Showing posts from July, 2021

Building a Fortress

Fortress by Queens of the Stone Age 2017 Before I officially became one, back when I only imagined being a parent, I had all kinds of ideas about how it would go and how my kids would respond to my wonderful parenting. Then reality hit. I constantly screwed up, said the wrong things, got upset at stupid bullshit and just generally disappointed myself regularly. I looked forward to other chances and opportunities. I measured the time left until my kids moved on as adults or, much sooner, stopped listening as teenagers. That time used to seem so far away! "I have 12 years to make up for saying/doing ______" has been replaying continuously in my head during my time as a parent. I've had a feeling since we moved back from the Philippines that time was slipping away. I grasp at it, but it's like trying to catch smoke. The 12 years to make up for everything is down to a number that I can easily count on one hand. It kills me. I try to motivate myself to be a better person a

Hey, Dude! Advice for life from an old dad, No 1--Don't be a dick.

Hey, Dude! Since this is my first post to you directly, I should explain what I'm hoping to accomplish. As I start this blog, I'm struggling with honesty. How much do I divulge? Am I brave enough to make myself look bad even when it isn't because of a funny situation? And no matter how much I hide it, you'll see that it would be easy to let my flaws define me, so there's plenty of unflattering material. We'll see. I'm realizing this particular kind of honesty hasn't been a strong point of mine up until now, but it's probably the most important kind of honesty to have. In this spirit of openness and honesty, I'll start small and admit that I worry about how long I'll be around to know you. My father only made it until my youngest sister was 16 before he died. He was 53; I'm already a bunch older than he was when he died and you aren't even born yet. I've got my work cut out for me. If I'm super fortunate, you'll be reading


My dorm room freshman year at Purdue, 1983 I began my college career at Purdue University in the fall of 1983. I had a disastrous academic career, if you gauge by most typical academic standards. Before I fell into many of my harmful patterns, I signed up for an extra one-credit class run by TAs from psychology 101. I don't remember anything about it except for the story I'm about to tell, but I'm assuming that they did lots of unethical experiments on us throughout the semester.  If you are math averse, it is almost 40 years since I started at Purdue. I've been exploring the idea of memory, so here are a couple of things about my memories of that time that are interesting to me: I only spent five years at college, even with my stalling and mishaps. I've now had 11 distinct five-year periods in my life, but that time of debauchery holds a lot of space in my memory. Not the actual memories, but the weight I give to that time. It's true that when I was, say, 28, c