Anything You Say Can & Will Be Used Against You

Princess - Celts

Princess - Celts

There should be a Miranda Warning for parents.

Undoubtedly, anything you say can and will be used against you…by the kids.

Usually The Princess clears her plate after dinner, but the other night I offered to clear it for her. As I turned to walk away, I heard…

Princess:  “While you’re doing the job, take this with you.”  As she held her empty juice box up to me.

Dude:  Laughs.

Princess:  “That’s what you do to me.”

So true.

PS – Go Celts!

Ask and You Shall Receive. A Response Video to Jorge & Alexa’s “Home” Video

Caution:  This isn’t much of a response video.

When the fans speak, the Dude listens. After the Behind the Curve post, we were so flooded with fan requests for the Princess to make a video (all 2 of them), that we felt we owed it to our loyal readers to come up with something.  Well, that and the events unfolded serendipitously so all the Dude had to do was point and click. No effort, my favorite type of work.

However, prior to jumping into the video, I want to mention the Jorge and Alexa video again. I didn’t mention this in the last post, but their back-story is interesting. Based solely on the 30 seconds I spent on their Facebook page, it seems Jorge is a 24 year old, single father of two young girls (at least one of which loves to sing), working his way through college.

The video has a good story too. After 9 or 10 practice runs with a mic that ended up being turned off the entire time, at 11 PM they were both ready to hit the hay, but gave one last run at it with the mic on. Clearly it worked.

It’s a great rendition of a great song. There are a few pieces of the video that stand out for me. Alexa’s fake whistle around 1:35 is great, and her question, “One day I’m going to whistle?” was timed perfectly and seemed spontaneous. The stifled yawn at about 2:30 is perfect, and definitely shows it was the end of the night. But I guess most importantly, even in a short video, a strong father-daughter bond seems to come across.

Was this the breakout weekend for this song everywhere, or just in our world? It’s been around for a while, so I have to guess it was just our world. Like when you buy a new car you start to see the same cars all over the road. It was popping up everywhere we turned. Radio, Facebook, email, Pandora. The Princess can’t stop singing it.  Which I guess leads us to our “response” video.

The Dude doesn’t have the same musical acumen that it appears Jorge has. At least not yet. I’d love to learn the guitar, but I’ve been stuck trying to teach myself the harmonica for the past five years. And judging by that progress, learning the first verse of Home would probably take me another 3 years. So, I probably won’t be performing anytime soon. I only make a small cameo, from the waist down, with some poor bongo banging. But the Princess is building her stage presence.

I was feeding the dogs when I noticed The Princess was jamming on the bongo and singing. The camera was close by, so I grabbed it. I tried to catch her without her noticing.  It was a bad angle and she noticed, so I moved in for a closer look. Most of her quiet singing is drowned out by the bongo. She starts out singing this country song. But as she’s playing, Home randomly comes on Mrs. Dude’s Phoenix mix on Pandora. (Go Mrs. Dude. Nice selection. Quality musical taste; another item on the long list of “I love you’s.”)

So, we seize the moment and poorly sing along with song…kind of.  But not really because the Princess knows about three words…and the bongo is loud. In the end, The Princess poorly lipsync’s the song and ends up licking a microphone.

All in all, an unremarkable response to a remarkable video.


Hap, Happ, Happiest Christmas

Hap, Happ, Happiest

Hap, Happ, Happiest

Seems like most aspects of life move in some sort of cyclical pattern.  For example, we arrive in diapers, and most of us will exit in diapers.

Christmas is no exception.  As a kid, Christmas is a pretty special time.  I’m sure a lot of that has to do with getting “things” we want,  but for the most part, the excitement is just the joy of the experience.  Weeks on end of Christmas specials, holiday cookies, talk of Santa, time off from school, plans to be with family.  It’s a time when the world seems to slow, and kids are at the center of the excitement.

At some point, life grinds you down, and eventually some of the Christmas magic wears off.  Bachelor Dude often questioned the jolly holiday.  A large dose of religious dogma mixed with an extreme helping of consumerism seems like a dangerous recipe.  But kids make those questions seem irrelevant.

Nothing warms the heart of a parent like seeing their children filled with happiness, and Christmas makes that joy burst out of their little bodies.  Parenting is the bridge that brings that Christmas joy back to adults…at least for the Dude it is.

I have to hand it to the Moms of the world though.  I’m going to go out on a limb and stereotype a bit here.  I’m sure there are a lot of Dads who can fill this roll as well, but from the Dude’s experience, Moms hold Christmas together…and they love every second of it.

Mrs. Dude has been planning and budgeting for months, and it still takes a last minute sprint to finish all of the odds and ends.  Odds and ends, mind you, that no Dads the Dude knows could understand and/or execute.

The shopping alone would knock 90% of the Dads out, but then there’s wrapping…oh the wrapping!  It never ends.  But Moms are totally awesome wrappers…as if it’s in their gene’s…the wrapping gene.  Bows, and ribbons, and wrapping paper that fits the person.  Dudes buy one roll, try to wrap the first gift, give up half way through and put all the presents in bags with tissue paper piled on top…done.

But for Moms, it goes way beyond just shopping and wrapping…especially when it comes to the big fat guy in the red suit.  Based on the stories the Lady in the shoe is sharing about my oldest nephew, we are realizing this could be the last year that the Princess whole-heartedly, unquestionably, without a doubt believes in Santa.  The news spreads quickly with those kids at school, and kids aren’t dumb.

Creepy Elf

Creepy Elf

So Mrs. Dude went all out.  We wrote a letter to Santa, The Princess saw Santa at least three times, we got an email video from Santa, we tracked Santa as he flew, we even allowed the creepy Elf on a Shelf to stare creepily at us from random spots in the living room for the last three weeks (I don’t care what anyone says, that Elf is super creepy.).

Jingle Bells

Jingle Bells

But the icing on the cake was the Santa display Mrs. Dude crafted on Christmas Eve.  Stockings hung by the chimney with care, a plate of cookies and carrots that the Dude had to eat, and the coup de grace, the fireplace door cracked slightly with a “jingle bell” strategically placed as if Santa dropped it during a quick exit, and glitter on the hearth!  Did you know Santa left a trail of glitter?!  Me neither.  But he does, and it’s awesome.

Santa's Trail O' Glitter

Santa's Trail O' Glitter

And The Princess ate up every bit of it.  She was so happy, and the happiness is so genuine that she makes everyone around her happy.  That’s the power of kids at Christmas, and I’ll trade that happiness for the pragmatic questions any day.

As a result, and despite brief occurrences of the Dude’s bah-humbugness, we had a great Christmas.  We had quality time with our extended family (arguably the true meaning of Christmas), ate great food, relaxed, played with new toys, the Dude was able to get a Christmas Day surf session, and to close out the holiday season, we enjoyed one of the best Christmas traditions of all, an annual viewing of Christmas Vacation.

In the immortal words of Clark W. Griswold, from the Dude Family to your’s, we hope you had “the hap, happ, happiest Christmas…”

PS – I’m sure you will all be excited to know that Santa added a cheetah to Little Dude’s zoo!

Welcome to the Zoo

Welcome to the Zoo

She’s Artsy

All Dolled Up for the Nutcracker

All Dolled Up for the Nutcracker

The Princess had the pleasure of attending the Nutcracker ballet over the weekend.  Nina and Rex brought her to the big city to watch the toe spinners.

Here’s a big thank you to Nina and Rex.  Without you I may have been forced to partake in another episode of the torture that many refer to as the Nutcracker.

I’ve been.  I think I was asleep in a bout five minutes.  Just not my thing.  Princess and I will have to bond over other life experiences…perhaps blogging.

But, as we all expected, The Princess fell in love.  Rumor has it that she was on the edge of her seat the entire time, and during a quick moment of silence as the crowd stopped applauding, she let out a spontaneous “woo hoo” that echoed through the theater.

Based on her lack of interest in soccer, and what seems to be a natural inclination towards all things girly, dance seems to be a perfect fit for The Princess.  It’s no surprise the Nutcracker is her jammy jam.

It’s fun to watch interests developing.

So after the ballet, I started to dig into what she liked, and eventually it led to me asking if she would like to be a dancer when she grows up.  The Princess replied with….

“My ribs get tired when I dance.”

Huh?!  For real?!

Your ribs?!  Get tired?!

Can ribs even get tired?

Perhaps physical exertion is not her bag.

At least she’s a good artist.

Daily Pixels: Graffiti

Art is in the eye of the beholder.

Based on the legal status of graffiti, I’d venture to say the general public is not a fan.

I’ll admit that there’s a large percentage of graffiti that’s unsightly, but on the whole, the Dude and the Mrs. fall into the fan category.

It’s great to see a landscape broken by an unexpected burst of art.  I dig a colorful explosion, even if it’s illegible like many graffiti pieces.  But the Dude has a soft-spot for a little vandalism with a twist of social commentary, like Banksy.

Banksy - Flowers for the Princess?

Banksy - Flowers for the Princess?

Banksy - TSA?

Banksy - TSA?

However, I’ve never been on the receiving end of graffiti…until yesterday.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Rex and I spent 12+ hours building a new set of front stairs.  Back breaking work.

And yesterday, these new stairs were vandalized!

But if it’s great art, with a great message, should the graffiti be considered a gift?

The next Banksy?

Next Banksy?

Daily Pixels: Kids are Awesome!

30 seconds!  Of Spinning!  And I missed 20 seconds before this.

When was the last time you spun yourself in circles for 30 seconds?  Right, not since you were five.

Kids are down with the purest forms of fun. 

PS – Two references to Ratt in less than a week?!  Strange. 

The Dude will freely admit being a fan of some 80’s hair metal.  Motley Crue’s Home Sweet Home?…classic!  However, I can honestly say that I’ve never owned any Ratt albums.  Ok, I did have a Ratt pin for my jean jacket in 3rd grade, but that was only because it was a sweet 80’s guitar, and it provided the perfect compliment for the Def Leppard patch on the back. 

But spinning and Round and Round just seemed to be a natural fit.  Plus all of my loyal readers who double as metal-heads loved their daily dose of hair last week, so why not an encore?

Daily Pixels: Tree Hugging Weather

In a previous post I mentioned that a rainy Sunday can be a blessing.  It’s safe to say a Sunday with bright sun, blue skies, no wind, and 75 degree temps is a blessing too.

Thanks Mama Nature.  The perfect weather to head outside for some time soaking up fall…tree hugging weather.  No actual trees were hugged, but we did consider it.

Tree Hugging

L.D. slightly over-dressed

Tree Hugging

I need a tree to hug

Tree Hugging

Sea Turtle Boil

Tiny Turtle Tracks

Tiny Turtle Tracks



Tree Hugger in the Making

Tree Hugger in the Making

Daily Pixels: Round and Round

Mrs. Dude:  “Where’s your lunch box?”

Princess:  “I have no idea.”

Mrs. Dude:  “Think.”

Without any thought.  The Princess:  “Oh yeah, it’s at school.”

Adding too much information.  The Princess:  “I only ate half.”

Mrs. Dude:  The stink-eye, without uttering a sound.

The Princess:  “Just kidding…I’ll eat the other half tomorrow…?”

Mrs.  Dude:  “Not now.  It’s old.”

The Princess:  “I know.”


Kid logic is great.  Just talking in circles.

Let me see if I have this right.

So, you couldn’t remember where your lunch box was, but without any thought you remembered it was at school.  You then proceeded to say that you only ate half…which Mom didn’t ask.  But come to find out you’re joking.  Joking about not knowing where the lunch box was?  Joking about only eating half?  Never mind, you say you’ll eat it tomorrow….but you also know you won’t eat it tomorrow because it’s old.

I think I deciphered that correctly.

These conversations make the Dude’s head spin round and round.

PS – Please notice how the pony’s hair is carefully braided.  We can’t have an MLP leaving the house with messy hair.

Double PS – I was going to try to fit Ratt’s classic hit Round and Round into this post, but I got lazy trying to work it in.  However, for all of my loyal readers that love 80’s Hair Metal, I felt it was my duty to stuff it into a “Double PS.”  All the metal-heads, break out your rock horns, here’s a link to your daily dose of hair:  Ratt – Round and Round.

Round and Round


Last Friday The Princess had an after-school play-date with her best friend from preschool.  Unfortunately, these two young ladies had to part ways for kindergarten.

As you may guess, the play-date was a joyous occasion.

Joyous until it was time to say good-bye.  The departure led to a teenage attitude in a five year old body.  To calm the troubled waters, Mrs. Dude had to promise the girls could talk on the phone to say goodnight.

And The Princess didn’t forget.  They were chatting away at 9PM.

I didn’t hear much of the conversation.  There was a lot of giggling and screeching.  A 5-year old and a phone is a strange combination.  I think the phone was held up to the TV for half the conversation.

The small piece I did make out reminded me of the comic genius of the late, great Chris Farley.

“Remember that play-date we had today?”  Pause.  “Yeah, me too.  It was fun.”

Blog worthy?  I don’t know, but it had me crackin’ up.