Monthly Archives: March 2010

Spring Break Staycation Experiment

Day #1 with 7 more weekdays with no school for either boy to come.

Pablo: Dad, can we go to San Diego?

Jefe: Sorry, buddy, not now.

Pablo: How about Arizona?

Jefe: Mama has to work. We can’t go anywhere that far without a little more planning.

When you are staying in town and school is out for Spring Break, things can get tougher. You have a lot more time to fill and the kids’ energy levels have not brought down to normal from a half day of school. Apparently many of Pablo’s friends are going somewhere warm this week. We are not, though it is supposed to be in the 60s here in a few days.

Day #1 Itinerary
Matinee of How to Train Your Dragon 3D (very good, see it)
Played at an indoor train playset in the lobby
Library – stocked up on supplies for the week
Dress up like ninjas, soldiers, football players
Outdoor “football”

Stay tuned and see how we survive. Anyone else in this predicament?



Filed under play

What do you do?

I’m sorry, but I don’t know what you do for a living. You may have told me once and somewhere in your description I got bored and started thinking about what I was going to say next. Or I just don’t understand what you meant. It’s my fault if it’s the latter, but, sorry, all yours if it’s the former.

Tell me again. What do you do for a living? It’s usually the second question asked in any social setting or introduction. If I yawn or look blankly through you, then tell me what you really want to do. Also, please give me your card, because inevitably someone else will ask me what you do when I tell a story involving you. I hate not knowing, I really do. I feel the need to study my friends’ LinkedIn profiles, because I never remember what exactly their job entails. There should be a “Take Your Grown Friend to Work Day” to help explain it all. About ten years ago I actually e-mailed a survey to my friends asking them to write about their jobs and their future goals/plans. Do any of you remember that? (Let’s be honest, those friends don’t read my blog.)

But here’s the kicker, I don’t want you to ask me what I do. Which goes against one of my biggest social faux pas. It’s a real annoyance when a person you’re talking to doesn’t ask you any questions about yourself. You know the type. You ask them, but they don’t reciprocate.

Ask me other things. Ask me what I like. But don’t ask me what I do.
Because it’s hard to explain. No, that’s not true. It’s just that you’ll ask me (or wonder) if/how much I get paid for it. And I don’t, really.

So then, should I just say I’m a work-at-home dad and not worry about the other part? Not worry about what you think? Or more accurately, how I worry about what you must think of me?

It’s why I don’t like to go out sometimes and meet new people. I used to excel at that, I really did. I’d make my rounds and meet everyone in the room at a party. I’d introduce myself and remember your name. We’d have a laugh.

Now, not so much. I try. Sometimes I’m back in my element. Maybe when I’m on stage or when I’m older than the people I’m hanging out with socially I’m fine.
It’s probably more of an issue when I try to keep up with the Joneses that are my age, the ones with the really green grass.

I’ve been sitting on this draft for a while, afraid to post it for the possible misreading of its tone. I keep coming back to it. I know I want to just get it out of my head. I should just go to bed earlier. Things are always better in the morning than when you think too much about your problems alone at night.

If interested in my dilemma, know this is a companion piece to: Are you wanted to be when you grew up?

Do you know what your friends do?
Would it be better to know what they want to do?


Filed under Adults (kid-free), Grown-ups, Take a Chance

The National – Terrible Love and Bloodbuzz Ohio

Free download of Bloodbuzz Ohio here:

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Filed under Music, video

I am an Avenger.

John Romita, Jr. (JR JR) is doing a new Avengers comic? Yes. Avengers assemble!
May 19th is Avengers Day.

JR JR’s take on Spider-Man was my all time favorite in the many years I’ve followed my top hero. This might be enough to get me back in a comic store, or at least scouring the library. This looks to be a heavy hitting crew with no weak links. Spidey, Cap, Iron Man, Thor and Wolverine. Whoa. Wait, more, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman, too.

I like this ad campaign for the new title. Pretty cool copy. I don’t know when this trend started but many marketing campaigns seem to feature characters with a line of dialogue to get us familiar (Tarantino, Lost, Watchmen film, many others help me think of them.) with them ahead of time. I still like it when it’s done well. We usually see this tactic for movies, but to see it for a comic is a nice touch.

In related news,
I’m also currently trying to pick a graphic novel for Books & Bars.
It doesn’t have to be guys in capes and tights. In fact, I’d prefer it not to be a hero book, but some kind of adult story. I love the work of Adrian Tomine, Craig Thompson, and Daniel Clowes among others.

Any suggestions? Thanks for your comments.


Filed under comics, design

A living, breathing thing

Yes, yes, I really do.

I’ve found a new outlet for my passionate sharing of music. Every month before and after Books & Bars, I have a captive theater audience upon which to foist my latest mixtape CD. Feedback is immediate. It reminds me of performing live comedy. You get the reaction right away. No more giving someone a mix and waiting to hear back. A couple weeks I played The Bird and the Bee’s Hall and Oates covers record. Last night a waitress at Bryant Lake Bowl told me that the A/V guy has been playing it before shows all week now. I think he burned a copy of my mix. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So, if you want to hear my the monthly mixtapes with a live audience, come to Books & Bars between 6-7p and 8:30-10p. Sure the discussion is from 7-8:30p, so you could stick around for that, too.

If you’d like a copy of last night’s mix, request it in the comments section here.

March Mix
Real Life – Tanlines
Crimson and Clover – Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Pomplamoose
Mother Russia – We Became Actors
In The Street (Alternative Single Mix) – Big Star
Minneapolis – That Dog
Light Love – Free Energy
Hurricane J – The Hold Steady
Baby f. Ludacris – Justin Bieber
piano fire – sparklehorse
I Wanna Life – Goldfrapp
My Life On The Crazy Train Sucks (So What?) (Kelly Clarkson vs. Ozzy Osbourne vs. Pink vs. Daft Punk) – Dan Mei & Marc Johnce
Svaatzi Uutsi – Pomegranates
Digital Love – Daft Punk
Single Ladies – Pomplamoose Covering Beyonce
Animal Arithmetic – Jónsi
All My Friends – Franz Ferdinand
Swim – Surfer Blood
Just Stop Believin’ (Lady Gaga vs. Journey) – DJ Tripp
I Just Want To See Your Face – Serena Maneesh
Saddest Summer – The Drums
Don’t Look Back – She & Him

Hope to see you tapping your toes on April 13th.


Filed under Books & Bars, Music

Overheard in the Bathroom

“Dad, what happened to my underwear? I don’t have any underwear on.”

Said WWII aficionado, Doodles, with cords around his ankles, post pee, stumbling into the hallway.
He dressed himself, almost completely, this morning. When I offered him some undies to put on, he said he wanted to go without them. I suggested that going Commando may not be good for the chafing on the penis. He is currently wearing underwear again.

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Filed under random quotes

Social Beast

Do you find it difficult to coordinate and run your family household schedule?
Are you overbooked? Mama has work, yoga training, girls’ night out/breakfast. Jefe has dodgeball, kickball, Books & Bars, music, movies, a voracious social appetite after being with the kids all day. Pablo has school, after school Spanish, choir, swim lessons, soccer and homework. Doodles has pre-school, playdates, swim lessons and his Youtube addiction. How do we fit it all in?

Schedule it on the Google Calendar. Request a date. Request night out with the guys, etc. Mama and I have to determine whether each event is for the whole family, for the two of us, for one of us, for the boys, for one boy. Then we decide which ones require a sitter and have to factor their availability into the equation. Which is why my standard response to most event invites starts at “maybe”. Have you noticed that Facebook has become a sort of glorified events calendar? It seems many of the options begin here.

Are you a social beast who craves company? Or do you recharge from downtime and quiet reflection/solitude? This is where Mama and I differ a bit.

It’s not easy but it works for usually works for us. It takes a village to raise the children and a powerful computer network to keep us all on track. We access our calendars on-line and on iPhone and keep a paper copy on the refrigerator.
At times I want to add “Be Spontaneous” as an event. This schedule allows me my precious 6 hours a week to myself during the week. But during this time I must also grocery shop, do other household things and try to work on writing and Books & Bars.

Perhaps we are overbooked at times. We seem to be doing okay socially for parents. Living in the city helps. Having family in town to babysit is key. Keeping our outside passions and interests alive helps with our general well being. Tonight is a date night involving dinner and a play, August: Osage County.

How do you manage your time or the family time? Are you feeding your social beast?


Filed under minimize, Shows