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Archive for the ‘My son’ Category

Egad, I hate Friendly’s. You know, the ice cream place? Yeah that. Hate it.

No, not for any particular reason…well, more like lots of reasons. All through my life, it was always…there…and never in a good way.

It started when I was little. Back then, there were a lot of good ice cream places around, from soft-serve custard at Don & Bob’s down at the lake (mmm…fishy smell from the lake, greasy smell from the grill—what amibence) to Carvel (mmm Fudgie the Whale) to Skippy the ice cream truck with the bell going ding-ding-ding—or, if the college kid slaving away behind the wheel of the non-air-conditioned, worn-out pickup truck with a giant silver refrigerator unit weighing down the back bed felt chipper, ding-a-ding-a-ding-ding-ding.

Friendly’s, however, had ice cream sundaes with gobs of hot fudge. Black raspberry ice cream—purrrrrrple!—and black cherry, with giant cherry halves jutting out of the pink stuff. And it was just up the road from me. But it might as well have been as far away as Iceland for the frequency of our visits—or lack thereof. My family just didn’t do dessert. Ever. (Yes, I was a sorely neglected child, but my parents thought they were doing me a favor. Or something.)

So one of my strongest memories of my childhood—I’d estimate it at my sixth year, I think—was when the parents of my bestest friend across the street, Jennifer, asked my parents if I could go with them to Friendly’s for an ice cream cone. I was over the moon. Ice cream! And the invitation was bordering on exotic, because it was so late on a summer evening—the sun was actually starting to go down! I should’ve already been in bed! (more…)

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Some say he’s only 6 years old…and that he sleeps in SpongeBob pajamas….All we know is that if he isn’t The Stig, I don’t know who is.

Heard of The Stig? You should have. He’s part of the great TV show Top Gear. Yeah, I’ve written about Top Gear on my blog before (it’s one of the best shows on television, I said—so go watch it!) and—look out now—I’m gonna do it again.

Along with the three co-presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, there is The Stig, their “tame racing driver” who wears all white, including a white helmet, and nobody knows who’s under the visor. True fans of Top Gear prefer to think of The Stig as a superhuman entity that test drives supercars in every episode, does not speak, has no knowledge of the London public transit system, and won’t give an award back once he’s received it (waiting on the video to be posted for that one—it’s a good ‘un). And sure, a little while ago The Stig was revealed on the show to be race-car driver Michael Schumacher, but I call shenanigans. I know better. (more…)

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Thud. Thud. Thud.

Usually I love waking in predawn darkness to the sound of rain. Most of the time, in this area, our rain comes in the form of drizzle, so on the occasion that it really, truly rains, I revel in the drumming sound of a steady shower. This morning, however, I found myself tensely focusing on another noise.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

I looked around my son’s bedroom from my pretzel position in his car bed. He was nowhere to be found, of course; as per usual, he had made his way into “the big bed” in the middle of the night—this time I think he was on the move around 2:30-ish—and proceeded to crowd me right off the queen-size mattress. And, as per usual, instead of being all tough and parental and kicking his 5-year-old butt back to his bedroom, I took the (admittedly well-traveled) path of least resistance—the one that leads up the hall to his unoccupied bed.

Good thing I did retreat instead of standing my ground this time, though; if I hadn’t slept in his room, I wouldn’t have heard that persistent noise, which sounded alarmingly like…

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Oh, the shame of it. I think I’m a bad mother.

My son, who’s 5, is obsessed with cars and his X-Box 360, so of course driving games are his all-time favorite form of entertainment. One of them is Burnout Paradise (which, gods help us, has unfortunately graced our household with its theme song, Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Paradise City,” WAY too many times). It includes several cars that adults can easily recognize as knockoffs of famous vehicles from movies and television shows: Kitt from KnightRider, the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard, etc. It’s amusing.

One of them is a hovercar that’s an homage to the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future. I’m awfully fond of Back to the Future (and yeah Huey Lewis too—wanna make something of it?), and I realized that my son might enjoy watching the movie. Heck, I thought, I would enjoy watching the movie—it had been quite a while since I’d seen it.

Strangely enough, it wasn’t available on iTunes and wasn’t coming up anywhere on the TiVo schedule, so I figured we could pony up the money to get a copy. I was sure that if we owned it, the kidlet would watch it enough times to justify the purchase.

So we picked up the DVD and popped it in late Friday afternoon. (more…)

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Oh goodness gracious, I actually wrote it. In the headline even. I must be insane. Defend Jar Jar Binks of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace, nearly inarguably the most hated film character in the past 10 years…perhaps in the entire history of moviemaking? In public?!

But I am here to set the record straight for the poor schlub. As an ardent Star Wars fan, I feel it’s my duty. I have recently seen the light and feel compelled to clear poor Jar Jar’s name.

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I saw a Christmas tree at the curb just the other day. In the middle of February. And it hadn’t emerged from a melted snow mound, either. It had been put out just then. And I thought it was fantastic, especially in our neighborhood.

Let me explain: We have a lot of neighbors who are are very…efficient. Many of them are retirees with a lot of time on their hands, and gods bless ’em, that’s great—more power to ’em. But sometimes that makes them too efficient—and makes the rest of us feel a little inadequate.

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We went sledding last weekend. I’ll be honest; I didn’t want to go. It was phenomenally cold, and my back ached. These old bones were begging me to stay inside by the woodstove.

But we have a 5-year-old son who would rot his brain playing video games if we didn’t drag him out of the house, and it looked like major brain-rotting was his plan for the weekend. It had to be done.

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