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Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Brother Owes Me Money

It's true, he does. I may even sue him. And I'm not talking about the cash he owes me for the concert tickets I bought in April. Nope. Here's what happened. I checked my email this morning and saw that I had a comment on one of my blog posts back in November. Someone from an advertising company said they wanted permission to use a photo from my blog for one of their products and would pay for the rights to do so. I emailed the woman and told her to contact Justin about the picture. She called him within 10 minutes of receiving my email and proceeded to buy the rights to his "Hands" picture. Here's where the "me suing Justin" part comes in. True or false: Without my blog his picture would not have been discovered. TRUE. True or false: Without Tate's hand in this picture it would not be half as cool/cute. TRUE again. So the way I see it, Justin owes Tate's college fund at least twice what he got paid for the picture because without this blog and Tate's adorable phalanges his picture would have never been purchased. He refuses to pay up and naturally, I am taking him to court. I rest my case. While you decide which brother to support, enjoy this video that I made for the MSM. I asked the students a series of questions off camera and then changed all of the questions when I edited it. Quite funny. There are more to come.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I took a group of 8th Graders to San Luis Obispo this weekend. It was a lot of fun but rather exhausting. I will post some pictures and stories tomorrow (or so). On Tuesday night Tate started swimming lessons. Essentially the word "lessons" is thrown in there to make it sound official. Essentially it is more like bobbing lessons wherein the child learns how to be held by his or her parent in the water as said parent prays to not be an accomplice in the drowning of their child. It's true though. That little bugger is slippery and my sole goal (what a poet) is to keep him from squirming out of my hands. Mel was in the water with him during the lesson since I had to go to class. He's the second youngest member of the Polliwog class. I got to go in the water with him on Thursday and it was a lot of fun. John and Tricia's baby, Haylie, is in the class as well. She and Tate are swim buddies. He enjoys the water quite a bit and it will be fun to see how much he develops this summer. Olympics 2028, here he comes!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Tate is a big fan of bathing and until last weekend that was his only real exposure to water. However, thanks to our good friends at the Cond Tate was able to "swim" three days in a row this weekend. Considering it was about 105 degrees outside, the pool was quite wonderful. Ashley was kind enough to take some pictures, which you were kind enough to view. In order to protect the fair skinned little lad from the sun we have to essentially dress him like a modest man from the 1920's. Tomorrow I will post some pictures from Tate's first swimming lesson that he had at Dublin High yesterday. He did quite well.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dia de los Madres

Mother's Day. Apparently this holiday originated in ancient Greece as a form of mother worship during the festival of the Greek god, Cybele. Never ones to ignore a holiday with pagan roots, our family gathered in the canyon for a festive barbecue ode to the women that brought us in to this world. I grilled chicken for a gaggle of folks that included my grandparents (Bowen's), Mel's grandparents, my Aunt Laureen and her fiance, my cousin Heather, the Conley's and my family (including Tate's soon-to-be Auntie Man-Bo). It was a lot of fun hanging out with the fam. Tate kept us entertained without doing anything particularly entertaining. He just sorta sits there and looks cute. My Aunt and cousin hadn't seen the little scrapper since Christmas. They were quite impressed by his growth (mainly head and belly). Mel and I are fortunate that both of our families get along so well, which is why we can combine holiday celebrations. Here is one of the items that I got Mel for her first Mother's Day because nothing says "you're a good mom" like a headlamp. Plus, she no longer will steal mine. School is winding down and summer is within sight. This is probably even more exciting for a teacher than for a student. Summer means more time with Tate, playing in the creek with Bauer, and burning our trash under the warm glow of a fading canyon sunset. Truly, the life.

Mother's Day & More

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Not Funny/Funny

Not Funny: The price I paid for gas today - $70.50
Funny: Charlie made Tate laugh last night. It was the first time Mel and I have heard him giggle and it is probably my new favorite sound.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Great America

On Saturday I took a bunch of Middle Schoolers to Great America for their music day. Aside from the countless cheesy Christian shirts and the 3 hour, I repeat, 3 hour line to buy tickets (we were 5 tickets short so I sent the students and a couple leaders in to the park while myself and 4 other leaders endured the ticket line), it was an enjoyable day. I am enjoying the MSM a great deal. Several of the students are really growing in their faith and kids are bringing their friends, which is encouraging. I got to see Family Force 5 and Switchfoot. That was splendid. Mother's Day was great as well. I took some pictures that I will post after Jake gives me my camera back. I let him borrow it to take pictures of his child being born. However, I was unaware that my camera would literally capture the birth in all its explicit glory. I won't steal Jake's thunder but Mel and I got to hold their new little girl right after she was born. She is happy and healthy and I'm sure they will update their blog shortly with pictures. Congrats guys!

America, Great.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

You can call me Dan now...

Yesterday was my last day of student teaching. It's bittersweet to say the least. Sure, they stole my cell phone number and said I was old, but I actually grew to like the little buggers. While I was pursuing firefighting I never felt at peace. When I got in to paramedic school and the academy I felt sick. When I finished my first semester at Chabot it wasn't bittersweet. It left me feeling a bit hopeless. I knew going in to this student teaching stint that it would either make or break my ambition to teach. I was super nervous in the beginning and couldn't wait to be done, but now that I am, I actually want to go back. That is how you should feel on the verge of a career. I am so thankful for my experience at Cal. I met some amazing kids and got to work with a great teacher. I had the students fill out an evaluation on me on the last day of class, assessing my strengths and weaknesses and writing a note to me. A common weakness was that I was not strict enough. Even the punks said that so I suppose there it something to it. However, the most prevalent strength was that I made the students look forward to English class. Several kids said that they used to hate English and now it is their favorite class. They said that I always came to class happy, never lost my cool, and made them laugh. I am not saying all of this to pat my own back. It is just satisfying to know that I accomplished what I set out to do - to create an environment where the students felt loved; an environment that was different than their other classes. Teenagers are exposed to so much crap these days. More so than I even knew going in to it and much more than when I was at Cal. High school can be a dark place and for those 4 months I tried to show the kids that you can be different. It was hard to leave them. One girl cried on my last day. One guy made me a funny card. Another girl made cupcakes and another made cookies. One girl even brought a Costco cake. It was really cool to know that I made an impact on these kids. Now it's time to get hired and considering the current job climate for teachers nothing is imminent. I trust God though and I know that he will place me in a job where I am needed most and that excites me.

My goodbye cake.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Weak End (A Meaningless Play on Words)

Mel, Tate, and I had a fun weekend. On Saturday we went on a hike to Las Trampas. It was a nice day. Tate was still a bit tired from riding a horse at the previous night's VBC Hoe Down. What a night that was. Anywho, after the hike we went to Mel's cousin's college grad party. They said that the party was in Union City but I swear we crossed some sort of border and left America at some point. The party was held at the Puerto Rican club where Mel's uncle Tony...errr...Antonio is the president...err...el presidente. Across the street from the club there was a Mexican party complete with a 9-piece mariachi band in the driveway. It was a sight to behold. Tate got to see some family that he hadn't seen in a while and got to leave mainland America for the first time. Today was my last day of student teaching with 2 of my classes and tomorrow will be the last day with the other class. I will write about it later but it has been a lot of fun and I will miss those critters. Granted, they have my phone number so I will probably not be too far out of contact. Needless to say the business of my life lately has created some new priorities, oh which blogging is not in the top 3. However, I'll do my best to keep this thing filled with excellent prose and snarky insights as time allows.

Las Trampas means "the traps."
Tate is like a giant corsage.