Tobuscus Saves the Day

If you’re the parent of children of a certain age, then the name TOBUSCUS is likely familiar to you. For our son Jack, this was probably the worst #SDCC2014 ever.  After an hour of wearing the morph suit–you know, the suit that nearly cost us our life’s savings? Yeah. That suit. Well, Jack discovered it was too hot and uncomfortable. Total wearing time: 1 hour.

Today Jack returned back to the hotel room around lunchtime. He was experiencing the first sinus headache of his young life, and I felt so bad for him. We snuggled together in the comfy bed and watched “DIVERGENT” together. During the plot peak, I knew they lost him. He started chattering on about how his friend’s mom has a shower that tells him the exact temperature of the water, and did I know that his perfect water temperature was 101 degrees? I felt guilty about it, but I gave him 1 adult Motrin. I worried for his little 9-year-old liver.

Dave returned to the hotel at 7 p.m. and it turns out, one of the girls who exhibited across from us is Tobuscus’ girlfriend. So Dave asked him to cheer up Jack, and this happened:

Jack's Internet Idol, Tobuscus.

Jack’s Internet Idol, Tobuscus.

Every so often, we’re in the right place at exactly the right time. This was one of those times.



The Glamour of #SDCC from the Exhibitor’s Side of the Table: Or, What It’s Like Traveling to SDCC with a 9-Year-Old

Dave has always encouraged Jack to cosplay at San Diego Comic-Con, so this year, Jack took the bait. Dave waited until Monday night–the night before we left for San Diego–to order Jack’s “morphsuit” costume on Amazon. FYI, morphsuit is merely a new term describing Woody Allen’s sperm costume. Jack wants to get his costume covered in autographs.

Unfortunately, Dave ordered the suit via an Amazon third-party provider with our debit card.  Thirty minutes later, while Dave and Jack were at Jack’s very first football practice on Monday night, I received a call from the bank informing me that a bunch of suspicious charges were placed on my card. In Germany. Sure enough, the bastards cleaned out our bank account the night before we were traveling. The next morning Dave was literally the last one to board the plane because he was finishing up his call with the bank to reverse the charges. I think there’s still a $400 charge on there we have to fight.

After many tearful outbursts from Jack about never getting his costume in time, it finally occurred to me to call the front desk of our hotel this morning. It was here all along.

So…all of this hassle for this:

The Morphsuit That Cost Us Our Life Savings.

The “Morphsuit” That Cost Us Our Life’s Savings.

As a parent, there are few places we take our son that amp up my anxiety disorder more than a 150,000 attendees cosplay convention. “Yes, officer, you are correct in understanding that I cannot identify the pedophile in a police lineup who snatched my son from Comic-Con, because the kidnapper was a grown man dressed up in a Batman costume.” Most geeks are the coolest people on earth, but I remain ever vigilant, convinced the pedophiles are lining up to execute kidnappings in disguise.

For all of the celebrity sightings, super-exclusive TV and film panels, and fun creatives and fans we encounter at San Diego Comic-Con, this show is exhausting. The most exhausting part? Keeping a 9-year-old happy. We are very fortunate to have friends we trust who will take Jack around the show here and there. Jack has no empathy for the idea that we need to remain at the booth to serve customers and meet industry professionals. He has less empathy for the fact that I need to remain at the hotel and work during business hours on week days. The work I do actually funds these five expensive, angst-filled days.

How I miss the days I could just head out to the Gaslamp District after the show and grab dinner and drinks with industry friends. Flash forward to 2014: by 7 p.m. when the show ends, Jack is already lying on the floor of our booth under a table half asleep.

Honk if you see a sleepy child...

Honk if you see a sleepy child…

These days Jack and I head back to the hotel by ourselves, I miss all of the fun conversations, industry gossip and laughs, and we dine on the limited menu of over-priced hotel food while Dave, the reluctant introvert, has to socialize without his buffer–me. Glamorous, ain’t it?

The Value of the Pinkie Swear

The Pinkie Swear

You’re a Witness: Jack’s Pinkie Swear

Today I reveal yet another of my many #parentingfails. The sobering truth is that our 9-year-old is showing zero respect for the pinkie swear. To me, breaking a pinkie swear is like someone swearing on a stack of Bibles before telling an outright lie. That’s a solid 9.0 on the pucker factor scale. I fully anticipate lightning striking that person.

After Jack listened to several unsuccessful lectures from our family dentist about how to brush and how long to brush his teeth and which $50 electric toothbrush from Costco would really do the trick, I decided it was time to escalate Jack’s empty toothbrushing promises to the pinkie swear. We did it. And it worked. For two days.

If Jack can’t grasp the solemnity of the pinkie swear, just imagine how laissez-faire he will be over the double-dog and triple-dog dare. This is serious business on the playground. He needs to get this right.

Tonight we pack for #SDCC2014 and I can guaran-damn-tee you Jack will forget to pack his toothbrush as he does for every sleepover (and of course, none of his friends’ parents ever have spare toothbrushes, in The World According to Jack).

Jack’s big plan for Comic-Con this year is to wear a white head-to-toe costume that people can autograph. I’m told it’s a Daft Punk thing, but in my mind’s eye, all I can see is this and I’m totally grossed out:

1960s Cosplay

1960s-style Cosplay

Every day for the last 2 weeks, Jack has begged Dave to order this silly cosplay suit. Every day, Dave has blown it off in the hopes that Jack would forget, but now it’s to the point that the manufacturer will have to ship it directly to our hotel in San Diego to get it to us in time. This morning, Dave absolutely promised Jack he’d buy it online. I should have had Dave pinkie swear. 

Happy Fourth of July! Who Needs Some Delicious A.D.D. Potato Salad?

Loves Me Some Captain America!

Loves Me Some Captain America!

We got a fun, impromptu invite this a.m. to go hang out with some of our favorite people tonight, whom I lovingly refer to as“The Sister Wives.” Dave just rolls his eyes whenever I say that, but they are my Sister Wives, minus the fundamentalist Mormon benefits. Our kids have grown up together, and we’ve shared the trials and tribulations of private school insanity. It’s nothing short of a miracle that we’re not all alcoholics.

Dave’s favorite part of any holiday is my homemade potato salad, which is nothing complicated. It’s a dozen eggs, a dozen small red potatoes, a large sweet onion and four stalks of finely chopped celery, mixed with Kraft mayo. It used to be Hellman’s, my preference, but Dave insists on Kraft. Frankly, Dave prefers doing most of the work, cutting up the potatoes, celery, eggs, and onions. All I do is mix everything together. So when Dave calls it “Denise’s Homemade Potato Salad” he’s being laughably generous with the screen credits. I also get paprika duty, but Dave thinks I go a little overboard.

I forgot my A.D.D. pill this morning. Not a big deal on most days, but today I was slightly waylaid in following Dave’s instructions to turn off the buzzer on the stove when the dozen eggs were done boiling. To be fair, my aging parents live in the walk-out basement apartment of our home, and I was verifying with my mom that Jack still had zero awareness that my dad’s caregiver drowned eight gophers from my mom’s garden. Gross! Jack no longer believes in Santa or the Tooth Fairy, but he still believes his grandparents are releasing the gophers in a local forest preserve. Phew! I eventually turned off the buzzer, and then the new PEOPLE magazine cover caught my eye:This week's PEOPLE magazine cover.

This week’s PEOPLE magazine cover. The Joan Lunden brave breast cancer battle story captivated me.

An hour later, I sauntered past the stove to pour myself more Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and discovered a water-less pan, filled with steaming hot eggs, and a brown coating on the bottom of the pan. I panicked and dumped them into the sink, rinsing them vigorously, all the while hoping against hope that Dave wouldn’t notice and there was still something salvageable. But Dave doesn’t miss a trick. Dave has the olfactory receptors of a bloodhound. Soon the phone was ringing. It was Dave, calling me from the depths of his studio. “Did you forget the eggs?!?” What could I do but ‘fess up?

The next thing I knew, urgent footsteps were racing down the stairs. Dave assessed the massacre d’oeuvres, deeming the eggs D.O.A. His last words as he headed out to the store were, “I’m setting the timer. Will you please remember to take the eggs off of the stove this time?” Only Dave can say something so seemingly insulting in a manner that comes off as patient and pleasant. Twenty minutes later, the buzzer rang and I pulled myself off of a work project to rescue the eggs. And then I got the second phone call of the morning. It was Dave. At the grocery store. Reminding me. Again. I ask you: Who needs A.D.D. pills when you’re married to Dave Dorman?

Happy Independence Day, everybody! If you have a moment, do read Dave’s blog today – it’s filled with his new news:


What Are You Watching This Summer?




Last night Dave and I decided to give HBO’s new offering The Leftovers a try. We typically enjoy Damon Lindelof’s work, so we were geeked for some great TV. Episode 1 sets the stage where a large percentage of the population just instantaneously disappears one day. Poof! Gone! Is it the rapture? Alien abductions? I Dream of Jeannie Syndrome? We are left wondering the origin as the story advances to three years later, and life is a bizarre combination of orderly civilian living–trains still run on time, electricity is still on, and food and drugs are still plentiful–and pockets of anarchy. A mysterious, mute, chain-smoking cult clad in white keeps dog-eared records on the living, targeting and intimidating various civilians, and seems to be recruiting or preying on the vulnerable. In short, life has turned to shit.

Dave and I are giving it two more episodes before committing to continue watching or cutting bait. So far, we’ve found no sympathetic characters to root for, and we’re already depressed enough after the endless, dystopian TV journey that is The Walking Dead. If anyone following me has seen The Leftovers, I’d love to hear your take on it. If they do a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, I’ll probably check it out…that is, if it isn’t in the dreaded Hall H!

 So, which TV shows are you all watching this summer? What has you engrossed? I’ll post your suggestions here.

If You Want to See Dave Dorman Run…Break Out Some Annie Chun

Annie Chun Wasabi Seaweed Chips

Annie Chun Wasabi Seaweed Chips

Our son Jack and I adore wasabi-dusted seaweed snacks. In particular, we like the Annie Chun brand, which we frequently order from Amazon. While Dave loves sushi as much as we do, he’s thoroughly skeeved by our favorite snack. One package of this featherweight treat is just 60 calories, and those of us living in the Midwest can certainly use the iodine (one serving is 65% of the amount of iodine we need in a day). Tonight as we were awaiting the arrival of our Chinese food–the closer we get to San Diego Comic-Con, the less time we have to cook a real meal–Jack and I were downing the seaweed chips. We tried sharing our seaweed sustenance with Dave, who bellowed, “If I wanted to eat newspaper, I would have done so!” This triggered a full-blown force-Dave-to-eat-the-seaweed tackle. We chased him from the foyer through the living room into the kitchen and back to the foyer. He still had the solid defensive moves of his high school days (I guess he’ll make a good assistant football coach after all). We tried getting the wasabi dust near his face. No such luck. Not even one tiny seaweed flake penetrated his personal space. His thyroid would have sent me a personal thank you note, but Dave wasn’t having it. Yet, his fortune cookie predicted “trying new things” would be on his horizon. In Dave’s purview, that translated as “New laser discs, new comics, and new video games.”