Do Guys Wear Hoodies?

So a buddy of mine is going to Fenway tonight to see the Sox. He’ll be five rows behind homeplate, which means I could probably see him on TV (if I really wanted to). And that would be the only reason to watch since I stopped watching them regularly about a month ago.

Anyway, I asked my friend, “Will you have a hat on or will you be wearing anything that will help me find you?”

“I won’t have a hat on, but I’ll probably be wearing my Patriots hoodie.”

I was speechless at first. Then I said, “Wait a minute” and my voice trailed off.

He was like, “Oh boy, something’s coming.”

Damn right something’s coming, I said.

It’s a hoodie thing. I have lots of things. Trust me. But the hoodie thing is one of my newest.

When did it stop being just a hooded sweatshirt?

And, more importantly, as I told my friend, it’s just not right for guys (particularly those in their 40s like him) to be talking about their hoodie. College girls wear hoodies. High school girls wear hoodies. Guys — we shouldn’t be wearing hoodies.

I can’t offer any concrete rationale for it being wrong. I just know it is.

Isn’t it?


The Ultimate Dinner Party

Not sure where I first heard this question, but it’s probably my favorite conversation starter:

You’re hosting a dinner party for four people — you and three guests. The guests can be anyone. Alive. Dead. Real. Ficticious.

Who do yo invite?

I can never land on one group, so I have a few. Some logical. Some kind of cool. Some just plain odd.

For example, I never met either of my grandfathers, so I’d start with them. And, I don’t remember a lot of one of my grandmothers, so she would round out the first table of four.

Next table is just a party of three. I’d invite my dad (who passed away six years ago) to have dinner with my two-year-old son and me. I’d love to see how they get along.

Then, I start having fun. Imagine the conversation (not too mention the looks) if JFK, Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were my guests.

I’m a sports nut — a Boston sports nut at that — so I’d invite Ted Williams, Larry Bird and probably Red Aurebach.

Gotta have my music party, so I’d invite Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Stipe and probably Elton John.

My religious party would have me breaking bread with Jesus, Moses and Peter.

In my completely crazy party, I’d invite Ted Bundy, Charles Manson and Hitler.

You see that you can start to have fun with this. Think of the conversations that would be started. Think of the looks these parties would generate if you were in a restaurant. Think of the fun you would have to sit back and just enjoy.

So, enough about me, who would you invite to dinner?


The Most Ignored Road Sign

Perhaps you’ve seen it. Or, most likely, you haven’t.

Because, it seems, many of you don’t know what it means.

I’m talking about the Yield sign. You know, the one that means, you can keep going, as long as nobody else is coming, at which point you need to slow down and get out of their way.

Not the sign that means you can just keep going no matter what and you never have to look behind you to see who might be starting a 10-car pile up because of your ineptness.

Perhaps there’s just a big mystery….and that’s that not everyone knows that Yield actually means “Yes, I‘m an Educated and Licensed Driver.”

Do they just not teach the Yield thing anymore? Have we simply forgotten about it? Why doesn’t anyone Yield anymore?

How about you…do you Yield?


What’s On the Tube?

Loyal readers (both of you), I’m sure you’ve been wondering, “Where’s Mike?”

If you must know, I’ve been in front of the TV. It’s that time of year — new shows aplenty, so with the help of TiVo (the greatest invention ever), I’ve been checking out what the networks are bringing to the table.

Some shows are still rolling out this week, so I’ll reserve total judgment, but, so far, I gotta tell you, I love what I see.

Let’s go category by category:

Reality

The best reality show on TV is The Amazing Race — now in it’s 10th season. They are promising some twists and turns, but it sure looks like they nailed the teams on this one.

Dancing with the Stars. Yup, I watch it. In fact, I love it. The only necessary change — rid poor Tom Bergeron of Samantha Harris. She’s awful. This year? Go Emmitt!

Survivor. The king of them all is playing the race card — separating tribes at first by race. So far, so good. It’s working for me.

The Biggest Loser. Didn’t plan to watch this last night, but I got sucked in (no pun intended) for a bit. It wasn’t bad. Won’t go on TiVo as a season pass, but it was still pretty good.

Comedy

I’m not a big comedy guy. It’s hard to impress me. I was a huge Friends fan, however, which is probably why I LOVED the first episode of The Class. Hilarious. I also watch How I Met Your Mother. No, I don’t watch Earl or the Office. I guess I’ll put The OC in the comedy category. Not really sure what else to call it!

Drama

This is my realm. So many shows. So many good shows. I’ll probably forget some, too. Returning shows first.

It’s new to me, but I’ve started watching Nip/Tuck. Pretty dark, but very entertaining. I’ll also start watching Las Vegas and Crossing Jordan. Just good entertainment. Don’t have to think very much watching those.

Desperate Housewives is back. I’m feeling it. And you know LOST is going to be fabulous.

New shows: Justice is getting a little better on FOX. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip had an OK first episode, but you know it’ll be good. I’m looking forward to giving Six Degrees and Brothers and Sisters a try, too.

So…yeah, it’s a busy TV season. Thank goodness for TiVo. But, if I’m not here, now you know where to find me!


Two Big Boys

The two men of the house are on their own this weekend. That’s me and my two-year-old son.

His Mom is visiting her sister in Florida — marking the first time in more than two years she’s been away from our son for an overnight. Therefore, it’s also the first time he and I have been alone together overnight. It’ll actually be two overnights. She comes back Sunday.

So, with the woman of the house away, the men of the house are ready to have a boys’ weekend.

Tonight, we went to McDonald’s for dinner. That was a great way to start. We were going to go to a football game, but the rain put a damper on that.

My wife is getting a much-deserved vacation — even for two nights. She’s nervous about being away from him for the first time. But, it’s gotta happen at some point. I’m getting some much-appreciated one-on-one time with my son, too.

Mom is the one who spends the most time with him, so this will be a good weekend for us. And, the first phase accomplished with no trouble. We got dinner, a bath and down to bed without incident. And I’ve even already cleaned up toys that were lying around and did some dishes.

Not sure what the rest of the weekend is going to bring. Like real men, we’re going to wing it. No plans in this house! Just men — or as my son says, ‘two big boys.’


Mustard on Meatloaf?

Ok, so here’s the thing.

It’s hard to find something that tastes better than a hamburger right off the grill. Add some perfectly melted cheese and the only thing that makes that burger taste better (besides a cold beer) is the perfect amount of mustard.

That’s right. I put mustard on my cheeseburgers. No ketchup. Just mustard. And, you know what? I love it. Nothing tastes better to me.

But, here’s the thing….when I have meatloaf, which is one of my all-time favorite dinners, what do you think I put on it? Mustard?

Nope. Guess again.

Yup, I put ketchup on meatloaf. Can’t really tell you why. I just do. I know, meatloaf is just a hamburger in a different shape. But, there is something that just won’t let me do it. Ketchup doesn’t go on cheeseburgers, but it goes on meatloaf with melted cheese.

No idea why I do this or why I can’t change. I just know that’s what I do. The only time ketchup will make it on my burger is if I’m mixing it with mayo to make secret sauce.

So, yeah, that’s me. Weird, eh?


My Generation’s Kennedy Moment

My Mom can tell you where she was when President Kennedy was killed. That was always hard for me to fathom. How a complete generation of people had one moment in history that would always link them together.I never really understood that.

Until 9/11.

I was at work in East Hartford (at a job I no longer have). We were in an all-staff meeting. It was a short meeting — I think we started at 8:30. When we came out at 9, someone mentioned something about a plane and a building in New York.

I quickly got online — or tried to anyway. The internet was crawling as millions of people were trying to find out what had happened. And then when CNN’s web page came up, we knew. We hooked up the only TV we had in the office in the conference room, and about 20 of us stood around and watched silently as the towers fell. It was surreal.

Just unimagineable. I thought back to a trip to New York when I went to the observation deck of one of the towers. I thought about how the 19 story building I was in at the time absolutely paled in comparison. I thought about my friend Nancy who I knew worked for Morgan Stanley — but was fortunately more mid-town. I found out that my friend Liz’s husband Tim who worked in one of the adjoining buildings didn’t go to work that day.

And then I thought about my trip.

On September 12, my college roommate and I were due to fly to Kansas City and then on to St. Louis in our ongoing quest to see a baseball game in every major league park.

Our flight wasn’t until later in the day on the 12th, so I was sure we’d be in the air and on our way. A couple hours later, I was thinking, well, it’s ok if they delay us one day. We’ll still get out there.

Flights would be grounded for days. What we were watching would change the course of the world.

It has since been documented in television specials, coffee table books and government commission reports.And all I was concerned about at the time was baseball — America’s pasttime.

I was so naive.


My Son’s First ‘Concert’

Saturday morning, my wife and I got everything ready, put our son in the car and off we went. He only knew we were going on a “special special” which is what we call a, well, special trip.

If you’ve watched your share of Thomas the Tank Engine episodes, you know it comes from there. But, it works, so we go with it.

It wasn’t Thomas that morning, however. Rather, it was Elmo and Sesame Street Live. So, needless to say, he was wearing his Elmo shirt and his Elmo shorts.

We got to the arena and as soon as he saw the stage, he knew he was somewhere special. We told him he would soon be seeing all of his friends — Elmo, Big Bird, Count, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie and Oscar — up close. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of the explanation, but as soon as the lights went down and the characters came out, his curiosity took over and his eyes were fixed on the stage.

The show was longer than expected — an hour and a half, not counting a 15-minute intermission (more on that in a minute).

For the most part, he did great. Got a little antsy toward the end, but can’t blame him for that. We were getting that way, too. All in all, though, I think he enjoyed his first concert.

So the announcement of an intermission wasn’t 30 seconds old when a vendor carrying a bundle of what had to to be 100 Elmo balloons hit the main floor. Yeah, I’d say people flocked to him dropping probably $5 or $10 on one of these souveniers.

We did not go home with one, I’m proud to say.

Sesame Street does it right, though. Good show. Characters all looked great. It was a good day. And his first ‘concert’ was much different than mine — which was KISS. Oh well, there will be time for that as he gets older! And no doubt I’ll take him to his first rock show, too.


Call Me Cynical, but….

Ok, let’s call this one a rambling rant. I’m half ranting and mostly rambling, so that’s what you get.

I’m sorry, but I don’t get this big news story about Steve Irwin. He’s dead. I’m sorry for that. (Honest.) Nobody deserves to go the way he did. But, a couple of things. He’s a croc hunter — his time was coming eventually, no?

But, more importantly, is it really this big of a deal? “Breaking News” all over the place that Steve Irwin is dead? The local paper here has a spot on its website for people to post messages of condolences. Honestly? Who reads that stuff (Ok, I do…some of it is just so funny)? Who writes that stuff (I don’t do that!)? Do the people that write it honestly believe that Steve’s family will read this stuff? Are people so hurt by his loss that they need to publicly express their grief?

I don’t get it. Help me understand this.


What It Means to Be Two

My son is two — which means he’s very good at trying my patience (as well as his mom’s).

My son is two — which means he gives the best hugs in the world.

My son is two — which means he sometimes will put his feet on the dinner table (even when he knows he shouldn’t).

My son is two — which means if watching him eat an ear of corn won’t make your day, I’m not sure what will.

My son is two — which means bath time isn’t always the easiest time of day.

My son is two — which means there is no better smile when he comes out of the tub and is bundled in a towel in his mom’s lap.

My son is two — which means he rarely uses his ‘quiet’ voice in quiet places.

My son is two — which means hearing him say “choo choo train” will melt you.

My son is two — which means he doesn’t always understand that you can throw balls outside, but you can’t throw them inside.

My son is two — which means I love him more than I ever thought possible.