Million ways to die in the west on mom’s night out


It’s difficult for us to make time to watch movies at home that don’t have cartoons, kids, or some kind of superhero. There have been several times we’ll hit up a RedBox and the movie sits for days unwatched before we return it. My wife and I go in with high hopes that we’ll sit together on the couch eating popcorn and enjoy a flick. Reality is by the time we get the kids to bed and house picked up, we last 20 minutes before someone is snoring and it’s usually the one who picked the movie. Last night the stars aligned, corn was popped, beverages were served and the 2 movies were… UGH.

Mom’s Night Out
Moms Night OutLushie’s pick for movie night and at the end both of us were “meh”. It was free and that was about all I would pay for it if I had the choice again. Here’s what you need to know about the movie. Mommy blogger is at her wits end from being home with the kids all the time and needs a break. This was something both of us could relate to very well (Seriously, as I’m typing this Little Thor is naked, running around the house while riding a wooden horse and playing a harmonica while Teaspoon is in his gutchies yelling at his Nintendo 3DS) so the movie started out with promise… and then it sank. Not like a slow leak in a boat and everyone could escape but “OMFG SOMEONE BLEW A HOLE IN THE BOAT!” and everyone dies. Here’s why.

Surprise! Dads in this movie are bumbling idiots or space cadets. Abso-freaking-lutely they are. Why wouldn’t they be? Every dad has his quirks but in this movie if you’re a dad you’re either oblivious or a knucklehead. Next, the main character Allyson is over the top OCD. All of us like to keep a clean house but her obsessiveness is exhausting. I’ve seen the actress in other roles and she’s god but I feel bad for her being in this one. Honestly, it felt like the movie was written by people who don’t have kids but think they know what parenting is like because they have pets or their brother has kids.

If you’re parents like us and have a free night to watch a movie, pick something else. What ever you do, don’t get this next movie.

A Million Ways to Die in the West
A Million Ways to Die in the WestI’m a Seth MacFarlane fan. Love Family Guy and I think “ted” was fantastic but this, dear lord almost a 6 pack of Merry Monks and Charlize Theron couldn’t save this. Trust me, I tried. I REALLY wanted to see this movie when the previews came out. I knew this would be a dude flick that I could shut out everything around me and enjoy stupid humor. Only problem, this lacked the humor.  Seth’s rants weren’t bad but seemed more like a time traveler going back to the West and being a smart ass to everyone. Speaking of time travel, there’s a Back to the Future 3 reference. Funny, but inaccurate.

I love all of the actors in this movie but something just didn’t click. The only plus side to the movie was the fact I was drinking good beer and Charlize Theron. Mmm Charlize Theron.

By the end of the night I was crashed on the couch and everyone else was in bed. It wasnt a waste of a night because I did get time to chill, I’m just glad we didn’t waste a babysitter to see these in the theater.

Should I Eat That? – Dogfish Head Craft Beer Brats

An educated person in my family once said to me at a cookout “I don’t want you serving your brats (in a beer bath) to my kids because I don’t want them to get drunk and like the taste of beer!” Can’t make that one up.

I’ve always loved cooking with beer but it’s not everyday I discover food with good beer in it. Granted there are sauces and condiments with alcohol ingredients but I’m talking something already infused even though that word gets trampled to death. So hey, it’s infused meat!


Dogfish Head Craft Brewery posted a video on YouTube last week showcasing bratwurst made with their various beers and they were available at Whole Foods. I tweeted Whole Foods and they in turn messaged the store to find out they did indeed have some in stock AND they were on sale for $6.99/4pk (Excellent use of social networking by them!). After spending the afternoon at the pool with Teaspoon, I strapped him into the car and we road tripped to East Liberty.

I picked up 2 of the 3 available at the store. The Greek Feta Brat and Heirloom Italian Brat had me most curious while passing on the standard bratwurst. There is also a Spicy Espresso Brat that sounds amazing but I didn’t see it in stock. Check out the DFH brat family on their website.

Fired up the grill on Labor Day and treated the family to a special dinner. Here’s what we thought.

The Greek Feta Brat
made with feta cheese, mint, spinach, cumin, lemon and a dose of Midas Touch.

Me: LOVE LOVE LOVE this one. Ate it with no toppings, just a bun and it’s a winner served naked. Could you add on to it? Sure, why not but as a standalone chicken brat it was fantastic. Great snap when I bit into it and the flavors exploded. I would be anxious to try it without the Midas Touch just to see what flavors it brings that aren’t masked by the ingredients.

The wife: I like it and will cut you if you touch my plate

The kids: Can’t we just have a hot dog with ranch?

The Heirloom Italian Brat
based on a recipe from Dogfish founder Sam Calagione’s family. Sam’s great-grandmother used pork, fennel and red pepper in her classic Italian brat. If it was good enough for her, it’s good enough for Dogfish. (Well, the Italian gets a helping of beer/wine/mead hybrid Midas Touch for good measure!)

Me: It was a little on the bland side for overall flavor but it packed a nice heat punch that would make it perfect on a bun dressed with green peppers and onions. Watch out though because with the slightest pop while on the grill, I had a serious case of flare up.

The wife: I don’t like it.

The kids: Why can’t we have a hot dog already? COME ON!

Here’s where Dogfish Head also nailed it, the packaging. The back tells you which beers are suggested to drink with it. I’m sketchy on drinking the beer the food is made with so it’s not overkill and they seem to agree. One beer in common, which I haven’t had in awhile but agree that it would be an excellent choice, is their Burton Baton (10% ABV | 70 IBU). I think the raisiney and vanilla notes would complement both well.

There you go, the official Derda Family thoughts on the brats. The kids are still coming around to eating non-hot dog tubes of meat no matter how I try to sell it to them.

Dogfish Head Brats Collage
(Gallery on Flickr)

That’s a big twinkie

It brings me great joy seeing my kids appreciating some of the things I did as a youth.  Not just sports but certain cartoons, TV sitcoms and of course movies. Yesterday was the 30th anniversary showing of Ghostbusters and, just like with Back to the Future, it was a father and son moment I’m glad we shared.

Teaspoon_Ghostbusters Teaspoon and Little Thor have seen the movie multiple times off Netflix. In fact the first time I showed it to them I was curious how they would see the movie. They didn’t retain any of the swearing or (many) of the key lines but they loved the special effects with Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Watching it on the big screen was a new experience for me and one where I noticed a few things.

1) Smoking is big – Back then no one thought twice about lighting up but today if this movie would come out I’m sure there would be people flipping out. Teaspoon’s thoughts “Daddy, they smoke a lot. That’s stupid!”. Now if he says that at 15 we’re golden.

2) Janine is nebby – I need to watch this a few more times but in the background it seemed like she was always poking her head up or looking around a corner.

3) Dana is loaded – How on earth does someone have that beautiful of an apartment on the top floor by Central Park and makes a living as a musician?

4) What’s their insurance like – Unless they have a way to fine tune the streams to cause less destruction, they will trash your building like the hotel. Shelling out 5k to have a ghost captured and contained  and then you have damage to the walls and replacing a ballroom. I mean you could sign a contract but that Sedgewick Hotel is pretty much screwed.

I can’t wait until his brother is a little older so we can go as a family to enjoy the theater but until then, it’s special time like this with my Teaspoon that I’m cherishing.



Redefining Family Movie Night

We cut the cord on cable about 2 months ago and have been tethered to Hulu, Netflix and over the air programming (more on that later). Since we were in the middle of a holiday weekend and our plan for camping in our back yard was rained out, we decided to have a family movie night. The way it ended up was not what we had planned.


I started by looking for something family friendly we haven’t watched. When you cut the cord you’d be amazed at how fast you can burn through these movies. After 10-15 minutes I came out of my trance with a few suggestions and noticed something.

The boys were huddled under a blanket on the floor watching Air Bud on their tablet.

My wife was watching Orange is the New Black on her phone.

Well there shoots that plan. I fired up the Hulu Plus and celebrated the 50th anniversary of A Hard Day’s Night via Chromecast. I’m not a big Beatles fan but I’ve always loved that movie.

Amazingly enough all of our programming ended around the same time and we finally got to watch the Disney movie. Well, 10 minutes of it at least before every one but me was snoring.

Is this the future of movie night?

Surviving the First Day of Kindergarten

Yesterday I sent my first born off to kindergarten and even though I’ve been joking all summer that I couldn’t wait for this day to get here, when it finally did I had mixed emotions.

 Teaspoon was excited. Strike that, he was a raging ball of pumped up excitement. He was telling me all morning about how cool it was going to be, the friends he would make, and more importantly, he was riding a bus like a big kid.

We sat on the porch for what felt like an eternity. Teaspoon kept looking around the corner in anticipation for his ride when he noticed my wife was in full blown tears. He kept saying “Mommy, don’t cry. I’ll be OK.” She said “It’s not that buddy, we’re just so proud of you!”

He smiled and gave her a huge hug. Then with a smirk said “Mommy, do me a favor. Don’t follow the bus.”

I choked on my water and we all laughed because honestly, we were thinking about it.

The bus arrived and as he got on I couldn’t help but think about everything we’ve been through with him. From his early birth and time in the NICU, time at home hooked up to monitors to the moment he was accepted to the school and tested in the top 10% of kids his age.

He has always been a curious kid and anxious to experience something new as seen when we became parents to a soccer / hockey / basketball / baseball player in leagues where he didn’t know many kids. If he wants to try something, he does it and we do our best to make it happen.

I could see the awe in his eyes. The excitement of the unknown.

Teaspoon on the bus

When he came home he shot out of my wife’s car like a bat out of hell. “DADDY! DADDY! DADDY! KWJHJKHDHHVDHBS!!!!!!” and for the next hour I sat back and listened to his stories from the day.

It has been a long and educational journey since I became a stay-at-home dad and this is why it happened, so I could experience these moments with him that wouldn’t have been possible if I was still working. This was the event where it became clear to me and now I’m ready to move on and get back to work.

For this guy, his brother and his mom.

Teaspoon 1st Day