Wednesday, May 17, 2023

I Heart Tom Hanks

Today I did a rare emerging from the baby cave apartment without the rest of the crew and did some fun stuff.

Unfortunately these daguerreotype-looking photos of me from the 80s are mostly so bad that even if Ernie and I were clones I'm not sure that it would be apparent. Also I probably have as many photos of Ernie's first week as there are of my first decade. I have a pointy little schnoz in this one and his looks pretty big in comparison. I guess I don't know the age difference here either.

It's funny because we came up with the nickname Big Ern probably months before he was born because it sounded fun. He then actually ended up being a quite ample bodied gentleman so I guess we lucked out on that one. Big ol Ern is now 11 pounds 5 ounces. I wonder what gaining a pound feels like when it's 10 percent of your body weight.

We have a mini bassinet/crib/cradle/I don't know what all these words mean baby cage on the couch. Our rule is we don't leave him in here unattended in case he magically learns how to roll or some other freak scenario. But he does like to chill out in here when we're in the living room.

Ernie does occasionally attempt a prison break so you gotta keep the front door locked.

I went through a minor identity crisis before Ernie was born. How will I change? How will I stay the same? Do I get to choose which parts of myself to keep? Will I have time to continue doing things I enjoy? Just in case I was going to not like the impending answers to those questions, I thought we should enjoy ourselves as we are while we still have the chance. And we were already plane grounded at this point so no international trips were possible. Another avenue to squeeze in as many experiences as we could before baby time was to book any event that looked mildly interesting. I also think we thought we could like send messages to our future tired parent selves to keep being cool by booking some things so far in the future that Ernie would have already been born. Then we'd be forced to get a baby sitter and get out there in the world.

This Tom Hanks book tour talk thing was one of those future self love letters. Future John! Do cool stuff even though you're now Papa John! Present day Lydia pretty much said "F you, old John is dead, we ain't goin' nowhere nohow." Ok, she didn't say that. But she did say she didn't want to go because we didn't have any family members available to watch Ern. So I rustled up my friend Michael who said yes on short notice like a boss.

I think the deal was that Benaroya Hall wasn't used to having such important guests and they hired an outside company to do metal detection security blah blah. It was horribly run, and very slow. I bought a sort of premium ticket that came with a drink ticket, but it took me so long to get in that I didn't have time to redeem it. This was very sad.

I had hoped for a better seat but this wasn't terrible. I was confused by this part as well, because my ticket didn't have a seat number on it. Why the hell they chose to do it this way I do not know, but seating was by zone. So due to my apparent tardiness I was probably in one of the worst seats in my zone. I'm sure a bunch of gray beards without jobs knew better and got here hours ago. Very cool.

I was a little worried because I didn't get a copy of Hanks' book mailed to me until like a week or so before the talk, and I didn't know if the whole show was going to be a bunch of book references that I wouldn't understand. It wasn't like that at all. Tom Hanks is a national treasure and I would have paid to watch him read the newspaper, so I suppose the stakes were pretty low for me regardless, but he was very entertaining.

He had this funny thing where he asked us to cheer every time he mentioned one of his movies. This amusingly continued throughout the show to the point where he asked us to stop.

Unsurprisingly the crowd lapped up any story that related to Tom Hanks' classic Sleepless in Seattle.

I took like 30 minutes of footage before some ogre came by and asked me to stop. Likely one of the same geniuses that shut a metal detector down right when I was getting close to the front of the line. Thank you, hero, for your service.

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