The Talk

My daughter and I just had “the talk”. No, not that talk. That one is reserved for her mom and, with any luck, I’ll be out of the county when that talk happens.

This talk is about getting an iPod Touch or a phone.

I think I made it clear to her that she’s not getting a phone anytime soon. Maybe she figured that out by my uncontrollable laughter when she asked me*.

The iPod Touch, though. Well…..

Let me back up by saying I’m a bit of a tech geek. How much of a tech geek, you ask? I kept checking my Twitter feed when during Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference this past June  during my kids’ swimming lessons.**

I had to admit that the thought of a new gadget in the house appealed to me. Even though it was for someone else (gasp!). When I asked her what she wanted an iPod touch for, I thought it was because she saw her dad and wanted to be like him. She wanted a vast array of music, games and apps that simplify her going-into-fifth-grade life.

She said that she wanted to be able to text her friends.

Text? Her friends? SRSLY? Am I at that stage in the game?

Not only am I a tech geek, but I’m also a teacher. I am very familiar to the look that students get when they are texting,  tweeting, or snapchatting (sorry Facebook, you’re sooo four years ago). Essentially, you just see the top third of their head and, if you get their attention for 30 seconds, you chalk that up as a victory.

I don’t want that to be my daughter. Not yet, anyway. I want that girl that draws pictures for me and gives me a big hug when I get back from a long day at school. I want to keep the girl that has a grin from ear to ear when she scores her first (and only) goal.

I don’t want her to have secret conversations with her BFFs. And I certainly don’t want her texting any boys. Hear that, boys? DO YOU HEAR THAT?

I’m not ready for her to grow up. I’m really not.

But I really want a new iPod touch.

*I really hope they spell my last name on the Father of the Year 2014  plaque.

**Sorry, ladies…I’m spoken for.


On Like Donkey Kong

My kids are awesome.

At least that’s what I’ve been told.

To be fair, they are good kids. I love them with all my heart, unconditionally, etc. etc. Sometimes, though, I may I may love them even a little more when they’re in separate corners.

Let me give you an example: When I can, I like to pick up my daughter from school. Once in awhile, her teacher will tell me, “(child’s name) is doing great in school. She is such a joy and a blessing.”

It takes every fiber of my being to stifle outright laughter at the “blessing” comment, but whatever.

So when she’s throwing a Hall of Fame hissyfit at home, she’s a” blessing”? Is that the word we’re going to use for that?

After The Blessing is buckled up, I go and pick up my son.

“Oh, he was just perfect today. Just perfect.”, she says.

Again, more stifling.

Yeah, he’s “perfect” when he’s at church and he has put his head in his lunchbox and zipped it up because he’s so angry with me. Just perfect.

While I’m chatting with the sitter, I let Blessing and Perfect go and get into the car. I like to call my car “The Octagon” because this is where most of the fighting happens. I’m convinced that, after lunch, both of my kids work on a fight plan for the Octagon after school. Whether I arrive at the car 5 seconds or 5 minutes after they get in, someone is crying. If it’s an especially lively day, both of them are crying. Essentially, what they’re saying to each other is: It’s on.

Like I said, I love my kids. I just have to realize that they’re usually better kids when one of them is at their grandparents’ or at their friend’s house on a play date. When that happens, it’s a win-win for my wife and I. They’re a Blessing and/or Perfect there and the other is the same at our house. Seriously. If one of them is away, whether it’s across the street or in another state, the other one is a cherub.

ME: Could you pick up your toys in the family room?

BLESSED: Sure. After that, can you get the vacuum out, daddy?

ME: Uh, sure.

BLESSED: After that, can you get out the ladder so I can clean out the gutters?

ME: Absolutely!

OK, that last part wasn’t true. The ladder was buried in the garage and I didn’t want to get it out.

But, really…how does this happen? I know they love each other. I’ve seen it and it’s documented in pictures and on video. Granted I don’t have a lot of documentation, but I do have some.

Oddly enough, my wife and I are still waiting for the perfect storm when both of them have sleepovers on the same night. I don’t know what my wife and I will do if/when that ever happens. Maybe I’ll work on getting the blood and pulled hair out of the back seat.

New Year

It’s that time of year again where my social media feeds are cluttered with things like “How to Keep you New Years’ Resolutions!” and “5 Annoying Things People Do at the Gym” and “The 40 Most Divine Things Zac Efron did in 2013” (thanks Buzzfeed).

Of course, I always get myself caught up in these resolutions. I consider myself a fairly well-educated, level-headed human being, but it does make sense on one level to start new or to refocus on things.

For 2014, I’m going to do both:

Goal #1: Blog More

I researched self-publishing an ebook, but I found some obstacles, mainly I don’t have either time nor the attention span to write a book. Secondly, it looks kinda hard. So, that brings me to blogging, something I used to do fairly regularly about running. I love to write. I need to write. And, with any luck, this blog will focus on something at some point. So…one blog post per week.

Goal #2: Exercise More

The most cliche new year’s resolution, right? “I’m going to hit the gym and lose 20 pounds by spring!” Um, not really. I just need to be more consistent with my exercising. This oughta help:

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 8.31.19 AM

See, once I commit to something, I focus on it and train for it. More specifically, once I pay for somethingI focus on it and train for it.

So…yeah. Who knows what this blog will be about. I tell my students that your blog has to fill a niche. Has to be focused. Me? Not so much. These posts could be about teaching, parenting, exercising, or a combination of all of them. Like the blog says, “My Blog, My Rules.”


I told myself this summer that I was going to do three things:

  1. Read more
  2. Write more
  3. Run more

If I were honest with myself, I haven’t been doing either of these things very well. At best, it’s been hit and miss.

Obviously, this blog is hopefully going to satisfy #2 in my Summer To-Do List. Writing is something I enjoy.  Something I need to do. I’m not a rookie at blogging. I blog about what I know and what I love to do.  I have my own blog about running, and I am a contributor about My Beloved Huskers, and Teaching.  You would think that that would be enough.

You would be wrong.

What I’ve found is that there a lot of things that rattle around in my head that don’t fit into these specific venues.  While I love to write, I don’t think the authors at the teaching blog would see any use for me posting about my adventures as a Mr. Mom at our local pool.  Nor would it make sense to complain…er…vent about my job on the Husker blog.

That brings me to this blog.  This will be a catch-all blog.  If it’s about running, great.  Huskers?  Probably later on this fall.  Teaching?  More than likely. Everything else?  Most definitely?  Like the title of the blog implies:  This is my blog and these are my rules.

Truth be told, I’m also trying out this new-fangled Tumblr that all the kids with their ironic t-shirts and hipster glasses are raving about.  (Read that last sentence in an old-man voice.  It’s a lot funnier.)

Tumblr vs. Blogger….it’s on.

The Lead

Every good story starts with a solid lead, right?  Well, here’s one thing that you need to know about my writing:

I suck at writing a lead.

Actually, that’s not true.  I’m actually pretty good, but I can guarantee you it’s the last thing that I write.  And, since my background is in TV, sometimes I don’t even have to write a lead….I can just let the video and/or sound bite do it for me.  Who says TV reporters aren’t real journalists, huh?

Speaking of my background, I should probably introduce myself.  My name is Razz.  Well, it’s not actually Razz.  My parents didn’t hate me or anything.  I got that name a long time ago and I’ve answered to it ever since.  That’s how I’m referred to in my line of work.  I’m a high school journalism adviser who just finished his 8th year of teaching.  Previously, I was in the “real biz*” (a.k.a.-broadcast journalism) for about 14 years or so.

I should also mention that I’m  a proud father of a 6 year old and a 3 year old who, from here on out, will be referred to as Kid1 and Kid2.  Trust me, they’ll be involved in this blog more often than you think.

When I’m not teaching, I enjoy reading, playing golf, and running. In fact, I love running so much, I just wrapped up writing my running blog, Running Off at the Mind.  It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of great people, but I thought I’d try something new.  Besides, there were only so many things that I could write about on that subject.  A nod to my “Running Buddies” can be found off to the right in my blogroll.  Even if you’re not into running, they’re really funny and a good read.  Anywho, I thought I was over my blogging itch, but…well… we are.  There’s just something about writing that makes things more gooder.

Normally, you should start a blog with a certain focus.  A topic, if you will.  Well, as you’ll quickly learn…..I’m not normal.  I wholeheartedly plan to go off on a tangent about something and sometimes, I may even have a point!  Bonus for me AND you!

If you’ve come here for information, I can’t guarantee that.  If you’ve come here for a laugh, I can’t guarantee that either, but I’ll give it one helluva shot.  If you’ve come here thinking you’ve stumbled on some weird adults only site, I’m not going to guarantee anything NOR will I give it a shot.  Nope, just keep on browsing.

*because apparently teaching isn’t a “real biz”.  OK, then.

New Blog…More Random Stuff