Leaving on a jet plane

Did I use that title before? Oh well, no one is coming here for originality anyway. Actually, no one is probably coming here at all…

Anyway, this was the scene a couple days ago:


Those are my beautiful girls heading off for a week and a half of fun and sun sans… me. No rest for the weary, I had to bail on these vacation plans due to my popularity at work these days. This is only my third time being separated from them at night, and the first time it’s more than a couple nights.

I’m sure many of you out there have been apart from your spouse and/or kids many times, but I’m spoiled by a rather comfortable life in that respect. Supposedly I should be able to accomplish a lot during this “alone” time, but I have my doubts. So far its been all about scavenging for food in the fridge and getting caught up with Archer. Maybe this weekend will offer more opportunities.

And as far as relaxing goes, that insane chocolate double stout I had on Wednesday helped get me to bed rather soundly. But there’s only so much drinking alone one can do before it begins to smack of desperation. Perhaps I should offer myself up with a bottle of wine to anyone else looking for scintillating conversation…

Yeah, that sounds much less desperate.

Of poop and pizzerias


The K and her parents sit in a booth eating pizza. Despite being potty trained, The K is wearing a diaper to assuage her fear of public bathrooms. She turns to her mom.

K: I made a doody.

M: That’s ok, we’ll change you after you finish eating.

The K stands up.

K: Does my doody smell?

The K turns in order to push her bottom into her mom’s face. After only getting stifled laughter as a response, she turns her attention to her dad.

K: Daddy, do you smell my doody?

The K turns around and attempts to push her bottom across the table.

D: K, please just sit down for now.

K: No, I’ll just stand here. Her dad looks at her. Alright, I’ll go down, but I’m not going to sit.


June… July… August…

Hmm, it seems like some time may have passed since my last update. Enough time that I’m sure this site was written off by its rather limited audience as another in a long line of dead blogs. But I’ve got a shiny new laptop and I’m anxious to test out the keyboard. So, what’s been going on?

If my memory serves me right, my little girl turned 3 since the last entry. So that’s a big deal I guess… Also, in spite of our best efforts, she appears to be potty trained. Which is really great considering her terrifying fear of public bathrooms. At least now she has even more killer conversation starters like, “Are you wearing underwear?” (And yes, she did in fact start a conversation with an adult that way). And it really is nice to not be tossing away so much money on diapers, and instead be wasting 30 minutes at a time siting next to the toilet because she really doesn’t feel like getting up.

But that’s her thing. Not just in the bathroom. Everywhere. She wants to stay wherever she is. Want to go to the park? Nope, she wants to stay home. Want to go back home? Nope, now she wants to stay in the park. If she were someone else’s kid I’d say it was annoying, but since she’s mine I’ll just say that she’s a pain in the ass.

Oh, also my marriage turned 5. And we even got to go out for a real fancy pants dinner to celebrate. At 4:30 one fine Sunday evening… Such is married life with The K.

Let’s see, what else? I lost my job. I figure that’s big news. But it’s not like I really lost it, they just made it disappear. Whatever. I went out and got myself a new one out of spite. Also out of necessity. But mostly out of spite. No, really more out of the need to keep paying the bank so that we have somewhere to live. I’ve grown attached to having a roof over our heads.

Now that I’m slowly getting acclimated to my new life it seemed the appropriate time to break my silence. The last couple of months have been rather stressful, even when they were good. But now I need to get back to a schedule that will give me time for my own hobbies, like blogging, photography, music and bad movies.

Also we went to Dutch Wonderland. That was pretty cool.

Conversation with an (almost) 3 year old

Had a surprise visit at work today with an offer for ice cream.

K: Daddy, we came to get ice cream.

Me: Daddy’s not up for ice cream, why don’t you go with Mommy on the way home?

K: No, why don’t you have just a little bit of ice cream, and then you can go back to work and have fun.

I should probably get used to being overruled.

Nostalgia, I can has it?

I guess it started back in December. That’s when I found myself hanging out with an old friend in the city – twice in one week. The first was a last minute e-mail to catch a concert. An event that used to be a regular occurrence for the two of us, but was sadly my first in about 3 years. Later that same week I finally made it to one of his annual holiday parties that involved almost no one else I know.

That’s not completely true. Aside from his co-host – another friend from college yore – at least two other familiar faces showed up that qualified as true “blasts from the past”. Unlike the usual mingling with fellow alums that I see on a regular basis, there was some real catching up to do with nearly a decade having past since seeing some of them.

Things really started to pick up after our infamous Disney trip, though. First was another venture to a concert, this time in Hoboken. A quick pint with a friend beforehand produced even more drinking buddies from the halcyon days of my youth filled with lots of “Holy %^&*, it’s Slattery” type responses. All of this was topped by the appearance of a dear friend (and consummate bartender) whom I had last played phone tag with after the K’s birth. That reunion was much needed and provided a reminder that my life has, indeed, been good.

Of course not long after these adventures some more complicated goings on at home and at work had my nostalgia mode kick into “overly emotional gear”. Suddenly I found myself wondering when and why everything got so complicated. Sure, there’s the house and the kid and economy and all that crap, but why can’t I be as “care free” as I was half a decade or so ago? Is it just me, or is everybody feeling this way?

After listening to all sort of pseudo-retro songs to quell – or maybe stoke – the fires of over-sentimentality, the ship has slowly been righted. A solo night out at a bar one evening served as an incredible head-clearing episode – kind of like a real kick in the perspective pants. So even as more questions about the future have started popping up I am handling them with a tad more levelheadedness… well, at least after a modicum of freakoutedness. And so as a reward for those of you who made it through yet another rambling post with little to no point, here is “Round & Round” by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. One of my favorite tracks of recent years which so perfectly portrays nostalgia:

“Round & Round” by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

I was listening to this a lot a few weeks ago. The chorus has to be one of the greatest I’ve ever heard. Hmm, maybe I should include more music in my posts…

Early in the morning… evening… late… whatever

When I woke up and realized it was only 6:30 despite feeling more like 8:30, this title made more sense. Since there was no exhaustive haze keeping me in bed I ambled downstairs for some tunes and a chance to see if this blog still existed… it does! After spending half an hour determining the appropriate soundtrack, it’s finally time to settle down and tap away at the keyboard…

You may or may not have noticed a bit of “radio silence” over the past month or so. Beyond the usual “I’m going to post everyday” mentality that falls apart after 3 days and results in 3 weeks of not writing, nothing was really showing up on my Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr feeds. And now it’s also forced this post back into draft for another day or so. Rather then writing from the comforts of my office/Kayleigh’s play room, I’m at a bar in Hoboken typing on my phone. That’s one way to gain some new perspective on a topic.

Life since Disney has been a bit of a whirlwind. While that wind started out in a rather positive direction, by the end of March I was reaching all sorts of breaking points. One day I’m ecstatic about catching up with old friends and feeling nostalgic in a healthy way; the next I’m looking at job listings and wondering just how much money would be lost selling our house right now. The last month has been a roller coaster of emotions fueled by miscommunication and extremely late nights – at least one of which also having involved way too many martinis.

But somehow life creeps out of these funks. For the second time since our return, I find myself hanging out with a dear old friend from my capricious youth. These encounters no longer trigger sighs indicative of lost freedom, but excitement at seeing progress down that hideous road of adulthood. As ridiculous as it might seem, rehashing the good ol’ days has found its way into the maturation process and I’ve grown rather comfortable as I reach the midpoint of my 30s.

Holy crap, this post was supposed to just be about recent craziness, not some introspective bullsh… you know what. Let’s just blame it on the Magic Hat #9, which is rarely involved with my early morning writing. Rarely….

Anyway, I am, sadly, not here to guarantee daily, frequent or even regular posting. A morning and an evening that have helped to clear my head in very different manners simply serve, in this instance, as yet another kick in the pants to stop complaining about the complexity of life and just deal with it. That’s the kind of philosophical musings normally only available via cereal boxes and Bazooka Joe comics, now offered free of charge on this blog. Just imagine what tomorrow, and the potential of a slight hangover, may bring…

… Apparently nothing, since another week has past without me pressing the publish button. Time to stop adding more nonsense and move on to the next post.

Spring has sprung and so has…

We got back from Florida about 2 weeks ago. I say “about” because the difference is a matter of hours and for some reason that makes it seem inaccurate to me. Probably because I remember being rather proud that we pulled into the driveway mere seconds before the clock said 5PM. Like that was some sort of deadline – part of a race against our perceptions of when we would arrive at various destinations throughout the trip.

As I was saying, we got back from Florida 2 weeks and 6 hours ago… crap… I forgot about the time change. Should I add an hour or subtract one? Ugh…

Once more – it’s been 2 weeks since we got back from Florida. Not too surprisingly, I still don’t feel totally at home. As usual, our suitcases have not been 100% unpacked (not much need for the warmer weather apparel that currently fills them). Kayleigh has not made the transition back to sleeping in her own room as smoothly as desired (can’t exactly blame her, but it’s still killing our nights for the most part). And work has left me in a perpetual state of semi-confusion.

Maybe it’s more of my own inability to adjust back to not sleeping on my own. For most of the vacation I was in a separate room from mother and child, which allowed me the opportunity to watch movies, read blogs, and listen to music with complete impunity late into the night. Now I struggle to return to the previously cultivated schedule that shifted sleep patterns to more appropriate times – opening up the mornings for real activities rather than whatever I would attempt while half-asleep just before midnight. Almost everything night for the past 2 weeks I have stared at a screen willing myself to write about our Southern adventure only to realize my eyelids had no intention of co-operating.

So I’m thinking that the start of Spring is a good time to try to shift my habits once again. Stop trying to squeeze something out of every last second in the evening – sometimes it’s best to just let go and get a good night’s rest. That way I’ll be refreshed to take on each new day and whatever snowfalls it may bring… Seriously, another 2-4 inches?

Maybe it’s time to head south again…

I love it when a plan comes together

Guess where I am. If you guessed Disney World, you’d be… almost right. Now guess how I got here. If you said by plane, you’d be totally wrong.

That’s right, thanks to the current run of “security theater” being put on by the TSA, this year we opted to drive down to Florida for our annual trip. While we’ve done this before, this is a first for The Moppet. And once the plan was set in motion, I really had to question my sanity in deciding to hop in a car for 20+ hours with a 2 and a half year old kid. That kind of travel is tough on adults. A toddler? That’s just crazy.

Yet somehow it worked – and worked really well, at that. Our plan was to get started by 4:30 on Saturday morning and drive as far South as possible before hitting the nearest serial killer-free motel. In order to pull this off, days – nay, weeks – were spent hinting at the pure joy that lay ahead in Florida and Disney. So much so that Kayleigh popped up, wide awake with excitement, when we tried to slip her sleeping body into the car seat. Amazingly an hour into her delighted cries of “Where are we going? Florida!” she actually managed to zonk out.

And by the time she woke up well over 2 hours later, we had already made great time and were ready for a buttery breakfast courtesy of a Cracker Barrel in Virginia. Beyond that, Kayleigh entertained herself with reading, coloring, and singing all the way through to her nap. And just when it seemed like she might be getting a little too cooped up, we were able to take breaks to rejuvinate everyone. By 8 at night, quittin’ time for the day’s journey had arrived and we grabbed a hotel room in South Carolina.

And get this – she actually slept! Unlike our last attempt (down in Atlantic City), The K was able to wind down in a reasonable amount of time and stay down for the entire night. I keep expecting her to freak out about going back in the car, but she seems to have caught on to the concept of travel and vacation.

Her excitement upon reaching out destination was pretty awesome to watch – and yet the big stuff doesn’t start until we hit The Magic Kingdom tomorrow. I’ll write about that after we’re done.

P.S. Please pardon any typos. This is, believe or not, the 3rd or 4th post typed exclusively on my phone while laying in bed. Time to go to sleep in preparation for my little girl’s big day tomorrow.

Hello stranger

After running some errands this afternoon, we decided on an impromptu dinner at Panera. Well, Kayleigh decided. We asked her about going to the local pizzeria, but she insisted on going elsewhere as she had to have mac and cheese from Panera. Oh well, you pick your battles.

Anyway she was well on her way to being overtired thanks to fighting a cold as well as her nap. Lack of her early afternoon downtime leads to crankiness and/or loopiness. Tonight she went for loopiness.

After finishing her dinner she conned her way off her seat by pretending to want to hop on my lap and then maneuvering to the floor. Then I saw a glint in her eyes. That glint said, “I’m going to say hi to everyone in this restaurant.” And sure enough, she set off to do just that. Working her way from one table to the next Kayleigh greeted as many customers as she could and inquired what they might be doing.

Fortunately The Moppet brings out the best in people. Pretty much everyone smiles back and actually puts in effort to join her conversation – although that one guy was not going to give me a hug no matter how many times she suggested it. I worry sometimes that her overly friendly attitude might rub some people the wrong way. But most people respond in a genuinely positive manner – I’ve even noticed a couple here and there waiting for her to swing by their table. My main goal is just to make sure that she doesn’t over stay her welcome, or invite herself to any dinner parties.

Of course there is also the fear of “stranger danger”. But the reality is that abductions like that are few and far between. As long as I can keep an eye on her and teach her to be aware of her surroundings, a little friendliness can go along way to brightening her, and other people’s, day.