insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

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Sad Child


Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

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Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

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Advertise Here

Laughing echoes through the corridors. Tones reminiscent of someone who has just severed a head with his bare hands, or snapped a neck with flicks of the wrists, or levied death blows with repeated pugilistic fists. This is not laughter …...

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Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

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A Reasonable Explanation

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That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

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Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

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Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

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When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

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As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

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Filed Under , , on January 18th, 2014

Baby Villain

By Seth Kabala

Laughing echoes through the corridors. Tones reminiscent of someone who has just severed a head with his bare hands, or snapped a neck with flicks of the wrists, or levied death blows with repeated pugilistic fists.

This is not laughter of mirth; it is the calling card of evil triumphing over good. Of sensible-minded people, otherwise good-intentioned folks, finding themselves under the subjugation of the laughing one. In this battle, age is of no consequence.

Psychopathy knows no age minimums or maximums. The sight of a babe wielding Hitler’s power is chilling to the bone.

But then you decide it’s not worth it to argue and risk a temper-tantrum loud enough for the neighbors to run outside checking for tornadoes. You give in to your Baby Girl, because you are a sensible human. It’s for the greater good.

Yes, it’s true. I have a little dictator running my household. Her name is Gabriella Quinn Kabala. She’s two-years-old, and if that Syrian dude ever needs pointers about how to maintain an oppressive regime with only the use of voice affectations and maniacal laughing, Ella’s your gal.

It was Sunday, which, in our household, is the day we get to indulge in more snack food than normal (read: stuff our fucking faces to the point we either asphyxiate or join a competitive eating team). Since Amy and I kill ourselves during the week, we feel this one-day indulgence is the least thing with which we can reward ourselves.

We do not extend the same courtesy to the kids.

Call it a double-standard. It is. I admit it. But we’re adults. We’ve earned the right to bend frickin’ anihilate certain rules at certain times and not extend the same rope to the kids. Why do we do this? There’s a lesson there, but I’ll save it for another column. Suffice it to say that this is, most definitely, a because I can moment.

It was a few minutes to lunch, and Ella wanted a snack. Never mind the fact that she’d already brought the eighth Egyptian plague to our house in human form, mowing through everything within easy reach. She wanted more. I am, shall we say, less than attentive to how much food she eats, so when she ran toward the kitchen, I followed. When she pointed at the fridge and said, “That,” I opened the fridge.

Insert maniacal laughing as she charged forward and claimed her prize, while hapless Dad stood by with a meh expression on his face.

This got me thinking about similar situations in the workplace. How many times have we engaged in tunnel vision, refusing to recognize the negative effects playing out due to our lack of attention? How easily we have been manipulated into complacency in a quid pro quo working situation. When we take the position that it’s better to keep the peace and get the easy reward than to buy some earplugs, endure screaming, and get the deep-buried gold, this will produce a better outcome?!

Not in this solar system.

Is it reasonable to request that your professional associates engage in full-disclosure about motives? Absolutely. It is realistic to expect that actual disclosure will leave the lake looking like glass? No fucking way. You won’t be tossing in pebbles; you’ll be launching boulders with trebuchets. Waves will be the least of your problems. Tsunamis are more the order of the day.

I always try not to bring work home with me, but shit happens. Besides, I can fire the work problems. My family? Those would be some high legal bills.

Because I was a lazy turd that Sunday, I got all kinds of shit from Ella the next day, when I refused to give in to her every whim. (Yes, folks. I am capable of saying no. Just ask Amy when she gets all up on me wanting sex all the time. … Wait, bad example. Identity crisis. … Let me get back to you with a better one.) But I’m bigger than she is, and I pay her bills, so I have leverage.

What kind of leverage do you have when you can’t–legally–pick someone up and take them to their room? (Oh, man, I’m getting some future viral video ideas right now.) Nothing. You’ll have nothing.

The baby villain pandemic will be in full force.

The joys of laziness?

Fully enjoyed.


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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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