Merry Christmakwanzhanukkah 2013

Merry Christmakwanzhanukkah 2013

Spreading holiday cheer to Yankees fans everywhere!

Your holiday gift from me this year? Me reminding you that I’m not dead yet. Yes, I know you’ve been led to believe otherwise, but you see … oh, blah blah blah. Who the hell wants to listen to yet another blogger whine about why they haven’t been blogging? No one, that’s who.

Let’s just skip to the part where I say “I hope and plan to do better in the coming year.” Because I do and I do. Parts 3-through-whatever of my California story? They’re coming. So are the long-overdue birthday letters to my kiddos. And after that? A veritable tsunami of hilarious-yet-poignant tales about a middle-aged dude trying desperately to escape from a cubicle farm.

In the meantime, I hope you and yours have a great holiday!


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Boston Strong

Starting with our February visit to Spring Training …

Scratches Family @ Red Sox Spring Training Camp
Jayna w/ Mike Napoli
Zan w/ Mike Napoli
Me & Jayna playing catch at Red Sox Spring Training Camp
Big Papi @ Red Sox Spring Training Camp
Jared Saltalamacchia @ Red Sox Spring Training Camp
Shane Victorino @ Red Sox Spring Training Camp
Zan & Jayna at Red Sox Spring Training Camp

… all the way to Game 6 of the World Series …

Ready for battle. GO SOX!
Ready for battle. GO SOX!
Basking in the glow of a World Series win

… (and the morning after) …

Zan celebrates the Red Sox' 2013 World Series win

… it was one hell of a fun season … and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Thank you, Red Sox!

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An open letter from a die-hard Red Sox fan to all Boston-area Shitheads and the People Who Love Them.

The ferocity of my postseason beard is second only to the warmth of my puppy-dog eyes, with which I am imploring you to heed my words. Please. I beg of ye.

Dear Boston-area Shitheads and the People Who Love Them,

As you well know, Boston experienced a terrible tragedy earlier this year. The Red Sox quickly became one of the things around which people rallied in the wake of that tragedy, and the improbable run that the team has had since that time — not to mention the tremendous amount of work that the Red Sox organization and individual players have done to honor the people most affected — has, for many, served as a symbol of the city’s resilience and recovery.

Tonight (or tomorrow night) could be an historic occasion for our beloved city. A Red Sox victory would mark the first time in almost 100 years that the team has won a World Series title at Fenway Park … a feat that, trivial though it may seem to some, would perfectly punctuate the team’s role in helping the city to heal.

Assuming that we are fortunate enough to see such a thing happen, it will be cause for great joy and celebration. Unfortunately, it also will be seen by some Boston-area Shitheads (like this guy and this guy) as an excuse to act like complete and utter … well, shitheads.

Of course, if the Sox should (god forbid) lose two games, it will be cause for great sorrow and disappointment … and still will be seen by some Boston-area Shitheads as an excuse to act not only like complete and utter shitheads, but like complete and utter and angry shitheads.

So here’s what I’m asking: If you are a Boston-area Shithead, please stay home tonight. And if the Sox should happen to (perish the thought) lose tonight, then I’m begging you to stay home tomorrow night as well. Please. All of us non-Shitheads would consider it a huge personal favor.

Now, I am well aware that the people to whom my plea most applies won’t take heed … because, as you know, the problem with Shitheads is that they have no fucking clue what epic Shitheads they are.

Which brings us to:

If you are someone who knows and loves a Boston-area Shithead, please keep them in tonight. And if the Sox should happen to (hush my mouth) lose tonight, fer crissakes, please Please PLEASE keep them in tomorrow night, because few things would be worse than a bunch of Shitheads running amok after a Halloween-night Game 7, whatever the outcome.

Hide their car keys … or chain them to a radiator … or duct-tape them to the sofa … or give them something shiny to play with … or drop a few rufies in whatever rot-gut booze they’ve already started swilling in preparation for a night (or two) of epic, drunken shitheadedness.

Because, seriously: the last thing that the rest of us need as a side dish to go with our joy (or sorrow) is a heaping helping of Shithead-induced tragedy. We’ve already had enough of that.

It’s up to you, Shithead Lovers. Do what needs to be done. Make Boston proud.



A Die-Hard Red Sox Fan

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Wanna rub my lamp?

Mac amor
Click the image above to view full-size photo.

Just a little genie humor to tide you over while you anxiously await Part 3 of The Scratches Family’s Excellent Adventure.… [read the rest]

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The Scratches Family’s Excellent Adventure, Part 2: Now featuring twice the booze!

[Click here for Part 1]

“Is there any chance of us getting a room with a view?” I asked using my best “I’m a really nice guy and we’re a really nice family so maybe you could hook us up with a really nice room?” voice.

“Well, view rooms are extra,” replied the nice young lady checking us in.

Hmmm. What madness was this? The power of my nice-guy charm is second only to the Jedi mind trick. Clearly, she wasn’t human. I suspected Disney was beta testing some extremely lifelike animatronic employees.

“Oh, OK,” I said … nicely. Charmingly, even. “We’ll just stick with what we booked.”

The extra fee for a view room wasn’t news to me. I knew that an upper-floor room with a view of Disneyland cost significantly more than the standard room I had booked for us … and while I was willing to splurge in order to stay “on property,” I couldn’t really justify shelling out an additional couple hundred bucks for a park-view room … especially since we’d be spending hardly any time in said room. (See, Dad? You didn’t sire a completely irresponsible lunatic after all!)

“I have a room for you on the third floor,” she continued, apparently still impervious to my charm. “Let me call up and make sure it’s ready.”

Turns out it wasn’t … which was fine with us, because we had arrived early, and we were planning to go get some lunch anyway.

“I’ll give each of you your key cards now, and when your room is ready, I’ll text you,” she said.

So, with our bags stowed at the Bell Desk, it was time for lunch in the Downtown Disney District … and, once again, my online reconnaissance paid off, because this place that I had scoped out weeks in advance?


Best pizza I’ve had outside of Boston, and certainly better than any I’ve tasted here in Pennsylvania. Also? Beer.


Vacation + three-hour time change + walking distance to the hotel = “Why, yes, I’d love an enormous midday glass of frosty draft beer!”

Unfortunately, we don’t let the kids drink beer in public, so they had to settle for balloon animals.


Wonder Woman and I—OK, mostly I—devoured the pizza, Jayna raved about her macaroni and cheese, and Zan sang the praises of his spaghetti and meatballs. Basically, it was the happiest, most delightful lunch ever … because, not only was it delicious, but we were having it at Disneyland, where I’m pretty sure they spike the food with Ecstasy, because no one should be this excited about lunch.

Of course, our excitement might have had more to do with our surroundings:


Craziest. Lego sculptures. Ever.
Everything in that display behind Zan is made out of Lego … including the base of the sculpture and the background in the scene.


The Beast? Belle? The Candle & Clock dudes? The enormous beige pillars that extend to the top of the building? All Lego.


Don’t make Zan angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.


Cute. And kind of creepy.


Bilbo Scratches


Officer Zan and his Disney-fied police cart.

The weather was beautiful, the setting was eye-popping, the kids were out-of-their-minds excited … and, to tell you the truth, so was I.

And then came the text …

Your room is ready. Room 900.

Hmmm. Room 900? That doesn’t sound like it’s on the third floor. Perhaps my nice-guy charm hadn’t failed us after all.

We returned to the hotel, boarded the elevator and rode it up to the third ninth floor.


Find the hidden Mickey.

We proceeded down the hallway, searching for 900, which we found at the very end of the hall. A corner room. Nice. Things were looking up.

We entered and threw open the curtains.


Seconds after this photo was taken, their heads exploded from the excitement.

I’ll be honest with you: I got a little choked up … because giving my kids such a special experience felt pretty incredible. Everything was going just as I had hoped it would during all those many hours of planning and months of anticipation. Naturally, I feared I was dreaming.

I wasn’t.


After spending a few minutes exulting in our good fortune, we donned our bathing suits and headed to the rooftop pool, where they just so happened to be serving these:


The bartender asked if we’d like to double the Bacardi for a paltry additional cost. “Best deal in Disneyland!” he said.


Yes, Disneyland bartender. Yes we would like like to double the Bacardi.


I know what you’re thinking … but don’t worry: We didn’t double Zan’s Bacardi. Just a single shot for him. Because we’re good parents.

Now that we’re all properly boozed up, howzabout we hit the waterslide?


I sent Jayna down first to make sure it was safe.


Reassured by her survival, I braved the rapids.

After our aquatic fun, we cleaned up, had a quick dinner, and then retired to our room for the night, where we watched the sun set and the moon rise over Disneyland.


Thanks to the three-hour time change, we were sound asleep rather early … which was just as well, because wake-up time for the recently patented Daddy Scratches Totally Psychotic One-Day Assault On Disneyland™ was set for 5:30 a.m. … and there would be absolutely, positively no fucking around.


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