Opening day for my little first baseman. #tatersgonnatate
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Friday, April 07, 2017
Sunday, April 02, 2017
Our kids’ school always struggles to get parents to help out with activities. But not on zoo day. For parents, the field trip to Hogle Zoo is pretty much the sweetest volunteer assignment there is – the school bus takes care of the transportation and the animals take care of the entertainment. Plus you get to spend a day outside in the sun with your kid.
And I was lucky enough to land the gig.
But it turns out, it’s a tougher task than I thought. Each parent was given a group of kindergartners to keep an eye on. For me that meant Tate, a boy I’ll call Horatio, and girls who we’ll call Miffy and Biffy. Here’s a quick look at our day together.
Before we got on the bus
Miffy: Biffy, do you want some sparkle chapstick? Here, have mine.
Biffy: Yay! I love sparkle chapstick!
Miffy: I want it back. [Grab!] My mom says I can’t give away my chapstick.
Biffy: [Wailing] Miffy took my chapstick awaaaaaaay!
On the bus
Miffy: I’ve never been on the bus before.
Me: Pretty cool, huh?
Miffy: No. I’m skeeeered. [Waaaaaaaail.]
Me: You’re not scared. Stop fake-crying.
Biffy: [Bawling] Miffy keeps touching meeeeeee.
Me: Miffy, stop touching Biffy.
Biffy: [Bawling] Miffy’s not touching me.
Five minutes after arriving at the zoo
Miffy: I’m hungry.
Horatio: Me, too.
Biffy: [Bawling] I’m sooooo hungry.
Me: Lucky for you, I’ve got some snacks for you guys.
Five seconds after having our snack
Miffy: [Sees another group from her class eating granola bars] I’m soooo hungry. Can I have a granola bar?
Me: No. You’re not really hungry. You just had a snack.
Five minutes later
Miffy: [Sees another group from her class eating ice cream] Uhhhh. I’m sooooooo hot. It’s so hot out here.
Me: No it’s not. It’s 65 degrees.
Miffy: If only there was something that could cool me down.
Me: I’m not buying you ice cream.
Miffy: But I’m sooooo hot.
Just about every minute after
Me: Horatio, hurry up. Tate, over here. Ladies, come on. Come back. Over here. Let’s go.
Biffy: [Bawling] Miffy’s being mean to meeeeeee.
Miffy: [Bawling] Biffy’s bugging meeeee.
Tate: I’m boooooored.
10 minutes before we have to get back on the bus
Me: Girls, come back. Don’t run.
Biffy: [Trips and goes tumbling down] Whaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!
Me: Are you okay?
Biffy: No! I need a band-aid here. And here. And here and here. [Sob, sob, sob]
Could this day GET ANY WORSE?!
Could this day GET ANY WORSE?!
Me: I hear ya, Biffy. I hear ya.
The whole field trip only lasted about three hours but somehow it felt much, much longer. I tip my hat to all of the teachers who deal with 30 of these little rug rats all day, every day.
Nevertheless, it was nice to spend a few extra hours with my favorite redheaded monster.
Saturday, April 01, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Monday, March 27, 2017
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Monday, February 20, 2017
"I don't wanna rock, deejay. But you're making me feel so nice." -- Robbie Williams
It took 36 years but it finally happened. I landed my first gig as a celebrity DJ.
(The gig was a ward party. I was a celebrity because I was invited back to my old ward.)
The assignment was simple enough: Play an hour of songs that will appeal equally to 20-year-olds and 90-year-olds...and everyone in between.
Sure, it was a tough challenge, but the price was right: I was guaranteed a plate of chicken cordon bleu -- and, if I did a good job, a slice of pie at the end.
I was feeling a lot of pressure as I prepped for the big night.
What if no one dances?
What if the old people hate it?
What if the young people hate it?
What if a swear word slips in there and the bishop gets mad?
What if they take away my chicken cordon bleu?
I worked and reworked the set list -- pushing Elvis up, moving Glenn Miller back, sticking Alphaville in the middle, ditching Simon and Garfunkel entirely.
And then, before I knew it, was time for action.
The lights dimmed (the neon lights stayed at full strength), the crowd stood and cheered (stayed seated in the metal folding chairs), and waited for the beat to drop (wondered when the Young Women were going to bring out the dessert).
The ghost of Jim Morrison whispered in my ear, "The time to hesitate is through."
I scrolled through my playlist.
Found the perfect song.
And pushed play.
The Village People took care of the rest.
Needless to say, I earned my slice of pie.
Posted by su-tang 3000 at 9:34 PM
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Thursday, February 09, 2017
Sunday, February 05, 2017
Much like in soccer, Tate spends most of his time running and smiling. He also plays some killer D, which consists of putting his hands directly in his opponent's face and waving them back and forth. And he even made a bucket or two. (Including one on the 10-foot hoop yesterday. The power went out at the rec center and the baskets couldn't be lowered to their usual eight feet.)
All in all, a pretty good season.
Wednesday, February 01, 2017
I just got back from a work trip with the CEO. In five days, we visited offices in four different states — Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida, North Carolina — which required us to take eight different flights.
Spending so much time with the leader of our company made me realize I'm not much of a businessman.
In between flights from Detroit to Grand Rapids, he hands me a Time magazine. "There's a really good article here about communication," he says. "I'm done with it if you want to read it."
"Thank you," I reply, and then slide it into my backpack.
"Thank you," I reply, as I slide the magazine into my backpack, next to the unread Time.
And that's why I'd make a lousy CEO.
Posted by su-tang 3000 at 3:53 PM
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Sunday, January 15, 2017
We had a good Christmas break.
We visited Temple Square.
And took a trip to the Natural History Museum.
We went sledding.
And saw a movie at the planetarium.
But we saved Tate's favorite thing for last.
A Utah Grizzlies game.
The boy loves hockey. He has his own pocket-sized Grizzlies calendar. Every night he tells me who the Grizz are facing and every morning he wakes up and asks Siri who won.
When he asked me if we could go to the Grizzlies on New Year's Eve, I happily agreed. In fact, I invited my whole family to come along.
(He was so excited for the game that we spent the morning watching an NHL alumni game on TV. Yes, we watched old, retired guys play hockey for three full hours. He's that into hockey.)
My sister Jenny and her family accepted the invite and we all loaded in the van and headed to he game.
Traffic was light on the way to the game. In fact, it was so light that we when pulled into the stadium we noticed something interesting.
We were the only ones there.
"Uh, Spencer," my sister said.
She didn't have to finish the sentence. There clearly was no game.
How did this happen?
Tate told me they had a game. I even had him ask Siri to double check the start time.
Stopped in the empty parking lot, we asked Siri again. The British voice (My Siri is a British man, thanks to my kids messing with the settings on my phone) confirmed the Grizzlies did, in fact, have a game on New Year's Eve.
In Allen, Texas.
I guess I need to teach my five year old the difference between a home game and an away game.
No hockey for us.
Fortunately, all was not lost. We relocated the party from the hockey stadium to our house and Jenny brought along Pie Face.
For Tate, getting hit in the face with a glob of whipped cream is not as good as a Grizzlies game. But almost.
Posted by su-tang 3000 at 9:22 PM
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Sunday, January 08, 2017
Sunday, November 13, 2016
We survived Disneyland...again.
Growing up, I went to Disneyland exactly two times: Once as an unknowing baby and once as a angsty teenager. I had no idea that I'd grow up and marry a woman who'd convince me to go to Disneyland four times in eight years.
This was probably our best California trip so far (and hopefully the last for a long time).
We started out at Seal Beach.
Pro traveling tip: If you want the beach to yourself, go at 2 p.m. on weekday afternoon.
Parenting tip: If it's only 65 degrees on the beach, it's freezing in the water. But luckily kids don't care.
Even at the happiest place on Earth, our fear is always that our kids will choose to have a lousy time.
Despite the look of this look of disdain from Curtis, he actually had a really good time.
I was most worried about Tate. When we went to Lagoon two months ago, he refused to go on any rides for the first eight hours of our ten-hour-visit. But other than one meltdown in the Toy Story Mania line, where he was hitting Traci, scratching Paige, and headbutting me, Tate did just fine.
This trip also marked Curtis' first foray into big roller coasters. I love the look of fear on his face on Space Mountain. Tate, the littlest guy on the ride, is as happy as could be.
Paige ruled the park, riding everything and conquering any fear of the scary ones, including California Screamin' (which she loved) and the Tower of Terror (which she hated).
My trusty Fitbit informed that we walked 12 miles the first day. Tate opted for the stroller.
After two days at Disneyland, we headed to Universal Studios. The 35 miles from Anaheim to Universal Studios in Hollywood took an hour and 15 minutes.
Paige's favorite part of Universal was Harry Potter land.
I had a different favorite. (Simpsons land was kind of what my dreams are like.)
Best. Family portrait. Ever.
After a good day in the park, we had to brave the drive home. Thanks to two wrecks, combined with Friday night congestion, the 75-minute commute had ballooned to two hours and 15 minutes. After sitting on the freeway for a half hour or so, Siri offered a ray of hope: I have found a route that will save you 18 minutes, she intoned. We took it.
Siri guided us off the freeway and led us on a winding path through who knows where. In two miles, turn right. We did. In 600 feet, turn left. We did. And on and on through the labyrinth of the Los Angeles suburbs. It was maddening. Traci was a powerless navigator. I was a grumpy driver. Tate slept peacefully in his booster seat. When we finally made it to the last turn, the one that would lead to the big short cut, we saw another sign: Road closed.
When we made it back to the hotel, we all fell into the bed, exhausted. We'd walked more than 30 miles in three days.
It was a good trip. As our kids get older, it gets tougher to find things all three of them want to do. One wants to go on the big rides, but the others don't. One wants to go on the kid rides, but the others are too big. One is just grumpy all the time.
But this time around we basically did all the rides together as a family (probably to the lifelong traumatization of Tate; that Jurassic Park ride at Universal is pretty scary) and everyone had a good time.
Maybe we can go back to Disneyland after all.