Saturday, March 17, 2007

It ain't easy seein' green

Well, it's St. Patrick's Day again. Time for my annual failure to procure a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. I don't even like them that much. It's the principle.

I explained my mild dislike of this holiday last year, so I won't go into it again...except to add this YouTube clip of a "Color Blindness Teste." If you think I'm going to make a joke about that, you're nuts.

But I am Irish (well, part Irish, anyway), so I feel obligated to do something to celebrate. I smell more YouTube clips coming...

Oh crap, it's Uncle O'Grimacey...

Shamrock Sundaes?

Oh, I get it... he's from Ireland.

And let's end on a triumphant note...

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Ballad of Mr. Mom

I'm going to do my best not to start ranting here, but there's something that just kind of bugs me when I see it, and it happens at least once a month.

It started with a bunch of airline mile points I needed to spend. Jetting off to the Strip wasn't really an option, so I decided to score some magazine subscriptions instead.

Being a parent, I decided to make Parenting and Parents two of my choices. I got my first issue of Parenting, and that's when the trouble began.

I never really noticed it before, but it seems that no one really expects dads to be participants in the whole parenting gig.

It's a worn-out sitcom gag that dad is clueless about things around the house, how to deal with kids, which brand of vodka is suitable for toddlers, stuff like that.

Page after page of Parenting (and Parents to a similar extent) is full of mom-centric ads and features.

I know you have to play to your audience, and I'm going to assume they've done enough research that shows that moms are their primary core readers.

However, despite the comments from various classmates, I am not a female.

There are mom polls, beauty-on-the-go tips and, as I just noticed on this month's cover, "What matters to moms." Sure, more often than not there's a token "Dad column," but it's usually in the back of the issue.

Well, I'm a dad, and with the schedule I work, I am with my son all day long, which is great. Well, you know what I mean. Sometimes the little barnacle drives me up a wall, but he's still awesome. But I'm the one with him most of the day.

I doubt I'm the only Mr. Mom out there, and seeing reference after reference to mom-oriented stuff with the implications (and sometimes not very subtle ones at that) that dads don't care is disheartening. I'm probably a little oversensitive, having already had to deal with being a guy who couldn't possibly give less of a crap about sport without the aid of an electron microscope.

I actually wrote a letter to Parenting and mentioned my concerns. I got a reply that asked to confirm my information so they could print the letter in a future issue. That was months ago, and unless I missed it (I am just a dad after all), they haven't used it yet.

I like looking for parenting tips, but they all seem so couched in the female frame of mind that it's really uninviting to me. There are a lot of dad blogs out there, and I've been checking those fairly regularly, but maybe they should change the magazine title to Momming or my personal favorite, Mother.

I can't help but picture the press crew getting ready to roll the presses, saying "All right, let's turn this Mother out."

Both magazines are full of good reading, but I feel like I'm sneaking a peek at Glamour or Ladies' Home Journal.

Although I have to admit, the Fresh Bloom Allover Colour compact looks pretty sweet, and it's only $29.50.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Silly marketers, Trix used to be round already...

Wow. According to the commercial I just saw, Trix now comes in a "new" shape: puffs. I guess it's new to General Mills' target audience, but we immature types who still eat sugary cereal straight from the box (milk is for sucks) know better.

Let's take a look at Trix commercials, shall we? Somewhere on a video tape, I've got a commercial for Trix that predates the rabbit, but I can't find it right now.

He actually gets to eat some in this one:

This one is from, where I've gotten a metric buttload of commercial tapes. I love them all. If anyone ever needs gift ideas for me, that's the place to go.

This one is from my prime Trix-eating days. My first voting experience (and still most satisfying, alas) was when I voted for the Trix Rabbit to get some Trix.

I guess this shows you how old I am. I still think of the switch to fruit shapes is a relatively new change, but apparently they did it back in 1991. Oh well. I still feel like Bob Barker let his hair go white only a few years ago. Shows you what I know.

Bad Movies From A to Z Extra: The rules

When I watch movies for Bad Movies From A to Z, there are some rules that I follow, which, being the kind fellow I am, I will share with you. There is one pre-rule, if you will, that I recommend for others, even though I don't follow it myself.

Watch these with at least one other person.

A small group is even better, but if you have a friend with you, it makes the movie, no matter how bad it is, a little easier to get through. Misery loves company, after all. Plus, some movies really shouldn't be watched alone. This is why many of the movies on my list aren't actually that bad. As horror host Mr. Lobo (who, by the way, is a pretty swell guy) says, "They're not bad movies ... just misunderstood." Words to live by.

Here is the list. Commit it to memory. There may be a quiz later.

1. The movie MUST be watched all the way through without fast-forwarding. Not only is that cheating, but you may miss the one or two pieces of actual plot.

2. If a character in the movie mentions the title of the movie itself, everyone claps. Do this every time the title is mentioned. I suppose you could make a drinking game out of this, but most movies I've seen only pull this gag once or twice. There are exceptions, though.

3. Sobriety is not necessarily your friend. While I have been stone sober for every movie I've watched (strangely, I've never been drunk in my entire life), there are many times when I wished this wasn't the case. As always, drink responsibly, and, for the love of God, never mix beer and Clamato. Seriously. It's vile.

4. You must make fun of the movie. I know some people hate it when people talk during a movie, but this is the whole point. Trust me: it is no better in complete silence. You aren't going to miss the one line that makes it a good movie. It's just not there. Besides, not only will you be motivated to scream at the screen, but you may find yourself throwing things. See rule 9.

5. Snacks are imperative, because some of these flicks are snoozefests no matter what genre. You will need fuel. Plus, what kind of host are you if you have a bunch of people over and don't provide snacks? If anyone has issues with eating during splatter movies, try to find out before you order pizza. Nothing ruins the moment like having to pause the movie after someone does the old Technicolor yawn all over the floor.

6. There is no rule 6.

7. Swearing is encouraged. The more creative, the better. If you aren't much of a swearer, you will be after you sit all the way through something like Pieces and then see the ending.

8. Feel free to point out good parts of the movie. It never hurts to be charitable. But don't overdo it: "Wow, you can hardly see those strings..."

9. Try not to throw anything heavy at the TV. Popcorn's OK, but avoid empty bottles. Or people.

10. Double features are great if you've got the time. Clever pairings can make a painful experience a little more pleasant. Don't just go for the obvious, like Creepshow and Creepshow 2. You can try a classic pairing like I Drink Your Blood and I Eat Your Skin, or something a little different, like The Exorcist 2: The Heretic and All Dogs Go to Heaven. If you are too lazy, Something Weird Video offers a ton of double-feature discs.

11. A good rule of thumb: Sequels suck. They are, in fact, suquels. There are exceptions to this (Evil Dead 2, The Empire Strikes Back), but if the first one wasn't that good, odds are that the second one (and more to the point, the third, fourth and successive suquels) will be worse. That's good news for you, because that's what you want. You can also get cool double-feature discs from Something Weird Video.

12. Small budget does not always equal sucky movie. Just as big budget does not always equal good movie.

13. No matter how bad the worst movie you've seen is, there's always something out there that is worse. One that is so bad, it makes your previous worst movie look like Citizen Kane.