Thursday, August 28, 2014

Self-serious Blogger Confronts Issues And Kids Crack Jokes

I was lost in my own thoughts when the kid insisted I do a selfie in the above style.

This is the nice part of parenting. One minute I'm sunk in thought about the weighty issues of the day, the next the kid is goofing on me with simulated bunny ears.

I know the flack I'm going to take from my family about posting this selfie, such will go:"Are you now going to Instagram every meal you eat?"

I like the picture in that I'm sitting in the car, a place where many parent-child interactions occur, my expression a model of forbearance (with bunny ears!).


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mad Magazine Hijacks Another Generation

Alfred E. Newman wannabe scrounges for his new read.
I loved the irreverent humor of Mad Magazine as a kid -- only to be shocked and dismayed that my father had the second issue from the 1950s. He knew someone on the magazine from school.

Both kids read Mad, having discovered it by finding my old books moldering away at a family residence.

So here we are, three generation of Mad readers -- there should be a photo taken with representative issues.

Reading a recently published magazine, the quality of the jokes were still good, riffing Justin Beiber, video games, and assorted dieties (if Jesus can appear on a grilled cheese then so can Ganesh on a knish!).

This sits better with me than many other classic works for children. What, me worry? No way.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Artifact From Minnesota Childhood Provides Personal Motivation

My name in a child's scrawl is still legible on the base.
A childhood friend from Minnesota visited us with her family on her way back to her home in Victoria, BC.

We recounted many shared moment together growing up, then she gave me the flower pictured. I had given it to her mother in the early `70s. She had kept it until she passed away in `94 and my friend had taken over its curation.

My friend's mother had six children and many grandchildren -- out of so many talented kids producing artifacts why she had kept my flower is a mystery. She thought it looked nice is the answer that springs first to mind.

I am touched by the memory, by the kindness of this family, by my friend's bringing me the actual flower instead of just telling me about it.

Looking at the flower, as I have over the past couple of days, reminds me of the person I imagined I'd be when I was a child and the person I am. I can't help but feel that somewhere, somehow I did something right. This thought inspires me to return to some elusive core, a place free of suspicion and cynicism. A reminder to let the anger and details of daily life fall away, and be the person I choose to become. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Finally, A Place In Portland That Looks Like It's Supposed To

Although not an academic, or even a serious amateur, initial investigation on my part suggests flyers are part of a subculture. A cruel hoax is always a possibility.
I was walking in the Northwest neighborhood and found a pole that was reminiscent of the heyday of subculture back in the `80s.

Somehow those who don't live here believe my home looks like this pole.

The hype. Believe it at your own peril.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Daughter Develops Range Of Stock Expressions

This secret waterfall is where the kid goes to try out new material that may one day become part of her expression repertoire.
"Oh, Dad!" the kid might say, rolling her eyes in that familiar way, indicating I've gone too far, yet again, but such is really not a big deal.

Welcome to the world of stock expressions. I have a few of my own as well -- "Hey you kids get outta the yard!" (You can image the squinty eyes and flared nostrils).

But as serious amateurs and academics know, these stock expressions are the result of careful cultivation and actual minutes of practice.

Check out the kid as she puts the finishing touches on an expression that she has come to reply upon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kid Returns From Camp With Cool New Talent

Actual photo of kid, not actual size.
The kid came back from his first three-week session of sleepaway camp. We wondered who the hell he was for a little while, then it came back to us.

We learned he had continued his personal development without our helicoptering attention. Namely he returned with a passion unknown previously for the board game Monopoly and some new parlor tricks (I need to look up what an actual parlor is and research if we, in fact, have one).

The following is what the kid was known for in his cabin -- this and the ability to find and capture spiders.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dad Rejoices In No AC, But Must Deal With Short Tempers

"I like the heat, makes me feel ... hot." Actual quote from a child.
We don't have air conditioning. As we only have a handful of days where the temperature gets uncomfortably hot I don't think not having AC is a big deal.

When it does get hot I enjoy wearing minimal clothing and even sleeping with a fan blowing on my body.

The price for all this healthful sweat is that all the family is irritable and meltdowns are so common as to go unremarked upon. Is screaming and pouting part and parcel of the essence of summer?

I think not, still I hesitate to get AC. If we had AC we would hunker down on the hot nights in front of our screens and act like we do in January. I like the fact that when hot weather is upon us we spend more time outside, walking around, and arguing amongst ourselves. 

I embrace the notion that we are all completely nuts.

Friday, August 15, 2014

BFTSM Discovers New Columbia River Sport

No chemical or monetary inducements were used to get the guy on the board.
BFTSM was recently in Oregon where he embraced the pursuit of river joy with the SUP (stand-up paddle board).

The activity has proven so popular with his clan that he even remarked on acquiring an SUP for use in the faraway place of Ohiawa (somewhere in the Midwest, I think).

Meanwhile, back at the ashram, we're putting our attention to crafting lyrics for SUP songs and theatrical pieces. Hopefully we will not overwork our squirrel monkeys.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Camper Returns

Hale and hearty and telling tales of excellent jokes, both theoretical and practical.

Three weeks with minimal screen time and no (apparent) adverse effects. The kid reported that the main topic of conversation in his cabin was Minecraft.

Poop jokes, mosquito bites, raids on other cabins -- all according to the scheme of things.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Crazy Camper To Return Home - Readjustment Issues Concern Parent(s)

Let the analysts analyze away! I have no idea what this might mean -- other than paternity is not an issue to dispute.

Today the crazy camper who wrote this will return home. We are looking forward to receiving the transformed individual who, we hope, will have an easy time returning to civilian life.

We will see.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kids Launch New Song

A natural setting provides inspiration for the powerful musical duo.
Yet again the kids show their creativity knows no bounds.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Refrigerator Problems

Oswald West State Park

I woke up today and the kitchen was a lake, the freezer had shut down and all was mush.

I am awaiting technical help at the moment, having reconciled my lot.

My mind drifts off to the more pleasant thought of a recent picnic on the beach.