Posts Tagged ‘SNL’

Examples of Dad’s geekiness

January 27, 2011

Andrew Hicks

 

  • Likes to refer to Sarah’s rainbow bib as “Roy G. Bib.”
  • When burping Silas, will frequently pat his back to drum beat of “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie while singing, “Let’s burp!”
  • Got a good laugh out of a little kid on “Barney” saying, “She’s like a brother to me.”
  • When Silas peed on Dad’s leg while flashing a huge grin, wrote a Facebook status about it on phone before cleaning up.
  • While half-awake, could have sworn Elmo was singing “Skeet skeet skeet skeet” on “Sesame Street.”
  • After breaking ankle on neighbor’s stairs last fall, wanted to purchase said stairs and comically reenact Stephen King‘s practice of buying and destroying the car that hit him in 1999, when he broke every bone in his body. Later found out King didn’t actually do this; he just bought the car and had it junked.
  • When Silas smiles, sometimes calls him “Smiley Silas” because it rhymes with the name of Billy Ray Cyrus‘s uber-famous teenage daughter.
  • Occasionally uses the prefix uber-.
  • Upon learning Sarah would automatically laugh when hearing the word “sassy,” Dad tracked down every Phil Hartman quote he could find from 1991 Sassy’s Sassiest Gentlemen” SNL sketch.
  • Now can draw Elmo’s head in seconds with five pen strokes.
  • Built most of this blog posting around months-old material written on a yellow legal pad. (Sorry, this actually belongs in the companion piece “Examples of Dad’s Laziness.”)

FAMILY PICTURE OF THE DAY

My 3 favorite ladies -- Tiffany, Sarah and my mom. Christmas 2008.

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Crazy Watermelon Forehead

January 26, 2011

Andrew Hicks

We’re implementing a new routine in our house — the early wakeup*. I get up with the babies when Tiffany gets up for work. This brutal event happens every morning at the ungodly hour of 5:30.

I was dramatizing slightly in that last sentence, but I’ve had problems getting up early since puberty. But I’ve been the type of person who has a second-shift body clock and will only start my day early when forced to. So now I’m forcing myself to, and I have outside accountability.

So far, so good. The first day threw off Sarah’s baby body clock some, and she took a short, irregular nap, but I think she’s settled in now. If I get up, get in the shower and get moving, I wake up pretty easily. The hard part is staying active and resisting the temptation to prematurely slow activity and sit or even (Don’t do it, Andrew!) lie down. If I lie down, even “just for a minute,” when I’ve gotten up earlier than I’m used to, my activity level usually sits at zero for the next couple hours.

Kids will keep you up and running, but there is downtime, sometimes for, like, up to an hour. Getting everyone into an ironclad wakeup and sleep schedule will help me maximize and maybe even schedule my downtime with the kids’ body clocks. First things first, though. I have to actually get this routine cemented, which will take a few more days.

But it’s still morning, Sarah and Silas are both taking their naps, and I’m writing my blog already. I won’t have to wrestle with the midnight curfew tonight or, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, really at all with the new routine in place.

I’ve already gotten some good cooking, cleaning and baby play time in, too, a rarity for the AM hours. I got on the floor with Sarah and Silas and kinda had them playing with each other. Silas was in his Bumbo, and for the first time, he gripped one of Sarah’s little plastic play balls and waved it around, which delighted Sarah to no end.

Crazy Newspaper Head

Sarah started passing Silas other toys she wanted to watch him grab onto, so he indulged her by latching onto the little bunch of bananas toy and the half-watermelon toy. There was no one over the age of 2 around, so I let loose with the old Adam Sandler SNL bit about easy Halloween costumes for people with no money**. (“Look at me, I’m Crazy Watermelon Forehead! Can you believe it? I have a half a watermelon growing out of my head. My life is filled with pain and torment. Won’t you gimme some candy?”)

And I still have the whole afternoon and evening ahead of me.

*Which reminds me of a great Ross Perot sketch Dana Carvey did on “Saturday Night Live just before the 1992 election. “So, Step 1: a National Curfew, nationwide, lights out, 8:45 pm. Now, you may say, ‘Ross, what am I gonna do after 8:45?’ Well, I suggest you sleep — you’ll be glad you did when you hear that National Wake-Up Siren at 4:45 am. And don’t you worry, folks, you won’t sleep through it; it’ll be loooouuuuud!”

**Today’s blog is brought to you by the Ghost of “Saturday Night Live” Season 18, now streaming on Netflix Instant with a bunch of good sketches missing but still plenty of quality laughs from the last gasp of the show’s true golden age.

FAMILY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Josh plays with Baby Sarah and her Elmo guitar. Summer 2009.

The night I met her

January 24, 2011

Andrew Hicks

Wednesday, April 19, 2007
2:07 a.m.

I’m at the top corner bar at Ameristar Casino, by myself. Al is bartending. Al and I have a friendly relationship built on combined decades of music geekdom. When the casino Muzak is tuned to the ’80s or ’90s channels, we race to see who can first successfully identify the title, artist and year of release.

On a dead night at the bar, it keeps us both entertained. Right now, though, almost every seat at his bar is filled, so I plan to get a Budweiser draft and keep on walking. There are three other bars in the casino, and odds are, I’ll stop and talk to someone I know or quickly make a new friend.

I try to get Al’s attention up at the service entrance to the bar. He’s headed over to me when a female voice yells out, “Al! Al!” He turns his head. Six seats down, a striking woman I’d peg to be about my age is pointing down at the video poker machine in front of her. “Al! Do you have any gum? This thing ate my quarter!”

I hear that, and I meander down the bar to see the situation firsthand. Ordinarily, I’m not incredibly bold socially, but since I moved into my bachelor pad four months ago, I’ve been the indisputable life of the party again. I have the ironclad conviction that everything out of my mouth is borne of some form of comic genius. Whether I am right about this, I cannot objectively say, but people usually seem to enjoy the crazy talk that comes out of my mouth.

“Where did you put your quarter?” I ask the stranger. “There’s definitely no coin slot on a bar video poker machine.”

She points down at the slot next to the video screen where you’re supposed to insert your players’ card. It’s the size of a credit card or hotel keycard and definitely not the size of any American coin. I decide I should make fun of this girl in a jovial sorta fashion. So I do, and she tells me this is her first time in the casino since like 1997, a year in which there apparently still were coin slots attached to video poker machines.

“I’ve been watching you,” I tell her. “You’re crazy.”

This offends her for some reason. In my delusional, bloated head, this one-line gem of brilliance should only get a huge, warm laugh. I explain to her that crazy’s a good thing, that normal is boring, that I’m a lunatic, and that everyone who’s ever been close to me is crazy, too. And I was watching her earlier, out of the corner of my eye. I could tell from a distance that this girl had a magnetic personality, a natural beauty and just something different. Something crazy.

She tells me she’s at the casino by herself, too. I tell her we should take the escalator down to the ground floor and cruise the tables. I overheard a cocktail waitress say “American Idol” star Chris Daughtry, who played a concert earlier tonight in the casino showroom, is playing blackjack on Table 7 and is way shorter and uglier than you’d think from TV. But we don’t go anywhere. We stay at the bar and talk and laugh, and my Budweiser draft disappears with a quickness. One more, and I’m out of money.

I explain my cashlessness to my new friend, and she buys me a beer, but only after she determines that I really don’t have any money and am not trying to take advantage of the potential kindness of a stranger. She pulls out a Ziploc bag full of quarters, dimes and nickels — the odds and ends of tips she made from restaurant customers — and she buys me a beer with a pile of change.

She tells me her name is Tiffany, and later she tells me that she’s 35 years old. I don’t believe her, so I ask for her ID. The ID confirms it, and we start talking about my perceived generational differences between the cultural reference points of someone my age, 29, and someone six years older. She quickly reveals herself to be a great pop culture sparring partner, awash in information from before my time straight up to now.

All too soon, it’s last call. I wage a campaign to get Tiffany to come back to the bachelor pad with me. There’s something electric about this girl — instantly appealing, intriguing and comforting to me — and I really just want to hang out with her some more. She already gets me in a way that far surpasses that of the other casino bar strangers-turned-temporary-drinking-buddies I’ve met.

She resists, of course. She doesn’t ever go out in the first place, and she’s not the one-night-stand type. I’m not either. “We’re just friends hanging out,” I keep telling her. I run through my other selling points — I have roommates living with me, so I can’t be a psycho killer. I’m the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. I can show you some of those hilarious old Saturday Night Live sketches we’ve been rhapsodizing about. And I’ve got beer.

5:57 a.m.

My roommate Tim just left for work. He’s one of my oldest and best friends. Our bedrooms are connected by a bathroom, so once I heard his alarm go off a couple times, I brought Tiffany through the bathroom so she could meet him. This was late-night, manic drunk logic, but I wanted to introduce them. I figured Tim would recognize immediately that I stumbled into something special.

The DVD player is in Tim’s room. My bedroom is huge, and it’s set up for some good hanging out, but all I have audiovisually is a Bose iPod dock and a 13″ TV/VCR combo given to me by a guy from work. So when Tim leaves, I show Tiffany some of the highlights of the Best of Chris Farley SNL DVD.

We watch, but we talk about our lives — me preaching the philosophy of self-love and keeping things emotionally uncomplicated, and her telling me about her first husband and the abusive boyfriend she just broke up with. She’s kind, she’s thoughtful, she’s loving. This is someone I value immediately, and I have a hard time picturing the kind of man who would mistreat her.

There’s a gentle nervousness within me, but I’m most filled with an air of excitement. I’ve been truly coming back to life since I moved in here, and now I feel like I’ve met the other side of me that’s been missing all this time. And, best of all, I don’t have any of the accompanying obsessiveness, self-loathing and hesitance that have plagued me the other couple of times I thought I’d met the right girl. I know that, if I never see Tiffany again, I still had an unexpectedly amazing night.

Tiffany leaves. She has to work at 11, and she has precious little time to sleep off the abundance of Grolsch beer that went from my fridge to our bellies these past few hours. I watch a little more SNL while stretching across Tim’s bed, and I call my mom as the sun comes up. I tell her I met the woman I’m going to marry, but I tell her I’m going to play it cool and let it move at a natural, comfortable pace.

I call two other friends and tell them this was the night I met my Yoko Ono. “But Yoko broke up the band,” one of them pouts back to me. At this point, I have no idea that love’s going to crash down hard on my head in a matter of weeks, and that before the summer is out, I’ll be married and living in another state. And, for all intents and purposes, the old band will be broken up.

Right now, all I know is, I found her. She’s really real. She exists, she’s beautiful, and I found her.

FAMILY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Tiffany: a self-portrait she doesn't know I'm posting yet.

Insert Swede/sweet pun later

October 26, 2010

Andrew Hicks

“Nightline” did a story last week about paternity leave in Sweden. The crazy collection of blond heads and blue eyes that comprise the Swedish government requires new fathers to take two months paid paternity leave and split another 12 months of compensated leave with blaarfengar. That’s Swedish for “mom.”

Even better, Swedes can drop their kids off for free babysitting at the nearest elected representative’s house for up to 20 hours every week. Seriously. You can quote me on that, but don’t, because I just made it up.

On a selfish level, I love the sound of this. It’s so anti-Tea Party it hurts. Pay fathers to change diapers and bottle feed while mothers sport power suits and bring home the bacon. On an even more selfish level, though, I hate the sound of this because every second dad would be writing a blog about baby pee and poop stories. That’s my turf. The rest of you American guys just keep, you know, driving bulldozers and watching football all day on Sunday.

Today was my longest day of childrearing since The Event*. I was up at 7:45 to fly solo with both kids practically until naptime, when I took off my boot and dove into unconsciousness for a couple hours. Then back up for outside play, dinner, bathtime and bedtime. It was exhausting, but mobility-wise, I’m finally back up to the task.

My in-laws’ (God bless them) have Sarah in a solid routine where she gets her nap and goes to bed at roughly the same time, but baby Silas is still a little erratic. I was just reminded of a bad ’80s slasher movie cliche with Sarah. Now it feels like Silas, as he falls asleep for the night, reenacts the climax of all the old Halloween and Friday the 13th movies. He’ll close his eyes, I assume he’s down for the count, then a few moments later he shoots back to life for one last stand before succumbing to the inevitable.

The Little Guy is carving out a good AM/PM routine as well, but I’m still having body clock issues. With being on unpaid disability, mostly apart from my wife and having my in-laws take care of the babies in the morning, it’s been like high school summer break around here. Drinking Mountain Dew, microwaving tiny frozen pizzas, watching crap on TV until practically dawn. And writing sometimes, too.

I’ve often said 4:30 is the true witching hour of the day. Not even farmers are up that early, and not even tweakers are up that late. It is, however, the best time of day to watch local news. I saw a great investigative scare-tactic report about how small children can drown in just one drop of water. On the noon or evening news, that story would seem sensationalist and implausible, but at five in the morning, it had the ring of gospel truth.

I’ll stay at my in-laws’ a few more days to complete the transition from bedridden to functional. Then it’s back home. Tiffany and I dropped the kids off overnight at my mom’s on Saturday and drove home for a night. It was my first time back since just after The Event, and we spent a few leisurely hours watching the new SNL and playing Wii. A nice, low-key date night that even ended with me getting lucky. Excellent night, in fact.

When married couples have sex, the angels in heaven rejoice. It’s true. I saw it on local news in the dead of night.

*Kind of late in the game, I know, but I’ve decided to retire the term Ankle Break 2010 and its godawful acronym AB2KX and just refer to my injury as The Event. It’s a timely meta-term because there’s a new NBC series with that name airing Monday nights at 9/8 Central. But it’s also homage to my new favorite blog of all time, Right Behind, an exhaustive and amazingly funny page-by-page dissection of the Christian Rapture novel Left Behind. I’ve practically spent entire days reading Fred Clark’s posts; I don’t feel too bad, though, because he spent five years writing about the same crappy book. That’s dedication.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Dad and Sarah at the hospital the day she was born.

Bearded wet-cast blues

September 28, 2010

Andrew Hicks

Life with crutches isn’t just about the mobility. Equally limiting is the fact that you can’t really transport anything from points A to B. I made my way out to my mom’s deck just now with notepad tucked into my waistband, pencil (#2, I assume) in my right pocket, can of soda in left pocket, sunglasses hanging from the neck of my T-shirt and keys in my teeth. I wanted to bring the baby, but he’s just too darn big to fit in any of my pockets or tuck-away spots.

Tiffany drove down on Saturday, and for the first time all week, both babies and both parents were under the same roof. I’d gotten to see Sarah a couple times earlier in the week, but I still really missed my little girl. When a kid’s that age, right around two, you can’t be away too long, lest you miss a major developmental milestone. I feel for those dads who are shipped out by the military or constantly travel for their jobs. They leave in the “mama/dada” phase then come back and the kid’s conjugating verbs*.

I also got in some much-needed quality time with Mrs. Hicks. We made a great weekend night out of a few warm camo-chic cans of Busch (it was What Was Around, alright?) and the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.” We have one imperative TV ritual, Tiffany and I, and it’s watching new episodes of SNL live with a drink or two. This will continue far into the future, no matter how bad the show gets. Loyalty to Lorne Michaels & Co. is in our blood.

The late Phil Hartman may actually have been the catalyst for our falling in love. The night I met her, Tiffany and I were laughing about Hartman’s Ed McMahon character, and I was like, “You should come over to my place. We can watch my Best of Phil Hartman DVD.” And she was like, “No, I have to get up early.” And I was like, “Come on, I just want to show you a couple funny things. We’re just friends hanging out.” And she was like, “Okay, but if you hurt me, I’ll kill you.” 3 1/2 years and two live births later, she still hasn’t killed me. I never thought that “friends hanging out” line would pay off. All thanks to Phil Hartman, whose wife did kill him. Which, all these years later, still really sucks.

Quick note – if you ever find yourself with a cast on your leg, feeling filthy because you can’t take a proper shower every day, taping a garbage bag over your cast is not (repeat, NOT!) a foolproof option. If even a small amount of water permeates your cast, the damp, cold, stuck-to-skin feeling lasts way longer than any sensation of cleanliness you’ll receive from said shower**. And that musty, soggy cast smell is way worse.

If you saw me at this leg*** of my recovery, you would likely reach the conclusion that I just don’t care about personal appearance. All I packed for this trip was like five old T-shirts I usually sleep in, two pairs of shorts and one pair of athletic pants. (Athletic! Ha!) I thought I’d be hiding out at my mom’s for a few days. Now it looks like I might be here for up to three weeks. Whoops.

Also, I haven’t shaved since the ankle break. The first few days, it was because I was doped up in the hospital. Then it became a conscious decision. I would use beard growth to mark the length of time since I had a “normal” existence. That beard’s pretty full-on now, and I have a whole list of reasons to defend it:

  • I’ve always hated shaving. It’s the most tedious four minutes of my day. Eight minutes if I also have to shave my legs and pits.
  • My dad and brother sport full beards, so it must have a genetic predetermination sort of component.
  • When else in my life will I be able to experiment with excess facial hair without worrying about loss of employment?
  • The crutches send a pretty strong You Should Stay Outta This Guy’s Way message. The beard really hammers it home.
  • Joaquin Phoenix. Nuff said.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Legos

Sarah plays with Legos

* = “I got game, you got game, he/she/it got game, we got game, they got game.” P.E. in full effect right now until the year 2000!

** = Yes, I said “said shower.” My word choice often leans toward that of an ubergoober^.

*** = I will neither confirm nor deny the intendedness of that pun.

^ = All people who say “ubergoober” want to think they invented the term. Well, you guys didn’t, and neither did I. Who actually did? No doubt, a majorextremeprofoundubergoober.