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Flying Solo

Alissa's back in Norman with Sam, getting our new house ready and settling in. I've been in LA all week, wrapping things up at MTV and seeing a few friends before I head East. Work has been slow, but I've enjoyed the time to relax a bit and recharge for all the work ahead.

Last night my friend Jeff and I took a ride up Sullivan Ridge at sunset. I've been doing these MTB rides with Jeff occasionally over the last several years. He's a huge MTB junkie, and started loaning me a bike as a means to get someone to go along with him. After the first ride, I didn't need much encouragement. The Santa Monicas are even more beautiful from the fire roads and although I can't keep up with Jeff on the single track, I still enjoy the change in scenery. Last night was no exception.

We headed out at dusk, just as the last of the riders, runners and walkers were coming off the hill. The sun was setting and the skies were finally clear, after days of rain. We chatted a bit and then the conversation slowed as we started the climb, warming up slowly. The fire road runs along the backbone of Sullivan Ridge, one of the many southern ridges of the Santa Monicas that dip down into Brentwood and Pacific Palisades, and offer easy access to the dozens of miles of trails above. As we climbed, rabbits and small birds scurried into the bushes on either side of the road, and occasionally a deer would bound into the brush ahead of us. The air was cool and smelled of sage, after the rain. I couldn't help thinking how much I'll miss things like this about LA; the ability to go from the bustle of the big city to the hush of the wilderness in a matter of minutes.

After about 45 minutes of riding, we reached dirt Mullholland, where we could look down into the San Fernando Valley. As we sat watching traffic crawl along down below, Jeff reached into his pack and pulled out a big bottle of Fat Tire Ale, which we shared before turning around and heading down. By then it was dark, so we switched on our head lamps and started the descent. Flying along in the blackness, with only a small circle of light to mark the path ahead was both scary and thrilling, like a fantastic roller coaster ride. Initially I pumped the brakes cautiously at every turn, but gradually I allowed myself to relax and let the bike do the work. Before long, we were screaming down the hill, laughing like a couple of kids. At the bottom I could feel the adrenaline pounding through my veins and a part of me wanted to climb back up the hill and do it again. But it was getting late, and we both had plans for the night.

So we packed up the bikes and headed home, buzzing with the energy of the effort. Jeff promised we'd do it again tomorrow night, one last time before I go. I know I'll miss these little moments here more than almost anything else about LA. Flying along in the cool air above the city lights, focused on the simplicity of turning the pedals, feeling my cares fall away.


Moving Day

Operation Boomer Sooner is moving ahead at a breakneck pace. The movers have been here since this morning, and most of the apartment is packed and ready to go. Tomorrow they'll load the van and head East. We'll fly to North Carolina on Friday for Kerry & Kristin's wedding and on Sunday Alissa will fly back to Norman to meet the moving van. I'll come back to LA for one more week of work, then I'll drive cross-country with the dog and reunite with the family. It's definitely going to be a busy couple of weeks.

Anyway, since we're here today without Sammy (he's back in Norman with his grandparents) I thought I'd post some recent photos of him. We miss the little guy terribly, and can't wait to get home and see him again. In the meantime, we've got his winning smile to keep us company.

(click on the photo for a slideshow)
hello there!


Big Changes

This won't be news to most of you, since I've been trying to keep our friends and family up to date on our latest bombshell. But since the blog has been woefully out of date, I figured it was about time I got around to updating the rest of the world on our news.

A few weeks ago, I accepted a job with Ackerman McQueen advertising in Oklahoma City. Alissa, Sam and I will be moving back to Norman next week. We honestly could not be happier about this latest chapter in our lives. We've dreamed for years of moving back to Oklahoma and raising a family in the state where we were both born. But we never thought it would be possible. Suddenly though, the opportunity presented itself and we seized it.

Not only was I able to find a job with an incredible company, but this new career will allow me to draw from and build upon, the skills I've acquired over the last 10 years. In my new position I'll be running a new media company, a challenge that is both intimidating and thrilling. It will be a fast-paced, highly charged environment, but I've always done my best work when I've been pushed to my limits, and I don't think this will be any exception. I'll be working long hours and traveling often, but at the end of the day I'll be able to come back to Norman, to a home and a family in a place I truly love.

Alissa and I have also been able to buy a house, which is something we've both dreamed of doing but never thought we'd achieve, at least not in the insane real estate market of Southern California. Unbelievably, we closed on a home last Friday, an experience that was so surreal that I'm still pinching myself just to make sure it wasn't a dream. The house we bought is a gorgeous 4 bedroom ranch, with loads of room for kids. It's also directly across the street from our closest friends in Norman, Mark & Jen, who also have 2 daughters Sam's age. It's all so perfect we still can't believe it.

But at the end of the day, this really is what it's all about. We've talked about doing this for years, and now it's finally a reality. Ironically, we worried that our friends and family would think we'd lost our minds to move to Oklahoma from LA, but everyone we've talked to has been supportive and some have even told us that they're jealous of our decision. We'll miss all our good friends here, and we'll miss the mountains and the ocean. But we won't miss the traffic, the high cost of living and all the pollution. And when we're sitting on our front porch back in Oklahoma in a few weeks, watching the sun set and Sam play in the yard, we won't doubt for a second that this was the right thing to do.

(click on the photo below to see more)
American Gothic Redeux


My Day with the Disco Boys

It's a rare rainy day here in Southern California. I rode on my trainer this morning in the garage, so it seems like an appropriate time to reminisce about sunnier days on the bike. Recently I had two incredible opportunities, for a cyclist anyway. A good friend of mine invited me to take part in the ride of a lifetime. I was offered the chance to ride with Lance Armstrong and Team Discovery on their annual Sponsor's Ride, following their 2006 team training camp in Ojai, CA. Needless to say, I leapt at the opportunity. Here are a few photos from the day. (click on the photo below for a slideshow)

Me & George

And this weekend, the same good friend offered me & my dad 2 VIP passes to the Team Discovery tent for the final stage of the inaugural Tour of California, which wrapped up in Redondo Beach, CA. We had incredible views of both the race and the riders, and here are some pictures of it all. (click on the photo below to see more)

George & Floyd share a joke


Swingin' Sammy

We originally just sent this one to the grandparents, but I figured it was blog-worthy anyway. This is Sam making his maiden voyage on the swing at the park a few weeks ago. He LOVES the swing now and he and Alissa visit the park every afternoon so he can get his fix.

Crawling Towards the Cheerios

Nanny & Papa John came to town for the weekend, and they must have brought some magical baby powers with them, because within hours of their arrival Sam started crawling for the first time and eating Cheerios on his own. This was no minor accomplishment for a kid who up until this point seemed to have his crawl gear stuck in reverse and had a gag reflex so sensitive that we were afraid he's never be able to eat solid foods without constantly barfing on himself. Now it looks like we'll be chasing him around the house in no time. And just to be safe, we bought 2 giant boxes of Cheerios since he's eating them as fast as he can get his chubby little fingers on them.

I know it's been a long time since I've blogged anything (once again) but it's been a busy month or so. But I'm going to try and keep up with this, even if it means doing shorter posts more frequently. In the meantime, here's a video of Sam's first crawl, captured on tape for posterity. Enjoy!


Photos Finally

I finally had a chance to sit down and organize the rest of the Christmas pictures. click on the photo blow to see them all.

famiyl photo

Also, here are a few fun ones from the last few days. Enjoy!

the boy in the backpack
Sam hiking with Daddy in his new super-cool backpack!

our little star
Years from now, Sam will think this is funny too.

just hangin' with dad
Just hanging out with Daddy.


The Holiday Whirlwind

I know , I know... It's been WAY too long since I've posted anything new. Christmas has come and gone and it's a whole new year already, and STILL, nothing new. Well, I'm sorry. It's been a bit of a whirlwind around here lately.

Christmas in Oklahoma was wonderful. We had the whole family there and it couldn't have been better. For the first time in a long time, I really felt like we made all the time together count. So often holidays are just a blur of present opening, turkey eating, football watching, etc. But this time it just felt like we managed to slow down, minimize the superficial stuff and spend a lot of really quality time with family. Sam made out like a bandit on his first Christmas, and thanks to all the family that was there, we actually had three separate celebrations. It was great to see everyone and Sam held it together for the most part, which made it a lot easier on us. There we're loads of great moments, but I think my favorite was a joint reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas,' by my Dad & David. Sam didn't appreciate it nearly as much as the rest of us, since he cried through the entire thing. In fact he'll probably be traumatized for years by the story, but it we've got some video that he'll think is hilarious in about 20 years. When we were done terrorizing the baby with Christmas stories, we had an engagement party for Kerry & Kristin, which was really nice. Some old friends I haven't seen in years turned up to wish them the best, and we all had a great time.

Alissa and I stayed in Norman for another week after the holiday and it was great just to spend that time with David & Sheila. Sheila spoiled us rotten with her amazing cooking and we took full advantage of having two extra babysitters around. We had a lot of great walks around Norman and took time to do so many of the things we never have time to do when we're home, rushing from one the to the next. I also think I actually managed to relax and not think about work for a day or two, which is almost unheard of.

On New Year's Eve we drove down to Dallas. I had a production working on location in North Dallas and got the bright idea to stop off on our way down. That was before I realized that North Dallas has exploded into suburbia gone wild, and that the traffic is worse than LA. Somehow we made it to the neighborhood where my crew was working, just in time to catch them packing up and moving on to the next location. I said a few quick hellos and we were off to a party being thrown by some friends of our friends Jen & Mark. We hung out for a few hours, ate their food and drank their beer, then made our way to Fort Worth to ring in the New Year with Alex and Sarah at a small little jazz bar downtown. We both actually managed to stay up until midnight, then went home to pass out like the old people we are. The next day we slept in luxuriously late and then had a fantastic brunch at a really cool little Mexican place out by the stockyards.

We made our way back to Norman and flew home several days later. Sam was great on the flight and we made it home without any international incidents. Since then it's been a whirlwind of unpacking and getting readjusted to life in LA again. I'm off tomorrow for a week on location in Colorado and Alissa is going to Santa Barbara to spend some time with David & Sheila, who are in town for a conference.

Sam is doing great and still growing by leaps and bounds. He turned six months old on Dec. 30th, and it's hard to believe how quickly the days have passed. He's sitting up on his own now, and he's dying to crawl. Every time we sit him down he scoots himself backwards across the floor as fast as he can go. He's got a little work to do on the directional thing, but otherwise, he's pretty much got the hang of it. We still haven't seen any teeth, but he's teething like crazy, so we expect something any day now. He's got his 6th month doctor's appointment tomorrow, so we're get to see how much he's grown since the last visit. We're both betting that he weighs well over 20 lbs. now, which would put him well into the 90th percentile for his age. It also means he's still on track for playing Tight End at OU in about 18 years.

Anyway, here are a few photos from our holiday. (Click on the photo for to see the show.) I'll post more soon. Hope everyone is doing well and that you all had a great Christmas & New Year's.

mommy & farmer ted


Days Go By

It's been a nutty couple of weeks around here. Work has really picked up for me since Thanksgiving, and as we head into the holidays I've got several huge projects going into production. My goal this year is to avoid spending my Christmas break working, so hopefully all my hard work now will mean some down time for me over the break. Alissa and Sam are both doing great and we all can hardly wait to get back to Oklahoma for the holidays. It will be Sam's 1st Christmas and the whole family is converging on Norman to celebrate together. Kristin is also making her first trip to the Sooner State, and my mom is throwing an engagement party for she and Kerry right after Christmas. Aside from all the usual holiday merry-making, we're looking forward to spending some long days by the fire, letting the grandparents catch up on their quality time with Sam, and just enjoying being home. It will be great to be back.

I'm sure we'll have loads of pictures and video to share from the trip. In the meantime, here are a few fun pics from a quality play session Sam and I had yesterday. Click on the photo for more.

smilin' boys


Sam & Santa

Happy Holidays from Sam & Santa!

sam & santa


Thanksgiving Video

Here's a little video from our Thanksgiving holiday. Kerry & Kristin, we made this one especially for you guys, so you could see a little of what you missed. And you were definitely missed!


Thanksgiving Break

I'm sitting in my parents' living room as I write this, enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon and watching the mountains across the valley light up as the sun sets. It's been a picture perfect weekend here this weekend. We've enjoyed loads of great food, had fun visiting with family and taken a much-needed break from our usually hectic life back in LA.

On Thanksgiving Day we had dinner at the home of my Uncle Joe & Aunt Linda, who live 2 blocks away. My cousin Jessica and her husband Vince were also there, along with their son James, who is 18 months old. We had a pretty typical meal, though the presence of two little ones was a new twist on an old family tradition. Sam behaved himself perfectly and we came home afterwards to sit by the fire and watch the incredible stars they have here in the desert at night.

Friday my dad and I rode out to the observatory across the valley and back, which was quite an accomplishment for a guy who's only been riding for a year. Afterwards we soaked in the hot tub before having a really mellow night at home, eating mom's good cooking and watching "Millions," which is one of our favorite films.

Yesterday we watched OU kick OSU's butt, then my folks had a bunch of friends over for dinner to celebrate. Sam celebrated in his own way, capping off an uncharacteristicly mellow day with a complete meltdown right at bedtime. We finally got the little guy down and enjoyed a few hours with family & friends before calling it a night.

Today dad and I got out for another ride, then he and my mom watched Sam while Alissa and I went to see "Rent." (Which was fantastic, by the way.) A little later this afternoon Jessisa, Vince, Alissa and I are turning the kids over to the grandparents and are all going out for a genuine date night in Tucson. It will be a nice end to a great vacation before we head home to the daily routine. In the meantime, here are a few picutres from the weekend. Click on the photo to see the show.

couch potatoes


The Week in Sam

Not too much to report since it's a short week. Tomorrow we're off to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with my mom & dad, A.K.A. Nanny & Papa John. I'm sure we'll have more photos & video when we get back. In the meantime, here are a few quick snaps from the last few days. Click on the photo below to see the rest.



Sunny Sunday

You've gotta love LA in November. It was another perfectly gorgeous day here today, clear as a bell and in the mid-80's. After I finished my morning ride, Alissa and I took Sam & Ham down to Santa Monica for a little stroll. Sam had his usual freak out in the car on the way down, but once we got there he was a happy baby. Here are a couple of fun pictures we took with my camera phone.



On Saturday we had a rare "day date." I'd gotten tickets to see Shakespeare's Globe perform "Measure for Measure" at UCLA Live. The play starred Mark Rylance, who is the artistic director at the Globe Theatre, and is one of the people that Alissa studied with when she was in London during graduate school at Wash U. The way the play was set up, our seats were on the wings of the stage in a very unusual configuration that made us feel like we were actually part of the cast. It was an incredible performance and definitely the best Shakespeare I've ever seen. I also know that Mary & Sheila will be happy to know that we spotted Helen Hunt during intermission, but she didn't stay for the second half. Apparently she isn't as culturally savvy as we are.

At any rate tonight after we get the boy to bed we're going to grill some steaks and toast another perfect weekend. We're looking forward to seeing the Nanny & Papa John in Arizona in a few days for Sam's first Turkey Day. He tried his first peas and carrots this week, so we're slowly getting him ready for mom's good cooking. See you all soon!


My Morning Commute

This video isn't great quality, because I shot it with my video phone, but I thought I'd share it anyway. I took this today about 7AM, from the top of Sullivan Ridge in the Santa Monica Mountains. I was out for a morning mountain bike ride with my friend and teammate Jeff. It was a gorgeous, crystal-clear morning, with no smog or cloud cover. ( A rarity in LA, at least the lack of smog.) A full moon was setting over the ocean and Catalina looked like you could just reach out and touch it. Believe it or not, from the spot where I shot this, you can get to my office in about 15 minutes on a bike. Not a bad way to start the day, indeed.


Food, Feet & Bumbo Seats

Sam once again proved that he is indeed a Millar Man yesterday, by devouring the first solid food ever set before him. We were pretty sure he was ready to make the jump to cereal since he's been gulping down 6 oz. of formula every 2 hours lately, and still begging for more. So we finally decided it was time to put the high chair together and give it a shot. We weren't sure whether Sam would grasp the concept of chewing his food instead of sucking it out of a bottle, but our fears were assuaged the second he got the spoon in his mouth and promptly scarfed down the equivalent of half his body weight in cereal.

For the family members out there with a few minutes to kill, here's a play-by-play video of Sam's 1st meal.

When he wasn't busy mastering the fine art of eating solid foods, Sam was discovering his feet. He loves playing with them all the time, and even when Alissa and I try to distract him with one of his toys, he's still more fascinated by his toes. In fact, despite his sizable belly, Sam can get his feet practically in his mouth and lately he's constantly grabbing his toes and performing hilarious yoga moves.

Sam also got a new chair recently, called a Bumbo Seat. It's the very cool little molded foam chair for infants that let's them sit upright. Sam's pretty much outgrown his bouncy seat, but he loves the Bumbo.

Here are a few pictures of Sam in his chair, and some others from the weekend.

sitting up like a big boy


Goodnight Moon

When I was little, my all-time favorite book was Goodnight Moon. I've been waiting my whole life for the opportunity to read it to my own child, and last night I finally got the chance. I think Sam was more interested in eating the book than listening to daddy read it to him. But since this is undoubtedly the first of many hundreds of bedtime readings, I hope he'll grow to love it much as I did.

Maiden Voyage

On Sunday we took Sam to the beach to test out his new jogging stroller. We bought it on eBay a few months ago and until now he's been too little to use it. He's still not crazy about it, but he'll definitely be able to grow into it for at least a year or two and hopefully we'll get a lot of use out of it. It's much faster and easier to push than his regular stroller, which makes it great for our rollerblading trips to the beach. I'm not sure if I'll ever actually jog with him in it since my knees don't take running too well anymore, but we'll see.

Here's a video clip from our little excursion.


Papa John & Nanny

My parents came to town last night on their way back from a sea glass collecting expedition in Northern California. (My mom uses it to make jewelery.) They hadn't seen Sam in a few months, so they were pretty anxious to spend some quality time with their #1 Grandson. We were more than happy to induldge them, since it meant two extra pairs of hands to do feedings, change diapers, and keep Sam occupied for 24 hours. Alissa even managed to get to a yoga class today, which she hasn't been able to do since before the baby was born. Sadly, they had to leave tonight to get back to Tucson, but we're headed there for Thanksgiving so it won't be long before we get to see them again.

At any rate, I'd be remiss if I didn't post these pictures my dad took, and this video of the two of them making their best "baby faces" for Sam. It's a shame that they're not enjoying being Grandparents, isn't it?



A Star is Born

For those of you who haven't seen it, here's Sam's Birth Movie. It's G-rated, so don't worry guys, we didn't shoot and blood and gore. I edited this shortly after Sam was born and think it's pretty special. It won't be winning any awards, but it's pretty cool that in 20 years Sam can look back at this and see how his life began. If you like the video, please check out our birth story, which you can read by clicking this link.

Hope you enjoy it.


Bouncing Baby Boy

In celebration of me finally figuring out how to add video to our blog, here's a clip of Sam in his new bouncy chair. Also, be sure and check out the clip of Sam in his pumpkin costume on Halloween. It's posted below. Enjoy!!!!

Print our Pics!

Now, just in time for the holidays, the ability to print your very own copies of the photos posted on our blog! All you have to do is go to our Flickr account and pull up the photos you'd like to print. When you click on an individual picture there will be little icon in the top right hand corner that says "order prints." They're 15 cents each if you have them mailed to you, and 20 cents each if you decide to pick them up at your local Target store, and you can order as many as you'd like. I've limited our account so that only people who are on our "Family" list can print photos. If you don't already have a Flickr account and would like to order prints, first sign up for an account, then email me so I can add you to our list.

If you've got your own photo printer and would prefer to print our pictures out at home for free, follow these instructions:

1. Right-click on the picture you want to print.
2. Select " save picture as" from the drop down menu.
3. Save the picture in a file on your hard drive.
4. Use your photo printing software to select the saved picture and print it out!

Hopefully this will be helpful for those of you who've asked me for prints of photos we've posted, since I've been incredibly bad about getting around to doing things like that since Sam's been born. If you don't see a picture you'd like on our Flickr page and know that I've got a digital copy, just email me and I'll upload it so you can print it.

Have fun!

It's the Great Pumpkin!

Here are a few quick snaps of Sam in his 1st Halloween costume.


and here's some video of the big day!

Despite a serious case of jet lag, he was a total trooper and came happily along with Alissa yesterday to do some Trick or Treating at my office. He couldn't eat any of the candy that people were handing out, but he definitely charmed the pants of everyone.

In other news, Sam had his 4 month doctor's appointment today and passed with flying colors. He's in the 90th percentile for weight and head size (no kidding!) and is in the 70th percentile for height. So it looks like he's still on track to start for OU as a Tight End in 2025. Whew!

The doctor also told us that he's not teething yet, despite his near constant drooling and his need to put anything within reach directly into his mouth. We should see some teeth poking their way through within a month or two, but for now Sam's still all gums. Also in the next two months Sam should start eating some solid foods, beginning with rice cereal mixed with formula (Yummy!) and moving on to fruits and vegetables. I really can't wait to start feeding him, though I'm sure the walls and floor of our dining room will never be the same.

When he's not discovering the incredible new world of food, Sam should continue to develop his motor skills, building up to crawling and (God help us) eventually walking. He really impressed the doctor with his ability to pull himself up into a sitting position and the way he likes to "stand up" when we hold him.

And last but certainly not least, the doctor relieved our worries by telling us that the slightly flat part of Sam's head is perfectly normal and that he won't have to wear a helmet. Personally I was looking forward to painting it crimson and putting an OU on the side, but Alissa was pretty horrified by the possibility. Chances are that he'll always have a less than perfectly round noggin', but if he ever grows any hair it should hide it pretty well. And besides, when you're as big, tall and good looking as Sam is, who cares if your head's a little lumpy!


Travels with Sam

I'm happy to report that Sam aced his first plane ride. Alissa and I flew back East last week for the wedding of our friends Sara & Pete in Annapolis, MD. Despite our worst fears, Sam was a complete angel on the flight. The only stressful moment we had during the entire journey was actually in the terminal at LAX, when Sam once again demonstrated his knack for comedic timing by deciding to poop through his clothes seconds before pre-boarding began for our flight. With all the speed and grace of a NASCAR pit crew, we changed his diaper on the floor of the waiting area in full view of our fellow passengers. With no time to spare, we whisked him onto the plane without pants or a shirt on, classy parents that we are. Once aboard, we were thrilled to discover that the flight wasn't full and that we'd be allowed to bring his car seat onboard with us and give him his own seat. That was a huge help, and once we got him dressed and fed he fell right to sleep! He woke up a few times during the trip, but for the most part he was the perfect traveler. When we got off the plane the man in front of us even turned around to tell us how impressed he was with Sam and said that he'd been quieter than most of the adults on the plane! Needless to say, we were very proud of our boy.

We had a great time at the wedding and really enjoyed introducing Sam to his Uncle Alex for the first time. Alissa's parents were there as well, as were all the members of her extended East Coast family who I've had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know these last few years. There was a wonderful rehearsal dinner Friday night in town, and a beautiful ceremony at the Academy Chapel on Saturday, followed by a reception at the Chesapeake Bay Club. Since Alissa was a bridesmaid, I had baby duty on Saturday, and with a lot of help from my mother and father in-law, we made it through the ceremony. Incredibly, Sam fell asleep on the way to the reception and dozed through the entire night!

Sunday we woke up and drove down to the harbor to explore. It was a beautiful day and we all had a great time. After lunch we drove over to visit Alissa's Great Aunt Marion and her family. Marion is quite a character and I really enjoyed meeting her. She and I hit it off right away, and I couldn't help thinking how much she reminded me of some members of my own family with her sharp tongue and razor wit.

Later that afternoon I drove myself back to BWI to fly home to LA, while Alissa and Sam went up to Pennsylvania to visit her Grandparents. They'll be there all week, and I'll fly back out on Friday to meet them and spend the weekend before coming back to LA on Sunday.

Meanwhile, I just wrapped up 2 new shows for the network that were a lot of fun to produce. The series is called Life & Rhymes, and we shot 2 episodes this week, one with 50 Cent and one with Kanye West. It was quite a struggle to put these shows together, but the end results were fantastic and I think they'll be big hits on the channel. Look for them on air in early November.

At any rate, that's the update for now. I'll post more pictures when we get back from Pennsylvania. Alissa says that Sam's been smiling all the time and that he's as cute as ever. I can't wait to get back there and see both him and his mommy. I miss them both so much!


A Sad Day

I met Rosa Parks in 1996. In my career I've been fortunate to meet and work with, many famous people. None of them have ever come close to moving and inspiring me the way she did. Rosa Parks was a living piece of American history. When we met, she was a frail, quiet old woman. But the power of her deed that day long ago in Montgomery hung in the air and vibrated through me in a way I will never forget. I can remember an overwhelming feeling to thank her in some way, even if the best I could do was to be respectful and to listen well to what she had to say. I can remember feeling intensly aware of the fact that I was in the presence of a great, honorable person who had changed the course of American history for the better. I can only hope that in death, she is remembered by every American that way.


Football & Friends

It's Sunday afternoon, Sam is sleeping, Alissa's getting things together for our upcoming trip and I'm recovering from a long ride in the mountains this morning. It's been a great weekend. Sam's been sweeter than pumpkin pie for days now, and the realization is starting to sink in that we may actually have survived the worst of the "dark days." I've got no doubt that there will be many trying times ahead, but for now we're really enjoying how fun Sam has become.

Yesterday we had a bunch of friends over for burgers and football. Shane & Sandra came over with their little boy Emmett, who is just 10 days younger than Sam. It's amazing how much they've both grown! Our friend Patti, who's in town producing a show for VH1 came by, as did our buddy Tom and my good friend Nikki, who brought her boyfriend Charlie along as well. My cousin Phil also came over with two of his buddies from OU. Phil and his friends were kind of blown away by all the babies and baby gear on display, and I laughed when I thought about all the times I'd been in similar situations when I was their age. They were real troopers, even though they all agreed that they were a LONG way from being ready to have babies of their own. Just for fun, we let Phil try his hand at holding Sam, who didn't seem to mind at all. Phil on the other hand, looked like we'd just handed him a live bomb.


One of the funniest moments of the day happened when Notre Dame scored a touchdown. We all jumped up and started yelling, and completely forgot that Sam and Emmett were in the room, peacefully watching the game. I wish I had a picture of the look on Sam's face; both his arms shot straight up over his head, his eyes were wide open, he was bright red, and he was making the face we've started calling "the saddest face in the world." He froze there for a couple of seconds in complete shock, then burst into tears. I picked him up to calm him, and suddenly realized that both Shane and I were doing the daddy dance in the living room with two screaming babies. It was definitely a Kodak moment.

Sadly, USC ended up beating Notre Dame to extend their wining streak, and assuring me another week of having to listen to their insufferable fans talk about the USC "Dynasty." (I'm not bitter, I swear) OU managed to beat Kansas, though they looked like a high school team doing it. The only consolation of the entire weekend sports-wise, was that the Cowboys beat the Giants, which means that my dad and I officially have bragging rights on Kerry's fiancee Kristin, who for some unknown reason, is a Giants fan. I'm pretty sure Kerry didn't know that before he asked her to marry him but I think that the fact that he's chosen to look past this obvious flaw in her personality says good things about their future as a couple.

At any rate, I'd better go give Alissa a hand getting ready for our trip. On Thursday we fly back East for a wedding and it should be quite an adventure. It's Sam's first trip on a plane and we're both excited and completely terrified. I'm sure everything will be fine and I know we're going to have a great time, it's just funny how what used to be a one bag trip has become like packing for a mission to the moon. Let's just hope that we remember to leave room for our own clothes!

Here are a few new Sam pics to keep you all entertained. Just click on the photo for a show.



The Good, The Bad, and the Cuddly

Well, it was quite a weekend for sports in the Millar house. As expected, OU finally got what was coming to them in the Red River War, getting spanked by Texas 45-12. As sad as I was to see the Sooners lose yet again, I do think we had it coming. And compared to the ways we've humiliated the Longhorns in the past, this was a relatively gentle beating. I'm just glad Sam is too young to remember these dark days. Hopefully by the time he's old enough to tell the difference between a touchdown and a tailback the Sooners will be on the path to glory once again. Elsewhere in the college sports universe, Uncle Kerry's Georgia Bulldogs put the hurt on the Tennessee Vols and Great-Grandpa's Penn State Nittany Lions had a great win against Ohio State. It's nice to see Penn State and Alabama back in the Top-10. Good old-fashioned smashmouth football!

On a happier note, the Cowboys crushed the Eagles and are starting to look like a playoff contender again. And the Yanks won last night, forcing a game 5 showdown against the Angels tonight in Anaheim. Sam will once again be donning his pinstripes to cheer Jeter & Co. to victory. Bring on the White Sox!!!

In the spirit of the MLB playoffs, here are some pics of Sam in his Dodgers cap.


Yes, I know the Dodgers aren't playing and Sam totally roots for the Yankees, but when you're this damn cute you can do whatever you please.


Best Day Ever

yesterday, sam had what might be described as his Best Day Ever. you know it must have been a good one, as i have resorted to capital letters to get my point across. he slept like a champ on thursday night - from 7 pm to 7:30 am, getting up only briefly to have a bottle at 5 am. at 7:30, he woke up smiling, and played for a while in his bouncy chair before having his morning bottle. he then took a long happy poop - always a good sign. then i changed his diaper and got him dressed, and he smiled his way through the next few hours, seeming delighted to be in the world. he took his quick first nap of the day with no crying at all - just drifted happily off to sleep. then he woke up again, he played in his chair, and we even read a book while he sat on my lap (well, more accurately, i read it while sam tried to eat it). he also played for a long time lying on his back in his play gym, practicing kicking and swiping at his toys. his smiles just melt me - the day was off to a very, very good start.

kyle worked from home yesterday, so he also got to witness and enjoy the Best Day Ever. so at 10:30 am, i said a silent prayer to the God of Good Babies and handed sam over to Daddy so he could take over Sam Watch 2005 for a few hours while i went to get my hair cut ... my first hair cut since sam was born! i never knew that two hours to myself could feel so good. i got in my car by myself, listened to grown-up music in my car, and went into the salon like any other grown up might do - with no diaper bag, and no spit-up on my shirt. it was decadent. when i got home from my hair cut, the house was quiet and kyle was working ... he'd gotten sam down for another nap with no trouble, and said they'd had a long, happy stroller walk before that. he said that sam had been a perfect angel. the rest of the day was the same - sam woke happy and played, we took another stroller walk (during which sam drifted off again), we played some more - all with kyle working nearby, which was nice. then in the evening we had a long bath - with even more smiling and some underwater kicking of the feet. sam even tolerated the rubbing in of the dreaded after-bath-lotion with smiles. at bedtime, he ate his bottle happily, smiled when i put him down in his crib, yawned, and went off to sleep again. kyle and i had a terrific steak dinner (kyle makes amazing marinated steaks on the grill), and watched a movie together. we both marveled at how low our stress levels are when sam is that happy.

then of course, just to keep us on our toes, sam had a complete freak-out-melt-down first thing this morning. it seems that we put some uncomfortable new clothes on him this morning that gave our sensitive kid a skin rash, and it took us several hours to figure out that that was what was going on! he thrashed around on the bottle, and cried until we thought we might have to take him straight to the doctor ... then we took his clothes off to change his diaper and he started smiling like crazy.

ah, the ups and downs of parenthood. well, at least my hair looks good.


Under the Weather

Sam and I have both picked up a little bug this week and suddenly our house sounds like the waiting room at a Doctor's office in January. Sneezing, sniffling, coughing and general malaise is the unfortunate order of the day. According to the pediatrician, Sam has a viral infection that should go away in a day or two. He already seems to be doing better, and this morning he was all smiles after a full night of sleep. I'm still battling what feels like a bad case of hay fever, courtesy of the Santa Anna winds that have blown into town in the last 48 hours. When I moved to LA people talked about the Santa Annas in weird, mystical ways. The way people talk about the Bermuda Triangle or the Northern Lights. But I now I can say from experience that things definitely feel different this time of year. When the winds kick up, it becomes strangely hot and dry, with this weird energy in the air. Hopefully we won't have any more of the huge wildfires that we usually get, and with a little luck and a lot of Claritin, my hay fever should die down in a day or two as well.

In the meantime, things are chugging right along. Work is suddenly busy again as we get ready for a couple more shows and look ahead to the end of the year. At home Sam is still doing great and Alissa is making an art form out of mommyhood. I'm also thoroughly enjoying watching the Red Sox getting beaten by the White Sox and the Yankees continue their post-season march. OU Plays Texas on Saturday and I think I'll spend at least the first half outside doing something fun with Sam, instead of indoors screaming at the TV. If the Sooners do pull off a miracle I'll be thrilled. But if they get what is so rightfully coming to them, I won't be at all surprised.

At any rate, that's all the news for now. We'll send more pictures later in the week. Take care everybody.


That's my boy!

I sent Alissa an email this afternoon asking her how her day was going. When I left home this morning Sam was a little fussy and it looked like she might be in for a long day.

This was her response:

"Sam's been generally gassy and fussy and uncomfortable-seeming most of the day. Earlier he passed gas so hard that it scared him and made him cry. It was pretty funny, except then he cried for almost an hour."

Ahh, parenthood.


Yankees Win!!!!

In honor of the Yankees clinching their 8th consecutive American League East Championship this weekend, Sam donned his Derek Jeter jersey and joined me for a victory lap around the apartment. It thrills me to no end that I'll finally have a son to share the post-season with. I can only hope that things work out better this year for the Yanks than they did last year.


In other exciting news, the Sooners actually won a game this weekend, beating the hated KSU Wildcats 43-21. And as an added bonus, OSU got thumped by Colorado. (Sorry Becky, had to throw that in just for you.) I'm planning to savor this victory all week, since it's doubtful that OU will continue their string of wins over Texas next weekend. In fact it will probably get pretty ugly in Dallas, with the Longhorns making up for 6 years of humiliation. But at least for one weekend in October, both the Sooners and the Yankees were winning, and all was right with the world.

When we weren't watching football and baseball this weekend, we did actually get outside and enjoy the sunshine. This morning Alissa and I laced up our rollerblades and hit the beach with Sam. We bladed up to Sunset and back on the beach path in Santa Monica and had a great time. The whole rollerblade-stroller combination actually works great and is a fantastic workout. Plus it was like adding training wheels for me, which can't hurt considering what a terrible rollerblader I am to begin with.

Tomorrow it's back to work and another week of insanity. It turns out that my shows have been moved back to LA once again, so the next few weeks promise to be fairly stressful, to say the least. Though I'll have the memories of a great weekend with my family and a couple of nice wins for my teams to carry me through. Have a nice weekend everybody, and I'll write again soon.

In the meantime, here's a new slideshow to get you through the week.

(click on the photo to see the show)



eeyore ... i mean paco

in a shocking turn of events, i have discovered that sam's favorite eeyore toy is actually NOT an eeyore at all. he looks like eeyore (from winnie the pooh, of course), and he's the same color palatte as all the 'world of pooh' stuff we've been given for sam. but when i went to the website on his tag, it turned out that he is acually a horse character character from the noukies collection named ... paco!? and he has a best friend named lola, who is a pink cow. the website is very cute, and it turns out that there are all kinds of paco toys - stuffed animals, a growth chart, even paco-themed clothes. and since sam is in love with paco, i guess we'll probably collect them all eventually. plus, as i told kyle, i guess we can look at this as a way to introduce sam to the idea of multi-culturalism.


Back into the Whirlwind

I wish I wasn't always using this blog as a forum to tell the world how busy I am with work, but for the last month or so it seems like all I've done. After a few weeks of calm, I'm back in the thick of it again. We're in pre-production for a couple of concert specials we'll be taping in NY in October. The show was originally slated to tape in NY, then was moved to LA, then today, I found out that it's going to be back in NY. So I've spent my day undoing all the things I spent the last week and a half scrambling to put together. And I'll spend the next three weeks working to set everything up in New York. There's never a dull moment around here, and that's just at work!

At home Sam is doing just great. I'm happy to report that he spent his first night in his crib last night and slept like a champ. Alissa's been doing an amazing job with him and has been putting him down for naps in the crib for the last week. So last night was the real test and he passed with flying colors. He's also really becoming more vocal, and babbles away all the time, trying out his new vocal chords. My personal favorite milestone is how cuddly he's become. He'll finally let me hold him in my arms for long stretches, which is something new for sure. Last night we spent the almost half an hour dancing to Bob Marley in the living room while I held him.

Alissa's doing great as well. She continues to shoulder the bulk of the child-rearing responsibilities at home and is doing an amazing job. Thanks to her, Sam is a very happy and healthy little boy. I do as much as I can when I'm not at work, but for the most part it's all been up to her. We're both looking forward to taking a long vacation back east in October for Alissa's good friend Sarah's wedding. The wedding is in Annapolis, so we'll be there for a long weekend. Then Alissa and Sam will spend the following week visiting her grandparents in Pennsylvania while I'm in NYC working, and I'll join them on the weekend. It will also be Sam's 1st plane ride, which will be yet another interesting milestone. We're already reading all we can about baby travel tips and steeling ourselves for a 6 hour flight with an infant!

And in one final note, I got a call from my cousin Phil today. Phil recently graduated from college and is working in NY as a Production Assistant in television. He spent the last two summers doing on internship at VH1, and I've done my best to help him get a foot in the door in the industry. Since he wa sin high school Phil has been interested in working in television, and it's been great to see him finally realise his dream. So today he called to tell me that he's working on a show of mine in the city for a few days. Apparently the production coordinator had asked him to move the production vehicle to another location because it was illegally parked. In the process of parking the van, Phil backed it into a truck. The damage was minor, but he felt sufficiently embarrassed that he wanted to call and tell me about it. The irony is that on my very first job in production, I was working as a PA in New York, shortly after I'd graduated from college. I was driving a large van to a shoot in central park. It was raining when I arrived, and the transportation coordinator motioned for me to park my van in line with the rest of the production vehicles. I threw it into reverse and promptly slammed into the Winnebago where they were doing hair & make up for the shoot, knocking it off it's jacks and throwing the models and make up artists inside to the floor. Fortunately I wasn't fired that day, and went on to have what's amounted to a fairly decent career in television. So there is hope for Phil, even if he is following in my footsteps a little too literally.

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