Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Little Gurus

A while back I signed up for a newsletter from Daily OM. Occasionally, they put up some fun reads that I like to carry over into this blog. This one was particularly amusing.
June 26, 2007
Little Gurus
Learning To Follow

As grown-ups, we often approach children with ideas about what we can teach them about this life to which they have so recently arrived. It’s true that we have important information to convey, but children are here to teach us just as much as we are here to teach them. They are so new to the world and far less burdened with preconceived notions about the people, situations, and objects they encounter. They do not avoid people on the basis of appearance, nor do they regard shoes as having only one function. They can be fascinated for half an hour with a pot and a lid, and they are utterly unself-conscious in their emotional expressions. They live their lives fully immersed in the present moment, seeing everything with the open-mindedness born of unknowing. This enables them to inhabit a state of spontaneity, curiosity, and pure excitement about the world that we, as adults, have a hard time accessing. Yet almost every spiritual path calls us to rediscover this way of seeing! In this sense, children are truly our gurus.

When we approach children with the awareness that they are our teachers, we automatically become more present ourselves. We have to be more present when we follow, looking and listening, responding to their lead. We don’t lapse so easily into the role of the director of activities, surrendering instead to having no agenda at all. As we allow our children to determine the flow of play, they pull us deeper into the mystery of the present moment. In this magical place, we become innocent again, not knowing what will happen next and remembering how to let go and flow.

Since we must also embody the role of loving guide to our children, they teach us how to transition gracefully from following to leading and back again. In doing so, we
learn to dance with our children in the present moment, shifting and adjusting as we direct the flow from pretending to be kittens wearing shoes on our heads to making sure everyone is fed and bathed.

Tenzin woke up this morning incredibly giggly and happy. I love opening my eyes to find him staring right at me with a grin (we still can't help bringing him in to bed every now and then). It's the best way to start the day, so long as he hasn't started boxing practice. Then you wake up to a slap to the jaw.

Before I left the house today I caught myself saying to Rachel, "I fear the day when our son no longer finds me funny." It's an honest fear of mine, given the fact that a parent is basically a Baby Concierge employed to meet the highest standard of baby reactionary/emotional/comforted needs.

Tears? Check the three anger zones:
- How is your diaper, sir?
- Would you like me to turn down your crib for a nap, my Lord?
- Can I have the chef plate you up a green bean puree, sire?

Boredom? Time for the court jester:
- Your Highness (or Urhines), allow me to present to you...a fuzzy spelling block to my forehead.

Grumpy? Perform the Mosquito in the Bug Light Waltz:
-Basically dance like Bai Ling.

So what will happen when I get the first, "Dad, stop being weird!"?

Well, my little poopy guru has taught me many things in this, my freshman year, the most important being that there is only one medium that will continue to transcend any and all speed bumps that may come as a result of developmental maturation...at least in this family: fart noises! Farts are born funny and - like wine - make you giggle more and more with age and amount.

So suffice it to say that there are constants in parenting, like the aforementioned feeding and bathing, that we will happily (and almost unconsciously) glide through...

But we will never, I repeat NEVER, make "a graceful transition" and stop pretending to be kittens wearing shoes on our heads (farting kittens, of course). Those zerbert giggles mean too much to me!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Summer Festivals, both Tamale and Tie-Dye

What a great time of year in Columbus...Believe it or not, Columbus is never in short supply of summer fun (granted, it's not a three hour session of getting my ass kicked by the pier, followed by a cold Budweiser at Blackie's, but it's fun nonetheless).

Just two weeks ago we headed down to our first event of the season, Festival Latino. That place was a madhouse! TONS of people, loud music, food, dancing and plenty of daddy drinks. Unfortunately, when you're married to somebody like Rachel, the food part will always be a big letdown. I'll eat her homemade salsa as soup if I can!

Then this past weekend (everybody's favorite weekend) we loaded up the Radio Flyer, lathered our bodies in patchouli oil, and drove the Prius on down to COMFEST 2007!!!

Describing this event isn't exactly easy....It's somewhere between a poor man's Lollapalooza and a cover band singer's Monterrey Festival. From the website:
It’s a place and time where you can kick back for a few hours or three full days, soaking up the vibe of an enviable exercise in participatory democracy.
Volunteer committees work for most of each year to attend to the thousand details involved in making this annual event come true: organize vendors, seek out and schedule bands, arrange permits, organize activities for children, collect ads, produce a program, and contract for a range of services ranging from safety and sanitation to utilities and sound. And this isn’t half of it. It’s a big job, but to celebrate the ideals that shaped the first ComFest in 1972, it’s worth it.

Why is ComFest fun? Well, think of what it would be like parked on a sun-soaked blanket for three days straight, surrounded by good food and plenty of beer, watching hundreds upon thousands of these guys:

Believe it or not, Captain Skullet [Skullet = Half Skull + Half Mullet] is the mildest of the group.

Seriously, for those of you that have never been, the people watching at Comfest is phenomenal! Some items/people/things include, but are not limited to:

Art Cars (cars affixed with doll parts, mirrors, stickers, doll part, plastic toys, etc).

Naked people in body paint.
The "Flaggots," Columbus' own gay color guard.

Human-size elephant ears.
Dancing Hamburglar.

People that don't need music to dance to music (This guy went on and on for hours! Have you ever seen the movie Can't Buy Me Love where the nerdy-now-cool guy does that African tribal dance at the school homecoming? Yea, it was a little bit freakier than that).

Blue and black beer tokens.
Over-sized 32 oz. beer mugs.

The "Random Act of Kindess Lady."

Preggo Belly Dancers.

Dogs in tie-dye bandannas.
Corn dog-eating Lucha Libres.

White guys with dreadlocks (by the hundreds).
Wonderman.People with snakes, raccoons, and other various reptiles and rodents as pets.
55 minute long port-o-potty lines (they definitely need more next year!).
Ice cream and punk rock.
A 15-person long silk dragon.
And last but not least, baby hippies.

For a complete COMFEST slideshow-o-fun, check out The Kodak Gallery.

Here's a quick video from our blanket. Notice how off-key singing makes Tenzin cry.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Worst Baby Name Ever


I present to you Urhines Kendall Icy Eight Special K.

The name is actually pronounced Your Highness, with "Special K" referring to Ketamine, a popular (see: DANGEROUS) drug used on the dance club and rave circuit.

Good thing they threw in a "Kendall" or else the kid might get harassed when he gets older.

I made a screen shot, just in case the link gets outdated or bandwidth gets abused:

But ask your self this...

Who is more unfortunate?

Little Urhines, or little Neeway?

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Sleepiest Baby On The Planet

Talk about not going down without a fight! This kid is staying up for Carson, no matter what!!!

Sleepy Baby - video powered by Metacafe

Teething Tenzin

Sucking on a stroller because sometimes, a binky just won't cut it.

The pearly-whites of pain.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Passing it on to your kids...

This is an article from Men's Health Magazine extolling the virtues of inheritance from father to son; be it fiscal, emotional or mental. I thought I would give my two cents on the subject.

If you want to pass on something to your kids, try these 23 tools for living that'll endure long after you're dead.

By: Hugh O'Neill

1. A lucky number. Long before Jordan sanctified it, number 23 was lucky just because Dad said it was. He'd look for it everywhere. Forty years later, his grandchildren fill the lane on the break wearing the number he decided was theirs. Memories accrete around specific things. #22 is an easy number for Rachel and I to pass along. Unfortunately, to teach him this number we would also need to teach him how to gamble. It's not just 22, but 22 black. It was also worth $720.

2. A passion for tax-free growth. Screw the college fund! With the way Social Security is heading, I'm setting up his Roth account next year! We'll also send him out to Phoenix with Uncle Jared for one week a year: Fiscal Responsibility Summer Camp. Every 6-year-old's dream!

3. About $3,000. An inheritance cuts your kids' ambition in half, robs them of the satisfaction of making their own way, and keeps them from lessons this worth learning. So you spend it. Finally, an inheritance I can afford to pass down! As a side-note, can you imagine if the author was your dad? How would it feel to read this? Takes a lot of cahones to inform your kid he'll only be receiving $3000, ESPECIALLY right before father's day.

4. A team to love. It's a durable pleasure, best passed from father to child. My son was born a Buckeye. He will be a poisonous nut for life. If his cousin Henry is any indication of possible devotion, he'll do just fine. When driving by the Horseshoe on 315 South, Henry points to the stadium and says "Brutus lives there." Amen.

5. A team to hate. Despising a team--with all the venom you can muster and for no discernible reason--is a gift that gives life shape. Death to the Astros! How can you hate the Astros when there is a Michigan in the world?

6. A will. And prearrange a really, really, really inexpensive funeral, too. Rule: Money is best spent on people who are alive. Done and done. Viking funerals are pretty inexpensive, yes?

7. Love of country. The quiet, grateful kind. In about a year and a half, he will (elections permitting).

8. A decent carving knife. He's all yams and applesauce right now, but I guarantee you we'll have him barbecuing on the Weber in two year's time. [idea for the toy market: Weber grill ala an Easy Bake Oven]

9. A dented wheelbarrow. Associate yourself with stupid donkey work, as in moving this stuff that's here, over there. I think I can manage. Associating "daddy" with a stupid ass will never be a problem.

10. A fragment of inspiring verse. Memorized, so they'll always have it when they need it. You should always have a toast at the ready, regardless. I've always enjoyed, "May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live." He will also know Sinatra's Summer Wind.

11. Stories of your screwups. In the interest of less pedestal, more human, be sure they've heard tale of your greatest misses. Do I get bonus points since most of these so-called screwups have been put on film for posterity's sake? Tenzin won't just hear about them, he'll get play-by-play, picture-by-picture analysis!

12. A holy book. Your copy of the Bible or Torah, if either has sustained you. Your Huck Finn or Heart of Darkness, if you're of a literary cast. An atlas of the world around which a pilgrim is free to roam. Triple book score! I have a bible that was printed by Lonely Planet Productions for tours of religious holy lands, edited by Mark Twain. First edition. Autographed.

13. Enthusiasm for two movies: one stupid, one stirring. Say, Caddyshack and Braveheart. While I enjoy watching stupid movies, I REALLY enjoy watching Rachel watch stupid movies. She'll laugh so hard that she develops this loud, inhale laugh. I liken it to Louis Skolnick on Revenge of the Nerds. Tenzin will definitely grow to appreciate it as much as I do. As for serious flicks, there are too many to list.

14. A tattered road map. An old-fashioned, service-station map of a region you've traveled a lot with the family. It should have a few words scribbled on it, a couple of routes highlighted in yellow. Some of the crease lines should be torn from wear. No son of mine will ever be caught dead with a map, for we are men.

15. A baseless prejudice in favor of a particular make of car. Everybody knows that [fill in name of car manufacturer here] makes the best cars on the road. Period. End of story. You can't beat a Honda. Actually you can beat it, but it'll kick you out of the car and drag you on the pavement for 185,000 miles...without an oil change.

16. A family catchphrase. A brief yelp that captures your take on life and can invoke your spirit long after you're dead. More in the manner of "Onward!" than "Life's a bitch, then you die." Right now it's just "D'oh," but I'm working on that. He will, however, never ever say, "Because that's how I roll." Ugh.

17. Respect for baby steps. Most work gets done an inch at a time. Teach them to just break ground. The Guinness must fully settle before you can sip it. If it is still cloudy with bubbles, wait another 2 minutes. Same goes for Boddington's, Speckled Hen, Beamish, and Murphy's.

18. A coat. Barn jacket, tweed topcoat, or camo hunting shell, there's something warm about the old man's coat. I bought my wedding tux for a reason...Unfortunately for Tenzin he will need to be incredibly out of shape to wear it, given my bastion physique.

19. A patented shot. You put the hoop up in the driveway, didn't you? Tell me you did, Dad. Name your unique fall-away jumper (The Dagger) or sky hook (Death from Above). Even memories require marketing. My patented shot? The Crown Royal. You shoot the ball with legs crossed, propped up on top of a cooler, lounging in your Ohio State folding chair. Can also be made from a hammock. If you miss the shot, you have to shoot three more...and so on...and so on...and so on...

20. U.S. savings bonds. They seem the very symbol of hope. Aunt Cindy's already got him covered. She knows we're too guilty to spend it if it has his name on it.

21. A handwritten description of a happy day. So what if you're not Tolstoy? Scribble a few contented lines about that 16th of October and stash it in your desk for postdeath discovery. The author got it wrong...it's actually the 15th of October. And Tenzin can read Mom and Dad's vows whenever he's old enough. My son will be a romantic.

22. A pleasure in people. Some get annoyed that people are so odd; lucky folks know that's the fun part. Oh, trust me...he's already Secretary of Oddville, Treasurer of Peculiarland, and Governor of Crazytown. Our house is one clowncar short of being called a circus.

23. A maintenance jones. If they see you changing the oil in the driveway, they'll learn to get more service from their stuff and have deeper friendships. If he wants to learn how to make a problem more expensive, he can watch me work on the car. For now, I think we'll leave #23 for Uncle Jonathan.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'm Becoming a Priest

These are my kind of sisters!

Spanish sisters who drank beer for 45 days straight as part of a medical research project are part of a growing trend to study nuns whose unique healthy, celibate lifestyle makes them ideal for such purposes.

Every year hundreds of Catholic nuns are weighed, measured, poked and prodded in the name of medical research, the US ABC News reports.

In a study recently conducted by the Centre for Information on Beer and Health in Spain, 50 nuns drank a half-litre of beer every day for 45 days. Six months later they took 400 milligrams of hops, reported Reuters.

The study found that cholesterol rates fell by 6 percent in those sisters with high levels.

"We did it for the good of humanity," Sr Almerinda Alvarez told the newspaper El Pais.

I think we should request formal canonizing from the Vatican (6% lower cholesterol might miracle-worthy, but working the medical system for free beer is God-like!!!).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Kodak Gallery Has Been Updated

The Kodak Gallery has new pictures! This link should (hopefully) have every picture gallery that we have on there.

We also have a Flickr stream if anybody wants some high-res pictures for free (you can also just email me and I'll be more than happy to send them).

Yea, um noooooo....

No offense to French toy makers or doll-owning boys, but my son will be getting the only three toys a boy ever needs (original story to follow):

1. Metal-tipped lawn darts

2. Fisher-Price Power Wheels Motorcycle

3. Parris Bow and Arrow Set

While some families enjoy recreating the Renaissance, dressing their kin up like 15th Century knights and wizards, I appear to be training Tenzin for a full-length recreation of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

So long as the little guy doesn't grow up to be an alcoholic, cop abusing, anti-Semite, I don't think I'll have any problems with my style of parenting.

The best-known toymaker in France is seeking to counter the spread of video games by encouraging boys to play with dolls.

Corolle has launched a campaign to persuade les filles to return to a product that they are abandoning and les garçons to join them.

The company says that it hopes to prepare toddlers for an adult life as New Men — caring, sharing and looking after babies.

It also wants to boost flagging sales by tapping into an untouched market for its poupées.

Rest of the article HERE.

Monday, June 11, 2007

We Found A Babysitter!!!

After numerous interviews and background checks, Rachel and I finally agreed upon a suitable sitter for our little ball of poop. He didn't take to her at first, but we think he's finally come around.

Originally from Taiwan, Klow Baskeet came to the United States in 2001. She began her adventure in New York, but eventually decided to settle in Tarjay, Ohio.

It's funny because we had actually worked with her quite a while, but realized she would be a great sitter after a long night out of drinking and carousing.

She's really great with Tenzin and keeps him occupied for hours!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Funny Baby Pictures

All newborn pictures are cute, yes, but I wouldn't mess with this one (seriously though, who messes with a baby in the first place...meanie!).

"Do you spend time with your family? Good. Because a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man." -Don Corleone

Ashley, Snotty Noses & Faux Pink Eye

First of all, you’ve gotta laugh…Aunt Ashley comes to visit and the only picture I have is her and Rachel with the pizza delivery girl (if only it was only the Hound Dog’s limo).

That was already the second day of her visit and I hadn’t even thought about preserving the rest of the weekend for prosperity. Needless to say, the fact that I forgot to pick up my camera for four days (cardinal sin - didn't even have the batteries charged!) is evidence that we were *actually* able to relax this weekend. It’s been soooooooo long. Oh well, I promise everything else will be on film…like it or not.

But THANK YOU, ASHLEY!!! It’s so nice that she could spend time out here in 40+ degree weather (I’ll have you know that she thinks anything lower than 40 constitutes Arctic Blast status…hehehe). Although we really didn’t do all that much, it was worth every penny. Aside from Rachel getting to see a leafy branch her family, all of whom she misses on a milli-secondly basis, my wifey was able to breathe. Not to mention, watching Ashley smile at Tenzin reminds us how much fun it is to smile at Tenzin. Family always amplifies the joys of parenting. I just hope Ash doesn’t forget our rock climbing rain check. Does California have mountains? I'm not 100% certain, but I think it does. We can’t wait for July!

In other news, I am so proud of my son! He’s only seven and a half months old, but he’s already like his dear old dad.

Did he speak? No.
Did he take his first steps? No.
Did he pee himself and demand another bottle RIGHT NOW? No, that was only in college.
What did he do?!?!?

He convinced his teachers at school that he was sick, without any signs of actual sickness!!! He didn’t even have a test that day! How proud…

It all began Tuesday morning around 11:15 am. Rachel called me from work to inform me that our son had been diagnosed with conjunctivitis.


Anything ending in “itis” normally means that we get to take care of a grouchy, grouchy Tenzin while privy to the horrendous effects of whatever-the-hell-virus will be hitting us in three weeks time....and just because he's 1/10th of my size DOES NOT mean that the virus hits me 1/10th as hard. I'd say the opposite is easily true.

On a side note, watching your sick child is also good gauge of preparatory tissue buying, too. You just see how much fluid is coming out of your little sickling during a 24 hour increment and calculate how many tissue boxes you'll need to purchase, using consumed beer (you, not the baby), acetaminophen, and hydration as variables.

((Tenzin Fluid Snot oz. * Doses of Baby Acetaminophen) – daddy beers) – Actual pints of rehydrative water consumed by dad = Kleenex Boxes ((12oz *3 doses) – 21 beers) – 6 H2O = 9 Boxes

Back to the story...

Fortunately for me, the diagnoser was not an actual physician - she was one of the daycare workers.

Considering our son has never actually been sick as a result of the real world (i.e. outside of daycare, not the MTV show…that programming makes him naturally vomit), I would like to think that these people would/should know their diseases. I mean, I would harvest daycare employees’ stem cells to cure diseases if I could. I can’t even imagine what kind of immune system it takes to work in a virtual Petri dish. Their job is comparable to the guy wiping down plastic playground equipment at the mall. After so long, these people SHOULD know their diseases. Yes?!?!

But noooooo. According to our Doc our son was fussy, not sick.

Although I could understand how easy it is to misdiagnosis our son - given the fact that he detonates joybombs and smile napalm upon contact - I was raging.

For those of you without children, this is what a novice diagnosis costs:

Paid day of daycare: $
Day of missed work for Mom: $
Doctor’s appointment: $
Doctor's note explaining bill-o-health: $
Worry: $$$$$$
Gas for Grandmother/Mother to pick up/drop off: $$$$$$$$$$$
(By the way, thanks for picking him up, Mom).


Who knew that children were emotionally/fiscally/mentally taxing? I swear I'm the first parent in the world to ever go through this (yes this is a joke, Dad).

Also, is it wrong to be upset that your son is healthy? I was seriously angry. Sounds like it's time for another daddybeer.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

And on the 9th day, God created this for ME....

There is nothing sweeter than the roller buggy. If you get dirty looks for your child not wearing a helmet on a Razor scooter, I can't imagine what kind of looks you would get pushing this with a seven month old. I would then take it to the next extreme by showing up at a skatepark.

It was supposed to be a "concept design," but it just one third prize at the 11th International Bicycle Design Competition.

How old is baby supposed to be before he/she gets their first Kickflip? McTwist? Backside Indy Air?

Monday, June 04, 2007

I miss the good ol' days!!!

I know the case-o-beer-in-the-house rule has worked quite well for me. It's nice to see it was originally intended for the mothers.