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The Name’s Dalton

“All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary. And three, be nice.” – Dalton

roadhouseWe interrupt Product Review Wednesday to pay respects to Patrick Swayze who passed away on September 14, 2009. Mr. Swayze holds a special place for The Mommy and me. You may be thinking that Dirty Dancing is a favorite of The Mommys, while Red Dawn occupies the same spot for me and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, thoughts of Mr. Swayze always bring back warm memories because LTD spent his last hours inside The Mommy watching Road House through osmosis. Let me tell you what happened.

At midnight on a Sunday in March, The Soon To Be Mommy and I raced to the hospital for the second time that day. This time we both knew we would not be sent home, but what we didn’t know was that everybody in New York was having a baby at the same time and at the same hospital. The Soon To Be Mommy is in serious active labor and do we spend that time in a nice comfortable bed, no of course not, we spend it in a small, smelly waiting room. The Soon To Be Mommy is experiencing the aptly named labor pains and I need to keep her focused on something else. The small waiting room TV must help us. It’s three am on AMC and what do you think they are showing? Road House, baby, Road House. We are able to watch the movie start to finish before we finally get a room and we have Mr. Swayze to thank for The Mommy not using any medication at all during labor because as Dalton says, “Pain don’t hurt.”

Media Review – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

snowwhite_blurayNow I have never been a Disney fan, they seem too big a corporation to be something one can love, but they have a few good properties that I don’t think anyone can find fault with. On October 6th, they will release Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on Blu-ray and while I don’t really like their ‘limited time only’ policy I think we can all agree that Snow White is the best-animated movie of all time, take that Veggie Tales: The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything. I have been thinking whether or not the 1939 masterpiece holds up after all these years and if a boy would enjoy it. I think the answer is yes on both counts.

I’m sure LTD will like the movie if for no other reason than I tell him too. I have only been a parent for six months, but it is my understanding that kids do everything they are told. For me, I could take or leave the singing and the dwarfs, what I really enjoy is just how beautiful the film looks and the classic animation style that I wish they still used today. My only fear is that the witch may give him nightmares just as the ,Witch in the Wizard of Oz did to me.

John Hughes 1950-2009

mommr“I yelled at Kenny for coloring outside the lines! Megan and I are starting to watch the same TV shows. I’m liking them. I’m losing it!” – Jack Butler, aka Mr. Mom

The world reacted pretty much the way it should have to the sudden death of John Hughes last week, which is to say that it honored him as the creator of perfect 80’s movies that captured teens in a true light. However, I would like to call attention one of his earliest works, the stay at home dad comedy, Mr. Mom.

John Hughes script was not only funny, but was ahead of its time. Let us not forget the talented Michael Keaton who brought the words to life and forever put the word woobies in the American vernacular. Mr. Mom taught me not to feed a baby chili and the importance of Schooner Tuna. Thank you John Hughes for speaking truth to power with comedy and heart.

Product Review – Wee See

So we recently broke our no TV under two years of age rule, but it doesn’t really count because we watched a DVD. We figured a dvdDVD was a good exception I mean it’s not like we let him watch Jerry Springer. The Wee See DVD is basically like a living mobile that LTD watches while sitting up instead of on his back in the crib. The DVD features a series of black and white shapes set to relaxing music. The contrast is truly vibrant and borderline hypnotic. When the black and white shapes pull apart or move across the screen they are accompanied by cool sound effects that mimic the ripping and falling movements of the shapes. LTD stares but is unclear how much he is actually taking in; the real joy comes when I stare at the shapes. Between the simple images and the music it actually relaxes me and as long as there isn’t a hidden subliminal message inside telling me to cluck like a chicken, I guess it’s all good. The big bonus from my point of view is that LTD also finds the music calming. The original score by The Polyphonic Spree’s Tim DeLaughter is playful without drifting into Raffi territory. Now that LTD is at an age where he really enjoys bright colors more than the black and white spectrum we listen to the music more than watch the DVD. All in all, a great way to chill out when both baby and parent are stressed.

wee see – collection one from Rolyn Barthelman on Vimeo.

He Comes From a Land Down Under

So The Mommy had reserved a few Daddy DVDs in her Netflix queue for me to watch before the big event. Well, as you can imagine things were a little stressful in the lead up to LTD’s arrival and needless to say The Mommy’s Netflix queue became a low priority. About two weeks after LTD’s birth, a DVD arrived in the mail the subject of which was, what should a new father expect during pregnancy. Although the train had left the station, we watched the DVD anyway, basically fast-forwarding through it.

Another daddy DVD arrived in the mail when LTD was about two months old. This time the DVD was more appropriate because it dealt with what to do when you bring the baby home. I was too tired to really watch it and again we set the remote to fast-forward. The funny thing about both DVDs was that they were filmed in Australia by an Australian filmmaker who was documenting his experiences becoming a first time dad. While watching the DVDs, I wasn’t really listening to the parenting advice I was cracking up every time the on camera dads called their baby’s blokes and mates (drinking Fosters the whole time). Turns out Nappy is Australian for diaper. I felt like Crocodile Dundee was giving me parenting advice. “That’s not a pacifier, this a pacifier.”