I love reading to my daughters. For the last couple of years my wife and I have been reading Young Adult novels with/to our oldest, the Elder Extroverted One, who is a mature ten year old. It blew up after she tackled the Harry Potter series. For awhile it was difficult to get her to read anything that wasn’t Harry Potter but she reluctantly allowed us to help her branch out a bit with the help of the list of fine girl-empowering books from A Mighty Girl. The Elder Extroverted One enjoyed The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (I did, too. But I’m a fan of his anyway). I have read The Hunger Games and figured that she could handle it so I read it to her while she read it to herself. Then she gobbled up Catching Fire after I read it first. These last two books have more violence than anything else that I was worried that she would not be quite ready to deal with those situations.
The thing with all of these books so far is that I have read them first and then deemed them to be okay for her to read. At the moment we are reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. Which is a fine book, by the way, it’s just that I haven’t read it before allowing it to be read to/by the Elder Extroverted One. The other night as I was reading to her it was getting into the budding relationship between [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] (no spoilers here, folks). As I was reading one particular rendezvous between the unnamed two it got a little heated up. So much so, I felt that I had to stop and skim ahead because I wasn’t sure how far it would escalate and if I wanted to be reading it out loud to my ten year old daughter.
As parents, my wife and I are forthcoming about the birds and the bees with our daughters. More my wife than me but mostly because I’m a dumb, stinky boy and don’t feel qualified to scientifically discuss such things (I may have just turned forty but I have a mental age of twelve). So, I’m not too worried about the sexy stuff in books. But, as a ten year old, she may not emotionally be ready to deal with the not-so-scientific way of these kinds of relationships. Plus, it’s just kind of weird reading that out loud AND to my daughter. Hell, I think it would be weird to read the kinds of books they read over on Vaginal Fantasies out loud to my wife.
So, this may be just my own hang up that I have to deal with but wonder what other fathers do as they continue to read with/to their daughters as the daughters grow in age and reading level.
I can’t wait for the day the Elder Extroverted One will just read all of her books to herself. Which would leave me to read my own books or watch TV…probably TV.
*nerd alert* Last night as I was reading a comic book to the Extroverted Ones the Elder Extroverted One decided to tell me that she likes Superman more than she likes Batman. This was a serious blow to me. I am a Batman guy and have been since my early teens. I dig mostly comic book Batman but I do enjoy other incarnations of the Dark Knight as well. Well, this declaration from my eldest daughter was like a dagger to my heart. I had no idea she felt this way. Under my own roof! It, certainly, evoked feelings of disowning her. To me, Superman is too easy. He’s good at everything and vulnerable to very few things. Boring. Batman on the other hand doesn’t have super powers and must use his brains, his body and huge amounts of wealth to become a super hero. That and dead parents. All Superman had to do was show up under our yellow sun and he’s set.
As we continued to read the Elder Extroverted One says, “I like Ace.” You know . . . the Bat-hound? As in Batman’s dog. I respond by saying, “Wait. You’re telling me that you like Ace but not Batman?” It doesn’t make sense to me. But I have to love her no matter what and we will make it through this hardship. Imagine, her rebelling at age ten. I’m not sure I want to see what she rebels against when she’s older. Next thing she’ll tell me is that she likes Marvel more than DC! I shudder at the thought.
Has anyone seen my motivation? And not just a specific motivation to write here, but to do the laundry or clean the house. I seem to have lost motivation for general life. I would like to just sit here in front of the computer and look at cat pictures, read twitter or just sack out on the couch and watch TV shows or movies. What’s up with that? Is it my depression rearing its ugly head again? Damn, I hope not.
There was a time that I had a decent run (pun inteneded) when I had cut down on drinking of the beers and was actually running(?). I know, right? My joke to people who ran was always, “Were you being chased?” But besides that, though, I’m not sure I did anything else productive. I’m a stay at home dad (who actually needs a part time job…anyone?) fer Pete’s sake! When the older is at school and the younger one is at pre-school I should be doing stuff, right? Not only my Domestic Goddessly duties but something creative with my time. Alas, the motivation to do so is not there. I feel like a failure in the Stay at Home Dad area. Unless, the job description is to be a slug and get stuff done only when there is a dire need for clean clothes or someone is coming over to the house. In that case, NAILED IT.
All right, I’m going to go look under the couch cushions for this motivation . . . [C'MON BRAIN! NOT. HELPING.]
Well, here is the Tales of an Introvert: The Reboot. I have not blogged any blogginess in many a year and have let me original URL go the way of the Dodo bird. I could have gotten it back from Go Daddy for $280 or so but decided that was not a wise thing to do at the moment. So, I did the next best thing and got talesofanintrovert.net. Dot net is still cool, right?
Along with the new URL I’ve decided to try to self-host my blog. Mostly to see what kind of damage I can do with the nuts and bolts of this internet site. Should be fun. Or not. Whatever. I also wanted to get back into some sort of writing. Not sure what but I’m sure it will entertain no one but me and that’s okay.
We shall see . . .
The Southern Brewer’s Festival occurred in August of 2009. In keeping with my lazy characteristic I didn’t write this recollection up until several months later. I sent it to the fine gentlemen over at Beer School Blog to be posted at their site but they must be really busy and haven’t gotten around to checking their email. Anyway, I decided to post it here and maybe it would be read by some person(s) who might happen by this most neglected site.
The day began with a couple of friends and me warming up for the brewer’s festival at the Terminal Brewhouse. While there I must always start with the famed Southsidenstein Stout (the Terminal’s oatmeal stout) followed by a Terminally Ale (their American pale ale). After sufficient, known commodity craft brews we were headed downtown. First to check in to our hotel (safety first, kids!) and a short walk down Chestnut Street to Chattanooga’s Downtown Riverfront park for the 15th Annual Southern Brewer’s Festival.
This is my second year attending this festival hosted by Chattanooga Kids on the Block (all proceeds went to this group) and the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group, Inc. This year seemed significantly more popular than last year’s event because the place was crowded way earlier than the year before. We, unfortunately, arrived too late and we missed the Krystal Square Off eating contest. Apparently, some guy won the qualifier.
When approaching a brewer’s festival one has to be slightly methodical about it. As much as I’d love to walk down the row of brewers with cup held out for them to pour their fine wares into my vessel that’s just asking for trouble. I have my favorites that I drink all of the time (Highland Brewing Company’s Gaelic Ale if anyone would like to know) but unless they are offering something new at the festival I tend to avoid breweries that I can get at the grocery store and drink on a regular basis. With that said, according to the scrawl in my moleskine beer journal, I brought forth my commemorative mug to six brewers in order to taste their fine offerings.
The first brewery that I tried was Yazoo Brewing Company from Nashville, TN. I had to revisit this fine brewery’s booth because I have yet to find it here in Chattanooga and I miss it so. When I arrived I asked the fine Yazoo representative about the latest offering from them, “‘Sue’, a deliciously smoked porter brewed with cherry-wood smoked malts.” (from their blog). But due to the high alcohol content of this fine mistress I was not able to introduce myself to Sue. Instead, I had a Dos Perros. Which is their interpretation of a Mexican beer style and was as good as I had remembered it. Like, seeing an old friend and clicking together like you’d never been apart.
My next craft brew choice was a brave one. Last year I tried a brew from the Barley Mob Brewers of Chattanooga and it was a horrible experience. Not only was it the worst beer I’ve ever had, I poured it out (and I don’t pour out beer!). However, this time decided to give them another try and got the Cascade Pale Ale. And wouldn’t you know it? They have redeemed themselves with a decent pale ale. And by decent I mean I didn’t pour it out.
For the third taste test I decided to take a trip down south on A1A and had the Red Brick Ale from A1A Ale Works, a Gordon Biersch brewery out of St. Augustine, Florida. This typical red ale was just that: typical. Nothing too special about it in my opinion. Not bad but also not memorable. Which is pretty much what I think of most of the beers out of the Gordon Biersch conglomeration of breweries/restaurants.
My fourth choice of suds came from Starr Hill Brewery. I decided to stop by this booth because I have never heard of this brewery out of Charlottesville, Virginia. I decided on trying The Festie. The Festie is their interpretation of an Oktoberfest lager. I must say, “Yay” for the Festie. It reawakened my taste buds after a couple of lack luster brews. I am excited to try their other wares. I just need to find them somewhere!
Next on the list of beers that I tried was the Motorboat from the fine folks of Sweetwater Brewing Company. The Motorboat is their fine interpretation of an ESB. This one was, and still is, one of my favorites from this day of beer tasting.
For the final tasting of the day (because at this point I could barely write whatever I was drinking in my beer notebook) was New Belgium Brewing’s Hoptober. It’s a very nice golden ale with five different hop varieties. I continue to return to this seasonal every time I stand and look at the beer selection that my local grocery store offers. When the Hoptober season is over I will be one distraught beer drinker.
The Southern Brewer’s Fest is a fine gathering of the crafters of the beverage we all like to call home. The only complaint I have about it is the lack of water to rinse out our commemorative sampler mug. Every other craft beer festival has offered this and, to me, proves that these festival’s are hosted by professionals. Come on SBF! Get it together! Besides that one complaint it’s a fine festival at a great location along the river here in Chattanooga.
I must admit that I am no good at math. I look at mathematical equations and I might as well be looking at a blank piece of paper. Me + Math = No Good. I was, actually, no good in school in general. All the more reason to highly encourage my children to do a whole heck of a lot better than I did. On top of that, with having two daughters I want to make sure that if they have any interest in the math or sciences that I will bend over backwards to make sure that they have the encouragement they need to excel (here and here are articles about girls and science & math). Even if I’m no good at either of them.
Lately, we have been listening to a play list that I have named “Geek Rock?” on the mp3 player in the car. On that list I have some They Might Be Giants, Barenaked Ladies, Leonard Nimoy singing “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins”, Paul & Storm and Jonathan Coulton. Some tunes may not be appropriate for the kids but I don’t focus too much on that and The Elder Extroverted One seems to be alright with it. We discuss words you shouldn’t say and move on. Well, one song in particular has caught the EEO’s attention and has gotten stuck in her head. Which has led to some mathematical explorations in which I am in no way equipped to guide her. So, we are just exploring it together and we’ll find out where it leads us. The particular song is Jonathan Coulton’s “Mandelbrot Set”.
The other night as I was hanging out with the Elder Extroverted One during the night-time routine (stories, backrubs etc.) and she blurts out a line from the song, “Mandelbrot’s in heaven, at least he will be when he’s dead” and says that the song is stuck in her head. So, that led us to Wikipedia for a search on what exactly, if anything, a Mandelbrot Set is and whether it exists. Turns out it is real and it is very mathematical like. From wikipedia:
In mathematics the Mandelbrot set, named after Benoît Mandelbrot, is a set of points in the complex plane, the boundary of which forms a fractal. Mathematically the Mandelbrot set can be defined as the set of complex values of c for which the orbit of 0 under iteration of the complex quadratic polynomial zn+1 = zn2 + c remains bounded. That is, a complex number, c, is in the Mandelbrot set if, when starting with z0 = 0 and applying the iteration repeatedly, the absolute value of zn never exceeds a certain number (that number depends on c) however large n gets.
Um…er…okay? Hey wait! I know fractals! Those are cool patterns and stuff! The Elder Extroverted One really enjoyed the examples of fractals. Which led us down another trail of different examples of fractals and we found a fractal based on the Julia Set! How awesome is that? Here’s an example:
The EEO’s favorite quote from the wikipedia entry is, “Thus the behavior of the function on the Fatou set is ‘regular’, while on the Julia set its behavior is ‘chaotic‘.” Oh yeah, she can be chaotic and in no way regular.
This exploration into fractals and mathematics will hopefully instill a joy and curiosity of math and sciences that will last a lifetime and it was all brought about by the wonderful geeky music of Sir Jonathan Coulton. Wait, what? He hasn’t been knighted? Well, he should be dagnabit!
My new mission is to learn as much as I can about this and try to find this fractal on a t-shirt for the Elder Extroverted One to proudly wear and proclaim her geekiness!
Rarely do certain areas of my geekiness come into contact with each other. But, luckily I can drink beer with the majority of my geeky pursuits. Beer and comics? Done! Beer and movies? No brainer! Beer and cooking? Uh…duh! But beer melding with one of my earliest memories of going to the movies and being enveloped by a whole new experience (and quite possibly was responsible for my love of movies and science fiction) is something to behold. Today my geeky Star Wars world and my Beer Geek world collided when I saw this tweet from nerd news blogger @toplessrobot:
New England Brewing Company in Woodbridge, Connecticut is releasing a Russian imperial stout they have named Imperial Stout Trooper. According to the BeerAdvocate‘s Beer News forum it is to be released December 21. They don’t have too wide of a distribution foot print so my chances of getting my hands on this fine brew in east Tennessee aren’t good so a road trip might be in order. Hopefully, I won’t have to make the Kessel Run to find some.
Thanks, John Hagee, for your enlightening interpretation of this one verse:
8If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 1:8 (NIV)
(h/t: I’m a Blogger)
Does this mean, as a stay-at-home dad, that I am not providing for my family? Just because I don’t make money I am not taking care of my kids?
As a side note, Mr. Hagee, my wife is an ordained Presbyterian(USA) minister (I’m sure you think she’s going to hell, too?) and is taking care of us monetarily while I provide for our children in different ways.
Thanks and God bless.
Here is something that is near and dear to my heart. I haven’t done a whole lot of outside stuff with the Young Extroverted One (and more recently the Mullethead) since we’ve moved away from the Black Mountain/Montreat, North Carolina area. However, Chattanooga may lend itself to more outdoor fun for me to experience with my kids this summer.
So, check out the link. Find out what you can do with your kids (or neighbors’ kids | with permission of course) outside! Cool video after the jump!
Please join us in this national effort to highlight the importance of environmental education. As part of the NCLI Days campaign we are urging environmental, education, conservation, and all other interested organizations to work with schools in your community to showcase engaging, environmental education activities. Use the “No Child Left Inside Days Action Packet” to work with teachers to develop a lesson plan, generate press coverage, and educate Members of Congress about the benefits of outdoor environmental education in your area.