99 problems but...

By kenny friedman on Wednesday, August 31, 2011

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For the last couple years on my birthday I did a list of things that inspired me. List from two years ago. Last year's list.

I decided to stop that this year because, well I forget exactly why, but one reason is that a bit ago I ran across a fantastic post on @Lins610's blog (down right now) that was a guest post by her husband @japster24. It was a list of his 99 problems...

And since I'm pro-plagiarism I thought I'd steal his post and do a list of my 99.

I have to say when I read his list a lot were true for me so I just copy and pasted his words in hopes that would somehow save the environment. Those ones are bolded.

1. I still haven't sent out my Bar Mitzvah thank you cards... But I believe the statute of limitations is 25 years so we're all good.

2. I'm not a fan of most forms of conversation that aren't face to face. Some of my least fave include; phone calls, emails, snail mail and texting. Skype is ok but it's a pain in the butt and all callas begin with "Do you see me? I don't see you."

3. Texting is for short things to say like "On my way home," "Can you pick up dog food" or "I think I left Miloh at home alone, can you check?"


4. i swear too much in my posts (here’s how i see it, it’s just a word made by a man to have a meaning. if the definition of shit was a green tree, then it would be socially acceptable to say hey look at that nice shit, isn’t it beautiful. how is saying crap or shoot or any other alternative word any better? if i’m thinking it, i’ve already committed the sin and i’d be lying if i said something that i wasn’t thinking…so instead of making it worse…i say what comes to my mind…this also gets me in a lot of trouble sometimes) i have said pretty much the same thing verbatim.

5. I don't want a 3D TV. They are stupid. And according to Werner Herzog (and this makes sense to me) we only see 3D when we need to. Most of the time our world is in 2D. So 3D TV actually would put an odd strain on your eyes and brain.

6. i love a good argument (some of my best analogies come to me when i’m really into it)


7. I love snowboarding but haven't snowboarded in at least 2 years.

8. making the bed every day doesn’t make sense to me…we’re just going to mess it up again in 16 hours and no one is coming into our room


9. sometimes i wish i was stupid so i didn’t think so much


10. i feel almost happy when i think about someone “bad” dying that I think deserved it


11. i can disconnect extremely easily from all emotions and move on

12. I hate cheese with a passion and know when it's hidden in my food.

13. i’m addicted to technology…but also don’t want to buy another thing…


14. My knowledge of TV commercials from the late 70s and 80s is pretty damn good.

15. i like to enjoy silence in extremely long doses (weeks without interaction doesn’t bother me one bit)


16. I have really bad foot arches which causes a lot of pain. It's because of a vestigial bone. I often check Miloh to feel the bone because I hope he doesn't have it. I don't think he does. Also I think it means I have 208 bones.

17. my attitude is 50% relaxed, 40% don’t care, 5% don’t bother me, 5% annoyed at all times

18. Since I don't eat eggs and I'm a vegetarian I hate breakfast places. I can basically only eat a bunch of carbs so I get super full, super sleepy then super crabby.

19. I'm vegetarian but don't eat enough fruits and veggies.

20. getting up early makes me grumpy all day


21. i’m selfishly immune to “dangerous” activities


22. i have no patience lately


23. i don’t like to repeat myself


24. i zone out when listening to someone else talk…it’s not my forte’

25. I forget people's names the second I hear them

26. I love cold weather. I love being cold. You can always add clothes if you're cold, can't walk around naked if it's hot.

27. I have too many ideas for photo projects and not enough time.

28. I have too many ideas for infographics and not enough time.

29. i try not to judge anyone…but i still do 

30. I have that Larry David disease and think it's fun to get in awkward situations.

31. I never thought I'd give in to Miloh as much as I do but he's so cute.

32. I'm blown away at how much Miloh looks like Staci and acts like me.

33. I love that digital cameras have allowed so many people to get into photography.

34. I hate that any idiot with a nice camera thinks they are a professional photographer.

35. Portrait and wedding photography is not an investment... Investments can go up in value... Don't charge me a lot for photos and fool me that it's an investment.

36. I love old painted signs and miss Chicago because they had so many great ones.

37. all babies screaming (even Miloh’s) drives me i-n-s-a-n-e

38. I love creating things with my hands but it's not my forte.

39. i don’t like the light to be turned on in the bathroom at night…it bothers me b/c i’m getting ready for bed and don’t want a bright light in my eyes 

40. I wish I bought the Sally Mann print of "Three Wolves" back in 1996. I didn't have enough cash then it was super expensive. But it of course has gone up in value.

41. dr’s annoy me…if you weren’t sick when you went in being around all the sick people will probably make you sick. plus most of the time, all they do is give you a prescription to something that will probably go away in a few days.


42. I've been watching Cheers a lot on Netflix lately. It's one of the best opening credits and the show is still kinda good. But the credits make it.

43. i honk my horn for obnoxiously long periods of time. i also swerve and honk at people who are texting when i’m driving alone secretly hoping they will crash…not get hurt…just enough to wreck their car so they don’t hurt/kill anyone in the future


44. rap is really getting on my nerves…any moron can talk over a beat. underground bands is where it’s at lately (I love old school rap)

43. I think all art museums for free. I realize they have to get tax money for this and I'm totally down with that.

45. i like to live in different places…apparently it’s a bad thing for your credit score

46. I love espresso but kind of hate drip coffee... I used to like french press but not so much lately.

47. For some reason I like Keurig coffee but I think that's because it is brewed quickly like espresso and not slow like drip. I realize it's not like espresso in that there is no tamping or bar pressure.

48. I can't wait until Miloh can ride a bike.

50. i don’t understand people who say they would be bored if they didn’t have a job…that’s just stupid (you can find something to do.)

51. i’d travel to a different location every day if i could


52. I think if I had a different kid I wouldn't like it as much as I like Miloh. He's the perfect kid for me.

53. If I could eat one food and survive it would be hand cut french fries cooked in peanut oil with kosher salt.

54. I can watch quirky documentaries any day.

55. I have a ton of books I want to read but I can't find the time and/or attention to sit and read.

56. I kind of want a black and white nook. I love the screen. I hesitate to buy it because of 55.

57. I don't get iPads. They are too big to be as portable as I'd like, and too small and underpowered to do what I'd really want to do on a tablet... Which is work. If they cost $200 I'd maybe buy one... But probably not.

58. I can't ride a skateboard.

59. I can't rollerskate.

60. When I am at an ice rink I have a hard time because I'm really good at cross over turns going clockwise but not so much going counterclockwise.

61. I'm slowly falling apart. I fear my knees will go the first year I get some good days of snowboarding in.

62. I but a lot of art print posters but don't have enough space to put them up. This makes me sad but I still buy because someday I'll have more space.


63. obvious jokes aren’t funny


64. If you're driving the speed limit you're driving 5 miles per hour too slow.

65. Sometimes when I see people gabbing on the phone while they drive hope they drive into a pole on the side of the rode and total their car but hurt no one.

66. I think everyone (who's physically able) should have to take the basic motorcycle safety course before they get their driver's license.

67. I can't wait until I'm in AARP because I will rally to get mandatory retesting for driver licenses once you reach a certain age, probably 60, and then every 4 years after. I think the person that proposes it has to be in AARP so they don't seem agist... But it's ridiculous when super old folks drive and cause accidents because they are out of it.

68. Express lanes should not just be about the amount of items... It should be about being ready to pay and leave quickly too. I hate being behind a slowpoke with five items when the regular next to me flies by.

69. my favorite movie is played backwards (momento) (not my fave but I do love it)

70. I think I own more shoes than my wife.

71. I don't own enough socks.

72. miloh, the dogs and i all have the same gas problem

73. Puma used to have this awesome piece of luggage in their 96 hour collection. It was enough clothes for 96 hours. The color palette was all black, white and grey and very plain. I sometimes want to dress like that.

74. I miss unpasteurized apple cider. Pasteurization did take some flavor away... Or maybe the quality of apples suck now.

75. cell phones ringers annoy me (cell phones shouldn’t have audible ringers…only vibrate on different levels)

76. I used to love them but now find The Simpsons to be incredibly boring.

77. I watch too much crappy TV.

78. Sometimes I wish I ate cheese because the concept of getting a slice of pizza in NYC and folding it up to eat it seems great... But it's not worth eating that horrible goo.

79. I don't cook hashbrowns that are good enough for my high standards of hashed browns... Actually my mom used to make the best.

80. I wish I was a better friend but I don't know how to be.

81. I have one close guy friend in real life... But I recently met some other guys who are good people so you never know.

82. I blame my father for my lack of guy friends... Because he's an ass I don't really like guys.

83. i think respect is more important than love


84. i don’t kiss my wife as much as i should (she does a lot for us)…


85. the thought of eating breakfast right after waking up makes me feel sick


86. I took an art class about a month ago and need to do this more regularly.

87. I love video games but rarely play them... I don't think that's a bad thing.

88. if someone hurt my family, i would make it my mission to torture them every day..but not let them die (yeah it’s wrong, but it’s how i feel)

89. I have trouble sleeping but it's better than when I was in college.

90. don’t interrupt me while i’m speaking…but i do it other people quite often (mostly to save them from re-explaining something i already understand) 


91. i start lots of projects and don’t follow through with them. my favorite part is the hardest part of setting it up…then i get bored with it



95. i’m very touch oriented…(lingerie doesn’t make sense…you’re paying more money, for less clothing…which is going to be removed anyway? who’s buying into this?)

96. I wish I was eating a falafel sandwich right now.


97. i screen all my calls…and don’t answer blocked calls. that’s like someone’s knocking on your door and you look out the peep hole to see a person dressed in a trench coat and their face covered)


98. i like reading womens baby blogs (it’s entertaining, free, and i can relate to it on some level)


99. My wife thinks I'm kidding when I say that one day I might randomly come home with a Space Shuttle pinball machine.. Or maybe some different kind. We have no room for it except the basement stairs.

Despite all my issues, I’m probably the most laid back person you’ll ever meet.




I surrender...

By kenny friedman on Monday, August 29, 2011

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I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how Miloh's kicking my butt on the sleep front. Now he's going in for the kill. He's using germ warfare to do it.

BMF (Before Miloh F which I have to use because BM was already taken as an acronym) I would get sick maybe twice a year. They'd be bad colds and not fun, but I'd be mobile. But as you know kids are the worst weapon in germ warfare Miloh's at the top of his game.

Staci's pretty immune to all of this because she's been working with kids for a bit... I'm not immune.

In December and January he gave me my first two sinus infections. They put me out pretty bad but luckily they were treatable with anti-biotics.

Then he got smart and decided to give me a virus instead of an infection.

And that's what I've been doing the last week... Getting my ass kicked by the worst virus I've ever had. One that kicked my butt in every way possible...

How do I know he got me sick? I'd get sick about three days after he had a bad virus... I feel I have two options. One, I can put myself in a bubble but that just seems uncomfortable or two, I can put him in a bubble so he doesn't get me sick.

I'm going with number two because he'll learn to think that the bubble is normal and he'll probably love it.

Moral of the story: we should drop sick kids on countries we don't like. They would have parachutes of course and pillows under their butts for soft landings. Then some kind of return info because of course we'd want our tiny heroes back. But damn that would be a great weapon.



The Cat in the Hat Knows Pretty Much Nothing About That

By kenny friedman on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

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I find myself saying it a lot but we don't let Miloh watch a lot of TV... Mostly because it goes a bit against Montessori at home (although we're pretty reform with that) and also because we, read I, watch too much and we don't want Miloh in the habit.

On the list of things he does watch is The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That. Netflix is our friend in the mornings so he will get a bit of that or Sesame Street while the person who's on duty that AM tries to actually wake up.

And Miloh truly loves the show. He calls it hat and pats his head. He let's us know that there's a fish on screen every time the fish comes on screen, he dances and says "Go, go, go" when they sing that song.



Unfortunately since we really only watch on Netflix we've only seen eight episodes... But this gives me time to really think about the show.

Here are some problems with it:


  • The Cat in the Hat actually really knows almost nothing about everything. He does however know the right people to go to for information. He's what Malcolm Gladwell would call a Connector in his book The Tipping Point (which is fantastic).  I'm not gonna fault the Cat because Connectors are great... But he doesn't know a lot about that.
  • It teaches kids that it's ok for them to leave with anyone and to believe them if they say "Your mother will not mind at all if you do." But really you have to ding the moms since they don't even look at who the kids are with. I'm aware the phrase is from the book too... The Cat is a creep.
  • That brings me to the moms. My theory is they are having sex with the pool boy or whatever. You rarely see them as they answer from another room. Plus they are quick to get the kids away.
  • One of the most disturbing things that isn't mentioned is that the narrator for the book, who is refereed to as "I" or "Me" is missing from the show. What happened to him? Was he killed? Did the Cat abduct him and now he's coming for the sister and neighbor?

    And why aren't we looking into Nick's (the neighbor kid) background? Once the narrator was gone he got a sweet deal. He get's to go all over the world with the Cat. He gets paid to be on the show. Maybe he killed the narrator.

    I demand answers
  • To take off in the Thinga-ma-jigger the Cat asks Nick to "Flip the jigger-ma-whizzer"... No comment.
Also I should mention that when I was searching for something about this post I found a nutbag who thinks that the two moms are lesbians and so she doesn't want her kids to watch. This woman can't see they live in separate house and always ask the same mom if they can go with the creepy Cat. So she's an idiot. That's not to say the moms aren't lesbians but it's hard to tell because PBS cut out all the hard-core sex scenes from the show.

Moral of the story: the Cat is a Creepy stranger that gets children to leave their house with him and then asks them to flip his jigga-ma-whizzer... But it's better than Caillou



Behind the Tweet: Episode Three

By kenny friedman on Sunday, August 21, 2011

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It started with having the quietest newborn ever when it came to sleep, then four days passed and he was not a good sleeper. Things got better for a minute and then it was bad again.

At four months we did Cry it Out. That worked like a charm but then I wrote a post about it so he rebelled.

It's been a roller coaster ride with his sleep.

Recently we figured out he was scared of his room so his doctor suggested we put a gate up and keep the door open. Again we had a tough time and kinda needed to do a simpler CIO since he could walk to the gate because of the no crib deal.

He's going to sleep well again.

Sometimes he wants us to cuddle more. When he wants to do that he's different with both of us... With me he will push my head down so I know to sleep. Then he grabs me by the hair to pull my head up to see if my eyes are closed.

Other times he has his independence. Sometimes pushes us away to leave. Sometimes he waves and says "bah-bah".



He Finally Gets My Waffles

By kenny friedman on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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Smashing a waffle into his eye

There's a good chance that the title of this post is misleading. Miloh may have had homemade waffles from me, but I forget if he has. So I'm counting this as the first time.

If you've been reading since a bit before Miloh was born you'd know that, in this post, I was trying to figure out how waffles could be my breakfast thing for Miloh.

Well I saw a great feature on the Paula & Paula blog which was called Breakfast International. Honestly, and without hyperbole, I think it's one of the best features I've seen on a blog. I am for some reason always interested in what people in other countries do for breakfast.

Maybe it's because I'm all over the place with mine. Sometimes I do full on meals, sometimes almost nothing. But my fave breakfast is espresso and a great scone or croissant. Problem is great espresso and pastries are hard to find... And it's not a nutritious breakfast.

Along those lines I found it really interesting that few of the folks participating have what Americans would consider a nutritious breakfast. You know, the stuff you see in cereal commercials; cereal, milk, OJ, some kind of meat and fruit.

I realize that's a lofty goal for breakfast that few attain... But sometimes I feel we're not doing the best for Miloh when we don't  have the picture perfect table. So it was nice to see a great range...

Anyway I tweeted that I loved the idea and was asked to participate.

And so Miloh got my waffles because I thought it was a great time to start a little breakfast tradition with him.

I'll added one teaser pic here but you can see more at Paul & Paula's.

What do you all do for breakfast for your kids? For you?



An Open Letter To Restaurants

By kenny friedman on Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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I was going to write a longer open letter to a restaurant that doesn’t take reservations but then decided there are more types of restaurants we go to... So I thought they should all get one.

I should say that while I talk about Miloh going nutso at restaurants he’s not a terror. He’s just a normal 1.5 year-old who doesn’t want to sit for an hour in a high chair unless he’s eating.



Dear Restaurant That Doesn't Take Reservations And Has A Two Hour Wait (RTDTRAHATHW)

I heard about you awhile ago and I was totally interested in what you do. A restaurant that has awesome food that is served by the chefs? Sounds fantastic.

Count me in, we’ll leave the kid at home.

Oh, you have a two hour wait and don’t take reservations?

I’m out

Here's the deal. My wife and I have a kid. Our friends that we do dinners with often have kids. I should clarify... They always have kids, I meant we do dinner with them often. That kinda grammar throws me a bit... I didn't pay attention in class I guess.

And speaking of school the math kills us.

Let's say we go with just one couple and we both need a baby sitter. If we're lucky and get a wait on the shorter side were looking at paying $20 to $24 (yeah we pay $12 an hour) just for waiting around.

Maybe that seems petty and all but I feel like I’m paying a premium just to wait in your overcrowded bar... Take my freaking reservation.

Signed
You lost me at no reservations



Dear Family-Owned Restaurant

Your food is super good. I love your servers. Thanks for telling me my kid is super cute. But get us our freaking food NOW. If we bring our kid in to your restaurant it’s not just because we like the food. It’s because we don’t want to clean up a dinner at home... Also maybe we want to get out but still, not cleaning up is a big part.

And our kid is usually less messy at a restaurant than at home.

But a small kid in a restaurant is more a perilous situation than if I had brought an actual time bomb in. If we don’t get our food quickly I can’t be held responsible for what will happen. Maybe it will be blood curdling screams... Maybe our apps or bread will start flying... I’m not really sure.

So go back to the kitchen and tell them to fire it... In fact any time you see a family with a small child you should fire the food out fast...

Oh... And bring me my check when I ask. Because I can tell when the bomb is about to blow so if you wait 20 minutes after I ask it’s only your fault. And when I hand you my credit card when I ask for the check take it, run it and come back quickly.

Also don’t charge me for some bullshit lemonade I never ordered.

Signed
The guy who's kid makes the biggest mess but is super cute



Dear Family-Friendly Restaurant

I hate you. I hate almost everything about you. I’ve only been to you a few times... I hope I never go back but you’ve saved our ass a few times.

You give my kid crayons, you get us food quickly and bring our check before we’re done. I hate that we’ve become people that find that to be a good thing but it’s reality sometimes.

It would be awesome if you had something on the menu that was vegetarian so I could eat but I’ll just get fries, you have good fries.

Signed
More fries please

P.S. it wasn't really my wife's birthday... I just wanted you to sing to her and embarrass her


Dear Nicer Casual Dining Place

Thank you for saving me from the Family-Friendly restaurants. You also give us crayons and get us our food quickly.

But you differ from the Family-Friendly place in that your food is actually pretty good. I mean it’s stuff I’d get often-ish. Plus you’re a little darker than the FF places... This seems to have more of a calming affect on my kid so we can eat a pretty normal meal.

Also your desserts are pretty damn good...

Signed
A fan who wants dessert



Dear Fast Casual restaurant

You are often my savior so I’d like to take a moment to thank you. You have pretty good food (not gonna win any awards, but good) and good kid meals... And I can get in and out quickly.

Plus if my kid goes apeshit I don’t feel bad that you have to clean up... I know that sounds bad but c’mon... You’re fast casual. Plus I had to do the same all the time when I worked at a coffee house.

But can you do me a favor?

Clean your freaking high chairs. I know people grab them and put them back on their own but still... Maybe before you have the person do the bathrooms they head to the high chairs first and give them a quick wipe. I’d honestly rather have my son lick your bathroom floors than lick his hands after touching a high chair.

Signed
Just another quickie



Dear Fast Food Restaurant

I don’t like you (unless I can order a bean burrito with no cheese). You don’t like me. You have pretty much nothing for a vegetarian to eat. And while I realize that we’re not your customer base you could serve some veggie stuff... I’d bet it would sell.

But really I don’t care... I wouldn’t go anyway. Your food is pretty much crap and you’re helping to add to the obesity problem.

Really the only reason people stop there is because you’re cheap, give out toys with kid meals and have super salty fries.

Signed
That guy you haven't seen in 20 plus years



Sisyphean One Of My Favorite Words Or Sisyphean What Life With A Toddle Is Like

By kenny friedman on Sunday, August 14, 2011

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One thing I hate is people who use a ton of "big" words. It's not that I don't understand big words or anything it's just that I find that most people that throw them out often are either a) pompous assholes or b) people who want to make others feel inferior... Which I guess is really the same as 'a' but there's a difference...

Plus I talk informally, string words together that probably should be connected and make up words that have semblance of a real word.

However some big words do pop into my vocabulary with some frequency and Sisyphean is definitely one.

I like it because I was a fan of Greek mythology as a kid and the story of Sisyphus was a fave. If you don't know it the summary is Sisyphus pissed off Zeus so Zeues gave him the task of rolling a boulder up a hill. However every time the boulder comes close to the top Zeus has it roll back down.

Hence a Sisyphean task.

And that's how things feel sometime... Especially when it comes to keeping the house in order.

Like the time that our cleaning lady had just left and I fed Miloh a simple dinner of rice and beans. This was a bit ago when he would wipe his hands across the table when he was done which would get food all over. And so not minutes after she left out kitchen looked like a tornado hit it.

And any time we fold clothes we need to put them away or Miloh runs up to them, pulls them down and throws them all over. Partly because it's fun... Partly because he then likes to shake the clothes out in order to help us refold them.

And then there are the mornings... Everything (well almost everything) is in order and just waiting to be strewn around the room.

Like the recent time when I went it was my day and I went to make Miloh breakfast... And I came in to the rock, once again, at the bottom of the hill.


Also I should add the task of finding this photos was near Sisyphean as it was so not in the folder I would have expected it to be in and it took me an hour to find.

And there was the time he put blue tape on my jeans for about 40 minutes... I'd take it off and it would go back on... And so on and so on.




Behind the Tweet: Episode Two

By kenny friedman on Thursday, August 11, 2011

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Not sure if I need to say more than than but this is a blog so I suppose I should. We're a little lucky in that Miloh's tantrums have waned a bit. I know of course that as I write this he knows I'm writing it so they will be back.

But the little fits happen every day and usually for something so small. And when they happen I'm half amused/laughing, half annoyed and half sympathetic because he's cute. Don't think to hard that math totally works out.

That day it was milk. He wanted more but had enough. In reality I think he can drink a whole gallon in one standing (I'd say sitting but he prefers the taste when he's completely vertical). However he can't just drink milk.

So we said no and he started crying. And then he did his little "I'm crying over nothing" jig which is incredibly cute. But in all it was annoying... And he wouldn't accept water or anything else.

And like a good parent I walked away from him and called him out on twitter.

I'm sure all you parents know how it is. It's just milk, right? Who cares if he has more? But you know it's not that simple. You give in once and you're screwed. And we all know I'm screwed anyway because floor beds lead to teenagers that leave the house in the middle of the night. If you don't know what I mean you can read this old post which by the way is @Japster24's fave post of mine. I only mention him because I'm going to steal a post of his later this month and I want him to look favorably upon me before the theft.

The second half of the tweet... Well if you follow me on twitter or know me in real life you know I think Tea Party folks are fools... I mean they called themselves Teabaggers at first and put a quitter on a pedestal and want said quitter to run for President.

Moral of the story: I'd rather hang with a whining kid than a whining Tea Bagger.



A Day In The Life – Repurposed Directors cut with previously unreleased photos

By kenny friedman on Tuesday, August 09, 2011

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Last week Lauren from With Two Cats asked me to guest post over at her blog for a day. I linked to it last week in my Behind The Tweet post... but wanted to include it here in case you missed it and because it seems like I'm writing a new post but in reality I'm not and in reality it doesn't matter.

Lauren sent me some suggestions of what to write and one was for me was to do A Day in the Life post. So I Googled "A Day in the Life" knowing that I'd get a lot of Beatles results. However on the first page was a blog post by Chris Brogan. In that post he writes "A day in the life post is obviously such a self-absorbed thing..."

I could add that it could be a potentially boring thing... So while it will most likely be the former I apologize if it's also the latter.

But because I ramble I should probably examine the Beatles song "A Day in the Life". There's that lyric

Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in second splat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
and Somebody spoke and I went into a dream

Those actually speak to my life before child. I would in fact wake up and roll out of bed. I wouldn't drag a comb across my head... In fact I can't remember the last comb I've owned. I do pretty much nothing except maybe put a tiny bit of product in my hair... But the point is I'm downstairs quickly. And now's where I should mention I shower at night. Some people think that's dirtier than showering in the day... I think it's easier and more time efficient... Plus I don't sleep in a pile of dirt so I wake up relatively clean.

Then I'd grab a cup. I use a Keurig machine. I'm a bit of a coffee snob, but a quirky one. I hate drip coffee... It makes me sleepy. But Keurigs go through almost espresso fast so it's better to me. I'd love an espresso machine but those $150 or less ones suck. If I got one I'd have to throw down $1000 or more and that won't happen. I'm a fan of the stove top ones but really this isn't a post about my coffee thoughts.

Then I'd notice I was late and I'd grab my coat, but not my hat... I have a hat but don't know when to wear it. And I would make the bus in second flat... Often running down the street saying "Oh golly, Oh golly, Oh golly". In reality I wouldn't be saying Oh golly but Lauren asked me to keep this PG.

Then the rest loses me... I never smoked so then similarities end there.

But that was pre-baby... Now here's my Day in the Life.

I chose today... Yesterday would have been a better one to write about because my son Miloh got ear tubes in the morning and at night I had a guys night with a bunch of great creative folks... Plus I watched Tangled and seemed to like it more than my son... But you won't hear that story.

Here goes:
I woke up at 5:30 am... That means I got sleep and a half hours of sleep which followed my six hours of sleep the night before. It was my time to take care of Miloh in the morning but we're not supposed to go into his room until 6... Luckily he started playing in his room instead of crying.

We came downstairs and I made him breakfast. And made myself a cup. Hint for Keurig owners–brew extra bold cups on the smallest cup setting... Much stronger and I think better flavor.

And while eating breakfast we watched Sesame St. I seemed to enjoy that more than him too. It was the Brian Williams episode where everyone has "Mine-it-is". I only say that because Brian Williams rocks.

On the show there was a girl talking about her day in Paris where she lives. She says every day she goes to the farmer's market with her dad. That's how I knew this post would be boring... I do no such thing.

Then there was a scene where some man and his daughter (possibly) walk out of their house singing and playing a Mandolin and Banjo... Soon after two women walk by, one with a guitar and one with an accordion, and they join in the song. Next a guy with a stand-up bass walks buy and starts playing. Seriously this dude was just walking down the street with a stand-up bass not in a case. And finally a guy on who's riding his bike with a Djembe drum in his hand, shows up and plays.

And since it's so fun a bunch of neighborhood kids start dancing.

If this is other people's Day in The Life then really this post will be disappointing... I don't know how to play the Mandolin.

While I was wallowing in the reality of my relatively boring life Miloh grabbed the dog leash and wanted to go for a walk. I didn't want to take the dog out yet but told him to grab his dog (we walk them together most mornings). And so we walked his dog.

Previously unreleased photo

Previously unreleased photo
And I took photos because that's what I do. (Side note to Lauren's students... I used to be a professional photographer... You can make a good living doing that and other art.)

Then I was off duty so I got ready and headed out the door. I scooted to work because the weather was nice. Also because while I live in the suburbs riding my Stella Scooter makes me feel like I could be in a small European town. The scoot is short and on side streets and along a lake... It's a good start to a work day.

Then I find myself at work. I'm a creative director. That means I tell creative where to go... But since creative isn't sentient that's usually fruitless... So I do design and art direction with a good team of folks. Then I have conversations that go like this; Person A: Focus is the hardest part. Me: Actually waiting is the hardest part. Person A: That's what Tom wants you to believe. (The younger crowd won't get that reference.)

Every day there is different and I won't go into the details. I will say I'm working on a project that has me working with a client who's engineer that blows my mind every time we talk to him. Mostly because I'm a huge science geek in addition to being a creative type. But the moral here, again for the kids, is that you can have fun and do cool stuff with a career in art. I say this because while in high school I was told to go into art as a career I really didn't get that it could be a career... But it can. Also it saved me a bit because as you can tell I'm not friends with grammar.

Time passes and my wife, Miloh and I grab some dinner. While there Miloh saw his first dandelion seeds blowing. It was awesome. He thought they were bubbles and he was so excited that he could grab them... All I heard was "Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, bubbles (I wonder how many I can get in before people skip reading them), bubbles, bubbles."

After we head home, me on the scooter, Miloh and I head to the park.


Here's the deal with parks... No one tells you what they are for. They aren't for kids to enjoy themselves and learn to socialize. Parks are for wearing kids out... Parents go with their kids so they climb all over in the hot sun and are easier to put to bed.

Like I said no one tells you this... And we only recently learned it. So you folks without kids are welcome.

Then we have bath, put the kid to sleep (again my day to do it) and I sit down and design some of my infographics (I'm working on the first year with a kid by the numbers and it's killing me) process some photos, open up gmail, write a bunch of run on sentences and send the email out with some of the aforementioned pics attached...

So while I'm not going to a French farmer's market every day or starting jam sessions outside my house I think my days are pretty good.



I Like Swiss Cheese

By kenny friedman on Monday, August 08, 2011

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Sleeping on my head. 

If you believe 7th grade biology than Miloh can't be my kid... He's got recessive features; blonde hair and blue eyes.

But according to 8th grade biology he can be mine because it's not a black and white issue of genes.

Now I'm not sure if any of the above is true about biology because it was awhile ago... I feel like I learned recessive and dominant as absolute and then later as how it actually works. Not sure if that was in two different grades, two different weeks or two different sentences... And I'm not sure if any of that made sense, but I decided to pay myself by the word for this post so I'm padding...

But there are some ways to tell that Miloh is a tiny me in sheeps clothing. It's in his personality and the things he does.

One specific thing is sleep time. I realize a lot of kids, if not all, drag it out... But I see a little me in the way he does it.

I was able to drag out sleep with the best. If you ever get my mom in the room for a minute she will talk about me... And you could be lucky enough to hear my greatest feat at pushing off sleep.

After I was put to sleep I'd come downstairs and peek my head through our stair railing to ask some question or tell my mom something. It was the standard fare of stuff a kid says.

One day I had come down too many times so my mom said not to come down again unless it was important or an emergency.

After about an hour my mom thought I was asleep... Then she heard my feet on the steps and worridly asked what was wrong (since I was only supposed to come down for something important.)

I told her I liked swiss cheese.

Not sure if stalling is a gene but if it is Miloh has it... Before bed when we ask him to grab a book he'll saunter over to the bookcase, possibly with a turn, and start facing the books on the shelf. If Borders hadn't closed I'd have hime working there this summer.

But facing them isn't enough. He then organizes them and has to reface them.

Next might be his stuffed animals... He will put them in the right place, different every time, and even put his baby to sleep. 

One random day he insisted on wearing his hat... After storytime it went onto and Ugly Doll.

Then we read books and he may start blowing kisses which means he wants to say goodnight, to the one who isn't putting him to sleep, one last time.

And of course he wants to say goodnight to the dog.

And maybe his frogs.

And then the dog again... Which means balling because we say he's said goodnight.

Then he needs to organize his bed... To get really comfy. He grabs his main stuffed animals, a monkey and an elephant, and his blankets... And we prepare for the Miloh shuffle.

He shuffles everything around until he's comfy. Maybe giving you the monkey... Until he wants the monkey and gives you the elephant... Again and again.

While it's annoying it's really funny and hard not to laugh... And it's cute.

Then he might ask me to put my head down on the bed, he pats the area my head should go. He doesn't do this to Staci. Maybe because she's a girl and he doesn't think it's right to d to her what he does next.

He pulls my head up by the hair to see if I'm asleep... Then he puts it down... Again and Again.

Sometimes he'll blow us kisses and say bye. Sometimes he'll push us away. Other times he just flips around trying to sleep. 

And then finally he sleeps. Not always soundly since we've changed routine up a bit... But when I started writing he's sleep like... Well like a little baby. 



Behind The Tweet: Episode One

By kenny friedman on Thursday, August 04, 2011

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Since most of my genius comes in under 140 characters I thought I'd do a little Behind The Tweet thing.

But I should also mention that I guest posted at With Two Cats today. Check it out there but don't be disappointed when it shows up here later... It's a good post and there will be extra content (read one extra photo if I remember).

Anyway back to Behind The Tweet.

I'm always freaking tired. Don't have children people.
This was tweeted after some coworkers asked if I wanted to go to lunch and I said I was just going to go to Caribou for coffee... Then someone said that I looked tired.

In reality I'm not tired... But I do look it often. It's because of Miloh... He's kicking my butt.

You see my body hasn't adjusted to his time zone, and I'm not sure it ever will at this point. My body hates getting up before 7am... No matter when I go to sleep if I get up before 7 I feel like I'm hung over.  But it doesn't help that I usually can't sleep until midnight or later.

And while Staci and I switch off who has morning duty I still hear him when he gets up at 6 (or earlier).

To make matters worse he's scared of his room right now, so he has a tendency to get up in the middle of the night and wail like a banshee. Also, because he's not digging his room, his doctor suggested we put a gate up on his door but keep the door open so he feels less alone. Good in theory but not so great in practice.

He's like a booby trap waiting to go off... One wrong move... One tiny noise as I walk by his room to go to sleep and he's up. And at times he's sleeping on the floor right next to the gate just waiting for anything to wake him.

Two nights ago it was pretty bad... He woke as I went to bed and would not calm himself... He wailed like he's never wailed before...

And I gave in.

I went to calm him but there was nothing I could do... So I grabbed my pillow and sheet, plopped the pillow on the floor and turned the light off...

While I was doing that he grabbed my rather heavy pillow and place it on his bed. I grabbed it and put it back on the floor. He wailed a bit but finally settled when he came off his bed and laid on the floor with me, head on the pillow and body going the opposite way from me...

And since I didn't go to sleep until 1am and he got up at 6am I was looking not the best, again... And not feeling 100 percent until about 9am (it's weird, no matter when I wake or how little I sleep once I'm supposed to be going I'm good)... But times like that make the lack of sleep worth it.

The thing is it's not just one day. That day was proceeded by another day of little sleep and today I'm on five hours because I didn't get to sleep until 12:30 and he woke at 5:45.

So while he isn't giving me grey hairs he is giving me dark circles... And that's why I say I'm tired all the time.

Also if this makes no sense it's because it was written before 9am.

Moral of the story: I need some coffee.



Weekly Wednesday Wisdom: Be a Goat

By kenny friedman on Wednesday, August 03, 2011

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I'm not sure where I heard it but I once heard someone quote a NYC cab driver who said “In a world full of sheep... be a goat.”

Not a sheep.
When I used the Google to find out who said it I was scared the answer would be someone embarrassing said it like Bieber, Caitlin Upton or Michele Bachmann would have said it... Luckily I couldn't find anyone famous spouting those words.

And it seems like a lot of people would have said it but really nothing good showed. So I'm gonna start using it as my own second hand quote... Skip my first line of this post and let me start over.

There was this one time I was at LGA trying to get into the city. I had been there the week before and so I knew the best taxi line to get into. So I get in that line and finally get to the front and ask the cabbie if he took credit cards... A new law was enacted that made all drivers take them but you gotta ask just in case.

But the dude said no... Some BS about the line I was in was cabbies that don't need to take CC's. I told him to take me to the city and let me get cash. He said no because "how can he trust me?" So I responded "You have my bags in the back... And how can I trust you won't kill me?"

I'm not sure if it's a written rule but that's apparently something you don't want to ask a cabbie... And so I was (politely) asked to leave. And then said cabbie yelled at the cab wrangler calling me a dumb ass.

And I headed to the long-ass line of taxis that took credit cards.

The new driver was nice but a bit chatty. I don't normally talk to cabbies because well, I have nothing to say and I was usually taking super late or super early flights so would nap.

Anyway I was in this cab and the driver was chatting me up. At the end of my ride he got my bags out of the trunk, thanked me for the tip and said “In a world full of sheep... be a goat.”

It made me stop and think for a bit. Then I wondered who this man was. Was he buddha? Was he Salman Rushdie? Was he J. D. Salinger? Or maybe I was in the presence of true greatness... I saw a little twinkle in his eye... Could it have been Santa Clause?

And I guess I'd change my wisdom... If you have a good quote but honestly forget who you heard it from make it your own. Who's to say that never happened?

Wisdom for Miloh: It's not plagiarism if you make it your own.



Credit where credit is due

By kenny friedman on Monday, August 01, 2011

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I've said before I think my dad is an ass... Not to get in to the whole thing but he never supported my sister or me financially after the divorce. He pulled some shit so he didn't have to, but in reality he would have been more than able and morally he should have.

So I didn't grow up with the things I would have if he was doing his part.

My mom (with help from my grandfather.... Why I took his name) was great at letting me get the things I felt I needed as a kid. But sometimes I couldn't get exactly what I wanted.

There was no better case than Transformers. They had just come out when I was in about sixth grade. I loved them, wanted many, but they were rather expensive.

Enter Gobots.

Gobots where cheaper versions of Transformers. Instead of needing instructions to figure them out all you had to do was flip the hood of the car to reveal a head and then pull out the arms and legs... A blind monkey could figure them out.

But they were much less expensive so that's what I had. Side note I actually liked that they were closer to a matchbox car in construction, but still they weren't Transformers.

Then 20 something years later I was chatting with one of my fave copywriters (now an actor) and we talked about the Gobot vs Transformer situation.

And then we came up with the term "Gobot Poor" (lower middle class kid who didn't go without but got the cheaper alternative to the cool toy.)

Skip about 5 years after we coined the term to the day I was bored and decided to try to get "Gobot Poor" into the Urban Dictionary.

And it was accepted.

So while my father pretty much gave me nothing (except some sappy cassingle of The Living Years once) his assholity did in fact give me something... An entry in the Urban Dictionary.

And for that I thank him.





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