Wonderland

Time to swim against the current a little. I know at this time of year, most parents are overjoyed that the kids are heading back to school. Not this parent. I love all of the things that the girls and I do all summer long. I love being outside with them. I love game nights that start at 9 o’clock at night. I love heading to the local park to shoot hoops with them. I love taking them to baseball games. I love hitting the beach with them. I love attending outdoor concerts with them. But, mostly, I love the freedom that summer allows. Childhood races by at blinding speed, and childhood summers race by even faster. I, for one, am in no hurry to see them end.

Chuck

Yep, I have those memories too although I’ve hadda adjust mine to “stay the %#&* outta jail”.

Walter Becker of Steely Dan recently passed away so lemme see if I can hook you up with a good number here (below). Becker w/b the guy playing bass and singing in the background by the drum kit. He and singer/keyboardist Donald Fagen pioneered a lot of the music we hear today and yes, that’s Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitar for you Doobie Brothers fans.

Jimmy

 

Mr. Mom

Here’s a recent quote from Chuck:

Diane “I’m exhausted from food shopping.”

Chuck “Hey, I’m tired too! I’ve been watching three kids, one of whom I didn’t even know was here.”

Chuck

By my standards that was a fine job. Responsibility and coverage for the kids in consideration for your significant other tops all responsibilities as we Moms and Dads grapple with the ongoing struggle of raising and dealing with kids, their ideals, their hopes and dreams, their tantrums, refusing to eat what’s cooked for dinner, bumming money of ya, bad grades, insolent attitudes and generally being a money siphon akin to laying every dollar you own on the floor with the understanding that a vacuum cleaner will soon come along and clean you out.

Say, that reminds of a story of my own: (We had a one-year old boy at the time. Mother’s Day, circa 2001)

Wife (early morning):   “Well”?

Me: “Well what”?

Wife: “Where’s my Mother’s Day gift?”

Me (sensing trouble): “I didn’t get u one”

Wife: “WHY NOT!!???

Me:  “You’re not my mother”.

I paid a king’s ransom for that response friends and in some ways so discreet (other ways more overt) that I still haven’t any cognizance of them 20 years later.

Marriage/kids: Think hard my readers.

Think hard.

Jimmy

 

The Lowdown on Highlighters

Had the following conversation with my 11 year-old daughter the other day as we were getting ready to head to the beach.
Erin “Daddy, do I need sun block in between my fingers?”
Me  “No, sweetie. We’re not going TO the sun.”

A Pre Dinner Observation Made To My Wife:

Explaining to Diane why I’m less than thrilled with my new yellow Cape May t shirt.
“I have two problems with it. One, I can’t squeeze my giant head through the head hole. And two, when I have it on, I look like a big fat highlighter.”

Chuck

Note from Jimmy:  “Diane” is Chuck’s wife and yes, if ya painted his head yellow he would seem to be an oversized highlighter.  Even tho I’ve told him to send stuff in (“SIZE 14 TIMES NEW ROMAN DAMMIT!)” ,  he defiantly insists on torturing me in the editing process.  HO, HO, not this time mi amigo!

In reality, I’m always glad to post his thoughts insomuch as he makes feel normal by comparison.

Jimmy

On a Hoof and a Prayer

My daughter recently disavowed meat in all it’s glorious forms and went full-on vegan.  I didn’t know it at the time but she also banned herself from any animal by-products such as eggs, milk, cheese, caviar and honey. As she explained to me the reasons why (“it’s unethical, Dad”) I countered with the argument that ya don’t have to kill the cow/goat/fish/bee (the bee’s the one that really sent me over the edge) to get the God-given fruits within.

Well, I never considered myself to be unethical while chomping on my Big Mac but I felt it my duty as Dad to try to see her point of view.  Yet I have some questions:

What is a “vegan”? I always thought they were people who dressed as a banana on city subways passing out pamphlets.

Is this a dietary/health choice or a full-on movement born as a way to stick it to fat, overindulgent slobs?

What about the ground-born sustinence?  While we all know the pig might let out an anguished oink, the cow a despairing moo and the moose emit an, (er, whatever mooses do when they’re slaughtered.  Stunning fact.  People really do eat moose meat.)  How is the average fruit or vegetable considered to be less alive?

Consider the humble watermelon and it’s more formidable cousin, the pumpkin.  I’ve heard it said that more people are killed/maimed each year by falling coconuts than sharks. (Does this make the coconut the hit-man of the fruit and vegetable world?) The watermelon doesn’t object too much while I hack it apart while the pumpkin has a funny way of staring back at me as I carve a face into it heading into Halloween.

Coconuts aside, the veggie world has a way of fighting back.  Nettles, poison ivy (“try eating ME motherf@#ker!”), cactus, the elusive yet wily mushroom where either yer in for a treat or in for a gastrointestinal disaster of biblical proportions and most importantly, poison berries. This one cracks me up insomuch as somebody had to be the first to try it.  (“Thog no wanna try.  Thog scared. Me know! Have Gloog try! Him idiot!”)

I’m not trying to fight back against veganism as I’m just trying to understand it. It’d be cool if someone approached me as I “seek help” for my carnivorous ways while serving me a heapin’ helpin’ of kelp.  After I’m done saying “what the f#*k is the matter with you?,” I promise I’ll try to calm down but I eatin’ that s@#t.

Gregg Allman died over the over the weekend. Quick story. While I was drivin’ my semi-trailer (cool yet scary job) I’d tune in to the weather conditions and then put in my Allman Brothers tape as I drove on down the road. Lemmee see if I can attach a good one of their videos to this post.

Jimmy

The Doors Revitalized

Robby Krieger. A Concert Review…..

Last night, Miss Ruth and I were sitting 30 feet from an icon. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robby Krieger kicked off his “Doors Greatest Hits” tour in Collingswood NJ. When you get the opportunity to see someone in the upper echelon of rock some 45 years after their pinnacle of fame, a part of you wonders will he still be able to bring it.

The answer here is a resounding yes! His guitar work last night ranged from fantastic to jaw dropping to mesmerizing. Ruth and I shared two major concerns prior to last night’s show. One, were they going to be able to replace the musical inventiveness of Ray Manzarek and two, were they going to be able to find a solid lead singer. We didn’t kid ourselves. A voice like Jim Morrison’s only comes around once in a lifetime so you can’t replace him. What they did, however, was very effective.

Robby’s son Waylon handled the lead vocals and instead of doing some sort of lame Morrison impression, he just used his own exceptional voice. And it totally worked. Nathan Wilmarth on the keyboards did a very solid job at channeling one of my musical heroes. The rest of the killer band, Phil Chen on bass (even though The Doors never had a bass player. Astonishingly, Manzarek handled the bass lines on the lower end of the keyboard) and Ty Dennis on drums, did the legend of The Doors proud. They opened with the unmistakable samba beat on “Break On Through to The Other Side” and rolled through a good portion of The Doors eclectic catalogue including almost half of the tracks from their seminal debut album, “The Doors” .

This was such a great approximation of one of rock’s greatest bands, I’m sure they were both looking down and as smiling almost big as Ruth and I were. For Ruth and I, the highlight of the evening was the final 3 songs of the show. “LA Woman”, “Soul Kitchen” and “Light My Fire”.  The energy and musicianship that was on display for those 3 songs was straight up amazing. Robby even threw a little Rogers and Hammerstein (“My Favorite Things”) into his extended solo in “Light My Fire”. Despite the absence of Ray (he passed 4 years ago) and Jim (he joined the Dead Poets Society in 1971), this was such a great approximation of one of rock’s greatest bands.

I’m sure they were both looking down and smiling.

Almost as big as Ruth and I were.

Chuck

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