For the past month, I, along with over 70 fellow Dad Bloggers have been working as a team to raise funds and awareness for men's health issues by growing moustaches in support of Movember (read my official announcement here). With over $13,000 donated thus far, half of which was thanks to a contribution from Dove Men+Care, we have one week left to reach our goal of $30,000. Currently, I rank lucky 13 on our team, with $180 generously contributed through friends of The Rock Father (thank you!). In an effort to amp things up a bit, my friend Tommy over at Life of Dad put together a group of a dozen Dad Bloggers (the #MovemberDads) to perform an a cappella cover version of "Thrift Shop" - the massive hit by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (who will be performing at The AMAs later tonight). Check it out below, and keep an eye out for yours truly popping up on guitar for the chorus...
Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I took the girls out to Schaumburg for the Aquatic Experience - Chicago, a first-ever event assembled by the World Pet Association to bring "everything aquatic under one roof." Having previously introduced readers to the show through a ticket giveaway here on The Rock Father, we attended as Media guests, and the girls were excited - particularly Addie, who was amped-up about "seeing the fish" all week. After all, we've made special trips over to Bass Pro Shops just to visit their water-dwelling residents, and the kids love visiting "Nemo" when we head down to my Mom's house... where they have an in-wall aquarium.
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.
It'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.
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.
As I sat down to write this entry, I happened to notice that it was exactly one year ago today, for 31 Days of Halloween 2012, that I'd written about the same thing. While Halloween isn't officially here until Thursday, Trick-or-Treating here took place yesterday, on a Sunday afternoon, and in broad daylight. This is still weird to me, and I can only equate it with doing Christmas morning presents on December 21. It will never feel right.
I've said it before, and I find myself saying it again, if only for the new friends that are just finding THE ROCK FATHER and have no knowledge of my past: In a lot of ways, my teen years were like an early-1990s version of ALMOST FAMOUS. But, instead of it being Cameron Crowe hanging with LED ZEPPELIN and THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND and writing about the experience for ROLLING STONE, it was me hanging with bands like FAITH NO MORE and STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and writing about the experience for regional print 'zines like Oil, Slowfish, and The River Cities' Reader. Thing is, I also had a cable access show. The simply-titled "ZTV" ran for 40+ episodes from it's homebase in the Quad Cities from 1992-1994. One such adventure? A 16-year-old me going one-on-one with Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH in January of 1993. Yes, I had a mullet and a Vic Rattlehead shirt. And it was awesome.
It is my duty to warn you that the video that I am about to share is most certainly not-family-friendly, and also probably not-safe-for-work, unless you work somewhere really cool. What just happened is that GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus (who may have Dave Brockie in his belly) recently sat down at the offices of Loudwire in Manhattan for a reading of Margaret Wise Brown's classic children's book, GOODNIGHT MOON. Now, being that this site is called "The Rock Father," you should understand the significance of why I'm posting this... It's the singer of GWAR reading a book that I, as a parent, have read to my children countless times. If you've read it, and understand the mighty power of GWAR, you will appreciate this video. If you do not understand the metal majesty of Anarctica's finest band, I urge you to read a different article, right now (this one is good). You have been warned.
If you're reading this, it is my duty to make it known that you are reading a historic blog. Despite it being a common feature throughout the vast realm of cyberspace, I have never done a "Throwback Thursday." This is my first... and it's about that time when I went to PRISON. Actually, if we're being honest, I should admit that I've been to prison more than once.
Doing a site that's largely family-friendly (sans the "For Grownups" section), it's always weird to think that I have a whole body of work that I can't share with my kids. Not yet, anyway. Between the music, films, videos, and comics I've done in the past, there's actually not really anything that's kid-friendly (again, not yet), but most of it came before I became I parent. Most, but not all. I give you PRODUCT OF HATE - THE UNHOLY MANIPULATOR (IMDb) a long-form music video that I directed and edited... a video that was released for Halloween 2012, but never properly featured here on The Rock Father. I should warn you, it's NSFW (not-safe-for-work), unless you happen to work somewhere really cool. It's Day 15 of 31 Days of Halloween 2013, and I'm going to show you the video and tell you a story...
Having only been a parent for just over four years, it's weird to already feel nostalgic about something that happened just a few years ago - October 3, 2010. On that day, we'd taken Addie (then just over a year old) to her first "Pumpkin Patch" experience, at a small place in Lake Villa, Illinois, called Susanna Farms. For Day 13 of 31 Days of Halloween 2013, I'm featuring the family-owned farm in Chicago's Far Northern Suburbs through the eyes of a Dad who recently returned with both of his daughters... Addie (now 4), and Finn (1). While this wasn't Little Finley's first Pumpkin Patch (we did that last year), it was the first time that both girls were big enough to roam the fields together... and the first time that we went with Grandma.
"You dress like you're 15."
The first time I recall hearing my wife say that, I'd just purchased a pair of Ken Block signature edition DC Shoes from PacSun (pictured below), and a long, green wallet chain from Hot Topic. That was probably about two years ago. I'll be 37 in just a few weeks, and I still have the shoes, but the wallet chain is a memory. If my wife has a gripe with me, it's definitely about the way I dress. She'd like me to class it up a bit, and there's a few times I've tried.