The reason why we never had nice things as a kid wasn’t really about money (all the time) or that it was rare or hard to find. No, we mostly didn’t have nice things because of me. Now, I’m not looking for sympathy or an argument. I will simply offer the facts and you can make the judgement.

I break things.
So I’ve got this knack for destroying anything in arm’s reach. So much so I’ve had friends and their families hide new and expensive toys from me. They would place fun new items high on the shelf, or simply say that it was mostly to ‘look at.’ I knew though, I break things – I can’t help it. Am I accident prone? Maybe. Did I not care about my friend’s toys? No. All of my toys ended up breaking too – which leads me to my next point.

I break my own things. A lot.

Yeah. So no big shocker here, that if my friends hid toys from me. My poor mother felt the need to keep trying to buy me things. I think it got to a point for her though. And you can’t buy one toy for your good kid while leaving your brat of a son who breaks all of his out in the cold. So I wrecked that party pretty early on. But I don’t just break toys. I’ve taken a hammer to a sink for seeming no reason beyond wanting to see what would happen.

I take things apart

My poor mother. I’ve taken radios, controllers, televisions, small furniture – all part setting aside the miniature screws – each with a different color ribbon on the threading. Finding out how the thing worked was always a fantastic feeling, but not being able to put it all back together again was painful (mostly for my angry family). When the front room’s TV remote stopped working because it was still in ten pieces, or when my brother comes back from college to an empty shelf in the garage – yeah. Those were me.

I lost my remorse

Sure, I cared a lot at first. But after years and years of saying sorry – it started to mean less and less to those I was saying it to. That feeling of ‘not enough’ leeched into me and I didn’t know what else to tell them anymore.

I’m why we can’t have nice things.

Long overdue, sure. What is it like being a stay-at-home dad? It’s pretty fun. It’s only been 6 months to I can’t speak to him getting out of my sight – too much. I get the amount of work I’m looking to get done in a day. Yeah, he can be a real weight to days I have to get something done, or the times he just will not relax. But I’d say it’s going great.

It is what I’ve always (jokingly) said I wanted to do for a “living”. Who knew it would come true. Heck, I’m getting paid to write too, fantastic.

Finn’s starting to crawl really well, and his excitement to walk is infectious. His two front teeth are breaking through and making themselves known. We’re watching [new] Doctor Who, and enjoying walks in the morning.

Being so close in age to my sister, my friends felt she was fair game, well to one person in particular. A metal fan with the demeanor of a child in the supermarket, seeming missing in his own mind and kind to anyone that gave him a slice of their life.

I am unsure if it was Tim’s sweet innocence or his lackadaisical façade, but they dated a handful of times like any young couple. I wouldn’t call their relationship turbulent, or even bumpy, or hell – even a relationship – as far as I know they didn’t but kiss a few times. It was middle school after all, but Tim never gave up.

The final nail in Tim’s pursuit came when myself and a small group of friends were lazing on the cream corduroy couches that filled in the front room of the house in Warrenville. As I am sure all other groups of high school guys are, we were assholes to one another. Always enjoyed seeing one of our own fail miserably – it was a game of who was next – but with Tim around in his stammering oblivion, he couldn’t help but fall into being a kind of punching bag for those who loved to push the buttons. It was them, the pushers of buttons, and the hype-men who turned the screws to build the blind gull of the lowly Mr. Eads. So we moved the pitching group to that front room, an unusual occurrence to say the least, and the tension grew as the hyenas yelped at the ankles of a lost lover. Tim called to his dearest, my sister.

He sat back on the couch as she approached, resting his hands on his head, interweaving his fingers, with his elbows outstretched like he had already won, in his brittle way of gaining confidence to her and the rest of us. The crowd fell silent and I grew a dumb grin on my face – I knew what was to become of his humility.

He spread a big empty smile across his face, “Karin…”

“Tim. No.” My sister butted in before he could finish past her name. She cracked a demure smile, turned heel and walked back the crackling parquet wood floor as the room erupted with painful laughter.

I could only say my peace with a handful of ‘told-you-so’s while the rest were filling the front of the house with a million layers of crackles. The way she said it, her smirk and the beaten down Eads, all spoke to one thing – it was never going to happen, move on.

There you are sitting on your computer, or hunched over a phone, even a fancy pants iPad. Coaxing the shapes and loops to form a semblance of structure. You could be thinking of me, sitting in bed writing this or you could be stuck on a small phone or some such thing. But either way you go bumbling along on my words putting together my thoughts and making your own. You are in my world now.

There can, and likely are, entire writing courses on the first page. It may go without saying but a great many number of reasons why the first page is painfully important, stoking the flames of writer’s block for some, some choosing to ignore a ‘true’ first page and come back, pulling details out like a slow working dentist. The first page, at it’s most annoying, is the attention grabber – a way for some authors to get readers to buy a book, or to pull a person from their world into that of the story,or just to simply snatch up a reader’s attention. Plop down in nearly any book, fiction, non-fiction and there it is, like a shining beacon in the misty pages – the ‘first page’.

This is where I come in. I’ve written off and on most my memorable life and in those years of high school where putting words together and placing adjectives one right after another like a shopping list to grad school where I realized I wasn’t talented like my peers – I wrote some things. We’ll be going back, hopefully one a week (hopefully more than once) to the first peek into my brief life as a “writer,” and hack away, but explaining why/how my attacks. In this, my hope is to writer better and maybe, just maybe help someone else. Because writing isn’t easy.

First up, the first page of my unfinished novella: “Blue Whale.” Coming tomorrow.

Yesterday I kept track of what Finn and I did. We were up to some pretty cool stuff.

– AM:

  • Drove Lis to work in our new car (from Grandma Joan)
  • Enjoyed the jumper in all its glory, can see Finn from new desk place. Went totally nuts in the (new) saucer – seems to never get enough of standing up.
  • He has fallen in love with the tree decorations near his changing pad again, this time reaching out and attempting to grab (or pull them off)

– PM:

  • The jumper is now known as the Automatic Poop Machine.
  • His feeding times are WAY off – wont eat whole bottles.
  • DMV went like this for Finn – happy fun times > why are we still here? > board, dad > ARGH I HATE MY LIFE > Imma sleep in your arms now
  • We didn’t have the air setup in the apartment, so any A/C means he falls asleep fast, even more so in the car.
  • Picked up a Banjo Burner Classic from a guy in the homebrew club – he was just giving the thing away.
  • Played, slept and ate fairly normally (timing off)
  • Picked up Lis from work and went to Target to get big mirror for car, have to see that baby.

Yes, I’m well aware that this has just been sitting. It’s been way too long. The problem being I’d like to break the blog up into different sections and write some informative social media posts in one area, beer in another, and stay-at-home dad-dom in yet another.

But, then I thought I should just write something, anything here and make an effort to do so. And that latter part is what I plan on doing.

A quick update: Finn is healthy as a horse, and seemingly going to meet the standards set by his steed brethren. What I mean is the kid is huge. I brewed my all-time-favorite beer without really aiming to do so, a “wit” beer that is more or less just a wheat beer. It’s been fairly warm, but nothing like Chicago, which has fried at a sultry 90f+ for a couple of weeks now. Makes me feel pretty glad we dogged that horribly warm bullet. Being a dad is pretty dang awesome overall and it is a real adventure every day.

More soon. I promise this time.

Sometimes the weekends feel like the work week I’ve been missing out on. Family can  be a bit of a weight and Lis has a knack for always squeezing in one more adventure each and every single weekend. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

We go great places, do things that I really love to do (like drink really good beer). Maybe long weekends are just that: long. Between the strong armed grandmother, a tad over-doing it on Saturday, our bumbling slating of time – I need some downtime. Luckily, Finn has stopped shouting for nearly no reason and has gone back to his normal happy-go-lucky self again. He is chewing up more of my time everyday, sleeping a lot less, but I’m still getting ‘enough’ done for SPG to make me feel like I’m getting enough done.

I’m pushing 200lbs and I’m like a 16-year-old girl looking at pictures of myself and only seeing a belly. I need to get outside more, I cannot wait to get a carrier for the bike, thinking of one of those rear hauler types – that way I can carry diapers, snacks, and more if need be. I’m getting gray patches of hair too, age is a wonderful thing.

Beer will be brewed when the 4lbs of hops I ordered arrives, four types I have zero previous knowledge of but all fit into the same flavor profile I love. Maybe some SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beers are in order to hone in on these flavor profiles. I plan on doing an over-due overhaul of this site as well as some more beer posts – maybe reviews or something. I need to write more and beer seems like my thing right now – I’ll tuck them away so this doesn’t become yet another ‘review’ site; which I’d like to avoid in general.

Or, why you shouldn’t truncate your blog.

Just a quick message, a PSA of sorts. The web, the way people read it and how (more importantly) data is consumed is much different than 2004. Sure, have a ton of page views on your rarely updated beer blog give your tummy a tickle – but I’d much rather skip the story completely than hunt down the other paragraph and a half.

See, I like where we are as a tech driven society. I can plow through a bunch of stories on the laptop and later open to where I was on the iPad. When back-patters shit up my reading experience by sticking a (sometimes link free) ‘more’ two sentences into their mildly interesting posts I simply walk away. I know I am not alone, so let this be a lesson to myself and those I work for: I will only use a ‘more’ button when it’s warranted and not to push traffic.

There is this pang I get when I even see the WordPress logo. I feel like this blog has gone by the wayside. It’s not that I don’t wish to post anymore, but it needs more attention and time than I’m willing to give it. At least for now. I know most have heard, but a plague of computer ills has made writing, work, watching shows a bane. The longer I work behind a desk the more I come to realize how much of a slave to technology I am. My entire career path at this moment depends entirely on the face that Facebook and twitter exist. While this is not entirely a bad thing, it is dangerous. Having a computer that can simp access the most basic of websites while editing a document and playing music may seem like a menial task for most, but the web has increasingly become more power hungry. Chrome chews through ram and the weighted we apps I use for work on top of running word, my super lightweight note program, iTunes (most of the problem), Skype, and maybe ‘grab’ the 4 year old MacBook is showing its age. This is all after the desktop died 6 months ago and took along a couple of weekends with it. Note: moving 300 gigs of music across a 10mb network eats ass. The lamp went out on the laptop in one of those “this cannot be happening” moments a month or so ago, and now I’m tied to a desk. Not horrible, if it wasn’t for the fact that my work day is no longer dictated by me – a symptom of my stay-at-home-daddom – my desk is just waiting to be shelved by my wife, and that working form a couch, rocking chair, or anywhere BUT my desk would be 100x more helpful.

Where am I going with all of this? A new laptop is coming. Friday. Let’s hope it glues together some of my sanity at least temporarily.

I cracked a bit last night. Usually, in the middle of the night I am pretty calm and even find myself falling asleep faster than Finn. But last night was different for seemingly no reason at all.

He had flooded the bed behind him, a not-so-unusual occurrence, and need a full clothes change along with a bottle at 3am. The changing went okay, but with his new-found love for flopping around like a new trout, it gets old fast. I always pre-warm the bottle in the tiny window between pulling him out of bed and changing his diaper so my nice warm bottle was ready to go. We sit down and I start feeding him, that goes just fine – the usual cat stepping on him, another one howling about how I am ignoring her – nothing different, but for some reason this anger is welling up inside me. It’s not pointed at anything or anyone – just angry. My attempts to push it down and focus on getting Finn to, now, burp goes well. Then comes the post-bottle battle.

Like I said before he’s found a likeness toward floundering around when things are just so. This also wakes him up, a lot. You’ve got to move from bottle to pacifier very quickly after burping – I guess I didn’t move quite quick enough because his milk induced lull was dropped for a woken baby stare. The rage bubbled. I gripped Finn tight against my chest and took a handful of deep breaths for his sake and mine. He quickly fell back to dreamland and I began the move to his bed. The Sandman stuck with him till my arm was pulled from behind his head – and he popped awake like he had just been playing me for a fool. The anger welled. Resilient, I wrapped him up and moved forward popping the plug in and leant down to silence the howling cat. Then the plastic clink, that only noise that can come from your son pushing out his pacifier. The mania was dragging me deeper. I took a hard deep breath as I pulled Finn out of his bed and squatted on the Astroturf rug and rocked and rocked for hope – for hope of him finally letting go and finishing the rest of the night in dreamland. After ten minutes of rolling and rocking while itchy turf pushed its way thorough my boxers he had fallen asleep enough for me to try again. All wrapped up, fed, dry, clean – I set him down ever so slowly back into his crib. Finn’s head snapped forward as it grazed the cool bed sheet.

“You Jackass. Go. To. Sleep.”

And I didn’t mean it in the joking – oh you are being a jerk. Oh no. Somewhere in my dumb brain, I knew – just knew – he was doing this on purpose. I pulled back the loose side of the blanket and pulled the fleece as tight as it would go across his tiny body – trapping his flopping arm against his side and making him nearly immobile save for his neck – and stuck the plug in and stood back.

Almost as soon as I took my step back I regretted being angry – being that he is the baby not me. His eyes drooped right away like the taunt wrap was the one thing holding him back from deep sleep. I huffed and walked out of the room feeling defeated and guilty.

I said I was sorry for being angry this morning – he seemed unfazed.