Parents as Historians, Or; Life is Shit, Kid. Good Luck.

For all of the high-falutin historical study I engage in, I don my historian hat most often as a storyteller to my children. And as intimidating as the seminar room may be sometime, any parent will tell you that it’s a whole hell of a lot easier to navigate than explaining the Holocaust to a nine-year-old. And it doesn’t get any easier as they get older, either. The older a child gets, the less productive it becomes to avoid the ugly bits of the stories. When I’m faced with the task of being my sons’ own personal historian, I find myself always coming back to the same question:

How do you explain how fucking terrible the world can be to such a sweet little face?

Which, of course, is really just cover for the real question:

How do you explain how fucking terrible the world can be to such a sweet little face in a way that molds it into the face of a unyielding, rabid champion for love and justice?

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The Good Doctor

Tree Fu Tom a new BBC kids show is getting a little help from the Doctor.  David Tennant, the 1oth and my personal favorite incarnation of the Doctor along with  Sophie Aldred (best known for her role as “Ace” the seventh doctor’s companion) will be lending their voices to the series.

The show appears to be geared for the 8 and under crowd. It follows a boy with the ability to shrink into a miniature superhero in the tiny town of Treetopolis.

However the most fascinating thing about the show is the movements of the spells the main character, Tom uses.  The audience is encouraged to move along with him to “help” the spells work (a la Dora the Explorer) and these movements were developed from therapeutic regimes aimed at assisting those who suffer from Dyspraxia—a developmental movement disorder affects up to 10 percent of all children.

There he goes saving the world all over again.


Wednesday Ebay Roundup

It’s that time again.  Here are some goodies I found while trolling the internet, window shopping.

MicroMachines Millennium Falcon


Brand new and a perfect gift for the Star Wars obsessed child in your life (we all have one or two of those…right?)  It’s up until August 3rd and starts at just under $5.

Vitamix 3600

Vitamix is like the gold standard of food processors, they last forever and can liquefy raw kale (read that again and be amazed). Smoothies, baby food, soups or margaritas this thing kicks ass. Bid is currently at 29.99 and it ends on August 5th.

Avatar: The Last Airbender Toys


Including Appa, Momo, Aang, Prince Zuko and Sokka. The cartoon is amazing and the toys are hard to find in stores right now (Nickelodeon being the fickle parent that it is). This set is $5.50 right now and the auction has until August 2nd.

Adventure Time Finn Hat


You too can wear a hat that covers your luscious hair.  Adorable, hand made and felted.  The price is $22 or best offer. Ending tomorrow at midnight so jump to it if you want to get a deal.


By the power of Greyskull….how can I not want the vintage He-Man villian for 0.98 cents? He’s available till August 2nd. Bring him home to wreak havoc and mayhem.

Crystal Rainbow Castle


PONIES! In fact 22 ponies, every generation is represented, along with a ton of accessories and it’s all encased in a wicked awesome playset. The bid is currently $9.99 and there are five days left on it.   Did I mention my birthday is August 4th?






Apologies and Legends of Korra

So, maybe our blog roll-out wasn’t very well timed. I’ve been in D.C. for the past two weeks doing research for my main gig as a history grad student, so posts haven’t been as voluminous as we would have liked. But, now I’m back, and we’re getting back on it with the trailer for the upcoming Avatar (if you have to ask “which Avatar,” please discontinue reading) sequel The Legend of Korra.

Even if I  a) didn’t trust the creators of the Avatar series wholeheartedly (they can’t be held responsible for random acts of Shylamanity) and b) wasn’t reassured by how good the animation looks, the extremely un-stealth nerd-on I get when I see that giant statue of Ang would have me slobbering for more of this.

A Harry Potter Nerd’s Dream Vacation

Ever since it’s opening in June of 2010, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida has been on the agenda to visit for most fans of the books and films, however a recent announcement makes it THE place to be.

November 11-13 the theme park will host “A Celebration of the Harry Potter Films”.  The events include Q&A sessions and autograph signings with unnamed “cast members” from the films and admission to a night-time “gala”.  You also get hotel and park admission included in the final price.

As the stars are not named, I’m wondering if you’ll find yourself face to face with David Bradley (Argus Filch) and Julie Christie (Madame Rosmerta) rather than the headliners. Not that it wouldn’t be awesome, just not as awesome as shaking hands with Rupert Grint (Ron) or asking Alan Rickman whether or not J.K. Rowling had told him the truth about Snape from the beginning.

Tickets go on sale July 31st and start at $369 per person.

5 Things to Share and 5 Things to Forget from Childhood

Objects in the review mirror may appear cooler than they are.

Having children is a sure fire way to find yourself reminiscing about eons ago when you were young with an infinite amount of passion to spend on cartoons, toys and candy.

Some things we never let go of (Star Wars or The Princess Bride for instance) so we are certain of their awesomeness as no time has lapsed in our viewing. However there are some that are only echoes of how our 8 year old self viewed them and it isn’t until you’ve revisited in the hopes of sharing with your kids that you learn the awful truth.

The truth that, unfortunately, 8 year olds are not always the best judges of quality as the first half of our list will demonstrate.

Things from Your Childhood That Didn’t Hold Up

5.   ALF

I kill ME!

I wish it weren’t so, but it is. The live-action sitcom about my favorite cat-eating space creature is a turd sandwich. It pains me to write that, I was obsessed with ALF when I was a kid. I had cups, t-shirts and hand puppets in his likeness, I spouted his catchphrases and watched both the original show and the cartoon religiously but the proof is in the pudding. The writing is horrendous, the acting is terrible and it’s just not funny.  Don’t believe me? Then you may watch the “hilarious” moments reel  and judge for yourself.

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Wednesday Ebay Round up

And now for another installment of things I would buy if I had money to blow.

Jean Luc Picard Baby Onesie

The title says it all, doesn’t it?  Available for $11 bucks a pop.

Star Wars Comic Books

A lot of 16 books from 1978 – 81 in good/decent shape. My big kid would love them. This would be like buying a couple of days of silence. Available until July 25th at $25 or best offer.

He-Man Wrist Watch

What better to complete my look? Vintage, fully functioning and fully awesome. Bidding starts at $10 and it’s up for 6 days.

TARDIS earrings

For all those formal events. They are currently at .99 cents if anyone would like to get me an early birthday present. Auction ends July 25th.

Babyland Cloth Diapers

Who says starting a diaper stash has to be expensive? This is a lot of seven all-in-one, one-size diapers. For those of you who don’t know the jargon it means they are as easy to put on and take off as a disposable and they will fit your child from 8 to 30 lbs.  They are available at a buy it now price of $22 and up for another 9 days.

Vintage Camera

Channel your inner Colin Creevy with this Argus C3 Rangefinder complete with original flash. Available for the B.I.N. price of $129.  Ends July 30th.