Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Becoming Christopher Nolan

With all the buzz over the Lego Movie out right now, how would you like to make your own Lego movie? A year or two ago, I downloaded an app called "Lego Movie Maker," and ever since, my kids and I have been having fun making stop motion movies whenever the mood strikes.
You see, they're really into playing with my iPod.

And being creative with Lego bricks.

But mostly they're into playing with my iPod.

Monday, March 17, 2014

In the Time of "Leopardchauns" - and Other Mythical Stories

Godzilla: "Dad, Leprechauns are just a myth...

They lived long ago but now they're just a myth. They lived in the time of cavemen and they were animals...

They were as fast as leopards, and that's why they're called leopardchauns...

Do you want to know how they died? There was a big earthquake..."

And that is where I could no longer keep up, as he started stringing his thoughts together much faster. I would record him telling his tale if he weren't so camera shy, but as soon as I pull it out - no matter how stealthily - he clams up and I lose the story altogether. So, I take to jotting them down like this, catching what I can, or trying to remember exactly how he said it all once he's wrapped it up.

What really struck me about this story was the panic that set in when he first told me that leprechauns were merely mythical. I thought we were on the verge of having the Santa talk. Godzilla is five, and we haven't even had doubts or questions about it yet, and I thought if he had the leprechaun thing figured out, he might connect the dots.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

the love letter

Nat received a love letter at school last week.

She opened it, read the first line, and felt like she might throw up, so she folded it up and didn't finish reading it.

When she showed the letter to her teacher (who we just love by the way, but that's another story for another time) she read it, told Nat that she might get sick as well, folded it up and threw it away.

Fourth grade is about the time where you expect these things to start happening.

Nat is obviously not ready for it - I know it won't be long however before she is. But where she is right now is just fine. I don't want her to rush into anything she's not ready for, and there is no reason for a 9-year-old to need a love interest.

One day, in the not too distant future, she'll have a boyfriend, and when that day arrives, she may feel like throwing up again. Such is the way of young love. And on that day, I hope she shares it with me, because I remember young love, and it's the start of a journey she's going to love some days and hate others. Nothing hurts like a breakup, and nothing turns your stomach in knots like a new romance, and Kate and I want to be there for her for both.

There is, it would seem, lots of getting sick when love is on the board.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ads Even Zach Rosenberg Could be Proud of

Advertising has been focusing on moms for ages. This means that men in general and dads in particular are consistently put down by advertisers, but there is one man, Zach Rosenberg who has decided to make it his mission to level the playing field. At, Zach and his partners in old-school gaming graphic themed website running bring attention to the ads we watch every day, in an attempt to open our eyes to the stereotypes portrayed right before our eyes.

Zach Rosenberg
From analyzing dadvertising in the Super Bowl, to his year-end review, Zach Rosenberg is fighting the good fight to show that dads too can be respected on screen. There are things dads are doing every day in real life, things that should be respected and praised. We are not all Ray Romano's bumbling, incompetent character from "Everybody Loves Raymond."

So the next time you see a dad in an ad, ask yourself how accurate that stereotype is. I'm hoping what you see is a positive message, and even more so, I'm hoping that reflects the dads you see off-screen as well!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Stuff My Kids Say X

Godzilla: "Dad, I know how the dinosaurs died. All the pterodactyls got together and used their beaks to crack the earth's crust. When it cracked, it made volcanoes..."

The story continued for neigh on 20 minutes, waxing poetic about Brontosaur, Mega Crocs, and Tyrannosaurus Rex. We cover all grounds, from archaeologists to oceanographers, and prehistoric sharks evolving into today's great whites. All of it is laced in fact, all of it incredibly detailed, if not fantastical. And he is passionate in his story-telling. He speaks with the authority of someone four, maybe five times his age. And I am in awe from start to finish. When he summarily rejected my theory that flying dinosaurs probably couldn't crack through the earth's crust, I knew he meant business.