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Friday, February 3, 2017 09:06 AM
(Last updated on Monday, February 6, 2017 03:34 PM)
I Wrote a Book!
 by Fëanor

Well, I wrote the book a while ago. And then my brother drew and colored pictures to go with. And then he made a couple of physical copies just for us. But now! You can go and buy it yourself! On Amazon! It's only an eBook for now, but we're going to look into making it possible to buy a physical, printed copy, too. Anyway, here it is!

Ballyhoo, and Mom's Other Tigers

It's a children's book, in verse, about tigers, sort of. If you do purchase it, and like it, please leave a review on Amazon! I understand good reviews are a great way to help us generate further interest and more sales. Thanks much!

UPDATE: And now it's also available in paperback!
Tagged (?): Animals (Not), Books (Not), Children (Not), Personal (Not), Poetry (Not)
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Thursday, April 17, 2014 02:38 PM
(Last updated on Friday, May 30, 2014 08:42 AM)
Tea Patriarchy
 by Fëanor

My sons' daycare is having a tea party for Mother's Day to which all the mothers are invited. We saw the invite, and poppy asked G if he'd like her to come. He explained that tea parties aren't for boys, they're only for girls.

Well, that comment didn't make either of us very happy. We're trying to raise open-minded, liberal, feminist kids here. How did this sexist crud get in his head already?

The world is a confusing mess. Little kids are trying desperately all the time to figure out how it works. What are the rules? Who are the good guys, who are the bad guys? So when they notice something repeating - a pattern amongst all the madness - and they think they've found a rule, they are going to latch onto that rule for dear life, because that rule is their handle on the world.

I have long hair, and often I tie it up in a ponytail. Sometimes a kid will see my hair and they'll laugh and point and say something like, "Only girls have ponytails!" Sometimes they'll repeat it, loudly. Sometimes they'll even get mad. G got a little mad when we tried to contradict his statement about the tea party. It's because we're challenging their fragile, hard-won understanding of the world, and they don't like it.

All that means is we have to keep challenging it, and keep challenging it, over and over, until he understands. Just because there's a way things are usually done doesn't mean that's the best way or the only way. Don't let the patriarchy define how you see and interact with the world.

That being said, it'll be nice not to have to go to the tea party.

UPDATE: I should add, poppy ended up going to this tea party after all, and despite a mortifying moment involving Griff's answer to a particular survey question about his Mom, I think everybody had a good time.
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Parenthood (Not), Parenting (Not)
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Sunday, March 23, 2014 01:50 PM
A Song
 by Fëanor

Hey, remember when I used to post here like multiple times a day? Those were different times. Anyways, I wanted to record a song which Griffin performed extemporaneously the other day. I'm not sure I have all the words in the exact order they were sung, and some were repeated many more times than below, but it's pretty close.

Super Griffin
Go go Griffin
Go Griff
You can do it
Super Griffin
Griffin Genzano
Go Go Go
You can beat all the robots
He's the man
He can do anything
Go Griffin
Super Griffin, go go
Go Super Griffin, and that's me!
He's so crazy and so strong
Go Griffin
Go go go go go go go go go go go!
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Griffin (Not), Music (Not), Parenthood (Not)
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Saturday, November 16, 2013 05:14 PM
Voltron Power Ranger Rescue Bot Palooza
 by Fëanor

A while back I gave Griffin the old Vehicle Voltron that my brother and I shared. This is really an impressive toy. It's fifteen separate vehicles that can be assembled into three larger vehicles, or into one gigantic robot. My folks had kept it intact in their attic, in its original box, complete with original styrofoam insert, all these years. Needless to say, the box was soon wrecked. Griff kind of liked it, especially the cars it uses for feet, but in general it sat forgotten in the corner of his play room.

Then, just recently, Griffin discovered Power Rangers. I'd been thinking for a while that he'd probably like this show, as it involves a team of guys, each wearing his own bright primary color suit, who rescue people and fight monsters, and also ride in gigantic transforming robot animals. It's kind of totally his thing. He'd been watching it for a while when he started taking his Transformers Rescue Bots toys, stacking them on top of each other, and calling them Rescue Bot Voltron. I was surprised he even remembered Voltron, but I guess I'd mentioned it a few times in connection with Power Rangers. I've always thought of Power Rangers as a lame, live-action rip-off of the original, far superior Voltron (although to be honest, Voltron was pretty lame, too). Anyway, when I heard him say that, I couldn't help myself. I went down into the basement and brought up the bag that contained Lion Force Voltron. Yep, we had that one, too, and my folks also kept it intact in their attic. Well, Griffin's a pretty big fan. He played with it continuously for a couple of hours. "These lion Transformers are pretty cool!" was his comment.

Anyway, more later. I gotta get back to this episode of Power Rangers. Did you know the Power Rangers Samurai Megazord has different powers depending on his hat?
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Griffin (Not), Toys (Not), TV (Not), Video (Not)
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Monday, September 30, 2013 10:59 AM
Mr. X
 by Fëanor

Well hello there! Yes, I'm still alive. And we've got that second kid now. He's good. I like him.

All our attempts to schedule/plan anything about Griffin's birth were foiled. Nothing went as planned. This time, poppy scheduled a C-section, and although we had to wait much longer than we'd hoped for the operation to begin, and the thing itself took much longer than we remembered, it happened on the scheduled date, with no complications. We had a little scare about some weird thyroid levels, but that seems to have turned out to be a false alarm. Poppy's recovery has also been going a lot faster and smoother than the first time, although she's still certainly not 100%.

We're rediscovering how interesting life is with a newborn (oh right, they pee on everything with no warning! And crap out hazardous materials a dozen times a day! And want to be fed constantly! Laundry and bottles and bottles and laundry!), and discovering for the first time how extra interesting it is when you have a newborn and a three-year-old in the same place at the same time. It's particularly exciting when they both get sick at the same time - that's something we just found out!

Still - and maybe I shouldn't say this, for fear of jinxing myself, but here we go - I'm not feeling the same desperate, edge-of-a-nervous-breakdown exhaustion and terror that I remember feeling in Griffin's early days. But I am once again finding that all the cliches are true. X is a second child, and is getting the second child treatment. I feel more confident with him - maybe a bit over-confident. We've done this before, after all, and that one is still around. I remember when we went anywhere with Griffin, we took like three suitcases full of stuff with us. The first time we went out with X, we just threw some stuff in a plastic bag from Wawa and took off. It was the most ghetto diaper bag ever. We've upgraded him to a real bag now, but still. Sometimes if we're just taking a walk, we don't bring a bag at all! That would have been unthinkable with Griffin.

Anyway, the point is, it's going pretty well, all things considered. You can find pictures and video on Facebook and Flickr, although as before, you can only see them if you are marked as my friend or family, so let me know if you're not and would like to be.
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Parenthood (Not), Parenting (Not), Personal (Not), X (Not)
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Monday, July 15, 2013 10:19 AM
Late Announcement
 by Fëanor

In case you have not already heard some other way, I should probably officially announce, this kid we got is gonna have a brother by early September. Which most likely means a lot fewer updates from me in the coming months. Or more, but far less sane.

Poppy is hanging in there, but apparently it's going to be in the nineties this whole week, so please send her your sympathy and perhaps fans and ice, or a nice air-conditioned pope-mobile.

G is aware of what's going to happen, but only in an abstract sense. In actual fact, he has no idea what he's in for. Frankly, neither do I.

Kids! Plural! Hoo boy.
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Parenthood (Not), Personal (Not)
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013 02:23 PM
Excerpt
 by Fëanor

"...but of all the creatures in these pages, this one is arguably the most dangerous. It has an almost human aspect, though it is smaller than a person, more unevenly proportioned, and of extreme attractiveness. But a wary man shall not let this confound his senses. For this creature is not capable of experiencing shame or empathy, and has no conscience of any kind. It will ingratiate itself to you with its sweetness and loveliness, but will then do whatever is necessary to get what it wants - and what it wants is to consume you. Its voice, though often as sweet as its looks, can be raised up in an unholy screech that is hideous and painful to hear. It is extremely manipulative, and will lie and cheat and steal and bite and punch and backstab without pity or remorse. It will promise you anything, agree to any rules or commandments you set, and then break all agreements as if they were never spoken. It will demand you give up all other company but itself, wheedle out of you all you treasure and hold dear - your money, your property - even unto your very soul, until you have nothing left and are nought but a hollow man, wasted, sleepless, shattered, empty..."
     -Doctor Astrodus, A Compendium of the Most Monstrous Beasts of Heaven, Hell, and Earth and Descriptions of The Habits and Aspects Thereof, Chapter 245: The Toddler
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Parenthood (Not), Parenting (Not)
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Friday, May 10, 2013 11:33 AM
Boy Dad
 by Fëanor

The other day Griffin was playing with his electronic Hess helicopter. He decided to hang two of my old, much smaller Voltron helicopters from its rotors and turn it on to see what would happen. The Dad in me reacted immediately, saying, "You can't do that! Those things could go flying, you could get hurt!" Then the boy in me said, "So stand back and let's see what happens."

Next we put some cars on the rotors.
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Griffin (Not), Parenthood (Not), Parenting (Not)
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Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:12 PM
Bath Albums
 by Fëanor

When I was younger, I feel like my default unit of music was the album. My brother's, too. When we heard a song we liked, we didn't buy the single. (Well, maybe once or twice we bought some cassingles. Remember those??) We went out and bought the whole album. If we liked the album, we went back and bought all the other albums that band had made. Or, as many as we could find at the record store. Remember when you had to just keep going back to every record store you knew of to find albums you wanted? And if those stores didn't have those albums, you were just out of luck? Crazy.

Anyway, not long after I embraced MP3s and moved my entire music collection onto my iPod, my default unit of music changed to the song. I stopped listening to whole albums and I started listening to playlists on shuffle. It was kind of a seismic shift. It felt freeing. I love the weird juxtapositions a random shuffle can create. And there's no commitment or continuity in a random shuffle; you can break off and start again whenever or wherever.

But for whatever reason, I'm starting to embrace the album again. I'm buying albums of music, and I'm listening to whole albums with my son, instead of playlists on shuffle. And I'm seeing again what you can do with an album, how it can be a deeply meaningful grouping, how putting a bunch of songs together like that can give them more power and meaning than when they're just ripped out and played alone, out of context.

All of which is to say, I'm playing albums when I give my son a bath at night, and here are some of the classics I'm revisiting and new stuff I'm discovering:

  • Abacab - Genesis

  • Abbey Road - The Beatles

  • Achtung Baby - U2

  • Act II: The Father of Death - The Protomen

  • The Suburbs - Arcade Fire

  • Band on the Run - The Wings

  • Beaster - Sugar

  • Genesis - Genesis

  • Sheer Heart Attack - Queen

  • So - Peter Gabriel

  • Specter at the Feast - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

  • Strange Cousins From The West - Clutch

  • Jesus Christ Superstar - Andrew Lloyd Weber

  • The Protomen - The Protomen
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Griffin (Not), Lists (Not), Music (Not), Parenting (Not)
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Sunday, March 3, 2013 08:49 PM
Spec Script
 by Fëanor

Here is a story that Griffin and I developed the other night while I was giving him a bath and he was playing with his "tiny Super Friends" (which are a dozen small plastic figures of various DC super heroes and villains):

Hawkman was hungry, so he swooped down and grabbed a fish out of the water with his teeth and ate it. But Aquaman popped up out of the water and berated him for eating the fish out of his ocean without his permission. So Hawkman said he would go get a hamburger at the fast food place instead. But then one by one all the other Super Friends appeared asking Hawkman to pick up a hamburger for them, too, since he was going. And Hawkman was very put out.

I'll await a call from DC Comics.
Tagged (?): Children (Not), Comic books (Not), Griffin (Not), Parenthood (Not), Parenting (Not)
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Welcome to the blog of Jim Genzano, writer, web developer, husband, father, and enjoyer of things like the internet, movies, music, games, and books. For a more detailed run-down of who I am and what goes on here, read this.

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