Greetings from the realm of freedom, i.e. the family off to Chicago for a long-long weekend and yours truly cashing in a banked holiday today and off until Tuesday with nary a little one in site. This might be a bit less exciting for you, but I promise you it’s like Hot-Tub-Time-Machine excitement over here for me… minus the hot tub, old love interests, high school buddies… ok, minus most everything except for the joy and promise of the movie title: Hot Tub Time Machine. Did the movie live up to its name? Not quite. Will this long weekend live up to the weeks-long anticipation and internal hype? How could it? But damn it if I won’t put on my favorite pair of pants, make a mountain of spaghetti and give it the old post-college try.
Part of the weekend will be spent attempting to reunite the Brooklyn Explorer’s Club in NYC. Text your coordinates to 73DINER if you’d like the roving mob of explorers to strip the past 14 years (14 years?!) off your life and absorb you into the madness. The “madness” might include wandering into an interesting shop or two (I’m partial to fashionable bags these days), finding a good restaurant for dinner, and stopping at nearly every opportunity for ice cream and coffee. That will be the Saturday thru Sunday adventure. Then Monday I’m recording in my brother’s studio with the new band I’ve been playing with a bit, trying to sneak in some quality session time before Marc moves to San Francisco in a month or so. The kids will miss their uncle!! I will miss his guitars and pedals… and him, of course… I should have said that first.
So this morning, after sleeping late, getting up and playing a little music before, during and after breakfast (something the kids won’t tolerate when they’re here), I started to feel guilty that Karen was having to deal with the little monsters by herself. So I promptly went to Target where I could here the cries of unhappy kids and harried parents again. I thought about helping a struggling parent with her toddler who was intent on running away, but then I went back to studying a four-pack of velveeta easy-mac cups and thought, “Eric, enjoy this moment of freedom. You won’t have too many more like it for the next decade… and besides, you deserve it.” I’m always telling myself I deserve things, by the way, to help counteract the insecurity that comes with being a fraudulent adult–which I believe we’ve covered before in this forum ad nauseam (add nausea?)–i.e. being suspicious of and often allergic to anything that sounds too grown up. i.e. ballet, opera, wine tastings, cocktail parties, yoga, pilates, spinning. I mean, in my mind, you can’t really improve upon the kid versions of those things–silly dances, singing, rock ‘n’ roll, ice cream tastings, wiffle ball, basketball and football.
Speaking of everlasting youth and football, I recently joined some much younger coworkers in a game of tackle football — the day before the SuperBowl, on a soccer field in Cambridge. Most were in their early to mid-twenties. Cleats and mouthguards were encouraged in this game of seven-on-seven. I brought the family up to watch the game but then couldn’t resist putting on the sportiest clothes I own (black jeans, sweatshirt, old running shoes) and making myself available to play, you know, just in case they needed to even out the teams or something. I owe Karen days upon days of watching the kids now because in addition to this current weekend she also agreed to watch both kids and let me play that day. I quickly announced to the group that I was “old” and did not want to “get killed.” And that did seem to have the desired effect, as more manly folks than I tend to not want to make a big effort to tackle the guy who already identified himself as a weakling… little glory in that. So I caught a couple passes and got tackled hard only really once… which unbeknownst to me at the time actually caused a bruised rib injury that remains painful two weeks later as I type this. But only really when I cough, sneeze or lie down to go to sleep. I was a woefully bad tackler out there, as somehow guys were able to run through my arm tackles. But I did catch a nice touchdown pass from the second oldest player out there, another father of two who zipped a perfect pass to me behind the defender… and then no one could catch me as I ran for my life down the seam to the endzone. Yep, age 38 and I still got the hands and the speed… do they give out awards for… they don’t? Okay.
I’m filming a movie at work, in the rare moments that I don’t need to be actually doing work, on the office chair basketball league we’ve started. I’ve got 15+ min of edited footage already, including profiles of the players, a sales and marketing meeting, a parking lot confrontation of players accused of doping, and the play-by-play announcer’s audition, which in true fashion reminiscent of my Frappehead movie director days, was somewhat ruined by me laughing too much off camera. Seriously, what I was saying before about being a fraudulent adult? It’s kind of hard to even pretend to be one after you’ve laughed so hard you’ve cried in front of some people in their early 20s. There might be something wrong with me. But this movie should be fun to watch, even for wider audiences than those involved in the league… at least that’s my goal. I’m even recording original music for the soundtrack… or so far for the opening and closing credits. I might end up posting it in parts on Youtube, if the file is too big to post all at once. But stay tuned for that, hopefully in a couple months or so.
Okay, speaking of music, time to get back to it. Gotta seize the moments here in an empty house, with a new song mostly written. Hope you all are enjoying this mild winter. Once I finish the movie I’ll be turning to my next project, an instructional booklet and video on how to convert your house into a houseboat. I’d like to make sure we all survive the coming sea-level rise. Or at least everyone who can afford my booklet/video combo pak for the low price of $19.95 plus shipping and handling. Lumber and flotation devices not included. If you opt not to purchase the book, you can always register for Apocalyft, the little end-of-the-world taxi service that I co-own. Very low overhead… even lower ethical standards.