Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pug in YOLO Cap Poses in Front of Mr. Robot Poster

YAOYO: You're only young once. 
But you can always be a Pug.

There is a yearly summer event in our Brooklyn neighborhood called the Giglio Feast in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The celebration hails from a small town in Italy where most of the area's original inhabitant emigrated from. (Now they have been replaced by hipsters with parents wealthy enough to cosign their condominium mortgages.) 

The Feast includes engaging cultural elements like an enormous saint-encrusted totem which is danced down the street on the shoulders of a crowd of red hatted Italian men. 

In addition to the charming cultural event, it's also just a standard New York City carnival replete with the usual potentially intestine-devastating food, overpriced rides that have clearly seen better days, fixed games, and merchants of mostly reflective junk. 

Our kids have always loved going to the Feast, and start clamoring to be taken as soon as they see the trailers arrive for set up at the beginning of July. Before it has even opened, they are arguing that we should visit multiple times this year. It always seems that last year they did not get enough opportunities to win a dirty stuffed animal with twenty dollars worth of ping pong ball tossing, dart throwing, or water pistol squirting. 

Let me be honest, just in case it is not already clear. I don't like the carnival aspect of the Feast for many of the obvious reasons. My most significant gripe, however, is that I really do not enjoy my interactions with the carnival workers (is the term "carnie" considered derogatory? Or am I confusing it with other "y"/"ie" ending slangy descriptions of people?) 

The endless shouting at "Mommy"  to throw money away on my children's behalf somehow bothers me more than it should. Not to mention the intense pressuring that is rolled out should we actually stop in front of any game to consider it.

But, let me wrap this up quickly as you are certainly wondering what this has to do with a pug wearing a hat... Suffice it to say that the problem was easily solved this year, possibly never to return.

I decided that the kids were definitely old enough to manage their own currency this time. I made this assessment despite the fact that they are not good in crowds and are also remarkably poor at holding onto paper money in a discrete fashion. I thought it likely that the cash would be taken off of them before they even had a chance to spend it, but decided it was well worth the risk.

On the way over, I handed them each some bills and explained they could spend it however they wished, but that there would be no more forthcoming. 

Actually holding the money themselves instantly sucked all of the joy out of the carnival for them. Suddenly, they concluded that the food and the rides were overpriced, and that the games were a waste of money because they were fixed. 

Of course, I had been making this argument for years, but had been unpersuasive when the money seemed to be coming out of (to their minds) a potentially endless fount in mom's backpack. 

They did each play the try to toss the ball into a bucket game once because the supposed prize was a PlayStation 4 and that was too entrancing to completely bypass. Mysteriously, it was ever so easy to put the ball in the bucket during the "demonstration throw" but then totally impossible to keep it from bouncing back out when they were playing for the actual prize. In the past, they never believed me when I told them that this game in particular was obviously fixed. But this year, they were convinced after spending only $5.

And the game operators were much less obnoxious about trying to take money directly away from children, so the whole experience was much less stressful for me.

Less fun for the kids of course.

But I feel I've done my job as a parent when I've managed to suck the joy out of something for my kids. Just kidding.

They did not, however, take the remaining cash home and put it into their college fund. They pooled their remaining bills and bought the silly "YOLO" hat ("you only live once"- if that needs explanation) for the younger kid. 

On the way to camp wearing the hat, he posed in front of the Christian Slater poster on the subway platform. It seemed like a napkin worthy long as his face was replaced by that of a pug.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rowan and Slimer from "Ghostbusters 2016" with Strawberries for Lunch

We've clearly been seeing too many movies lately as I have been subjected to the latest "Ice Age" trailer three times now. Each viewing is made more unbearable by the knowledge that soon I will actually have to sit through the movie itself.

Albeit the antics of Ray Romano the wooly mammoth were pleasant compared to the totally over the top abusive trailer for the horror movie "Lights Out." It managed to be patently obvious and horribly terrifying at the same time. I dread dealing with the kids and their brand new fear of the dark at bedtime later tonight. I guess the people who paired that trailer with a 1pm Sunday show of "Ghostbusters" were thinking that there weren't going to be any kids in the audience? There were many who were considerably younger than mine.

"Ghostbusters" itself was, as my older son judged, "surprisingly not crappy." While not outrageously fantastic, it was pleasant to watch adult women being funny, and I would certainly rather watch it five times than sit through an "Ice Age" sequel once... Not that I will get to choose.

My sons didn't make the Chris Helmsworth is Thor connection until the credit sequence.

Snowball from "The Secret Life of Pets"

It seemed unlikely that we could miss seeing "The Secret Life of Pets" in a theater. But then, the kids had not wanted to see "Zootopia." Both movies feature cute bunny characters.

Of course the cute bunny in "The Secret Life of Pets" voiced by Kevin Hart is a loopy, over the top, homicidal criminal, while the "Zootopia" bunny is a mild mannered police officer. It is not hard to discern why our sons were more interested in "Pets"

After seeing the movie last weekend, my older son did offer the criticism that it would have been much improved if the crazy bunny had been able to swear. Perhaps the same could be said of Louis CK's character as well.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Flowey from Undertale

"I'll kill everything you love to eat for lunch" 

One kid had a Sans napkin, so the other needed Flowey.
Flowey starts out as a rather ingratiating flower with a face and later morphs into a more horrific form, particularly if you cross him. The line in the game is "I'll kill everyone you love."
Not sure how he does that without arms. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hank from Finding Dory Brings Broccoli for Lunch.

In a moment of Holiday Weekend Desperation, we went to see "Finding Dory."

One child was adamantly opposed to seeing the movie for mostly irrational reasons.  The other child, usually philosophically opposed to the viewing of movies in theaters in general (and against leaving the Xbox for any reason) was strongly in favor, mostly because he knew that his brother really didn't want to go.

We did not manage to depart for the local theater until about the time the movie was purportedly supposed to begin, therefore embarking on a 12 minute walk full of recrimination and complaint. Remarkably enough, we made it in time to see the movie start even after large tubs of popcorn and high fructose corn syrup beverages had been purchased. We did miss the previews and the Pixar short. I was sorry about that.

Everyone agreed that the movie was pretty good, and that Hank the octopus was a high point.

Sadly, there was no actual broccoli in this particular lunch. There were strawberries, but I did not think a berry would look as nice with Hank's skin tone.

As I'm sure have already mentioned several times before, our kids are secretly enthusiastic broccoli eaters, but they prefer not to reveal this shameful fact in the public arena of a school or camp lunch.

I am in the process of giving up on packing them lunch items that I think they should eat in the mostly vain hope that they might eat them...even though I am pretty sure that they won't eat them. As one son is thirteen now and his nine year old brother seems to be an honorary adolescent just by association, pretty much whatever I am pushing is a lost cause just because I am pushing it.

At this point, I have begun to fear that too much broccoli in the lunch will drive them to a lifetime of nothing but cheesecake and salt and vinegar potato chips just to spite me.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day Hot Dog Contest

Nathan's Coney Island hot dog eating contest: 
A NYC July 4th tradition.

It's still #SharkWeek for us.....& always #DinosaurWeek

Shark Week Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July:

It may not still be #sharkweek2016 technically, but I guess it's kind of always Shark Week around here.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Sharks vs Puppies for Shark Week

Sharks vs. Puppies: Who Will Prevail?

(Moving beyond the Discovery Channel's "Sharks vs. Dolphins")

Our kids are very impressed with Shark Week. Of course they are always impressed with television programming that is broadcast after their bedtime.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mini Conference Room at Instagram's Office

My younger son and I stopped by Instagram/Facebook's headquarters last week to pick up a tote bag from the #EatDrawGram event at the Natural History Museum back in May.

Christine Banawa very kindly showed us around and let us pose in the mini conference room, which I guess is what one does while visiting Instagram.  I am uncertain what the diminutive room might be saying about social media, Instagram, or corporate office culture... Perhaps it is just referencing the fact that there are over 1000 Facebook employees in the office and a mere 30 something people working at Instagram, a difference of scale that might not be immediately apparent to the casual user.

I just spent 45 seconds on Google and have determined that the mini conference room is also ascribed to the larger entity of Facebook... and apparently they have a sideways room in the London office.

So I guess I am trying to read too much into it.
Despite exuding a bored attitude at the time, my son was quite impressed with the visit. He got to wear his own name tag (which indicated that he had not signed a non-disclosure agreement) and to have soft serve ice cream from the corporate cafeteria. While I usually avoid posting actual photos of the kids on the napkin blog, I am pretty sure he would feel denied if I did not include this one.

I think there is some probably merit for a kid whose parents work at home to see what a corporate office looks like...even if it is an atypical one with both chocolate and vanilla soft serve ice cream and a bar of ice cream toppings...

Thanks again to Christine Banawa and Kristen Joy Watts from Instagram and The American Museum of Natural History!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Birthday napkin

Sam, one of the kids' two aunts had a birthday last week. 
The kids wanted to be portrayed riding a dinosaur on the napkin/card. 
So here they are, sort of. 

The dinosaur ended up rather non-descript. I considered making it more of the feathery/prickly "Dinosaurs Among Us" bird like dino, but couldn't in good conscience put a kid in shorts on such an uncomfortable creature. It ended up a muddy, undecorative creature.

As usual, my portraits of  the kids were not stellar, but I did manage to accurately capture the sullen expression on my younger son's face. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Fruit Viking is Grateful

No child was made sticky during the drawing of this napkin.

It's that time again....
The end of the school year has arrived and there are people to whom we cannot possibly express enough appreciation....
The solution once again is a clumsy portrait of the kid on a napkin and some pretentious chocolate bars.

Astoundingly, my son was not offended by this drawing. He usually objects to any drawing that I do of him because there is always something wrong with the likeness. But not this time. I am perplexed.

He himself requested the watermelon helmet. His school mascot is supposedly a Viking, although I was unable to find any associated imagery associated online. While aimlessly Googling for Viking pictures, we came across the fruit helmet as a display if not an actual wearable. (But there are plenty of people actually wearing them...)

While we did purchase a large, and rather mediocre, watermelon at Cosco over the weekend, no rind helmets were actually worn during the production of this napkin.

What the kids really wanted to do with the melon was smash it with a sledgehammer, or make it  explode using rubber bands.

Thank you, YouTube.  

Friday, June 10, 2016

Mr. Toots from "Red Faction" vs. Happy from "I Hate Fairyland"

Rainbow Battle:

The kids have always been enamored of Mr Toots, who is apparently one of the acquirable weapons in the "Red Faction: Armageddon" game. One holds the unicorn like a gun, and when he is somehow triggered, he farts a deadly rainbow blast.  (They have never played this game- this information came from YouTube of course.)

And of course they loved Skottie Young's first volume of "I Hate Fairyland" a gleefully profane child-inappropriate spin on what happens when a young girl named Gertrude is sent on a quest in a magical kingdom....and then what happens when she is still stuck there two decades later.

Gertrude's competition in the graphic novel is Happy, a girl who initially has much better luck on the fairytale quest....and who can shoot deadly rainbows.

While reading the book, our older son proclaimed, "Happy is my new spirit animal!"

But could she beat Mr. Toots in a fair fight?
Or in an unfair one?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Artorias and Sif from Dark Souls 3

Hungry Like the Wolf for Dark Souls:

Our older son continues to obsess about playing Dark Souls. And he continues to need to tell the rest of the family chapter and verse about the game. Trying to redirect the conversation to what might have happened IRL (In Real Life) is rarely fruitful. With characteristic massive understatement, he said at dinner last night, "I'm starting to get the impression that the rest of the family is not as fascinated with Dark Souls as I am."

(Our younger son likes the Duran Duran song, but is not all that interested in the game.)

This faceless guy on the napkin is a boss in the game, and apparently one of our son's favorites. And he hangs out with a wolf.  That is all I can report. I do try to listen to my son's monologues on the various bosses of the game, and I did take a brief look at the game's Wiki... but I can't really relate any meaningful information.  For instance, a selection from Artorias's page on the Wiki:

"Sir Artorias the Abysswalker was one of the Four Knights of Lord Gwyn. He only makes an appearance in the past, as he is deceased by the time the Chosen Undead escapes the Undead Asylum."

So there.

I was not able to get a good look at this guy's armor, or his wolf, so this is not particularly accurate. My apologies to all who are invested enough in the game to be able to glean some useful information from the above paragraph.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Yogi Anchovy Member of the Mafiosi with Porky Porgie Welsh Corgi

One Fish, Two Fish....

Just when you thought I might be done with the PuppyMonkeyBaby drawing series....

I suppose it really should have been Yogi Bear's head rather than that of a spiritual leader, but I already used the cartoon bear's head in another drawing in the series, so I had to make do with a human....

And Anchovies are a lot smaller than Porgies, so the relative scale is not very accurate.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Red From Angry Birds with Deadpool

Better Red than Dead?

(Two wisecracking red and black guys who are strangely indestructible)

Our sons were perfectly happy to see the Angry Birds Movie last weekend.
But they still would prefer to see the R rated Deadpool movie.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pink Fluffy Penguins Dancing on Rainbow Ice

A poorly drawn variation on the "Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows" theme. 
Which, apparently never grows old. 

My younger son, the originator of the fluffy penguin variant idea told me that, first, the Penguins were not fluffy enough to qualify, and second, I should be sure to state that the ice is like a flavored ice or sherbet and that explains the odd presence of the spoon.

We've had some other pink fluffy napkins here and here that attempt to explain the phenomenon.