Monthly Archives: February 2014

1986 Green Honda Part 1: Rise of the Bats

My blog has become something of a hub for telling old stories about my childhood but thus far most of these stories have been relatively unknown tales that I am recounting but today that all changes. The story of my 1986 Green Honda is one of my more famous tales and has been told and retold over dinners, at parties and pretty much any time anyone has car trouble. But it has never been written down so today we officially document this tale of woe.

It was like this... only green and haunted.

It was like this… only green and haunted.

Now I’ll be spreading the 1986 Green Honda story over several different posts because it’s a long and elaborate tale and today I just wanted to set the stage a little bit and tell the story of the two bats. Now those who have been reading know about my two friends, Danny and Stephen Barnes. I more or less grew up with these guys and spent a lot of time around them. I consider them both brothers and family and whenever I am in town I make an effort to see them but after you read this story you might wonder how our friendship could endure such trials.

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Three things you can find in Simon’s bed that will remind you of me

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It’s 5:30 in the morning. We’re on week three of Simon waking up at this ungodly hour. Tia and I have been taking turns staying up but frankly neither of us is in the best position to deal with it. Tia is literally about to explode with a child and I’m… well I’m tired. It sounds terrible to say but at least Tia can get a nap during the day. Once I wake up at 5:30 there is no going back. I should delete this paragraph because I sound like a tool. Eh, it’s too early to delete.

Usually, Simon has no good reason for getting up this early. Usually, it’s just him laying in bed shouting “Mom” or “Dad” or sometimes even “Thomas”. He’s referring to Thomas the Tank Engine and not Tomas our manservant. We don’t let Tomas deal with Simon, we’ve got our Nanny Marylyn for that. I think her name is Marylyn. So hard to keep track of all the help. But I digress.

So typically he has no good reason for being awake but this morning his reason was justified. All over his pants. You see Simon had the largest diaper I have ever seen. It looked like he didn’t spend anytime sleeping, just a whole night of pooping. It required both Tia and I to get in on clean up duty. I held Simon’s legs to clean him and he was continually apologizing which you know what that leads to. I even told him it’s not his fault to which he began repeating, “my fault”. Yes once again we appeared as abusive parents as Simon whimpered, “I am sorry. My fault.”

So now Simon is all cleaned up and sitting in the living room watching Finding Nemo and Tia and I just got done changing his sheets. I wasn’t joking when I said this was like Poopmagedon. If we had let this sit longer, this poop might have become self aware. But I just did a poop post so this isn’t about poop. I don’t want this to look like a nine year old kid’s blog.

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The one thing I do everyday and how Friday ended up being different

There’s lots of things I do most every weekday but there is one thing that I do that occurs at the same time in the same place in the same way.

My daily poop.

But why am I telling you this? Because today something different happened, something exciting, something (dare I say) beautiful. But let me set the stage.

Everyday, at 12:45 I start feeling the need in my gut to make a trip to the men’s depository. I’ll typically hold out until around 1:30 and then I’ll finally can’t hold back the wave inside me. The reason I hold out at all is because this whole process is a bit of exercise for me.

You see I skip going to the bathroom on my floor. My floor’s bathroom isn’t the most pleasant place. It’s very popular, loud and gross. It’s like trying to go in a club, there’s music (typically classic rock sometimes rap), there’s writing on the stall walls and it’s just very… farty.

So I’ll go there for a pee but anything beyond that I’ll make a trip to the quiet, exclusive 31st floor. The 31st floor is the Carlton Ritz of public restrooms. Most of the 31st floor full of women making the men’s room quiet, clean and a place where a man can gather his thoughts while dropping load.

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Action Packed: The novelization

Growing up the other Travis, Steve and I were aspiring film makers to the umpteenth degree. When we weren’t spending our time planning musical numbers in our dates or working we were making films. Now the biggest issue we had here is that while we loved filming, we never bothered with coming up with a story. We were like Michael Bay without all the special effects.

So a lot of what we filmed lacked any real substance or direction, this often led to us coming up with a very basic premise and mostly shooting scattered scenes around it that we would then either leave unfinished or turn into a trailer with the promise of more to come… though they never did.

That was the story with Action Packed 2: Return of the Badguys. We create a sizzle reel of no-money shots and cut together a trailer that featured a ton of car based action and then nothing. This trailer was all that existed and all that has existed of this amazing, in-depth characters of British Intelligence, Marine Corp and a Ninja.

Take a look for yourself:

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The most depressing Valentine’s Day post you’ll read four days after Valentine’s.

This past Friday was Valentine’s Day and since my wife is 38 weeks heavy with child, her idea of a good time was staying home and eating Chinese food and watching a James Bond movie (this is my idea of a good time every day, so I was cool with it). But prior to our watching of Moonraker (go easy, we’re going chronological here, it couldn’t be avoided) we spent some time playing with Simon before we put him to bed. As I sat there watching Simon excitedly open a Valentine from my Mom, I began thinking about all the heartbreak this poor little guy is going to go through in his life. Right now it’s all about candy and toys but in a few years, he’s going to be liking girls and giving and receiving Valentines and soon enough his little heart will be broken. How do I know this? Because it’s happened to me before him.

Three very memorable times.

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Hell… or the CTA

Let’s play a simple game. I am going to describe 10 situations to you and you’re going to tell me if I am describing Hell or one of the many services of the CTA/Ventra system. For those living outside of Chicago, the CTA/Ventra is the transit authority here in Chicago. They work the buses and trains around the city. All right, let’s get started:

1. It is hot, stuffy, crowded and someone keeps touching your butt. Are you on the CTA or in Hell?

Answer: You’re on the CTA! 

2. You can hear weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Are you on the CTA or in Hell?

Answer: Though these sounds can be heard on the CTA, this is actually describing your time in Hell. The correct answer is Hell. 

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The most intense sport I’ve ever played.

I grew up in a family of sports enthusiasts. Everyone had their thing. My sister and brother played soccer, my step-brothers did baseball and basketball, my step-sister did dance and cheerleading and my younger brother did basketball. Everyone loved to play sports, watch sports, discuss sports.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I KNOW I have a different Dad than the rest of my family, I would swear I am adopted. Because if you’ve spoken with me for a couple minutes or seen me in the elevator, than you know that I don’t really care for sports. I am not coordinated and I get embarrassed easily when I miss or really screw it up for a team.

The sports my parents put me in, usually just ended up benching me for most of the season because I was the kid who ruined the game by missing an important shot or accidentally kicking the ball into the wrong goal or picking flowers for my mom from the soccer field. All true stories. So needless to say, I don’t like sports. But that all changed yesterday.

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Four reasons people might think I am beating my child (but I’m not)

If you spend any amount of time with me, you’ll see that I really love hanging out with my son. Sure, there are times he gets under my skin (like his 5 am wake up today) but really most of our time together is spent playing around and goofing off. But if you were someone who just peeked into our world at a specific point in time, you would see several signs that I beat him. So I am here to set the record straight and hopefully avoid any calls from social services.

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Murder on my mind

Old Man Winter looked at his watch for the third time in two minutes. 8:13. This was so frustrating, the letter told him to be here at exactly eight and yet no one has arrived this entire time. He would wait five more minutes and then he was gone. He was a busy man, he had lots to do. He had a very, VERY successful year so far. He wasn’t sure what it was but he felt like Young Man Winter again. He was doing more and more than ever before. He’d snow, then freezing temps and then let it warm up just enough for everything to melt before he’d freeze again and turn everything into ice. He had turned in some of the most miserable, freezing cold days of his career. This year was one for the books. It felt good to love what you do and to do it right.

But now he was standing here like a chump. Waiting for some mystery person who promised him in a letter that he would provide him with several addresses of people with pipes particularly susceptible to cold. And nothing said winter like frozen bursting pipes. It could be like his signature on this work of art that was winter 2014. But now it was 8:17 and no one had arrived. This was turning out to be a colossal waste of time. He would just go.

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Here’s two Indie films (mostly free of charge)

The category of Indie Films is growing every year. We live in an age where more and more people are able to see and experience movies not made by major studios but by small, aspiring filmmakers. When I first started going to college, as I debated what I wanted to do, I thought it might be fun to try acting. At this point I hadn’t really explored my love of writing so acting seemed like a logical step to get into film.

My first acting class in college was called, Acting for Film and Television. It was filled with three kinds of people. There were people like myself who enjoyed watching and experiencing movies and just thought it might be fun to see if this was a good degree option. There were people who had no desire to do acting as a degree but needed to fill a fine arts credit. Then there was the third group that I lovingly labeled, “the hardcores”.

The hardcores were the people who had no doubt in their mind, not a single shred of questioning that this was their calling and that they were going to graduate from this program and we would all be seeing them in movies the rest of our lives. They were the people who made you meet to rehearse scenes with every single day. They were incredibly intense.

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