Wednesday, December 7, 2016


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.
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.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stay At Home Dad

I haven't been writing much lately, I apologize. Lately everything worth talking about just pisses me off. Politics, baseball, Chicago teachers' striking... It's all bullshit. But, I do have a quick story that illustrates perfectly what it is to be a stay at home parent.

My wife is a Chicago Public School teacher. Though she'll dispute it, she's also an administrator. Her brother and I both have a bet with her becoming an admin. She's currently losing. There's really no point since she's the one bringing home the paycheck, but I like to win.

Today's plans for me were the cable guy coming, reportedly between 10am and noon. Shockingly, he arrived at 10am sharp. (I know, right?) After that, our speech therapist was coming at 330pm. Isaiah hasn't been sleeping normally lately. The terrible twos have hit hard, especially since we've taken away pacifiers, and are prepping for potty training.

When Kate got a break from meetings she called home. The conversation lasted about 30 seconds and went something like this.

Me - Hey, babe.
Her - Hi. Just calling to check in. Did the cable guy make it? I know-
Me - Rory! Isaiah! Stop fighting over a stupid McDonalds toy!
Me - Go lay down, before one of you gets smacked (dog), and the other gets an early nap (child).
My wife's boss in the background - Hi, Jason!
Me - HEY!!! I said STOP!
Me - Hi, boss!
Cable guy calling - I hang up on my wife without even saying goodbye.
Cable guy - I'm gonna have to send a repair crew. Should be here in the next day, and-
Me - SHUT UP!!! Sorry, not you. The pup and kid are fighting.
Cable guy - Hahaha No worries.

I then abruptly hung up. Again, without saying a word. All this happened while I was trying to clean up before my son's speech therapist came over, make lunch, and keep an eye on my son while a stranger (Comcast cable guy). All I really wanted was a beer and a cigarette.

I feel bad for my other stay-at-home-parent friends for bitching about it when I only have the one child and puppy. Some of them have more kids, special needs, longer days, Cub fans, shitty family members, shitty neighbors, devastating weather, poor health, and generic brand toilet paper. I feel for you. I appreciate you. #FirstWorldProblems #TheStruggleIsReal

As always, thanks for reading. I know it's not very entertaining reading someone's online rants.

Cool runnings, and peace be the journey.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Slut Shaming

For those that don't know what slut-shaming is, I'd like to clarify. Wikipedia defines 'Slut Shaming' as thus.

"In human sexuality, slut-shaming is a form of social stigma applied to people, especially women and girls, who are perceived to violate traditional expectations for sexual behaviors. Some examples of circumstances where women are 'slut-shamed' include violating accepted dress codes by dressing in perceived sexually provocative ways, requesting access to birth control, having premarital, casual, or promiscuous sex, engaging in prostitution, or when being victim blamed for being raped or otherwise sexually assaulted."

I apologize in advance when my next statements are offensive.

I don't wish sexual or verbal abuse on anyone. But bring, it.

Go ahead. Threaten in some fashion, my grandmothers, my mothers, my wife, my sister, my sisters in law, my nieces, or any female friend I've ever known in life. My brothers, (Family don't end in blood) will destroy you. My adopted brother works out like he thinks 'The Walking Dead' is coming. My brother-in-laws will choke the shit out of you. My Dad, Grandpa, and Father-in-law will convince you to request a permanent stay in hell. I'm half Puerto Rican and I'll cut you so bad, you'll wish I didn't cut you so bad. Most of my friends don't have any damned sense, I have no idea what they might do.

So, go for it. I am describing life ending scenarios. I'm not proficient with a sidearm, but I do have golf clubs or a hammer at every doorway in our home. I don't play.

Thank you, as always for reading. I'm not sure I would read it myself if I weren't the author. I don't yet love the sound of my own voice just yet.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

It's been a long time coming but now it's here. I've taken my sweet time posting a review of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'. Now that I've seen it a few times, I feel like I can talk about it. And, for the record, Katie was right. I bought a digital copy from Comcast OnDemand, I should have bought it from Amazon Prime. We'll likely have Amazon Prime a lot longer than we'll have Comcast. So, you win, wife.

I had major reservations about this movie. Anyone familiar with my fandoms knows that I'm a DC comics guy, all the way. It's weird, because my Dad and brother are both bigger fans of Marvel Comics. But Batman and Superman were always my favorite superheroes. Batman, because he didn't have powers; he was just smart and rich. Superman, because, well, he was SUPER.

Batman v Superman is kind of a mash-up of Frank Miller's 'Dark Knight Returns' and 'The Death of Superman'. To prove my fandom, I wanted to show pictures of both comics. I have 2 copies of each, but I don't know where the hell I stored them. So here's what Google provided.

My biggest concern watching this movie was Ben Affleck as the new Batman. I think I still harbor bad feelings against Ben for 'Gigli', one of the worst movies of all time. I also can't help but compare him to previous actors that played Batman. The biggest problem is that previous
Christian Bale was the epitome of Bruce Wayne and Batman. He totally played the rich playboy, and he totally nailed the bad boy anti-hero. "It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me."
And that brings us to Ben. I think he was a really good Batman, but I couldn't really buy him as Bruce, the wealthy troublemaker. The fact that he had gray hair helped, because Bruce was supposed to have been aging in the comic and the 'Batman Beyond' cartoon. And good job bulking up for the role. But, come on. Affleck is most believable as a Bostonian, stoner, Red Sox fan in 'Good Will Hunting'.
In the comics Batman did indeed fight Superman. Batman, with his Kryptonite powered suit, kicked Superman's ass. And, in the Superman comics, the Kryptonian mutant 'Doomsday' did kill Superman. Spoiler alert, Superman doesn't stay dead. In the comics 4 different people pop in claiming to be Superman reincarnate.
As a whole, I think Batman v Superman was pretty good. Jesse Eisenberg stole every scene he was in as Lex Luthor. Many fans complain about the fact that he wasn't bald until he was put in prison. I don't have a problem with that. 'Smallville', the tv show took artistic license regarding Lex as well. I think it worked out well.
A few other minor things caught my attention about the movie and mythos in geneGal.
1. At the beginning of the movie Bruce was hauling ass into Wayne Towers, talking to his 'Dad' on the phone. Wasn't Thomas Wayne supposed to be dead already?
2. Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth is the lamest superhero weapon of all time. Like, seriously? A rope that makes you tell the truth?
3. Jimmy Olsen died in the first ten minutes of the movie. Apparently, one of the writers never read a comic. However, props to Michael Cassidy. He's the actor that played Jimmy, and he also played Grant Gabriel in 'Smallville'.
4. Is Laurence Fishburne, Perry White, or Morpheus?
5. Amy Adams is so hot. Diane Lane is so hot.
6. Thinking back to Christopher Reeve; Why in God's name would Superman tell Lois he couldn't see through lead. He just met her!
Lastly, I have to share my favorite Batman/Superman quotations, including one taken from my own screenplay.
"The world only makes sense if you force it to." -Batman
- "I'm a friend of your son's." -Batman
"I figured. The cape." -Martha Kent
This last quotation is directly from my own screenplay.
"We're kind of like Batman and Superman. We're both good guys. We just do things differently. Superman's both idealistic and naïve. He fights for truth, justice, the American Way, and all that bullshit. He protects first the innocent, second the guilty, and third himself. Batman doesn't really go for that. He doesn't base his moral philosophy on vague words like 'truth' or 'equality'. He mostly just goes with his gut. He might in the same week, sleep with Catwoman, and toss The Joker off of a building. And he won't regret either. Superman requests. Batman, fucking insists."
Thanks as always, for burning brain cells reading my nonsense. See you next time, when I blog about J's Rules, or EpisodeVII.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Back to the Future

Hello, and sorry I haven't posted in a while. I still have Batman vs Superman, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens to review. Having said that, I have been a bit ecstatic since I found Back to the Future finally hit Netflix.

I watch a lot of tv and movies, many that involve alternate universes and time travel. My least favorite are backflash episodes. Though I love BTTF, I can't help but complain about its temporal physics.

If you went back in time and endangered your own existence, how can you have existed to go back in time in the first place?

If you go to the future how could you run into yourself? Someone would have listed you on a missing persons list, and eventually you'd have been declared dead.

My only deduction is that history is preordained. God, or time, or whatever, knew what you would do and knew that you would survive to keep the timeline intact. Or maybe it was dumb luck. At least in these movies they know it's just fun. They don't have to be logical.

I'm sure I'm overthinking it, but what the hell. It's 1am on a Saturday night. Also, I need to get back to writing in any form.

As always, thanks for reading. And, try not to run into your future self. It'll create a paradox and destroy the universe.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

MLB Stadiums

I haven't been posting too often lately. The problem with not writing often is that the skills diminish, and when you do end up writing, it's total garbage. My last post was shit, and I didn't even self-promote it like I usually do. But, I had a conversation tonight with a Cubs fan about Wrigley vs. US Cellular. It prompted me to think about, and want to write about, the different stadiums I've been to. I've been to 15 (unless I'm forgetting somewhere), so I will try and keep each review to 2 sentences or less.

Yankee Stadium
I grew up in a Yankee fan family. I hate the Yankees, but went to 13 games there by the time is was 7.

Shea Stadium
I was born in Queens, NY, a couple of miles from the Stadium. I went to 3 games, and remember most the orange wire player cutouts, and my favorite players from the 1986 Champions. I was 5.

Fenway Paaahhk
They threw hotdogs at us, the 'Green Monster' obstructed most of left field, the accents are obnoxious, and most Boston sports fans are dicks.

Turner Field
I didn't actually see a game at Turner, but their concourse is open to the public in the off-season. It felt more like a strip mall/casino hybrid than a ballpark.

PNC Park
I can't remember the game, who played the Pirates, or who won. I guess that means the park was just forgettable.

Citizens Bank Park
Been there a few times, and loved the atmosphere and friendly fans. I will say that 'Philly Cheese Steaks' are grossly overrated. I'd rather have and Italian Beef.

Great American Ballpark
Nice place to watch a game, despite its presumptuous name. Coolest part was caps were on clearance a couple of weeks after the Civil Rights Game, White Sox vs Reds. My caWp cost 10 bucks.

Tiger Stadium
What. A. Dump. There was a warehouse on fire across the street from the stadium. Detroit fans didn't even seem to notice.

Comerica Park
Comerica is a fancy, new ballpark. What it lacks in personality, it makes up with douchebag fans that stole a Tiger's cap that I never really wanted.

Comiskey Park
Nothing but fond memories, but I was only 9 when it closed. I always step on the old home plate when I go to...

US Cellular Field
I still go to around a dozen games a year. It's only 2 miles from my house. If, and when you visit the Cell make sure to eat a cheddarwurst, corn off the cob, and get a frozen margarita from one of the vendors, or 'ghostbusters', as I call them.

Wrigley Field
If you're a fan of pissing in/ smelling troughs, obstructed views, annoying fans, overpriced parking, and the crappiest team in MLB history, Wrigley is the venue for you. I will say, the food behind home plate on the upper deck is pretty tasty.

Jacobs/ Progressive Field
Not a terrible place to see a game. But, close to Lake Erie and Cuyahoga River, it was more windy than even The Windy City.

Miller Park
Milwaukee is weird. There's good food, and tons of space for tailgaiting. We sat in the left field bleachers, but their 3 upper decks looked like the steepest, scariest seats I have ever seen.

Dodger Stadium
We didn't have cash to pay the scalper, so he GAVE us the tickets, trusting we'd pass him the cash after we hit the ATM. That is next-level trust, and totally unexpected from LA. Refreshing. The stadium built into a mountain was pretty impressive, too.

Globe Life Park in Arlington
Nice park. To be honest, we were more excited to spend time with my Texas cousins than watch the game. Toddlers ran amok. But definitely worth the price of admission.

Couple of side notes before I get tired of writing, or you get tired of reading.

**There's a decent chance we'll get to see the White Sox play the Angels in Anaheim this July. Isaiah and I may crash one of Katie's teacher conferences.

**In 2004 I watched the Montreal Expos play the Florida Marlins at US Cellular Field. Hurricane Frances had already hit with Hurricane Ivan on the way. Montreal had some motocross even so they couldn't host a relocation. Weird, watching a NL home game at our AL field.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Peace, and long life. -J

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Maze Runner

Now, typically I avoid reviewing a movie right after I've seen it. I like to see a movie at least twice before I pass judgment. Occasionally, a movie, show, or book is so brilliant or so crappy, that I can talk about it immediately. 'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials' is one such a movie.

Before  I get into it, I apologize to my wife for being in a foul mood and snapping at her. Our puppy is an imbecile and likes to eat tissues, toilet paper, and dirty toddler diapers. I snapped at her because I was tired, but it wasn't her fault. It wasn't my fault. It was our asshat dog's fault. Sorry.

But, back to the lecture at hand.

It was kind of nice today (for February in Chicago) so I, Isaiah, and Rory, needed an excuse to get out of the house. CVS is only a mile and a half away, and they have an outdoor RedBox. There are a few movies I've wanted to rent and they have them, so I took the dog and toddler for a walk. We got 'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials' and 'Pitch Perfect 2'. I guess it's sequel night at the Smith Household.

I'm halfway through Maze Runner 2. I wish I was watching something else. I already stopped it once, because I'm so bored. The first one was entertaining, but derivative. It's a rehash of 'The Hunger Games', 'Divergent', and all the way back to 'Lord of the Flies', by William Golding in 1954. On a side note, if you want to watch a really brilliant version of a similar story, check out the Japanese film 'Battle Royale'. I digress.

'The Scorch Trials' is hard to watch. The characters are bland. The plot isn't worth attention. The dialogue, is crap, when existent. The acting isn't terrible, but what could they possibly have done under the circumstances?

I probably shouldn't complain. It cost me just over a buck. But a buck, and 3 miles walking, with a toddler and dog, in Chiberia, I could have just gotten something else OnDemand or AmazonPrime. I pray to the movie gods that Pitch Perfect 2 is better. At least I know Isaiah will enjoy the music.

Thanks for reading. Don't be an assbutt.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Worst Movies of all time - addendum

Dear Readers,

The last time I blogged about the worst movies of all time was in July of 2015. At the time, I couldn't remember all of the movies I had placed on my list. I also couldn't remember which of my journals I had kept the list. So, over the past 6 months I've made sure to jot notes when I thought of terrible movies that deserve to be on the list. I also asked friends and family to remind me, of some of the garbage we've seen, and which is noteworthy.

The following movies are terrible. Avoid them at all costs. As a side note, in my humble opinion, Brendan Fraser is one of the worst actors of all time. All of his movies should be ignored, "With Honors" being a possible exception. Some of his rubbish is on this list.

Talking about terrible movies I confused titles. Urban Cowboy is bloody awful, but Rhinestone is easily one of the worst movies of all time. Watch it straight through, but keep a nurse on hand. Your eyes will bleed.

Over the Top
Back-to-back horrible Stallone movies. I love the Rocky movies, but these two are completely unforgivable.

Jeepers Creepers
I saw this load of crap with one of my first serious girlfriends. Afterwards we had a late dinner at White Castle. White Castle was the highlight of our date.

Bedazzled and Blast From the Past
Brendan Fraser may go straight to hell for these two bad jokes of a movie. The only redeeming scene in any of his movies is this.

50 Shades of Grey
I accept the shame. Not only did I try to watch this piece of trash with my wife, we both read the piece of trash book it was based on. It might not be bad enough to blind you, but that's only because you won't get through it.

This is how I reacted to this piece of crap movie.

Superman III
Batman & Robin was terrible. Superman IV was worse. Superman III was only slightly less shitty. Superman subdued evil kryptonite/tar with a stack of tires. A stack of tires. Seriously.

Hopefully, I don't have to sit through too many more of these crappy movies. If I do, I'll make sure to post another addendum to the worst movies of all time. As always, thanks burning brain cells reading my blog.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and try not to screw up 2016