Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The King Speaks and Trees

With all of these doctor’s visits recently I’ve failed to mention that our little guy is starting to “talk”. It is so cool (I’m not gonna say cute); I kinda think it was out of necessity because he starting his talking right about the time that we noticed his little “hurt”. Maybe we was trying to tell us something, “Hey dad, my ass hurts” I don’t know. My favorite thing is to tell him “I love you” and then have him return the sentiment with his little coos. I just know that I love you will be his first words.

During the week Lil Money and I take daily trips to the backyard and I tell him a bit about the plants and trees we have. A brief description of their short history in our yard and a little bit about the plant itself, we then have a seat under our Arizona Ash, thanks grandpa, and chat as we watch it sway in the cool summer breeze. I refer to the tree as his friend and usually have him talk about his day and I tell him about my day. The Wife doesn’t think he can have a tree as a friend, but I beg to differ. I mean, I loved trees when I was a kid and still have a spot rooted in my heart for them. See what I did there, rooted, yeah. But trees are great, you can climb them, get out of blazing sun under them, animals love them for shelter, they’re just great. But, I love it when we’re out there; he really goes to town chatting it up under that tree, he’s really got a lot to say and I know he’s enjoying himself. Those days will forever be memorable as priceless father and son days shared and serve as yet another reason why I love trees.

Follow Up...

Yesterday was my little king’s follow-up. I wasn’t able to make it to the visit but fortunately The Wife and my schedule is balanced, day & night, so she was able to make it. Unfortunately however, it was scheduled early, thus cutting into her sleep time. I feel for her, I know how hard it is to manage the day on just a few hours of slumber. To add to that; she had to make the trek from our sleepy little town to North Austin and back home again… only to have to do it again later that afternoon for work.

I got a call after the appointment and all is looking well with Lil Money. We couldn’t be happier. Now we’re back to our regularly scheduled programs.
Happy Hour:
Friday night The Wife and I headed out to Sherlock’s for a happy hour. We don’t go “out” often anymore now that we have a little one, well, we hadn’t really gone out too much even before him. We’re more of a dinner and drinks kinda couple. But the happy hour was quite entertaining. She caught up with old friends and laughed with new folks.

As the night went on the brew went down quicker and the laughs came harder. And finally the band, The Video Stars, went on. Fronted by an energetic young thang, this cover band played jams by Poison and even Bobby Brown. Good times.

So you think you can dance:
Not really... After happy hour we decided to see what Reno was up to, since we were in his neck of the woods… No answer, so we started heading home. Just as were getting into South Austin I received a text that read “Beauty Bar, MJ memorial tribute night. You in?” Hell yes we are.

We got there a little while before Prince Klassen began to spin so we had a chance to catch up with Bradford and Reno and down a tall-boy. We made our way in and set up shop on the dance floor and just then MJ’s greatest were mixed, we danced and laughed in memory of the King of Pop. I have to say I had a great time, even though the night began with beer being spilled down the back of my leg. I rolled up my jeans and humidly danced the night away.

The night was coming to an end and as the last songs of the set were coming to close a girl, on her way out, walked up to me and said “I enjoyed watching you dance”... I replied “Ha, thanks!” Never in my life has anyone ever said that to me. I don’t dance often and really don’t like to because I feel like people are watching me, but its honestly one of my guilty pleasures. Music literally and figuratively moves me. Her comment was a great compliment to the night.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday:
A lazy day at the headquarters, The Wife and Lil Money were napping, what else am I to do? Fire up the grill. I really enjoy manning the pit and the smell and sizzle of meat on the grill. Nothing fancy today, just some chicken and bacon wrapped pork loin. Paired with corn on the cob and baked beans with a nice glass of sweet tea, makes for a delicious Sunday lunch.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Medical Attention Required

Last Friday while on diaper duty, The Wife noticed a small bump on Lil Money’s bum. She brought it to my attention and asked me what I thought we should do so I recommended we keep and eye on it and call his doctor if we noticed any changes in it and in him.

Changes in him occurred quickly, he slept for only 30 minutes at a time, he was fussier than usual and only ate/drank half a bottle at a time. The bump on his bum though, was slower going, good thing too cause it was the weekend. But, by Sunday it was more firm and beginning to redden.

We took his temperature… No fever, whew, but still decided an emergency call to the doctor was needed. When she called back, we discussed his temperament and the “sore” and she said she’d like to see him first thing Monday morning. Bright and early we woke and headed to the office, her diagnosis… It was worse than she hoped it would be; us too. She asked her staff to make an emergency referral for us to see a surgeon at Dells Children Hospital and off we went.

Office 1: We got there by about 8:30 or 9:00, not really sure. It was cold in the waiting room and it kinda smelled like B.O. The Wife didn’t notice, I blamed it on this straggler-looking lady. Other than her and her daughter there weren’t many folks there yet, but they soon began to rush in. Surprisingly we didn’t have to wait long before “Cash” was called. The nurse examined him and recommended that we see the surgeon today. She discussed the procedure with us and sent us on our way. But not after letting –making- us sit in the examination room for what felt like 30 minutes. More referrals. Finally she returned and sent us on our way.

It’s 10 a.m. and Lil Money has been solid but our appointment isn’t until noon and he hasn’t eaten since 6:40 in the morning. The Wife and I are hungry and we know his little belly’s gotta be rumbling but he can’t have anything else to eat because of the procedure he’s going to have, poor kid. We’re hungry though and we have some time to kill so we decide to hit up a local establishment for some breakfast.

A pretty good place, a mom and pop shop but they’ve split and have their own joints now, you dig? Their name’s rhyme but this one belongs to her. Anyhow, we get there and The Boy is fast asleep so we figure we could get some food without disturbing any of the other customers. We park, unload and walk up to the door. A sign on it reads Cash Only. Really? Its 2010, step up your game, how many folks carry paper around these days, “his” place accepts plastic. So we packed back into the ride and decided to head to Mimi’s. From North to South we roll.

Fast forward… Office 2: It’s nearly noon, we’re at the surgeon’s office at the time they told us. We’re called back and are seated in a patient’s room. A nurse greats us and begins taking Lil Money’s blood pressure, temperature and other readings. He’s not digging this action and begins to cry. But I quickly calm him and assure him that she is helping, also letting him know that he will be taken care of soon. We have a seat and he falls back to sleep, what a champ. An Anesthesiologist stops by and informs us of his plans and answers our questions. The surgeon, who I can only describe as a “Richard” –you follow me?- stops in a bit later and discusses the procedure, he talks as though he’s just read a 38 page report on the production of butter in Ireland. His “who give’s a shit attitude” is filled with more douchebagery than a state college fraternity brother. C’mon man, this is your gig, I understand it’s your day-to-day but my son isn’t getting knocked out and an incision everyday. Step your personality game up, oh and go F yourself. Hey, that’s just how I feel about the guy.

I trust that he does his job well and sees some nice coin from it so please humor me with a bit of confidence not conceitedness. Anyhow, we got there at noon, an hour goes by and we’re still waiting, the lil guy begins to fuss and is understandably pissed when we have to tease him with a pacifier rather than a bottle. We tell him that it has to be soon that he’ll be taken care of; I mean it’s been an hour.

WRONG! Another hour later and he’s finally taken from us for his procedure, The Wife begins to tear up at her sons first run in with medical attention. “He’ll be fine”. About fifteen minutes later he returns to us crying out of confusion and hunger. After over 8 hours he’s finally able to eat again, Mom feeds her son and tries to sooth him. The little king’s first battle was taken in stride with elegance and composure. If he continues his likenesses to his father this is only the first of many. With and empty wallet and full heart, I’ll be there with him for every bump, scrape and what-have-you. I love that boy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A cool 18

Watching a little golf this weekend and I saw this guy wearing some awesome herringbone pants and I said... "If I was a golfer I would dress like that, I'd probably even wear some knicker." So I put a kit together.

35. Learn How to Grill Ribs

I woke up bright and early at nine in the morning. Okay, that may not be “bright and early” but I’m still fresh to fatherhood and this uninterrupted sleep thing still has its hold on me. Besides I was my mom’s house late sipping some vino and playing games.

Where was I? Oh yeah, bright and early… The Wife and Lil Money were still in dreamland. I tip toed out of bed and into the kitchen. Poured myself and nice glass of orange juice, pulp in, and went out back. As I shut the refrigerator door I could smell the mouth-watering aroma of baby backs that had been rubbed in the Good Shit. More on that later.

Texas mornings are cool but not the kinda cool where a light sweater is called for the kinda cool where you can feel moisture in the air. Yeah! So no time to waste. I began by prepping the grill, ridding it of day’s past of dusty charcoal and pecan wood. Once I had that squared away it was time to light the fire. Thanks to my brother David, I have an awesome new chimney starter that worked solidly. I loaded it up with mesquite and it began to burn right away, just the smell of the wood was enough trigger hunger pangs.

Once the chips were hot and glowing I dumped them over to one side of the grill and let them “cool” to a white ash. On the other half of the grill I put a bread pan with hot water (to maintain moisture in the grill while smoking). I put the top grill on, cleaned it and let it heat up.

It’s about ten o’clock now and time to put my Bar B Q’ing skills to the test. Note: this will be my first attempt at baby back ribs. So I pull the ribs out of the fridge, and dayamn they smell good. Thanks to a buddy of mine, Eli, I have some spice and Bar B Q sauce that he not only recommended but also provided. So the Good Shit covered ribs make their way out back and as they hit the grill I hear the coveted sizzle, this is gonna be a good day. I adjust the air intake and put the lid on the grill. And smoke away.

30 minutes later I check the status of the grill, gotta keep the heat just right and make sure it’s smoking. To my disappointment the mesquite chips aren’t maintaining enough heat, the meat is visibly being cooked but the temperature isn’t near what I think it should be. Lucky for me, my brospeh Joseph, cut a huge pecan tree from his backyard a season ago so I was stocked. I tossed a small log into the charred coals and… We have fire! I closed the lid again to cut airflow and it began smoking.

2 patient hours later, I return with Corky’s Bar B Que sauce, thanks again Eli, anxiously waiting to glaze these bad boys. The meat’s tender, with good, ready to eat color and as I grab them with the tongs I can tell the meat just wants to fall off the bone. Let the glazing begin and in 30 minutes we should be ready to eat.

And 30 minutes later, they were indeed ready to eat. Now, as I’ve said here before, I don’t have a camera so I didn’t capture any images of the process or ribs… Honestly I didn’t even think about pictures until I had already cut the ribs. By that time The Wife and I were ready to get our grub on. We plated up, with corn on the cob and baked beans. And if I say so myself, these were some DAMN GOOD ribs.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What I'd like Cash to be wearing...

I dig the style of the guys at BKc, it's playful, urban, smooth and sophisticated and that style is even youthful as seen by "Little Elephant". All I gotta say is, once Cash get's a little older I plan on getting him geared up like this from time to time. I've already told The Wife that he will be the best dressed, come picture day. Bulee dat.

Photo Credit: The Brooklyn Circus

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What I'd like to be wearing today...

My 101: Doin it

#27. Acquire a new Digital Camera
Shiet… I’d take a used one if it worked. New or used would be nice, with
Lil’ Money I we just don’t have that kinda Cash at the moment. Pft, and when I do have extra coin, I usually spend it before considering saving it. Whata-ya-gonna-do?

#28. Take a year's worth of pictures
… Has now, rather, will be titled A Year as Dad. Ha, dad, a word I’ve not said many times in my life and although unfamiliar, I like the sound of it when it comes to me. Anyhow, it is what it is, just me sitting at the desk of my computer and taking a daily snapshot of myself. At the end of a year I plan on putting all the captured shots together with some cool music… Stay tuned.

#30. Take more pictures of our house and yard
See #27… Or will someone please buy me a camera? Kidding. But for real. Here’s a recent shot that The Wife took, check out that green, noice.

#31. Fly a balloon with a note attached of my 101
Something that I thought would be a cool idea, fly a balloon with a note and wait… to see if anyone finds it after it lands and checks out the blog. While this is probably one of the easiest items on my list, I still have yet to get it done. Simply put, I’m lazy and besides it’s not like I’ve got balloons, string and helium stocked at the house. Yeah, that’s my story.

#32. Buy a CD a month and write a review
I love music, new and old, loud and soft, the emotion it gives me is like no other and as much as I’d like to up my stock of music it’s just not going to happen. Yeah, albums cost anywhere from $9 - $20+ and that’s not much when you consider it as only a monthly purchase, but as I mentioned before when I do have coin to spend I spend it and recently I’ve been on a tie kick. Besides, I read what I write and I know that I can not even begin to articulate my feelings, thoughts and ideas music gives me. I like what I like and from time to time I share those pieces with you
here on the blog.

#34 Learn to cook shrimp
No apologies for the following… But the fuck faces of BP may be ruining the quality of seafood in my area for years in the Gulf Coast. The impact won’t even be truly known for years because there just isn’t a baseline for what’s going on today. Just thinking about shrimp and seafood in general pisses me off because it creates images of the suffering wildlife and the poisoning of the shores on the coastline.

#35 Learn how to grill ribs
Baby backs to be specific. Mmmm Ribs. I told a buddy that I was planning on trying my hand at grilling some baby backs and he provided me with some Corcky’s Memphis Bar-B-Que sauce, now I just need to get some rub and ribs and get to grilling. Stay tuned, it will be done. And I can’t wait.