Friday, November 21, 2014

Kids Say the Darnedest Things!

I think I may have come up with an idea for a killer TV show, if I do say so myself. Picture, if you can, a friendly older celebrity of some sort, wearing a warm and colorful sweater, a sweater which exudes comfort, contentment, happiness and humor. This celebrity might be a little cantankerous some of the time, somewhat curmudgeonly at other times, but for the most part he would have a heart of gold, and that would show through in each episode, as he sits down and has heart-to-heart conversations with a bunch of angelic-looking young children. He would ask the children questions that would seem quite straightforward to all of the adult viewers at home, but the children, being as naive as they are cherubic, would answer in a way that only small children can: oftentimes silly, sometimes poignant, but always heartfelt, and in a way that will tug at the heartstrings of viewers of all ages. I think I have a hit on my hands with this idea, what do you think? And the best part is that cherubic-looking kids are a dime a dozen. They're everywhere! Now I just have to figure out which grandfatherly celebrity I should have ask the questions...I wonder if Ozzy Osbourne is doing anything these days...
Ozzy looks right at home in this comfy sweater, don'tcha think? Photo illustration by Scott Hanson

I got the idea for this awesome show because our three wunderkinds, the Girl, the Boy, and the Little One, have been saying a lot of silly things lately. I really should start carrying around a video camera all of the time so I have visual proof of all the silly things they say. I could have a TV show right there! Instead, I am forced to use my memory, one of the least dependable things on the planet, to remember all of the silliness. Here are a couple that somehow remained in my gray matter:

The Little One is now 2-and-a-half or so, so this is really her first winter that she can remember. She was over at her Grandma & Grandpa W.'s house the other day, and just happened to look out the window towards the lake they live on, which is already iced over and covered with snow, even though we haven't celebrated Thanksgiving yet. Don't get me started on the misery that is a Minnesota winter...Any ways, the Little One looked out the window and got a flabbergasted look on her face. "The lake is gone!!" she exclaimed with horror. Thankfully Grandma was able to get her settled down quickly. Living in a frozen wasteland like this can be very traumatic to a toddler!

The Girl was the perpetrator of the other silly saying. She was getting one of her regular piggy-back rides from yours truly. Everything was going smoothly, and we were having a lot of fun. Until she glanced down the back of my shirt, that is. "Daddy, you are hairy all the way down to your feet!" she blurted out. Looking back at the situation, I don't remember asking her for her opinion on the matter. Oh well. I have been called a Sasquatch countless times by one of my so-called friends, so I guess I should embrace the truth. The worst part was that I didn't even know how to respond when the Girl said that. I bet Ozzy would have said something witty if he was there...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Reverse Snowbird Syndrome

I have a lot of epiphanies when I am doing long, boring things that I don't enjoy. I guess it's because my mind starts to wander away from whatever it is I am doing, and moves on to other things. Actually, instead of wandering, it's more like my brain races away at the speed of light, or possibly 8-10 miles over the speed of light, which usually won't get you pulled over for speeding.

Any ways, my mind seems to have wandered off again as I was writing that last paragraph...what were we talking about again? Oh yes, long, boring things that I don't enjoy. In that category I would place listening to classical music, watching and/or playing soccer, mowing the lawn, and shoveling snow. I was doing the latter this morning when I had my most recent epiphany. I wouldn't call it one of the most profound epiphanies I have ever had, but then again, it wasn't a very heavy snowfall, so I wasn't shoveling for all that long...

Whilst shoveling the driveway, which I would soon leave in my vehicle for what would surely be an excruciatingly long commute on the snow-covered highways and byways of the greater Twin Cities Metropolitan area, I realized that most snowbirds have it all wrong. If you are unaware of the term "snowbird", it's the name we Minnesotans give to retired folks, or anyone, really, who leaves God's Country (Minnesota) for warmer climates (Florida and Arizona are the first to come to mind) in the fall, right before our weather turns from Eden-like to a frozen purgatory that lasts at least for the next 5 months (which seems more like 82 years).
This would be a perfect place to hunker down, if I was retired. Are you with me? Photo courtesy of

But I think the whole "snowbird mindset" is backwards. Personally, instead of waiting until I am retired to move south and avoid the snow, I would rather move south now, while I am still working, so that my commute to work isn't 4 days, each way, like it was today in the snow. I wouldn't mind this kind of weather at all if I were retired. Retired people don't have to do anything if they don't want to, am I right? Winter weather like what we had today would be just another excuse to stay home and do whatever I want. And really, isn't that what retirement is all about? I can't wait.