Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trick or Treat

Greta will be fluttering around our neighborhood as a butterfly this Sunday, while Gus scavenges around (mommy's/daddy's arms) as the cutest skunk ever. Photos will ensue on FB aplenty, I'm sure, so stay tuned.

Halloween is a curious holiday, don't you think? It's a strange breed who enjoy it. Personally, I love it. You won't see me in a Twilight werewolf or vampire costume at work tomorrow, but I will nod with approval/amusement at those riding the subway in one. The witty, creative costumes are the best ones in my opinion though I will not complain one bit at the French maids, (adult) Catholic schoolgirls, naughty nurse/nun/librarian/bus driver and any woman dressing like someone from the Jersey Shore this weekend but that goes without saying. And yes, Greta will be a butterfly or the like until she's 30.

As a parent, the dress up part is easy to sell and experience enthusiastically with the little kiddos. The candy isn't so important right now as G-man is still pounding formula and little miss' treats are just an occasional cookie here and there.

The scary component of Hallow's eve is a little more difficult to introduce, however. Greta still gets freaked out occasionally if a bunch of us just clap and yell at the same time in close proximity to her. This brings us to a minor dilemma. When do we watch our first scary movies together? I don't want the kids to be so freaked out that they have nightmares or need to sleep in our beds, but it'll be fun to scare them at least just a little - when they're old enough.

I'm not a huge fan of horror movies, per se. But I do enjoy scary movies in a flossing/John Cougar Mellencamp/hurt so good way. In no particular order, here are a few my personal faves:

1.) Poltergeist - Saw this for the first time on HBO when my family took a road trip to visit one of my mom's college roommates. Little did the adults know as they chatted and laughed over a couple drinks in the next room that I sat terrified under a blanket, transfixed on the television hoping never to wear braces in my future adolescence.

2.) The Wizard of Oz - Yes, this is a horror movie as far as I'm concerned for a 7 year-old. I'm not sure how it holds up today against CGI or even documentary/Blair Witch/Paranormal Activity-like scary movies, but the wicked witch, the music that accompanied her bicycle riding, and the evil, flying monkeys rendered me sleepless on multiple occasions.

3.) Ghostbusters - Granted, I haven't seen this flick in years but the transformations of Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver into the gargoyle-like possessed keymaster and gatekeeper creeped me out. (Yes, I was and continue to be a slight pansy but "So what, who cares?" as Fred Armisen says a la Joy Behar from The View.)

4.) Silence of the Lambs - What I would give to be able to talk like Hannibal Lecter at work. Plaintiff attorneys might just dismiss their clients' cases voluntarily without any settlement offer if I could deliver lines like: "Quid pro quo. Yes or no, Clarice? Poor little Catherine is waiting." Too bad sequels water the original down.

5.) The Shining - The big wheel. The twins saying, "Come play with us, Danny." Tony living in Danny's tummy. The river of blood. Jack. Awesome.

6.) Friday the 13th - Great for token boob shots during a hook up scene followed immediately by one or both of the horny lovers massacred. The lesson, as always, don't ever try to get after it in a horror movie.

7.) Se7en - Other than Gwyneth's head in a box, I always remember the glutton's death for some reason. Spacey was great in this. It's tough to turn the channel whenever TNT mixes Se7en into the rotation with Road House and Red Dawn.

8.) 28 Days Later - Zombie movies could fill their own category as far as I'm concerned but my sister's cinematic obsession is contagious. Of all the Z films, this one got me hooked. It also triggers an impulse to scan the streets every so often for quick exit points in the event of sudden, civil unrest. Remember, crow bars and machetes don't need reloading.

Nos. 9 and 10? I'm leaving that up to you.

So those are my treats this week. If you prefer a trick instead, come on by 20 Gawaine this Sunday and don't be surprised to see a little Thriller dance coming at ya.

Happy Hallow's Eve, ghosts and goblins!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I've got nothing this week because my brain is shot and THE WIFE abandoned me with the kiddos to go out with her girlfriends tonight. Greta and Gus alternated like tag team wrestlers on me with hysterical crying spells as I tried to feed, bathe, change, and get them to bed. Once I was able to sedate them successfully, I got my revenge by gleefully selecting delete every time the DVR asked if it should turn the station from the NLCS Championship to Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, or whatever other horrible show was scheduled to begin.

Like a bad dream, I keep thinking about Saved By The Bell as a blog topic. With nothing else coming to mind, I guess we'll go with it. Re-runs of this show are on at 7 a.m. on TBS every weekday. I know this because the girl who works at the front desk of the gym who ignores me every morning as I enter or exit is deeply engrossed in whatever zany antics that Zack, Slater, Screech, and company are up to. Due to the fact that she's catching up on episodes missed from 20 years ago, half of the TVs in the gym are also showing it. So of course, I watch too when I'm struggling through an elliptical workout. But with no audio. And with the perspective of an archaeologist. Be warned, I have no point. Just a few observations.

First, Dustin Diamond has to be the most fake stage name in the history of terrible television. Second, I don't care how much action Dustin got from hangers-on or women currently in their 30s looking to blow away their girlfriends when opening a conversation with "Guess who I hooked up with last weekend?" - I would never, ever, ever, ever trade places with that dude.

As for Mario Lopez, is he the new and improved version of Dick Clark? That guy hasn't aged a single bit since he's been on the show. With the exception of no longer wearing pastel tanktops and Cavaricci jeans, he looks exactly the same. Well, maybe he's done away with the Latin soul glow too.

Every time I see Elizabeth Berkley, it makes more and more sense to me why she did the "Showgirls" movie. (I think the supposed male sex symbol for that movie was Kyle MacLachlan - a/k/a Bree Hodge's husband on Desperates - how funny is that?!)

Zack at least got to be on NYPD Blue. Or was that Ricky Schroeder? I can't remember.

Mr. Belding unfortunately for him was like Mr. Walsh on 90210 - never to be heard from again. And that's all I've got to say about that.

Thumbs up this week to... the dudes who work in a dilapidated parking garage across the street from where I work. These dudes squeeze way more cars than I'm sure any applicable building code allows into three levels of a garage that is ready to collapse any second. For $20 a day, it's a bargain. And I'm pretty sure they drive customers' wheels around like the Ferrari in Ferris Bueller... the creepy beard sported by San Francisco's closer. It's frightening to me in the same way when I notice a dude wearing manliner. Mission accomplished, bro, I'd be intimidated if I was digging into the box to face you.

Thumbs down this week to... Men's Wearhouse. I had to retrieve some suit pants that sustained an unfortunate tear during a worm at my buddy's wedding. I feel so molested by the eyes and words of salesmen in there, it's almost as though I'm a Mexican sports reporter with a bedonkadonk and serious cleavage in a NY Jets locker room... Tim Lincecum's hair salad. As a man who enjoyed his own mangy locks during the early glory days of groovy oovy (UVM), I appreciate a carefully sculpted coiffure. But Tim's mane needs to decide: either go with the "business in front and party in back" flowing mullet or wrap that crap up in a hair net under his baseball lid. I'm not an anti-long hair. I just need to see a direction... While we're here, as if Tom Brady's neon white teeth weren't bad enough, the blond highlights of his Fabio-esque locks should make every true Pats' fan feel downright embarrassed. As soon as a dude begins to pay more than $14 for a hair cut, he's officially high maintenance. With his Brazilian supermodel wife, gazillions of dollars, and 3 Superbowl rings, I'm sure he's hurt by my opinion.

Thumbs comme ci comme ca this week to... kitty heels. While I appreciate that they give a minimum amount of lift compared to (ho-hum) flats, they still don't do it for me. I read a couple months ago in Vogue I think (I swear there wasn't anything else interesting in the magazine rack at Gold's) that kitty's were the next "in" thing. Yawn. I'm a fan of the standard high heels, thank you very much. (Yes, I was the same guy ripping on Brady's highlights a few sentences ago.)...

Monday, October 11, 2010

You Do Milk?

Two kids in two years. Back on October 25, 2008, I launched waitingforbabyt/daddio de novo with "So you've got swimmers..." (anyone remember back that far?) at the encouragement of THE WIFE, as we braced for the arrival of Greta the following February. I was kind of just feeling my way around in the dark - both on the writing front and on the expecting parent front. Two years and Gus' addition to the family later, we Ts are still kicking like ninjas. And somehow amongst the chaos of our routine, the blogs have continued - albeit infrequently but technically they keep coming.

Meanwhile, you all reading these words have also stuck around. I wanted to take a second to thank you for that. Sharing with you in this way has been fulfilling for THE WIFE and I on many levels. I'm particularly grateful to those who have taken the time to comment either here, on FB, or during conversation. The encouragement and positive feedback means a lot. I am especially indebted to THE WIFE as my editor, guinea pig, muse, therapist, and consigliere on all matters blog-related and otherwise. Heart you big time Bug.

Who knows how long this blog will go? I certainly have no idea. But I know undoubtedly that I still enjoy writing it. So, I hope you still enjoy reading it. When it starts to get stale or boring, do me a favor and throw a rotten tomato at me. Until then, keep reading and enjoy.


My pops, Griswald, has many peculiar sayings - several of which my brother captured in a small book a few years back. One quote that stands out to me is Clark's strange inquiry to visitors at our house asking if "you do milk?" As a teenager, I cringed with moderate embarassment when he said this to my friends because it was just weird to me on many levels. Was he asking if someone was lactose intolerant? Was he asking if someone liked milk so much, they "do" it as if making love to it? And, by the way, who offers glasses of milk as a beverage to guests older than five years old anyway? Well, Griswald does, that's who!

Another staple comment of my dad involving beverages is actually a question - "You drink your juice?" He is adamant that we eat a "propah" breakfast and juice is apparently an important component to Grizz.

When it came to cooking the meal, my dad was very territorial about the kitchen. Once you enter the kitchen, he starts rattling off everything on his menu for the morning. If you open a cabinet while Grizz is at the helm, he'll hover next to you to peek over your shoulder and ask impatiently what you're looking for. Once his apron is on, I don't even try to interfere. Plus, he makes a damn good omelet.

Breakfasts in Greta's and Gus' home are a newly developing ritual. I'm slowly building a monopoly Gordon Gecko-like on breakfast as my meal to cook. G-man is easy: two ounces formula, two ounces water. The original instant breakfast. Done.

Gigi's tougher. Her juice (insert Clark's nodding approval) is half prune juice, half water - you know, to get the plumbing working. Her typical plate is a few handfuls of cheerios, some fruit, and a fried egg. Surprisingly, she's lukewarm on french toast and waffles. I've tried plain, maple syrup, butter, and fruit. (PB is the last resort but it's just so messy.) Greta will sit there channeling her inner Tom Colicchio, chewing inquisitively as I hope for a positive review. It's hit or miss.

Lately, I've resorted to a key weapon in the parental arsenal: manipulation. One morning after the sunlight hit my fork just right creating a reflection on the ceiling, Tinkerbell suddenly began gracing us with appearances on her way home from all-nighters with Peter Pan. After we all exchange initial pleasantries - G and I saying hello/how are you while Tinkerbell shakes around in respone - I send Tinkerbell away and suggest to Greta innocently that perhaps Tinkerbell will return if she eats her pancake. Today, I carved some cats and fish out of an apple so we meowed and bubble mouthed. Whatever it takes!

C'mon by the casa next time you're in Easton. I'll ask if you "do omelets" and fire one up for you as we wait to see if Tinkerbell shows up.