Daddy-Daughter Date, Done Differently

I wondered if taking Makena to a fundraiser was going to be an acceptable way to spend our monthly Daddy-Daughter Date Night last Saturday. If it had been any other fundraiser, it might not have gone over so well. But because this was a fundraiser put on by Burners, it was a night my daughter will never forget. 

Our destination for the evening

Read On


Boy Meets Merchant

I’ve been a Natalie Merchant fan since the mid-80’s, back in her 10,000 Maniacs days. I’ve seen her perform dozens of times, and have collected nearly every recording she has ever released. My former wife used to assume I had a “thing” for the artist, but that was never true. I simply am drawn to her music, the thought-provoking lyrics and of course, that unforgettable voice.

The Historic Yost Theater in downtown Santa Ana

I’ve played her songs all the time, so it’s not surprising my kids have come to appreciate her too. My son, though, has become such a fan that he at times has played her music to the point where even I have asked him to play something else. He, much like me, has fallen under the spell cast by her one-of-a-kind voice.

A few days ago I learned she was playing in Santa Ana on May 9th, and instantly bought tickets. I didn’t tell Hayden, I left it as a surprise. I took both kids to see her in San Diego two years ago, and he has wanted to see her again ever since. This was going to be nice surprise.

I had no idea how surprising the night would be. Read On

Monster Jam Meditations

It was a free offer, and the kids were invited, so I decided to set aside my prejudices and go for it.

I never thought I would attend an event like this.

The company I work for was a sponsor of the Monster Truck Jam that was coming to town, and as such, they had reserved a party suite at the stadium where the event was to be held. This was the only reason that I entertained the thought of going – that it would be somehow less offensive in a party suite. Still, I was unsure how it would go down with the kids.

My daughter was an easy sell. She, in fact, had seen commercials for the event on television and asked if we could go sometime. I was happy to be able to offer her the chance to go, and when I told her about it, she was overjoyed.

My son is much more like I am – not at all interested in professional sports, and in fact holding some disdain for the culture that follows them with the rabid attention of brainwashed zealots subscribing to the belief that the only important thing is to win win WIN! I was sure he’d have no interest in going. But I asked anyway.

“Any chance you’d be interested in going to the Monster Truck Jam?” I asked casually.

“Not likely,” came the reply from behind a book.

Since he’s 12 years old, I briefly entertained the idea of letting him sit this one out and stay home alone. However, there was one thing I knew would entice him, so I tried again:

“It’s in a party suite.  There will be pizza.” I offered.

“Okay, I’m in,” he said, through the book.

In addition to the tickets to the event, my boss gave me some “party in the pit” passes to go down and see the trucks up close.

“You wanna go early and see the trucks?” I asked him.

“Don’t push it,” he replied.

I didn’t.

We got to the stadium about 15 minutes before the event started, and the traffic jam surrounding the event started off the internal dialogue that ran the rest of the evening. The following are notes I took throughout the event: Read On