Archive for June, 2011

A Trip Down Memoir Lane

Okay, I need to get something off my chest.   Memoirs by people under the age of, say, 40 should not exist.  I mean, did Miley Cyrus really have anything to tell us when she was 14 or whenever it was when she wrote My Acne Nightmare?  Then last year Justin Bieber wrote something called Getting Past Puberty.  He had a long and interesting 16 years under his belt by that time.

Now, on the heels of those two epics comes Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far by Bristol Palin.  Bristol has packed a lot of life into her 20 years and wants you to know it.  Of course, she wants you to pay $15.59 to know it.

If you really don’t want to spend your coffee break reading the entire book, I’ll list some  of the key chapter titles for you.  That way you can decide if you really want to shell out the dough to find out more about Bristol’s amazing journey.   I know some of you can’t get enough of Bristol (are you feeling me Tom?) and will go ahead and buy it just to be able to drool over her picture on the cover … especially now that she’s had jaw surgery.

Here are some of the chapter titles to give you a sense of Bristol’s book and — more importantly  — her 20 years of life on this planet.  By the way, rumor has it she has signed to do a reality series (shocking!) based on her living in a house in Los Angeles with a couple of other 20-somethings.  Sounds riveting.

Chapter 1:  Rocking The Womb:  The embryo months and early listening to Mama Grizzly.

Chapter 2:  Here I Come Ready or Not: Birth! How I Got My Name!

Chapter  5:   I’m the Oldest Palin: The other three all got weird names.

Chapter 6:  Killing Animals: How I Learned to Love Guns.

Chapter 8:  Lovin’ Levi: Cool Guy, Great Sex and Wine Coolers!

Chapter 10:  Mama is Alaska Boss: I get to ride around in a limo. Awesome!

Chapter 11:   Mama and the old guy: She is a big deal and I get lots of cool clothes. The secret service guys are hitting on me.

Chapter 13:  Levi is a douche.  I dumped him even though he says he dumped me.  Lots of fab stories about revenge sex.

Chapter 14:   Daddy wins a sled dog race. Da Man!

Chapter 16:  Abstinence except when I’m doin’ it.  I buy a house!

Chapter 17:  Dancing With the Stars. The guy who won cheated. Behind the scenes with lots of great gossip about all the losers who finished behind me.

Chapter 18:   I get a new jaw.  The best way to get rid of that baby fat on my cheeks.

Chapter 20:  I’m exhausted from talking to the person who wrote my book.  Time to do another reality show.  Bus tour with Mama!  Who is Paul Revere?

Epilogue:  I’m going to write a book every year!   I have so much to say and I want to have more books than that bitch Megan McCain.


Bucket List: Fenway

Knocked Fenway Park off the bucket list last weekend.   Great seats, great weather, great experience.  Thanks Craig.  As a bonus, I got to see several hundred thousand people celebrating the Bruins’ Stanley Cup win.   A LOT of people drunk by 10am, but no riot.

Great weekend in a great city.

Gonna Get Me Some Hot Pants

At last, the perfect apparel for weight loss.  Some genius figured out that rather than all that running and jumping and squatting and sitting up and Pilates and Yoga we can just wear these Sauna Pants.  Here is the amazingly seductive sell copy:

Focus the heat on your trouble spots!

Enjoy the benefits of traditional
heat sauna from the comfort of your own home. In just minutes, it will make you
sweat in the areas you need it most–the abdomen, waist, back and hips!
wrap on the pants and lay down for an easy sauna treatment.

adjustable temperature control and Velcro waist and legs. Fits waists from 28″
to 54″. UL listed.

Who would not run out, er, click through to buy these practical and cool looking pants.  Or are they shorts?  Whatever.  I mean for $39.98 how can you go wrong?  Not only will they help you take care of those “trouble areas” you will look way cool at the club.  Women and men will envy you as you strut through the gym in your bitchin’ Sauna Pants and won’t even care if they help lose weight.  They just look so cool you gotta have a pair.  Maybe two pair…one for the gym and one for the night out. We’ve all heard the saying;  “Have a party in your pants.”   Well now you can have the perfect party pants.  By the way, note the perfect placement of the thermostat (I think that’s what it is.)  I can hear it now:  “Is that a thermostat on your pants or are you just happy to see me?”   Yeah baby, Rock Those Sauna Pants!

Nick At Night

Nick Edmondson performing a cover of Airborne Toxic Event’s It Doesn’t Mean A Thing at a recent open mic.

The Kids Are Alright

I want to be a policeman so I can help people.  I have volunteered at the police department and come to admire them and what they stand for.  I took classes in forensics and loved it.  I hope to be a forensics specialist in the police department

This year  I was among many  parents and teachers who volunteered to evaluate over 500 boys and girls as they presented their Culminating Project as part of their graduation requirement.  It was an honor to watch these young men and women talk about the past four years and what’s ahead.

I will attend Carnegie Mellon University and major in computer science.  And I will continue playing the violin.  The past four years I spend my time either coding video games or playing in a violin ensemble.   Here is a video of us playing at Benaroya Hall last year and we got a standing ovation.  By the way, I wrote the piece.

Each student is asked to spend up to half an hour talking about their time at Kamiak.  Among the highlights are a chronological summary of the past four years, turning points, favorite classes, what they learned about themselves and extracurricular activities.  A big part of the presentation is the presentation of two “artifacts” from the four years.  The artifact can be a class project/paper, something they made or a significant accomplishment.  They must discuss how the artifacts are relevant to what they did and what they hope to do.  Finally they must talk about their plans for next year.

I will go to culinary school next year.  I will also be working fulltime so it will take me awhile to finish.  I’ve been living on my own for the past year with my girlfriend and I do all the cooking.  I’m a great cook.   Who knows, maybe I will be on Top Chef one day.

We hear a lot about kids today.  Unfortunately it’s not often the good stuff.  The media prefer stories about kids in trouble.  I prefer stories like the ones above.  Every day as I watched these kids I was inspired.  They were focused, smart, passionate and compassionate, engaged, interesting and looking forward to life after high school.

I will major in mechanical engineering at the University of Washington.  Here is a robot I built last year for a state competition with my team.  We didn’t win but I loved figuring out how to build the robot and make it work.  I can hardly wait to get out in the world and come up with more ideas to make people’s lives better.

Some kids almost make your heart burst with their stories.

When I was growing up all I wanted was a sewing machine so I could make clothes.  The past couple of years I had a part-time job to save my money to buy that sewing machine.  It was part of my plan to ultimately become a fashion designer.  Finally after nearly three years I had enough to get that sewing machine.   But it was also my sister’s birthday and she really wanted a guitar.  I used the money to buy her that guitar.  I still don’t have the sewing machine but the look on my sister’s face when she plays that sweet guitar makes it all worthwhile.

I’m going to community college in a couple of years.  Right now I’m getting a job to help out my mom who lost her job.  Once Mom gets a job and I’ve saved money, I will go to college with the goal of ultimately being a nurse…just like my mom.

The kids are upbeat, confident and ready to conquer the world.  Their dreams are as diverse as their ethnicity.  One boy played an original composition on the guitar and told us he is going to a college in Indiana to pursue a music degree.  Then he hopes to one day become a Christian music director at his father’s church before heading overseas to do mission work.

It has been amazing to watch the kids tell their stories.  They will be policemen, firefighters, nurses, engineers, musicians, chefs, veterinarians, air traffic controllers, pilots, fashion designers and maybe even a politician or two.  Who knows?  What I do know is that we will be okay because the kids are alright.

Amy is Funny and Wise

Amy Poehler is among the ten funniest people on the planet.  She is also wise.   Here at Harvard she combines wisdom and humor in a Class Day speech for the ages.  Enjoy.

“No one is here today because they did it on their own…You’re all here today because someone gave you strength. Helped you. Held you in the palm of their hand. God, Allah, Buddha, Gaga—whomever you pray to.” – Amy Poehler, to Harvard’s Class of 2011