Sunday, May 29, 2011

Family vs. Dinosaurs

It's pretty funny hearing the debates that rage between Keenin and Reese.  Though Emaley and I haven't gone out of our way to promote "girly" things for Reese and "boy" things for Keenin (which, brings up another point: why isn't there a male counterpart to the term "girly"?  I guess you could say "boyly," but that just sounds stupid), each of them has nevertheless posted their gender flags and they subsequently defend their territory with zeal.  There are moments when compromises are reached and they are able to temporarily join forces for the common cause of having fun.  However, it inevitably dissolves into the clash of the sexes once again with Reese demanding they play "girl" games, and Keenin stating unequivocally that it is only "boy" games he will condone.  The battle lines are redrawn as they return to their trenches, with mermaids, ponies, and unicorns in one, and Spider-Man, Batman, and dinosaurs in the other.

Today, in particular, Keenin has been playing almost exclusively with his new toy dinosaur he received from a friend of the family's for his birthday.  Reese has been playing with her dollhouse, which opens up to show the inside, and which came with an entire family (daddy, mommy, brother, sister, and baby).  They were playing separately until somehow the realms of play overlapped and soon they were trying to play together.  However, it quickly fell apart into an argument, with Reese begging Keenin to have the dinosaur come eat dinner with the family, and Keenin insisting that the family is the dinosaur's dinner.  Reese insisted that the dinosaur should not eat the family, but that rather it should be their pet.  Keenin insisted that the family should "go to war against the dinosaur" (his words exactly), which, in Keenin's mind, was the greatest compromise ever: Reese got to play house while still partaking in the epic struggle against giant carnivores.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get them ready for church, so I asked Reese to go get her socks on.  She glared at Keenin and told him not to eat the family while she was away.  She stalked off into her room with Keenin watching her go, at which point he took his dinosaur, latched its jaws onto the mom's head, and started intermittently growling and screaming in a high-pitched voice as the mommy was devoured.  Then he grabbed the dad, who punched the dinosaur, rescuing his wife from the clutches of the evil monster.

Reese came back into the room with her socks on only to see, to her horror, Family vs. Dinosaurs!

Everything came apart, of course, with them arguing over what to play until they came to me, whom they view as the great mediator.  With Solomon-like wisdom, I told them they should take turns and play girl stuff for one minute, then boy stuff for one minute, switching off.  This idea seemed to be the best compromise they could come up with.  Keenin demanded that I set a timer so that they wouldn't play girl stuff for one second longer than a minute.  Reese seconded the motion and it became policy: the timer has been going off every minute for about ten minutes now.

The result has been a sort of bipolar pretend play: one minute they're having tea, with the Tyrannosaurus Rex politely asking for "two sugars, please," after which he suddenly attacks and the family must fight back with their magic (not sure when the magic came into the whole scenario).  Soon thereafter, they are back to tea, until the dinosaur loses interest once more and decides he wants more of a snack than a hot drink and a cookie.

Friday, May 20, 2011

musical review

I just got my first musical review last night.  I had a piece for solo flute premier in Boston, thanks to the efforts of my good friend Masaki Hasebe.  You can check out the review here:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Longest Story in the Universe

I recently found a story written by Keenin for this past Easter.  I re-read it and was reminded how funny it is, so I thought I'd post it.  (Please note: I'm typing it exactly as he has written it, so the grammar's a little off and he has a tendency to capitalize random letters).

The longest Story in the UNIVERSE, by Keenin McCulloch

A Long time ago There lived a country LOTS of people live there because there was a very old man older than anybody in the planet and his name was JESUS he was a power full man he cannot he helped lots of People love him so did did him and he loved better than they love him some people call him the mosaia (a.k.a. "Messiah").  But one day he got killed he was nailed on a cross and put him in a cave with gaurds ("guards") so no one could not save him an angle (or, rather, "angel") came killed the guards wait wait wait wait he got resarected ("resurrected") then the angle came and killed the gaurds opened the gaurds door Jesus came out.  people thought he was a ghost wait wait wait wait again they were scared then they thought he was a ghost then they relized ("realized") that he's alive so they got happy.  And thats the story of ESTER ("EASTER").


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Keenin's keychain

Apparently, Keenin unearthed a Father's Day present he had made for me last year.  For roughly eleven months now it has sat in some hidden corner of his Spider-Man backpack, only coming to light because we had to get him a new backpack and were thus forced to clean out the old to transfer everything to the new.

During the excavation process, amidst old homework assignments that do not appear to have ever been turned in, along with Cheetos crumbs and President Obama's birth certificate (we called the Donald immediately, knowing how much more important this find was than any other issue going on in our nation today) we came across a small, laminated cut-out of an "Aloha" shirt, with a picture of Keenin's mugshot across the front of it and a little chain attached to it.

As the title to this post explains, it was a keychain.  He had made it for me at school.

That's not the best part, though.  Keenin triumphantly handed me the long-lost present, to which I smiled and said, "Thank you."  He immediately prompted me to look at the back.  I turned it over.  There he had written a little note to me which says, "Love, Keenin, June 2010.  Wolverine says Aloha."

I about died laughing--the kid's got the most random imagination on the planet.  "I put Wolverine because I know you like him," was all Keenin said after I read it.  What kills me more is he spelled Wolverine, "Wolvering."  Didn't know the famous super hero was also a present-tense verb, did you?

Anyway, it killed me.  I also thought it was sweet that he didn't just make me a generic Father's Day gift, though.  He stopped to put enough thought into it to make it personal and try and make it something that he knew I like.

Thank you Keenin, and "Aloha" back at ya...bub.

Monday, May 2, 2011

[fun]nel clouds

Hawaii's in the middle of a ridiculous rainstorm right now with thunder and lightning literally shaking the house.  There are funnel clouds gathering out in the ocean just a few miles from us.  Emaley was able to pull up some pictures on her iPhone that a pilot had posted of the funnel clouds.  She asked the kids if they wanted to see some funnel clouds and Reese asked, "Are they fun?"