Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Desmond ate a sardine today

I dared Desmond to eat a sardine.  If he did, I told him he would get a Mixel!  Kid must really love Mixels...cuz here's what happened:

sardines from Jason Pankow on Vimeo.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Reviving the X-Files?????

It's been rumored for a while!  Now, it's official!!!  FOX is reviving my favorite show of ALL TIME...The X-Files!!!

I've been asked my thoughts on this.  So, here you go!

I was an X-Phile since the very beginning.  I started watching in High School.  I was pretty active in extra curricular stuff in HS (you know...band, theatre, flirting with chick).  Back in the days of VCRs, I had a tape labeled with "The X-Files."  Everyone in the house knew that this tape was not to be used for ANYTHING else.  Because, no matter what I had going on, I would NOT miss a single episode of Mulder and Scully's search for the Truth!!!

Fast forward to college, I continued to be obsessed.  I even drug my dorm mates into my obsession.  We would get together in Michael Paine's room across the hall (I didn't have a TV in my room) and watch.

Even in the end, when it started to get lame (particular during the Agents Doggett and Gish year), I watched...even if I was surfing the internet at the same time.  I didn't like the end of the series.  I barely remember it.  I just remember I didn't like it.

Let's not even talk about the 2nd movie.  I like to pretend that one doesn't exist.  Kinda like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Anyway...despite it's faults at the end, it still remains my favorite show of all time.  Even more than LOST.  When I heard that they were bringing it back, I became cautiously optimistic!

The first rumors I heard made it sound like a reboot.  You know, like JJ Abrams' Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica or the 15th version of Spiderman.  This really peaked my interest.  A new Mulder and Scully!  A new FBI complete with smart phones and Patriot Act capabilities!

But, it turns out that's not what this is.  It's actually David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson coming back to reprise the roles they created.  Ok...this could be interesting.  But...it leaves me slightly concerned.  Mostly about how it all ended to begin with.  Like I said, I didn't like how the X-Files ended.  I particular hated the 2nd Movie that shall not be named.  Is this all still part of the X-Files universe or will they simply pretend they don't exist like Bryan Singer did when he made Superman Returns?

But, honestly...what concerns me most about the X-Files revival is this.  It's only 6 episodes.  THIS ISN'T ENOUGH!  It's just going to be a teaser!!!  It's just going to make me want so much more!!!  Unless it sucks, but I am trying to stay positive.  I have high hopes that it will be amazing and I will want more and more and more!!!  More A.D. Skinner, more Krycek, more Lone Gunmen, more Cancer Man!!!

So, there you go.  I'm excited!  I'm super excited!  But, I'm nervous.  But, then I am excited again and disappointed that it's not enough!  Confusing, right?

Bottom line, though...I get to see Agent Scully again!  And, if there is one woman that has topped my list for a really long time, it would be Gillian Anderson and Dana Scully.

The Truth is Out There!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

George R.R. Martin - The Best Lazy Writer in the 7 Kingdoms

I love the Game of Thrones TV show as well as the Song of Ice and Fire series that it's based on. 

Years ago, when GOT first aired, I didn't watch it.  I was familiar with the books, but I had never read them.  GOT started getting amazing reviews and many of my friends were blowing up social media every episode talking about how great it was.  So...I gave it a shot.  After 2 episodes, I was like, "Why in the heck would I want to watch this show?  It's sooooooo depressing!"

One of my friends (I wish I could remember who it was) said to me, "Have you read the books?  If not, you should read the books."

Challenge accepted.  I picked up the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire.  A book coincidentally entitled Game of Thrones!

Game of Thrones is not a short book.  Actually, it's rather lengthy.  But, I cranked through it in about 3 weeks.  The book was AWESOME!  Easily one of the best fantasies I have read.  Granted, I don't read a ton of fantasy.  Dragons and elves and dwarfs are not really my thing.  I hated reading Lord of the Rings.  Blasphemy, I know.  But, it was just soooooo boring.  

Game of Thrones, on the other hand, was action packed!  Exciting!  It had everything!  Mystery, suspense, politics, sex, violence, war!  It was great!  I was sucked in.  Once I finished the first book, I simultaneously started reading the 2nd (A Clash of Kings) and watching the complete first season of Game of Thrones. 

Book 5 (A Dance with Dragons) had just come out when I started reading Game of Thrones.  So, I was able to quickly plow through the existing novels about as quickly as one can read a book with 800-1000 pages while being a single dad and working a full time job.  I continued to absolutely love the series (although, book 5 was pretty slow up until the end), and I was constantly wanting more! 

But, my cravings were mostly satisfied by the show.  The show creators have done a good job of staying fairly close to the book.  More so than many other movie/tv adaptations I have seen.  Of course, they have to account for time and actors and blah blah blah.  But, overall I have been satisfied. 

Which leads me to the point of my post. 

I started reading the Song of Ice and Fire 5 years ago.  5 years ago, the last book in the series came out.  For 5 years, I and many other eager readers have been waiting to find out what happens to Jon Show, Danaerys, Tyrion, Bran, etc.  5 years we've had to forget the names and purposes of people like...well, the people I don't remember.  Dondarion, that guy that Davos was sent to talk to, Tyrions little dwarf girlfriend, Young Griff...like, I remember these people exist, but I don't really remember why in many cases.  

Yeah, yeah...it's a huge epic story.  It takes time.  I get it.  But, maybe instead of coming out with things like The Lands of Ice and Fire (a series of maps of Westeros and the surrounding areas) or The World of Ice and Fire (stories from the I&F universe), maybe he should sit down and focus on the Winds of Winter!

What really has me miffed right now about this whole thing is this article: Vanity Fair says that the show will spoil the books!

In other words, he has fallen so far behind that there is absolutely nothing he can do to keep up with the show writers who, supposedly, know how the whole thing is supposed to end. 

I frequently watch movies of excellent books I have read.  I rarely go back to read the book of an excellent movie I've seen.  I enjoy being surprised in books more than movies.  If I know how a book is going to end, I don't enjoy reading it.  Therefore, I don't read it.  Yes, yes...I am sure I am missing out on the art and literature whoopla.  But, I read books like Game of Thrones for entertainment.  If I want enlightenment, I'll pick up something about Buddha.  So, I highly doubt I will read the books once I find out who Jon Snow's mother is and who finally sits on the Iron Throne.  

I don't think GRRM gives 2 craps if we don't buy his books.  The dude is so rich at this point that it probably doesn't matter to him, anymore.  His show is a cultural phenom bigger than Justin Bieber.  He's set for life.

So, while I respect his writing skills, I find him to be one of the laziest writers I have ever read.  If he actually cared about his characters, if he cared about his readers, we would have a new book by now.  I should just stop getting my hopes up.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mission Success - Weekend with the future inlaws/step-grandparents

A couple weeks ago, Kim, Desmond and I spent the weekend in the Tri-Cities.

What are the Tri-Cities you ask?  Well...they are cities...and there are 3 of them.

One of these cities is called Richland!  It gets it's name from the Rich people that settled the land.  Or something.

Anywho...this is where Kim hails from.  It is also where her folks are.  So, we decided to throw some bags in the car and hike on over the mountains for some good ol' Tri-Cities fun!

I love Kim's folks.  I could go on and on about why they're rad, but my hands can only handle so much typing.  You'll get the gist of some of it by the end of this post, I think.

You may (or may not) know that my kid gets super shy.  He's a total introvert.  Until he gets to know you, then you can't shut him up.  He has met Pam and Clark (Kim's parental units) a few times before, but it's only been for an hour here, 2 hours there...not much consecutive time.  So, Kim and I were a tad nervous that he would just sit around and be silent and not do anything the entire trip.

Not so!!!

In fact, the amount of time it took for him to get comfortable enough to ask Pam for something I already said No to must be a world record.  Clearly, he knows a grandma when he sees one.

Ok, so...we arrive and one of the first things we are shown is a place in Clark's garage where there are 3 wooden letters mounted to wooden plaques, carefully decorated by young hands!  The letters are A, M, and N.  Avery, Maeson and Noah are Pam and Clark's grandchildren.  Kim's sister Karen's kids.  Anyway, on the work bench underneath sits the letter D.  All set to be mounted and decorated.  Come on, guys!!!  I just walked in and your pulling at my heart strings!  I already like you!  GEEZ!

Bonus points because of what's spelled when you ad the D.

I'm starting with the D, but sadly, we didn't get to it.  Why?  Because we were having too much fun doing other things!

Like climbing a kick ass tree in the front yard:

(Here's a video. He got pretty high.  He was pretty ticked when I told him to stop because there was a lot of tree left to conquer.  I wasn't positive I could climb up to save him if he got stuck.)

Or...like assembling circuits with Clark: 

Or...like waking up before Dad and Kim and getting Pam to hang out on the couch and watch TV while wearing Clark's sweater: 

Or...probably the highlight of the trip, designing and assembling a new house for Bob, the Pet Rock: 

I think the best way to sum up the trip for all involved:  Nailed it!

Of course, I got to eat a ton because Pam is an amazing cook.  We all got to gibber gabber about the upcoming wedding.  Kim picked up her wedding dress, which I am not allowed to see because of bad luck or something.  Des got to play with old lego sets and run around at the park in very beautiful weather.  And even throw in some fun time with the offspring of one of Kim's BFFs.  Not sure if Desmond remembers their names...but, he definitely remembers the movie trailer they made together. 

Thanks Grandpa Clark and Grandma Pam!  That was a totally rad trip!  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Your days are numbered, Leprechaun!!!

Des set a trap for the leprechaun.  Unfortunately, the leprechaun outsmarted him.  Took all the Corn Pops out and stuck Desmond's pet rock Bob in there instead (Bob deserves a blog post of his own).  Then, the leprechaun proceeded to pee in our toilet!  Bastard!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March Family Picture

Tried to snap a picture with just me and Kim this time.  Looks like we were photobombed by a Leprechaun. 

Just got back from a fun trip to see Kim's fam in the Tri-Cities.  More to come on that soon. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

It's Ok to Call Your Kid an Asshole

Not to his face of course.  But, still...it's ok to call your kid an asshole.

I was having a conversation with a friend, recently.  We were talking about how, despite how awesome and rewarding parenting is overall, there are times, certain times that are unavoidable, where you look at your kid, your amazing little man or lady, this person who you love unconditionally, and you think to yourself, "Damn...you are being a total asshole!"

I think a lot of parents feel obligated to always think their kids are angels.  And, even during those occasional times when our kids are clearly NOT angels (you know, those times when you contemplate calling an exorcist because your flesh and blood is screaming at you because you won't let them stay up with you while you watch the Walking Dead, or when it seems like they have been taken over by a Tasmanian devil who loves to spin around the room making unrecognizable noises and making a bigger mess than Kevin Federline leaving a relationship) but may actually be the spawn of the devil (time for a paternity test!) even these times, parents feel a deep and (I think) largely political responsibility to still only talk about how precious that little sweetheart is.  I mean, he's/she's only 3/6/8/17/23 and he/she is only acting like a 3/6/8/17/23 year old should act.

I am here to tell you, without a doubt, that while it may indeed be how a kid of that age acts, it does not change the fact that the kid can sometimes be an asshole.

That kid can be a big asshole, in fact!  And, that's ok.  Because, you know what...we're all assholes sometimes!  And, you know what else...if you are acting like an asshole, I'm gonna be like, "Hey...you're an asshole!"  And, if I am being an asshole, I fully suspect you are going to look me in the face and say, "Dude...stop being such an asshole!"

Clearly, I can't look at my kid and tell him to stop being an asshole.  But, that certainly doesn't mean I can't be chatting with friends after a long night of fighting over how many more gal damn bites he needs to eat before we even start a discussion about desert by telling my friends, "Judas Priest, my kid is being such an asshole right now!"

We love our kids! Without exception.  All the time.  Every day.  Under no circumstances will we ever stop!!!

Not even when our kids are assholes.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Make It Rain - Mobile Game - PG-13 rated post

I recently came across this game on my beloved Windows Phone called Make It Rain.

The gist of Make it Rain is that you try to get as much money as possible.  That's it.  You do this by dragging your finger across the wad of bills in a "Making it Rain" fashion.  I'm not really sure how to describe this for my older readers.  Maybe there is a YouTube clip out there.

Anyway...the game is rather addicting for something that really has no end goal.  It's funny how monotony can be so enticing.

There is an ad for the game on YouTube.  It's rather funny, but also has a sexual undertone.  So, if you're easily offended (Mom), you may not want to watch.

As one who is not easily offended, I chuckled.

But, what I really wanted to point out was how, while this ad is clearly aiming for immature laughs...THIS IS ACTUALLY A LEGITIMATE PROBLEM WITH THIS GAME!!!

I realized this recently when I was waiting for the Microsoft bus to arrive.  I am sitting in the Park and Ride, just chillin' like I normally do while I wait and playing some "Make it Rain."  I look up to see if the bus was coming yet.  It was not, but what I do see is the regular line of people who have gotten out of their car and are now waiting by where the bus stops.  All of these people are staring at me sitting in my car, my phone on my lap, making it rain.  Let me tell you...while the ad is making a big ol' joke, playing this game actually looks like what they are implying.

Buyer beware!  Play this game in public at your own risk!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jason's Stage Review - Cinderella! But, mostly a complaint about dumb parents.

I am a proud season ticket holder at the Paramount, a beautiful theater in downtown Seattle where professional Broadway troupes frequently bring their touring shows.

Most recently, Kim and I took Desmond to see Cinderella!

My review: It was great! I love fairy tails and princesses (which is probably the reason why 60% of my college buddies thought I was gay...the other 35% being because I love Madonna and the remaining 5% being something to do with the fact that I wore a belt...because only gay dudes where belts, or something).  I was very much looking forward to this show.  Now, this wasn't the Disney version. It was Rogers and Hammerstein.  This means that there was no Bibbity Bobbity Boo happening.

Still, it was great.  Much better than the Disney cartoon, actually.  I am curious if the live action movie coming soon from Disney will incorporate some of the things from the musical, which I assume takes from the original story, which I have never read.

For example, the Prince was a full character.  Not just a dude that dances with Cinderella and then tracks her down to marry her.  We learned about who he was, what kind of king he wanted to be, etc.  He had his own songs and dance numbers and he became much more than the guy holding the ball.

Also...the step family.  Mom was still, obviously, horrible to Cinderella.  But, she and one of the step sisters were actually quite funny!  Like, really funny!  The other step sister was also played very well, only she wasn't at all wicked.  In fact, she was really great to Cinderella, even giving her a dress at one point.

There was a bit of back story around how the kingdom's poor were being oppressed by the dude running the kingdom until the Prince came of age and junk.  I didn't really care about all that.  It wasn't bad, I just didn't care.  I wanted more dancing and fancy dresses and junk.

Easily, my favorite part were the dress changes!  Also different from Disney, there are 2 different "Cinderella gets a pretty dress" scenes.  There is also an additional one where the fairy godmother transforms from a crazy peasant woman into the fairy godmother.  Now, for costume designers like my buddy Joey, perhaps this is actually quite easy to pull off.  But, they made it look AMAZING.  Here is an example from YouTube.  Go to the 2 minute mark:

So, overall quite good!  But, this review is turning out too long.  What I REALLY want to do is complain!

You see, the Paramount (as my dad can attest to as he does not like the Paramount) does not have the best seating in the world. If you are sitting on the Main Floor, which we were, there is practically no incline to the floor.  Meaning, that the seat in front of you is almost on the exact same level as your seat.  Mean that there is another head right in front of you.

Now, when you are 6 years old and a little more than 4 feet tall, this kinda sucks.

However, the Paramount does what they can to help with this by offering large, cushioned booster seats.  When you are doing a show that appeals so much to children, though, these boosters go very fast.  We got there about 20 mins early, and all the boosters were already gone.

Immediately next to Kim was a women with 2 teenage girls.  I am assuming she was the mom and she was with her daughters.  Her daughters appeared to be about 14.  Or, a very tall 13.  In fact, one of them was taller than Kim.  Not like that's hard.  But, it makes the point I am getting to even more potent.

One of the 14 year old girls was sitting on a booster seat.  The mom was holding another in her lap.  I didn't notice this until Kim pointed it out to me.  Desmond is sitting next to me, very low in the seat compared to the much larger people around him.  The person in front of him was the shortest option to sit behind, but she was still much taller than Desi (and she had a booster seat).  After Kim points out the booster seat in mom's lap, I lean over and politely ask,

"Excuse me...will you be using that booster?"

"We're not sure yet." comes the apathetic response.

"Oh. Ok."  I say, because I am obsessively polite and like to avoid conflict.

Once the show starts, mom gives the booster seat to her other 14 year old.

What the Eff, woman!  Here, my 6 year old sits well below the site line for your show and you 2 selfish girls and your selfish mom go on as if nothing is wrong with this picture?  Maybe you can fill in for the wicked step sisters next time!!!!

Kim and I proceeded to do what we do best when we're annoyed.  We made loud, unapologetic passive aggressive comments about how hard it must be for 14 year old girls to attend the theatre when they are only 5'4" tall and how it sucks to be a 6 year old who can't see when there are much taller people around taking up all the booster seating.

Next show is Phantom.  Kim has never seen it.  I, of course, have a history with Phantom which I will someday share with the 1.5 readers who don't already know it.

Stay classy, Seattle!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Are people really not vaccinating? Seriously???

I am always hearing about not vaccinating your kids.  However, I am usually hearing it from people who are getting mad about others saying you shouldn't vaccinate.  I know there are some famous-ish people who have talked about how we should not vaccinate.  But, honestly...the last time I listened to Jenny McCarthy...well, I have never listened to Jenny McCarthy.  I'm not even sure I would recognize Jenny McCarthy if you showed me a picture of her with clothes on.

I don't usually get into the vaccination debate because I don't hang out with people who are stupid.  If I wanted to post something about why it's so important to vaccinate your kids, I feel like it's the same as telling a hippie that they don't need to shower.

So...here is an official statement from me so nobody wonders what my views are on vaccinations.

Vaccinate your kids!  If you don't...you're dumb.  Enjoy the measles.

Now...you really have no reason to listen to me.  So...instead, listen to my good friend Jimmy Kimmel.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Conversation Pieces - Desmond is Just So Awesome

This is not one of Desmond's conversation pieces.  This comes from one of his friends.
In Desmond's class, he has a couple buddies that he causes trouble plays with.  Braden (his long time buddy from PEPS), and Wyatt, a new friend that he met this year.  Des, Braden and Wyatt are always together, often needing to be separated by Ms. Zbaraki, the teacher.  Ms. Zbaraki has nicknamed the trio Huey, Dewey and Louie.  

The other night, at the school auction, I was chatting with Wyatt's mom.  We all recently had Parent/Teacher conferences.  Apparently, in Wyatt's, just like in Desmond's, Ms. Z brought up Huey, Dewey and Louie.   

Wyatt's Mom informed me that she was chatting with Wyatt about the trouble they often get into.  Maybe Wyatt should learn to make better choices and not always do what the other boys are doing. 

Wyatt's response: "But, Mom...Desmond is just so awesome!"

That is all. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Just Bought Our Honeymoon via the School Auction

Kim and I just attended our first annual Our Lady of Guadalupe School auction!

I've only attended 1 other auction in the past.  And, I ended up spending $200 on a wheel barrow full of beer.  The beer was great!  I ended up donating the wheel barrow back to the organization, mainly because I couldn't fit it in my sedan.

Anyway...this auction was 1000 times more fun.  First of all, I knew many of the people in the room this time.  And, those that I didn't know well...well, what better opportunity to get to know someone than when you are both drinking. :-)

We didn't totally know what to expect going in.  Kim felt pretty sure that people would be dropping large sums of money.  I didn't think so because most of the parents I talk to at OLG are in the same income bucket that I am.  Well to do, but certainly not rich.

Kim was right...I was wrong.

Some examples of items that were sold at auction (amount they sold for is from memory, not official...could be wrong.  I was drinking.):

  • Bowling with the Principal!  Sold for about $1000.
  • Dinner and Theatre with Fr. Jack!  Sold for about $1200.
  • They had a class project from every grade.  Some kind of craft made by the class.  The lowest was $350 or so.  The highest was $1500.
  • A Mariners game complete with a tour of the booth with Tom Hutyler, the PA announcer at Safeco field.  $1200.
  • A sailboat trip with Ms. Sager, the music teacher and church musical director who is amazing! I actually wanted this, but it jumped to over $1k pretty quickly!
And, a ton of other great stuff. 

One of the big ticket items was a stay at the Grand Wailea resort on Maui. Kim and I had not landed on a place to spend our Honeymoon, yet.  And, this was certainly a possibility.  So...we figured we would target this.   

Well, the good news is...we got it for below face value!  The bad news is...someone else wanted it, too.  So, we had a bit of a bidding war at the end.  I feel like we probably could have gotten it for cheaper.  However, Fr. Jack is great at getting people to spend more.  He was walking around the room blessing people encouraging them to give more money.  

So...our honeymoon will officially be at the Grand Wailea!  I have never been, but I hear it is Amazeballz!  Go look at the website.  Or...just look at some pictures here


I can't NOT chime in on this Supreme Court thing

So, it's no secret on this page that I am rapidly pro-life.  I don't beat around the bush on this topic.  But, what you may not know...