Monday, November 13, 2017

Premeire Season 2017 Part 1

Every year I try to write a blog post reviewing the season premieres of all the shows I watch, or am starting. This year is a little ridiculous, even foSr me. Hulu watch lists couldn't even keep up with me.


With new shows, shows changing nights, and some shows getting cancelled at the last minute, not even I care enough to write something about each one. So, instead, I decided to just do a gradebook for my shows, with maybe a sentence about any show that might need explanation. So, here it is.

The Orville, B-. All of the plot lines are ripped off from Star Trek, but Seth MacFarlane makes it funnier and fresh. 
Star Trek Discovery, C+ Ok premiere, but I'm not paying money to watch the following episodes.
Gotham, A
The Brave, A-
The Good Place, B
Bull, B
The Good Doctor, A The first medical show I've enjoyed since... ever.
Lethal Weapon, C It's gotten better since the season premiere.
Kevin (probably) Saves the World, A
Chicago PD, A+
Law & Order SVU, A-
NCIS, B
Designated Survivor, B+
Marvel's Inhumans, C
Saturday Night Live, C+
The Gifted, B
Young Sheldon, C+
Brooklyn 99, B
Seal Team, A-
Empire, B+
Chicago Fire, B
The Last Ship, B Doesn't matter because the show already got cancelled.
MacGyver, C+
Hawaii 5-O, A+
Blue Bloods, A
Criminal Minds, A-
NCIS LA, B
Black-ish, B-
Fresh Off the Boat, B-
Madam Secretary, B+
Once Upon a Time, D This show has gone off the rails. I said so, and some ex fans of the show responded, "That's still on?" Guess I didn't get the memo.
Wisdom of the Crowd, A Nice to have Jeremy Piven back on tv.
The Flash, C
Supergirl, B
Legends of Tomorrow, D+ This show is going to be gone soon.
White Famous, B+ Smart, funny show, but it's on Showtime. I doubt I'll ever see the second episode before it gets cancelled.
S.W.A.T, A+ 70s show, gets remade into a crappy action movie, then gets remade into the best new cop show of the year. Yes, please.
Me, Myself, and I, B I'm gonna miss Bobby Moynihan on SNL, but this show is smart and funny. Because I like it, it'll probably get cancelled by Christmas.
Drop the Mic, D- DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW!
Stranger Things, A Only disappointing because there isn't more to watch at the end of the short season.
Mindhunter, A+ Great Netflix show. Wish there were more episodes.

Final note; Valor, The Brave, Seal Team, and SWAT are all pretty similar shows. Here's what distinguishes them. Valor isn't very good. SWAT takes place in an American city (LAPD). And, Seal Team is better than The Brave.

Final, final note; I'm still behind on The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones, so I have no thoughts on them yet.

To anyone that actually read this, thank you. I pray for you.

-J



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

One of those "Stay At Home Parent" Days...

Long time, no blog post. I've been busy with the new routine that comes with my son, Z, now attending preschool, a new house, and my wife working at a new job. She's still teaching, but at a different school. At the great suggestion of another stay at home dad, twitter handle @procm2, here's the madness that happened today. (Side note, I've switched to calling my son "Z" to lessen his presence on social media.)

It started yesterday, which should have been a warning to me. Tuesdays always suck for some reason. My son, Z, came home from pre-k with his winter coat literally safety pinned together, because the zipper broke. I thought I repaired it when we got home, and he wore it normally this morning when we left for school. When I picked him up it was zipped to the neck, with all of the zipper prongs below undone. He looked like a movie stereotype, Mexican gangster, in one of those thug flannels. And, it's cold, and were walking. No carpool today. But that's skipping the rest of the morning.

Little background here. I'm not a morning person, neither is Z, and neither is Rory, our puppy. Z is also getting over a nasty cold. Mucus everywhere, tantrums, and general acting out all morning. 

My wife leaves early in the morning and our usual routine is that he comes to bed in the morning with me. He can have his "tiny screen", a kindle fire, to play games or watch cartoons, while I try to sleep another hour or two. Not today. Today he suddenly didn't know how to work the Kindle, go the the bathroom, or do anything without a long winded, incoherent, toddler speech. So we got up early.

Next came Z's issues, combined with Rory The Dog issues. Z wanted to play with Rory, Rory didn't want to play with anyone. When that happens, Z gets frustrated. Starts yelling at me and the dog, throws dog toys at the dog, hits the dog, and hides from me because he knows that behavior is unacceptable. I told Z that if he didn't stop, Rory was going to bite him, I'd let her, and I wasn't going to kiss any boo boo's.

Then it was time to get ready for school. I didn't put enough jam in his cottage cheese. Tantrum. I chose the wrong socks. Tantrum. I picked the wrong pants. Tantrum. I put Rory in the backyard. Tantrum. 

So I went out to bring the idiot dog back inside before we walk to school (no carpool today). Our yard isn't that big, but has anyone ever tried to chase a small dog, breeded for herding? I damn near just left her out there to be cold and hungry. When I did get her inside, Z was upstairs. He emptied a box of tissues all over the place, because he knows Rory will eat them, and it's bad for her. He also pushed a chair down the stairs, because he knows he's not supposed to move furniture. Last phase of leaving for school was two tantrums. He suddenly couldn't keep his gloves on properly, and he didn't want to wear a warm hat. He had to wear a ballcap because I was wearing a ballcap.

Jump to pre-k pickup. His coat zipper is totally useless (read above), his ballcap is missing, and he's pissed because we're not carpooling with his best friend. Walking home I asked him what he wanted to eat when we got home. I gave him a bunch of options, all of which he said both Yes and No to. Get home and he doesn't remember what food he wanted. And, because he's whining, tired, and has a cold his responses were unintelligible to me. Tantrum.

Home. Eat. Toddler nap. Mommy comes home. Now we have to get ready for my friend (T) coming to stay over for the night. T is Z's godfather, and I've known him for almost 30 years. I'd already handled the kitchen,  and some of the straightening around the house. Still to be done is setting up a guest bed, cleaning the bathroom, and finishing the straightening before T arrives and wife and Z go to bed. Somehow, while wife and I finish, Rory found some tissues to eat, and Z ran the toilet paper roll from the bathroom to almost his closet.

K goes to bed. T arrives. Me, T, and Z hang out for a bit. Day is over.

Let me be clear. I love being a stay at home dad. I don't always know what I'm doing, but it's the best job I've ever had. Sometimes it's frustrating, and sometimes I want to jump out of a window. But, it's rewarding beyond compare.

@procm2 also suggested I send out advice or tips out to other at home parents. The truth is, I'm forever trying to figure out what the hell I'm doing. But here's my 2 cents.

1. Follow my parent friends on twitter. I'm @JasonJoelSmith , just scroll though my friends, posts, groups, and connections. They know more than I do.
2. Be patient. I don't know of anyone that got an instruction manual with their kids.
3. Stock up on your favorite alcohol for those moments when you get a moment of quiet time.
4. Parenting advice and $2.00 can get you a ride on public transportation. Only YOU know your kid.
5. Don't forget to eat.

Thanks for reading as always.

Good night, and good luck,
-J 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Home Ownership and Stay-At-Home-Dad

Wow, is this different.

Being a stay-at-home-dad is a special experience. As a new homeowner it goes to an entirely different level. As a home dad in an apartment, I had to make sure the kid was fed, and couldn't find a way to kill himself in a two bedroom apartment. In a new house, we, he, and the stupid-ass dog have a lot more ways to "fuck shit up".

1. We had to flip, and replace some doorknobs. We had to put chains and clamps on the doors, cupboards, and fridge. We got a home security system. Part of it was to keep people out, most was to keep the child and dog in.

2. It's like a Stepford Wives community the way they care for their lawns. Mowing, edging, and watering at least twice per week. This week neighbor said, "Don't worry. The patches where you planted seed will grow in. And te you did a good job trimming the bushees with shears." (We haven't gotten an electric hedge clipper yet.)

3. When the toddler and puppy get too quiet, I have to check 3 floors, 2 yards and a garage to see what the hell damage they might be doing.

4. I hate people and now have to get used to new people, neighbors.

5. Kid doesn't want to sleep in his bed anymore.

6. Kid and dog no longer know how to piss or shit where they're supposed to.

7. Every solicitor comes here first, because they know we are the new homeowners.

8. 80% of our neighbors are asshats.

9. Kate's commute is over an hour.

10. 5 blocks from the airport.

Now the best parts of being a new homeowner.

1. 5 blocks from the airport.

2. Almost all of our neighbors are cops, firefighters, and teachers.

3. The lawns are immaculate.

4. Lots more space to ignore, and be ignored by a toddler.

5. Friends and family are more willing to visit.

6. More space if we ever want to have people over.

7. More tv's.

8. No one has been shot lately in this neighborhood.

9. Laundry.

10. I feel like a grown-up.

These aren't the only positives or negatives of owning our new home. Just the first that popped into my head. Maybe I'll think of more, but I haven't posted in a long time. Maybe this will help me to write more often and more eloquently. Maybe not.

Until the future,
JJ

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Obama Farewell Address

I honestly didn't want to write about POTUS farewell address. Everything about our country's recent election has been so polarizing and divisive. I'm a registered Republican, that only voted in the primaries. I voted for Bernie. Trump was never gonna win IL, so I voted for the least of all presidential evils.

That being said, there was far too much entertaining journalistic value during Obama's farewell speech. Obama is such an amazing orator, and our country's political situation is so screwed, that I couldn't help but grab my journal and start scribbling my thoughts down.

1. The audience immediately started chanting "FOUR MORE YEARS!" Obama responded immediately, "I can't do that." My wife laughed and said, "Besides it being illegal/unconstitutional, Michelle Obama would probably kill him if he had a third term."?

2. Following up on my first thought. I didn't vote for Obama four years ago. I'd give him a third term over the clowns we had to choose between. Thanks, FDR and the constitution for term limits.

3. Obama mentioned that our country's forefather's vision was for a tolerant, equitable nation for all people. Maybe his speech writer forgot that black people were only legally 3/5ths of a person, and most of the 'forefathers' were slave owners.

4. I'm pretty sure that Obama almost quoted Sarek of Vulcan, Spock's father from Star Trek. "Challenge your preconceptions, or they will challenge you."

5. I believe that Joe Biden is a cartoon character. 'Family Guy' or 'The Simpsons' would be most appropriate.

6. Barack said the he isn't going anywhere in support of our country, now as a citizen. My bet is that he, (and the American people), know that Trump needs all the help he can get from someone actually qualified to do the job.

7. Remember that moment during the address when POTUS made fun of a special needs reporter, called Mexicans rapist job stealers, and all people of middle eastern decent terrorists? If you don't, that's because he didn't. We can just leave that for our president elect.

8. Muslim American???!!! I'd expect more from Obama. There's no such damned thing! Islam is a religion. No one has ever called me Catholic-American. I've never heard of a Buddhist-American, Christian-American, Jewish-American, Scientologist-American, Jedi-American, Hindu-American, or Pagan-American. I've been called African-American and I've never seen or been to Africa. Our heritage or religion does not determine how 'American' we may or may not be. Holy shit, Trump supporters are turning me liberal.

8. Last point. Sean Hannity had a pre-recorded "response" to Barack Obama's 'Farewell Address'. Ok.Sure. But you can't actually "respond" to a live address, in a pre-recorded video BEFORE it was broadcast. I have  the 'Back to the Future' box set on dvd, I'd know.

As always, thank you for reading.

Salaam,
-J

Friday, January 6, 2017

Shit Dads Say

I never thought I'd be a stay at home dad, let alone a stay at home dad that Mommy could say something like, "Do you want me to get your father involved?" And the boy hides. And yet, I find myself saying all kind of cliché, sitcom phrases. When I was around 8, I told my dad I hated him. He laughed at me. Now, I'd like to share some of the hilarious things that shoot out of my stupid mouth, towards my son, wife, dog, and random others. I laughed a lot as I wrote in my journal.

At my Dog,
-I swear to God, I'll put you on Ebay if you don't stop it.
-Why don't you go get a damn job? Sniff for drugs at the airport. Lead a blind man. Join the K9 unit.
-You know, they shot 'Old Yeller' at the end, right?
-Stop barking. No one likes you.

At my son,
-Pull up your pants. This is not a rap video.
-No. Mommy quit. You're under my jurisdiction now.
-"THAT'S MINE!" Nope. Mom and I own everything. You have NOTHING.
-You can eat what I gave you, or starve. I don't really care right now.
-Cry all you want. I'm immune.
-Cry all you want, all I hear is "I need a nap".
-Keep messing with the dog. Don't come crying to me when she bites you.

At my wife,
-Sorry, babe. I was joking, you just don't have a sense of humor.
-Wife asked me for a tissue. I tossed her a used tissue from my pocket. I laughed hysterically. She didn't laugh.

I also have a list of things I say to a combination of people, and some things I say under my breath.

At my wife, son, and dog,
-If I have to stand up right now, NO ONE WILL BE HAPPY.

-Children are a gift from God, my ass! (My Dad always says children are a gift from God.)
-I'll slap the taste out of your mouth.
-Have you lost your damned mind?

Lastly, a phrase I use regarding my wife, my son, my dog, and Donald Trump.
"Repeating yourself over, and over, and over again will not make your statements true."

Good luck, my friends. My 2017 be less crappy than 2016. Alpha Mike Foxtrot.

Bathroom Cleaning

Thanks for welcoming the future, and remembering the past.

When I was growing up, me, my sister, and my brother had specific weekly chores. These were in addition to whatever we were also told to do. My sis had to dust and vacuum. I don't remember what my brother was in charge of. Part of me thinks he never did anything. He either was/is so stupid he couldn't be trusted to do anything, or he was/is an evil genius and figured out how to make it seem like he did something that he didn't. Jury isn't out on it yet. My weekly chore was to clean the bathrooms.

I know how to clean a bathroom. When I do it, I do it well, and beyond reproach. You could eat off the floor if it weren't for the cleaning chemicals. But bathroom cleaning has changed. Now, I'm a married man, with a three year old, and puppy. The reasons why I hate cleaning the bathroom are many.

1) We have a three year old son.
-It always smells like shit. Poopy pull-up diapers, soiled pants, shit accidentally spilled out of his pull-up, and a toddler trying to clean his training potty in the sink means you always have to worry about eye bleeding, vomit inducing smells that never should exist.
-You could break your neck stepping on a bath toy. The days of taking a piss in the middle of the night are over. Have to be clear eyed to navigate darkness without breaking your neck on 'Lightening McQueen'.
-Random and absurd messes. Yesterday I cleaned finger paint off the door and sink. After every bath there is bath crayon everywhere.
-My razor is in the sink. I don't know how but it's there.
-An entire roll of toilet paper has clogged the toilet. Again, don't know how, or why.

2) I live with a woman.
-How are they not bald with the amount of hair that ends up in the tub, drain, sink and on the walls?
-Why do splashes of makeup end up in every room of the house? Choose a room, and take care of you business there.
-There's a glass in the medicine cabinet for hair pins. Why do I find pins on the floor, in my slippers, on the porch and in the car?

3)Puppy
-Shred paper like it's your job, it's your food, or the antidote is in it.
-Sniff out poop and try to eat it. I actually fell out of bed the other night because I had a dream she jumped into the toilet to eat poop.
-Stupid dog can't figure out if I'm cleaning, pooping, or getting ready to give her a bath. She just dances back and forth, in and out of the bathroom. If I'm cleaning she's not interested. If there's defecation she wants to watch, like a creep. If it's time for a bath, she hides.

So, needless to say, cleaning the bathroom is no longer something I find a quick and easy chore. I'd almost prefer shoveling snow. Almost.

Thanks for reading a rant. I'll talk to you soon. Maybe after I buy a house and shotgun.

-J

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

#Parenting

What a crazy thing it is to be a parent. My son will turn three years old next week. As a stay at home daddy, sometimes I think I can actually read his mind. Sometimes I feel like I still have no bloody idea what I'm doing. Here are some examples.

My son, Isaiah will absolutely never say that he's tired. But when you're around him all day, everyday, I just know. I don't know if it's clues or instinct. He'll rub his eyes. He'll be clingy. He'll throw a tantrum or get aggressive with me or the dog. Sometimes, he doesn't do anything to indicate he's tired. But I always know. So, I put him down to bed.

Brings me to another point. (Typing that I accidentally typed 'Pint' instead of 'point'. Possibly a Freudian slip.) I called my Dad today, to ask him if I was such a prick about going to bed. I'm pretty sure I was. I remember falling off my top bunk and trying to crawl in bed with Mom and Dad. I remember sneaking to watch tv with my sister in the middle of the night. We ate a whole block of cheese. I remember trying to wake up my sister and falling asleep on the floor next to her bed. And I was have been told the story many times of when I stayed with my 'Titi', (Puerto Rican for Auntie) and got up in the middle of the night to eat cheese and watch tv. So, I was probably a prick.

My son got up four times last night. He threw a massive tantrum for today's nap. Then he fell asleep in about 45 seconds. This morning he tore down our Christmas tree because he refused to sleep and the battery died on his tablet. The curse is real. "I hope you have a child that acts the same way you did." Apparently, I did.
Another thing I truly don't understand is three year old logic, or rather, lack there of. "Pick on the puppy all day, and she is going to bark, growl, and probably nip you. Don't come crying to me." Kid proceeds to pick on the dog, fully understanding what I told him. Guess what happened. The ankle biter bit an ankle.
 
Which brings me to another toddler enigma. I am almost positive that I never did this one. "Daddy! I hurt!" As God as my witness, (I'm Catholic, so that's a real thing), I know for a fact he is not hurt. He bumped his knee on the table. He ran face first into a wall. He got nipped by the dog. He dropped/threw a toy into his own head. These are not serious injuries. And yet, the only thing that cures his "wound" is a kiss on the booboo. What is that? Where did it come from? To quote 'Data' from Star Trek, "What is the etymology of that idiom?"
 
Lastly, a trick he pulls that I understand, but don't particularly don't care for. "Daddy! I'm hungry!" Now, I know he's not hungry. I just gave him food that he didn't eat. He knows that he can watch tv on the tablet while eating. He just wants to watch Curious George, Sam the Fireman, or God forbid the stupid dancing crayon show. You're not fooling anyone, kid.
 
One more short, funny story. We have this picture in our living room.
m
 
My father in law saw this picture and asked if that was me in the second picture. (Sorry, Don.) I didn't say it, but I thought it. "No. They just stuck a random black/Puerto Rican baby in a frame with your daughter, grandson, and your grandson's feet."
 
Thanks, as always for reading. See you when I see you.
 
-J