Year: 2015

Catty Commentary on Halloween Costumes

My kids are still not old enough (at ages 4 and 2) to have moved into the age of pimp/slut Halloween costumes. But even “cute” Halloween costume catalogs deserve to be criticized and laughed at because, well, over-the-top anything deserves ridicule. And nowhere else do I find such derisive pleasure (and headaches from eye-rolling) as from the Catching Fireflies Halloween catalog. Ergo, I give you: This poor child didn’t understand when his daddy said, “I’ll throw some things together and make you a costume” that he’d dress as a ragged rug riddled with small pox. Chasing Fireflies. OK. The production value of the costumes in this catalog is pretty high. But this girl’s passé is horrendous. Point those toes, girls. Make those hands even. Circus ponies need better posture to be hired in Vegas. Chasing Fireflies Being cast as Brunhilda at age 7 is not cute. This is called a 3rd-grade school play costume…in Lappland. Not Halloween. There’s nothing glamorous about vikings. They had to live by pillaging reindeer jerky and salted cod, not Red …

Marathon Training: Not for My Mental Health

Ain’t that a cute video? Romantic shots of NYC during an evening run? So I’m training for the NYC marathon. I’m not a born long-distance runner, but I’m having fun. And I do enjoy my runs (afterward). A few weeks ago, I cranked out one of my 4-milers on a gorgeous fall evening along the Hudson River Park. I’ve been running with an action camera clipped to my visor to make silly videos like the one above. Here was my train of thought during the run: Nights like these I love New York; the weather, lit buildings, everyone exercising together. Tons of joggers. So. Many. Hotties. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be out in public around kids’ bedtime. There’s life going on while I’m herding cats, brushing teeth, collapsing. But I feel so alive among the nighttime masses. Nice pace. I could keep this up for awhile. I’m not gonna let anyone pass me, this time. No more slow running. And the smell of the river. Hmmm. Sewage-y. Love that Lackawanna ferry terminal …

BIKE SURVIVAL IN NYC: 13 UNOFFICIAL RULES

Assume that everyone else on the road is drunk and/or blind and/or learned how to drive 2 hours ago. Assume you are always obscured in blind spots, every is about to clip you, and every clueless pedestrian reading their phones will will step in front of you. Belligerence is a New York biker’s right. You are justified in yelling at every car that cuts you off or cuts across the bike lane. Carry on until they say “I’m sorry,” which you will probably never hear. But keep screaming at the violator. Then pedal on. Don’t ride in the middle of the bike lane, dummy. Ride on the right or the left to allow people (me) to pass you. If you’re “changing lanes” within the biking area, glance back and be aware of cyclists behind you. Just be aware, people! Be aware of everything around you. Bike traffic is like car traffic. You don’t change lanes without looking as you’re careening downing Main Street, USA, do you? Doubly true for bikes. Cuz we don’t have air …

Boys’ Pink Revolution?

A dear friend recently wrote to share her stress that her son wanted a pink backpack for school. Her son’s a wonderful, mathematically and mechanically-inclined little boy. Nothing “princess” about him. (I’m making myself nauseous dancing around gender cliches.) Brass tacks: he likes wearing his sister’s tutus from time to time, plays with lots of girls at school AND loves building space ships and cars –and the occasional toaster – out of Legos. So. He wanted a pink backpack for school. My friend agonized over it. Of course she’s 100% supportive of her son sporting a pink backpack and couldn’t give a rat’s ass if he becomes a drag queen or a mechanical engineer. But even she couldn’t stop herself from warning , “Okay. We’ll get this backpack…but just be aware…some kids might says it’s for girls.” “Uh-huh,” he responded, undaunted. “Because it’s pink,” she emphasized. “Uh-huh.” After she hit “purchase”, she sent me the link for the backpack. Yeah. It was girly. My friend and I discussed the backpack and laughed at ourselves about …

It’s My Birthday. Calm Down.

Today is my birthday. My 40th. How did this happen? Old people are 40. Not me. People like figures of authority and teachers and parents and people accomplished who have life figured out and are settled in lives devoid of complaint or worry. Me? I’m still 25. And (currently, perennially) unemployed. I don’t have anything figured out. I still have many chapters of life and things to check off my list. How did I get to be 40? Admittedly, I look at pictures of my kids and see a man with lines all over his face in the background and I think, “Wait. Is that really ME?” Somebody called me Mr. Lodge, yesterday. Um…that means I have things figured out. No wonder the Holden Caulfields of the world see adults as phonies. We’re all just faking it, too. Is that a secret to life? I suppose. I’m mildly annoyed by the birthday “event”. I basically “wish away” these pain-in-the-asses where I should be happy or thrilled or partyrific or whatever. But more often than not, …

Scorecard: Daddy vs. Back-to-School

0:1 We didn’t start breakfast or moving until 45 minutes before we needed to be out the door…like…actually walking briskly to school, not just posing for pictures. 1 point: B2S 0:2 Ellison orders “toast, cereal, eggs, yogurt” for breakfast. When I place in front of him pampered eggs and golden toast, he cries because there’s no damn cereal. B2S gets one point. 0:3 Dog shits on the floor by the door. 1:3 No fight over what to wear. Ellison chooses one of my two optioned shirts. Score one for daddy. 1:4 Colton melts down when he realizes he has to stay at home. 0:4 I offer an iPad to muzzle him ( I lose a point) 0:5 I scramble, frantically, with 3 minutes to spare (before we will need to officially RUN on the first day of school) to find the fucking vintage chalkboard (weighing 10 pounds) to write our stupid facebook picture first-day stats. 0:6 Colton has been running around…naked. (I’m leaving him to my partner to manage.) He comes to me with poop …

One More Hollywood Bowl Anecdote

The morning of our performance weekend at the Hollywood Bowl in July, we had a “brunch” final dress rehearsal at 10 am (in blazing sunlight). Our babysitters brought Ellison and Colton. I was able to see them in the audience, which thrilled me. I could see Ellison was transfixed by the show, his glasses glued to the stage. Colton? Not so much. That kid has no interest in live theatre. (Or screen time, for that matter. Ellison could watch the “Yule Log”. Colton couldn’t care less; which is really inconvenient when you just want HIM TO PLAY ON THE IPAD FOR 20 MINUTES SO I CAN COOK DINNER.) The show really stuck with Ellison. He told me, “My favorite part was when you were the daddy of the dirty guys.” After a few questions, I discerned that he mistook me for one of the principals during a song featuring half-dead plague victims dressed in muddy rags. I’m happy he assumed I was front and center. His other favorite part was “the Princess and her mermaids.” …

Eating From Another Century

While the entire country has returned to school (and my homies in Colorado have been edumacating themselves since June), tomorrow is the big day for my pre-k youngster. I’ve put little thought into it. I’m the last-minutest of last-minuters. Heaven help him when he tells me on a Tuesday morning, “I need a colonial costume, a book report on salmon spawning and a slow cooker full of locally-sourced clam chowder, today.” What’s giving me the most anxiety? Food. Tomorrow is only orientation for the parents with an hour-long visit to the classroom for the kiddo, so I think to myself, “I have another couple of days for lunch-packing dress rehearsal.” But who’m I kidding? I’ll wing it. Originally, I’d planned to use my mom’s formula from 1981-1994: PB&J, Capri-Sun, a sprig of grapes (usually past their prime…tasting like wine), and two chocolate chip Soft Batch cookies. I’m not kidding. I ate that 98% of the lunches through my senior year. My beloved mom was too cheap (was that it?) to let me eat “hot lunch”, …

Back from the Bowl (Hollywood, that is)

So…that was fun. As predicted, since 99% of our time was spent rehearsing for Spamalot, my sons were less enthused about Los Angeles than my partner or I. “Yay! Beaches, palm trees, a pool in our apartment complex…wait, wait, wait…where did our daddies go?” Our two sitters were marvelous. I spared their sanity and insisted they split days in half. But that mean they both took the boys on daily adventures in babysitting. That meant our boys had two-days-in-one…every day. No toddler needs to see both the La Brea Tar Pits and the Pasadena Children’s museum in one day. But it was enriching. I think. So there were tears most mornings. My partner felt guilty. I did not. They are loved and doted upon and attended to all the time. Enrichment in SoCal outweighed morning tears. As for the show, I had a great time. It was “summer stock for celebrities.” (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Christian Slater, Warwick Davies, Craig Robinson, Merle Dandridge.) All the leads were total team members and approached the intensive with whimsical …