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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Car radio

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

Our kids attend AWANA Club. AWANA is a great program for kids, but it gets out pretty late, so after arriving home, we put the kids to bed a short time later. When I turned to hug Ella, our two-year-old, …...

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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

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's 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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Arrow, signs, not, my, fault, shifting, blame

Filed Under , , on September 13th, 2014

Blankets, Bags, and Blame-Shifting

By Seth Kabala

Our kids attend AWANA Club. AWANA is a great program for kids, but it gets out pretty late, so after arriving home, we put the kids to bed a short time later. When I turned to hug Ella, our two-year-old, goodnight, I misjudged her position and clocked her in the head with my elbow. She acted like she was fine, then started sobbing a couple seconds later. Waves of guilt washed over me like a horde of fat, 250lb high-school defensive linemen pinning a 130lb tailback who decided too late he should have stuck with cross-country.

I, however, quickly adopted the role of muscled, 250lb superhero who can do no wrong, only donning my 130lb tailback disguise as a ruse to distract my enemies. Once the veil is dropped, all are subject to the full range of my powers, which in this case was giving Ella the really? look, for, turned out, she was only crying because Amy had taken her blanket away earlier in the evening due to misbehavior, and Ella was going to let me take the blame.

I work hard at my idiocy, but I do possess a modicum of knowledge and foresight. In this instance, I foresaw a reocurrence of Ella’s blame-shifting popping up when she announces to Amy and me that she has her first boyfriend. I imagine it will go like this:

Ella: I’m going out later. My boyfriend, Harrison, is picking me up.

Me: Wait a minute. Your wha– Your boyfriend?

Ella: Oh, it’s totally cool, Dad. He’s a writer and musician, like you.

Me: Has he made any money writing or performing?

Ella: Did you make money when you first started?

Me: Don’t dodge. I’m asking the questions here.

Ella: He’s super talented. (has big smile on face, looks out window, sees something, then all of a sudden starts crying)

Me: Why are you crying?

Amy: (to me) This is exciting news, and we need to find out what’s going on before we jump to conclusions.

Me: Jump to conclusions? Who’s jumping to conclusions? I haven’t concluded anything; I’ve just asked two questions: who is this pervert, and why is she crying?

Ella: It’s just, you know, when I make big emotional decisions like this, I need a lot of support. I need my friends and my peers to gather around me and just transfer their energy to me. (Apparently my daughter becomes some sort of new-age loony-tune. Thank God this is fiction. A knock at the door. I answer the door. Standing there is a fit, tall, sharply-dressed, sharply-styled young man.)

Me: Can I help you?

Harrison: My name is Harrison Wellington III (says this with extreme confidence and fantastic diction). I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m–

Me: (flat tone) Dating my daughter? Yes. We just heard. (stare-down for 10 seconds)

Harrison: Wonderful. Do you mind if I come in for a few minutes?

Me: (I stand aside and gesture for him to walk inside.)

Harrison: El, there you– What’s the matter? Wait a minute. (to me) Did she tell you about the Burberry bag?

Me: Burberry bag?

Harrison: (rolls eyes. Speaks to Ella). El, if things are going to work between us, you need to realize I’m not going to spend $5,000 on a handbag just because I can.

Me: (to Ella) You’re upset about a handbag? Are you even mad at us? (I give her the really? look.)

Ella: (sheepish grin)

I have no idea if Harrison exists, but I like him.



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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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