Crazy Nights and Hamburgers

So I went to see Kiss on Tuesday night.  It is, afterall, the Final Tour Ever.  First thing is Paul Stanley still sings everything.  No backup singers.  When I saw Motley Crue in 2012, Vince Neal barely sang anything.  He had two backup singers and I’m pretty damn sure those two ladies carried him through that entire concert.  Paul singing all the songs was almost as impressive as him wearing a vest throughout the show without a shirt underneath.  A 67 year-old dude in all his hairy chested glory.  Go Paul!


Second, Crazy Nights is a great song.  Never really realized it before but it kinda has the same message as We’re Not Gonna Take It.  And nobody likes a good solid rock song that gives the middle finger to the elite know-it-alls more than me.  The music snobs like to rip hair metal for its lack of sophistication, its lack of social messaging and its embrace of over the top cheesiness.  Well, screw you.  Go listen to Green Day and hang out with Pete Buttigieg and scold us for being part of the problem because we like to eat hamburgers.  And by the way, what the hell is the deal with the left and it’s war on tailgating?  AOC wants to ban cows, Mayor Pete says if you eat hamburgers you’re part of the problem.  Cows/hamburgers are the backbone of the American Tailgating Experience.  But again, I’m just a simple 49 year-old Midwestern Dad who likes football, hamburgers and hair metal.  If that means I’m part of the problem, well, like Paul sings in Crazy Nights – “And they try to tell us that we don’t belong, But that’s alright, we’re millions strong, You are my people, you are my crowd, this is our music, we love it loud.”

Third, you don’t see it much anymore but Kiss is just 3 guitars and drums.  And explosions.  And flamethrowers.  And Gene spitting blood.  And Paul suspended from a rope flying over the crowd.  It was pretty cool.

Last, nobody knows how to finish a show like Kiss.  Last song was I Wanna Rock And Roll All Night.  Complete with beach balls falling from the arena ceiling and about 15 confetti cannons going off during the song.  Add in the whole arena screaming at high volume and you have a recipe for pandemonium.  It was eerily reminiscent of my senior prom when one guy, a huge Kiss fan, got up on a table in white tux with tails and used his white cane as a microphone and belted out I Wanna Rock And Roll All Night when the DJ played it.  And that was also awesome.

I’m patiently waiting for the next hair metal band to stop in Des Moines.  Because I’m gonna be there.  And I’m gonna have a cheeseburger.  And a crappy non-craft beer.  And its gonna be freaking awesome.


The First Day of School

The first day of school is tomorrow.  At least it is for the now high school senior and sophomore.  The soph in college doesn’t start classes until Monday.

First day of school is an adjustment for everybody.  Kids and parents.  We aren’t any different.  The biggest adjustment for Mom and I is twofold.  First, we have deal with all the whining about getting up early.  Our strategy is relentless indifference punctuated by random unpredictable explosions of outright derision.  Kinda like the political left’s strategy in regards to the First Amendment.  Second, we have to brace for the whining about homework.  Our strategy is persistent questions and reminders about their homework.  It’s a war of attrition.  Eventually the girls’ resistance crumbles and they get their homework done simply because they want us to go away.  It’s basically how Jerry Jones gets his way so often with other NFL owners.

The soph in college is different.  She left for college on the 11th.  Her sorority had to get ready for primary recruitment.  Which is what everybody used to call rush.  They got the house ready for a week and then they spent this week, well, recruiting.  Today they’re done.  So if I still have the math correct from when I was in college that means they’re going drink their asses off until Sunday.  But maybe that doesn’t happen anymore…

Because lots of things don’t happen anymore since I was college.  There are some obvious examples.  Nobody listens to hair metal anymore.  Which really must suck for the students.  You’re not allowed to fly the flag anymore – unless of course it’s the hammer and sickle.  Hell, last year the 19 year-old and her roommate didn’t even have a TV in their room.  Yeah, I’m totally serious.  It’s f’ing insane.  No idea what they did on Sunday afternoons.

Now she’s living in a room with 9 other girls.  Which, if I’m being honest, sounds absolutely awful.  Like being forced to listen to rap.  When all the three girls were home this summer it was impossible for me to get dressed without pulling long blonde hairs off all my clothes.  Every single item of clothing I have.  EVERY SINGLE ONE.  Socks.  Shirts.  Shorts.  Doesn’t matter.  It’s even worse because big t-shirts are evidently cool again so the girls all feel like they can “borrow” any t-shirt in my closet.  Most of our furniture has a nice extra blonde layer.  Plus it looks like the kitchen floor has fur.  If we turn the fan on there’s blonde hair tumbleweeds blowing across the kitchen.  I shudder at what that 10 girl room looks like.  I bet they hang machetes outside the room so they can cut their way back in after class everyday.

Anyway, do you remember the start of your senior year in high school?  Your sophomore year in high school?  I’m not gonna lie.  Senior year was awesome.  I’m pretty sure it was awesome from start to finish.  I mean how could it not be awesome when you’re driving a sweet 1981 diesel Volkswagen Rabbit listening to the supremely hot Sheena Easton sing “U Got The Look” with Prince wearing a pair of Guess Jeans with some white Reeboks.  Don’t let anybody tell you 1987 wasn’t awesome.

No idea if our senior feels as strongly about Sheena Easton as I did but she does have fairly strong feelings about her white bib overalls.  Turns out it is a tradition for the senior girls to get a pair of white bib overalls and decorate the absolute crap outta them and then wear them to the home football games.  If you were to go just by the sheer number of hours she’s put in decorating them, you’d think she was studying for the bar exam.  Luckily for her, the sophomore is a hell of an artist.  And she was somehow convinced to not only help her senior sister decorate the bibs but also to help three of her friends too.  So part of the garage was turned into a small laboratory equipped with a lot of paint and glitter.

You know what is only thing on the planet harder to get of than long blonde hairs?

Freaking glitter.  But at least the garage and driveway are really shiny now…

Toby Keith On a Monday Night

So I went to a Toby Keith concert the other night at the state fair.  Never really been to a country concert before, let alone someone like Toby Keith.  Two years ago Mom and I went to Flo-Rida at the fair.  Truth be told, I have never really been to a hip-hop concert before either.

But I liked both.  Mostly because as a member of the audience you get to participate.  If I go watch live music, I like to come home sweaty, hoarse and deaf.  I mean if you don’t, how do you actually you were there and had a good time?  But that’s just me.  And, turns out, it doesn’t matter if it’s Poison, Def Leppard, Motley Crue…Flo-Rida or Toby Keith, you come home knowing you’ve participated in the show.

Couple observations from the show.  First, not a whole lotta of “Feel the Bern” shirts in crowd.  But I did have a beer next to a guy with red, white and blue wrist bands (the old school 70’s style wrist bands), a plaid shirt with the sleeves cut off and a camo Trump 2020 hat.

Second, I kinda wish I was in the group of 10ish people down in front of the stage in the standing room only section who were all wearing the American flag as capes.  They looked like good people.  I think we would have been friends.

Third, it was tough to tell if there was more denim or more red, white and blue in the crowd.  Not that it mattered.  I mean I had on these shorts:

shredded denim shorts

And a hat with the flag on it…and a shirt that said “No Coast” with a map of the Midwest on it.

Fourth, it was extremely hard to tell if the crowd was louder during “How Do You Like Me Now” or “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.”  I had kinda forgotten how much I liked “How Do You Like Me Now.”  I mean who doesn’t like a good solid song about giving an elitist d-bag the middle finger?

Fifth, the Des Moines Register printed a review of the concert.  It wasn’t bad except for one notable omission.  The writer pointed out that Keith avoided being overtly political with any of his statements. Aside from pointing that the world is going batshit crazy, he didn’t really have any real opinions to share.  I mean other that he really liked red solo cups and that he loved this bar.  The writer detailed how Toby closed with “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” and as he was ending the song he told the crowd to “Never apologize for being patriotic” and judging by the sheer number of American flags being held up, we didn’t really need any encouragement regarding that.  But here’s the thing – that wasn’t the last thing Toby said even though the reviewer indicated  it was.  The last thing he said was “Never apologize for being patriotic” and then he quickly finished that sentenced with “F*ck ‘em.”  But that was notably left out of the article.  Now if you’re wondering if it was left out because of the use of profanity, you’d be as wrong as Bill de Blasio is regarding his appeal.  A couple nights ago the paper reviewed the Slipknot concert and while the band was thanking the crowd every other word uttered was an f-bomb.  The paper got around printing the profanities by printing something like “Thank you so f—ing much for coming out.”  So naturally I’m left to assume it was a case of the powers that be simply not wanting to print Keith’s obvious shot at lefty America haters.

Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things…but man, it sure got a helluva loud cheer…

The SJW Fantasy League

Not sure how this came about but I was bored and I devised a 12 team fantasy football league…if Social Justice Progressives played fantasy football.  Which, I know, is totally and completely fantastical.  Like a Kirsten Gillibrand presidency.  We all know a group of SJW’s would never form a fantasy football league.  Football is a game which is based on the physical domination of your opponent.  It is based on the acquisition of territory through force.  Score is kept.  There is a winner.  Not everybody gets to play.  And Colin Kaepernick isn’t a viable quarterback in fantasy just like in real football.  All of which are dealbreakers for the condescending moralizing social media mob which seems to populate much of the primary voting base of the Democrats.

Broken down by division, here’s what I came up with:

The Resistance Division

  • Speech Police
  • Our Silicon Valley Overlords
  • The Politburo
  • Sleepy Joe and the Inappropriate Touchers

The Snowflake Division

  • Moralizing Hate Tacklers
  • Jussie Smollet’s Fighting Hate Crime Hoaxers
  • Gullibly Idealistic Millennials
  • Hysterical Offense Takers

The AOC Division

  • Greener Than Thou’s
  • Woker Than Thou’s
  • Cow Fart Eliminators
  • Intersectional Victimologists

Obviously the Speech Police and Our Silicon Valley Overlords have a built in rivarly much like the Greener Than Thou’s and The Woker Than Thou’s.  But I gotta admit that I’m looking forward to the first match up between Sleepy Joe and the Inappropriate Touchers and the Gullibly Idealistic Milllennials.  Something’s gotta give there.  Similarly how does the showdown go between the Moralizing Hate Tacklers and Jussie Smollet’s Fighting Hate Crime Hoaxers!?  Gotta be some bad blood there…



Published in: on June 13, 2019 at 4:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Who’s Excited for Summer?

wildthingSummer needs to get here.  Fast.  Not because of my impatience for Season 3 of Stranger Things but because it is entirely possible that our 15 and 17 year-olds aren’t going to make it.  Seriously, they just might not get there.  Not because school and activities are grinding them down, moreso because there are times I feel like Mitch Williams coming outta the ‘pen for the ’89 Cubs.  I’m volatile and unpredicatible with my parenting decisions.  And if you’re not paying attention, you might get a 99 mph fastball high and tight.

I mean, okay, maybe I’m overreacting.  Maybe its true that they’re worn out from 9 months of school.  Maybe all the studying for finals has them really stressed out.  Maybe those two things combined with track and softball is just overwhelming them.  Or, maybe, its just a whole helluva lot of whining and laziness.  And those two things mingling are really just the girls inviting me to punch them in the face.  Verbally of course.  I don’t want to give any of you online parenting stormtroopers the wrong idea…

Listen, I get that it becomes harder once the weather gets warm, the grass gets green and the grills get smokier.  A cold Miller Lite, a home grilled burger and Poison playing in the background makes me happy too.  School ends on May 31st and it remains unclear how the 15 year-old is going to make it.  Seriously, she’s checked out.  Like she might be more checked out from school than Jerry Nadler is from reality.  Okay, that’s not fair.  Nadler is living in a carefully constructed alternative universe in which he’s taken seriously.  The 15 year-old is only in the process of checking out of a universe in which she knows we don’t take her seriously.  She combats her ineptitude in getting us to take her pretend exhaustion seriously by being whiny and lazy.  As each day goes by, she’s checks out a little more.  Which, if you think about it, is f’ing crazy.  She’s 15.  She’s a freshman in high school.  What the hell is so hard about the life of a high school freshman?  Mortgage payments?  Paying cellphone and car insurance bills for 5 freaking people?  Being stuck in an age demographic that somehow thinks socialism doesn’t always end in theft, murder and poverty?  Okay, that last one does suck but it shouldn’t affect her energy levels.

Anyway, here’s an example.  She has to be in her desk in her first class at 8:20 a.m.  This has been the case since August and isn’t a real high bar to clear.  It’s like if you were a new member of congress and you proposed a giant socialist manifesto proclaiming your greener-than-thou moral superiority and the only bar you had to clear was to not back up the manifesto with arguments about banning cow farts.  Anyway, you’d think after about 9 months of school, the 15 year-old would be used to this.  Shouldn’t her internal clock have moved into autopilot and the whole getting up and having all your stuff ready to go be second nature?  Well, of course not you stupid moron!  Expecting a 15 year-old to show some semblance of consistency when the weather is warm would be stupid.  High level stupidness.  I mean you’d have to be a complete imbecile to somehow come to the conclusion that by the end of freaking May, your 15 year-old daughter would be able to get out of bed, walk the 12 feet to the bathroom, get ready for school, have her track and/or softball stuff ready for practice/meet/game and – and this is key – drive herself to school in a timely manner.  Yeah, she gets to drive to school even though she’s only 15.  School license.  She doesn’t even have to make it to a freaking bus stop.  She has to walk into the garage and succesfully back the car out of the driveway and make, totally serious here, 4 total turns to get to school.

But as I mentioned earlier, that would make you stupid.  Because here’s the thing, at some point in May, the autopilot begins to malfunction.  This is due to something called “Idon’tgiveacrapitis” and we’ve all been afflicted with this ailment.  In high school, in college, as a parent and at your job.  I understand it, you understand it.  And, truth be told, I like to fully and vigorously embrace it at times.  But, here’s where parenting is bullshit, the 15 year-old doesn’t get to do it.  When she’s a senior?  Sure, I’ll probably let it slide a bit.  But not now.  Her life is not hard.  Somehow we’ve allowed her to become soft.  She’s like the media’s questions for Obama after he weaponized the IRS to go after any organization who dared oppose his reign.

Regardless, I need summer to get here so the arguments can be limited to which of the three girls gets a car for the day.  Because the constant vigilance necessary to make sure they study, turn in their assignments, take advantage of any and all retakes/extra credit while also ensuring they are on time and have all the correct track and softball is bullshit.  Now, I know some of you are acting all bad ass and saying, “Yeah, whatever man, if they didn’t have the right gear – TOUGH!”  Yeah, okay, but you know you’re getting a call from the 15 year-old about an hour or so before her first softball game saying, “MOM, I forgot my uniform pants!  Can you bring them to the field?!!!”

Seriously, that just happened.  She forgot her pants.  I wonder if Jerry Nadler forgets his pants when he freaks out about his meaningless subpoenas?




Ah, Spring…

So its spring.  The wonderful time of year when your allegies cause your brain to swell and your teenage daughter obessess over prom.  We’ve already been through three proms with the oldest.  So another prom didn’t seem like a big deal.  And, turns out, it really wasn’t.  The best part, for me anyway, was writing this.  Why?  Because nobody rolled their eyes at me while I meandered my way through my memories of April of ’87.  And, listen, I have three daughters.  I can identify an eye roll when I see one.  It is one of those skills that Dads of daughters involuntary master.  Like the selective hearing it takes to enjoy a game broadcast by Dan Dakich.  Or Jim Acosta and his unflappable ability to have zero self-awareness.

But back to prom and 1987.  Top Gun just came out on VHS.  George Michael and Aretha Franklin were singing I Knew You Were Waiting For Me.  And my friends and I somehow finagled a hotel room at a local hotel in which about 20 of us partied the night after prom.  I didn’t bring that up with the kids.  But I did bring up that Prom ’87 was the first time I heard Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again.  Because that’s a key moment for anyone who was in high school in the late 80’s.

The middle daughter, who happens to be on the edge of seventeen, had this whole thing planned out.  I’m not kidding.  She could teach a class on logistics and transportation.  They had a fairly decent sized group all going together.  The girls met at our house early to get ready.  She staggered the times a bit to make sure everyone had a sink and mirror in front of which to prepare.  To no one’s shock or amazement, I’m still perplexed at not only how long it takes teenage girls to get ready for prom, but also how much attention to detail they have during the getting ready process.  I’m a dude so the entire process of getting ready for prom for entailed taking a shower, putting on a rented tux and wearing these:

blue wayfarers

But with girls it is a process.  A process honed by hours and hours of practice.  It also include lots of discussion about various methods and different techniques of getting ready.  I assume it is the teenage girl version of an off-season meeting of defensive coordinators discussing the best ways to defend Tom Brady.

Regardless, I was happy to be uninvolved with all of it.  Similar to how I approach math homework.  Not a lot I can contribute, so I leave it up to Mom and provide a wide area in which she can operate.

Transporation from our house to the picture location was seemless too.  Again, mostly due to the tireless attention to detail provided by the 16 year-old and her fondness for planning.  Yeah, so instead of taking pics at the house, which is what I did back in the spring of ’87, they all pick out a picturesque locale in which to take the pics.  They picked a business close to the house that had a pond, decorative flower pots and fountain.  The picture taking process was made easier and far more enjoyable by the beers I drank prior.

The 16 year-old got pics with her boyfriend.  With each of her friends.  With most their dates.  Plus varying group pics, with assorted poses and looks – some planned, some unplanned.  When that was finally completed they ALL came back to our house to kill some time before they headed to dinner and the actual prom.  This was one of the few things that was not mapped out ahead of time by the 16 year-old.  So she volunteered our house as a spot where they could reorganize and, I assume anyway, be uncomfortable in their formal wear.  We left out a 30 pack of bottled water and some pop for them.  They were clearly and sternly informed that was all they were to drink. I also informed them of exactly how many cans of beer were in my basement fridge.  If any were missing, the only thing more obvious than the fact it was them who drank it is that Alexa is not only spying on you if she’s in your house but that she’s also the precursor to Skynet becoming self-aware.

So I’m not sure how they do it at your kids’ high school, but at ours there is generally a house where the group sleeps over.  Yeah boys and the girls.  I was as shocked as anyone to find this out three years ago.  Somebody’s parents host, and by host I mean they are tricked into having everybody stay overnight.  You generally provide some snacks and drinks for the promgoers and some semblance of a breakfast.  Your breakfast effort is largerly based on – 1) your devotion to breakfast, and 2) your skills at preparing breakfast.

A couple years ago we hosted the group after the Homecoming Dance.  We bought them some donuts and called it good.  The family that hosted the group after prom this year made them an actual breakfast.  Pancakes, eggs, etc.  Yeah, that’s just f’ing crazy.  I thought we were generous with the 2 dozen donuts.  They were Krispy Kremes.  The 16 year-old got home and if you were judging what the best part of prom based on what she talked about the most, it was the breakfast.

Teenagers can be easy to please…


A Weekend in Olathe

Who spent last weekend in Olathe?  Nobody?  Okay, just me then.

Actually I wasn’t alone since the 16 year was there too.  She was, truth be told, the only reason I was there.  Not that I have anything against Olathe.  It was my first time there and it seemed a lot like every other big suburb of a major midwestern city.  She had a softball tournament Saturday and Sunday.  The high school team divides itself into what is essentially the varsity and the JV for spring tournaments before practice starts on May 6.

So we left Friday afternoon about 4:30ish and drove down.  Nice enough drive except for the fact that Missouri has zero interest in maintaining any semblance of smoothness on I-35.  The first ten miles or so once you cross the Iowa/Missouri border have more craters than Adam Schiff’s credibility.  But here’s the thing – the 16 year-old is a talker.  She likes to share.  She also has strong feelings about her various playlists.  There’s the driving playlist, the homework playlist, the hype playlist, the getting ready playlist and a couple more that she told me about but my brain went into “ignore politely mode” so I don’t remember what they were.  She did ask if I wanted to listen to her throwback playlist.  Naturally, I said yes because I’m 48.  Most of the songs I like only exist on throwback playlists.  What I wasn’t really contemplating was that to the 16 year-old not only are the Backstreet Boys throwback material but so is Flo Rida.  Yeah, who knew?  I was expecting some Def Leppard.  Maybe some vintage disco.  But whatever, I like Flo Rida.  I even like his collaborations.  Especially that one with Pitbull and Lunch Money Lewis.

But I got to spend 3ish hours with her.  Which was pretty cool.  For me anyway.  Not sure of her feelings on the matter although she did only talk about stuff she cared about for those 3 hours.  But again, not sure I really care because it really isn’t that often you get to spend 3 hours alone with your junior in high school.  That kinda thing doesn’t really happen organically.

We talked about a lot of stuff.  We talked about prom.  We talked about softball.  We talked about my music vs. her music.  We talked about the various high school dramas unfolding around her.  We talked about whether or not Mom and I partied in high school.  We talked about what she should major in once she gets to college.  I tried to talk about how the Steelers would adjust to life without Antonio Brown and who I thought they’d target with their first few picks in the draft…but to be honest I think I was really just talking to myself on those things.  Which truth be told is just how it works in my house when it comes to the NFL Draft.  Mom likes football, but she’s not a nerd about it.

Anyway, the 16 year-old was stunned to learn that Mom partied a little bit in high school before cutting loose in college.  Her and her sisters have this belief that Mom did everything right in high school – never got in trouble, always got good grades, etc.  Which made me curious about their impression of me in high school.  She said they were pretty sure that I partied in high school and college.  Not sure what that says about my skills as a parent.  But I managed to graduate in both cases and went to arguably be a productive member of American society.  But I did ask some questions regarding this assumption.  I mean what makes it obvious that I partied and Mom didn’t?  It’s not like I’m carrying around a 30 pack of Stroh’s, a fake ID and a handy story on why I missed my curfew…that hasn’t happened since the spring of ’88…

The thing that simultaneously interested and repelled me was all the drama.  And it seemed like a lot.  But I haven’t been a junior in high school for 32 years.  So maybe when you’re that age there’s just more drama.  You also probably have a higher level of tolerance for it because of its prevalence.  But I’m not the best gauge in regards to appropriate or even normal levels of drama.  Mostly because I have an exceptionally low tolerance level for drama.  Like if the drama scale were to be measured from 0 to 10 with 0 being no tolerance and 10 high tolerance, I’d be a -47.  Or if you were using — as a measurement, I’d be —.

Now listen, everybody will say they hate drama.  Everybody.  And they’ll mean it.  Some people will even insist they have tolerance levels resembling mine.  They’d also be resoundingly wrong.  I have a pathological aversion to it.  Like it might be diagnosed as a mental health issue.  An issue I hope to pass along to the girls.  But listen, having three daughters hasn’t helped me deal with this either.  In fact, I believe it actually has led to the current state of my drama tolerance levels.  Not that I’m complaining.  I like being the guy with absolutely no reason to participate in your drama.  I like anchoring this curve.  Now, I won’t go out of my way to denigrate your drama-filled concerns.  I’m not mean-spirited afterall.  I’ll just ignore you.  You may misinterpret that as me not caring.  You’d be wrong.  I do care.  It’s just I care very much about ignoring your drama.  Or I’ll just quietly, albeit unapologetically, walk away.  Because here’s the deal – drama likes other drama.  Drama attracts other drama.  If drama runs into anti-drama, drama will work tirelessly to ensare the anti-drama.  Because drama can’t exist on it’s own.  There are people who are attracted to drama the way fat kids are attracted to cake.  They want their lives to be a reality show.  They’ll claim that isn’t the case, but they just can’t help themselves.  They’ll cannonball right into the drama pool.  Doesn’t matter if it involves them or not.  If their lives have somehow wandered into a drama desert, they will create it.  It’s like they have a superpower they are unaware of that can conjure drama out of the clear blue sky.  Group of friends getting along really well?  Boom – time to drop a drama grenade into that room.  You have a friend who is getting along really well with their boyfriend or girlfriend?  Time to drop some sabotage in between them to set yourself up as the arbiter.  Friend seems content with the current state of their lives?  Time to passive aggressively attack that friend for the contendedness.

So the upside is that I was able to express my views on drama to the 16 year-old.  And she couldn’t escape.  Calling that a win.


Magnum and Hallmark

The 15 year-old said something recently that got me thinking.  I mean legitimately made me stop and think.  It was like the opposite of what happens to me when Kamala Harris speaks or when the girls watch The Bachelor.  Anyway, Mom and I were watching Magnum.  Yes, I realize that I’ve previously stated how it was predetermined that the reboot would suck.  I also am fairly certain that I was not alone in this assumption.  Mostly because nearly every attempt to recreate the awesomeness of any original 80’s movie or TV show has utterly and completely crashed and burned.

Red Dawn. The communists are bad.  America, with all her imperfections, is awesome.  Solid premise.  Also I’m pretty sure the original would have come true if Carter had been re-elected in 1980.  But the remake was awful.  Like if I laid out a scale of 80’s awesomeness and at one end you had Mel Gibson’s hair in Lethal Weapon and at the other end you had Walter Mondale’s acceptance speech at the ’84 DNC, the Red Dawn remake wouldn’t even be even with Mondale.

The A-Team.  Since Taken, Liam Neeson normally makes things awesome.  Not so in The A-Team reboot.  It’s not like it was hard to take the premise of the TV show and turn it into an awesome movie.  The Equalizer was essentially the same TV show and they managed to turn that into a freaking bad ass movie.

Miami Vice.  C’mon Hollywood.  This thing was, for all intents and purposes, a manual on how to absolutely and entirely ruin something awesome so completely that anyone who actually watched the TV show is now unable to ever explain to their kids that Miami Vice was, at one point, the coolest thing on the planet.  So pretty much what lefty academia is doing to free speech on college campuses.

Not that they always get it wrong.  The Goldberg’s is great and their attention to 80’s detail is extremely satisfying.  Stranger Things is one of the greatest shows of all time and having it set in the mid 80’s only makes it better.  Although Season 2 consistently got the music wrong.  They were a year off.  Season 2 takes place in November of ’84.  At the Snow Ball, they feature Twist of Fate by Olivia Newton-John.  The song was the theme to the extremely underappreciated Two of a Kind…which came out in 1983.  Perfect song for moment but they were a year off.  And Ready Player One is an 80’s trivia nerd’s dream.  So naturally, I liked it.

If the rumors are right then we’ll be seeing remakes of Escape From New York, War Games and Weird Science.  Which fills me with a great sense of anticipation…and also feelings of incredible dread.  Basically the same feelings I get when watching Chris Boswell kick field goals for the Steelers.

Regardless, there we were watching Magnum.  And the 15 year comes downstairs and says, “Is this Magnum?”  To which was naturally answer, “yeah, be quiet.”  To which she responds, “This show is basically a Hallmark movie.  It’s exactly the same thing.”

MagnumHigginsSo two things.  1)  Higgins is hot.  Not something I’d have said about the original but a stone cold fact in reference to the reboot.  I mean one of the main reasons I watch the show is because of Higgins’ British accent and hotness.  And I don’t care what you say, that is a perfectly legit reason to watch the show.  Same reason why I’ll watch just about anything with Salma Hayek.

2) Magnum is not a freaking Hallmark movie.  I mean clearly it isn’t Christmas.  And nowhere is there a woman who recently broke up with a long-time boyfriend who works in New York at an investment bank who also is really, really wrapped up in his career and the all the status that goes along with that.  Also nowhere to be seen is the small hometown to which the recently single woman must return to visit her parents or her ailing grandmother or to save the Christmas Tree Farm that is about to be bulldozed by the investment bank to put up some environmentally ignorant condos.  And surprisingly, she runs into an old high school boyfriend who never left the hometown but has a successful carpentry business and wonderful old house who also desperately believes the Christmas Tree Farm must saved from the corporate a-holes in NYC.

Magnum is an ex-Navy Seal who had a rough experience in Afghanistan.  Along with his buddies Rick and TC, they use their training to crack cases and help the underdog on the island of Oahu.  All of them have a few skeletons in the closet that are tough to talk about.  And yes, things do get wrapped up in the end but not so tightly that there aren’t a few loose ends that always come back to haunt Magnum from his past…hey, wait a minute…

Bleachers, Gas and Parking

Sometimes I marvel at my ability to stay calm in the face of adversity.  I mean it takes a certain level of maturity to keep a composed demeanor while unexpected, and dare I say, unwarranted explosions of frustration, apprehension and just plain ol’ rage blow up in your face.  It also is just years and years of experience of being outnumbered 4-1 in my house by Mom and the girls.  I’m like the 82nd Airborne, I’m not only used to be outnumbered but I’m also completely at ease being surrounded.  All Dads who share a house with all daughters have this gift.

So I’m in the kitchen this morning.  Just had come down the stairs and placed my phone on the island.  I was jammin to Bleachers.  I was in a pretty good mood.  It’s tough to be grumpy when listening to these guys.  I Wanna Get Better is a great song.  Anyway, Mom asks me what’s going on later and then she’s out the door headed to work.  Totally normal.  Suddenly, about a minute or so later she returns to the kitchen.  This isn’t necessarily an odd occurrence.  Sometimes she forgets something.  Sometimes, when it’s cold, she was just warming up her car.  So her presence while not expected, wasn’t surprising.

But the force with which she slammed the door and the angry forcefulness of her stride back into the kitchen foretold something unpleasant.  The fury in her eyes portended  confirmed it.  Nearly 22 years of marriage gives you what feels like a sense of clairvoyance when it comes to your spouse.  But like AFC Central quarterbacks staring into the crazy eyes of Jack Lambert as he wrought his ferocious wrath down upon them, I was frozen in place.  Sometimes I forget that Mom’s vision isn’t based on movement.  This morning, the 15 year-old had evidently parked her car in such a way that angered Mom.

Normally, Mom and I both pull in the garage and nobody parks behind either of us.  Depending on which girl leaves first in the morning determines which one leaves their car in the driveway and which one ends up in the third stall in the garage.  The car in the driveway nearly always is parked behind that third stall.  It’s a simple system.

Unfortunately, the system broke down.  The 15 year-old got home late from a track meet.  And in burst of unexpected forethought, she parked behind me instead of behind her sister because her sister left first the next morning.  I was counting that as a win.  Mostly because I’m the one who normally has to move a car if it was left in the wrong spot.

However, she evidently didn’t park precisely behind me.  She left her vehicle a bit too close to Mom’s side.  So Mom goes to back up her car.  And the car starts beeping, alerting her that something is behind her.  But here’s the thing, that car ALWAYS beeps when Mom backs out of the garage.  Evidently the camera’s peripheral vision picks up the sides of the garage.  So as soon as the back end of the car clears the opening to the garage, the beeping stops.  So Mom didn’t pay much attention to the beeping when it started.  It’s white noise.  Not unlike congressional Democrats covering for the latest comment from Ilhan Omar.

Anyway, this time the beeping not only continued past the normal time frame but it became that really fast you’re about to smash into something beeping.  So she stops.  Looks behind her and notices a blue Ford Escape curiously parked in such a way to inhibit her departure from the garage.

And Mom lost her shit.

She comes into the kitchen and unleashes a furious barrage of anger directed at the 15 year-old.  But the 15 year-old is still upstairs.  But there did happen to be one guy standing in the kitchen in a genuinely good mood listening to some music while he made his lunch.  I’m just paraphrasing but it went something like this:

“What the hell is that car doing parked behind me! I almost hit it!”

“Wait, isn’t it parked behind me?”

“That doesn’t matter!  She didn’t park far enough over so I almost hit the car! Not only that but when I got in her car to move it over, the damn interior lights were on!  So we’re lucky it even started.  She needs to use her damn brain.  And she needs to be more considerate of other people! All she does is think about herself!”

So I then said something that in my defense was not only completely logical but really defensible in every sense.  It just wasn’t advisable.

“Did you look behind you before you backed out?’

She said a whole bunch of words but all I really remember was the aftermath.  An invisible force hit me with the power of an F5 tornado.  Pretty sure I was bleeding from my eyes.  I may have suffered a mild concussion.  When I was able to regain my faculties, I remember Mom telling me that I needed to talk to her about this whole episode.

As Mom drove away, I walked out to her car just to see what the deal was with the interior light.  Mom left the car running so I just glanced inside at the center console.  So two things, 1) the console indicator panel said the rear window to the hatch was ajar, and 2) the low fuel light is on.

I got back inside and the 15 year-old, who undoubtedly was able to hear the torrent of expletives hurled my direction just minutes before, wisely had waited until Mom was gone to venture into the kitchen.

“Hey kiddo so good job on parking behind me so your sister got get our this morning.  But you gotta make sure you’re far enough over so Mom can back out.”

“Well, I’m terrible at parking.”

“Agreed.  But skill level is really relevant here, just actually results.  Also, you left the window on the hatch open so your interior lights were on all night and Mom said your car almost didn’t start because the battery was almost dead.”

“What?  I don’t know anything about cars!  How do I know if something is open or if the battery is dead!”

“Yeah, so there’s this little display directly in front of you below the speedometer that tells you if there’s a door or window open.  And there’s normally a beep or something too…and oh yeah you have no gas.  Like the needle is on the wrong side of the E. Your car has about as much range as Eric Swalwell’s presidential campaign.”

She then said a whole bunch of words about having to leave for school and being late.  I didn’t really stick around long enough to hear all of them.  I just took her car to get gas. I have to do that because the 15 year-old doesn’t have a debit card yet.  Yeah, so that means I always have to get gas for her.  Normally I do I every Sunday.  But, as fate would have it, I didn’t get that done this week.

I get home, throw the keys to the 15 year-old and get in my truck to head work.  And guess what I notice?

I need gas.


Ended Up With A Nice Little Saturday

Until about 7:00 this morning, we were getting ready to head to Kansas City for a two day softball tourney.  But then spring in the Midwest happened.  Turns out rain for two days and then snow overnight followed by more rain today cancelled the tournament.  It was almost 70 down there a few days ago and is supposed to be warm again next week.  Which is good because we have to go back down there next weekend for another tournament.  Now whether or not you agree with youth sports being an addictive chemical fed to parents to bleed them of cash is immaterial to my story but is a point I felt that needed to spelled out nonetheless.

But here’s the thing – driving to KC takes us about 3 hours.  And we needed to be at the fields 75 minutes prior to our 1:00 game.  So – quick math – we thought we’d leave no later than 8, make some time for one stop, and bingo bongo we’re at the fields a little early.  Except the weather happened.  But we were already up – on a Saturday – just before 7.  Yes, I realize some of you are smirking and saying, “yeah doofus, go back to sleep.”  Well, my body just doesn’t work that way.  Anymore anyway.  Like joint pain, hair loss and college tuition payments for our oldest, it’s just the way it is now.

So we’re awake with a whole Saturday morning unaccounted for.  So I suggested, “Hey, wanna go get breakfast somewhere?”  Mom gave the thumbs up so we headed out the door.  So, just follow along here.

Lots of options available.  There’s a local bagel place that’s pretty good.  You got Perkins of course.  But we headed down the street to…Panera.  Mom got an ham & egg sandwich – no cheese.  I got a steak, egg and cheese sandwich on an everything bagel.  First time I’ve had it.  Pretty good.  Nothing special, but yeah I’d eat it again.  But, truth be told, breakfast sandwiches are amongst my favorite foods.  Not totally sure on the approval rankings as of today but nachos, donuts, cheeseburgers are the other front runners.

Regardless, we get our drinks and proceed to do the following.  We grabbed a paper off another table.  The actual paper, not like a shareable Panera iPad.  An actual physical newspaper.  I grabbed the sports section and Mom went right for the word jumble. Then two things happened.  1) I had to put on my +1.25 readers because I can’t see shit, 2) Mom got a pen and filled in the jumble even though it wasn’t our newspaper.  It was just a random paper that somebody left there or that Panera was providing to its customers.  Either way I thought it was inappropriate for her to fill out the jumble.  Who does that?  What if somebody else wanted to figure out the jumble?  Too late motherfu*%er, Mom ruined it for everybody.  So yeah, we were at a freaking Panera early on a Saturday morning and I was reading the newspaper wearing  my readers and Mom was doing the jumble.

But then we left Panera and went to Bed, Bath & Beyond because we evidently had yet to prove to ourselves that we’re no longer 22.  But you gotta draw a line somewhere.  And my line is evidently waiting outside a Bed, Bath & Beyond at 8:50 on Saturday morning because the store doesn’t open until 9 as you notice the grandma parked next to you doing the same thing.  That’s my line.  We immediately left.  Felt like I needed to go home and rewatch The Dirt just to remind myself that we used to be cooler, younger and far less concerned getting new towels.

So anyway it was a weird morning.  Like the interlude of spanish dinner music in the middle of Sleezebeez’ underappreciated hair metal hit Stranger than Paradise.  But you know what?  We still ended up with a nice little Saturday…