July 13, 2009

1000 Important Things To Teach My Sons

1000 Important Things To Teach My Sons Before They...*

I saw this idea in the past week, just glanced at it quickly on the back page of a magazine or somewhere, but it's been surfacing quite often in my brain, probably every time I've talked to my boys. I am in the fatherly habit of imparting words of wisdom, nuggets of good sense that I know they are treasuring in their hearts and minds. In the odd occasion that they might forget or misinterpret my sage advice after I toss them out into the wide world to fend for themselves, I plan to give them each several copies of the following list, framed or on t-shirts, of the top one thousand adages, quotes, helpful hints, admonitions, suggestions, and just plain good ol' common sense that will help them find the path to a rewarding, productive, and relatively hassle and stress-free life (such as don't write convoluted, run-on sentences).

I am, as always, open to suggestions. Which conveniently is also a good suggestion (see #4 below). What tenets do you live your life by? Mottos, slogans, rules? What did you learn while growing up that has served you well? What are you teaching your children? I know it's not good to copy other's work (#5!) but it is good to learn from others' experience and knowledge (#6).

*= ...Before They Turn 18? ...Grow Up and Move Out? ...Have Children of Their Own?

I don't really have anything for the list yet. I have slightly less than 3 years before Son #1 turns 18, so I figure that gives me plenty of time to compile, organize, and laminate. My big 3 now, the answers to 99.9% of any situation or issue I've run across in my years as a Dad are as follows:

1. Go to the bathroom.
2. Save your money.
3. Look it up.

try 'em. guaranteed applicable and effective.

4. Be open to suggestions.

5. Keep your eyes on your own paper.

6. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

7. "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy (1961)

8. Go to college.

9. Learn how to cook. *

10. Respect, respect, respect: the person you are with, how others want to be treated, and yourself (shouldn't this count as 3 Things?)

11. Know how to clean the bathroom. *

12. Put the toilet seat down. *

13. Stay active.

14. this is a long one, but worth it:

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." Robert A. Heinlein

15. Bring her flowers without her having to ask.*

16. Say "I love you" before he/she/they do.

17. Open doors for others.* Physically and metaphorically.

18. Read the Declaration of Independence.

19. Do not go shopping on major holidays. Salespeople should have the day off too.

20. Listen to Jim Croce: Never tug on Superman's cape...

21. Dance.

22. Wear sunscreen.

23. Never choose a girl/woman over your friends.

24. Learn how to do it right. And if you can't do it right, pay someone who knows how to do it right.

25. Do it right the first time.

26. Don't smoke. Except quality cigars on special occasions.

27. Do as I say, not as I do.

28. Lead by example.

29. Lead, Follow, or get the hell out of the way.

30. Turn on the water on a public sink verrrrrry carefully!

31. Shake well.

32. Save your money.

33. Then again, you can't take it with you.

34. Don't finish bad books.

* denotes came with some variation of "because chicks dig it"

July 7, 2009

Summer = Books

Well, summer is supposed to equal studying and job searching, but all that just makes Jack a dull boy, right? And I do believe it is an official crime in SoCal to be indoors wasting these beautiful days, so it's essentially my civic duty to soak in the sun and read...

Updated a lot lately on TeacherDad's Books, although my "reviews" are getting more sparse and tepid each time... nonetheless, over here are a few (adult) recommendations for eyes and ears:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith

A literary "mash-up," a tale of manners and of flesh-eaters. Just started this one, but I'm already horrified, laughing out loud, and wanting to read Ms. Austin's original classic and Mr. G-S's next book Abe Lincoln, Vampire Slayer. Oh my.

Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years

by Sue Townsend

Keeping with an all-England theme, I suppose... read the first of the series a few weeks ago, when poor befuddled and beleaguered Adrian was an awkward teen. Now he's in his 30s, married, employed, a father; I shouldn't have read this without reading the books covering ages 15-29, but once started just couldn't stop. Still confusingly British, and dated (Princess Diana/Teletubbies), but hilarious and a quick, easy, between dips in the pool read...

Blue Box2 Finest Jazz Vocalists

4 CDs

From Ella to Cassandra, Chet Baker to Lou Rawls -- this set has some true classic gems, and is worth listening to in its entirety.

Where the Light Is
John Mayer Live in Los Angeles

I'm not a die-hard live music fan, would prefer to not have the yelling fans, witty banter, and muddled sound -- I like my tunes produced. But this one is awesome, both as live talent/skill (that guitar!) and as quality crafted songs...

And finally, this goofy thing came from CoverBrowser.com -- a great way to spend several hours, or to replace those stupid album cover choices iTunes sometimes puts in. The only link I've found so far to the music albums section is just putting "album" into the search, but there's a ton of comic and book stuff to keep one occupied...

1000 Important Things...

Only 980 to go!

Posted this idea up on our Facebook page too, got some good suggestions... noticing that a lot of Important Things, from both male and female contributors, end with some variation of "... 'cause chicks like that."