Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on March 25, 2010 at 7:12 am

Baby Bottle Blues

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Baby Bottle Blues

When I woke up this morning, up from a dream,

Little Baby Julia was starting to scream.

Baby Julia, what do you need?  Baby Julia,

I’m begging you please.

Try to understand I am just a man, baby.

I can’t breastfeed but I can…

Well I keep offering the bottle but she still says no,

Momma comes home and she’s raring to go

Baby Julia, what do you know?  Baby Julia,

you’re running the show.

My little tiny baby is a real pretty lady,

Baby Julia, what do you know? Well I know…

When I woke up this morning, what should I see?

Little Baby Julia was smiling at me.

Baby Julia, glory be, Baby Julia, now you eat food like me.

I’ve got no use for these baby bottle blues.

I said I’ve got no use for these baby bottle blues!

Parkour Parenting

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2010 at 9:12 am

Have you ever seen those crazy parkour videos online? Parkour athletes are the people who run up walls, jump off of buildings, and move with amazing speed and agility from point A to point B in three dimensional space. Practitioners of the art are known as traceurs, literally “tracing” a path (say from the living room to the basement) over and over, building up speed and efficiency until they appear to be flying and rolling and generally moving like a ninja.

Dylan Brandon is now three years old and I have learned that if attention is not paid to a toddler, it is going to cost you.  At the same time it is impossible to always be right by his side when there is laundry to be done, food to be prepared, and guitar to be played.  By combining the principles of parkour with my own ideas on mindful alacrity, I am becoming more adept at juggling competing priorities.  Let’s say the boy is watching The Jungle Book in the basement when Julia starts crying on the second floor. I identify Julia as the top priority then sprint up the stairs in the most efficient (and safe) manner possible. Once baby girl is secured, I trace the same path in reverse altering my level of risk taking due to carrying the cutie. These techniques work great in the kitchen as well, where I practice efficiency of movement by combining trips to the garbage, sink, or refrigerator and save time by not trying to do too many things at once.

Practicing parkour engages one’s brain in assessing at any given moment what is most important, then using one’s body to act swiftly when action is required.  By committing to a discipline of mindful alacrity, there is no need to second guess the small stuff.  If I am having difficulty deciding what is most important or what to do next, I recite my priorities: my self, my children, my wife, my house, my self.  Take a deep breath, decide what most needs doing, then do it to the best of your ability.  Now go jump off a building.


In Uncategorized on March 12, 2010 at 1:57 am

A Man’s Take On A Woman’s Perspective

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I recently attended my second A Woman’s Perspective (AWP) event at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, and woman am I glad I made it!  Having been the sole male presence in several women’s history classes in college, there was no conflict in my mind in attending an event celebrating women and their artistic interpretations on the themes of work and play, themes which resonate in my own life. That being said, I may have been the only male under age 50 in the audience.

This event was well orchestrated compared to the one I attended last year, clicking right along from original music to poetry to a fashion show featuring creatively constructed aprons to dance performances with a feel good drum session for those who wanted to participate thrown in at the end.  How could I resist?

The overall experience was playful, vibrant, and sacred. Strong emotions were shown by nearly all of the performers: sorrow, joy, nervousness, and crabbiness (“How am I supposed to follow that?” complained an elderly poet peering over the lectern after a rousing Broadway style piano and vocal piece). Admission was free with a food or monetary donation encouraged, and the artwork lining the walls alone was worth the price of a few cans of tuna, beans, and a stick of deodorant (personal care item donations were also accepted). Although I did not partake, a simple soup line was offered to acknowledge that not all women have access to the material luxuries we often take for granted.

I heard several references to men this year, and the overall tone seemed more inclusive with one of the performers making reference to women who weld and men who cook, reassuring me that there are women feminists who appreciate the efforts of their male counterparts. I felt more welcome as a forward thinking man, and the event reinforced my current belief that the key to completing the struggle for women’s rights involves direct action on the part of men. To quote one of my first dispatches for the High Plains Reader, “The glass ceiling will be blown off the penthouse when male CEO’s start taking three years off to raise their children, and twenty-something men work nights and weekends so that their wives can pursue their career goals.” I look forward to performing a contact juggling piece at next year’s event if the AWP will have me.