Monthly Archives: November 2013

Grazie, Mille Grazie

I generally avoid these kinds of things, or forget that it’s Thanksgiving, but this year I managed to see it coming. And I have some other projects I’m juggling. So if you’ll indulge me in my gratitude….

I’m thankful for 8pm

I’m thankful for the brave Brits who upload Peppa Pig, and Charlie & Lola to YouTube in defiance of international copywright law. Yea verily, they are modern day Robin Hoods.

I’m thankful for truffles in cheese, peanut butter in ice cream, and coffee in coffee.

I’m thankful that Rap Metal is dead.

I’m thankful to whoever makes sure those wooden tracks and toy trains are all the same size and can connect even though you bought some at a garage sale and some at ikea.

I’m thankful that William Shatner made another album

I’m thankful that I don’t have oozing conjunctivitis or live in Arkansas.

I’m thankful for my lack of felony charges.

I’m thankful that people in Minneapolis pay to see live theater.

I’m thankful for barley and hops and yeast and water and grumpy guys with beards who knew they could do better than Michelob

I’m thankful I don’t know any cannibals because I bet I’m delicious.

I’m thankful for the careers of Mick Foley and Benedict Cumberbatch.

I’m thankful for my lover, my lady, my Baby Mama.

And I’m thankful you’re still reading this.


You’re all wonderful. Don’t ever change.


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Jingle Bells Chime In Something Approximating A Loose Jingle Bell Time


“Spoils” is an ugly word. I hesitate to say the word “spoils” in relation to anything fatherhood but, let’s face it, fatherhood totally spoils stuff.

Law & Order? Can’t watch that.

Any of those murder mysteries from Scandinavia, with the girls and the tattoos and those dragons? No sir, no thank you.

All of my vast repertoire of pedophile jokes? They were so scandalously funny when I was twenty-three. But alas, twenty-three joins the many, many things I no longer am.

Pretty much anything where a child is in any sort of peril is off limits There are parts of even the mildest Charles Dickens that I have to close my eyes for.

On the flip side, it’s always refreshing when something comes up that I once found abhorrent which fatherhood opens up for me.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I work hard for the money in the general field of theater. And if you read closely you know that every year around this time I work on a holiday show.

For said holiday show it is not uncommon for various middles schools to send their crème de la musical crème over to play a boldly arranged medley of Christmas carols (peppered, of course, with the occasional theme from Peter Gunn) during the pre show warmup.

These go about as well as you might imagine, what with sheet music being more of a jumping off point, rather than a rigid framework. And “in tune” being such a slippery and relative idea.

Nothing makes the case for silence as a basic human right like a poorly played French horn.

But strangely, for the first time in my life – including my own time spent playing trombone (poorly) in middle school band – I have to say I kind of love it. It took Rocking Around The Christmas Tree and Little Drummer Boy to realize it, but there was something so awkwardly earnest, something so…sweet about it.

When you consider what thrills the average father – the ability to hold one’s head up, sit unaided, have an extremely imperfect control over where and when pooping happens – maybe it’s not surprising that Christmas music played poorly a week before thanksgiving could brighten up my day ever so slightly.

Well, maybe not brighten up my day. Donuts brighten up my day. It didn’t contribute to my suffering. Let’s leave it at that.

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Victory, But At What Cost?

Way back in the old days of gestation, when I was more of a vague worry to my parents and hadn’t yet given them anything concrete, my dear sainted Mother, so family legend goes, scarfed ice cream like she was popular media and it was the innocence of Miley Cyrus. She chalks it up to to me-induced cravings, which, if you consider my post natal stance on ice cream (yes. My stance is yes.) would seem at least consistent, if not definitive.

Although, if you take a similar look at my mom’s stance on ice cream since I made my grand entrance, you have to wonder if “craving” is still the right word after 35 years.

But, so anyway, sugar and I have gotten along famously these last 3.5 decades. Chocolate, ice cream, pastry, I’m like an episode of Sex And The City with chest hair and thrift store pants.

With this in mind, the Baby Mama and I made the decision to keep the little dude sugar-free for as long as we could. We had no illusions it would last forever, but if we could get to year 2 maybe his palette would be established to the point that he wouldn’t have the desperate quivering pathological need to end every meal with chocolate that curses his father.

He’s three. He’ll use every dirty trick in the toddler toolbox to wheedle cantaloupe or watermelon, but has never had so much as a chocolate chip.

Until, of course, the other day when we gave him a chocolate chip.

Fraught would be the word. I really had no idea how it would go. Like bacon soap, it could either be utterly sublime, or an unparalleled, three-stooges-level fiasco.

“Here’s a chocolate chip” said the Baby-Mama. He took it. Looked at it. Popped it in. And I swear I saw a curiously pleased look flash briefly across his hilariously expressive face. Flash briefly, I say, before this mild grimace settled in and the chocolate chip, slightly melted was deposited on his plate.

He’s tried one since, and reported to his Mama “You don’t like chocolate.” By which he means, “I don’t like chocolate.” Because pronouns are a process.

But so he doesn’t like chocolate. We won.

And yet…

I can’t help but react (at least part of me) the way I do when anyone else claims to not like chocolate: My son is in Al Qaida.

I mean, how do you not like chocolate? Do you like justice? Do you like clothing on ugly people? There are some things without which society itself would descend into youtube comments and TLC shows.

But it’s what I wanted, right? My son is free from the bitter, delicious, 70% pure cocoa clutches of my sweet brown crutch. He’s going to grow up healthy and free to choose his own addictions.

Ah, parenting. Where even your successes feel like failures.


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