19
Nov
18

I’m not ready for this – Part 1

Bas Senior Day

Senior Day with Sebastian, Melina and me.

So it begins.

Or rather, so it begins to end.

This past weekend — Saturday November 17, to be exact — marked the end of my eldest son’s football season and, unless something really crazy happens (hey the University of Southern California football team could need a scholarship athlete to pull up their GPA!), the end of his football career.

And with that it hit me that Sebastian, my first-born child, is really wrapping things up a and hurtling towards graduation, college and full on adulthood.

I’m not ready for this.

I mean, who is?

I guess some of you are, but if the experiences of friends are anything to judge by, it’s a very few.

Complicating this is football, something which has been a massive part of this family’s life for a decade. Our younger son, Simon, isn’t a football dude. He may be in the Marching Band when he heads to high school next year, so we may still be at occasional games.

And I’ll be there almost every Saturday, covering the game for the town paper as long as it’s around.

But neither of those things are the same experience as actively having a stake in what’s happening and a connection to the team as exists when you have a kid on it.

It doesn’t help that the game ended badly for Bas’ team, as they lost in the State Sectional final, on their home field. It also doesn’t help that for the fourth year in a row he was hurt, which probably cost him a starting job, so he didn’t play quite as much at the end of the season as he may have wanted.

It doesn’t help that football was a place he and I have connected for a long time. Less so as he has moved to high school and become interested in other things, I stopped coaching and we both had other things to occupy our time.

So it’s bittersweet to see the end of football.

Mind you, there is a small, guilty bit of me that is a little relieved. I can’t tell you how hard it was to divest myself of emotion for the team – a team with a significant number of kids I coached plus my son on it – during the seasons. I would imagine my editor probably could tell you stories where he rolled his eyes.

It’s easier to manage that when I don’t have a son there. I still know the kids and have a connection but it’s easier to shove that aside when it’s not your kid.

What makes it seem a little better are the things I saw from my son as the season progressed. He became more confident and invested. He also cared a great deal about his teammates.

He would defend the quarterback when we talked about that kid’s struggles.  He felt sympathy when two of his team were lost for the season right before the playoffs. Bas was supportive of players who earned spots over him, no matter how much he might have wished to have won the job himself.

And while he was hurting because he had just lost his final game ever, he was expressing concern for the future of the team, and hoping the two offensive linemen who won’t be graduating this spring would have a good last season when they were seniors themselves next year.

Football seemed to bring out some of the best in him. He was never one for the limelight – each week a senior is asked to lead the team onto the field with the Mountie flag, and Bas said he declined it when asked if he wanted to do it – but he was always the kid who had his teammate’s back.

Last season, when the Mounties won the State Championship – undefeated, I might add – Sebastian’s role was pretty limited. Some of that was due to injury, some of that was due to the team being ridiculously talented and deep.

So when the game was over and Montclair was celebrating, he admitted to me it was a bit bittersweet – he felt like he didn’t do a ton to help, and wished he had had a chance.

I tried to point out to him that what he did each week as a member of the scout team — a group of guys who run the plays the coaches think the next opponent will use — and when he got on the field to give another player a breather, was very important.

Every day at practice, the coaches knew they could rely on Bas to make sure he gave his all, did what he was supposed to and help the starters get prepared for the upcoming game. If the scout team isn’t focused and working as hard as they can, the starters won’t be as prepared.

It’s kind of an important lesson to learn, one I hope he will take as he moves through life. You don’t always get the limelight, and you don’t always get the accolades. That doesn’t make your role or value less.

Most of the time, the people around you notice. I think his coaches and fellow teammates did, and I think  his future coworkers and friends will as well.

A chapter in our lives is ending, one of many as we move towards his high school graduation. It only just hit me as we all sat eating dinner Saturday night, that we are at the beginning of the end of Sebastian as a kid.

And at the end of the beginning of the rest of his life.

I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m not sure if I will for a long time.

I know I’ll revisit this feeling, whatever it is, a lot this year, hence the “Part 1.” At some point, maybe we’ll reach the end of it.

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02
Nov
18

Nerd Multiverse: Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House

So, we’re back. Only took a couple years.

I’m firing this back up, and it’s going to be a place covering a wide variety of things, from the kids, to society to, yes, nerd stuff.

We’re starting off with that last thing because I happen to have ready-made content and 1) I’m lazy and 2) excited about it.

So here is my podcast review of the Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House.”

You can download it here because I can never get the Podbean player to embed in an article on WordPress.

Feel free to subscribe via Itunes, Podbean or Stitcher.

The many “look there are ghosts you don’t see” articles I have not seen mention which really got me geeked out. It’s a small thing but really hearkened back to the 1963 movie “The Haunting” which was also based on Shirley Jackson’s excellent novel, “The Haunting of Hill House.”

Get ready for creepy.

So Hugh and Olivia are trying to find young Nell, who has disappeared in Hill House during a storm (this takes part in a flashback in back in the 1990s).

They search upstairs and, at one point, Hugh decides he’s going to look elsewhere.

Statue 1

I’ve lightened this so the whole thing is clearer.

Also, sidenote, Hugh says “I’ll be right back” and for goodness’ sake you never say that in a haunted house.

As you can see, the statue over Hugh’s right shoulder (camera left) is looking intently at its a bowl in its hand. What is in the bowl? What is so interesting? We can only speculate, but my guess, mold.

Olivia, the flighty, somewhat possessed mom, walks into a room near the statue, checks out some broken glass and then heads back out into the hallway to keep looking for her daughter.

But wait, something has changed.

Statue 2

Whatever was captivating about that bowl isn’t as interesting as Olivia.

One can only imagine the statue is wondering where Olivia bought that dress.

Olivia heads down the hallway where things happen but Nell still doesn’t show up, and then she walks back towards the statues.

Statue 3

OOOOOOOHHHHH SPOOOOOOKY.

It’s a small, subtle thing and yes, I spoiled it, but I wanted to use it as a great example of how well and thoughtfully made this show is – including set design.

And consider that even though I was looking for crap like this, because it is something I loved in the original movie (The Haunting 1963 not the crapfest from 1999), I still missed a ton of stuff.

Watch the show, it’s fantastic.

And yeah-

14
Mar
17

Technically speaking, my son is technically challenged

So a while back my eldest decided he wanted to get back into learning to design graphics, edit and other things like that on a computer. He also wanted to play more advanced video games. His laptop (which I have currently stolen because mine died) doesn’t have the power for any of it, and he also wanted to be able to upgrade things if a new computer became obsolete.

He asked for cash from his grandparents and my wife and I for his birthday and Christmas in lieu of other gifts.

So this week he finally ordered his computer, and it arrived yesterday. I was at the office, trying to get my work done since nobody was making it in during this blizzard. He texted me that he couldn’t get the computer to turn on. He had set it up, but it wouldn’t power on. I gave him a few suggestions, which he had already done, and then told him I couldn’t really help anymore as I was not there to see what was going on.

A short time later I got this text (which also contains my reaction). His texts are the ‘red’ ones.

dumbass2

In his defense there were two switches to hit for reasons I cannot understand.

That said, damn, son. I understand teen brain but wow.

 

10
Mar
17

JAILBREAK

There are perils in being a work from home dad. Constant snacking of everything in the house. Forgetting to shower. Having a dog come and attack your lunch.

For parents who work from home and have young children, there’s the added bonus of the sneaky little buggers showing up when you’re trying to do a television interview.

 

This makes me glad my children were in school for most of the videos and radio interviews I did when they were younger.

There’s so much to unpack here.

I would imagine this gentleman doesn’t work from home much as the very first thing you learn when doing live interviews from home is you have to lock your door, especially when you are doing a TV shot.

Of course, getting the dogs out of the room is a close second, but I see someone forgot to lock their door.

I love how the little girl in yellow bops into the room. She just wants to be a star, right? And then Baby Wheels comes in and everything goes off the rails with the panicked woman – mom? very much updating her resume nanny? – flies in to try and rescue the situation, but only really makes it worse.

Or better, at least for those of us watching at home.

Hopefully there wasn’t a ton of yelling after the segment, because kids are going to be kids and they’ll get away and find you if they know you’re home. I’m not going to criticize the guy much for not just rolling with it and plopping his kid on his lap during what appeared to be a fairly dry and serious topic. He was trying and failing to keep it straight, I respect that. He had spent a ton of time dolling up his bedroom to look more serious – the map, the books oh so carefully laid out on the bed, the suit and tie (Was he wearing just shorts? We can only guess.).

How hard was the host laughing off-camera?

I can’t blame the kids – they just wanted to be on the BBC.

A wise man (maybe George Patton, Maybe Dwight Eisenhower) once said “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

Let me amend that to read “No home office survives any contact with a toddler.”

PS – when my kids were home and I had to shoot a video, I usually kept them quiet by making them my camera crew. They were still older than this lot, but it worked.

So glad my kids are past this. As my good friend (and PackersNews.com writer) Aaron Nagler remarked on Twitter, “I now expect kids to crash every one of these.”

Of course, Aaron has had his own issues.

08
Mar
17

Back in the NJ Groove

After way too long, Dad Moon Rising is back! Exciting!

It’s been a crazy period of time, and one which made me really have to consider work-life balance. Seriously – and I am sure you guys all have similar experiences – its easy to get caught up on the hamster wheel until you drop dead.

So, after banging my head against the wall doing nothing but freelance, and being busy with nowhere near as much income, I decided to find a regular gig with little things like regular pay.

This past football season was especially hard, given I had one gig basically disappear and another fall apart mid-season.

So after one too many hair-yanking seasons doing that, I decided two things: 1) to work in the places and with the people I enjoy being with and 2) start writing other things.

The first is easy enough in many ways – I adore working with the folks at Footballguys.com and have really enjoyed working with Pro Football Weekly this past season doing film-breakdowns. I may add one or two things to that, but most of the rest of it may fall by the wayside.

Coupled with that, I have begun working on an exciting venture here at home in Montclair, New Jersey. In the middle of last November, The Montclair Times – at the time our main local paper – was bought by Gannett and basically stopped doing local stuff. Some great folks decided to step in and replace the Times and I’m doing high school and local sports with them. The paper is called The Montclair Local and it has a great group of people on staff. It’s been a blast covering high school so far, and I love going into an office again.

You can check out the website, or if you’re local, get a subscription.

This blog is part of the answer for the second point. I love doing it and so here we are. As before I’ll talk about my kids, my family and my coaching experiences, but I’m also going to tackle more and more social issues as well.

I’ll try and be balanced, but this is my blog through my lens, so expect it to lean largely left.

But it won’t all be that stuff, so if that’s not your brand of vodka, do drop by for everything else.

I’m also working on some copywriting type stuff and – *drum roll* – a book! More on that later.

So I’m back!

Let’s have some fun, shall we?

 

Now I have to figure out how I embed videos and whatnot.

03
Jun
16

Fandom IS Broken – my Storified Tweets

So I tried to embed the Storify story, but as has been the case when I try to embed anything, it isn’t working.

As that’s the case, please follow the link for my thoughts on the article “Fandom is Broken” which has ironically broken the internet called “Fandom is Broken”.keep calm and geek on

04
Apr
16

Nerd Multiverse Podcast: The Walking Dead Season Finale

It’s pretty much freaked out everyone with its vague cliffhanger, but Season 6 of The Walking Dead has come to an end. It was often brilliant, often manipulative and frequently uneven, and the finale had all of that in spades.

I’ve got my thoughts on what worked, what didn’t and who bought it in this week’s The Nerd Multiverse.

I’m on vacation next week so the next episode will be the Week of April 18th.




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What I’m Into:

Reading: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher Listening to: The Heist, Macklemore Watching: Damages
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