Tag Archives: Nephews

Volkswagen Commercial: Darth Noah?

Angus and Noah: Stormtroopers

If you know either of my nephews then you would know that they love dressing up in costumes.  I don’t think I have ever seen two kids who enjoy to dress up and act the part of the superhero (or supervillain) than Angus and Noah.  When someone forwarded me this commercial today I was dying laughing.  Whoever that kid is in the Darth Vader gear was totally channeling Noah.

I have seen Noah get into a costume and completely take on the personality of that character.  If he had a full on Vader costume I am sure this would be him running around the house all day long.  The frustration this kid is displaying when his force powers are not working like they should is spot on Noah.

Enjoy the commercial.

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The Boy With The Broken Halo

Danger wrapped in a snug fitting costume.

That is Noah.

My nephew is turning 4 this weekend.  FOUR!  Time is really flying by as that kid and his big brother both grow like weeds.  It is like looking into some fairy tale mirror when I watch this kid play with his toys.  It is really freaky how much he plays like I did at that age.  He has an amazing imagination and had endless hours of conflict and drama with his growing number of action figures.

I have a big Halloween Bash of my own to go to this weekend so I am sorry I can’t make the little guy’s party but I went down to Richmond and had him all to myself for a few hours yesterday.  I really do prefer having him and his brother all to myself and not having to share their attention with all of their other relatives.  We really had a great visit too.

But since I can’t be there to help him celebrate his birthday I put together a little video for him.  Hope he likes it.

Happy Birthday Noah.  Hope you have a great party.

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Video Compilation from Angus’ Birthday

I was putting together my post last night about Angus’ Birthday and I really didn’t want to link all of the videos separately.  Instead, I played around with IMovie a bit last night and the outcome is below.  Pretty cool that I could do all that right on the phone.  The video looks much better in HD if you click this link or you can just watch the video below.

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Happy Birthday Angus! How Can You Be Six Already!?!

I really can’t believe that my nephew, Angus, turned six today.  It really does seem like just yesterday that this little guy came into the world and made me realize that I didn’t actually hate ALL kids.  I really do love the short stack and was glad to be able to head down to Richmond today to spend some time with him.

I got in the car and headed down there early so that I could spend the whole day with the birthday boy.  He was really happy to see me when I got there too.  I love how he can just sit and look at you as though he is drinking you in and taking note of every detail and filing it away in his special little brain to be able to go back there later.

Because his little brother was off at school we had a rare afternoon where Angus got to be the center of attention.  So he got to open his Star Wars and Avatar toys that I brought him without the little bro’s grubby hands grabbing at his new loot.  And he really can don the cheeseball smile when he sets his mind to it.

We got to hang out and watch a little of his new Justice League DVDs.

And even his Mommy, my kid sister, got to open up her birthday gift from me (Her birthday was on the 12th so…Happy Birthday yo!).

After a few hours Noah got home from school and the Birthday Boy had to share his new loot with his little brother.  There wasn’t even much of a struggle this time either.  Angus is getting really good at sharing.

Soon after the arrival of Noah and his Daddy, the rest of the guests started to arrive for the birthday party.  This was going to be the neighborhood kids along with his Grandma and cousin.  My sister setup the kiddie pool for the kids to play in…

And the Slip N Slide for them to try and injure themselves on…

I am not sure who had more fun with all the water toys though:  the kids or the “grown-ups”.  When the next door neighbors got in a wrestling match and both ended up in the pool that was a real highlight of the party.  But even though the kids were having so much fun playing…like every kid’s party…everything stopped when the cake was brought out.  This year Angus even let everyone sing Happy Birthday and he blew out his candles with no help.

It was really heartwarming to see how far he has grown over the last year.  He had meltdowns or just became really uncomfortable being the center of attention when everyone tried to sing Happy Birthday in previous years.  It was great to just see him so happy and smiling after he blew out those candles.

It really does melt my heart on days like this to see the Angus so beaming and happy.  Even more so to see him being so social and just having fun with his friends.  I know that a few years ago even something that seems so easy to most of us…like hangin’ with our friends…wasn’t a given for the kid.  So it really does make me proud of how far he has come already.  It really just goes to show how much care and love he is getting from his parents and his teachers.  Great job Holly and Tony.

Thanks for having me down to spend the day with the guys.

Happy Birthday Angus!

Oh..and I almost forgot…this toy that Angus got as a gift…Tell me the guy that designed it doesn’t drive a Porsche.

Ummm..yeah...Sorry about the penis.

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Heartless: The Story of the Tin Man

watching home alone

Watching Home Alone at Christmas of 2009

As I watch my nephews sit in front of the TV and watch the same DVD for the 100th time or the same Netflix Scooby-Doo episode for the 5th straight time…in a row…this morning I tend to wonder how I ever became fixated on certain movies or shows when I was a kid.  There were no DVDs, DVRs, or streaming movies…hell, there weren’t even VCRs yet.  Taking Star Wars as an example, I saw the original movie in the theater once when I was 6 years old and I don’t even remember when I saw it for the second time.  But I did know every character, every scene and every line from the movie.  I had every action figure, every vehicle and my life was pretty much Star Wars themed.  This obsession with Star Wars was without being to watch it over and over and without memorizing every scene by heart in the process.

I remember having comic books and records (Yes, records) about Star Wars that I would read and listen to over and over and I guess that is about the same thing.  But I can’t imagine my nephews getting to the same obsessive point about a particular story by just reading a comic or listening to a record.  I really do believe that they couldn’t get so wrapped up in Star Wars if they didn’t get to watch the movies over and over again.

Wizard of Oz was another of those obsessions when I was a kid.  Back then the movie was shown once a year on TV.  I remember that it was a big deal for my family as we would all be gathered around the TV to watch Dorothy and her brainless, heartless and gutless friends battle it out with the Wicked Witch.  There was no rewinding to watch a great scene over and over.  We just watched the movie from start to finish and then it was over until next year.  But I still loved that movie and I still know every word to every song.

I really do think it was the Wizard of Oz that started my love for fables and fairy tales.  I have always been in love with any kind of mythology and stories that build their own have always been some of my favorites.  Of course we all know that Tolkien created his own mythology.  Gaiman did it with his still unsurpassed Sandman series.  JJ Abrams did it with Lost.  Willingham is still doing it with his Fables series.  And Baum did it with his Oz stories.

It is the mark of a great story when you see if being retold or re-imagined over and over.  The Wizard is one of those stories that has been done countless times..some of them really good and some of them really, really bad (I am talking about you Sci-Fi channel and your stupid Tin Man).

The movie below is one of the good ones.  It is the back-story of the Tin Man and it is just about perfectly done.  The Tin Woodsman without a heart is a tale of sadness and lost love and is probably what has always drawn me to the poor guy.  This short film captures the essence of the Tin Man perfectly.  Oh…and I love his badass Steampunk look too.

Check it out.  I have already watched it a few times and I think I will watch it a few more…. I think my nephews and I aren’t that much different at all.

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Hey Mom….Hope Yesterday Was as Fun For You

So yesterday was Mother’s Day and I spent it with the two best mom’s I know:  My mom and my sister.

I am probably a lot like most sons out there and I don’t say it enough…but I do love you Mom.  You, and Dad too, have been there so often when I needed a helping hand, a word of advice, a little love or just a laugh or two (usually at Dad’s expense).  There really aren’t words to appropriately express my feelings for you so I just did the usual…bought you a couple cards and grunted out a Happy Mother’s Day while giving you a hug.  That hug and that grunt mean more than they seem…You know it…it is just my way.

Yesterday was fun though.  I got up earlier than usual on a Sunday to jump in the car and head down to Richmond to spend the day with the ladies and my nephews.  They were surprised to see me when I showed up unannounced but not as surprised and happy as my two nephews:  Angus and Noah.  When I show up it means only one thing:  PLAYTIME!

So we played around a bit in their new Castle.  The castle was a cardboard box that their Daddy made into a castle for them.  He even created their own little flag to raise up above the castle to let us know they were in there.  They were so cute in that little box together until they came out of there swinging the swords (that I bought them mind you) at me with all their might.  We then piled into my sister’s car and headed out to the mall to an indoor playground where the kids wanted to go and play.  My mom was really cute all crammed in between the two kids seats in the back.  I really am sure she was regretting sitting back there as my sister proceeded to drive through what I am pretty sure was three different states on the way to this “close” mall.  But the good Grandma that she is…she didn’t complain once.
When we got to the mall both Noah and Angus immediately kicked off the shoes and socks and started running around like a couple of Lost Boys.  They had the place pretty much to themselves at first and they were loving it.  Soon though, all of the Weekend Dads (you know the ones I am talking about..only see their kids on the weekends and have no real idea how to relate to them so they just take them somewhere…like a mall playground…and let them loose while they sit and talk on their cellphones) started showing up with their kids and then the place was full of little snot machines.  They boys had me chasing them around the place until I was all drenched in sweat.  I really think we scared some of those kids.

The boys had their fill of the place after about an hour and they were both really tired and REALLY hungry.  We all piled back into the car and headed over to Famous Dave’s for lunch.  Love those Catfish fingers.

I hope you had a great day Mom.  I know the rest of us had fun with you.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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Eamus Catuli (and Let’s Go Caps!!)

Being a Cubs fan in the DC area is often just one more reason for anyone (and pretty much everyone) to take jabs at me.  I have even been in situations, especially at my job at the Old Studio, where my co-workers (that couldn’t tell you the difference between a Homerun and a Touchdown) would make fun of my beloved Cubbies.  Even people that have never watched a game and have never once opened a sports page know enough to exploit my pain.  But unlike the Bandwagon fandom that is the DC area, I have always stuck by my Cubbies and Caps through thick and thin….but unfortunately it is mostly thin.  Once again the cold of winter recedes and April is upon us; full of hope and promise as we enter another season of Cubbies baseball and the Stanley Cup playoffs.

With only 4 games left on the schedule and a 7 point separation between the Caps and the Sharks the President’s Trophy is pretty much a done deal.  The Caps have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs wrapped up and The Great 8, if not for his 2 suspensions, would be have been a lock for both the Hart and the Art Ross trophies.

This is such a great time to be a Capitals fan too.  It used to suck when the Pens, Ranger and Flyers were in town as half of the crowd or more would be fans from those opposing teams.  It doesn’t happen anymore.  The Phone booth is almost entirely Red now no matter who is here to play.  Even weekday games against shitty teams like Atlanta are sold out and the fans are going crazy during the entire game.  We are ready for the playoffs…and after two years in a row of really heartbreaking exits from the tournament…we are ready for it all.  Lord Stanley is coming to DC this year.

But the Caps take a back seat today because….

Hey, Hey Whatta ya say?  Opening day is finally here!!!

Is this finally the end of our motto being “Wait til next year”?  I seriously doubt it.  But with 162 games ahead of us you really never know.  The Cubbies have 13 new faces on the 25 man opening day roster.  Pretty hard to imagine going the distance with over half of your players new to the team.  But on the bright side…one of those 25 isn’t that waste of space Milton Bradley.

I can’t believe that the games here in DC aren’t until the last week of August though.  I really do hope they are games that still mean something that late into the season to make the games even more fun than usual.  It has been great having the Nationals here the last few years and getting those 3 or 4 games every year.  You would be amazed at the amount of Cubs fans in the metro area.

With the first pitch being just 5 hours away I could not help but try to start the indoctrination of my nephew:

Eamus Catuli!  Let’s make this a great year.

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