Thursday, October 20, 2016

Halloween Costumes for 2016

Having problems coming up with a costume idea for 2016? REALLY?!? A shit ton of things happened this year!

If you're like me, you can't just throw any old thing on for Halloween. You want to be topical. You want to be clever. You want to be original.

But, as I have pointed out in previous years - topical, c
lever, and original need NOT go hand in hand with obscene:


So right off the bat let's eliminate some things from 2016 that the T.C.O. goals we have for a Halloween Party.

#1 - Anything involving Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or even Bernie Sanders

The Politician to Harley Quinn ratio at parties this Halloween will be off the chart. So let's agree to skip them altogether - the politicians. I am TOTALLY fine with everyone dressing up like Harley Quinn!

"But I've already printed out 33,000 emails for my Hillary costume!"
Of course you have. That's not clever. And you've killed an entire forest, you asshole.

"Oh! What if I do the Hillary mask AND a prison jumpsuit? Original right?"'ll be the life of Mike Huckabee's Halloween party.

Come on! Don't try to recycle last year's Orange is the New Black costume, just because you still haven't put it away yet.

"Devil horns?"
Fuck off!

Prediction: a Janet Jackson/Hillary Clinton "Nasty" mashup. You'll see it. In fact you'll probably see two. So much for original.

"Surely it's OK if I dress up like Donald J. Trump, right?"


"How about "sexy" Trump?"
What is wrong with YOU?!?

Look! Even Trump doesn't want to look like Trump this Halloween. He'll be wearing a costume just like everyone else. Based on this photo from his private dressing room, it appears he'll be going as a ghost:

And before you go ordering your "sexy" Kenneth Bone costume from for $99.99, remember last minute crazes like this are almost ALWAYS a bust.

Everyone who waited until the last minute will jump on whatever is hot a week before Halloween. This explains why you have that Charlie Sheen mask sitting next to your Orange is the New Black costume you still haven't put away.

Seriously! Spring Cleaning! Look into it!

#2 - Anything Political

Sure Trump & Hillary cover just about everything political right now, but keep in mind many other political figures have made the headlines this year.

Whether you decide to dress as Ben Carson and wait in the hallway to the party all night, or as Gary Johnson and not get invited at all, it's probably best to keep your political costumes on the side line this year.

Even mashup costumes, like Lost "Cosplaying" Antonin Scalia are probably a no go until things settle a bit politically.

That said, if you've got your heard set on that Marco Rubio Rubix Cube idea, who am I to judge?

#3 - This is a good time to bring up DEAD CELEBRITIES!

Look, I know as soon as you heard David Bowie died, you freak out and thought, "WHAT A GREAT HALLOWEEN COSTUME!" Only to amend that idea as soon as you heard Prince died.
(Apologies if you are just hearing this news now...)

2016 was a rough year for celebrity deaths. Which is why you're likely to see Snape, Hans Gruber, and the Sheriff of Knottingham all fighting over the crudités at this year's party. By Grabthar's hammer! Alexander Danes gets first dibs!

(I'll give you a second to Google that...all done? Great.)

"But I'm the world's biggest Gene Wilder fan! I need to honor his career!"
Really? Look, you know Willy Wonka and Young Frankenstein. You also know he was in some comedies with Richard Pryor, but you can't tell the difference between Stir Crazy and Silver Streak, so let's not get crazy with "world's biggest fan."

But, I'm not unreasonable. If you must dress up as a Gene Wilder character, you can be Eugene Grizzard.

"Who's Eugene Grizzard?"
Exactly! You're NOT the world's biggest Gene Wilder fan!

#4 - Zombie Harambe

Yes, we all know what happened to Harambe, and it was terrible. Adding "zombie" in front of his name won't bring him back even if it does have a kind of nice sound to it.

And yes, Harambe technically falls into the dead celebrity category. He's been Googled more times this year than Nicolas Cage, and Nicolas Cage is still alive...presumably (I didn't check).

Editor's Note: Zombie Harambe is a bad idea for a Halloween costume, but a catchy title to a novelty song. Perhaps to the music of the Cranberries?

#5 - El Chapo

El No-No!

#6 - Brex-It

I'm not up on as much of the news as I should be, so I'm not exactly sure what this is. I assume it's a breakfast eating Pennywise the clown from Stephen King's, "It":

While clowns are HOT this year, they are also likely to get you shot while driving to the party.

#7 - Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Lochte

Let's not forget, before he bleached his hair and then saw it turn green, or got drunk and beat the crap out of a poor, defenseless bathroom (who's wall he urinated on), this was that same gold medalist:

Awwww...he thinks it's food.

You can do better. We can ALL do better. Much, MUCH better.

#8 - A POKEMON Jim?

I don't know what that is...maybe this guy?


Look, based on everything going on around the world right now it's probably best if none of us tries to reach too high and be clever or original.

Maybe we should all just agree to wear the same costume so as to not cause any fights or ruffle any feathers.

If so, I vote for this one:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dirty Diapers for Dads!

President Obama is signing into law, a bill that will require all public restrooms to have baby changing stations in them, including men's rooms.

It's about damn time!

This isn't a feminist rant (though I am a feminist, and am kind of ranting, so...)

When my daughter was born, I admit, I was scared about the prospect of changing a diaper. But no more or less than I was scared about putting her in her car seat correctly, warming her bottle to the right temperature, making sure she was warm enough in her clothes, making sure she slept on her back throughout the night...basically, any thing that comes to your mind. I had no earthly idea what I was doing, but neither did my wife, so it was a completely shared experience or trial & error. 

To further complicate things, Julie told me she wanted to use cloth diapers since it is better for the environment. Though this sounds like it's a big pain in the ass, it proved rather quickly to be just as easy as the traditional diapers we all know and love. It also helped mask my OCD that sees me do laundry constantly.

"Is Kevin do the laundry again?"
"Oh, he must be washing diapers."

Changing a diaper has never bothered me. In fact, in someways, it's Julie and my Vietnam. You come back from a "mission" with a terrible tale to share. And you can only share it with others who have been there. (That's as far as I'll go with any kind of description regarding changing diapers, as this is NOT that type of blog).

However, so often when we're out somewhere, there's nowhere for a man to change their child.
  • Perhaps it is a (sexist) cost saving measure.
    "We'll only put in 1 changing table to save money."Yeah. But how much are you saving? When I managed Remodels for Bed Bath & Beyond, ordering changing tables for a store was almost a daily activity. A really high quality table cost about $75.00. So we're not really breaking the bank here.
    (*Props to BB&B, their men's rooms ALWAYS have changing stations.)
  • Perhaps it's the business holding to the (sexist) idea that "Dads don't change diapers."
    I do. My brothers did. My brothers-in-law do. Every friend of mine who has a kid does/did.
    So maybe it should be "Shitty Dads don't change diapers." But honestly, that's not fair. Not changing a diaper doesn't make a man a shitty Dad...though it does kind of make him a shitty husband/boyfriend/partner
  • The way I see it though, this as a rare case of "double sexism." Sexism that forces a woman into a role, as well as a man.
    The woman changes the diaper. The man does not.
This is a good place for me to say that I don't know many people who WANT to change a diaper. But changing a diaper should still have the option of being a shared responsibility without a business establishment assigning roles.

I have changed my daughter in a few (odd) places, because of a lack of options in many men's rooms.
Including (but not limited to):

- my car
- a table in a restaurant that was still under construction in Ocean City, NJ (Hey, the door was unlocked)
- the kitchen of a restaurant that WAS open (suck it Board of Health!)
- a Church sacristy (suck it Board of Jesus!)
- and of course, a women's room (I knocked first. No one was in there when I went in. A woman came in while I was there and she didn't seemed phased in the least bit)

Finally, for any Dad out there who is about to have a kid or thinking of having a kid, I'd say this regarding changing diapers:
They are some of the best times I have ever had with my daughter.

When she was an infant, I would sing to her, do crazy voices, make up games, all sorts of things to make the time more enjoyable for her.

As she got older, SHE started to sing, do crazy voices, make up games...I couldn't imagine not having had those moments with her.

Also, I have only been peed on once! Those are Hall of Fame type numbers!

Friday, October 7, 2016

40 Years And 46 Weeks

So...I don't know how to actually write this post.

Obviously, all of my blog posts are very "me-centric" in some way. I mean, I'm writing them...and possibly the only person reading them...(on those rare occasions I actual decide to proof read).

Last week, was a crazy weekend.

On Friday night (9/23), Julie and I were part of a huge group who went to see Brian Wilson at the Tower Theater. In what is likely Brian's last tour of Pet Sounds. The outing was put together by my "Elvis, And" podcast-mate and friend, Brendan Carr. The entire evening revolved around our memories of our dear friend Joel, who was likely the biggest Brian Wilson fan I have ever met.

Last year Joel and I had planned to see Brian Wilson. I believe he was touring in August or September. But as usual, both our schedules got in the way and it didn't happen. Joel even texted me that he'd take me the next time Wilson came around, That is, as long as Brian Wilson was still alive. We both laughed at this. Because that's our sense of humor.

The man has a perfect SMILE (get it?)

Friday's party consisted of Joel's parents, Jack and Sharon. His beloved wife, Sabrina. His "mini-me" daughter, Josie. As well as the aforementioned Brendan, his wife Amy, and Julie and me. It was an amazing night. But at no point was it lost on any of us that the most Brian Wilson-y of Brian Wilson fans was missing.

Josie fell asleep once the ballads started in the "Beach Boy" opening act and she managed to stay asleep through the rest of the show. I can't tell you how impressive that is! 

After the show Sabrina carried Josie out and down 2 flights of steps. We all said our goodbyes on the sidewalk. Except Josie, who continued to sleep.

As we turned to leave, Julie and I ran into our friend Chip who was at the show with his family. We took a Chantry Family Portrait under the Tower's marquee.

Chip, I stole your photo for my blog!

It really was a great night. But of course, my emotions took me deep inside of myself where I'd stay the rest of the night and for most of the weekend.

Julie and I called our friends, Jimmy and Petra, who live near The Tower Theater to see if they wanted to grab food since we were starving. Petra, in true Italian fashion, told us everything would be closed, but to "come over" and she'd make dinner for was 11:30 pm at night. I'd feel like I was imposing on almost anyone else. But Jimmy & Petra are family. This wouldn't be the last time Petra made my dinner this weekend.

Julie and I eventually picked up Kit from my parent's around 12:50ish. Late. Sorry Mom. Kit fell asleep almost immediately. Which was good, because we got pulled over. No ticket, because I "know people." Also, I was only doing 5 mph over the limit at 1 am. Likely the officer wanted to see if I was drinking. I wasn't.

We went home and went right to bed.

I was up super early the next day because I was filming near Dover, DE for work. (ON A SATURDAY?!? I know, right?)

Driving out with my other producers - Trae and Joe, Trae informed us of a horrible house fire in Wilmington the night before. Really about 3 and a half hours before as it was early Saturday morning. 1 of 4 firefighters who were injured died. Trae continuously refreshed the story since our job often times puts us in contact with fire fighters. In fact, it was a firehouse we were heading to in Cheswald, De to film. Moments before arriving we found out a 2nd fighter died.

It was a sad, overcast day.

Upon our arrival we spoke to a local fire chief who told us the morning training we had planned to film was canceled. Of course it was. As it should have been. We spoke with the chief who gave us some information that wasn't yet public. Of course we promised not to say anything until all the information was public knowledge. 

I didn't know either of the fire fighters, but many of my friends did, including Trae himself. Trae, Joe, and I got breakfast at a diner as no one wanted to rush home just then. The sad, overcast day just got sadder.

I spent breakfast looking at one of the lost fire fighter's three kids on Facebook. I don't remember anything Trae, Joe, and I talked about. We went home.

I took a 2 hour nap before going to perform at ComedySportz. Thank God for ComedySportz! I really didn't want to leave Kit and Julie at all, but if I was anywhere else on the entire planet, ComedySportz was the place to be. These people are family. I played twice with my old friend Jim. Also with Kristin who is, all around, one of the best people I know. She too was having a particular sad, overcast day, as it was an unpleasant anniversary for her. I hugged her when I saw her because I felt she needed it as much as I did. Nothing else needed to be said, or was.

The shows were great. The shows are always great.

Sunday morning I took Kit to The Bounce House so Julie could make a pasta salad for a birthday party being held for Jimmy that evening. Or at least for a party I thought was being held for Jimmy.

Kit and I had a good time.

I was still in a little bit of a haze, but love hanging out with an almost 3 year old. They get me. So we had a fun time. We grabbed lunch and took it home and made food for Mommy. 

Because I was still slightly out of it, I accidentally turned off Julie's timer while I was cooking our lunch. I thought I messed up her pasta salad. I felt bad and started considering bailing on the evening plans, all together. BUT I kept coming back to Jimmy and how I didn't want to do that to him. So I sucked it up. And we took Kit back to my Mom's for the evening.

On our way to the party (which was held at Jimmy & Petra's friend Kimmie's house) we stopped at Spencer's. The FB invite said no gifts, but I feel like Jimmy often times gets the shaft (not in a good way) so I wanted to get him a gift. And where is the best place to get a t-shirt of nuns giving the finger? Spencer's. 

Julie seemed slightly on edge. I thought maybe it was from me almost fucking up her salad or maybe the fact that I've been so distant this weekend. We grabbed our middle finger shirt and a gift bag and were on our way...

We pulled into the make shift driveway (read: Front Lawn) and headed inside. I asked Lauren if I could carry her tray, which would turn out to be a birthday cake. She said "No." She was fine.

I guess this would be an appropriate time to tell you, my birthday is November 5th. There's no reason you should know that. Unless you're writing my biography. In which case, it's probably something you're going to want to mention at some point. Preferably the beginning.

Also, I was born in 1975. I'm not saying this so my biographer gets it right (in fact, feel free to say like '82 or something), but rather to tell you that I'm 40. 

Here's the part that is weird and why I said I don't know how to write this. Because no matter how I write this, it'll come off "me-centric" and that's not my point at all.

I never actually turned 40. I mean I did, obviously. Even if my biography lies about my age, if you cut me open and count the rings the truth will coming spilling forth (amongst other stuff). But time kind of stopped this year.

On November 4th, Julie and I had yet to commit 100% to what we might be doing for my birthday. We were off on 11/5 & 11/6 to go to New York. We had tickets to see The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. But for some reason our planning was super laid back. That's very unlike us. I wasn't sure what time we'd head to NYC or when we'd get back. We did have a room booked, but even that seemed more like a "let's see" sort of thing.

A few hours before I turned 40, I received the worst phone call I have ever gotten. One of my best friends, Joel had died.

As much as I can't tell you what Trae, Joe and I talked about over breakfast last weekend, I can tell you ever second of every minute from the evening of 11/4/2015 through about midday on 11/6/2015. Time felt like it was both standing still and moving faster than it ever had ever moved before. I stayed 39.

November 5th, Julie and I canceled all of our plans. We ended up having a small, quiet dinner in Philly at Charlie Was a Sinner. 
Then Saturday, Gordon and Lyndsey took us out to The Social Lounge in West Chester. But I somehow stayed 39.

It wasn't until a few days later, while I was shopping at Giant that it hit me that I had 40. It was really the first time I had thought about it. It happened and I missed it. I literally know exactly where I was standing when I turned 40. About 6 feet from the salad bar at the Giant in Aston. All things considered, not very exciting.


So here I was at Kimmie's house for Jimmy's birthday. A whole 46 weeks after my 40th birthday and 6 weeks before my 41st. Before I walked into the house I saw Kimmie holding a snake. I think a python, but I'm not a zoologist (no matter what that piece of shit biographer tells you). I started talking to her. If there had been booze on this patio, I might have never gone inside the house. But somehow I was ushered in. I think by Jimmy himself. 

As I walked through the door, across the room I saw Kristin and Alli from ComedySportz. My slow brain (which is now well into it's 40th year) immediately thought, " they hang out with Jimmy?" And then I heard, "SURPRISE!"

You want to know an immediate way to snap out of any haze? Gather a bunch of your friends together in a room. For any occasion. Especially one that happened 46 months prior.

I have the best friends.

I have the best family.

My biographer however, leaves a LOT to be desired.