EppsNet Archive: Kids

Another Thing I Like About Donald Trump

18 Sep 2015 /

I like to make sweeping judgments about people based on my assessment of how their kids turned out. A lot of kids from famous families are train wrecks. Trump’s kids, while a little odd-looking in my opinion (Ivanka excepted), are not. Kudos to Mr. Trump and his wives.

Donald Trump's kids


25 Aug 2015 /

Photo by Siderola

Guess what, Dad and I finally figured out Pandora,
and after all those years of silence, our old music
fills the air. It fills the air, and somehow, here,
at this instant and for this instant only
—perhaps three bars—what I recall
equals all I feel, and I remember all the words.

— Rebecca Foust, “Abeyance”

Am I Smarter Than A Japanese Schoolchild?

5 Aug 2015 /


Are we talking book smart or street smart? If a Japanese kid is computing the area of a rectangle while I’m out gettin’ my bling, who’s smarter, I ask you?

Lose the Pastels and the Mopey Attitude

9 Jul 2015 /

Human of New York

  1. Americans love gay people. Since this photo has been posted, it has 60,000 shares, 60,000 comments (including presidential candidates) and 640,000 (that’s six hundred and forty thousand) likes. In the short time since the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling there’s been a national competition to see who can demonstrate the most elation about it. (OK, if you’re gay, a few bad apples will dislike you based on that alone but that’s true if you’re identifiable as a member of any group, which we all are.)
  2. I’m afraid about the future. I’m afraid people won’t like me. Leave out the part about being homosexual and you could post a picture of anyone. The percentage of Americans who can’t get through the day without medication — I’m including self-medication via alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, food, etc. — is a lot closer to 100 than it is to zero. Nobody’s life is a fairy tale, kid.
  3. How old is this boy? He looks about 10. Is he really old enough to have fully sussed out his own sexuality? Maybe he is but it seems far from certain.
  4. Find some role models, like Ellen and that Doogie Howser kid. Lose the pastels and the mopey attitude. Dress like a man and keep it peppy.

Doogie Howser   Ellen

Berkeley Commencement 2015 (Photos)

22 May 2015 /

Goodbye Berkeley

20 May 2015 /

Oh to be young and strong and accomplish a longtime goal! Goodbye Berkeley, it’s been a great four years …

graduation: casey and andrew

Thoughts in the Shower

19 May 2015 /

If I just stay in here and never come out, maybe the graduation won’t happen and he’ll still be my little boy . . .

Now What?

15 May 2015 /
Sather Tower (the Campanile) looking out over ...

We’re in Berkeley for Casey’s graduation tomorrow . . . we got a text from him earlier this week saying “I just took my last two college exams.” Thus ends a journey that began 17 years ago on the first day of kindergarten, which I feel like I remember too vividly for it to have been 17 years ago, but it was.

Now what? I don’t mean for him . . . he’s got a job lined up in San Francisco. I mean for me. I’ve had the milestone birthdays — the ones where your age ends in zero — that seem to depress a lot of people . . . they didn’t bother me at all. But my boy becoming an independent person in the world is really disorienting me . . .

Do We Still Have to Lean In?

5 May 2015 /

Sheryl [Sandberg] has made her husband, Dave, the role model for the perfect husband. She has said many times that the most important factor in her success was the husband she chose. And as late a week ago, she was saying that men need to do more, they are not doing enough, they need to take more responsibility. And, again, she held up her husband as an example. . . .

So then, I would like to know why was he on vacation in Mexico without Sheryl and without the kids? What was it a vacation from? Who was he with?

Why was Sheryl in DC instead of going to get the body? Why was Sheryl in DC instead of home with her kids? Why does Dave take a vacation when Sheryl is scheduled to be gone?

I wouldn’t ask so many questions except that Sheryl keeps telling me to lean in, but she doesn’t tell me how she does it. I ended up spending my 401K on household help, scaling back my career, and taking my kids on business trips that were magical at first and a bore thereafter. . . .

She tells me she and her husband try to make sure one of them is home with the kids, but it’s not what we have seen in the last five days. She doesn’t tell us if she has nannies. She doesn’t tell us how often she is away from her kids. All she tells us is that leaning in depends on her husband.

So can she lean in now? Can you lean in if you don’t have the perfect husband? What if it’s too late to get the perfect husband? She doesn’t address that, but maybe she will now. I have a feeling that the spokesperson for high-flying careers is going to get a lot more informative and helpful now that she’s a single mom. All the money in the world can’t buy a substitute for a parent showing up to kiss a skinned knee.

Three is Enough

25 Mar 2015 /

Dalmatian dog looking at dalmatian fish

One of the neighbor ladies is over talking to my wife while Lightning and I entertain two of her three daughters, ages 3 and 7.

“I want a dog like Lightning,” the 7-year-old says. “We just have boring fish.”

“What does your mom say about that?” I ask.

“She says having a dog is a lot of work.”

“It is a lot of work.”

“She says the three of us are enough work already.”

Big Fishes in Small Ponds

14 Mar 2015 /

Big fish, small pond

A colleague and I are discussing an article about too many kids quitting science because they don’t think they’re smart, in which Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford, says, among other things:

Being a good parent has become synonymous with giving out ability praise. Parents still think this is the greatest gift they can give to their children, and as a child gets more and more insecure, they give more and more of it. And, by the way, a lot of employers and coaches have said, “My employees cannot get through the day without accolades and validation.” Even professional coaches have said they cannot give feedback without these people feeling that they’ve crushed them. We’ve created several generations now of very fragile individuals because they’ve been praised and hyped. And feel that anything but praise is devastating.

My colleague mentions Malcolm Gladwell‘s book David and Goliath, in which Gladwell claims that while the worst STEM students at, say, Harvard may be as smart as the top third at a lower ranked college, the Harvard kids feel stupid and unsuccessful because they compare themselves to their Harvard peers. Gladwell then goes on to recommend attending non-elite institutions — to be a big fish in a small pond — in order not to have your dreams and confidence crushed.

“Why don’t kids just forget about four-year institutions completely and attend their local community college?” I reply. “They can test their mettle against classmates with no academic qualifications whatsoever. That should provide a much-needed confidence boost.”

Still Right on the Black Family After All These Years

12 Feb 2015 /

Next month marks the 50th anniversary of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on the black family, the controversial document issued while he served as an assistant secretary in President Lyndon Johnson’s Labor Department. Moynihan highlighted troubling cultural trends among inner-city blacks, with a special focus on the increasing number of fatherless homes.

For his troubles, Moynihan was denounced as a victim-blaming racist bent on undermining the civil-rights movement. . . .

Later this year the nation also will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which some consider the most significant achievement of the modern-day civil-rights movement. . . .

Since 1970 the number of black elected officials in the U.S. has grown to more than 9,000 from fewer than 1,500 and has included big-city mayors, governors, senators and of course a president.

But even as we note this progress, the political gains have not redounded to the black underclass, which by several important measures—including income, academic achievement and employment—has stagnated or lost ground over the past half-century. And while the civil-rights establishment and black political leaders continue to deny it, family structure offers a much more plausible explanation of these outcomes than does residual white racism.

In 2012 the poverty rate for all blacks was more than 28%, but for married black couples it was 8.4% and has been in the single digits for two decades. Just 8% of children raised by married couples live in poverty, compared with 40% of children raised by single mothers.

One important lesson of the past half-century is that counterproductive cultural traits can hurt a group more than political clout can help it.

EppsNet at the Movies: Treeless Mountain

3 Feb 2015 /

Treeless Mountain

I’m in love with this movie. What is about? Read the IMDB plot summary below. It’s also about hanging on to the past, letting go of the past, and the resilience of the human heart.

You’re not into that kind of thing? Fine, go watch Hot Tub Time Machine. Come on, you’re better than that.

Rating: 5 stars

Treeless Mountain

In Seoul, Korea, two sisters must look after each other when their mother leaves them to search for their estranged father.

Director: So Yong Kim (as So-yong Kim)
Cast: Chae Gil Byung Pedestrian in City, Jung Gil Ja Minoo’s Mom, Shin Hyun Je Bus Driver, Kim Mi Jung Hyun’s Mom

IMDb rating: 7.2 (1,372 votes)

Park Slope Kids’ Names

25 Jan 2015 /

FYI — Park Slope is a neighborhood in northwest Brooklyn, considered one of New York City’s most desirable neighborhoods.

A Short One-Act Play About Time

3 Dec 2014 /

MY KID HOME FROM COLLEGE: That clock says 8:42, that clock says 8:45, your phone says 8:47 and my phone says 8:48. So what time is it?

ME (singing):

Does anybody really know what time it is?
Can anybody really care? (About time)
If so I can’t imagine why (Oh no-oo)
We’ve all got time enough to cry

Did that answer your question?

KID: Not really.

Tags: , ,

Halle Slams Gabriel!

26 Nov 2014 /

Halle Berry

Halle Berry is at least 50 percent white, the girl’s father is white . . . do the math on how white the girl is supposed to look.

National Scholarship Award

13 Aug 2014 /

Alpha Tau Omega

It would be nice if modesty prevented me from mentioning that my kid’s fraternity, the Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) chapter at UC Berkeley, was awarded the National Scholarship Award at the ATO National Congress for having the highest GPA of any ATO chapter in the nation.

“Yeah, and we actually have hard classes,” he said.

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Breastfeeding Celebrities

8 Aug 2014 /

“In paths untrodden,” as Walt Whitman marvelously put it. “Escaped from the life that exhibits itself . . .” Oh, that’s a plague, the life that exhibits itself, a real plague!

— Saul Bellow, Herzog

Who the heck is Olivia Wilde and why is there a photo all over the Internet of her breastfeeding an infant in a restaurant booth? I mean, not a surreptitious candid photo of her discreetly breastfeeding. A posed photo! In a designer dress!

(I’m not posting or linking to the photo. If you haven’t already seen it, I’m sure you can find it.)

Well it’s a natural function, breastfeeding — right? Yeah, but there are a number of natural functions that need not be performed in public and photographed.

The life that exhibits itself . . . what a plague indeed.

Happy 21st Birthday, Casey

28 Jul 2014 /

On this date 21 years ago — July 28, 1993 — our son Casey was born.

On his first birthday, we took him to Chuck E Cheese. On his 21st birthday, he’s in San Francisco having dinner with his girlfriend so we have to wish him a happy birthday over the phone.

“I remember the day you were born like it was last week,” I say. “I was an integral part of it.”

“Yeah, so was I,” he says.

Right, but he doesn’t remember it like I do. And I don’t want to mention it on his special day, but he didn’t really do anything either. His mom and I did all the work and yet he gets all the glory and recognition. Think about that.

“Happy birthday. I love you.”


23 Jul 2014 /

Missing Teen

Her parents must be pretty strict. They reported her missing just because she wasn’t home by 9?

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