Archive for July, 2010

You’re Giving Me What?

July 7, 2010

I meant to post this a while ago, so I’m sure a lot of you have seen it.  But in case you haven’t, here it is:  A little ditty from an actual children’s program.

If you are a parent, do not let your kids watch this show.

A New Normal

July 6, 2010

Usually on this site my main goal is to insult or praise a person or thing while throwing in as many dick and fart jokes as possible.  For once, though, I’m actually going to be serious, and I can’t think of a more appropriate time.

About two weeks ago, one of my best friends and someone I’ve known since the fifth grade, Nick Wojczulis, died.  As badly as I wanted to do this post when everything happened, I felt it was a better idea to let the initial shock and funeral pass before I spilled a bunch of words onto this site that could be easily be thrown to the wayside.  And though it still is difficult to think about, I feel that now I can give you a better idea of the Nick I had the pleasure of knowing for almost the past twenty years.

As I said earlier, I met Nick in the fifth grade.  We started hanging out and doing all the things that kids of that age do.  We played football, rode our bikes, and crashed at each other’s houses.  He kinda got pegged as a troublemaker, which made it seem weird, even to me sometimes, that we ended up as friends.  Still, though, he managed to get me out of my shell even back then.  In the sixth grade, he sold me his old CD boom-box (which sparked a CD collection that is somewhere around 2,000 currently).  In the seventh grade, he gave me my first Playboy (which sparked my obsession with Drew Barrymore).  And in the eighth grade, we were even arrested together for chucking milk creamers at cars and writing nonsense with a magic marker on the side of a liquor store.

Once in high school, Nick began to become the Nick that we all knew and loved.  If you ask anyone from our group of friends at that time there would be no disagreement:  Nick was our leader.  If he wanted to hang out at his house, that’s where we went.  If he felt like going down to the lake at 4:30 in the morning, we typically followed.  To me at least, Nick had all the qualities I wished I had.  He did what he wanted, he didn’t give a fuck what other people thought, and he could talk to a girl without having a panic attack.  I know they say that at that point in your life you shouldn’t be a follower, but I wasn’t the kind of person who could get through adolescence unaided.  And though I am still something of a dork, I have Nick to thank for being there through those formative years and insuring that my constant awkwardness didn’t always come across as creepy.

After high school and through our twenties, our group started living our lives.  Some of us left, and some of us returned.  As for Nick and I, well, he wouldn’t have let me leave if I tried.  When I spent a year or so living in Chicago, he was one of few friends who visited me (even though I was going back to Milwaukee twice a month).  If I went a week or so without seeing him, he would call me.  And after he spent 45 minutes telling me how ineffective the Packers’ “Nickel Defense” was, I would tell him I had to go.  Then, twenty minutes he would call again to tell me how great Gogol Bordello is.  Between me and a couple of other lucky people, it seemed Nick cared about his friends the way most people care about their families.  And I thank him for that, because it made the last few years that much better.

I talked to my mom the other day about how everything just seems a little off kilter.  My phone doesn’t ring at 11:30 when I’m trying to go to bed.  I’m no longer getting detailed descriptions of Nick’s bowel movements.  And my future wife is now the only one nagging me to get my pale ass to the beach.  Nothing seems normal anymore.  My mom looked at me and told me: “As tough as it may be and as long as it may take, you have to find a “new normal.””

As it true as that may be…

A “new normal” will be tough to find the next time I watch a Packer game.

A “new normal” will be nowhere in sight when I go to the cemetery to visit a friend.

And a “new normal” will be the biggest pill to swallow when Nick is not at my side on my wedding day.

But as impossible as it may be to find, Nick left behind so many people who cared about him, I know I won’t have to find that new normal alone.

RIP Nick

You will be missed.