Archive for February, 2012

11
Feb
12

Geek Dad War Journal

“I believe the children are our future.” 

“I also believe that when you travel into the past, you won’t alter the future, only create an alternate timeline.”

 Geek Dad War Journal

-February 2012

-The Breakfast Table

Children possess an uncanny ability to learn, sponging up facts, ideas, and behaviors 24/7. Like the Borg. But they sing and make you Valentines.

Geek Dad groks this, and leverages every little miracle like this he can get… in his never-ending mission.

His prime directive: Keep the first grader safe and healthy in mind, body and spirit. Nurture, protect and lead by example. Inspire her to choose what’s right in an often-wrong world. Prepare her for a life of learning.

And make it to the bus on time.

La Principessa: I hate Chinese homework. Vampires don’t have to do Chinese homework.

Geek Dad War Journal: Wampires did their Chinese homevork in the Old Country, my Baby Grrrrl… ahhh, the Children of the Night, vhat music they make.

 La Principessa: Don’t do Dracula. Dracula freaks me out, actually.

 Geek Dad War Journal: Eat your pancakes and finish one page, please.

La P: I love you, Big Daddy. You’re the best daddy in the world. Hug!

Hug! Then…

GDWJ: Wǒ yě ài nǐ. Bàba ài wawa. <I love you, too. Daddy loves baby.> Now, no stalling, please, honey. You still have to brush your hair, face and teeth. And please don’t say hate. That’s such a lazy word, and you’re not a lazy person, okay, babe?

 La P: You said brush my face!

GDWJ: Just checking to see if you’re listening. Okay, okay, ten minutes till the bus, we’ll finish that page this afternoon before swimming. Eat.

La P: Is a lazy word a bad word? I know lots of bad words, actually. Daddy, David on the bus said a bad word. David said “sexy.”

GDWJ: Oh?

 Geek Dad War Journal Action Note: Consult child peer population database; ensure David knows that you work at home, keep your guns clean and have mapped the entire bus route.

 GDWJ: Okay, and why did you think that was a bad word?

La P: Um, well, y’know, Lisa said her mommy said it’s a bad word, actually, in England, where a long time ago people used to, um, y’know, speak English.

GDWJ: Well, what do you think sexy means?

She dances in her chair.

 La P: It means you are on stage and a lady, a lady, a sexy lay-deeee.

Crom!

 What would Sun Tzu do?

GDWJ: I’m not sure that’s really what that word means. Let’s look it up after swimming tonight.

When you’ve forgotten all about this…

GDWJ: Till then, let’s not use that word at school, okay? Or in front of Mama. Or anybody’s mama.

La P: Lisa likes Justin Beaver, but I think he’s the worst. I think he sings like a girl, um, well, y’know.

GDWJ: Mmm… you’re smart to keep an open mind.

La P: Remember in Tiny Titans, Beast Boy liked Terra and hearts came out of his mind, heart heart heart heart?

GDWJ: That was a great story. Hey, want to read that to me tonight?

La P: And Beast Boy changed into a puppy, poof. But puppies aren’t green, actually.

GDWJ: Speaking of poof, are you done with your pancakes?

La P: Bàba, my pancakes are cold. Warm them up.

 GDWJ: What’s the magic word?

La P: Shazam!

 GDWJ: Okay, another magic word.

La P: Azarath Metrion Zinthos!

 GDWJ: Try again…

La P: Engage!

 GDWJ: I’ll accept English, Mandarin or Espanol.

La P: Not Bizarro?

GDWJ: Come on, you know it…

La P: Fine. Warm them up, por favor?

GDWJ: Fine. I’m warming them up. But tonight, we finish that page before swimming. Because you know who likes it when you do your Chinese homework? Tinkerbell. And when you don’t do it, her light flickers out.

La P: You made that up! Tinkerbell’s not real, you know.

GDWJ: Pancakes.

La P: They’re too hot! Actually, I’m joking. I’m done. Time to wash my face and brush my teeth! Hug!

Hug! Then…

GDWJ: Ugh! Did you just use me as a napkin?

 La P: Wawa ai Bàba.

“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.”

The Art of War, Sun Tzu (600 BC)

David Quinn is Diane’s husband, Olivia’s dad and an independent producer of branded content.

 Geek Dad War Journal is a work of fiction. Ish.

 Hug!

 

Tiny Titans copyright DC

08
Feb
12

The Littlest Bitch: Simple Pleasures

05
Feb
12

Valentines Day with The Littlest Bitch

The Littlest Bitch Valentine

05
Feb
12

#1: My Dinner with The Littlest Bitch

The Littlest Bitch

A chance to read one of my favorite books aloud, my daughter Olivia on my lap, to entertain convivial guests after a five course meal – all to facilitate a generous donation to our school programs?

Sounds like a good Saturday night at our house.

Here’s how it happened.

First, you have to know, it’s an understatement to say my wife Diane and I like to cook. If you come to our house, bring your appetite and all your senses. You’ll float into our kitchen like a classic cartoon cat, one big lazy, satisfied backstroke through twin smell streams of fresh-baked bread and garlic sizzling in hot oil. Then I’ll pour you something and my wife will offer you just a bite… that explodes with flavor in your mouth, bringing you back for more.

A bit dramatic, there, but just as I’m passionate about music and storytelling, breaking bread with gusto, with friends? That’s where we live. Shared passions foster growth in a partnership and adventure in the kitchen is where Diane and I meet. And when we can bring friends together to do it, that’s our la dolce vita.

We’re not trained cooks. We don’t aspire to our own stunt cooking show or bed and breakfast. We laugh at cooking that’s all head, no heart – and deliberately serve Cheesy Potato Casserole to food snobs, just to watch them pale.

We just love to get something going in the kitchen.

We try it all, blending cuisines like I blend genres in my writing – yes, Indian spices do go in a Portuguese sauce, of course you can serve that red wine with seafood, put more peanut butter in that sesame oil and cayenne pepper, and please, please, please spare me your damn gluten-free!

So, Saturday night, with an able pair of extra helping hands from our friend Sue, Diane and I cooked and served:

  • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with a Fontina Crouton
  • Crab Cake with Cilantro Lime Relish / Pasta with a Light Butter Sage Sauce
  • Beef Tenderloin with Béarnaise Sauce
  • Lobster Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Roasted Vegetables
  • Tossed Field Greens with Camenbert Baked in Phylo
  • Chocolate Soufflé with Mixed Berries
  • Coffee And Tea

Blend tastes, mix up people, watch sparks fly. Of course, wine stimulates all of the above, so for those interested, I poured wine pairings I thought were interesting, from unoaked Pinot Gris to classic ripe Riesling to soft Bordeaux to rich, old vine Pinot Noir.

Let’s just say the recycling container was hard to lift this week.

Our guests were all strangers to us at dusk; they had purchased the dinner, as I mentioned, at a benefit auction for our schools, paying generously to enjoy “a multi-course dinner for six with a private reading by a local author.”

So, on a rare night away from the children – I believe I mentioned heading back down to the cellar again for more wine? – as they enjoyed their soufflé and coffee, this local author read them a children’s book. A children’s book – or rather a Not-for-Children Children’s Book™ called The Littlest Bitch.

The Littlest Bitch, co-created with Michael Davis and illustrated by Devon Devereaux (Sellers Publishing, 2010) looks and feels like a picture book for tots, but behind the bright pink covers, you won’t be getting the warm and fuzzies. In the tradition of classic Mad, Edward Gorey and Charles Addams, it’s an illustrated fable for adults who like their humor with a wicked twist.

(Ah, there’s that genre-blending thing again… and yes, I published similar titles in the comics direct market with indy comic publisher Sirius, The Red Flannel Squirrel, The 13 Days of Christmas, but with this book, we broke through the comics firewall to the book market, too.)

Little Isabel is a Wall Street CEO trapped in a five-year-old’s body. She can make Gordon Gekko look like a pussycat. Other times, as when she tosses a street person a quarter, saying “I can be nice. Off the record, of course,” she has a heart.

We’ve had a lot of fun with our little princess. Still available at comic shops, bookstores and online retailers, she’s inspired two printings and some interesting transmedia possibilities. Readers seem to love, or at least they love to hate, Isabel as she claws her way up the corporate ladder to meet her destiny. Her people even engage with her directly at The Littlest B on Facebook. Check it out. Like her and she will remind you too that, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Our guests laughed through the reading. That’s good, right, it is supposed to be funny, but then again, the wine…

They enjoyed watching my daughter crawling up into my lap quite naturally to remind me to show everyone the pictures.

(Right. Notes from my six-year-old. That’s my life. See “Geek Dad War Journal.”)

Don’t worry about the kid, the only part of the book that’s not appropriate is the title, and Olivia knows not to say that one in school. And I haven’t even told her the title of the sequel I plotted, The Littlest Prick.

Each guest left with a book, inscribed to him or her by The Littlest Bitch herself.

Not-for-Children Children's Books™

Not-for-Children Children's Books™