Theory of Birthdays

GWE once explained to me her Theory of Birthdays. “Your birthday is not for you. It’s for other people to enjoy.” I wondered if she really felt that way or if it was her way of justifying why she would not be getting me a carrot cake (my favorite) as a birthday cake. Over the years, she has found many inventive ways to get around the carrot cake issue. Only recently has she given in to my carrot cake demands.

But the Theory of Birthdays still stands and has been proven to be true over and over again: Your birthday does not belong to you. It’s for others to enjoy.

I was reminded of it again a few days ago at a Costco outing. GWE decided that since our Blu-ray player was dying AND I had an older, out-of-date game console, that my birthday gift this year would be an Xbox One. (I’m a grown-ass man. I don’t need to be surprised on my birthday.) And honestly, during Pilot Season, I tend to play the most violent, bloody, disgusting games to vent my inner rage in the middle of the night. To be able to see that gore and carnage in 1080p would be glorious. The gift made sense to me on multiple levels.

So, GWE, Justin, Garrett, and I are standing in Costco and we’re doing a price comparison. I finally looked at GWE and said, “Let’s just get it now and you can give it to me on my birthday.”

That’s all Justin and Garrett needed to hear.

The next thing I know, the two of them are negotiating as to who gets to carry he empty Xbox box to the register, who gets to take the receipt to the special door to get the Xbox, who gets to carry the console to the car (mind you, there is a cart,) and who gets to bring it into the house. This was a level of negotiation and coordination I’ve never seen between The Priluck Boys before.

It wasn’t until I watched Justin carry MY birthday gift out of the store that I realized I had already lost it to him!


I hope Justin and Garrett understand that the Theory of Birthdays swings both ways. Their birthdays are coming up next! I hope they like carrot cake and watching daddy unwrap and play with their new Legos!!

Midway Done My Way!

MidwayFor a brief, shining moment, Justin thought I was the greatest “Gamer” on the planet. He looked at me with awe and envy because I was able to do what he could not: I beat a video game!

Lego Dimensions is the video game of choice in our house. If you haven’t played it, it’s a Lego game that incorporates characters from popular movies and television shows, such as “Ghostbusters,” “Doctor Who,” and “The Simpsons” and allows the player to complete challenges in each world using items like “Echo1” and the “Back to the Future” hoverboard.

One of the final Player Packs that was just released is called “The Midway Arcade Level Pack.” As the Gamer character, your task is to complete ‘80s/retro Midway games like Joust, Rampage, and Defender. Justin knew these games by name. What he didn’t know was that these were the games that I spent YEARS mastering in my youth. Nothing was better than having both pockets full of quarters and spending time in the darkened arcade of Perimeter Mall in the late 80’s.


Excitedly, Justin opened the new pack and loaded his game onto the Xbox 360. Out of curiosity, I stayed with him to see how authentic these Midway games were. (Spot on!) Once he was in the game, his character was given a series of challenges. Repeatedly, his character failed each challenge because he could not complete the basic levels of the retro Midway games.


“Dad?” he said meekly as he handed me the controller. “Can you try and get me past this level?”


AH-HA!!!! I had been waiting for this moment for YEARS!!! Now, my oldest son was about to witness my true talent! GenX Daddy was about to teach a lesson in “8-Bit Video Game Whoop-Ass!”

With ease, I was able to complete level after level. Justin kept looking at the television and then back at me as if I was performing miracles. Finally, I handed him back the controller and announce – “The levels are open!” It blew his mind.

And, then I confused him when I took my ‘80s video game pop culture references too far by asking him in a robotic voice: “Shall we play a game? How about a nice game of Chess, Joshua?”


“Um…my name is Justin,” he replied. (Note to self: Show Justin “War Games.”)

It’s Only Rock & Roll (But, Garrett Likes It) Part 2

GuitarGarrettAs you saw last week, Garrett loves Rock & Roll. He loves the pounding beat of the drums, the rhythm of a bass guitar, and the wailing sound of a forceful lead guitar. Turns out, on top of all of that, Garrett also has a flair for the “presentation” of Rock & Roll as well!

While making a pit stop at one of our favorite video game stores, Garrett got a chance to express his inner-Rock God. He grabbed the guitar from the new Guitar Hero game, got into position, and began to do (what can only be described as) an impression of Pete-Townsend-meets-Jimi-Hendrix with a touch of Chuck Berry and the look of Buddy Holly or Elvis Costello.

In the middle of the store, Garrett began to rock out with his (bleep) out! Grown men wanted to be him. Grown women wanted to take him home! Grown store clerks want him to put it back! It was quite a sight for all to see.

Here is a little bit of the performance my son bestowed upon the shopping customers of Gamestop!

Another Sick Bastard!

Just when we thought we were out, they pulled us back in! After a week of screaming, crying, and rashes, Garrett was finally on the mend and well enough to go back to daycare – and we could all go on with our lives. Four hours after Garrett was considered “not a threat” and back in the Toddler Room, GWE received a call from Justin’s school. He had been complaining about not feeling well. He was agitated, cranky, miserable, and he registered a fever of 102. Crap!!

GWE raced over to get Justin and bring him home while I worked feverishly in my office, knowing that I would have to get twice the amount of work done in one day because I would be taking care of him at home the following day. GWE spent the rest of her day selflessly tending to Justin’s every need. I walked into the house around 8:30pm and he was already seeking solace in “The Shayna Bed” (our pull out sofa) in front of the television. There were piles and piles of blankets and pillows on top of him. Had it not been for an exposed limp arm, I would have missed him completely.

After 24 hours of staying home from school, watching television, eating tomato soup with grilled cheese, playing on daddy’s computer, opening his first email account and emailing his drawings to relatives, playing on daddy’s iPad, playing on daddy’s Xbox 360, hanging out in the Man Cave (with daddy), and napping, he started to feel much better.

As a parent, you want to do a “post mortem” to find out what happened and how a child got sick. Our first assumption was that he picked it up from Garrett, but that didn’t sound right. Garrett’s virus wasn’t supposed to affect children older than two. So where did he get it from? Justin’s teacher called GWE the first night (and emailed on the second) to check in on Justin to see how he was doing. She informed GWE that two other children were out sick as well! Ah ha!!! More clues!!!

GWE quickly pieced it together. All three sick children attended a birthday party at a bowling alley on Saturday. And, two of the children were on the same bowling team….AND they were sharing bowling balls.

That just goes to prove – Don’t play with dirty balls! You’ll get sick!!

Why Won’t Daddy Play with Me?

It’s true. I may have found something I love playing with more than my children. It is an XBox 360 Kinect. Maybe if Justin and Garrett came with left/right controllers, online capability, a USB port, and vibrating feedback – I might play with them more. Actually, I’ve found that if you pat Garrett too hard after a bottle, he DOES have “vibrating feedback!”

A year ago I wrote a blog post about Justin’s anticipation of a toy that was being shipped in the mail. With each passing day, I saw him yearn for that toy even more and look at me in scorn as I could not provide him with what he wanted when he wanted it. I thought it was funny.

I was wrong and I have learned my lesson.

Three weeks ago, GWE told me that we had over a 100,000 redeemable airline points. Since it was not from an airline that we usually use, she suggested that we redeem the points for actual products. She then told me that one of the items we could redeem the points for was an XBox 360 Kinect. I hesitated to answer. I thought that maybe this was some sort of “Guy Test.” Once she assured me that she was fine with this purchase, I told her to get it.

And then I waited….and waited…..and waited…..and waited. The website said that the products would be delivered no later than 7 days after they were ordered. Almost two weeks went by and nothing arrived. Each day, as I pulled into the driveway, I would pull my car as close to the front door as possible in hopes of looking over and seeing a UPS box. Yet each night, I was disappointed to find nothing.

Much like when Justin would give me the ‘evil eye’ when passing in the hall while waiting for his toy to arrive – I, too, began to do this with GWE. I held her responsible for MY toy not arriving! I told her that I was a grown man and if it didn’t show up by a certain date – I was going to the store and I was going to buy it all by myself. (Yeah – real mature!)

Finally, last Friday, at 5:55pm….it arrived – all 19lbs of it! It has been 6 days since my toy has been installed and I am obsessed with it.

I may love my boys and tuck them into bed at night, but I save my “goodnight kisses” for the XBox!