Embiggened: Here’s a Look at “Simpsons World” From A-Z (GQ)

the-simpsons-world-app-guide-entertainment

.

GQ — There are TV shows, and there are apps about TV shows. And then there is “Simpsons World,” which isn’t even an app—it’s a portal, a wormhole, a passage into the 25-year-old Simpsons universe that, if you are a fan, will probably ruin your life. “Simpsons World” takes all five-hundred-and-fifty-freaking-two episodes and makes them accessible to you, in your couch ass groove or Spinemelter 2000 vibrating chair, all at once, right now. And that’s not even the best part: It cross-references those episodes by character, quotes, scenes, guest stars, songs, everything. It lets you create playlists of all the Bumblebee Man episodes, look up all the Albert Brooks appearances and read full episode scripts. It’s not watching the show, it’s HOOKING IT TO YOUR VEINS. (If you bought the DVD box sets, just throw them out the window like they were Grammys.)

Check out the full A-Z list at GQ.com.

.

.

.


Here’s Basically What It Would Look Like if the Cubs Raised a Son

whos_on_first

When we get to Fall Ball, will you tell me the guys’ names on the team, so when I go to see them in that Fall Ball ballpark, I’ll be able to know those fellas?

Island Packet — Fall Ball is a form of baseball, and baseball is a form of sports, which means that my Little Man’s DNA is not configured to excel at it. Athletics do not come easy to this particular wing of the family tree, and by that I mean in high school, I lettered in stats keeping and that was about that. At some terrible day in the reasonably near future, my son will discover that, through no fault of his own, his cellular structure will seem to exist for the sole purpose of making him foul up athletic activities in as public a setting as possible, like in first-hour P.E. or in front of the entire girls’ basketball team, somehow.

He’ll learn that because his dad has some problems with the sports, something will happen when he picks up a football or basketball — his cells will immediately reconfigure themselves into a stew of bumbling, fumbling chaos. When my brain told my arm, “Throw the football with your right hand,” my left hand began moving for some reason. When my brain told my leg, “Take this football you’ve been handed and run like the devil, boy!” my legs began moving in completely separate directions. And when my brain said, “Just shoot the bad-word-ing free throw already, how is it possible that in 16 years on this planet no one has taught you to shoot a free throw without looking like someone just plugged a very old microwave into your nervous system and why are you thinking about this now just shoot, shoot, shoot,” the ball would careen off the backboard with a great and terrible CLANG.

Continue reading


The Seven-Day Guide to Sleeping Better (GQ)

07-sleeping-better-pillow

.

GQ — Medical experts agree: You need sleep to not die. But too little will impair your memory, hygiene, and ability to handle heavy machinery. Too much could lead to diabetes, obesity and heart disease. So how can you get the right amount of z’s? Follow our seven-night plan.

.

Related, sort of

.

.

.


Attention, Teachers: If My Son Seems Tired Tomorrow, It’s Probably Because of Pearl Jam

pearl-jam-jeff-vrabel-eddie-vedderIsland Packet — Soooo everyone here would take their 10-year-olds to a Wednesday night rock concert in a far-away city, right? That’s an acceptable parenting decision? Because I kinda sorta did this, and the response so far seems to be evenly split between “He’ll remember it his whole life” and “You are a negligent monster and we’re kicking you off the PTO.”

I agree with them both, because I started out the night with a fifth-grader whom I wanted to expose to new experiences, but left the show carrying my sleepy baby because he fell stone-cold asleep in an arena chair.

There I was last night with my son at a Pearl Jam concert, a good two hours away from his night-night books, bed and the school he was required to attend at 7:40 a.m. the next morning. And there he was, sound asleep, curled up in the chair like a precious little angel, albeit one surrounded by guys carrying 60-ounce beers and shout-singing lyrics from college. Given the chance, the kid will tuck himself into bed under a bundle of blankets and stuffed bears and read Percy Jackson books until 11:30 each night, but take him to a concert and it’s “Ohhh I’m sleepy at 9:30, did you bring a pillow?”

Continue reading


Fish Are Expendable As Pets, There, I Said It

fish-are-expendable-there-i-said-it-jeff-vrabel

This was easier to find on Google than you think.

GateHouse — First, a confession: I murdered about eight fish this summer.

It wasn’t my fault, and by that I mean it was entirely my fault. The tale is long and tragic, but the short version is that when you’re driving a moving truck, it’s best to not leave Tupperware containers full of goldfish on the floor of the cab, because that floor gets hot. And that makes the water hot. And that makes the fish hot, and dead, mostly dead. If there was a bright side, though, the cab smelled delicious. (And if it makes you feel better, the frogs survived, right up until I transferred them into my new fish tank and they immediately perished, presumably from comfort.)

Second confession: I don’t have much experience with taking pets for operations. I’ve only done that once in my life, and it was with a dog, and it was less an “operation” and more “the last walk she ever went on, if you’re catching my drift.” But I do know this: Cutty’s non-operation would have been expensive, prohibitively so, and as much as we loved her, and as cold as it sounds, it wasn’t feasible. And that was for a dog, an animal that can interact with you, slobber on you, provide “unconditional love and companionship” or whatever for you. I can’t imagine what our financial cutoff would have been for a fish. Wait, yes I can. It’s zero.

Because fish, let’s be honest, are expendable. There, I said it. I realize I’m inviting volumes of hate mail from the nation’s lively lobby of fish fans, but I’m not too worried. Their influence lately has been… scaled back. I pretty much think they’re… fin-ished. Do you see what we just did there, how veered from an emotional moment about euthanizing the dog of my childhood to idiotic fish puns? We’re all about versatility today.

Continue reading


The Day They Let the Fifth-Graders Work From Home

kid-on-computer-2

This is basically what it looked like, except with slightly less unhinged stock-photo joy.

Island Packet — I am lucky enough to work from home, which is pretty great. I don’t have a commute, or problems with the printer, or cubicle-mates. My wardrobe is usually somewhere between “daily jeans Friday” and “Jimmy Buffett concert.” I work on porches and eat a lot of waffles on the clock. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had a lot of jobs where waffle consumption has been this acceptable. Pretty much just this one and that one summer I robbed a Waffle House.

But working from home works because I’m 39. I can segment my time, establish a block here for working, a block there for lunch, 10 minutes here to change the laundry, 10 minutes to run to the coffee shop. I can do that because I’m old. I’d have been terrible at it in fifth grade.

I bring this up because my 10-year-old was home on Tuesday for what is known in his school as an “E-Day.” You might think the “E” stands for something critical, something so extraordinary as to warrant parents taking the day off. Like “Evacuate the school!” or “Excused! You’re excused because you’re sick.” But no. The “E” stands for “electronics,” and it’s a day — a mere two weeks into the school year — when kids are supposed to stay home and learn.

There are going to be three more of these things too.

Continue reading


In Which I Try To Convince a Grown Woman That You Shouldn’t Eat Babies

A-Calm-Reasoned-Argument-For-and-Against-Eating-Your-Cute-Fat-Baby-by-Kim-Bongiorno-and-Jeff-Vrabel Let Me Start By Saying — This week, over at the great Let Me Start By Saying, I make a thoughtful, reasoned argument for why you shouldn’t eat babies. I feel this is a pretty logical point, but there appears to be some pushback. Read the entire debate here to find out exactly how I lose.   . .


I Really Need These Lego Robots to Stop Blackmailing Me

Why can't you all just be nicer, like this guy?

Why can’t you all just be nicer, like this guy?

Island Packet — If it wasn’t for all the blackmail, sign-ups for this Lego Robotics team would be going pretty well.

It’s not a problem with Legos (which my 10-year-old and I love) or extracurricular activities (which are good) or robots (which are mostly good, with the obvious exceptions of Siri, the Matrix, Mechagodzilla and those little red ones that claim to vacuum your house but are hopelessly baffled by stairs). No, it’s a problem with humans, and the pressures they create. Because my son’s Lego Robotics team currently lacks one key component: a coach. And I’ve been warned that without a coach the team will be canceled, deleted, become as hopeless as a Roomba trying to reach a second floor.

This, of course, is bad. Obviously I don’t want my son to miss out on extracurricular Lego camp, for two reasons: 1. His is a mechanical, engineering-oriented brain that would benefit from such imaginative exploration, and 2. It represents several weekly 90-minute blocks that he’d be out of the house, and thus not asking me endless questions about dragons while I’m working.

But — and there’s really no way around this — I can’t coach a Lego team. There, I said it. Yet the emails about my son’s team needing a coach have gone from gently encouraging to increasingly insistent to essentially bulletins from a shattered dystopian future where there are no Lego Robotics teams, or, if I’m reading this right, human joy. “If we are unable to find a parent coach THESE TEAMS WILL BE DISBANDED and refunds will be issued,” reads a typical email.

Continue reading


My 10-Year-Old Is Enjoying the Ice Bucket Challenge Far Too Much

 

Pictured: Me taking the Ice Bucket Challenge last week.

Pictured: Me taking the Ice Bucket Challenge last week.

Island Packet — There is no joy on Earth so powerful, no happiness so unchained, as that seen in the eyes of a 10-year-old who has just learned he gets to dump a large bucket of ice water on his father’s head.

You should have seen this kid’s smile, his maniacal, delirious, 75 percent unsettling smile. I think he’s still got it; he’s upstairs asleep with it. Sci-fi evildoers from the ’70s smiled like this, but they also had villainous goatees so it looked kind of natural. I’ve special-ordered this little punk Lego trains two days before Christmas and didn’t get half the wild-eyed glee I got by saying the words, “Hey, remember those ice bucket videos we were watching? Sophie and Eva’s dad just challenged me.”

His eyes, wide. His hands, shaking. His brain, whirring and whizzing with possibility. “This sounds like fun! Can we do it now?”

Continue reading


Yes, Moms Have a Crazy Hard Job, But Luckily They Don’t Have to Do This Stuff (NickMom)

NickMom — Look, there’s no doubt that moms have it rough out there, but life’s not exactly sunshine and butterflies for us dads, either.

..

new_things_dads_do_moms_dont_article_jusxi_74m5q edit

Here’s the full version over at NickMom.

.

.

.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,275 other followers

%d bloggers like this: