February 24, 2008

I wanna be a “Pop” star

For as long as I have been a father I have enjoyed using music to interact with the kids. I’ve often used contemporary music and switched up the lyrics to meet my own needs. I’ve written of this before but lately, I haven’t been as inspired.

But that all changed a few weeks ago when I heard Nickelback’s song “Rock Star” on the radio. I realize now it’s been out for a while but I had never heard it before and I fell in love with the lyrics and the catchy tune. Before long, I was making up lyrics and singing them to Swee’Pea and TheMonk. It started out as a snippet here and a snippet there. But now, I have re-written the lyrics for the entire song and I thought I’d share it here.

First, I have embedded the video of Nickelback’s version here on the blog. You can play it and then read my lyrics along with the music if you want to follow along. I hope you enjoy my re-make, entitled, “Pop” (as in Pop = Dad) Star.

“Pop Star”

I’m through with proving myself
As a man with thick skin
It’s like the bottom of the ninth
And I’m never gonna win
Fatherhood hasn’t turned out
Quite the way I want it to be

(Tell me what you want)

I want a big clean house
With fall-proof cribs
And a bathroom that I can sit alone in
And a king-sized TV without fingerprints
On the screen

(So what you need?)

I’ll need a credit card that’s got no limit
To afford the juice with antioxidants in it
Gonna join the big price club
Spend thirty-seven thousand a week

(Been there, done that)

I want an SUV with a big gas tank
And my own blog with a high PageRank
Somewhere between six and
eight would be fine for me

(So how you gonna do it?)

I’m gonna trade this life of fortune and fame
I’ll even embarrass my kids by acting lame


‘Cause we all just wanna be big “Pop” stars
Just by raisin’ our kids without inflicting scars
The girls cry easy and the boys like poop
And we’ll be the favorites of the mommy play group
And we’ll hang out in the coolest malls
In the family lounge and the pit with balls
Every good nose picker’s
Gonna wind up there
Every cute little toddler
With her ribboned hair

Hey hey I wanna be a “Pop” star
Hey hey I wanna be a “Pop” star

I wanna be great like Cosby without the sweaters
And I’m gonna teach my kids all 26 letters

Sell a few blog ads
So I can eat my meals for free

(I’ll have the quesadilla, ha ha)

I’m gonna dress my kids
With the cheapest fashion
Kiss boo boos with great compassion
Gonna love their mommy more
Than she loves me

(So how you gonna do it)

I’m gonna trade this life of fortune and fame
I’ll even embarrass my kids by acting lame


And we’ll hide out from the wild things
With a flash light and an Elmo that sings
They’ll melt your heart with an endearing smile
And we got Grandmother on speed dial, well

Hey hey I wanna be a “Pop” star

I’m gonna sing silly songs
That don’t make any sense
Gonna see the Wiggles at great expense

I’ll hear washed-up singers singing children’s songs
And I’ll sing real loud even when I get ‘em wrong


And we’ll hide out from the wild things
With a flash light and an Elmo that sings
They’ll melt your heart with an endearing smile
And we got Grandmother on speed dial, well

Hey hey I wanna be a “Pop” star
Hey hey I wanna be a “Pop” star

February 23, 2008

Point of clarification

Early morning talk over the baby monitor…

TheMonk (Signaling to me he’s ready to get up): Daaaaaddddyyyyy….


TheMonk: Daaaaaaaadddddddyyyyyyyy!!!!




Swee’Pea: Daaaaaaaddddddyyyyyyyy!!!!

TheMonk (To Swee’Pea): I not Daddy, I TheMonk!

February 21, 2008

I’m an excellent driver

I am a good driver.

No, that’s not right. I’m a great driver. When it comes to directing my vehicle through the cement superhighways, I am the Tiger Woods of driving.*

With that in mind, picture this. I’m cruising in the “fast lane” of the local interstate in my super fly 1994 faded gray Nissan Altima with two hubcaps missing. I’ve got the radio cranked up and I’m cruising at a nice rate of speed. In my rear-view window I see a red sports car with a young blond behind the wheel holding a cell phone to her ear. She has been slowly gaining on me but she’s not quite close enough for me to change lanes to get out of her way. Even if she was, traffic was getting a bit tight and there wasn’t room to move over.

Because I’m such a good driver, I was looking farther down the road than is normally necessary and I notice that traffic is beginning to slow considerably about a 1/2 mile down the road. And because I’m a good driver and good drivers don’t plow into cars that are slowing to a crawl, I took my foot off the accelerator and began to slow.

The lady behind me, without removing the phone from her ear, suddenly became indignant that I would be slowing down and flashed her lights at me. As if to say, “Hey moron, why are you making me late to my tanning session?”

I did the classic raise-my-hands-in-the-air as if to say, “WTF?! Can’t you see all the frickin’ cars slowing all around us?! Or is that cell phone embedded so far inside your brain that it’s impeding the two synapses that remain in that vacant skull of yours?”

Or something like that.

The best part of it was that right after this she, of course, noticed the reason I was slowing down and realized that her flashing me with her lights wasn’t the best course to take. And I watched her quickly change lane after lane and exit the freeway with her tail between her legs.

Soon after, the traffic dispersed and quickly, but safely, proceeded on my way – blond-in-sports-car free.

*Honey, if I die in a fiery automobile crash someday, please delete this post from the blog. And don’t get remarried or I’ll haunt you forever. Thanks!

February 19, 2008

He’s the chip, I’m the block

I came home from work, a day that many people did not have to work in honor of our first President’s birthday. Swee’Pea and TheMonk stayed home with Mommy, spending the day with my gorgeous better half and getting some quality two-on-one time with their mother. The main event of the day was a trip to a park not in our immediate neighborhood. Yes, Mommy was feeling brave.

As I arrived at home at the end of the day, and entered our den from the garage, I was greeted with my usual rock-star treatment. Screams of joy, raucous laughter, frantic, clawing hugs and slobbery kisses all were bestowed upon me as I walked through the door.

And then the kids said hi.

I sat my belongings down and bent down to talk to the kids about their day. TheMonk clambered up into my lap and began to tell me about his trip to the park.

“Swee’Pea and me played. And then a girl came up and said hi to ME!” TheMonk says with his deep brown eyes serious, as if he was telling me that the sky was blue or that Swee’Pea is grouchy in the morning.

“A girl said hi to you?” I asked, smiling at the importance TheMonk placed on this small interaction over everything else that had happened that day.

“Yeah,” he replied. “A girl said hi to me!” he repeated.

“She did?” I asked. “Did you like it when she said hi to you?”

“Yes.” he says, slowly nodding for emphasis.

And I said the only thing that came to mind. I looked over at my wife and said with a grin…

“That’s my boy.”

February 18, 2008

On the Birthday Honea Express

Saturday we traveled a great distance to party with Zane, Whit and some of our other blog friends.

LA Daddy entertained TheMonk by giving him a nickel for a wooden train he was carrying around and then pulling a quarter out of his ear. I pocketed the thirty cents (that was 10% of a gallon of gas!) and, upon arriving at home late Saturday night, placed it on a table along with five tootsie rolls that somehow made it into my pocket. TheMonk, upon waking up the next morning, saw the quarter on the table as we made our way to breakfast and knew where it came from. “The man took that coin from my ear. That’s silly.” he told me.

Other highlights came from watching TheMonk and Ronen negotiate who gets to play with the wooden train (the same train TheMonk sold to LA Daddy for a nickle some time later). Ronen drove a hard bargain but eventually settled for a San Francisco cable car while TheMonk got to keep the coveted wooden train. (Although I think TheMonk may have thrown in his sister to sweeten the deal.)

The kids had a blast. Swee’Pea was in dog heaven and ate her weight in jelly sandwiches. TheMonk made the rounds of toys, climbing structures and sand boxes but fell in love with the trampoline. For a kid who has trouble staying on his feet on level ground, he did pretty well bouncing around.

Best of all, the kids traveled well. We hit traffic through L.A. (an accident – stupid L.A. drivers) so our trip took us about 4 hours to get home but it was worth it. We got to hang out with parents and kids and new-found friends and the kids got to shovel anything that resembled food into their mouths for an entire day. A win-win all the way around.

February 16, 2008

Weekend Plans on the Honea Express

While I don’t get a three day weekend like a lot of you out there in the real world (The Y tries to stay open for its members so we only get about 7 paid holidays a year.) I am still looking forward to this weekend.

Why am I looking forward to it, you ask? Well, I’m taking the family to a two-year-old birthday party. And it’s not just any birthday party, it’s Zane’s birthday party.

And because Whit and I live a short 194 miles from each other, we’ll be leaving about 3 or so hours before the start of the party. Hopefully we’ll make it in time for cake.

The kids are psyched (although they have no idea who Zane is) and we’ll be playing Curious George videos all the way to Casa Honea. If luck is on our side, we’ll make good time there and back.

Stories and pics to follow. Have a great weekend, everyone!

February 15, 2008

Interview of a Grad School Dropout

I participated in The Great Interview Experiment hosted by Neil of Citizen of the Month. The idea is to get everyday people interviewing everyday people. (If you missed it, I was interviewed by the lovely Woman with no Regrets.)

But now I unveil my amazing interviewing skills by introducing Jake from Jake to Universe. After you see these questions, you’ll wonder why I haven’t been asked to sit in for Oprah or Barbara Walters. Nonetheless, here is the interview…

Your blog seems to cover a lot of topics – from art to science to philosophy. How would you characterize your blog and what inspires you to keep blogging?

Most of the ideas for my blog postings come to me while I’m lying in bed in the morning before I muster the energy to actually get out from under the covers. Of course I then forget most of them unless I happen to write them down or am reminded of it during a conversation. These are essentially topics I enjoy discussing with friends. If you’re having a coffee with me and there happens to be a lull I might turn to you and ask “hey can you think of any great writers who were happily married?” or “what’s an edible oil product anyway?”

I really enjoy it when people comment on my blog and it inspires me to keep writing. The ratio of lurkers to contributors is very skewed and some of my friends have the annoying habit of waiting until they see me or email me to comment instead of posting on the blog. I have no defining limit with regard to the subjects discussed but I don’t consider it to be a personal blog. I do find that I get more comments when I do post an entry of a personal nature.

Your first post on your blog talks about combining random words to form band names. What would the name of your band be?

I get a kick out of band names. It seems like all the low-hanging fruit was quickly taken and it’s become difficult to be original. The same problem exists for people trying to come up with new business names. I’ve started various companies in my life as an entrepreneur and I’ve noticed that it almost doesn’t matter what your band name or business name is as long as you deliver the goods. The name will soon become transparent and be replaced by the personal experience that people have with your creation. Does anyone still realize that the largest book retailer in the world is named after a giant South American river? or that the computer on which I am now writing is named after a fruit? My friend and I have a band called “Things Not Brown”.

You said you like to eat Nutella straight from the jar. How else do you like your Nutella?

Oh, where do I begin? I think Nutella goes with almost anything. I have it in my smoothie and on my peanut butter sandwiches. It goes surprisingly well with pretzels if dipped into the jar. Try mixing Nutella with Pekmez and Tahini. It may just blow your mind.

What were you thinking when you decided to participate in NaBloPoMo AND NaNoWriMo at THE SAME TIME?! Have you recovered or do you still twitch now and then?

November was one of the best months of my creative life. I blogged everyday and wrote a novel in 30 days. I am mainly lazy by nature so I really appreciate an extraneous framework that forces me to write. It’s incredible to discover that you are in fact capable of doing things that seem preposterous and impossible before you start.

On your Blogger profile you list your occupation as “Philosopher, Investor, Patron of the Arts.” What is your philosophy on life – in 50 words (give or take) or less?

I studied Philosophy up to the PhD level but left it incomplete over a decade ago. I got into the technology business just as the internet boom was starting and more or less retired at the age of 33. I’ve been investing in real estate over the years and now I invest my time and money into ideas. I’ve just gone back to try and finish my PhD in Philosophy.

20 words or less: There can be no over riding Philosophy on life except this very statement which happens to inherently disqualify itself.

Being from Canada, what amuses you most about those of us living South of the Border?

Unfortunately there hasn’t been as much amusement lately as I would have liked. I believe your founding fathers managed to fashion one of the most wonderful and useful organizing documents ever created. If you could only maintain the strength to follow the framers’ intentions.

What has always puzzled me is how America can be so Puritanical and Pornographic at the same time. Violence of the worst kind is somehow tolerated while a beautiful image of a women’s nipple is banned. You know, in Toronto it is perfectly legal for women to walk around topless on a hot day. Unfortunately very few women seem to take advantage of this license.

Editor’s note: Please see Jake’s profile on his blog to understand the title of this post.

February 14, 2008

My Honey Valentine

Hello my Love,

I haven’t told you about this, but since I have started my new job I have a whole new group of people who don’t know what you look like. Over the past month several people have visited my office for the first time. And once in my office they cannot help but notice our wedding photos that sit on my desk. Every person always says a variation of the same thing… “Wow. She’s beautiful. How’d you get so lucky?”

And my reply? “I haven’t a clue. Just don’t tell her she married down.”

I am as thrilled as ever to call you my Valentine, Sweetie. And I am even more thrilled that I get to help two little ones also become your Valentine.

Thank you for choosing me. Not a day goes by that I don’t realize how lucky I am that you decided, in a moment of insanity, to choose to spend every day of the rest of your life with me. And because of that crazy thought, we made a couple of amazing kids.

We love you with all of our chocolate-covered hearts. Of course, we’ll share all that chocolate with you (Well, I will. You know how TheMonk is with sharing his food.).

Happy Valentines Day!

February 11, 2008

Well I’m heavenly blessed and worldly wise

I am 36 and a half years old. I must say I like being 36. It seems to be a good age for me because while I’m not too old to have any quality of life issues, I’m old enough to finally feel like I know what I’m doing. My sense of self has come into a clearer focus than ever before. And while I truly believe life is one long lesson to teach you about yourself, for the first time I feel like I’d end up with a passing grade on the Test of Life.

Part of this positive sense of self has been reinforced as I start my new job as the unquestioned leader. And while I firmly believe that you don’t need to be the boss to be a leader, this is the first time that I’ve actually been both. It’s really caused me to be introspective because I want to give those who work for me my best. I want to help them grow like my mentors did with me. In order to do that, I need to know myself and feel connected to that solid core, residing deep within my chest, that never sways – even when the rest of my world is filled with chaos and change.

As I begin to learn about myself, I thought it would be important to pass some of the wisdom I have learned along to Swee’Pea and TheMonk. Perhaps this will help them someday when they are trying to find their true self. Perhaps it will help them learn more about me and who I am and how I came to be who they see in their teens and into adulthood. So, below you will find some of my thoughts on life and how to be the best you can be.

Who you are speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying
This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson speaks of the power of character. You cannot shout from the rooftops about how great you are when those around you would sing a far more humbling tune. Your voice will not be heard if people do not recognize you as someone who is honest, forthright, earnest and humble. You cannot be a leader just by your words, your actions must come first and the words can only follow.

You must do the things you think you cannot do. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Fear is the single most debilitating thing in life. How many lives would be different if fear was not present? What would you do if you weren’t afraid? The thing to remember about fear is that it is only an illusion that seems real but is really just a visceral reaction to a stimulus. Those butterflies in your stomach or that tightness in your chest is an involuntary reaction that your body creates. How your mind interprets that reaction is entirely up to you. In other words, butterflies can be interpreted by fear of failure or, just as easily, excitement at the prospect of success. You choose. But I guarantee the moment you confront your fear, the fear becomes insignificant. From that bogey monster in the closet that you are sure is there until you get the nerve to turn on the light to that thing you can’t stand to face at work that goes away the minute you address it, the fear is never as big as what you make it out to be. Do not be held back by fear. Use fear to become the person you know you want to be.

A goal without a plan is just a wish
Everything you want, desire or even do should begin with a vision. Vision is important because it forces you to slow down to clarify what it is you really want. Those without vision give up. They don’t know what they are running after and give up because it’s so hard to catch what you don’t know you’re chasing. Write down your goals. Cut out photos from a magazine and paste it to a board to represent all that you want. Think big. If you shoot for the stars, you may miss but still hit the moon. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. Find your path and keep moving along it with all of the passion you can muster. And, most of all, don’t hang around people who don’t share your vision.

It’s not my business what you think of me.
Too many times we worry about what other people think. Too many times we give up our power to someone else who, in all likelihood, is also worried about what you might think. I have learned to push aside that voice that worries about what others think. Instead, I say to myself, “Your perception of me is your business. Not mine.” I know who I am. I know the good person that emanates from my insides and I refuse to let you or anyone else keep me from being me.

Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Love really does make the world go ’round. Learning to freely love is a gift that comes with a sense of peace and belonging. Putting aside the possibility of hurt and risking pure, passionate, heart-on-a-sleeve love is something that will take you far. Love who you are with. Love who you are. Love those who make it especially difficult to love. Hate tears down, but love builds back up. Find what you love. Find who you love and then love those things with all of your heart. Most importantly, love yourself – unconditionally. Then, you will know peace.

The title of this post is from an 80′s song. Can you name it?

February 10, 2008

Hey, I’m gonna get you too

The ginormous monster crawls slowly across the great expanse, throwing aside cars, trucks and animals as it lays a path of destruction never before seen in this area.

Suddenly, from out of the blue Superman comes flying in to save the day! He attacks the monster with a vicious body blow and sends the monster reeling. The monster soon recovers, however, and, loudly declaring himself a Tickling Monster, he rushes in to finger the midsection of our mighty hero.

It is a little-known fact that Kryptonite isn’t the only weakness for Superman. A good tummy tickling will also bring the mighty hero down. As Superman struggles to overcome the Tickling Monster, he screams out for help. “Help me, Supergirl!” he yells.

Suddenly, from out of the blue, Supergirl arrives and jumps on the Monster’s back. The Monster, momentarily distracted, allows Superman to escape. He turns to look for Supergirl but she is no where to be found. Instead, he finds himself facing the magic wand of a fairy princess. “I’m a Fairy Princess and I’m gonna get you, Monster!” she yells.

The Monster, not knowing the full powers of a Fairy Princess retreats to formulate a plan. However, this gives the eclectic duo a chance to team up and they both come at the Monster. The Fairy Princess points her starry wand at him and fires a magical blast. Superman, on the other hand, has picked up a magical apple and points it a the Monster and shoots him with magic apple seeds.

At this moment, The Monster looks down and notices he’s changed. He’s no longer a ginormous monster, he’s a Daddy. The magic from the Fairy Princess must have changed him because suddenly the Fairy Princess is grabbing his hand and shouting, “C’mon Daddy! We have to run from The Monster! We need these!” She says, handing him a Magna Doodle and grabbing one for herself as they race from the room with Superman in hot pursuit.

They rush to the den and quickly hide behind the curtains so the Monster can’t see them. All of their loud whispering, however, must have given away their location as the Fairy Princess suddenly shrieks and, grabbing Daddy’s hand, runs back the other way into the kitchen. She quickly opens the pantry door and shoves herself and Daddy inside before closing the door. There they stand, surrounded by canned goods and boxes of cereal as they breathe heavily in the confined space.

Suddenly, the door flies open and Superman is there, toilet brush in hand, to announce that he has driven away the Monster – apparently by flushing it down the toilet. And with that, Daddy announces that since the Monster has been vanquished that he will take the toilet brush and return it to its proper location. He thanks the Fairy Princess and Superman for their hard work in battling the Monster and saving their Daddy.

With that, Superman and the Fairy Princess go off to play with those cars, trucks and animals that the Monster once tossed aside before being foiled by their cunning teamwork, while Daddy goes and rests.

After all, transforming from Daddy to Monster and back to Daddy is tiring work.

The title of this post is from an 80′s song. Can you name it?

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