hobbes

Ramones - Ramones by Rollie Agado

Before I weigh in on the Ramones seminal debut album, I need to kinda clear the air on something....

A few of you may have noticed a suspicious absence on my blog in recent weeks/months...  due to a falling out between me and my sibling in mid November - I haven't spent any time with my niece who I affectionally call Hobbes.

Today your love, Tomorrow the World

Today your love, Tomorrow the World

The rift has been difficult on my immediate family...  I missed out on her birthday and did not participate in any holiday activities.  Missing out on holiday activities was a blessing in disguise tho... I fucking hate christmas. 

That being said, not being able to see or spoil my niece has been pretty upsetting...  hanging with her would normally include having to put up with my sister and I'm not looking to repair that relationship in the foreseeable future.

9:00 AM
I'm not going to lie to you...  I was pretty fucking shocked that my sister allowed my parents to bring my niece over for a sleep over tonight.  It's officially the first time that the two have been apart since my sister went in for her gallstone surgery in November of 2012.  

I can't begin to describe how fucking amazing the past 15 hours have been.  Now that Hobbes can grasp, throw, climb and walk - it's like hanging with a completely different person.  She's always been surprisingly responsive to music - so I naturally pulled out my copy of the Ramones/Ramones.

I saw a thing on TV once where an entire room of 5 year olds were singing the lyrics to Blitzkrieg Bop - though a bizarre music appreciation class.   I knew that very moment that if I were ever a parent or uncle - that I would introduce the Ramones to the kid as soon as possible.

Hobbes took to it immediately...  she kinda does a "pogo" dance move without ever leaping into the air.   It's pretty fucking adorable and I hate everything.   

As for the Ramones album...  I don't really have anything profound to say about an album that has been documented and written about ad nauseum.

Here however are some of the tracks that she really responded positively too...

Artist: Ramones
Album: Ramones
Producer: Craig Leon
Label: Sire
Recorded: Radio City Music Hall

Dear Mr. Watterson by Rollie Agado

Dropped some much deserved money on a documentary titled Dear Mr. Watterson this evening...

I read a lukewarm review for it on Slate a few weeks ago and saw that it was available to rent on AmazonPrime - and wanted to quickly share my thoughts on it.

If you're on the fence on Calvin and Hobbes - I wouldn't recommend you go out of your way to see this documentary.  In fact...  I'm not sure if I would recommend to anyone who wasn't intimately familiar with the material.

Official poster of - Dear Mr. Watterson

The documentary doesn't feature any interviews with Bill Watterson...  the director goes out of his way in the opening seconds of the picture to state that this wasn't going to be a journey about the artist, but of the fandom that surrounds the artwork of Calvin and Hobbes.

Like many of the interview subjects... I discovered Calvin and Hobbes in the late 80's when my local paper - Valley Morning Star - syndicated his work.  It was one of two strips that I actively sought out throughout my life... the other one was The Lockhorns.  But I digress...  what drew me (and I think everyone who loves the strip) is the over active imagination of Calvin.

I can't think of too many other things that resonated so quickly within me after experiencing it for the first time.  Its up there with Star Wars and KISS tho'.

An interesting thing that the documentary touched on was visiting the home town of Chagrin, Ohio.  They took a number of location shots and within seconds you can't help but feel like you've been there before.  

The local high-school mascot is a TIGER!   

Watterson was heavily involved with his year book club, so his illustrations are seen throughout the 1978 Chagrin year book.

When they weren't visiting the town of Chagrin, they spent a lot of time discussing the integrity of Watterson.  He never allowed merchandising of Calvin and Hobbes so it never fell victim of what Snoopy and Garfield fell victim to.

Pogo - cited as an influence for C&H

I think the best part of the documentary was getting to learn about what influenced Watterson the most.  Comics dating far back as the 1920's that I had never heard of... but a few that I'll go out of my way to check out tho'.

 

Anyhoo... if you're a huge fan and if you want to spend an evening at home smiling - I  recommend that you check it out.

Hobbes vs Pumpkins by Rollie Agado

Sleep deprivation has officially set in.  Im surrounded by a few people who have been up close to 30 consecutive hours.   I found 3 hours of sleep in the past 24…  The only thing that has made me crack a smile is this photo that my sister sent me last night.

Sleep deprivation has officially set in. Im surrounded by a few people who have been up close to 30 consecutive hours. I found 3 hours of sleep in the past 24… The only thing that has made me crack a smile is this photo that my sister sent me last night.

Traded in the stress of the big city for the stress of being with my family... a.k.a. : Labor Day Weekend by Rollie Agado

I can’t believe that summer is coming to a close this weekend…  I vaguely remember Memorial Day weekend this morning but I recall thinking to myself that the summer of 2013 had a hint of “promise”.

A promise of what exactly?  I don’t know…  I kinda thought I would have had more personal time tho’.  

Received a last minute phone call from my sister on Friday asking if I would be willing to drive to the Valley with her and my niece so that she could spend time with my parents.

I knew that by saying “no”, that I would be guilt ridden by the rents until we saw each other again, so I agreed to hop in a car and visit home for the first time since February.

The visit has been relaxing for the most part… my parents are preoccupied with their grand daughter, the pets are constantly running in and out of the house.  My sister has found footing between being hyper-vigilant of her daughters care while we’re asked to look over her and occupying her other moments to do things she normally can’t do.

Being a parent sucks.

As for myself… I slowly slink to three locations… my bedroom, the living room couch and the refrigerator.

Especially the refrigerator: I open it periodically hoping that its contents have improved since my last visit.  

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They never do.

Then I judge my parents on the items they’ve elected to stock it with…

Napping :

It’s alarming how much napping goes on in this household.  Both my father (age 79) and niece (9 months) find pockets of time to sleep throughout the day.  More so, my old man…  I lucked out yesterday when he didn’t fall asleep with the remote control clutched in his hand.

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The pets (Elliot, Coco, Amos) catch small naps throughout the day also… but they’re sorta programed to do so.

My sister and mom sneak in naps and justifiably as they are at the mercy of my nine month old niece.

Everything in the house is predisposed to call out my name when they wake up so I never get to fucking nap…

Dinner: Meals are always a treat in this house hold… not only are we expected to have them together.  You’re expected to have comedic material as we roast every member around the table.

Combatant #1 : Alfredo, favorite target to tag: Son
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I love that may father goes out of his way to stare blankly at menus… My mother or sister order for him at any restaurant he dines at.  His pallet consists of 6 things… 3 of which are steak.  He never weighs in on where we elect to have dinner… he knows that we’re going to select a place that can accommodate one of the 6 plates he’ll eat at a restaurant.

He mercilessly picked on me for ordering a soup for dinner and made a few cracks about my weight.  Keep it classy dad.

Combatant 2: Joker, favorite target to tag: Brother & Mother
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Motherhood does a number of people…  my sister spent a good part of her dinner looking after her little one.  When she wasn’t doing that, she criticized everyone for allowing her daughter to reach for things she shouldn’t put in her mouth.

Everyone at the table, with the exception of Chivo - suggested she had a bi-polar disorder.  We kid cause we love. (seriously tho, get meds)

Combatant 3: Mom, favorite target: Daughter and Son… I’m a distant 2nd tho’.
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Mother is an equal opportunity roaster.  She makes it a point to tag everyone at the table with the exception of my niece.  Only a matter of months before she too gets it.

My mom is blind as a bat and she forgot to bring glasses to read the menu.  She does this ALL THE TIME.  We all teased her by pointing out fictional things on the menu, as she sat in frustration - not being able to confirm what we’re talking about.

Combatant 4: Hobbes
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She can’t really speak, but I’m pretty sure she’s alerting me that her mother is nuts.

We all agreed.

Combatant 5: Chivo
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Chivo’s has been family fixture for 20 years…  my family see’s him as a sibling of sorts.  My parents often remind me that he’s completed his Ph.D.

We all shared in reminding him that he’s unemployed still.  He has something good lined up tho’.  Poor guy, I he’s stressed as all get out.

Dinner came and went without anyone really having their feelings hurt…  I actually ran into my God Parents at the restaurant also.

Shortly after dinner, Chivo and I stopped into a bar just outside of Brownsville called the Flying Pig.  While there, a drunk guy claimed to have won 39 thousand dollars at the dog track.   He tried to buy me shots and asked me to go dove hunting today…  

I rejected both offers.  I apparently attract the weird ones.