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Friday, May 20, 2011

I Moved

I don't blog here anymore. That's true on a number of levels as I haven't been nearly as consistent as I wanted to be over the last few years, really. But from this point on, it's true with finality. I decided I would no longer divide myself into a hundred different blogging entities. Now it's just a couple.

So if you care to stay up-to-date with all things me, adamkellogg.com is the place to fulfill that most bizarre of desires. This week's playlist just done got posted. I hope you'll check it out and enjoy.

And most of all, I hope you know how thankful I am that you ever decided to read anything I wrote in the first place. If not, I'll tell you: really, really, really thankful.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011

Friday Playlist: Mother's Day Edition

This is three posts in a row right now with nothing but playlists. I'm disappointed by that but also glad I'm at least posting something here to keep this particular pool of ideas from being overrun by algae. I want to post a lot of things, but I just haven't taken the time to let anything crystallize.

In addition to the playlist, though, I do want to express my excitement for tomorrow's event, Listen to Your Mother at 7:00 at the historic Memorial Opera House in downtown Valparaiso. It is produced, directed, emceed, and overall inspired by my friend Stephanie, who I've known in three distinct lives. It's true.

When people ask what this event is, the best way I know how to answer is: Awesome. When they press me for more details, I say it's really awesome.

Then I say that it is a dozen local writers reading short (like 5 minutes or so) pieces about mothers, motherhood, momness. Each one is different, although I have enjoyed every single one immensely every time I heard them. I feel privileged to be a part of it, especially since I'm a dude who could (and maybe should) have been easily dismissed as not mommy enough. Fortunately for me, I have a truly wonderful mother who definitely does deserve to be a part of this. Since I'll be reading something about her, I don't feel so out of place.

The other thing that makes me feel so glad and welcomed is just how amazing the other writers in this show are (I'm not the only guy, either, for which I'm grateful; Patrick is awesome). It's not that I feel I deserve to be in such fine company, it's just that they're so great and so much fun, I don't feel the least bit guilty coming along for the ride. I'm just not going to look that gift horse in the mouth . . . whatever that means, I'm not doing it.

I'm also really excited/nervous to meet face to face with people I've met only on twitter. It should be fun. Or completely frightening. Either way, not boring. And of course I'm excited for my mom to hear what I wrote and remembered and embellished and genuinely feel. I hope the experience, however minor, serves as a nice Mother's Day gift to her . . . because I really don't want to have to shop.

Without further ado (wait, how about just a little more ado . . . okay, thank you) here's this week's playlist full of mom-related music.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Role Model

It's funny, Addison's going on a field trip today. And it's not the type where they go across town and look at flowers or pumpkins or Christmas trees. It's the kind where he's got to ride in a bus for an hour. A lot of parents (and maybe one of the ones in this house) are pretty nervous about sending their kids so far away, but I'm not at all. Should I be? Eh, he's fine. The truly frightening moments for me come when he's with me.

One of the scariest realizations I've ever come to as a father was when I saw how determined Addison was to imitate me. I would make him laugh, he'd try to make other people laugh. I like the Cubs, he'd say he liked the Cubs. He'd wake me in the morning to see I slept without a shirt, off went his shirt. I'd lose my temper, he'd do the same. It's not always cute.

By the time Colin came around, I knew the drill. I had to stay on my best behavior at all times. (Right. That happens.) But I knew that there was a strong possibility there would be two mini-me's running around. Only I was dead wrong. Colin doesn't imitate me (not nearly as much as I expected). No, Colin . . . imitates Addison. Addison likes Transformers, Colin loves Transformers. Addison sleeps with his sleeping bag on his bed, Colin does the same. Addison plays games on the Wii, Colin watches intently. (Sometimes this flattery annoys the living crap out of Addison, but that's another story.)

Basically, seeing someone who patterns himself after me develop a behavior clone of his own reminds me of this development from the movie Multiplicity, in which Michael Keaton's character, Doug, discovers that one of his clones has cloned a clone.



I don't mean Colin puts pizza in his wallet. It's just that now I'm realizing that any personality defects I may have passed on to Addison are only going to multiply as Colin learns to imitate them. This probably means I'm going to have to actively involve myself in my sons' lives to try to help them develop normally or something. I should get on that.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Playlist

No, I'm not doing a tax theme. Who wants to hear music about taxes?

Friday, April 08, 2011

Limerick Idol

Every Thursday I go bowling. I'm not very good, although I did bowl a 201 last night. But, for frame of reference, it was my best game ever by a lot. Since I bowl every Thursday, I always miss the American Idol results. I can't quit watching (and blogging about) American Idol, but I've always pretty much detested the results shows. I just want to know who won.

So every week I ask my twitter friends to DM me the results after the show is over. In return I offer eternal friendship, praise, devotion. This week the offer was a limerick for anyone who would let me know what happened. A bunch of people let me know what happened. Here are their limericks:

Emily (@ek_go on her birthday, no less)
There once was a girl on her birthday
Who wondered how much would her mirth weigh?
She put it on scales,
And it outweighed six whales,
So she partied like crazy 'til Earth Day

Justin (@bito31)
There once was an hombre named Justin.
For a World Series win, he was lustin'.
He couldn't quite quit it,
But if the Cubs ever did it,
Then his head just might end up combustin'.

Katy (@swedishpancake)
There once was a pancake from Sweden
That looked far too sweet to be eaten.
It was whipped up by fairies
With fresh lingonberries,
So save it for Katy or get beaten.

Amy (@AmyL36)
I wanted an update on Idol,
Because knowing who's booted is vital.
Amy graciously told
While I tweeted and bowled,
Hence this lim'rick to which she's entitled.

Anthony (@Tony2358)
In Brookfield there lives this dude Tony,
Who hates everyone with a pony.
It's a Seinfeld joke, get it?
If you don't, just forget it.
Do you smell what I'm cookin', Jabroni?

I was really running out of ideas near the end. I'm thankful for everyone's help, but I'm also pretty glad more people didn't take me up on the offer.

Friday Playlist

No posts in between playlists? Adam, what's wrong with you?

Don't answer that. Here's this week's song list. I hope you enjoy. There might be some limericks later.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Turk Hates Tuesdays

You said it, Turk. You said it.
Donald Faison hates Tuesdays. I assume if you're here you know that a) Donald Faison played Christopher Turk on Scrubs, b) I love Scrubs, and c) I hate Tuesdays. Okay, I don't exactly assume you know all those things or I wouldn't have mentioned them. I wouldn't even be typing anything in this space. I'd just post the picture and be done with it. I suppose a and b don't need explaining, so I'll bring you up to speed on the suckiness of Tuesdays.

Mondays are rough because everyone in the world is extra tired on Mondays—but that's also what makes the day survivable. Monday is a groggy day. The average person doesn't achieve full consciousness on a Monday until 4:30 in the afternoon. You're left with some vague recollection of rolling out of bed, eating something, doing something, complaining about something . . . and then it's over. When Tuesday hits, you're still tired, but you're awake for it. The haze is replaced by a headache. The to-do list you ignored Monday has grown longer, and the week doesn't appear any shorter.

Hence, Tuesdays suck twice as bad as Mondays.

The fact that Donald Faison feels the same way makes me feel like J.D. Don't make me explain why that's a big deal.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Super Dooper Uper Shmooper Great

Best compliment ever? (Also, I like this picture because it's not black & white, it just looks that way.)
Last Friday I had the chance to read to Addison's class. I read a few poems from Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends and one from Runny Babbit (the flime really tew). It's a ridiculous amount of fun to go into his classroom and to have kids remember who I am (and to see Addison readily admit that I'm his father). They hang on every word, their eyes light up like bulbs, and they laugh at every funny voice and poetic punch line. They are wonderful children. I could totally be a teacher for 15 minutes every day.

But maybe the best part about it is the thank-you notes they send home with Addison after the day is through. In the past, all the kids have signed a couple of cards, but this time they each wrote individual notes and drew pictures. It did my heart good to read them. One in particular made me smile a little extra wide. I'm sure by now you've seen what it said.

The girl who wrote it (I'll call her C to protect her anonymity) is a twin. The C could easily stand for Cute. Super dooper uper shmooper cute. She always makes a point to thank me for coming and say something adorable. One time it was, "You're a very nice person." This time she added, "I really enjoyed it. Please come again!" But the note was the best. I don't know how kids can form such a glowing perception of someone in such a short amount of time, but it makes me want to live up to it.

I doubt it's possible, but I'll try.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Playlist



I'll tell you one thing this playlist says about me today: Colin helped a little. So it's all over the place.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Passive Observation

He cuts paper now. If you had any idea how many times he's asked for
and been denied the use of scissors, you'd know it's a pretty big deal.
There are milestones of development only a parent notices. Or cares about. Sleeping through the night, first words, learning to walk, potty training—these are things a parent's friends and family members express genuine joy about when the kid finally achieves success (or frustration when the process isn't going so well). I get more excited about less obvious stuff.

Like syntax and grammar.

Yesterday, Colin pretty stubbornly demanded that he watch a Veggie Tales movie in the van. On the way to church. As we left church. Maybe during church. The answer was always No. But he persisted in his pleas for  Lord of the Beans. Even the prospect of getting Dunkin' Donuts didn't help.

He said, "I don't want donuts to be eaten. I want movies to be watcheded."

The dude likes to add an extra -ed to the ends of words, but I was actually pretty impressed with his unorthodox use of the passive voice. I've never heard him use that phrasing before, and it gave a completely different feel to his demands. He wasn't asking just for himself. It was as though, for the sake of the state of the universe, he wanted things to be a certain way. He wanted to live in a world where movies get watched and donuts go undisturbed.

Maybe I'm embellishing his verbal intentions just a bit, but he's the one who said it. There had to be a reason. That's my best guess.

But this isn't the kind of thing anybody else cares about. I mean, it's not going in his baby book. It's going on this blog, but I hardly think it will cause anyone to say, "When did our kids start using the passive voice?" I doubt with all my spirit this will make anyone feel jealous (and any milestone worth two bits will stoke the green flames of envy in other parents).

It's just something I noticed because I'm Colin's dad. And because I'm a dork.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Playlist

I'm one of those people. You know, the people who think that the music you listen to on a particular day is sometimes the only real way to answer the question, "How are you doing?" I know that's what you were thinking.

So I figured I'd make it a habit to tell you what I was thinking each Friday by telling you my playlist for the day. Because, again, I know the question that has your heart searing a hole through your chest: How are you doing, Adam? Well, this is how I'm doing:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Look, Your Worshipfulness . . .

This girl knew how to wear her some shoes.

There was a princess party at our house on Saturday. Rapunzel's a princess, right? Our niece Rosalie turned 5. Hooray for 5. Hooray for Rosalie. Hooray for princesses.

Hooray for dancing.

She whips her hair back and forth.
The dancing was probably the most fun part. That and reclaiming my testosterone-infused lair from the Land of Pink.

Colin: Big fan of dancing.
Addison, too. Dancing, swords, and major air, make a surprisingly good combination.

Friday, March 04, 2011

i want to write of nothing

I want to write of nothing I believe.
My mind erased, my heart no longer chained
To promise, all conclusions unconceived.
Let truth unbidden come through glass unstained.
I pray my tongue could unacquire the taste
Of love, of fury, deadness, pain, and joy.
Refresh my ignorance. Teach me to waste.
Sing gentle songs of grey to silent noise.
Inspire my words with nothing and I'll say
Exactly what I mean to you, sweet void.
My empty praise of emptiness will play
The part of meaning after I've destroyed
My memory. I'll write of this, the No.
No wrong. No doubt. . . . Then back to faith I go.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Word To Your Mother

I'm excited for several reasons at the moment. Baseball is back. Spring is in the . . . well, it's not in the air so much as it is in the plans for the near future. But it's coming. There are 1,000 things that have me smiling these days, but one in particular had me all jittery.

My friend Steph the Super-Talented (yes, that's now her legal name) is directing/producing/em-ceeing/rocking the Valparaiso production of Listen To Your Mother Show at the Memorial Opera House. Yesterday, she announced the cast list, and I was all "What?!?" because my name was on it. (I checked again this morning. My name's still there. Craziness.) To say I was excited would be an understatement. Huge fan of understatement that I am, I'll say it: I was excited with the force of everlasting thunder.

So I get to read something I wrote about my mom in front of a big crowd of awesome people that will include, of course, my mom. And I'll get a chance to work with some amazing people, including, of course, Stephanie. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with her, and I'm so proud of her. We've been friends for a long time, and if you told me back in high school that Steph would go on to produce a show like this, I would have said, "Duh."

Anyway, I'm excited.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

FTE

I was debating whether I should post the funniest thing ever.


Thus endeth the debate.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Two Things

1. Not one, not two, but . . . okay, yeah, two new American Idol Hollywood Week recaps are up at Beth's place (I Should Be Folding Laundry). I really do mean to brag. They're both awesome: Wednesday | Thursday.

2. I recently asked Addison what he and I had in common. He said that we both liked to play Wii. Okay. Then he added the best part. "It's not something we have in common, but it kind of is. We like the colors red and green." You should know that by this he meant that my favorite color is red while his favorite is green. So you get the part about that being something we don't have in common. So why is it kind of a commonality? He explained by making a laser sound effect and gesturing with his fingers to air-draw two lightsabers crossing.

Photo by Dori. Awesome by Addison.

Maybe we will rule the galaxy as father and son.
Seriously, I want to see the world through this kid's eyes. (Who am I kidding? I so do.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Should Be Watching Idol

A lot of people ask me if I'm going to keep doing American Idol recaps. (And when I say, "a lot," I mean it has happened before.) So if you are one of the many several two unspecified quantity of people banging down my virtual doors at a shot to see what I have to say about Idol, today, you should knock somewhere else.

Specifically, you should head on over to my friend Beth's place, ishouldbefoldinglaundry.com, where Beth and I have completed our first tag-team American Idol recap. It's pretty fantastic if I do say so myself. If you like my recaps, you'll love Beth's take on . . . well, I think you'll love Beth's take on just about everything. You'll love her photography, too . . . this is a promise. (If you don't like falling in love with pictures, don't go to her site, it will mess you up.) Essentially, if you don't already (i.e. you don't know her) you're going to love Beth once you get to meet her, you know, at her house of blog.

If you're wondering if I'll continue to do recaps here, the answer is . . . blowing in the wind. I think I'm going to try something a little different this year. Doing recaps this early is new for me, so you're already getting extra recappage. But once the top 24ish field materializes, I'm going to recap in a new way that I think you'll love. I could speak more confidently about this if I was 100% sure what it was, but trust me, it's going to be not the worst thing ever.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

First Thing

When the first two sentences you hear in the morning are . . . 

"Can we snuggle for a bit?"

and

"You're the best dad ever."

. . . it's already a great day.

Sorry, Thursday, you never stood a chance.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Awesome Toy: DO NOT TOUCH!



We have a toy that gets assembled no more frequently than semiannually. It's not the Big Loader or the Big Big Loader (both of which exist). No, it's the Big Big BIG Loader. It's not very hard (for an adult) to put together and get working. Addison could probably do it on his own by now. But it was Colin who wanted to break it out this time, his first truly conscious experience of it.

Once everything's in place, it's actually pretty fun to watch. Two front loaders (or scoop lifts), a dump truck, the top loader thingamajig (I'm not exactly a construction vehicle expert), and a whole series of machines that do some pretty complicated things for a toy intended for children three years and older.

Colin loves it. He can't stay still or quiet while he plays with it. But he also can't play with it. He dances around following the truck, narrates the action, and positively glows as the action unfolds. But if he touches anything, the whole process breaks down.

Being an active learner who loves to be part of the action and use his hands and physically engage his environment, Colin doesn't do super well with just standing by and watching. So, while this toy is something he loves, I kind of hate for him to love it. If he's near it, it will break. The well-oiled machine will not work. The system will become chaos.

But when I walk into the room and say, "Oh no, it's broken again!" he just smiles as big as his face can stretch and says, "Let's fix it!"

And that's just a great way to look at life, so he wins.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Run, Shmun. We Sit for Dunkin.

I'm no fan of going out to eat with children in tow. There are families who can do it. There are places any family can do it, but that usually involves eating in front of an animatronic rodent. I don't like eating in front of rodents, animatronic or otherwise, and my family isn't one of those that sits and waits, quietly enjoying the ambiance of a grown-up establishment. I've heard a lot of suggestions for places that are great for families. You know why those places are great? Because we aren't there.

When we go out to eat, the conversation never stops. Unfortunately, the context of the conversation is usually, "Sit down! Sit up! Face forward! Don't stab your brother! Give the nice lady her dentures. Do you have to go potty? NO, NOT HERE! GO!"

Stuff like that.

But there is one place we can all go at the same time without the aid of creepy, bug-eyed, motorized mice. No playland, no toys, no music, no distractions. Just donuts.

I kid you not, when the boys walk into Dunkin Donuts, they are on a solitary mission: get donuts. They wait in line. They order themselves. They stand patiently. They sit when they're told. They don't get up. They respond kindly to every question asked of them. They eat every bite and make every effort not to drop a single sprinkle. They don't push. They don't yell. They just eat donuts.

Heather and I? We breathe. And also eat donuts, which is nice too.

I don't care if it takes longer to eat there. I don't care if the food is bad for us. I don't care about anything when we're in Dunkin Donuts other than the fact that my sons behave impeccably from the moment they set foot in the parking lot. On even the worst day, it's a guaranteed moment of tranquility. You don't pass those up if you can get 'em.

Once we leave and the sugar rush sets in, the ironclad fortress of peace and harmony becomes a delicate bubble, but for those few minutes, we're a family who can eat out. Yes, I know Dunkin Donuts is not eating out. It's just a place we can pretend we're not all-out loco.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

From Bears to Tears (try not to let that rhyme)

The risk of building anything is the fear that it will fall.
On Sunday, Addison cried. Three times. Three. Separate. Times.

No, seriously, this was about 10 seconds later. Addison totally saw it coming.
The first time was immediately after the Bears lost to the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. Through the entire second half he had been begging to play Wii, but when the game was over he disappeared. I figured he had given up. A few minutes later, I heard the whimpering.

He had buried his head in the pillows of the guest room bed. He was sobbing. I asked if he was okay. He was not.

"I wanted the Bears to win!" He was as angry as he ever has been when denied Wii time, which is pretty much the zenith of his anger.

"I know. Me too." Pause. Realization. Peace. "But they lost. I'm sad, too." It felt good for me to say that. Any angst I had over the loss (and their was plenty) had dissipated at just admitting the fact and trying to help him do the same.'

"I hate the Packers. They're stupid." Here's where it was my job to tell him we don't use words like hate and stupid and that we have to learn to lose graciously.

"Yeah, they are. But they won."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

He's a Bashful Superhero

.05 seconds. The amount of time that lapses between the picture being taken and Colin running to see how it turned out.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

American J-Lo

I'm more than a little depressed and disappointed that the only thing that can animate this blog from dormancy is American Idol. Seriously, at the end of last season I didn't even like this show and I didn't really like myself for ever having watched it. Any chance of retaining me as a viewer was obliterated when Fox announced Steven Tyler and J-Lo would be replacing Simon and the other non-Randy judges.

That's it. The show's over. I figured it would get canceled out of general hilarious outrage. Then I could finally go back to hitting you with the occasional anecdote about my kids or thoughts on baked goods and whatever.

Then came the commercials. Randy Jackson. Steven Tyler. And J-Lo. I realized that a) they really are going through with this and b) I like looking at J-Lo. I don't mean that in a Steven-Tyler-likes-looking-at-slender-young-girls kind of way, I just don't object to the sight of Jennifer Lopez, okay? Shut up.

Suddenly it dawned on me that my American Idol viewing had done a Brett Favre. I mean come back from retirement. My American Idol viewing doesn't take pictures of its junk. It doesn't limp off the field after interceptions. It doesn't . . . you know what, this metaphor isn't helping. I realized I wouldn't be able to stop watching AI just yet, okay? Shut up.

So there it is. Back on my TV. There are people who look like Oompa Loompas and who want to be Miley Cyrus and who sound like jake breaks. I don't care. There's still the occasional emotionally manipulative story and three or four people who can sing. And J-Lo. I'm watching it.

Shut up.