Friday, January 27, 2012

Second-Hand Boogers: Hand Me Downs

I saw a picture today that made me think. It was a picture of my brother-in-law holding up a skateboard covered in Hello Kitty stickers. It's my niece's first skateboard, and he couldn't look happier in the picture. My niece is only two and a half, but he's ready to get her started. I know they'll both enjoy every second of it. It made me think about what I might hand down to Casey. Even as I write this, I'm not entirely sure.

I'm not even talking about genetic stuff. She has a sense of humor, and she's already an asshole, so I've passed that down. I'm thinking more in the realm of things we can do together. I never had that with my parents, but I have friends who have baseball with their dads, or crocheting with their moms. My girlfriend is in a roller derby league, and she wants to teach Casey how to skate. I finally gave in, and we should see the result of that soon.

I feel like my hand me down will be observation. I study things and people. We play a game in the car. I find something, and I ask if she can see it. If we're driving, she asks if we can play. Observation seems like a broad thing to share, but it's a huge part of who I am. Observation helps me write. It gives me ideas and subjects to focus on, and it helps me to break down those ideas and find the nuances that lead me to many discoveries. Observation helps me on my podcasts. It gives me insight into what I'm talking about, and it lets me express myself in detailed thoughts.

Observation makes me a better thinker. It makes movie watching more exciting. I notice small details that may come up later or lead me to what the outcome might be. It makes comedy more exciting. I watch a stand-up like a coach watches game film. I see ticks and movements. I notice little pauses and inflections that make the delivery of a joke brilliant. Without observation, we wouldn't have George Carlin, Louis C.K., Richard Lewis, Kevin Hart or any of the brilliant comedians we've seen over the past few decades.

Observation lets you know what another person is going to do or say before they do or say it. It helps in sales, comedy, acting, customer service, management or any avenue you can take in life. I plan to make her a thinker. I'll teach her how to study anything, and to trust her instincts. I think it's going to be a fun thing for us to share. I hope she enjoys that as much as I do.

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