Friday, November 18, 2011

An Ode to the Ole Sweet Tooth

One last reminder. Special guest DJ appearance this Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 10 p.m. Tune your dials to 91.3 if you're in Easton. Otherwise, fire up your Internets and type in THE WIFE will be broadcasting live for your entertainment.


Eighteen days status post-Halloween. A few notes for the old file.

Greta was a strawberry. She participated this year more enthusiastically than her two whole prior halloweens. In the weeks leading up to the big night, she said over and over “Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat.” Once we actually made it to the front doors of our neighbors, however, Greta stood paralyzed and unable to say anything. The neighbor would say or try any of the old tricks, but my girl wasn’t budging. She would just hold out her bag without ever breaking eye contact, staring the treat giver into submission. Once she felt the thud of a candy, Greta was outta there. Well then.

Gus was a green dragon. He was a trooper, tagging along for the ride in a wagon. He was actually pretty tolerant of wearing the costume. Overall, his participation was very similar to Greta’s the year before: but for Mom and Dad dressing him up in a silly suit, he would have been happier just lounging at home. Maybe next year, Greta will actually say “Trick or treat” and Gus will be walking up to the doors next to her, while their baby sister squirms in a hand-me-down costume.

Before I go on, here is where I mention how freaking lame the people are who were home and just kept their lights off. Other than religious objections which I’m not talking about, who would be so lame as to not at least fill a bowl with the cheapest candy you can find on sale at CVS or Shaw’s and leave it outside on a chair? I was shocked by the number of non-participants in our neighborhood. And I’m pretty sure they’re not Jehovah’s witnesses. Anyway, whatever the Halloween equivalent of Bah Humbug is, that’s what I say to you non-Halloweenies. So there.

By now, THE WIFE and I have unsurprisingly done a number on the kids’ candy loot stash. Greta and Gus pulled in a good haul this year. They scored us lots of the old favorites. Some of our neighbors (the high rollers – definitely not us) even went so far as to give out full-size candy bars. No way we were feeding our kids that crap. Only we get to eat that crap.

Generally, we raid the bags after they go down for bed. THE WIFE and I definitely don’t go digging within ear shot of Greta. If she hears a candy wrapper crinkling, Greta will hunt you down and shame you into returning the candy to her stash. As we’ve been sniffing through what remains, it dawned on me to tally a list of my first round draft picks.

1.) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. C’mon, you didn’t expect anything else here did you? Seriously, though, the bar for me doesn’t go any higher than a Reese's. And, I swear the Halloween edition of the R.P.B.C.’s has something in them that make the cups better than at any other time of year. I know Hershey’s would never reveal if they mix up a different batch for the October editions, but they are my kryptonite. Best.

2.) Kit Kats. I don’t think KKs get as much street cred as they deserve on the Halloween scene. Very underrated. Chocolate over a crispy wafer. Pretty damn good.

3.) Watchamacallits. Truth be told, Greta and Gus didn’t score any this year. And I’m not sure they are even sold in Halloween snack size batches. But I love these candies.

4.) Almond Joy. Another candy that flies under the radar if you ask me. Damn good.

5.) Snickers. If I’m at a candy vending machine and I’m hungry, I’m buying one of these. I imagine these rank higher on the list for others because they always seem to go faster than anything else. As far as getting a good bang for the buck, Snickers are a solid choice in my opinion.

And that’s where the list ends. Milky Way, Rolos, 3 Musketeers, 100 Grand, and Hershey’s chocolate bars are all decent, but they don’t crack my top 5. Agree or disagree? Would love to hear you weigh in.

Now I'm off to the dentist. And the gym. After just one more Reese's.

Friday, November 4, 2011

On the Radio, Oh Oh

18 years ago, I was 18 years old. Back then, I was absolutely confident that I knew everything I ever needed to know. By the time 2011 arrived, the only thing that became certain to me was that I barely know anything.

For the time being, though, let’s suspend reality and travel together back to 1993. THE WIFE and I had begun our freshman years of college in Vermont, she at Castleton State and me at UVM. Heavy woolen sweaters, Birkenstocks, and flannel shirts were de rigueur. Kurt Cobain, Chris Farley, Jerry Garcia, and Tupac were still alive. Pearl Jam was still making music videos and absolutely owning the “Grunge Era.” The only reality tv in existence was Season 2 of The Real World. O.J. Simpson was still a free man filming Naked Gun movies and Miller Lite ads. I did not own a computer, mobile phone, Facebook account, blog, or an e-mail address. I did own a bulky camera with film that I wound after snapping a photograph that only became visible usually weeks or months later after dropping it off at the pharmacy for developing.

At school, I was officially “undecided” in my major, with a lean towards pre-med. Sports medicine, I thought. Or maybe gynecology. [Shrug and an eyebrow raise.]

THE WIFE, on the other hand, declared her major to be communications. She was going to be Veronica Corningstone, your trusted local female news anchor.

I made it through one semester of chemistry and two semesters of biology, before realizing that classes with labs really sucked and bullshitting measurements was really tough to pull off. Pre-law, it would be then.

THE WIFE, meanwhile, kept her original focus alive. Somewhere along the way, she got a gig as a part-time radio disc jockey at the local college radio station WIUV, 91.3. She divided her air time between The Lemonheads, Arrested Development, The Samples, Big Head Todd, Dave Matthews Band, and Lenny Kravitz, while discussing that night’s parties at the Rugby house or The Pickle Barrel. (I admit I just googled bars in the Killington VT area on that last one – I don’t know if it even existed back then. THE WIFE is asleep already and I don't think that detail is wake-up worthy.)

After graduation, we both left the Green Mountain State and headed to the Bay State. While my med school intentions were long gone, THE WIFE’s potential to be a media member was still alive. She took a job at a Boston radio station selling air time.

Eventually, the 90’s became the 00’s. Real World season 47 made way for Jersey Shore. E-mail, Internet, cameras, and social media of any kind all fit on one single, wireless telephone that fits in one’s pocket. Untalented people obtained their own television shows on E!, Bravo, or MTV by 1) making sex videos that go viral on the Internet 2) being a rich, dumb, and bitchy wife, or 3) pulling up your shirt to show abs a lot.

While all of this was happening, THE WIFE’S career had steered totally into sales and Internet advertising by the late 2000's. Her D.J. days were long behind her.

Then one day in 2009, Greta and I were about to pick up THE WIFE from work. I found a Memorex cassette while searching for car keys. We got in the car and pressed play.

I heard a voice. It was familiar yet it sounded different. A young woman and her girlfriend Mary were discussing how they were intending to spend Spring Break. Then, a song by Phish or The Pixies played. Hey, I knew those girls!

Greta and I picked up THE WIFE. I said Gigi really missed her, so she should sit in the back seat. With the ambush succeeding, I pressed play on the tape again. Shocked, THE WIFE laughed and asked me indignantly where I found this recording. We reminisced about the good old days. My brain took notes.

Fast forward to today. THE WIFE is knocked up with our third bun in the oven. We live in the burbs. We drive a fucking minivan. Our tunes in the car consist mainly of Yo Gabba Gabba, Bingo the Dog, or Are You Sleeping? 1993 is 18 years ago. We are suddenly Old Man and Old Lady Dinkins, cursing at kids that light fireworks in our neighborhood on the Fourth of July because it might wake up our babies! Obv, we're cool.

Fortunately, we stumbled upon a time machine where THE WIFE can be 18 years old again. Thanks to the power of Facebook, e-mails, and a very flexible music director in his sophomore year of college, THE WIFE will return to the air waves once again on November 19, 2011 from 10 p.m. to midnight. DJ Baby Mama will be broadcasting live that night and time from Stonehill College’s campus in Easton. For those within the 5-mile radius of the radio transmission, the frequency is (ironically) 91.3 FM. For those further away, THE WIFE will be streaming on-line at

This is most likely a one-time event, so be sure to tune in. Orientation and a tour of the studio were last week. THE WIFE is ready to get it going. In the interim, feel free to e-mail her with some suggestions as to music. She hasn't heard about this new fangled thing called an iPod yet. Hopefully, you'll be along for the ride next week to see how it goes.

Greta and Gus, please burn the broadcast onto a CD so you can play it 18 years from now and we can talk about the good old days again!