Monday, December 19, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is A Playlist

Adam is getting an iPod Shuffle this year so I spent tonight going through my library of 500 songs trying to find the perfect playlist for his 5 yr old ears. Not the easiest thing to do, but once you I cut out all the DMB (too dark), the Cold Play (to deep), Jay Z(too explicit), and Linkin Park (too angry) I was able to pick out a good group of 30+ songs that should be the perfect fit.

Of course iPods were not even science fiction when I was kid and my parents sure never spent the night debating what songs they should record on a cassette. I had a tape player that I tied to the handle bars of my bike. It was so heavy I spent most of the time driving clockwise. I was so cool struggling to stay on my knock off BMX not able to turn left as I bobbed my head to Banana Rama's Cool Summer. The chics knew they didn't stand a chance and made sure to keep their distance.

Most of these Adam listens with me in the car and are his favorites (Silversun Pickups, Cage The Elephant, Train). Others are just my way of trying to teach him the joys of different types of music (Gym Class Heroes, Michael Jackson, Jason Aldean, Adele, DJ Jazzy Jeff)

Anyway without further embarrassment I present Adam's playlist in no particular order:

  1. Rolling In The Deep- Adele

  2. Swing Swing-All American Rejects

  3. Spiderman- The Ramones

  4. Nothin On You- BoB

  5. Rockabilly Lullaby- The Backyardigans

  6. Go Go Go- The Backyardigans

  7. Love Done Gone- Billy Currington

  8. I Gotta Feeling- Black Eyed Peas

  9. Back Against The Wall- Cage The Elephant

  10. Show Me What I'm Looking For -Carolina Liar

  11. You Break It, We Fix It- Handy Manny

  12. Mr. Jones- Counting Crows

  13. Summertime- DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

  14. Somewhere Only We Know-Glee

  15. Anyway You Want It-Glee

  16. Safety Dance-Glee

  17. Stereo Hearts-Gym Class Heroes

  18. Cupids Chokehold-Gym Class Heroes

  19. Scooby Doo Where Are You- Scooby Doo

  20. MMMBop- Hanson

  21. The Truth-Jason Aldean

  22. Sweetness- Jimmy Eat World

  23. Moves Like Jagger- Maroon 5

  24. Say Hey- Michael Franti

  25. PYT- Michael Jackson

  26. Remember The Time- Michael Jackson

  27. Secrets- One Republic

  28. Gitcheed Gitchee Goo- Phineas & Ferb

  29. Substitution- Silversun Pickups

  30. Hot Dog!- Mickey Mouse

  31. That's Not My Name- The Ting Tings

  32. Hey Soul Sister-Train

  33. Get To Me-Train

  34. If It's Love- Train

  35. If You're Wondering- Weezer

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Captain Crazy

In my old age I fear I'm turning into a crabby grouchy....crazy person. The noise in the house always seems to be a about 50 decibels too high. I'm magnetically drawn to the recliner the moment I walk in the door. It's as if I blackout at times and wake up sitting in the chair with no idea why I sat down or how I got there.

The wake up call came this past week when I had a what I'm going to call a "Get Off My Lawn" moment. Adam's favorite toy for the past 2 months has been his Captain America shield/frisbee. Honestly all pretenses aside, it's my favorite toy. Just the site of it makes me want to run outside and slice up some Hydra baddies while searching for the Red Skull. We came home last week to find the little boy next door was playing with one exactly like ours...his...mine. Immediately I began the interrogation. When did you play with yours last? Where did you leave it? Is that one yours? Can you find yours...ours...mine. It was nowhere to be found so I publicly vowed to go buy him another. Then I secretly vowed to steal Adam' favorite toy back the moment I saw it laying around.

I searched the yard daily, scanned my neighbors porch as I passed, plotted how I would get it back. Monday afternoon on our return home to the annual July 4th reunion at Granny's we learned that it had slipped behind Adam's bed and was found by Gigi. Clearly there's something to be said for making a bed. Something I don't do much. I should be sleeping better now that Adam' Captain America shield/frisbee is back, but I can't get over that I was two steps from stealing from a 5 yr old.

There's a reason I'm a blockhead.

Monday, May 16, 2011

These Days And Weeks

I’m trying to be different. I haven’t been the best father in the past. Too many of the wrong things have been taking up my time and I’ve wasted precious moments trying to make a buck. I suppose we all lose focus at times. I feel the need to change somebody’s life or at the very least make it better for a moment or two.

For the past year I’ve been writing five posts a week on various websites for an okay amount of money. Suddenly one day I turned around and I felt trapped by what used to be a part-time job that I enjoyed. The words quit coming as easy and ultimately the money that was earned wasn’t worth the time that was being take from my family. For the first time in I don’t know when I read a story to Adam before bed last week.

Over the past few weeks I’ve promised myself that I wouldn’t waste this new found freedom. Tonight we played video games for the first time in two months and had as much fun had we gone to Chucky Cheese. You don’t need a million dollars to make your kids happy, just some free time that you can devote strictly to them.

Adam is never quiet and Alex is learning more and more words every day. It’s funny I literally have one I wish would talk less and another I’m trying to teach to talk more. Somehow I’ve become a T-Ball coach. Not that I have any clue what I’m doing. Most of the time I get so caught up in goofing off with the kids on 1st base that I forget to tell them to run.

There are changes coming. I can feel it. It’s not the tornados that did it. Although April 27 definitely changed the world as we know it in Alabama. There was something about volunteering those three days that made what I had been feeling lately tangible. For the first time I could touch, taste, see, and smell what it was that had been missing. I really enjoy helping people and want to do more to help.

I miss Charlie….see you soon.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Angel Valentine

It’s hard to mention everything that goes on in the period of a week. So many times I think “Oh that would make a great Charlie post” only to have the idea swallowed up by a dirty diaper, a child refusing to eat his green beans, a story about how the bus driver was a lady and she had a beard, or my boss calling me into his office. What get’s printed is often what just has to be printed for the sake of history and all those little thoughts never see the light of day.

Unfortunately the consequence of that is I don’t get to brag about my Valentine as much as I should. She literally sets the table for me every day. I’m not talking about food (although she did fix my plate at the church potluck yesterday which was really nice) I mean that when I think about my life she has literally put everything I could ever want in front of me. She somehow instinctively knows when I’m out of undershirts and has them washed before the last one is used. She understands how forgetful I am and that I need to be reminded of things a hundred times. She knows that I cannot color coordinate clothes to safe my life and makes sure Adam has an outfit ready every night so he doesn’t leave the house looking like a garbage pail kid.

My Valentine understands that sometimes I just need to gripe and complain. That saving money makes me happy and fruit juice in the fridge brings a smile to my face. She feels the same sadness that I do when more than 3 or 4 hours go by without a word from the other via email, text, or phone. She allows me the time to write a thousand hours ever week and doesn’t give me grief when I’ve got a deadline that causes me to have to come home early from church or a night out with friends.

I pray that I do enough to show her that I’m always trying to do my fair share and that the last thing I expect is for me to be just another person in this house she has to clean up after. That she knows I understand I am nothing without her and that I regret those times when I’ve looked around to discover I have taken her for granted. I hope that I do enough to make her life easier, but ultimately it’s her that brings everything together in my life and the lives of Adam & Alex.

This Valentine’s Day I hope my Valentine knows that I am nothing without her by my side.

I've got an angel
She doesn't wear any wings
She wears a heart that can melt my own
She wears a smile that can make me wanna sing
She gives me presents
With her presence alone
She gives me everything I could wish for
She gives me kisses on the lips just for coming home

She can make angels
I've seen it with my own eyes
You gotta be careful when you've got good love
Cause the angels will just keep on multiplying

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Escape Artist

It’s hard to believe that we are approaching the birthday month. Alex will be one on 3/12 and Adam might make it five on 3/20 if he can learn to quit burping in people’s faces. While Adam is entering the frightening fives (a continuation of the worrysome one's, the terrible two’s, the thunderous three’s, and the fearsome four’s), Alex seems to be building his personality one day at a time and proving that he is very much a unique individual.

I talked a lot about Adam during his Chief Redface days and how he would get so upset that he could literally generate lightning from a clear blue sky if allowed to get mad enough. Alex doesn’t play around with forces of nature though; he puts that face right in your ear and releases a sonic blast that would make the Black Canary proud. The next day you’re left questioning everything that is said because you can’t hear out of your left ear.

Adam prides himself on being fast and is constantly searching for a pair of new shoes that will help him run like the Flash. Alex isn’t really fast as much as he is sneaky. If I didn’t know better I’d say he could teleport through space and time. Transversing entire buildings before you ever know he’s gone.

Alex also seems to be developing an new laugh that seems to be a mix of John Lovitz’s “look how great I am” and a David Copperfield sort of amazement like even he can’t believe what is happening. One minute he’s sitting in front of you playing with Wacky Town and the next off in the distance you hear “Wha-ha-ha” as he reappears in Adam’s room.….then again this could be a sign that I have poor parenting skills so I’m going to stop there.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Sleep Turrets

In five years of blogging I don’t think I’ve ever gone 4 months without blogging. I mentioned back last September about the guilt that comes from not blogging once a week after putting so many years of work into it and I’m not going to bore you once again only to abandon it only to feel guilty the next time etc…etc… etc….

First off a quick recap: The holidays were a blur of kids running wild, wrapping paper covering entire rooms, and one snow storm after another. It was cool waking up to a white Christmas (something I don’t recall ever seeing), Adam had a blast that day we got 13 inches, then as week after week brought yet another storm all that snow got real old real fast. Oh and we passed around a stomach virus for two weeks, got claustrophobic, and went to the McWane Science Center.

Now on to the point of what has pulled me out of my blogging coma….I have sleep turrets. It sounds funny but honestly at least twice a week I fall asleep on the couch only to wake up alone in the wee hours of the morning. The next day I wake up to hear how I went all Jekyl and Hyde on Mandy all the while having no memory of what was said. This does put a cramp in my marriage at times, but Mandy is used to it and I proved long ago I literally have no earthly idea of the foul vicious things I say in my slumber. Unfortunately Friday night I turned the monster loose on Adam.

The quick story is that Mandy went to bed early, Adam was still up, and I was left on the couch to watch some random show….then it gets fuzzy. I remember Adam standing in front of me, then he walked away….then he may have come back…and I think he left crying that time….I finally came to around 2 a.m. with a ton of guilt sitting on my stomach.

The next morning Mandy and I decided to interrogate the little guy to see if there were any scars. “How did you sleep? Did you like your cartoon last night? Did we hear you crying?” All we got was fine fine good fine. Which is 4 yr old speak for “Hush I’m watching Krypto”

So for the moment I am breathing easy praying that nothing was said out of the ordinary that night, but I just know twenty years from now we will all be sitting around the dinner table and suddenly he’ll blurt out how he spent weeks afraid to come into the living room after bed time for fear I might unleash a string of abuse upon him.