Tag Archives: Sense Of Humor

Mother Nature Can Be A Mean Mutha

Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor.

As an adult, you’re pretty much independent of the weather. Oh, I don’t mean that you can go outside in a blizzard, naked and enjoy a rousing game of snowball fighting without causing yourself some severe damage.

I just mean that we adults have ways around various weather-related catastrophes, such as seeing the baseball game you were looking forward to get rained out an hour before the first pitch was to be thrown. We can’t make the game go forward, but we are mature enough to realize that it wasn’t personal* nor the end of the world and then choose something else to do that day.

Little dudes and dudettes? Not so much. To them, the weather is personal. It really doesn’t want them to see the soccer game, or experience playing in the new park for the first time or take the dog to the dog park to let it off the leash and watch the ensuing craziness.The original title of this said something about politics, but I really don't see anything political about a tornado bearing down on a car, do you?

If you’re like me and you want to at least appear to make the attempt to rear your children in such a way as to suggest that the outdoors is not something to be avoided at all costs, you quickly realize that maybe the little dudette was right about it being personal.

We live in the south. I’ve lived in the south (if we count fashionable far-north Dallas as the south and I do) for almost all of my life. Which means that summers have always been hot. It’s not even so much a question of how hot, but will it break a record today? I am used to going around outside in the heat.

Sweating doesn’t bother me. I’ve learned to enjoy the shade for the delightful break it really is.

That’s me.

One of the first things I came to realize when I became the person in charge of rearing three young boys in a day-to-day basis, is that any temperature that isn’t 72 degrees Fahrenheit is way too (insert hot or cold here, depending on season) and they’re going. . . to. . . die!

Which, oddly, they never did do. Despite the whining and the horror-show shrieking whenever we’d go outside into the bright sunlight and heat and humidity, the little dudes still lived.

I think a lot of this comes from the immaturity of the young dude brain. In that, when something goes wrong, they feel the need to apportion blame. Something can’t just happen. It has to have been done by someone to them.

And because every bad occurrence is seen as having been directed at them, they take it personally and get much more angry than would seem reasonable to an adult. Or at least someone cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

This is the bit about the sense of humor. Knowing all this about how kids see adverse changes in plans, what do you suppose happened every time I had talked them into going outside in the heat to, maybe, go swimming?

If you guessed the advent of a once-in-a-century lightning storm crashing down on us just as we got to the pool. . . Well, you’ve obviously been reading this blog for a while.

When you’d actually look at the weather, see an almost certain day of rain coming and plan for a trip to the movies. . . Of course it’s one of the nicest, sunniest days on record.

It can get annoying, but I think this kind of adversity is good for their them, making them stronger, better able to handle the twists and turns of life that aren’t part of a water slide you can’t use because it started lightning and only does it every 30 minutes which is enough because they make you wait 35 minutes between strikes to get back into the water.

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Liveblogging The Book Signing

11:36
Just talked to two lovely women who stopped by the table. They have grown kids, but thought the book might be a good gift for friends of the kids who are having babies. Yes, indeed, we will work with you to find a way for you to take this book home today. Although we might have to take the offer back to our manager.

11:21
We keep getting the strangest looks when we start talking to folks about the book. Maybe we should stop asking the ladies in walkers if they want a copy? Possibly.

11:08
Sale number two. According to the BN rep, we might be approaching a new record of some sort. They’ve never had this many people run screaming out the exit door.

10:22
And there he goes. Our first sale. Well, our first sale today.

10:07
Policemen don’t really appreciate a sense of humor.

10:03
Apparently there are “laws” against stealing signs and setting them up to block traffic. Something about “safety,” as if that matters when we’re trying to sell books.

10:00
Well here we are, dudes. Barry and I have sat down at the table in our Barnes and Noble bookseller at South Park Mall, 4020 Sharon Road in Charlotte, to start selling the book to anyone who walks in the door.

Already we’ve considered stealing a couple of WET FLOOR barricades and setting them up to funnel people through the door and past our table.

We’ll be liveblogging stuff as it happens, so check back frequently. Well, we will be doing that if the press of autograph-hungry readers ever lets up.

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Happy Birthday, Dad!

Okay, I lied.

It seems like I do have something important to say today.

I’m just stopping by for a quick shout out to my dad, my namesake and the big dude who taught me everything he knows — but not everything I know — about how to be a dad. Sometimes he did it by setting an example, and sometimes he did it by showing me what not to do.

Either way, I learned more from that man than I could have from a library full of books.

He taught me that if it was important to his son that he coach in sports, then he took the time off his job to be there for his son and coach whatever sport was in season. Dad coached me in tackle football, baseball, basketball, just about everything I ever wanted to play. When I made the school track team in shot put and discus and the mile relay, it was my dad who took me aside and showed me how to do it all.

He taught me that you didn’t have to go along with the herd, even if you wanted to achieve the same goal as it did. He’s a doctor, but he didn’t undergraduate major in anything science-y. He majored in English because he enjoyed it.

He’s also the man who showed me the value and the warmth of a real Hawaiian shirt with the wooden buttons. My wife, known to me as She Who Must Not Be Allowed Near My Closet With Anything Remotely Sharp, might not like them, but I love my Hawaiian shirt collection.

He’s also the man who brought home the first science fiction/fantasy book I remember reading. It was the middle book in a trilogy, but I was hooked for life. He set me on a path toward some exceedingly strange places, that I’m so very glad I found. He nurtured my love of reading and words and creating with them and I can’t thank him enough.

He’s also the man who helped shape my sense of humor. So, yeah, he’s the one you can blame.

Thanks, Dad, for being such a great mentor, teacher, coach and cheerleader all rolled up into one dad-sized package that kept pushing, prodding and questioning, all the while letting me know I was loved no matter what I did, as long as what I did made me happy.

Happy birthday!

Before I go, though, answer me one question: Who’s on first.

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