Archive for Dylan

Daddy & Dylan Day, Part II

Posted in Family, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by macmystery
Dylan and Grandpa Bill at Atlanta's Turner Field on Monday night. It was Dylan's first major league baseball game with daddy, and the Braves won 4-0.

Dylan and Grandpa Bill at Atlanta's Turner Field on Monday night. It was Dylan's first major league baseball game with daddy, and the Braves won 4-0.

Monday night was Dave Ramsey Night at Turner Field. As a result, the seats in the sections at the end of the upper deck, in both right and left field, were all $1.

It seemed like the perfect night to take Dylan to his first Major League Baseball game. The Braves were winning and still in the wild-card hunt. The seats were cheap.

Brooke called my dad, and he said he was interested. So I picked Dylan up early from school on Monday and we drove down to Atlanta. Brooke and Ella stayed with my mom, and Grandpa Bill, Dylan and I headed downtown.

After a quick dinner at Arby’s, we caught the MARTA train at the East Lake station. Dylan had been looking forward to the train ride as much as the game. As it turns out, it was easily his favorite part of the evening.

Our seats were not bad, but that didn’t mean Dylan had any intention of staying in one. It was a two-plus-hour effort to get him to be still. He was in the aisle, on the steps behind us and three rows down at the railing.

At one point, he was leaning at the railing and yelling below, “Hey you, hammer head! Hey hammerhead, up here!” I thought, “Oh my God. He’s yelling at a person.”

Boy, did I feel stupid. When I reached the railing to admonish him, I realized he was yelling at an actual hammer head. Braves sponsor Home Depot holds a race similar to that of the sausages in Milwaukee, only it’s a hammer, a saw, a paint brush and a drill that race around the outfield wall.

Dylan and I missed a Chipper Jones home run while we were in the souvenir shop. That’s where I spent 20 minutes convincing Dylan that we didn’t need a red foam tomahawk for $5 (I must have 10 in a box at home) or an $8 red big foam finger.

(The souvenir shop is also where a I was approached by a hot latin chick about the 2009 Little League World Series T-shirt I was wearing.)

We bought two drinks for $9 and a bag of peanuts for $6.25. Ouch.

We stayed through the seventh inning, and then we left to let Dylan play in the big Cartoon Network playhouse and then take some pictures with some big statues. (The most disturbing of which shos Dylan sitting on Ty Cobb’s lap as he slides into a base.)

Dylan complained about the walk back to the MARTA station as much as he complained about the walk to the stadium. I guess it was to be expected. But for the most part, while a bit hyper, he was good.

Will he ever be a baseball fan? Enough to sit through a game? I don’t know. And that’s fine. If it’s not his cup of tea, I won’t push it on him. But I can hope.

Daddy & Dylan Day

Posted in Family, Movies with tags , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by macmystery
Cloudy With A Chance of Meat Balls

Cloudy With A Chance of Meat Balls

Dylan has complained lately to Brooke that he never gets to spend much time anymore when it’s jist “him and Daddy.”

And he’s right. Since Ella was born and Brooke has been working, almost all the time he’s been with me, he’s had to share me with the little girl.

So, with last Friday being a day off from school for him, he asked Brooke if she could get a babysitter for Ella so he could have me all to himself. She said yes, and made it happen. (Thank you to the un-named babysitter).

I had two movie passes that we get each year at work on our birthdays, so I figured we’d do a movie. Because of scheduling, the best choice was “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.”

So Dylan and I went to lunch — Chinese buffet, his choice … funny, he wants to go to the Chinese buffet, yet he eats only the French Fries, chicken nuggets (his name for the sweet & sour chicken, minus the sweet & sour) and Jello. Then we took in the movie, in Disney 3D, no less.

Quick movie review: Awesome. Clean. Mr. T rocks. Neil Patrick Harris rocks as Steve the monkey. As far as kids movies go, pretty darn good.

Anyway, this was the first Daddy & Dylan Day. And I’m hopeful for lots more.

Springsteen gives “Satisfaction” in Greenville

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on September 18, 2009 by macmystery

I took in the Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band show Wednesday night at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, S.C., … my eighth show, … and Bruce, as usual, didn’t disappoint.

The show, which came in about five minutes shy of three hours, was one of the two best Springsteen shows I’ve seen, running neck-and-neck with the show from the Magic tour that I saw in Charlotte.

The seats were good (It’s a relatively small arena), the sound was good and the band was on. Clarence Clemons, the band member I’d consider the least consistent these days, was on and never missed a mark or a note.

And the setlist was good, too.

Setlist and notes for Sept. 16, 2009 in Greenville, S.C.

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out … (spot on)
Badlands … (with Jay Weinberg playing so much harder than his father, this song was really driving)
No Surrender … (nice Born In The USA nonoverplayed song)
Hungry Heart … (Never thought I’d hear this live as it’s fairly rare that he plays it.)
Outlaw Pete … (Definitely better live than on Working on a Dream)
Working on a Dream
Seeds … (second song I never expected to hear … is there a bad economy theme here with the “Badlands,” “Atlantic City,” “This Hard Land,” and “Hard Times?”)
Johnny 99 … (A driving full-band version of a stark Nebraska classic)
Atlantic City … (Made my father-in-law a happy man)
Raise Your Hand
This Hard Land
… (by fan’s request … his sign read something like, “I skipped school and drove seven hours to hear This Hard Land” … Bruce made light of the fact Jay Weinberg didn’t know it)
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction … (first ESB cover of this Rolling Stones song … “Wait a minute,” Bruce said as he held up the sign. “It might suck. Don’t get excited.” Nope)
Ramrod … (another fan request)
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day… (first of three Rising songs … he let two little girls have the mic for a while)
The Promised Land … (one of my five favorites)
Backstreets … (This is the whole show for me)
Radio Nowhere … (the only Magic tune for this show, slightly disappointing to me)
Lonesome Day
The Rising … (sounded better than on that tour)
Born to Run … (believe it or not, never gets old … he sings it like he means it every time)
Hard Times … (name another rock band that covers a song from 1854 in concert … Bruce’s comment, “health care for every American” before the song brought a lot of cheers mixed with groans)
Double Shot of My Baby’s Love (w/ the Swingin’ Medallions) … (corny, yet cool … brought out the original Medallions who are from Greenwood, S.C. … classy)
American Land … (the ones who built this country, we’re always trying to keep down)
Glory Days … (my friend Sean would have been happy)
Detroit Medley … (sweet)
Dancing in the Dark … (a deceivingly up-tempo sad song … also the song playing in the delivery room when Dylan was born)
Thunder Road … (Bruce just didn’t want to quit … the band had already taken it’s bows twice, and Jay had given away almost all of his drumsticks)

Jay Weinberg is as good as advertised filling in for his father, Max, on drums, … and he’s just 19. And he can’t wear 140 pounds soaking wet.

Here’s some more coverage of the show: here, here, here, here. And the show brought in some much-needed cash for the local food bank.

If I had money, I’d be buying Charlotte tickets this weekend since it came out today that the band will be taking a hiatus after this tour … Little Steven even hinted this could be it.

Coca-Cola … The Real Thing

Posted in Odd with tags , , on July 2, 2009 by macmystery
Refresco!

Refresco!

Dylan rode with me Saturday to take some trash to the dump, and after we were through, we stopped at a convenience store for a “special drink.”

That’s what Dylan calls it when he and I are out together and we stop somewhere and each get a Coke or a Sprite in the small glass bottle. What was the norm in my childhood is a novelty now.

(Side Note: For what it’s worth, Dylan is hooked on the glass bottles … he’s since kept the bottle and is drinking everything from milk to orange Kool-Aid out of it. I have a strange child.)

I had intentions this day of getting a NEHI grape soda, but Dylan said, “Daddy, there’s big Cokes up at the top for you.”

Sure enough, at the top of the cooler were the bigger 12 oz. Cokes. I almost dismissed them, my mind set on the NEHI, until I noticed something strange. On the bottle of the tall Cokes was the word “Refresca.” Huh?

So I pulled one down and noticed that aside from “Coke” and “Coca-Cola,” all the words on the bottle were in Spanish.

Why would they have Mexican Cokes, I thought? The bottles each had a small white sticker with the nutritional information and the ingredients printed in English (all this was omitted form the bottles of the Mexican Cokes).

It didn’t take much reading to see the difference and to decide I didn’t want a NEHI.

Ingredients: Carbonated water, SUGAR, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, caffeine

Sugar.

No corn syrup.

Real sugar.

Amazing. And sad. And disappointing.

I find it ironic that while the rest of the world gets “The Real Thing” in every sense of the phrase, American consumers get corn syrup because it’s cheaper than sugar.

Forget our jobs, they’re sending all our Cokes to Mexico.

UPDATE: I have since found several articles online about Costco selling Mexican Cokes out west for the past four years or so. And there was a Wall Street Journal front page story from a couple years ago about the high demand for Mexican Cokes.

July 17 … I can’t wait

Posted in Movies with tags , , on April 18, 2009 by macmystery

OK, there’s nothing really for me to write here. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

I can’t wait for this. And I’m sure Dylan and Brooke will feel the same when they see this.

Rescuing Crusoe

Posted in Family, TV with tags , , on April 1, 2009 by macmystery
Crusoe, right, and his friend Friday, left ...

Crusoe, right, and his friend Friday, left ...

I guess I have always known it would happen, but I guess I had always hoped I would get out of having to break my child’s heart.

I mean, it’s not like this is the big one. Santa Claus’ existence is still safe.

But for Dylan, this is a big one. Since the fall when it premiered, Dylan has been mesmerized by the NBC series “Crusoe.”

If you haven’t seen it, it, of course, is a slightly different take on the classic “Robinson Crusoe” packaged in a family-friendly, primetime Friday night package.

While there is a complicated backstory as to how Crusoe came to be marooned on an island, who would like to keep him that way, and the efforts of his wife to find him, Dylan isn’t concerned with all of this. He simply enjoys the adventures Crusoe and Friday go through each week in their efforts to return to civilization … or simply to survive.

Dylan and I first saw the preview for “Crusoe” before the Star Wars “Clone Wars” movie we saw together at the end of last summer. He saw the premiere and didn’t miss an episode. Every week, he would excitedly remind Brooke that “Crusoe” was on tonight and, ‘we can’t miss it!’

Since I was working, each week I would get an excited recap of that Friday night’s adventure, with a little help from Mom, of course, to fill in the gaps.

Fast forward to Friday night. I get a phone call at work. It’s Dylan.

He never trusts Brooke for the answers to these questions. Only me, I’m told.

“Daddy,” he says, “Can you find out when ‘Crusoe’ comes on again?”

A quick Google search and investigation determined that it wasn’t airing anytime soon in our viewing area. I could hear the tears start on the other end of the phone before hanging up.

So I did a little reading after our phone conversation was over and discovered that, like most first-year series, NBC ordered less episodes of “Crusoe” than it would of a normal, established series like “ER” or “Law & Order.”

Usually, if the series is successful, the network will order more episodes before its allotment runs out, or it may let the short season conclude before committing to the series for another season.

Needless to say, according to most news reports I could find, NBC doesn’t plan to order any more “Crusoe.”

Forever on that island, with Friday, he will be. No resolution. No more adventures.

So, I haven’t told Dylan, yet, that “Crusoe” is no more, only a childhood memory.

And I don’t want to. I know how he’ll feel. As a boy, I had my “Crusoes,” too.

But that doesn’t mean that “Crusoe” deserves to suffer the same fate as “She’s the Sheriff” or “Cop Rock,” or other crappy shows that lasted a season or less.

When I was a single guy with no children, I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard some sissy in the media talk about how there are no family-friendly choices on primetime TV any more, I used to secretly wish they would be unwillingly subjected to hours of “Faces of Death.” That would teach them to complain.

Well, now, fast forward 10 years, and I’m not just on the other side of the fence, I’m standing in the middle of the yard.

Maybe it’s because I’m behind on my pop culture, but I can’t name another family adventure-type show like “Crusoe” on TV now. He liked “Knight Rider,” but that’s already suffered the same fate as “Crusoe.” (Shhh! He doesn’t know about that one yet, either.)

If Dylan wants to sit in the den on a Friday night in the fall with his mother and watch TV, what exactly are his options? Pretty much nothing. Maybe we can get him hooked on “Gossip Girl” so he can stay up on which 16-year-old is doing which other 16-year-old this week.

Or maybe not.

Anyway, I don’t know what to do about “Crusoe.” I’d like to just let it lie and wait for Dylan to just forget about it, but Dylan’s not like that. He’s not your normal 5-year-old. He won’t forget.

So on Sunday, I told Dylan that we’d sit down this week and write a letter to NBC to let them know we really liked “Crusoe” and that we wanted to know when we’d see it again, knowing all along what the inevitable response would be, assuming there is one at all.

I told him that since it was his favorite show, he could tell me what to say, and I’d write the letter for him, and then he could sign his name.

Dylan said, “Yeah, and we can tell them, ‘don’t forget to write back!’ ”

Dylan and baseball

Posted in Family, Sports with tags , , on March 12, 2009 by macmystery

So after two seasons of soccer (last spring and fall), Brooke and I convinced Dylan he’d enjoy baseball if we signed him up this spring. After several conversations about it, he agreed.

Back in the beginning of February, we registered him. And two weeks ago his coach called and told us when the first practice was.

So far, we’ve done three practices.Yesterday he told us that, had he known there would be so much practice, he’d have never signed up.

I’m not coaching, which will be better for Dylan and me. But it’s also good for the team, Dylan doesn’t whine for anyone but Brooke or me, so this should cut down on that.

Apart from the uniform he’ll be issued, we bought some pants, a new bat, a helmet with a cage and a chin strap, a couple balls, a sweet pair of red Nike cleats — he’s a red Raider — and a couple of red and white shirts. It all cost a little more than I’d hoped, but I really wasn’t surprised.

Dylan (when he’s interested) is ahead of most of the kids on the coaches pitch team in hitting. But he’s got quite a ways to go on catching the ball, or fielding it.

But it’s gonna be a lot of fun to watch him learn.