Han

Episode IV: The Great Pumpkin Is a Turd

(Some language as always will be a little salty and slightly NSFW.  Just so you know.)

(Also, to kinda protect my kids, I've changed their names. The oldest I'll just randomly call Han and the youngest Luke.)

I arrived at school at my regular time.  The same as usual.  But there was my youngest kid, openly weeping like Sophie just made a choice and it wasn't him.  I thought maybe another kindergartner stole something from him or was unnaturally mean to him.  That maybe one of the teachers said something horrible - like maybe he was "too adorable" or "too smart".  

One of Luke's friends told me that Luke he didn't think I was going to come to get him.  Instantly, I jumped at the belief that another student tricked him into this belief and was ready to lash out at the dirty turd who dared to trick my son into tears.  But no.  It wasn't any of that.  Luke believed I wasn't coming to get him.  He believed it was much later than usual and I wouldn't pick him up.  And so he started losing his shit - thankfully only metaphorically as with kids it can get literal and deeply unpleasant - and he told his tiny friends his worries which led to more worries and a full cascading of tears.  

The truth was that I was right on time.  He wasn't even close to the last kid picked up - in fact there were tons of kids still there waiting for their parents.  A full litter really.  But as it had been a busy Halloween day, Luke felt it was later than usual and got all discombobulated with general feelings of being orphaned.  Otherwise, known as "the usual".  Because as a kid, that's the worst case scenario.  Even with an oafish dad like me, being left by your parents is as bad as it gets.  It's the heart of most Disney films, Star Wars, and a million other stories as well.  It's the easiest way in for a kid (or for any human with a heart at all) with a story and it's the go-to when a kid needs something to really freak out about.  

So once I figured out it was this general soul-shattering feelings of abandonment, I crouched down and told him I'd never not come get him.  That either his mom or me would always pick him up.  We hugged, his tears abated and then he went to cheerfully tell me he'd gotten candy in class.  

Myself as a kid in a very classy Spider-Man knockoff costume.

Myself as a kid in a very classy Spider-Man knockoff costume.

For all this, I blame Halloween.  For months, my kids had been looking forward to it.  The older ordered parts and bits to make a Tron outfit weeks before.  The other fought off every question as to what he was going to be, but still kept counting down the days until Halloween.  Eventually, he made his own cool penguin costume with his mom, an act he was proud of.  But come the day of the Halloween parade at his school, he had to be coaxed into wearing it.  He feared people making fun of it.  And then next day at his soccer game, he was reduced to tears again when another kid on his team asked what he was going to be for Halloween.  When he told this kid "a penguin", this 5-year-old bucket of evil sneered at Luke: "That's not scary!"

And again, the tears.  It's not the way you want to end a soccer game, but here he was wracked with the raging eye waters.  His older brother tried to comfort him, but that verbal arrow from a turdy teammate struck too close to the bone.  Myself and Luke talked about what happened, about how he shouldn't care what that kid said.  I asked Luke if he even wanted his costume to be scary, to which he admitted he hadn't.  So his teammate saying it wasn't scary dismissively was like saying an apple didn't taste like a hamburger.  His costume was just a cute, cool penguin.  Not some bloody, Hannibal Lecter cannibal penguin who fed off the hides of other penguins, especially those ones from Madagascar, Pingu, and Opus.  It wasn't Revenge of the March of the Penguins - although that would be awesome.  (Hit me up, SyFy Channel if you want a pitch on that.)

So that night, Halloween night, Luke gave up on being a penguin.  He wore an old sci-fi soldier-y costume of his brother's.  Peer pressure and his own doubts crept in and knocked the one he made out of consideration.  And he was totally happy in his random future soldier outfit that was some sort of weird knockoff that we'd never heard before.  But it felt like a slight loss, him not wearing his own home-made costume.  Even if he was clearly happier and less angsty by putting on this other costume.

Then we went trick-or-treating with other families we'd gone with for years.  And I eyed each trick-or-treater in too scary costumes or terrible teens out for terror with the idea that I'll jump into action if they do anything to my kids.  Most likely, I'd use some extraordinarily vulgar words put together in ways that will make them weep for years.  Because there are people who love Halloween.  And people who don't.  I'm am in the don't.  

Myself with horror master Wes Craven and the brilliant director and cast of the film  The Girl in the Photographs .

Myself with horror master Wes Craven and the brilliant director and cast of the film The Girl in the Photographs.

Because it's filled with people trying to scare people.  And in the 80s when scaring was at it's peak with Wes Craven, John Carpenter, and others, I ran away from those films.  Hell, I only saw Poltergeist.  Which scared me enough.  But now in the real world with real kids, I'm taking them to strangers houses, asking to trust these strangers to give my children candy poison while surrounded by hoards of people going around in the dark with their faces hidden so they could totally stab you and run off and get away with it.  

So thanks for scaring me more than I already am, Great Pumpkin and your Halloween.  I hope one day Linus catches up with you.  And wreaks a revenge that's never-before-seen with a blue blanket of carnage.  And then we'll never have to do Halloween again.

Except my kids already started talking about what they could be next year.  

Crap.  This Halloween stuff never ends.

My TCM-ing

Over the past week, TCM has been showing a lot of scary films.  The most scary, for me always, has been the short films of David Lynch.  I love David Lynch.  I've seen a fair amount of scary films even though I missed so many in the 80s, but the only thing that consistently freaks me out is David Lynch.  Twin Peaks did a number on me that no other show or movie ever could.  So showing these early short films (and other works) that he did while at AFI like The Grandmother and The Alphabet and I'm still weirded out.  Check it out if you never have and it will infect your soul.

David Lynch's  The Grandmother .

David Lynch's The Grandmother.

Also, they've been showing a lot of old Hammer films.  The movie Dracula A.D. 1972 showed that The Godfather had nothing to worry about that year for best film.

What I love is that it says Dracula has "an eye for London's hotpants".  Repeat: he has "an eye for London's hotpants".

What I love is that it says Dracula has "an eye for London's hotpants".  Repeat: he has "an eye for London's hotpants".

Also, watched Race to Witch Mountain, which as a child was a big deal.  Watching it with my kids, it's not a bad film and holds up pretty well.  What I loved most was that the film had a very pro-bald casting agenda.  Baldies were everywhere in it.  

A couple last random thoughts...

While out taking the kids trick-or-treating with other families, I joked that my wearing my regular clothes was actually a costume of Dad-Who's-Given-Up.  And then one of the women laughed really hard.  Like, too hard.  Like too much truth.

Also, do parents let their kids eat all the candy they get?  Each year, we've let our kids pick out a small amount and then we bring it to the school to send off to the troops.  Not to be kind or awesome or any of that, but because we don't want any sugar-crazed chubbos bouncing off our walls.  (...And because if some troops get our candy and like it, that is kinda nice.)

So that's it.  Thanks for reading and I hope each of you have a brilliantly awesome week of adventures and laughter.  (Also, go listen to Styx's "Come Sail Away".  You'll feel better after you do.)

So long,
Patrick T.
the T stands for pumpkin

Episode I: A New Blog

This is my first blog.  And I was going to explain why I'm writing a blog and who I am and make a thing out of it.  But between you and me, we don't need to do that.  We know why I'm writing a blog.  It's obvious.  It's because:

·      Having an online presence is important and SEO and Twitter-Twitter-bang-bang and Google needs an updated site with new content to make me totally relevant.

·      I'm a desperate narsicist and like using the wordy-words.

·      I'm a major self-loather and can tell how much people don't care about me by tracking how few people read what I write as I write it and put it up.

·      Maybe it has to do with the fact that I use far too many words to ever be any good at Twitter at all because I never know when to shut up beyond the amount of words given to me for anything and I can go on and on and on and on with a blog.

·      Or maybe because I think it's 2006 and if you told me about Periscope it would blow my tiny antiquated mind.

            Regardless, I'm doing it.  I'm here and it's going to be a little random and eccentric and stupid, just like me.  It's going to be a little grumbly at times because I was born a curmudgeon.  (So if you could keep it down, I'd really appreciate it.)  Basically, I'm a premature Andy Rooney.  (And that just shows how Andy Rooney I am by making a Andy Rooney reference.)

            (By the way, I really hate Andy Rooney and always did.  The fact that he's dead doesn't diminish my hatred of him in any way.)

            (Wow, man, I just realized I really love parentheses.  They're the best!)

            (They really are.  Parentheses are like whispered hugs for sentences.)

            So here we go.  A full-on bloggity-blog-BLOG.  

            Here's who I am:

            I'm a chubby bald dad with a 90s goatee of sadness.  I'm so self-effacing that I no longer have a face.  I'm filled with all sorts of sarcasm and smart-assery.  I'm as sensitive as I am prickly and I'm in desperate need of a nap.  I've written the novel QUENTIN MCFURY - THE LAST DEFENDER.  I've written the plays STAR WARS TRILOGY IN 30 MINUTES and the stage adaptation of RESERVOIR DOGS, among others.  I've written screenplays for UNIVERSAL PICTURES and 20TH CENTURY FOX.  I've also jumped around on my knees while holding my hands up as ears pretending to be Yoda in front of thousands of people.  Beyond that, I'm just a boy.  Standing in front of a world.  And asking everyone not to completely hate me.  

            Wow, I'm actually writing this thing. An actual blog.

            He's doing it.  HE'S DOING IT!!! 

            (And then Debra Winger comes in and sweeps me off my feet and carries me out.)

            My plan with this blog - that I shall instead of a “blog” will call a Word Pocket or Brain Essays or Journal of the Wills - is to write about three basic things, sometimes focusing on one thing more than another.  The main subject I’ll throw words at is parenting and kids and how I try to figure out the most unfigure-outable thing.  Secondly, I’ll probably do some scribblin’ on what I’m scribblin’ on in pretending to be a writer of some sort.  And finally, I'll write about how much I love TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and what I've recently watched on it because I just won't shut up about it.  

            In regards to the whole writing about my kids thing, I won't use their actual names to give them some semlbance of privacy.  So, I will choose just two random names out of the air.  Hmm... What shall I go with?  Let's just go with the first two names that pop out of the air...  

            For the older one with darker hair who's a bit sarcastic, I'll just call him "Han".  

            And for the younger full of energy one with lighter hair, I'll just randomly call him "Luke". 

             (Not sure where I plucked those two names from.  Might be the Bible, Shakespeare, or I LOVE LUCY or something.)

            So that's me here now, writing a blog.  I'll jump in more shortly with a proper blog.  Not just an introduction.  And then I'll keep doing it.  Until I die or the words fail me.  Or until I get bored.  Or a combination of the three.  Thanks for coming and I hope all is going swimmingly with you all, but not so much more than me that I feel bad about myself.

            So long,

            Patrick T.

            The T stands for Beginnings