Sunday, August 30, 2009


The Boy isn’t quite four yet but is quite tall for his size, as they used to say. I heard The Missus tell someone 44” the other day. He’s a giant. But he’s still just a little boy and an only child to boot, so he’s a little apprehensive at first in new situations. Cautious, even.

Like the other day, a friend and her little girl came to town to visit. (“Welcome to our little town. We hope you like 106 degrees of temperature.”)

She’s a year younger than he is but as most little girls are, at least a thousand times more socially advanced.

On a mid-lunch bathroom break though, he assured me, out of the blue, that he was not shy with this little girl. It turned out that ‘not shy’ was soft-pedaling it.

The dance in the clip below broke out spontaneously after we returned to the table. When I whipped out my cell phone to try to capture it, I was thinking “Ladykiller! Yes!” Later, after downloading it and looking at it again, this time with my reading spectacles on, it became clear that she was Fred Astaire and he was a reluctant Ginger Rogers.

He keeps looking at me like, “What the hell…?” and “Hey, can you help a guy out here?”

(Sorry. Without my reading glasses on, your facial expressions looked like impressionist paintings to me. Try kicking me in the shin next time.)

With mad social skills – not to mention dance moves – like his, it’s a good thing he’ll have his height to fall back on.

The clip drags a bit in the middle, but as always, the big finish is worth sticking around for or fast-forwarding to.

Another transparent excuse to post pictures of my son

He was quiet for too long the other night, after a nasty melt-down involving an unsatisfactory amount of parental participation in his creative process, so I went in to see what the hell, right? Then I snuck back into my room and grabbed the camera before he became aware of my presence (he’s become quite camera conscious, which makes getting the kind of candid shots I like increasingly difficult).

The amount of concentration The Boy brings to his work is a thing of beauty to behold.

I named the one he’s working on in the photo above “WALL-E’s accident.” He graciously consented to pose for a photo with his work-in-progress:

Friday, August 28, 2009

“Did Ted Kennedy Go To Heaven?”

This is the kind of crazy right-wing nonsense I receive regularly as (I swear to God) a working newspaper employee. Somebody named Bill Wilson (definitely not the AA guy) is one of the worst, most regular offenders, but this particular gem came to me by way of one Tricia Erickson.

I think she sums up the inanity of her argument best when she writes, after enumerating all of Kennedy’s alleged evil deviltry and comparing it to the purity of the Holy Bible Kennedy is said to have believed in, “Did Ted believe this? If Ted believed in God, then would not his actions have matched his words and deeds?

Anyhow, I sent the headline out to a couple friends, along with the pullquote above, and one of them, DareDevil, wrote back the following. I wish I had written it, so I am posting it here first and getting his permission second:

Did Ted Kennedy Go To Heaven?

Not quite yet. 

First, there's a 70-mile farewell tour route starting with a private mass held at the family compound in Hyannis Port. Then on through Cape Cod, and on to Boston for a stop at the Massachusetts Statehouse and the John F. Kennedy Federal Building and the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. And there's another mass in Boston with all the living ex-presidents on hand, with the current one giving the eulogy. Then, it's on to Arlington National Cemetery for burial. 

Then, Ted Kennedy will go to heaven.

R.I.P. Teddy

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy 1932—2009

I think the Dems should ram a health care bill down the Republicans' throats, public-option and all, and name the resulting legislation for Ted Kennedy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer movie heck

Well as usual, I haven’t been getting out much to see movies lately. Weekend free time is practically an oxymoron anymore.

But I did catch a couple of good ones this weekend, and I wanted to help. So I’m filing the following brief reports:

“G. I. Joe, Rise of Some Such Foolishness” was a terrific little actioner with some cool stunts I hadn’t seen before.

Most importantly, for a movie with its toy (or theme-park ride) –based pedigree, it didn’t drag its action sequences out till they got mind-numbing.

I guarantee you, Michael Bay could have made this film, shot for shot, and the run-time would have been 30 minutes longer. This movie picked up its story on the bounce and headed straight down the field. I didn’t even think of looking at my watch till it was over.

It reminded me of the way James Bond movies used to be. I just saw either “Goldfinger” or “Thunderball” (I forget which, it was one with the cool under-the-desert bad guys’ lair) and this film had that same giddy vibe. There was a time when only James Bond films offered the kind of super-spy action adventure that is so common now; big action “beat” every ten minutes or your summer movie doesn’t get made.

I should add that I didn’t know anything about the characters or the toys or the comic book mythos, so I went in a blank slate. If the franchise is beloved to you, I’m sure there is stuff to hate in this adaptation. (There always is...) But if you just want to go see Dennis Quaid (and Mr. Eko, from ‘Lost!’) embarrass themselves in a theme-park ride of a film for a fast-moving couple of hours, this flick is for you.

The other movie I saw was the new Tarantino flick, “Inglourious Basterds,” which also kicked happy ass.

I loved it. Brad Pitt’s character is like Karl from “Sling Blade’’s smarter brother. When he is called upon to showcase the Italian accent his character is so proud of, it’s falling-down hilarious.

Like all of Tarantino’s films (except arguably “Jackie Brown” which I have no idea what that was), this is a genre film. He’s finally worked his way around to WWII films, but this isn’t so much a film about WWII (like, say, “Saving Private Ryan” or “Band of Brothers” was) as a Quentin Tarantino reflection on WWII films. So it’s no surprise one of his main characters is a film buff and filmmaker. If he hadn’t made the character a woman it would have been an even more transparent ploy to put himself into the thick of the action. (By the way, I’d like to thank the director for the restraint he demonstrated in not taking a role in front of the camera for a change.)

There are a number of dialogue set-pieces, definitely a Tarantino specialty. I can’t think of another filmmaker working today who uses language the way he does. He builds dialogue scenes the same way Sam Peckinpah built action sequences. There’s so much stuff going on at so many different levels. There’s a bar scene in this one that stands up to the best exchanges from “Pulp Fiction” or “Reservoir Dogs.”

Also excellent use of violence. Over-the-top at times (you’ll know it when you see it), but that’s just part of what makes a Tarantino film a Tarantino film. He’s got all the toys in the toybox at his disposal and he’s going to use every one! Plus it’s a WWII film; you know going in that there will be blood spilled.

Great villain, great climax, strong women’s roles if that’s important to you (and if it is you’ll be outraged at the lack of racial diversity in the cast!). I’ve been waiting to see this one since it was just an internet rumor and it still didn’t disappoint.

Shit, I’m feeling lucky. 2 for 2? I may even give “District 9” a chance next weekend.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Song & Dance Man (featuring "Sous la Mer")

Our son, the future artist/entertainer/humanitarian extraordinaire, sings the alphabet song to the tune of "Beyond the Sea," then does a little number before his big finish.

Currently wowing audiences across Europe.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lockerbie Bomber Freed

Now that is just bullshit in its purest form. See anywhere else on the blogosphere and mainstream media for more details. Finally an issue that should bring the Right and the Left together, if only for a moment.

Freeing a convicted terrorist on humanitarian grounds. Fucking bullshit. Why not just hang out a sign, “Welcome to Scotland, a great place to commit your act of heinous terrorism!”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just in case you thought I was faking it…

I was finally able to get my hands on a copy of my back x-ray (thanks Dr. Gupta!).

The red arrow indicates the direction a healthy human spine would travel. The ghostly, bulging negative image marks my back’s actual trajectory.

I just wanted to submit this into the record. You may now go back to mourning the loss of columnist Robert Novak.

Little penises, big guns

This shit makes me so mad I could spit teeth.

Now the right-wingnuts are coming to Obama ‘Town Halls’ armed to the teeth in the hinterland areas that allow such things to occur. The pic above is from an event yesterday in Phoenix, from the lovely state of Arizona, where dreams go to die.

And this exercise of their second amendment rights isn’t happening in a vacuum. It’s happening while these dopes are being told by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and from their pulpits that the President is a non-native-born usurper whose plans to socialize America will destroy the country. That he intends to set up Nazi-esque ‘death panels’ that will decide whether Cletus the slack-jawed yokel’s elderly or infirm relatives get to live or die.

The right-wing chattering class have got the rubes wound up so tight one of them is bound to go off at any minute, and when he does, odds are it’ll be with the weapon they’ll end up prying from his cold, dead fingers.

It’s a very small step from showing up at the President’s events armed and deciding to grab yourself a place in the history books, especially if you’re some stupid, duped, gun-toting loser who thought it was clever to bring the gun in the first place.

Considering how many Presidents have already been assassinated in this country, I think there oughtta be some legal loophole that allows cops and/or the Secret Service to remove these tiny-dicks from Presidential appearances, the same way you can’t sell guns next door to an elementary school or operate a strip club next to a day care facility.

We’re on the precipice of tragedy and no one’s doing anything but sitting back and either tsk-tsk-tsking on the left and push-poke-prodding from the right.

One bullet from one loser at one event is all it will take to turn Glenn Beck’s tears of fear for the future of America into sobs of joy at the sanctity of the God damned second Amendment in action. After all, if Obama is a Nazi, doesn’t it naturally follow that eliminating him would be the Christian, patriotic thing to do? Who wouldn’t go back in time and suffocate Hitler in his crib if they had a chance?

That’s the scenario being sold on Fox and talk radio (and some former-governor’s Facebook pages) and all they have to do is convince one lone tiny-dick in order to undo the last election and rewrite American history in the blood of another good man. I hope to God the double-oughts don’t end in the bloodbath of political and civil rights leaders that the 1960s did, but it may be the only card the GOP has left to play.

W. had unarmed protesters removed to blocks away from any event he was appearing at during his tenure; is it unreasonable to suggest that well-armed protesters be kept at least that far away from the current POTUS when he’s in public?

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Heavy Mettle

It’s official – my son rocks!

He’s a big fan of the new CGI “Iron Man” cartoon on one of the kids’ channels.

So I cranked up the Sabbath “Iron Man” tune one Sunday morning recently and he totally banged his head to it (after I initially freaked him out by turning it up to 11, getting in his face and mouthing the words “I. Am. Iron. Man!” at the beginning).

So I didn’t think much more about it. He’s danced around the room to Rush and AC/DC ever since he could walk. It wasn’t until I was giving him a bath last night that I began to appreciate the depth of his appreciation. He clearly begin to sing the “Iron Man,” riff, the first two lines, including the distortion. I like to fell off the throne. We sang it back and forth to each other a few times then tried a duet – it was beautiful and hilarious.

Tonight, I turned on “Iron Maiden In Rio” on the DTV and he began to scamper around the front room like the little people of Stonehenge. He announced, “I like this music” and is still out there dancing to some of the most outlandish but rhythmic noise.

(I did have to explain to him though that because Bruce Dickinson was not singing with the band at the time of this taping, he was enjoying a watered-down version of the real thing. As usual, his response gave away nothing.)

Man it just keeps getting better. While I’m typing this up, The Missus comes in and tells me he’s “shredding” on this little toy guitar he has, and sure enough, he’s out with it on his lap, strumming its four loose strings in rough time to the pummeling beat of “Two Minutes to Midnight.”

He’s about to turn four. I’m hoping by 5 he’ll want a real guitar and that he won’t be playing this kind of music around the house all the time.

Next morning addendum: As God is my witness, he just taught me how to use an app on my cell phone. That probably says more about me than him, though.