Tag Archives: Letter B Photography

Bedtime Stories: Chapter 1

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Every night before going to bed my children ask me to read them a book. Sometimes it’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, sometimes it’s “Curious George”, sometimes it’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, but as of late I’ve become bored with reading and reading and reading the same stories over and over and over again and so I’ve decided to write new stories for them.  We gather on their bed or on the couch and I say, “What is tonight’s story about?” and they give a simple suggestion… and so it begins…

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I’m sitting on my couch, my oldest daughter on my left and my son on my right.  Both of them are curled up in their favorite blankies, both of them staring at me with wide eyes and big smiles.  I say, “Once Upon a Time… there was a Little Boy and a Little Girl and they were brother and sister.  And one day, they were walking along a street when they noticed that they were passing a very old house that nobody lived in.  Nobody lived there.  It was completely empty–

(Sometimes you have to hammer a point home because they’re so young).

–but, even though it was completely and totally empty and no one lived there, they heard….” and this is where I look at them because they help me tell the story.  It’s kind of like a choose your own adventure for them that I make up as I go.

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I look at Quinn and I say, “What did they hear?” and she whispers, “I don’t know…” and so I look at Rory and I say, “What did they hear?” and he says, “They hear a ghost… and a ghost says, “ooooooo-oooo-ooooOOOO!“” and I say, “Actually, what they heard was………..RAAAAR!!” AND I SHOUT AND LUNGE TOWARDS QUINN AND SHE SHOVES HERSELF BACK INTO THE COUCH AND PULLS THE BLANKET UP OVER HER HEAD AND SAYS, “Don’t do that!  You scared me!”

“And so the Little Boy and the Little Girl were afraid and so they ran home to their Mommy and Daddy… but the next day they were walking past the house again and…. what did they hear?” and Rory says, “A ghost!  And a ghost says, “ooooo-ooooo-ooooOOOO!” and I say, “RAAAAR!” and I lunge at Rory and he drops his blanket to the floor and his eyes well up a little and he says, “You scared me, Daddy,” and then his little bottom lip begins to quiver and I feel pretty bad…

I continue, “So the Little Boy and the Little Girl were scared and so they ran home to their Mommy and Daddy but the next day they were walking past the empty house again and what did they hear?” and Rory says, “They… heard…. ghosts….. and a ghost says, “Ooooo-ooo-oooOOO!” and I say, “They heard a noise that sounded like this, “Ooooo-ooo-oooOOOOO!” and the Little Boy and the Little Girl turned towards the empty, abandoned house and they started walking up the sidewalk, towards the front door.  Click-clack-click-clack went their feet up the sidewalk and reeeeeee-reeeeeee went the squeaky front steps and then knock-knock-knock went their tiny little fists on the door and then eeeeeeeeeeeee went the door as it swung open and inside the house… what did they see?

And Rory, in fully obsessed form says, “A GHOST!” and I say, “They saw a white sheet floating in the middle of the room… and then another… and then another… and then another and then do you know how many ghosts they saw?” and Quinn says, “Eight” but my story was much bigger than that so I bent her choice a little with my own and I say, “100.  They saw 100 ghosts floating around and dancing because they were having a Ghost Party.”

It’s at this point that I make a beat that sounds like a cross between ghost noises and dub-step music just to add to the general ambience.

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And then–

RAAAR!” I SHOUT and both kids jump and Quinn covers her face and Rory says, “What is it?!” and I say, “It’s a monster and it’s coming down the stairs!  It’s coming to the ghost party!” and then in my scratchy monster voice I say, “I’m a monster that lives upstairs and everyone is afraid of me because of the way I talk and RAAAAR – I’m just so alone and lonely and I don’t have any friends.  There’s a party happening down here in my own house and no one invited me and now my feelings are hurt.”

And then I turn to Rory, stare him in the eyes and say, “Will you be my friend, Little Boy?” and Rory say, “I will be your friend.  Yes, I will be your friend, Monster,” and I say, “That is very nice.  Can I have a hug?” and then Rory comes in close and hugs me and says, “I love this Monster,” and I say, “I love you too, Little Boy.”

I turn to my daughter and I say, “Little Girl, will you be my friend?” and Quinn stares me dead in the eyes and says, “No.  No, I don’t want to be your friend,” but Rory quickly interjects and says, “Be our friend!  Be friends with us!” but Quinn holds her ground, “No… I don’t want to…”

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And the story continues, “So the Little Girl left the house and she shut the squeaky door behind her and she stepped down the wooden steps and she walked down the sidewalk and she went all the way back home to her Mommy and Daddy and–”

“But… where is the Little Boy?” asks Quinn.

“Oh, he stayed in the house with the monster and became the one hundred and first ghost of the party.”

The children both look at me and so I say, “The… End.”

Rory says, “That Ghost Party is fun,” and Quinn says, “Does the Little Girl see her brother again?” and I say, “No.  He stayed in the house to play with the monster and he never came out,” and Quinn asks, “Does the Little Girl see her Mommy and Daddy again?” and I say, “Yes.  She goes home and she lives with them for a very long time,” and then Quinn says, “What do her Mommy and Daddy do?” and I say, “They just work regular nine to five jobs,” and Quinn says, “Oh.  Ok.”

 

The End.

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Bud Light: Heads Up

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It’s been pretty quiet over at JohnnyBeBald for the past couple weeks and I have to apologize.  First, my wife and I were out of the country celebrating her 30th birthday (Insane Adventures of Two White People Who Don’t Speak English in Nicaragua coming soon) and then upon our return I jumped into directing the below Bud Light spot for a commercial competition.

I’d love for you to click the link and check it out.

http://zooppa.com/en-us/ads/16-oz-cool-twist-aluminum-bottle/videos/bud-light-heads-up

In the coming weeks, brace yourself for tales of a mugging I was part of, a gypsy circus we attended and an 80 year old man with a shady past.

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KID COUNTDOWN, DAY 14

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In 14 days, my wife and I will be experiencing a major shift in our family.  A major shift.  Tectonic-Plates-Glacial-Sliding-Landslide type shift.

We’re having a child.

And not just A child, but our THIRD child, which means two things.  First and foremost, it means that we are socially irresponsible by having created more people than will replace us when we “pass“.  BUT… in my defense…you should see the “next generation” of kids growing up around my block.  Trust me when I say that my over population is nothing more than my most desperate and valiant effort to help the human race not dip into The Darkest Abyss.

Secondly, and more importantly, it means that my wife and I are now outnumbered in our own home.  The child-to-parent ratio is all screwed up and there could, for all intents and purposes, be some sort of uprising; an overthrow of government if you will; a Coup.  I’ve read Treasure Island, I’ve read Mutiny on the Bounty, I know how these things work!

I’ve got my eye on you Little Baby Boy or Girl… Papa will be watching you from Day 1…

Now, backstory out of the way, I’d like you to take a journey with me.  For the next 14 days, I’m going to document the final two weeks leading up to The Great Shift.  We are, as most parents are, eternally thankful for our Little Nugget and excited to see if she actually ends up being a she or if he ends up coming out male-wise.  In any event, there is an element of bittersweet aroma in the air because, as all parents know, there is a family dynamic that is in play and whenever you add something to it, the previous dynamic is lost forever and a new one takes its place.  We currently have a set of twins that are, obviously, the same age and we have routines and inside jokes with them (and about them) and we have those quiet, special family moments and those public outings and adventures and these things won’t be gone, but our dynamic, our Everyday that we’ve gotten used to over the last two years, will be transformed.

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ABOVE: RORY (LEFT) and QUINN (RIGHT).

I had this really fantastic couch in college.  I bought it at a Goodwill and paid eleven bucks for it.  I loved that couch and, often times I actually just slept on it.  I even named it.  Couchy.  It stayed with me in the dorms, into my first apartment and then into the duplex my wife and I eventually moved into and then into the first house we rented.  It was well worn and soft and I knew just what to expect.  But one day we had to buy a new couch and we took ‘ol Couchy and set it out on the curb and a garbage truck came and stuck two giant steel poles through it’s back, lifted it into the air and then slowly lowered it into a series of spinning blades that spit stray wood chips out into the street, leaving me behind with only my memories and tears and this awful final image.

The new baby is sort of like that… only without the spinning blades and steel spikes and tears.

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ABOVE: COUCHY BEFORE HE WAS TURNED INTO TOOTHPICKS, A YOUNGER VERSION OF BOTH JADE AND MYSELF AND A LIVING VERSION OF MY DOG.

Let’s get started, shall we?

DAY 14

This morning I was awakened by a loud banging on my bedroom door.  The handle jiggles and I blurt out some incoherent sentence about grapefruits that I’m sure made sense to whatever dream I was having.  The door knob wiggles again and I hear someone shout at me, “Hey!  Hey!  Door’s locked!” and I say, “I know.  I did that to keep people out,” and then I twist the knob and standing there is my son, Rory and my daughter Quinn, both of them holding onto their favorite blankets.  I don’t want to call them security blankets because, well, there’s really nothing secure about them; in the event of a fire, you can’t crawl under them.  In fact, they’re stuffed with cotton so they’d probably be the first thing to just go up like a magician’s flash paper.  POOF!

Quinn shouts, with an energy that should be outlawed at 7:15 in the morning, “I’m ah-WAAAKE!” and then Rory echoes her with, “Mornin’!”  He has this built in drawl that he throws into that word and that word alone so that he sounds like a legitimate cowboy of yesteryear.  I imagine him tipping his hat to me and rolling a piece of wheat in his teeth as I flop back into bed and cover myself up, hoping that they’ll just crawl in behind me and go back to sleep but instead Quinn puts her foot on my cheek and says, “Daddy, I want to snuggle,” and I understand that this is less of a request and more of a threat.

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ABOVE: WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T LOOK INTO HIS EYES…. I SAID DON’T DO IT!

I pull the blankets back and she crawls under the covers and I shut my eyes and think, “I’ve done it!” but then Quinn is poking my eyelids and laughing and saying, “Daaa-dee,” and I say, “Whaaaaat?” and she says, “Daaaa-deeee?” and I say, “I’m sleeeeeeping,” and she says, “No, you’re not.”

Rory begins jumping on the end of the bed and screaming and then he’s dropping onto his knees and landing on my shins and I’m saying to him, “Uck – ouch – eek – oh,” and he’s laughing and I’m wondering if anyone has ever considered building a sort of king sized coffin that adults can sleep in; something with a lid…

I roll over and grab my book from the nightstand, a copy of Big Sur by Jack Kerouac and try to read a few pages in order to transition into the day.  “Oh, we readin’?” Quinn asks me and takes a look inside my book.  No pictures.  She jumps off the bed, runs into the living room and returns with a small handful from her own private library, wherein she crawls next to me, props herself up on a pillow and begins to examine each page with such silent intensity that I’m positive that she is legitimately reading.  Time passes, pages turn, Jade makes a couple pig-ish snoring noises and Rory shoves a toy cow in my face and says, “THAT’S A PIG!” and I say, “That’s not a pig,” and he says, “THAT’S A COW!” and then he arranges each of his animals onto one corner of the night table and doesn’t touch them again.  He’s a very meticulous little boy, similar both to my sister Theresa and my brother-in-law, Jordan, a man who used to iron his money when he was younger.

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ABOVE: THE FORCE…. OF OCD… IS STRONG IN THIS ONE…

I grab my phone to check the time and realize… “Dang, it’s just after 10am.”  At some point in the last three hours when I thought I wasn’t sleeping, I must have dozed off and the kids just laid there (lied there??) and we all slept in until late and, now that I think about it, I do feel pretty refreshed.

Jade sits up and says, “Should we eat french toast for breakfast?” and my kids love french toast (who doesn’t?) and so they scream and say, “YES!  FRENCH TOAST!” and then they’re gone and then my wife is gone and I’m left lying in bed with my book, thinking about standing up.  I look over at the empty bassonet we have in the room and I realize that soon…..

…soon the idea of sleeping in until 10am will be a luxury reserved for bachelors, rich people and the homeless.

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