Archive for July, 2011

Male bashing on TV must stop

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’m getting tired of TV depicting men as small-minded, beer-drinking, softball-playing, girl-ogling, knuckle-dragging oafs who can’t do anything for themselves.

More and more, ad agencies, the companies that hire them and the networks are depicting men and dads who can’t function in society without help. And while we need help from the women in our lives from time to time, there are plenty of high functioning guys in real life who hold down jobs, who make excellent decisions and who don’t waste their days playing video games and sitting on their couch eating salami sandwiches.

This was on my mind before this gig, but was reminded of it on my first day, when poster Tad Jackson wrote this:

Andy … help us men! This is the way we’re depicted in TV commercials and in TV shows! Is there hope for us …

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Free birth control could be on the way

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.

A health panel has recommended that birth control be free for females in the U.S.

The physicians who joined medical professors on a National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine committee were asked to recommend preventative services that women should have access to – without co-pays, deductibles or out-of-pocket costs.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

Now the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, which asked the group to make recommendations, will decide whether or not to approve them, and any changes will be part of health care reform.

To reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies in the U.S., the panel recommended making all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods free for females.

The report says: “Women with unintended pregnancies are more likely to receive delayed or no …

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Survey: Dads with kids at home work more than others

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.

A recent survey found that men who have kids at home work more hours a week than men who don’t.

The Families and Work Institute, a non-profit organization, surveyed 3,500 people in 2008 to find out those dads work about 47 hours a week. Men who don’t have kids or don’t live with them, work about 44 hours a week, according to a story in USA Today.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

The worst stat was this: 42 percent of the men with kids under 18 years old who live at home work about 50 hours a week.

More than 3,500 people were surveyed in 2008 to produce the report.

The story quoted Ellen Galinsky, president of the institute as saying, “Men are working longer to bring in more money for their families. In open-ended questions … their answers were about earning more money. I think the breadwinner image is a part …

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Teaching toilet seat etiquette

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.
 
My mom never had a chance.
Me, my brother and my dad never put the toilet seat down after we finished our business.
Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

She must have realized early on that there was no getting through to us because I don’t remember her even trying to teach us to do so.

Maybe, I just flushed those memories from my memory. (Sorry about that).

I’ve brought this up because I’m trying to teach Ty to put the toilet seat down after he’s done.

Lori’s happy when the seat is down, so I gradually evolved after we were married. And call me enlightened – or whipped – or whatever, I like to make her happy.

And don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t easy, but she taught me to do it, so I’m passing that knowledge down a generation.

But like his aim, Ty is hit and miss when it comes to this.

When he’s done, his mind …

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School supply list is nearly impossible to complete

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.

On Monday, Lori tacked a green neon piece of paper to the bulletin board in our laundry room.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

It’s longer than Ty’s Christmas list and more detailed than my honey-do list.

I was stunned when I started reading it.

It was filled with all the school supplies we need to purchase before he starts kindergarten next month. To give you an idea of its enormity, we must buy at least one of every item at Wal-Mart.

For many of you, buying school supplies has become a habit and a routine part of your July and August. For us, it’s our first year purchasing all the supplies needed for Ty to start school.

As I see the shelves filling up with supplies at Target, CVS and other stores, Lori says we need to go ahead and get them before they’re gone or we’ll be fighting other parents over the last …

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Assigned reading equals summertime blues in my book

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.

A quick Google search showed me something that I hadn’t thought much about because we haven’t reached this stage with Ty, who will be in kindergarten this year.

Two questions:

  1. When did teachers begin assigning books for their classes to read over the summer?
  2. Whatever happened to summer vacation?
Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

At one high school, the advanced placement English class must read “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck and “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer and then study essays that other people wrote about those books.

Another high school assigned “Lord of the Flies” to sophomores, “The Scarlet Letter” to juniors and Aristotle’s “Poetics” – have they made a movie of that? – to juniors and “King Lear” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to seniors. In addition, the students were expected to write …

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Will your daughters recover from U.S. loss?

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’m wondering how many of you spent Sunday evening consoling your daughters after Japan defeated the U.S. to win the Women’s World Cup.

Did your daughters shed tears? Were they angry and upset about the loss?

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

Or did they even care?

Except for my brother, who’s a soccer nerd, there weren’t many people in my circle of friends who were excited about the Women’s World Cup. But most of them are busy professionals whose daughters are too young to get into a soccer tournament in Germany.

I know there must be plenty of families with daughters who became enamored with Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and the rest of the U.S. team.

Did they become role models for your daughter(s)?

Toni Nagy of Huffington Post made some interesting points in an article this weekend, and while I don’t agree with …

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Pennsylvania restaurant bans 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.

AJC Food & More blogger Jon Watson wrote today about a restaurant in Pennsylvania that has banned children under 6 years old. The owner of McDain’s Restaurant and Golf Center in Monroeville, Pa., apparently was tired of the kids running amok in his establishment.

It seems things like this and Malaysia Airlines banning kids in first class are becoming more popular and accepted.

Are you tired of kids in restaurants?

 Should restaurants be able to ban kids?

- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog

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Study: Pathological gaming can lead to depression, disorders

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 grew up in the dawn of video games.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

Galaga, Pac-Man, Asteroids. You name, I played it.

They were new to the scene in the early 1980s and all my friends pumped plenty of quarters into them.

Through the years, I’ve owned an Atari, a Sega Genesis, a Wii and all three generations of PlayStations. I still enjoy trying to sink ships on a submarine game when we take Ty to our local Chuck E. Cheese’s.

But I don’t think any I’ve ever been addicted to any of them, and for the most part, they were, and are, an innocent way to pass some free time.

There’s a new study – and I don’t know how scientific this is, but it’s going to be published in a upcoming issue of Pediatrics magazine – that says video game addiction “among children and teens may lead to the development of psychological …

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Restaurants adding healthier kids meals

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.

Ty has never liked to eat meat.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

We didn’t intend for that to happen. We tried to feed him that so-called meat in a jar when he was a baby, but he’d just turn away. Even then, he knew that stuff was nasty.

It probably tastes like some of that stuff they make on “Chopped.”

Now that he’s 5, Ty still likes healthier kinds of foods.

He prefers fruit to fries, yogurt to hot dogs and hummus to hamburgers. Yeah, I don’t get that one, either, but I think it’s because he was born in Athens (Georgia, not Greece).

He’ll eat chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s, but that’s about it as far as meat goes.

Like most kids, he still wants – and sometimes gets – cookies or popsicles or ice cream and Capri Sun, but often he’s content with grapes, apples, bananas and milk or …

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