Tag Archives: Beetle


22-06-26 Beetlejuice

A few months back, I sent Beetle a list of theatre shows and asked her which appealed to her. Much to my chagrin, she selected Beetlejuice. I was gearing up for Wicked and was hopeful.

Little did Beetle know at the time, but I planned her 18th birthday gift to be the show on Broadway.

A few years ago, the (then) family went to New York. The boys went to comic book stores, the Village, the LEGO store, etc. while the girls went to see Mean Girls. It is the first time I took the train into the city. I liked it. I had always driven. Driving adds a layers of stress to a trip to NYC.

Less than a year later, Kitty took Beetle back to NYC to see Hamilton. Given he issues the year before, I tagged along to ensure things went okay. I then went and geocached while they saw the show. Again, we took the train in. My confidence in getting into the city via train built.

Then COVID hit.

We’re back to normal, as far as I am concerned. Traveling to the city was fine. We left Penn Station and sought a taxi. That proved problematic. I hadn’t noted the loooooooonnnnnnggggg line waiting for a cab and the lack of cabs stopping. When we turned to get to the back of the line, I knocked over a coffee that was placed on a concrete barrier. That soaked me. Welcome to the city! We decided to hoof it to the theatre.

I had picked out two restaurants near the theatre for us to dine at. Beetle suggested Ellen’s Stardust Diner. I was agreeable, but the walking cut into our time. Beetle was ready for a place on the way to 46th Street. She has dined at Dafni twice before. It’s a Greek place. Since we were celebrating her birthday, it was fine with me. It was a nice place. I ordered the bronzini. It was tasty, but they did not debone it leaving it for me to do. Grrr . . . this should be deboned for the customer. We enjoyed out meal and then headed to the theatre.

I hadn’t told Beetle what we were doing today. I confirmed that we would see a play. As we approached, she guessed it was Beetlejuice.

We sat second row dead center at the Marquis Theatre. This is a modern theatre. It would have been most enjoyable seat if I had not had a man who took up two seats seated next to me. It was most annoying.

I had never seen the movie. It was an ’80s movie. I was 23 when it came out. It did not appeal to me . . . ever. But I watched it last evening. The movie did nothing for me. It is dated and the story is meh.

The theatre performance did not improve on the story. Still meh. They changed the focus of the story to Lydia and her desire to bring her mother back to life. That didn’t help.

That aside, everything else about this play was outstanding! The sets were just the most remarkable I ever seen. Eye-appealing, modern, able to evoke many different moods, etc. are just some of the adjectives to describe them. The scene where Lydia and her father go to hell had a set that was simple but made it seem like CGI was used. It wasn’t. Stunning repeating square patterns!

At the end of act 1 when Beetlejuice takes over the house, the house became black and white. Most wonderful!

There were animatronics that were expertly designed. Even the costumes of the skeletons were awesome! There were trap doors and a launch pad out of the orchestra pit. Lots of high-tech hijinx for a play.

Accompanying this most excellent set were the actors. While I didn’t like the politics that Alex Brightman interjected in the opening, he was a perfect Beetlejuice. I dare say, he was even better than Michael Keaton from the movie. Elizabeth Teeter was perfect as Lydia. Sure, I love Winona Ryder, but she has aged out of the role. Kerry Butler, who Beetle reports to now having seen in three different shows, was wonderful as Barbara. I thought this 51-year old was in her 20s. 🙂

As Beetle and I discussed on the way home, there were no lowlights about the production. Nor should there be. It’s a nice reminder from the local theatre I normally see. This was a professional show and it was great!

We dined again at Stewart’s in Vineland on our way home. Just a wonderful day with my daughter. Loved it!


After the last few days of being emotional with my daughter’s high school graduation, reality returned.

This girl, now a high school graduate, was to start a job this morning before going to college in August. But Beetle walks to her own drumbeat.

Her mother e-mailed me this morning: Beetle won’t go to her job. She’s had this anxiety before. Nothing’s changed.

But the consequences will . . . at least from my seat. I have no control (and never did) over others who continue to lavish her with what she wants. Why the girl’s cellphone is still operational for her to hang up on me is beyond how I would handle things. Then again, I was a poor role model for her as I was emphatically told.

G’luck conquering your mountain, Little One.

Zombie Kittens

Zombie Kittens

This is a post in the My Things series on this blog. In it I chronicle items I own. I seek to describe why I own the item, whence it came, and what value it provides . . . and any other tidbits of interest.

Our family enjoys the Exploding Kittens games. We have all the expansions. Some cards are better than others, but the universe is great fun. We play regularly.

For Father’s Day Fritz got me this, the newest expansion for the franchise. I was unaware of this. From what I can tell, it was released a month ago.

This game introduces the ability to bring back players who are out of the game. Initially, I wasn’t quite certain. Once we played, however, we learned this is a fabulous edition to the game. The second time we played, we played with all the expansions. That turned out to be great fun! There are also cards that interact with the player even when he’s dead and awaiting his return.

Despite Beetle stealing and causing me to give up much of my perfect hand, I was able to persevere by stealing the Streaking Kitten back from Joey causing him to go out at the end with the Imploding Kitten face up as the last card in the deck.

Great times! We will play this much, I suspect.

Christian Family

The hollowness of the Catholic faith preaching Christian family is highly evident.

Fritz served as an altar boy at a Catholic church. His mother registered the entire family at this parish. The boy served every Sunday. I rallied three out of four Sundays a month to ensure he arrived by 7:30. I was so good at my parenting, I even got my atheist daughter to proclaim the word of the Lord in the choir.

Then overnight, my son decided not to attend any longer. He’s a teenager; he prefers sleeping in. I did not fight it. I like peace in my life.

One might think that when the parish lost its one and only altar boy who showed every Sunday without warning it might reach out to see what is up.

Not a word. It’s been months now. Three parishioners just disappeared without a trace. Not one phone call. Not one e-mail. Not one inquiry as to whether everything is okay or not.

That’s the Christian faith the way it is practiced. Tell me again about the good deeds of the church while you pay off the lawsuits for the priests you allowed to molest boys!



I am old enough to have seen this in the theater. I now get the pleasure of watching it with my son who has become a DeNiro fan. Yeah, I did that! 🙂

This is Scorcese at his best! I’m not a huge Pesci fan, but he shines here as well. Just a perfect cast, to a perfect script, to iconic images/scenes. Love every minute of this.

Paul Sorvino is a favorite and sets the tone as Paulie. Watching how the crew is built up in the early goings to the heist to the aftermath is masterful. While I am sure the real life tales were plenty colorful, in the hands of these storytellers, this tale pops!

Fritz was surprised not only of the reciting lines I did but of pointing out the missing lucky hat, the helicopter and other images throughout.

This is as good as it gets for movies in my lifetime.

Precipice of Adulthood

Beetle had a meltdown this morning. She is stressing about college. She sees money issues regarding college. I think it is good that she is aware of the cost. I had no clue when I attended college as to how much it actually was. I knew the dollar figure, but I didn’t know just how much of a commitment that was.

I recall interviewing for my second masters program. The dean highlighted my undergraduate GPA and the GPA for my first masters. She asked why I thought there was a discrepancy in the two numbers. “Oh, that’s easy. My parents paid for my undergraduate degree; I paid for my masters.”

Beetle has heard me speak of avoiding debt. Because she did not heed my guidance to go for a college she could afford, she is stretching her budget. She didn’t understand that the way the school presented the budget to her to get to a number she thought she could afford included a $5,000 annual loan.

Now she’s stressed about having loan payments after college.

Her first plan (have me pick up the tab) did not go so well. I said, “No.”

Her second plan was to have her parents split the $5,000. I said, “No.”

I had had thoughts of coming through with the money. But then the other side of my daughter presented itself. It was a reminder to me that she has never had to be responsible. Because of that, she has quit everything she has ever been involved in. Yeah, I am not tossing any more money into the pot at this point.

There is enough money for Beetle to go to college. She has done what she has always done: pushed the limits. She’s going to end up with debt, I suppose. Despite that, I think it will be good for her. Having firsthand experience with this I hope will provide the lesson early that carrying debt is a burden.

Given the way our country is being run, it is likely the government will excuse Beetle from the debt obligation. I am also open to helping out more in the future, but I want to see results first. Go to college. Earn good grades. Want to return for your sophomore year. Then we’ll talk. I already have lots of money invested in her education. Use that before I put more in.

And if I understand what Beetle is being told, it’s quite possible her mother will pick up the difference. But that is where the meltdown ensued.

She knows she has to rely on her mother and Beetle is not comfortable with that. “She doesn’t follow through” was one of the many things Beetle whined about. Yeah, I know.

Beetle absolutely pegged Gert. Beetle sees what I spent two decades experiencing. I am basically free of that these days, but Beetle (and Fritz) are in the throes of it at this point. It’s frustrating for them and it’s frustrating for me to witness.

I counseled Beetle, as she is on the precipice of adulthood, that she is responsible for herself. If you are reliant on another, then you are at the mercy of their flaws. I reminded Beetle that with a driver’s license Beetle would have more freedom than what she perceives to have. With a college degree, she can do as she pleases.

In all this, I received a most welcomed compliment. Beetle asked about getting an apartment and how it works. She said it must have cost a lot of money. Then she whined about the stuff at the house. She said she wants things to match and look nice like my apartment. 🙂 Yeah, I did that!

I then walked Beetle through how almost everything she sees at my place was purchased since the divorce. I took little from the house. Most of what I took has been replaced. I control what my living situation looks like. I make it clean, organized, and matching. I am beholden to no one. Likewise, her mother does the same. And when Beetle pays for her own roof, she will be able to determine what her living space looks like.

Welcome to adulthood, little one. You’re learning isn’t over . . . it’s just beginning.

Murder at the Motel

22-06-11 Murder at the Motel

Picked this up some time ago. Fritz and I started this one night and abandoned it quite quickly. I was exhausted and we realized this was going to be a little more involved than others we had played.

The four of us sat down today and spent about four hours total solving this. The four of us work well together. Everyone contributed. We tossed theories about. We plotted the timeline, deciphered stuff (not as much as most of these), and worked our way through all possibilities.

I am proud of the work we did on this one. The game is rated decidedly harder than the other one-off boxes. I wouldn’t say it was hard, but it did require looking closely at the evidence.

I liked this box!

We then headed out for a late dinner at Chili’s to celebrate.