after being away from this for a while the solution came to me pretty quickly and I was able to apply it pretty fast... although I am still tweaking it.
I used a particle effect, which for some reason I never thought to use! duh! anyways, you just pin it to the player, make the X/Y randomizers make a "box" around the player, then set the speed of the particles to 1, acceleration to 0. As the player moves the particles will create a "wake" effect which is nice and exactly what I was after. it's also nice that the particle doesn't rotate with the Pinned behavior, so it works perfect.