125cpkIt was 1983 when the CABBAGE PATCH KIDS burst onto the National scene with the mass-produced versions of Xavier Roberts' cute creations. I had just turned seven, and my sister was just a few months out from her fourth birthday when Christmas '83 rolled around and sent shoppers into a frenzy - perhaps the first major example of a must-have toy that created absolute chaos in in the toy department. There were tales of people scalping CPK dolls from the trunks of cars... squeezing parents for whatever they could in a pre-eBay world. For my sister and I, we wouldn't get dolls in '83, but would a year later when they were a little easier to come by, but still a hot holiday toy. My doll is named "Ollie," and I still have the little guy. On his tush, he's marked with Roberts' signature, and a little number "84."

There's a slight possibility that this post may inspire a bit of deja vu for you, on the odd chance that you happened to have been reading The Rock Father back on March 12, 2012. It was then, while nursing a brief back injury (cue PANTERA's I'm Broken), that I sat down on a Friday night to discuss a then-24 year old movie, 1988's Penny Marshall-directed classic, BIG. The timing just worked out right at the time, and somehow BIG became the first live-action movie to really hold Addie's attention after I found it "On-Demand," despite already owning the DVD. BIG is one of those movies that I've owned over and over again, having first bought it on VHS, then on DVD, and now on 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray thanks to the folks at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Just as METALLICA "Re-Revisited" their "Garage Days," I'm "Re-Revisiting" my look back on BIG. Through the eyes of a parent... who was once a kid... and still acts like one on regular occasions.

Published in Movies, TV and More

As I approached the iconic marquee in front of The Metro in Chicago last night, I realized something: I hadn't been to a show there in a very long time. During the mid-late 90s (and even into the early 00s), The Metro was a regular haunt for me - a place to check a host of metal, industrial, punk, hardcore and alternative shows. I saw bands like ACUMEN NATION and SMASHING PUMPKINS on that stage, took my wife to see MR. BUNGLE there, and saw countless, no-name local thrashers who would eventually disappear back into the shadows from which they came.

Published in Music for Grownups

Note: An earlier version of this post was previously published as a guest blog for gDiapers as part of their "It Takes Guts" Father's Day promotion back in June.

When I became a Father for the first time back in 2009 (on our 10th Wedding Anniversary!), I entered into the job without much by way of expectation. I was excited to be a Dad, but there wasn’t any real or definitive outlook for how the experience would actually be. I didn’t enter into Fatherhood with the “fear” that some seem to put forth, nor did I have any grand plans for how those first days would be. Sure, there was preparation (and a lot of nesting), but I steered clear of the parenting books, and somehow managed to miss the fact that “Parent Blogging” was even a thing.

What I’m saying, is that my wife and I entered into parenthood by winging it. Actually, she was probably better-prepared than I.

Published in James' Journal

movember125It's November 1st, and for the first time-ever, it's MOVEMBER 1st here at Rock Father HQ. Yes, you read that correctly - I am participating in Movember this year - my first-ever excursion into the world of being a MO BRO. Indeed, I do despise mustaches on baby products (and in most non-facial uses), and I once declared that "Hipsters and Movember Killed the Mustache Movement." My attitude has changed, and while I often tend to buck trends, why I previously chose not to participate in Movember is unimportant at this point. What's important is why I've chosen to support it.

Published in James' Journal

Here we are... Day 31 of 31 Days of Halloween 2013 here on The Rock Father - Halloween Day! There's a lot of "threes" involved in this one, with Halloween falling on the date of my third-ever Throwback Thursday since picking up that torch earlier this month. For the Grand Finale of 2013, I'm spinning things back three decades, to this exact date 30 years ago. October 31, 1983. STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI had just been released the previous May, the third film in what would later become known as the original STAR WARS TRILOGY. It was that Halloween that I would first don my Ben Cooper Darth Vader Halloween Costume, taking to the streets as Lord Vader... wielding a green, Luke Skywalker lightsaber. Not film-accurate, but I worked with what I had.

Published in James' Journal
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