Stay tuned (patiently) as we occasionally throw updates on here about what steps we're taking to get to our end goals, DIY tricks and life-hacks, child-rearing tactics (strategery), etc.

Monday, April 30, 2012

THOUGHTS: A Review, and the Realisation of the Radio

Bart and I watched the second film in the Family Guy Star Wars mockery series, "Something Something Something Dark Side". I was expecting some good jokes, but holy crap.... I was blindsided by vulgar adult humor that I really wasn't expecting yet wasn't put off by either. Yes, I'm sure it could have been offensive to many people, but I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. So, Seth MacFarlane, if you're a reader, kudos to you.

If you're a reader of this blog, you know I've been doing a radio show. Tonight, I finally figured out that this radio is the soundtrack to the curious wanderer, the person that I used to be, that many of you possibly still are. This is music in your headphones while you're riding at Loveland or Whistler or Winter Park. This is what's pouring out of your boom box when you take out after Brown's Canyon or Ruby Horsethief, what's coming out of the radio at your cabin up in Helm Bay, or out of your laptop speakers while you GoogleMap your next roadtrip.

This music is me, it's you, it's part of a story. Just don't be afraid to write it.

CHRONICLES: A Quick Note

For the second time in as many weeks, I've succumbed to this damn flu-like cold. I haven't been sick with a stomach bug, but I've had a fever and a headcold to beat the band. Thursday night, my fever was so high that my upper lip split open. I went to work yesterday anyway, but left after lunch time, my tired, sweaty, frozen body just aching for some rest.

All of this was greatly compounded by a botched install job over in Klawock. We ran out of materials and were rushed to get out of there much earlier than I was planning. So I ordered us to cut corners and get the job done in a manner that I am all but ashamed of. Still, it looks like I will have the opportunity to make things right. It will just cost me a trip to Prince of Wales. I hope to take advantage and do it on a long weekend on the ferry.

Thank goodness that the brunt of this flu is attacking my head and chest and not my guts. I don't think I could handle that at this point.

With any luck, I'll shake this, and all will be right with the immediate world. Here's hoping that's sooner than later.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

THOUGHTS/CHRONICLES: A Message of Love Hidden in Vomit

Last night, after the radio broadcast, we picked Malcolm up from the Tuckers. He hasn't been feeling 100% for a little while now, and he pomptly passed out in the car on the way home. After an 8 mile drive, we pulled into the driveway, when suddenly, he woke up, coughed, and hurled. I stopped the car, got him out of his carseat, and just held him close to me. He wasn't done puking. After a few more heaves, he and I were both covered in a white mess, spotted with chunks of beef stroganoff. Now, you need to understand that, normally, puke makes me puke. It's disgusting. I can't even clean up dog poop without making that "throwing up noise" we're all familiar with. The smell alone is enough o drive me away. However, for some reason, there was magic here.

Disgusting, I know.  Stay with me here.

With my free, bare hand, and without hesitation, I carefully wiped the vomit from my son's face. I talked to him softly, chuckled at the ridiculousness of the situation. I gently walked inside, straight to the bathroom. We sat on the toilet, covered in the icky. I talked to him softly as I slowly turned on the bath. Then i threw all of his clothes and the two shirts of mine that were wrecked into the sink and gave my son a bath.

I guess the unlikely moral of this story is this: last night, maybe I didn't "discover" what unconditional love really is, but it definitely reinforced my idea of the things I unknowlingly am capable of overcomming in regards to the little guy in my life.

Amazing.

Monday, April 23, 2012

RADIO: Special Thanks to thesirenssound.com

Tonight, Bart and I have a mess of new and obscure music made possible in part by the good people at www.TheSirensSound.com. It's a great forum for post-rock and the like. Check it out and listen to the great bands they're presenting. Everyone will appreciate you, including your karma...

I opened the night with Ulrich Schnauss and "Goodbye", followed by "A Time To Be So Small" by Interpol, and closed out my set with a long song by Red Sparowes called "Mechanical Sounds Cascaded Through the City Walls and Everyone Revelled in Their Ignorance". No joke. Best title for a song ever.

Bart's first set features some awesome songs, too.  His opening song, "Snow and Light" is by Explosions in the Sky, a band some have called THE post-rock band. Their soundtrack to the football movie "Friday Night Lights" is arguably what made that movie so emotionally pulling. He followed this with a new release from The American Dollar called "Heavy Eyes Ignite". Their new album, "Awake In The City" just came out last month, and we're happy that KRBD is one of the first stations in the US to feature this band. Follow this with "Islands" by The Xx, a band with one of the sexiest female vocals I've ever heard, then "No Strands" by Ratatat, "Cherry Tree" by The National, and he closed out his set with "Like Knives" by City And Colour, a band who's singer has a wonderful, icy voice.

I opened up my second set with "Monuments And Melodies" by Incubus, a special track recorded at Red Rocks Amphitheatre just outside of Denver, Colorado. I followed this up with "He Says He Had He Sun" by Haida and "Weather To Fly" by English alt-rock studs "Elbow". "Friend of the Night" by Mogwai came next, a song from their 2006 album "Mr. Beast", which Allmusic has said was "possibly the most accisble yet sophisticated album Mogwai (have) released." This shot was chased by another track by The National called "England", which closed the set.

Bart's second set was another awesome round of Bartholomew D. Opening with the awesome energy of Lykke Li, we played "I Follow River", followed by Ratatat's groovy "El Pico", a song that it's impossible not to bob your head to. Rounding it out, he played "Hot Like Fire" by The Xx, another new track called "As We Float" by The American Dollar, and "Welcome Ghosts" by Explosions In The Sky.

Our finale was a song called "The Fall" by a band called From Oceans to Autumn. The album is an EP simply called "The Flood/The Fall EP", named after the two tracks on it. This is a very good, heavy sampling of instrumental post-rock. If Caspian were PG and Cloudkicker were R, this would be PG-13... a nice blending of heavy guitar, a faster pace, and a synthetic orchestral overtone. It was an excellent way to close out yet another episode of The BattleWagon Chronicles, hosted so graciously by member-supported KRBD Ketchikan, community radio. If you love this music, or even if you read this blog and don't like the music, call the station at (907) 225-9655 and throw a couple bucks this way. It makes all the difference.

CHRONICLES: "Cars", Food, and Chores

Lyss left town Thursday to go to a raver's reunion back in Denver. That's left Bart and Malcolm and me to fend for ourselves, and while it's probably a horrid thing to say, I've gotten a tremendous amount of stuff done since she's been gone. We ran to the dump this morning, as well as stopped off at the shop to email off some sticker designs to Denver. Then Bart left and went to do stage-work for First City Players, and I stayed home, did dishes, cleaned the front hall, took Mlcolm outside to check out a boat, and caught up with my friend Ryan. The plan for the evening is to get some grub, pick up a grll, maybe do some burgers and what not, and just enjoy a nice Alaskan evening. We got an invite to go to the Monthly Grind out in Saxman. That's a local variety show of sorts, and tonight's is hosted by our friends Jenn and Claire. Claire stopped by on her way in, looking a '60's-era fabulous. However, Bart and I have been looking forward to some down time. Malcolm took a short nap in the car earlier, so we're hopin he passes out early.

We supplimented our movie collection with the first "Cars" movie, a very refreshing change of animated pace. I got a little sick of the second one.

Phew.

All of this stuff going on, and I still feel very empowered knowing that I'm doing a pretty good job being a single dad for a week. In some ways, it's even a little easier than negotiating the typical marriage lines. Of course, in other ways, it's substancially more difficult.

But, we humans keep plugging away, yes?

Monday, April 16, 2012

CHRONICLES: Molars Ain't Molars Until They're Strep...

So Malcolm's alleged "molar" issues aren't those at all. After anoth night full of fits and bad sleeping for everyone (Lyss on the recliner with the boy, me on the couch at the ready), we took him to daycare. Jenn said he had an epic nap, sleeping from 9:30 to 1:30 this afternoon. Cat had said that this wasn't a nap as much as it was a temporary coma. When I picked him up after work, I noticed a rash. When I got home, Lyss insisted that we call the sawbones. After a detailed conversation of me answering yes/no questions, the conclusion was drawn that we take him to the emergency room. After a relatively short time with an awesome, knowledgable doctor with a tie-dye t-shirt and a very cool nurse with SpiderMan stickers, the diagnosis wasn't molars or an ear infection... it was Strep Throat! Apparently, his tonsils are swollen and white, and the rash and fever he's been devoping are side effects of his immune system cleaning house. Poor guy.

The positive note is that I'll get to spend my afternoon with him tomorrow, and I will probably get to watch twenty one hours of geeky movies (Star Wars and Lord of the Rings). Plus, the bittersweet side effect is the fact that the triedand tested theory of daddy being joy and mommy being comfort is starting to evolve... the comfort of daddy is becomming somewhat more prevalent (much to mommy's shagrin).

With a kid, every day is an adventure. My friend Ryan once told me that the Hebrews believe that a man isn't really a man until he's fathered a kid. Any male can do that, but I'm finding that really being involved with the process is as much a testament to that statement as pregnancy is to a degree. Women are typically cited with the brunt of the burdon, but this boy has taught me how much a dad can mean to a kid, and how much a man can grow as a result.

CHRONICLES: Wrath of the Molars

My weekend has been a challenge. I was going to use the word "epic" to describe said challenge, but that word, like the words "adventure", "awesome", and petty much any cuss word, has been overused, it's meaning nearly negated by such. There was once a time when a person would be upset enough to cuss, and that's when you knew they meant business. Now people cuss all of the time. Everything is awesome. Trips to the local burger joint are epic. A successful shopping trip is an adventure. What happens if someone's driving acrossa hot desert, breaks down, and has to walk and all they have is a half a gallon of water and an extra shirt? If a burger is epic, then this must be an experience only dwarfed, perhaps, by the book of Revelations as considered factual... but I'm getting way off topic.

My challenge has been a lot more personal. It's now seven minutes after midnight. I finally broke Malcolm's fever (again), but he's wide awake. We napped for a couple of hours earlier this evening, but we've been awake since 9:30.

I suppose if I'm going to claim my entire weekend as a challenge, I should start at Friday night. After work, we went to the Tucker household for our inagural "Friday Night Burger Night". Bart had mixed ground beef and ground buffalo, and Jeremiah grilled them ever-so-gently on a charcoal grill. I had some sharp cheddar and pepper jack melted onto mine. The burgers themselves were heavy, round, and juicy. Delicious. I placed mine on a slightly-steamed bun, pre-dressed with mayonaise, and topped it with three strips of bacon, lettuce, red onion slices, catsup (I'm going to try to bring this spelling back), and spicy brown mustard. It was almost identical to Bart's, but he had avacado slices on his, too.

To garnish my plate, I filled the little space not occupied by this burger with some Bush's baked beans and some classic Lay's bbq chips. To was it down, some sort of blueberry lager with an 8% alcohol volume. All in all, it was a fabulous meal. Not epic, as nobody died cooking it, but really, it was pretty damned tasty. Afterwards, we hung out, put Mal to sleep, and enjoyed some adult time.

Saturday was relatively non-eventful. Lyss went to work for a few hours. I had kicked around taking Mal into town to catch a glimpse of the first cruise ship of the year to arrive in Ketchikn, but he was in a pretty clingy mood, so I opted for some simple playing time outside with him. When Lyss got home from work, Bart and I went back over to the Tuckers, and we played a game of Risk. I mistakenly misread the rules, assuming that new packaging, game pieces, and setup rules meant a radically different method of play. Almost 2 hours into the game, puzzled, I reread the rules and discovered to my shagrin that I messed up. We went back to old-school style of playing, and Jeremiah, who had been amassing armies under the new rules (showing high adaptability, it must be noted), quickly routed Bart and Cat. I, the last holdout, was swept in the next turn.

At about 11:15 last night, we went home to a crying Malcolm and stressed out Lyss. After briefly discussing his fever, I gave him some ibuprofin and read Hop On Pop. He mellowed out quickly. I forgot to mention that he was up with me at 3:30 that morning. We fell asleep on the recliner around 1:30 this morning. We woke up again 3 hours later.

Today, I did some dishes, and then Steve and I helped Cannon move some furniture to his new apartment. Two truckloads up three flights of stairs and around the back of a house. Then I came home, and the rest of the story is the beginning of the blog.

The title lends itself to the fact that Mal's fever seems to be related to the molars he's cutting in the back of his mouth. I gave him some benadryl tonight, both to help with some of the hives he's had, an to (hopefully) help us both sleep a relatively full night. He just passed out about fifteen minutes ago. It's 12:30. I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

CHRONICLES: Keeping up with the Chaos

The chaos of being a father, husband, and brother is starting to turn itself into normalcy. I don't find myself bitter that I haven't had the appropriate amount of breaks or time for myself to do stuff like blog and journal. Instead, it's been an issue of simply plugging away at the things that need to be done. Cleaning. Eating. Bathing the kid. Filling the gas tank. The mundane stuff needs to be getting done, and I have the capacity to do it. I know I do. I had one hellish week last month where I did it all by myself, and I did it. It went just fine. So what is there to complain about? Everyone's as supportive as possible. The show on krbd continues to be successful, even if "Hurricane Irene" from Craig called about 30 times last night to tell me all about her experiences at the Hill Bar. But Malcolm is happy. Lyss is managing. Bart is staying busy. Life isn't really that bad. Work has kept me going at least 40 hours a week, and that's never bad for the pocketbook. If only I could shake this illness, then i'd be square. The illness is for chumps. The headcold is all but gone, but the cough makes my lungs burn until just before the next, brutal round of hacking. Mucinex, tussen, all of these are barely making the symptoms tolerable. I'll get through though. I'm a Schleicher. That's what we do.C


Monday, April 9, 2012

CHRONICLES: Observations of Childhood Dreams in the Making

The general mood of this Sourdough hasn't really changed much, although the quality of life hasn't decreased, and so, for that, I am thankful. The Easter celebrations were relatively benign. We went up to our friend Claire's, a remarkable young lady who owns a local salon. She's got a big yard at her place, and a bunch of the kids, inluding Malcolm, got to run around her yard and find all of ther plastic eggs. Malcolm did well for a few minutes, before he pulled a Speed Racer and started trying to figure out new and exciting ways to ride lawnmowers, calling them "cars" as they have wheels. I'm relatively certain that I'll have to invest in that kids future by making sure he has a go cart, a 4-wheeler, and a tool kit. He's two years old, and he knows more about what he wants from life than I do. He's got it all figured out. When he woke up the other morning, before he even opened his eyes, he said "Seatbelt? Seatbelt? Key? Key?..... Drive!" When we were in Colorado, and had the opportunity to go to the park every day, all he wanted to do was chase cars down the street.  What I wouldn't give for that sort of focus and, for lack of a better term, drive.

Simplicity. I'm envious.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A State of The Chronicles

I'd like to be able to share some big epiphany with you, but I haven't had one of those in months. I'd love to be able to tell a story of some neat and hard-to-get-to place I've been, but aside from a trip to Colorado to see the family, I haven't left the house in months. Except for work, which I love, even if it's a typical, young professional-type 8-5 job. I would be thrilled, tickled even, to believe that I'm a DJ on a hip radio show that everyone listens to, but the only callers I've ever had are a former co-worker and some weird guy in Metlakatla who's called to tell me about how beautiful the moon is and how people who don't read books won't be able to tell when the aliens get here. I want to write this from an off-the-grid cabin or a yurt, but I live in a townhouse with all of the ameneties. My travel funds pay the rent and the utilities, and they buy me clothes I don't need. Paycheck to paycheck. Crisis to crisis. My thirtieth birthday less than three months away. A son who has been gone for more than 6 years. Another one who scared me with a 103 degree fever Saturday and nearly seized when I gave him ice water. (Yes, he's just fine now, thank the Gods.)

Life comes at you fast. My brother, who's 19 years old, is here trying to figure his stuff out. He's me ten years ago, five years ago, and tomorrow, maybe five years from now.

But there's hope. There has to be hope. Why would we be put here if we all didn't contain within us some magical key to unlocking a new world, a place with joy and contentedness? They say we were made in God's image. That means that we all have the potential to be gods in a way, yet, through lack of courage, will, or happiness, we just sit on that. We can get to that stuff later. We can follow through tomorrow. I don't have to do that thing right now. I'd rather cuddle with my son on a recliner, watch the same movie I've seen umpteen times, and have another cupcake, another beer, and when he falls asleep, another cigarette.

There is hope, right? There is some bigger picture that I'm not getting? Some clue? Or maybe I've gotten it, and I just didn't understand what it was when it was holding me down and punching me in the face? I don't know. All I can say with any certainty is that there is always love, and despite the chaos and the unfulfilled dreams, there will always be love. I love my boys. I love my sons. I miss both of them every day, despite the fact that one is with me for at least 12 hours a day and the other is with us all, all the time, a heart-breaking and empowering truth. It's the kind of truth that kicks your ass and leaves you there on the ground, not even wanting to get up, except for when another truth gives you no choice. I find myself stepping up to be a good dad, clinging desperately to the idea of what a good husband is, maintaining with some sort of luck the good employee/son/brother image, and all the while having no clue what I'm really supposed to be doing.

While I look for a path or a sign or a direction to go, I know deep down that I have always had the controls, the power to take my life where I wish, and have been simply following an easy path this whole time.

I'm writing still only because I haven't come to any real conclusion. This is a classic instance of what a good friend once said was "writing a whole bunch but not really saying anything". Maybe that's a fact, but I suspect there's a truth and a definition of said truth within these words. The truth is always here, waiting for us to blow the dust off of it and actually use the damn thing. Am I really that blind?

Am I really that blind?

Nothing is certain. Perhaps I am digging too deeply for this blog entry. But he words just keep coming, and I feel compelled to write them down with my two very coordinated thumbs.

The truth is not a mystery. The things that we do to prevent ourselves from seeing it, those are the mystery. When it's simple, it's glorious, and it's the factual self, not the constructed self.

Put down the complexities and wrap yourself up in the simplicity, the honesty, the work, and the appreciation for the raindrops, the wind, the flowers, the trees, the horizon.... we do too good a job at holding on to all of this crap and then defining ouselves by it. It's time to stop.

It's time to stop.





It's time to really, honestly, and sincerely begin. As yourself. As myself. As souls. As spirits. As gods. As contributing members of society, loving members of a family, loyal friends to good people.

It's time.