Monthly Archives: November 2011

Muppet Radio on SiriusXM

Yee-haw! Just found out that SiriusXM Radio is broadcasting Muppet Radio all Thanksgiving weekend long on Channel 145. Hmmm…maybe that long, sickly drive to San Diego won’t be so bad after all! Que viva los Muppets!!

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Holidays

A head cold for Thanksgiving…

What’s better than driving two-plus hours to San Diego in the dead of night on the heaviest traffic day of the year? Doing it with a raging head cold. Urgh…I suppose it could be worse, but, man, colds are just so fucking annoying…especially during the holidays!

The upside is that no one will let me near the food prep tomorrow at my Mom’s house, so, I guess I’ll be watching the parade with Greta all day on the couch. Yay! Oh yeah, the other upside is that Greta keeps asking me if I’m sad — apparently I look as good as I feel — and when I tell her that I’m just not feeling well, she hugs the shit outta me and whispers: “It’s OK, Daddy.” So cute!

Of course, it won’t be so cute if she gets a cold too…but, hey, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Happy Thanksgiving, amigos, hope it’s a good one!

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Baby, Holidays

…and Diablo Cody too!

Believe it or not, Joan Didion was not my only literary hero I got to meet this past week! Although worlds away from Didion in terms of content and style, Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (“Juno”) is another female writer who just slays me — what is it with all these rad female writers, man? — and, as luck would have it, we got to meet her last night at a post-screening Q&A for her new film “Young Adult”.

If you haven’t heard of the movie yet, you will, because it’s got Oscar bait written all over it. Reteaming with “Juno” director Jason Reitman, Cody’s script is about a delusional, mildly-crazy author of Young Adult fiction — played beautifully by Charlize Theron — who returns to her hometown to snatch back the high school sweetheart she left behind. I know that doesn’t sound like the most original premise, but, trust me, this movie rocks.

It’s funny, dark, twisted, and almost painfully realistic at times and Theron gives what might just be the performance of her career. Love her or hate her, Theron’s hilarious, deeply-flawed character is one for the ages. Just a really classically-great film character. Rock on, Miss Cody!

Later, while asking her to sign my copy of the “Juno” screenplay, I told Cody that the movie reminded me of a female “Wonder Boys” (which is another crazy writer movie that I love!) and she laughed and said she totally agreed. So, if you dig crazy writer movies or even just crazy people movies, you should check this shit out when it opens near you.

And until it does, here’s the trailer to get you all charged up. Enjoy!

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Movie Stuff, Writing Stuff

Joan Didion’s “Blue Nights”

Man, whenever I wanna feel like a total hack as a writer all I have to do is read a little Joan Didion. Seriously, Didion’s non-fiction writing just about kills me. She makes it all seem so effortless and easy, and then, when you’re lulled into submission by the beauty of her words, she hits you with a sudden, painful truth, and a depth of feeling that just totally takes your breath away.

My first encounter with Didion’s work was “The Year of Magical Thinking”, which I read after my sister Brittany died in 2004. Actually, I think the whole family read it that year. We shared everything in that first, strange year or two after her death, books, magazine articles, movies, anything to help make sense of what happened. But “Magical Thinking” in particular — which deals with the sudden, unexpected death of Didion’s husband, author/screenwriter John Gregory Dunne — really got me through some of the tougher times. Our grief wasn’t the same obviously, but, it was extremely healing to read about someone else’s experience with death and from that moment on, I’ve been one of Didion’s biggest fan.

In New York this summer I started reading “Slouching towards Bethlehem” which is beautiful, and I am just about halfway through “The White Album” which makes me yearn to live, just one day, in Didion’s breezy, rarefied Los Angeles of old. Man, that would be the shit. So cool…

So, you can imagine how excited I was to actually attend a Didion booksigning and discussion last week with my sister-in-law, and fellow Didion fan, Laura. My wife worked the event — Mrs. Yeti has a very cool job working for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles if I haven’t mentioned that before — so, she was there too, and Greta, not much of a Didion fan (yet!), went to see “Puss in Boots” with my brother. So, everybody was happy.

Didion read from her new book — “Blue Nights”, a chronicle of her adult daughter’s illness and eventual death, which, tragically, took place just a year or so after the death of her husband — spoke for a bit onstage and then signed books for the crowd. She might have looked frail, but, when she spoke she was just as clear-headed and direct as her finest essays.

They passed a mic around for questions from the crowd, but, I decided to wait till she was signing my book to ask her what her favorite screenplay was — she wrote and co-wrote several scripts with her late husband — and without missing a beat, she replied: “The Third Man”. Ha! A tight, lean, classically great script…of course she’d pick that. How perfect!

Afterwards, we lingered a bit to help Mrs. Yeti and her co-workers close up shop — the event was held at the absolutely gorgeous St. Vibiana’s Church in downtown Los Angeles — and then headed home, eager to dive into “Blue Nights” and hear what the wee one thought of “Puss in Boots”.

I’m happy to report that both the book (which I’m almost done with) and movie are excellent.

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Selling our memories…

Even though I had to make the appointment to sell some of our baby gear months ago — apparently we are not the only ones “selling our memories” these days — and I knew that the day was coming, I was still a total wreck the whole drive over to the used baby store this week. I just kept thinking: “Wait a minute, what if Greta wants that baby sling for her dollies?” or: “Those pants aren’t that short on her, are they?”

But the truth is, Greta had officially outgrown everything I had in the back of our car months ago…including the sweet little Co-Sleeper she slept in the first few months of her life. Actually, I think she might have slept in it for a whole year or more (she’s a little on the small side), but, in any case, the Co-Sleeper was, by far, the hardest item to part with.

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I mean, sure, I had fond memories of the clothes — her first tiny rain boots, some awesome pajamas and dresses and stuff — but that frigging Co-Sleeper just ripped my heart out, man. At first I thought maybe it was because it was so damn expensive — it’s actually a Mini Co-Sleeper for parents with smaller apartments, so it has special-order Mini sheets and shit — but, the truth is, that was one of the first things we bought for Greta before she was born and I had grown unhealthily attached to it.

It was also the first thing I set up when she came home from the hospital and I know it sounds stupid, but, having Greta sleep in that little brown, organic-cotton, Mini Co-Sleeper while tethered to our bed made those first few weeks a whole lot less scary. I mean, truth be told, she coulda still died in her sleep in that thing too, but, in my mind, the odds of one of us hearing her choke and gag to death in time to save her were that much better if we were just a bed roll away from her. Crazy logic, I know, but, it helped me sleep better that first year. Yes, I was worried about SIDS for a year. Frankly, I kinda still am. That shit is so freaky…yikes!

So, I’m standing there, knee-deep in golden, mostly-exaggerated memories of Greta’s first days on Earth and I realize that I simply cannot sell the Mini Co-Sleeper to this woman. No way. No how. The Co-Sleeper is off the table, chica. To make matters worse, her assistant manager set it all up to check on its condition and shit, and, I swear to God, that sweet little crib looked just as cute and snuggly as the day we bought it. Urgh…why God, why? Seriously, I could barely look at it without choking up.

And then I realized that, memories aside, the time to part with the Co-Sleeper was now. We had tried and failed to sell it at two previous garage sales — try telling that crowd about the value or special-order organic sheets! — and I knew that if we were ever gonna sell the Co-Sleeper, this was the place and time to do it.

So, we haggled a bit over the price — Mrs. Yeti and I had agreed to not let it go for less than $40 — but the best they could offer was $30. And seeing as it was just taking up room in the garage, I figured $30 was better than a kick in the head. So, I took one last picture of Greta’s first little bed and then promptly sold it for thirty bucks.

All totaled, we made $90 — which definitely lessened the blow! — but, I’ll tell ya, my inner-hoarder will be missing that Mini Co-Sleeper till he dies…so sad…

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Harajuku Mini @ Target

OK, anyone who has a little girl in their house should stop reading this right now and head to your local Target to see the super-cute Harajuku Mini collection by rocker Gwen Stefani. If you’re not familiar with the Harajuku style, it’s kind of a funky, mismatched, crazy-colorful look modeled after the hipster chicks in Tokyo’s Harajuku district. Greta has some of the stuff from Stefani’s Nordstrom collection and it is adorable!

But now that you can get the same quality gear at a Target price? Well, what are you waiting for? Seriously, you gotta see this stuff, it’s too cute! But, like every cool brand that comes to Target, it’s already selling out, so, I suggest you check it out soon. Most of the cooler pieces were already sold-out at our store last night and they’ve only been on the shelf for two days…so, don’t wait till Black Friday with this stuff!

And if my gushing isn’t enough to get you to Target, then maybe this cute-ass Harajuku Mini commercial will do the trick…either way, get shopping, amigos!

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Time change…

Urgh, does anyone else hate the freaking time change as much as I do? And with the chill of Fall finally settling in down here too, yikes, it’s been a real downer of a week. Cold and dark can suck it, man…gimme back my sunshine and flip-flop weather!

Actually, who am I kidding? I’m still rocking my flip-flops and shorts, you know, when it’s not raining too hard, but, even this old Santa Cruz boy has to switch to jeans come November. Urgh…remind me again why we still “fall backwards” and “spring forwards” in this modern age? So totally lame!

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