Driving Miss Vivie and My Son With My Dad’s Words

February 27th, 2015

All day yesterday, I was in motion. Up at 5:45am, working, feeding pets, working, waking kids up, working, conference calls, working, more conference calls, working, even more conference calls, working, reading to Viv’s class, working, heavy coding too fix issues, pick up my son from school (while on a conference call), more work, more issues to fix, more work, more calls, pick up Viv from play practice, pick up Abbe from work, traffic, more work, head to spin class with Van’s ice hockey team, sweat (ahhhhhh!), drive Viv home (more on that in a second), back to the rink, more work, drive Van home from the rink (more on that in a second, too), tuck in kids, and look at Abbe and say, I love you.

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Driving Miss Vivie…

Viv was excited to join Van’s ice hockey team for spin class. The instructors were surprised that someone so young wanted to give it a go. And it turns out, she’s a wee bit too short for the bikes, so she had to finish up homework while we spun. I came out of the class sweaty and gross. I found her kinda bummed at a table in the snack area of the rink.

“I want to go home.”

She was bored, and wanted to hang with Abbe. Turns out, she was really frustrated that she was too short to be able to to do the spin class. She was in tears once we were in the car together. And this was another one of those moments that show me how great this kid is going to be.

I asked her why she was so upset. She’s going to grow, and she will be able to ride. She’s a great runner and athlete, she will have no problem killing it in spin.

“I wanted to do it. I wanted to be sweaty and tired right now too.”

She wanted to compete with these monster boys that are 3 years older than her. This girl is going to do awesome shit in her lifetime. She hates being told no. She is the monster. Look out, life – Viv is gonna mess you up.

Where my 13 year old puts it all into perspective for me…

I was in the line at McDonald’s with Van to get him a post-practice snack, and I was seeing the finish line of a very long, frustrating-at-times day. I said to him, “Days like this are tough on me, buddy. I love being relied upon by everyone, but I feel like all you see of me is a grumpy Dad complaining about one thing or another. I can’t wait to just sit down.”

Van Jr seemingly challenging my Dad replied, “Ahhh, you know… How many Dads can say they did all that you did today?”

That right there was exactly what I needed to hear. It was the perfect mixture of things-could-be-worse/stop-yer-bellyachin’/I appreciate you/You’re awesome… thanks, son.

I’m Friggin’ Terrible Friday…

Forgot to do this last week… but I’m back being terrible. I hate Pomplamoose. I get it, you’re doing ironic stare straight in the camera cover songs on the internet. Super. You sound like an NPR radio host lecturing me to the sound of detuned synths and even more ironic synth drums. Pretty sure that makes me terrible.

Funny/Interesting Links…

Do you promise, George?

February 25th, 2015

All around the internet tomorrow it will be #ThrowbackThursday, so in honor, I’m throwing it back to June 10, 2013 – the first day of our honeymoon… and being sun-soaked, having some amazing food, and rum drinks at the Yabba Island Grill in Naples, FL… if I’m going to throw it back anywhere… it might as well be some place warm and wonderful.

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Ahhh… now, I better go scrape ice off of my car, pray I don’t die walking across the frozen tundra that is my yard, and then spend all day working on a computer in my dimly lit home office.

Funny/Interesting Links…

Van of Steel

February 24th, 2015

blue_steel_letter_capitol_VI am having difficulty remembering my own advice that I gave my son a few weeks ago

Good things tend to develop slowly, but bad comes fast.

Small setbacks and discouraging enthusiasm feels like spinning your wheels on ice… something which I’m sure the majority of us in the Northeast can relate to this winter. Both at work and at home, I’ve been feeling like I just gave a speech to go get ‘em, and then ran out of the locker room alone.

So be it… and I mean that in as non-condescending of a manner as possible. I mean that in a way that this only steels me in what I believe is the right way to do this. A conversation with a colleague/mentor yesterday really solidified this for me. I’ll continue to work hard, be free with giving out accolades, and moving life forward. These are tough days, but this is also when you show your strength to those that need it most.

Movie Reviews…

Tusk – I am trying to adequately sum this one up quickly… not sure I can. If Human Centipede was like a thunderclap of originality and hit the spot, this might be for you. Johnny Depp breathed some life into this stinker about 3/4 of the way through the movie. OK, maybe this works… if Johnny Depp inflating a balloon of turds is like a thunderclap of originality and hit the spot, this might be the turd balloon for you.

Funny/Interesting Links…

silent work

February 21st, 2015

dscn0118csYou know what is my achilles heel? Silence.

Drives me crazy. It seems to happen the most frequently while texting… this Aziz Ansari bit really sums it up.

And Aziz’ bit really epitomizes when it stings most, after you leave a question in the air to someone. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m the jackass. Being OK with silence is all on me.

Those times that it seems to be the most obvious snub. The inner argument starts about saying something about it to the silent infractor is 100% the time when someone is at a wedding or funeral and had to turn their phone off out of respect.

And seriously, why do human beings in general struggle so much with silence and emptiness? It’s OK. It’s opportunity and neither good nor bad. This reminds me a lot of what really stuck in my craw when I read When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. I read this book in January of 2008, at probably one of the worst times in my life. Life would get much worse and better in the coming months. My father took a fall down the stairs. I met Abbe. The kids came home.

I’m still struggling with the notion of embracing emptiness to understand how to remove emotion and passion from difficult times, which if done correctly makes you a more passionate and emotionally in-tune being. And I think practicing to be better with silence is like building a muscle that will allow me to be better as a complete person. I still love the concept of trungpa meditation – the act of inhaling the pain of others and exhaling joy towards them.

Easy concepts to type and say, much more difficult to put into practice.

Movie Reviews…

Whiplash – this was crazy good.

Funny/Interesting Links…

through doorways

February 20th, 2015

Yesterday, I got to come into Viv’s class and read for a half hour. I came to the school front office, signed in, and was told that someone would come get me in a few minutes as the students get settled in after lunch. A couple minutes later, there was Viv holding out her hand and saying, “come on, Daddy.”

She led me to her classroom, and it was really neat to see some of the kids brighten up as I came through the door. Some already knew me from all of Viv’s activities, and some remembered me from speaking at career day a couple weeks ago. I made it through 4 chapters of Ella Enchanted.

I’m so grateful that my manager is allowing me to take time (and make it up early in the morning) out of my work day to do this. Also, I’m grateful that Viv’s teacher is allowing me to do this, and I can not describe how flattered I am that Viv asked me to come do this.

Crazy how lucky I am.

Two pictures I took last night… That’s Abbe’s hands holding my son’s social studies vocab words. She just got home from a long day of work, and Van Jr pounced on her when she walked in the door to help him study.

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And here Titan is doing his best to be patient for Abbe to come back to the couch…

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Again, crazy how lucky I am.

Movie Reviews…

Dracula Untold – ok, let’s make a dracula movie, about the origins of Vlad the Impaler and include other characters from history, but don’t let the facts get in the way of anything… also, let’s not make the movie scary, because who wants to see a scary horror movie.

Funny/Interesting Links…

  • Real Booty Music – good job scientists and inventors… don’t worry about cancer and all that other stuff, because now we’ve got booty drums.
  • Deskloop
  • The Cool Baby – once again, nice one inventors

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