Posts Tagged Tv

Violence in Movies and Sex on TV…

catfish

Like any other day, son was his usual self. He went to school, played outside, and watched TV. When he explained to me that he wanted to stick something sharp into a fish to kill it, he alarmed me. I asked, “Why would you want to kill a fish?:

“So we can eat it…”

“Have you seen this?”

“When [daughter] caught a catfish Poppa hit something sharp in its head and it bleed”

Now, wife and I have been worried that perhaps the superhero TV shows and stories, even action figures, are giving son the wrong idea and creating an unhealthy, violent environment. How soon we forget that life is violent. If we lived on a farm, perhaps he would have a more intimate knowledge of death.

Is it a good idea? Well, it doesn’t matter. That’s life. Molly died..he dealt with it. I think perhaps we compare children and see that son is more “vigorous” than daughter and worry that he is headed toward psychological damage. Truth is, I think men are from Jupiter and women are from Saturn. As if I would repeat that stupid cliche…

As long as son still finds joy watching The Octonauts, I will rest assured he is still our little boy. Now, if he would just go to bed…

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The Reality of Reality TV

Why is the SyFy channel showing more reality dreck on TV? I pay for this channel so I can watch reruns of TV shows that engage me with quality story lines and B-movies that make me laugh at their horrible special effects. I don’t need reality; it’s mundane and trite.

As I lie in bed recovering from minor surgery, I was hoping for an escape from all the details I’m missing by not working, not writing (dissertation), and not parenting. When a trip to the bathroom becomes the highlight of my morning, I need to move on.
Daughter turned ten this week and now constantly reminds everyone she’s officially a tween. Next thing I know, she’ll want the car keys.

Meanwhile, today at son’s school, Santa is visiting. Yes, I think it’s the first week of November but the Big Man gets pretty busy this time of year. So, last night wife and I encouraged son to make a list of what he wants from Santa. See- Santa told me he wants to give him a bike, but the first words out of son’s mouth, “Zero bikes!” This might pose a bit of a problem…

As son was being toweled off and daughter was in shower, she had no problems spouting off everything she wants. Yes, I said it was her birthday recently and I may have mentioned she won a Kindle Fire HD and has an iTouch, but she wants a computer. I think it’s time she got ahold of some lowered expectations. I imagine Santa might be suggesting a bike for her as well. Heck, why don’t we all ask for bikes!

Speaking of bikes, I continue to research the best possible options to improve my tour de force in the 2nd leg of my next triathlon. I am hoping that a sale will occur at the same time that I actually have cash to buy one because they never seem to coincide.
I’ve noticed that sales are tricks, friends, meant to steal our hard earned cash by “enticing” us with a slightly better model for a modest increase in price. No, I want the cheap one to be cheaper. I don’t want the more expensive one to be just a touch pricier that I spend more money.

This is a lesson that I learned in college, not through education, but late night TV viewing. One night the wife comes into our apartment and catches me, phone and credit card in hand, buying…you guessed it! A Body by Jake Total Fitness Gym that had interchangeable bands for weighted resistance. Best damn clothes rack I ever bought!

Well, I won’t get any good feedback from the doctor until next week when the stitches come out and I get a set of X-rays. My fitness goal is to be cross-training until January 1st then hit the pavement. I have 9mos to reach my goal. Speaking of which, I saw a tweet that said Ironman Florida sold out in 30min. I just hope I get a starting spot at the 70.3 Augusta.

It seems SyFy has a whole damn day planned for Hollywood Collector so I guess I could actually read. My latest book is I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Lets hope I never find out because I know they serve it in Heaven. Hey, wife! Get me a beer and make me a ham sammich.

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Embracing the suck of an intergalactic fracture

Stardate: 58365.1 Sector 001, Atlanta. It was 4 degrees Celsius and I was dressed in shorts, a long sleeve t-shirt, and Mizuno running shoes. It was the Atlanta Marathon and I knew I could run the distance. As I started from Turner Field, I paced myself- not running too quickly with the lead pack. I’d been in that situation before, but 26.2 miles meant careful planning. At mile fifteen, a monkey jumped on my back but I had enough energy to run over and hug daughter, 9.2 to go. When I hit “Cardiac Hill” (for those of you familiar with the Peachtree Road Race) I slowed to a crawl. Then, cramps… I had to make it. As I rounded Capitol Avenue to see the Olympic Rings, I told my running companion, “Let’s make this count…,” and sped across the finish line with family cheering. That’s what a race feels like. That’s why we do it.

With training, setbacks come and go; each one seems like it’ll be the end of the road. You take two steps back for every one forward. Then the next race appears on the horizon and you know it is a goal worth reaching. Whether it is a fun run or an Ironman, each runner takes a challenge to push themselves farther and faster than before to earn the intrinsic reward of achievement. You spend hours in the pool, miles on the road, and days of recovery only to be sidelined by an insidious, barely visible crack that runs through your tibia and the doctor suggests surgery.

This is not my first rodeo, daughter and son barely know the “healthy” me, having seen me undergo surgery after surgery to repair the “blue light special” fracture of the day. Health is not a goal, it is a drive to meet the needs of my family; but I do not train to become healthy. It may be a side-effect, a good one; but, I train to embrace the suck. To prove to myself I can be stronger, faster, smarter.

Wife is the real victim; she works harder to help the kids, care for me, and perform well at work.  She is my Lt. Commander Nella Doran to my Captain Picard. Picard opened his heart up once and it was worth it; my wife is worth every moment we spend together.

Today is Halloween, and I am going to dress as wife’s husband, and son and daughter’s father. You don’t need a costume to make that look good. Sometimes, you just need to show up. The next race is the May 11, 2013 11Global Olympic Triathlon at Lake Oconee. I’ll be there because sometimes you just need to show up.

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Bounce house bounties and the big oh-four

Thanks, TM!

The wails resonated through the empty garage from the front yard. It’s been 3minutes since Jumptastic! inflated the “All-Around Sports” Bounce House. Both excited, son and daughter raced inside and started laughing, giggling, bouncing…then, crying. Son was sobbing while covering his left eye and daughter groaned holding her hip. We had two hours until the party started and neither kid was happy.

I remember a Simpsons episode where Homer bought Bart a trampoline. As the day progressed more and more bodies lined the perimeter of the circle of death. Kids were bandaged, bleeding and other wise broken. As I stared at the bounce house, I was concerned with its safety but everything appeared to be okay. The main flaw was at the point of egress. Kids would bounce down the step in an attempt to quit and then bounce one final time head-first onto the concrete driveway. Luckily, no insurance companies have contacted us to introduce litigation.

Several months ago, wife suggested we host a party for son’s upcoming fourth birthday (after all, what’s more important than the big Oh-Four? Don’t ask wife about this…she’s working on speeding headlong into the big Four-Oh).  We had to work it into the schedule and finally had the opportunity for the past Sunday. We invited all of his friends and their parents; we turned football on the TV; we set up a “beverage center” and even had a popcorn machine.

While enjoying the newly constructed patio under the deck next to the play area, a friend from church and from the neighborhood were conversing with me when all three of us heard a shocking utterance. Is it possible for three grown men to mistake profanity (two of whom are teachers)? To this day, I swear one of the girls dropped the F-bomb. We all snapped our heads around towards the craft table. We looked at each other and quizzically asked, “Was that …?” Out of the mouth of babes…

The rest of the day went well, the Transformers cake featured both Optimus Prime and Megatron with a black and silver frosting adorned with mechanical gearing and red piping. Little did I realize that I would have the opportunity to see that color again when my son yelled, “I WENT, daddy, I WENT,” the next day in the throne room, or more specifically, circling the bowl.

The weekend was full of fun. The day before, Chuck E. Cheese hosted a birthday party for two boys from the neighborhood. Wife went and took son. After a 10mile run, she raced with him to the play center and rode rides and watched chromatic lights blink on and off, whirling her in a daze to the couch at home, nauseous to the point of danger.

Finally, Son’s birthday arrived and the grandparents came to visit, bring gifts of trains and trucks. Son’s favorite gift was a large green waste truck with lift arms in front and a dumpster. This is the one toy he wanted to take in the shower, sleep with, and spend every waking moment the next day speaking of it. This reinforces the idea that he wants to be a waste-management consultant when he grows up. Either way, he’ll be a real American Hero!

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Why football is not my fantasy and the catfish shootout

“Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever.” –Shane Falco, The Replacements. For the first time in ten years, football season is approaching and I feel like saying, “myeh.” I cancelled DirecTV Sunday Ticket, I quit fantasy football, and I am actually not that excited to go to the Georgia-Vanderbilt game. What is wrong with me? Basically, my life is full. Following the leaky bucket theory, as new things arrive in my immediate concern, the more things drip out the bottom.

Now, you are probably wondering what my life is full of. Well, for starters, sheep dip, but beyond that I have 2hours per day of fitness, 8hours of work, 30min thinking about my dissertation (30more if I actually work on it), helping get the kids off to school, helping the kids get to bed, and one psychotic three-year-old and a overly dramatic tween. So when, pray tell, am I supposed to squeeze in a three hour football game?

Wife won’t let play son play football. “Too dangerous.”

I say to her, “No more than soccer.” Silence.

“Still.”

Most of my conversations with wife are one sided. It’s not that she or I don’t listen to each other. Sometimes, I actually hear too much. Really, my wife says something; I disagree; she reiterates her idea; I agree. Now that you look at it, it actually seems balanced when she wins.

This summer, grandfather took daughter to fish at a nearby lake where a ten pound catfish became the prize of the day. Not wanting to diminish the responsibilities of dealing with the results of hunting, fishing, etc. grandfather taught daughter how to clean a catfish.

Warning: Graphic material ahead. You see, the best way to clean a catfish is to get a plank, place the fish on the plank, and drive a nail through its skull, firmly keeping the fish in place. Then, the skin is peeled off. Catfish don’t have scales. Both son and daughter watched in horror. Should we have let son watch? Only time and psycho-analysis will tell, but the other day, son told me that fish and people have the same kind of “bleed.” Great…

Here’s a TV lesson I learned. No, not from TV, about TV. The other day when I went to turn on the television for son, I manually (that means without the remote) turned the set on, bent over to press the DirecTV DVR power button, and clicked the sound receiver on. When all of this happened the shootout scene from Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider came on immediately while son watched men be shot down as fast as good ol’ Clint could pull the triggers, yes- two guns. I scrambled for the remote, but alas, it was nowhere to be found. Now, it wasn’t the office scene from The Matrix where Neo and Trinity approach the building strapped with weapons and annihilate everything and everyone, but…son’s eyes were fixated on this.

So, what was the lesson? Make sure you have the remote and it works BEFORE you turn something on. Invariably, it was left on the most violent channel running a violent show.

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Space Toilets and The Chicken Tree

Son is a picky eater. Well, not really. He simply doesn’t eat anything but crackers, pretzels and dry cereal. He’s not picky, he’s stubborn. Last night during dinner, I had to excuse myself to make room for more. While busy, son tells wife, “I don’t want to eat chicken; it comes from a live animal.”

Wife replies, “Oh, no…this came from a chicken tree.”

“No, it didn’t. It came from inside a chicken.”

“Seriously, son, would I lie to you?” asks wife.

Son eats chicken, but with a quizzical look and smirk on his face. You know he knows something is fishy about this story, but hey, mom said it.

Now, before all of you chide wife for “fooling” son into eating meat. Yes, my family consists of four omnivores and one dog that’ll eat non-food items as well. Why does a dog eat seven sand dollars then proceed to vomit them up on the hardwood (thankfully not the carpet)? And, I know some of you are concerned with the less-than-honest approach. Just remember what your parents told you…

My mom and dad used to tell me at bedtime (while the sun was still up) that it was really nighttime even though I could hear the kids in the neighborhood hooting and hollering. Parents hide the unpleasantness of life without remorse; in fact, they’re glad to do it: “Seriously, honey, this won’t hurt.” My father ripped a toenail off my little toe one day when I was at the beach. IF I remember correctly, he did the old, “1…2, rip”. What a minute! Where the heck was 3?!?!? Lying is a state of mind. Have you ever told your child you were going to let him have a candy if he’s good in the store then conveniently forgot? The slope to the high road is VERY steep.

Getting back to omnivorous eating habits, have you seen the food replicator on Star Trek? What is that food made out of? The way I understand it, the starships recycle waste and filter its “goodness” out. Basic science tells us nothing can spontaneously generate. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. I might think twice about ordering that chocolate dessert in Ten Forward. Or, do aliens even have bathroom issues? I think an episode dealing with exploding toilets would have won an Emmy.

I recently read an essay where the iconic television series and literature we grew up on has made their way to mythological status. Whether it’s Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, people know the history of those worlds better than our own. I asked a class how different religions have gotten along in the past. Most of the students thought they had tolerated one another. Since each student had taken World History, I asked if anyone remembered the Crusades. That didn’t go so well.

The moral of the story is lie to your kids ONLY when it benefits the child and don’t eat food on the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701).

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Were there farmers on Star Trek?

Tractor

Son practices one possible career choice

Green Acres is not the place for me. I’m not exactly a city boy, but the suburbs breed their own style of individuals. I do not want to be a farmer; I simply don’t like animals. Son wants to be a garbage man, a tow truck man, and a logger man, but he does like to ride his tractor; Daughter wants to be a dancer. Hopefully, my inheritance will help support my two children who have become accustomed to the life of iPods, big screen TV’s, and a finely furnished house. Really, when it boils down to it, maybe I should be a farmer so that I can be visited by aliens when they create crop circles. Crop circles are real; I read it on the internet and everything on the internet…

Son has his first swim lesson tonight; he doesn’t know it yet. Daughter will have to tag along, probably complaining about boredom. She is currently reading the Rick Riordan series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. She started Thursday and is now on book three. I reserved four and five from the local library, but they can’t get them in fast enough. Plus, she has an iPhone with which she can pass the time. Her lessons start in June, having already started complaining about them.

Mom grew up on a farm and she and her brother used to feed the chickens before school. I cannot see daughter sloughing along with a feed bucket for the various farm animals that I would have. Now, you probably are thinking, why don’t I grow organic cotton or something with cache? That way I could leave for greener pastures and not deal with any animal husbandry. Have you seen that on TV? Yikes!

So, what do I really want to do with my life? I, of course, want to be a Starfleet captain. I don’t understand how that hasn’t happened yet. Knowing me, though, I would be the schmoe with the red shirt on an away mission that ALWAYS dies. Star Trek: TNG had clear cut system of ranking; along with the rank pips on the collar, Starfleet personnel all wore a color-coded shirt. Except for Deanna Troi. She always had these stupid outfits that reminded me of Logan’s Run. During the seventies, scifi took a strange costume approach. From Obi-Wan Kenobi’s flowing robe to the tights that Apollo wore on the original Battlestar Galactica, the outfits were straight out of the hippie movement. Even the original Star Trek with Captain Kirk saw Lt. Uhura with a slight mini skirt and knee-high boots. How very anachronistic. Space exploration would be cool.

Mmm, scratch that, I want to be a cowboy.

Oh, and by the way. Shout out goes to filmphaniatic on his addition about John Carter.

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