Garbage Smell Gets A Laugh

As you might have guessed, I saw The Smurfs with Lil’B this weekend.  I love having a “little brother” because it gives me an excuse to go see all the kids movies I want to see anyway, but my friends won’t go to with me, without looking like a pervert or predator.  I told Lil’B not to grow up… And then immediately kicked myself because my mother used to say things like that to me all the time and I HATED IT.  (Actually, what I told him was never to get older than 12 because then his ticket price goes up.)

The last time I saw Lil’B we talked about what we would do this time around and I mentioned the movies.  There are a lot of movies out that look good and that I want to see, but I don’t get to the movies that often.  Lil’B has wanted to see Transformers 3, which I saw several weeks ago with Michelle.  It was good and I don’t think it would be a problem for him to see it, but there are a few whole sections in the movie (as with so many these days) where they play pretty fast and loose with incidental human life.  Many, many innocent bystanders would have been hurt or killed if there was an ounce of reality to the scenes on the screen.

Anyway, he had mentioned that he still wanted to see it and I suggested that we could go on our next outing (this past Sunday) if it was still out.  He seemed happy with that.  So when I picked him up on Sunday I told him, “You have three choices.  We can go see Transformers, The Smurfs or Captain America.”  (I was hoping he’d pick Captain America but I’d be happy to see any of the three movies.)  Before I even finished saying “Captain America” he was saying “The Smurfs!”  He was very excited.

Yay!  You really are still a kid! I thought.  Which, of course he is.  He’s only 9, but I’m aware that we’ll be coming up on a time, very soon, when he will be in that awkward, in between stage, where he’s still a kid, but kind of not.  I am, in equal parts, looking forward to and dreading that time.

He watched the movie in his usual position (with his head buried in his Icee cup), but no longer with the seat trying to swallow him alive – when did that stop?- and while he was busy slurping away on his Icee, I was thoroughly engrossed in the movie, laughing at all the lame and corny jokes…  Well, almost all of them.  When Tim Gunn, playing Henri, a character whose purpose I still don’t understand said to Neil Patrick Harris’s character, “Make it work”, I groaned.  And when Smurfette, voiced by Katie Perry, suggested a marketing slogan to NPH, “I kissed a smurf and I liked it?”, my palm may, possibly, have met my forehead.  What was kind of fun, for me, was that the mom two seats down from me, seeing the movie with three kids lil’er than Lil’B, and I kept laughing at all the same places.  This movie is full of grown up jokes, which is a sign of a well thought out movie.  Unfortunately, it also tends to prompt lil voices to ask, “What happened mommy?  Mommy, what happened?  Mommy?  Mommy?”

Off. Track.

As I was saying, while Lil’B was buried ears deep in his Icee, I was laughing at all the jokes and puns and visual comedy and so it was all the more gratifying to me, when in the scene when Gargamel, or as Sofia Vergara’s character calls him, “Garbage Smell”, get’s his due, Lil’B actually laughed out loud!

There’s hope for this kid after all!

If I Were A Smurf

If I were a smurf
Even smurf for a smurf
I’d smurf outta smurf in the smurf
And smurf on what I smurfed then smurf
Smurf smurf with the smurfs
And smurf after smurfs
I’d smurf it with who I smurfed
And I’d never get smurfed for it.
Cause they’d smurf up for me.

If I were a smurf
I smurf I could undersmurf
How it smurfs to smurf a smurf
I smurf I’d be a better smurf.
I’d smurf to smurf
Cause I smurf how it smurfs
When you smurf the one you smurfed
Cause he’s smurfen you for smurfed
And everysmurf you smurfed got desmurfed

If I were a smurf
I would smurf off my smurf
Tell everysmurf it’s smurfen
So they’d smurf that I was smurfin’ alone
I’d smurf myself smurf
And smurf the smurfs as I smurf
Cause I smurf that smurf’d be smurfful
Smurfin’ for me to smurf smurf (Oh, to smurf smurf)

If I were a smurf
I smurf I would undersmurf
How it smurfs to smurf a smurf
I smurf I’d smurf a smurfer smurf.
I’d smurf to smurf
Cause I smurf how it smurfs
When you smurf the smurf you smurfed (smurfed)
Cause smurf’s smurfen smurf for smurfed (smurfed)
And everysmurf you smurfed got desmurfed

It’s a little too smurf for smurf to smurf back
Smurf its just a mismurf
Smurf I’d smurf you like smurf
If you smurfed I would smurf for you
You smurfed wrong

But you’re just a smurf
You smurf undersmurf
Smurf you don’t undersmurf
Smurf it smurfs to smurf a smurf somesmurf
You’ll smurf you were a better smurf
You don’t smurfen to smurf
You don’t smurf how it smurfs
Until you smurf the smurf you smurfed
Smurf you’ve smurfen smurf for smurfed
And everysmurf you  smurfed got desmurfed
But smurf just a smurf


Guess what I did this weekend?


I took Lil’B to see Tangled yesterday.  Nothing terribly interesting to say about that.  It was a cute movie.  Zachary Levi does his own singing.  I was impressed with that.

What was memorable about the experience was this commercial that played before the show started:

At the end, when the logo hit the screen, the entire theater groaned!

Gooooo Joe! Go Far. Really, Really Far!

Last Sunday brought another outing with Little.  He wanted to see GI Joe and his mother said it was OK, so I set it up.  Our normal meeting time is 2:00 but because the movie started at 1:50, I arrived at his house at 1:15.  I have a pet peeve about cutting things too close and I’m kind of particular about where I like to sit in a movie theater.  I like to be in the top row whenever  possible, because there always seems to be a  little more leg room there, the next best option is the first row of the stadium seating area.  I knew it would take about 15 minutes to get to the theater, I figured there’d be popcorn and drinks to be obtained and I wanted to make sure bladders were emptied prior to the start of  the movie (particularly mine.)

When I arrived at Little’s apartment he was sitting on the living room floor with his brother playing a video game.  He was wearing track pants and a t-shirt and I thought he was just ready and waiting for me, (I was about two minutes late).  His mother said something to him in Spanish, but the only word I was able to make out was pantalones (pants).  I thought that was strange because he looked ready to go to me, but he paused the game, got up from the floor and ran off to his  room.  His brother reset the game so he could continue playing on his own (He  and his Big Brother go out on a different day).

That’s when I noticed it.  The game they’d been playing was set in a warehouse of some sort.  What’s shown on the screen is from the perspective of the character’s eyes.  So you see the room around you, you see the boxes and crates that are  spread about and you see the other characters in the game.  Off in the distance  you see a red cross-hairs and at the bottom of the screen is an assault rifle  pointing ahead of you.  The objective of the game is to put the cross hairs on the enemy characters and shoot and kill them.  I asked Little’s brother who was  winning and he shrugged and said, “I don’t know.  You just shoot people.”  The only thing that made me feel at all better was that twice as I watched him play the  game, his character was shot by the bad guys and he died.  Of course he just hit reset and started the game over so the consequences may not be really driven  home, but at least it’s not just him running around killing other people.

Little re-emerged from the back of the apartment, having changed his clothes to  blue jeans and a shirt with a zip up hoodie jacket.  He also had his hair gelled and styled.  His hair is cut such that he can have a “fauxhawk” and he wanted his  mother to style it for him, it’s actually really cute, and I’m a little jealous.  We got a late start because of this but we had plenty of time.

We arrived at the theater and there was a bit of a line, but nothing too bad.  I asked him if he wanted to get something to drink but he said no.  I asked him if he was sure and he said no again.  Once we finally had the tickets and were inside the building I asked him if he needed to go to the bathroom.  He hemmed and  hawed about it a little bit until I said, “’Cause I need to go to the bathroom so we  have to go in there anyway.”  We both went and I was impressed when he went  straight to the sink and washed his hands without me saying anything at all.

We walked past the concession stand after we left the bathroom and Little said,  “OK.  I changed my mind.  I do want something.”  I asked him what he wanted and he said he wanted popcorn.  Last I checked you can’t drink popcorn, kid!  I didn’t mind, I was going to offer that as well.  So I got a small popcorn (In movie theater  terms, small is relative) and two bottles of water.  This was going to work out fine because I drink water more slowly than I do Diet Pepsi and I thought maybe I could make it through the whole movie without having to go back to the bathroom.

By the time we had our snacks and got to the door of the theater it was 1:52 and  the previews had already begun.  I was prepared to tell him to wait inside until our eyes adjusted to the dark but when we got inside there were only about six people in the whole theater.  I let him pick the seats and he did a pretty good job.

I don’t know what Little weighs but he is still small enough that he has to sit in the  back seat of the car.  He ended up fighting for his life with the seat as it tried more than once to fold back up with him inside.  I’m going to have to work out how I can help him with that.

We settled into our seats and started eating the popcorn while watching the previews and he was pretty funny.  He would pick up one kernel of corn and put it  in his mouth and immediately pick up the next one repeating this method over and over till his mouth was full and then he’d chew it.  Whatever. He was happy and  that’s what really matters.

Now, the movie…  The movie was really pretty terrible.  It was clearly all about the action, and there was a lot of action and I’m realizing that action isn’t enough for  me. I like an action movie as much as the next… not terribly macho guy but I need more.  K once told me she didn’t like a certain movie because, she said, “there  was too much plot.  I don’t like a lot of plot in my action.”  (And no K, I’m not  calling you a macho guy.)  I am different though.  If there’s no plot in my action the action isn’t worthwhile.

I’m honestly wondering if I have always been this way or if it’s a new development  but, given the concerns I’ve raised previously with Little and his preoccupation with guns, I found myself far more acutely aware of the gratuitous death.  It’s funny how we, as a society, tend to turn a blind eye to death and destruction in our  “entertainment” as long as it’s the bad guys that are dying.  Watching Fast & Furious, just the other day with Michelle, I actually cheered a little bit, at the end  when the bad guy died.  But in GI Joe there was a lot of the bad guys killing good  guys (extras though they may have been) and there’s a scene where they’re driving through the streets of Paris and the bad guys are crashing into and flipping cars right and left, if not killing then at least injuring innocent civilians in their  path.    Putting aside, for a moment, that I would not have seen this movie to begin with if not for Little, I do not know if I would have been bothered (or as bothered) by this if Little hadn’t been there.  In general, I felt that this movie was much too much for seven year old eyes.

But the plot, my God, the PLOT.  The plot was riddled with as many holes as the characters lying dead or dying on the ground.  I was left with so many questions and had I cared about the movie to begin with I’d have been terribly dismayed instead of just annoyed as I am.

Lesson number one for Kevin, when taking a seven year old to a movie, he will have to go to the bathroom at the height of the action.  Little spent most of the  movie staring intently at the screen barely speaking.  I suppose it could have been very different.  He could have talked through the whole thing.  Every once in a while he’d say, “Whooa.  That’s coooool!” but that was about it.  I glanced over at him a few times and as the movie progressed and got more intense I noticed he had his index fingers in his mouth and he was rocking forward and back in his seat.  I asked him if he was OK and he said he was.  I thought maybe he was nervous.  I didn’t know that this wasn’t just a thing he does, like sucking his thumb.  But I had my suspicions about what it meant, and sure enough just as we were reaching a pivotal moment in the “story” he leaned over to me and said, “I have to go to the bathroom.”  That was OK.  I did too!  But to this day, I do not know what happened to The President.

This week, we’re going to  see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs which seems much more up my—er, his alley.  I’m actually looking forward to it and Little doesn’t know it, but we’re going to go see it in 3-D.

I had a check-in call with  Hadley, the Match Support Specialist this  week.  They require it in  the early stages of the  match, but I wanted to  talk with her anyway.  I wanted to know, from Big Brothers and Big Sisters  perspective if I was  over-reacting to the gun thing.  Hadley confirmed  what I already suspected; that I can’t really say  anything to Little’s mother or even to him as far as telling him that this is “bad”.  But she also agreed that it’s unfortunate that he’s exposed to so much of it and  that I should just keep an eye on it but make every effort to keep the focus of our time together off of such things.  So I’m on the look-out for other things I can do  with him.  Thanks so much to Jody for some great thoughts in the comments on  my recent post for things to do with Little.  It was a great help.  I’m open to more  suggestions from any and all of you if you’ve got some insight you’d like to share!