Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Pimping

Baseball season is here. I am coaching Wyatt's T-ball team, the Astros, and helping with Maxfield's Machine Pitch team. With two teams to coach, Scout meetings to attend, races to run, "my wife to murder and Guilder to Frame for it" I'm swamped.

It figures during one of my busiest times of the year is also the time that some of favorite authors/writers are releasing new books. Harlan Coben's Stay Close came out last week, Lisa Scottoline has a new one in two weeks, as well as the few I am going to mention below.  I have said in the past I am a slow reader by the time I get around to any of their books they will be publishing their next one.

Eve Mont, my friend and once fellow young Bohemian, is releasing her her latest YA book called A Breath of Eyre. It hits stores tomorrow. If you are a fan of the Bronte Jane Eyre book, I am pretty sure you will like Mont's book. Check out this website for a better description. YA books are all the rage as of late with the Hunger Games and what not and I bet Eve Mont's characters will be just as endearing. I probably will be the only 40 year old man at her signing in Doylestown this weekend. Do you think people will find me creepy?

Brad Meltzer has a new book coming out on April 10th called Heroes for My Daughter. This book is the second of a pair. The first book of the duo Heroes for My Son is one of my favorite books. Meltzer's publisher sent me an advanced copy of Heroes for my Daughter and it is just as good as the "Sons" book. Filled with 50 different Heroes, Meltzer does and excellent job of encapsulating what makes, what most readers would think are extraordinary people, ordinary. By making these heroes ordinary only magnifies their incredible accomplishments. Meltzer never ceases to amaze me with his skill.

Fellow blogger Jenny Lawson's debut novel Let's Pretend This Never Happened is due to be released April 17th. Jenny also known as the Bloggess is one of the funniest people on the Internet (read about the dangers of towel shopping). She is also one of the kindest (read about a sort of holiday miracle here). I believe the book will be all of that kindness and humor without the hyper-links.

If you enjoy reading go and check out these books.
That is 5 books in a a little over a few weeks that I feel the need to read. I may be a bit overwhelmed.

Speaking of overwhelming, every team in the history of Little League has that "one" kid on it. You know the "one" bad kid. The "one" kid that does not listen. The "one" kid that goofs off. Wyatt is that "one" kid on his team. Not only does he not pay attention he also distracts the other players.
This is Wyatt performing some type of Ninja move.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bike Test

I have posted this story a few years ago. Maxfield turned 8 last week causing this memory to keep popping up.

When we, my 8 siblings and I, were growing up, before we could ride a bike in the street we had to take a bike test.

I learned to ride a bike, I guess, when I was 5 or 6. It was hand me down Big Wheels before that. But once we mastered the two wheel regular bikes we could only ride in the driveway or on the sidewalk. We were not allowed to cross the street on the bike. We weren’t even allowed to walk the bike across the street. We were only allowed to go around the block, on the sidewalk. We had to wait until our 7th or 8th birthday (I can’t remember) for my father to administer the Bike Test before we could venture out onto the street. Going around the block for a whole year was quite boring.

Dad felt that if we were going to ride in the street that at least we would have to be safe. The bike test was the first step in being able to ride with your friends or even older brothers. It was the test to be somewhat free.

The Bike Test was hard, especially to an 8 year old.

The test started in the driveway. We had to make a right, heading North onto Street X. Make a right, heading East onto street Y. Make a u-turn without hitting the curb and head West, stop at the stop sign, cross Street X and head up the small hill. We then had to make another U-turn and head East again, stop at the stop sign make right onto Street X and then a left into our driveway. If we could complete this course, not too fast or too slow (yes you could get penalized for being too slow) using all of the correct hand signals, stopping where we were supposed to, we would pass the test. We would be free to ride our bikes in the street. We would be free.

Not one of my brothers or my sister ever passed on the first try.

The second stop sign got me. I went right through it. I was coming down the hill; I was making a right hand turn, I looked, no cars were coming, what’s the big deal?
It was a big deal. I had to wait another two weeks before I could take the test again. I had to wait 14 days before I could ride with my friends. It was embarrassing.

There go my brothers and the rest of the kids from the neighborhood riding down to the park.  I would have to walk. By the time I got to the stickball game it would already be the second inning. Not that any one cared because I sucked at stickball.

These days there are laws about kids wearing helmets. There are lawsuits when a kid gets hit by car, because he crossed the road without looking. There are lawsuits when kids get hurt by their own bikes. Where are the bike tests?

 Maxfield turned 8 last week. I am drawing up my own bike test.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Should I Be Worried

Maxfield and Wyatt attend the local public elementary school. Unlike other school districts in the area which have these huge district wide primary schools that have 10 classes per grade and feel like a Sams club of education, Max and Wyatt's school is a small only two classes per grade, community minded friendly learning environment. At least I hope it is friendly.

One of the perks of our small community school is the Home and School Association volunteers that participate is providing fun events and activities for the kids. They do an excellent job making school fun and probably deserve more credit and thanks then they get. One of the preeminent events the HSA holds is the annual Pine Run Derby Race. Max has participated the past few years. This year is Wyatt's first opportunity to build and car and enter the race. He is very excited.

We collaborate on the assembly and building of the car but the design and decoration is all the kids' doing. This year Max wanted his car to resemble some Lego Ninjago inspired vehicle. It required extra attention on my part to make sure the detailed cuts were exactly how Max wanted them. The car turned out very cool and unique.

Wyatt on the other hand went with a basic car design but his paint job required a different part of my attention.

"How do you want to paint your car?" I asked.

"I want it to have a big hairy spider on it." he responded.

"Eww. I don't like spiders." I said giving him the reaction he wanted. He knows I have a phobia.

"Then I want to paint a skeleton head on it." he said. "I also want a zombie head on it. And a grave yard."

He got more and more excited with each idea.

"And Dad? I also want to paint a coffee pot full of blood on the top. I want lots and lots of blood."

Should I be worried? A coffee pot full of blood? Where does he come up with that?

 Do you think Stephen King had these kinds of conversations with his parents?

Thursday, March 01, 2012


A year before I started the blog Poop and Boogies my oldest child was born. I never did document in the web log form all of those "firsts". Or all of those first time parent feelings of being awed and scared and excited and tired and happy and scared and proud and scared.

A few days after he was born I drove Maxfield home from the hospital doing 15 MPH and cursing under my breath all of those people on the road who would dare drive at 25 while I had a new born in my car. I remember waking up in the middle of the night just to check on him to make sure he was breathing. I remember the overwhelming feeling of being afraid that I would somehow break this new child.

Eight Years later he is still not broken.

I think.

I hope.

My dad used to call me on Max's birthday and wish me a Happy father's day because that is the day I became a father. He would wish Lauren a Happy Mother's day for the same reason.

Happy Father's Day to me.