It has been three days. Three, surprisingly easy days – with just me and Finn. I had originally thought of writing updates from his perspective, maybe even daily – but at this point it’d be as follows:

Woke up hungry again. I AM SO MAD ABOUT IT. Oh, I pissed myself. Well, I’m mad about that too. I’m sad and confused about everything that is happening. Hey there trees! Treeeees. Aw, why do they make me naked. Oh – trees again! Right, I forgot I’m hungry. FEED ME! AH GOD WHY ARE YOU NOT FEEDING ME. Thank god. Wait, this isn’t food – there isn’t anything in this dang thing. FEED ME ARFGHRHGH! There it is, food! Food food food food food food do-do-do I love fooooood. Hey, give that back. I wasn’t done eating. Eh. EH! *Belch* Oh, food again. *Belch* Ugh, maybe I ate too much. I need a nap.


With intermittent “I want to stand! Wooooo!” and “I like that painting.” and “I like to sit, I like to sit dooodo.”

Maybe I will start this.

But suffice to say, it’s been kind of a cake-walk thus far. We’ll see how that holds out. Until next time readers.

I feel like Finn’s life is now marked with photographs. It will be the only way to follow it. Already he’s 12lbs+ barely fitting in his ‘3 Month’ size wear and looking different everyday. He’s stiffer – if you don’t have a baby this means their muscles are developing and he’s holding himself ‘up’ more. He stays awake longer and is interacting (as much as he can at one month). I know this sounds obvious, but I can see him getting older before my eyes. This is why I think the only way I’ll be able to relive his youth is through the photographs (which I’ve been yelled at many times to take more of.)

I think the biggest thing I’m learning through this whole process is patience, to wait, to breathe. Not just from his blood curdling middle of the night terror screams, but overall. To allow myself some space to let things go, maybe even to not be so uptight about making everything just so. Lis and I have seen other people with their children, people who should not be allowed to have them, younger parents than us that can’t even hold a job, drunkards who abuse their children (mentally & physically) – I just know I’m doing right by him then. I’m not blowing cigarette smoke in his face or not cleaning his diaper enough (heaven knows we are washing them enough). The worrying is what pushes this, making sure he is the priority not me.


Maybe that is what being a real dad is all about – coming to that realization that you as hot shit as you think you are.

When I was in the hospital with Lis this past week, I kept coming back to this post. How I could compose something to be true to myself, to my child, and to those reading this (the three of you). How could the emotions, the scenes, and the changing scenery of our lives be pulled together into a single post on an all but forgotten blog in the corner of the internet. Honesty. I will try my best to focus the metaphors and keep things concise. I know when this goes live, I will feel as though I had not done it all justice, but I hope I can glean something from doing so. Enjoy.

We walked in, together to the hospital knowing, that we were going in for some time, but we didn’t have any idea. The bright hallways and dimming sunlight outside played lightly against the worry and stress of the unknown ahead. It would have been a whole ‘nother thing if Lis and I rushed in, like in the movies, with her wailing and doctors swishing around and me yelling to push! Push! But this didn’t happen. It was a build up of quiet stress like turning a screw too far into a plank. Little else did we know, that the 2nd floor of the east wing of Maine Medical – the birthing center – was filling up, and fast.

Very quickly after checking in we found ourselves at the bottom of the totem pole of ‘need’ in our little section on heaven. There was a lot of waiting; a lot of sleep, and an ever-thinning of our middle-of-the-night interruptions. They had stuck Lis for an IV but never did anything with the hollow needle. I didn’t help much by reeling from the stab stab of the nurse missing the vein, or my shocked “ew don’t look Lis!” A good start to our time in lock-up. It was here that I made a mental note to buck-up and really ‘be there’ for her. This isn’t a game anymore – it’s not about you.

I crunched up on a glorified couch that happened to be long enough for them to call a ‘bed’ and waited. It was all I could do. There were, of course, punctuated moments of walking to the ‘kitchen’ for a water fill or feeding and cleaning the cats.

But when the times came when Lis was really in the throes of the pitocin when pain, worldly pain bore itself into her and the mask of comfort she tried to carry fell. It was humbling. I have seen her in pain before – bashing a toe or cutting finger – but this tore down anything she thought she was and this made everything melt away and become very real. In these moments sprung a newfound respect for her and this strange new love that I had never anticipated. I am not sure if is exactly ‘mother of my child’ so much as ;she’s MUCH tougher than me.’

That previous love though – that showed up right when I saw our baby being yanked out of the cut drawn across her hips. I welled up inside me, bringing me near tears when she said “he’s so cute” as I held our son above her letting her see him for the first time. May be my favorite moment in quite some time.

Then the waiting game started. Joan and I called people to announce the big-headed baby’s arrival. Lis recovered, the baby got poked some more, Lis got poked at and they rolled her upstairs with me in-toe. Not before a ‘code pink’ was set off by us trying to ride the elevator up (nurse’s fault).

The first nights were eerie and strange with a nurse who could barely combine two english words kept grilling Lis about her pain/incision. The days were chopped up with visits from her mother, and her bother later on. We didn’t watch much television, and we tried to keep the room as mute as possible – after the madness we needed to decompress.

I had heard the “they are letting me take this home” feeling comes as you drive away, but after the six says, we we’re ready to bust out.


At the start of this week, there was a thick fluffy snow that seemed to just to float away after an afternoon breeze took it away. The above photo is from this snowfall. Then the rain came. Our near feet of accumulated snow turned into pillowy slush, stopping up the few drains in Portland, and made all of new england remember what spring is like with 50f temps and on/off showers. This winter has been meager at best, not a whole lot of snow, not really that cold.

Just in the past couple of days I have gotten to know the UPS delivery guy. I think after talking with my mother and saying that I was worried about having the right amount of things – clothes, diapers, etc. The packages are coming in those huge oversized boxes and a single onesie (or two) everyday.

The baby is coming. Very soon, any day. Worry has melded into excitement and the unknown. Time will only tell.

Everything seems in order, our hospital bag is packed – sort of. Baby’s bed is ready save for the fact that our male cat Ike is peeing (again), and thus the bedding is waiting in the wings. We’ve met with our pediatrician, he’s quite nice. It’s snowing again in Maine, meaning slick roads and little-to-no clean up. My brews are waiting either to be kegged or bottled. I’m fairly certain both braggots are inoculated due to the use of the raw honey, but are clearing and chilling in the hallways at about 61°f. The mushroom grow box Gary bought me for Christmas is starting to really spout – hideous and disgusting, but interesting.

I’d like to address a quick… how should I put it, nuance. A few folks have been using a phrase (possibly without even thinking about it) that has Lis and I wondering. A simple three lettered word when in reference to Lis and I’s unborn child – “our.” Sure, it’s normal and fine for the two of us to use it, because – well – it’s ours. But when grandparents and great-grandparents use it, it sounds – oddly possessive. Maybe I’m only noticing this because of my close reading background, maybe I’m an attentive parent, but when “our baby” shows up in an email – I’ve got to wonder and fear how they mean it. Where do they see themselves fitting into our child’s life? A part of myself is concerned about their idea their interaction, their ‘teaching’ us to parent, and their influence on us. I think our seclusion and distance may seem like a hindrance, but it may also be a blessing – only time will tell.

I’m not worried about the raising a kid part as of now, more about the safety of my wife and child during labor. A symptom of my cross-that-bridge-edness that I can’t help.

A short time left. Anxiety may be getting to us all, but the longer I’m with Lis the closer I feel.

I’ve been sort of avoiding the start of this for some reason. Maybe I wasn’t sure where to start, or what to begin with but I thought objects might be something, an easy in.

Soon after christmas we had to do a little spending. We only had a crib, chair and a faux grass rug. We took our list from Amazon and picked up everything listed in our new book under the ‘need’ section. That and a couple rolls of wall stickers that we couldn’t live without. The boxes came and of course they were those oversized room-filling packages. I’m not sure I can solely blame amazon here because the foam changing pad wasn’t vacuumed small and its own box – so I can’t point fingers to shipping.

The room is coming together in strange ways. Recently when we move, we’re already carrying most of what we own. We change addresses, but the same photos, paintings, furniture (mostly) all go into different rooms. With the baby’s room were getting it together piecemeal, it seemed awkward and strange in a way. I guess when I was a child my room ‘grew’ in this way, but it just seems foreign now.

I’m unsure if I’m fearful, worried, or a whole host of other emotions that I’m feeling about this whole thing. For sure, I’m excited. The wonder of my child learning their way and navigating the world in new and interesting ways. I don’t want my kid to feel the weight of ADHD like I had, or the ensuing drug gamut that tried to ‘cure’ me. The possibility to avoid my awkward and lost middle school years, miss some of my substance abuse in High School, and sheer lack of motivation through 80% of it all. Sure, I worry about being a ‘good’ dad, making sure the cats don’t pee on it, I don’t drop it, or any other seemingly stupid things to think about – but I’ve seen some bad parenting and if I can just be marginally better than them, then I did okay.

Lis and I made a visit to the birthing center last week and it was a touch overwhelming; it was like being shown what you surgery is going to look like in stark realism. Really, really nice set up over there so I think that should help smooth things a bit. I can just be thankful Lis hasn’t written up a list of ‘demands’ as part of our birthing plan – heck nothing is even on paper. She seems only focused on not getting a c-section, and allow the rest to ‘just happen’. Shockingly.

As far as this blog goes, I plan on keeping it loose. I will try to post a bit about each week with the baby, with photos. The whole deal. Lis and I thought up maybe writing a first person perspective of baby ‘nutz’ – we’ll see how that plays out. Next post will be about my first partial mash brew day.

In the dizzying days of Chicago summertime, outdoor play-time became squished by the sun’s ability to seemingly ‘pop-a-squat’ on the midwest. It was here, in the sun soaked summertime of my preteen childhood that we took refuge in the most unlikely place – tents.

Let me back track a bit here and say something about what a tent means to young kid: independence. It’s a room outside our own homes where we can do or say anything we want, be as loud as we want, it becomes a small home of our own. But for us, a tent wasn’t a place to be loud and stomp around, it’s a place of quiet. An eery quiet that laid over all of us like a thick blanket. One moment we’d be screaming, charging to the zipper entrance, but once inside the breeze blowing through the fine mesh and polyester made it hard to shout. Waggling, thick green leaves sounded distant and alien inside. We could build a life in there, it was an escape and had the lure of being outside but not vulnerable.

We put tents in the back, front, and side yards of every kid’s house in our circle of friends. Sleep-overs eventually became camp-outs as the summer’s drew themselves out in long stretches of our adolescence. In the hushed conversations of the open night air we allowed ourselves to be most unguarded behind the shroud of darkness. We admitted fear, love, lust and true friendship. There were crickets between our thoughts for once. Time to settle into ourselves.




My Childhood

About a month ago I quit my job at the gelato place. Sinking ships bring everyone down.



@ Work, been up to

In my family we never really got a car when got our license. My sister got my great-grandfather’s car: a swaying awkward Pontiac with a statuette of Saint Christopher. A near dead CB radio sat between the driver and passenger footwells, not connected to anything but the mounting hardware. Gray interior with partial stains and a distant smell of cigarette smoke. That is until my sister got her hands on it.

She didn’t do much; somehow she managed to have a constant flow of dolphin shaped air fresheners and a white outline of a fairy. Not just any fairy, but one that took up a great deal of the angled back window, making it impossible to avoid when checking the rearview mirror.

This is where I come in. This was my car, in which I had a license but had to beg my sister to take it anywhere, a painful experience for any teenager. I didn’t have my own set of keys and she had a couple of embarrassing trinkets hanging from her keys too – a big clunky chain-gang like apparatus that made it even more clear that this was not my car.

One of these times I borrowed her car, a friend and I drove to a concert at the Congress theater. I was 16. This part of the city had yet seen the spreading fingers of the gay community, not even the lesbians had moved in yet. After the show we got lost. We found Roosevelt road. Two white sixteen year old kids from the suburbs driving around Humboldt Park then down and through the near south and parts of the west side till we finally realized we could scurry back home. We couldn’t help but laugh the whole time though – it was a cool day so the windows were fogged and the massive fairy watching over us. Laughter helped coat the fear and made easier to swallow.

So I think I owe my sister a thank you for putting that white fairy in the window.