Friday, July 29, 2005

Target Audience?

As a follow-up to the post that didn't happen, I wanted to mention a curious sidenote:

As a regular viewer of Cartoon Network between 9p.m. and 10p.m., I have noticed that the commercial rotation doesn't change much from night to night. One of the regular commercials that can appear up to 4 times during the one hour period (and one that my 4-yr old son has begun to quote and follow along to) is for TimeLife Music.

Now, this period of time consists of episodes of Teen Titans and Dragonball Z. These are cartoons. Who would you think watches these episodes? Well, I can attest that there are some children under the age of 8. I'm pretty sure my 14-yr old watches as well. I also know that there is a certain group of parents' basement dwelling, computer programming, role play gaming 20-30 yr olds that follow them as well.

Knowing that, the question the begs, why is there a recurring commercial the TimeLife collection: Ultimate Love Songs?? What do any of these people need with the timeless classics as performed by Celine Dion and Michael Bolton? Someone has misplaced a large amount of someone's advertising budget. Maybe they are just holding the space until the finishing touches are put on TimeLife Presents: The Love Standards of the Starship Enterprise; or maybe, TimeLife Presents: Goku's Greatest Hits.

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Monday, July 25, 2005

What I'm not going to blog about

I was all set to post, until further thought led me to reconsider.

I had decided I was going to post about one of my new favorite TV shows, Teen Titans on the Cartoon Network. My 4-yr old has gotten me hooked. It has a really nice blend of cartoon action and some subtle humor that can be really funny. I was also going to mention in my post that I thought that Teen Titan Raven was really cool and kinda hot. That I really dug her vibe.

But then, the more I thought about posting that, I realized that I am an almost 30-yr old with 3 kids, 2 houses and 1 dog, and I don't have any business posting about a cartoon. Then, when I thought about posting the comment about Raven, the sicko-perv alarm went off and I decided that wasn't what my reputation needed.

So I've decided not to post about any of that.

I've really got to get a job.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Well, that was unexpected

"There is a good chance that someone will let you down today, but should that occur, find out the reasons why before exploding. If the reason is a good one, it might make the situation tolerable."

That was my horoscope for Thursday, July 21. The crazily ironic thing is, I read that about a half hour after I found out that I had indeed not gotten the job that I was at one point in time so confident that I would get. I guess my call for karma was met with a busy signal.

It is with great effort that I resist giving the whole entire world the big, fat middle finger. But, that's barefoot's job, and she's doing it quite well. My role is to be the calm rational one who keeps plugging away. Besides, rolling over and starving to death is reportedly and very slow and painful death.

They say that when a door closes, another one opens up. Well, I'd like to put in a request that the opening door be one on my house this time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

At least she doesn't have a problem

No, its not addiction. Couldn't be. Just a healthy "hobby". Why would anyone think just because you can't go to sleep until after midnight because you have to check your "numbers" and you actually sit around complaining about needing more "hits." And cursing inanimate servers for being too slow getting you your "fix," yeah, everyone does that...

Oh well, I guess that makes me an enabler.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Another Brick in the Wall

I sat pondering what I've decided is the greatest question in this universe of ours:

"How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?"

Then of course, the answer came to me:

"Fire all of your guns at once, and explode into space."

Yes, it is just that simple. And yet:

"Everything zen? I don't think so."

Monday, July 18, 2005

Welfare Grape Soda


As I sit here staring at the computer, trying to escape from the world for few precious minutes, I am drowning my sorrows. What is my beverage of choice tonight? Mountain Haze. That would be the generic equivalent of Mountain Dew. Given our present economic situation, generic has become a word we are quite familiar with lately. (Although we wouldn't dare buy the knock-off Diet Dr. Thunder, no sir. When you are as addicted as some people are, only the real stuff will do.)

But sipping this poor excuse for a caffeinated beverage has given me pause to reflect on one of the icons of a simpler time in my life: Welfare Grape Soda. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with it, it wasn't actually distributed by the government, its just what we called the Food Club Brand Grape Soda. It was a poor high school/college student's staple. I guess its the equivalent of the Pabst Blue Ribbon for the drinking crowd. The taste ain't that great, and you have to drink a large amount to reap any benefit, but dadgum it, it was CHEAP! Can you beat $1.25 for a 12-pack?

Many a night I spent with my group of friends binging on the Welfare Grape Soda. Back in my more gluttonous days, I even manage to get an entire box of Krispy Kreme donuts and a 6-pack of the purple goodness into a midnight showing of some crappy movie. It also helped me get through the final exams of many a semester in high school and college. It was part of a study routine that included ordering two large pizzas, two packs of cookie dough and two 12-packs of the Welfare Grape and locking myself in my room for a solid week of cramming. (You really didn't want to be around me during those weeks.)

One of the best parts about it was the packaging. It came in a purple cardboard box without much of a logo. And the cans were just purple and said "Food Club" on them. It was like those "Soda" or "Beer" cans you see on TV or in the movies when they don't buy the placement rights to actually use a brand name. It was classic.

Well, I guess I'm going to take my last swig of Mountian Haze and head off. Although I can't help but think that with the flashy logo and color scheme, Mountain Haze looks like just another lame attempt by PepsiCo to try to edge in on Coke's turf. Just makes me a little nostalgic for when generic really was generic.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Moral Conundrum

At what point does my lust for another man jeopardize my straightness and marriage to a woman?

That is the question I face this afternoon as I have just polished two incredible enchiladas that a friend of ours brought over last night. This is the second time I have eaten something that he has cooked, and I have to tell you, I would consider immoral acts to eat some more.

I told him when he brought them over that if his wife ever forgets how good she has it with him, I'll welcome him with open arms.

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Is it wrong if the husband of your wife's best friend makes that trip?

What to do? Maybe I'll have another enchilada and it won't taste as good and it will ruin the fantasy. Oh, who am I kidding?!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Calling out the Karma

Friends, readers, visitors, roamers and anyone else who happens to read this:

I'm looking for a little love and karma.

I had a job interview today for a job that I am in desperate need of. It is a job that I was initially led to believe was mine for the taking, but I am now having to compete for it. I am confident in my abilities, but a little blog-karma could really help.

So, say a pray, light a candle, rub a Buddha, grab a rabbit's foot, stab a voodoo doll, whatever. For the sake of barefoot and the life she has come accustomed to, I could really use this job.

Mr. Mom, Day 5

Should have been posted on Sunday:

We made it! Well, eventually. Mom would finally make it home around 8 p.m. So what do you do for 12 hours until she gets here?

That was a tough proposition. What made it tougher was that I had actually managed to get the house clean on Saturday night. How in the world was I going to entertain the kids for 12 hours and keep the house clean for when she walks in the door so I get the extra brownie points? Oh yea, its Sunday. That means church for a couple of hours and then we call in the reinforcements and spend the afternoon at Grandma and Pawpaw's. Crisis averted.

Final tally: She left me with 2 kids, and came back to 2 kids. Success.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Mr. Mom, Day 4

Well, I broke Rule #2 of parenting: I went and tried to accomplish things today. It wasn't my fault, they had to be done. We had to go grocery shopping. For crying out loud, the girl finished the last of the welfare cranberry juice that comes in the can that we keep way in the back of the pantry for emergencies.

And, most frustratingly, I tried to clean the house. That's really hard to do when there is no one around to corral the younguns. I felt like I was bailing water on the Titanic with a teacup. Every time I plowed through a layer-o-crap on the kids floor, I inadvertantly "discovered" stuff they hadn't seen in ages and needed to play with right now. I finally got it finished when I ductaped the little cherubs to a kitchen chair. Just kidding, sort of. When I did finally get it all looking nice, I realized that it was only 2 p.m. on Saturday. How in the world am I supposed to keep it looking nice for 28 hours until barefoot gets back? Aw crap.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Mr. Mom, Day 3

This is what I am talking about. Someone has gotten the memo.

This morning, I literally wrestled the younguns out of bed to take them to the local movie theater's "Summer Camp". The theater shows a kid show every weekday at 10 a.m. during the summer. This week they were showing "Clifford's Really Big Movie" and the younguns had expressed interest in going. Needless to say, I was glad to not have to fish deep in the well of things to do.

I was actually pretty happy to take them. This theater has figured it out. I doubt that anyone there read my post concerning the subject, but they read my mind with how to do kids movies. Not only was it only $3 to get in, not only did my 2-yr old get in free, but they had free cokes and popcorn for everyone. That my friends will make a 1 1/2 hour kids movie much more tolerable. Kudos to the Grand Cinema. Kudos indeed.

P.S. The movie wasn't really that bad, for a preschooler's flick. Maybe I just have a soft spot for John Ritter, truly an unappreciated actor until his untimely death. RIP Jack Tripper.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mr. Mom, Day 2

Survived another day. So did they. I guess we'll call it a success.

Today, I showed my responsible side. I took the kids to the library to pick up some books and educational movies. It had nothing to do with the fact that the library fit squarely in the budget. Of course not.

Then, we hit up Grandma and Paw-Paw for dinner. Gotta appreciate the fact that they took pity on the poor defenseless dad left to fend for himself with the younguns.

Just 3 more days to go. Hope the well of inspiration on how to keep these kids occupied doesn't dry up any time soon.

P.S. While I count it a success that both kids were bathed today, don't tell mom that the girl hasn't had her hair brushed in a while, and I don't see that happening very soon.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Mr. Mom, Day 1

Well, barefoot left me today. No, not like that, although that is not terribly out of the realm of possibilities (have you seen her? have you seen me? just a matter of time)

No, today she took off for her weekend of family reunioning with the Super Hero Race Car Driver. Won't be back til "probably Sunday evening."

So that means I'm Mr. Mom for the next five days.

Day 1: Send mom off, lay low and try to keep the kids playing with each other until after lunch. Head out for the zoo (its free after 3 p.m.). Spend two hours at the zoo until it closes, at which point the kids demand a playground and not to go home. Find a playground and play for about 45 minutes. Swing by Grandma's for a quick drink (Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper), and back home for a Kid Cuisine dinner. Following a group viewing of "Air Bud", its to bed. Simple. Can it really be this easy?

Of course not. I have no delusions. However, this weekend I am operating under my Parenting Rule No. 2: Babysitting is easy so long as you don't try to accomplish anything. And since I am still UN-FREAKING-EMPLOYED, I have nothing to accomplish. So I will spend the next four days trying to keep the peace and keep my Parenting Rule No. 1: End the day with the same number of kids as you began the day.

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Earn that Check!

A bit of social commentary brought on from the world of sports:

Texas Ranger pitcher Kenny Rogers (no, not that one), has been officially suspended for 20 games by Major League Baseball for an incident in which he pushed and shoved a TV cameraman and kicked his camera. The cameraman has retained legal counsel and charges and/or a lawsuit could be forthcoming. Rogers' apologists say that he has been under stress and injured as of late and warned the media to please stay back. I say, bad move.

This incident brings up some very strong feelings I have regarding celebrities and the media. In a nutshell, I believe they (the celebrities) are paid to deal with the media. And any efforts to avoid the media or complain about them is a breach of contract.

When an athlete or actor signs a contract to be in a movie, on a TV show or to play a sport for a team, they are being paid for their particular skill and to represent their employers which may mean answering asinine questions from reporters and having their pictures taken. It also means they are usually on the clock 24/7, even when they are at a coffee shop or in a club.

I have yet to see where the skill of playing basketball or reciting lines or just standing in one spot showing off the looks that God or the plastic surgeon gave you is actually $10 million a year worth of effort. I know guys that play 82 games a year of basketball at the local gym for free. I know actors who can recite lines of scripts for a fraction of a fraction of that amount, if any.

If I were ever the owner of a professional team, I would look at my potential players at contract time and tell them, "Look, we will pay you $100,000 a year to play 3rd base for me. If you would like, I can add $9.1 million dollars a year to that for you to represent my club in front of the media. That is your choice. If you choose the 100 grand, I will make you off limits to the media at all times, but I will also prohibit you from seeking any endorsement deals. How does that sound?"

Bottom line: Kenny Rogers was in the wrong. Despite the bad day he may have been having, as frustrated as he may have been, you've got to stay focused on your task at hand (playing ball) and realize that the media guys have a job to do as well.

BIG NOTE TO THE MEDIA: This does not mean it should be open season on celebs. Rule 1 of the media, Report the story, don't BE the story. The media is supposed to be an objective and invisible recorder of events. They should not instigate nor create the news that they are reporting. It has been mentioned that following Rogers' plea for the media to back off him for a while, that that became the big story and more reporters and cameras showed up to see him avoiding the media. And upon hearing interviews with the "injured" cameraman, it is pretty obvious that he is none too reluctant to be in the middle of this. The media as a group of individuals should be embarrassed by these types, and the types that hang out of car windows to take a picture of someone picking their nose. There should be some self-policing.

Nevertheless, Kenny Rogers should have just gone on about his business. Do I think 20 games is a bit harsh? Yes, but he will appeal it down to 10, which for a pitcher is only 2 starts, and besides his injured anyway.

And to the Paris Hiltons and Britney Spears and Kobe Bryants of the world who just want to be left alone: Without the media and without fan interest, here's a check for what you've earned. Go rent a movie or something with it.