Thursday, September 28, 2006

Can You Smell What Dad is Cookin'?

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OK, the title of this post has nothing to do with me cooking. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I make a mean bowl of cereal and that's about it. Oh, and I can also toast waffles.

No, this post is about my new, favorite thing to do with my 9-year-old professional wrestling of course... What better role model is there for a preteen girl these days than a WWE wrestler? What's more entertaining than watching grown men beat the snot out of each other? Watching grown men PRETENDING to beat the snot out of each other!

"It's OK honey, he's just PRETENDING to hit him with that steel chair."

"It's OK, those are just blood capsules."

Of course, it's not what it used to be. In my day, we used to have The Rock ("Can you smeeeeell what The Rock is cookin'??"). We used to watch great wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and Andre the Giant. We used to have great commentators like Vince McMahon and Gorilla Monsoon.

In my day, I went to see Saturday Night's Main Event (filmed on Friday night of course) with my parents down at The Baltimore Arena (yes, at one point, before Ed Hale decided everything in Baltimore looked better with his name on it, it used to JUST be called The Arena). In my day, I went to see Wrestlemania IV on closed-circuit T.V. at Towson University. The only thing better than watching grown men PRETEND to beat the snot out of each other is PAYING to go see grown men PRETENDING to beat the snot out of each other LIVE on T.V.

Nowadays, of course, we still have Hulk Hogan...a little older and still bald. We have Andre the Giant's son, the 500-pound Big Show. And for some reason which I cannot grasp, we have Vince McMahon, the pro wrestler. If this guy isn't on steroids then I don't know who is. Vinnie Mac looks about as creepy all pumped up as that John Basedow guy that does those fitness commercials.

In any case, Marissa enjoys having this bonding time with Dad. Actually, wresting's not so bad. It's just a soap opera for men. What are our other choices?

Jericho: A nuke hits a small town and people are fighting with each other...and having sex.

Gray's Anatomy: People come into a hospital bleeding...and people have sex.

Standoff: Two FBI agents negotiate with hostage-takers...and have sex.

Six Degrees: People's intricate lives cross paths for no apparent reason...and then they have sex.

LOST: People are stranded on an island and, so far, have figured out that
A) the fat guy has an eating disorder
B) the hatch really DOES lead somewhere
C) the "others" are "bad"
D) the "numbers" are "bad"
E) that hobbit guy from The Lord of the Rings is REALLY annoying
Oh, and F) people have sex.

At least in the world of pro wrestling, no one has sex...well, except for that Ultimate Warrior guy but that's why he's not around any more.

Warping young minds? Nah, just good, clean, FAKE fun. Well, I'm off to go try out my new John Cena ring tone..."You can't see me, my time is now!"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Public Service Announcement

Some readers are telling me that the blog is not displaying correctly. This is because, in order to view the blog as it was meant to be seen, YOU MUST USE FIREFOX as your browser, not Internet Explorer.

Aside from the fact that I.E. stinks like yesterday's diaper, it is also unsafe. Go get Firefox now and save yourself some hassle. Thank you.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Luau's, Showers, & Sears, oh my!

This was a great weekend in the SuperDad household. We kicked things off with my Aunt's annual Luau. It just wouldn't be the end of summer without it. This is where they invite everyone they know over to their house for some old-fashioned Hawaiian cuisine and festivities.

For example, there is the giant pink Flamingo... Each year, they stick a huge, inflatable Flamingo in their front yard to mark the event. Nothing shouts "Hawaii" like a giant, pink, inflatable Flamingo. Did I mention that it's huge?

Then there is the musical entertainment. This year they hired an accordian player. Nothing reminds me of the sunny beaches of Maui like a good accordian player. "Hey, do you know, 'Lady of Spain'?"

From there, we headed to a joint wedding shower for some friends of ours from church who are getting married in November. If you couldn't tell by now, this was one of those Saturdays where we didn't actually eat any meals, we just wolfed down chips, dip, and various other condiments throughout the course of the day, until we felt as though we were going to hurl.

There's nothing like a joint wedding shower. The women sit around and talk and open presents while the men watch football and throw beernuts at the poor sap taking the plunge. "Suuuure, she'll still let you watch football."

Sunday, though, was the really fun day. I decided that I would mow the lawn because, this summer, every three weeks just hasn't been fun enough. Luckily, it's been so damp, that I've been out there at least every other week, sometimes weekly. This time, it had just stopped raining the day before so the lawn had that nice, wet shimmer to it as it glistened in the sun that just shouted, "Go ahead...try and cut me."

I did. My lawn mower went up on me after I got through the first three rows. It kind of sounded like those old Mel Blanc cartoons where the car dies out...."Sputter, sputter, put, put, whirrrrrrr, CRUNCH!" Must have gotten some wet grass jammed under there, I thought. I flipped it over. Nothing. The blade won't even MOVE. Engine went up. Great.

My wife reminded me that we still had HER old lawn mower from her townhouse in the shed. There went my excuse. "Great idea, honey." I filled it up with just enough gas to test it out. It starts. It won't stop. I let go of the 'emergency release bar'. Still going (boom boom boom). No problem, I'll just mow until it runs out of gas.

I got half-way through the front yard before it ran out of gas. I filled it back up...and...dead. Won't start, won't turn, nothin'. Dead.

"Honey, I'll be back. I'm taking the minivan."

Off to Sears. Why, Sears? I truly have no idea. Whenever I have bought a lawnmower, I have gotten it from Sears. I think they only sell two things at's slacks and lawn mowers.

I finally walked away with a brand-new, Craftsman, 6 horsepower mower, with a Briggs & Stratton engine. Cue Tim Allen manly grunt.

This whole ordeal turned out to be a blessing in disguise. You see, my OLD mower would go about 4 feet through the thickest part of the grass and then turn to me and say, "You want me to do what??" before stalling out. This was repeated about 25 times throughout the course of mowing the lawn.

This NEW mower tore through the grass like Katie making a break from Tom. I don't bag so grass was flying everywhere. It was like a big party in the back yard with green confetti falling as I answered the $1 million question. What made it even better was doing this with my headphones on, listening to the Raven whoop the hapless Raiders (by the way, how do the purple birds constantly make winning look so scary?).

So here I sit, battered, bruised, stiff, sore, and wishing I hadn't eaten that last Hawaiian hamburger.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

That's So Raven...Nevermore

This past weekend we took the our two girls to the Maryland State Fair to see Raven Symone in concert. For those of you who don't know, Raven used to play Olivia on The Cosby Show and now has her own show, "That's So Raven" on Disney Channel aimed, of course, at preteen girls. This show teaches girls the important things in life like how to whine and use important phrases like, "Ewwwww" and "I don't THINK so"...

This should be fun, I thought. The thought of an infield full of screaming, 8- to 12-year-old girls was enough to make me shudder. Little did I know that it would be much worse.

Our first sign of trouble was when we arrived at the fairgrounds just as the infield gates opened. There was a sudden stampede of screaming preteens, much like I had seen in my nightmare the night before.

We arrived near the front of the grass and staked our claim on a piece of grass just large enough for the four of us to huddle together and maybe sit down for a bit.

Then it was time to get food. Of course, they didn't actually sell any food on the infield where the concert was taking place. I, being the hunter/gatherer of the herd, went BACK out to the midway to find something suitable for all of us to eat...which included chicken strips, a rare, specific request from Marissa, my 9-year-old step-daughter daughter.

I hit the midway stand. Good enough for all of us...oh, except for those chicken strips. I bought several slices of greasy, bowling-alley pizza and the cashier covered them with paper plates. I headed off in search of chicken.

By the time, I reached the opposite side of the State Fair, I finally saw a Boston Market, take-out stand where I bought what had to be the most expensive chicken strips on the market. The old law of supply-and-demand at work once again, I tell myself, being the Econ major that I am.

Luckily, the cashier took mercy on me and found an empty milk crate in which I could tote our four slices of pizza, 2 pretzels, 3 drinks, and an order of chicken strips back to the infield. As I marched across the infield I suddenly realized that I could make a killing if I were to suddenly start vending this stuff. Of course, then it would be my family doing the killing so I crossed that idea off of my list.

By the time I had returned, the crowd had grown substantially. I finally found my clan and provided them with the feast I had just, bought.

We dig into the pizza, which after removing the paper plates from the top, is now cheese-less. Brilliant, I thought to myself. It tastes something like cardboard with tomato sauce with a strange after-taste that I can't identify, nor do I want to try too hard to do so. Marissa certainly enjoys the chicken strips, though, so my status as "dad who rocks" just went up another couple of rungs.

The opening act finally hits the stage. Those of us that had been at the front of the field for hours in comfortable chairs were immediately overrun by those desperate to get a closer look at this apparent hip-hop star opening for Raven. We were not happy, nor were the other families around us. Low-thumping bass, rap music, hording masses, and the sudden feeling of being trapped hit me.

Then it was Raven time. She finally took the stage and what little piece of earth we had left was being invaded. My 9-year-old couldn't see over the new swarm of teens that had just stood in front of us. I think I tapped one of them on the shoulder and muttered something like,

"Gee, I really feel upset at the moment. It would be nice if you could move on to another part of the field."

Well, OK, not EXACTLY like that but they did move, strangely enough. I thought I felt my clothes beginning to rip...must have been the pizza. And why do they look so frightened? Oh well. We can see now.

After two songs, Marissa states, "I want to go home now" and Sophia proclaims, "I have to go potty."

This can't get much worse.

We are surrounded. There is no way to leave and no way to get to a potty. We improvised. We emptied out Sophia's sippy-cup and formed a 'circle with the wagons'. Once Sophia stopped looking at us like a deer in the headlights, she was able to go in the sippy cup. A few moms around us giggle as I screw the lid back on the cup. Real funny, I'm thinking. Care for a drink?

After about 6 songs that sound remarkably similar, the crowd starts to thin. We see our opening. We make like a baby and head out.

My pulse returns to normal, the walls have stopped closing in.

That's So Raven...Nevermore.