1990 and Cupcakes

I’m going with a spring 1990 vibe with my drivetime music right now. This replaces the spring 1983 thing I had going for the last couple weeks. Stop smirking, you’d be stunned how quickly Affair of the Heart and Human Touch takes you back to 7th grade. Or, if you’re currently in 7th grade like Rye, you’ll be pleased at the level of disdain and scorn you can heap upon your Dad while he listens. Anyway, spring 1990. Not only did it give us a classic like Steven Seagal’s Hard to Kill, we also had Warrant’s Sometimes She’s Cries and Whitesnake’s Now You’re Gone. And listen, nothing and I mean nothing, will disgust a 13 year old brainwashed into thinking Nicki Minaj and Rhianna are the pinnacle of popular music coolness than the vocals of Jani Lane and David Coverdale. And just so you know, it doesn’t matter how many times the phrase “Dad, can I change it” is uttered, Now You’re Gone and by extension, 1990, will not be browbeaten into capitulation. Because hair metal surrenders to no one!

That being said, there are things that you do simply because your kids ask. No parent is cold hearted enough to say no in every instance a “no” is in fact the right parenting answer. Hey, sometimes you suck as parent. I’m no exception. I’m not sure its worse when you’re a Dad with three daughters – meaning I have no hard data to prove it is a metaphysical certitude that Dads do head-shakingly absurd stuff for their daughters, but I suspect it’s the case.

While I have yet to learn or develop the skills and tactics necessary to apply make-up at dance recitals and/or performances, I did master the fine art of toe nail polish deployment on 6 year-old little girls. I have, on occasion, been unable to utilize the “tough sh*t” strategy when your 5th grader calls from school saying they left their clarinet/saxophone/violin/something else at home and would it be possible for me to detour my route to work and return home, retrieve said musical instrument and drop it off in the office at school. This morning however was the first time I went grocery shopping for a 7th grader at 6:30 a.m. I suspect it is probably not the last time.

Last night after leaving work early to pick up Bails and Kinz from school, a move necessary because I was consistently unable to get Bails to dance class on time due to tight time windows between school bus drop offs and dance classes, and after shuttling between Bails’ dance class and Rye’s two dance classes, and after picking up Kinz from softball practice, I’m lying on the couch drifting into and out of consciousness. Rye walks up and frantically lets us know that she just remembered she’s supposed to bring the ingredients for cupcakes to school tomorrow for class.

Now listen I don’t have anything against cupcakes. I like chocolate ones. I like vanilla ones. I like cupcakes that are chocolate and vanilla mixed together. They are loosely related to donuts and muffins and can at least attend the same parties as coffee cake. Its all good.

But I’ve literally been out driving around from 3:45 until about 7:45 and have driven past a grocery store at least 13 times. I’m not kidding about this. I looked at the map. I drove right past or was within a mile of a grocery store 13 times. Rye was in the car for at least 4 of those drive-bys. At no time did it pop into her head that she needed stuff for cupcakes. You know what did pop into her head? Telling me how much David Coverdale sucks. That’s what. But she has the steely resolve, I mean the self-absorbed audacity to ask me to drag my backside off the couch in the middle of the best Sweet 16 game of the night and go to the store to get crap for cupcakes. Cupcakes that I’m not even going to get to freaking eat! You don’t lay down some hateful smack about David Coverdale and Whitesnake and go and ask for a cupcake favor. I don’t care if the cupcakes are made out of beer, I’m not doing it. Seriously, though, if they had beer cupcakes I’d totally get the stuff to make those.

I mean I have already initiated the 40something night time total body shutdown sequence. With every passing minute it becomes more difficult for me to form sentences because the muscles that control jaw movement are asleep. Which, as it turns out, must be God’s way of making sure you can’t drop an expletive laced carpet bombing tirade on your kids. Kind of failsafe protocol for parents.

So naturally, we drove to the grocery store before school and picked up white cake mix, white frosting, vegetable oil, egg whites and those foil cupcake cup things. I’m assuming that when I see her this afternoon she’ll smile and let me know that it was all a false alarm and she didn’t really need the stuff for some reason. But that’s way a 13 year-old brain works. It develops at a natural rate until right about 7th grade and then it randomly works, malfunctions, works, shuts down, works and then regresses before finally it begins normal development again after college. It’s a lot like the career of Steven Tyler.

Top Spring 1990 Videos For You to Watch on Youtube:


Early Spring Thoughts

Does the first real spring day make anyone feel, um, thirsty? I haven’t zeroed in on the exact causes of this phenomena, but its real. Happens every March. Maybe its St. Patrick’s Day. But I’m not Irish and don’t claim any honorary Irishness, I’m not a fan of Irish cuisine and I grew up hating Notre Dame. I’ve sometimes thought its some combination of the NCAA Tournament, memories of FAC’s in college and smell in the spring that gives off the distinct of thawing. You know what I’m talking about. I think olfactory recognition triggers nostalgia.

Anyway, I learned something this week. If you want to look like you’re drinking but not really, drink Sprite Zero. At least three this week at work I was walking around holding a Sprite Zero can and was asked if I was drinking a Bud Light.


What kind of douchebag do you have to be if three different people not only think you’re boozing at work but actually roaming the building with an open beer in your hand?

I evidently am the type of person who falls onto that list. I didn’t really know this. Which has forced me to look at the Man in the Mirror. My conclusions?

1) I wish I did work at place that allowed beer cart Fridays. This, at least to me, is a rockstar morale booster. The boss pushes a beer cart through the office offering beers. This is also the kind of place where you could wear jeans and your favorite Cyclones hat to work. But alas I do not work in such a utopia.
2) Many of the people who also work in my building evidently are drinking. There’s really no other explanation as to why they’d seriously believe I’d be walking around drinking beer in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. I mean literally no one does this. Not even the guys who make beer at work.
3) Friday afternoons make me thirsty.

So there’s that. Hey, learned something else. Bails likes to plan for the future. Here’s what she told us on the way to church:

“I want to marry someone with the last name of “awesome.” So then I’ll be Bailey Awesome.”

Sound logic.


Certain questions stick with you. Especially if you are the type of person who doesn’t like to make quick decisions. You ponder things. You collect relevant information. You run through scenarios. You contemplate. Then you deliberate. Unfortunately, one of the results of this kind of disposition is that all the questions you mull aren’t especially grand.

thundarrFor example, what wasn’t National Treasure a mini-series? It’s a great story that really needed to be developed to a far greater degree. Or what would have happened if Terry Bradshaw doesn’t throw that pick in the 4th quarter of the Steelers-Chargers ’82 playoff game? A 5th ring for the Super Steelers? What happens if the Steelers don’t pass on Dan Marino in the first round of the ’83 draft? Why don’t Marty McFly’s parents recognize that their 17 year-old son in 1985 looks exactly like that weird Calvin Klein kid they met back in high school in 1955? Furthermore, was Higgins really Robin Masters? What the hell did the numbers mean in LOST? Why hasn’t Thundarr the Barbarian come back in some form? And in the Mos Eisley Cantina why did George Lucas edit in Greedo firing the first shot at Han in the ’97 re-release when Han clearly fired the first shot in the original?

Then, of course, there’s the Fast Times at Ridgemont High question. Which, truth be told, I never really understood why it was such seminal movie for its time. I mean its in the United States National Film Registry listed by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. What? I mean its not The Breakfast Club. Or Ferris Bueller. Its not even Weird Science. Anyway, at the end of the Fast Times we learn that Spicoli saved Brooke Shields from drowning and with the reward money he hired Van Halen to play his birthday party.

Would you hire Van Halen? Seriously, if you could hire a band to play your birthday party, who would you hire? This is not as easy as it sounds. For instance, do the laws of space and time apply? I mean I’m not hiring 1982 Van Halen. If I were hiring a band in 1982, I’d probably lean Billy Joel. But listen if I’m able to suspend the laws of space and time, I’m getting Journey. Maybe REO. But probably like 1987 Journey. Also some Apple stock. And I’m putting money on Villanova to win the ’85 NCAA Tournament.

But ’87 Journey is a good choice. Steve Perry is still in the band. You get all the cool 70’s stuff plus you stretch it out to include the songs from Raised on Radio. That’s an unappreciated effort from Neal Schon and the boys. Be Good to Yourself is a good song. You get Ask the Lonely from the Twist of Fate soundtrack plus Only the Young from Vision Quest. They could do like six encores of Don’t Stop Believin’ and Stone In Love. The only people not singing along would be the ones too overwhelmed by the awesomeness of Journey being at your birthday party. And probably the fact that they’d look like they hadn’t aged in about 25 years. Time travel is never easily accepted. And listen, I’m not dismissing the coolness of having the late 80’s version of REO perform, or a mid 90’s version of Billy Joel. Those guys would still be cool. Of course if I’m bound by the laws of space and time, then I’m just calling Bret Michaels, Dee Snyder and Lita Ford. Because they still rock.

So, anyway, that’s a question I’ve often pondered.

Lent is Complicated

Mom is gone this week. Which means my transportation and logistics responsibilities should have at least doubled. But I reserved Grandma’s time for this particular week way back in January. So I’m good. Turns out that Grandma was going to be here anyway. My hometown-in-law is back in the state basketball tournament for fourth straight year. Defending state champs. And Grandma and Grandpa are retired so they’re here all week watching games regardless how their team does. Its not like they have some place to be. Worked out well. Even took the girls and I out to a new Mexican restaurant last night. Mmmmm…

This did, however, bring up an interesting dilemma. Lent. I decided to make it count this year. All foods that are come in some type commercially packaged bag or box. I was targeting chips and cookies. Fritos, pretzels and oreos. That’s what I had in mind. And listen, me not eating any type of snack chip, pretzel or cracker for 40 days is like the President not blaming Boehner for well, everything, for 40 days. Except I ran into some issues.

Most notably was that there a tremendous amount of food that comes in a commercially packaged bag or box. You don’t realize this until you decide not to eat it. It’s like having a discussion of the best movies of 1986 and leaving out Running Scared. You just can’t do it.

So I was forced to develop some loose guidelines. It’s like Lentquestration. But without the media crapping itself over it. Pretty sure Rachel Maddow said zombies have taken over the most of the major airports as a result of the impertinence of House Republicans. Anyway, all chips, pretzels, crackers and cookies that come in a bag or box are out. They are easy to identify. Like liberals at a NASCAR event. Girls pointed out that cereal comes in a box. And some cereals are really like eating cookies. But I eat Fiber One. And that’s not really the same. So that’s an exception. Sort of. Homemade cookies? No box! Loophole. Donuts? That’s easy. Allowed. Unless you buy a bag of Hostess mini-donuts. Disallowed. What about the chips and salsa they give you at Mexican restaurants? Well the chips definitely come in a box. So they need to be out. Salsa is fine by the way.

But what about nachos? Well, turns out everybody needs an escape hatch. Nachos are mine. So they have been deemed permissible. Strangely, I’ve only had them once since Lent began. Turns out I suck at exploiting loopholes.

PerrySeparateWaysSo I’ve made it this far without eating any deliciously bagged or boxed salty snack chips, pretzels or crackers. And listen, it is freaking amazing how long they last in the house when I’m not eating them. It’s weird and a little bit disconcerting. Like Steve Perry’s hair in the Separate Ways video. I mean I am evidently a voracious consumer of this stuff. But a side effect has been that my pop consumption has spiked.

Giving up pop is not a hill I’m ready to climb. Only so much can be expected of a man.

Oscar and Friends

Anne Hathaway needs to go away. She had a dream? And it came true? What? I can’t be the only person who thinks that utterance was something less than spontaneous. I mean I’m pretty much good if she takes a break from movies. She seems to have ascended to the top of the annoying self important list. Displacing Gwenyth Paltrow. Who succeded a rather entrenched Susan Sarandon. Who pushed out Barbara Streisand.

Did you see the commercial for the Royal Carribean Dancing With the Stars Cruise? Which stars? Because I’m not real interested in going if Pam Anderson, Erin Andrews and Kelly Monaco aren’t going to be there. I’d rather have an NFL Films cruise. Sit in the ballroom watching film with Ron Jaworski, Merril Hoge and Mike Mayock discussing the draft and key NFL games from the past.

Kristin Chenoweth needs to eat a danish. Seriously. A big giant bear claw. And an oversized cinnamon roll. She looks like a muppet.

Daniel Day Lewis is really, really cool. He looks cool. He talks cool. He’s just cool. George Clooney on the other hand exudes arrogance the way Seth McFarland exudes boob jokes. And why is Ben Affleck trying to be George Clooney? He won an Oscar. Shouldn’t he just kinda be good with being himself now?

Mom and Rye watch the interviews on the red carpet like normal people watch College Gameday on Saturday mornings. They give their top 3 best dressed lists and match them up against the hosts’ lists. Um, what? And how do Kristin Chenoweth, Kelly Rowland, Lara Spencer and Robin Roberts end up as the red carpet inteviewers? I’m not ashamed to admit two things in this discussion. One, I had no idea who Lara Spencer was. Two, the only reason I knew who Kristin Chenoweth was that she was a couple episodes of Glee and, well, Mom was kinda addicted to it for a season or two. Anyway, what are the qualifications to be a red carpet interviewer? What was the selection process? Is a there draft of some sort? Who does the drafting? Was there a list? Did a committee put together the list? How is that committee chosen? Because, and I’m just spitballin’ here, they don’t seem like The A-Team when it comes to interviewing. I’m not saying and I’m just saying…