Solo (non) Daddery

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Aurora, IL, wearing slacks and a dress shirt, waiting for my 8:30 meet-up with colleagues to attend a training class at which I expect to learn little or nothing from the material — I’ll learn about what people learn about when attending this training.

KrisDi and the kids are at home. I took Monday off as a vacation day, and came in on an early flight on Sunday to give myself about a day and a half to putter about Chicagoland looking for beer and food.

First thing I did after leaving the airport was go to Portillo’s for an Italian beef sandwich. Then I went to Mikerphone and Une Année/Hubbard’s Cave, headed to my hotel, from which I Ubered to Off Color, then Half Acre, then walked to Spiteful, and Ubered back to the room. I texted Weesh updates periodically in case she felt like joining me for a beer (she didn’t).

The room was at Fieldhouse Jones, a strange, heavily sports-themed hotel. Aside from being poorly sound-insulated and having very noisy plumbing, it was a perfectly nice place to stay.

Monday morning, I woke up at 4 (not on purpose), checked out, and drove to Munster, Indiana, hoping to beat traffic. Mostly I did, except a tanker truck wrecked on the interstate just before the Indiana border, blocking all lanes of traffic. Myself and others got by on the shoulder. I have never seen a truck wrecked as badly as that one. I think it took out a quarter mile of guardrail.

At 5:45 AM in Munster, I didn’t have much to do. I checked email for a bit until the Riviera Restaurant opened. I very slowly ate way too much, and the local news told me that cleanup crews were going to have to close all lanes of the interstate (at least in one direction) for 10 hours to clear out the mess.

Then I had four hours to kill before Three Floyds opened. I drove around Munster and Dyer for a while, napped for a bit in a parking lot, got some coffee at a Dunkin Donuts, wandered around a couple liquor stores (and had a nice conversation about bourbon with the manager of the Cask and Cellar), then sat in the Three Floyds parking lot to read (finally finishing The Girl From The North, which I firmly do not recommend). I had a Scotch Egg (breakfast left me too full for a real lunch), went to Windmill and had a nice conversation with the server there (she got permission from the owner to sell me a four pack of Memes & Dreams straight off the canning line).

My next intended stop was One Trick Pony; Google said they opened at 3. I did the email thing for a while at a Dunkin Donuts. When I got to One Trick Pony, their door said they were closed. Their website said they opened at six. I gave up and headed to my hotel (it’s been a long time since I’ve had a long drive where the number of miles was pretty much equal to the number of minutes driving). I checked in, got some cold beer at a grocery store, picked up a pizza from Lou Malnati’s, and had dinner in the hotel. After confirming that I wasn’t going to meet up with colleagues, I visited Solemn Oath, and had a nice conversation with the bartender there, who was surprisingly familiar with my home town — she works for a logistics company that frequently uses some facility there when shipping things to and from Canada.

  • I was impressed with Une Année/Hubbard’s Cave. I really enjoyed the beer and the environment, and the other patrons brought out some impressive beers to share. The bartender was really excited about the beer, was engaged with customers (he seemed to know more than half of them). The people there were all beer people — you don’t stop in at this dingy looking place wedged into a strip mall between a dollar store and a Chinese restaurant because you want to look cool. I was horrified by the story the bartender was telling about one of the brewers having scalded himself by unknowingly opening a pressurized 180 degree water valve (sounds like he badly burned an arm, and I think he probably got lucky with that).
  • Off Color makes some interesting and good beer. I’m glad I stopped there. The vibe seemed more “downtown” — more crowds of young folks wanting a beer being tolerated by the staff (that’s actually a really good description of how I felt about the service).
  • I don’t think Windmill makes as good of beer (in general) as Half Acre or Three Floyds, but since I had never tried any of it and they had a couple beers that were really good, I really enjoyed this stop. The bartender was a young goofy girl who really liked the beer and was watching old sixties-era sci-fi/western TV). There were no other patrons.
  • Three Floyds still has some really good beer (Zombie Dust and Lazer Snake are my favorites right now), but doesn’t seem to have come up with anything new that is really interesting. It’s kind of a busy place.
  • Half Acre still has some good beer, but hasn’t wowed me with anything for a long time.
  • Solemn Oath makes solid beer, but nothing really impressed me. I liked the space and the vibe.
  • I liked Mikerphone, but wasn’t that impressed.
  • Spiteful was OK.

I had an interesting experience being on my own for a day and a half with no actual responsibilities besides deciding where to go next, when, and how to get there safely. I felt guilty — like I was doing something I shouldn’t be doing (or not doing something I was supposed to be doing), and someone was going to catch me and I was going to get in trouble.

I had a good time. I think I would have enjoyed it more with someone else (but I’m not totally sure, to be honest — I like spending time with people, but I really don’t feel like I get that much time to myself. It was nice to do what I wanted to do and not worry about what other people wanted. Selfish I suppose, or self-centered, or both, but still true.

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Sippy Cup of Pencils

Chilkat came downstairs a minute ago, and when I asked her how she slept, she started telling me about a dream she had. This is one of the first times that she told me she remembered a dream, and seems to be the one she has remembered most clearly.

Here is her description:

I was playing Pictionary with Chilkoot. He was drawing a sippy cup. Then he drew a line in it. I asked him if it was a pencil in there. He said yes. Then, later, for no reason, I sat on my pillow in bed, and a sippy with a pencil in it shot out from under the pillow. It was a very confusing dream.

Posted by snaotheus in Dreams, Family, 1 comment

Technical Difficulties

I learned today that the direct links to photos I’ve been using in my posts don’t work. I’m pretty sure they worked before, so I think something changed, but I don’t know what. So, I’ll have to look into it. Which is annoying.

It appears to work as long as the filename doesn’t contain an apostrophe (like the first photo link in the last post) or parentheses (like the second photo in the last post). I would assume this extends to some set of special characters, which is annoying. I’m not going to worry about going back and fixing old ones, but I’ll get rid of special characters in file names for future posts.

Posted by snaotheus, 2 comments

October 2019 Part II

Click here or on the photo above for the rest of the pictures

Chilkat found a YouTube channel of a dude giving step-by-step instructions for drawing various cutesy things. She did a number of them, and she and I did a couple together as well. This was her favorite.

We went out for dinner and ice cream with Miss K. Dinner at Tipsy Cow, ice cream at Molly Moon’s. We’re still planning on going to her wedding in Hawaii after visiting my older brother in Guam next year during the kids’ spring break.

Chilkoot had a karate tournament, where he competed in sumo, “fastest punch”, and kata. He got a bronze medal in each, and had a meltdown moaning that he’s terrible at everything (I decided not to share the photo of him curled up on the ground crying). Haven’t figured out yet how to get him to see it as a challenge to overcome rather than a life-ending failure.

The next day we went to the pumpkin patch, and learned that they had started charging admission for all the activities. Since it was also raining or expected to rain, we skipped the activities, ate some donuts, got pumpkins, and left. Chilkat got a huge pumpkin, which she eventually painted with cats. KrisDi and I got medium-large pumpkins; she painted hers, and I carved mine and gave it a beer. Chilkoot got a little pumpkin and painted it white to be a ghost (apparently our engineering suggestion of buying a white pumpkin instead of painting a pumpkin white was total anathema).

We finally decided to replace the incorrectly assembled light fixture in our downstairs bathroom (the rings that held the old glass covers up didn’t actually fit the threaded bases, so occasionally they’d fall down and dangle on the bulbs). KrisDi found a new one on Amazon, and I put it up Halloween night while the kids were answering the door and giving out candy.

Both of the kids had their school Halloween party. KrisDi went to Chilkat’s and I went to Chilkoot’s. Chilkoot had fun and barely restrained his wildness. Chilkat apparently was unhappy the whole time. She stood in a corner instead of playing a game, scowled and complained throughout.

Finally, last but not least, we dressed up and tried to bum candy off our neighbors. We were all characters from Harry Potter. I was Dumbledore, KrisDi was Bellatrix Le Strange, Chilkat was Hermione and Chilkoot was Harry. We made it through the neighborhood, and then went back home for me to work on the light fixture and for the kids to hand out candy.

My costume was godawfully itchy. I was so glad to get it off and take care of the light fixture. The kids continue to puzzle me about this whole Halloween business. The single most important thing on my mind was optimizing and maximizing my sugar intake experience. Find the right neighborhoods that give the best candy, go as fast as you can to get as many houses as you can, trade with your brothers to get the most of your favorite candies and the least of your least favorite candies (Good & Plenty). Our kids come home and forget about their candy — not even eating any as far as I can remember.

Random photos:

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment

October 2019 Part I

I got new tires for my car. Super exciting, right? No wonder I have such incredible readership numbers!

Chilkat’s education has taken an unfortunate turn. With the introduction of division and the style of homework mandated by her school, and likely enabled by the style of her teach, she’s decided that she hates school, math homework “feels like murder”, and most nights have turned into a raging battle to get her to stop bitching and moaning and just fucking do her fifteen minutes of homework.

She’s been falling behind on in-class work as well. She had this “exit ticket“, which she brought home with no answers written (including her name) — just the maniacal scribbling on the bottom and these nice Pokemon drawings on the back. When KrisDi made her sit down and actually do the problems, it took her about 30 seconds. She understands the material fine, she’s just decided to bitch, moan, and fight every step of the way. Totally fantastic parenting experience. Just fucking delightful.

KrisDi had a discussion with Chilkoot about his diet, too — he’s been turning to the same shitty menu items more and more frequently. “You need to eat more than Fruity Pebbles and green onion pancakes” So he requested steak and bacon, please. Ate it right up. I think the same night, Chilkat was also eating bacon, went somewhere, and when she came back she mistook her plate of ketchup as melted bacon.

I went to Yakima with my friend and ex-co-worker Mr. JJ. It’s our second time actually going to the Fresh Hop Festival, our fourth time going out there during the weekend of the festival, and the first time we spent two nights there. It was very productive. I think we visited a dozen breweries (Varietal and Single Hill being the new high points and Bale Breaker being the good old standby). It was a really nice time. After the festival, we hung out with a biker gang (well, our table was right in the center of an area occupied by them, anyway).

While I was in Yakima, KrisDi took Chilkat and Chilkoot to their cousins’ birthday party at Pump It Up. She also took them to Salmon Days. And Chilkoot apparently tried on the same hot dog costume that Chilkat did two years previously.

When I came home, I found a fantastic bottle of whisky for the Pope’s birthday. It won a blue ribbon! We got gussied up for family photo day (Chilkat, Chilkoot, KrisDi, and snaotheus). The photographer who has done mini-sessions with us the last couple years went back to school, so this year we used the photographer that she uses. We’ll share pictures when we get them, of course.

Chilkoot and I went out for book club while Chilkat and KrisDi went to the park and to Ivar’s for lunch. When we got home and ran out of things to do, I kept Chilkoot busy by letting him trim my neckline (before, during, and after). Others seem to question my judgement on this.

Also, I have no idea where this came from, but the kids played with Silly String.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 2 comments