Monthly Archives: May 2011

Party at Padden- Highlights and Lowlights

Ethan and Logan stayed all weekend! Zachy was super sad when they left

Yesterday we had a party at Lake Padden. All kinds of awesomeness happened like croquet and bocci ball and soccer. And it was really great to see friends and family. But the other stuff is way more fun to write about.

Top billing goes to the weather. We had a big red tub filled with drinks and ice, and the ice never even melted. People were wearing their ski jackets and playing soccer. I spent a fair amount of time warming my hands over the grill, hobo style. It was c-c-c-cold.

We brought a brand new croquet set and the kids pretended the mallets were giant hammers for bonking other kids over the head. Ahh good times, good times. I don’t think anyone got hurt too badly, but I did notice the blue mallet ended up in 3 pieces, one of which may or may not have been used as a shiv. (I don’t actually know what a shiv is, but if I had to guess…)

Other notable moments included a failed blind date match up, our puppy Roger getting tangled up in 2 leashes and freaking out, and cousin Joey’s bone crushing handshake on my already broken hand. For me, the handshake was easily the lowlight of the party as well as the worst handshake of my life. First he thought I was giving a lame handshake, so he squeezed my hand harder. Then when I started howling he thought I was being a wimp, so he gave it all he had. It hurt so bad that I couldn’t even get the words out to tell him to stop. In my opinion he expressed way too little remorse when it was all over. It was like he was ashamed of me or something. I’m not shaking his hand ever again. I don’t care how wimpy that looks. From here on out, I’m just waving.


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UFO For Sale

This UFO was at the place we went to for beer tonight. They were selling it for $200 but it didn’t even fly. I have a couple questions:

1) If it doesn’t even fly, how can you call it a UFO?

2) If you identify it as a UFO, isn’t it no longer unidentified?

Nice try, UFO sellers, but I don’t buy it. It’s not unidentified, it’s not flying, and I’m not paying $200 for an O.

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Today I faced the F word dilemma. Max the neighbor boy was over and he, Abby, and Zach were talking about bad words, and how you are most definitely NOT allowed to use them at school. “Especially the F word. You’ll get in so much trouble if you say the F word,” Max says. And Abby agrees. Zach didn’t know the F word and felt left out. “Can I tell him?” Max asks me. Zoinks.

Instinct says no. Don’t corrupt my boy. There will be plenty of time for that later. But at the same time, here we are in a controlled environment where we could set the stage. And it’s going to come out sooner or later. So I did the right thing. I told him to go upstairs and ask his mom.

Suzanne has a good head on her shoulders. She told him Max could tell him, but if she ever hears the word come out of his mouth, no Beyblades or Max for a whole week. This is serious stuff. Max and Zach both agreed.

A little bit later when they were heading outside to play, I asked Zach if he learned the word. “Yeah, but I swallowed it,” he says. Swallowed it! That is effing brilliant.


***** Update- read the next chapter in this saga, Soap Suds and F Bombs


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This post is brought to you by the National Writer’s Block Association.

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Fishing in a Puddle of Tears

fishing for tears in the lower left cornerThis is a drawing by Zach. At the bottom is a penguin, fishing in a puddle of tears. That is either incredibly optimistic or ruthlessly cruel. I would be pretty mad if I was crying and someone was fishing in my tears. But maybe I’m over analyzing this thing. It’s 2 penguins at a freakin’ pizza party. Whatever the case, I love his imagination.

Both Zach and Abby are creative geniuses. Your little ones probably are too. In a study I saw on Linda Naiman‘s website, when 5 year olds were tested by a NASA researcher on the topic of creativity, 98% of the kids qualified as creative geniuses. So it’s a pretty safe bet that we can brag brag brag.  We’ve got scientific proof to back it up.

There was a downside to the study though. Those same kids were brought back and tested at age 10 and only 30% registered as creative geniuses. At 15, it was 12%. And a random sampling of adults aged 30 and over showed a lousy 2% creative brilliance. The conclusion was that creativity is unlearned. As we age, we stop using it and it disappears.

For me, my job as a parent is to keep that seepage to a minimum. Of course there are lessons to guide our kids through and wisdom for them to learn. But more importantly, I want to keep them from sprouting leaks. They already have abilities and wisdom that are nothing short of magic. Yes, they may still have to learn how to offer compassion to crying penguins at pizza parties. But they already know how to find joy and opportunity in any situation.

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As Good As It Gets

3 days, 17 miles, 6 laps around Lake Padden, rain or shine, me and my girl.

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The Art of Suckage

thankfully there are no pictures of me sucking at hockey. instead, here's a good hockey picture to look at.

In her book “The Artist’s Way,” Julia Cameron says to give yourself permission to create bad art. This post is very likely going to be just that. Uninspired suckage. But writing this is better than a 2 day drought. Odds are this is going nowhere, so if you like to see a good crash and burn, please continue reading.

This post will not be the only lousy art I’ve created today. I actually just got back from creating some lousy art on ice. I am a 41 year old beginning hockey player with a grand total of 12 weeks experience. I have a torn calf muscle and I’m pretty sure my wrist has been broken for a few weeks. Every time I take to the ice, it is pretty much guaranteed to be bad art. I fall down a lot and make bad passes and swing at the puck and miss. This is how bad I suck: When the younger players are exhausted and ready to come off the ice, and they look over and see that I am their sub, they choose to stay on the ice and continue playing. Ahh good times. I am sure they were as surprised as I was when I had a rare moment of sheer inspiration and, with an amazing assist from my teammate Anne Marie, actually put the puck into the back of the net for a goal. They should have stopped the game and let me give a speech. I would have thanked Anne Marie and thanked the “permission to suck” advice from Julie Cameron. And then the crowd would have thrown roses. Oh wait. There was no crowd.

Anyway, here’s what I came away with: Sucking is like cow poop. Sometimes it is fertilizer that helps grow flowers and good stuff like hockey goals. And sometimes it’s just cow poop.


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Paul Kent. Clark Kent. Just Coincidence?

don't be fooled by the 70s getup. this guy is a monster

Long distance skateboarding is an amazing sport. I’ve had a blast with it for the past 10 years, and with the advent of titanium bones, I’m hoping I’ll be able to skate ’til I’m 120.

Meet Paul Kent. He don’t need no stinkin’ titanium. And he’ll probably be skating until he’s 140. He’s an elite competitor as well as the owner of an amazing long distance skateboarding world record. He’s one half animal, one half machine, and one half human. Yeah that’s right. Paul Kent is one and a half.

As I write this, Paul is finishing up a 3 day, 180 mile skateboard race called the Chief Ladiga Silver Comet Sk8 Challenge. He is tearing it up. In yesterday’s stage 2, he rode over 57 miles at a pace of 4:06/mile. There are only a handful of people on earth that can ride for 4 minutes at that pace. Paul did it for almost 4 hours. This is seriously amazing stuff. Is there already a superhero whose superpower is ultra-stamina? If not, I vote for skater Paul.


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Sculpture by Kelsi Munson

It’s true. There’s a statue of me. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s only 8.25″ tall. This is a work of artistic brilliance. Plus, he came with his own pedestal. I don’t know anybody else who gets a pedestal except for statues. Oh yeah- and Anne Murray in her song You Needed Me.

I had a chance to interview the sculptor of this one-of-a-kind masterpiece. My kid sister, Kelsi.

Orange Guy Statue Interview

Me: Hey Kelsi

Kelsi: Hey brother

Me: I want to do an interview about the statue you made of me in an orange sweater.

Kelsi: You still have that? I can’t believe you still have that.

Me: Of course I still have it. It’s artistical genius. Why did you make it?

Kelsi: It was an assignment in a 3d design class in high school.

Me: An assignment to make statues of me? Cool.

Kelsi: Haha. No. You had to make a person out of wire. I couldn’t think of anyone else to make.

Me: Oh. Whatever. Well when did you make it?

Kelsi: It was sophomore year, so 2003.

Me: What is he made of?

Kesli: Wire stuffed with newspaper and paper mache.

Me: Hey have you talked to mom lately? I gotta get down there to see her.

Kelsi: Yeah. She had to take Ollie to the vet to get a tick out of him.

Me: Gross.

Kelsi: Yeah.

Me: How did you choose the skin tone?

Kelsi: What? I don’t know.

Me: It almost looks like my statue is disco dancing. Is he discoing or waving?

Kelsi: I don’t remember. We just weren’t allowed to do it with them just standing there.

Me: Ahh. An action shot.

Kelsi: Hey sorry but are we almost done? My break is almost over.

Me: Yeah. Just a couple more. Why does he have brown eyes?

Kelsi: I don’t know.

Me: Last one. What grade did you get for it?

Kelsi: An A of course.

Me: Oh yeah. B’s were for math. Well that’s enough info. I’ll let you go. Thanks for the interview.

Kelsi: You’re welcome brother.

Me: Love you.

Kelsi: Love you too.

Me: Bye.

Kelsi: Bye.

Ain’t she great? I think she deserves a pedestal too.

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lego medley surprise

Today Zach decided to sell some toys so he could buy some new Beyblades. I was thrilled that we could actually get paid for removing the Lego flooring in his room. Oh if I had only kept those things organized neatly in their boxes. But it really wasn’t worth the hassle at this point. So I took pictures of the boxes, Craigslisted them together as a “Lego medley,” and warned that the buyer would have to sort them all out. $20 takes all. The next thing i know my inbox is instantly flooded. So I looked up Zach’s stuff on ebay, and find out that each complete set was selling for somewhere between $40 and $90. Used! Ugh. Time to perform the dreaded triple-backpedal maneuver.  I shamefully pleaded ignorance, pulled the ad, and spent the rest of my morning in Legoland.

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