Friday, October 31, 2008


It was a great Halloween. I made it home by 4 to trick or treat with the kids. Steffi was the Queen of Spiders (sort of a witch costume with a spider slant to it) while Jessica was Belle. I told Jessica a couple days ago she looked as beautiful as she will on her wedding day. She looked at me with that "C'mon dad" look and said, "Daddy, don't you know brides wear white dresses. They don't wear yellow. They wear white, not yellow Daddy." (she likes to repeat things like this to make sure I get her point).

I dressed as Reaganomics, which I thought was timely since we've reached a crossing point in this economic policy. In the spirit of Halloween, I'd like to explain Reaganomics like this: let's pretend candy represents money. In traditional demand side economics, candy (money in the form of tax cuts) is given to all people, particularly lower wage earners. They are more likely to distribute this candy in the local communities (because they typically spend virtually all the money they make). Actually, 70% of our GDP is based on the candy that all of us, at every income level, redistribute back into the community (think the traditional Halloween scene - kids knocking on the door and getting candy from all the neighbors). At the end of the day, lots of people have lots of candy. Even those that gave away candy have children come home with candy of their own to share with their family. Everybody has a good time.

In Reaganomics (supply side economics), a majority of the candy would go to the top 1/2 of 1 percent of the population. But the other 99 1/2 percent of the population doesn't live in this community, so they aren't knocking on any doors to get candy. And a lot of this very small, hard working population is not interested in distributing the candy; they'd rather invest it to see if they could double, triple, or quadruple the amount of candy they have. This doesn't make them bad, mean, or someone to envy. Everybody loves candy. They were given a lot of it and they'd like to see a lot more of it.

But I guess I'm saying that Halloween is a lot more fun when everybody gets some candy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Best birthday present: my wife tells the girls that daddy is off today. Their response? YYYAAAAYYYY!!

As I climb up into the 40s, there are 3 things that ring as true today as they did when I was a kid:

1) I will leave my seat whenever the Giants score a touchdown
2) I will stop on any radio station playing a song by the Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who or Pink Floyd
3) Reaganomics is not a sustainable economic policy

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wally Who?

A lot of times when I drive around with the girls, they want to listen to my iPod. Not to any of my music, of course, but the various songs I've downloaded off iTunes that they like. But today Jessica had a special request for a song. They call it "Who Wally", but it's better known as Who Are You. They crack up at the "who who who who" part.

We've all sung the wrong lyrics to songs we've heard a million times, so I can't blame them for misunderstanding a song they've only heard a few times. It actually makes me feel better, because there's cursing in the song, and since they can't understand the chorus that's sung 50+ times, I feel secure that they can't make out the rest of the lyrics anyway.

The other song that cracks them up is "Pork and Beans" by Weezer because they say the word "underwear." But generally they just want to hear that verse over and over again rather than the whole song.

The only other song they'll listen to that's mine is U2's Original of the Species, because I told them that Bono wrote it for The Edge's daughter (that's true). They call that song, "the one that the guy wrote for the daughter." Sounds like what Dave Matthews would name a song.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Goal

Right now the highlight of my entire week is watching Jessica play soccer on Saturday mornings. The five-year-old version of soccer is three-on-three, no goalies, small field, and little girls crowding around the ball like a rugby scrum. But in just a few weeks the girls have started to show good skills in dribbling, passing, and shooting.

Yesterday Jessica scored 6 goals, most of which consisted of her dribbling the length of the field (using both feet!) and running at a pretty good speed. Of course I was the beaming dad, but what I am most proud of is that she shows the same fun and enthusiasm whether she's playing soccer, going to Bowcraft, heading off to school, or playing with her sister.

The whole point of sports at this age (maybe every age?) is to show her that with a little practice she can do whatever she sets her mind to. She demonstrated that yesterday, which was the biggest goal of all.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Gray Hare

Since she was about 9 months old, Steffi has slept with "bunny." This once yellow and white fluffy bunny is ripped, frayed, faded, flat, and at this point looks just as dirty coming out of the laundry as it did going in. But Steffi cannot go to sleep without it (kind of like me and my iPod).

The other morning Steffi brought bunny down to breakfast. I haven't seen him in a while, and he was looking...old. "Look at bunny," I said to Steff. "He's so...."

"Gray!" said Jessica helpfully in between spoonfuls of Lucky Charms. Before I could add to the dead on description, she said, "Like your hair." I thanked Jess for the great observations, but she must have felt bad, because she continued to qualify her remark. "I mean it's not a lot of gray. It's more on the sides. Both sides. Not on the top. A lot on the sides."

Yes, Jessica is very perceptive.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kid 2.0

A sign that your children are getting older: they no longer need you to help them navigate "Webkinz world," as they like to call it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chinese Philosophy

Recently I was playing in the yard with the girls when Steffi asked me, "Dad, why is everything made in China?" I was instantly brought back in time to when I was a kid, when my dad would go on and on about how "nothing in America is actually made in America anymore." Eager to come up with a non-answer, I responded, "Who told you that?" She said no one told her, but if you looked on the back of almost any toy it says "made in China." She picked up lots of toys in the garage to prove her point.

Again I thought back to my childhood, to my dad's frequent laments that nothing in America was made in America anymore, which didn't totally make sense to me at the time because our family wasn't making anything ourselves anyway. I weighed giving Steffi some insight into how the world works versus keeping her mind focused on what an eight-year-old should be focused on, namely playdates, gymnastic classes, the Jonas Brothers, and Webkinz.

I joined her in the garage, looked her in the eye and said, "Who wants to go for a bike ride?"