Archive for June, 2011

Superhero roulette means Ironman’s number might be up

Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in.You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

Superman is a has-been.

Batman is an afterthought.

Spider-Man is so 5 minutes ago.

Ty goes through superheroes like actors go through girlfriends.

I think Superman was the first. There was something about that red cape that grabbed my little boy’s attention.

But then Ty discovered masks, specifically those cheap plastic ones that come with Halloween costumes, so Superman was out.

No mask. No love.

Along the way he had a quick obsession with Batman and a longer one with Spider-Man, but they were eventually replaced by his current favorite – Ironman.

And I’m not sure why.

He’s never seen the movies, so I know he’s not a Robert Downey Jr. fan. I don’t think he sneaks into the den and watches “Tropic Thunder” when we’re not looking. And I think the only iron …

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Are fireworks too hot to handle for your kids?

Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

I don’t think a Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve passed without me, my brother, a cousin and a bunch of friends blowing up several dollars worth of fireworks.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

We shot all kinds, from Roman candles to those little metal things that flew up in the air to the bigger tubes that produced pretty colors and gave the neighbors something to watch.

But bottle rockets were our favorite, mainly, I think, because we could aim them.

We knew the rules. You were supposed to stick them in the bottle, which was supposed to be aimed at the sky. You were to light the fuse and supposed to move a safe distance.

Not us.

We shot bottle rockets at everything.

Trees. Cars. Houses. Each other.

We didn’t even use the bottles.

We’d hold them in our hand and throw them as far as we could at …

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Phineas and Ferb is a guilty pleasure

Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

OK, I confess.

The other day I caught myself watching “Phineas and Ferb.”

There’s nothing strange about that. Usually.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

Ty enjoys it. I enjoy it. It’s our thing. We bond.

This time was different.

This time, I was alone.

Lori and Ty were gone and yet, Phineas and Ferb were there. On my TV.

The guys with the geometrically challenged heads had once again successfully gained all the permits and qualified for yet another loan to buy the parts needed to build the world’s largest roller coaster or lawn mower engine-powered chariots or a rocket or some other fantastic contraption.

I don’t remember exactly which episode was on, I just remember that at some point I thought to myself: How did I get caught up in this?

In my defense, I find “Phineas and Ferb” to be one of …

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Cars 2, Harry Potter are Sensory Friendly Films

Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

Three metro Atlanta AMC Theatres and the Autism Society have come together to host Sensory Friendly Films for the autistic and their families in July.

AMC Discover Mills 18, AMC Phipps Plaza 14 and AMC Southlake 24 will show “Cars 2” on July 2 and “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” on July 23.

Since the autistic often have a hypersensitivity to light or sound, the theaters will not go dark and the sound will be lower than usual.

In addition, the theaters will not only waive AMC’s Silence is Golden policy, the audience will be allowed to dance, walk around, shout and sing. Also, families can bring in gluten-free and casein-free snacks, and no previews are advertisements will be shown.

Both movies will begin at 10 a.m. and tickets can be purchased on the …

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Report: Older guys having second set of kids

While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. He loves war movies, obsesses over his fantasy baseball team and makes a mean stir-fry. You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

There was a story in USA Today a couple of weeks ago that grabbed my attention.

It was about guys with older kids from their first marriage and who had then remarried and now are raising their second set of children.

While the article didn’t necessarily apply to me, at 45, I’m older than most men who have 5-year-olds. I was 32 when I got married and nearly 40 when Ty was born, so now, five years later, it’s sometimes tough to find the energy I need to keep up with him.

One of the guys quoted in the article was 60-year-old Greg Weinlein, a retired high school English teacher who has two kids who are 43 and 37 and two other ones who are 11 and 7. BTW, he also has grandsons who are 8 and 14.

One expert …

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New study: Whining is most annoying noise

While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. He loves war movies, obsesses over his fantasy baseball team and makes a mean stir-fry. You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

There’s a rule in our house: No whining.

It’s not written down on a stone tablet or anything and there isn’t a stringent punishment if it is broken, but if someone is whining, which occasionally happens with Lori and much more often with Ty, it’s usually stopped by a two-word warning:

“Don’t whine.”

I was raised not to whine, have never enjoyed whiny friends or co-workers, hated Doug and Wendy Whiner on that old “Saturday Night Live” skit, and don’t want Ty to get used to the idea.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

I’ve always thought whining to be annoying, and now I have proof.

A new study has proven what all parents already know. The noises coming from a whining child are some of the most distracting sounds on this …

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Dad Days of Summer: Who is this guy?

While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. He loves war movies, obsesses over his fantasy baseball team and makes a mean stir-fry. You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

I was going to begin with a joke, but most of the ones I’ve heard recently revolve around either Charlie Sheen or Anthony Weiner, so in the name of good taste, I’ll go forward from here.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

When Theresa asked me to fill in for her for a month, I had to think about it for a while. I wanted to make sure I had the time to honor my commitment, but I also wasn’t sure if I could provide the level of insight and excellence that Theresa shows here on a daily basis.Our personalities are drastically different – she’s a category 5 tornado to my summer breeze – and that will show in our writing styles. So bear with me while I find my voice, and hopefully you’ll enjoy my time here and I can become a part of …

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Momania on vacation; Dad Days of Summer begin!

Starting Monday, I will be taking about a month off to spend time with my kids and my family.

But never fear. We won’t leave you without controversial topics to discuss and friends to disagree with.

I am thrilled to announce that for the first time in almost six years, a DAD will take the helm and keep you amused and informed through the Dad Days of Summer!

Andy, Lori and Ty Johnston. Andy will be hosting the Momania blog for about a month this summer. He's a freelance sports writer and a stay-at-home dad!

Andy, Lori and Ty Johnston. Andy will be hosting the Momania blog for about a month this summer. He's a freelance sports writer and a stay-at-home dad!

Andy Johnston is a professional sports writer and father to a fantastic 5-year-old son named Ty, who will be starting kindergarten in the fall. Andy and his wife Lori have been married for 13 years and live outside of Athens.

Andy has been covering sports for 23 years. A few years back, he quit his dream job of sports editor for The Athens Banner-Herald to become a stay-at-home dad and freelance sports writer.

He wanted the flexibility to play Legos with his son in …

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Can being apart be good for your relationship?

This summer I will be spending about three weeks with my family while Michael stays at home to work. It will be the first extended separation we have had in about nine years.

The last time we were apart for more than a few days was in 2002 when Michael covered the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He was gone for about 20 days I guess. That was the winter after 9-11 and I was certain he was going to get blown up. I got satellite texters where he could email me that he was OK even if the power was cut. (I got them free for a trial. I thought it was smart!)

The only other time we have been apart was the summer after we first starting dating in 1992. I studied in Italy for a summer, and he stayed in Atlanta working for the AP.

I know lots of families who spend their summers apart. Either they have moved away from their extended family and the wife and kids go “home” for the summer while the husband continues to work. Or the wife and kids go to a family beach house while the …

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Reporter needs your help with two stories: Kids abusing prescription drugs; game of holding breath too long?

AJC reporter Gracie Bond Staples needs your help with two stories she is working on:

The first story is about a new dangerous game that kids/teens are playing holding their breath underwater for too long? We are hearing the kids are competing to see who can hold it the longest to possible dire consequences. Have you seen your kids or other kids doing this in pools or at beaches?

Also she is working on a story about kids/teens abusing prescription drugs.

Please email or call Gracie Bond Staples ASAP at 770-263-3621 or gstaples@ajc.com if you have thoughts on these stories.

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