Day 25: Lego Movie, Andy D, Guilty Pleasures

One of the movie theaters in town was playing the Lego Movie this morning for a buck a head so we loaded the kids in the van and headed to the movies. Mason was pretty amazed -- not with the giant screen or loud sounds so much as with the fact that he got to see Lego Batman for a solid hour.

The girls hung out at friends' houses this afternoon and Mason took his nap. I'd like to say I was completely lazy today but I wound up doing a few hours of actual work for my real job as a school counselor. Not work like sitting on the deck and thinking about weeding the garden type work.

Amy had a meeting this evening so with the kids in bed, I was left to watch Andy D videos and have an email conversation with my pal Matt (different Matt) about guilty pleasure songs. I define guilty pleasure songs as one that if you were in the shower, home alone, and it came on the radio, you'd belt it out like you were on stage in front of a crowd of thousands. On the other hand, if someone asked you if you like that particular song, your response would be a sheepish "maybe."

My top three guilty pleasure songs (that I'd let loose in the shower any day...home alone or not)...

Honorable mentions go to George Michael's Monkey, Bad Company's How About That, and Looking Glass' Brandy (You're a Fine Girl).

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 24: Nachos, Soccer Hair, Propaganda

You want to know the most exciting thing that happened today? We had nachos for lunch.

Obviously a pretty mellow day.

The FIFA World Cup is big news right now and I have to admit, soccer doesn't do much for me. I think it's because I never played soccer as a kid like a lot of people I know. I was thinking about something I mentioned on Twitter today:

Think I'm kidding?

Now don't get me wrong. I may have never played soccer in my life, but I used to be the guy with the hair myself.

In other important news, I was surprised to find out today that Propaganda's new album is out already. Not sure how that one slipped by me. Knowing my love of good hip-hop, my friend Chad got me hooked on Propaganda a few years ago. His style is unique -- often more poetic than musical.

I was checking out the new album on Spotify and came across this track -- one that may hit a little close to home for any of you, like myself, working in education.

Coincidentally, Propaganda will be here in town later this week as part of the AudioFeed Festival. Hoping to catch that show for sure.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 23: Dead Fish, Jesse Camp, Flat Footin'

Fish are dead. All five of them. Can't say I'm surprised.

But our garden is very much alive! We planted our garden a little later than we should have so it's not producing quite as much as we'd hoped. Still, what's coming in looks great!


Remember Jesse Camp? The guy who won the MTV Wanna Be a VJ contest back in 1998? Yahoo ran a where-is-he now type article on him today which reminded me of the one clip I remember of Jesse that I still find hilarious even 15+ years later: "I never heard of Buffy the Vampire...but whatever...I LOVE Slayer!"

The mail brought my Saved by the Bell books that I picked up a few nights ago for cheap in a late-night eBay purchase.

I often wonder what my wife thinks of me as I sit next to her on the couch or lay next to her in bed reading books intended for 12-year-old girls. Whatever.

Mister SeƱor Love Daddy predicted a hot muggy day for today so we fired up the sprinkler for the kids before dinner. Not exactly sure what Mason's doing there...

I mentioned John Dee Holeman a few weeks ago and came across this collection of videos on YouTube this evening. Maybe one of the best things I've seen since Grafitti Rock.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 22: Flat Tire, Back Pain, Breakdance Instruction

Am I seriously this old?!?

I thought throwing your back out was something reserved for old people on TV. I guess not. Either that or I'm older than I thought.

Changing a tire this morning, I went to pick up the flat and knew immediately that it was going to be a long day. For the record, I was stupid. I picked the thing up without using my legs in any way. All back. All stupid.

Although I was able to get the tire fixed and mow our yard before the full pain set in, my suspicions were correct and I spent the rest of the day stuck on the couch. Useless and immobile.

Now let me be clear. I'm not talking about a sore back like you would have when you haven't used certain muscles in a while (like a person might feel after playing tennis for the first time in five years). I'm talking about "can't stand up from a sitting position without pain shooting down my leg and up my spine" soreness.

So with nothing more than that excitement to share with you, let me give you something worth your while like this 1984 instructional breakdance video.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 21: Golden Girls, Biscuit Songs, Tennis Comeback

Officially one-third of the way through summer, I woke up at my dad's house this morning after staying up way too late watching random shows on cable channels. We haven't had more than network channels and Netflix in our house for a few years so those late-night episodes of Family Feud and the Golden Girls were a luxury.

I checked my email and was immediately reminded of an eBay purchase I had made last night somewhere between "survey says" and the Girls thanking me for being their friend. A collection of five Saved by the Bell books shipped for less than four bucks total. Not a bad deal...but a reminder that I need to be banned from eBay after 10pm.

Strangely, this exact same thing happened last summer...Saved by the Bell books picked up late at night followed by the suggestion of a late-night eBay ban.

Today is my dad's birthday so we put together a hearty breakfast of homemade biscuits and gravy before deciding how to spend the rest of the morning. Yeah. I make homemade biscuits. So there.



On a side note, I defy you to find any two biscuit songs better than these:

The humidity of the day hadn't set in yet so we decided to head to a local nature trail for a morning walk. The kids grabbed plastic bags to collect any natural "treasures" they might come across.

Dad had plans for lunch with some friends so we headed for home. The kids were wiped out and I was sure that they would sleep for the entire two-hour drive home. I should have known better. They didn't.

So all of that leads me to the evening hours which included one of the greatest comeback stories of all time. Let me awe you with inspiration.

I started playing tennis early in high school. I wasn't bad but I certainly wasn't good. My junior and senior years in high school I played within the lower ranks of the top 6 on my school's tennis team -- again, not because I was that good...I was just less bad than enough of the other guys to get myself into the competitive rankings.

Throughout college I'd play tennis off and on with friends and helped coach the tennis team at the school where I did my student teaching back in the late 90s. I continued to play occasionally up until about four or five years ago when kids came into the picture and the person I played with most often moved away.

Last night, my friend Matt and I decided it was time for a comeback (you may remember Matt from our scientific Super Bowl predictions from last spring). He and I headed to some nearby courts, popped open a fresh can of balls, and we were in business. It took a few minutes to get into a groove but we felt pretty good; although, I admit my forehands and backhands were mixed with their share of miscues and shots off the frame of my racket. My confidence started to return which led to some less-calculated shots -- one being a forehand that sent the ball over the fence behind Matt and into a mass of thick foliage. Thick enough that we weren't going to find the ball.

That's cool though. We still had two balls. Why bring more, right? We just wanted to hit around a bit.

Forty-five minutes into our comeback, it happened again. I set my feet and prepared myself for a powerful forehand return. The ball had different ideas as it, too, sailed over the fence and into the (otherwise beautiful) greenery. Miscue.

With only one ball left, we called it a night.

Have you seen The Sandlot? Ham hits a home run -- over the fence and into the yard with the ferocious dog -- and everyone has to go home because that was their only ball?

That was us. Two guys in their thirties and we went home because we lost our ball.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 20: Outlet Mall, Breast Feeding, Poppy

You all know that Sesame Street song: "One of these things is not like the of these things just doesn't belong..."

Today, I experienced this game first hand.

My dad's birthday was coming up so we decided to pack the car and head down for a quick visit to celebrate with him. It just so happened that Amy had an appointment to get her hair cut in a town between here and there, so while she spent 90 minutes at the hair place (that's what they're called, right?), I took the kids and headed to the nearby outlet mall. We stopped in at the book store and the toy store with the understanding that we were there just to look. I guess I understood that but the other three took a little convincing.

Looking at the toys upon toys upon toys, I was reminded of the complete joy and fascination that can overtake a kid as they go up and down the aisles of a toy store. Thanks to my kids for the reminder of how fun that can be. :)

With about 45 minutes left before Amy would be finished, we stopped by the play area in the center of the outlet mall. The breeze was blowing, the sun was shining, and the kids were happy. I was feeling pretty content as I sat down on the park bench to watch them play.


As an avid people watcher, I started looking around at the other families who were there. There was the mom with her young son and the baby she was breast feeding. The mom and the grandma with the little boy and girl. The other mom with the girls that were probably too young to be climbing around as freely as they were.

Then there was me. The bearded guy in sunglasses.

One of these things was not like the others. I cannot breast feed a baby.

Either way, we headed out, picked up Amy, and finished our drive to my dad's house. The kids were thrilled as always to see Poppy and couldn't wait to hit the swings in his back yard.

Man, I love being back home.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 19: Pinball, Old Toys, A Greasy Spoon

It took me nineteen days to get to my favorite point in the summer where I completely lose track of what day of the week it is. I spent most of the morning thinking it was Friday.

Nope. Not Friday. Tuesday.

Charlotte and I took off this morning for a store I hadn't been to since last summer. Since then, Vintage Villains has moved to a larger location down the street and has apparently grown significantly from a merchandise and business standpoint. There is just so much to see in this store that will appeal to the pop culture junkie in anyone. Just off the top of my head, I saw everything from a boxed Pee-Wee's Playhouse playset to the home edition of Remote Control I had when I was a kid to multiple Castle Grayskulls and Snake Mountains.

The real sweet spot of Vintage Villains seems to be their selection of video games spanning just about every system platform you can imagine. My first stop was the rack full of Atari 2600 cartridges.

So with all of this in mind, you'd think that I emptied my wallet and maxed out my credit card. Really, though, I didn't buy anything. Seriously. Although the selection of merchandise at Vintage Villains was out of this world, the items I would have been interested in buying were a bit overpriced. A common Atari title for $6-8 each? I'll pass.

Don't get me wrong, though. This store is amazing and was well worth the 40 minute drive if for no other reason than to hit their free-play arcade. Charlotte and I knocked out a few games of Pac-Man pinball and Super Pac-Man before we left.

Outside, we definitely had to stop and snap a picture with the giant Hulk inside the store's window so we could show Mason when we got home.

As we were leaving Vintage Villains, we happened to notice the store next door -- actually, next door and down a flight of stairs. I wouldn't call it a flea market but I wouldn't call it a resale shop. It was something in between the two. Either way, we couldn't go home empty handed so we were happy to find a few "treasures" here. Charlotte found three seashells while I picked up a few records for super cheap -- a fun Chipmunks album, a Willie Nelson album I didn't have, and the full LP by the folks who do "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer".

Commence jealousy.

It was lunch time by this point and we were close to a place I had been hearing about from a friend for a long time. No doubt we were headed to Mike's Grill.


This place was amazing. It was the kind of place that I would never get away with eating if my health-conscious wife had been along for the ride. You have the option to eat inside but we opted for the curbside service. ("So, dad. They bring the food to your car?!")

I'm pretty sure my wife would not have approved of our lunch selections which included a bunch of fried food and sugary drinks. No fruits. No vegetables. All awesome.


Following such a nutritious meal, a treat was in order. So we shared a chocolate milkshake, too.

Dad of the year, right here.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 18: Biz Markie, Tom Green, Jurassic 5

After taking Anna to her swim lesson this morning, today turned into a total nothing day (although I did work a little on the garage door).

Kids are in bed and Amy's at a meeting this evening. I'm listening to it rain outside while I've got Biz Markie on Spotify.

To give you something worth your while, here's an amazing clip of Tom Green rhyming with Jurassic 5.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 17: Karate Kid, Karate Kid, Karate Kid

Today marked the 30th anniversary of the original release of my all-time favorite movie, The Karate Kid!

All through church, I just wanted to watch the movie.

All through lunch, I just wanted to watch the movie.

Afternoon nap time / quiet time for the kids and I watched the movie I've (seriously) seen hundreds of times before. It never gets old.

I had the pleasure of writing an article for the Mental Floss site about the Karate Kid anniversary which was published today to a pretty solid response.

Thanks, internet.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 16: Sun, Upside-Down Truck, Neighborhood Autographs

After spending the morning helping another friend move, I joined my family at my in-law's pool for an afternoon in the sun. Nothing out of the ordinary really. Nothing except this truck that I saw this morning.

This isn't my picture -- it's one I happened to find online. I was driving at the time I saw it and before I had the chance to park, dig out my phone, and snap a picture, the truck was gone.

I got some terrific mail today. I had recently been in touch with Chuck Aber who spent years as Neighbor Aber on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (many of you are aware of my Neighborhood Archive project) and he was kind enough to send me a signed photo not only of himself, but he set me up with autographs from Joe Negri (Handyman Negri) and Maggie Stewart (Mayor Maggie), as well!

It's looking like Carmelo Anthony's days in New York are numbered. I may not speak for all Knicks fans when I say this, but I'm caring less about this every day. Phil Jackson deserves the reputation he has and the respect he has within the NBA community. Like him or hate him, Phil Jackson is the real deal. Sorry, Melo. I put my trust in Phil when he says the Knicks are moving forward with or without you.

The Summer of Tim continues...

Day 15: A Magic Show, Quicksilver, Slim Goodbody

Remember those lazy summer days I talked about -- the ones that are bound to happen more often than I'd like to admit? Well, this was one of those days.

After a morning of Legos with the kids, Charlotte finished her last day of gymnastics camp. Anna (the waitress) and I hit the basement where we had some one-on-one time playing with Daniel Tiger toys and my old Fisher Price Magic Show set. Okay, maybe not my actual set from when I was a kid but one just like it that I bought on eBay years later.

The evening involved a family trip to the library where Charlotte was determined to check out a book about snails. I was looking for Summer of Sam (it's been on my brain recently with the Summer of Tim and all). She found her book. I didn't find my movie.

Instead, I came home with Quicksilver, a movie I saw when it first came out on video back in the 80s and haven't seen since. Back in the day of video stores, do you remember how you could have your name put on the back of posters and stand-ups? Then when the store was done with them, they'd call you and you could come pick them up for keeps. One of the first items I ever acquired this way was a countertop stand-up for Quicksilver. I hadn't seen the movie, but I knew of Kevin Bacon thanks to my subscription to Teen Beat magazine. Might have to hit eBay to see if I can find one of these cheap sometime.

The summer months leave me plenty of time to let my mind wander and today, for some reason, I started thinking about this amazing block I once saw by Laphonso Ellis. Your life will be better having seen it, too.

Last but not least, my pal Elvis has started a terrific Indiegogo campaign. He's not recording an album or filming a documentary. He just wants to hang out and enjoy life...on your dime.

Elvis is a freakin' genius.

On a side note, Elvis used to look like Slim Goodbody.


The Summer of Tim continues...