My Kid Turned One. I Got Trading Cards Made of Him.


My kid turned one a few days ago. As a gift to him, or really more to myself for surviving Year One, I got these trading cards made, modeled after the first series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle trading cards in the 1990s.

First things first, my friend and retro pop culture graphic designer Jon Hunt totally nailed these cards. He’s open to odd jobs, so if you want, you can contact him at

I cut the cards and displayed them in plastic card sheeting, alongside the TMNT cards in a 3-binder notebook, so it sort of just looks like my kid’s cards are part of the original run.

I wrote the captions. #Braggingrights. I know, “Cowabunga!” must have taken me HOURS to come up with. It really did. Don’t even judge.

50 Days of Summer: T-Shirt Regret

Rehoboth Beach Pictures 089

Our first official family beach vacation happened. It was the first time we went on vacation with a kid, and we took the dog too. It was great, but I’m also pretty sure someone has a voodoo doll of me and was sticking pins in it all week.

Things that happened:

– $150 speeding ticket on the way there in one of the infamous, pure pure evil speed traps

– Dog freaked out in condo; barked “without pause” for two days

– “Without pause” in quotations because that’s what the first angry note, scrawled in blood on a paper towel and posted on our door, described it as.

– Okay, it wasn’t really written in blood, but it may as well have been with how seething it was.

– Soooo, we bought the dog a toy, played with her extra, walked her extra, and she seemed totally fine. We posted our phone number on the door for people to call us if the dog was bothering them. We received no calls on our 2nd beach day. Problem solved, right?

– Wrong. Instead, we received an even angrier note, with multiple exclamation points, carefully shaded in. Who does that? Who shades in exclamation points on anonymous passive aggressive notes?

– I talked to all the neighbors personally, offering to buy them a 6-pack and to call me if the dog bothered them. All denied writing the note. WTF. But after that, Note-Gate mysteriously ended.

– Wife came down with head cold.

– Baby came down with head cold.

– I came down with head cold.

– And for the grand finale, I fucked my car trying to turn out of a narrow alley parking spot, getting stuck and denting it/scratching it straight to hell.

But you know what? We still had a great time. And I’m so sociopathically committed to ENJOYING VACATION NO MATTER WHAT that my one sole regret is that I didn’t buy my son a beanie babies shirt.

I know what you’re thinking. I officially got sun stroke and lost my damn mind on this vacation. It’s possible. Very very possible.


This is not the shirt I didn’t buy. This is just an example of what the shirt was. If it had been this shirt, I probably would not have been able to resist.

I love digging in the racks of the numerous t-shirt stores. The clearance racks in the back are always goldmines of stray long-ago printed 90s shirts. While I didn’t find any “MUST BUY” gems, I almost bought my kid a 90s Beanies shirt that said “This is my Beanies Shirt.” It was so perfect and so terrible.

The only thing was, if I bought this for him, was it because I loved him? Or if I didn’t buy it, was it because I loved him?

Ultimately I decided I loved him too much to dress him in twenty-year-old shirts saturated in roughly seven levels of postmodern irony that would be totally lost on him. One day he’d just take a picture of him in that shirt and hand it to the therapist wordlessly.

But damn it, it was only $2.99. I should have bought it.

50 Days of Summer: Guest Post


Today I’m posting a very special kind of post. I’m posting a guest post. Except the guest doesn’t even know I’m posting it. But his or her comment deserves to be read by the entire world. Or all forty of you.

Approximately two decades ago on this blog, I was writing about a character from Jurassic Park: The Lost World. This character is named Eddie Carr. I know nothing about Eddie Carr. I know next to nothing about The Lost World. I’ve seen it twice and hated it twice.

Here are the things I know about The Lost World:

1. The family dog dies. Fuck this movie.

2.  There is a character named Eddie Carr in it. I only know this because I have an action figure of this character in my basement. I have two of them, actually.

One time, two or three decades ago, or maybe a million years ago, I wrote a blog post about my bemusement that Eddie Carr action figures exist. At the time I wrote dismissively, “in the film, Eddie Carr is the balding field equipment technician who is unceremoniously killed by a pack of raptors somewhere halfway through the movie. Kids will really want an action figure of this guy.”

Today, someone left this comment on that post. This is your guest post, insane, glorious, Internet-stranger:

“Unceremoniously killed by a pack of raptors”?!?

He died trying to save three people trapped in an RV hanging off a cliff.  He risked his life to get to them, his limbs to rig the winch, and he stayed in the drivers seat of that Mercedes SUV despite not one but TWO T-Rex’s baring down on him. He stayed at his post bravely mashing the gas pedal while in reverse trying to hold the RV from falling giving his friends the precious seconds they needed to secure themselves to the rope that EDDIE had thrown to them.

He also secured the little girl up in the high blind where she would be safe.
The man is a GOD DAMNED HERO. He saved both Vince Vaughn and Jeff Goldblum. His actions are directly responsible for saving the lives of four people.

Even as the T-Rex’s tore apart the vehicle around him he held his post and that gas pedal. He didn’t do that for himself, he did that to save his people because he was a beautiful, caring, selfless man.

I think he deserves a presidential commendation for his bravery and for sacrificing his life to save his comrades. It’s the only scene in a movie where I’ve openly wept for such a great characters death.”

Whoever you are, I would buy your book.

Naptime Chonicles: The Drive Home / Everything Will Be Fine.


The Baby On Board sign potentially means many things — a yuppie status symbol, an alert sign for first responders in an emergency, a sign that tells other moron drivers to get off your ass because you have precious cargo. But I think the real reason we put it up is that we’re all secretly hoping that it somehow emits a protective forcefield around the car.

I tried to psych myself up, though I was just as likely psyching myself out. It’s just like a video game, I thought to myself as I strapped the baby into the car seat for the first time, getting us ready for the drive home.

I’ve been preparing for this my entire life. Everything I learned from video games was going to be crucial for this drive: laser-sharp focus, quick reaction time, precision-timed jumping. Well, maybe not that.

We walked out of the postnatal ward, venturing towards The World.  Somewhere in the corridor, I’m pretty sure a person either sneezed or coughed or spontaneously bled out of their eyelids, sending an air raid of germs to rain down on my three-day-old son.

I decided I would be totally fine with living in that hospital room the rest of our lives. All three of us, just like that. The baby in his little plastic container bin, the wife on the hospital bed, and me on the pull-out bedchair thing. We’d subsist on the many shades of brown foods from the hospital cafeteria, and in the evenings, we’d play along with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. It would be okay.

Speaking of that little plastic container bin that baby slept in: yeah, about that. After months of crib research on the internet, I’d come away thinking the only reasonable, safe option was the organic, sustainably-sourced, certified-chemical-free, New Zealand pine crib that cost a million dollars, with a mattress made from handpicked soybeans personally blessed by a priest.

So that’s what I bought.

Rookie mistake. And I realized it once they placed my kid in a plastic tub on a metal push cart that might have been used for room-service food delivery in a previous life. And you know what? My kid was perfectly okay being in that tub. And he would also be perfectly okay one day rolling around on our formaldehyde-emitting laminate floors. Putting the dog toys in his mouth. Licking the restaurant table. Eating microwaved macaroni.

Everything will be fine.

There are so many warning labels affixed to everything your child will remotely come in contact with. Warning labels on the food he eats, chair he sits it, on the back of the pacifiers, on the clothes tags, on the sheets, on the crib, mattress, every single toy — like, EVERYTHING CAN AND WILL HARM YOUR CHILD.

Then there’s the warnings on everything you’re doing wrong, from the way you put the baby to sleep to the way you possibly fucked the car seat up. There’s a million warnings about medical care, the air, the water, the sun. Taking your child outside is DANGEROUS.

EVERYTHING IS BAD. That’s what parenting is like in 2015, navigating a world of everyone telling you everything is bad. I’m personally rejecting and taking a stand against this.

Everything will be fine. It’s a bold new philosophy.

And that’s also how I made it out to the car. The drive was a blur. But everything was fine. Except for the part where a Goomba tried to cross my path, but I did a precision superspeed run/jump/land and took out a Koopa Troopa as well. The kid slept right through it. I’m such a pro.

50 Days of Summer: Ahhhh Jurassic Park Stuff!


Summer means blockbusters means merchandising frenzies. And I’m loving the dino-crap goodness of it all. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m planning to this week.

About two weeks ago, I went to Toys-R-Us giving myself explicit permission to purchase any Jurassic World item I so desired.

Actually, it was for my kid. He and I collect dinosaurs, y’know. (Insert comment from the wife: “he’s a baby. He doesn’t collect anything.”

Honestly, I was a little disappointed in the line of Jurassic World toys. The basic dino figures are drab and modern-plasticky-looking. Toys in the 80s and 90s had that certain sheen about them, but they must have removed some cancer-causing-chemical, because now all toys have a dullness in their colors. There were also some kind of Transformers/dinosaur/rock’em sock’em hybrid toys that just looked stupid as hell.

When I walked down the Hot Wheels aisle, it was then that I finally found some worthy Jurassic World toys. I came home with this. For my son.


I also found out that Wal-Mart has an exclusive mystery bag of mixed miniature dinosaur figures. It’s waaaaay overpriced at $15, but I shelled out. Again, for my son.


I do realize that die-cast metal cars and choking-hazard dinosaurs are not appropriate for an 11-month old, so I’ll just have to keep them for myself until then.

Of course, the Jurassic World item I was most excited for was the Peeps Dinosaur Eggs. Because look at it:


Now I’m going to disappoint you. They’re disgusting. They’re “blue raspberry”-flavored, which is a really unfortunate dental-fluoride-like flavor. Added bonus: my mouth broke out in canker sores within a few minutes of eating it. Added added bonus: each egg is 110 calories. That’s like 20 minutes of jogging. I hate myself.

Other potentially cool JW items that I might have to pick up for my son:

This Mosasaurus Plush:

Screenshot (4)

This Lunchbox Which is Kind of Amazing:

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This Book Because It’s Called Danger: Dinosaurs and That’s a Life Lesson He’ll Need

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This Shirt:

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Although I think we all kind of wish that kid in the picture didn’t survive.