The Thrill of Victory

Know what I love most about my kids?wii-dads

The tax deductions.

I love that my kids teach me new things about me.  They don’t use the traditional Teacher-Student model.  Instead, they simply live their little lives and let me interact on occasion.  It is normally during these interactions that I find myself being taken to school, so to speak.  And tonight, class was certainly in session.

Eschewing the formal Halls of Academia, my “Professor” opted to conduct tonight’s lesson in the living room.  Using the Wii.  Using it well.  Too well.

Suffice to say, my son–my 4 year old son–did not lose every contest in which he had me as competition.  (If it seems that the previous sentence was written in such a way to obfuscate the fact that he beat me…that was my intent.  If you’re still wondering what “obfuscate” means…good.  Focus on finding that definition–not on the fact that I lost to my 4 year old.  As a matter of fact, just click HERE for the definition.)

Aaaaanyway, yes…he beat me. Once.  BUT, I must point out that I also trounced him soundly in several other contests.  It was during these victories that I learned how much I simply enjoy winning.  The level of the competition does not matter.  The chosen game?  Insignificant.  I simply like to win.

“What”, you ask, “is the lesson to be learned from all of this?”  I’m glad you asked.  The lesson is simple.

Life Lesson # 319:

Securing victory over a 4 year old does not carry with it much glory.  However, the negligible amount of  glory stemming from that victory will always–I stress, ALWAYS–beat the pants off of the humiliation felt after losing to that same 4 year old.  

(Side note to the guys:  If you think the contest is going to be close, it’s a good idea to make sure your wife is in another room.  If she witnesses your defeat, the level of humiliation grows exponentially.  For eternity.)

There you have it.  If you’re gonna play, you might as well win.  It will be a lesson you want to pass on to the same child you just crushed.  The wisdom will sink in long after your victory dance has ended.

I hope.


The Tooth, The Whole Tooth, and Nothing But The Tooth

dentistAs a post-Christmas treat to myself, I decided to have a troublesome tooth removed yesterday.  If you know me, you’ll understand that the word “treat” in the previous sentence was dripping with sarcasm.  If  you don’t know me but have read the previous sentence, you too will understand that the word “treat” was dripping with sarcasm.

You see, I hate going to the dentist.  This has nothing to do with the dentist himself.  As a matter of fact, I consider my dentist to be one of my dearest friends.  However, this does not change the fact that I detest anyone messing with my teeth.  Unfortunately, given the pain that this one particular tooth has caused me–it was time to part with it.  

The whole ordeal led  to several observations:

  1. I have come to accept the fact that I am a big baby when it comes to anything requiring a visit to the dentist, and I’m perfectly ok with that.
  2. I don’t understand how dental work was done prior to the use of NO2.
  3. I enjoyed the NO2 far too much—I could feel myself smiling as it took affect.
  4. Apparently, I require a LOT of Novocain. 
  5. I wish I had been completely knocked out prior to hearing the request for instruments named “dental burr”& “cow horns”. 
  6. The best part about NO2 is that you still maintain use of your 5 senses, but you just don’t care to use them.
  7. I’m still able to convey that I’m in pain, even when I’m partying with the Alice, The Mad Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat in Wonderland.
  8. If I weren’t already out of it, I would have probably fainted when I heard the first cracking of bone/tooth come from within my mouth.
  9. I know that my dentist asked me a lot of questions…I’m just hoping my responses weren’t too embarrassing for me or my family.  He was still able to look me in the eye afterwards, so I think I’m ok on this one.
  10. Through the haze, I remember him asking me if I wanted to keep this tooth on a keychain.  I actually thought that would be cool, so I was going to say yes…but since my responses were too delayed or unintelligible—before I could give him a thumbs up on the keychain idea, he informed me that wasn’t gonna be possible.  Then came his request to the assistant for the bone saw attachment for the drill. Not good.
  11. The sense of smell does not wane while under the influence of NO2.  A tooth being sawed in half produces one of the most distinct & horrendous smells I’ve ever encountered.
  12. It’s strangely reassuring to hear your dentist singing along with Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” (…I can be your hero, baby…) as he yanks a well-seated molar from your head
  13. I can’t be certain, but I think I felt my chin resting on my chest as he worked to get the roots of the tooth worked free of my jaw bone
  14. During the same root extraction, I felt my cheek get pulled out of the way…and was shocked to realize that it can simply be pulled back and folded over my ear to keep it out of the way.  At least that’s how it felt.
  15. Kid Rock is the perfect choice for background music as you come out of anesthesia.  Strange, but true.
  16. Should you choose to use the suggestion from the previous point, “Picture” is a much better choice than “Bawitdaba”.
  17. Post-extraction instructions would be much more entertaining, if there weren’t actually a chance of thesituations happening to you. (i.e.—Small, sharp bone fragments may work up through the gum after extraction.  This is normal.)
  18. Any time the disclaimer “This is normal” is used, you can rest assured that whatever is happening to you is decidedly NOT normal.
  19. Gauze tastes as appealing as it sounds.
  20. While getting a tooth pulled is not the most pleasant experience, anything that includes the recovery instruction of “Stop at Wendy’s and get a Frosty on the way home” can’t be all bad.

My “No Year’s Resolution”


Figures show that over half of American adults make a New Year’s Resolution.  Depending on where you get your information, the statistics show that it’s a very small percentage of New Year’s Resolutions that actually wind up making it past the month of January.

Some industries, like fitness clubs (with their 2-year, iron clad, small print laden membership contracts), actually thrive on this documented pattern of behavior. 

So in the spirit of “don’t promise something you won’t deliver”, I’m not making a New Year’s Resolution.  To prove this fact, you’ll notice that I have waited until January 2ndto write this post.  If I HAD made a New Year’s Resolution, it would already be broken–because nothing I did yesterday is anything that I intend to repeat on a consistent basis in the coming year.  This includes watching my beloved Nittany Lions lose a football game to the USC Trojans.  That was just painful.

Speaking of pain, that brings me to the reason for this post. (My first segue of 2009…thank you very much.)  I’m going to get back into shape.  OK…let me clarify.  Yes, round IS a shape…so technically I have been “in shape” for the past 2-3 years.  Maybe I should say that I’m going to get fit?  But fit for what?  Hmmm…I got it.  I’m going to get back into the shape I was in when I was fit enough to enjoy just about any physical activity I chose. 

This decision has nothing to do with the need to buy a new calendar.  It has to do with the fact that I get winded & sore from just playing my new Nintendo Wii.

You see, I have been to the top of this particular mountain before.  I reached the summit 4 years ago, and the view was incredible.  I worked out regularly, ate properly, and was in the best shape of my entire life.  Being in good physical condition is one of the best feelings in the world.  Unfortunately, it’s a close second to being lazy–at least for me.

So, 4 years later, several million empty calories, and countless hours of general inactivity…here I am.  Making a “No Year’s Resolution”.   To myself. To you.  On the interweb.  For everyone in the world (if they stumble across this page) to see.  How’s that for a little forced accountability?

The way I look at it is like this: There are two basic outcomes to this pledge.  1) You all hold my feet to the proverbial fire, and I do what I’ve promised–work out, eat better, and get healthy….or  2) I come up with an ongoing list of excuses for NOT sticking to my pledge– a fantastic creative writing exercise that gives me plenty of fodder for further posts. 

Sounds like a Win/Win situation to me.