One big blur of Halloween fun

Zan’s class had its Halloween parade today, and his Mario costume was a huge hit. Amazingly, in a group of three kindergarten classes and three 1st-grade classes, he was the only kid dressed as the ever-popular Italian video-game character … and when his class marched past the formation of 2nd-through-5th graders who were camped alongside the parade route, there was a robust chorus of excited “Mario!” cheers. Yeah, my kid’s the cool one. Go figure.

At the end of the parade, Zan’s teacher grouped all the kids together so that the press pool — I mean, the parents — could snap some pix. Many of the parents were calling their respective children’s names, which resulted in kids looking all over the place, willy nilly. Chaos reigned.

When there was a brief second of silence, I pounced.


Snap. Perfect picture. Every single kid looking right at my camera, no one blinking, no one’s face hidden. Best of all: Zan’s not old enough yet to get overly embarrassed by, or super pissed at, me for being the loud, dorky parent.

The picture was so good, I wanted to use it for Photo of the Day. Only problem was, I couldn’t really go and plaster everyone else’s kids up for all of the Internet to see, now, could I?

And then it occurred to me that I could use this opportunity to get jiggy with my new copy of Photoshop CS4. (The “Magnetic Lasso Tool”? They should have named it “The Coolest-Thing-Ever Tool.”)

Voila! Problem solved.

Which reminds me: I’m thinking about posting the occasional Photoshop tutorial. Anyone interested?

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Posted in Featured Photo | 20 Responses

There’s a small chance that you don’t totally suck at parenting, and you occasionally might even see evidence that supports that theory

[NOTE: If you followed a link over here from The Pioneer Woman’s article about layer masks, I was referencing the color-on-B&W photos contained in the entry below, so feel free to scroll on down if you’d rather skip the story and just view the pictures.]

There are those of you, I’m sure, who think that this blog is nothing more than one big digital shrine where I can stroke my overinflated ego for all the world to see … and if you are among those who think that, all I can say to you, my woefully cynical friend, is … well … um … yeah, you may have a point.


That’s not all it is. Oh no, it’s more … much, much more.

For example, it’s also a place where both new and prospective parents can come to get highly valuable insight and advice about some of the lesser-known things that parenthood has in store for them. Insight and advice that I offer freely and without the expectation of anything return … you know, other than your continued patronage so that I can one day leverage my audience for some serious advertising dollars and a lucrative book deal … but, other than that? Free of charge.

Because I give. That’s what I do. I’m a giver.

So gather ’round, ye new and prospective parents (and anyone else in the highly desirable demographic of those ages 25-45 with an annual household income of $100,000 or more, particularly those likely to purchase a big-ticket item sometime in the next 3-6 months) as I regale ye with a tale steeped in the harsh reality of parenting … with a little dash of hope thrown in for good measure.

One day, your child will be in preschool … and one day that preschool will have a Halloween event during which all the children will model their costumes for the many parents to see. And you will think to yourself, “Oh, this is going to be so fun and adorable! I can’t wait to see my little girl wearing her costume while smiling and laughing and marching happily by with all of her little friends!” And you will go to the preschool armed with your various photo- and video-taking equipment while dancing in your head are the visions of the many priceless images you believe you’re going to capture. Images like this:

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

And this:

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

Doesn’t she make a lovely Snow White? What’s that? You can’t tell she’s supposed to be Snow White? What are you, blind?

Look closely:

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

See? Clearly a beloved and charming Disney character. Yes, I know: the fun and excitement and joy she emotes are kind of overwhelming, aren’t they?

And maybe you’ll bring with you to the parade your mother-in-law, whom your child hasn’t seen in three months, and who will call out to your child, thereby causing her to momentarily come out from behind the protective shield she has created around herself …

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

… until she realizes you’re still pointing the camera at her …

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

… at which point she will again retreat into her fortress of solitude …

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

And you might try to convince yourself that perhaps she’s just far too enamored with her shoes to do anything other than look down …

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

… but that’s probably not it. No, most likely, the problem is that you’re a shitty parent and you’ve done a horrible job of raising her. Yes, it’s all your fault. You’re an asshole. Nice going.

And if the child in question is your first child? Well, hell, you’ll probably believe that previous paragraph.

But don’t fret, parents and potential parents, because a child who reacts like this …

Zan's Halloween parade, 10.31.06

… to his first preschool parade, then bursts into tears, breaks from the pack and runs into Mommy’s arms (yes, that’s what happened) can go on to look like this …

Halloween parade, 10.30.09

Halloween parade, 10.30.09

… when his first-grade Halloween parade takes place.

And it’s also entirely possible that your preschooler — who, at the beginning of her parade, somehow collapsed her entire body in on itself so that she practically disappeared — could, by parade’s end, creep out of her shell.

Halloween parade '09

Halloween parade, 10.29.09

So maybe you’re not the world’s shittiest parent after all. Don’t count on it … but maybe.

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Spooky School

Last Saturday, I took Zan — I mean, Super Mario — to the annual Halloween shindig at his elementary school … and, as you can see, they really go all out.

Those of you who were around last year at this time (like, all two of you) know from my Halloween ’08 recap that the truly spooky shenanigans will take place this coming Saturday … but this little excursion with my main man Mario was a good appetizer.

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Performance art: ‘My Week So Far’


Photo credit: Jayna

Blog? What blog?

And how’s your week going?

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Posted in Life | 17 Responses

Morning light

This was the view outside my office window this morning.

Sometimes, the Photo of the Day comes to you. Rarely … but sometimes. And Monday morning? Monday morning is a good time to have something happen with ease. Anything.

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Posted in Featured Photo | 8 Responses