Saturday, May 26, 2018

8 simple things I suck at

Dissenters may exist, but I generally believe myself to be of reasonable competence and fair to middling intelligence. To earn my keep, I’ve engaged in everything from shoveling pig shit to dispensing legal advice. They’re similar, yes, except 1) the work environment is generally more pleasant in a barn full of hogs, and 2) a good hot shower can rinse off most of the stink. But I digress. The point is, I’ve managed to acquire a relatively wide range of life experiences over the past half century or so and these varied experiences generally serve me well in navigating simple day-to-day challenges. While I don’t claim to be MacGyver, give me enough baling wire and duct tape and I can get shit done.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Christmas Story

Every great story has a villain. Christmas stories are no exception. Remember King Herod? Ebenezer Scrooge? Hans Gruber? The burglars from Home Alone? This year, our family has its own Christmas Story. And it brings me no pleasure to confess that the Grinch of our story is me. Or at least it was.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Road Trip

We began our journey early in the morning on the 4th of July. A father-daughter road trip, the start of a grand American experience. The cross-over SUV was fully fueled and packed. Riding shotgun is the 52-year-old dad in a Mariner’s baseball cap, cargo shorts, a UPF +50 button-up shirt, and the low-top Converse sneakers he wears when his wife isn’t there to give him that look that says he’s too old for Chuck Taylors. The 16-year-old daughter is behind the wheel, tank top and denim shorts, her own hat slung low over her brow, perhaps to avoid recognition. The possibilities of the open road beckoned.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

It's not you, Country Music, it's me

Dear County Music,

I heard that you featured the Backstreet Boys on one of your fancy televised award shows the other night and the crowd loved it. The fucking Backstreet Boys. Are you kidding me? But you know what, County Music? I ain’t even mad.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ignorance without arrogance

The other day a hubristic 31-year-old “senior White House official” made a widely televised cringe-worthy appearance that reminded me that I wanted to write about one of my brothers who runs a blog titled Ignorance without Arrogance. Don’t worry. His blog is not about politics. Neither is this post. Judging from daily news events and social media content I’m seeing lately, though, a lot of us would be served by giving the concept behind the title at least some thought.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Letters to an advice columnist

I’m not the kind of person who sends letters to newspaper advice columnists. I’m the kind of person who writes letters to newspaper advice columnists but never sends them. Here is a collection of letters I have written but never sent to Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Bad career advice

Twice in my life I have quit jobs without having another job waiting. Three times, to be honest, but the first time involved a college job as a part-time clerk at a shitty Texas convenience store that I mostly quit to deny a jackass middle manager the ability to claim he fired me. But that’s a story for another day. As is the story about how I had to take a polygraph test as a condition to being hired for the part-time shitty Texas convenience store job and how I learned that you could lie on a polygraph test and not get caught.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

e pluribus unum

This isn’t going to be one of those blog posts where I gently mock me as the bumbling suburban father and husband transitioning from Mountain Standard Time to life on the East Coast. Regular programming will resume in the near future. Instead this is me writing a “think piece” about what the fuck is going on! Because something the fuck is going on in this election cycle that has in recent history been suppressed or marginalized by The Establishment.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lies I tell my children

I have told lies to my children. There. I said it. It’s wrong. I know it’s wrong, and it’s time to stop.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Merle is gone and I don't feel so well myself

Last Wednesday afternoon, my wife, Carissa, texted me the news that Merle Haggard had died. It’s not like you couldn’t see that one coming. He was 79 and there is ample evidence that he lived out many of the sad songs that he wrote and performed. As much as we may not like to admit it, there really is a limit to how much whiskey and cigarettes a body can absorb (unless you are Willie Nelson or Keith Richards, although perhaps the type of cigarettes you smoke make a difference).