Monthly Archives: December 2009

Good Knight, Bad Ninja

And that’s a bit of our Christmas Signature Moves.
A Merry one to you and yours. Cheers.

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Filed under Take a Chance, video

Seriously, this is huge. Night before Christmas for a parent of 5 and 3 year old boys is a big thing. Game time. A lot riding on this. Almost as exciting as it may be for kids. Almost. It’s all About A Boy (s). Ok. Deep breath. Wine. Presents. Maybe It’s a Wonderful Life. Do you feel it? I can’t wait either. We left a parsnip for the reindeer and gingerbread cookies for Santa. Perfect packing snow. I like listening to the show choir on TPT from St. Olaf. This is festive. I am wearing a sport coat, cords and a tie and full of Beef Wellington and wine. What a night. Merry Christmas.

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Fave Films 2009 (so far)

A list most definitely in progress. Everyone seems to love going to the movies around Christmas. Pick a good one. I still want to see Avatar 3-D, among many others like An Education, Nine, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. No. No. I will not. Doodles was begging to see more Alvin today. He couldn’t understand why we didn’t own it. Why we had only rented it. And I can’t believe I just admitted we even did that much. It was so bad, but the kids laughed so hard. Belching + farting + helium voices = surefire children’s movie hit.

Here are some of my film faves so far in 2009:

The Invention of Lying
Inglourious Basterds
(500) Days of Summer
Up (3-D)
Up in the Air
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Funny People
The Hangover
District 9
I Love You, Man
Star Trek


Filed under movies

Hark, the Herald Choir is Weird

Pablo sings in choir. He has since he was 3. He seems to like it enough. Enough to put up with it for the reward of root beer and pepperoni pizza. Papa John’s pizza is delivered and sold for a 1.50 a slice in the youth lounge/game room at our church.

Pablo: Dad, this pizza is better than what you make at home.

Jefe: Thanks, yeah, it’s pretty good.

Pablo: Yeah, I like it a lot better than our pizza.

Doodles doesn’t do choir. He tried. We so desperately wanted photos of him in the white robe with big red bow. Doodles would go to choir practice and then report back to me:

Doodles: I don’t like choir.

Jefe: Why not, buddy?

Doodles: It’s weird. All they do is sing all the time.

Well, he’s right. What could I say. That what choir is. So we tried to bribe him with the rewards of pizza and root beer in the youth lounge afterwards. The deliciousness was not enough to conquer the weirdness. We gave up fighting/forcing him.

Pablo sang in a Christmas service. I noticed Doodles doing this during the songs:

He was plugging his ears. Is the music that offensive to him? Were the other kids that out of tune? Perhaps there is a greater problem here. He likes a lot of music as you’ve read here. AC/DC, Queen, Raffi, Metric, The Beatles, John Williams. Lately he has been crooning along with Crosby. Not really singing with Bing, but he likes to hear it. What is it about singing or listening to children’s choir?

Another parent and I talked about the drop-out rate for many boys in choir around the Kindergarten age range. He said he thought more than a few of them come back when it’s time to go up to summer camp with the other kids. They want to renew bonds from nursery school. We’ll see.

For now, I think we’ll try indoor soccer, swim lessons and some ice skating and sledding.


Filed under Music, School, song and dance

Give the Gift of Music

I remember a marketing campaign from my youth:
Give the Gift of Music

My gift to you, faithful reader:

Mustache Robots 2009 Sampler
50 faves, over 3+ hours of tunes

A lot to download to be sure, so if you want to check whether you think it’s worth your time, here’s the list from A-Z.

Enjoy! Please share yours if you make mixtapes, too.
As always, comments are greatly appreciated.

Have a very Merry and Happy whatever you want.

El Jefe

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Filed under mix, Music

Can you tell me how to get? How to get to…

TM/©2009 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved.

So last time I slyly slipped in a factoid about my early advanced reading. (Go ahead slow clap again, if you must) My mother contends it was partially fostered by my intense and frequent viewing of Sesame Street. When Mama and I first had Pablo we were very adamant about controlling his TV viewing. We would turn him away from the set. When we finally loosened up a bit about it all we initially allowed only 30 minutes a day of Baby Einstein type DVDs. After that we moved up to Sesame Street.

I love Sesame Street. I rediscovered it with amazing guest stars like Amy Sedaris and current parodies of Mad Men. The show contains enough to occupy a parent watching with their kids. So, guess what? For you, loyal readers of Mustache Robots, I have prizes. I have a ticket giveaway to see Sesame Street Live. Please post a comment/remembrance/story or anything you care to share about Sesame Street here on the blog to win a family 4-pack of tickets. Here’s the show info:

Sesame Street Live “1-2-3 Imagine! with Elmo & Friends”
January 13-17
Target Center
Tickets: Box Office,; 800-745-3000, and all Ticketmaster outlets

And if you don’t win, you can still purchase tickets at a discount –
$3 discount for Mustache Robots readers using the link:

We can all vote on our favorite response. Tears, laughter or obscure references welcome. Deadline is Dec 23rd, so you can use the tickets as a family present.

Please comment.



Filed under Take a Chance

The Santa Clause

Parents, do you have rules for using the Santa threat? Can you threaten to call him on the phone? Can you fake a call to him to get a child to behave? Mama has done that already. I’ve said that I’ve e-mailed him. I won’t use the phone call threat because Pablo and Doodles wanted to talk to him. It could backfire easily. I know some of you have a shelf elf reporting back to the North Pole to keep your kids in line. We’ve said the decorative Santas around our house can file reports.

It’s a fine line you walk in keeping them believing in Santa and looking forward to him, not fearing his arrival like a thief in the night. Also, do you give all the credit to a mythical Kringle? We tend to give the best toys from Santa and the needed, less interesting clothes or books from us, the parents. Why do we set undersell ourselves? I know of one parent who only puts Santa stuff in the stockings whilst the real deal toys are all from Mom.

I have a vested interest in keeping my kids Santa belief level high and long lasting because mine was ruined at such an early age. When I was in kindergarten I was reading at 4th grade level (insert slow clap here). The drawback was that I read something somewhere which made me realize the truth about Santa Claus. Then I proceeded to try to convince my classmates. There were tears.*

That night I got a stern talking to when my dad came home from work. I remember
sitting on my parent’s bed as he removed his necktie and dress shoes. He listened to what had transpired that day. Then he sat next to me on the bed.

My Dad said, “Ok, you’re right. You figured it out. But you can’t share this secret with your friends and classmates. You’ll upset them. They don’t understand yet. It’ll be our secret.”

I was 5 years old and I didn’t believe in Santa Claus. I had proof and an adult secret.
It wasn’t great. I think I would have liked to have had the option of believing longer and keeping more of the childlike spirit alive. Instead, I got to be a spy, a kid straddling an adult realm and keeping his younger brothers misinformed yet magical.

But I don’t think my parents could have lied to me that day to convince me I was mistaken. I think they played it the best way they could. And that’s what we’re trying to do now. Santa Claus is a benevolent dictator, an omniscient, omnipresent, super-hero of sorts. He’s coming. You better watch out.

*Not mine. Other kindergartners. Look, I get it, I don’t want anyone else ruining it for our boys.


Filed under Take a Chance