Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer Camp Part II - Future Smartasses of America at Camp Lotta Ha Ha

Lots of parents raise their kids with the hope, and maybe even expectation, that they'll be the future leaders of our nation. I guess I can see where they're coming from - we need politicians and captains of industry to keep this big ol' machine a humming. These parents use examples like Bill Gates and Barack Obama to illustrate to their kids that it doesn't matter where you come from, you can make a difference in the world.

These are fine examples to look up to - even if you're an Apple fanboy or a raging teabagger - who wouldn't want their kid to be the richest man in the world or the PUSA? Well, us for one. We tend to idolize a different sort in our house. We look up to John Stewart, Louis Black and George Carlin. Yes we need future leaders of America but we also need future smartasses to make fun of those future leaders.

Harper and Ainslee both are already world class ball-breakers and to tell you the truth, I couldn't be more proud. So when I saw the local comedy club, Comedy Works, offering a weeklong comedy camp for kids I couldn't register Harper fast enough.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, Harper studied his butt off learning how to write jokes and put a decent three-minute set together. Then on Saturday afternoon the kids performed their acts in front of a packed house of parents, friends and creepy adults who just seemed to want to watch little kids on stage.

The comedian in charge of the camp was a guy named Phil Palisoul, which you can watch here on "The Tonight Show", http://youtu.be/BSsyxxUs-48. He told us repeatedly what a great writer Harper was, but seemed worried about him "finding his voice." He kept telling us to watch comedians like Steven Wright and Mitch Hedberg. "See, they're also quiet but somehow managed to stand on stage and say stuff for a few minutes," he said.

Amanda and I were way more nervous than Harper and in the end he in fact did manage to stand on stage and say stuff for a few minutes. So here's the result of all the comedic hand-wringing. Enjoy!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Camp...part 1

We made a bit of money on the sale of our house in Washington so we decided to spend some of it on the kids.  You know, instead of doing something mature and responsible like painting a General Lee flag on Kurt's truck ala Duke's of Hazard.

To be honest we are also still trying to bribe the kids into to thinking that moving was the best thing we could possibly do.  We aren't going to win any parent of the year contests, so we thought "hey how's a simple bribe gonna hurt our track record."
So we asked the kids what would their dream activity be?
Ainslee:  Horse riding camp
Harper:  Comedy camp
So Kurt, who although I'm the librarian in the house does the majority of the compulsive research, found both camps.  The cost was high, but the experience will be forever a great memory for both the kids and us.  I also think we found their true passions  We will continue to help them pursue it so that we may live vicariously through them.

I can't possibly explain to you how amazing it was to see my little baby girl up on that big horse named Blue.  I came back the first day of camp a bit early to see if I could  catch her riding.  On the FIRST DAY she was up on that horse like a natural.  I was giggling.  She was so happy, so brave, so not my baby but a little lady.

Kurt and I absolutely did NOT pressure our kids in these choices, but both of them were dreams of ours too.  It was so much fun to watch and participate as the doting parent.  She put on a horseshow with the other campers to show what they learned.  I love seeing her little feet kick that horse to trot.

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Thanks Academy Stables!

Part 2...Harper's comedy genius!