Day 51: The Frozen Sing-Along

Today the girls got dressed up and headed out with my wife and some friends for the Virginia Theatre to take part in a Frozen sing-along.

Yes. This is exactly what it sounds like.


As you can see, they got there early enough to claim front-row-center seats.

Luckily....I mean...unfortunately, this came right in the heart of Mason's nap time so I had to take one for the team and stay home while he rested.

The Virginia is home to Ebertfest -- the annual film festival featuring overlooked films loved by the late Roger Ebert. A statue of Mr. Ebert was just unveiled outside the theater this past fall and the girls, of course, stopped by for a visit.


The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 50: Paul's Boutique, Mookie, Joe Kelly

Not a whole lot going on again today.

I helped a friend move and Amy and I started looking at our options for the kids during this coming school year now that we'll both be back at work full time. We visited a few daycare centers, but I think we're leaning more towards hiring someone to be in our own house with the kids. That way they can nap in their own beds and get off the bus at their own house. Plus the added benefit on our end of being able to come straight home from work rather than battling evening traffic as we pick up our kids from 1-3 different places.

Today was the 25th anniversary of the release of one of my all-time favorite albums -- the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique.


Man. Hard to believe it's been 25 years since I picked up the Hey Ladies cassette single at a shopping mall record store.

In others news, I'm pretty sure I've not thrown anything away since the mid-80s.


My summer fling with Spike Lee movies continued today as I spent the rainy afternoon watching Red Hook Summer. Not his best work, but I loved the nods to his earlier films -- especially a few cameo appearances by Mookie from Do the Right Thing.

 

And it sounds like my least favorite baseball team is about to pick up one of my least favorite players in the league as the Cardinals are close to signing A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski may have a World Series ring, but he'll go down in my history books for taking one off the chin compliments of Michael Barrett.


Speaking of the Cardinals, I have to give credit where it's due.

I was reading an article about two MLB players who recently staged a "national anthem standoff" completely ripping off Joe Kelly and Scott Van Slyke's similar standoff from last year's playoffs. For those unfamiliar, the goal of such a standoff is simple -- to be the last man to leave the field following the conclusion of the Star Spangled Banner.


Watch for yourself. So simple, but so entertaining.


It's refreshing to see this kind of stuff when professional sports can be taken far too seriously by players, reporters, and fans. Joe Kelly nailed it with a quote after the game in which he and Van Slyke faced off:

"It’s a kids game, it’s baseball. You’re supposed to have fun. You take it serious, you start to get gray hairs."

As my pal Derek might say, #respect.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 49: Say Anything, Rootbeer, Fuh Fuh Fuh

The first words I heard when I turned the radio on today: "Nobody can be in a bad mood today. Sunny and 75."

Stuff like this always tends to put things in perspective for me a little bit. Kind of like the line from Say Anything when John Cusack says to his sister, "Why can't you be in a good mood? How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and be in a good mood once in a while?"


Truth.

Truth that's hard to remember on the day-to-day. But truth.

Today was a big day for my wife who has taken the past few years away from her career to stay home with our kids before they head off to school. Feeling the urge to go back to work more every day, she recently applied for a full-time position and was offered (and, of course, accepted) the job this morning. So we're thrilled on a professional level but also feeling some level of panic now trying to sort out childcare for our kids. Either way, I'm super excited for my wife because I know she's excited.

Tons of new music from some of my favorite artists coming out in the next few weeks including a new Rootbeer EP from Pigeon John and Flynn Adam. If you like decent hip-hop, it'll be worth the few bucks it's going for on iTunes. I promise.

Listen for yourself.


Coincidentally, the new EP is titled "18 Minutes" and as many of you know, the Todd Snider site that I started and have maintained for about ten years now is EighteenMinutes.com.

Strange. And awesome.

Let's keep it random with a cartoon strip that I just noticed which has been saved on my desktop for several weeks. Back in college, I spent two semesters living with a good friend of mine from back home. He had a Dilbert book and for some reason, this particular strip struck us as especially hilarious.


Of course, we regularly mocked each other by pretending to hold a pair of glasses in the air and saying "fuh, fuh, fuh."


So there's that.

The Summer of Tim continues...fuh, fuh, fuh.

Day 48: First Grade, Poison Ivy

It was bound to happen.

Today we took our first major step towards the end of summer break as Charlotte headed off to her first day as a first grader.


Her school is on a balanced calendar schedule which is essentially year-round school with longer breaks interspersed throughout the year.


But me? I refuse let go of summer yet! To prove it, I'm spending 90 minutes of my day watching Poison Ivy -- one of my all-time favorite summer flicks.


The reality of the matter is that in twelve more days... the Summer of Tim comes to an end.

But for now...

...it continues!

Day 47: Giant Underpants

There haven't been too many of these days this summer but today was one of those days.

One of those days where I did absolutely nothing.

And it was wonderful.

And now, giant underpants.


The Summer of Tim continues.

Day 46: A Big League Comeback Story

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not complaining about the mild weather we've had this summer. But with only two days until Charlotte goes back to school, it was nice to have a day warm enough that a dip in the in-law's pool actually felt like a summertime swim.


And then, after a restful afternoon, and with dinner on the grill, it happened.

Every boy dreams of growing up to be a professional baseball player. What a great feeling that would be to get the call saying you've been called up to the big leagues!

Tonight...I got that call.

Okay, actually I got a text.

A text to fill in for a church league softball game where they were short on players and didn't want to forfeit.

Same thing though.




It was like it was straight from a movie script. Just like I'd always dreamed it would happen.

It'd been a few years since I've played softball -- I could tell by the fact that the electrical tape which held my cleats together three or four years ago had to be replaced before I could head to the field.


Forty minutes and a sore hamstring later, my comeback was complete. My boyhood dream had come true.

Now I just need to find a way to be a stunt man on the Dukes of Hazzard set.

The Summer of Tim continues.

Day 45: Farm Animals, Makeshift Country Boil

Charlotte heads off to first grade on Wednesday so we've officially reached the point in the summer where we cram in all of the stuff that we had planned on doing this summer but haven't yet. One of those things is a quick trip up the road to Prairie Farm, a park district "replica of a turn-of-the century farm."

Yeah. Goats and ducks. Whatever.


Let's get to the big hill next to the animals!


In back yard news, as the garden continues to flourish, we've been getting more "visitors."

How do you catch a unique rabbit?

You 'neak up on him, of course.


The day was capped off with an experiment of sorts.

Several years ago, my wife and I were invited to a birthday celebration for her aunt -- a "low country boil" complete with some of the best shrimp, potatoes, and corn on the cob I think I've ever eaten. With no plans for dinner tonight, we realized we actually had the stuff we needed to do a makeshift boil of our own. Unfortunately, after inviting some friends from down the street over for dinner, the corn was tough and the overall flavor was pretty bland.

I guess we're motivated now to do it the right way sometime.


On a side note, my brother-in-law threw me a bone today with his idea for how I should've been ending my posts all summer.

With that in mind...

The Summer Con-Tim-ues.

Day 44: Allerton Park

After eleven years of living in this area, it wasn't until today that Amy and I have finally made the 20 minute drive to Allerton Park. We'd always heard great things and seen beautiful photos that others had taken at Allerton, so we loaded the kids in the van and headed out for a morning in the trees.

Mostly, I found myself walking behind everyone and taking pictures of them in front of me.


We got the stink-eye from a couple of teenage boys who seemed very unhappy that we were in the area of the park where they were clearly up to something. One of the boys apparently wanted to have a staring contest with me since his eyes were locked on mine for at least 30 seconds as we approached. Needless to say, I won the staring contest.

Moving on to another part of the park, we found a set of spiral stairs that led to a lookout platform above. The stairs certainly weren't intended for our kids to climb alone and each of them wanted a turn climbing to the top. Since I'm a big baby and was pretty uncomfortable climbing the stairs even by myself (seriously, when people say "don't look down" they mean it) Amy climbed the stairs three times while I took pictures from my own personal comfort zone.


While some parts of the park seemed surprisingly unkempt, it was still remarkably beautiful and such a great feeling to get away from everything for a few hours of fresh air!


The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 43: Comcast, Bikes, Outdoor Music

Sparing you the details, I'll just come right out and say it.

I hate Comcast.

I'm not a violent guy, but if Comcast was a person, I'm pretty sure I would have gone to his house by now and punched him in the throat.

There's a difference between bad business with poor customer service and service so unbelievably pitiful that it is offensive and insulting to the customer. A big shout out to Comcast for accomplishing the latter.

So instead of spending the beautiful morning outside with my wife and kids, I spent just short of three hours on the phone with Comcast being transferred, put on hold, disconnected, and feeling my blood pressure soar. Finally, what should have been a ten minute phone call came to an end -- and nothing was fixed.

Sadly, this is what I've come to expect of Comcast over the past year so I'm not surprised.

Now that I have that off my chest, it was still another beautiful day here in Middle America as Charlotte has finally decided she's ready to be done with training wheels on her bike.


After having the kids up late for VBS every night for the past week, we decided to keep them up one more time and join my in-laws for some free outdoor music. Gorgeous weather, some live blues and zydeco, a picnic dinner...and a two-year-old wound up and listening to no one.



Okay, really he wasn't all that obnoxious. Just enough, though, to take the evening from relaxing and fun to a little stressful and tense for Amy and me.

Anyway, you're familiar with the Karate Kid and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, right?

 

Well, how about this picture my pal Rich shared on Instagram? Honey, I Shrunk the Karate Kid!


Brilliant.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 42: Life is for Service.

We said goodbye to the team from Asbury last night since they were hitting the road at 5:00 this morning. I heard the front door close around 4:45 and figured they were loading up their bags. In the time it took me to brush my teeth and get downstairs, they were gone -- so unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to express my thanks to their team as a whole.


Either way, it was great getting to know these young people this week and to see their passion for helping others. Twenty years ago, as I left high school, I wanted to be like that. Now, as a parent, I want my kids to be like that.

It is said that when Fred Rogers was in college, he found inspiration in a sign he often passed on campus. The sign simply read:

"Life is for service."

The Summer of Tim continues...