I Bet It’s Difficult for My Co-Workers to Imagine I am Married and Have Kids!

I have caught on to a tradition in my office, since starting there over 3 months ago:

Every Friday afternoon, an “It’s almost the weekend!” email goes out to about 20 people in our department, to help motivate everyone through those last couple of hours. Typically, it’s something like a funny Internet meme or an office-themed comic strip.

Well, last Friday, it was… me.

It was a picture taken of me as I was returning from my lunch break.

Apparently I feel comfortable enough working there now that I have begun wearing Hawaiian shirts on Fridays; not because that’s an official thing we do in our office, but simply because I feel like wearing Jimmy Buffett style clothing when it’s that close to the weekend.

Hey, if it were up to me, I’d be wearing a Hawaiian shirt to work every day!

I’m not sure my wife would approve though; even if my co-workers encouraged such Dave Coulier behavior.

And this is actually something I’ve been thinking about, as one of my co-workers recently commented, “Nick, I wonder what your wife must be like? Is she normal? How does she handle being married to you?

My immediate response to her: “And don’t forget… I have two kids, as well! Imagine me being in charge of two young human beings!”

When you spend 40 hours a week working next to the same people 5 days a week, it can be easy to assume that version of them is the default. And to some degree, the “work version” of me does bleed over to the “family version” that my wife and kids know.

In both cases, I believe in being structured and focused, yet optimistic and creative.

But I bet it’s difficult for my co-workers to imagine I am married and have kids.

I think to some degree, even I’m confused:

How do I consistently co-exist on a daily basis, as different versions of myself?

The daytime version at my office versus the evening version with my family.

I wonder now, in reality, if there’s even much of a difference?

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How My Song “Dudes From Different Latitudes” Surprisingly Ended Up Being on Lifetime’s “This Time Next Year” (Lyrics Included)

Even though I was just one of 6 guests featured on the Episode 6 of “This Lifetime Next Year”, the episode was actually named after the song I wrote for my 7 minute segment of the show. Here’s what’s interesting though: That song was more of an accident, an afterthought, and a shot-in-the-dark attempt to introduce the world to my jingle-writing abilities.

Since I found my doppelganger earlier on in the year, yet I was still expected to keep submitting weekly video diary entries for my journey, I decided to have a little fun. I figured, “Hey, if I’m going to be on national TV, then I might as well make everyone aware I have a special talent of writing theme songs and jingles. This is my big chance…”

So I wrote a theme song for my portion of the episode and submitted it to my producer that week.

Then about a week of wondering if anyone had even seen it, the producer was asked me to bring my guitar to perform the song on stage in front of the audience, for the final recording of the episode.

For the next couple of months, I practiced that song until it became muscle memory. It was important to me that I sang perfectly on key, on rhythm, and didn’t need a 2nd take when it was recorded for the show.

Fortunately, my obsessive practice paid off and I was very pleased with the performance.

And here’s what’s funny to me about all this:

The whole episode was about me meeting my doppelganger, yet the majority of the feedback and the hype I’ve been receiving online from people who have seen my episode has been more about the song that I wrote and performed about actually meeting my doppelganger.

And apparently, the producer of the show recognized that the song was important, because not only was the episode named after the song, but the thumbnail they chose to promote the episode on their website is of me playing the song.

I am happy that the world now knows about talent for writing theme songs. This is not my first go at this.

Back a few years ago, I wrote and performed the theme songs for both of my children’s series on YouTube:

Jack-Man

Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest 

My inspiration for the title of the song, by the way, was Jimmy Buffett’s 1977 song, “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes”. Because after all, British Columbia in Canada is undeniably a different latitude than Tennessee.

So yes, the song was the result of me deciding to make things a little extra exciting for my 7 minutes of fame. It was a plan that came together and turned out even better than I had hoped.

I guess “Dudes From Different Latitudes” became an unexpected hit!

Here are the lyrics:

Perfect strangers, doppelgangers, it was just their fate

A soup package, a text message, a Facebook friend request

Dudes from different latitudes, Canada and America

Same face from another place, identical twins but they’re no kin

Dudes from different latitudes

 

If We Couldn’t Laugh We Would All Go Insane

May 16, 2014 at 10:36 pm , by

3 and a half years!

Dear Jack,

Have you noticed how many of our stories that I write to you about take place in the car? It’s because the car is our exclusive “meeting place.”

It’s our… mobile tree house.

It’s our place to be quiet together, as well as our place to laugh together about silly stuff we make up on the spot.

Finding ways to make life fun is important. After all, a wise man from Alabama once said, “If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”

More on that in just a second…

By me driving you to and from school each day, I get to know a version of you that perhaps Mommy doesn’t- all because I’m the one driving you.

In an attempt to make it quality time for us, I wanted to find a style of music on SiriusXM that we both could appreciate and that would make the drive fun and relaxing.

I assumed our favorite station would be jazz… but it wasn’t.

Instead, it’s channel 24: Radio Margaritaville.

Basically, every third song is Jimmy Buffett. The rest fall into the categories of mellow rock and/or reggae; including Jack Jackson, Dave Matthews Band, and Bob Marley.

Before discovering Radio Margaritaville, you didn’t like me having the radio on for more than a few minutes.

Now, with Jimmy Buffett and friends, you never ask me to turn the radio off. You make it a game to try to figure out when it’s Jimmy Buffet singing the song:

“Who’s singing this song, Daddy? Jimmy Buffett?”

Son, I think you and I are becoming Parrotheads.

Fate would have it that back in December 2011, we did a road trip from Naples to Key West in a Chevy Volt; which now that think about it, was my very first car review.

It was such an awesome trip. We got to experience driving across the Florida Keys and got to stay in cool, old house from the 1930s with a spiral staircase. Jimmy Buffet kind of stuff.

Back then, in December 2011, you had just turned 1. So you don’t remember any of that. It was also your first trip to the beach.

As of today, you are officially 3 and a half. By this point, you are actually going to be remembering our family road trips; like the one we have coming up next month, from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe.

We can be father and son Parrotheads there. But I better grow a pencil thin mustache first…

 

Love,

Daddy

 

P.S. Happy 3rd (and a half) Birthday!

dad from day one: Actor Turned Director

Twenty-nine weeks.

It took me 12 straight days to teach myself to solve the Rubik’s Cube; it was during this time that my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby.  Of course, we didn’t tell anyone until over a month later, but during my “learn to solve a Rubik’s Cube” phase, I had several people crack themselves up with this joke: “If you’ve got the time and patience to solve that thing, it’s time for you to have a kid!”  And they were right.  My instincts were making it obvious that like so many actors, the time eventually arrives when it’s time to dabble with directing.

(Cue the song “In My Life” by The Beatles as the proper soundtrack as you read the rest of this post.  It’s officially my favorite song ever.)

I can look back on my life with satisfaction, knowing that my accomplishments have outweighed my failures and regrets.  I have met all kinds of interesting people from all over the world (most of whom are facebook friends).  I understand the meaning of life.  I am solid in my beliefs on the afterlife.  I have married the woman I am meant to be with.  I can now solve the Rubik’s Cube in two minutes and twenty-five seconds.  And though this paragraph may resemble a goodbye letter to the world as I prepare for my life to come to an end like I’m 90 years old, I recognize that in some ways life as I know it will end, as it transforms into a new one.  A more meaningful one.  From “me” to “dad”.

On top of all this, I’m about a half a year away from turning 30, so yeah, I’d say it’s time for things to stop being about me so much and more about someone else.  I have been the protagonist, but soon I will become a full-time director.  All of life has prepared me to this new role.  The cynic could see it as circular reasoning- that you spend your youth learning how to become a responsible adult, and then once you do, you just do it all over again with modified little reruns of yourself running around.

But I would say the cynic is still under the assumption that life is all about him- that life either simply ends when he dies or that hopefully when he dies, he’s been “good enough to get to Heaven” or that at least Hell won’t be that bad, but instead just a big party where the temperature is slightly hotter than desired while Jimmy Buffett plays an eternal concert and the margaritas are never-ending.

If anything, I could see how raising a kid will be a redeeming and cleansing process, helping me to see how little I truly know, helping me to appreciate my family and childhood teachers more, helping me to straighten out my priorities even more, helping me to ultimately give more than I take.  I could see how this baby will ironically make me a better adult.  And how the humility of changing diapers is only a small part of this evolution of my life.

And yes, Baby Jack will probably already know how to solve a Rubik’s Cube before he gets to Kindergarten.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

Escape (The Pina Colada Song) from a Logical Perspective, Finally

It’s time to literally think through the lyrics of the Rupert Holmes’ 1979-1980 hit, “Escape”.  A song that many of us thought was called “If You Like Pina Coladas” and was performed by Jimmy Buffett.

Many people in the history of modern civilization have claimed there are two kinds of people in the world. But through much research and toil on my part, I have learned truly what the defining line of what these two kinds are. An overwhelming number believe it is whether or not you like Pina Coladas. Those people are not looking at the big picture. They are only looking at the “here and now”, what is sweet, and smooth, and relaxing- exotic, even.

There are also those believe it is whether or not you like getting caught in the rain. They are able to go through the rest of the day with wet socks and not be bothered by it. Those are the free spirited who are always able to take moldy lemons and make fresh lemonade. That is a good thing, but is it consistent?

Then are those who believe it all comes down whether or not you are into yoga. It’s just that it seems a little judgmental “to put someone in a box” because they may or may not be into a trendy form of mental, physical, and spiritual exercise. I think it’s a given that some people are just better cut out for Pilates or Tai-Bo.

Rupert Holmes

Perhaps the most controversial outlook is the one that says it depends on whether or not you have half a brain. I would have to think that anyone who can read this has a half a brain. But is that the true question? Most scientists say we only use 10% of our brain. And that even geniuses only use 20%. So is it a matter of how much a brain you have, or how much of it that you use? It seems if you have half a brain but use 100% of it, then you’re much better off them someone who has a whole brain and uses 10%. The whole “half a brain/whole brain” is simply a theory with too many holes in it.

So what is the answer? There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape, and those who do not. No questions asked. I mean, you’ve seen Napoleon Dynamite and you think of the scene where his grandma goes four-wheeling in the dunes of Idaho and breaks her coccyx. But those dunes are nowhere near a cape. Nevermind that you don’t exactly know what a cape is. It obviously has something to do when some sort of a peninsula type of land mass. It’s always near an ocean.

Except for Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It’s on the border of Illinois and the Mississippi River. Nevermind that not only do you have to find a dune, that happens to be near a cape, but that it also has to be at midnight. You have to get past that.

Come to terms with whether or not you’ve made love so many times at midnight in the dunes of the cape that now you can officially say you like to do that. An even bigger question arises with Cape San Blas, FL, which is located directly on the Central Time/Eastern Time border. Depending on exactly which side of the time zone you are on, it could be either 11:00 PM, 12:00 AM, or 1:00 AM. And what if one lover is on the Eastern Time Zone side but the other is on Central, then you’ve really got a problem.

Just don’t think about how dangerous it could possibly be to be in a vulnerable position outside at night in some sort of cave near sand. Don’t think about wild coyotes, jellyfish, or pirates. If and when you do figure that out, then and only then, you’ll know which kind of person you are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_(Rupert_Holmes_song)

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on pina coladas, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one