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I was born before Google

31 May


Dear Lucas, Stella, and Cora,

I was born before Google. Yes, I am that old. When I was little, we didn’t have an iPad, the Internet, streaming video, mobile phones, or Wii U. We had beta tapes, cassette tapes, regular TV scheduled programming, and our imaginations. (You have no clue what I am saying right about now I am sure.)

We didn’t have video, satellite radio, or a hard drive in our car. We didn’t have streaming music, cloud players, or FaceTime.

And when my mom told me something, I believed every last word down to “spinach makes you grow faster.” Well, because I couldn’t google it. It didn’t exist. There was no way to tell if people were making stuff up.

As your mom, it makes me uncomfortable that you figured out at five-years-old how to launch Netflix before I did. I also think it’s strange that you prefer watching homemade YouTube videos over real cartoons. And I am shocked that you, Lucas, want me to buy you an information architecture app so you can build your own website. You’re five for crying out loud.

We’re now entering an uncharted childhood territory and I see you all becoming obsessive over the latest Minecraft-Mario-Angry Bird mashup, Tinkerbell makeup video tutorial, Google Chrome app, and new releases on Netflix. And you all are getting on my nerves. (I know you’re only 16-months old Cora, but this includes you, too.) The more you are hooked on these devices, the worse your behavior is becoming. You fight over what video to watch. You fight over what device to watch it on. And you are fighting over who is in control. And when you don’t get your way, you all are going crazy like a crackhead who is out of crack.

I am sorry to have to do this. But I am disconnecting you from all devices for the next two weeks. You will have no iPad, no Netflix, no Hulu, no Amazon cloud player, no Wii, no Wii U, no DSi, no Leapster, no Playstation, no touchscreen computer, and no touching my iPhone.

The first few days will be tough. You will go through withdrawal. Then when you’ve reached a state of absolute boredom, I am really hoping that you figure out a way to use your imaginations to entertain yourselves and that you learn how much more fun it is to hang out with your siblings than a device.

So power down, kiddies. It’s time to see what life was like before Google.

Free Banana Man!

22 Sep

I grew up in Stafford County, back when it was straight country. (I remember every year learning gun safety in school. Yeah, it used to be that country.) It was a sleepy town with not much going on. Taco Bell was always the place to be.

And now it’s like the 12th richest county in America with tons of people and fancy stores. Basically, it’s kept up with the times.

So seeing this video of an autistic freshman running around the Colonial Forge football field during half time and then getting suspended for the rest of the year really bothers me. It was half time. Nothing was happening. He did not interrupt a show. He simply entertained a crowd. What does it say about us as a society if we completely supress creative spontaneity? I mean people love it. Think flash mobs.

Creative spontaneity is something really valuable today. In a world, where most people live in a rat race, creative spontaneity is not only entertaining, but  something this world needs more of. It wakes us up. It inspires. It moves us–if just for a moment.

I am extremely disappointed that the school would take it as far as punishing a child for an entire year. And then to ban bananas from the school menu and ban anything that has a banana on it. Even kids who wore “Free Banana Man” on their shirts were supposively punished with Saturday school. What year is it? 1961? I guess I was wrong. Stafford County has not kept up with the times. I guess it will never change.

Every kid deserves a playground.

19 Sep

I used to think playgrounds were simply a way to burn my son’s endless energy and a great alternative to watching the tube or playing with the iPad and iTouch.

Claude Moore Fun For All Playground

Then I took him to the Claude Moore Fun For All Playground in Warrenton, Virginia. Here, I discovered a playground designed entirely with compassion and fun in mind.

Claude Moore Fun For All Playground

The Claude Moore Fun For All Playground is much more than just traditional swings and slides. It’s a modern playground designed for everybody–and I’m not just talking kids of all ages or underprivileged kids. I mean everybody from the blind to the handicapped to the fearless.

It’s like no park I have ever seen. I used to think Clemyjontri Park in McLean was the most amazing park. No more. At this playground, I saw kids of all ages, all backgrounds and handicaps playing together. Each activity was carefully thought out to make sure everybody could play. From swings with double seats to hanging bars that rotate in circles to rock climbing walls in various heights, there is truly something for everybody.

Claude Moore Fun For All Playground

Claude Moore Fun For All Playground

The Claude Moore Fun For All Playground is a free playground created solely from donations. How compassionate. To give the gift of play. It’s something so simple, yet something I used to take for granted.

The Claude Moore Fun For All Playground is located at 800 Waterloo Road in Warrenton, Virginia.

Claude Moore Fun For All Playground

PS22 Sings Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance”

29 Jul

If you haven’t seen this yet, you need to. The PS22 Chorus is still on fire.

BMW Spreads Holiday Cheer

15 Dec

This is exactly why I love Christmas. Looks like the creatives found the inspiration for this spot from YouTube.