Skip to main content

Hitting the links with Owen

I think it happens to all parents. It feels like you just give and give and give, and in the short term you have nothing to show for it except two screaming kids and a bunch of crumbs and smashed banana on your spot on the couch. Last weekend I had all of the above, plus a host of work-related deadlines and general grown-up pressures of the difficult type (like a letter in the mail from the city zoning office).

All of the stress piled up and turned an otherwise mild-mannered Daddy into a raging bull. I was over being a grown-up in general, and a parent in particular. I was having vivid fantasies of an alternate life as a dual-income, no kids (DINK) lifestyle. Just imagine: sleeping in on the weekends, long drives with no specific destination in mind, watching a full basketball game without a child getting injured in front of the TV. I must admit, there were more than a few instances last weekend when I was far from a model parent.

But then at some point during this week I got over my fantasies and realized how lucky I am to have two smart, sensitive, loving and hilarious little boys to call my sons. So on Saturday after putting in a half-day at the office writing telescope proposals I decided to take Owen on an adventure to a putt-putt golf course. As with many things in the greater Los Angeles area, the putt-putt golf course was about 25 miles, 4 freeways and 35-50 minutes away. Because of a major accident on the 60 West, the 60 East was backed up for miles and it took us about 45 minutes to get there. But it was worth it when the windmills and castles of the Golf-N-Stuff appeared on the side of the freeway. Owen said, "Whoa! Is that our adventure." It sure was!

Owen thoroughly enjoyed knocking the golf ball around the course using his signature, extremely-awkward golf stroke. Imagine a combination of hockey face-off, croquette stroke, and jungle explorer using a machete. On hole 8, Dad struggled on the par-3 volcano, ending the hole +4 because I couldn't get it over the lip of the mountain and into the caldera. However, Owen teed up, hit the ball through his legs standing backward and got a hole-in-one.

Later, on hole 11 the situation reversed. I got a birdie while Owen struggled to get the ball up the ramp and into the skee-ball like receptacles. So he decided to eschew the golf club and went for a more direct method of moving the ball:


(In the video, after I say, "Over there!" Owen says, "What the heck?! I can't believe that!")

After the golf course, we went inside to the arcade where we raced cars, shot some hoops and mini-bowled. We had enough tickets for two Blowpop suckers and a foam dart-like projectile. It was a good day out with the boy.

Oh, and on the way home I took the 60 W to the 710 N to the 10 W to the 5 N to the 110N, which was way better and only took 25 minutes!

Comments

blissful_e said…
Your description of Owen's signature style is fantastic, and I can see him there in my mind's eye. To have that followed by "Owen teed up, hit the ball through his legs standing backward and got a hole-in-one." I'm as astonished as you must have been by seeing it in person. Way to go, Owen!!
mama mia said…
Hilarious post on parenting, and just keep enjoying the ride..love the reality of it all....you're not alone there daddy!

Popular posts from this blog

An annual note to all the (NSF) haters

It's that time of year again: students have recently been notified about whether they received the prestigious NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship. Known in the STEM community as "The NSF," the fellowship provides a student with three years of graduate school tuition and stipend, with the latter typically 5-10% above the standard institutional support for first- and second-year students. It's a sweet deal, and a real accellerant for young students to get their research career humming along smoothly because they don't need to restrict themselves to only advisors who have funding: the students fund themselves!
This is also the time of year that many a white dude executes what I call the "academic soccer flop." It looks kinda like this:


It typically sounds like this: "Congrats! Of course it's easier for you to win the NSF because you're, you know, the right demographic." Or worse: "She only won because she's Hispanic."…

Culture: Made Fresh Daily

There are two inspirations for this essay worth noting. The first is an impromptu talk I gave to the board of trustees at Thatcher School while I was visiting in October as an Anacapa Fellow. Spending time on this remarkable campus interacting with the students, faculty and staff helped solidify my notions about how culture can be intentionally created. The second source is Beam Times and Lifetimes by Sharon Tarweek, an in-depth exploration of the culture of particle physics told by an anthropologist embedded at SLAC for two decades. It's a fascinating look at the strange practices and norms that scientists take for granted.
One of the stories that scientists tell themselves, whether implicitly or explicitly, is that science exists outside of and independent of society. A corollary of this notion is that if a scientific subfield has a culture, e.g. the culture of astronomy vs. the culture of chemistry, that culture is essential rather than constructed. That is to say, scientific c…

The Long Con

Hiding in Plain Sight

ESPN has a series of sports documentaries called 30 For 30. One of my favorites is called Broke which is about how professional athletes often make tens of millions of dollars in their careers yet retire with nothing. One of the major "leaks" turns out to be con artists, who lure athletes into elaborate real estate schemes or business ventures. This naturally raises the question: In a tightly-knit social structure that is a sports team, how can con artists operate so effectively and extensively? The answer is quite simple: very few people taken in by con artists ever tell anyone what happened. Thus, con artists can operate out in the open with little fear of consequences because they are shielded by the collective silence of their victims.
I can empathize with this. I've lost money in two different con schemes. One was when I was in college, and I received a phone call that I had won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas. All I needed to do was p…