Superheroes and Superpowers Weekender

Been awhile (again) since the last linkie...

Hands up, whose kids get influenced by all kinds of media stuff, at least some of which you would rather stick 'em in a hole so they never hear of, much less Google it........

Because he'd found Scratches of Batman v Superman among others, Rockstar had a mild fascination with Superman in particular (he says Batman is too cynical about life so he prefers the alien). Thus began our conversation about powers:

Rockstar: .....So d'you think the real guy in the Superman movies also has powers? I mean like, super strength and speed, just not the flying or heat vision? D'you think there could really be superheroes from science accidents?  

Me: They're actors. Sure some actors have to be especially physically fit for the role, but the original guy who played Superman was only acting as Superman.... right up until he had an accident in real life that is.

The late great Christopher Reeve as the original Superman

The late great Christopher Reeve as the original Superman - pic from

And then he became a real life superhero.

A year after a fall while riding left him paralysed from the neck down, Christopher Reeve appears onstage at the 68th Academy Awards to prolonged standing ovation

A year after a fall while riding left him paralysed from the neck down, Christopher Reeve appears onstage at the 68th Academy Awards to prolonged standing ovation - pic from

Superheroes exist in real life, they just don't wear costumes. Or rather, instead of colourful spandex, cape and an irritating cowlick, their "costumes" look more like wheelchairs or a lack of limbs.  

I've mentioned this guy before; aside from being a motivational speaker, he also appears to talk to teenagers with body issues - pic from

I've mentioned this guy before; aside from being a motivational speaker in general, he mentions counselling teenagers with body issues - pic from

Motivational speaker Nick Vujicic talks about how he has no limbs, and yet can fly (having travelled to countless countries as a motivational speaker)

We got the childrens' books too; Nick Vujicic talks about how he has no limbs, and yet can fly (having travelled to countless countries as a motivational speaker)

It's terrifying, yet true bravery, achievement and heroism is only through strife. Life sucks <shrugs>. I mean, something that costs you nothing is worth just that <shrugs again>. (Like I said, Life Sucks, but...)

Grumpy Cat agrees!

Grumpy Cat* agrees!

(*On an aside, Tardar Sauce or, to use her celebrity name Grumpy Cat, Internet and Meme Phenom, is an accomplished coffee table and self help book model.)

In David and Goliath (which is, among others, a book about underdogs and how sometimes they're "underdogs" only through our eyes), Malcolm Gladwell talks about the secret advantage of "disability". Gary Cohn, President and COO of Goldman Sachs whose life and career experiences are cited in the book, has described his dyslexia, "I wouldn't be where I am today without my disability."

I mean, isn't this just a freaking ugly cat. Hello, national tv.

I mean, isn't this Just One Freaking Ugly Cat. Besides Fox News there's probably also an Ellen spot in there, and you know NASA's gonna wanna talk to this thing. (It's a real cat, right? Not like, an alien?)

In other words...

Milk it, Baby.


pics from 50 Funniest Grumpy Cat Memes.

Ok, I'm sorry, while messing with the Memes I found another one I have to further digress with:

I mean, of course Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Tom Cruise have public Facebook accounts

Of course Jesus, Moses, Vishnu, Buddha, Steve Jobs and Tom Cruise have Facebook accounts and want to be your Friend. And I think God is on Twitter, along with the Mars Rover.

From Best Memes 2012 (this is my out for showing this horrible thing. "Jesus" btw is Facebook Update-ing a line from New God Flow, off Kanye West's Cruel Summer album.)

There's a convoluted aside in there about how when your kids are old enough to read there will come a time when you will not want them to. Then again:

How many words do you need for this?

How many words do you need for this?

This is from Daredevil Teens Take Extreme Selfie Video. It doesn't say, but I suppose this might be illegal, and a little risky to life and limb?

Oh, I'm no fun?  Just a sec while I post these, before I respond to that:

15160_212818956702_964566_n-2 15160_212805726702_5109828_n-2 15160_212805756702_2342404_n-2  15160_212881301702_2824236_n-2

Old blog post here, video here.

(Formatting - this is not too long after we first moved the blog to WordPress, having been on Kings' old dream blog platform that he aspired to build, back then - Kings transferred the early posts hurriedly and without telling me, when he first decided to leave off the platform, which basically meant I would then lose the blog a few years in... Yes that's why I even have one - the hub once needed an experimental blog to slice and dice. The blog has been taken apart and nearly flatlined more than once.)

Now back to my point about the Daredevil Teens: No these aren't cool abilities, these kids are being incredibly irresponsible. They could get hurt, they could inspire other kids to try it and get hurt. (In fact, some already have.) So says the boring, gutless, near-middle-aged, otherwise-relatively-social-media-shying little killjoy who jumped out a plane at 15,000 feet.

(Remember I said I started out blogging only because the hub needed a Frankinblog to take apart? That included building traffic, but that was the worst bit because I couldn't sleep when the blog first got publicised. Now I at least think it's good for something - pressure to keep my thoughts (and typing) in check as I parent, in a way I can't do if I have less accountability and can say anything without publicly signing my name to it. It forces me to "clean up my act".

Can't remember which famous motivational speaker I first heard say it - you can't parent effectively with hypocrisy. The kids won't listen to you (hell, even without the hypocrisy it's almost impossible to get them to listen to you). I think it's going to be a few more years of not getting arrested for stuff just because you don't want your kids to go to jail (:D this is of course an exaggeration - I remember a mummy boss heading a mid-sized dealing room who bemoaned her loss of tv privileges when her 10 year old had exams - see how LIFE SUCKS? Kids are incredibly selfish, incapable of being blind to your transgressions even as you proceed to ban them from tv, alcohol, candy, recreational drugs, boyfriends/girlfriends, social media gossip, Candy Crush, smoking, spending too much on clothes/shoes/devices/buying pets/buying cars/buying tvs/ buying computers/ buying cellphones ok you get my drift :P)

For real though - every time you "like" one of these Daredevil Teen things on social media, you are another (otherwise) unnamed stranger encouraging someone else's kid to take a horrible risk. Nope, I never thought of it this way either, until someone with 4 teenaged children mentioned it.

It's a myth, that you need ti do something a little "naughty" to get that adrenaline kick. This one's done with a fully qualified instructor who does about 12 jumps a day

It's a myth adrenaline is illegal.

Here's a "daredevil" teen/tween who got his kicks being um, just very hardworking at the tasks he was given:

Will Smith's son Jaden Smith in Karate Kid with Jackie Chan

Will Smith's son Jaden Smith in Karate Kid with Jackie Chan

I remember once watching Jackie Chan on B-roll telling Chris Tucker off for not switching his cell phone off during filming, and on another clip expressing disapproval at a young pretty co-star for having the giggles and wasting film. Each time he used the word "unprofessional". And so when he said the quote below about Jaden Smith having described how he had his trusted staff observe the then-tween on-set during filming of Pursuit of Happyness for 3 months before taking his dad Will Smith up on doing Karate Kid with him:

"He can take the pain. He can take whatever we teach him. Even when he's crying, he still does it... I think he's the luckiest boy in the world, but he deserves it..."

Respect  this little kid ok. (And I have Rockstar to thank for coming across this)

Justin Bieber's Never Say Never. Never mind what I think of JB and his hair, this one features Jaden Smith's rap:

"...I been tryin'a chill, they been tryin'a sour the thrill; No pun intended I was raised by the Power of Will; So now I got the world at my hand, I was born of two stars so the moon's my land..."

Love the rap. Thought it was especially significant how he owned it, acknowledged his privileged upbringing without being intimidated by his parents' stardom, and then just worked his little butt off anyway. How would you like it if your dad called Jackie Chan for you? Thrilled? Yeah, for like, 5 minutes, before you maybe start to hyperventilate about everyone's expectations and oh yeah, don't forget you are 11 years old. (Jaden Smith btw is Will Smith's second son, his eldest is an accomplished DJ with his own acronym, AcE, who was once offered a sports scholarship to college (that he turned down)).

I had the privilege of working/ being acquainted with a few people who had mega-successful parents and they sometimes hated for people to mention their familial connections (because they were super-sensitive about anyone thinking they didn't get where they were on their own steam), or feel extremely intimidated or pressured professionally to keep up - regardless of anything their own parents said or did. 

While Malcolm Gladwell acknowledges the secret advantage of disability, I also think there is a secret disadvantage to privilege. (Think how difficult it is to "just have fun" on the soccer field if you grow up David Beckham's son.)  

Oh...kay. Lemme see if I can possibly find my way back to the original point, which was.... erm....  Superheroes and Superpowers. Rockstar's original question about powers.

Oh, look. Another alien with powers.

Oh, look. Another Alien with Powers. pic from

Urban legend has it the late great Leonard Nimoy was so convincing as Dr Spock in Star Trek that he wanted to quit, after receiving fan mail from a little boy facing critical illness who so believed in Dr Spock's powers that he wrote to Mr Nimoy beseeching to be healed.

Yet while the power to heal was not at those fingertips so famously poised in Vulcan greeting, Mr Nimoy is remembered as a gifted artist, author, and person, in some pretty memorable quotes. My favourites:

"You proceed from a false assumption: I have no ego to bruise."

"Whatever I have given, I have gained...... The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have."

Have a good week ahead, dears. pic from Wikipedia

Have a good week ahead, dears. pic from Wikipedia

ps: I know, I know. Pic of the kids before I get complaints 😉

Miss-Skit is titled Miss Does A Wally:

Where ISS... the MiSS...

Where ISS... the MiSS...

(Red Herring alert)

(Red Herring alert. Major.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Of Books And Covers

This is a picture of The Rockstars tripping off to camp one morning.


The Miss is in an asymmetrical hem-water colour print Betsey Johnson dress embellished with studs scored online heavily marked down, for HKD 100-something (seriously). To commemorate the occasion, she eschewed her usual purple Nikes in favour of Rockstar's shearling Uggs which she has laid claim to, having scored the boots after rummaging through our shoe cabinet one morning.

We don't ever remember a younger Rockstar wearing those, we bought them from some giant warehouse as a standby one snowy vacation, in case his sneakers weren't warm enough when he wasn't in ski boots (he spent most of his ski camp days in ski boots). The Miss considers them a favour well earned, after excavating the deepest bowels of our cabinet, pulling those on and declaring them a perfect fit. Free Favourite Boots. She loves taking over Rockstar's hand-me-downs and making them her own.

Rockstar is eagerly going for a coding course originally for 11-15 year olds (but in an area he's familiar with hence the coding school said it would be ok; otherwise we would definitely not try this) - in the clothes he slept in, the previous night. He observed it was "great" his pyjamas were wearable to camp the next day. (Obviously this was a matter of opinion but Pick Your Battles, Aileen.)

Which just about sums up what these two are like.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

How To Be An American Ninja (Or, An Ode To Death By Dodgeball)

From Wikipedia: "A ninja (忍者?) or shinobi (忍び?) was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. The functions of the ninja included: espionagesabotageinfiltrationassassination and guerrilla warfare.[1] Their covert methods of waging irregular warfare were deemed "dishonorable" and "beneath" the samurai-caste, who observed strict rules about honor and combat..."[

I blame the Americans. Without the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and GI Joe (they get a couple ninjas to serve in the US army), and That Whole Hugely-Entertaining-But-Completely-Torturing-Japanese-History-To-Death American Ninja Warriors our kids would not all want to be ninjas. I mean, lookit:

This is Work, People. (pic from

This is Work, People. (pic from

I realise you might not recognise my daughter under all that hair. (pic from

(pic from

Yup, and here the rockstars at the newly-renovated Ryze Trampoline Park:
Why, yes, he jumped from the other rope sack

Why, yes, he jumped from the other rope sack

IMG_5471 IMG_5480   IMG_5472 IMG_5473 IMG_5485 IMG_5484

Xena Warrior Princess - no, scratch that, we aren't allowed to call her Princess, she currently goes by Queen Elsa (seriously - because Queen Elsa has powers and runs a country) - has about 4-5 serious meltdowns in this place on average, per 1 hour session, now the Ninja Pit is up. This is because she gets really, really angry when she can't do the stunts.

Oh, and I need to qualify another thing about her accepted moniker - Rockstar and boys in general are not allowed to refer to her as such. To all boys, she is Little Miss Rockstar. Only girls may address her Highness as the Queen. This is because boys do not have the respect for Queen Elsa that girls do. (Which is actually true - you can almost hear Rockstar's Sniff Of Disdain when he so much as looks at anything Frozen.)

IMG_5468 IMG_5438 IMG_5432   IMG_5465

Guess how he's getting down from there.

Guess how he's getting down from there.

This - right here this - is why good people end up sending their kids to this Place of Torture For Hapless Dads. I name it such because there used to be a Dodgeball pit here. Every so often some poor dad decides to be all on-the-ball Cool Fun Dad and steps into the Dodgeball arena....... Whereupon all the kids predictably turn on him.

Fresh Meat For The Lions! Let's annihilate The Dad! Fun! This is because as a Cool Fun Dad On Your Day Off From Work you kinda have to swallow it when kids hurl balls at your head as hard as their skinny little arms'll let them. Usually, they won't even be your kids. Usually also, when a Mum goes in, none of the kids really dare to go after her because she's probably going to scold everyone for throwing balls in the dodgeball pit. "It. Doesn't Matter. What. Dodgeball. Issabout. No. Throwing."

An interesting observation about social practice and parenting in Hong Kong, lots more dads are the ones away working and when they get back the kids take advantage 😀 The mums are more likely to be the - Don't You Dare Hit My Child With A Ball. You Want To Die Issit? - and the - Son. Daughter. No Throwing Things. Don't You Dare Throw Balls. You Want To Die Issit?  - Parents. (This paragraph was audited by Rockstar. A Dodgeball veteran, he has pronounced this "completely true.")

We'll call this an Ode To The Dads, Some Of Whom Were Also Responsible For Foam Pits Being Shut Down When They Attempted Trampoline Jumps And Lost Their IPhones And Watches In There.

Alas, we knew them well.

But What A Way To Go.

But What A Way To Go.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment