Safety and Rumors

By now I am used to receiving emails from my son’s school with spelling and grammar errors as well as factually incorrect information, but this one was just downright confounding for its utter lack of substance:

Subject:  Safety and Rumors

Good evening, this is a message from [school name redacted] High Administration.

We are contacting you about a number of rumors that have been circulating among our students about something bad happening on our campus. We can assure that these are all rumors. Our school police have followed up on all leads that have come to us and have found nothing credible. You and your children are safe here at [name redacted] High School and we will continue to follow up on any information that comes to us. We have a vacation just around the corner and we expect to see everyone here tomorrow. Thank you.

After reading it, I was more worried than if I had never gotten an email to begin with.  What rumors?  I hadn’t heard any rumors.  My son hadn’t heard any rumors.  What’s going on?  Then I remembered… Fleetwood Mac is playing in Anaheim tonight.  Given their track record, the school probably just forgot the “u” in Rumours.

Ferris Bueller Is Doctor Who

Versions of the Doctor

My kid “proved” this to me while we were stopped at a traffic light:

Ferris Bueller was portrayed in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by Matthew Broderick.

Matthew Broderick voices Simba as an adult in Disney’s The Lion King.

The Lion King is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (with Simba as Hamlet).

Hamlet was portrayed both on stage and on screen by David Tennant.

David Tennant took on the role of the Tenth Doctor in 2005.

Q.E.D.

Doctor Who Singing Twist and Shout:

WARNING: Your Child May Be Required To Undress You

I’m used to getting emails with spelling errors, grammatical errors, factual errors, and various combinations thereof from my son’s high school.  Despite my low expectations, it was still a bit of a shock when I received the following warning by email yesterday afternoon (emphasis added):

With the warm weather coming our way, please remember that the school dress code will be consistently enforced. If you are wearing an item that is not permitted, students will be required to change the item.

You are probably wondering what items I might possibly wear that would require my son (much to his chagrin, I’m sure) to change me.  Here is the first item from the list of “[i]tems of particular concern that will not be permitted”:

Extremely brief or revealing garments; no tube tops, bare midriffs or exposed cleavage

So “no tube tops” will not be permitted?  Interesting.

Here is another example from the “not permitted” list:

Underwear not covered by outer garments (including bras straps)

I literally did a double take on that one.  I thought maybe “brass straps” were something the kids were wearing these days that I just hadn’t heard about yet.  I mean I just found out about twerking yesterday.

Everyone makes a typo now and then.  I probably made one or two in this blog post.  But I am not getting paid to educate children.  I expect official correspondence being sent from schools to be practically perfect with respect to spelling, grammar and facts.  It only takes a moment to proofread one’s own work, and a moment or two more to have someone else read through it a second time.  It is hypocritical to expect high school students to turn in error-free work with respect to spelling and grammar when schools don’t even hold their own employees to the same standard.

And I don’t care what the policy is, I will not be wearing a tube top.

Suit Up: There’s A First (Or Third) Time For Everything

My son has never been a suit and tie (or short hair) kind of guy.  In fact, I can recall only two occasions on which he has ever worn a suit.  The first was his First Communion (Spring 2004):

The second was the Kids Inaugural Ball, also called the We Are the Future Concert (January 2009, notice the tie has been removed):

Three years later, his aversion to short hair and (what I would call) nice clothes seemed just as strong.  I submit as Exhibit A video of him singing I Want You To Want Me in January, 2012.  You need not even turn up the volume.  Just focus on the hair:

 

You can imagine my shock, therefore, when he told me a few days ago that he’d like to get his hair cut like Fox Mulder from The X-Files.  I have always let him decide how long (or, theoretically, short) to keep his hair and, as you may have noticed above, even allowed him to bleach it.  In the grand scheme of things, I consider personal forms of expression like hairstyles not worth worrying about.  I do put my foot down when it comes to shooting heroin into his eyeballs, though (he just interrupted to ask me to point out that was a Love Actually reference, and not something he has ever actually done).

Given that he had decided to cut his hair short, I thought perhaps he might be open to buying a suit since, in my opinion, every young man ought to have a suit in his closet.  To my further astonishment, he agreed to go shopping.  He also (reluctantly) agreed to allow me to document the day with before and after photos:

Above is the before photo.  Below, obviously, is the after photo.  Just below that is the photo of David Duchovny he showed the hairstylist (surprisingly not everyone on the planet carries around a mental image of Fox Mulder).

Special thanks to Judy at Ernst & Company Hair Salon in Springfield, Virginia (picture below) as well as Nathan at JoS. A. Bank in Falls Church, Virginia.

One Kid, One Click, One Song, One Dollar (Donate Now!)

UPDATE:  Problems reported with song downloads have been corrected as of 8 December 2011.  Thank you for your patience!!!

DISCLAIMER:  It’s WAY more than one click, but it made for a catchy title.

Download The Song Now For Only A Dollar!

This year on Halloween, my 15-year-old son’s girlfriend of almost a year broke up with him.  He was absolutely devastated, and rightly so.  She was his first love, and one of the first people to have befriended him as he entered both a new school system and high school.  It was a classic story of opposites attracting:  she’s a ballerina, petite and soft-spoken, he’s a loud and obnoxious guitar-playing rocker.  He spent most of the week acting out at school, being as sullen and as rude as he possibly could, but by Friday he decided to surprise everyone and do something he’d rarely, if ever, done in his entire life:  a completely selfless act.  He committed to giving up the next three Saturdays to spend rehearsing and recording a song for the Love Hope Strength Foundation, whose primary purpose is to register bone marrow donors.

Download The Song Now For Only A Dollar!

November 5th and 12th were five-hour rehearsals at the School of Rock in Vienna, Virginia.  Anton’s time commitment was even more surprising to me given that I was in Denver for BlogCon 2011 on the 12th and he had a two-hour commute by bus and subway (each way).  On November 19th, my kid and twelve amazing others finally got to put all their hard work on tape at Cue Studios in Falls Church, Virginia.  They recorded a cover of Lean On Me, which is presented below for your listening pleasure, as well as Love Hope Strength, which you can download for $1.  Because all rehearsal and studio costs were covered by the families of these talented kids, 100% of your dollars go to the Love Hope Strength Foundation.

Download The Song Now For Only A Dollar!

So just in case I haven’t convinced you yet that you need to download this song for only a dollar, here’s a video of these thirteen amazing kids during rehearsals and at the recording studio:

And if you’re still not convinced, their cover of Lean on Me, set to a montage of photos shot during rehearsals and recording (because every blog post needs a montage):

Now seriously, Download The Song Now For Only A Dollar!

Special thanks to all the kids who participated:

Ally B., Samantha S., Anton M., Danny D., Trudy P., Shannon F., Richard S., Drew S., Brooke S., Isaac G., Noah F., Abby J., and Alex K.

$#!+ My Kid Says (About Led Zeppelin)

As we were listening to the radio in the car this evening, the first four drum beats of this song came on and my son said “Led Zeppelin”.  I asked him what the name of the song was, and in typical teenage fashion he grunted and said he didn’t know.  I then asked him if he didn’t know what the name of the song was, how did he know it was Led Zeppelin.  He said, with the unquestionable wisdom of a 14-year-old, “I just know”.  He then went on to tell me that it was, and I’m paraphrasing here, “probably one of those songs with a title that has nothing to do with the words in the song”, to which I responded “Oh, like Baba O’Riley?” while he was saying, at the exact same time “like Over the Hills and Far Away“.

And now I’m going to show my ignorance.  I responded “Over the Hills and Far Away?”  To which he replied, “you know, that song we heard on the radio the other day that you said I couldn’t play on the guitar but then we came home and I played it and you were really impressed?”  Oh, yeah, that song.

Anyway, I figure I must be doing something right for him to have developed such a fine taste in music at such a tender age, and for those of you who DIDN’T click on the link, the song is called D’yer Mak’er and he was right, it is one of those songs where the title doesn’t appear in the lyrics.