onvural.net – melih – family man

Luka’s Date Day – ACC Basketball Tournament


I have quite a dilemma on my shoulders. A really difficult question. And I’m scared that I made the wrong choice…

So I put it to you, dear reader:

Is it ethical to sign up your children for a life of misery, pain, and suffering?

Because today I took Luka to the ACC Basketball Tournament, and he became the most unfortunate of things… an NC State fan.

There was something to this year… new coach, unbelievable run during the season, beating Duke and Carolina. At one point, we were undefeated against teams ranked #2 in the country!

So I took the plunge. I found amazing tickets on StubHub for cheap. I grabbed Luka out of school. We decked out in all red and white State gear. And they did what all NC State teams do.

Underestimate an opponent. Let a few hot hands out play them for large stretches of the game. Pull off a heart attack inducing comeback. And then lose on a techncial foul because they ran out of timeouts, and called one anyway…

But we had so much fun. Barclays is a really great basketball arena (I’ve heard it’s horrible for hockey), and we were in an amazing spot. We had fun people around us. We got hot dogs, and sugary drinks. There were games set up from the sponsors, and we got to play the games. We were doing math puzzles with the score. It was amazing…

What a fun date day with my Luka… but now I’ve made him an NC State fan. He’ll feel the highest highs and the lowest lows in a spread of about 10 minutes. He’ll probably go bald in his twenties. And it’s all my fault.

But for his first NC State game, and my first ACC Tournament game, we had the time of our lives. There’s always next year in Charlotte.

This week in review – Jan 14, 2018


This week was a great one…

Starting with my annual trip to CES and ending with a skiing adventure on New York’s Hunter mountain, I really got to live it all up.

This year the Vegas trip was a bit different. Just like last year Doruk came as well, and this year Arda Can joined us. It’s becoming a very different crew – both good and bad. The traditions we’ve kept – steakhouse and show. The emphasis on CES is dying (which kind of makes me sad, but I’m ok with it). And it’s adding a new dimension of exploring and seeing that we’ve been missing for a bit.

Sidebar: I’ve been going to Las Vegas since I was 9 years old. Since I was 12 or 13, I’ve probably been at least once every year of my life. It’s the single place I’ve visited more than any other in the world. Which is a fascinating thought to me. A lot of people hate it – just flat out. But I think I’ve found a 36 or 48-hour version of being there that is fun, refreshing, and doesn’t require you to be an idiot with money.

Unlike this one guy I saw who in 2.5 minutes lost $800 at the Craps table we were playing out :-/

This year’s show was KA (Cirque de Soleil at MGM). Just as spectacular as ever. And we went back to the Capital Grille Steakhouse where we got a new server, but an amazing meal once again.

All in all, a visit that we’ll all remember as one of the good ones.

Then, I hoped on an early morning flight, and headed back to New York. We found a cute house on Hunter Mountain (about 2 hours north of the city), and got out late after dinner. The morning met us with freezing cold temperatures, and a chance to go skiing!

Theo just wasn’t into daycare, and so he hung out with the grown ups while Luka and Amelia took to ski school like champs. By then end of our stay, Amelia was comfortably skiing down green slopes! But the best part – in my opinion – was the snowtubing!!

They had a snowtube park that had 8 or 9 lanes worth of snowtubing, and we had a blast. Theo loved it, and I’ve got some great videos of us making runs down both fast and slow.

The house had a hot tub, and we were of course the idiots who had to try it even though that meant running through about 10 yards of freezing snow in bare feet to get in. Damn those 10 yards were cold! But it was a ton of fun.

AND… the house had an Amazon Echo. We had so much fun asking Alexa the most ridiculous questions. Just in case you’re curious, Alexa won’t tell you much dirt about Jeff Bezos’ personal life 🙂

It was a great week – and getting back to real life is going to be hard.

It’s picture day!


And with that some updates from the kiddos:

Luka and Amelia at PS 321

Luka and Amelia at PS 321

  • Amelia is rocking and rolling through 1st Grade. She’s nailing her math and reading homework, and is really falling in love with reading which is wonderful. She has a new friend, and we went to her birthday party which was great. I’m proud of her for really finding herself so well through this first year in NY.
  • Luka is having a ton of fun in Kindergarten. And now that his friends live close by, I think he’s getting over the hump that slowed him down socially when we first moved here. He’s onto girlfriend #2. She’s in another class, and she has the same birthday as him. That’s all we know so far. Rumors are that #1 doesn’t know it’s over. Which is actually great because as much as I tease him I want him to feel comfortable playing with both boys and girls.
  • And then there’s Theo. He’s delicious. And a complete pain in the ass. But cuddly. And then he claws your face off. To put it in a word – he’s 2.

Thank goodness that everything is going well. Babies are happy. Family is good. We’re all healthy. It’s the simple things that matter after all.

Happy Birthday my darling Micky


What a trip around the sun!

We started this year in San Francisco, and end it in Brooklyn.

We came for a CMO role at a hot retail startup, and find ourselves in a Co-President role as part of a Fortune 1 company.

Baby Theo is becoming a boy. Luka is even more thoughtful, kind, curious, and more as a five-year old. And Amelia is becoming quite the young lady – sass and all.

We saw Turks & Caicos together before running away from Hurricane Irma. We discovered the Catskills. We went deep into New Jersey, Manhattan, and Cape Cod too.

And there to make it all happen is you. You are our foundation, and you continuously lift us all up. And today on your birthday the whole world should know that the best part of our day starts and ends with you.

Happy birthday darling. Here’s to many more!

The week of 2017 September 11


What a week…

This was Amelia and Luka’s first full week of school. I always feel really lucky because they love school, and they’re both good at it. It’s a good sign for sure, and I hope it continues into the future as long as possible.

Some highlights of school this week:

  • Luka has a girlfriend
  • Amelia is reading above her grade level
  • They’re both making new friends – which is great
  • In music class, they’re both learning “This Land is My Land” in true #resist fashion
  • Art, Science, and Music are in full swing

Micky headed out to Camp Bonobos on Thursday leaving us solo for a few nights. The kids all slept together in one room which is good practice for when the bunk beds arrive. I think they just get immense calm from being around each other. Which is really great…

Mr. Theo kicked off a few new classes at NY Kid’s Club while also doing his YMCA swimming class. This semester Amelia is doing Gymnastics while Luka does swimming and soccer.

Today – Luka scored two goals, with one of them being really beautiful. He juked right, took the kid left, and had just enough speed to make it through the gap. Then he really beautifully slotted the ball into the corner of the goal.

Micky went to Camp Bonobos, and she won an award for field day. Turns out that being a klutz has benefits in its own right once you’re of the right age 🙂

We had Betsy and Cody visit us for a few days from San Francisco. Uncle Andrew showed up for the first half of the week. The kids love having so many people in their house. Their favorite though is still… Hanna. She’s somehow passed Doruk for that pole position.

Doruk took us to the Brooklyn Book Festival. It was super cute. A massive emphasis on books with strong female leads and diversity. Also a ton of independent book shops that I didn’t know existed. NYC’s ability to support a thriving independent shop community is pretty amazing if you ask me.

Totally awesome week. And as I fall asleep typing this on the airplane at 3am East Coast, 1am Mountain (which is where I think I am right now), one I’m going to hold onto very tightly.

Two firsts – Luka’s school and NYC date night


Today was a day of firsts.

We woke up on a much more normal schedule, and got Luka to his first day of school. In NYC, the last year of preschool is part of the public school system. So Luka is now in Pre-K. He got in, wrote his name, and had a great start.

This evening Micky and I had our first date night in NYC. I’ve been jonesing for Italian food. Micky found us a cool spot on 12th Street and 6th Ave called – Mariella. The waitress was a great character – we learned all about Irish accents. The food was good – but next time I’m going for a pasta dish.

We’re getting more and more used to our new lives. Tomorrow we’re back to a normal schedule. And Amelia starts her first day of school. It’s all getting real now.

Walking up the Brooklyn Bridge


Today we walked up the Brooklyn Bridge.

We live in an area called Prospect Park. It’s very much the Richmond meets Pac Heights for my San Francisco people. We’ve really fallen in love with the neighborhood, the playgrounds, the restaurants, the grocery stores. We haven’t had a car for 2 weeks, and we’re doing just fine!

And so today we went on our first big Brooklyn walking adventure – up the Brooklyn bridge. It’s a solid 2.5 miles to the bridge from our house. With three kids that means bringing the stroller, and expecting it to take a really, really long time.

In reality, it took a really, really, really, really long time 🙂

We swung by a coffee shop in Cobble Hill called Konditori. It’s a Swedish Espresso shop. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Swedish Espresso. So I did what anyone would do in the situation… I had hot chocolate 🙂

The architecture of the bridge is quite amazing. So is the architecture of the city. It’s like living in a movie – even more so than San Francisco was.

You can see the Statue of Liberty from the Bridge as well. I don’t quite know where things are yet, and I don’t have any sense of direction either. So it was really surprising to see the Statue of Liberty. But quite cool at the same time.

Instead of walking all the way back, we hopped into a taxi, got home, and lounged the rest of the day.

Our first Brooklyn walking adventure – a success!

Moana – The review for adults


If you haven’t seen the new Disney film Moana, then turn away. There are spoilers in this post.

Ok, I’m assuming that if you’re still with me, that you’re ok with knowing what happens in the movie, and jumping in on the conversation my brother and I had in the aftermath of seeing the film.

This lady probably thinks that the movie is about the Climate Change agenda. I could see why she would believe that. But that thread in the movie didn’t really make a huge political statement in my opinion.

In the movie, a young Chieftainess decides that her destiny requires she go outside the small island and reef her family has called home for generations to undo the curse imposed on man by the demigod Maui’s decision to steal the heart of creation.

I remember talking with Byrne Reese (one of the most interesting thinkers that I know) that the “bad guy” in Frozen was in fact the 1%. Sure it was actually Hans and the Duke of Weaslton in the physical form, but underneath the surface it was that insatiable desire to hold power even when it wasn’t yours to hold. In the shadow of the Occupy Wall Street movement which was happening down the street from the Pixar offices as the movie was being made, this made a ton of sense to me.

Equivalently, in Moana, the bad guy is the human ego and its insatiable desire to be worshipped. The physical manifestation of this is the demigod Maui. He’s the one who starts the curse, avoids the problem as much as he can, and then attempts to actually kill the entity who needs to be saved.  But underneath it all is his origin story. Thrown away at birth by parents who didn’t want him, Maui needed to be saved by the Gods, and repaid this favor by constantly giving to man so that man would continue to worship him. He had to feel wanted because he started off life by being rejected.

He’s such a fun character. You want to love him. Having Dwayne Johnson voice him is perfect, and I think he does an incredible job giving the character an outsized personality. But as much as you want to root for him, you actually have to root against Maui. Because he represents everything that’s wrong about that handsome, likable, hometown hero figure. The bullying nature. The misogyny. The condescending tone. Running away in the critical moment.

It’s a good enough movie for kids. My trio all paid attention for the full 90 minutes. It was Theo’s first movie in a movie theater. There are two or so catchy songs you’ll hum when you see the movie advertisements around town.

But at the end of the day – the formula for the kids is pretty predictable and generic.

It’s the commentary on the hero worship culture that I think is worthy of conversation and analysis. When the guy you wanna love is really the bad guy in the room – what are we supposed to do?

What are your singing in the car songs?


In high school, my buddies and I (well really just Nora, Shelby, Maria, Gottshall, & Ashley) would obnoxiously sing in the car, no matter the song, windows down, and as loud as we could. And in the vein of being a good father, I’m trying to pass these values – never be embarrassed in public to sing and dance, never be embarrassed to not the know the words to a song, make sure you laugh at yourself as much as possible – onto the kids. So far, the two big ones have their favorites, but I’m trying to expand their repertoire.

Luka’s favorite is – Uptown Funk (Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars)

Amelia’s favorite is – All I want for Christmas is You (Mariah Carey)

And I added these two the list, but they’re not picking up just yet…

Walking in Memphis (Marc Cohn)

The Shoop Shoop Song (Cher)

What’s your sing out loud in the car song?

Self-worth – a toddler’s point of view


It’s fascinating how much of the reflection we see in the mirror is a reflection of what others have told us about ourselves. In this case, it’s more of a metaphorical mirror, and also more of a metaphorical reflection.

But it has a bigger impact than the physical one that I can actually look at. And taking control of it is also much harder.

But I think I’ve done it 🙂 And it feels amazing. Obviously Theo helped. You see, he doesn’t have that problem, and somehow he showed me how to approach it the same way he does. By not approaching it all.

And then there are those dance parties, curtains wide open, with two screaming, happy babies. They care a lot. Which friend said what. Whose feelings got hurt by inclusion or exclusion. But man they shake it off fast.

And then a kiss. A hug. A sneak ice cream that mommy doesn’t notice. It just fixes everything.

It’s awesome. And I don’t mind at all if I just copy their approach. It’s much better than the one I was doing.