Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"I 'Noopy!"

I remember singing these words. Here’s why:

I remember that singing this song always seemed to happen on the car rides. They could be long car rides, short car rides, the song could take place anywhere, but it usually occurred on our longer trips to/back from Sturgis. Literally the only bit of the song that I remember Mom, Big Bro and Twissy singing is “I’m Hardrock, I’m Castle(?), I’m Joe…”. That’s it. I couldn’t tell you then, or even now, if the subjects of the song are people, dogs, or friendly houseplants. I didn’t really pay attention to that part because it wasn’t the important bit to me. I just remember that I was feeling VERY left out on this particular sing-a-long and had desperately wanted to participate in it for some time because it looked like fun!

Whenever that song happened, Mom smiled, Big Bro smiled, and Twissy smiled. Heck, now and then even Dad smiled after this song! Dad’s never smiled! At least, our Dad didn’t. Well, not when he was driving anyway.

One of the many things I’ve learned from my Dad is that there were an amazing number of Stupid Heifers out on the road. Stupid Idiots almost always seemed to accompany them, but that generally wasn’t a smiley kind of knowledge.

I wasn’t certain if Stupid Heifers knew of this Hardrock song or not. Maybe if they did know about the song they’d only be Heifers. Another thing I didn’t know was if being a Stupid Heifer was better or worse than just being a Heifer. What the heck was a Heifer and how did they get to drive a car, anyway? (As I’m older now and supposedly all grown up, I understand that this is probably an answer that our Dad would be interested in also.) But there were all three (Stupid Heifers, Heifers, and Stupid Idiots) driving the other cars, Stupid Heifers being the worst of the three.

On family trips, Dad’s would also every now and then mention that “If he had to stop this car”… well, let’s just say that singing would not be on the menu. At least, not singing with any close attention to lyrics, style or tune. This little bit of clearly identifiable reality was usually injected into the big highlights or lowlights of the trip (the determination of the ‘light’ status usually depended on who was getting teased, me or someone else).

Big Bro and Twissy took great pains to insure that I understood (i.e. stopped whatever it was I was doing) because they’d been down that particular Stop before and hadn’t really enjoyed the trip. They always did what was necessary to get it through my thick skull that “If I have to stop this car” was Dadspeak for ‘Sore butt’. In particular, I remember seeing strained smiles and some very intense looks followed by a hand gripping whatever part of me was causing trouble. Usually what followed the hand gripping part were the words “Brett, he’s serious. Stop messing around. You really don’t want him to ‘Stop This Car’.”

Anyway, I was fairly sure there was a rule somewhere that said, “Dad’s don’t smile when they’re driving.” Dad’s did a lot of other things while they were driving, but smiling didn’t seem to rate high on the list of Things To Do While Driving. So if Dad smiled, then this Hardrock thing must be a GREAT song!

But, if it was so great, then just why couldn’t I sing part of it? I failed to see any logical reason why this must be. Especially considering that after everyone had sang their part, they laughed and laughed! What a Great Song that song must be!

There I sat, grinning from ear to ear trying to wait patiently for when it would be my turn to sing, when all three of them would look at me and wait for me to sing my verse. It really didn’t matter to me that I had no clue what the words were to the song; I was willing to give it my best shot anyway. They seemed to know all the words and I certainly would have preferred to know them, but I saw no reason why I should let that hold me back from joining in. It was after all a Great Song.

It sounded like there was always a chorus, but that was just “I’m Hardrock…” and it was NEVER my turn! I began wishing that I knew the words so that I could laugh too! So, how can I participate? Think, think, think. Aha! I needed a name. I’d make it my favoritist name in the whole world…thinkthinkthink…a name that could fit right in and not be noticed…thinkthinkthink…but would allow me to participate too. Hmmmmmmm…thinkthinkthink… After giving it a lifetimes worth of thought (at least 5 or 6 seconds), I had it! I was able to develop my very own favorite name (because everyone else had obviously already picked their favorite name right???). I was ready, I was (impatiently) waiting for the song to begin, I could now fully participate! WooHOO!!!

I’m ready. Mom starts the song because she knows how to do that. Mom sings “I’m Hardrock”, I wait my turn, Big Bro sings “I’m Castle”, I’m really clued in now, my turn’s coming up soon! Twissy sings “I’m Joe.” Then it’s my turn, the laughing hasn’t begun yet, and the smiles are just beginning, NOW! Sing NOW!.....

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Brain Switches

I just slept for 7 and 1/2 hours. While this may not be a newsflash to you, it was heaven to me. At least, a heaven that I would prefer to participate in nightly.

I don't know if you have this problem, but this is getting absolutely ridiculous. My Girl and I have no kids, it's just us and our brains in this house. Our brains, I think, is where the problem lies. My Girl has always had an issue with switching off her brain so her body can sleep. When we first started dating, I had no idea what "I didn't sleep good." really meant. What it meant was "I got to watch you while you were SLEEPING! ALL NIGHT!!" I know now (nine years later) that this is a sucky thing. Honey, I officially apologize for not realizing how much of a sucky thing this is.

My problem is now, because of marriage and how you eventually adopt your spouse's bad habits as your own bad habits, my brain switch is now busted. I have recently informed My Girl as to my feelings about this matter. Her response of "Now you know what it's like!" wasn't really what I was looking for. A little sympathy might have been nice. A little, "Awww, my poor baby." But no. I got me. I got how I reacted to her after she didn't sleep well. Hmm. Tactical error spanning 9 years, maybe?*

My Brain Switch used to work beautifully. I spent three years as an U.S. Army Airborne Ranger. I slept on the side of a hill that was so steep, my feet were braced on a friendly tree to prevent me from sliding DOWN the hill while I was sleeping. I woke up feeling a "little tired, but mostly OK."
I once slept on a rock the size of my fist one night. I woke up feeling great! I only noticed it AFTER I packed my sleeping roll the next morning. I pointed it out to my Ranger Buddy and said "Wow! I must've been REALLY tired last night!" My Brain Switch worked, people! I wanted to go to sleep, I hit the switch, BANG!, it's tomorrow morning. It as magnificent!. If someone placed a mushy pea beneath my mattress now, I'd have a stiff back and proportionately crabby attitude. I'm a guy.

NOW, I hit The ol' Brain Switch, and suddenly, it's time to start planning tomorrow. Going over lists in my head to make sure I remember (Heh) what I want to do tomorrow. I've mentioned before that my memory doesn't work. My Girl is of the opinion that it doesn't really exist and that it's rather like Bigfoot or the Tooth Fairy. It may have been there at one time, but what has it done for her lately? So WHY am I wasting time on what I know is fruitless exercise? My memory (Heh) works just like a bucket with a hole in the bottom. You end up with residue.

My Girl is beautiful when she sleeps,** but on the whole, I'd rather not be aware of her beauty for more than 15 seconds at 2:30am. Or 3:45 am. Or, as it happened the night before last, from 2:23am to 5:30am. I get up at 5:30 am. That is a really sucky thing. That means that I got a whopping 4.5 hours of sleep. Add that to the 4 hours of sleep the night before, the 3 - 3.5 hours of sleep I got the night before that and I wind up with 11.5 - 12 out of 96 hrs of noticing how beautiful My Girl really is. She's a Hottie. She's All That. I married her because I KNOW THIS ALREADY!! I WANT TO GO TO SLEEP, DAMMIT!!

But, that is in the distant past (Not My Girl's hottieness, just my noticing at inopportune moments) I just got 7 and 1/2 hours of sleep. And I only had to pee once which doesn't count.

* For those concerned - I've recognized the error of my ways and now spend time in empathy.
** For that matter, she's pretty darn cute when she's awake too, but that's another blog.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My wife's worst nightmare

Well, now. This is quite possibly my wife's worst nightmare. It's a chance for me to sit and expound all of my opinions to a captive audience. (Not that you're all that captive, but, humor me anyway and just pretend that you really can't click and go to one of the other millions of bloggers out there.) My Girl is either huddled up in the corner of the bedroom, sucking her thumb and trying to think Happy Thoughts, or she's called up our Provider, asked how to disconnect the internet service and will soon start looking into companies that recycle used computers. But for now, bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!! You're all screwed!

Technology has brought me to a place where the only thing between my opinions on life and the world is my ability to restrain myself. Riiiiiight. I'll start work on that little piece of adulthood right away. It's served me so well over the years. Like the time I danced on top of a table in a bar in Ohio for a bachelorette party. I was just passing through, what was the harm? They needed a male stripper, I'm a male. R-e-s-t-r-a-i-n-t. Well, if I can't practice it, at least I can spell it. The thing is, they took pictures. Then they posted them in the bar. I shall live in Infamy! Or jail. It depends on what the feds find out....Public nudity is mostly, not legal. And it was, oh, 18 (ouch) years ago?

OK. Seeing's as how I'm new to this and you're new to me, let's get a few things straight as far as what I want this to be. Kind of an executive summary thingy for those of you who can't be bothered with reading a few posts to see what it's really going to turn out to be.

- Funny. That is, funny to me. Hopefully you'll laugh with me, but that won't be necessarily be required for me to enjoy myself. Think of this as masturbation with the english language for the frustrated writer in me. If you enjoy watching, it's all good. No special eye protection is required.

- Honest. If I write it here, I should be willing to tell it to your face. Easy to say, hard to do. It's always easy to write about the hilariously funny way your Uncle Bart squints when he's reading something more complicated then a movie ticket. But do you tell him about it? I'd have to because I'd burst out laughing the first time I saw it. Then, it's either lie and say something like I think Morgan Freeman is HILARIOUS in this movie, OR tell him why I can't breathe normally when he's trying to find out which theater The Shawshank Redemption is playing in. Personally, I like the option behind Door #2. It's always better to get people to laugh at themselves. It's healthy. It's mind expanding. It gives you an easy target next time you need to make an example of someone.

- SOMETIMES, but not always, opinionated. Now here's a tough one. Do I come out and tell you everything I'm thinking, or do I just let you wonder which tree I fell out of and if the other monkey's are eating my share of the grub? To be honest, campers, I don't know how this is one is going to fall. I'm not afraid of sharing my opinions (quick check with the wife....Nope, she says I've got too many opinions anyway and mentioned something about strychnine.), but I'd like to be able to provide some giggles along the way without being overly obstinate. We'll just have to see. It is after all, my blog. Comments are open and we'll muddle through as we go.

So, those are the rules. I'll add to them as things go on. To be honest, the rules are less for you and more for me. This way, my superlative memory skills won't be bothered to try to remember why I started this thing, I'll be able to go back to my first post and figure it out all on my very own.

My memory...ha. Let's start there. It's easy. It's a small subject. It would have to be, as I know that I don't have one. I know I started life with one, but the older I get, the less sure I am of it's effectiveness. It's one thing to forget where I put my wallet. It's a whole other thing to realize I've been looking all over my house for a wallet that is on my dresser. The same dresser that it sits on almost every night. Sad.

Marriage is love.