Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I love it. My only problem is that they should have saved this idea for the SuperBowl.
Oh yeah, by the way, Happy New Year and Drive Drunk!!
Whoops, I mean 'don't drive drunk' during amateur night.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
In the article, The Beastie Boys are quoted as saying:
"It's a very wordy record, in a good way," Mike D told us. "It's pretty scatological, to be completely honest. There are probably more scatological lyrics on this particular album than ever before," MCA added. "If you don't know what that means, go home and look it up."
Well, writer James Montgomery, with reporting by Tim Kash, completely missed the entire point of what The Beastie Boys were talking about when they reported that they're writing an album about poop.
Correct me if I'm wrong but - in addition to animal excrement - doesn't scat refer to a type of singing? And, the last time I heard, The Beastie Boys are a group of singers?
I also remember another popular singer who also starred in the movie The Shining that went by that particular name (see above picture).
Although I think there are a lot of talented young writers out there, this is just another example of lazy writing by a bunch of lazy new generation reporters.
Friday, December 19, 2008
And here's my review of The Polar Express (shudder):
When I heard Oscar-winning director Robert Zemickis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future etc.) was directing this adaptation of the Caldecott Award-winning Children’s Book, I was instantly excited. Turns out, after I watched the movie, I felt half satisfied. True, the movie does stay very close to the book, even pulling out key illustrated scenes. And the cinematography and animation, sometimes, is over the top. I say sometimes, because although animators keep trying, they still haven’t quite got humans and their form. Their mouths and their mannerisms. Two things that I have wrong with the movie. Number one was 'WHY NOT HAVE REGULAR ACTORS?' This movie could have been a lot better had there been real actors. My theory is Zemickis and his animation team wanted to test out the bugs in their new animation equipment so they could ‘master’ it for another upcoming film with a better script (Ahem, perhaps Beowulf anyone?) My second fault with the film is that if this is for children, younger kids are going to come out of this movie with half of their fingernails bitten off and crying blood (just kidding). I’m not sure if it was a mix of the scary action, the Santa Claus Hitler-esque episodes at the North Pole or the animated characters themselves, but this movie creeped me out a little bit. It was like watching zombies in a movie. They needed to take a look at The Iron Giant and any Pixar film to see how to emit emotion from cartoon characters. Plus the voices, most of which came from Academy-award winner Tom Hanks, were just annoying as hell. Come to think of it, I’m changing my rating to one star instead of two. Blech
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Yes, the same Road Warriors that finally made a name for themselves in the WWF. And the same Road Warriors who spawned son James Laurinaitus from Buckeyes fame.
In any event, it was bloody. Very bloody.
It was so bloody that my 10-year old mind had feverish nightmares for weeks. I pictured the blood. I felt the blood. I was the blood. I was fucking scared.
But then, that mind turned. I started to crave wrestling. Then, I couldn't get enough of it. I bought the magazines. I watched it on TV (not much) and I would go see it was much as I possibly could at the Wheeling Civic Arena.
In fact, my brother and I would go every month. My mom would drop us off at the entrance and pick us up three hours later.
Eventually, I would learn to crave the violence, to lust for the blood, and finally realize that I wouldn't be satisfied until I saw someone die in the ring. Or at least get decapitated by a guillotine. (Which, by the way would be spectacular to see!)
Each month, the matches would get crazier and crazier. If you don't believe me ask my brother next time you see him. The first month it was a cage match. Three months later is was a street fight with no refs. And the wrestler could bring into the ring a weapon of choice. It was a fight to the finish. And it was awesome.
Can you dig it?
Then, came the WWF. Then came puberty. Then came, well ,women. Then came the end of my wrestling fetish and on to other fetishes if you know what I'm sayin. Heh heh.
In my past posts, I was gushing about The Road as an Oscar frontrunner this season (it's not being released until next year). Then I crossed my fingers at the possibility of The Dark Knight cleaning house (It won't. It's good. Just not great).
So now I'm hearing about The Wrestler. Darren Aronofsky's low-budget homage to Jake The Snake, Ravishing Rick Rude, Paul Ellering, Jimmy (Superfly) Snuka and Rowdy Roddy Piper.
I was perusing ESPN looking for Fantasy Football picks for my championship when I came across Bill Simmons praise of The Wrestler in this article.
Let me tell you something, I think this will be a pivotal movie for people of my generation. (Generation X, if you already didn't figure it out). Well, at least from the point of view of those wrestling geeks in the early 80's. I guess that's why I'm pretty psyched to see it.
I still believe The Curious Case of Benjamin Button will finally win Director David Fincher a much-deserved Oscar. But, The Wrestler is one of the movies on my must-see list. Even more so than Button.
Bring on the blood, brothers. Bring on the blood.
Monday, December 8, 2008
For some reason, my mind reverted back to grade school. It was summer or, to be even more descriptive, possibly Indian Summer. Late September. Early October.
Almost every year in my early childhood, my mom and dad would toss us into the car and drive out to St. Clairsville, Ohio, for the Belmont Country Fair where we would stuff our faces on elephant ears, funnel cakes, corn dogs and freshly squeezed lemonade.
Then, we would go see other fantastic attractions like crappy birdhouses at the 4-H tent, bulls eating hay at the farm tent and older kids busting balloons with darts for Van Halen mirrors on the midway.
On this particular day, however, we didn't come for the funnel cakes or the cows eating hay.
We came for the mother-fuckin' demolition derby!!!!
Now, I'm not sure of the chemical make-up of boys. Or why my brother and I enjoyed destruction as much as we did (or do). But, when we found out we were going to see the demolition derby the night before, we couldn't sleep. It was like Christmas in late August. To top it off, the fact that both our birthdays were in July, we had three Christmases (Christmasi?) every year.
And yes, the demolition derby was awesome. If you're a guy, you totally understand why. There's just something about 20 cars crunching, banging and slamming together that gets a guy really excited. It feels like you're in a fistfight against 50-some guys in a scunched up hallway.
And let's not even talk about the busted windows and exploding radiators.
It's almost as exciting as seeing a lady naked. Butt nekkid.
I said almost.
So there I was watching Elmo's World, staring at my son and daughter running around, doing a jig to the Elmo's World theme song and, in general, just having a good ol' time with life.
Then, for a couple minutes, I found an evil Grinch smile form across my face.
I have a son, and perhaps a daughter, who will wholeheartedly go see a demolition derby with me. And by wholeheartedly, I mean without question. And by without question, I mean forced.
Because, you see, my wife might not be interested in seeing a demolition derby, but goddamn it if my kid's aren't going to go with me.
We'll see. I just may get my youth back yet.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
In any event, I came across this Drudge post about a leading Russian political analyst who believes our country is heading for collapse - and will divide into separate parts.
The article is brief, but interesting nonetheless. It looks like Cormac McCarthy's vision may be coming to fruition in the United States.
All I can say is that I'm glad that I took those hunter-safety courses when I was little. Because I know how to load, clean and shoot any type of gun not to mention field dress an animal for proper cooking.
Hell, if things turn out, I'll be more useful in this new world than a CEO of a major corporation.
Then, when order is restored, I can resume my copywriting career in my late 80's.
Cool. I've been thinking about changing careers anyhow.
Hunter and Gatherer will look awesome on my resume.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
In any event, my daughter was playing with this annoying talking Elmo doll.
My son reached over for it and, in an instant, the Elmo doll flew into the air. In slow motion, it landed on the ground and bounced not once, but twice.
Immediately they both looked up at me with these puppy dog eyes. I guess they wanted me to pick it up or something.
I shook my head and said "No, no. We eat now. Play with Elmo later."
(NOTE: This is how I talk now)
The both started hopping up and down in their seats and howling like a couple of chimpanzees pointing at the talking Elmo doll on the floor.
Honestly, it was a fucking zoo.
"HEY, HEY, HEY," I yelled. "LET'S KNOCK IT OFF!"
The were both silent. I sort of felt a little bad.
I took a deep breath, pulled up a stool, looked them both in the eyes and gave them the following piece of advice....
"You can't always get what you want. You can't always get what you want. No, you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need!"
Hmmmm? Not too shabby.
I may have a future as a songwriter.
The Education of My Kids - Part 1
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Shocker. Not the fact that he's dead. (Everyone dies.) I just never even heard that he was sick.
I've read a handful of his books (some in a single night) including Jurassic Park, Congo, Sphere, Prey and Eaters of the Dead among others.
However, my most favorite Crichton book was his autobiographical adventure novel titled TRAVELS. After achieving everything he wanted in his life by the age of the 30, Crichton went into a bit of a depression. He decided to exorcise his demons by taking a much-needed vacation and, in the process, chronicling his journeys for all of us to read.
Take note from this book (and his death). Live your life to the fullest before - as my friend Brian Z said - you take the eternal dirt nap.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
But, on the other side of the coin, why does an hour in a waiting room seem so freaking slow when you're six-years old compared to when you're, say, 36-years old?
Very weird, indeed.
Which sparked my mind about a Tom the Dancing Bug cartoon that I came across in the Columbus' Alternative Rag, The Other Paper, waaaaaaay back in 1997.
For some reason, it's stood the test of time inside my brain. And, thanks to the power of the internets, I finally was able to grab a copy online.
Check it out. I'm still not so sure why this strip in particular is so ingrained in my brain compared to all the other great cartoons out there (i.e. Calvin & Hobbes, Hate, The Far Side, Zits, etc.)
Click here for the cartoon.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The music sounded familiar, but after doing some digging I found out it was a remix of Ennio Marricone's music from the classic Clint Eastwood spahetti western The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.
In any event, is this part two of a three-part Nike football series directed by famous film directors? I wonder who will be next? Quentin Tarantino perhaps?
Nevertheless, I'm still waiting for a series of Nike commercials highlighting the fascinating, fast-paced world of copywriting.
I wrote about the book and the possibility of a movie before. I think it's a bummer that this movie is not going to be made. Personally, I think it's much better material to direct and produce than a stupid remake of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.
Monday, September 29, 2008
In no particular order, off the top of my head my top-five Paul Newman movies are:
- Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid
- The Hustler
- The Color of Money
- Cool Hand Luke
- Nobody’s Fool
If you haven’t heard about his death, then you’re a pop-culture retard. But, this entry isn’t about how great Paul Newman was, if you want that you can read it here, here or here.
Nope. This entry is about death.
When I heard Mr. Newman passed away, I read that he was surrounded by his family and close friends, including his wife of 50 years, actress Joanne Woodward.
What a crazy picture. Being surrounded by your sobbing, long-faced loved ones as you take in your last breath.
Seems a bit surreal if you ask me. Maybe it won't be, however, if/when I continue to get older.
Eventually, everyone we know is going to have to go through something exactly like this, including ourselves.
Knowing that we’re going to die. Knowing that the next breath may be our last.
When? Where? Why? How? Those are the unknown answers to this fascinating puzzle.
Hell, it’s what keeps me moving daily and trying to achieve my personal goals in life.
In a way, it’s frightening.
In a way, it’s a bit depressing.
In a way, I suppose it’s necessary.
I wonder what people discuss during that last hour in their life?
I wonder if you discuss your past, your childhood and your dreams that went unfulfilled?
I wonder if you talk about your past loves, your children growing up, all the different sights you’ve seen and witnessed while on this Earth?
I wonder what Paul Newman and his family were talking about that last hour before his death?
No one will really knows.
But I can bet you one thing.
Even though he was a major movie star, I’m 100% certain that it wasn’t about work.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Dennis Quaid plays Michael Douglas, but poorly, in a remake of 2000's Wonder Boys.
Take The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, mix it with The Princess Bride and Pan's Labyrinth and you've got this creative, eye-candy from a one-name director (Tarsem!).
Undeclared: The Complete Series
It's Freaks and Geeks in college minus the good story lines.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
I only laughed a couple times which is a bit gay in itself considering it's an Adam Sandler comedy.
The Astronaut Farmer
Billy Bob Thornton and the Polish Brothers makes me want to rush out and acheive my dreams.
Reminded me of the movie Election...but in a supermarket...and not as good.
The Search for John Gissing
The Office this ain't.
The Bank Job
Jason Statham finally makes a good movie.
Freaks & Geeks: The Complete Series
One of the best TV series of the past 10 years.
Sex and Death 101
The guy who wrote and directed Heathers hits and misses with this dark comedy starring Winona Ryder.
If JAWS were a plant, he would be in this fun, yet stupid, horror movie.
The TV Set
A entertaining, dark-comedy about the television industry.
28 Days Later mixed with Dawn of the Dead, mixed with Stephen King's book Cell equals shit on a stick.
The first 40 minutes were awesome and that sucks because it's a two-hour movie.
Weeds: Season 3
This great series has yet to jump the shark.
A good political thriller starring everyone that's anyone in the movie industry.
Lars and the Real Girl
Surprisingly fun movie about a blow-up doll.
Monday, September 15, 2008
(click to enlarge)
You know....sometimes life is good.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
She would lob scream grenades my way.
I would run behind the couch and duck for cover.
She would aim rapid-fire machine-gun tirades towards my eardrums.
I would dive behind the refrigerator and wait for the shelling to stop.
For some stupid reason the conversation turned to our freedom as individuals outside of being parents.
Then there was a brief silence. I decided to make my move.
"Well," I shouted to the rooftops. "I don't get to do everything I want in this world!"
"Really?" she asked crossing her arms already awaiting a response. "Now, please. Tell me. What don't you get to do?"
I thought really, really hard. I searched up and down my memory banks for the perfect answer.
Then, it hit me. It was the mother lode!!!
"Well if you must know," I retorted. "I really don't get to go to Cedar Point or attend carnivals as much as I would like to."
She rolled her eyes, uncrossed her arms, and walked out of the room.
Victory was mine that day.
Victory was mine.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Working title: DISORDER
With the ever-increasing occurrence of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s - in some cases affecting people that are only 30 and 40 years old - I was asking myself this question:
What if Alzheimer’s became a national pandemic affecting people as early as 21?
What if, somehow, the body contracted this rare form of dementia right after puberty? What if you were handed your death sentence before life even started?
It’s a very scary thought.
If that were the case, we’d have a lot of people roaming the countryside just walking around, not remembering where they came from or what happened yesterday.
It would be a frightening and crazy world.
Industry would collapse. Water pipelines would burst. Nature would slowly, but surely, begin to take over.
Now, for all those that haven’t been keeping up on current events, that’s more than ¾ of the population would be walking around with the dementia.
And they would be looking for something to eat.
Something easy to grab and gnaw on.
DISORDER would center around a group of young kids traveling from city-to-city figthing off the ‘infected’. They heard through the grapevine (we can work on this) that scientists found a cure but it’s on the other side of the country. Seattle - the home of grunge - perhaps?
And they have to make their way across the United States to get to the eventual ‘cure’. If there’s any at all.
In addition to a cast of characters (a’ la Robin Hood’s Merry band of thieves all with their own stories to tell concering their parents which could be provided a' la LOST flashback style) there would be a love interest between two of the older leaders, who are fast approaching the puberty deadline.
What will happen to the couple? Will everything end in disaster? Will the world end? So many questions will be answered on the new HBO mini-series DISORDER.
The title is indicative of a lack regular arrangement; confusion. In the way the kid's are living. In the way this disease has taken over the Earth, for the worst.
But the title also gives hope that ORDER, in the form of a cure, is hopefully somewhere out there.
In addition to controversy, this miniseries would create an open discussion on Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Perhaps we could convince HBO to donate 20% off all DVD sales to the Alzheimer’s Assocation.
Attention Hollywood; I'm starting bids at $150,000.
Oh yeah, copyright 2008 by Eimer. (So, don’t even think about it!)
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
There was no subject line.
After I clicked on the e-mail, the copy inside simply read…
August 26, 2008. I'm going on the record and saying "The Road" will sweep the Oscars this year.
That’s it. No other copy.
Simple. Tactful. And to the point.
No “Hey, how’s it going good buddy!” or “How’s the kids?” or “Hey what do you think about Obama?”
Just your friendly neighborhood Spider-man bellowing a Mayan 2012-like prediction that The Road will sweep the Oscars this year.
I soaked the e-mail in, took a couple blinks and hit delete.
After logging off the computer for four-straight days, enjoying the Labor Day weekend, mowing the lawn, drinking a couple beers and giving my dog a bath, I’ve thought about his prediction a bit and I have this to say…
Not Gonna Happen.
Now, I’m not trying to be negative or mean or anything like that. I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’m prepared to give my reasons:
Judging by the screenplay review that he sent, I think this movie is going to be too much of a bitch slap to the members of the Academy. The plot is way too dark. The characters are bleak. There doesn’t seem to be any humor whatsoever.
It's going to be a different type of movie.
In short, it’s gonna be like Fight Club, Se7en, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Reservoir Dogs, Blade Runner or even Empire Strikes Back. Fantastic stories. Great direction. Great acting. Simply great films. And cult classics to boot.
But simply overlooked by the Academy for reasons out of our understanding. I mean, I’m still trying to figure out how Forrest Gump beat out Pulp Fiction for Best Picture during the 1995 Academy Awards.
In a nutshell, I think that’s what's going to happen with The Road.
Do I think it will be nominated? Without seeing one piece of film, I’m going to say Hell Yeah.
With Director John Hillcoat (The Proposition) at the helm, cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe (The Others, Talk to Her) working behind the lens, a kick-ass screenplay adaptation of McCarthy's novel by semi-newcomer Joe Penhall not mention reading a New York Times article about the final days of s of shooting, I’m thinking it's going to be a fantastic movie.
Also, had No Country For Old Men not swept the Oscars last year, I might be onboard for my good buddy’s prediction. But, I’m thinking some other type of cream might rise to the top this year.
Something a little less depressing.
Something a bit more uplifting.
Something not as dark.
Something that doesn’t have people eating infants
With that, I'm going to one-up my good buddy Mac and give my predictions for the five Academy-award best picture nominees for the 81st Academy Awards…
Read all about what I thought about the book right here. I’m predicting nominations for screenplay, cinematography and acting.
The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan’s darkly Frank Miller-esque take on the bat is simply too good to not get the Academy’s notice. Expect a post-humus acting nod for Ledger as well.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
I’ve written about it here and am convinced that Director David Fincher will chisel his almost 4-hour over-blown opus into an easily watchable 2 ½ hour masterpiece.
Miracle at St. Anna
Spike Lee’s World War II epic - based on author James McBride's fiction book - about black U.S. infantrymen trapped behind enemy lines in an Italian village with the Nazis closing in.
Sam Mendes directs Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as a 1950’s couple trying to escape the everyday conventions of their small-town life.
So there you have it. Let’s see where the dust settles in 7 months during the 81st Academy Awards ceremony.
So, what do you think?
Friday, August 29, 2008
Long story short. I failed to adhere to the height-specific sign at the parking garage and slammed the top of his van into a concrete pillar.
In the same week, I also destroyed my mother-in-law’s expensive inflatable raft in her swimming pool as I was trying to break my world-record of jumping obscene distances from the diving board to the raft. Not sure, but I think my sharp toe-nails might have snagged the plastic.
So what do these two stories have in common besides myself being an ass?
Gorilla Glue? Correct.
Remember, a year ago, when I was talking to my Dad about Gorilla Glue?
Remember how I said it was freaking awesome?
I went to my favorite current toy store, Home Depot, and purchased not only Gorilla Glue, but their high-tech durable duct tape as well.
As expected, the Gorilla Glue worked spectacularly on the raft. In less than a day, I was back trying to surf across the swimming pool. (With freshly clopped toe-nails mind you.)
But I was a little dubious on the durability of the Gorilla Tape.
I mean, let’s be honest, duct tape is duct tape, right?
Not necessarily. Just like shitty macaroni and cheese, there are shitty types of duct tape you can buy too.
Well, as it turns out, the Gorilla Glue tape exceeded expectations and set the bar higher than generic Duct Tape ever could.
My dad and I taped up the top of the conversion van. And, two weeks later, the tape is still intact.
No rips? No tears? No frayed edges? It’s even held up to the outside conditions of morning dew, torrential rains, hot-humid Ohio sun and even bird poop.
After checking out my thesaurus, Gorilla Glue tape is really, truly honestly impenetrable.
I was so excited that I called my Dad to tell him the good news.
“You know Gorilla Glue?”
“I love Gorilla Glue.”
“Yeah, but do you know the tape?”
“How'd it work on the van?"
“Well, it worked like gangbusters!”
“Great, I’m going to go buy some right now.”
“I want some for Christmas.”
“I want some for my birthday.”
“When I die, I want to be wrapped in it like a mummy and buried in a tomb.”
“Me too, son. Me too.”
This father-son bonding moment brought to you by Gorilla Glue®.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
For some reason I found this idea fascinating.
As I was walking my dog last night and staring up at the crescent moon, I gazed at the millions and millions of stars bouncing around the galaxy. Well, not really bouncing but flickering.
Then, my mind reverted back to this guy’s blog and I started to think that the quarantine idea isn’t too far-fetched.
Compared to the other creatures of the universe, maybe humans are, in essence, cave men. Maybe we’re so raw, violent and (ahem) crazy that we were put here – or forced here - to colonize our pathetic excuses for living forms and make due with what we’ve got. We’re like Australia. But, on a universal scale.
Maybe our great, great, great, great, great great ancestors were part of this Star Wars like galaxy of aliens living harmoniously together. Maybe our great, great, great, great, great ancestors did something terrible to this utopian society and were banned, indefinitely to this planet?
Maybe there is an answer to life. But, we’ll never know because of some crazy incident that happened that made this intergalactic society ban us to Earth. Maybe our great, great, great ancestors were a bunch of sex-hungry retards compared to the other intellectual creatures of the universe?
Maybe we’re a planet of lepers? Maybe because we pee yellow and poop out of our buttholes, we’re considered the dregs of the galaxy?
Maybe, we’re one of 100 planets with the same sunlight and seasons? Maybe we were planted here by a great alien civilization that we may never see in our lifetime? Maybe, after our population reaches a certain number, we’ll realize that we were basically cattle for an alien civilization who will eventually return to eat us? Then head off to another similar planet to start the farming/eating process again. Only to return to ours in a million years and start the process over again.
Who knows? But it’s an interesting theory nonetheless. And I give the blogger a head nod for making me think.
Besides War of the Worlds, The Twilight Zone’s To Serve Man, some random episodes of Futurama and The Day the Earth Stood Still, there aren’t any other movies, shows or books that I could think of that hinted to this idea.
What do you think?
Thursday, August 21, 2008
No shit. I actually drove into work thinking “Man, this sucks, it’s only Wednesday.”
When I got into work, I opened up my laptop and checked the time.
Then I checked the date to see if it was my son’s 11-month birthday - August 22.
Imagine my surprise when I saw that it was Thursday.
Then I realized that I’m one day closer to death.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
As it turns out, Usain Bolt of Jamaica broke both the world record in the 100 meter dash and, just announced, the 200-meter dash in 19.30 seconds.
In addition, Bolt became the first man since Carl Lewis in the 1984 Olympics to sweep the 100 and 200 gold medals at an Olympics.
To add to that, he is the first man EVER to break both world marks at any Olympics.
According to an article I read on CNN.com; not even Lewis, Jesse Owens or Mr. Gold Shoes Michael Johnson were able to achieve that particular goal.
Very impressive indeed.
Speaking of Bolt's 100-meter world-record win. Many sportscasters and sprint specialists believe Bolt would've shattered the record even more - than his recorded time of 9.69 seconds - had he not slowed down 10 meters before the finish line to pull up his hands and showboat to the crowd.
Look, I know it didn't take a forward-thinking guy to see that the world record would be broken in the 100-meters at this year's Olympics. Based on previous times, this was the fastest group of dudes to race at the Olympics, ever.
However, I'm still sticking to my other prediction that somebody somewhere will bring the world record down to 9.50 where it will stand for a very, very long time.
Maybe past my lifetime.
Until that time, enjoy watching the record-breaking 200-meter dash tonight on NBC. Judging by the photos, it should be fun to see him pull himself away from the pack.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Actually, I do know the reason.
He had to take my niece to a local county fair to see a country music singer in the Ohio Valley. I guess girls are swooning over this guy. Not sure of the name, but I’m sure the music isn’t that great.
“Man,” I said to him. “I love carnivals.”
“Yeah, I know you do,” he said as he took a drag off his cigarette. “When you were little, you would cry if we passed a parking lot carnival and didn’t stop.”
“Really?” I truly don’t remember this ever happening.
“Yep,” he said. “You would cry all the way home, when you got out of the car, even when we put you in the bathtub. Sometimes, you would cry yourself to sleep after we put you to bed."
“Really?” I said again looking him straight in the eyes expecting him to smile and say ‘Just kidding’.
He didn’t blink. He was as serious as a heart attack.
“Man, I didn’t realize I was such a little pussy.”
“Oh, it wasn’t that big of a deal to us,” he said. “We just made sure we stayed away from carnivals whenever we went somewhere.”
“Really?” I said. I was completely dumbfounded. And yes, I realize, this is the third time I said Really in less than a page.
“Yep,” he said. “If we saw a carnival in the distance we would take a swift turn off the road and take an alternative way to wherever we were going.”
“Hmf,” I took a sip of beer thinking about all the kick-ass carnivals I missed when I was a kid. Thanks a lot mom and dad.
“So. why do you like carnivals so much,” my dad asked waking me up from my newfound embarrassment.
I thought about his question for a couple seconds.
“Well, I guess I like the lights, the smells, the rides and the games,” I said. “I guess I like the fact that I’m part of this little piece of Americana that literally makes a ton of people happy for one week out of the year.”
“Then, just like a hurricane, the carnival impacts the whole community, wraps up and leaves overnight with various carnival debris whipping around the parking lot. The only remnants of its brief existence.”
“Hmf,” he said as a wisp of cigarette “Interesting.”
A brief silence followed.
“You know what I like about carnivals?” my dad piped up.
I shook my head.
He took another drag of his cigarette and let out another puff of smoke.
“Elephant ears," he said.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
In any event, a couple months ago my daughter started repeating every single word that comes out of my mouth.
This worries me a bit.
As I’ve stated before, I’ve said 'so long' to the word FUCK a number of months ago.
But, I haven’t quite shaken a lot of other words.
For example, lately I’ve been calling everyone DOUCHE BAG.
When a guy is passing me on the right side of the highway, I call him a DOUCHE BAG.
When a lady is on her cell-phone at a stoplight, I call her a DOUCHE BAG.
When my neighbor is mowing his lawn for the fourth time during the same week, I call him a DOUCHE BAG
When the teenager at the local bakery puts too much cream cheese on my bagel and fills up my coffee too high, I call her a DOUCHE BAG.
When my checking account gets overdrawn and I receive a $35 late fee, I call myself a DOUCHE BAG.
You get the point.
The funny thing is that I haven’t used the word DOUCHE BAG since high school.
I’m 36. So that’s a pretty long time…18 years to be exact.
But - and here’s the kicker - I’m starting to really like my new cussword.
In fact, it’s turning out to be my choice expletive for 2008.
It’s a bit more sanitary than FUCKER, FAG, CUM LIP or STUPID FUCK FACE DICK SUCKER.
Yet, to me, it has a much stronger impact than IDIOT, FOOL or JERK.
Quite frankly, it’s turning out to be my most satisfying cussword to date.
At least until my daughter is in the car. That’s when I use my kid-friendly stand-by...FRIGGIN GOOFBALL!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
This was reported on CRYPTOMUNDO.COM, which is currently getting slammed at the moment.
Here's the story. I'll supply my opinion later.
DNA evidence and photo evidence to be presented at a PRESS CONFERENCEto be held onDate: Friday, August 15, 2008Time: From 12Noon-1:00pmPlace: Cabana Hotel-Palo Alto (A Crown Plaza Resort) 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto , California 94306Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. Menlo Park , CaliforniaTom Biscardi, CEO
BIGFOOT BODY FOUND - EVIDENCE AND DNA DETAILS TO BE PRESENTED AT A PRESS CONFERENCE ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 15thFROM 12 N00N TO 1:00PM AT THE CABANA HOTEL-PALO ALTO IN PALO ALTO , CALIFORNIAA body that may very well be the body of the creature commonly known as “Bigfoot” has been found in the woods in northern Georgia .DNA evidence and photo evidence of the creature will be presented in a press conference on Friday, August 15th from 12 Noon to 1:00pm at the Cabana Hotel-Palo Alto at 4290 El Camino Real in Palo Alto , California , 94306 .
The press conference will not be open to the public. It will only be open to credentialed members of the press.Here are some of the vital statistics on the “Bigfoot” body:*The creature is seven feet seven inches tall.*It weighs over five hundred pounds.*The creature looks like it is part human and part ape-like.*It is male.*It has reddish hair and blackish-grey eyes.*It has two arms and two legs, and five fingers on each hand andfive toes on each foot.*The feet are flat and similar to human feet.*Its footprint is sixteen and three-quarters inches long and five and three-quarters inches wide at the heel.*From the palm of the hand to the tip of the middle finger, its hands areeleven and three-quarters inches long and six and one-quarter inches wide.*The creatures walk upright. (Several of them were sighted on the same day that the body was found.)*The teeth are more human-like than ape-like.*DNA tests are currently being done and the current DNA and photo evidence will be presented at the press conference on Friday, August 15th.
The creature was found by Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer (residents of Georgia ) in the woods in northern Georgia . (The exact location is being kept secret to protect the creatures.)Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer will be flying in from Georgia to be at the press conference. Also present at the press conference will be Tom Biscardi, CEO of Searching for Bigfoot, Inc.Whitton is a Clayton County , Georgia, police officer, who is currently on administrative leave after being wounded in the course of duty pursuing an alleged felon. Dyer is a former correctional officer. Whitton and Dyer are co-owners of bigfoottracker.com and Bigfoot Global LLC., a company that offers Bigfoot expeditions. Whitton and Dyer are working with Bigfoot hunter, Tom Biscardi, and Biscardi’s Searching for Bigfoot, Inc., to present and conduct the scientific study of the evidence and information on this body.A few weeks ago, Whitton and Dyer announced the finding of the body on the “Squatch Detective” radio show, an internet based radio show hosted by Steve Kulls.
While on that show, the commentator asked Rick Dyer “Would you allow one of our people to come down and verify the body?” Dyer replied, “The only person we would allow to come down and verify the body was ‘the real Bigfoot Hunter,’ Tom Biscardi.” The next day, the producer of the Squatch Detective show contacted Biscardi with pertinent information on how to contact Dyer and Whitton.Extensive scientific studies will be done on the body by a team of scientists including a molecular biologist, an anthropologist, a paleontologist and other scientists over the next few months at an undisclosed location.The studies will be carefully documented and the findings will be released to the world, according to Biscardi.
Biscardi is known as “the real Bigfoot Hunter” because of his extensive investigations out in the field. He has been searching for Bigfoot since 1971 and over the past several years, he has been criss-crossing the United States and Canada tracking down the hottest leads on Bigfoot sightings.Videography on the studies will be done under the supervision of Scott Davis, an independent producer and owner of TV Biz Productions in Phoenix , Arizona .Currently, Tom Biscardi and his Searching for Bigfoot Team, in conjunction with Bigfoot Global LLC., are preparing to capture another of these creatures alive. That expedition will start very soon.
The dates and the locations are being kept confidential. The body that is currently being studied is being referred to as the “RICKMAT” creature, a name derived from the names of Rick Dyer and Matthew Whitton. [Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman recommends the term “Georgia Gorilla” be used to remove any taint of ego from the discovery, and so the general public, media, and science will have a comfortable moniker until a formal zoological name may be bestowed.]Last year, a film that Biscardi produced about his investigations, called “Bigfoot Lives,” won first place in the Documentary category at the Pocono Mountains Film Festival.
Biscardi also hosts a Bigfoot oriented internet radio show that can be heard on Wednesday nights from 7:00pm to 8:00pm PDT at www.bigfootliveradioshow.com. The show is heard in over thirty countries.Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. has exclusive rights to all publishing rights, photo rights, television and film rights, production and distribution rights and other commercial opportunities related to the discovery and findings regarding this body and these creatures.Interested parties may contact Searching for Bigfoot, Inc., in writing, at their mailing address, 1134 Crane St., Suite 216 , Menlo Park , California 94025 .
See more photographs and comparisons on Cryptomundo.com
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Some may call it a suburb. Others may call it a township. Some may even refer to it as Akron.
All in all, it’s country.
No not farm country with cows, chickens and farmers firing up big-ass tractors two hours before daybreak.
No. No. No. No. No.
It’s country in the terms of other things.
Crowing roosters in the morning. Cricking grasshoppers late at night. Chirping birds throughout the day
Sparkly planets twinkling in the sky. The ability to catch a falling star from the corner of your eye.
The occasional shiny beer can clanking to the ground. Possibly from an angry husband who had to much to drink at Gasoline Alley, the local bar down the road.
Airplane lights blinking in the sky, going from east to west carrying a group of unknown people to unknown destinations throughout the world.
Police who know what it means to not arrest a local. Unless, of course, it’s completely necessary.
Warm days. Cool nights. Breezy weekends. The smells of nature all around. Both good and bad.
Rodents - in the form of skunks, mice and raccoons - scurrying around the dark of night pillaging garbage cans for uneaten scraps of dinner.
The smell of fresh-cut grass. Followed by the waft of an elephant ear coming from a local summer carnival down the winding two-lane highway of Hametown Road.
Whispers in the air coming from the headless, decaying corpse of Jeffrey Dahmer's first victim "Help me. Help me!".
Broken, beaten mailboxes. The remnants of high schoolers playing a late-night, game of mailbox baseball.
Barking dogs and meowing cats prowling around the dusk landscape. Pure instinct of which millions of years of evolution couldn’t erase.
Spiders, spinning their webs on the dewy grass of dawn in hopes of capturing lost insects.
The distant sound of basketballs echoing from Lebron James house. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. CLANG!
Plumbers. Contractors. Copywriters. Housewives. Celebrating the end of the day by sipping on cold beverages and watching the sun go down.
Yep. It’s the country.
Pure. Untouched. Real. Raw.
I love every bit of it.
But you know what I love the most?
The fact that I can take a piss outside no matter the time of day without having to look over my shoulder.
Now that’s pure country.
Friday, August 1, 2008
I got married last week. Being present at many, many weddings where I was sitting in the podium, it was a bit weird being on the other side of the coin.
So that’s why I decided to list the top 10 Things I didn’t know about weddings (until last week).
1. Lots of Planning.
It doesn’t matter if you’re having 10 people or 100 people, there’s a shitload of planning to do leading up to the day.
2. Lots of Fighting.
Lots of planning breeds lots of fighting. Not only will you and the missus be at each other’s throats. But, you’ll get calls from both sides of the family asking why Great Aunt Delores didn’t get invited to the wedding and tons of other questions pertaining to the big day.
3. It’s Hard to Talk to Friends
Oh, your friends will be present and you’ll pass them up and say “Hey man, I’ll talk to you later.” But, you won’t. And you’ll feel guilty the next day. But it’s okay. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
4. You Won’t Eat.
Besides an Egg McMuffin at 11 a.m., I hardly ate the whole day. The food is for the quests.
5. You Won’t Really Drink, Either
The wedding was at 2 p.m. I had two beers at the reception. (Well, three.) But I really didn’t get to tie one on until our after-hours party around 10 p.m. Which, I guess, is a good thing.
6. The Day Goes Fast
I woke up at 7 a.m. and I blinked and it was 3 a.m. the next day. That’s why you shouldn’t get too stressed if shit goes wrong. Just nod your head, smile and say “Hey, thanks for coming out!”
7. Families Will Not Miraculously Come Together
If you’re under the impression that this big moment in your life will be the bridge between the two families, think again. It’s funny, because I realized that a wedding really doesn’t push the two families together. In fact, it separates them even more. You sit on different sides of the church. When the reception begins, you sit in your comfort level, which is with your side of the family.
8. A Bride Crying Is Expected. A Guy Crying Is Emotional
Look, I didn’t have a master plan of crying on my wedding day. But all I can say is this: chicks dig a guy who cries at his wedding. Also, it seems like if you are a guy and you do cry, funerals and your own wedding are your “Get out of jail free cards.”
I had the whole place in tears, men and women. No children, though.
9. It’s a Pyramid Scheme
The pyramid scheme is simple. If you don’t get married, you don’t get the loot. If you don’t get the loot, then you’re missing out. Be one with the loot. Accept the loot. Love the loot. Because, in the big scheme of things, you’ll be giving it all back – in one form or another - at the hundreds of other weddings you’ve attended and you’ll be attending in the future. Especially if you end up having a daughter.
10. Wedding Sex Rocks
No explanation necessary on this one.
Now on to the honeymoon!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Fights in the parking lot.
Tranny's sticking T-Bone steaks in their underwear.
The occasional drunk college kid passing out in the store.
Even the restrooms had some crazy sights.
One particular night when I was wrapping up my daily bagging duties, I ran into the men's room to take a quick piss. As I pushed open the door, my eyeballs focused on a bum, standing next to the sink bathing himself. He was naked all the way down to his dirty, brown skivies.
"Oh, my bad," he said. "Excuse me."
"No big deal," I shouted out. "I just have to take a piss."
In reality, I was a bit freaked out.
After doing my business, I zipped up my pants and headed to the door.
The bum looked over his shoulder, stopped his bathing and politely asked, "You want to use the sink to wash your hands?"
I looked at his peppered beard. It was slathered in brown soap.
I looked at the sink. It was an awful shade of brown.
"Naw, I'm good," I said as I exited the restroom.
I should add that the Kroger restroom was employee-only. But that didn't stop anyone from using it.
Two more stories then I'm finished. I promise.
Another day I left the breakroom to head back to the front of the store to continue my bagging duties. Before I could exit the backroom, this enormous man hobbled through the swinging doors.
I had to actually move out of the way so he could fit through. He had to be about 400 pounds.
And, wouldn't you know it, he made a beeline straight for the unlocked restroom.
"Wow," I thought to myself. "That's a pretty big man." And that was that.
It wasn't until after about an hour or so of bagging groceries that I would begin to hate that mother fucker.
"Eimer," my manager approached me as my mind was completely lost staring at yet another beautiful blonde cashier's ass. "Can you come over here a minute."
I noticed the odd look on his face and presumed I was going to be fired. I should note that whenever a higher authority wants to talk to me, I always assume that I'm being fired.
"Ummm, I don't know how to put this, so I'm just going to say it," he said.
"What?" I asked. I was truly intrigued.
"Well," he paused. "Some fat guy shit in the men's restroom and left a pretty big mess. I need you to go clean it up."
Being head bagger, I figured this type of nonsense should be delegated to the last man on the totem pole. Restroom clean-up was definitely not on the head bagger's list of duties.
"What about Phil?" I said referring the store's new bagger/cart getter. "Or how about Jonas?"
"Oh we asked Phil. But when he found out he had to clean up someone else's shit, he quit," said the manager rubbing his head. "And Jonas just left for the day."
I probably looked like a zombie at this point.
"So can you take one for the team and help me out here?" the manager asked. "I won't forget it."
I tried to say "Fuck that shit. I quit too!" But, on the journey from my brain to my mouth, the wiring got all messsed up and instead I said, "Okay, I'll do it."
Armed with every cleaning product known to man, I entered the restroom and...let's just say it was a battle of epic proportions. Poop stains were everywhere. I'm not sure, but it almost looked like the guy just walked into the stall, backed up until the back of his knees hit the toilet. Then dropped his pants and took a shit without even sitting down. Or looking.
I should also note that this was, by far, one of my most degrading times at Ghetto Kroger; cleaning up a fat man's blowout.
However, another story came out of the entire poop-cleaning process. Last one I promise.
As I was cleaning up the chunky-man's shit, I started to read some of the writings on the bathroom stall. While making their brown sacrifice to the porcelain god, co-workers were scribbling a war of words with other co-workers. Some were dirty. Some were crude. Most of them roused some giggles from my shit-stained face.
Than I wondered, 'Was this the way early man communicated with each other?' Going from cave-to-cave, scrawling crude 'fuck you' and 'your penis is small' jokes for other cavemen to be entertained after a day's sabretooth hunting?
One particular quote caught my attention. Hmm, it wasn't really a quote. More of a poem.
No. Let's not say a poem.
Sort of, almost, like a rap.
It went like this:
Moody Mas is teaching class.
Ya'll suckas are on my level.
Sicker than the Son of Sam I am.
I slam. I'm worse than the Devil.
No, it wasn't William Shakespeare, Cormac McCarthy or F. Scott Fitzgerald. Hell, it didn't even come close to Run DMC. But, somehow this rhyme found a spot in the gray matter of my brain going on 15 years now.
I just can't seem to shake it.
So, after I cleaned up the poop. I thoroughly washed my hands in the restroom sink.
Then I thought about the naked bum who, more than likely, probably washed his testicles in the same sink. I stopped mid-wash and instead opted to wash my hands in the sink located in the meat department. More sterile I figured.
On my journey, I couldn't help but recite that stupid rap over again. And, during my rap, I wanted to add a little flava. I decided to put a little thug into my newly remembered restroom rhyme...
Moody Mas is teaching class.
Ya'll suckas are on my level.
Sicker than the Son of Sam I am.
I slam. I'm worse than the Devil.
Fred, the cashier, was walking by and suddenly stopped in his tracks.
"What did you just say?" he asked me.
I recited the rap again.
"Dude," Fred said with a big smile on his face. "I wrote that!"
Other Stories from Ghetto Kroger:
Story #1: Intro
Story #2: Magic
Story #3: Big Head
Story #4: Goldilocks
Story #5: Jonas
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
[Enter Psycho murdering music here]
To be honest, I could give two shits about either side of the Is-cartoon-watching-good-or-bad-for-your-kids? spectrum. I grew up on Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and Disney and it really didn't hurt me too much. Plus, I think that's what sparked my creative juices to think up such brilliant pieces of artwork including Murder Hill, Retchie Retch and FUCK!.
But, I also understand the fact that too much of anything is a bad thing. Even cocaine.
So, anyway, it was Saturday. It was 8 a.m. And my daughter just finished breakfast. We decided to turn on the TV, chill out for an hour or so in the playroom and watch some cartoons.
But, instead of watching what I thought was going to be Little Einsteins, we were bombarded by the sights, sounds and images of My Friends Tigger and Pooh.
We both let out a collective groan.
This past weekend the show came on again. For the next 27 minutes, I sat there with my daughter trying to figure out why it was so damn weird.
Then it hit me.
Darby is, in fact, a very old lady living in a mental hospital called the Hundred Acres Woods Mental Facility.
She met a guy called Christopher Robin (acute schizophrenia), who introduced Darby to all the great creatures he'd met while at the Hundred Acres Woods. As it turns out, all of the characters such as Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Tigger and the elephant are also humans playing out this weird, psychotic theater of the mind at the facility.
Even Pooh, who is a 60-year old male suffering from early-stages of dementia, is in on the action.
And although it appears that all of Darby's adventures are taking place in the Hundred Acres Wood. In reality the hijinx are being orchestrated in a 12' x 12' padded room with the entire motley crew strapped in straight jackets.
Robin, who was released from the facility prior to the start of the show, returns in a couple episodes to visit Darby and the rest of the 'patients' at the facility. Under the doctor's order, he humors them and plays along with their little adventures although he's totally cured of his condition through meds.
So what do you think? Am I totally off or what?
I think not.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Someone in the pack picked the 1995 novel Blindness written by Jose Saramoga, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998.
The novel is about a society suffering an epidemic of blindness, which completely shuts down commerce, manufacturing and even (gulp) advertising agencies.
Imagine a world without copywriters?
In any event, a lot of people in the book club seemed to like the book.
Personally, I was not one of them.
For starters Saramoga uses an experimental style often featuring long sentences like the one youre reading now Sometimes they are more than a page long He also fails to use periods and instead connects thoughts with commas Oh yeah he uses no quotation marks to express dialogue He also fails to announce which character is talking or which character is doing a specific action In this particular novel Saramago sometimes abandons the use of proper nouns as well which can be very confusing to a person that simply wants to relax when reading a book Whew
When I was reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road, zero quotation marks around the dialogue didn't bother me at all.
When I was reading Blindness, the above style was very tedious and very annoying to me. More often than not, I would lose my train of thought. Instead of picturing characters and words in my mind, I would daydream about what I was going to eat for lunch the next day. I just couldn't get into the book. And I'm 100% sure it had a lot to do with his writing technique.
Like I said, some people in the group weren't bothered by his style. Instead, they enjoyed a very deep, engrossing, thought-provoking book. Or so I'm told. Maybe they were lying.
In any event, when I found out Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) signed on to direct a movie adaptation of the book starring Julianne Moore, Danny Glover and Mark Ruffalo among others, I was extremely intrigued.
No, not intrigued enough to read the book again. But intrigued nonetheless.
Check out the trailer below:
My first opinion of the trailer: it reminds me of the movie Children of Men, starring Clive Owen, Michael Caine and, ironically, Moore.
It also feels a little bit apocalyptic zombie like 28 Days Later or even George Romero's underrated Day of the Dead. Perhaps it's because of the bleak, overexposed cinematography from César Charlone - who was also behind the camera for both Gardener and God.
Don McKeller adapted the screenplay from Saramoga's book. Coincidentally, he also co-wrote two of the most underrated art-house flicks I've ever seen in Highway 61 and Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould,
I dunno. Much like my hesitation to see Perfume based on it's title alone, I'm not really psyched to see a movie about blind people called Blindness.
But it does look interesting and compelling to say the least. Plus, it's got a great cast, great director, great writer and great cinematographer. Eventually, I think I'll check this one out just to give these guys some money to continue to ply their trade. More than likely, though, it will be on DVD.
Regardless, I can assure you that it will garner some kudos come 2008 movie awards season.
So...what do you think?
NOTE: Every year, I go on a hiking trip to unknown parts of the nation. Tomorrow, I'll be heading out to the wild-blue yonder of Tennessee to tackle 45 miles of the Appalachian Trail with five other hell raisers pushing 40 years old. Later.
Monday, July 7, 2008
As I scanned the room, you could just tell that no one was paying any attention to her.
Some were doodling. Some were drooling. Others were picking their nose. Some were even flicking their nose. I, however, was scrawling EIMER FOR PRESIDENT on my brown paper grocery bag history book cover.
No, no one was paying attention to her stupid presentation. Because all thoughts (at least my own) were firmly focused on the upcoming class presidential elections scheduled to occur right after history class.
The three candidates (myself included) were going to read campaign speeches in front of the class in hopes of persuading potential suckers to vote for us.
I practiced my speech all night and couldn't wait to take the stage. It was funny, yet sublime. Poignant, yet loosey-goosey. It was perfect.
Without being too cocky, I knew that after my speech was over, I was destined to be President of Steeple Valley.
My thoughts of conquering the world were rudely interrupted by Ms. Myers' scraggily voice.
"My oh my," she said in a high octave that woke up the class. "I've been through a lot of wars."
Then she looked up in the air, deep in thought, and started counting the various wars on her fingers.
"Vietnam...World War 1...World War 2....Korean," she put a finger to her mouth and started tapping her lip. "Mmmmm?"
Suddenly this kid Jason (who was also running for class president) yelled from the back row.
The class started to laugh.
Ms. Myers, however, got pissed.
She gave Jason one of those Marty Feldman, angry teacher glares. Then, without saying a word, held out her skeleton-like finger and pointed towards the door.
With a big shit-eating grin on his face, Jason shuffled off to the principal's office; an inevitable detention was in his foreseeable future.
More importantly, he wouldn't be able to deliver his campaign speech to the masses.
But, it really didn't matter.
Much to Ms. Myers chagrin (and my own), his one-word pre-election campaign speech cemented his legacy as our Sixth-Grade Class President.
It was a landslide victory.
Kudos to you Jason. Kudos to you.
As they say in the news; there's no such thing as bad publicity. Especially if it's funny.
Click here for another childhood story involving Jason.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
Besides the fact that you'll be surrounded in poop for the next couple years, there are 20 important things that I've learned during my two-year baby-raising tour of duty that I think will help virtually every new parent out there.
While this crap (pun intended) is still in my mind, I would like to spread a little love, advice and tips about the first year of parenting.
As always, take it with a grain of salt. Hopefully, one or two will hit home with you.
Also, I hope this doesn't come off as too pretentious. Like a lot of people in the world, I've lived the life of raising a baby for the past two years. So, hopefully, my unique perspective on the matter can help you out when your back is against the wall and you see that little thing pop out of your wife's ....(well, you know what I'm trying to say).
1.) Baby’s Room = Far, Far, Away
After you have a kid, you may think that you'll be spending most of your time in the living room, dining room or even the baby’s room. Wrong. You’re going to be spending a big amount of your time in the kitchen. In fact, everyone is going to be in the kitchen. Whether you’re making bottles, washing dishes, making dinner, grabbing a beer after a stressful day or just relaxing; you’ll be hanging out in the kitchen. So that’s why it’s important to have the baby’s room as far away from the kitchen as possible. Heck, if your bedroom is the farthest point, I would suggest moving your kid’s room into that room during, at least, the first six months. Also, if you don't have dishwasher, buy one today. You're going to need it.
Unless your kid is a freak of nature, you will be up at night. It’s okay. It’s okay. Don’t panic. In 10 or 12 months, you’ll be fine. But those first six months are pretty brutal on the sleepless scale. That’s why I suggest you invest in a subscription to Netflix. I don’t know how many times I was up at night with both of my newborn kids with two hours to kill between sleep and feedings and thinking “Man, I wish I had a movie to watch.” Netflix is the way to go. Click here to read my full report on Netflix. Oh, and I suggest the three-movie deal because, with this deal, you can also download more than 50,000 titles to your computer. My DVD compilation suggestions? Weeds, Entourage, Lost, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development and The Wire.
3.) Invest in a Sound Machine or Fan.
I don’t care if you’re a hippy who doesn’t want your kid to be a victim of incessant noise pollution, you should invest in some type of white noise maker. Even a CD with continuous waves will do. Why? Well, for starters it gives your kid a better sleep, both day and night. Plus you won’t have to tiptoe around the house when you’re trying to get shit done while the baby’s asleep. NOTE: If your other half insists on playing The Cure's Greatest Hits for your child at night, please smash the CD as soon as possible.
4.) Nip the Colic.
If the baby is crying uncontrollable, don’t try to weather the storm yourself. As Kool Moe Dee said "Go see the doctor." There’s nothing more unsettling (to you and the baby) than a baby that’s crying uncontrollably for four straight days. I mean, you’re already walking on pins and needles trying to feed, change and make sure your kid is as comfortable as possible. If the baby is crying like a fiend, take her to the doctor ASAP and get something for its belly. There is medication out there that can help. Our doctor prescribed baby Pepcid for both our daughter and son. And it worked wonders.
5.) Always ask for Formula and Diapers.
If parenthood were Fight Club. The first rule of Parenthood would be to always ask for Formulas and Diapers. The second rule of Parenthood is to ALWAYS ASK FOR FORMULA AND DIAPERS. Your parents will call. Then they'll ask if they can bring anything. Whatever you do, don’t say “No, we’re cool.” You are a new parent. You are not cool. Instead, say, “Yes, bring formula and diapers.” Formula and diapers are to your baby what gas is to a car = expensive and necessary. If your birthday is coming up, ask for formula and diapers as a gift. For Christmas, don’t ask for a new set of boxer shorts. Ask for formula and diapers. Hell, I've got it so ingrained into my parent’s brains, that they don’t even have to ask. They just bring formula and diapers up instinctively. Like Pavlov's dogs.
6.) Baby's first Christmas.
Don’t buy anything. Don’t you dare buy one thing for your baby. The grandparents will buy everything your child needs and then some. Save your money for Tip #5. Plus, the baby won’t remember getting gifts from you anyway. In fact, the first two Christmas's are like a Monopoly Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free-Card for parents when it comes to purchasing gifts.
7.) Baby's first birthday.
See rule #6. The only thing you need to invest in is a great party. So, spend your cash on cake, balloons, beer and food for the guests. Let me repeast this for the more dense new parents out there; DON'T BUY ANY PRESENTS FOR YOUR KID. Period. The grandparents and other family members will buy enough.
During the first six months, both of our kids wore onesies 95% of the time. Why? Because they're practical that's why. Sure, you may see a cute cowboy or sailor outfit and think your kid will look like a doll in it. Hell, we thought the same exact thing when we purchased these cool Ohio State and Purdue outfits for our kids. We didn't dress them in the outfits once. So take my advice: when you're filling out your baby registry, just ask for onesies. They’re cheap. They’re comfortable for the kid (who will be dying to move his legs any chance he can get). Plus they’re easy access when you’re changing a diaper in pitch black at 3 a.m.
9.) Don’t buy shoes.
During the first nine months, both of our kids hardly wore shoes. Don't buy shoes. They're worthless. Only socks and bare feet are the way to go. During her first nine months on this Earth, I think our daughter wore shoes once (for her baptism). Our son has only had shoes on once in his nine months as well. Sure, those little Nikes are cute, but they’re not practical. Save your dough and go see Tip #5.
10.) Get out of the house.
Truth be told, you’re going to want to get away from the kid. You may not think you want to. You may think you’ll want to hold it and love it 24 hours a day. But you won’t. You’ll want to get away. At least for a little while. When that time comes, swallow your pride and have everyone you know come over to help. Grandparents. Sisters. Brothers. Uncles. Nieces. Friends. Nephews. They all want to see this kid grow up to be awesome. So they’re not going to do anything to harm a little hair on his or her body. Take advantage of the seasoned veterans in your family. Then get the hell out of dodge for a couple hours. Go shopping. Go to BW3 and have a beer. Go drive your car around the neighborhood and listen to music. But please for the love of god, get out of the house.
11.) Baby Boot Camp
Eventually, you’ll want your baby to start putting itself to sleep at night. Especially if you both work. When that time comes, I suggest the Ferber method. Basically, it’s letting your baby cry for a specific amount of time, going into the room and comforting said baby, then letting the baby cry again until, exhausted he/she falls asleep. Sure, at times, it can be heart-breaking. But think of it as an investment on your sleep time. When we first tried our own version of the Ferber method (every parenting technique is different), we had to endure both of our kids crying at night. Sometimes for an hour or so. Yep, it was sad. Even if you're the hardest Hells Angels member around, you'll still, want to run in, scoop him up and let him go to sleep on your shoulder. But hold strong. In the long run (two to three weeks or even a couple days), you’ll be happy you did. It took our daughter a while before she caught on. But our son took to it pretty fast. He hardly cries at all when you put him down, which is awesome.
12.) Get as much sleep as possible.
During the first six months of both newborns, as soon as my mom and dad walked in the door, my wife-to-be and I would hand the kids over and head to the bedroom to take a nap. If your parents come over for a visit, go take a nap. If your sister, brother or friends come over, excuse yourself and take a nap. Even if it's for 15 minutes. It’s not rude and it’s not selfish. You'll need as much sleep as you can for the night shifts. Plus, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to kick some baby ass after you wake up.
13.) Invest in a babysitter.
Whether it’s your next-door neighbor, a friend of the family, parents or aunt; get a babysitter once in a while. Don’t feel guilty by getting out of the house for a couple hours, or even a night, and having a bit of fun. You've earrrrrned it.
14.) Take your baby to a restaurant.
We took our daughter to a sushi restaurant when she was six weeks old. We took our son to Winking Lizard when he was even younger. Now they’re both fairly civilized at any family restaurant that we drag them too. Of course, there’s a time window of getting in, having a beer or glass of win and eating. But I would say, 9 times out of 10 they’re great. And I firmly believe it’s because we initiated them into the restaurant scene sooner than later.
15.) Embrace the matriarch.
During the first couple days home after the birth, have your mom stay overnight with you. Preferably the daughter’s mother. If that can’t happen, suck it up and have the father’s mother stay all night. They will provide great support in what will probably be the most stressful and, arguably, the most emotionally tumultuous time of your life.
16.) Plan a vacation.
You always need something to look forward to. Especially when you have a screaming two-month old in your arm at 4 o'clock in the morning. That’s why, it may sound weird, but I encourage you to plan a vacation with or without your baby. Even if it’s an overnight trip, you’ll have something on the horizon to look forward to in the future while you’re taking care of your newborn in the present. Before our daughter arrived, we planned a trip to the Jersey shore and took her with us when she was only three-months old. If I didn’t have that vacation in my sights, I’m not sure what I would have done during those first three months. In hindsight, the vacation was a little crazy, but it was still a great, memorable time nonetheless. (NOTE: I think it was because my parents came for half of the trip). More importantly, it broke up the monotony of getting up, feeding baby, changing diaper, going to work, eating lunch, coming home, feeding baby, changine diaper, going to bed. If you don't plan a trip, it's like freaking Groundhog Day.
17.) Diaper Dékor Plus
If you don’t pay attention to anything I say on this post, I advise you to listen to this tip. Go to Baby’s R Us. Ask your parents. Do anything and everything you can. But purchase a Diaper Dékor Plus Waste Basket. Rather than go into detail about this particular product, all I can say is it’s a wonder of engineering. It’s worth the money. Oh, and by the way, If you happen to purchase one (like I advised), add Diaper Dékor Plus refillable trashbags to your list when referencing Tip #5 to family and friends.
From personal experience, I think it’s important to get your kid outdoors. That's why it's very wise to invest a little more money in a lightweight, jogging stroller that can handle the day-to-day activities of a rugged urban environment such as potholes, cement, staircases, grass and rocks. My suggestion: Bugaboo. I’ll admit my mouth dropped when I saw the price. Yours will too. But, hear me out on this. It’s the best investment we’ve ever made pertaining to our children. Minus, of course, the vaccines. Nowadays, you can probably buy a cheap one on Craig's List or E-bay. It truly is the Rolls Royce of strollers. It’s freaking awesome because it handles any condition that the Earth throws at you including sand, puddles, rocks, mud, grass, limestone, even lava (or so I'm told). If you’ve got a little extra dough, invest in one of these bad boys. It practically pays for itself. I mean, our daughter is still using it at two years old. Hell, I may never get rid of it because it's so awesome. I'm going to say awesome one more time. Awesome.
19.) I-pod, Sirius or XM speaker system.
When you have a baby, it’s time to face the fact that you’re going to be spending a lot of time at home. A lot. Especially if it's winter. More importantly, you'll be spending time in the kitchen (see Tip #1). That’s why I suggest you invest in an I-pod, XM or Sirius speaker system for unlimited musical convenience at your finger tips. If you’re feeding the kid (in the kitchen), just pop in a Jack Johnson song or your favorite mellow Bob Marley tune. If the kid's asleep and you feel like rocking out on the patio in your wine-soaked stupor, go ahead and crank it up a notch to the soulful sounds of Rage Against the Machine and/or Nine Inch Nails - all without switching those stupid CDs. Plus, your kid gets a taste of all types of music at an early age. It’s a win-win situation all around.
20.) Create a play room.
Whether you like it or not, your kid is going to be rolling around on the ground. That’s why it’s important to have as much room as possible for them to freely stretch their legs without grabbing something and/or putting it into their mouth or banging their dome on a sharp instrument lying around your utility room (perhaps a bong?). When my wife-to-be and I moved into our house, we deemed the carpeted living room area next to the kitchen, the official kids playroom area. It contains all of their toys, a TV (for Little Einsteins and Sesame Street) and a couch for us to crash out on. It’s one of the smartest things we did when we moved. The kids have a place that they can call their own, reducing the amount of clutter in the bedrooms and around the house. Plus, it’s a cool place to just lounge around and have fun with your spawn.
Well, there you have it, 20 tips for first-time parents; a guy's perspective.
I know, I’m probably missing some other important stuff such as bath time, investing in a dishwasher and tips for visiting other people’s houses (perhaps there will be another list?) But I think this list will get you on the right path to becoming a sane parent during the first year of your newborn’s life.