Saturday, May 03, 2008

At the movies

Something I had yet to do with my son was to go see a movie at the theater. Part of my reluctance was his propensity to act as a living commentary track, and part of it was the unpredictable nature of taking an almost 5-year-old to see a movie and expect him to sit still and be quiet.

My mom had already taken him, and she said he did fine, but Brody tends to be on his best behavior with anyone who isn't me or my wife, so I wasn't sure.

But I decided to take him tonight, and he did great. He's been watching Return of the Jedi a lot of late, at his request, and I thought Iron Man might be something he's interested in as well.

I know it's rated PG-13, but he's handled all the Star Wars movies, Superman movies, etc., so I figured he'd be all right.

We had to kill time at the mall since the show we were going to catch was sold out, and I was worried that this would make him cranky when it was time to watch the movie, but I worried for nothing.

I think my favorite part was before the movie, when we saw the trailer for Speed Racer. I thought it might get Brody's attention since he's a big car nut. After it was over, he whispered to me:



"I want to see Speed Racer."

So we might have plans for next weekend as well. As for the movie itself, he did fine. He only asked one question, "Where's Tony?" and he was eerily quiet for the remainder of the movie, which, by the way, was awesome.

Of course, he did fall asleep after the first half, but I was impressed with how well he behaved while he was awake. I guess I tend to worry too much about him sometimes instead of just trusting him.

I think this is the start of a father-son tradition: the Saturday movie.

And since he doesn't like candy or popcorn, it's a little bit cheaper. Score!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Isn't it ironic

Well, Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, so be sure to check that out at your nearest local comic shop. I'm sure I won't get the chance, but my goal this weekend is to see a movie. Which one? I'll give you a hint:

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hey, Joshua, it's your birthday!

Well, technically, it's tomorrow, but since I post so late, chances are you're reading this on May 2, in which case, yes, it's my brother's birthday.

I give my brother a lot of crap, and pretty much, he deserves it. But as my parents claim, he is my brother, so I guess I should say something nice about him.


He's my favorite brother. There. That was nice.

In honor of Josh's 29th birthday, here is one of our favoritest public service announcements that we used to watch growing up.

Happy birthday, Scrote.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The results are in...

Did a guest post on my friend Genevieve's blog again this morning, but I figured I'd post it here, as well as on my parenting blog.

So, getting an official diagnosis of autism hasn't made everything as different as I thought it might. I guess I was a little surprised that my son was diagnosed as autistic rather than having Asperger's syndrome, but since there is a list of criteria that gets checked off, if you have enough checkmarks under the autism umbrella, that diagnosis trumps Asperger's.

The phrase "high-functioning" was mentioned a lot, though that wasn't much of a surprise, as Brody has taken recently to becoming a walking billboard, writing "" on his arm and filling up reams of paper with all his favorite words.

An official diagnosis, I suppose, not only gives us a starting point, but it will make getting assistance for him a little easier. I hope.

But in the big picture, not a lot has changed. After all, he's still my son. He still does all the goofy and amazing things he's always done. I think it's important not to lose sight of that.

My wife will likely roll her eyes so hard she will see into the past when I say this, but when I think about talking to my son sometimes, I'm reminded of the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Captain Picard is on a planet with an alien captain who speaks in metaphor. So instead of things like "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra," it's "She's gone and I'll never see her again," which is something he says when he's sad or overwhelmed. It's from an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.

I think this is hardest on my wife, because she has to deal with both of us. But even then, knowing the reason behind something makes it a little easier to understand. Of course, knowing why your husband is obsessed with old TV commercials and crappy movies probably doesn't help when it comes to you know, actually helping to take care of the kids, but she's pretty awesome.

So it's kind of an adventure for the whole family. We never know quite where the day will take us, and we don't know what TV show or movie Mr. Total Recall will use to convey a point (seriously, it's a little eerie watching him perform stuff he's seen only once. He gets the inflection down pat and everything), but underneath it all, he's a great kid, and I love watching him grow up.

Perhaps some day I'll join him.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Two things

First of all, if you are on Facebook, now you can show everyone what great taste you have by joining like-minded sorts. Get in on the ground floor and become a fan today!

Second of all, this is one of the most disturbing songs I've ever heard. Naturally, I'm sharing it with you.

Monday, April 28, 2008

An 8-year-old's brush with The Fuzz

Summer, 1983...

"Kool-Aid! Ten cents a cup! Kool-Aid! Ten cents a cup!" her booming voice rattled windows around the neighborhood. But that's one of the reasons I asked my friend Felicia to be in charge of my advertising campaign; she was a year older than me, and that extra experience gave her more impressive market penetration.

Yes, in those halcyon days in which Gummi Worms were bought seperately, and given to you by a cashier wielding plastic tongs, my 8-year-old entrepreneurial self decided to go into business selling liquid refreshment to the sweaty masses of our Livermore neighborhood.

We lived on a corner, so not only did I have a prime location, but it was also under a giant tree, so I'd stay a little bit cooler. Made in the shade, right?

I offered Felicia a cut of the profits, but she said she'd just be happy with a cup or two of Kool-Aid, which was just fine with my money-grubbing little heart. Besides, we hung out all the time anyway; we'd just be hanging around my parents' card table, me pouring and collecting money, and Felicia convincing any kids who came by that they should buy a cup or two.

I contracted out for the actual making of my product; my mom was happy to mix up batches of Kool-Aid for me, and I was fine with her using whatever flavor was on hand. I had already stashed away my favorite flavor, Sunshine Punch.

So aside from making a sign with my Crayolas and sitting in a chair, ready to make change, I really didn't have much actual work to do. That was the beauty of it.

With it being summertime, kids were out all day long, so we'd get them coming and going. And if it got slow, we could discuss the merits of Knight Rider or The A-Team. Every now and then her brother Nathaniel would come by to see how we were doing, but we were kind of boring, so he'd go find something more fun to do.

Felicia took a break for a little bit during a particularly slow part of the afternoon, and I was left to man the stand on my own. I read my tattered copy of The Great Brain at the Academy and waited for customers.

A black-and-white police car cruised by, and I saw him look at me as he drove by. I realized that technically, as I didn't have a business permit, I was breaking the law.

Yes, I swear to you, I was 8 years old, worrying about not having a business permit to sell Kool-Aid. I was a weird little kid.

I got even more nervous as he turned around and parked across the street. The officer got out of his car, his sunglasses hiding his eyes, and walked over to the stand. I thought he was going to run me in.

"How much?" he asked.

"Ten cents," I said, nodding at my sign with its faux-Superman lettering.

The officer fished in his pocket and pulled out a quarter. Sweet! That was enough for two and a half glasses.

"I'll take one, please." And he handed me the quarter. I already had the dime and nickel ready for him, and I tried to hand it to him. "Keep the change."

I thanked him profusely, and he got back in his car and drove away. Kids were starting to get called in for dinner, so I closed up shop for the day. I was so excited by my profit that I was probably visibly glowing.

Wow, I thought. Imagine what I could do with a flavor besides orange...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The heat is on

I think we've officially seen the last super cold day in my neck of the woods. It's already getting into the 90s on the weekends, which is just a shame for those of us who are pale and doughy.

But now that it's likely going to be sunny all the time, it makes me pine for a vacation. And I don't know about you, but when I think of vacation, only one song comes to mind.

As luck would have it, I found it on YouTube. So while you think of where you want to go on your next summer holiday, you can have this song stuck in your head.

Oh, no, no, no. You're quite welcome.