I’m not a gamer. I never have gamed. And neither has my son.
There’s no Playstation in my house, no Xbox, no Wii. My son’s exposure to video games has been limited to the handful of times we’ve stumbled across an old arcade machine and I’ve tried to teach him how to play Pac-Man. He hasn’t been all that into it. (Probably because he’s TERRIBLE. You have to AVOID the ghosts, genius!)
But if his interest in the gaming devices his cousins were playing over the holidays was any indication, that’s about to change. Which means I’m going to have to shell out for a system.
Or am I? I recently got a new piece of hardware that is saving my ass. And my wallet. For now.
People love them some LEGOs. I recognize this. I’m not here to bury them (those people or the LEGOs). But I’m not here to praise them either (those people or the LEGOs). I’m just ambivalent about the toy.
I didn’t really want to write about the colorful little blocks.
And then someone gave my son a bunch of them.
Lat night, I took my kid to see Marvel Universe LIVE!, an arena-based stunt show featuring what seemed to be every single major, minor and tertiary character from Marvel Comics history. Let’s just say it was a little overstuffed.
At least the second act was (there’s a twenty-minute intermission while they rework the sets), which was all I really saw. I spent almost the entire first act in line at the concession stand waiting for twenty dollars worth of hot dogs (i.e., 3 hot dogs). By the time I got back inside to the show, Loki had already made off with the cosmic cube (or something) and the bevy of costumed stuntmen were moving around and/or standing in place while pre-recorded dialogue was played over the loudspeakers.
(For some reason Spider-man was really into social media (read: annoying) and constantly said stuff like, “SELFIE!” and “I gotta tweet about this!”)
Needless to say my son loved it, and was desperate for a souvenir with which to mark the momentous occasion that he won’t give a shit about in less than two weeks.
Here’s how I avoided buying him one.
I went to Home Depot yesterday, and after an hour of wandering around aimlessly like Jack Torrance at the end of The Shining, I eventually made my purchase and got out of there with my life. But also with the wrong bolts.
So it looks like I’ll be going back to Home Depot today… and probably tomorrow too, after I inevitably blow it again.
I’m no good at DIY. Thankfully, I’m getting a little help from American Express and the AmexEveryDay credit card. God knows I need it.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.
Countless couples and would-be couples are, as we speak, scrambling to find romantic ways to mark the occasion. It’s stressful and time-consuming and expensive and, for those without sweethearts, frustrating and pathetic and why does God hate me?!
We all know that in it’s modern-day incarnation, it’s a holiday propped up by candy companies and card companies and restaurants and Yankee Candle, and yet even those of us who reject the concept often end up making some kind of concession to it, if only so our significant others don’t feel left out when the sheep in the office get flowers and they don’t.
Even the least cynical among us can see through the heart-shaped nonsense to the heartless industry behind it, so why do we get our kids involved?
For some reason I occasionally catch the parody bug, like a younger, better-looking Weird Al.
Today, I happened upon the classic “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem, and decided to give it the old Dad and Buried spin.
It’s a bit of a lark, but after a weekend of traveling, shopping, family and general holiday stress, I’m in the mood for a lark. I hope you are too. But I don’t blame you if you’re not.
Is there anything more annoying than asking your parents what they want for Christmas and hearing them say, “For you and your brothers to get along”?
Yes, there is. Asking them what they want for Christmas and hearing them say, “Nothing.”
Even more annoying? Asking your kid what he wants for Christmas and not being to hear anything over the ensuing filibuster. Seriously, I just walked out of the room and I can still hear my three-year-old rattling off items from his list.
Kids want everything, adults want nothing. Thankfully, when you have children of your own, it kind of balances out.
As you know, I have a son. He’s three years old and I love him to death. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me that I occasionally wish had never happened to me.
This Christmas is the first time he really, truly gets it, to the point that he actively flips through circulars and points at the toys he wants added to his list (two years ago I wrote about the gifts he wouldn’t be getting). We’re going to give him a good Christmas, and he’ll get more than he needs, much more than he deserves, and nowhere near as much as he wants. All I want in return is a smile and some laughter and a lot less screaming. And, because I’m petty and small, I wouldn’t mind if he experienced a little bit of the frustration that the holiday season brings me.
So with that in mind, I put together a quick list of items you can get for your young children that will give you as much joy as Christmas gives them, by giving them as much aggravation as your kids sometimes give you.