An extended backpacking trip through the wilderness helps me turn the volume in my life down. I stop and look around. I notice the vast expanse before me. The way the light at dusk seems almost surreal and unnatural. The speed at which clouds move during the late afternoon at altitude. How serene the cool alpine breezes sound through tree branches creaking and bending above me. How fresh the mountain air feels in my oxygen-deprived lungs. How little any of the problems I carry with me on a daily basis matter. I become grateful for another day of good health. For a warm house to go home to. For a loving wife. For happy, healthy children. For a comfortable bed. Then, I start to notice the people I am hiking up the mountain with. They are people I have been hiking with for most of my life. The same tired jokes become expected. Stories of past trips are relived. Conversations drift aimlessly and we eventually realize that there is nothing left to talk about. We sit around a warm campfire, look up through the forest canopy at the vibrant night sky and enjoy the company we keep. In that moment I realize these are some of the closest people to me. These are the people I have lived my happiest moments with. People I have shared the most laughs with. People I have made it to the summits of mountains with. Memories are fleeting but one sticks out for me tonight. A few years ago one of these people tapped me on the shoulder as I sat quietly on an ancient boulder to watch the sun set over a distant lake we spent all day hiking to. He sat down next to me and handed me a flask of scotch he carried in his pack. I took a long pull from the flask and so did he. We sat next to each other for a long time. Neither one of us said a word.
Rest in peace, brother. Your flask of scotch will be missed.
The wife and I have been doing yoga for the past few months. I enjoy the workout and stretching my aging, longshoreman-like back. I do not enjoy the overuse of an obscure language from antiquity, the smug flexible students that can pull their youthful ankles up through the back of their assholes and the music. Especially the music. It is a combination of Indian restaurant waiting room, New Age spirituality and Yanni Live At The Acropolis. I know the goal of the soundtrack is to relax the soul into peaceful reflection, but it has the quite opposite effect on me. I spend much of my meditative experience fantasizing about tracking down whoever recorded the music and kicking their head through a plate glass window. Then a sense of calm washes over me and I feel alright with the world and my place in it. So I guess in a roundabout way, mission accomplished.
Boy: Daddy, where is Aunt Becky?
Me: Aunt Becky is at work today, buddy.
Boy: Where is Grandpa?
Me: Grandpa is in Ohio.
Boy: Where is Captain America?
Me: Fighting Nazis somewhere.
Boy: Captain America is awesome.
Me: Damn straight.
According to the lunatic fringe, we are only a few days away from the rapture. I wasn’t around for the first coming of Christ but I hear it was awesome. Especially if you were Roman.
I am guessing I will not be lifted up as one of God’s chosen if the rapture hits on Saturday as my life has been lived as far from mistranslated and misinterpreted biblical passages as possible. High places tend to give me vertigo and I do not care much for flying, anyway.
I have a problem with faith because I tend to apply logic, reasoning and critical thinking to most aspects of my life. Those things that I do not apply these aforementioned principles to I get through with a lot of yelling and scotch. I am happy “God” works for some people. I am even happier that grown adults who think the concept of Santa Claus is ridiculous also think that a supreme being not only cares about the good deeds they do but uses said deeds as a reason to love or not love them.
It’s not that I don’t believe in God. It’s that I just don’t care if God exists or doesn’t exist. I have bigger things to worry about. Like a wife to take care of, kids to raise, bills to pay and clients to design for. It seems like God’s “chosen” people think heaven is some kind of exclusionary country club, anyway. If I wanted to be around a bunch of elitist pricks I would hang out at the Cherry Creek Mall on the weekends.
While the boy’s birthing was a marathon fight like Rocky Balboa versus Ivan Drago (minus the sweet “No Easy Way Out” montage), the Broz girl child fired her way out of the chute like a Hitler-hating Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics.
As labor approached the noon hour, my mom asked if I wanted to run downstairs and get a sandwich with her because, “You need to keep your strength up too, Matty.” The wife gave me the go ahead as her contractions were light and I was not planning on being gone for long. 20 minutes later I walked back into the labor and delivery room and the wife had gone from being dilated at 4 to 6 (for those of you unfamiliar with the cervix during childbirth, this is like hitting a thirty-pointer in basketball).
Within the hour, the girl child was being tagged and our nurse was quoted as saying, “That was pretty intense.”
The House of Broz is currently fun, crazy and full of poop. Lots of poop.
Almost a year has passed since my last post on the MB. To say I have been focused on other things might be more of an understatement than when General Custer uttered, “Where did all these Indians come from?”
What have I been up to, you ask?
- Making Babies. The wife and I are expecting a girl child at the end of March. I am studying my Disney princesses and learning how to braid hair.
- Fathering The Boy. His obsessions with Spider-Man and trains are either legendary or emotionally damaging. He also has a penchant for stripping naked in the middle of the night and yelling at his stuffed animals.
- Broz Design-ing. I have entered year three and may have to let go of some of my control issues and hire some help.
I am drinking copious amounts of coffee and occasionally sleeping. Every so often I will wipe the crust from eyes and emerge from the design bunker to kiss the wife, play a hockey game and have a whiskey.
I have been a creative juggernaut this past year. I will be uploading a smattering of essays in the coming months that I am hoping to piece together someday into a book. I am currently getting my Rembrandt on and painting a self-portrait. Finally, I am back posting to the MB once again. Bestiality links will be imminent.
The wife and I braved freezing temperatures last night to watch game three of the National League Divisional Series in a four and a half hour affair that left our extremities numb. 50,000 faithful at Coors Field were in attendance, an impressive number considering the cold. Some highlights:
- The Rockies organization once again fucked up some form of the post-season. The game started at ten after eight. We arrived at the gates at ten ‘till eight, happy we would be catching the first pitch. We waited outside Coors Field for forty five minutes in the cold. No announcements as to why tickets were not being taken. No signage explaining why there was a delay. Chants of “Let Us In,” almost degenerate into an angry mob poised to rush the gates and get into the game. My sweet wife even mentioned to me how easy it would be to get away with kidney-punching Phillies fan in the mayhem.
- By the time we get to our seats, it is the bottom of the second inning and the Rockies are up 2-1. Fucking Rockies organization. I almost don’t enjoy my Rockies Dog and refreshing beer(s).
- Our section is fun early on; good fans, good spirits and an overall good vibe. This situation changes as sobriety slips away and is replaced with stupidity. Once polite Phillies fans sitting a few sections below us become raging assholes and start picking fights. One of the fans is a fat white guy who has long dreadlocks. Insults are hurled his way. “Cut your hair, white Bob Marley,” and, “Got any weed?” and my personal favorite (because I said it), “Go home to your bottle of shampoo, hairbag.”
- The couple in the row below us are stoned out of their mind. Through out the game, the guy eats slices of salami he has smuggled into the game via his coat pocket. No Ziploc. No brown bag. Literally eating slices of salami from his coat pocket.
- The girl below us dances like she is at a rave every time music comes on. Her balance is so off I remark to the wife, “That girl is going to take a spill.” Within minutes of my comment, it happens. The crowd is on its feet after Carlos Gonzalez belts a solo shot to right field and the girl takes a head plant into the seats below her, flips over another row, lands on her head again and somehow manages to finish the maneuver with her ass in a seat four rows down. She looks confused, disoriented and possibly concussed. Her boyfriend expresses no concern and casually takes another slice of salami from his coat pocket.
- We decide to head out in the bottom of the ninth as our infant son it at his grandparents and probably needs sleep. It kills us both considering Brad Lidge has been a nightmare closing ball games this season. By the time we arrive at the the car, the Rockies have lost 6-5, unable to cash in two walks.
Upon further reflection, I should have kidney-punched a Phillies fan to make my night more enjoyable. Especially the fat one with dreadlocks.
Fatherhood has yet to provide me with any kind of spiritual awakening. After speaking to the other expectant fathers in my various babying classes, I was expecting angels to descend from heaven and play a harp rendition of “MMMBop” while I recognized the kinship of all living things when my son was born. Instead, I was relieved that the boy arrived with no serious health/birth defects and his mother did not go all 19th Century on me and bleed to death during childbirth and leave me and the boy to resent our stations in life and grow bitter over the years while tending to the family farm. It’s cool to have an entire life dependent on you. It’s also scary as hell. I think the true measure of whether or not I was a successful parent will come when it is time for me to go into a nursing home. If I did well? The boy will come visit me with his family on a semi-regular basis and take me out for a steak on occasion while tolerating my rants at the waitress for being too slow with the gravy. If I didn’t do well? I will suffer in a multi-level town house in Thornton and eat Alpo out of the can and call my son “a fucking pussy” when he makes his annual call to wish me a happy birthday. Right now the boy is much like a zombie army; singularly focused on food, growing at an exponential rate and adverse to any kind of a rest. I am debating the Boggins Window Crib to make nap time more interesting. Not sure if that will get me the steak dinner or the Alpo. Only time will tell.
I am happy I committed to Broz last November. From a guy who has been laid off and fired more than most, I can tell you that offering to cut your own salary will do little other than show your employer you have no pride left. If anything, it makes you look desperate and afraid.
I take more risks with my income than most. There is no guarantee when my next pay check will arrive. My retainer clients may decide to cut losses and terminate their contracts tomorrow. Yet in spite of all this, I am happier than I have ever been professionally. I have always refused (sometimes at my own peril) to justify to anyone why my skills and abilities are indispensable. If my work did not speak for itself or it went about unnoticed, than I do not want to work for you.
My employment missteps have led me to where I am today. I am flourishing. I do not have to wear pants to work. I am making enough money to keep diapers on the boy. I would rather fail on my own that be somebody’s puppet. I do not like anyone’s hand up my ass, be it metaphorically or literally.
The first few weeks of parenthood have been rife with happiness, urine, poop and sleep in three hour clips. The boy is still getting the day/night schedule figured out so I am getting used to working at four in the morning while he squirms about and makes cute little noises. The wife has it far worse as she is the food source and usually the one waking up at all hours to nurse. Women really get the shitty end of the deal in nature. Menstruation? Check. Squeezing a living human out of your vagina? Check. On call for the first year (or first six years if you are a perverted fruitcake) to suckle said living human? Check. Then here I am, Sperms McGee. Just the male actor in a straight porn movie. The prop. “Stand over there with your penis and do not say anything stupid. We will call you when we are ready.”