My New Home

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random Spider-Man Observations

Last week was Addison's 5th birthday, and his great grandmother gave him a Spider-Man activity book. She then asked, "Does he like Spiderman?" Notice, I spelled Spider-Man differently in her quote, because she said it like he was Jewish and it was his last name (see Friends clip below). I thought it was awesome.

It was particularly awesome in contrast to my brother Robbie's fixation on the comic book icon. Just a couple of weeks before this incident, we were at my parents' house playing CatchPhrase (a game that, like Dumb and Dumber, loses its appeal after the first time around). But this game included one moment that will forever (and by "forever" I mean awhile) be sketched (not etched, because we're talking comic books here) into my memory. It was my turn. The answer was "Spider-Man." Robbie was not on my team. I said, "It's hyphenated." In .013 seconds, Robbie blurted out, "Spider-Man!" in this tone ringing with disbelief as if to say, "Geez, you guys, what the heck's taking you so long?" It was beautiful.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Help Me . . .

Sorry for the post drought. For now, though, I just need your help with something. Can you help me decide if I should be embarrassed for liking this Josh Groban medley from the Emmys? I just saw it on YouTube and . . . well, I laughed, and found myself liking him more as a person, especially after hearing him do impressions of Animal and Eric Cartman. Please vote.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Forgot

I've been meaning for quite some time now to get back to blogging, because there are a few things stuck in my head for which I've had no other outlet of expression. But one that I forgot about came back in a flash this morning when I stepped into the garage.
I caught sight of my softball glove, a baseball, and Addison's baseball glove, and I remembered one of the greatest experiences of my life. A couple of weeks ago, Addison and I played catch.
It was absolutely enthralling. He's not quite to the point where I can throw the ball at him and know he'll catch it. I kind of have to lob it into the place where his glove is, but we did that quite a few time. The real fun began when I started throwing him ground balls. He'd scoop them up . . . or fall on them, and fire the ball back into my glove, sometimes with that beautiful POP that comes whenever you put some mustard on it and catch it right in the pocket of your mitt. The kid can really throw, for a five year old, and we had a blast.
We started pretending that we were the Cubs and we were working our way through the postseason. At first I yelled, "We won the World Series!" He corrected me, "No, we just beat the White Sox. Now we have to play . . . the Red Sox!" We'd record a few outs, then he'd charge me in celebratory violence in the same way any pro team would do. Hugs, tackles, slaps, cheers. Beautiful.
And every time he'd tell me a new team we had to play . . . for some reason, most of them were in the American League, so I was doubly impressed that he could name so many teams the Cubs never really play with such spiteful conviction. "Now we have to play . . . the Yankees!" On and on it went, the Angels, the Rays, the Indians, the White Sox again, then the Astros, the Reds, the Cardinals, and Dodgers.
It was a whirlwind of amazement: of just how far he'd grown up, how much useless baseball knowledge I've already imparted, how much more I still have to teach him, and how much fun it's all going to be. Just . . . awesome.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Know Your Audience

Do the folks at TV Land ever actually watch TV? I recently saw an ad during their Scrubs marathon that asked the question, "Tired of waiting around for Scrubs?"

Seriously? Scrubs is on almost all day every day on three channels in two languages. Kinda hard to take the rest of the ad seriously after that. They teach you (or at least they're supposed to) in the advertising business never to begin a commercial with a question that can easily be answered with a flatout "No." In this case, I don't know what other answer one could have.

Then I saw another commercial for a diabetes blood-sugar-level tester that boasted to be "almost pain free." To me, "almost pain free" is just another way of saying, "Sonofabiscuit, that hurts!" Look, if you can't in good conscience say in a commercial that a product is pain free, don't say it's close to being pain free. Say it works really well. Say it's quick and easy. Say it has lotsa cupholders. But don't say it's not quite pain free. Heck, it's a commercial. People are used to being lied to in commercials. When they hear "almost pain free," they will feel the pain and hate the sight of your product.

But this commercial took the absurdity one step further. This is the rest of the one-liner opening pitch: "It's almost pain free . . . and it talks!"

Why do I suspect that the talking blood tester says things like, "Take that, you insulin-deficient beyatch!"