Tag Archives: evolution

Keg-Stand Birthday Party

We threw a keg party for our oldest little dude’s first birthday.

I mention this not to subject myself to abuse, although I have a feeling that’s just what I’ve done.

No, the reason I mentioned it was as a way to continue the discussion about memory and youth. On Monday, I  talked about how I should have saved a lot of money by not taking the young dudes to Walt Disney World until they were old enough to actually remember going.

Here’s the thing: I can’t tell you the number of first-birthday parties to which I’ve gone that were complete wastes of time, energy and cake.

There is no way that a one-year-old little dude or dudette is going to be participating much in the festivities, unless there’s a drool off at some point, much less remember it with fondness later.

A lot of parents seem to forget that their adorable little spawn-of-their-loins doesn’t have an actual brain at one year, nor much control over their muscles (not to mention bowels).

Unless you’re desperately short on cute onesies, then, what’s the point of throwing a huge, big-time party for a one-year-old little dude?

The answer to that question is staring you right in the face. Well, it is provided you’re standing in front of a mirror and looking at it.


It’s you, dudes. You parents are the reason for the party.

No kid will ever remember nor appreciate the party you throw for them. Considering we didn’t remember this when it was time to force Walt Disney World on ourselves, it’s a miracle we remembered this little tidbit.

My wife, known to many as She Who Must Be In Charge Of Every Kegs of beer are one of the most important ingredients when you're throwing a keg party. You could even go so far as to not purchase any cups, but you've got to have the keg and the tap. Can't forget the tap.Little Party Detail Or Else, and I quickly realized that every first-birthday-party was, in fact, for the parents. So we decided, if that was the case (and it is), then let’s really make it for the parents.

Which brings us to the keg party.

Before the actual party began, we had a little celebration with the proto-Sarcasmo involving cake he could barely eat, candles he couldn’t blow out and presents he didn’t understand. But mostly it was about pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

Then we cleaned up the mess and got to the fun. We held the keg party to celebrate the fact that we’d managed to procreate and had kept the resulting mass of replicating protoplasm alive, functional and cute as all get out for one complete revolution around the sun.

We invited friends, family and, for one rather fuzzy moment, the mail carrier on his appointed rounds.

A good time was had by all.

Although, now that I think about it, I’m not sure we really achieved anything different by holding an adult party instead of hosting a party for a young dude who wouldn’t remember the party.

Considering the number of kegs we upended that day, it’s a cause for another celebration that anyone remembers any of the party at all.

Although I’m sure it was fun. At least, so I’m told.

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Creation Versus Consumption

Over the weekend, I’d had enough of the back door to our garage.

The door’s been there since the house was built, nearly 30 years ago. It’s seen several different doorknobs and locks and such, but it’s the same door.

The problem was that — all those doorknobs and locks — they’ve been drilled into the exact same holes in the door. And, over the years, those holes got a bit bigger and a bit looser, and a bit bigger and a bit looser, until, as of the weekend, the screws holding the lock plate to the door kept falling out.

We’d try to close the door, only to have it *clang* off the doorjamb and bounce back at us. It was at the point that I could simply push the screws back into the door with my thumb.

So, yes, I’d had enough. I went out and purchased some wood filling putty, put on some surgical rubber gloves and got to work. Cutting and rolling and kneading the putty, I then shoved it into the various screw holes. I cleaned it up and then waited for an hour for the putty to cure.

When that was done, I got out the trusty electric drill/screwdriver and put the screws back in, nice and tight. Then I sat back and basked in the endorphin rush of getting something done.

It’s what an individual going by the name of Rands on the internet calls the “Builder’s High.”

I don’t know what cascading chemical awesomeness is going down in my brain when it detects and rewards me for the act of building, but I’m certain that the hormonal cocktail is the end result of millions of years of evolution. Part of the reason we’re at the top of the food chain is that we are chemically rewarded when we are industrious – it is evolutionarily advantageous to be productive.

Rands is worried that we as a society are training ourselves to deny our own instinct to be productive by overdosing on other people’s moments, via Facebook, twitter and the like. He might have a point.

I know I’ve often had that builder’s high when I’ve finished some project around the house, be it writing “the end” when I’ve finished making a book, or fixing the garbage disposal or even, yes, really, getting all the leaves out of the lawn on a late fall afternoon.

(Seriously, I’ll look out over the newly uncarpeted-with-leaves lawn, see the fading green of the grass well mowed and feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Maybe I’m just easily satisfied by manual labor. Could be the case.)

It’s a wonderful sensation. I think it can also be called the Satisfaction Of A Job Well Done, although I’m not sure I want to actually call it that because now I’m sounding like my grandfather when he got up on his high hobby horse and started yammering about how I was too lazy while I was enjoying the hammock.

Still, he might have had a point. In athletics, that feeling you’ve got, after you’ve left it all out there on the field and emerged victorious, almost can’t be beat.

It’s the difficult things that bring the most satisfaction when we bring them into reality. If it’s easy, there’s not really any “high,” no sense of accomplishment. But when we have to work, to sweat, to force ourselves to keep going. . .

That’s when it all feels oh, so good.

Why not encourage the young dudes and dudettes to help them get those feels? Work with them to accomplish something together and share how good that made you feel.

Because, let’s face it, the greatest act of creation we’re going to do is help our young dudes and dudettes create the lives they will inhabit. I know I want to feel proud of the work I’ve done when I’m done. You?

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Be There And Be Square

I gotta tell you dudes, I’m pretty sure it’s the coolest thing to come out of the information revolution so far.

I’m talking about the little Square dongle you plug into the headphones jack of your futurephone. Then, you can use to swipe a credit card or debit card and accept payment from anyone and do it anywhere.

I will never not think that’s cool.

But I’m not here to pimp Square. I’m here to pimp A Dude’s Guide to Babies on Square. Subtle difference.

The Square Marketplace is an online place for people to hawk their wares that they’ve been selling via Square. Pretty cool idea, I thought, which is why I went ahead and listed the book there.

You ought to give it a shot, even if you don’t decide to buy a book through the marketplace.

Heck, if you’re thinking of buying a book, you can even get an autographed copy right here on the site. All you’ve got to do is click on that little Paypal text box over there to the right, keep clicking through and we’ll send you an autographed copy of the only book a new dad ever needs to read.

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