Friday, December 30, 2011


Going to give the ol’ Forum a rest for a while and put the time I would otherwise have spent writing to more useful pursuits.

Best of luck on your 2012
~ Fang

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My own private Christmas in Idaho

Or “There Will Be Scotch Tape”

And plenty of Bratwurst.

Have I mentioned that The Boy turned into a bit of a monster the very minute he started Kindergarten? I must have. All of a sudden, he’s sassy, talking back, yelling back—it was less than a week ago that he was flicking my arm (our family’s version of corporal punishment) in an argument. I lamented the loss of our up-to-5-year-old Good Child to anyone who would listen... It got so bad, I was so bummed, I even bailed on my volunteer gig at his school last week.

Then The Missus went out of town Saturday morning before dawn (to DC, on the Fed’s dime, for some thing or deal they’ve got going on here), and in her absence, The Good Child has returned! With bonuses. Now he’s even saying “thank you” when being served, without being prompted. The contrast couldn’t be more striking, or jarring. Suddenly, we’ve been getting on the way we always used to again, the way I had always imagined it in my mind. Friends, with respect. I’m no longer the “bully” I’d allegedly turned into since he started getting disrespectful and contrary. He’s been so damned sweet, he had me almost falling asleep in his bed with him tonight, and Daddy doesn’t play that shit.

He’s been wildly productive, too, making all sorts of weird, 3-dimensional projects with a heavy emphasis on Scotch Tape. Cobbling together stuff found around the house, and developing elaborate stories about what they are and what they can do.

And he actually played with the dog for the first time ever!

The stuff he’s found to do to fill the time that he would otherwise have guilted his mom into directing is remarkable. If The Missus were here, he’d plead her away from Work—work she desperately needs to finish before the semester ends, and have her guide his creativity at the crafts table. Having to fend for himself creatively, he’s made this slightly disturbing but undeniably interesting leap forward artistically.

If he can do... uh, innovative work on his own and not derail his mom’s productivity, why not put our foot down in everyday circumstances? Everybody benefits.

Also, no ‘accidents’ the last few days, either; he’s made significant progress in an area that he is going to want me to stop discussing in public soon. When I showed up today after school to retrieve him, his teacher jumped up from reading to the class and ran over to whisper the good news.

(To be fair, as I told The Last Boy Scout when discussing this phenomenon, if I had gone away for four days, he probably would have been good as gold for The Missus. I never realized how even an Only Child plays his parents against each other. We’re a tricky species, we are. Mendacity just comes naturally to us, even the good ones.)

Last night, we watched Aliens, tonight it was The Abyss, I’m not sure what we’ll screen tomorrow night, just that it’ll be shorter. But his attention span has been a happy surprise. Even during the many draggy parts of the director’s cut of The Abyss, he was engaged and asking questions.

I’m not worried that The Boy will revert to his new/same intolerable, spoiled self when The Missus comes home tomorrow night. Of course he will. That’s what addicts do when our Enablers return.

So I decided to keep him home from school tomorrow, mainly just to enjoy one more day of The Good Child’s company. I even arranged a playdate with a pal of his who’s moving to Hawaii shortly, a midday playdate I volunteered to referee…, I mean, chaperone. We’ll watch some superheroes in the morning, finish One Fish Blue Fish…, then I’ll tell him to get lost and make something while I get some work done for a couple hours. We’ll have Bratwurst for dinner. We’ll watch some wildly inappropriate, but Necessary Film and he’ll go to bed well past his bedtime… It’s going to be, to use his favorite new word, “awesome.”

After that, it’s all downhill with a bullet until Christmas is over. I’m reminded of the old Bill Cosby bit about Noah and his ark—how long can you tread water?

So I’m taking my annual holiday warm-and-cuddlies—usually absent altogether—from this brief, unexpected respite from The Boy’s recent turn to The Dark Side.

Santa doesn’t need to bring me a damned thing this year; I’m having my merry Christmas right now. I hope you get yours, too.

Friday, December 09, 2011

The resident artist is on a roll...

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Why would anyone want to be President now? Seriously.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Daniel Day-Lincoln for President!

Movie coming next awards-season from Steven Spielberg...