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Showing posts from April, 2016

Resolve

I blogged about Prince dying a couple days ago. Turns out, that wasn't the first death to throw me for a loop in the past few days.

After Prince, news broke Friday that the wife of comedian Patton Oswalt had died. Oswalt is my favorite comedian; his bit on how "Christmas Shoes" is the worst holiday song ever is several minutes of pure brilliance. His wife was 46, in good health, but died in her sleep. Oswalt talks about being a family man often during his standup. He has one daughter who now doesn't have a mom. That news gave me pause, but nothing like what happened today.

Lori's boss/business partner/good friend was killed in a car crash this afternoon. She got the news about 6 p.m. from her office's general agent. I was grilling when she came outside, stunned, and said he had died. He also was 46 and has two sons, one of whom is Michael's age and would hang out with us on occasion during the summer when he was staying with his father (he lived out of st…

One day all 7 will die

Prince died today. Only 57. And it's not like he died after years of chemical abuse or a bizarre lifestyle -- he generally was not that reckless compared to other rock stars (how Keith Richards has outlived so many of his peers is beyond me). I'm not taking this as hard as when David Bowie died back in January, but it is a little humbling that musicians I listened to in my youth -- ones whose songs offered some sort of impact in my life -- are dying off. I loved most of "Purple Rain" in 1984, came to appreciate his older stuff, and promised myself but never followed through that I needed to listen to more of his less commercial stuff that is supposed to be simply amazing.  Anyway, I've been listening to his songs all day, posted some things on Facebook, and reading what others are saying. Looked up a lot of lyrics and was surprised how many I've been singing wrong over the years. With that in mind, here are my five favorite Prince lyrics (I couldn't even be…

I 8 the sandbox

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First, some context on the title (wait for the Bert and Ernie part, about 45 seconds in):


I once showed this to Ben and his kindergarten classmates back in the day, and though they thought it was funny, they were shocked that a kids' show used "stupid" so casually. But remember, Bert was kind of an anti-hero (just like Oscar was). He would mellow, of course ...

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I have high hopes for the front lawn this year, now that it's spring. Minus the bare patches, it's already looking not too bad, and I think if I get the EZ Seed onto the bald spots now -- and keep watering (that's what got me last year) -- I may make progress. The back lawn is growing strong too, but mostly with weedier grass. I will have to run the weed whacker through it soon; the growth is a little too difficult for the manual lawnmower. Still wondering at what point I buy another electric mower ...

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I'm sitting on our porch writing…

Nine tonight

My nighttime routine has been off kilter for the past few months. To counter some bouts of insomnia, I've been going to bed earlier, figuring if I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep right away, I'd still have more time for slumber. As a result, the evening hours have been crunched -- it seems like once we get through dinner and whatever activities we have for the night (and the activities are plentiful with the boys, as always, especially through the winter), there's barely time to get the dog out for a walk.

One blessing of this is I haven't watched as much TV lately. I gave up on "Gotham," which had devolved into almost the same story every week. But on the minus side, my evenings feel rushed, as if I'm just waiting for bed to roll around. No writing. Barely any board games with Ben, which had been a regular occurrence through December. And it really hadn't helped the insomnia -- I'm not getting any more sleep than I had before.

So what…

Ten things I'll miss about you

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I'm not sure if I heard this on a commercial or if Michael mentioned it after hearing it on a commercial, but all nine seasons of the PBS series "Curious George" are now on Hulu. We don't have Hulu, nor do we have children who watch "Curious George" anymore. But what struck me was that the show is already up to its ninth season. Technically, it might actually be in its 10th ...

Amazingly, I remember the day "Curious George" debuted in September 2006. We were in Minnesota for a friend's wedding and had stayed a couple extra days before flying home. Michael was a few months shy of 3; Ben was 3 1/2 months old. After a long, fun day and made our way back to the hotel at around 5 p.m. and looked for something for Michael to watch, discovering the local PBS station and this new animated series based on a beloved children's book. We had seen the movie version of "Curious George," but this was different. Michael generally liked it, but a…

These go to eleven

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The boys are at an age when I'm not quite as worried about what they are seeing in TV and movies. Swearing isn't a big issue because, well, they have heard Lori and I curse enough that it isn't a shock. Just about every superhero movie today is PG-13 and filled with sanitized violence; even the new Star Wars movie got a PG-13 rating. As long as they don't get too dark for Ben, who get scared a little more easily, I don't worry too much about either boy seeing someone get chomped by a dinosaur or thrown around by the Hulk.

And I think we've got it down what they can and cannot handle. The original "Red Dawn?" Mild by today's standards. "Gotham?" Too dark and way too violent; I usually turn it off if Ben is trying to watch. A classic slasher flick like "Nightmare on Elm Street?" Probably not until they are in high school. "The Hunger Games?" That's already technically a kid's book; a little more violent then I w…