& best frenemies

Turk

Don’t be fooled by the sweet face. He’s planning to kill you.

In a couple weeks, Karli and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary. We’re old, I know.

For almost as long, we’ve had a cat. He was yowling in a barn at Karli’s aunt’s house on Thanksgiving the year we were married. The vet guessed he was about 5-6 months old at the time, so we’ve always just said he was born on the day of our wedding. Pretty much as long as we’ve been married, we’ve had Turk.

Then, last year, along came Squatch. At first, Turk didn’t know quite how to react to a baby. He was cautious and stayed away. When we were feeding the baby, Turk would crawl up on our laps and sit with us. That and occasionally sniffing Squatch’s head while he was napping was about as close as he’d get.

As Squatch got a older, Turk got a little more accustomed to having all the attention stolen away from him. He’s slowly learning to share the spotlight a little. He’s getting the hang of being number 2. Well, being number 1b.

The cat has been surprisingly good with Squatch. He puts up with quite a bit of poking and tugging and squishing from a newly-mobile baby. Usually, when Karli does the same thing to him, she ends up with an arm full of cat fangs, which has only happened once with Squatch so far.  Usually, their relationship is pretty much like this:

TurknSquatch

But sometimes it’s like this:

And occasionally like this:

Yeah, they’re buds. In a Professor X/Magneto kinda way, I think. Which one is which has yet to be determined.


Here’s a bonus video of Squatch with his new swimming pool that definitely won’t be included with the Harvard application:

& the other box

Karli and I used to go to the movies. A lot. Over the first 12 or so years of our relationship, there were several periods of time where there wasn’t anything worth seeing at the theater that we hadn’t already seen. So we’d just go see it again. We didn’t really ring up big bar tabs or splurge on other stuff, so it was our recreation.

Since June of last year, I’ve seen exactly two movies in the theatre. Two. Karli’s gotten to go to a few more with her sister, but I’ve just got the two—one of which probably could’ve waited till Redbox. Why the sudden drop-off? You know why:

You got me! Why do you need movies?

You have me! Why do you need movies?

That’s where my excitement over the other box from Hasbro I mentioned before comes into play. Those beautiful bastards sent me some Iron Man 3 toys. I mean Squatch—they sent Squatch some Iron Man 3 toys.

Let’s face it—the chance that I’ll get to go see Iron Man 3 in the theatre is about as likely as me catching a fart and painting it blue. With this box of wonderful, I could at least pretend like I’d seen it. And possibly act out a few scenes. With Squatch, of course. Of course.

They gave me Iron Man’s mask, which I was probably most excited about. When you think of Iron Man, you think of the mask. That’s the key to the whole thing. No mask, no Iron Man, right? Only, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a big head. Save your jokes and snide comments, please—I can handle that myself. So the mask, made for kids, doesn’t fit my large dome. Squatch gave it a go, though.

Give it a few months. He'll grow into it. He's got Daddy's head.

Give it a few months. He’ll grow into it. He’s got Daddy’s head.

They also sent me—er, Squatch—an Iron Man glove that fires little Nerf discs across the room. I’d have liked it to have jet propulsion and fire energy bursts like the ones from the movie, but I’ll settle for Nerf discs. They might be little foam things, but those suckers come whipping out of that glove fast. From point-blank, they hurt just a little bit. You can ask my cat—I got him right in the nose with one of those things on accident. DISCLAIMER: Don’t point anything that fires projectiles at anything’s face—even your rat bastard cat.

IronPatriotSquatch’s favorite toy in the box was the Iron Patriot figure with a button on the chest that makes it say stuff. He just kept pressing it to hear it say stuff and make laser noises. It’s got a little cannon that swings up and fires a plastic rocket, but Squatch really couldn’t care less about that feature at this point. He just wants it to talk to him. And he talks back, too.

I’m going to sound like an old man for a second here, so bear with me, but when did every toy start taking batteries? Not all the Iron Man 3 toys that Hasbro offers require batteries, I just happened to get three of them that did. And I’m not just talking about these toys, either. It seems like about 70% of the toys Squatch has anymore need batteries because they light up and make noise and whirl around doing something special. Batteries get expensive, yo. Maybe this is less me being an old man about it and more just me being jealous because not as many of my toys growing up did cool electronic things. No fair.

Squatch is a little on the young side to play with those toys right now*, so they’ll be waiting for him when he stops trying to put every damn thing in his mouth. Getting these things makes me look forward to the day I’ll actually be able to play with these kinds of toys with him. It’s been too long since I’ve had a good ol’-fashioned action figure adventure. Hopefully I haven’t forgotten how it’s done.

*But I’m not.

Unlike the Angry Birds Star Wars stuff, I won’t be giving any of this away. It’s ALL FOR ME! MINE MINE MINE MINE!

I mean Squatch. It’s all for Squatch.


Speaking of Angry Birds Star Wars and giveaways, congrats to Aquatic Bat, who won the Millenium Falcon Bounce Game and the ire of the other entrants! Send me an email at squatchdad(at)gmail.com with your info and I’ll mail that off to you in a lickety-split-ish manner. Hope you enjoy it!

DISCLAIMER: As mentioned before, Hasbro sent me all these toys, but had no influence over what I said—that’s all me. Though, at this point, they probably wish they did.

& a review: moms telling it like it is

PeeAlone

I’m going to continue on with another post about cool stuff I got in the mail. Shut up, you love it.

A few weeks back, Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying… sent me a copy of I Just Want to Pee Alone, a collection of motherhood essays by “some kick ass mom bloggers.” No, really, it says so right there on the cover.

I had to put off reading it till I wasn’t nipple deep in student papers, but that certainly didn’t stop Karli from picking it up and reading it when it got here. She then proceeded to read selections out loud to me, which seemed to be a good sign. She read me about half of Karen Alpert’s (from Baby Sideburns) essay on taking her family to Disney World, as well as bits and pieces from some other ones.

That seems like a good sign, right? My wife obviously thought it was a pretty funny book, but they didn’t send it to me to get my wife’s opinion, right? I mean, I’m sure the women who put it together would love to hear that she liked their book, but they sent it to me—a dad blogger—to get a dude’s opinion. They’ll just have to settle for me, though.

Now that school’s over, I finally got a chance to comb through it all during Squatch’s naps and while he was playing with knives his exersaucer toys. And I got to see what it was all about.

The book was put together by Jen from People I Want to Punch in the Throat, a KC-area blogger (represent!) and participant in the upcoming Kansas City Listen to Your Mother show this Saturday (buy tickets), also featuring Ashley Austrew (shout-out!) and some other ladies.

So, the question I would put to you is this: Do you like mom blogs? Or parenting blogs in general? Because that will probably affect your opinion of the book.

Why? Because it reads like a blog. Which, essentially, it is—albeit one that’s been collected, edited, and put out in a more tactile format (a la Angry Birds Star Wars). So if your morning is spent rasslin’ some rugrats and perusing your RSS feed full of blogs, then you’ll probably love this book.

That’s not to say you won’t like it if you’re not in love with the blog format. Because this book is pretty hilarious in its own right. With almost every anthology, you’re going to end up with a book that’s slightly inconsistent. That’s just to be expected with you have different authors for every entry. This one is no different, so I didn’t love every bit of the book. But the ones that were on were definitely on. Like Karen’s Disney World essay. And Nicole Leigh Shaw’s (from Ninja Mom) piece about the absurdity of measuring a parent’s worth by how many kids she (or he) has. Kim’s essay about getting a massage was pretty hysterical, and I found myself cringing along with her discomfort as I also have issues with strangers touching me (whether I may or may not be naked in that room with them).

As a dad, there were some in there I couldn’t exactly relate to because I didn’t have the requisite parts, but I certainly tried. I might have skipped ones like “The Tale of Two Vaginas” and “My Akward Period,” and I don’t think you should hold that against me, either. I’d expect a good deal of you to turn away if I happened to post something titled “About That Itch on my Left Testicle.”

Overall, it’s enjoyable, even for a dad. A great deal of it is relatable for any parent, and especially parents (like me) who find themselves responsible for the day-in, day-out childcare. Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, and if you want something for that special funny-lovin’ mom in your life, this book is probably perfect. If they don’t like funny, I can’t do anything for you. And if you’ve procrastinated long enough that you’re reading this on Saturday and just realizing that you haven’t bought your wife a present yet, don’t fret—there’s a Kindle version, too.


A quick reminder that I’m giving away some free toys, and you have till MIDNIGHT (CST) TONIGHT (MAY 8) to enter. All you gotta do is leave a comment on my May the Fourth post saying you want the Angry Birds Star Wars thing, and you’re entered to win it. Nothing else necessary. As of right now, I think there’s only three people entered, so your chances are pretty good. Seriously, you don’t want free stuff?

Maybe I just gotta stop posting stuff on the weekend. You guys have lives or something, I guess.

& may the fourth be with you

It’s a pun. Get it? It’s a Star Wars thing. See, they got this thing called “the force,” and—ah, nevermind. You know what’s going on.

This last week was finals week where I work. That means two things:

  1. Tons of grading
  2. Full-time Stay-at-Home duty starts NOW.

Over the last week or so, I also got a couple packages in the mail from Hasbro. I’m on the mailing list of the PR company that does their “action brands” now. Mostly just to make you jealous. I’ll talk about the second package later, but today it’s all about the first package I got from them. Because it had this in it:

2013-05-04 14.51.53-2

What better time to talk about it than a national Star Wars holiday, right? I mean, we got the day off from work and everything!

So, just in case you can’t tell, those are toys based on the Angry Birds Star Wars app. Which, if you ask me (although nobody did), seems a little backwards, non?

On my iPhone, I have a whole bunch of electronic versions of games that I grew up playing in their original cardboard-and-plastic iterations—checkers, Battleship, Parcheesi, Monopoly, and so on. That seems pretty normal, so that I might be able to play against someone if I’m by myself. It also does all the setup for me so I don’t need to go find the box, get in an argument about who lost the damn top hat, sort out all the remaining pieces, read the rules, get in an argument about the rules, pilfer pieces from other games and the junk drawer just to be able to play the game, get in an argument about the rules again, flip over the board, then storm out of the room. Saves me all that work.

This goes the opposite way—it takes a wildly popular computer game and puts it in the real world so that you now have to go through all those extra steps to play. In the spirit of this idea, I considered writing this blog post out by hand and mailing it to all my subscribers, but there are way too many of you now, so I scrapped that plan.

Also, in the real-life boxed version, the pigs don’t blow up, so there’s that.

That being said, these things are pretty bad ass. The AT-AT Attack Battle Game is the “traditional” Angry Birds-style game, where you fling birds at egg-stealing pigs in their shoddily-built structure trying to kill them. The little figures that come with it are pretty cool, even if I’m a complete Star Wars noob who can’t tell an AT-AT from an Ewok. One of those is a robot, right? Whatever, I just like hurling the dudes at the pig robot and making things crash. Squatch likes that, too. He does the same thing when I build things with his blocks on the floor, only the thing he throws at it is himself.

They also sent me that little Foam Flyer Darth Vader pig, which—until Squatch is old enough not to try taking bites out of the baddest bad guy in the history of film—we’re mostly using to throw at the cat whenever he tries getting up next to the TV. Seems like a totally Darth Vader thing to do, right?

*GIVEAWAY ALERT*

The third thing in the box is the Millennium Falcon Bounce Game, which I have decided—in my magnanimity—to give away to one of my very special readers. It’s a little different from the normal Angry Birds game. It’s more like beer pong in a way. You have to bounce the little character balls into the Millennium Falcon while knocking off the cardboard baddies. Only you don’t then have to drink whatever Force Juice* is in the cup when someone gets it in.

*That sounded a lot more disgusting than I wanted it to.

Here’s what we’ll do for the giveaway. Leave a comment on this post and tell me you’re interested. You have till MIDNIGHT (CST) ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 8 to enter. I’ll pick a winner at random using some fancy randomizing method and that person will be the proud owner of a Millennium Falcon Bounce Game (retail $19.99), courtesy of Hasbro and a baby sasquatch. Sound like a bunch of awesome? Good.

Even if you don’t win or don’t want to enter, you can use the coupon code SWFANDAY at HasbroToyShop.com for the rest of today (May 4, 2013) to get 20% off any Star Wars toy.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I got these things, as I said, free from Hasbro. I wasn’t compensated for this in any other way, and all the opinions are mine. Obviously. They probably wouldn’t refer to “Force Juice.”