Sunday, January 22, 2012

2011 recap

This, along with a letter I wrote to Joseph for his birthday are late to being posted because I can't post from work for some reason. I don't know why. But here it is:

I'm not gonna lie, 2011 had its ups and downs. On the whole it was awesome because, well because I am awesome and so is my family. We were pretty much broke the whole year, but having a family on one income is not the norm these days, and there is a reason for that. Not that I would have it any other way. Jennifer is way better at raising my kids than a day care is. That might not hold true for everybody. Actually it would. Jenn could raise anybody's kids better than a day-care.
My job is holding steady at its current level of awesomeness. I get to basically draw pictures for a living. You can't beat that. Well, I guess I could get to have sex for a living, but from what I understand, most people in the sex industry are a bit broken.

Away we go:

In 2011:
• We had a new baby! Jillian Marie came along in August, and we couldn't be happier. We love her. The boys love her. The dogs love her. Basically everybody thinks she's the bee's knees. They are right think this.
• I entered my 36th year.
• Jackson, his 6th
• Joe his 4th (just a few days ago)
• Jennifer her 26th. Again. I don't know how she does that.
• I got hella plagiarized.
• Got into a fight with some tattooed miscreants.
• Spent almost the whole summer at the pool, and did not get a tan or loose any weight.
• On that note, I didn't loose any of the weight I promised myself I would.
• Joseph started a 3 year old program at Channing. He loves it.
• Jackson started Kindergarten at a language immersion school, and is excelling in every way. He's far exceeded the teacher's expectations. So much so, that he gets extra homework. Woo hoo! Extra homework!
• Jennifer has become very active in the PTA, to the surprise of absolutely no one.
• I did not change positions at work, nor did we move into a different house. This is actually kind out of the norm for us.
• What we did instead is an awful lot of small but significant work on the house. The sucker is shaping up nicely.
• A lot of very good television was made this year. I watched a lot of it.
• I went to the movies a total of three times. A new low.
• After a pretty wobbly financial state for most of the year, I finally feel like I have my shit together. It was a hard slog, and I could not have done it without the help of a few very awesome people.
• I went to get a physical for the first time in many many years. There were some problems that stem mainly from me being a fat ass. I also found out I have an honest to god syndrome!

So looking into 2012, I think we will kick some serious bottom. Jack will enter 6th grade, and Joe will start pre-k at the same school Jackson goes to. He can. Not. Wait. It's all he talks about. Well, not all, but a lot.
I do hope to get back into this blogging thing. I may start a new one, even.


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Zombies are coming

So like every good former (or closeted) goth/industrial kid out there, I love October. This is for many many reasons. Not the least of which is that the oppressive heat associated with Oklahoma has usually subsided, allowing me to venture outdoors without copious amounts of nasty, greasy sunblock and a sweat towel(being fair-skinned and overweight is a real bitch in the summertime*).
Another reason is Halloween, obviously. Halloween has taken on... not really new meaning, but perhaps renewed meaning now that I have kids and can vicariously live through them. We get haunted houses and candy and t-shirts with skulls on them and trick or treating in the neighborhood and the Zoo and the Mall and where ever else. Watching them have so much goram fun stabs me with nostalgia. Even when their whims don't coincide with my own. Jackson has tired of Star Wars, I am sad to say. Maybe because my own obsession started when I was his age and has yet to abate, I see SW going out of favor and being replaced by Super Mario with a little twinge of sadness. Mario is awesome and all, don't get me wrong, but I was never as into him as Jackson is now, and certainly not at the expense of Luke and the boys. I was all excited when Lego Star Wars III was going to come out because I really wanted to play it.** Jackson was underwhelmed, and we ended up getting Mario Kart instead. Which is also awesome, and a lot of fun with all three of us boys playing, but still.
So anyway, October. The main reason I love October is because of TV and movies. On the silver screen, we get an onslaught of horror movies to veg out on before all the Oscar contenders come in and make us have to think. Now that the torture porn genre is finally giving way to more traditional horror and comedy horror is on the rise, I actually have something to look forward to this year. On TV, all the American shows are starting back up, all the English and summer shows are winding down, and we get a whole mess of premiers and finales all jumbled up together.

I am extra excited this year because we get a new season of The Walking Dead.

I have high hope for this season, even given all the Hoopla over the summer of the showrunner, Frank Darabont getting fire or quitting or whatever. I have high hopes for three reasons:
1) Because Robert Kirkman is still very much involved. It is his baby, and hopefully, he won't let it go astray.
2) Because the webisodes were fucking awesome.
3) The cast and crew seem to think this season is going to kick ass, and I believe them.

They are also going to air an after show hosted by Chris Hardwick following each episode, so that sounds cool as well.

Happy hunting.


*In the winter it's okay because I have a layer of blubber to protect me from the elements, much like a polar bear or seal.

**We all know the prequels are crap for the most part, but we can also agree that the Clone Wars TV show is effing awesome, right?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A letter to Jackson on his 6th birthday.

Well, buddy. This has been a heck of a year!
You finished up your last year of pre-school, and have open up like a flippin' lotus flower. Last year you played by yourself in the corner at play time. You participated when called upon, but were not likely to initiate much. This year was a complete reversal. You made friends, did great work and even asked to be on the soccer team. And that brain of yours! So smart.
It has been a bit trying to find you a new school. We thought you were going to Eisenhower because you aced the test and a lot of kids from Channing go there. Then they ran out of room. Same story with Zarrow, and with TPS reconfiguring everything, we didn't know if you were going to this new school they came up with or if we could afford a private school or just regular public school, which would have been fine. So finally we found out that you made it into the dual-language school, and I think you will do really well there. You have a really good grasp of language and grammar, so you should do fine.
Your brother sure is something, isn't he? He got to go to your school this year, didn't he?
He's got big shoes to fill.
You found out that you're going to have a sister this year! You should be happy. You have been lobbying for one ever since you found out Joe was going to be a boy. It's been awesome seeing the two of you wrap your heads around you mom's pregnancy. There was on night when this happened:
Jackson: Mom? Can I listen to your tummy?
Jen: Sure.
You put your head on her stomach and listened.
Jen: What do you think she's doing in there?
Jackson: Just swimming around... I wish I could control her mind.
And then you walked off.
This is what I love about you. Your imagination seeps into every day occurrences. I hope you keep it up.
You got glasses this year, adding to your Nerd cred.
You have been helping your brother a lot. Just kind of teaching him about the world and what not. He really looks up to you, but I think that once he figures out what his "thing" is, he'll be a force to be reckoned with.

This next year will see you starting at a real 5 day a week school, welcoming a sister, and mentoring your brother. It'll be a good one. Crazy but good.

I love you.


Friday, July 15, 2011


As anybody who knows me knows, I am a very big fan of British film, TV and literature. Actually, anybody who even vaguely knows me, or has read any of my blog posts over the past year or so would know that.
So here's the deal: I don't really care about Harry Potter. There. I said it. Feels good, actually.
Let me qualify this a little. I think Harry is fine. I love that a very English character has made it on a world wide level. Some may argue that Doctor Who did this way back in the '60s, but his following was always more cerebral and cultish rather that the all encompassing brand that is Harry Potter.
I put my time in. I read all the books. Or, more accurately, I read the first three, and listened to the rest as audio books. I thought they were okay. Not the best, but mildly entertaining. They are kids books*, but I don't really care about that because I read a lot of books aimed at younger audiences. Still read the occasional Hardy Boys book if you insist on knowing what kind of Nerd I am. So I give the HP books some slack. Perhaps because of over exposure, or because the blind fanaticism leaves me feeling a little icky(which is no small feat given my love of Sci-fi, and the fact that I have been known to frequent the conventions), or perhaps because I think that while good, the franchise isn't as wonderful as all the hype would suggest, but these days I'm more meh than anything else about it.
Maybe that makes me a poor Nerd, but I have to pick and choose what I can be fanatical about.
I don't have enough disposable income for everything. My kids still gotta eat.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tardises? Tardi? Everywhere!

So I've been all about Dr. Who my whole life. I've written about it a lot here, so you all know that.
But something is happening. Something awesome.
It seems the whole world is jumping on board. I know this because it has reached rural Oklahoma.

Is that not awesome? The fact that people(nerds) from all over the world came together to get this girl a Tardis of her own is just adorable.

On a similar note, I have fulfilled a lifelong dream to make a door in my house into the Tardis door. I've wanted to do this since I was seven, but never had the guts to ask my parents if I could. Now that I have kids of my own who are following in my nerdy footsteps, and a wife who is awesome in that she will indulge me in my eccentricities, I was able to get it done. It is by no means perfect and i have a little more work to do on it. I fucked up the lighting on the panels because I was working on it upside down for no good reason, and my brain didn't reconcile that fact, but it still looks cool. And I have to make the "pull to open" sign, but on the whole, I'm pretty happy with it:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thoughts on the new Beastie Boys album

So I've stuck with these guys since I was 11 years old, and had saved my pennies to but a cassette of License to Ill. It was one of the first pop albums I found out about completely on my own. Through most of my youth, I mooched off of my older and wiser brother's musical tastes like a lot of younger siblings did. When I was 10, my Mom remarried, and for reasons that have nothing to do with anything relevant, my brother went to live with my dad, and I went to live with my mom. So I was kind of on my own to a certain extent.
As is every suburban kid's God given right, I lived in the basement of our house. I was lucky in that I had my own room, and my own living area, where my step dad eventually put a TV complete with cable. I think this was done specifically so that I would leave him alone. In the '80s, he was a very "beer and football" kind of a guy, where I was more of a "Dr. Pepper and Dr. Who" kind of a guy. So with a cable enabled TV and the '80s beckoning to me from the family room, I watched a lot of Bullwinkle, Robotech and MTV.
Naturally, MTV shoved the Beasties into my face, and I thanked them for it. I've kept up with them ever since, buying every album as it came out. This, in contrast to MTV itself, which I abandoned long long ago. I was one of the few who embraced Paul's Boutique whole heatedly, and Ill Communication and Check Your Head defined my High School years just as much as Nevermind or Pretty Hate Machine or The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste did. That was one of the wonderful things about the Beastie Boys. You could be a punky, little industrial boy and still be a fan. It was allowed because they were really doing their own thing. Sure, it was and still is deeply rooted in hip-hop, but the Beasties always managed to zig when everybody else zagged.
Their previous album, The Mix Up
, an all instrumental done mainly I imagine because of MCA's throat cancer diagnosis, while not as good as the previous collection of Jazz-Funk tunes, The In Sound From Way Out, was nonetheless very good. Perhaps because I knew all about MCA's condition, the lack of lyrics added a slightly somber note to that album, and I could never get as into it as I could most of the others. It's like I could picture MCA back there on bass with a bandaged neck, and it just made me sad.
Now that I've had a few weeks to process this thing, I feel like Hot Sauce Committee is the exact opposite. This album exists to let everybody know that everybody is healthy and ready to party. A very nostalgic album, this thing could have been the follow up to License to Ill and nobody would have noticed. It isn't full of knock-outs, and I think they resort to their occasional use of a heavy, constant beat with almost whispered spoken word lyrics over the top a little too much, but what is good on this album is VERY good and very well made. Nothing seems over-mixed, which was the problem with a lot of To The 5 Burroughs, nor under mixed like the Check Your Head era. This is a party album, pure and simple. Just watch the 30 minute video for the Make Some Noise single if you had any doubt.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Brit Week.

Is there a correlation between the premiere of the new season of Doctor Who and the Royal Wedding?
I think the hype around the new Who just a week before the wedding may have been a plot to get people used to seeing British people adorning their TV sets. Also to remind everybody that they aren't all stodgy uptight pricks, but some are actually pretty cool. I think that may also be why they devoted so much air time to the Beckham's red carpet entrance.