Sunday, March 30, 2008

first game

Yesterday should have been the third game for my U10 team. It was our first. East Tennessee spring season soccer has never, in my limited experience, been quite the chore this year has become. Our first game was snowed out, and our second game was rained out.

As I approached our field, I met up with a couple of my team members who immediately noticed that we were going to be playing a girl heavy coed team. Of course, my team being all boys, and fairly typical eight to nine year old boys, one of them made a comment suggesting our team should easily win. I was quick to point out that he had no basis for this as he had not seen them play and that the fact that they are girls suggests nothing when it comes to their abilities on the field.

My point was proved soon after as the game began and they scored on us fairly quickly. The one real difference between boys and girls of this age would be physical in that the boy is more likely to come out of fight for the ball still on his feet. This is not meant to disparage the girls only to suggest that the boys are in general going to be a bit bigger and stronger. It's also an argument to not have coed teams after the U6 level whenever possible. But that's another post that I may have covered some time in the past.

This game certainly proved that no matter what any of us may think, girls can play with the boys sometimes, and they can play well. The first half saw our opponents take a fair lead against us. Big Brother was our keeper for the first half, and as I've seen before, he took those first goals very personally before figuring out to move and pounce. He soon stopped allowing goals and even took down a couple of their players diving onto the ball.

The second half saw us close the gap. We actually should have won the game on an offside call, though not necessarily due to the call. I saw the goal, but I didn't see offside nor did I not see offside. What I did see was the line judge make an offside call, the referee take back the goal and the opposing coach argue the call and convince the ref to give them the goal.

And this is my problem here. I could argue neither the goal or the offside call as I didn't see it. The team may have been offside or not. My problem is with the opposing coach arguing and winning. Our ref was a young man of twelve or thirteen years. At that age I don't expect him to have the same skills as an adult when it comes to standing up to an adult. My problem is with the other coach arguing with a child and setting a bad example for all the players on the field.

I teach my teams to accept without argument the calls of the ref. That's how the game goes. You will never agree one hundred percent with the referee, and a good player knows how to suck it up and keep doing his or her best. I expect my players to play that way, and I expect other teams and their coaches to play the same way. I believe this so much that, during our scrimmages, I will make at least one bad call, sometimes more. I want them to know never to argue with the ref. Sometimes bad calls happen. Sometimes the ref misses something. You can not let it interfere with how you approach the game. You suck it up, you let it go and you keep giving your hundred percent. It's seldom personal, and you can't take it as such.

We ended the game tied, and I couldn't be prouder of my guys in their first game. We need to work on getting corner kicks into the air. We need to stop bunching up and stealing the ball from each other. We need to pass more. We need for my one insanely powerful striker to accept that he can't reasonably expect to run around the entire field for thirty to forty minutes, so he should stay in his position.

One moment that gave me a giggle was due to my sweeper. This kid, in our very first practice, when I asked them all their favorite positions immediately piped up with sweeper. He does a great job on the back line. At one point in the game he kicked the ball from the half line into the arms of their goalie and actually hurt the kid's chest. I could see it in the keeper's eyes and here it in the smack as the ball hit him.

Oh, and our team name? Yo Momma. Seriously. Not my decision.

the more you ask

I'm posting this unamusing anecdote for one simple reason.

A friend of ours has a daughter between the ages of our own kids. She's a sweet kid, and when the friend asked us to watch her for the night, Momma was happy to oblige.

So how does that work out to a blog post? Nothing exciting happened last night or today, and she hasn't really provided any blog fodder, not really.

I'm pretty much done on the computer for the moment. I've checked Google reader, Myspace and my email. I've done almost everything I could want to do and certainly everything I want to do at this point in the day.

Next to the computer chair is a small child size rocking chair. The entire time I've been online today this lovely young lady has sat next to me in that same chair asking every couple of minutes if she could get online or if I'm done yet.

I tried to warn her that each time she asks only makes me stay on longer. It's not that I don't want her on the computer, but I really want to be able to finish in peace. I actually tried to find a way to compare her repeated questioning with the idea that expressing disbelief in faeries kills one, but that seemed a little too cold even for me, so I didn't say the thinky part aloud for once.

Instead of dashing any hopes of faeries she may have I've chosen to find a way to insist on taking longer. I could easily be done now. I could happily have found something else to do and given her a turn. But she wouldn't stop asking.

I'm not sure what finally did it, but she's wandered away to join the boys in some cartoons. It's been at least five minutes since I was hit with the question, but I'm still not willing to give up the computer. Like everything else I do, I'm sure it makes me a bad person, like I care.

Friday, March 28, 2008

don't know where I'm going, but I sure know where I've been

We are turning yet another page, to use Momma's explanation of our lives right now.

After three years of doing a fairly poor job of being an active stay at home dad I took a job at the same place Momma worked till recently. I began my training as she began a week long suspension, punishment for being fairly late on two consecutive days.

I worked last Friday morning and Saturday night. This week I worked my third training shift the day that Momma returned to discuss her future employment with her direct superior, the head chef.

He fired her, and I worked the rest of my shift with the thought that I would return the next day. If I was the only one of us with a job, the responsible thing to do would be to keep the job as long as I needed to.

I awoke Thursday morning in time to get to work on time. I awoke Thursday morning to a mix of rage and depression at the thought that I'd have to go back. I got dressed as far as pants and socks, pulling them on in the most angry way I could muster. I slipped a pair of shoes and my jacket on and stepped outside with Momma to smoke, an early cigarette for clarity in the coolness of the beginning of the day.

In truth I was trying like hell to talk myself into going to work. I was upset with both Momma's firing after being held in limbo for a week as well as the knowledge I have of this restaurant based both on Momma's descriptions as well as disappointing things I'd seen in the three days I put in. This wasn't anywhere I wanted to be, and though Momma will certainly miss the place she attained at this restaurant, she is overjoyed at the page being forced to turn when she'd had so much trouble doing so with so many reasons not to.

I applied for a different job Thursday, after hanging out at the park with some great people and their great kids. I have a second interview today for not quite the job I thought I was applying for. One could consider the location a step down in certain terms, but it's more my kind of place, and the possible job would be both cooking and serving. I have years of cooking experience, but I have random and not really serving experience serving.

I don't see why I couldn't get this job, and I find myself actually wanting it. The weird part is that it's at my default bar. A number of the regulars were friends before this place opened and/or are friends outside of this place. I've known some of the staff for some amount of time.

Another page, Momma has an offer to cater a small dinner party. It's on a Saturday that I have both soccer games and a roller derby bout to announce. Did I mention that Momma hasn't been skating for a couple months? The dinner is a great opportunity for her, and catering is an idea she and I have tossed around noncommittally for a couple of years. I won't get to help too much with this one, at least not in the final process, but I plan to do my part to make it a success.

So pages turn. We find ourselves unemployed, both of us expecting a check that will sever our ties with her place of employment for nearly four years. This is on top of all the things we've been through over the past year plus. We find before us doors opening, pages turning.

There are other burners going, ideas beginning to simmer between us. We are in a place of hesitant excitement as we begin to imagine ourselves doing for ourselves, less at the whim of others. We've begun thinking in terms of what is best for us rather than what we have to do. We are aware through IRS dot gov of the date by which our income tax refund will arrive, fully expecting that to keep us afloat for just long enough once again. There are light bulbs over our heads, and more and more, we are looking to turn those pages ourselves. We're getting tired of having to read to the end of pages we don't care to read and are looking for the good stories, the ones that speak to us.

title from Bon Jovi with a capital duh

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

the thing I said

I almost feel as if I owe any readers I still have an apology for last night's late, drunken post. Momma had gone out with some friends, and I managed to invite a friend over. He's straight, and continues to remain so despite my urging him to change his mind, so it wasn't that sort of thing.

Sometime between him leaving and Momma arriving home I made the turn from completely fine mood to somewhere else as evidenced by the drunken rambling.

I'm tired of not writing more, and I'm tired of the writing I do manage to squeeze out being ridiculous nonsense. It may seem that it's not all crap, but that's only because you only get the ones I post. You never see the shit that sits around as drafts, lonely and unwanted, soon to be deleted.

So, I hereby resolve to stop the melodrama and the melancholy or at least place some other posts between the weepy ones. And with that, I'm off to complain about something that will likely earn me trouble.

don't stop believing

This twist off of the beer cap comes too easy.

The sad feelings come too easy.

The melodrama flows out of me like blood from a head wound.

I try like hell to beat it down. I try like hell to master myself. I want so much to be in control, yet those damn feelings and thoughts have a mind of their own. I can try all I want, but I don't end up making sense of anything.

I want, yet I can't even figure out for myself what I want.

I don't know if I'm even trying anymore or if I'm just right back where I've alway been, rolling with the punches, trying for nothing more than to get drunk enough to get to sleep quick enough to avoid crying into my pillow.

Beer doesn't really seem to be working, but it's the constant, the thing I can rely on. It's the thing I think I know my way about when so much else seems to bring nothing but a curious mix of heartache and curiosity and regret. It's my friend, the friend that's there when no one else is.

I'd like to think there's something more, but . . .

Monday, March 17, 2008

holidays are bull shit

This started out as a Myspace bulletin. I cross posted it here because I loved it and want everyone to read. This note is for the couple of people that may read my crap both here and there. So . . .

To whom it may concern:

I'm tired of all these "christian" celebrations masquerading as holidays.

I do not give a shit about St. Valentine, and I doubt his life's work involved funneling even more money into the butchers in charge of the majority of diamond procurement/production that exists in the world. Look into blood diamonds and see if they're still as pretty.

St. Patrick may have been a drunk, but I sort of doubt it. I'm a drunk and have neither doubts nor qualms about it. I also don't think that he was really the guy who got rid of all the snakes in Ireland, as I don't really think they ever had a huge snake problem. Green beer sucks, and if you're beer is so nasty that adding green doesn't bother you, then maybe you suck too.

Easter, I don't even know where to start with this one. This was once a non christian celebration of spring. As is its want, the Catholic church co-opted the day and painted some religious overtones on it so that they could count the heathens among the saved and steal their gold when they were too busy collecting eggs to notice. If I celebrate spring it will be by enjoying the warm days and long nights, and it will hopefully involve drinking a beer on the patio at the Urban Bar.

Christmas was also co-opted by the church to celebrate the birth of baby Jebus. This time the heathens were too busy outspending each other at Wal Mart to notice the gold theft, but the end result is the same.

I could go on. All our holidays are shams, and if they ever did mean anything, they now only serve to increase the income of our corporate overlords. You aren't really celebrating anything recognizable as worthy of celebration, but you are helping the rich get richer. If you're okay with that, then fine, but just understand if you try to pinch me for not wearing green that I might smash your lips against your teeth. I'm not Catholic or Irish (I might be a tiny bit Irish in a DNA sort of way) and I don't celebrate religious holidays.

I have no religion, therefore religious celebrations would make me a lying hypocrite. Please respect that, and look at your own beliefs, and ask yourself what you're really celebrating. If it's just an excuse to get drunk, then perhaps you should recognize and celebrate that you're a drunk. I'll be right there with you, not lying about the fact that I drink, not needing an excuse to tilt the pint.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


In order, somewhat, the pork loin is cooked, chicken stock is cooling on the counter, the flourless chocolate cake is also cooling on the counter and the beans are soaking. It's too late now to worry whether I should have chosen pork butt instead of loin or to worry about whether it will overcook with the beans.

Between games tomorrow I need to drain the beans, rinse the salad greens, chop the mire poix, cut the sausage and decide whether I want more of the hog jowl bacon chopped. I'll cut the apples and soak them in some lemon juice and water in the refrigerator. I might even cut the bacon, but it might be nicer to have it hot.

Dinner will start with a salad, packaged greens that are supposed to be a fifty/fifty mix of baby spinach and spring mix, granny smith and ambrosia apples, bacon and toasted pecans. The dressing is a sort of buttermilk vinaigrette that I'm stealing from Ms. Joy which is recommended in her book with a similar salad to mine. After the salad we'll be moving on to a cassoulet followed by the previously mentioned flourless chocolate cake.

This is only the second attempt I've made at a cassoulet. I'm cobbling a variation together using Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Joy of Cooking and a little bean cookery advice from Alton Brown. I don't have goose or duck confit. I don't have any mutton. I do have pork loin, smoked sausage and hog jowl bacon.

While I'm sure I can produce an end product that is tasty, I have no fear that I'll actually approach a real cassoulet, a classic of French peasant cooking, a large casserole that not only uses available ingredients but is argued about seriously should you choose to vary your recipe from that of basically anyone within earshot.

I haven't even cooked beans that often (almost never) and have that whole concern to be concerned about. I'm a little worried about the cake as well. I couldn't mix the chocolate mixture with the egg whites any more without flat beating the shit out of them, and now I'm a little afraid that I can kind of see some unmixed beaten whites spotting the surface of the cake. We can't know till tomorrow when we dig into it, but I can't help but worry. A rich slice of chocolate cake can almost hope to fix a nearly mediocre meal. I'm confident with my salad, and I mostly expect good things out of my cassoulet, but the cake has me nervous.

I'm sure I'll remember to post about the great fun we had, drinking wine with friends and enjoying a nice meal. It'll be awesome, the food will be better than I expected, and all sorts of niceness. And because I've been posting so regularly, you can rest assured that you'll have the info soon after the affair.

And if you're lucky, I'll take pictures and tease you with glimpses of my culinary achievements. Just you wait.

Monday, March 10, 2008

food porn meme

I wasn't directly tagged for this meme, so I won't directly tag more than one person. I almost did it when Rosie left an open ended tag, but I totally did it when Sue left a more openly ended tag.

1. What food do you consider the best “date” food? In other words, what meal or food item do you think is sexiest to eat in the company of someone you would like to look sexy around?

I never dated. That's what this question makes me think of. And then it leads into too much thought going into my whole upbringing (far past and far right) and the places I've been between then and now.

I'm starting to think that the best date would be finding some dark haired boy that wants to both eat my cassoulet and watch a Miyazaki movie with me and my wife and kids.

2. What well-known person would you like to share a meal with—with or without clothing. (saying whether or not clothes are involved is optional).

I'd like Eric Ripert to cook me dinner. I believe in cooking clothed, so anything else would have to find its own way in at some point later in the evening.

3. What does your perfect breakfast-in-bed look like? (Food AND the details, please. Candles? Music? Flowers? Hot tub? Dancing girls?

My perfect breakfast in bed would happen at the bar over some steaks and eggs and bloody marys.

4. What do you consider the best application of whipped cream to be?

Pie, the only real destination for whipped cream. Anywhere else it just gets in the way.

Which is not to say that I couldn't think of any number of other uses for whipped cream. So I guess we're back to the original question. If nothing I've said so far gives you an indication . . .

5. Oh-God-No, Biff, the yacht is sinking! You are sent to the galley to retrieve the food. What luxury food items do you snatch first? The champagne? The caviar? Smoked Salmon? Truffles? Chocolate? Or something else?

Seriously sinking yacht? I'm going after the least perishable items I can find, and if Biff can't get his dumb ass in gear enough to recognize this fact then fuck him. His ass can drown. My kids and as much food as I can dig up is my sole priority in this situation.

Okay, two things are a sole priority? Yes, though kids slightly edge out food, slightly.

And there you have my food porn meme. I tag Momma first and foremost, because she needs to write more. After that?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

singing fool

Last night, without even being nearly as drunk as I assured everyone I would have to be, I was coaxed to sing karaoke. And it wasn't quite so bad as I thought.

Coaxed really isn't quite what happened so much as the sound of the words "Sometimes Roommate and Sam sing Chug-a-lug," yes that one, the Roger Miller classic. That was followed quickly by the words "son of a bitch" steaming out of my own mouth. She'd already done Dolly's Mule Skinner Blues, the one with the yodeling, and after that I couldn't not have the balls to sing.

I will admit to enjoying myself. I also feel that some explanation of the particular place is also in order. It's a distinctly local place, a honky tonk that proudly advertises their hillbilly jukebox. The menu, is beer, pizza, hot cheese plate and more and is posted randomly behind the bar on sheets in paper and Sharpie. Pictures of customers and staff adorn a good bit of the wall space, and with the new addition of a slightly regular hipper, younger element seems to be growing. It's a really cool place, introduced to us by none other than Sometimes Roommate.

We're back to my enjoying singing karaoke, but I will admit more here. We got a couple of late starts on a couple of lines, which anyone could do. I also caught myself improvising some of the lyrics which is a habit of mine.

Very often, when I'm singing alone, I will make up new words to songs. Quite often the new lyrics are fairly obscene, though more often they're just stupid, humorous only to me. It certainly happens a hell of a lot less when there are children present, so don't too alarmed, but it does happen. I didn't consider this habit when I was walking through the bar toward the stage, and really, why would I? The right lyrics are on the little tv, so any I forget, I'll be able to figure quickly, not that I've memorized that many Roger Miller songs.

And it happened. I suppose the social lubricant, PBR in a can, may have helped, or not helped, depending on how you see it. Being up there at all courtesy of Sometimes Roommate and a desire to enact some mild revenge like thing may have subconciously come into play. I don't now remember what lyrics I changed or even what I sang, but I'm pretty sure I sufficiently gayed it up, which is the part that I do remember.

Momma definitely wants to go back and sing karaoke again and soon. I'm holding out as ambivalent just yet. I did enjoy it, but I'm just not sure.

And fresh from the ovens of YouTube, the video is crap, but the audio is fine if you choose to listen to the song. There's a second song that you don't have to bother with, but you are also more than welcome to listen to it as well.

Friday, March 07, 2008


I almost titled this post "fucking finally," but decided not to the moment I even considere it. I just wanted you to know.

We had a couple warm days this past week, weekend days that saw our Sometimes Roommate and her two year old son over so that another friend could paint Dolly Parton on the hood of her car. Sometimes Roommate brought over a friend, the object of my newest lusty thoughts.

I can see by the looks on all your faces that you've just stumbled upon a new thing. Yes, we have a Sometimes Roommate, a female friend who sometimes finds herself staying with us. She has a two year old who also often joins us, and Big Brother and The Boy have found no end of fun playing with him. I'm not sure how involved she'll be with the blog, but she now arrives with a name even. I haven't thought up a name for her kid, but he's a sweetheart, and if he shows up again he'll have a name.

The weather was the real star of the show. I scooped as much poop as I could find out of the yard along with a fair number of leaves too committed to the poop to let go. We unstacked the white, plastic outdoor chairs and pumped up bike tires. The dirt patch under the maple is still too sodden to really want to play in, but it'll dry enough soon enough.

It was an awesome couple of days which have given us our first daffodils, quite possibly my favorite flower currently. Where I live they are always the first blooms, the first color, that shiny gleam of hope that spring is not so far away. It brings thoughts of finally fixing the clocks by a whole hour and accepting Easter as a way to get at some ham.

Momma and I have discussed Easter recently. I realized that the only meaning I've ever known for Easter has been directly related to crosses, nails, blood, torture, and having to get up extra early to go shiver in a park to hear preaching right before you went to church and ate breakfast in time for more preaching. And if you were my family, you weren't out enjoying breakfast but in the back preparing and serving it. Moments like this indicate that I was in food service earlier than I thought, but that's a topic for another day.

Soccer has begun again, our first games coming Saturday. I feel completely disjointed about the whole thing right now. I feel like I got a late start with my U10's, but we're fine where we are. I have good players for the most part, if I can't get them to see the game as I do. I think during our next scrimmage I'll take two players out at a time and get them to watch with me as their teammates bunch up like granny's underwear and steal the ball from each other.

Apparently our team name will quite possibly be Yo Momma. I don't care personally, but I explained to the vociferous suggester of the name that he had to get the written and signed agreement from each mother represented by a player on the team. I don't know who he asked, but he seemed to think that he had gotten that sort of thing with something an awful lot not written and/or signed. Somehow that led to everyone swarming to their cars and suddenly practice was over.

I've completely forgotten to give them my "all I want is your very best" speech. I'll have to remember that before the game Saturday.

Soccer practice is the only exercise I've gotten since last soccer season. I can't last for shit with those kids, which I really hate because I really love working directly with them. We're still at a point in life when I can generally beat them, but they are also getting to where they can beat me. I actually love when they do that, because I feels it helps build their confidence. I do also admit that, were I in better shape, it wouldn't happen very often and doesn't now, but the twelve pack of beer a night and however many packs of cigarettes added to the sad, depressed and fairly sedentary existence I've stuck myself in . . .

Sorry, had to sneak a little melancholy in.

Other than all that, there isn't much else to say at the moment. I get to go out Friday night(tonight by the time this gets read.) We have an all night babysitter Saturday, so Momma and I both get to go do something. Christian pulled it off in the end to take Project Runway, and a new season of Top Chef starts next week.

Daffodils and Top Chef and soccer season. Maybe I'll blog Top Chef, but if I do, Momma has to accept that we won't always watch each episode together. We'll see.

And, yeah, we're done here for now.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

good deed

This was spotted while pumping gas. You can see that the notice has been corrected, which I thought was just really nice of someone, to take time out of their likely busy day. It really is the little things in life.