hey dad

As I've mentioned, my dad is no different from other dads in that he is GREAT at embarrassing me. His best trick: wearing a t-shirt with my picture on it, especially when we are going out in public together. He must have at least 6 shirts: one of me as a pudgy 16 year old riding a camel in Israel; my most awkward school picture ever; even one that my mom and I made for my 7th birthday that says "D's Daddy" in bright pink puffy paint.

I've embraced the shirts; once I realized that there was a lot more than my dad's wardrobe keeping me from being cool I started actually giving him shirts with my picture on them (I do try to choose mostly flattering pictures, though). It's one of the few gifts I know he'll actually use.

So as usual, I sent my dad a shirt for Father's Day this year. But then I realized what would really make this father's day gift go above and beyond: buying myself a shirt with our picture on it. And wearing it in public.

And that's what I did.

I wore it to the aquarium.

And to Paris (I go there often)

And on a roller coaster.

And that time I went to the moon.

Okay fine, maybe I didn't actually have time to go out in public between receiving the shirt and writing this post. But the message I'm trying to send is still true: hey dad, you don't embarrass me anymore!

Happy Father's Day!

(please refrain from commenting on my photo booth skills)

conundrum: not just our favorite wine

The other day, I tried to define "conundrum" to my nephew. He seemed genuinely interested in learning what it meant, and thoughtfully guessed whether it was a negative word or a positive word. I was impressed - he's six, and for a second the only way I could tell was the bright blue ice cream smeared across his face.

Looking back on the conversation, it was probably a totally normal one to have with a child that age. Still, I was in awe of his thoughtfulness, and I think I know why: my intelligence litmus test is whether or not my usual student can tell the difference between a bone and a bear.

It's no wonder I'm now convinced my 6 year old nephew is the next Stephen Hawking, considering how smart I think my dog is. I was so excited when I realized that Ike had figured out who Y was. For months while Ike sat staring out the window that faces the street, I would tell him, "Y's home!" whenever Y's car came down the street. If Ike wasn't at the window when Y pulled into the driveway, I would call Y's name and watch the dog race for the window to watch the car approach, tail wagging. I was so proud - he knew our names.

One day, we decided to test Ike's knowledge. When we were both at home, we called out Y's name. Ike's ears perked up, and he ran for his window. My heart sank - Ike didn't know his best friend's name, in fact, he thought "Y" was the name of what he did all day - sitting by himself, gazing through the window, waiting for something to happen.

How will this affect our precious child dog? Will years of having a best friend who he basically defines as an empty void turn him into an angry adolescent dog who gets into trouble? Has he already become our worst fear? Take into account exhibit A:

In case you don't know, that is a paper cutter. Main use: scrapbooking. Other uses: beheading symbolism.

Are we already missing the signs? What does this mean?

This, dear nephew, is a conundrum.