Dear Jack: For Crazy Hair Day, You Chose to Be Green!

8 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

This past Tuesday, your class got to celebrate filling the jar with marbles, for good class behavior, by having Crazy Hair Day!

So before we left for school, I took you out to the garage and basically spray paint all your hair.

At first, I only sprayed the top, but you insisted I spray all of your hair, including all the back.

Looking back on these pictures though, I should have used the entire can; as there was still some sandy brown showing through.

Needless to say, you had a really fun day. And I’m fairly confident you’re going to be asking me to have green hair again!

Love,

Daddy

Green Meanie’s 2016 Scion iM and iA Press Preview

Green Meanie’s 2016 Scion iM and iA Press Preview

Though I’m sure you’ve heard of me by now, I am indeed world renowned Internet celebrity and spokesman, Green Meanie. You may know me as the main villain in the super hero series on YouTube, Jack-Man.

Due to the wild success of that program, I also was approached by Nick Shell, the man behind Family Friendly Daddy Blog and Shell House Productions, about doing my very own show, The Green Meanie Show; which you’ll see in a minute.

Green Meanie’s 2016 Scion iM and iA Press Preview

Today, I am serving as a guest blogger here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog, as I recently made my way to Grand Rapids, Michigan; for the official press preview of the 2016 Scion iM and 2016 Scion iA.

Scion even put me up in a nice place called the JW Marriott Grand Rapidswhere they easily catered to my vegan lifestyle.

So why do I make a good spokesman for Scion? Well, first, I’m a Millennial; born in 1981. I’m of the main demographic that Scion is targeting.

Second, I like to be the first to capture (and share) exclusive information on cars before anyone else; then be the first to put it on the Internet, in a creative format people aren’t used to.

Green Meanie’s 2016 Scion iM and iA Press Preview

So I made two videos from the footage I took from my trip; both are episodes of The Green Meanie Show.

After all, YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. People will have to come to me if they want to see fun pictures and fun videos of new cars. I will be that gatekeeper for so many who wouldn’t normally check out a car blog.

Green Meanie’s 2016 Scion iM and iA Press Preview

I know that most readers of parenting blogs like this one are mainly read by women; while it seems most car blogs are very technically written- often with a male audience in mind.

Green Meanie’s 2016 Scion iM and iA Press Preview

My genius plan is to be able share information in a format that an audience besides just men will care to check out.

Green Meanie’s 2016 Scion iM and iA Press Preview

Besides, let’s face it: With a smile and laugh like mine, who wouldn’t want to watch The Green Meanie Show?

There’s your third reason right there; in case you’re still counting.

So now that you know my agenda, I hope you enjoy my videos of the Scion iM and iA; neither of which are even on the market yet.

You’ll see what a wonderful time I had in Grand Rapids, Michigan; along with my new friend and driving buddy, Dave Nicolanti of 2 Wired 2 Tired.

Green Meanie’s 2016 Scion iM and iA Press Preview

In the one below, you’ll see my interview with Andy Lee and David Lee, who are both experts on these new Scions.

And in this one here, you’ll get to see an overview of my trip.

Next up on my agenda is to check out the 2015 Camry while Jack-Man visits his family out in Sacramento, California. It’ll be loads of fun!

Stay Green,

Green Meanie

Dear Jack: Webisode 1 of Jack-Man- “Here, Kitty Kitty”

4 years, 6 months. 

EP1 Title Card

Dear Jack,

This past weekend, you and I shot our very 1st official episode of our new web series, Jack-Man. You were great! Here it is:

As the writer/producer/director/video editor/theme writer & performer, I can confirm that you (as the main lead) did very well following my instructions, scene to scene. I am very pleased with how “Here, Kitty Kitty” turned out.

I re-recorded the Jack-Man theme song, changing some of the lyrics, from the Toyota Sienna version I did for our homemade commercial.

Here are the new, official lyrics:

“Jack-Man, who will fight for justice?

Jack can, he really likes bananas

That man gets his superpowers from them

Jack-Man, knows just where to hit ‘em

When it comes to creepy villains

He packs a punch and eats a healthy lunch

Jack-Man!”

This is the 1st of many, many webisodes I hope to record with you. I plan to create a large collection of “creepy villains” (mainly played by me) for you to encounter.

In this 1st episode, the main underlying plotline of the show is revealed: Green Meanie attempts to get children hooked on soda, which in the words of Green Meanie, “is filled with sugar, caffeine, and weird chemicals.”

Soda is Jack-Man’s kryptonite, where has bananas and water are what gives him his super powers; those of which will slowly be unveiled as future episodes are released.

I’m not exactly sure who the demographic of the show is going to be. My assumption is that Jack-Man is designed for young children. Hopefully kids will like it; and hopefully, parents will deem it safe enough for their children to watch.

Obviously, being part of the super hero genre, there will be swashbuckling action… but if I do it right, our show should still be age appropriate for kids who would want to watch it.

We’ve already filmed the 2nd episode as well, which I plan to release in the next few days.

This is fun!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Why I Dressed Like This On St. Patrick’s Day

4 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: Why I Dressed Like This On St. Patrick’s Day

Dear Jack,

I think it’s safe to say that St. Patrick’s Day was just as much fun for me as it was for you. You enjoyed your party at school and seeing your teacher dressed up.

As for me, I had a lot to prove…

Dear Jack: Why I Dressed Like This On St. Patrick’s Day

Last year the office manager where I work asked me to wear my vintage green corduroys on St. Patrick’s Day. Half-jokingly, I responded, “Only if you promise to put me on the cover of the monthly company magazine.”

And so it came to pass…

So for the past year, I have been known as the “official leprechaun” of our company, despite my Mexican and Italian heritage.

Dear Jack: Why I Dressed Like This On St. Patrick’s Day

However, a coworker in the corporate office in Kentucky (I am in the Nashville division) publically challenged me to a duel; the winner to be determined by social media.

In other words, he was challenging my title.

So to make things interesting, I made this video:

I challenged him to wear “leprechaun tights”. I suggested that if he were willing to man up by wearing tights, surely the people on social media would declare him the winner over me.

As for my wardrobe, my favorite description I heard from a coworker was that I looked like either “the dictator of Candy Land or a gangster in the land of Oz.”

Dear Jack: Why I Dressed Like This On St. Patrick’s Day

However, my efforts fell flat when compared to my challenger, who to my surprise, indeed wore tights.

Not the kind of tights I expected him to wear, but he definitely wore them. And a wig.

Plucky O'Guinness

So in the end, he won the official title.

But in my mind, I won the psychological aspect of it: I got a grown man to dress up in ladies’ tights and a wig.

Your Daddy is a clever guy… but I think you already knew that.

Love,

Daddy

dad from day one: The Importance of a Man’s Shoes

Twenty-three weeks.

I blame it on my Italian heritage, which trickled down to me throughout my life thanks to my grandfather Metallo; of course, since I grew up in the South, he was simply “Paw Paw”.  I’ve inherited an instinct to incorporate just a little bit of peculiar character in purchased items.  It’s a careful balance of finding items that are slightly flashy and clashing, yet still classy, but not trashy. (Bet you can’t say that phrase five times real fast…)

In this American generation, the idea of a man caring much about his shoes is often considered to be related to gay or metrosexual culture.  But I don’t subscribe to that mentality.  In fact, I believe an important part of being a man is how he dresses; and as everyone should know, his shoes are the most important part of the wardrobe, since they ultimately set the tone for his clothing.

My mindset is more of an old-school class American idea; yet it is still a staple concept of any movie or TV show portraying Italian culture.  From The Godfather movies to The Sopranos, the way an Italian man dresses is well planned out.  Never an accident.  Italians are not slobs.

Paw Paw Metallo

Being that my wife and I both are one quarter Italian, our son Jack will also be one quarter Italian as well.  That means he will not get by with the typical American guy’s shoe collection: a pair of black dress shoes, a brown pair of boots, a pair of running shoes, and a pair of flip flops.  No, not my son.

Jack will be like me.  I own no less than 15 pairs of shoes, some of which are at least 10 years old, yet you would never know it because I take such good care of them.  And while Jack won’t be born for another three months, he already has two pairs of essential “flashy, clashing, and classy yet not trashy” shoes awaiting him.

Last week as my wife and I were registering at Target, we found some shoes on clearance that not only meet the criteria, but also are essentially identical to shoes I already own.  A pair of Kelly green sneakers (6-9 months, in time for Summer) and a pair of white leather loafers (12-18 months, just in time for Christmas).  Like father, like son.

*Jack is still the size of a papaya; no major change in fruit size this week.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

Official "baby bump" picture

The Holidays Can Be Painful, Physically

 St. Patrick’s Day shouldn’t be the only holiday where it’s okay to inflict pain on the people you love as well as random acquaintances. 

Surely the person who started the tradition of pinching people who don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day was OCD and a sadistic individual. And since evidently people enjoy this sort of thing I thought of some similar monthly traditions we could attach to our already existing holidays, as proud Americans. 

New Year’s Day– January 1st: Wet Willy anyone not wearing white.
Valentine’s Day – February 14th: Wedgie anyone not wearing red.
April Fool’s– April 1st: Poke someone in the ribs for those not wearing orange.
Mother’s Day– May 10th: Step on the heels of those not wearing pink.
Father’s Day– June 21st: Get a person in a headlock if they are not wearing blue.

The 4th of July– Place a lit bottle rocket in a person’s back pocket if they don’t appear to be a proud enough American.
Summer Bank Holiday (Scottish Holiday) – August 3rd: Sneak up and surprise someone by playing a bagpipe very loudly if the person isn’t wearing plaid.

Labor Day– September 7th: Make a person mow your lawn if they are not wearing a leisure suit.
Halloween– October 31st: Force feed a person vegetables if they are not wearing a costume.
Thanksgiving– November 26th: Sneak a live turkey into someone’s bed while they are asleep if they come to the dinner table not wearing one of those black and white pilgrim outfits with the bonnet thing on their head.
Christmas– December 25th: Make a person sign an affidavit swearing they will not mail out Christmas cards with their family dressed in reindeer sweaters the following holiday season if they do not dress up as the Holiday Armadillo during gift exchange on Christmas morning.

Like It, Love It, Gotta Have It Vs. I’ve Already Got One, Thanks

Fighting the urge to the live by the new American motto: If it ain’t broke, get another one anyway.

Like it? Love it? Gotta have it!

I can almost remember a time when I was a kid, where it was normal to really really want something for a long time and then when I would finally get it, my heart was content.  The newly obtained item gave my heart rest, and I was happy, as any kid should be.  Whether it was a new Nintendo game like Super Mario Bros. 2, or a bicycle, or a rare Ninja Turtle action figure like Splinter, April O’Neil, or Ray Fillet, I got what I had wanted for so long.  And funny enough, I never wanted a replacement after I received my prized possession.

But somewhere along the way, whether or not we can blame it on “typical capitalist American behavior” or the mindset of Generation X (I just barely made the cut- it’s anyone born between 1961 and 1981), it became normal to want a “new one” though the old one still works just fine.  Maybe just an innocent desire to keep things fresh.  Or maybe a potentially dangerous pattern.

My Italian grandfather was one of the most influential people of my lifetime.  Having grown up in an orphanage in Kenosha, Wisconsin (his mother died when he was young, and there were 12 kids in the family), he lived a minimalist lifestyle, only spending his money on his few children and grandchildren.  Hardly ever buying a new (used) car, new clothes, or new furniture.  Never buying anything name brand.

This way of thinking definitely shows up in my everyday life.  My wife jokes that I have more clothes and shoes than she does.  And it’s true.  Because I don’t get rid of them unless they’re literally rotted.  Like my old red running shoes I have delegated to only use for walking and riding my mountain bike on my lunch break.

It’s true that I own over twenty pairs of shoes that still look less than a year old.  But most of them are indeed at least ten years old, in actuality.  Because I have certain shoes I wear only if I know I will be outside or if there’s a chance of  rain that day.  Those are my “outside shoes”.  By wearing them instead of my “inside shoes”, it keeps my newer shoes looking new.

While I’ll never be as frugal as my grandfather (who when my mom was a little girl, reused dried out paper towels multiple times before throwing them away) I subconsciously try to imitate his lifestyle.

I can’t see myself ever buying a brand new car, knowing that it loses thousands of dollars in value as soon as the first owner drives it off the lot.  And I can’t see buying a different car until my current one costs more to repair than it does to actually buy another used one.

Not that buying a new car is any kind of moral issue, or that going on a shopping spree for a new wardrobe is necessarily evil, though it’s probably not a wise decision if it involves a credit card (I’m a Dave Ramsey fanatic).  But for some of us, that strand of “gotta get a new one” serves as toxic acid in our DNA.

It gets tiring hearing of men leaving their wives for another woman.  That’s definitely a familiar theme this year already in the media.  And while some could say, “What does to me if matter if Tiger Woods or Jesse James cheats on his wife?  Why is that national news?”  Because it does matter.

Not because we’re nosey.  But because in some sense, the reflection of the lifestyles of celebrities causes a subconscious call-to-response for the rest of us:  “Hey look, it’s normal, he did it.”

We have to either say, “No way, that’s not for me.  No thanks!”  Or “Well, maybe that’s not so bad…”

It shouldn’t be that hard to be happy with what we’ve already got, even if it’s not perfect.  And really, that’s a mindset that is often difficult to accept and adopt: Near-perfect is as perfect as life can really get.

Is the grass really greener on the other side?  Yes, of course it is.  But the irony is this: You’re already standing on the other side.  Somebody’s else’s “other side”.

You’re already standing on the greener grass.

"I don't care how... I want it NOW!" -Veruca Salt