Sunday, November 30, 2008

This Blog is Not Yet Rated

Betty and I recently rented This Film is Not Yet Rated, which takes a look at the movie ratings system and how it rates movies differently depending on the level of violence, nudity and sexual content. Specifically, it deals with why certain movies get an NC-17 rating vs. an R rating.

This movie really got me thinking. Now that I'm a parent, I need to censor what my daughter watches. How do I go about deciding what is good for my child vs. what is appropriate? Will my child agree with my internal ratings, or will she eventually create a documentary about my unfair decisions regarding her viewing habits?

At first glance, it seems easy enough to censor out certain things: no sexual content, no violence, no liberal media. But censoring movies, TV and books is one thing; censoring life is another.

All things need to be put into perspective. Spider-Man is great if you want to teach your kid that great powers mean great responsibility, but Spider-Man is bad if your kid eventually dips a spider into radioactive waste and then lets the spider bite his or her arm.

Okay, so maybe most kids won't have access to radioactive waste. So what about a more mundane example?

Is it good or bad for a young mother to pump breast milk around her child? On the one hand, doing so allows the baby to get nutritious milk, allows the dad to handle a feeding so the mom can rest, or could allow the parents to go to the movies while the grandparents babysit. On the other hand, if you've never watched a woman pump then you have no idea how truly naughty it is.

All I'm saying is that ratings are a good guide, but we as parents need to make educated decisions for our children. That's why I've been watching cartoons all day - because I want to know what my child is watching. Sure, my child doesn't actually watch TV, and she definitely wouldn't have been interested in the Ninja Turtles, but who knows, one day she might be! And I need to know if it's good or bad for her to watch it! You see, I'm just being a good parent, that's why I need to watch these cartoons! No, don't turn off my cartoons, noooo!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


This year I attempted to change Thanksgiving into "Thanksgetting" by doing nice things for my family and waiting for them to thank me.

For instance, when my brother was scooping cauliflower into his plate during Thanksgiving dinner, I could have tripped him and made him fall into the broccoli but resisted doing so out of the kindness of my heart. He acknowledged my kindness with a smile and nod of his head. And when my sister went to sit down at the kitchen table, I fought the urge to pull the chair out from under her. She thanked me by not giving me the Evil Eye. I was on my best behavior.

You're welcome, everybody.

My mom spent three weeks making Thanksgiving dinner, and so I felt as if I owed it to her to try a little bit of everything. I was totally stuffed, and after dinner I laid down in the middle of the living room and let everyone walk over and around me. This gave me a good opportunity to see all of my family that had come in from all over the country. When my cousins from Seattle walked by me, I complemented them on their shoes, which was all that I could see of them. And when my cousins from Minnesota were trying to get from one side of the room to the other, I rolled over to let them pass and in doing so I squashed my other cousin who came in from California.

Eventually everyone voted to roll me out the door to get me out of the way. I laid spread-eagle on the patio for at least an hour, too stuffed to move, and just watched bees pollinate my mom's azaleas for an hour. Then I was rolled back inside when the family decided to go outside and play on the patio.

Back in the house, I saw the remnants of our Thanksgiving meal: empty plates, empty serving bowls, chairs askew, toys everywhere, dishes piled up in the sink... and at that point I realized how much work had gone into making Thanksgiving such a special day. How my mom cooked for weeks and had everything ready and hot at the same time; my cousins Zack, Jeremy, and Tara came in with four young kids from Seattle; my cousin Austin flew in from Arizona; my Aunt Tena and cousins Jackie and Jamie flew in from Minnesota; my Uncle John and cousin Sean came in from California; Todd, Rebecca, Josh, Andrea, Nick and Tara came in from Texas; my cousin Michael came in from Nashville; Ben, Elizabeth, Bo, Jessica and Mac drove in from N'awlins; Lisa, Rex, Brad and Ryan came in from Baton Rouge; and Betty and Anne drove in a few days before me to help my mom and dad out with the preparations.

I also thought about all of the people who would have liked to have been here but couldn't, like my Uncle Joe, who came in earlier this year to see everybody.

Everyone made sacrifices at one point or another to be with our family, and it was while viewing the Thanksgiving feast's aftermath that I realized that if anyone should be getting thanks on this great day, it surely shouldn't be me. That's when I decided to tackle my brother in a giant puddle out in the back yard.

Thanks to everyone who made this day - and this entire week - so special! I'm thankful for all of you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Alone

My wife and daughter went to Lafayette to spend time with my family, so I'm all alone tonight.

Under normal circumstances I wouldn't know what to do with myself. In my old life, my options would include playing on the computer all night, trying to beat those last 3 stages on Guitar Hero III, or attempting to break the world's record for most blogs written in a single night.

Yes, I'm a huge nerd.

However, tonight my options are severely limited. I can either go to bed or I can sit in a dark room and mutter to myself. I can't do anything because I can't see.

In a previous blog I wrote about conquering semi-blindness by getting corrective contacts. I wear these contacts during the night, take them out first thing in the morning, and the idea is that I should be able to see with no issues for the entire day. Unfortunately, it either takes a while to get to that point, or my prescription sucks.

I can see pretty well in the morning. But by about 1:30 pm my eyes get noticeably fuzzier. Halos start surrounding any bright light, and driving at night is just about impossible. Twilight is now the scariest time of the day for me, and not just because of the vampires.

In fact, I have no idea what I'm writing right now, because I can't see that far. I hope I'm typing on my blog... if not, nobody will know anyway I guess.

Oh well. With my wife and child gone, I guess I'll mosey into the living room and build towers out of my daughter's blocks. Man I love those blocks. I can stack them all day, and my daughter loves nothing more than destroying the toils of my labor. I think I'll strategically place random towers of toys around the ground for her to destroy when she gets back. She'll be like a baby Godzilla, only cuter.

I just hope I don't trip over the toy towers in my state of semi-blindness and knock myself unconscious, because nobody's here to help me if I do.

(Am I good at guilt-tripping or what?!!?)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Seeing is Believing

When I was in the third grade I made fun of a kid with glasses. Then in the summer between the third and fourth grades I had to get glasses.

Isn't that ironic? Don't you think?

I've been wearing glasses for 20 years. I wore contacts for 4 or 5 years but developed Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis, which just means that my eyes weren't getting enough oxygen because I didn't take my contacts out when I was supposed to, and I had to stop wearing contacts or there was a chance that I'd go blind. It's been 8 years since I've worn contacts.

I wanted to get back to the days when I no longer had to wear glasses or contacts... to simpler times... to times when I would no longer be "four eyes" but would instead be "that incredibly handsome guy with the unibrow."

And so it begins!

This week I was fitted for corrective contact lenses. I wear them when I sleep, and during that time they reshape my corneas. By changing the shape of my corneas, light goes into my eyes at a different angle than before, and I now have 20/20 vision during the day without the need of glasses or contacts.

So suck on that, Four Eyes!

I'm back, baby!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jared the Subway Guy

I recently met Jared Fogle (the Subway Guy).

Me and Jared

My employer and Subway Sandwiches have something in common: we're both major sponsors of the American Heart Association. And on Jared's recent trip down to Baton Rouge, he decided to drop by my office and thank us for helping raise dough for the AHA.

Meeting Jared was a neat experience. When I shook his hands I noticed that they were soft - like that tasty, freshly baked Italian bread that Subway makes so well. He was also much taller than I expected him to be.

Jared has inspired me to also start the Subway diet. However, my diet will be slightly modified: I'll eat anything as long as I can stuff it into a Subway sandwich. So if I want to eat pizza, I'll have to jam it inside of a 6" grilled chicken breast sub.

Jared is my hero.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Picture Perfect!

Our good friend Nicole Colvin - aka, Nicolvin - is my daughter's personal photographer. Whenever Anne's doing something incredibly cute, like turning 3 months old or turning 6 months old, Nicolvin's there to capture the moments.

And now Nicolvin has her own blog: Nicole Colvin Photography.

Check it out! Nicolvin's first post is about her muse, Anne!

No offense to you other photographers out there, but Nicolvin is the best. How do I know she's the best? I mean, have I personally allowed every photographer on the planet to submit samples of their portfolio and judged accordingly?

Well, not exactly. But a good photographer is judged on the photographs taken. And I'm sure you'll all agree that her photographs have the best subject. By the transitive property, that makes Nicolvin the best photographer.

Suck it, Photography Students! Get your own muse!

Nicolvin, we look forward to many more blog posts (especially if Anne is in them).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's Happening?

Always wanting to know what's happening in the world, we rented "The Happening" by M. Night Schlitterbahn.

"The Happening" is not so much a movie as it is a snuff film. If you've ever seen any of the "Faces of Death" movies then you've seen "The Happening," but with more plot.

"The Happening" stars Mark Wahlberg as a high school science teacher who tries to survive an airborne attack that makes people commit suicide. The attacks start out in Central Park but then start occurring throughout the entire North East.

And although the plot was interesting, I couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to believe that Mark Wahlberg was a high school science teacher. If he had been a gym teacher, or a history teacher / football coach, then I would have gone with it.

But let's face it, Marky Mark as a science teacher was the most far-fetched thing in the entire movie. It totally ruined it for me.

Next on our list is Kung Fu Panda, which is about a totally believable kick-ass panda / kung fu wannabe. I can't wait!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Manly Satsuma Trees

How do you know when it's time to pick the satsumas off your satsuma tree?

[Picture: Satsuma tree]

When your satsuma tree's balls drop, of course.

[Picture: Satsuma tree's humongous... satsumas]

Actually, these aren't quite ripe yet. You can tell when a satsuma is ripe first by its color, and then by gently squeezing it from the bottom. I tried to get a picture of Betty checking these bad boys for ripeness but she wouldn't have any of it.

Movie Round-up

This week Betty and I watched The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. And what we learned is that the coward Robert Ford did not kill Jesse James, but instead, Jesse James died of boredom from watching "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."

We also watched Nadia, the 1984 TV movie that tells the story of Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event.

Betty remembered this wonderful movie from her childhood and wanted to watch it again after the Olympics. I was very hesitant to put Nadia on our NetFlix queue simply because the last movie we watched from Betty's childhood, Chattanooga Choo Choo, was so awful that now everything from Betty's childhood is considered questionable.

To be fair, I did make Betty watch "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," so I guess we're now even.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Watching History Unfold

I used to think that "history" was something that occurred in the past.

But while on Facebook at 4 am after rocking my daughter to sleep (again), I read an ad that said, "If you watched Obama win the presidential election then you witnessed history unfolding."

This ad may have sparked one of the greatest scientific revolutions of our time!

Think about it: if our history is indeed able to "unfold" then that implies that history, and therefore time itself, is very much like a large origami masterwork.

This notion of folding and unfolding history leads to all sorts of new theories about space and time. For instance, when an historical event is repeated, is it because we failed to learn the lessons of the past, or are we just hitting another crinkle in our large historical origami duck?

I was taught that time is linear, but the Obama ad I read on Facebook has taught me that "change is coming" in the form of more than just our president.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Soundtrack of our Lives

They say that music is the soundtrack to our lives, so I started thinking about what the soundtrack would be if they ever made a movie about my life.

I assume my movie would be called something like "Bob: A Hardcore Software Guy" or "Predator 3: A Chubby Nerd with a Face like a Spider Goes Berserk in the Jungle."

Most of the music that makes up the soundtrack of my life all comes from TV, movies and video games, as opposed to the radio or CDs. I sing these songs (rather badly) on a regular basis, I rarely get the words right, and the melody may be unrecognizable when I sing it. But these songs have stuck with me over the years and may soon very well be available on CD or through iTunes on the upcoming Bobby Tanory soundtrack.

Here they are, in all their glory, along with where they'd most likely appear in any movie made about my life:

For those moments in my life when I am having a "quality family time" moment and/or am in San Francisco: the Full House theme song.

For the parts in my movie where we flash back to my childhood: the theme song from the 80's Transformers cartoon.

Right after dessert: The Pie Song, from the movie Michael.

For those moments of my life when I am heroic: the theme song from Team America: World Police (Explicit lyrics).

For the majority of the movie, where I'm playing video games: the Super Mario Brothers theme song.

I can't wait for a movie about my life to come out! Now I just need to do something worthwhile that would get Hollywood's attention....