Archive for June, 2013


One Week Late Movie Review – World War Z

I can't have any of this crap on my current diet so I am just torturing myself now

I can’t have any of this crap on my current diet so I am just torturing myself now

So I was thinking, who ever gets to the movies on opening night anymore? Once they have kids?

Sometimes you can get a sitter and sometimes it’s worth it, but honestly, the hassle and crowds and your kids often make it easier to wait. And as they get older, sometimes you want to wait because it’s something the kids might enjoy.

For example , I don’t often make it out to any Marvel Superhero movie on opening weekend because the boys are always really eager to see it as well. So at times, I have to wait.

It seems then, I am always a week late.

How about a review that’s a week late then? After the hype has died down and all the reviews which said the same thing over and over again, how about a fresh pair of eyes to tell you whether it’s worth your time?

Welcome then to the One Week Late Movie Review.

Don’t expect this to be too regular because I’m a parent and I don’t get out all that much, right?

Tonight we’re talking World War Z, the Brad Pitt Zombie movie inspired by the fabulous Max Brooks book of the same name – which I can’t recommend highly enough (but that’s a whole different column).

WWZ is PG-13, runs about 116 minutes (minus the 45 minutes of ads, commercials and trailers prior to the film) and also stars… well honestly nobody much you’d recognize. Really this movie is all about Pitt.

Oh Matthew Fox is in it (you know, the dude from LOST?) but if you blink you miss him.

By the way, from here on out there be spoilers, so beware!

seriously kids don't open that door if you don't want them

seriously kids don’t open that door if you don’t want them


The plot revolves around family man and ex-United Nations employee/trouble shooter Gerry Lane (Pitt) as he tries to figure out how to counter or at least slow the zombie plague.

And oh yes, they call them zombies. Not “infected”, not “diseased” – these are zombies. There’s even a nice little moment when the concept of zombies gets scoffed at, but really only by the science geeks “safe” on the flotilla cobbled together from US Navy ships.

As always the grunt on the ground embrace the reality facing them more quickly.

We follow Lane as he and his family flee Philadelphia, fight their way out of Newark (which really didn’t look much different than usual zing!), and meet the flotilla. We then follow Lane solo as he hops around the globe (South Korea, Israel, Cardiff) in the hopes that somewhere lies an answer.

As I said, this is Pitt/Lane’s movie – nearly everyone around him is cannon fodder until the final act – but the writers (and there were many) did a fair job making you give a damn what happens to him.

In the end, Lane notices a pattern amongst those the “zekes” (a nice nod to the book) don’t try to attack and is able to formulate a plan to camouflage the rest of us from the living dead, if only for a while.


I think so. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, despite grave reservations because even from the trailers I knew it wasn’t going to resemble the book at all.

And then Beppo understood what they had told him at Clown College - helicopters and clown car tricks don't mix

And then Beppo understood what they had told him at Clown College – helicopters and clown car tricks don’t mix

By the way, this is absolutely not a horror movie. I can see an argument for it as a thriller or an action movie, but it isn’t a scare flick. It trades on tension, which builds right from the beginning and ebbs and flows throughout the whole movie.

The opening act is about as tense a sequence as I’ve seen in a movie like this in some time and the movie does a good job building and releasing tension throughout. It slows down a little near the end, although given a lot of the final act slow might be a poor choice of words.

World War Z is almost completely bloodless, by the way – for a zombie movie, ridiculously so. For the most part, because it trades in tension, not horror, it works. But there are times it doesn’t, such as when Lane gets his crowbar stuck in a zombie’s head.

As Lane attempts to yank it out, another zombie is heading towards him. Lane sees the guy and keeps yanking at the crowbar.

The problem is, the director and editor clearly cropped the shot so we couldn’t see the crowbar stuck in the head. They didn’t want the younger audience to throw up, I guess, as the brains and gore came out.

Which is fine for about five seconds and then, really, it gets silly and completely ruins the moment. You can’t see what Lane is doing, even in wide shots and reverse angles.

I understand the desire for a wider audience and I get why a studio would want it so bloodless. But then make sure you shoot it in a way where we don’t realize it in such an obvious manner.

On the other hand, the movie is high paced, fun and definitely got the packed house I was in going. While some sniggered at a few points, everyone enjoyed themselves quite a bit.

That’s in large part due to Pitt’s performance. I’m a huge fan of him – he has some tremendous range and a lot of charisma and it’s the force of his personality which really pulls you through the movie. With so many other interchangeable “red shirts” in the flick, he had to be.

Props to the writers too, for some nice touches which sucked you into caring about Lane.

Honey, I think those Justin Bieber fans might be rabid

Honey, I think those Justin Bieber fans might be rabid

The opening act, as I mentioned, is incredibly tense and throughout it you get the sense of how much he cares for his family and they him.

It’s also helped along by the all-too-believable government jerks which often serve as fulcrums to move us towards caring for a main character in movies like this.

The government/military really screws his family. I mean, totally bones them in a cold, hard fashion which I feel was pretty damned realistic. Lane doesn’t want to go on this mission once he makes the flotilla. He’s barely survived and wants to do nothing more than remain with his family – which any dad or mom can imagine being the case.

But the General in charge of the recovery/combat effort very quickly boxes him into a corner: you go on the mission, your family can stay. You decide against going and you and your family are ass out of luck. They’ll get sent to a relocation camp.

Faced the prospect that nowhere is as safe as a floating boat filled with armed soldiers, Lane goes. How could he not?

Then at one point, Lane has disappeared and is believed dead.  What happens? The captain and general toss the Lane’s out anyway.

Which you can believe because the military is all about resources and calculating what to spend them on. Once Lane is believed dead, wasting resources keeping his family on board a crowded aircraft carrier doesn’t make sense.

Still, it plays as cruel to the audience and makes it hard not to care for a character at that point.

Lane is smart too. Early on he gets jumped by a zombie which proceeds to drip blood and goop all over Lane’s face, including in his mouth. How he prepares himself to keep his family safe while he waits to potentially turn into a zombie is smart and almost takes you a second to realize why he’s doing what he’s doing.

Kids, the popcorn line is getting out of control. We may need to skip it.

Kids, the popcorn line is getting out of control. We may need to skip it.

They also do a great job with some of the supporting characters, short lived though they often are.

The army grunts in the South Korea base are marvelous and capture our conception of soldiers having to deal with civvies and outsiders playing catch-up perfectly. The Massad agent Lane hooks up with in Israel is also solid.

Sometimes they aren’t as flushed out – the Israeli soldier who makes it to Cardiff with him could have used more personality – but often the writers did a good job with little time to work with.

Overall, I really liked this movie. It was a great summer flick and probably above average from your usual fare like Transformers and the upcoming Pacific Rim which tend towards really loud and dumb.

This has some stupid moments (if you need to break into a base which has infected people in it and they are filling the main hallway you need to walk in, why not head to the roof to go over them?) but they aren’t too frequent and frankly they go by so fast you tend to forget them.

Again, if you are going to this hoping to see a film version of the book, don’t.

You will come away, if not angry, really annoyed. There are nods (soldiers calling the zombies “zeke”, the brief debate about whether a bat or axe is a better anti-zombie weapon, the Israeli wall) but that’s about it. I understand the very first draft or two were closer to the book, but I have to wonder if things like The Walking Dead scared them off.

Hopefully someday, somebody will make a miniseries of the book because it deserves that treatment.

And again, if you go looking for the usual horror and gore, you will come away equally unfulfilled.

But if you go looking for a fun action/thriller, you should walk away happy.


Sometimes for these reviews I think it will be a very easy decision, but this isn’t. This is truly a matter of what your kid can handle in terms of both tension and visual stimuli (there is enough CGI to choke a CGI horse in this thing).

If at first you don't succeed, pile up more zombies

If at first you don’t succeed, pile up more zombies

As I said, it’s not horror and there is no real gore. The violence isn’t really hard core and aside from some blood when Lane gets hurt, it’s a very “off the screen” flick – a hand gets chopped off, the crowbar gets stuck, people get bit (though it never seems as if the zombies are eating them) but it always happens off camera.

So they won’t be exposed to tremendous blood and entrails, but as I said there is a high amount of tension. The threat of violence can almost be worse for some kids than actual violence. It’s PG13 so you know it’s not too bad, but it might be worth seeing it first.

I have gone back and forth with The Wife about taking the Alpha Tween to this movie. He’s seen Shaun of the Dead which is more gory and was fine with it (she says he had nightmares, he bristles at the accusation). However he recently sat through The Impossible with my wife and the tension really seemed to get to him.

So I don’t know if I would take him at this point. I usually err on the side of “why not” at his age, but given the Wife’s concerns, we’ll probably pass.

For your kids it all depends on how they handle that stress.

There’s little gore and very few scares though, so if that’s your main concern you should be fine.

Overall I enjoyed it and it’s worth a night out.

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Angry Dad is Angry

image captured from the movie Big Trouble in Little China and is NOT a self potrait

image captured from the movie Big Trouble in Little China and is NOT a self portrait

I am sorely tempted to put my kids in the car, drive off into the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and kick them out of the vehicle, then take off.

Also I am actually hesitant to write this up right now because 1) I wanted any third post for today to be light and 2) I’m sure I’ll come off meaner than I intend.

But I started this blog to talk about the good AND bad of being a stay-at-home dad, so here goes.

Earlier today you might have read my post on the horrible multiplying dishes.

So earlier this afternoon I had to go do my dog walking thing. When I left, I directed the boys to take care of the dishes in the kitchen. I told Omega Child he was to load the dishwasher while I asked Alpha Tween to wash the pots and pans.

I was very specific about what needed to be done.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect it to be completely finished when I returned about an hour later. I figured it would be mostly done, which would allow me to surprise them with a trip to see Monsters University. We’d talked about possibly seeing it earlier in the week and I knew it was on their minds.

Plus, there are so few movies we can all see together, and very little time to do so anyway once camp starts.

Anyway, I expected there to be some work left which we could knock out and then go.

What I didn’t expect was to find virtually nothing done.

Omega Child was at least loading the dishwasher in his usual, snail-like pace. He drags his feet doing anything so, I expected there to be an issue.

What I did not expect was to find almost nothing done.

Well, at least they had straightened up the living room.

But the kitchen was largely the same mess which graces the picture in that earlier post.

I have to admit, I lost my shit.

Especially finding my eldest sitting on the couch.

Now his excuse….. well, it’s really irrelevant but it involved waiting for his younger sibling to finish his chore first.

This is not the first time this week he has 1) not done a simple chore I gave him and 2) blamed his brother.

There was some yelling, there was some frustration and there was some crying.

Suffice to say we didn’t go to a movie.

And it’s frustrating for me on several levels. First because I (usually) enjoy spending time with the boys, whether at the movies or riding bikes. But we can’t really do that now because there has to be some punishment.

I also hate being the guy who yells at his kids.

Which, when it comes down to it, is just part of being a parent. There are some people who enjoy yelling – at their kids, spouses, friends, clowns, people on the street – but I’m not really one of them.

posting pics of brownie sundaes is probably stupid when dieting....

posting pics of brownie sundaes is probably stupid when dieting….

(Though I will admit I love to argue and get testy in general conversation. Which is a whole other column.)

It’s one of those moments where I don’t love being a parent. Everyone walks away angry, sad and feeling like crap and nobody wins.

Unfortunately, life isn’t all ice cream sundaes.

Wait, is it?

No, probably not, dammit.

Part of being the bad guy, as far as I am concerned, is trying to drum some responsibility into their thick heads. You are told to do something and you do it, or there will be consequences.

That’s life and better to learn it now and hate me a little while than never learn it and end up a miserable fuck later on.

So yeah, I yelled. It’s happened before and will probably happen again.

Even if I hate myself a little for it every time.

Hey, are you following Dad Moon Rising on Twitter or Facebook? Why the hell not?


The Dishes, They Are Multiplying!



In two days time, the dishes have taken over the kitchen.

Keep in mind, the boys and I have done more than one load and in fact have cleared them out more than once.

But there are three of us at home and that just builds up dirty dishes at a ridiculous rate.

They’re like bunnies. Dirty, dirty bunnies.

And you can read that last sentence in several ways, so have fun.

Seriously though, I don’t ever get the explosion of dishes which takes place when the rest of the house is home. Try as I might, I can’t get them to clear their plates and then put them right into the dishwasher. As you can see from the dish apocalypse in the kitchen, it hasn’t happened.

Mind you, today is compounded by the fact that Omega Child has a friend over, so 1) we have three extra people total in the house today rather than two and 2) he hasn’t done his daily chore which is load dishes into the dishwasher.

Still, that’s an inordinate amount of dishes for less than a 24 hour period.

We also have a cup infestation issue as well.

Yesterday, when the kidlets cleaned their room, we found five glasses upstairs. All half filled with water.

As we’re not about to be invaded by aliens, I assume this is just a sign people are being lazy rather than preparing for defending their family.

They have spread to the living room, the porch and the kitchen, where I am concerned they will link forces with the dishes and take over the house.

After Omega Child’s friend leaves, I’ll charge him with destroying the hordes of dishes by using the ultimate weapon: his hands and the dishwasher.

But even then, I know they’ll be back.

They’re always back.

If you don’t hear from me in 24 hours, send help. Or non-lazy kids.

Hey, are you following Dad Moon Rising on Twitter or Facebook? Why the hell not?


Chasing Fireflies

Leaving New York City was a pretty easy choice for our family. We weren’t terribly happy there in many ways, though I will always miss the subway, how quickly I could get into Manhattan and some friends we just don’t get to see much of anymore.

That said, the benefits of moving out of the city have been pretty big. Better schools for the kids, a more suburban area for them to bike around in, a backyard.

You have no idea how huge a backyard is when you have kids until you’ve had one and then given it up as we did when we left California four years ago (has it been that long?).

It’s nice to just dump the kids outside without worrying.

FireflyHuntAnd then there are the fireflies.

At some point in the near future we’ll talk about how we seem to have moved into a zoo or wildlife preserve but for now just know there are critters everywhere.

Last night was the first evening this summer we have seen fireflies.

To be sure, there were fireflies in NYC, but they seemed few and far between, unless you were in the local park.

Last night our fireflies were right in the backyard.

It seems like last summer the kids were never around much when fireflies appeared, so when the Wife and I saw the glowing bugs last night, I immediately grabbed the boys.

They jumped right up (putting down the screens they were watching!) and ran downstairs.

At first we only saw the one, but then we discovered more and more lightning bugs as the sun began to set. Omega Child had received a “bug hunting kit” (not the type you run down Aliens with) from school, so he ran upstairs to get it.

And we caught fireflies for about half an hour.

Alpha Tween eventually left for the cooler inside air, but Omega and I caught and released about four lightning bugs before we decided to call it a night. The kid even added some grass and weeds to the container he held the fireflies in to “make it feel more at home” so they would be happier for the two minutes they were in captivity.

Even though it’s summer and a little slower in terms of work projects, I still find the days stay busy. Sometimes it’s hard to do anything once the evening hits and I can take four seconds to relax.

Hell, I regularly pawn off walking Dog to the kids if I can manage it. And I like walking her.

I’m sure its the same for most of you. Your partner gets home and you just want to have some time to yourself. It’s normal and probably the only way to stay sane if you’re a stay-at-home parent of any sort.

But it’s equally important to recognize when special moments are happening. When the Wife and I saw the first firefly, I could have easily just

Shockingly, this firefly got away

Shockingly, this firefly got away

told the kids about it (or not mentioned it at all) and went about my business.

I knew they’d be excited, I knew Omega Child likes hunting bugs, so instead of flopping down in front of the AC or fan and reading, I brought them downstairs.

They were excited. We caught bugs.

And we all got a memory we can carry with us for a long time.

Sure, in reality, they were just fireflies.

But last night for half an hour, they were much, much more.

(as an addendum, Omega Child has a friend over this morning and he just had to tell his friend all about his lightning bug hunt)

Hey, are you following Dad Moon Rising on Twitter or Facebook? Why the hell not?


DOMA arrigato, Mr (and Mrs) Supreme Courto

I will probably lose some of you with the very next sentence, and I’m fine with that.

Today the US Supreme Court, after scaring the crap out of me with their Voter’s Rights ruling on Tuesday, slapped down DOMA and California’s Prop 8 and like many, I couldn’t be happier.


If that upsets you, please come back later. Or read on, but be forewarned, my happiness at the decision isn’t likely to decrease during this column.

On a smaller scale, the decision gave me a moment to consider not just the family and friends who are one step closer to being recognized as full people by the law, but how this sort of thing impacts my kids.

After “Hi Dad” the very first thing Alpha Tween said to me when I got home from one of the more frustrating days I have had in a long time (and day three of no sugar) was “The Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage!”

He said it with an interesting combination of excitement and “well what did you expect” in his voice that brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.

On the one hand, he realizes this is monumental for human rights. He gets that this is a big deal, that as a nation we’re that much closer to the ideals this country was founded on so long ago, that people are people and liberty is deserved by all.

The kids don't quite get the disconnect. Human beings = equal rights, right?

The kids don’t quite get the disconnect. Human beings = equal rights, right?

On the other hand, he doesn’t get the fuss about two people of the same sex, who are adults and in love, being married.

That I have had to explain it to him more than once and he still is frustrated by the explanation, can’t wrap his noggin about it……

Excuse me, it’s a bit dusty in here.

There are days when, I’ll be honest, I don’t know if anyone in my house hears what I’m saying. There are times when I wonder if what I tell the boys resonates at all or if they are just politely nodding at the old man while wondering when they can get back to Harry Potter.

And then there are moments where I hear them say something simple, but profound and I realize that all I and the Wife have been striving for – to raise a pair of loving, kind and thoughtful boys who can go into the world and make a difference just by existing – it’s happening.

I’ve battled my own prejudices. I’ve held hate in my heart, even when I didn’t think I did and it was hard to open my eyes to it.

That my kids aren’t battling that makes me so happy I could fly. That I (we, really, I couldn’t do it without my wife) are able to have helped these boys build their character to a place where they truly (to paraphrase the great Doctor King) judge folks on the content of their character, not the color of their skin, their preference of partners, religion or any other surface trait.

This is not to say that the kids are perfect. Good Lord no. Not close. But it’s a sign of progress.

Which brings us back to the ruling. While I’m ecstatic about it, it almost feels like the SCOTUS knocked DOMA down on a technicality in some ways. On top of that, the explanation of the dissenters in the verdict continue the same theme we’ve heard before which seems fear based.

Here’s what I think: the only way gay marriage is hurting my marriage is…um…wait………….I got nothing.

There is no way gay marriage hurts marriage of any other kind. Nobody is going to force your church, synagogue, temple or any other house of worship to marry two men if they don’t want to. Frankly, John Barrowman of Torchwood and Doctor Who said it best – and I’m paraphrasing here because I can’t find the quote –  why would I aspire to be part of something which doesn’t want me?

There’s your geek/nerd moment for the column.

It doesn’t mean people don’t want to be married, just that if they know you disapprove, why do you think they’ll come to your place of worship to get married?

Marriage, by the way, predates your notion of marriage. And I’m talking to everyone, even my atheist and agnostic friends. Marriage has been around since before monotheistic religions. It’s not a Jewish thing, nor a Christian thing, nor a Muslim thing – it’s a people thing.

It’s morphed over the lifetime of our world, it’s morphing now and will again. It’s a way for two consenting adults to join together in love. Isn’t there little enough of that as it is?

Once it was wrong for people of opposite skin color or religion to marry. Then we realized how barbaric it was and that changed. Welcome to marriage alterations part two.

Some of you will say “but Civil Unions are the same!” They aren’t. They don’t hold the same rights and privileges and you only need to Google a bit to find things which should make anyone with a soul reconsider their stance on the subject.

I get some of you will still disagree with this. I’m not going to judge or berate you. I won’t call you names or unfriend you. I hope that one day you’ll come around, as so many who were against desegregation and other Civil Rights causes came around (most of the time).

I’ll be here waiting. So will my family and we’ll keep fighting for those who lack the same rights we are lucky enough to have.

To my many gay friends, congratulations. May your love grow ever deeper each day.

In celebration here’s a link to Same Love by Macklemore. I’d post the video here, but I don’t seem to be able to get an embed code today.


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He’s devious, that Alpha Tween

Have you guys seen the Dikembe Mutumbo commercial for Geico? The one where he wanders from scene to scene deflecting anything airborne?

If not, check out the video below, then proceed with this story.

So this past weekend I’m sitting on the floor playing with Dog, because she demands my attention whenever I need to do work. (Right now, The Wife is home sick and entertaining her so I actually get work done.)

Internet, meet Roadkill. Roadkill already mt the road.

Internet, meet Roadkill. Roadkill already mt the road.

Anyway, I’m sitting on the dining room floor tossing one of Dog’s toys (a squirrel we call roadkill because, well, roadkill) when Alpha Tween comes by and sits down on the floor off to the side, sort of in the flight path of the roadkill tossing, but sort of not.

He strikes up a conversation about something (I can’t remember, I’m off sugar, brain no like work anymore no how) and we chat, all while I’m tossing the squirrel to Dog.  Dog is  is happily sprinting after it, leaping over the edge of the carpet (I don’t know why, maybe the pet equivalent of ‘step on a crack, break your mama’s back) and the three of us are all having a great time.

When all of the sudden, I toss the roadkill in the air and Alpha Tween reaches up and absolutely slaps it out of the air.

Dog and I both stare after the squirrel for a second, then, almost as one, turn to the kid.

Alpha Tween smiles, raises his hand and waggles his finger at me.

“No, No, No, not in my house.”

He then got up smiling and left.

I’m not even sure how the hell he saw that commercial.

All I know is the Dog is still offended.

No apparently, yes, in my house

No apparently, yes, in my house

Hey, are you following Dad Moon Rising on Twitter or Facebook? Why the hell not?

Bas doing the Geico no no no Dikembe Mutumbo commercial on me when I was throwing the dog toy.


The Battle of the Bulge

If Cookie Monster can do it, can't I?

If Cookie Monster can do it, can’t I?

Just to be up front about this, the title in no way refers to the actual Battle in the Adrennes, the famous Battle of the Bulge from World War 2.

It has no relation to the German’s desperate gamble to turn the European theater around, the Bloody Bastards of Bastogne or any episodes of the fantastic mini-series Band of Brothers.

No, this title refers to the bulge around my waist.

One of the greatest challenges I have in being a stay/work-at-home dad is staying in any sort of shape. Keeping myself moving and keeping myself from eating…..well, everything in the house….is a major issue for me. I know that last time I had it checked, my cholesterol was a bit high and that was a concern.

So slowly, but surely (but slowly), I have been trying to exercise more and eat less crap.

It’s been an up and down battle.

The two biggest issues I have are snacking and soda intake. I’ve really cut down on the soda for the most part, which was a huge step.

I rarely drink regular soda (well, in my case cherry soda) anymore, having switched to an all-natural soda. So I’m not getting the same super-refined sugar I was inhaling before and also avoiding all the chemicals which get put in that – which seems to strip the paint off cars.

Which has also completely wiped out my need for caffeine. Soda for me is about taste (hence the cherry) but in many ways that’s just a ridiculous lie. It’s about sugar and caffeine and the fact that for 20 years I trained my body to require both.

I’ve largely weened myself off the caffeine, and am working on the super-refined sugar.

Of course, the other issue is snacking. Chips, oh how I love you.

That’s probably going to be my single biggest challenge because – and here’s a dirty secret – I don’t like fruits or vegetables. I’m not sure why it happened that way, but it did.

So on top of cutting back on grabbing anything with a high carb or sugar count for snack, I also have to train myself to eat things I really don’t like.

Thank God my kids don’t eat anything like me.

Oh Guinness.... I'm going to miss you over the next few weeks....

Oh Guinness…. I’m going to miss you over the next few weeks….

So for the next few weeks, the Wife and I are doing a variation of the South Beach Diet, which worked really well for us a few years ago. The reason it worked so well for us was in part because it’s not a diet in the classic sense, so much as a sudden and radical readjustment in your eating habits.

Getting portions in control, cutting down on really processed foods and sugar and generally eating better. There’s no “cheating” – if in a few weeks I want a cookie, I can have one. I just have to know that my body is likely to say “OH GOODY CARBS” and crave more.

Adding this to my current light regimen of exercise and dog walking (more exercise) will help out a lot in dropping the weight and getting my body back into a healthier mode.

Again, though, the biggest issue for me is being at home and having way too much food at my disposal. I don’t have anyone to remind me to eat a carrot instead of a bowl (bag) of chips, so it’s up to me and my occasionally craptastic willpower.

I want to eat better and feel better. I want to drop weight and be healthier.

I want to stop feeling out of breath coming up the stairs and I’d like my knees to hurt less.

I’d like to be able to run around with my kids and not feel like I’m going to throw up from the effort.

Dropping that middle tire will go a long way towards doing that.

I’ll feel better about myself and be healthier.

All I have to do is stop myself from walking down the street to the Quick Mart and grabbing a cookie, chips or ice cream.

Hopefully I’m not totally screwed.


Impromptu musicals

This morning saw me (lovingly) bitching about trying to get work done while the other family members are home.

It’s the afternoon now and everyone is home (Omega Child and I were sent to get shakes from the local ice cream place but are back) and I was just witness to the upside of having folks home while you work.

Sicko Alpha Tween and Omega Child are being allowed some PS3 time and currently reside on the couch an floor, respectively.

There was a little noise as they got the game system an Little Big Planet fired up (they’re designing their own level) and then the two of them broke out in a somewhat off-key rendition of “If I Only Had a Brain” at the top of their lungs.

This is the sort of thing which makes working home a joy. Sure there are difficulties and hurdles, but I don’t miss things like this. It’s part of what makes not being here on NFL Sundays a bummer.

Whether it’s random Wizard of Oz show tunes or “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore, the kids are often a joy to hang around or – as is the case now – be near while your working.

It’s the sort of thing which our fathers missed, although I doubt they knew it or thought about it.

How lucky am I that I can be home for the little bursts of joy like that? Or playing chess or Risk with one of the kids? Or catching up on Game of Thrones with the Wife? Or debating what our favorite superheroes are?

There are days where it’s extremely hard to manage the kids and work and everything else.

But being serenaded with songs from Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog more than makes up for it.

And now we’re back to the kids fighting over who gets gems in Little Big Planet so, there goes that moment.

Hey, are you following Dad Moon Rising on Twitter or Facebook? Why the hell not?


It’s hard to work when they’re always watching you

So if you follow me on the Twitter Machine (and if not, why the hell not?), you may have caught that Alpha Tween has been home sick this week.

Today, the Wife has chosen to work from home, so she’s around as well.

I find it very hard to work effectively when the family is around.

I don’t know what it is, to be honest. For the most part they don’t actually do anything.

Except silently judge me.

This is Minnie. While it may not look like it, she is judging me. Always.

This is Minnie. While it may not look like it, she is judging me. Always.

See I can tell, even with Wife in the other room and Alpha Tween snarfling his snot on the couch that they’re absolutely thinking “what the hell is he doing? IS he working? Does he not know we can see him reading comics online (Oh Marmaduke, you so crazy!)? Isn’t there something else he should be doing?”

By the way I just read that paragraph again and want to clarify that Alpha Tween isn’t actually getting snot all over the couch, but is snarfling snot while on the couch. Totally different.

Although now that I consider it, he’s probably got snot on the couch anyway and I won’t be sitting there anytime soon.


Working at home brings with it multiple challenges, one of which is you get used to having space all to yourself.

Want to flake off for a half hour and eat breakfast while watching Supernatural? Go for it.

Have a sudden desire to go out for a slice of pizza for lunch? Why not?

Want to do away with wearing pants? Done and DONE.

When people are home though, while you can do any of those things, you feel judged. You feel as if, when you’re not doing what you “should”

be doing, someone is thinking “this is what they do all day?”

We judge. It’s what we do. It’s what our country is founded on and if you don’t believe me, take five minutes and listen to any amount of talk radio.

You probably didn’t even make the full five minutes did you?

And as we judge, we assume we are judged. Hell, we’re probably right too!

For me, though, it’s more than that.

I’m so used to not having people around me that, it’s just weird to have people in myspace at all during the day.

I get in the zone (like I am now) and write or do laundry or whatever and I just don’t want to be bothered.

And nobody in my house really bothers me when they’re home. Not really (well Omega Kid does but he’s only a second grader, that comes with the territory).

I swear to God, this counts as work.....

I swear to God, this counts as work…..

But I get tense when people are around and when they talk to me there’s this little voice in the back of my head which is all like “HEY, BUDDY WE’RE TRYING TO WORK HERE EVEN IF WORK INVOLVES WATCHING FOOTBALL OR READING GOOFY COMICS”.

I’m sure it comes out in my facial expression at times as well.

Because I am mostly freelance and not strictly nine to five, because my schedule is always all over the place and because a lot of my work requires me to be self-motivated, it lacks a lot of structure (especially now when it’s off-season for the NFL, my chief work supplier).

So it takes very little change in my barely there routine to completely throw me off.

Even to the point where those little breaks nobody cares I am taking seem like something that will get commented on.

I know, I’m nuts (which is a whole other column).

It’s nice to have people around and nice to spend a little extra time (snotty though it might be) with family.

But it’s hard as well. The whole house is my office and it’s weird to have people just hanging out in it.

I suspect that is the case for many of you who work from home. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just me.

Let me know, down below.

Hey, are you following Dad Moon Rising on Twitter or Facebook? Why the hell not?



Metal kids are effing metal no matter what you think

If you don’t read Gawker, you should click this link and head on over this morning.

The particular post which caught my eye (thanks to my friend Don Povia of Blogs With Balls and Carrot Creative) this morning was about two African-American boys in NYC who are metal-heads and getting some flack for it.

These two kids, according to the article (which sources a site called the Avant/Garde Diaries), have been in a band together since they were five and – I gotta tell you, watch the video below because these two fucking rock.

Sorry for the curse there but honestly, if you’ve ever been a fan of metal, that’s pretty much how you have to put it, along with one of these:


<p><a href=”″>Unlocking The Truth – Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins</a> from <a href=””>The Avant/Garde Diaries</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

The problem is, because they don’t “follow the crowd” they catch flack for it. They say in the video it’s not bullying but when you make fun of someone for what they like and because they’re different – well, what else is the definition of bullying?

But – and this is why I am blogging about this today – these two kids don’t care. They like what they like and they aren’t worried about it being different. One of them even says “I don’t like to do what everyone else is doing.”

As a dad, I am constantly concerned about my kids being accepted for who they are. I hope that if they aren’t they have the strength to stand up and be themselves anyway.

Omega Child used to dress up in princess dresses. He has a huge affinity for “being fancy” and owns several bow ties. Alpha loves Pokemon and reads voraciously. He’s starting to get interested in tabletop gaming.

Those things don’t always fit in with the norm, but the Wife and I have always encouraged them to be themselves. I’m always happy when they are because school – especially Middle School for Mr Tween-in-the-making – isn’t all that accepting sometimes.

It’s not easy and it makes me so happy to hear about these two friends and their pursuit of their dreams and interests – and that they are doing it on their own terms.

And bravo to the parents (one of which appears in the video a few times in the background) for standing with their “off-kilter” kids.

The two boys (and their friend the bassist who – as is always the case with bassists – seems to have avoided the camera) are very clearly loved and supported. As parents – as dads – isn’t that all we can really do as the kids get older?

I’ll leave you tho think about that while I try to figure out where I can buy Unlocking the Truth’s album.

(head over to their website as well to learn more about them)


From their website –

Unlocking the Truth’s goal is to become one of the world’s best heavy metal bands, and with their music, they want to encourage their fans to just be themselves and not be intimidated by what people say.

I’d say that they’re off to a great start.

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What I’m Into:

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