Val's Blog  6.24.16
















and he's still








I'm married to one, I've raised four.

       I'm the daughter of one,  daughter-in-law of another. 

               I'm the big sis of two, sister-in-law of three more.

                      I'm neighbor, friend, co-worker, observer, stranger to many.


                                                    I live in a house of all men.

                                          I observe from the inside out.

                                 And I'm here to tell you, 

                        Father's Day or not...  

               Father or not...

 Little boys who grow up and take care of others become Supermen. 



I waited til after Father's Day to send out my Father's Day blog post.  I wanted to speak up after the gifts were open, the #happyfathersday phone calls were made; I chose to post post-Hallmark hype. 


Because I have a theory...


If you're a guy -- a nice young man, an older gentleman, or anyone in between -- whether you have kids or pets; whether you're a loving husband or a good boyfriend; if you're the son of elderly parents or the brother of a shy sibling;  if you're the cousin of a special needs child or you're an uncle who helps with his sister's kids.... 


If you're a guy who gives his seat to a pregnant lady, or holds the door for a senior, or offers your arm to a blind person at the crosswalk...  If you're an executive with interns or you tutor an inner city kid;  if you sit on a charity board or coach a community sports team; if you clean the kitchen for your partner or do some laundry...  


you are caring for another. And that is good. 


Little girls are raised to do this. 

Boys, on the other hand, after a quick half-done chore are out the door. 


Girls are concerned, worry, feel, communicate, reach out, aid.

Boys say hmm and yep. 


So when boys grow up - or for some it happens sooner - and finally get a clue - and reach out to help without being asked - that's when they earn their superman badge. And there's nothing like it. It's a magical transformation. It takes a minute for your brain to process. 


My oldest son and his wife and their new puppy stayed with us before their move to California last year. To watch him with Winnie, an 8 month old black lab, was the the most charming thing. One hundred percent focus was on his wife and their beloved puppy. He's taking care and keeping them safe. He's donned the S cape - ready to conquer. My 3 other sons aren't married yet but the Superman signs are everywhere. An unsolicited phone call to the grandparents, thank you notes written with no reminder, attending my music events on their beach volley ball night, dressing up for their girlfriend's girlfriends' parties, planning canoe trips and bachelor parties with the worries of a real dad, inviting me to a Cubs' game for my birthday (anyone who knows me knows I'm not worthy but that's a whole other blog post) and for 9 innings patiently answering my questions about players, home and runs. They finally agreed:  baseball is a really long game.


My boys have crossed over.  

They are concerned, worry, feel, communicate, reach out, aid.  And it's superman good.


Since there's not a Hallmark day for great guys who take care of us, I'm dedicating this post and playlist to the Supermen in our lives. They deserve a daily celebration, not a day of celebration.  


Share this week's playlist with your supermen. It's got some great new artists to know, and the tunes are air-guitar-worthy.   (And PS: don't read too much into the song titles like Dark Necessities, Everything to Hide, Birthday Drunk, Animals, Good Liars, Used to Be My Girl, and You Only Try to Kiss Me When You're Stoned.  I built the playlist - as I always do - for the sound & flow first,  then noticed the flow of the ironic  titles ... 

Hmmm... Yep.


Give a listen here:  STILL SUPERMAN





Val   (founder,




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Chicago Botanic Garden + Valslist presents
feat:  JOE HERTLER & the RAINBOW SEEKERS (R&B, funk, soul, Motown)
Premier Concert Pkg upgrade includes:
Parking, intimate band meet/greet pre-show, cocktails in Bonsai courtyard 
with popular Chicago mixologist, and priority concert seating. 

tickets here  (first 2 concerts sold out!)

Chicago IL - Grant Park
July 27, 28, 29, 30
4 Days this year!  25th Anniversary
Radiohead. Lana Del Rey. Red Hot Chili Peppers. LCD Soundsystem. 
- this year's lineup (baby bands) is basically insane -

Del Mar, CA
September 16, 17, 18
Music, Comedy, Art, Craft Spirits, Gourmet
YES: shade, seats, restrooms, indulgences, perfect weather, killer lineup, Aerosmith & cast of Silicon Valley (HBO)
NO: porta-potties, dirt, dust, mud, EDM, mosh pits, rain, kid crowds

Burlington VT 
Sept 17-18
A Valslist favorite - this boutique fest is 2 days in a gorgeous setting 
: the home town fest of Grace Potter (who headlines both nights)

* * *

If you're so inclined, check out two of my favorite writers:

"for the years between being hip and breaking one"
a music blog by Nancy Davis-Kho

a life blog by NYT best-selling author / journalist / CBS This Morning /  
sample:  "The Death of Civility"     (love this one)


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