Who’s Your Daddy?

IMG_0916

Do you know how hard it is to find a good “Father’s Day card for my Husband” these days? Holy shit. You roll up to the section and it’s a sea of  every shade of blue. Things like: “To My Dear Hubby” (vomit), beer, golf, fishing or even worse, jokes alluding to how well trained I have you, or how I grateful I am you’re around because things would never get done without your helping fix things, mow the lawn or unclog drains. Really. Nothing says “Happy Father’s Day!” like being thanked for taking out the garbage. It’s a sad state of affairs. Any jackass can mow a stupid lawn or crack open a beer. Not sure how that constitutes being a good Father but somewhere the staff at American Greetings and Hallmark are on drugs or are really running out of ideas.

You see, almost 9 years ago your epic sperm destroyed my egg wall. It was a pretty bad round of drunk, Valentine’s Day sex, too! I am so glad we can look back and laugh about that one cause it was sloppy and sad. Yet, despite that hot mess, the egg destruction brought forth an amazing child and because of her you can add “someone’s Father” to your resume of adventures. But it is what came after that really counts… the unconditional love, being there, catch playing, bike riding teaching, the mustache sticker wearing, the sopping of little girl tears on your shoulder, showing up, the discussions about the ways of the world and how to conquer it. Now that is the kind of shit makes you a Dad. It has nothing to do with lawn mowing, grilling meats in the back yard or your personal hobbies. None whatsoever.

Let’s get real here. Not anyone can be a good Dad. The word “Dad” is thrown around about as much as a ball at a baseball game and truth be told, not everyone deserves it. It takes a lot of work, attention, self sacrifice, patience. Lots and lots of patience which you seem to be the king of. (You can add “Josh, King Of Patience Island ” to your resume too). This Dadding business takes a stand up and solid kind of man. And I don’t mean that in a “bearded, ball scratching, farts in his sleep and takes 20 minute shits” kind of man either.

These card making assholes got it all kinds of wrong.

There is no ruler on this Earth that could measure just how immensely you are loved, respected and appreciated. You’re not my Daddy, but you’re Reza’s and you’re really damn good at it. She is one of the lucky ones to have someone like you to look up to.

So Happy Father’s Day to you Josh. Today is your day to chill, pat yourself on the back and do nothing but you…. ok, and me if you’re down. *wink*

December: the photo edition

In true slacker form, I am sharing some December photos in January. AWESOME.

First off, I couldn’t be more stoked for our yearly ornament acquisition in the form of mariachi calavera. I am even more excited to be back in the land of World Market.

Then there were one a many nerdy gifts on xmas morning.

Oh yeah, and Santa came *wink*

Gomez conquered the mountain of holiday carnage!

Three days later was Josh’s birthday. I surprised him in the form of Spencer! We went to the Haight…

and then to Ameoba! Josh scored some Cure vinyl and a David Bowie poster for Reza’s room.

Then we headed to The Tonga Room where he was surprised with even more friends, dangerous tiki drinks and one a many happy faces! Much fun was had and he was totally BAMBOOZLED by all the surprises I had planned for him!.

Me? Well, behind the camera as usual and I have been sick since xmas day so I am not in the “self portrait” kinda mood. You get my fingernail.

The end.

the other day…

It is no news that Josh has been gone a lot in the past month. He hasn’t had a day off since mid October, paired with 12+ hour days, we find ourselves feeling the void. It has been a pretty difficult time for us because we all operate at our best when we are together. I am sure people would call this codependency but honestly, I can’t help it if I actually adore the person I married. He’s my person and that’s just the way it is and when your puzzle is missing a piece, it just isn’t the same picture.

We did this two years ago when we lived in NJ and it sucked. Even the most solid of structures can weaken when the foundation is going out. But, just like last time, I have been holding down the home front as best as I can. But I am being met with some lashing out on behalf of the girl, high stress and not handling things in the best way.

I had a bad day this week. It started with a sick child, a shitty excuse for a Drs. office who wouldn’t take us because we were out of pocket patients, coupled with sitting in some gnarly traffic, getting yelled at by an asshole parking assistant and ending in Josh having to stay at work till 2 a.m.. It just all came to a head and when I had to say goodbye to Josh yet again, I lost my cool and erupted into tears.

I don’t know how people do it. I don’t know how families part ways for extended periods of time and manage. I couldn’t do it. I like my coffee with sugar and cream and when one of those is missing, it just doesn’t taste the same.

And then this happened….

After Josh drove away, Reza and I came upstairs. I sat in my desk chair to peel off my boots, tears drying on my swollen face. Reza walks over to me, puts her arm around me, hand on my back and rubs up and down….

It’s ok Mama, I miss him too. But remember, he is always here and here” – and she pointed to my head and heart.

Then was the moment I got slayed by a 7 year old.

I would like to think I am a fortress and hold up like rock and stone. Like Helms Deep…. but even Helms Deep has its weakness and at that moment I was a pile of rubble.

I couldn’t believe I was getting talked down by my littles, reassuring me that things would get better. I don’t see that side of her very often. But I saw her at that moment. Many is the day where I question whether I am doing a good job at this parenting business and then she goes and says something like that and it makes me feel like even though I could always be a better Mom, somewhere in there is a reflection of us and I couldn’t be more proud.

that B!

Dearest J,

When we moved back to CA, we knew this day would come. Such are the woes of property opening. Another month of endless working, lack of sleep, lack of connection and little to no time together and you’re only about half way there. It sucks balls but we expected this, at least this time we are a little more prepared.

Every time you want to strangle someone, every time you feel pulled in ten different directions, every time the phone rings and you know it’s one you don’t want to take. The days are rough and they may get tougher but at the end of the day you get to come home to this…

There aren’t enough words or things I could do that could explain how proud and grateful I am for everything you do for this family. You are an amazing father, husband, partner and person. I only wish there was more I could do to alleviate the stress (no seas cochino!), to help you understand the immensity of my gratitude and grasp the magnitude of what the world feels like when you are within feet of me. I got you… if anything to have that tasty adult beverage on hand and give you one a many flashes of boobies.

I love you Josh, you got this.

-I.

P.S. try not to kill anyone, ok? 😉

lethal weapon

“There are darknesses in life and there are lights,
and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.”
― Van Helsing – Bram Stoker, Dracula

What else can I say that hasn’t already been said? Josh, is the butter on my toast, the Han to my Chewie, the Murtaugh to my Riggs (see what I did there?), the peanut butter to my chocolate. I could sit here all day and talk about great pairings and make a bunch of innuendo jokes about how he is the meat in my taco.. but… oh yeah. I guess I just did.

In any event, today Josh and I celebrate 9 years of marriage and 12 years of perfectly paired days. It hasn’t felt like this long to be honest, I guess that is what it feels like when your life has been surrounded by the best of company. I knew the minute I walked into his ex girlfriend’s house that he was The One, he thought, “I am gonna get in her pants… “. Typical. We knew from the moment we met, to the moment he moved in with me (two weeks later – yes, we cray) that it was for the long haul, and here we are: ups, downs, many laughs, very little squabbles, a nugget, a move to the other side of the country and hopefully a journey back home one day.

Even though I may bust his balls about snoring, forgetting to take out the trash like I asked him to, toilet paper bookmarks and peditos that could kill a small village, he’s mine and always will be. I know gold when I have it and you will have to pry it away from my cold, dead hands before I ever let it go.

I may not know shit about D&D, but I do know one thing, life with you is like rolling a 20 every day. You are the light of all lights, my light and I will love you to the last of my breaths.

Happy Anniversary Josh.

a guest post: holiday hooch

A few years ago, around Christmastime, I walked into one of the local San Diego watering holes, intent on some tap-side deliciousness because Christmas beers are where it’s at, you Philistines, and in that town you have a literal shit ton of badassery to choose from.

There was really no reason to use that phrase, “you Philistines”, but in the spirit of my daughter saying inappropriate and incorrect comments, I’m leaving it there. Like Daughter, Like Father.

Anyway, so we stroll in to this joint (which will remain nameless because they actually sell what you’re about to see and I don’t want to get some lame Cease and Desist order that arises out of one someone googling that shit on the internet.)

Anyway, so we stroll in to this joint and Styles tells me, “Dude. Have you had the Holiday Bourbon?”, and while I’m intrigued, I blew it off ’cause I was on a mission for some St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. He, however, created a monster when he asked me to take a moment, here at the beginning of the evening, and just try a bit. If I don’t like it, I can revert to the classics, but just give it a shot god dammit.

Yeah, I liked it.

I liked it so much, that’s all I drank that night. Literally all night. They had maybe a bottle or so left and I think between the two of us Tom and I polished off most of, if not the rest of that batch. SO SO SO delicious!

Not only was I left with the obvious hangover, but with the burning desire to replicate this greatness on my own. It can’t be that hard, I reason, thinking that if someone else can infuse that shit, why can’t I? But it’s not good enough to create my own concoction. No. One must rip off someone else to justify the total endeavor, thus beginning my hunger and yearning for the recipe for Unnamed Bar’s Holiday Bourbon.

Fast forward to last fall, when The Sheriff came to town for some goodtimes visiting. We got to talking about the Holiday Bourbon, because she not only frequents the establishment which sells the greatness, but she knows the bartenders pretty well. We got to shenaniganizing and determined that if she could get me the recipe, I could probably make this shit with some pretty simple ingredients.

Voila! A conspiracy was born!

True to form, Tania fulfills her end of the bargain and ends up drunk-texting me the recipe – from the bar! – after badgering the shit out of her hookup. Well played, Nefarious Sheriff! Grow a goatee soon so you can be Evil Sheriff!

What you’re about to witness is the contents and production of this text, this holy document, electronically seething with delicious badassery.
______

Ingredients:

1. Bourbon: One 750ml size bottle.

You don’t want to use a Bourbon that’s too expensive because, in reality, you’re corrupting and ruining the original flavor. If it’s a great liquor, don’t jack it up. If it’s a $30 to $40 bottle of Buffalo Trace or Knob Creek or some boutique name of some sort, jack away.

2. Apples. One or Two Large Apples per bottle. (Go with two, just to be safe. I recommend this.)

All ingredients are key, but this one is the lynchpin of the flavor profile. Without the right apples, you’re going to get flavorless gruel. I recommend a VERY sweet apple type, like Honey Crisp or Fuji apples, but I’m sure a nice sweet/tart green apple would be awesome, too, I just haven’t tried it yet. The key is to get an apple that has a very powerful flavor. None of this Red Delicious bullshit, ’cause that’s not going to do you a bit of good.

3. Vanilla Bean Pods. Four full-length pods per bottle.

If you can, buy Organic Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. Someone explain to me why they’re called Bourbon Vanilla. Is that because it’s meant to go in Bourbon? I THINK SO!

4. Cinnamon Sticks: Four long sticks per bottle. (Note: Start with less and then taste test as you go. Some cinnamon can be stronger and too much will ruin your batch… if you feel it needs more later on, add another stick and so forth)

Again, if the cinnamon sticks are stale, your shit is going to taste shitty. So avoid the old ones in your grandma’s pantry and go to Whole Foods to pick up some good ones. It’s worth it. Listen, the cinnamon can ultimately make the taste go metallic and you don’t want that: if you’re going to try to impress your friends with your Evil Scientist ways, making sure it doesn’t taste like Lead and Sadness is a good way to go.


Ah, how pretty! (Ingredient ratio not to quantity.)

The easiest part of the process is putting all the business together. The worst? THE WAIT. Lamesauce.

However! It’s worth it. So here’s what you do:

1. Get yourself a resealable jar from the Container Store. You’ll also need a vessel in which to put your Deliciousness, so I’d recommend a 750 ml glass flask or some other decanter. Not including the fact that you want all of your ingredients submerged in the Bourbon, you’re going to eventually make more of this shit, so I’d recommend working with a larger size jar.

2. Slice the apples VERY THIN and put them in the jar. Better yet, get yourself a mandolin and just slice the damned things over the jar and directly into the container. You want the juices. Don’t forget to core your apples, kiddies! We don’t want seeds and poison in our hooch, now!

3. Using cooking scissors, cut the ends from your Vanilla Bean pods directly into the jar which is now full of thinly sliced apples. Now, cut the pods themselves lengthwise so they’re split down the center. You can either place them directly into the jar or cut them in half – your call. If you have a smaller jar, cut the pods; you need them to stay submerged in the liquid the entire time.

4. Using brute force and manliness, break the cinnamon sticks in half while growling and/or grunting. This will make you feel awesome while handling such a non-manly ingredient. Place the broken halves into the jar. Continue grunting. Pelvic thrusts are also appropriate.

YOUR JAR SHOULD NOW CONTAIN:

Sliced Apples, Dissected Vanilla Bean Pods, and Manly-Like Snapped Cinnamon Sticks.

Now!

4. Pour the jar of pure, unadulterated Bourbon into the jar, over the ingredients already contained therein. The first time you do this, you may become wistful. The second time you do this, you will rejoice, for you know what’s coming. It’s very much like Buttsex in this way.

5. VIGOROUSLY Shake the Concoction Jar THREE TIMES DAILY for TWO WEEKS. None of this swishing around crap – that helps no one. Grab the jar and shake that bitch like the neighbor’s yappy little dog. Protip: Have the jar waiting for your wife when she opens the shower curtain. 😀


Your pre-straining goo, complete with Straining Tools. The smell is going to kick you in the face.

Typical gestation time is TWO WEEKS, but I’d recommend a tasting after 10 days. For me, cinnamon is a strong flavor and I’m not too keen on a super cinnammony flavor, so I ended up pulling half of mine out around that time. But it’s up to you. If you’re digging the flavor profile, leave it in for another four days and…


Get it now?

Strain that shit into a Flask of Outright Majesty!

Ghetto Setup Straining Tools:

1. Mesh Coffee Strainer.

Yeah, make sure you clean this out nicely. Coffee flavor won’t go with this so well.

2. Funnel.

Funnels are just cool. Getting to use one for legitimate purposes is even cooler.

Regardless of what tools you end up using, just make sure you have a very fine strainer: during the infusion process, you’re going to have a bunch of vanilla flecks from the bean pods and shake from the cinnamon sticks and you don’t want that business in your glass at the end of the evening.

The Carnage and the Glory

You have one other option here, which is to press the liquid out of the Apple Slices and into the flasks/bottles. The first batch did not include this procedure but the second time was Ivonne’s idea. The apples absorb a lot of the bourbon and we can’t waste it now, can’t we? With the compression, you get a bit of sediment that forms in the bottom of your flasks. If you don’t mind that, awesome. I think it adds a bit more flavor, so I just shake the bottle before I serve myself.

As for serving suggestions, it all depends on whether you like your shit cold or not. Personally, this flavor is BADASS when it’s cold outside and the Bourbon is room temp, giving you that extra sensation of Innard Warming. Depending on the apples you use, it can be sweet, so an ice cube wouldn’t be terrible. However! I tried this with two Whiskey Stones the other day and LOVED IT. So yeah, experiment with temperature, but feel free to drink it straight – my preferred method – or get your loved ones loaded by spiking their Hot Apple Cider with a splash of this jimmy, ’cause that’ll fuck ’em right up.

So what’s next?

For this particular concoction, I think a small – SMALL – amount of clove would be pretty cool, so I’m going to try that with my next batch. Cloves are rough, ’cause if you overdo it, the entire batch could be ruined. At an approximate total cost of $60 per batch, that would be very lame.

But what else do you think would work? Maybe some orange rinds to give it a true Hot Spiced Cider flavor? We’ll see!

Finally, as you spend this winter sitting cozily in front of the fire, sipping the Nectar of God’s Own Teat, thank Tania. Without her nagging and badgering, we’d never have this fine moment together.

Happy Holidays!

*******
Note from Ivonne….
When he’s not at work or pretending to not watch me while I am getting dressed, Josh can be found over on his blog www.hotchunkysalsa.com, which really needs to get dusted off.
*hint hint*

the little things…

You ever have those moments when people you know do something you didn’t expect and it makes you see them in a whole new light?

Yesterday Josh and I were sitting at the table, sharing our respective days like we always tend to do. He was playing a word game on his phone and the music from one of my r&b playlists was pouring out of the Bose dock. With no hesitation and with total lack of inhibition, Josh was sining along to Bobby Brown’s “every little step”. I sat there with a raised eyebrow and a grin. I didn’t know he knew those lyrics that well. He stops and looks up… in his head I can only imagine him saying, “Yeah, I know you didn’t think I knew it but I do. Woman! There are a lot of things you don’t know about me”.

This is the cool thing about long term relationships, every once in a while these little bubbles of air rise to the surface and make your heart skip a little. It’s like you tripped over and as you look to get up, there is a little newness there for you to fall in love with all over again. He tends to do it far more than he realizes.

Yeah dude, you singing Bobby Brown made my heart do the Roger Rabbit. It’s the little things.

it’s father’s day…

Well, technically it isn’t til tomorrow… but tomorrow I am on kid and man spoiling detail so I won’t have time to post this and wanted to get it out of the way. He gets his a tad earlier…

Josh is off having a man night of poker and drinking proportions. I guess they’re calling it a “man send off” or some testosterone fest name of the sorts. I am glad he is out having fun with his boys, those who showed up anyway. It ended up working out perfectly so I could get all my Sneaky McSneakerson whatnot done. You know how hard it is to hide shit from the man that is always home? Plus, I already mentioned I am a terrible secret keeper.

He left and off we went to get him some flowers and a seriously overpriced beer that he absolutely loves but doesn’t buy often cause well, I would have his head. I dunno, $20 for a bottle of beer is ridiculous but I don’t drink beer, maybe it is awesome and gives him a reach around when consumed… I will never know cause I don’t do the nectar of the hops, wheat and whatever else goes in it….


So today, I mean, tomorrow is Father’s Day. Everyone out there says they have the Worlds Greatest… at least those of us who got lucky. My Father, Enrique… reserved, hard working, not as emotionally expressive but hey, he was there and always made sure we were provided for. Huge respect for him. I only hoped that one day I could score on a guy that could come close.

When I met Josh and as the time passed by I knew that he was Dad material. Without a shadow of a doubt… and the minute that baby was pulled from me, the switch flipped. I saw it in him: unconditional love, tooth and nail, patience and strength… a natural through and through.

Four and a half years have gone by and nothing really changes other than our growing weed of a child. He is the best Father that Reza could ever have asked for. He isn’t the worlds greatest cause that would be hella vain for me to be labeling him as such, but in our world, he is the Zeus on our Olympus and the pillars of our Parthenon. A husband, partner and father through and through.

So this is for you my rock. Thanks for being *that* guy… reliant, observant and the forever balancing head of our household. Parenting is awesome but it is so much more rewarding when done next to someone who gets it. We are the lucky ones.

For true.