Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Love Stinks, Yeah Yeah. But Life Goes On, Brah.

So I suddenly find myself single again.

Lady Friend® decided it was time for her to try something different, and we parted ways on relatively good terms.

It was unquestionably gut wrenching, but so very much easier for me this time around than my previous relationships that fell by the wayside.

That's not a reflection of Lady Friend®.

And hopefully it doesn't mean that I'm just getting used to being dumped...but I guess that's possible, too.

All my family and friends, in hindsight, have plenty of thoughts and opinions on the matter.

But frankly, the only opinions that mattered regarding our relationship were mine and Lady Friend's®.

I know that for me, personally, I'd never had a relationship go so smoothly. We could talk about anything, made each other laugh and smile every single day, and very rarely fought.

It was far from perfect - what relationship is? But it was damn good.

But unlike previous break-ups when I sheltered myself away in a self imposed prison with thick walls, not allowing myself the pleasure of enjoying day-to-day life, this one is very different.

There is an empty space in my life where Lady Friend® had been for most of the last year, no doubt.
But I learned, through trial and error, that true happiness has to come from within. You can't derive your happiness from someone else. And this time I didn't.

Yes, my relationship with her increased my level of happiness, but my life was not built around the life of another person.

I guess that's the benefit of being an old fart. You learn from your past, and you avoid feeling the same pain by not allowing yourself to go down paths you already traveled.

I'm a better person for the time I spent with Lady Friend®, and I'm a better person for the lessons I learned as the relationship ended.

One key difference this time, compared to the last serious relationship I had, is that I made sure to have a proper goodbye. That never happened with the previous woman I dated, and to this day I remain dead in her eyes.

So this time around, I won't be sitting on the sidelines watching life go by for the next year and a half.

I'll be out there in the game of life, seeing what happens next.

Yes, love stinks.
But life does go on, brah.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Time I Pissed Myself

Just a little less than three years ago, there was an historic game played at the Metro- dome in the Twin Cities.

The University of Iowa Hawkeyes were playing against the University of Minnesota Gophers in what would be the final college game played by the Gophers in the dome.

The Hawkeyes put on an amazing display, walking away with a 55-0 victory.

And I missed it.

And I had a very good, but stupid reason.

You see I pissed myself.
How does a grown man piss himself you may ask? Well, I'm about to tell you.

Back up to the week before the game. I had some major stress points going on, namely proving to a social worker that I was a good dad, despite my ex wife's attempts to the convince them to the contrary.

I had a lot of work stress at the time as well.
And, I was getting ready to head to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with my then girlfriend the day after the game, so that added to my stress level that week.

But as soon as the social worker left my house, assuring me I was indeed a good dad, the party started. It was about 5 p.m. on Friday, just a mere 24 hours, give or take, before kickoff.

So the party continued as my out-of-town guests began arriving for the weekend, ready to cheer on our beloved Hawkeyes.

In what was a blur of party, I somehow managed to be asked to leave one bar (I mean, really, is it THAT bad to try and get other fans in the bar to start chanting "LET'S GO HAWKS!" at the top of their lungs?), and closed down another.

There was some ketchup drinking, and random dancing with strangers thrown in.

The next morning, I woke up around 8 a.m. or so, still quite intoxicated from the night before. Knowing that I wasn't driving at all that day, I did what any other Hawkeye party animal would do...I had a beer for breakfast. And nothing else.

We then ventured off to our planned tailgate - being held in a bar due to cold weather - which opened at 10 a.m. Yes, despite still being drunk from the night before, I started drinking in earnest again with over 7 hours to go before kickoff.

And the bar we picked had a special going all day for Hawkeye fans. For $30, you got a free t-shirt, and all the beer and brats you could drink and eat.

As the 20 or so people who were planning to meet up at this tailgate began to arrive more fashionably late, it became clear to me that this bar was going to be packed, and the line for the free beer was going to be long.

So I did what any red-blooded Hawkeye fan would do, I started pounding as many beers as I could, as fast as I could, in order to make sure "I got my 30 bucks worf."

And so, by noon, I was absolutely smashed. And for some reason, this was the time that my bff, Gina, decided she needed to check into her downtown hotel room, and convinced me to help her find it.

Now there's something you should know about me. Even though I've lived here for 12 years, I don't know my way around downtown Minneapolis. Sober.

So I sure as hell was no help to her as we left the bar for our "quick" trip to get her checked in and return to the bar.

The rest is a blur. I remember being in Gina's car. I remember calling my gf in Mexico, telling her all the lovey dovey crap that men do when they're stupid. I remember Gina taking my phone and talking to the gf. And then it went blank.

It seems I passed out in Gina's front seat, and there was nothing she could do to wake me up. Nothing. She slapped me. She tickled me. She screamed in my face. I was out to the world. Needed a little beer nap, so to speak.

Not knowing what to do, and still not finding her hotel, Gina drove back to the bar, and still unable to get me to awaken from my beer coma, she left me in her car and returned to the bar.

She or someone else in my group would come out and check on me every so often, to make sure I hadn't woken up and stumbled out into the cold streets of the "Mini Apple."

(SIDENOTE: Let it be known that there is an ordinance in the City of Minneapolis that forbids you from sleeping in your car. I know this firsthand.)

So after a few hours of pulling a Rip Van MGD, somehow miraculously I was finally woken up. And after hours of sleeping, and then hitting the cold air, well there was only one thing on my mind.

While arguing with my friend, Ryan, about whether or not I was sober enough to go to the football game in a few hours, it hit me. I had to piss. Really really bad. And I was on a street in downtown Minneapolis, and had no idea where any bathrooms were.

So mid-sentence as I'm telling Ryan, "I'mmm fiiiiiiiine. I am gogin to duh gaaaaame," the cold air hitting me was replaced with a warm, liquidy burst of spent beer.
"Ok ok....I am not gogin to duh gaaaaaame," I relented.

So my friends found a taxi driver, told him my address, and slipped him some extra money to put up with a urine smelling passenger for the next 30 some minutes.
I made it home safely, and watched the game from the friendly confines of my couch, realizing that had I gone to the game, there was an excellent chance I'd end up in jail, and miss my trip to Mexico the next morning.

A few lessons I took away from this event that I, nor my friends, will forget anytime soon:

1) If you're going to pass out, don't do it in a car in downtown Minneapolis.

2) Ketchup isn't that bad on it's own.

3) Even when a social worker tells you that you're a good parent, it doesn't mean you should get so drunk to celebrate that you piss yourself.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Halloween Only Happens Once a Year

I love Halloween.

There's no doubt that it's my favorite holiday, which maybe makes me some kind of devil worshiping freak in the minds of some.

But alas, I've always loved it.

There is something about dressing up and pretending to be something else - a football player, a movie star, a psycho with a chain saw, or the President of the United States.

When I was in grad school, my ex-wife and I used to always host costume karaoke parties every year.

I decided to try and string together political costumes for a few years.
One year I was JFK back from the dead (complete with entrance wounds in my neck). I couldn't convince my ex to be Marilyn Monroe back from the dead. She didn't share my level of classy awesomeness, I guess.

Another year I was Terry Braindead (a parody of then, and now AGAIN Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad).

Another year I was George Herbert Walker Bush, and made my ex wear a pearl necklace (wait, what?).

You can be anyone you want to be on Halloween. Your imagination is your only limitation.

But the older I've gotten, the clearer it's become that putting on a mask and costume doesn't mean you've become that make-believe person.

Yes, it's easy for one day a year to pretend you're someone else.

But the other 364 days you better not be pretending to be anyone but you.

As I passed my 40
th, and then 41st birthday, I've realized that I wouldn't want to be anyone else but me.

Yeah my hairline is higher than Willie Nelson on tour.

My belly is

I wish that I could grow a kick ass goatee overnight.

I procrastinate, and get distracted easily.

I forget stuff way too often.

And when I'm hungry, I mean really hungry, I get really crabby.

I have a tendency to take things personally, and I am not good at asking people for help when I need it.

My feet stink when I've been on them all day. And I suffer from chronic halitosis.

But that's me, damn it. And I love being this imperfect, old balls dude.

Yes, I want to do some things for my health requiring that I change some of that (goodbye
Hoppy beer, hello water), but I'm not trying to "fix" myself, or become someone other than me.

And you shouldn't either.

It's ok to be a porn star, Steve Bartman, or Hanz and Franz each October.

But the rest of the time, try being you.

And if people don't like it, you tell them Clemmy is hungry (really hungry!) and he told you to tell them to go eff themselves!