Tag Archives: parenting

Virtual Reality 1: Muzik…Non Stop

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Ahh, yes.

Music.

There’s a recent author (must look this up!…update: Jennifer Sessions) who described the experience of being a SCC 222 1parent as “having a piece of yourself in someone else’s body.” ~ crxn to: “your heart running around in somebody else’s body.”

Just so, indeed!

And music, one of my favorite things, has presented an occasion that illustrates this through my little ‘uns. (Though–as the saying goes–not to little anymore.)

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I consciously connected to music when I was about 16, but coverFmy intertwining with music occurred later, beginning a little before I turned 18. Certainly within a few years I became intricately lost in it to the point that I realized the truism once stated by Mike Manumission (host of a big club in Ibiza) that “if you keep finding that you’re the last one at the party, that’s a sign you should be the one throwing the Beatles-Revolver-Sessions-2party.” This has over the years taken the form of working sales for an underground music label and dance 2002_04_17_DSCN0903_Qool copymusic distribution company, DJing, producing and hosting musically based events (nightclubs), composing and producing music and being a music journalist.

Even though I’ve made music, I’ve done so with no musical training or practice on a traditional instrument as such.

And so watching my kids both engage with music through school is just the sort of thing, IMHO, that parenting is about. That is, adding to the traits, strengths, etc that your kids SCC 222 2inherited from you with things you didn’t get or have the benefit of. In my view, this works best when it isn’t forced on them, and so it is that both kids have independently chosen to participate in music and carry on with it. Big yay!

It’s like watching a part of yourself do the thing, or maybe closer to a VR experience of the thing they’re doing since the thing they’re doing is thing beyond your own actual experience. It’s the thing you would be doing, could be doing but for circumstances. The beauty of  it is that your extensions–they get to do it, are doing it and that’s just why kids exist–are had at all.

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In short, it’s quite thrilling, life-affirming and great to see, for instance, my kid in the sort of all-school concert like I did some days ago and at which these pictures were taken.

She’s 13, now, and has been playing flute for two years. They sounded genuinely terrific.

 

 

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Sometimes, It Appears, Life is Perfect

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Here are the rest of the birthday shots I promised last time. (From my son Jolly’s 9th bday.)

(The shots of the kids last time (throwing paper dragon airplanes) was on his actual birthday.)

The shots I’m posting today are from the next weekend when he had a joint party with one of his and his sister’s friends at a local beach.

The luckies had two rockin’ cakes thanks to my insanely cake-proficient ex:happy

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This blue fella is a character named “Happy”. He’s a talking and flying cat with magical powers in “Fairy Tail” a truly engaging and fantastic anime developed from a manga that I watch semi-religiously with the kids. I’ll post about it later, but suffice it to say Fairy_Tail_Animeit’s great.

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This guy you’ll also see on two legs at the bottom of this post. His name is “Hatty Hattington”, and he’s a character and sort of a mascot from a popular new video game called “Battleblock Theater” from “The Behemoth”, the game developers known for “Castle Crashers” and “Alien Hominid”. It’s useless trying to explain this game (or, what I can at this point only guess is whatever genre it must belong to, since I have yet to research it…that’ll be two postsBattleblockcover from now lol). But having watched a good deal of play and the 20-minute extended “intro”/trailer/cut-scene and having gleaned some true comic genius within, I’d have to say the game represents some new kinda very funny, very media savvy sensibility…but I have no idea what I’m talking about…!!!  :-o

The kids freakin LOVE this guy…this is honestly the 1st thing in my kids’ lives that I have NO idea whatsoever of why they’re soooo into it.

Go figure, welcome to the next phase, dad.

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These shots

were taken as it was winding down…

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…and the remaining party kiddiewinx

were off in their own zone

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of kid perfection

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Methinks not just at one with the elements

but indeed, the very pillar between heaven and earth,

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binding all four elements together

And finally,

here’s halloween.

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Them

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Me…

(in my most spontaneous and wacked costume evrr!)

And a P.S….here’s a shot from my own 9th bday. Which was in Las Vegas. Which is sort of ironic because it was there in 2002 on July 20 that I returned and married the mother of my kids, the son of whom just turned…9!  Good times. (The excellent people standing next to me are my lilfelong friends who are brothers, and the funny-man making razzle-dazzle over us was a friend who’d been a neighbor to us all then moved to Vegas where we were able to catch up at that time.)

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Catching Up Again!

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Yes indeedy heeby do. I am, ummm, yeah, soooo…how are YOU?

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Yeah, ok, so I’m super behind on my posting. But it’s good stuff, and thus perhaps worth the weight…in gold. Har har…see, such puns are why I need an editor! lol

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more pictures of my little lovelies. And how about the Lego Movie?? Freakin’ totally fun, nifty, and made all the more amazing (and awesome) by its meta view of itself, framing itself as it did, umm, well, within..heck *you* the home audience know what I mean, right?

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Tiny creations from clay by daughter; this tableaux is 2 inches across.

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                              This is a creature dreamed up by my son: a species of dragon known as “Odin Spearthrower”

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Interior of daughter’s locker at school (winter decor, dontchya know)

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                                             Another species of benevolent beasty my son’s created: A crazy powerful puff ball…


And with that, then was now was then again, and all very quickly

These crowd shots are from the excellent, thoughtful and not overly maudlin annual end-of-the-schoolyear ritual their school does called the “Crossing Over” ceremony, where each grade level group of kids forms a phalanx as you see, and then BANG! charges ahead to cross over to the launching pad of their next grade level; into their futuinto it2res. And parents, snap snap away the pictures, because if you blink ya miss it. Every minute that into itticks along also talks: “bye”, it says. I’m getting older and growing. The future has zoomed them into it almost as fast as they’ve smiled their speed of light way headlong into it.

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I’m also finishing preparing the short videos of them killing at their school talent show from the last part of last school year (ie, this recent spring). I’ll post them tonight or tomorrow I hope. They’re short. And sweet. And awesome.

Here’s a thought to chew on, and it’s something I put to a friend many years ago, a guy who is rarely without an answer or opinion on any sort of thing. But when I put this to him, he was actually caught having not thought this through, with an opinion that if you looked closely, you might just be able to actually see forming and “form of”…divided priorities. But I’m not pointing that out to single him out; it’s a genuine issue that we all as parents answer with our actions, with more or less ever detail of our lives.

Ok, here it is:

Do you want to conduct yourself so that your kids have all the chances to be great, or do you want to be great?

And while the clever little folkies out there will pipe-in with right about now, I have this pre-packaged response: just because it is possible (for some people) that the question won’t have any purchase because they are not, for them, mutually exclusive foci does not eliminate its relevance for a good many people who are parents as well. Basically, if the question resonates at all, then it’s one to chew on. If it doesn’t cuz you have your whole thing nicely dialed in (ie, you direct everything toward making sure your kids have all the chances to be great…hee hee lol! ;-) then just sit back & enjoy the pictures.

To your kids and my kids and their kids and our kids.

And btw, here’s a favorite song about kids. It sounds like vapid nonsense at first, but I assure you, that’s just the extremely clever packaging.

“Now if I had some children, they’d be some Chinese children…”

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Another 146 Million Miles: Summer 2013

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Howzit feel to have almost another 150 million miles under the belt? That’s how far our spaceship earth has gone in its curve around the sun since summer kicked off at the top of June.

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“Fascinating, father. You don’t say! DO go on….”

Riiiiight!   U-hem, so moving on, then: I feel like I haven’t been this far behind on the ole bloggy blog for a while! Sorry, folks <sound of crickets…or ice in cocktail glasses…or that popping sound that cheap plastic cocktail cups make; take your pick of sounds to insert ..hee hee>

So let’s get to it.

Summer 2013

aka, The Summer They Said Would Never Happen

                                                    – or –

The Summer Rescued from the Maw of Magical-thinking Catastrophists…for LIVIN’, EASY!

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It began with the Running of the Quadlings, and boy! whatta time!

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Kidding.

It looks weird at first, though, huh? It’s this actually quite cool yearly ritual on the last day of the schoolyear at the slightly alternative style school the kids attend.

SImageo (rewinding, slightly), after those moments of taking note of the last big projects the kids complete at the end of the schoolyear, things are Imagequantified, their dealies are documented and school year declares itself complete. Finis. Over. Done. Schooooool’s / Out! / For / Summer!  And the children were happy. So at my kids’ school they do this cool thing to mark the end of each year.

 

ImageGathered together by grade (K, 1st, 2nd, etc, up to 5th), the kids stand at one end of this field and when the principal (a very smart, very cool lady) congratulates them all (parents manning the sidelines, cameras in hand), and then gives the green light, the kids all stampede across the stretch, crossing over, as it were, to the next grade, albeit the three month vacation before that grade begins classes. It’s very neat, actually.

Warrior!

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There were, as usual for kids these days, various little week-long camps throughout the summer, not all are pictured. My boy loves his Golden State Warriors and got to lEXIF_JPEG_T422earn more than I ever did about dribbling and shooting in the Warriors’ actual practice space (among other camps EXIF_JPEG_T422where he learned to stop worrying and love GarageBand, where they both got into space-oriented things and more).

The Earth. It Moves.       You Know, around and, Well…It Just KEEPS on Going…

Then there was the yearly official reminder in the form of my ever-more-elongated daughter that the earth surely does keep up its 19 miles a second clip around that ole bastard of a sun.

For her 10th birthday party she chose to have her guests and parents (who required the inclusion of other parents) inhabit the world of Hogwarts School of Magic for the afternoon. And so she planned what each of the adults would be professors of at our own li’l Hogwarts. There were squeals of delight, peals of laughter and of presents littering the air, the ground and the memory.

It was a total blast.

More later…(but not as “later” as this one was!)  :-)

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And we played. Is this a toy car …or is it memorex???

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2012 – The Flyby

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Look!

Up in air!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!  No, it’s Fatherdadman posting such a wide array of pix from the last part of 2012 that he has to call it a “flyby”!

Yup. This batch of pix rounds out highlights from the Year That Wasn’t The End [sic].

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We start with a little time-warping, in that the pic of me as Snape  —->       was taken minutes before I shaved in the mirrorless kiddie bathroom at the kids’ school the night of the Halloween party (see previously posted pic, taken *after* the shaving). lol

I s’ppose the time-warp carries on, in a Merlin sort of way…

Cuz these next are from earlier in the Fall at a fantastic public park and EXIF_JPEG_T422garden styled after the meticulously designed European ones from bygone eras. My two little animals re-purposed the place into a simulacrum of an EXIF_JPEG_T422intergalactic training facility for some sort of magically-inclined cyborg-type freedom fighters.

Nice!

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Yes, the young master centers and sees all.

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Focus. Focus!




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EXIF_JPEG_T422 And here are adventures with orange-yellow play-dough….

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And here are nifty clouds:

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Dolphin on a stand!

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The moon is an eye in a blue face. See it?

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Controlled Foamalition, Space Pods & Pottery

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Ah yes, there comes a moment in every dad’s life when he must decide: will he be stalwart and stand by his initial “No, way!”, or will he rather fold, capitulate, and say yes, but in that does he not simply allow the inevitable? I refer, of course, to the a dad’s facing that fateful moment when he decides to allow his kiddies to: PLAY WITH THE SHAVING CREAMEXIF_JPEG_T422

Is there any stopping them? Will they relent from their “pleeeaaase?!” Methinks not. (And, word to the wise, when they’re at this young age, it’s still no hard task to simply dole out limited amounts of shaving cream and then place the source canister far from where little hands can reach. Thus: Controlled Foamalition.)

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Their havoc was minimal. The aftermath, manageable. The beards, well…quite handsome, yes?

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Well so it was also a rainy weekend, here in California. And with the sustained, heavy rains comes the long-awaited return of:       the SPACE PODS!

(see top of page)

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Here they are on their last visit to our planet:

Friendly creatures, though, curiously, it never fails that they emerge from their pods with requests for “chocolate!” and “toys!” Science, take note!

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EXIF_JPEG_T422And last, but not least, here are some recent creations the kids made. They call EXIF_JPEG_T422the pieces, cxollectively, “tiny pottery” and were quite amused with themselves.

I reminded them my dad has been a potter for 60 years, and they then insisted on my taking pictures to EXIF_JPEG_T422send to him. Is the poetry of EXIF_JPEG_T422this in my mind, or could it be right there on their faces, posing, as they were, for a different man than the one who was actually behind the lens?

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Yay, Berkeley!

Here (and below in the form of a little mini-gallery) are some photos we took yesterday up in the Berkeley hills at the always-gratifying-to-visit Lawrence Hall of Science. We were there for a birthday party of one of the kiddiewinx in my son’s 1st grade class. Good fun!

LHS is a science educational outreach entity of UC Berkeley, established in 1968 and named for the University’s first Nobel laureate, (1939), who cast a long shadow, indeed, having invented the tool to finally show those atoms who’s boss, and apropos his receiving the Nobel, Dr. Lawrence was also the guy who introduced Robert Oppenheimer to the team later known as the Manhattan Project.


Slime from the party that a grad student helped the kids make


And the final part of this li’l digression is this, lest we forget what smashed atoms can do: when he was only 34 Lawrence became the Director of UC Berkeley’s Radiation Lab, “remaining in this post until his death,” when he was only 56. Ahh, but he “burned so very, very brightly”…


Anyhoo!…after making slime under the guidance of a grad student, we had the run of the place, so naturally many went outdoors to the rear courtyard that commands a wide view of the Bay from this perch in the hills. And the view is — quite clearly — very dramatic and sweeping; it’s safe to say it’s first thing anyone notices when they step out of the building to the courtyard and kids’ play area.


I’ll amend that: it’s the first thing any *adult* notices. The kids screech off to the water play area, or the enormous and gorgeous sculpture “Sunstones II” on a grassy knoll in the center of the area (and I’ll amend that to “or the tall rocks that look fun to climb on…”).


Anyway, I’m walking straight to the perimeter to get the best view of the Big View and I sort of exclaim in that redundant way we do, “wow, guys, look at this view!” My son’s walking next to me, looking all around and when we get to the edge and there’s nothing to look at except this view, he is suddenly stopped cold. Dude only had really just noticed it, and after a second of actual shock and awe, says, “Whoa! That view IS amazing!”



(click the image to see the bigger version)




Tres cute. Now, here are the rest of the pictures featuring the super awesome huge sculpture of DNA and a life-size plastic model of a Fin Whale:





And here’s your moment of Zen:


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