Embarrassing my Daughter

My cute little daughter is getting older, and it’s breaking my heart.  Before I go into too much detail, I admit, I was at fault in this situation.  That’s not the point, though.  The point is the sadness I felt.

The Flower Child, my seven year old daughter, is in Girl Scouts.  This is the first year she’s been in this organization, and we signed her up so she can be a part of a group that is all girls.  She’s played T-Ball and Soccer before on teams with boys and girls, but she needs some girl time.  Our neighborhood is teaming with masculinity.  Within a quarter mile radius, there are eight boys and no girls for her to play with, so she’s incredibly excited to go to Scouts.

I took her to a meeting last week.  There are 20 other little second grade girls in her troop. I walked with her to the classroom where she was having her last meeting.  Right when we entered the room, she skipped away from me and took a seat in the middle of a gaggle of giggling girls.  I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, so I waded through the crowd to find her.  I snatched her out of her seat and gave her a big hug.  Then I set her back down and went on my way.

An hour and a half later, the meeting ended.  I came back to get her, and as we were driving home, I asked her how her meeting went.

She said, “Dad, you know, you embarrassed me.”

I looked back at her, completely baffled, “What?  How did I embarrass you?”

“When you hugged me!” she declared.

I bristled from her brash statement.  “But why?  I should be able to hug my daughter.”

“It’s not that.  You picked me up and were growling like a bear, in the middle of all my friends.  It’s embarrassing!”

TheFlowerChild

“Oh,” I replied.  I had never thought about the fact that I might make my daughter embarrassed. I just wanted to give her a hug, since she always does that before she goes somewhere.

This weekend, we had a discussion about what I can and can’t do. I asked if she was just uncomfortable by my actions and not just embarrassed about me being her dad.  That would be a total death blow to her father.  She said it was just my actions that bothered her.   I understand the situation now, and won’t hug her like an angry bear anymore in her circle of friends.  I will however still get a socially acceptable hug from her before she runs off to be with her friends.

The Sunday Share – Be the Next Forest Man

I’ve determined that the best way to help the world is to plant trees, lots of them.  I haven’t figured out the where or when, but this guy, The Forest Man did.  He’s an Indian photographer.  About 40 years ago, he started planting trees on a large sandy island.  Now, this island, which is larger than Central Park in New York City is covered with trees.

Why did I determine that this is the best way to help the world?  I don’t know.  Maybe it isn’t, but it seems like a reasonable way to try and help.

Here’s a fascinating animated CO2 map of the world.

It’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  Go plant a tree!

 

Review This – Book/Movie Idea (72/365)

I’ve had this idea for a book and or screenplay for a while, but I’ve never really put it all down.

Working Title: Review This (Comedy)

Tagline: Don’t Cross Your Russian Mobster Boss

Elevator Pitch: A financially strapped teacher writes online reviews for household products for extra cash.  His employer, a Russian mobster, asks him to review strange and racy products as well as asks the teacher for his wife to be in the video reviews.  He and his wife agrees, but when the Russian mobster asks for too much, will the teacher be able to say no, or does he no longer have a choice on what he can or can’t review.

Premise: A teacher, we’ll name him James, basically has given up controlling his class (I’m thinking like Kevin Hart or Will Farrell as the lead role).  James is looking for a different job or any other way to earn money.  He’s too proud to tell his wife, we’ll name the wife Sue, about his failings as a teacher, but he knows he’s probably going to get fired.  James breaks the vacuum while trying to help out at home and Sue tells him to buy a new one.  He doesn’t have any money to buy a new one, but he finds a unique add on the internet where he could get his vacuum for free if he writes a 2000 word review about the vacuum he buys.  James does this.  The company pays him for the vacuum, and in turn asks him to review five more.  James agrees and does the vacuum reviews and gets paid well for each one.

Soon thereafter, James is asked by a representative from the company, an eccentric Russian man, to start adding video reviews to his written review.  James is camera shy, so he asks his wife to appear in the video reviews.  Sue agrees, and they earn even more money for their vacuum reviews.  The Russian man then starts asking James to review other products like juicers, dishwashers, mattresses.  He agrees.  The money is rolling in, except James gets fired from his teaching job.  James reaches out to the Russian to see if he has any other products that he can review for him.

The Russian asks him to use his wife to review dominatrix type products.  Sue surprisingly agrees to help out and they end up making more and more money.  Unfortunately, a rival reviewing group notices what James is doing, and starts stealing his reviews and posting them on a different website.  The Russian mobster thinks James is double crossing him and tries to kill James and Sue.

Example section of dialogue.  The Russian is telling James that he has to review and make videos about dominatrix clothing and gear.

JAMES

You want my wife to do what?

RUSSIAN

To model these clothes.  You don’t like these clothes?

JAMES

I don’t know?

RUSSIAN

You don’t know?  You either like them or you like man.  Ha.  That was quite funny.  Funny unless you like man.  Do you like man?  You probably shouldn’t be married to a woman if you like man?

JAMES

It’s men.  You should say men, as in the plural form of man.

RUSSIAN

So you like a lot of man.  You like men?

JAMES

No.  No I like my wife.

RUSSIAN

So it’s settled then.  She will model the clothes.  Don’t worry.  You can be the won she ties up for the videos.  I don’t want to introduce other men into your life.  Should I say man there?  I’m confused.

This idea actually comes from some of my real life experience, and a fun conversation I had with my friend Art.  I used to do vacuum reviews, and juicer reviews for a guy from Slovenia.  That is the truth.  My wife would be in some of the videos, because it was easier for me to film her and such because I have a little more experience using a video camera.  Here’s an example of one of our video efforts.

Art asked me if the guy I was working for was petting a Siberian Tiger while I spoke to him.  Then our conversation went off the rails.  Ta da!  A movie idea was born.  I think it would be fun to watch something like this occurring.

 

 

Fan Art Friday – Turtle, Grinch, and Wanted Poster (72/365)

You want to know what the number one enemy for me is, as far as preventing me from writing?  I’d have to say it’d be nice weather.  It was a gorgeous day today here in Southern Wisconsin.  I got home from work and spent as much time as possible outside.  I sat on the deck, enjoying the nice rays with my wife.  Then I grilled some bratwurst up for dinner.  After that, we took a walk.

Get this.  A couple in our neighborhood was on a walk with a macaw parrot.  No lie!  They had a macaw as a pet, and they were walking around outside with it.  Marlo was it’s name.  I asked a ridiculous amount of questions to the owners because it’s not often you see an animal like that outside of a zoo.  I’ll have to talk about that tomorrow.  You know why?  ‘Cause today is Fan Art Friday.  Let’s see what the kids created this week.

First up is Ivan the Wonderful with a Turtle.

Turtle

Ivan wanted us to know all the body parts of the Turtle.  It has feet, legs, a tail, a shell, a head and much more.

Next up, we have a grumpy picture from The Flower Child, of all people.

The Grinch by a seven year old

I guess it’s okay that she drew a grumpy picture.  It is the Grinch, after all.

Our last entry of the week comes from Bob the Builder.

Wanted Poster by a kid

According to Bob, he was wanted for “Excessive Bee Awards”.  At his school, you get a “Bee Award” if you are being kind, courteous, or helpful.  He does get a fair amount of them.  I understand why he had to make a Wanted Poster.

What Day Would You Loop for a Year – Part Two (71/365)

If you’ve seen Groundhog’s Day, you understand the concept of a day that loops.  If you don’t, here’s the trailer to that movie.

Yesterday, I wrote about what day of my childhood I would loop over again.  Now let’s focus on the second part of my life.  I like to call this section, with Lisa Marie before children.

I met Lisa Marie in 2001 when we were both coaches for a high school cross country team.  We were engaged in 2002.  We got married in 2003.

Wedding Day

That’s a picture of our wedding day.  No, I wouldn’t loop that day over and over again.  Getting married is a little nerve wracking, with the church service, the big party, and everything.  I loved it, but once was enough.

After we were married, two years later, Lisa gave birth to our first child in 2005.  So we had about four years before someone depended on us. This part of my life was short, but it was electrifying.

The day I would loop would be on our Honeymoon.  I think it was the second day when we were in Jamaica.  We got a couples massage in the morning, and then time slowed down.  Everything was wonderful after that.  As the Jamaican’s told us, “Now you’re on Jamaican Time, Mon.”  I could loop that day for a year.  Beautiful weather, my beautiful wife, and some nice cold beverages by the beach.  That night, we ate dinner on the beach.  The tide was coming in, and we didn’t move.  We sat at our table and let the waves wash over our feet as we drank a bottle of wine.

Do you have a day with your significant other that you would loop for a year?  What day would it be?  Where were you?  I’ve noticed that both days that I’ve picked involve warm weather and water.  I think I need to make some changes in my life!

What Day Would You Loop For a Year? (70/365)

I just finished reading a fantastical book, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  This next bit is kind of a spoiler, but I think you can still enjoy the book, very much so, even if you know this part.

At one point, the characters mention that they are caught in a loop.  If you’ve seen Groundhog’s Day, you know the scenario.  You have your day, and then, when you wake up, it’s the same day again.  Everyone else you know and meet do the same things, but you have a memory of the previous day.  The day loops over and over again.

That got me to wondering, if I could loop the same day for a whole year, what day in my life would it be?

I view my life in three parts.  The first part of my life we can title, Childhood.  This includes everything that happened before I met Lisa Marie.  I was 24 years old when I met my wife.  Yes, I was still pretty much a child at age 24.  I think I’m about a juvenile now as far as maturity level goes.

If I could, the day from my childhood that I would loop is one of the days spent at Rock Lake up in Canada.  For me, at least, that place was a boy’s paradise.  To help you understand Rock Lake, just imagine pristine north woods wilderness.  The four mile long lake is surrounded by towering oak, maple, and pine trees.  The only area with cottages on it is a small sandy bay.  When you get out on the lake, the wildlife is all around you.  Loons calling out, Beavers slapping their tales if you get too close, Osprey soaring overhead.

My Aunt and Uncle still own the place up there, “Campada”, and I hope to one day bring my own children up there to experience what I have.  I would choose to loop a warm summer day up on Rock Lake.  Here’s what a typical day entailed.

I’d have to be with the best of company.  My mom, dad, sister, and brother would be with me.  Also up at camp would have to be my cousins.  We all got along famously growing up.

Tim

That’s a picture of my cousin, Tim.  He wasn’t having a great day fishing when we were up there, so we made sure to document the one fish that he did catch.  My brother is behind him, fishing.

DaveBass

That’s me with a nice largemouth.  To be honest, I’m not sure if I that one is up at Rock Lake, or at the secret ponds somewhere in Wisconsin.  No, I can’t tell you were the secret ponds are!  Stop asking.

The day would start with fishing.  It’d probably just be my brother, my youngest cousin, The Admiral, so he could drive the boat, and myself.  We’d catch plenty of largemouth and smallmouth bass like normal.  After a couple hours, we’d return for breakfast.  My favorite was Aunt Susie’s Egg McMommies.  After filling my belly, it would be time to go down to the lake.  Maybe I’d catch frogs and minnows with my sister.  I could relax on the beach and chat with Mom.  Maybe the cousins and my dad would go swimming or play king of the raft.  Maybe Jeremy, Joe, or Tim would want to explore the woods or check out one of the islands on the lake.  Then it’d be time for lunch.  Of course we’d eat PB&J sandwiches and chase it with lemonade.  Perhaps it would be time to take a boat ride to a 15 foot high cliff called Indianhead, climb up it and then jump off into the water, maybe play fetch with Butch the black lab, eat a fresh fish fry for dinner, go fishing until dark, play cards at night with my dad, brother, sister, and all my cousins.  So many fun things to do.  No worries.  I’d could do over today 364 more times.

What day would you loop in your childhood.  When was everything right with the world?  Did you ever feel like you found magic right here on Earth?  I did.  I’ve found it several times, and I haven’t even got to the next two stages of my life yet.  Another day, I’ll have to tell you about the second and third parts of my life.  I call them, with Lisa Marie before kids, and with Lisa Marie after we had kids.

No Awe, No Wonder (69/365)

What’s wrong with kids these days?  Aren’t they amazed by anything anymore.  Are all the special effects in movies, or those blasted video games and such are taking the wonder out of the world?  If everything is awesome, then is there any awe left?  I wonder if there’s any wonder left.

On Saturday, my wife and I had to travel to Brookfield to sign some tax forms.  I wanted to make the trip worthwhile for my kids because sitting in the car for an hour and a half without getting to do something cool seemed unfair, especially since it was the weekend.  I decided that stopping at Miller Park would be a unique experience for them.

We arrived at the Brewer’s baseball stadium around three in the afternoon.  For those not familiar with this stadium, it’s a giant brick stadium with a massive green metal roof.  The inside has four levels of seating, and can hold over 40,000 people.  My kids weren’t as amazed as I thought they would be.  I asked my five year old son, Ivan the Wonderful, “So, isn’t it huge?”

“Yeah.  It’s big,” he replied.

Miller Park

We entered the stadium by some doors near the left field corner, and entered a restaurant there called Friday’s Front Row Grill.  I thought we’d get a good view of the field, the grandstands, and the roof from inside the restaurant, bout you couldn’t see as much as I would have liked.  The outdoor balcony wasn’t open.  All you could see out the windows of the restaurant was the field, but the entire field was covered with a tarp.  You couldn’t even tell it was a baseball field.  My daughter asked if they played football here.

Sadly, I answered, “No.  It’s for baseball.  You can’t see the field because of the tarp.”

When we left the restaurant, I started looking around to see if we could enter the stadium to better see the huge closed roof.  All the gates to the concourses were locked shut.  I was irate.  How dare they cover the field!  How dare they preventing us from gazing upon the giant retractable roof!

That’s when I decided to take my kids up the closed escalator.  Yes, that was probably against the rules, but I blame the Brewer’s organization for not giving my kids the experience I wanted to give them.   I guess I could just bring them to a game, but that’s besides the point.  Bow to my unreasonable wishes!

While my wife and daughter were still in the Brewer’s store near the restaurant, so I snatched my two boys, moved aside a yellow construction sign, and led them up an escalator to the second level.  They were going to see the inside of Miller Park, and they were going to like it!  We swiftly made our way upstairs, and then went into the stands.  I pointed up and showed the kids the huge closed roof.  “Isn’t it amazing!  Look at how high the roof is,” I said, my voice filled with wonder.

My nine year old son, Bob the Builder, was someone who I thought would appreciate the soaring arched roof.  He answered with, “It’s tall.”

Discouraged, I told my kids that it was time to leave.  They sensed that we were doing something wrong, so they slunk up the stairs, giggling, hiding behind seats and ducking behind posts.  I didn’t care, probably because I was disappointed with the experience that I thought they should have, so I just strutted towards the escalator.

When we got back downstairs, I saw my wife and my daughter.  I waved them over so I could show my daughter the upstairs.  She gets excited about everything, so maybe The Flower Child could lift my spirits.  We turned to go back up the escalator, and a maintenance man suddenly appeared at the top of the steps.  Apparently, my bold move to go up the stairs the first time was noticed by someone, and he was sent to make sure it didn’t happen again.

“You see the caution signs,” he said.  “That means you can’t come up here.”  I nodded.  My wife shook her head in dismay at my bold attempt to snoop around upstairs.  Disheartened and defeated, I lead my family out of the building.

Was I wrong for wanting a bigger reaction from my kids?  I’m not sure.  Maybe they were impressed, but didn’t really say it.  Who knows?  Are my kids, or all kids these days not amazed things as easily?   I’m not sure, but I think I was impressed a lot easier than their generation is.  Was I wrong for sneaking around, and taking them upstairs to show them more of the stadium?  Of course not!

Carol’s Cookies on The Walking Dead #CarolsCookies (68/365)

Did you see the latest episode of The Walking Dead?  Carol scared the snot out of me!  She is in the middle of stealing some guns in the new town they are living in, and a random kid catches her in the act.  The kid says he has to tell his mother, and Carol goes dark.  She said some of the most sinister things I’ve ever heard.

Carol was all like, “So kid.  Don’t tell your mom or else.”

The kid was like, “Why not?”

That bothered Carol so she said, “Because I’ll give you some cookies.”

The kid was undeterred, and replied with, “But I tell my mom everything.”

Then things got real.  Carol got all up in this kid’s personal bubble and said, “Not this you won’t.  If you tell mom this, I’m going to do some wicked bad things to you.  You’re going to go to sleep, and then when you wake up, you’ll be tied to a tree.  You can scream all you want, but no one is going to hear you.  Actually, something is going to hear you, but it’s not going to be your mom.  Instead, it will be the zombies that hear you.  They’ll come out and tear into your flesh while you’re still alive.  How’d you like that, little buddy?  So don’t tell mom, and I’ll make you some cookies.”

I’m not a huge Twitter user, but I sent out what I thought was a hilarious tweet about the different kinds of cookies that Carol could make for that little kid.

I got zero retweets and zero favorites.  Apparantly, other people were funnier than me.  Here’s some of my favorite responses to the hashtag #CarolsCookies.

How about some nice prepackaged chocolate chip cookies.

Here’s a few more that made me laugh even though I shouldn’t.

I need to put a stop to this.


Han Solo, Miss Peregrine, and Scott Sterling – The Sunday Share (67/365)

Harrison Ford, an actor famous for his role as Han Solo in the Star Wars movies, survived an airplane crash this week.  I’m glad he and his son are okay.  Because they are doing well, the Interwebs declared it open season for poking fun at the crash.

I’m sorry, Mr. Ford. I couldn’t help myself.

The book of the week!  For the first time ever, a book trailer convinced me to read the book.

The book, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Book 1), is creepy! Just watch the book trailer, and it will give you the chills. I’m three chapters in, and I had a little trouble sleeping last night.

On my lovely journal, the story that garnered the most interest was about when my son, who was one year old at the time, had a diaper blowout in the car seat as the we traveled on Interstate 94.

And, finally, watch this epic soccer shoot out.  It’s okay to laugh about it.  Scott Sterling survived.

That’s all.  I hope you liked The Sunday Share, and remember to share it too.  Sharing is caring!

Fan Art and Fungus Story (66/365)

We got home late last night, so I had to punt for Friday’s journal.  I shared an old story time video I had instead of posting Fan Art like I normally do on Friday.

No worries.  Here’s my kids most recent works.  First up is Bob the Builder.  I absolutely love this watercolor picture.

IMG_1583

He called this work, “Three Scary Pumpkins“.  Doesn’t that one look amazing!

Next up is a picture and a story from The Flower Child.

Fungus

The characters are Ellen who has black hair, Alex who has a mohawk, and his big brother who has orange hair.  The setting is in their school.  The problem is the fungus got out of a jar.  The solution is how they solve the problem.  The called Mrs. Macadamia and her friends put the fungus back in jars.

I hope you liked the pictures and story!