Monday, September 28, 2009


I wrote an article for THE FATHER LIFE. It's actually my first article for another website. Please don't tell them. It's about being EXTREME DAD...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sesame Street: You CAN go home again

Finally coming out of the whole overwhelmed thing. Slowly starting to get the balance back. Kitchen should be usable again next week. Must... stop.. eating... microwave food....

OK so I was watching Sesame Street with Griffin who is now around 14 months old. He gets a little bit more TV than Bella did, mainly because well, I’m freaking exhausted, that’s why, and sometimes you just need 20 minutes of not chasing around a toddler who keeps wondering what the cat tastes like.

As I was watching Sesame Street I was amazed to see most of the old actors I grew up with still there, like Gordon, Susan, Bob and of course the same guy who does Big Bird and Oscar. They’ve been doing this for 40 years! That kind of job security is unheard of, especially in television. Although somehow I doubt the raises have been too significant. It is public television after all.

Sesame Street is a mix of old footage and new and I remembered some of the segments when I was a kid like the Ladybug Picnic and the western one where a guy marked everyone with an “X” until a boy asked him to stop and then he started doing “O”s. My favorite was the last line “The townspeople were satisfied, because they really weren’t very smart”

Sesame Street always catered to both the children and the parents watching, which has always been cool. You can really see the flash of genius between Jim Henson and Frank Oz doing skits with Ernie and Cookie Monster (The Cookie Bunny) and other sketches with Grover and that guy he always tortured in the restaurant. Some of them were loose, ad libbed and really pretty funny.

I was happy to see that tradition being upheld. Sure, Elmo is still really annoying, although less so once you have kids. Mainly because they sit still and watch him for a few minutes, making you actually grateful to him. Like making a deal with a high pitched furry red devil. Yes, master. Whatever you say, master.

There was one segment that really made me laugh and I actually rewound to watch it again. I tried to find it on YouTube but couldn’t and then I finally found it on the Sesame Street site. The band Squirrel Nut Zippers did a parody of their song Put a Lid on it and kept putting things on a guy’s head. I found the link. Here it is. I may even buy their album now.

So it was cool to see there is one thing I grew up with that the spirit has remained the same. And I am happy to share it with my children. Here’s to another 40 years of Sesame Street.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Sometimes we get overwhelmed. For me, this is one of those times. The last few weeks have been crazy, and I finally found the combination of events that has left me with no time to do anything except check an occasional e-mail and maybe do a Facebook update and then try to sleep for 3-4 hours at a stretch. Keep in mind, it’s not like I was looking for that combination of events.

The combination is as follows: Having two children, traveling with two children, getting sick, redoing our kitchen, trying to promote the book and taking care of a baby that refuses to nap for 12-14 hours a day. Little room for anything else. In fact, my book promotion, blogging, and everything career related has simply come to a complete halt over the past few weeks. At first I was sad that crashed and burned and can’t be fixed, but as the new version of the site is being rebuilt I realized it actually came at a perfect time. I have no time to devote to it right now.

I had to stay in a hotel for a few days, but meeting Rowdy Roddy Piper was extremely cool so there were some perks. But Going to Home Depot every few days (sometimes more than once) and coordinating what feels like a 100 contractors with a 13 month old in tow has not been easy. Although my 13 month old now knows everything there is to know about grout. Good for him.
Meet the Contractors: You’re the regular contractor, great. Now there’s the cabinet guy, the countertop guy, the appliances and the home depot coordinator, and oh, regular contractor you’re going on vacation in the middle of the job? Great. Glad you mentioned that earlier. Oh, wait, you didn’t. Well done. I guess that’s my fault.

Now the expensive copper sink is crooked and it’s always a hassle to return stuff online, home depot has nothing in stock, and now the sink doesn’t fit, the faucets won’t fit, some of the cabinets are damaged or wrong, etc. We’re using a fridge, a toaster oven and a microwave and a credit card for meals. Oh, and now I’m having anxiety attacks? That’s weird. I wonder how that happened.

The thing is, we NEVER would have redone our kitchen unless we had to. We knew it would be a nightmare. But between our old cabinets falling apart (and down, they were separating from the ceiling) a 24 inch oven from 1956 and a vinyl floor that had more stains than actual pattern it was time. We knew when we bought the house we would have to redo it eventually. Would have been easier to do it without two kids, but hey, hindsight is always 20/20.

But now things are at least progressing. Most of the cabinets are in, the appliances should be here soon and the kitchen should at least be semi-functional in 2 weeks or so. I hope.

(Chris gets up because his neighbor’s giant dogs have now run into his backyard and scared his children. His wife needs help getting them out. They won’t leave. The neighbor won’t answer his doorbell. Chris gets the dogs out of his yard, closes the gate and with the help of another neighbor leashes the dogs and brings themn back to his negligent dog-owner neighbor, who is still sleeping. Thankfully his roommate is up and takes the dogs. Chris has done his good deed for the day and then resumes his blog that he almost can’t finish.)

I have to say the kitchen does looks nice and will be worth the hassle once it is complete, a thousand years from now. For now I’m just trying to keep the baby from eating the new cabinets. Maybe I’ll just give him one to chew on so I can get 15 minutes of sleep…

© Copyright • Chris Mancini • All Rights Reserved • Site by Izzy Design