Saturday, December 27, 2008
So, with all the local playrooms closed due to the weather and us not wanting to venture out into the biting cold for a walk or stroll, Mrs. LIAYF had the great idea of making playdough. I hadn't known that you could make it at home, and surprisingly enough to me, it turned out to be just what the boredom doctor ordered.
Lukas was as concentrated with the whole process - from mixing and making the dough, to playing with it - as we have seen him in quite some time. We had everything we needed around the house to make it, and he had a ton of fun using cookie cutters, baking tins, and utensils to shape and form the finished dough. It kept him occupied for nearly an hour! That's a toddler eternity.
So, if you have a young kid or two and need something to do, consider making some dough. Mrs. LIAYF found this recipe on the web, but you could do some research of your own.
Playdough Recipe (need one bowl of these ingredients for each color)
1/2 cup white all-purpose flour
1/4 cup salt
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
Mix each bowl of dry ingredients well. In a separate measuring cup combine 1/3 cup boiling water (or just hot water if working with toddlers), food coloring and 1/2 Tablespoon oil. Add this entire mixture to each bowl of dry ingredients and knead well (add more flour or salt if too sticky). Seal in plastic container or ziplock bag to store. Will last longer in the refrigerator.
This playdough is non-toxic, but too salty to taste good to a kid. However, if you get snowed in and can't make it to the grocery store it might go well with beer and pretzels. Enjoy!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
This is what it's all about.
(You may notice that this clip abruptly ends. This is because I made the mother of all photographic Faux Pas and busted the camera on Christmas morning! All is better now that the camera has been exchanged and we are once again prepared for life's Kodak moments.)
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Enough said. Here are the rules:
1) Take a picture of yourself right NOW!
2) DON'T change your clothes, DON'T fix your hair... Just take a picture.
3) Post that picture with NO editing.
4) Post these instruction with your picture.
5)Tag 10 people to do this..
I'm only tagging 5 because I'm too lazy and don't want to take the time to do 10 links. Sorry Diane. Does this mean I get seven years of bad luck?
I'm apologizing in advance for the post-sledding look (have you seen the Seattle news? We have been snowbound for days!). Enjoy the picture!
And here are the "Lucky" tagged ones:
Sorry guys. Play along only if you like.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
This year's tree wasn't the largest, or most symmetrical we have put up in recent years (you get much less critical when the weather is below 2o F, there is a brisk wind, and all the trees are covered with snow). But, thankfully after we arrived home and secured it in the stand, we were satisfied that this was no Charlie Brown tree either.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Lukas had just such a moment Sunday morning. Mrs. LIAYF and I were awaken by the sound of Lukas in a state that seemed to be awe mixed with disbelief. "Waooooooo!" Was the actual sound that broke our slumber at 7:00 AM Sunday morning. Followed shortly by "Was dat?" "Was dat?", "WAS, DAT?"
We entered Lukas's room to find him standing in his crib, holding out the window shade, peering out onto a Winter Wonderland. Several inches of snow had fallen overnight.
There had only been one day of snow here all last Winter, when Lukas was only a few months old. That one snow has not even been enough to stick, so this was our son's first real snow. He was in awe and very excited.
"That's snow" we told him, almost in unison. "Noooo" was his reply. He repeated it all day long, "Noooo". "Noooo". "Noooo". We learned very quickly to distinguish between "No" and "Noooo".
This was our designated weekend to decorate for the holidays. It was too icy to drive, so after breakfast we bundled up Luke to protect him from the icy cold conditions outside, grabbed his red wagon, and headed out on a short treck to pick our Christmas tree. Luckily, our local nursery, with a perfect tree selection, is only a block from our house.
The snow ushered in a real sense of holiday spirit in our home. It was the perfect beginning to our Christmas kickoff. Plus, there is more snow forcast for later in the week. If we get enough accumulation, they may even declare a snow day at work!! So, as they say...
"Let it noooo, let it noooo, let it noooo!"
Photo by Bradley J
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Allow me to explain. Lukas has been practicing his kissing skills lately. So far they leave much to be desired. No matter how much we try to convince him to purse his lips together, most of the time he is not quite getting it. When prompted to "Give us a kiss", he just smiles wide - then zeros in on us with a big, wet, and sloppy open mouth. He will wrap his little arms around our necks, looks us right in the eyes with concentrated determination, and plant his rather wet and juicy lips right on a check, or even a whole upper lip and nose on occasion.
Cute? Yes. Adorable? Absolutely. So where's the problem you might ask. With the ladies friends. The problem is with the ladies who will eventually vie for his affection. In my own unscientific poll I have found that big, wet, sloppy kisses are kind of unpopular with those of the fairer gender.
Mrs. LIAYF has even confessed to dumping a former acquaintance for being a sloppy kisser. And I know if I occasionally get a bit lax with my own technique, to this day she will call me on it. Similarly, I once ended a high school fling with a girl who had a terrible technique, one which left me nearly choking with each kiss. The fact is it’s a harsh, harsh world out there and those with inadequate skills are in danger of being left behind, lonely and confused.
Given all this, I think we need to redouble our efforts. Daily smooching practice will have to commence right away. Perhaps some lemon juice or sour patch candy would be in order. And in order to be a good teacher, I need to first become a good student. Continuing Education, if you will. Mrs. LIAYF doesn’t know it yet, but she will need to help me brush up, so we can pay it forward. We can call it one of those ‘Win-Win’ situations.
Let me know what you think folks. Am I off the mark here? And how about you? Have you ever dumped anyone for being a bad kisser?
Sunday, December 7, 2008
In retrospect, I guess we should have had a Santa picture taken last year. If we had, Lukas might not have been quite so freaked by this encounter with the Jolly Red Man at his daycare's Holiday party yesterday.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Well, it appears that Lukas did, in fact, get the memo. Upon coming downstairs at 7:00 AM this morning, Luke went directly over to a neatly put away box of ASL flash cards, opened them and began thumbing through them, tossing aside the ones he didn't want....
Until he found what he was looking for, and politely walked over to me with big, expectant eyes and handed me this . . .
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Then I heard him. Lukas was actually sitting in another teacher's lap, so I hadn't actually picked him out of the crowd on my initial glance. But I could see him now, and he was upset. Crying actually. As I went over to find out what was the matter, instead of coming to me for comfort, Lukas got up mid-story and made a bee -line to the sliding plastic curtain separating the playroom from the kitchen. He shook the curtain and wailed.
His teacher got up and explained to me that not 10 minutes before, Lukas had turned to see another mother, her back to him, leaving the building. This mother had the same hair and body type as Mrs. LIAYF and upon seeing this scene Lukas had called out "Mama", "Mama!!" but to no avail. They had been attempting to calm him since.
Surprisingly to me, my appearance had not comforted my little guy in the least. Worse, now he was shaking the curtain harder. Much like Dorothy trying to ferret out the Great and All Powerful OZ. Adding insult to injury, he was now hungry and snack time was in 15 minutes . I was there to whisk him away with an empty belly. He would have none of that.
Another teacher popped up, hoping to calm the scene. "Let me get you a cracker to go, Lukas". Bad idea. One by one the content pre-toddlers, upon hearing the word "cracker" lost focus, jumped up, and moved towards the curtain. The first teacher emerged with a vanilla wafer and handed it to Luke who was now on my hip with a birds eye view of the unfolding chaos below. Another teacher stood up and helped the first try to re-form the story-time circle. However, before one could be set back down, another would jump up and run crying hungry for the curtain. It was clearly a losing battle, but one they continued to wage.
Lukas, happy now, simply looked on from above, enthusiastically munching on his vanilla wafer with a grin. And with the hoard of hungry toddlers having re-grouped and in the midst of mounting another offensive, I quietly backed my way to the exit door and slipped out into the darkness of the early evening.
Monday, December 1, 2008
O-u-t-s-i-d-e, is a prime example. A few too many slip ups using that word at a time when going outdoors didn't jive with our plans, taught us pretty quickly to spell it out, lest we have a very disappointed little guy on our hands.
Another word, and one that has come up with increasing frequency in recent weeks, is cookie. The mere utterance of the "C-word" gets our little guy worked up into an excited lather. He will immediately stop whatever it happens to be that he is doing and, looking at us with wide, expectant eyes and begin to almost chant '"cuh-cah", "cuh-cah" while consecutively both rubbing his hand across his chest (ASL for please) as well as rotating his nearly cupped together hands back and forth on top of each other (ALS for cookie).
How can we resist? Granted, we don't give him cookies (really just animal crackers) everytime he asks for them, but the above mentioned scenario is just so damn cute, it makes it extremely difficult to say "No". Hence, we have learned rather quickly to spell out the "C-word".
All that being said, we weren't prepared when, 5 minutes into dinner a couple of nights ago, someone talking on the radio inexplicably used "COOKIE" in a sentence. So much for a balanced meal that night. How could they be so inconsiderate? I guess they didn't get the memo.
Mostly though, I think we are good with our current approach. At least until he learns to spell!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We all know that torture to elicit vital information (tactics such as electric shock or water boarding), are not sanctioned by the Geneva Convention, and for obvious good reasons. Likewise, tactics that once were considered sure-fire ways to convince a combatant to 'give up the goods', such as bamboo shoots under the fingernails, foot roasting, or being slowly drawn and quartered, are neither sanctioned nor practiced by civilized nations in this day and age.
But I have an interesting new suggestion. When faced with a situation requiring the most extreme truth-eliciting methods, the modern-day interrogator can set aside the Metallica discs, discard those bamboo shoots, empty out the tub of water and instead pull out a...
Yes, a diaper of all things. Based on recent research in our house, the mere act of changing a diaper can turn even the most even-tempered and pain resistant person into a writhing, screaming, kicking, and protesting subject who would do anything, or say anything (within personal limitations, of course) to get you to stop.
I know what you are thinking. "It seems so inhumane". But folks, I can assure you that it's not. The pain associated with this new method is not physical, but rather mental and should not result in any lasting physical effects.
That being said, I will need additional research to determine if there is any long term mental scarring associated to this act.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
The life sized skull stares at me with hollow eyes as I pass through the foyer. The hovering hoard of hanging bats flutter gently in the breeze generated by my walk to the fridge. The strings of spiders still cling to my island light fixture, blending neatly with what must be more than a few real ones by now.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Ok, so I'm not talking about a new Plasma TV. Heck, I don't even have cable, not to mention the spare cash to fork over for one of those. Although I have to admit that that would be a nice way to watch my movies at home. Someday.
What I am talking about though, is a PlasmaCar. This toy car was voted a winner in the 2008 Fat Brain toy awards. And deservedly so, I must say.
While checking out an indoor community play area with Lukas yesterday, Mrs. LIAFY and I happened upon a couple of these cars and since the wide open space was otherwise empty, we took them for a spin around the play room. We ended up riding them for several minutes while Luke busied himself with toys his own age (the car is for 3 years and over), and we had a blast!
These cars are operated by inertia, centrifugal force, gravity & friction, so no pedaling or pushing is involved. Just hop on, turn the wheel, and spin around the room. Backwards, forwards, hairpin turns, you name it we were able to do it with these amazing little cars. I had never heard of a PlasmaCar before yesterday, but I was instantly hooked. All you need is a smooth, flat surface and you are ready to roll, continuously!
The heck with buying one for your kids, I recommend you go out and buy one for yourself. You'll definitely feel like a kid again. I sure did.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Although Luke looks a bit startled and wasn't smiling, we were pretty happy with how this picture turned out. After all, he wasn't crying despite strangers messing with him. Being a handsome boy helps quite a bit too. The photographer did a good job of getting him to sit still and get his attention which is something we have extreme difficulty doing ourselves. Kudos to them.
Scary Mommy recently posted a call out to bloggers to show the good, the bad, and the ugly school photos they have stored away. Since this is Lukas' first picture day and it turned out fairly nice, for me it qualifies as the Good.
Now, for the Bad - Mrs. LIAYF generously allowed me to post her high school marching band photo from 1985, freshman year (yes, she was a band geek):
Personally, I think she's adorable. Mrs. LIAYF, however, cringes whenever she sees this lovely photo. Note the big feathered hair (not as big as other girls' hair - she went to high school in Kentucky), the high-riding band pants, the fabulous plaid sash, shiney wide belt, black ascot, and the "action" pose of her mallets. She informs me there was also an enormous black cowboy hat that went with this outfit (thankfully, not pictured). Freckles weren't cool yet, but this picture shows she had a ton (the marching band practiced outside a lot in the sun). This picture reminds me of Jodi Foster in "Freaky Friday" - she also played the glockenspiel. Mrs. LIAYF rocks this uniform, don't you think?
As for the Ugly, I pulled out this gem from my personal archives:
(If this kid comes along...You must whip it!)
Check out those phat burns! And the Devo style helmut head was a 1979 must have. Other great features highlighted in this school picture are the "snap it already!" fake half smile as well as the faded orangish purple tint. Finally, this shirt is a disco dream, calling out loudly to the ladies that it is worn by one very cool, and very available, dude (especially to one band geek - four years my junior and probably in grade school at this point).
Lukas has many years of school pictures ahead of him, but I'll go out on a limb here and say he won't be able to top this one for extreme nerd factor. Do you have any geeky photos of your own? Brave enough to post them? Go on over to Scary Mommy and post them. I dare you!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Given Lukas' yet to be fully resolved run in with some rather sinister bacteria, what was to be our first famiy vacation since his birth 16 long months ago didn't materialize. November sunshine and fresh air down south in Texas gave way to doctor visits, grey skies and flood warnings here in Washington. Not exactly what we had envisioned as that pick-me-up to build momentum and carry us through the long dark Winter months before the Spring begins again to rear its head (kinda like Putin) sometime in late March or early April.
In the place of a proper vacation, we have relaxed, completed projects around the house, had friends and family visit, and generally spent the time enjoying the company of our wonderful son. Everyday this week has been like a lazy Sunday for us, and it has been terrific. True, we would have liked to have slept in a bit longer (Fall Back is not a concept that a toddler sleep routine adapts to easily!), but that aside it has been a rare opportunity for both of us to be SAHP at the same time for an extended period.
Mrs. LIAYF and I have been able to interact on a more intimate level with Lukas given that the outside pressures of work and travel were alleviated. It has been amazing to be here to listen as his vocabulary seems to have exponentially taken off, and his understanding of the world around him blossoms. Each time I am witness to Luke saying a new word for the first time or demonstrating his growing understanding of the world around him by picking the right picture out of a series of photos when asked "where is the ...?", I feel as if I am privileged to be viewing something extraordinary happening.
I am not sure if it is because of who I am at this time in my life, because of how old I am as a first time father, or because I am a pretty boring guy in general, but to be here in the moment witnessing a child (my child) develop is nothing short of amazing. I may have missed a vacation, but just being able to spend the extra time with my son, especially when he is not feeling well, leaves me wanting nothing more.
Tomorrow, sadly, my week of Sundays will come to an end.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
On another note, Lukas is feeling much better today as well. He is in great spirits and his fever seems to be gone for good. He is, however, still walking gingerly on his left leg after a run in with a playground slide shortly after a follow-up visit to Children's hospital on Monday. I took him down the slide and his left leg got caught between mine and the slide on the way down. We initially thought his leg was broken given his tearful reaction as well as the fact he couldn't put weight on it for several hours afterwards. Thankfully, X-rays were negative for a fracture but it remains very tender a couple days later. This rookie dad feels pretty bad - next time I take him down a slide I'll make sure to hold his legs in!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Right now, in that alternate plane, we are indeed enjoying our visit to Dallas. We had a wonderful Halloween Night of trick-or-treating, birthday cake, and enjoyable conversation with friends we have not seen in a long time.
What really happened is much less appealing. Much less enjoyable for sure.
I had written my previous post Thursday morning, in anticipation of not having the time on Friday given my packed agenda. However, Thursday mid-morning I received a disturbing call from Mrs. LIAYF. Lukas had taken a turn for the worse, the swelling in his cheek began to grow much larger in the days since I left home. He was being admitted to Seattle Children's Hospital to have immediate surgery to drain what had become a frighteningly large abscess in his lymph node (confirmed by ultrasound and CT scans). The infection was bacterial and not viral after all.
I hopped the first flight out of Dallas Thursday afternoon, making it to Seattle in plenty of time before the surgery which was delayed until 10:30 PM Pacific time. The surgery was successful, and we were able to see him just after midnight, Halloween and (Birth)day. Worse yet, since the doctors were not sure what had caused the infection and Lukas had developed a strange rash on his arms, we were promptly put into a quarantined 8x10 room where we spent the next 36 hours. Luke was on IV antibiotics and we were set for a few days of worry. No sleep (nurses coming in every few hours to check Luke's IV and vitals), no trick-or-treating, no birthday cake. It was a true Halloween horror tale that we will never want to repeat.
The cultures came back this afternoon - a staph infection. We were finally released after the final determination. Lukas, true to form, was amazingly cooperative and stoic about all the poking, prodding, and inability to walk since the IV was in his right foot, and the foot strapped to a board. He spent most of the time in a little red wagon surrounded by toys (including a cute stuffed panda he was given in the ER - courtesy of Allie's Friends Foundation). All the nurses and doctors were genuinely amazed at his demeanor given his 16 month age. We, however, were not. He is a wonderful little boy, in this and every conceivable universe!
As crazy and painful as this holiday turned out to be, we are just blessed to be at home now with our brave little guy. We are also equally blessed to live so near the fabulous Children's Hospital. Despite the absence of cake and Halloween fun, Mrs. LIAYF insists that she got exactly what she wanted for her birthday - her family together and her little boy getting better. Please send us your thoughts and good karma. Lukas needs all he can get to help fight off this tough infection.
Friday, October 31, 2008
I have been here in Dallas, wrapping up my business conference, but honestly, my mind has not really been in the game for the past several days. Granted, I have learned lots of important things, and have also diverted my attention briefly with other interests (visiting Dealey plaza and standing on the grassy knoll) but as recent readers will understand, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't go more than a few minutes without wondering how Lukas and his amazing mother (the birthday girl) were faring at home.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Warning! This is going to be one of those warm and fuzzy dad posts, so if you are squeamish about such things you may want to come back for a future post. You see, Lukas has had a pretty tough week and all I can think about is what an amazing little guy this is. And I just have to let the mush spill out. Sorry.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
It's October and October means baseball playoffs, which I love despite the fact that my hometown 9 have been rather disappointing in recent years. But no, we won't go down that sad sad road today. However, my daydreaming about the great American pastime reminded me of something I had completely forgotten about.
A few years back, I was browsing a local thrift store when laying loose in a bin of otherwise useless junk, a slightly weathered old baseball caught me eye. I picked it up and noticed that it had a few signatures on it, some of whom I had know to be slightly famous players. Judging by where I found the ball, my immediate thought was that I had found a ball that someone had tried to fake signatures on. I bought the ball for a buck or two and since I was busy at the time, I put it away with some other memorabilia to be pulled out at a later time.
So, after having this baseball memory, I decided to dig through my garage and pull out this box of baseball souvenirs and take another look at what was there. What I found was very intriguing to say the least. Here are some pictures of the that old ball and the signatures I found.
This side was signed by Tom Tresh, and Tony Conigliaro.
And here was the most interesting signature of them all. Mickey Mantle? I think this must have been why I had thought it was not an authentic signed ball. Who would let a ball like this end up at a thrift store? Below is a photo of a more recent signed Mantle Ball that was selling online for about $3500.
Of course I can't authenticate anything about this baseball since I picked it up in a thrift shop, but the more I look at it the more I believe it to have authentic signatures. If authentic this would be a terrific keepsake for Lukas and would add to his collection of signed baseballs that includes future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. and Negro League icon Buck O'Neil. I guess I should do a bit more research and see if I can have it appraised. Anybody out there have an idea of where to start?
I wonder when the Antiques Roadshow is coming to Seattle?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Ghosts? No, not ghosts. Bats? Yes, black flying rodents can be scary, but they are way over-used. Witches? They are so last (and every) year. Skeletons? Not scary, just watch a few episodes of 'America's Next Top Model' and the fright factor goes way down.
No, this Halloween if you need to bring the fright to a whole new level, you will need to get your hands on one of these guys.
Yes, a "Tickle Me Elmo"!
Lukas has developed an odd facination with Elmo that he could have only picked up from the dancing chicken Elmo at daycare - which he loves. No, Elmo had never reared his ugly head in our house before tonight. But, he caught a glance of an Elmo in a children's catalog and began immediately chanting 'Ah-mo', 'Ah-mo' (this coming only days after 'mama'). So, we decided it was time to break out the "Tickle Me Elmo" that a gracious friend had gotten for Lukas as a Christmas gift, but which we had yet to give to him (hoping we could postpone the inevitable).
At first he was very excited to see Elmo, but what was to be a fun reunion with his fuzzy red friend quickly went south. We set it down and Lukas began to dance, expecting it to 'do the chicken, bock bock bock!' Instead, Elmo rolled on the ground insanely laughing, shaking and banging its little furry red head repeatedly onto the floor.
After witnessing this seizure-like behavior, Lukas started to shake his head 'No-No'. Then, when Elmo didn't stop a look of fear crossed Lukas' face that we have only seen in bad horror flicks. You would have though TME had sprouted a pair of horns, a tail and his head had spun around. (We've only seen this look of fear on Lukas' face once before - when a scary-looking old tatooed waitress picked him up and held him at a local eatery). The horrified face, a beat, then our boy began to scream bloody murder yelling "NO! NO! NO!"
Mrs. LIAYF quickly took Lukas to the other room to dance with him. I hid TME and chucked the packaging. Lesson learned: to a toddler, TME is no less than Norman Bates meets Chucky in Texas wielding a rusty chainsaw! We hope he sleeps through the night.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
But there has been a dramatic change in the temperature around here, it being Fall and all. This fact, coupled with what I can only assume are brain cell challenged folks working the off-site heating/air conditioning controls at my work, it has been down right frigid in my office. Yes, you guessed it. The AC is still pumping despite the fact that it is 50 degrees F outside. I guess they didn't get the memo. In fact, you could literally hang a side of beef in my office and it'd be good. "Yes, wheel that carcass right over here with the others, friend".
So, as I was mentioning, there are a few things that I never thought I would do, but I have stopped worrying about being cool when I am down right cold. I would previously chuckle to myself while passing all the ladies in my office who had their tiny little heaters blasting during mid-spring. No longer. We now have solidarity! I put in my request for a space heater a couple of days ago and it arrived today. Let the warm air roll!
Ok, why do I suddenly feel like an 80 year old grandmother? Oh well, at least I am warm.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
While we were at it, we also decided it was time to purge some of the unnecessary chotchkies that seem to multiply like randy rabbits every year while our attention is focused elsewhere. Case in point is this CREEPY snail head that has been sitting on our shelf for a the past few years. We hadn't even noticed it for quite some time. It is actually a candle, and a stinky one at that.
I think we picked it up on a Mexican vacation a few years back. Not sure what the heck we were thinking, but we both took a closer look and burst into laughter simultaneously as we considered what all the visitors must have thought of our taste when a stray eye would have landed on this oddity. Note the Mona Lisa smile, paired with the stubby antenna. A cross between "My Favorite Martian" and a lipstick commercial.
I had originally considered giving it away as prize to someone with the most interesting story of what they would do with it, but am reconsidering. After all, Halloween is just around the corner and it would actually fit in quite nicely with the other decorations.
What about you? Give it to me straight. What sorts of bad-taste chotchkies do you have displayed around your house? If your story is good enough, I might just send you this beauty after the Halloween season!
Monday, October 6, 2008
Watch closely and notice how Aquaman and Aqualad adroitly handle those wild sea horses, and how our aqua hero smartly uses his telepathic ability to summon all the oceans creatures to be his aqua posse and to help defeat the evil Nepto and his roguish sea viking raiders! Need I say more?
No apology needed Dan. Just pass on the good word about Aquaman across the pond!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
( Yes, I even had my very own O.J. Jersey!)
To this day, I distinctively remember watching in awe as O.J. sliced and diced his way through opposing defenses (ok, maybe a not the best choice of verbs) with such style and grace that I wanted to be just like him. It was amazing to me how O.J. would slowly get up limping after an amazing run which culminated in being slammed to the ground by several opposing defenders. He would gingerly limp back to the huddle, me holding my breath wondering how badly hurt he was, only to have him break off another graceful dash down the sidelines on the next play. Yes, The Juice had special skills.As I'm sure most of us do, I also remember the shocking news of his wife's murder back in 1994, and the infamous low speed chase in the white Bronco. I watched the trial of the century with utter fascination, and heartfelt sadness that a childhood hero of mine had fallen so low. I was also convinced of his guilt, and like most of the people I knew, was equally shocked to hear the not guilty verdict. I still remember that moment vividly. It felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. It was blow to my young notion that in my country justice would always be served.
(photo by bullywhippit)
Now, 13 years later, comes the news that O.J. Simpson has finally been convicted for a separate set of crimes, including kidnapping and armed robbery, stemming from an incident in a Las Vegas casino a year ago in which he attempted to steal some of his own sports memorabilia. With this conviction also comes the word that The Juice could even spend the rest of his life in prison for committing these crimes. Clearly a case of right sentence, wrong crime. Yes, O.J. should be rotting in a jail cell for the rest of his natural life, and you won't find many people who will be shedding tears for this terrible, iconic figure in American pop culture.
It seems odd to me now that as a child I idolized such a morally corrupt person. The fact was, that like most sports stars of those days, I knew a whole lot about O.J. Simpson the athlete, and very little about O.J the man. I do believe that with the proliferation of the media culture of today such disparity of knowledge has narrowed, thus making it easier for those kids today who are looking for a true hero to worship.
As Lukas grows and becomes aware of such things, I will do my very best to keep him from being awed by a high performing athlete's on-the-field accomplishments and automatically putting that person on a pedestal. It will be a fine line I'm sure. I don't want him to lose that sense of wonder and excitement at seeing those amazing feats of athletic prowess, I just want him, in the end, to judge the man's character by what he does off the field or court. Things like how he treats his family, or how he deals with adversity. Those things are the true measure of a man. Not, how fast he can run through an airport, or dodge defenders.
As for O.J., I hope for everyone's sake that this pariah of a man is in fact sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars. He deserves it, if not for this crime, then for the murders he committed all those years ago. It would be a fitting end to a sad chapter in American pop culture history.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Yep folks, there's a new sheriff in town! This new sheriff promises that he will make a strong effort to clean things up around here! He also indicates that given the proper time, he will certainly flush away the dirty elements that have been menacing this humble abode.
(Sheriff James - 1968)The old sheriff did a pretty decent job for many years. He was a beloved figure, especially with the attractive females around town. However, with the community growing in population, leading to an increasingly cluttered and failing infrastructure as well as increased rowdiness over the past several months, he has grown tired. The result being that too many punishable offenses have been allowed to slide by without proper retribution.