(Sunday Paper, Volume I, Issue 4)
When we were kids the big thing my mom used to always say when it was a gift-giving occasion (her birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day) when we'd ask her what she wanted was, "You don't need to get me anything. All I need is your love."
And I would think, "But....presents!"
I could never understand why she'd say that.
But I guess as I've gotten older I've begun to come around to her line of thinking.
Because we were terrible gift-givers.
I'm just kidding.
Well, kind of. We've gotten better as we've gotten older, but I don't think we ever got my mom anything good as a gift growing up. (I know we never got anything good for my dad. I remember once buying him a "#1 Dad" hat at a school fund-raiser and I was so upset that he never wore it. I have a faint memory that I was so upset that finally he agreed to wear it to one of my little league games. God bless him for that. Everyone must have had a good laugh when he showed up with a "#1 Dad" hat.)
But that's not what I want to write about. Because I was thinking of what would make my day on Father's Day. And none of it comes in the form of a present. (Although I might just feel this way because my birthday comes around in a little more than two weeks and then I want LOTS of presents.)
I don't really need much. (Again, it's not my birthday...which, again, happens to be soon.) It's cool that I get to perform comedy this year on Father's Day...that's an added bonus, because that always brings me great joy.
But if I could lay out my ideal Father's Day it would be something like this: It's a Sunday, so a little time to sit with the newspapers and crossword puzzles...Some activities with the girls...Some time without the girls...Maybe a quick bike ride...Maybe watching the Mets...Probably a nap...
The bottom line: That's not really any different from any other day. Which, at the risk of sounding super sappy, is because of how wonderful my wife and kids are. I'm not saying every day is Father's Day around here.
Just that every day is pretty darn good. Especially if the kids let me take a nap.
And if I get a present too...well, that's just icing on the cake.
*I was expecting one piece to go up this week - turned out I had a second go up yesterday. You might have missed that one - posting on a Saturday isn't usually an attention-grabber. That was about how now that my youngest is starting kindergarten in the fall, I've had my last Thursday home with just her. Also, as it turns out, a pretty appropriate Father's Day piece.
*And I'm proud of the one that came out earlier in the week, about Harry Potter and the teaching going on at Hogwarts. As I say in the essay, that was one of the things that stood out to me as I re-read the Harry Potter series recently - the teaching styles. Seems like a good time of year to reflect on good teaching, too, since school is just ending and so many wonderful teachers that I know are getting a much-deserved summer break. We've been very, very lucky - both with the teachers our girls have had as well as the teacher colleagues that I've had over the years.
*I guess I can make one last-ditch effort here to get you to come out tonight for the Father's Day show in Jamaica Plain. I don't know if tickets are even still available, but if you want to come out, I'd say take that chance. Should be a great time. I'm doing a longer set (Father's Day! It's my comedy wheelhouse!), and Tony V is headlining - that's some quality comedy right there.
*On Thursday I did a show that had the potential to turn out "not well" - it was held outside, the mic was a little feedback-y, there were children present - but it turned out to be a really fun experience. I had a chance to do 20 minutes - my longest set yet - and I thought it went pretty well overall. Here's what that looked like:
*Nice to see this writeup of comedian Emily Ruskowski in today's Boston Globe. It's hard when you see someone perform over and over to find their material as funny as you did the first time. But she makes me laugh every time and is someone I always enjoy watching. You should check her out if you get the chance.
*The next couple of weeks are going to be somewhat light comedy-wise...consider it my comedy summer vacation. But there are a bunch of July and August dates I'll put up shortly - and I'll write about some of it next week.
What I've Been Enjoying
*Sorry I've been a little podcast heavy lately, but this story came on this week and I wanted to share it. Quick background - when I did '365 New Things In 2013' two of the things I wanted to do that I didn't get to in that calendar year were: 1) Stand-up comedy (Obviously I got around to that in 2014) and 2) Storytelling.
I still want to try storytelling and at some point I'll put my name in the hat at a Moth event. But I enjoy listening to other people telling their stories on The Moth Podcast..and I especially enjoy when a story comes up to which I can closely relate. That's what this story is - about a woman and her love for the Mets. It's about 8 minutes long. It's a good listen.
*One other comedy-related plug: Rick Jenkins, the owner of The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square (which you know about because I love when I get the chance to perform there) is in Nebraska for the Great American Comedy Festival - a comedy festival held in Johnny Carson's hometown. Jenkins was in the Norfolk Daily News this weekend where they wrote about his stylistic tribute to Johnny Carson, so that's pretty cool.
*I've been very careful not to bore you with my sports obsessions every week in the Sunday Paper...but that dam is about to burst. I'll be making my first visit to Citi Field this week and I don't know if I can restrain myself from writing about the Mets for too much longer.