Sunday, June 21, 2009

mixtape monday [father's day edition]

I have a strong suspicion that the summer mixtape posts will be filled with lots of photos and fewer words. That's just the way summer rolls around here -- lots of Kodak moments and much less time to be quiet long enough for words to form. Today the Kodak moments are captured more on video than film; either way, you get the point.

I have just a couple of titles for today's mixtape, but they [just happened!] to form around the concept of fathers and father's day. Enjoy!

Another Mustache Mayhem production, Grandpa's Santa letter-reading goes awry.

While you're at that page (yes, it's my brother, and, yes, my two sons were part of the editing genius of this masterpiece) check out the secret film footage of my parents' reaction.

While they were in one room of the house creating sacreligious patriarchal homages, I was in another room creating this ...

Click to play this Smilebox greeting: Happy Father's Day, Baby

Have I ever mentioned that Brian and I had our four children before we turned twenty-eight years old? Several of our friends have had babies recently and watching them go through the early, exhausting stages of parenthood reminds us of our first days. The first night after Andrew was born and Brian had left me and his first-born son at the hospital and had gone back to get some rest in our west side apartment, he had a full-blown panic attack and ended up driving to his mother's apartment in Johnson City to spend the rest of the night in his old bed. Parenting is just a pretty big deal and Brian has risen to the occasion like a pro for the last [almost] eighteen years. That's why he is my hero.


Gran Torino

I've been thinking a lot recently about the difference between grandfathers and fathers. Maybe I'll write about it more on another day, but for now I'd have to say that Clint Eastwood captures some of the essence of the contrast between the two in the machisimo peppered with tenderness in his portrayal of Michigan retired auto-worker Walt Kawalski. There is something about his ferocity in protecting the vulnerable that allows us to forgive him his lack of parenting skills evidenced in his self-absorbed, materialistic, milk-toast sons.

And there is something about his no-nonsence approach to mentoring a fatherless teenage boy that makes us think we'd be willing to suffer the same abuse as Walt doles out if it meant we'd get to experience the same affirmations he offers. This, in spite of the fact that he can't even tell his own son that he's dying and that he really does love him.

In the end, though, I think the most poignant contrast between father and grandfather shows up when the strong silent member of the so-called greatest generation indulges his one and only luxury -- a shortage of days left to live -- by committing a selfless and thorough act of justice that protects the vulnerable, stops the atrocities of the evil and slaps the wrists of the mediocre.

As a film, it's quintessentially Clint without losing tenderness and nuance. Oh, and the car is great too! (as is the song of the same name co-written by Eastwood and his son, Kyle) We watched with our friends the Graveldings and as the credits rolled Scott was memorizing lyrics and Coleen was weeping. It's really that good.

Photo of the Week

In honor of Father's Day, a vintage pic of my Daddy and me (1971) ....

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