1991 to 1995 to plug into the stereo system at the bar, and I got a lot of compliments on it. I had around five hours of music listed alphabetical according to song title. I remember asking for my iPod back around midnight to head to the after hours bar with "Waterfalls" by TLC playing, so the mix was just about over. Some of the classmates at the bar had told me they had kids at home, and one of the hardest partying ladies had four boys. Everyone was cool and a lot of fun.

I really should have given people more of a chance back in high school because that was a bar full of great folks. Except for the guy who was excited to show me that he had a business card with his picture on it and said I should come stay with him next time I'm in the area in his 10,000 square foot Victorian mansion. I'm guessing/exaggerating the square footage figure, but he for sure said Victorian mansion. He was kind of nerdy back then, and now he is an over confident nerd. I wanted to let him know, "It's okay, man. Everyone is cool and grown up now. No one will make fun of you. Come, let's get a beer at the bar together and listen to "In the Meantime" by Space Hog." You too, readers, should grab a beer and hit play on that one.