Posts Tagged ‘Barney’

Love letter to my iPod

February 25, 2011

Andrew Hicks

We have an anniversary coming up, you and I. Five years. Half a decade since you came into my life. I have a hard time remembering what things were like before you came along, and I can’t picture my life without you.

Yeah, we’ve had our rough patches. Remember when I lost your charger for like two months? Remember when the Bose dock bit the dust? Remember how mad I would get when I’d put you on shuffle, and you’d pick the same “random” songs every time?

But iPod, I’m not kidding — I love you, man. You were around before I had kids, when I used to party all the time. They called me the Music Nazi because I didn’t feel like a social gathering was complete unless you were front and center, spitting out jams from the My Top Rated playlist.

You’ve gone from the forefront to the background and now back to the forefront. These days, you have to compete with Barney, Kipper and Caillou for background noise in the room. Soon, I might have to silence your Geto Boys and all your ’90s West Coast gangsta sheet, but right now we’re kickin’ it like it’s the good ol’ days.

I both love and hate how you’re frozen in time. When you first came around, I had to load all your songs from my roommate’s Mac. I went crazy, cycling through all my old CDs and begging any friend who gave me a ride home to bring their CDs inside so I could stock you. I checked out 20 CDs from the library at a time so you’d be more full-bodied.

I thought I was being discriminating at the time, but now I wish I would’ve hidden more guilty pleasures in your 30-gig canon. Why did I think in 2006 that I’d never want to hear “Round and Round” by Tevin Campbell again in my life? I love that song.

Inevitably, there will be loss. One day, you will die or get dropped in the toilet or maybe even be stolen by a visiting Jehovah’s Witness with questionable morals. And on that day, I will be sad, inconsolable and probably too broke to immediately buy your replacement. But let’s enjoy what we have while we have it.

So how about we do a shuffle right now? Ready? Okay… What? Wilson Phillips?! Ah, you know me too well, iPod.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Sarah with a Funsaver camera. I can't wait till she's old enough to look at this picture and ask, "Daddy, what the heck is that thing?"

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Enter Kipper, exit Elmo

December 12, 2010

Andrew Hicks

Every now and then, when cynicism strikes me, I ponder the possibility that love by nature is fleeting. Two of the couples who were married at the last three weddings I attended have already gotten divorced. They didn’t even hang in there long enough to celebrate the exchange of fine leather in traditional observance of the third wedding anniversary.

I guess not everyone’s priorities and life goals match up, but I know I’m digging in my heels and holding on tight at least until I get the traditional fruits and flowers that are the spoils of celebrating a whopping four years of marriage. I never thought I’d outlast some of my peers just by staying married for a fifth of a fifth of a century, but actually, when I put it that way, it kinda seems like a long time.

Within the last few weeks, I’ve witnessed a love I thought was pure and eternal disintegrate right in front of my eyes. This is a love I could’ve sworn would last forever. I’m speaking of my 2-year-old daughter Sarah’s torrid, abiding passion for Elmo. Once, he was all she would talk about. She would awake in breathless anticipation of his headwide smile and way-too-frequent, self-conscious giggle. Now, it’s like Elmo never existed, and I’m wondering if he pissed her off. I saw her rip the crap out of his picture in a book last week.

Elmo is sooooooo May 2009 through November 2010. The reign of Kipper is now upon us. We’ve taken the nine-dollar monthly plunge into the world of Netflix Instant streaming through the Wii. I think it’s incredible, and I’m wondering where it’s been all my TV- and movie-overwatching life.

My Netflix strategy is to search for the obscure, diverse stuff that’s eluded me on video store shelves all these years. Sarah, on the other hand, has taken a vow of complete Netflix monogamy to this dude Kipper, who I’d never heard of until late last month. Kipper slipped in under my radar, and he sure hasn’t come around to introduce himself as, “like, you know, the guy who’s seeing your daughter.”

Kipper, Pig and Popsicle

But he’s alright. Kipper is a super-low key British cartoon dog from the late ’90s who talks in dry, ambivalent stoner speech while doing mundane things like fishing and asking his cartoon pig friend named Pig to bring him a Popsicle. Kipper is the king of Sarah’s television universe right now, and Barney has become the goofy deputy king that makes you wish the real king didn’t have the day off. I should add, before my wife makes me add it, that Sarah still finds Barney indispensable for the songs alone. She likes to dance, jump and spin. Kipper does none of those things. Kipper is too baked to move.

Here you’ll have to imagine an ending that brings everything full circle by cleverly mentioning Kipper, Elmo, love, marriage, divorce, fine leather, fruits and flowers.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Sarah, when she was a baby, loved hanging out in her swing.

Day One of daytime daddydom

September 7, 2010

If you would have run into me a week ago, and we started talking about my kids, I would have launched into a stock bit. About how I was totally cool to take care of one baby or the other at a time but that I hated being charged with both babies simultaneously and now had full appreciation of the burden foisted on single parents, etc.

A week ago, I had no idea I was going to start watching Sarah (almost two) and Silas (barely two months) every weekday from 8:30 to 6. It was an abrupt decision. Tiffany had just gone back to work from maternity leave, and we’d started taking both babies to the same babysitter. This service, by the way, was projected to run us about $13,000 a year. We figured we’d make it work somehow.

Mind you, I’d just celebrated – well, “celebrated” is not really the word for it, more like “wincefully acknowledged” – the tenth anniversary of my intended-to-be-temporary foray into serving and bartending at mid-priced chain restaurants. I graduated college with honors at the age of 21. I was going to take a year off and write a book. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s not 1999 anymore, although the band Smash Mouth probably wishes it was.

I had a party-filled twenties and got some writing done that I didn’t really form into anything publishable. It wasn’t until I fell in love, got married, moved away, settled down and opened the baby factory that it seemed both feasible and imperative to get back to writing and performing words that make people smile and laugh. I started doing open mic standup last Christmas. The day Silas came home from the hospital, I joined Facebook. Two new outlets where a year before the only thing on my social/comedic radar was karaoke night.

Then this decision – go on a leave of absence from my daytime job, switch to all closing shifts at the nighttime job, and stay home with Sarah and Silas during the day. No immediate financial loss stands to take place, and things are looking good for my wife and her job. I’ve been wanting to start a new blog but was at a loss for a theme. This ending just wrote itself.

So this was Day One of the new arrangement, and I didn’t need an alarm clock to wake up for it. An alarm clock to me indicates putting an end to sound sleep. Me, I sleep for a few hours here and there when there’s no one crying. Last time was between 5:30 and 8:30 this morning. Both babies came to life just after Tiffany left, and I started my day in triplicate. Feed Baby #1, feed Baby #2, feed myself. Change Diaper #1, change Diaper #2, take a crap. Put Sarah in Outfit #1, put Silas in Outfit #2, put on my old black Sublime shirt with the pinprick hole in the belly.

This mundane process actually takes hours. I might be able to shave off a few minutes after I’ve been doing it a couple months. Sarah can at least pull her shoes on now. She’s obsessed with socks and shoes, actually. The “socks” part I’m not too concerned with, but the “shoes” part down the road could break the bank.

Meanwhile, I’ve got the entire PBS Kids lineup playing in the background: “Dinosaur Train,” “Sesame Street,” “Sid the Science Kid,” “Super Why?” and Barney’s bitch ass. These are a daily staple. Sarah’s at the point where she can name the main and secondary “Sesame Street” characters. She can’t name any state capitals yet, but she knows which one’s Telly and which one’s Prairie Dawn. I don’t even know which one’s Prairie Dawn. All the “Sesame Street” girl muppets seem interchangeable to me.

My mom was kind enough to buy us a Graco DuoGlider double stroller. This thing is a serious piece of hardware. Silas gets mounted facing me in his car seat, and Sarah rides up front. She’s like six feet away from me when I’m pushing them. We just broke in this stroller a week or so ago, and I’ve had Tiffany show me how to unfold it six times. But while Silas is inside asleep and Sarah is strapped into the single stroller next to me, it takes me ten minutes and a hundred attempts to get the thing open and ready. If I was even remotely famous, you’d be seeing footage of this atrocity on tonight’s “TMZ.”

I feel like an idiot, but I don’t give up, and soon the three of us are walking to the bank, to the post office, and then to the park via milelong bike trail. Silas sleeps the entire time, while I let Sarah run free over an empty football field and chase the geese up toward the lake. The weather, by the way, is absolutely perfect. It couldn’t possibly be any nicer, and there’s not another human in sight.

Last week at this time, I was rolling a stack of silverware while listening to some girl ten years younger than me bitch about her love life. I think this is a change for the better. I got a new blog out of it too.