Monday, June 29, 2009

Meaningful Monday - Relaxed

I never really realized how much stress and pressure I store in my upper shoulders. Don't get me wrong, I always knew it was there just not to the extent of which was presented to me this past Saturday.

This is the story of my first professional massage.

My wife has always wanted me to go in for a professional massage. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I ask her all the time for back rubs, but due to her weak wrists and dislocated, goofy-assed, double jointed thumbs - the amount of pressure she puts on my muscles is akin to a house fly inadvertently changing its course into my shoulder blade. (ok, that was a stretch, but overexaggeration to prove a point)

She finally found a really good deal where it was 50% off at a ritzy little Spa in downtown Milwaukee, and immediately called one if for me.

Well, given that it was my first massage I started pondering all the cliche things that could or should happen at a massage from what I've:
  • Seen on TV.
  • Read in articles
  • Heard from my sister-in-law (a professional massage therapist)
The Biggest Fear

Ladies, not all men are giant pigs. I tend to think I'm one of the kind that isn't a pig. Thus, my first and ultimate fear was the dreaded boner.

Yeah. Lying naked on a warm table with someone rubbing oil all over you while massaging your muscles... you can see how the fear would arise. It started bringing back fears of high-school where the bell would ring and I'd be sporting the semi. But at least in high-school you have the good old binder over the crotch trick to fix that, at a massage you have nothing but a flimsy little sheet. Hell, even jeans in high school helped.

Then, what if she's attractive... or worse... hot?! Then what?!

"Oh no oh no... maybe this massage thing is a bad idea."
No. No... I was being irrational. I'll be fine.

The Day Arrives.

So I get there and first of all can't find the front desk... so I wander until this gentle looking lady finds me. She looks like a massage therapist and is talking to me like she's been expecting me. I think to myself, well if my assumptions are correct you will be my massage therapist and I am in no way attracted to you.

We walk to the hidden front desk together and I check in. We walk back downstairs and she hands me a clipboard with waivers and information which I need to fill out.

After she hands it to me she says, "Enjoy your time with us. Nikki should be right with you."

... um... shit... you apparently aren't going to be my therapist.

"Ok... ok... it's cool... you won't find Nikki hot either... just fill out the info. Name - oh... this one is easy... Address - cool, another easy one..."

A new voice speaks, "Hi, Ben? I'm Nikki"


Yup. She's hot. Ok... to be fair... she's way cute but not as cute as my wife. And I'm really not just saying that to cover my ass. Isabella saw her and agreed. (We kinda have that open relationship, talk about everything, sort of marriage.) But still, ugly therapist is easier then hot therapist for ANYONE, not just guys... (cough cough) ladies.

So we walk back to my "personal suite", she shows me the shower area. Ooooh. Kohler insane, blast you from all angles, 1 million gallons/second, kind of shower. I'll be sure to enjoy that after the massage.

She says, "I'll step out for a second and you can undress to whatever level you're comfortable with." then appends, "naked is perfectly okay." (oh gee thanks for adding that cause I didn't know.)

Whatever, buck or go home. So buck I went and slid under the sheets. Then... massage time. I'd say it took about 1.32 seconds and there was no possible way I had any reason to worry about my winky going camping in the bay. Hiking perhaps, but no tents would be pitched. It was just too dang relaxing to even be worried about, what now seems like, such a trivial matter.

She did ask when the last time I had a massage... being... never. To which she responded, "I can tell, you're so tense. I don't know how you survive like this you poor thing." Yeah - lets not read into that. (Though I wouldn't be a guy if I didn't.)

60 minutes and a whole lot of deep tissue massage and time was up.

Steam vegetables anyone? Perhaps a steamed ShankRabbit?

I enter the bathroom and turn on the shower. Yes, it really is water from all angles and it is hella-nice. I'm standing and enjoying the complete drowning in water, when I notice a little silver panel on the wall. A little digital readout that was off... and three silver buttons... one bigger one and two smaller ones.

You know the red button syndrome that some people have. The one where even though the button is big, giant, and red, and says "Do not push"... you push it anyway? Oh yeah, that's me.

There were no labels and I HAD to know what it did. So i pushed the big button. The digital display sprang to life and start flashing numbers from 19 to 109 and bouncing all around in between.

But nothing happened. "Hrm. Hope that wasn't the self-destruct. That'd be embarrassing." Which of course Phineas and Ferb quotes pop into my head with "In hindsight, I question the logistics of including a self-destruct button in the first place."

I walk back under the torrential downpour of water when, 5 seconds later, I hear this insane hissy whoooshy noise from the site of the wall. Oooooh... little silver boxy = sauna.


Well... it was sweet until it started getting a little too steamy. And too hot. And the little silver boxy thing no longer responded to touching. Those little red numbers changing in no discernible pattern... oooh annoying. I liken the experience to trying to see through glasses when they're all fogged up... only - my glasses were off my head and on the counter.

"I hope that thing turns off."

It eventually did... AFTER I was out of the shower and pruned up like a... well... a prune, I guess.

Up and Out.

Upon leaving my "personal suite", I walked back upstairs with Nikki... you remember Nikki... that hot massage therapist... so that I could pay.

Remember the 50% off? Me thinky there was a computer error. Cause what I paid for was NOT 50% off.

But I didn't care. I paid it. I left. It was money very well spent.

Isabella's first comment was, "wow... you look like you were just sleeping for 5 weeks straight.

Mmmm... definitely need to go back.

does anyone else laugh at the word therapist? because it looks like the rapist. Nikki, professional the rapist? yes please.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This would be an interesting movie...

Braveheart, Film Score
by: Horner, James
on: Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn

Album Cover: Titanic

What if, Pandora... what if?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Meaningful Monday - My head is swimming.

so cliche

I'm starting this post on Monday so it still counts, even though I'll probably finish it after midnight. I think the starting of it counts.


Life is a bitch. You hear it all the time and yet no one really takes it to heart until the events in life happen to take a stroll past your house at 3am and start throwing eggs and toilet paper in a trivial and juvenile action that, in the end, doesn't really hurt your life - it just messes it up for a small time.

No, don't worry, that was purely a metaphor.

I'm writing this post standing in my basement on my workbench as half of my servers are cracked open and awaiting the installation of their new operating systems, servers, and development systems. Why am I standing down here at 11pm while everyone else is asleep?

Because, as a business, we just landed our first large contract and have been told multiple times that, "if this goes well, we'll be coming back to you again and again." Needless to say they really like our style, but of course words only mean so much in the business world and they are using this first project as a proof of everything I've been talking about.

It's a little nerve wracking.

I'm also in an interesting situation because my 5 year plan had always been to take Pixel 73 LLC to the point where I didn't have to go into work anymore. Where I could just stay home, run my business happily, code what I want to code, and do things my way in the business world. No more answering to the higher ups because I would be my own.

Shazzam - how about this thought wrench.

Of course, on top of the clients I already have, I get this client who also drops another potential project in my lap and basically says, "if we get this, we'll need you full time."

Whoa... wait a sec... that's not five years from now. That's 5 months from now. What the...

See? It's not destroying my life, it's the just wet soggy toilet paper hanging from the limbs of my lifestyle trees.

So I ponder.

I'm playing out all of the thoughts in my head. Wanting to be comfortable financially, but still wanting to pursue my dream. And of course, until contracts are signed, this is all just mind-slobber.

Love to hate to love

I have such a love/hate relationship with tough decisions. I hate them because I wish someone would show me 5 years in the future based on each decision. I love them because making the tough decisions makes me a better person... a better dad... a better husband.

Oh life... you traitorous whore, you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fatherhood Friday - She wins.

What's happenin' blog readers? How was your week? Mmhm? Yeah? Good.

I think today is a special Friday because it's the Fatherhood Friday before Father's Day. The day that is all about me.

Wait. What's this crap? You don't know what Fatherhood Friday is? BEHOLD! Check out Dad-Blogs. Neat dudes doing dude stuff and writing about it. (Girls are totally allowed too).

She Was Right

I hate being wrong. Hate it more then hate itself. However, I've noticed that with less sleep, more work, and more responsibility my cache isn't as big as it used to be. Because of this I've noticed that I tend to be wrong a lot more then I used to. It's a small price to pay for mental efficiency in a mentally hazardous environment.

Well, I have to give Isabella some big props because she pretty much made me go to the doctor yesterday... and... wouldn't you know it - I have bronchitis.

Apparently it's bronchitis season. (Like flu season, or deer season... only for shit in my lungs.) And this year has been a fun one with the doctor saying how this kind tends to come back. Well, wouldn't you know that earlier this year I had the exact same symptoms as I did this time.

So I guess my bronchitis came back for round two. Only this time I'm going to take it down to China-town with some Azithromycin. 5 days of hard core bacteria killing...

... and 5 days of the Hershey-squirts.

Damn you side effects.

I need a vacation. I need to unplug from the constant blast of coding that happens to flow from my fingers every day and every night. It's my own fault for having the aspiration of owning my own business and living completely and comfortably from that business someday - so that requires a lot of time spent at the computer at night.

This also leads to some pretty late nights since I don't want to be working when I'm at home and Niamonster is awake. So (obviously coming full circle here), you can see why I've been getting sick more.

I beat myself up, but it's already starting to pay off. Lots of big things in the works and just started a new deal with a new company that will finally boost us to where we need to be.

To all my dads out there - Happy Father's Day on Sunday.


......... huh... just kinda seems like a really abrupt end to my post... no closure really... just - "goodbye".

... kinda akward, huh.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wacky Wednesday - Healthy Living (cough cough)

I'm done.

I'm done with being sick more then I should be. I can't decide if it's the child or if it's the job or if it's the fact that I had pneumonia once. I try eating healthy and exercises and I still get sick WAY more then I used to.

It's annoying and it's ALWAYS respiratory.

Bastard little green phlegmballs.

Isabella and I started a financial planning class tonight. 13 weeks of instruction to get our asses in gear for making sure Niamonster (and perhaps some future children) are set when growing up.

Believe me, we'll instill in them the virtues of making a living for themselves, but I also don't think you can expect a teenager to be able to pay thousands of dollars for college when they can't even keep money in their checking account.

I'm sure you'll hear more about this in the future with both of our blogs.

I asked my wife last night if I needed tickets to the gun show. She was trying to flex for me. It'd be even funnier for you if you knew how scrawny she was.

Finally -

Interesting stuff going on in Teh... uh... you know that one place that just had elections. (Don't want some crazy ass coming over to my blog and censoring me... or.. whatever they're doing.)

I guess I never really understood riots and destroying things to make a point. I mean... you're not really making much of a point at all.

What goes through your head?

"This election was rigged! Quick! Everyone throw bricks through the windows of local stores!"

Cause... that's going to accomplish a lot. Irony sure would set in if the store owner was two blocks down throwing bricks into someone else's window.

I'd hate to be a police-person in that state. Get up in the morning knowing you're going to have to get crap thrown at you all day. I mean - I don't agree with what's going on over there at all, but you have to be somewhat sympathetic to the police officers. Could you imagine waking up in the morning knowing full well that you were probably going to get rocks and bricks thrown at you while people try to rip you off your bike so they can burn it. Just because your jacket says "Police".

I don't think violence is the answer, but if someone threw a brick at me, you bet your ass I'd crack them in the head with a billy club.

Just sayin'...

Hope your Wednesday is full of happy, billy club-free moments!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fatherhood Friday - Hello End of the Week... so soon?

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs
Hi Kids.

Welcome to another edition of Fatherhood Friday.

So it's official. As of Monday of this week at 12:14pm I am officially MINI free. Eh - it's kinda sad, but that sadness faded pretty dang quick when I saw how many 0's I had to write down on my deposit slip.

oooh... that's nice.

So we've started paying off credit cards and other stupid bills that we've had (oh... the bills). We're a one car family now and the more I think about it, the more it makes perfect sense. Things would be a whole lot different if Isabella had a daytime job (not that being a stay at home mom isn't a job), but she can take me to work every morning and it gives us a good chance to just talk for 15 minutes.

So many times you find yourself focusing on your child's needs and playing with her (or him) that you just forget to sit and talk.

Fatherhood = selling stuff and spending quality time together.

My wife and I watch some odd TV sometimes and one of the odd little shows we came across was Tori and Dean... if you haven't watched this show: do it.

It's Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, and you know something? Yeah... they're actors but they're such normal people. What's more is that Isabella and I are very VERY like them. If you ever are curious as to what our household is like - watch this show.

I could talk about it and describe it, but you should just go watch it. It's on Oxygen.

Fatherhood = knowing that all dads go through the same stuff.

I'm not sure who came up with the phrase "Terrible 2's" but they're full of shit. It starts way before the age of 2.

Oh yeah - Niamonster has started throwing cute little temper tantrums and while I'm sure it'll be cute for the next couple of weeks, I'm pretty sure I'm going to start flipping my crab about it.

She's has this little thing where she'll just walk over to the rug on our kitchen floor in this sick little whiney fashion and just fall to the floor whenever she doesn't get what she wants.

Neat. Can't wait till it gets worse.

Fatherhood = patience.

Speaking of selling the MINI, one of the biggest things for Isabella and I that always bothered us was that we never had enough money to give lots to charity. My dad works for a company that deals with people who are severly developmentally disabled (an amazing organization: Bethesda Lutheran Home and Services), Isabella and I have a huge heart for Maryville Academy since Isabella stayed there for a while given certain things happening in her life.... plus there are other churches and little charities we just want to give to.

Well... now that we have a little more padding in our bank it's been really nice to have that available.

So - today some fellow online friends made mention of another blogger who has fallen on some series of unfortunate events. Well, the friends got together and collaborated a little fund to help the family out in their time of need.

Yes! Our first "random" charity. Yay!

Fatherhood = Charity and giving selflessly.

Finally, and the biggest part of being a father -

I had to go play business tonight and head out with some SVP/VP type people and schmooze. However, that meant coming home late and Niamonster was already asleep.

I walked into her room to just see my little girl... and she must have known it was me because she propped her little head up... looked into my eyes... gave me the cutest little tired smile... and layed back down.

Uuuuuuh.... I think my heart just melted....

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's a quick post in the neighborhood.

My wife is on her way to picking me up. I realize it's early but my head hurts and today is going to be the only nice day this weekend.

It's a quick Fatherhood Friday.
WHAT? You don't know what Fatherhood Friday is?! The get your butt over to Dad-Blogs and check it out.

Fatherhood is:
  • Leaving work early to spend time with your family.
  • Sneaking into your child's room at night to stand over their crib and watch them sleep.
  • Calling out "Dance" and immediately dropping everything to shake your booty.
  • Crying when you inadvertently injure your child.
  • Cuddling up to your wife when she needs you.
  • Staying up late to finish work after everyone else goes to bed.
  • Be willing to give up everything for your family.
  • Love them more then yourself.

Those are some of the things fatherhood is to me.

What about you?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wackey Wedhursday - What?

Happy Wedhursday

Why? Why Wedhursday? Because I started writing this post yesterday and am finishing it today... that's why. So to my online posting persona I am actually transcending the space time continuum and spanning my existence over a time frame which includes both Wednesday and Thursday. 

And you thought you were just reading a weirdo's blog. 

Straight up now tell me do you really wanna love me forever (oh oh oh)

Now that you have that song stuck in your head... Let's continue and talk about something gross. 


Nope. Not my daughter. Not some random female. But... that. Call it whatever you want... Aunt Flo, Periodicals, Girl... all the same thing. Well, with the onslaught of Niamonster, Isabella hasn't had to deal with it in the first person, and I haven't had to deal with it in the third person in a very long time. 

Isabella got preggo sometime in July of 07. From July of 07 until March of 09 we really hadn't had to deal with it. 

Well... she's back. Can't say I really missed her. 

Though, for all you guys out there... dealing with the hormonal crazies from pregnancy gives a whole new "gentler" light on the girly-crazies. They just don't seem so crazy anymore. 

New Domain!

Being the dork that I am, I have an entire business class network setup in our house. Domain controllers, DNS servers, routers, switches, etc. You'd think I ran a small business out of my home or something.

Well, with the glorious purchase of 2 new dual 2.6ghz Xeon servers I decided it was time to re-setup the domain since I kinda botched the first one. (Single name domains aren't very friendly)

So I stayed up till 2am last night switching things over from my old server to the new ones, and by the time I went to bed I had gotten rid of the B**** domain (starred cause it's my last name... and let's be honest you know I don't write real names here) and started up the domain. Tarkus meaning "wisdom" in Estonian. 

Why Estonian?

Because I'm weird, that's why.

My daughter has taken a liking to dirt. Isabella already wrote about it so you should head over there and read up somes. 

This weekend can't come soon enough. I'm bushed. 

Finally, I know I haven't mentioned it much - but Busy-Dad-E, I should be finishing up the song this weekend. You know... the song you won... so long ago. 

I haven't forgotten. 

I never do. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

In like Flynn

Hi Everybody!

Miss me?


I used to be a dog lover. When Isabella and I started get serious she had a wonderful dog named Aria. She was a beautiful Great Dane, German Shepherd mix. Oh yeah... big doggy. I became very fond of this dog while Isabella and I were dating. ( I almost wrote, "while we were dating" except that sounded like Ari and I were dating...) Ari became very fond of me as well. 

Well... Isabella and I were still finding ourselves and becoming little professionals and were about to get married. Our lifestyle just didn't support having a big giant dog. Especially a dog that needed big open spaces and all we could afford her was a small apartment. We loved her so much that we realized we had to do what was best for her, so we put her up for adoption. 

One. of the. Hardest. Days. Ever. 

There are still days I miss Ari. I know my missing Ari will never come to that of Jen's.

However, that's not the point of this section. The real point is: We just aren't a dog family anymore.

My brother (the middle one, not the one with the blog... he's the eldest... I'm the baby.), married a woman from the Czech Republic. (no... not Czechoslovakia... that's long gone and you'll piss off any Czech native if you say that... trust me, I've had a bruised arm from it). Her brother got married last week and they went to her home to be with him for it. 

They have two dogs, Dante and Capri. Both English Cocker-Spaniels. You can imagine what it would cost to kennel 2 dogs for 8 days. ~$25 a day x 2 dogs x 8 days and you've got about $400. Well, given the times with the economy and the availability of us, they asked if we could dog sit for those days instead. 

Sure. Why not?

I like dogs, right? 

It's been interesting. I feel bad cause my voice has been raised a few more times then I would have liked it. I don't yell, but it is louder. And I feel terrible because Niamonster is so not used to hearing my louder stern voice unless she is doing something drunken monkey like. It's also been interesting because the dogs pee more the Niamonster does, which means getting up at 4am again. 

Then there are the hardwood floors and the barking while Niamonster is trying to sleep. 

I wish we would have had a video tape running the other night. Jen and I were eating upstairs and Niamonster was acting like a complete numbnuts and crawling all over everything. So the dogs are trying to snatch food away from us, Niamonster is crawling behind the couch, then knocking lamps over, then the dogs are chasing her, Isabella and I were trying to get a hold of everyone with bar-b-que sauce dripping down our hands.... oiy... it was a mess.

It's been fun being able to help my brother and sister out and fun watching the dogs... but man... we just aren't dog people anymore.

I can't begin to tell you how many times I wrote "dong" while writing this. Heh... dong watching.