Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Unexpected Majesty of the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon

Since a week ago Thursday through this past Monday the cable channel FXX aired the complete run of The Simpsons (#EverySimpsonsEver the hashtag reminded us) in a marathon. Over those twelve days I have tuned in to re-watch episodes when I had the chance, and have found it to be perhaps the best background viewing material available.

We'll get to Sesame Street later.
For example, last Thursday night as I washed the dishes I saw parts of the 2003 Treehouse of Horror episode. I didn't need to give it my full attention but when I wasn't rinsing I was reminded of the scene where Homer has killed Death and takes over as the Grim Reaper and goes to claim Jasper's soul—and upon seeing Grim Homer, Jasper asks "Where's the regular guy? Where's Doug?" Obviously that joke holds special appeal for me personally, but it's the way something like that can stand on its own as a moment without me having to then pause my task at hand made it particularly good as what I'd want on the TV when I couldn't give it my full attention.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

O Captain, my Captain: the only rank in nicknames

Over the past months of being a parent I have noticed when I concoct an impromptu nickname for my infant son it often involves taking his mood or action and prefacing it with "captain" (and sometimes appending "pants" at the end); a slightly cranky boy is dubbed "Captain Fussypants," for example. It occurred to me that of all the military ranks with which I'm familiar—which are many—the go-to for these extemporaneous assignments is always "captain"; he's never "Sergeant Squirmy" even though that has some nice alliteration. Sure, "Captain Kickypants" flows well, but "Colonel Kickypants" or "Commodore Kickypants" would carry the same similarity of opening sounds—and could be even higher in rank.

I suppose I could conclude "captain" has its default status because that rank is both high enough to be respected ("Private Poopypants" seems clearly pejorative, for instance) but still holds room for advancement ("General Giggles" sounds like a jolly fellow sitting behind a desk, not one out there participating with the troops).

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Our first Emmys as parents

The older and more mobile our infant gets the more we as parents have to do on the weekends and the less time we have for "premium" TV (and in the evenings during the week the little time we have for watching we aren't really looking for anything other than light fare).

So, much as we'd aspire to catch up with the second season of Orange Is the New Black or the FX Fargo series, we won't be getting to those anytime soon (and certainly not before tomorrow's Emmys). Heck, we only finished up the last two episodes of the recent season of Louie a few weeks ago, months after they aired.

If the final season of Breaking Bad had not concluded while we were only expecting it's possible we still might not have seen it. And the last half of Mad Men's final season next year we may not see until our son heads off to kindergarten.

We had a good run being TV viewers (I wrote about it enough over the years to suggest that), but as any parent can tell you, that coming to an end was inevitable.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I need more than 140 characters to tell you that 'F*Upd' is f*cked up

My relationship with Twitter went from general disdain before I really tried it to eventually finding some merit in it; if you follow the right people (those with clever or amusing or interesting albeit pithy thoughts) it can be better than Facebook in certain regards. (Well, these days saying something's better than Facebook isn't necessary giving it much of a compliment, but with any luck one gets the idea.) Ultimately, like anything else on the internet, some of it is good and a lot of it is crap, but one is under no obligation to trek through any more of the drek than one chooses.

I don't tweet very often (so it's not difficult to understand my low number of followers) but occasionally I am inspired to throw 140-characters (or less) worth of a thought out into the Twittersphere, with the general expectation no one will really see it, or at least that no one will reply. (Which is pretty much the same attitude I have about blahg posts; the difference is I spend far less time on the tweets, so those really are a more logical outlet for my online sharing. But I digress.)

And then there are moments where the void is preferable to getting some acknowledgement of someone else seeing a tweet. But in this case that wasn't quite for the obvious reason.


A few weeks ago I tweeted a quip regarding the traffic snarls in Los Angeles caused by the president's visit, suggesting if a 2016 candidate for the G.O.P. promised never to come here I might vote Republican.

Within minutes a… okay, the kneejerk descriptor would be "right-wing nutjob" but as will be seen that's not quite appropriate nor is it fair for me to cast such aspersions recklessly, so let's just go with… conservatively-minded individual replied positing an alternative theory: that I might vote thusly because "Obama F*Upd pretty much EVERYTHING he touches".

Good to see Twitter is still encouraging clever (albeit succinct) discourse, eh?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Earache my baby

When changing diapers or bathing our infant son I find myself absent-mindedly humming Cheech and Chong's "Earache My Eye" more times than I probably should admit. (That riff is too catchy.)

However, I take some comfort in the belief he's still months away from speaking, so I'm probably not negatively influencing him too badly.

Of course, if eventually his first full sentence is "World's coming to an end, I don't even care / as long as I can have my limo and my orange hair" then clearly I will have some explaining to do (first to my wife, then to the teachers and other parents at his daycare, and finally to the authorities).

At least I'll have plenty of time to prepare my story.

And my son won't care if people think he's funny ('cause he'll be a big rock star and making lots of money… Money!... MONEY!...).

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Love is a buffalo: The persistence of silliness

If there were any logic to how my brain retained experiences I'd be able to recall almost everything I studied during my years in college but instead it seems to operate thusly:

In the mid-'80s, during my last year of high school, I got an after-school job that would turn into a near-full-time job that paid for the aforementioned college's tuition. There were a number of us in our late teens and early twenties working there and at times a few of us would sit around a table in the back room preparing product to go out, chatting and cracking jokes. We always had a radio playing, typically on the local rock station.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Amusing an infant

The best part of being a parent at this phase of our son's development is discovering what silly gestures I make elicit a gleeful giggle from him.

Lately the gestures are:

With him lying down and me standing up, I take the palms of my hands and swirl them in circles of alternating directions while slowly bringing my hands down toward his chest; while doing that I make a woo-woo-woo-woo sound in time with the speed of my hands. When my hands get to his chest I dance my fingers down to his tummy.

He loves that.

Another thing I've done from time to time is the unnecessary zoom (a la Wayne's World). Again, with him lying down, I step back and then swoop in so my face ends up next to his face with an accompanying "whoa" sound.

He squeals with delight over that.

It's marvelous.