Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Your name is what??

When I heard  the recent announcement that David and Victoria Beckham named their newborn daughter ”Harper Seven Beckham”, I asked myself that timeless question: What is wrong with people today? 

Harper Seven shouldn’t come as a complete shock.  After all, the Beckhams stretched the limites of the bizarre-meter years ago when they named named their three sons Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz.  Obviously things have changed since the days of Fred MacMurray and the 1960s TV show “My Three Sons”, whose names were Mike, Robbie and Richie Douglas. The most extreme name on that show came from the adopted fourth son Ernie, who was known as Chip. 

According to the Social Security Administration, in 2010 “Harper” was the 119th most popular name given to a baby girl in the US.  In 2004, it was the 887th most popular.  With the Beckhams bestowing it upon their daughter, it is sure to rise quickly in the rankings this year and next, for better or worse. 

When my wife was pregnant, we went through countless name books trying to pick something appropriate for someone who we didn’t know.  We didn't know the baby’s gender until delivery, so we had twice the prep work.  We didn’t want him or her to be the 6th kid in their kindergarten class with the same name, forced to a lifetime of being referred to by their first name and last initial (i.e. Isabella G.).

Giving a child a name is a personal choice. Some people use it as an opportunity to honor a family member. Some people want to be creative and differentiate their kid from everyone else, like the Beckhams., But it seems many more people just follow the trends, which you could say is how life in general is, right?  If it weren’t the Kardashians wouldn't be famous & American Idol wouldn't be the top rated show on TV.  

Given the proliferation of people I know who've had babies in the last decade, here are a few distinctive baby name trends that I've noticed:

Oxymoron Names: 
I know several people who’ve decided that they are going to buck the norm and give their kids names that are oxymorons like “Ryder Schwartz” (how many Schwartzes do you know who are big riders?) or ironic like “Brooklyn Yang” (I think I ate there once while visiting NYC).   

Law Firm Names: 
I am always amused by people who give their kids names that sounds like the titles of  Law Firm Names (i.e. generally three last names): Lincoln Hudson Miller or Parker Logan Johnson. It'll be interesting to see what happens when Bailey Dylan Silver gets a job someday at Johnson, Shmeckel and Goldfarb. 

Verb Names: 
Harper comes from what I like to call the verb family of names, which all describe people performing activities.  Since names are usually nouns this might upset some English teachers. You’re probably familiar with active names like Hunter, Cooper, Ryder, etc.  There's nothing wrong with those names, but they may present interesting conundrums later in life. Like when Hunter becomes a vegetarian or when Archer loses a thumb in a tragic bow and arrow accident.   

On a side note, Harper is one of those names that I find curious.  It might have been inspired by Harper Lee, who wrote “To Kill a Mockingbird”.  Of course it’s strange to think that an 85 year old lady who hasn’t written a book in over 50 years could inspire that many people.  Double side note: Harper Lee’s real first name isn't even Harper. It's Nelle.  

Old Jewish Man Names:
Another interesting trend is what I think of as the “Old Jewish Man” family of names.  It’s when people use names which haven’t been given to a newborn since before World War II (or WWI, in some cases).  Names like Murray, Helen, Ida and Arnold fell out of circulation for a reason. OK, I understand new parents wanting to 
honor a parent, grandparent or ancestor by utilizing those names.  But they need to be prepared for the day that little Hazel is upset at her name being made fun of by any (or all) of the nine Sophias or Emmas in her 3rd grade class.  

Parents have no choice over their child’s eye color, skin tone or foot size. Sure genetics plays a part, but you never really know what’s going to happen.  The one trait that parents have complete and final ruling over is the child’s name.   

So when it came time for my wife and me to pick a name for our child, we whittled down our list and settled on (what we later found out was) the 411th most popular name given to boys the year he was born. It is unique, but not off putting. It sounds familiar, but not too much to make it commonplace.  And as it turned out, it was a perfect fit for our little man. 

At the end of the day, moms and dads can give their kids any names they choose.  But they should think about the long term damage they may cause their child by giving them a uber-trendy name like Pippa Ke$ha O’Shea-Goldberg.  It's not going to be pretty. 

What's the most unusual (i.e. most cuckoo) baby name you've heard recently?


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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Let’s party like it’s not 11am

I went to a birthday party today where everyone was running around half-naked, the females greatly outnumbered the males and the birthday girl ended up in the ER after the party.  Sounds like a blast, right? No, I wasn't running up and down High Street while visiting my alma mater. Rather, we took BC to the birthday party of one of his older lady friends.  She is turning 3.  

I had a feeling the party would be riotous when we received the invitation, but that was mainly because I knew it started at 9:00am on a Saturday.  Did I mention that it was held 35 miles from where we live?  Oh, I almost forgot the best part: it was a swimming party in an area where summertime temperatures regularly reach into the triple digits.  I know what you’re thinking: lucky guy.

Needless to say, 9:00am was never going to happen.  Even though my wife prepared everything we needed to take last night, the only way we would have been there at 9:00am was if we were kidnapped at 7:30, blindfolded and driven there in an unmarked van.  Promptness is not our strong suit.  There’s a pretty good chance we wouldn’t have made it to the party at 9:00am if it was held in our living room.   

We left the house around 915ish, hoping to make it by 10:00 to catch the second half of the fiesta.  We arrived right on (our) schedule and parked a mile away because there were apparently a half-dozen kid’s parties going on concurrently.  Yahoo! 

We made it inside, got into our pool gear and headed for the water.  When I heard the party was being held at an aquatic center, I figured it meant there was going to be a pool where I could lay on a raft for a little while and relax while BC splashed around a kiddie pool.  Boy was I wrong.  This place had slides of all sizes and some aqua-jungle gym equipment in the middle of water 2-3 feet deep. I almost forgot the best part:  there were these giant water cannons all over the place that sprayed water with enough pressure that they could knock the tattoos off of Lil Wayne’s neck.  And those cannons could be easily manipulated by anyone around them, like the smug 8 year old who soaked me.  He’ll probably think twice next time he considers doing that to an adult, as I had a few choice words for him afterward.  I think this place must have been designed by either professional Martha Stewart, water safety instructors or demented sadists. 

This is (a small) part of the actual Aquatic
Center  that we visited today.

There was some mishap with the birthday girl, her foot and her father.  I’m still not really sure what happened, but some woman came and told us the party was over, the girl was headed to the ER and not to let the door hit us on the way out.  Good times.

On the plus side, they served some pretty good cupcakes and we got to see a few old friends we hadn’t seen in a while.  BC had fun, and that’s really all that mattered.  Oh, and since the party ended at 11am, we got to have lunch at a nearby Five Guys Burgers and Fries, which is easily the best “fast food” burger in Southern California.  Sorry, I’m just not an In’N’Out Burger fan.  Their fries are just not good.

All in all, it was a decent day. I just wish it hadn’t started so early…

Thanks for reading! Your comments are appreciated. 

--JJ aka The Dude of the House

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

From Deadhead to Elmo Addict

I recently had dinner with my old friend JR who I hadn’t seen in a couple years. He lives on the other side of the country now, but when we were growing up he lived around the corner and we’ve been very good friends since high school.  In a strange coincidence, our wives had babies the same day 20 months ago.  It was strange because their due dates were 3 weeks apart and both babies came early.  Anyway, in high school we both got heavily into a lot of classic rock music, especially the Grateful Dead.  We went to as many shows as we could and we were fortunate to see several just minutes from where we grew up.  

The legendary Richfield Coliseum, RIP

Through high school and college, JR and I listened to, talked about and shared a lot of music. But we always came back to the Dead. Even as we lived in different cities, we would share cassettes across the distance. Life would have been so much easier then if it were today when you can email a file in 1 minute, unlike the old days of dubbing a tape for 90 minutes, going to the post office, etc.  Throughout our journeys in life, we always had our GD memories, stories and more. 

So when JR and I had dinner recently while he was in town on business, we talked about some recent concerts we’d seen and heard. As we enjoyed our pasta, our discussion covered family, music, work, life and more. As Eric Clapton once said “Time is gonna change us, Lord I know it's true”.   Once you have kids most conversations in life revolve around or ultimately steer back to your little ones.  

Neither JR nor I is opposed to our kids watching television, as some parents are.  My little man BC is not a TV addict, but he does enjoy a little Elmo with his evening milk.  He finds it to be a nice way to unwind after a rough day of playing, eating, pooping, etc. Anyway, JR and I somehow got on the subject of Sesame Street. His little girl enjoyed it, but his older son was over it.  Either way, we’d both seen it.  Obviously way too much. 

JR and I used to spend time discussing our favorite versions of “Shakedown Street” or the evolution of Phil Lesh’s bass playing. But now we found ourselves arguing the merits of “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” and whether Mr. Noodle could ever actually successfully answer one of the questions Elmo asked him.  We discussed our favorite episodes (mine is the “Mine-itis” ep featuring Brian Williams) and eventually we each sold the other on some of our ideas and thoughts about this legendary TV show that debuted 4 years after the Grateful Dead did in 1965. 

Just as we’d started with the Grateful Dead two decades ago, JR and I continued discussing our shared passion for modern entertainment. Or at least what our toddlers would consider entertainment.  Elmo is certainly no Jerry Garcia, but then again Super Grover is not necessarily less entertaining than Mickey Hart.  In the meantime, I know I look forward to the day when BC will learn the words to “Ripple”, one of the most touching songs I’ve ever heard. For now, though, he’ll continue to rock out ever time he hears the opening chords to the theme song from “Elmo’s World”. 

Thanks for reading! Your comments are appreciated. 

--JJ aka The Dude of the House

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FYI, anyone can now stream or download pretty much any show in the Grateful Dead’s history from a cool website called  Lots of other great artists are on there, too.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nobody Walks in LA

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for almost 12 years.  The first year, I very quickly adjusted to the concept of “No Winter”, after having spent more than two decades in the erratic climate of the Midwest.   Though I will admit I was baffled to see gloves and scarves sold in stores when it was 75 degrees out, I accepted it and moved on with my life.  My life of wearing shorts and t-shirts when it’s 80 degrees in January, that is. 

People soon told me that I’d get used to the LA traffic, which was like nothing I’d seen before.  After a dozen years, I still haven’t adjusted.  I’ve learned that no matter how early I leave to get somewhere on time (say, 45 minutes to go 14 miles as I did earlier today), if I don’t leave 15 minutes before that, there’s no chance I’ll make it.  Yes, I was 15 minutes late for my appointment today.  

Needless to say, this past weekend’s so-called “Car-mageddon” was a complete bust.  A typical big budgeted Hollywood blockbuster that was over-hyped which under-performed.   For 2 months every local newscast mentioned it. Celebrities were implored by the local government to Tweet about it. People booked weekend trips out of LA to escape the madness, gridlock and tension that was sure to arrive with the 53-hour closing of the 405 freeway.

As you probably know, every Hollywood blockbuster has a big plot twist at the end that shocks the audience.  That’s the one thing this weekend had. Of course the big twist was that people actually listened and stayed close to home.  The freeways were empty.  Surface streets were barren.  It was almost like those Midwestern roads I grew up driving on, the pleasant ones that never really have much going on.   Except that this was for 2 days. 

Unlike most modern Hollywood blockbusters which feel compelled to drag on past the 120 minute mark, despite generally not being necessary to the plot, Car-mageddon ended early.  At 11am Sunday, it was announced that the 405 would open 16 hours earlier than planned.  Surely, we would be a changed population of great L.A. People would realize that they could stay home and have a good time, or that the 405 was not important to their lives, right?  Nope, it’s Monday afternoon and the 405 is back to it’s usual hi-jinks. All backed up, crawling along at 11 miles per hour.

So how did I spend Car-mageddon weekend? My wife and I decided that we weren’t going to let a little construction hold us down.  It was a beautiful summer weekend, we said. Should we go to the beach, or the zoo or just drive across the city for fun? So after all was said and done, did I brave the (empty) roads to run around town? Nope, I was home with a sick dog, toddler and wife.  

Karma-geddon for me.  

--JJ aka The Dude of the House

Your comments are appreciated! 

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Friday, July 15, 2011

It’s always Car-mageddon with a toddler in the back seat

For the better part of two months the local LA media has been warning everyone about “Car-mageddon”, the upcoming weekend when the 405 freeway will be closed for a 10 mile stretch. 

For those who don’t know, the 405 is a major interstate that goes from Orange County up through the San Fernando Valley, though at first glance, or when viewed from an airplane, you’d just think it was a parking lot. 

Considering traffic sucks in LA pretty much all the time (except for Christmas), this weekend is no real exception.  Knowing shortcuts might help, but staying home is the best option.

As the regular chauffeur  of a 20-month old boy, I have my own version of Car-mageddon on a daily basis.  BC is at the age when he needs some sort of stimulation most of the time.  I’m not just talking about having a Wiggles CD on a loop in the car, either.

When taking BC out on errands, I generally don’t leave the house without:

·         Diaper Bag: My thoughtful wife registered for a “Diaper Dude” bag for me, which is much manlier than carrying around her “Petunia Picklebottom” bag. Upon second thought, I think anything is manlier than something called “Petunia Picklebottom”. 
·         A ton of snacks: BC is on the Reverse Atkins Diet, all carbs and no protein. I usually pack at least 6 different types of rice snacks. Some of the most popular ones are rice cakes, rice puffs, or “Mum Mums”, which are some sort of Chinese-made circular rice snack that melts in his mouth.  They’re not bad.  I hope they are unleaded.
·10-15 books:  Since he can’t read yet, they are pretty much all filled with pictures of animals, which he checks out and mimics their respective noises repeatedly.  He’s almost ready for “America’s Got Talent”, based on the few minutes I’ve seen of that “show”. 
·         15-20 stuffed animals: Same process with books, but sometimes they get thrown at me.  It’s always fun switching lanes on the 101 with a stuffed frog flying at my head.
·         His ipod playlist: I made a special playlist called “BC’s tunes” that I bust out when the little man is riding along.  A small selection of the 850 songs is what you’d call kids’ music like Yo Gabba Gabba, Ziggy Marley’s kids album and the like.  The rest is a handpicked assortment from my regular itunes library featuring Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Stones, Steely Dan and other music mostly created before 1984. It’s bad enough that I have to hear Big Bird sing on Sesame Street while at home. In the car he can learn about real music.

Steal Your Face
Hurt Your Ears

When we get in the car, I put on my iPod, hand him a couple books, a couple animals and some version of rice. My version of Car-mageddon involves a mish-mash of all the above mentioned elements.  Invariably, after the animal sounds have commenced, he tires of the book he’s reading and throws it. 

I then hand him another one, which he reviews, moos, and then tosses.  I then act like a juggler with the steering wheel in my left hand and reaching back with my right to toss books, animals, water bottles, etc. onto his lap.  I hope that he can stay interested in one long enough for me to shift across 4 lanes at 65 mph. If not, I hear a bark, a yelp, and a fake cry until I can locate a rice cake with my right hand in the front seat, then get it to him in the back seat.  If you think driving while texting is hard, just try this for an afternoon.  

I often get the non-verbal version
of this while driving BC.
So to me the closing of the 405 this weekend isn’t such a bad thing.  After all, if I’m sitting in normal LA traffic, it’s much easier for me to hand BC a bottle of water.  And it’s much easier for him to pelt me in the back of the head with it when he’s finished.

What do you think? 


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(No, no one paid me to post those links. I just think they are great products)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Whatchu talkin' about, baby?

My wife makes parenting look simple.  When BC gets angry, she knows what to do to calm him.  When he’s hungry, she’s ready with a snack.  Call it mother’s intuition or just call it excellent parenting.  You could say she had top-notch training for raising our child by dealing with me for the better part of the last decade.  I know I’m not easy, but she always knows what to say to make things right.  Or when a cookie is the needed solution to the problem.  FYI, sugar cookies with vanilla frosting are my favorite. 

That being said, I generally have no clue what my son needs.  I’m still less than 2 years into this parenting gig, but you’d think I’d know by now.  Yes, I can usually figure out what he wants after a little while, but I’m never really ready to jump when he needs something.  I have to study and process the sign to come up with a solution, whereas my wife has an early hunch and is ready and waiting with a rice cake, a Kleenex or a hug. 

That feeling is kind of how I felt in my middle school Spanish class.  I could usually figure out what Senora Sawyer was asking.  However, it took me a loooooong time to process it, come up with an answer in English, translate that answer into Spanish in my head, then verbally express it in front of the class.  Needless to say, I’m not likely to move to Barcelona anytime soon.  It’s a good thing too, as I don’t care for paella. 
Some people praise Baby Sign Language as an effective communication method.  I know Jack Byrnes thought it worked well in (lame) Meet the Fockers.  Of course, DeNiro probably would have also succeeded with Travis Bickle’s  “You talkin’ to me?”  I thought about trying baby sign language, but as mentioned earlier, languages (beside English) aren’t really my thing. 

Fortunately, BC’s vocabulary is growing quickly.  I hope that soon he’ll be able to not only say what he wants, but be able to take care of it himself, too.  And it would be great if I can then teach him to bring me a drink when I’m thirsty, as I’ve learned to do for him.

What do you think? How do you learn to read your little one's signs?  Or do you ignore them until they can talk?


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Monday, July 11, 2011

You want me to eat what?

My son, BC, started eating solid food at an early age.  Technically.  Or at least he was permitted to.  More often than not, he declined the option.  He had trouble digesting formula and was a big baby, so the doctor gave us the go ahead at 4 months to give him rice cereal, oatmeal and other rancid-smelling and bland-looking slop.   I know  it sounds really appealing, right?

Since we didn’t think he’d be eating for a while, we hadn’t picked up a highchair for him yet.  So at first either my wife or I would hold BC to feed him. We quickly learned that this left him still hungry as not much made it into the mouth of our little squirmer.  If nothing else, at least our clothes appeared well nourished.

Next we tried sitting him in the middle of the floor in his Bumbo, on a blanket.  This gave us a reasonable distance to avoid getting splattered with those pasty concoctions the Gerber people determined is nutritious for infants. 

We tried all the basic “First Foods”: oatmeal, bananas, squash, yams and other stuff so messy, you’d think the baby food manufacturers were issuing a challenge: “Feed your baby, or else you will have to look at the remains of your failure all over your own clothes, towels and furniture until the end of time!”

Guess what, he didn’t like any of them.  BC: 1, Parents: 0. 

Eventually we got a highchair and that made it a little easier to feed him.  We’d stick toys to the tray or try to distract him by jumping around or making weird noises, somehow hoping he’d open his mouth to enjoy a drop from the world’s smallest spoons.  I’d say my success rate of food into mouth was comparable to that of a Kardashian vs the SAT test.  Not so good. 

After a while, and a ton of those little plastic tubs floating around the fridge, we found some things BC would eat: Blueberries, Apples, Bananas, Grapes and assorted other fruit.  Just like his parents, BC developed a fondness for sweet, sugary goodness. 

We hoped he’d grow out of his pickiness, but feeding him is still a challenge on a daily basis, even a year and a half after he started “eating” food.  Mine must be the only kid in the world who won’t even consider eating a chicken nugget, a French fry, or pizza.  I guess that’s not the worst thing in the world, though. And whenever I try making him those things, which he inevitably won’t eat, I don’t want to waste them so I end up eating my share of dinosaur-shaped chicken pieces.  Lucky me. 

Until next time, Keep on Keepin' on...


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Leave a comment, question, anecdote, or complaint.  Let me know you're out there.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Negotiating with a Terrorist

You know the part in war movies where the American soldier is captured behind enemy lines and is being held captive by the evil foreigners?  Usually the foreigners rattle off some long inquisition and the American just repeats his name, rank and serial number.  Over and over.  The interrogators usually get very frustrated and start torturing the captive.

That's how I often feel when trying to reason with a 19 month old who has a very limited vocabulary.  The conversation usually goes something like this:

Are you hungry, BC?


What should we have for dinner?


OK, how about macaroni and cheese?


OK, how about chicken tenders?


No, not moo, bok bok. Chicken.


OK, Chicken...


Oh well, that's what we're having.


Great, we finally agree on something.

"Nay Nay"

No, we're not going to eat horse.  I think the Thai place around the corner is already closed.  Chicken.




...and so on and so forth.  These conversations can go on indefinitely.  The irony is the inquisitor (me) also becomes the tortured, as these conversations can get painful.  Usually around that point, I turn on some Rolling Stones and let the little man rock out to Exile on Main Street while I make dinner.

Much like the interrogators in the movie, it can be frustrating dealing with an "opposition" who can't communicate as you desire.  So when I put out the previously discussed chicken tenders and got a quick "No!", I ate them myself and gave BC some Gummi Bears to tide him over until his mother gets home.


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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How many months?

My wife works in the education world which is ironic, as I was never a big fan of school.  As a result, she often has a funky work schedule that does not always jive with our son's schedule.  Some days I spend a couple hours watching him by myself, some days it's 10-12 hours.  Her schedule varies day to day and week to week, which is sort of apropos as every day with a child is definitely different.  He's not old enough to make decisions yet and unlike many of the other sub-2 year old kids I see around LA, he doesn't have his own iPhone yet.

As a result, I usually have to come up with some sort of activity to keep him busy before dinner and the evening fun begins.  There is often an errand that needs to be run, whether it's the grocery store, bank, or a quick stop at the park when I can't think of anything else.  

Everywhere we go, my son (we'll call him BC)  flirts with the ladies and they flirt back.  I must admit, he is a very cute kid and I don't just say that because everyone says he looks like me.  Only my wife's family doesn't agree with that statement, but we'll get to that at another time.  

Anyway, as BC is smiling and playing coy with the woman in line at Ralphs, they invariably ask me how old he is.  He's not quite 2 yet but I've learned it's best to just round his age up (to 2) or down to (1.5), based on the preceding interaction.  Once he passed his first birthday, it seemed that most people were incapable of calculating how many years 13 or 14 months equals.  You might say that people who go where I go are not intelligent, but obviously that can't be true since I go to them myself.  I'm certainly not a math teacher, but it's pretty obvious by the baffled looks on their faces that this is a complicated equation for them to figure out.   Once he hit 19 months, whew that one really threw people for a loop.  You'd think I said he was 842 months old as they pull out their fingers and start calculating.   

So to stop these random people from accidentally hurting themselves with math, I usually just say he's one and a half.  Of course, if they make a rude comment maybe I'll say he's 1.7 years old and just make them wonder.

OK, I need to go feed BC his dinner.  After all, tomorrow is his last full day as a (baby) teenager.  Thursday he'll be 20 months old.


When did you stop listing your child's age in months?

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PS By the way, 842 months is 70 years, 2 months.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day means I'm free to work on this!

I've thought about writing for a long time.  Today my freedom (caused by everyone in the house except me napping) encouraged me to do so.  People used to say I was a pretty good writer when I was in school.  Later, I majored in Journalism and thanks to my (barely above-) average grades in all of my writing classes, I was able to balance out Statistics, Physics, and all the other Right Brain nonsense that was forced upon me.    

Then I stopped writing altogether.  Probably because I was so good at it, kind of like when Michael Jordan quit basketball to play baseball.  My subsequent success, however, has been comparable to MJ's in hardball.  All I can say is thankfully I didn't have to move to Birmingham to achieve it.  I've spent the last dozen years in luminous Los Angeles.  (Me 1, Jordan 0)

Well maybe I'm not quite Jordan-esque, though like him I was also cut from my freshman high school hoops squad.  But I do have a lot of ideas, some of which are probably worth exploring.  I hope they'll make you laugh.  If you're not a laugher, maybe I'll earn a smirk.  Or you might just think they are beneath you and go back to watching the Jersey Shore marathon on MTV.  If you fall into that last category, maybe someday you will explain to me exactly what a "Snooki" is.  

Whatever the case, I'd be remiss to not acknowledge that today is our independence day.  We all have a lot to be thankful for to be able to live in a great country that is known worldwide for it's heavy reliance on what I'll call "The Three D's": Democracy, Dogs and Doughnuts.  

That reminds me of what the seemingly way too young teacher said to her class in the beginning of the movie Dazed and Confused

"Okay guys, one more thing, this summer when you're being inundated with all this American bicentennial Fourth Of July brouhaha, don't forget what you're celebrating, and that's the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn't want to pay their taxes." 

I'm not sure where she was going with that, but it'd be a lot cooler if I did.  

So, let me tell you a little about who I am, then I'm going to sign off to go watch Fireworks (which I've never really understood the appeal of, but that's another story).  

I grew up in the muggy Midwest.  Went to THE finest university in the land.  Moved to sunny SoCal in 1999.  Even after all these years, I still can't get used to the traffic.  I like watching sitcoms way more than I should.  I just got a haircut.  I really enjoy so-called "Sugar Cereals", but have cut my consumption down to the weekends (usually). I'm married to a wonderful woman and have an amazing son, who I now spend quite a bit of time with.  Oh yeah, I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life.  Let me know if you have any ideas...



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