Monday, October 4, 2010
I hate Snooki. I hate Lauren Conrad. I hate Nicole Richie.
Yes, I am going to teach my son that "we don't hate anyone, that's not a good word; we dislike someone or we aren't interested in something, but we don't hate anything or anyone." However, I hate all three of those girls. Hate them. I don't dislike them; I'm not not interested in them. I hate them. I loathe them. I dispise them. I curse the day I heard their names.
All three of them have no discernible talent. All of them get paid money, when you break it down to its barest level, for no reason whatsoever other than people know who they are. People recognize their faces and their names. That is why they get paid. But, you might say, that's what being famous is! People recognizing your name and image is exactly what it means to have fame. You are correct, but let's look at other famous people. LeBron James is famous. Russell Crowe is famous. Rhianna is famous. All of these people have faces and images and names that we all recognize as famous. But that's where the differences end. You would have to agree that LeBron James is a very talented athlete. If you don't think Russell Crowe is talented, put Gladiator, The Insider, and State of Play as the next three movies on your Netflix queue; the different walks, mannerisms and personality he displays will be all the evidence you need. Rhianna might be lousy at picking boyfriends, but the girl can sing incredibly well.
Snooki, Lauren Conrad and Nicole Richie all have book deals for novels. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. If you want to re-read it a few times to let the idea sink in I'll wait till you're done.
Welcome back. Shocking, huh? Maddening, right? It is a sign that Western Civilization is crumbling before our very eyes if you ask me.
I've been writing fiction for years. I've got two novels finished and at least four more partially finished. I've got a multitude of short stories ready to be submitted to contests and/or magazines. And do I have a literary agent? Nope. An editor interested? No. A publisher ready to fork over six digits (hell, four!) for the prose I've written? Not even close. But I am a smart guy (just ask my wife, who swears that I am even though I'm stupid at times), I've served in the US Air Force, got a degree that involved massive amounts of writing and being taught how to craft words, and I don't have any of that publishing pub. Snooki's greatest contribution to society is... um... hold on, I'm thinking... there's got to be at least one, right?
And she has a f&%king novel coming out!!!!!! Not that I'm bitter...
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
My first named storm wasn't until I was thirty years old. It went over this place like a quick thunderstorm. Of course, The Wife's father had us put the storm shutters up while the thing was hitting, which was a perfect time to do so if you ask me. I mean standing in ankle-deep water while a seventy-five mph wind was blowing and a gallon of water a second comes off the roof onto my head is exactly what I wanted to do on that lovely afternoon. What was The Wife doing while I was suffering through this hurricane? Standing under the shelter of the porch laughing at me. I love her. I really do.
Oh, forgot to tell you the name of that delightful baby hurricane. When it passed over South Florida, it was a Category 1. Unfortunately, it would grow once it hit the Gulf of Mexico. Katrina would be memorable, alright but not in a good way. The second named storm to hit my area of the world while I was living there was Wilma. Not good times. Lots of days without power and no hot water makes for one very unhappy me. However, one good thing to come out of the storm was our first trip to the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot in Orlando. That was good times!
So, The Son is still waiting for the first named storm to hit our area in his lifetime. I'm going to say a quick prayer that it is to hurricanes what playing the School for the Deaf and Blind is to football, a breeze. Until then, I'm debating showing him the joys of playing in rain puddles. That is until Mommy makes us come inside cause the street lights are coming on.
UPDATE: Yes, I know this piddling little storm was actually named (Nicole if you're scoring at home, which I know you are) but I've seen sun showers do more damage. So, no this will not be The Son's first named storm. You hear that? I said no! Don't make me pull this blog over.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
1) Up - made by Disney/Pixar, it's the story of an old man who is trying to get his house (where he lived for decades with his late wife) to South America using balloons. Yes, it sounds stupid, but it's a kid movie. This one is not only entertaining for the kids with loads of colors and fun characters, it is great for adults. Bonus points for the tremendous handling of three issues that most kid movies won't touch (death, a woman not being able to have children and divorce). And as for it's re-watchablity factor? Off the charts. You notice something different each time you watch it. It's my son's favorite movie.
2) Monsters, Inc. - Another Disney/Pixar flick. It's really, really good. Billy Crystal and John Goodman make it worth watching. But I don't think it holds up after viewing number 70.
3) Ice Age - We finally watched this one the other day. I couldn't believe how much the movie holds up after multiple viewings. I love the story, love the characters, and it is really cool to see Denis Leary voicing a sabertooth cat. The second movie isn't as good, and I've got the third one on the DVR just can't get away from Up long enough to watch it.
4) Shrek - Another of my son's favorites. It is a classic. So is the second movie. But the third... eh. I didn't even see the fourth one.
5) Toy Story - The third movie was my son's first "in the theater" movie and he loved it. I know this sounds weird, but watch the first one of this trilogy on DVD sometime. The technology, which was awesome when it came out, looks like a bad video game. Have we really advanced that much in just a decade? And yet we can't do beaming yet... I'm a little disappointed.
I know there are hundreds of other movies, but understand this: your child will be entertained by things you never thought they would have even watched. For instance, my son can walk and kind of half run now. When he hears the theme music for the Ellen DeGeneres Show, he imitates Usain Bolt getting to a TV. And yes, I have started him early... he is already a fan of football.
Monday, September 27, 2010
What will The Son be like if he's like me? What will he do if he imitates his Daddy? If he's the spitting image of me, as the song says, heaven help me and my wife. Here's the evidence.
If my son is like me, he will...
- announce to an entire Red Lobster that he just had an absolutely splendid explosion of diarrhea. His parents will be horrifed. He will laugh. People will leave the restaurant because of the smell. He will laugh harder.
- at 4 years old think that he can get a riding toy from under a still-running car. This wasn't my brightest move. For some reason, my parents still saw fit to have me tested for the gifted program a few years later. And for some inexplicable reason, I passed. However, I have a scar thanks to this move of utter stupidity.
- convince his brother or sister (if we have another that is) that it's a great idea to shoot out the windows of a neighborhood house with a BB gun. See, no one was living in it... so that meant we could do whatever we wanted and no one would care, right? No one will want to buy the thing if no one's been living in it for a month, right? Hello? Uh... anyone there?
- take the Tinker Toys that his mom and dad were so proud to buy him and instead of building gigantic skyscrapers and megaplex cities, he'll divide them up by color and play football with them. Green will be the Eagles, blue the Cowboys, yellow the Steelers and white the Giants.
- jab his dog in the eyeball while shouting for everyone in the house to hear, "Eye!" This will not make the dog happy. And if his dog is anything like his daddy's dog, then the poor pooch will not take it out on my son. He'll take it out on my son's father. Probably in a gift of pee and poop in the bed. Why bite? Watching your owner do laundry at midnight is way more fun!
- not want to let his younger brother or sister play with his Lego blocks. When his mom reminds him that his Bible verse from church that day was "Be ready to share," he'll think for a few minutes before replying, "I'm not quite ready yet."
There will be a part two of this because I'm just up to about age 8. You won't believe what happens in the teenage years. Yeah, my wife and I will be either grey or bald by 40, I'm guaranteeing it.
I do remember the first time I heard him let one go, because I looked at him wide-eyed. I smiled, so did he and we laughed about it for a good two-three minutes that will go down as one of my favorite memories in life. So I guess they are a big deal. And very, very smelly.
On to the haircut. The place we chose for this important event was on the outside of a mall, along with everything now. Remember when stuff used to be in the mall? I would tell you what's inside now, but I haven't been in one in years. Judging by what used to go on in there, I'm betting a bunch of senior citizens have turned it into a carpeted track where the people working at Spenser's hand out prune juice in old hollowed-out whoopie cushions.
I imagined that the haircut person (I refuse to call them a stylist because they are cutting a toddler's hair... toddlers need a stylist like they need a bank account. Oh wait...) to be a bubbly, bouncy, perky girl that belonged in the Small World ride at Disney. All pony tails, ribbons, and smiles. What we got was a tad bit different. Our haircut person was a bubbly, bouncy, perky man that belonged in the Small World ride at Disney. His name was Luis, which he told me was pronounced "Looooo-EEEEEssss". His arms were bulging with veins big enough to drive a Hot Wheel through and his shirt was painted onto his chest. Then he picked up a bubble blowing device and started to shower my son's head making him squeal with laughter. Looo-EEEss that is; oh, my son laughed, but nothing like Looo-EEEss. I liked him.
He started to wet down my son's head and combed his hair into a mohawk. Why do haircut people do this? You'd think someone would be creative enough to do something different with wet hair other than a mohawk. I can't think of anything, but hey, I don't cut hair for a living. When Looo-EEEss was about to start cutting, he gave the bubble-blowing duties to my wife. And this started maybe the funniest forty-five seconds of my life. The Wife blew on the bubbles, but nothing came out. Spittle rained down on my son's face as he looked on in horrified confusion. I stared. Looo-eeess, to his neverending credit, broke the stunned silence by saying, "Ok, let's take the bubbles away from Mommy and give her something less complicated." I loved Looo-EEEss.
The Son was perfect during his hair cut. He no longer has a toddler mullet, which I am grateful for, and looks like a little boy. And I now have a first that I will remember forever. Thanks to Looo-EEEss and a bubble machine.
Monday, May 31, 2010
The first night we were invited to attend "a party" at the home of some friends. I put the word party in quotes not because it wasn't a party. It was in fact a party. The couple hosting didn't lie to us or anyone else. They just... left out some crucial information.
The Wife said that the party started at 6:30 PM. We arrived at 7:00. Which was right on time according to her. I still haven't convinced her that being "on time" doesn't mean "fashionably late." Oh well, I won in the end because she read the invite wrong; the thing started at 7. And by the way, read that sentence again. Some of you are humming "Win in the End" from Teen Wolf, aren't you? Me too.
Once we got there, the girl hosting the thing said, "Forgot to tell you guys... a lady's going to be here at 8:30. This is really a sex toy party!" My wife's jaw, I'd like to introduce you to the floor. Y'all be good to each other. Yep, it was a couples sex toy party. I immediately looked to a friend standing next to me and asked, "Clear up for me the difference between one of these and the beginning part of a swinger's get together?" He didn't have an answer.
Later on in the night, a guy was talking to me, The Wife and another friend of ours. He tried to remember the name of a particular breakfast place right on the beach. He said they had great French toast. My wife came up with the name, which wasn't weird, but a regular name for a restaurant.
The completely sober guy responded: "Oh yeah, that place is gangster. I mean, seriously gangster."
Gangster pancakes, waffles and orange juice. I don't have a joke here.
The next weekend, we went to The Wife's 8th grade class reunion. You read that right. Her 8th grade reunuion. Not high school, not college... middle school.
A grand time was had by all who attended mostly because me and the bartender spent half the night entertaining the whole room with random Tin Cup quotes. Ok, we were just making ourselves laugh, but hey I thought it was fun.
At least the night turned out to be gangster.
Friday, May 28, 2010
The speech starts out like this:
It was a glorious morning. The sun was shining and the wind was from the southeast. Up especially early, a tall bony, redheaded young Virginian found time to buy a new thermometer, for which he paid three pounds, fifteen shillings. He also bought gloves for Martha, his wife, who was ill at home.
Thomas Jefferson arrived early at the statehouse. The temperature was 72.5 degrees and the horseflies weren't nearly so bad at that hour. It was a lovely room, very large, with gleaming white walls. The chairs were comfortable. Facing the single door were two brass fireplaces, but they would not be used today.
I suggest you read the rest of it. The author of the speech is R.H. Limbaugh, Jr. He is the father of Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk show host. Ignore the political associations and read the speech in honor of Memorial Day.
Thank you to all veterans and those who serve us now. You are the real heroes.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
The Son is just over a year old. We don't watch sports together yet. Well, that's not entirely true. I watch the games, he is mesmorized by the cool colors and shapes moving on the screen. My in-laws were shocked that he watched football with me during the season this year at only six months old. But once we all figured out the miracle of high definition television made the colors like crack to a baby, then it all made sense. However, the fact that he couldn't tell the difference between a jersey, the officials flag and a cheerleader doesn't stop me from day-dreaming of the day when we will be able to watch sports together. I just wonder how that's all going to work out with the way things are in the world.
Mark McGwire was the biggest thing in baseball just a decade ago. He was the clean-cut, respectful, All-American professional athlete that everyone wanted their kids to grow up and emmulate. When he hugged the necks of Roger Maris's kids after hitting his 62nd home run, it made everyone cry. Now, regardless of our country's capacity to forgive, I have to explain to my son why the guy who broke Roger's record cheated when he did it. Oh, and thanks Barry Bonds for cheating as well when you broke the recond a few years later. Makes me job as a dad so much easier.
Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong were members of an American team that dominated world cycling for a decade. Now both of them are either admitted dopers or constantly facing charges of doing it. Thanks guys, appreciate the help.
The most popular players in the NFL get that as much for the way they perform on the field as for their antics off it. Terrel "There is a ME in TEAM" Owens, Chad "I refuse to call you by any other name" Johnson, Ray "Please don't remember the fact that I was involved in a murder" Lewis... you guys suck. Big time.
How are we as parents supposed to get our kids to act correctly when these are their role models? Who are we supposed to look up to and thereby get our kids to look up to? How am I supposed to tell The Son that these guys are "the best" when they act like "the worst? Is there a solution to this crap sandwich I've been tossed as a father?
I think... I HOPE... I have the solution to this problem. Two young men that can help us show our kids not only athletes they can dream of being, but people we can be happy they revere:
Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy.
Boys, don't let me down.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I agreed with the call; I love Pop-Pop too. Especially when he wears the super-duper headphones that are hooked up to the TV. He turns on FoxNews and spends hours screaming at every commentator or guest with which he disagrees, with no regard for how loud he is talking. That becomes more fun the more he objects and the more he drinks because the language gets more colorful and moms are running to cover their kids' ears. Good times. Pop-Pop is also a hockey fan, which means he sits about a foot from the TV and absorbs New Jersey Devils games like the girl in Poltergiest.
So now my house is going to be empty. Back before we had The Son, my wife being gone for two nights was a cause for celebration... for a couple of hours. I'd watch all my sci-fi, action and western movies that she hates; I'd fire up some cheeseburger macaroni Hamburger Helper; I'd lay around in my underwear with a beer in one hand and the remote in the other. And then I'd get bored. And lonely. And sad.
Now, it's doubly as bad. The Son is going to be gone too. I do have football practice till 8 pm each night, but it's not the same. So, if you have any ideas on what to do to keep myself entertained, please feel free to share. Until then, if you will excuse me, I have a date with Bruce Willis and a talking white glove.
Monday, May 10, 2010
- The Wife and I found out that The Son loves the pool at our house. He loves to play in the "beach" area; he loves to float in his little seat-floatie thing; and he likes it when you get him giggling and he splashes water everywhere. He does not, however, like it when you dunk his head underwater when he isn't ready. For an hour after The Wife did it during "The Wheels on the Bus" game, he refused to give her a kiss. Let this be a warning to you...
- We ate dinner Mother's Day at a local restaurant. The waitress saw The Son and proclaimed that she had only been on the job for 3 weeks and this was her first table with a baby. Congrats, lady, you just told me you're going to suck as a waitress, and that you are going to bend down and goo-goo with my kid all night. Talk about not getting a win-win.
- Saturday night, we got take-out. I, of course, went to pick it up by myself in The Wife's car. The curbside take-out girl was nice enough to put the food into the back of the car. She said this to me; my thoughts on what she said follow:
"So... I assume you're married, right?" Holy crap, this chick is flirting
with me. The Wife is right, I am good looking!
"Yes, I am."
"Well, we're giving away these ten dollar off cards for all mothers, so since
you're probably not going to be here tomorrow, I'll give you one to give to your
wife when you get home. Thanks for choosing Over-Priced Restaurant, come
back soon!" Bitch.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
- Parking sucks - This one might just be about the hospital that we went to, but since it applies to every single hospital I've ever visited, it should be mentioned. Prepare yourself to park in BFE (look on a slang website if you are lost), and then prepare to walk back and forth a thousand times. Because you will forget stuff in the car, becahse you will have to go out to get food because nothing on the take-out menu looks good, and because you will have to re-check the car seat more than NASA does the space shuttle. And because of all these things, it is a rule of life that you will parking at least a half mile from the door to the baby wing.
- Be ready to be confused - Lots and lots and lots of people are going to come into the room and start talking in a foreign language. Don't be alarmed, these people are professionals. They will check equipment that looks like props from the latest Star Trek movie, and even makes sounds like it. I tried to joke with one of them, saying "Tell Scottie to get the warp core ready, we're making a run to Risa today." He wasn't amused. These people will discuss things with your wife in this foreign language and she will speak it back to them. Just know this will happen and try to stay in the background. You don't need to understand; if something is wrong, no one will tell you. You are the father, it is your job to be lost.
- Yes, Nurse Land does exist - Now I know what happened to all those girls who were top tier good looking in high school and said they wanted to go into medicine. You know the ones I mean. The cheerleaders, the beauty queens... all those girls who you wished you had as dates, but would settle for as lab partners. They became nurses in the baby wing of the hospital. And no, not even scrubs can hide a chick's figure. But gentleman, always know that no matter how many drugs your significant other is on, she can still see you looking. And the less drugs she's on, the more vile her retribution will be against your dumb, male self.
- Some people in the medical profession are stupid - True story: A day before the birth, my wife went downstairs for her last big ultrasound, and I was made to wait in the hallway. The technician said she'd be out to get me in a few so I could see the baby one last time before... uh, I saw it for real. (A small tip, bring a book or two just for these types of situations and there are lots of them; video games don't work because something about a squaking box in your hands makes everyone working in the hospital think you are an idiot) Twenty minutes later my wife comes out crying because the same technician told her she failed the ultrasound. Never, ever, ever, ever tell a woman filled with more hormones than a hundred middle schools that she failed something that has to do with her baby. You will cause her to break down into tears, and you will risk suffering extreme bodily harm at the hands of her husband. Thankfully, one of our nurses saved me from killing the tech and calmed both of us down. But, I hear the nurse did rip the poor tech girl a new one for saying it. In a British accent no less.
- Do NOT complain about anything: The sofa or bed in your significant other's room for you to sleep on is purposefully constructed to be as uncomfortable as possible. The springs will turn your back into a page out of a braille magazine; the lumps will make the greens at Augusta National look benign by comparison; and the sheets and blanket will make you long for the days of basic military training. This is a trick, my friends. It is designed so that you will complain. This in turn will give the nurses and hospital staff, who are 99.87% female, a reason to loathe and scorn you. And they are all looking for one. Their looks will burn through lead as they shoot "How dare you complain about anything with what she is going through!" thoughts your way. If you are asked how you like your sleeping arrangements, the appropriate response is always "I didn't sleep." No explanation is needed and they will give you approving looks the whole time.
- Fear is good - When the whole birthing process starts (usually hours before what you see on TV), your wife will appear to be in more pain than anything you've ever seen short of battlefield experience you might have in your past. It is not fake; she really is hurting that badly and is that uncomfortable. You may encounter fear in this moment, and it is natural, even healthy. She is the woman you love, after all. And there ain't a damn thing you can do about it. Let the professionals do their jobs, stay out of the way, and be supportive to her. The fear, along with the pain, will pass in time.
- With baby comes... stuff - Her feet are in the upright position, the sweating and grunting has begun and the moment is arriving. The baby is about to come out... and so is a whole bunch of other stuff you weren't told about on "School House Rock." Let's give names to these invaders to your special moment: 1) Amniotic fluid will make an appearance, and it has to because that's the whole "water breaking" stuff. They never show you this on TV, and there's a reason. Trust me. 2) Blood will be a'flowin. It's not like you see in the movies if you have never seen actual flowing blood. It's darker and not as... well, not as liquidy. I don't know, it's hard to explain. You know it when you see it and either you can take it or you can't. 3) At some point after the baby pops out, the placenta is going to follow. And yes, Joey wasn't kidding on "Friends" when he said that some cultures actually eat it in some tradition that a clearly disturbed individual started. 4) Poop. Yes, the urband legend is real. Most don't like to talk about it, but it comes out. Think about it, you're pushing with muscles that control both your birthing canal and your bowels. Really, it's inevitable. So, if you are going to watch the whole birthing process (I'm not a big fan of video taping it, unless you are pro and can keep the bad stuff off screen), just be prepared. You will get an eye full
- Here comes the family - Family will arrive. Grandmothers, especially first timers, will completely disobey the orders of the nurses and wait right outside the door. When the whole group gets there, they will take over the room like they run the place and you will be either taking pictures, or running errands. Everyone gets a turn with the kid, and everyone will ask you the same questions. "How's it feel?" "Ready for this?" You feel like you're listening to bad sports reporters at a press conference. But know that everyone will end their questions with the same word, Dad. This is supposed to be funny, and you are supposed to laugh. You will because you will be too tired to do anything else. Just know that the easiest way to get everyone out of the room will be to say your significant other needs her rest, which she will.
- Say goodbye to the other guy - When you get ready to leave the hospital, you will be so tired, so stressed, and so ready for relaxation that all you will be thinking about is sitting on the couch, kicking your feet up and drinking whatever beer is left in the fridge. Oh, forgot to tell you; you can't do that anymore! No, because more family will be coming over, more friends, and then it's time to change the diaper (with everyone making fun of you as you go to do it, and that will get very, very old - believe me). After that, the baby will nap and so will you. Or at least you will want to. But you can't because you have to finish baby-proofing the house, and washing clothes, and taking care of your significant other.
Babies are a lot of fun. And they are special. And painful. Don't believe me? Hold your kid in your arms, kissing the back of his head as he looks out on the world. Then have him jerk his head back, cracking you in the nose like a Mike Tyson left hook. These are the things that no one puts in baby books, and the things I'm here to tell you.
Here's what you missed since I didn't keep this up-t0-date (by the way, can anyone clear up whether that is a hyphenated word, one big word or three short ones? I'm confused.):
- The Son figured out how to crawl and has alredy scheduled his first attempt in the 40-yard dash; college scouts are waiting with bated breath.
- He can not only stand up by holding onto something, he can do more pull-ups (1) than I can do. Yes, you read that right, my son is in better shape than I am.
- He makes laps around his crib and the pack-n-play with alarming speed. I was thinking he'd be a linebacker, but now maybe running back is in the cards.
- The Son now can point with his index finger. My in-laws were attempting to teach him say he was 1 year old by showing him their middle fingers. I was no amused.
- We held not one, but two one-year old birthday parties. The first was at a pizza joint because The Son enjoys pizza (Daddy is happy). The second was at home because that way The Wife and I could spend the whole night yelling at each other during clean up (Daddy no longer happy).
- The Son got his own "smash cake" for his big birthday party... you know what, this deserves it's own paragraph.
The "smash cake" was a new thing for me. If you haven't heard of it, it's a smaller version of the big birthday cake (more on that one later) that the child can do whatever they want to with. Which means that if they want to throw it on the ground, go right ahead. Feel like rubbing into your face? Knock yourself out! Throwing it on either side of the high chair so that the dog not only gets dizzy trying to keep up, but such a hugh sugar rush that he turns into Usain Bolt in the backyard? Done deal. It's all open for the taking.
However, the whole smash cake experience was a tremendous learning experience for my son in how to deal with women. You see, we've been trying in vain to get him to stop throwing food on the floor if he doesn't want it. With the smash cake, he not only can do that, but we encourage that behavior. There's Mommy and his two grandmothers cheering him on as he sends copious amounts of chocolate cake and vanilla icing onto the ground. My son turned into Pacman Jones for a few moments, making it rain all over our backyard. Then the other shoe dropped. The next day at breakfast, when he wanted to become Pacman again, these same wonderful women were wagging their fingers at him and saying "No!" in stern voices. He looked utterly confused, and appealed to me for help.
My response was to simply smile and say, "The Son, welcome to 'Dealing with Women 101'."
In a related note, I'm wondering how come the whole smash cake idea didn't get invented sooner. Also, why isn't it applied to other aspects of our lives? Just think of the possibilities! Remember when you turned 21 for the first time? I think you should have gotten not only your own bottle or cup to drink out of, but also your own buffet of food that you could do anything you wanted to with Big promotion at work? Get a smash cake to ruin your cubicle before you moved into the corner office. Wouldn't that be fun?
As for the big cake for The Son's party... I think we have found the next big bomb for the military. It was a simple cake, made of the same stuff all cakes are made out of: flour, icing, sugar, milk, eggs, etc. But it weighed in excess of twenty-five freaking pounds! My wife didn't want me to drop it for fear that it would ruin the cake, but I was more worried about breaking my foot, and possibly even putting a hole in our floor.
So, The Son is finally one year old. And I'm going to start writing on this blog a little more, just to relate what it's like not just to be a dad, but also to see if we can all help make sense of this mad world we all live in. If nothing else, maybe I can figure out how to get myself through the toddler years. I'll celebrate with my own smash cake.