Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I finally know what I want to be...

...when I grow up. Or, when I continue to refuse to grow up I guess is more appropriate. Tonight was the final class and "performance" for JAM and I at our Parent-Child Circus Camp. This is the same class that I posted about the other day where I got to take out a little aggression on JAM. We had an absolute blast each Wednesday for a few weeks, learning a lot about juggling, stilt walking, diablo, devil sticks, partner gymnastics, etc. If you've never had a chance to see Greg May in action we really do recommend it. Greg has risen to become something of a mythical creature in our house with JAM being enthralled with him for years and Red and Pudge soon following along. In fact, Greg's high-pitched, laugh-inducing "It's NOT FUNNY!" has been known to ring out loud and proud around our house.

Yes, JAM and I got our chance to perform (let's just call that a loosely defined term) tonight, for a huge audience (i.e. about 20 people made up of friends and families of the campers). We had so much fun that I had to post about it here and share the glory that graced the Greenbelt Gym this evening...

Here's JAM and I with "Circus Greg" as he's been dubbed around our house -

Some of the crew:

The whole class getting into the mix with some different group stacking:

The lighting in that gym is horrendous. We don't usually look as... well... yellow I guess. Wifey did her best, while being tapped with child-wrangling duties as well, to get some pictures but the videos (below) are much more fun to watch.

Our first trick - juggling. I spent pretty much my whole time getting better at juggling. I started knowing how to do the basic three-ball weave but by the end I was able to do the tricks you'll see here -

This is JAM performing with some spinny thing but I can never remember its rightful name -

Here's JAM again with the diablo. He does a very cool trick but then it gets all tangled on him -

JAM with his best trick by far - spool walking. Dude got so good at this he could go all the way down the length of two mats -

I gotta say - I'm most proud of this -

Here's JAM and I getting a little creative... then a little crazy -

And finally, we ended it up with this huge merry-go-round trick -

As you can tell, I absolutely loved my Wednesdays. Huge thanks to Wifey for making it possible for JAM and I - I can't wait until next year.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who wouldn't want to go?

TED LogoI've posted a little bit about TED in the past but this year I took my dream of going a step further - I actually applied. If you aren't familiar, applying to TED is no small feat. The mere idea of applying to go to a conference is just the first clue that something is different - and this is a very different sort of event. I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the smartest people on the planet each and every day. The work that we do is truly marvelous, groundbreaking, and of such importance that I can't imagine working anywhere else. The only problem is - as an organization we live inside a very well defined box. There is a certain way of doing everything, very conservative but with good reason. Change isn't always positive right? I'm absolutely loving my professional life but I can't help but feel like inspiration is something that we should always be on the lookout for.

Having the opportunity to attend TED would be a truly amazing experience. To immerse myself in that sea of intellect, to hear the stories of innovators and leaders, to be inspired by imaginations that I could only dream about... I eagerly await the response to my application. With all my fingers crossed. But in the meantime, I must be appeased by the thousands (?) of inspiring talks they've made available online and watch their trailer once in a while. Again, who wouldn't want to go?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sweet revenge

It's been nine years in the making, but it felt sooooooo good!!!

This was JAM and I at Parent-Child Circus Camp during our next to last class tonight. Yes, tonight was Pie in the Face night for those that wanted to try it out. Me? No, I had no real interest in taking a plate of shaving cream in the kisser, but JAM was all for it and I was more than happy to oblige. See? I'm nothing if not a supportive and compassionate father. Whatever makes 'em happy right?

Yes, I dance around like a goofball, and I'm not sure why my lovely wife let me go out of the house with that outfit on this morning, but you can hopefully excuse my exuberance at getting to smush my kid in the face with a pie. It's a must-do for every parent at least once.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Taking some time off

I hate all those posts I see on people's blogs where they talk about why they haven't been posting for the last month. Well, maybe not hate, but why do they (we) do that? It isn't like anyone is waiting eagerly to see what the hell I've got to say. This is my place dangit, and I'll post when I've got something to say. That is... I'll post when I've got something to say or when Wifey says "hey, you haven't posted in a while - over a month actually - why is that?"

Guess I didn't realize how long it'd been. And to be honest, I didn't really have an answer at first. After thinking about it, I think I came up with something... not much has been going on lately. I use this space mostly to document events, or post pictures, and during the long days of late winter there hasn't been much to talk about other than the monumental snow or the stomach bug and/or strep throat constantly destroying weekend plans including a long-anticipated date night tonight. Yup, good fun at the ol' homestead.

There are some blog-potential events coming up soon. Today was supposed to be tryouts for JAM's first year of real baseball until three days of rain put a stop to that. We did start working out earlier this week though, that was awesome. I'm proud of him, he didn't lose that much over the winter, fielding-wise. Hitting is another story but I think some time at the batting cages will help with that. And I'm proud of me that I didn't get annoyingly upset when he was making mistakes. That's something I've been working hard on these last few years. Here's to progress! So as the spring moves along I'm looking forward to seeing how he does in real baseball. No more coaches on the field, no more machine pitch, real kids throwing real baseballs with real hits and real strikeouts. It'll be interesting to see how he deals with disappointment in front of peers in a competitive environment. We'll have our work cut out for us that's for sure.

I've got a trip coming up in a week that should be fun as long as I'm not sick as a dog when I'm supposed to leave. Unfortunately, Wifey and the kids aren't able to join me (we tried - 4 plane tickets were too expensive) but I'll be headed down to Orlando for four days for an e-Learning conference. Looking forward to hearing what other people in my field are doing in a pretty nice place - right across the street from Downtown Disney. Would have been heaven to have someone come hang out with the kids and have Wifey join me but we're not that lucky.

Red's b-day is coming up and poor Pudge keeps saying, pretty much every day, that it's Wifey's birthday because he knows his birthday can't come until after hers passes. Sorry kid, that ain't 'till November. :)

I did start something that I've been meaning to do for years. I bought a used guitar and our friend C took some time one night to begin my lessons. We'll see how the lessons go but I've been enjoying playing for about 20-30 minutes most nights. I must be doing something right because I pretty much can't feel the tips of my fingers on my left hand. Oh, and I can play Marry Had a Little Lamb, the whole C scale and about 4 chords. I know... Metallica will be calling me any day now.

That's it. Looking forward to some warmer days...