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  • Kate's Winter Concert

    Kate and fellow students and staff performed at a 14th annual Winter Concert last week at Mount Vernon High School. Teachers allow students to perform regardless of their experience as a way of expressing themselves through the arts. Kate has done many things on stage, including dance recitals and community theater. This time, she impressed everyone with her ability to rap to the song "Airplanes" (hence the costume). Congratulations to our soon-to-be 18-year-old daughter, who graduates from Mount Vernon in June and has been accepted into the Pathways to Baccalaureate program at NOVA!

    For more photos from this event, check out my Facebook album here.

  • A Song For You

    Remember how I said that irony is not dead? Let me prove it to you.

    Today, I should sing “Happy Birthday” to my oldest son, except that the best present I could give him is not singing at all.

    “Dad, please… I mean, really, I’m not being rude … but I’d rather hear the cats.”

    Yep, I have a voice that stands out in a crowd — for all the wrong reasons. My solution is to be the Milli Vanilli/Britney Spears/Janet Jackson of the “Happy Birthday” set. (Except that you wouldn’t want to see me dance, either.)

    • Irony No. 1: Rhythm, tone, and pitch — three things I want more than almost anything — are nowhere to be found. And three of my four children, plus Jill, have beautiful voices.
    • Irony No. 2: I love music. 
    • Irony No. 3: Over the past three years, both sons have been in productions of, yes, “A Christmas Carol.”

    In case you haven’t noticed, it’s December (although retailers would have you believe that the month started just before Halloween). It’s a month built for music, from carols to hymns to show tunes to “Happy Birthdays” and everything in between. And over the next 18 days, the height of the singing season, all four of my kids have birthdays.

    Now there is irony, topped only by the fact that for 16 days, from this Friday through Dec. 27, I will have three 12-year-olds.

    So as we kick off birthday month and continue through the holiday season, the best gift I can give to my children it to remain vocally silent. As the DJ says, this one goes out to Nicholas, Emma, Ben, and Katharine — by request.

    “Overture. Purple lights. This is it. The height of heights. And oh what heights we’ll hit… On with the show this is it.”