I Just Can’t Say Nothing

I’m finally on an allergy medicine that seems to work well enough to get me through my day. By the afternoon I’ve slowed down a bit, and talking for extended periods can make my voice hoarse and eventually disappear.
This isn’t so bad at work, because I can usually (not lately, though) get breaks during the day to recoup myself. Not so with my children. Why? Because I talk to them constantly.

First, I talk to my daughter a lot. Especially now that she does more than parrot me. At just past two, she babbles to me a lot and is doing more back and forth talking. I am not about to let that lie unanswered. Speaking and music are two of the best things to develop a young brain’s synapses. And it is really worth the effort when I hear she and her big brother actually talking to one another.

Second, my six year old boy knows a ton. Not only is his vocabulary huge, he stores most any piece of information he comes across. Still, it gets jumbled and I have to correct him. So there’s that aspect of me talking to him regularly.

The other aspect is that when he asks me a question, I can’t just say nothing. I, being my father’s son, know a vast array of things beyond the average person. I don’t mean to be cocky in any way, it is just that I lust for knowledge, so any chance I can tie what I know to new information keeps it all better stored in my mind and so I just know lots of stuff. Blame my dad, that’s his brain at work there.

I do this for my son now, working to clarify and expand on the lots he already knows. I am sure at some point he’ll get sick of me going on about things when he just asks one little question, but for now I’m going to keep adding two scoops of learning any chance I can. He’ll thank me when he turns 25 and realizes, “Holy shit, I sound just like my dad; thank God!

Every day this week I have ended up sounding like a ghost, but it is completely worth it.

Game On

No matter what side of a discussion I fall on, I will always love a good, intelligent, respectful disagreement.

As someone who adamantly prefers to call themselves a “game critic” rather than a “game reviewer,” I’ve been asked by several parties to make some counter-comment to film critic Roger Ebert’s recent post. Presumably they were all hoping for some expletive-laden takedown of all Ebert’s arguments broken up by comparisons between the man and various historical dictators and farm animals. But the thing is, I like Ebert. I think he’s an intelligent guy and well worth listening to, especially when he’s got a particularly terrible film in his sights. In my more egotistical moments, I might one day aspire to being his videogaming equivalent.

My immediate question is, is everyone really that bothered by his article? I don’t agree with Ebert’s position, but I respect it. I wouldn’t in a million years attempt to make him change his opinion, nor would I express any patronizing expectation to the effect of “oh, one day he’ll understand.”

Read both articles in full, they’re well worth your time.

More Evidence I’m a Twit

  • Can we please stop singing God Bless America during the 7th Inning Stretch? We know where the hell we are and what side we fight for. #
  • Back to reality after a crazy weekend, and my kitchen is a stinkin' mess. #
  • And have I mentioned before how I hate having my back to the rest of the lab? It may be a day for rearranging… #
  • If I hear one more bullshit "Why?" out of my kids' mouths, I'm walking. #
  • Rocking the Sudafed again this morning. #
  • Woo! On the phone dealing with health insurance claims. At least they really are friendly and helpful in piecing together why I was billed. #
  • Talking to my friend, I'm revisiting my little dream of working at the US Embassy in Berlin. #
  • What? Two substantive blog posts in two days? Has the world gone crazy!? http://www.fryside.com #
  • Whatever is hitting me right now is slowing me way down. I assume it's allergies since things are starting to bloom now. #
  • After ensuring I got one, I should share how awesome today's Shirt.Woot is. http://shirt.woot.com/ (via @JollyAndy) – I need one too! #
  • Anyone who doesn't like pizza crusts is insane. Also, skipping the crusts does NOT entitle you to an extra slice. #
  • Ms. Hepburn in full color. http://twitpic.com/1h49el (via @impossiblecool) – Still so beautiful! #
  • Goddamn you iTunes and your DRM bullshit. #
  • Is there an RSS feed out there that just has daily baseball box scores and standings? #
  • I'm catching up on the Stuff You Should Know podcast, and it's great. #
  • Crap, I should have taking my Sudafed about 3 hours ago. Now I'm crashing. Lousy cold/allergies/nonsense. #
  • Quoth: "Dad, my foot isn't on Puma's head!" Internal Thought: Why the hell are you telling me this!? #
  • I have always wanted to get into radio and/or podcasting. Anyone hiring? #
  • I just realized my son would probably die laughing if he saw the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote. #
  • (sigh) still waiting on the BB 5.12.01 unlock so I can get my loaned iPhone back and sell the damn thing. #
  • I've been dogging it every day this week, and now the Twins are on to brighten my afternoon. Now they are letting the Indians score a lot. #
  • Could I please not go hoarse talking to my kids and pets tonight? #
  • Would anyone want a daily/weekly links dump on The Fry Side? #
  • I know I've said that I might as week go to work after getting this kids out, but I think today might be an exception. #
  • I really need to see Get Low. #
  • http://is.gd/bGPoP Goodnight, everyone. #

Bandwagon Patriotism

A reply to my ranting from JZeller:

Is it really patriotism to buy a flag because everyone else is? Does it really show that you support our troops just because you have a bumper sticker on your gas guzzling truck or SUV? To me the answer is a clear, No.

I responded in his comments, so feel free to click over and visit. I may steal his WordPress theme. I like the tabs.

Baseball Kid Fix

From April 18th. M and I took Austin to a baseball game on Sunday. We were pretty stoked to see the Twins play in their new ballpark.

There was sky and grass and everything!

M needed a picture of the two of us.

This is what Austin looked like for the first two innings, because our seats came with a free hot dog and lemonade.

Continue reading

Forced Patriotism

During Sunday’s ballgame, my wife gave me a weird look. That in itself is not an uncommon thing. I am who I am, so it comes up regularly. But I got this look during the 7th Inning Stretch. I was apparently grimacing or furrowing or something.
I have always been bad at concealing my feelings. The look on my face or my posture instantly gives away my opinion on a current subject. It makes my wife’s job of reading my mind most of the time much faster and easier. You’re welcome, honey.

M asked me why I was angry. I told her that I was sick of this false, forced patriotism. The middle of the seventh should be devoted to singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and standing in line for the bathroom.

But no. After the choir of grade schoolers finished “Take Me Out” (apropos), another woman came out to sing “God Bless America”. That was when I started getting annoyed.

Aside from the lyrics being trite, why are we bothering to do this? Because we started it after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Fine. It’s been over eight years. We don’t need another reminder that we were attacked and to reaffirm our allegiance to the United States.

I have spent two hours sitting and watching a game of baseball being played in the middle of the North America continent. Is there any doubt where I could be? I have eaten food born from four cultures in two days. Where else does that happen?

Let baseball be baseball, let everything else that surrounds us be great and plentiful, and let the fact of our location be implied. Even when I sat in the freezing wind of a rugby pitch in England, I didn’t go, “Oh no! Where am I? I better check my passport and make sure I didn’t go Brit.” I loved enjoying that game as a part of their culture, just as I love our game as a part of ours.

I don’t need reminders that a) I’m in America, b) people died so we’re singing this stupid song, c) I’m not a believer in half of the lyrics, and d) we’re in the midst of poorly guided wars. Let me watch my baseball, even if the Twins are playing like fools, and forget the fact that bad things are going on.

Then “God Bless the U.S.A.” came over the loudspeakers.

I’ll bet I looked like a kid who just got told he couldn’t have a second helping of ice cream. If “God Bless America” is trite, this song is all-out asinine. Before the game began, there was a high school marching band roaming around the warning track playing Sousa marches, for crying out loud. Is this garbage really necessary?

I pity anyone who has to sit through that nonsense for every game.

Oh, and as any writer or drug addict can tell you: excessive use diminishes effect.