Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bad Manners

Another week, another John Carpenter milestone with the kids. Movie night was The Thing and it was everything I hoped it would be. "It was suspense, a mystery, horror and gross!" After church today I learned the 9 year old had spoken about it with his Sunday school group... as well as his 'prayer' that I'd let him watch The Shining soon. Also... this was his artistic contribution to the class... Bad manners indeed.
Meanwhile, both boys can no longer count on me to help them with their homework, other than to give a little moral support. Not sure how early, or if I ever, peaked, but they've both clearly surpassed me in brainial pursuits. I would like to point out that I can still kick their butts in a straight up brawl. For a little while longer.

Recently read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book to them, and both responded very enthusiastically to it. Thanks, Laura Benedict for the recommendation. Before that, we read The Shibboleth, John Hornor Jacobs' second chapter in the Incarcerrado trilogy. Looking forward to part 3 next year. Both boys have now read Rick Riordan's Olympians series (and the 10 year old chewed through the next series remarkably fast) and both are now taking on Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games books. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


My 8 year old learned how to ride a bike this week. He's had about 10 minutes of practice per year since he was 5. So little due to there being nowhere a kid could learn to ride within pushing a bike distance from our house. Anytime we've taken the boys out to ride bikes it's required us to pile the boys plus two bikes into an automobile and drive to a spot with an empty enough black top to practice on. For some reason it's also a requirement that the day be hot as balls - which doesn't sweeten the deal for anybody.

Anyhow, on a recent trip to the grandparents' house, the kid picked up the knack and now we're piling bikes into the car and driving to an empty parking lot with some regularity. And here's what he does...

...pedals the length of the big empty lot, puts his feet down to stop, gets off the bike, manually turns it around (a process that takes about 30 seconds), remounts and pedals the length again.

1 lap = one bazillion minutes.

Still... cool.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Escape From New York

During our weekly movie nights, I often take the boys through a series. Recently we did The Terminator movies and The Matrix films. We coupled reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books with viewing both the BBC mini-series and the more recent feature film adaptation, and we did the same thing with the Harry Potter books/movies, but this weekend was a big one. We took on Escape From New York and the next day because our trip to the pool was cut short by thunderstorms, Escape From L.A.

Afterward we checked out some righteous poster art, cause nothing reinforces an awesome book/film like super badass art.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


8 year old will swear that Siracha makes anything edible. Tonight it was orange chicken + Siracha = clean plate... and I suspect singed nose hairs.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What I'm Reading to the Boys

We take turns picking the books, but these are the last several titles I've read to them...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Stellar Struggle

The kids and I have been mesmerized by cheap Star Wars ripoffs from the late 70s & early 80s lately. What they lack in originality, they make up for in lack of budget.

Battle Beyond the Stars

Message From Space

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fart Test

Almost never do I respond to internet memes, but every once in a while one comes along so entirely (ahem) up my alley that I go a bit overboard. Last week a friend posted the DESCRIBE YOUR LAST FART USING ONLY A MOVIE TITLE one and, yeah I responded.

Over 200 times.

A week later I got a phone call at work first thing in the morning and it's my 8 year old calling with his own contribution to the list - The Desolation of Smaug - and last night while recounting the phone call for some guests, the 9 year old goes through our DVDs and makes his own list, prompting one guest to ask my wife "How does it feel to have given birth to your own husband?"

So here's that list:

- The Black Hole
- The Man Who Wasn't There
- The Getaway
- Doomsday
- Escape From New York
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
- A Series of Unfortunate Events
- The Ladykillers
- Burn After Reading
- Rabid
- Dirty Pretty Things
- Mission Impossible
- Danger Mouse
- Pitch Black
- The Thing
- Basic Instinct
- Kill Bill
- Don't Go Into the Woods
- Mystic River
- Pusher
- A Fistful of Dynamite
- Billy the Exterminator
- Find Me Guilty
- Dawn of the Dead
- Little Miss Sunshine
- Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
- Human Nature
- A Mighty Wind
- Return of the Living Dead
- Chain Reaction
- Good Night and Good Luck
- 28 Days Later

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Zaphod Beeblebrox

2 heads, 3 arms, the 9yr old tells me he made Lego Zaphod Beeblebrox

Must Eat: a poem

From the boy's composition book

Must Eat

I was going to eat
but i'm not hungry any more
I was going to eat some meat
But I can not eat.
I'm on a deit because I'm fat
I'm on a deit because when I walk I hear my feet

- 2nd grader

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pusific Rim

One time me, my brother, and my dad were going to see a movie in the theater. it was the theater were they replay movies. we were going to see Pusific Rim. it is about robots that are attakeing aillens from a diffrent domeshin.

It was asome.

There was a lot of fighting in it. That made it better because I rilly like fighting, achon, horrer, and avencher movies and Psfic Rim was more of a achon and fighting movie.

Movie Night 4-4-14

The Scorpion King. My reaction - an even bigger piece of crap than I remembered it. The boys' reaction - fist pumping. My hope - starter Conan.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Movie Night 2011

I've had a weekly movie night with my two sons for a few years now and started documenting not just the flicks we go through at the scheduled time, but any others we catch in between.

The complete list for 2011 when the boys were 5-7 years old is here on Letterboxd and it features mostly old sci-fi and monster movies, but here are some of my favorites...

That'll Do, Pig. That'll Do.

So I had to punish my son for an attitude problem tonight. He didn't see the point of doing his stupid homework and I explained that the point was not actually to know the answer to a random mathematical problem or be able to hold forth on the merits or lack thereof of a young-reader's book, but to be able to demonstrate practical applications of the principles he has been lectured on.

I told him his punishment was not for not wanting to do the homework, but for having a bad attitude about doing it, to which he countered that he didn't actually have a bad attitude, but that I had misperceived his actions and tone. "I hope that's true," I said, "but even if it is, it's important for you to learn how your actions and tone may misrepresent your intent, therefore the punishment still stands."

Ten minutes later at dinner, once crankiness had been quashed by mom's homemade pizza and moods were considerably higher, he addresses me cheerily from across the table - in front of his mother whom he knows is often uneasy about the choice of film and literature I choose to expose he and his brother to and work through with them, and who might be taking it out of my hide for a few days - about a certain visually stunning and poetically violent bit of martial ballet we'd looked at recently.

"Hey dad, you remember in Kill Bill when (The Bride) chops off (O-Ren Ishii)'s head? You know how her scalp just flies through the air and then we see her brain? Wouldn't the sword have chopped off that part of the brain too?"

"Um... Yes. Remember, it's very stylized and not a realistic depiction of violence."

- Sheepish look from me.
- Withering look (directed at me) from mom.
- Satisfied smile from the boy who'd applied the principles from the lecture on tone he'd just received.

Game. Set. Match. That'll do, Pig.