Tag Archives: Buddies

The Luckiest Unluckiest Day Ever

It wasn’t until later that I realized he was born on Friday the 13th.

Unluckiest of unlucky days in Western culture, Friday the 13th is a triskaidekaphobics worst nightmare. It rarely comes about, but when it does, it’s usually wielding a machete and wearing a hockey goalie mask.

But not this month. On June 13, Casa de Dude celebrates! We kick up our heels and dance and sing (although not as much these days for reasons that should become apparent in only a few moments) and just generally enjoy life because June 13, this year falling on a Friday, is the day our family became complete.

Friday the 13th of June is Hyper Lad’s birthday. This is the year he’s turning 15, which means he’s already got his grubby little paws held out and ready to take the car keys and go for a little spin. The fact that he has no learner’s permit because his driver education teacher still hasn’t gotten around to him yet. . . Well, that means little.

He’s fifteen. He’s ready to drive. At least in his mind.

I say our family became complete because Hyper Lad is the youngest of our three young dudes. He’s six years younger than our oldest and five years younger than our middle son. In fact, we weren’t supposed to have Hyper Lad at all.

My wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Getting Her Way, and I thought we were finished procreating (although not practicing) after Zippy the Travelin’ Boy. Eventually, though, she began to yearn for another female in the house. Once she said that, it became apparent that I really needed a daughter as well since I look darn good on the dance floor wearing a tux at a wedding.

Instead, we got lucky and didn’t get our wish. Instead of a girl, we got a Hyper Lad and we couldn’t be happier.

Our oldest son, Sarcasmo, had to suffer through first-child paranoia as his mom and I freaked out about anything and everything related to our darling. Our middle son, Zippy the Travelin’ Boy, stayed sheltered in the harbor of our good graces and had vigilant parents every on guard. Relaxed, but on guard.

By the time Hyper Lad came along, we were pretty much okay with him doing just about anything short of juggling the razor-sharp blades we kept in the open, unlocked drawers in the kitchen. And even that, provided he had a good reason for it.

Having older brothers, Hyper Lad has benefited from being around (slightly) more mature age cohorts for most of his life. He’s probably more emotionally mature at 15 than his brothers were when they were his age.

Since he was smaller than everyone around whom he wanted to hang, he had to develop a quick left and an even quicker wit to survive. And he has.

His teachers see the same things that we do: one of the sharpest minds, with one of the most wicked senses of humor to have come around in a long while. He’ll frequently make an offhand joke about current affairs we happen to be discussing that’s amazingly quick, amazingly on-target and blisteringly funny.

His mom and I will just turn and look at each other — once the laughter finally dies down — and trade astonished gazes.

While Hyper Lad lives up to his name (and his blog name here), he’s not constantly rushing around and ignoring everyone else. The young dude is consistently polite (to non-dad people) in almost every situation and looks for ways to help everyone he can.

Not to say he’s perfect, of course. I mean, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve come thiiiiiiisssssss close to popping an aneurysm in my brain from the crap he will drop — literally drop — wherever it is he happens to be done with it. If that means he’s finished with a band-aid wrapper six inches from a trashcan. . . Then he drops the wrapper to the floor six inches from the trashcan.

And, being a teenager, he’s now discovered the joys of sleeping in until the sun warms up. . . say, sometime around 3 pm.

So, yeah, he’s got a lot of things to work on. But, here’s the deal about that: We’re just so glad we get a chance to watch as he does. It’s going to be an interesting experience.

Here’s to you, Hyper Lad! Have a happy birthday and know we love you. And we dearly want to live through you learning to drive, so please work on that.

 

We also take a moment to remember Hyper Lad’s Great Grandmother, my Grandmother, Irene Jones. A wonderful woman, my grandmother died three years ago. She and Hyper Lad were both born on June 13 and called each other Birthday Buddies. So here’s to you as well, Mama. You’re missed and loved.

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Dude Review: Iron Man 3

When Marvel’s The Avengers movie came out last year, with cinematic representations of some of my favorite superheroes — Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury and, of course, Iron Man — I thought it couldn’t get any better.

I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

Marvel Comics continues its winning streak with the release of the third Iron Man movie, called, oddly enough, Iron Man 3, directed by Shane Black, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Guy Pearce.

And, dudes, it. Is. Straight. Up. Awesome!

If The Avengers cranked the superhero action dial up to 11 and then broke it off (and it did. It so very much did), then Iron Man 3 managed to turn down the dial just a little. The great part, though, is that even with the superhero action dialed down, the movie continues rocking hard, with the bass turned up so it vibrates the cars two streets over, shatters windows for several blocks and makes the milk in your stomach churn to butter.

It’s a good movie, is what I’m trying to say.

Really, though, after The Avengers, there was no way to keep going up. It had to be a smaller, more personal story, if for no other reason than so we didn’t wonder why Tony Stark didn’t call in his new buddies to help get him out of a jam.

Director Black and star Downey, Jr. manage this by taking a lot of the focus off Iron Man and putting more of the emphasis on its pilot, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark. He’s rich, appallingly intelligent, dating a good and good-looking woman and he’s about to fall completely apart. He can’t sleep. He has anxiety attacks. And he’s hiding out from his best friend and soul mate, Pepper Potts.

It all goes back to the horrors he experienced over the skies of New York with his fellow Avengers. He almost died. He faced down gods, aliens and an atomic bomb. And just the thought of it is driving him crazy.

In the latest movie, Tony Stark is drawn into a terror campaign being waged by the Mandarin, who has the technical savvy to take over all airwaves and the ruthlessness to execute a man on live television just to prove a point. The Mandarin is played with chilling precision by Sir Ben Kingsley’s character. It’s a brilliant move, bringing Kingsley in for the role.

When Stark’s best friend and former bodyguard, Happy Hogan (played by Jon Favreau, the man who directed the first two films) is caught in one of the Mandarin’s teaching points (what we call an explosion), Stark flat-out challenges the Mandarin to try and stay alive with the Iron Man hunting him.

From that point on, things do not go well for Stark. Especially when a former girlfriend surfaces and says she believes her boss could be working for the Mandarin. And they’re both using an experimental formula she created called Extremis, which allows them to hack the human body, creating explosive super soldiers.

Most of the movie is taken up by Tony Stark, without his armor, trying to protect the one thing without which he cannot live: Pepper Potts. The rest of the country. . . Well, he’ll get to it. But a man has to have his priorities.

With Robert Downey, Jr., behind the most famous ‘stache in the world, I’d watch an entire movie of superspy Tony Stark running around inventing stuff. His interaction with just about everybody in the cast is nothing short of magnificent.

This dudes, is a fantastic movie. You need to go see it as quickly as possible. Heck, Hyper Lad, Zippy the College Boy and I even took She Who Must Be A Bit Skeptical About These Sorts Of Movies and she loved it.

This rates an easy 6 dudes out of five. Yeah, you read that right. It’s that good.

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On Thanks, And Why They Should Be Given

by Richard

Go, Richard. It’s your birthday. It’s your birthday.

You dudes are just going to have to imagine the horrible dancing and chanting that goes along with that. No way I’m filming that and posting it to the inter-weebs on my birthday to be mocked and derised about for years to come.

I already get enough of that at home.

Before I go any further, a quick birthday shout-out to Jill and Heidi, birthday buddies from high school, and, saving the best for last, a huge shout-out to my favorite Birthday Buddy, and the original, my nephew Crusher. He’s not having a lot of fun, the poor little dude.

Instead of celebrating by playing football with his Pop Warner football team, which just keeps winning and winning, he’s out in Texas having to attend a wedding celebration. We drew straws and Crusher drew the short one, so he has to go and represent all the Turkeys at the wedding. Sorry, dude. Better luck next year.

Eh. He’s awesome. He’ll get over it.

So. Back to the reason you’re probably celebrating today. Although I do appreciate that you’re at least pretending it’s because of my birthday.

For years, when my family would gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving. The adults would all make us tell the group what we, personally, were thankful for. Of course, me being me, I’d try to be funny and say something like, “Oxygen.”

Well, in my own defense, I did say try to be funny.

Not this year, though.

For some reason, as I approach this latest birthday, I’ve been thinking back on something else momentous that happened to me on a dreary November day. On Nov. 5, 2004, I suffered a heart attack out of nowhere.

A bit scary, but I did manage to live through it. At least so far.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot, lately. And I’ve found I’m rather thankful for a lot of things.

I’m thankful I had just enough more sense than pride so I could call the ambulance when something went wrong.

I’m thankful there are people who know what they’re doing and actually do great work on those ambulances, and in the hospitals.

I’m thankful for my family, who helped me back to health and still make living worthwhile.

I’m thankful for the world, that manages to be so wonderful and engaging. Although there are some non-dudes in the world who make it difficult to keep this sort of optimism going on a regular basis.

I’m thankful for my health, although I should certainly be doing more to help it out.

I’m thankful there are people to love and who love me, that I still can meet more and new people, that there still are things in this world and beyond that can thrill me, chill me, fulfill me.

I’m thankful that, even though they’re not around any more, I had my grandmother and mom around for as long as they could stay and that they taught me about love, and leaving, and how to do both gracefully.

I’m thankful for (as cheesy as it sounds) for you, dear dude readers, who actually keep coming back to listen to me blather and who are going to go out on April 15, along with all of your friends, and purchase my bookA Dude’s Guide to Babies. (What, you expected this to happen without a plug for the book? Where have you been for the last little while, dude?)

Mostly, I’m thankful to be here and be able to still appreciate all the wonder and joy and irritation and grandeur of the world around us. It’s a strange place. I like that.

I think I’ll stick around for another year and enjoy it for a while longer.

Meet you there?

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