Browsing Tag: kids


    Why I Hate “Cool”

    April 25, 2012

    cool-dudeThere’s nothing more uncool than “cool.” And people who feel they have to try to be “cool.” And the things they do or say in the name of being “cool.”

    Yawn. Boring. Dumb.

    To clarify, I’m not talking about the word “cool” itself; if I see something on TV or online that’s interesting, I’ll still say, “Oh, that’s cool” or something similar. That’s not what this is about.

    This is about the bigger version of “cool,” where people try to be something they’re not. (And usually fail miserably at it.)

    The Problem With “Cool”

    Cool doesn’t care. Cool is indifferent. Cool doesn’t think it has to try because … it’s not cool to try. Cool would rather fail than try, because trying isn’t cool. Trying implies caring. And caring isn’t cool.

    Cool thinks it’s above everything else, better than everyone else.

    Cool wants to fit in — as long as it fits in with other cool. Everything else is uncool, and to be ignored (at best) or just outright mocked.

    None of My Heroes are/were Cool

    I don’t know if you can ever learn anything from “cool” people. But I do know that you can learn a lot from uncool people. John Wooden was certainly uncool — maybe the most uncool coach in sports history.

    How cool is it to demand that your players put their socks on in a certain way, so that they’re less likely to get blisters? How cool is it to write love letters to your wife every month for years after she’s died? He did that, too. (I happen to think that’s pretty cool; but if you’re “cool,” that kind of passion is the furthest thing from cool.)

    You know who else isn’t cool?


    They’ve never been cool. About anything. Since day one, they’ve cared and been passionate. I don’t always agree with the things they’re hot about, but I love that they’re hot about a lot of things.

    In fact, here’s how Brian Eno described U2 and coolness in an article about the Achtung Baby recording sessions:

    Cool, the definitive Eighties compliment, sums up just about everything that U2 isn’t. The band is positive where cool is cynical, involved where it is detached, open where it is evasive. When you think about it, in fact, cool isn’t a notion that you’d often apply to the Irish, a people who easily and brilliantly satirize, elaborate and haggle and generally make short stories very long but who rarely exhibit the appetite for cultivated disdain — deliberate noninvolvement — for which the English pride themselves.


    It is this reckless involvement that makes the Irish terminally uncool: Cool people stay ’round the edges and observe the mistakes and triumphs of uncool people (and then write about them).

    I’ll take someone who’s “positive” and “involved” and “open” (those are Eno’s words) every time over someone who’s “cool.”

    My kids are getting to the age where being “cool” is important. I’d much rather they be themselves, no matter what anyone else thinks or says.

    That’s really the only way to be cool — to be yourself, 24/7. We’re all uncool. And the sooner the we all realize that … well, that will be a very cool day.

    (Stock image via Used under license.)
    Tri-Cities, WA

    Why We Live in the Tri-Cities

    September 20, 2010

    Actually, the title just begs for what would be a really long post, because there are a lot of reasons why we decided to settle here. But whenever the subject comes up, especially when someone finds out that I bailed on a TV sports career in the process of settling here, Cari and I always mention that the Tri-Cities is a great place to raise kids. Low crime, great schools, the right pace of life … you name it.

    And now that’s pretty much official. From Cari’s real estate blog:

    Kiplinger: Tri-Cities is One of the Best Places to Raise Kids


    My Daughter Has 8 Boyfriends

    March 9, 2008

    I’ve told my daughter that she’s not allowed to date until she’s 25 years old, but that hasn’t stopped her from starting a collection of boyfriends at the ripe age of six. Every time I turn around, it seems she’s declaring how cute someone is, and how she’s in love with so-and-so.

    So, a couple nights ago, when we had about 15 minutes to kill before dinner, I suggested she make a list of all her boyfriends. It took her two sides of a sheet of paper.

    Side One

    Boyfriends, side 1

    Here’s what it says, in case you couldn’t tell:

    1. Jason Dolly, Actor (correct spelling: Jason Dolley)
    2. Jake T. Austin | Actor (yes, she used a vertical pipe as a separator)
    3. Harry Potter | character
    4. Shia Labeouf, actor

    And then she flipped the page over, skipped #5, and listed a few more.

    Side Two

    Boyfriends, side 2

    6. Simon Cowell, Judge
    7. Joe, Kevin, Nick Jonas Brothers

    Methinks I’m going to have my hands full in about 8-10 years.


    Music Tells Me I’m Getting Old

    December 26, 2007

    My son, Sean, just turned 10 and is becoming as big a music fan as I’ve been since about the age of 12. Up until recently, Sean has mainly followed Dad’s musical tastes: He loves U2 and has even been to one of their concerts; he listens to Coldplay; and he’s taken a liking to some of the CDs on my shelf like Snow Patrol and Keane.

    All of that is fine from a fatherly perspective because I know the music he’s listening to, and with only a couple exceptions, don’t mind his young ears hearing these lyrics.

    For Christmas, he put several CDs on his list from artists that I know nothing, or almost nothing about: Nickelback, The Bravery, and even Blake Lewis (the kid from American Idol).

    That’s the first sign I’m getting old: When my kids start listening to bands/artists I don’t know. A week or so ago, Sean asked me if Lupe Fiasco’s real name was Lupe Fiasco or that was a fake name? I had to confess I’d never heard of Lupe Fiasco. The shame.

    Then comes the lyrics issue. Do I worry about what these singers are saying in their songs? Of course I do!

    That’s the second sign I’m getting old: When I worry about what my kids are hearing in the music they listen to. Should I listen to every song first to make sure it’s acceptable?

    After thinking about, I decided to go ahead and buy some of these CDs even though I don’t know the artist and don’t know what they’re singing about. Here’s why:

    1. It’s not realistic to think I can listen to every song my son wants to listen to before he does, and approve or disapprove it. Who has time for that?
    2. As he gets older, and as kids grow up faster than they did when I was young, he’s going to be exposed to a lot more in the schoolyard, at his friends’ houses, etc., and I have to accept that’s just part of growing up.
    3. Most importantly, he’s a Good Kid and I have to trust the job we did as parents and trust him to adjust and mature in an appropriate way as he experiences new things.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m getting old, does it? 🙂


    Mini-me … Mini-she

    July 8, 2004

    When you have kids, and while the kids are young, you spend a lot of time wondering what they’ll be like as they get older. And you spend a lot of time hoping that they share what you consider to be your own best traits.

    For me, this was especially true with Sean. My first child. My son. Mini-me. I’ve always hoped he’d turn out just like me and have the same personality traits that I like in myself. One of those is that I’m a neat-freak. I like things to be clean — the floors, the carpets, bedrooms, bathrooms … hell, the whole damn house! I like stuff to be clean and neat.

    I realized fairly early on that Sean hasn’t (yet) developed my interest in having things neat and clean. He shows no interest in keeping his room clean and organized, for example. Toys are tossed anywhere. Same with shoes, clothes (dirty or clean), and just about everything. Yes, I know he’s only six. But I think I was keeping my room nice and clean by that age.

    I’m not at all disappointed that he doesn’t share this trait, only surprised. You assume your son will be just like you. I love, appreciate and respect that he’s his own unique person. I’m just surprised this one thing didn’t get passed down his way.

    On the bright side, it appears it may have been passed down to T. She loves to help clean up toys. She started helping me load and unload dishes as soon as she learned what a dishwasher was. And lately, she’s been telling Cari in the morning that she needs to take a shower! Funny girl. Sure, her room’s a mess at the moment, but if you asked her to clean it up, she’d do it and she’d like it. At least someone got one of my best traits.



    June 17, 2004

    I’ll elaborate on this at a later date perhaps, but just for the record: It’s amazing to me how utterly different two children from the same parents can be.