No Rules For Dating My Non-Existent Teen Daughter.

Let me preface what I’m about to write with a caveat: I don’t have a daughter. I don’t have children at all. At least not human children. I have a four-legged permatoddler (dog) named Lemmy. But you’ll be relieved to know that there are no little Rickeys running around, and for that, you should all take a moment to thank the deity of your choice.

Caveat issued. Now onto the part that will piss some of you off.

Hey dads with daughters, I’d like to bend your ear for a second. Continue reading

The dirty work of figuring yourself out.

“Like a castle in his corner in a medieval game, I foresee terrible trouble and I stay here just the same.” – Steely Dan, “Dirty Work”

Fact 1: Steely Dan is named after a sex toy.

Fact 2: That song is about a guy feeling used, and stuck, in a relationship where he’s the side dude. (Is “side dude” the male equivalent of “side chick?” I am not up with the permutations of today’s lingo, probably because I say shit like “permutations” and “lingo.”)

Fact 3: It’s an apt and poetic way to describe the feeling of knowing you’re doing wrong while standing in to witness the impending doom you’ve participated in creating. Continue reading

Other people.

Today, I woke up in an apartment that was built by other people. The apartment is owned by a person I’ve never met.

I drove a car built by other people on a road built and paid for by other people.

I listened to news researched and presented to me by other people. I switched over to some tunes, which were written and performed and broadcast by other people. Continue reading

Cranberry juice for the soul; or, how to deal with people who annoy you.

I take it for granted that I have a relatively outgoing personality. I don’t really stop and consider that through a fortunate combination of DNA and upbringing, it doesn’t faze me to stand in front of people and talk. My grandparents and parents did a good job of holding me accountable for making eye contact, speaking at a volume that could be heard, enunciating, and giving firm handshakes. Continue reading

No, seriously, help yourself.

You probably tune out when the flight attendants do their choreographed safety dance about exit doors and oxygen masks. I do, too. As I recently heard a man at 7-Eleven say to his lady over the phone, “Listen, you tell him if he gone kill me, come kill me. I ain’t afraid to die. I don’t want to die, but I ain’t afraid to.” You and me both, sir. You and me both. Continue reading

Leaks are a symptom, not a problem.

Leaks are bad, I agree. But let’s take it a level deeper. Why do people leak, as opposed to pledging absolutely loyalty to the guy in charge?

When you’re in charge (if you’re good at your job) you need information. You need it from everyone – those who agree with you, those who disagree with you, everyone. You need it to make great decisions that improve the results of your endeavor.

How do you get that information? Continue reading

I am thankful for pain.

Let me preface this post with a caveat: I’m writing about positivity, loss, pain, redemption, lessons, and the like. It’s important that I tell you that I’ve lived a charmed life. I’ve never gone hungry. I’ve never lost my home or my parents or siblings to war or terrorism. No one I know has ever gotten ebola or river blindness. I have multiple changes of clean, dry clothes, a car that runs, a girlfriend that loves me, and a dog that thinks I am a giant biped dog with whom he gets to live. Continue reading

A little country wisdom for y’all

Two flies were sitting in a corral on a pile of cow manure. They were going to town, eating their fill, just enjoying life. They saw a pitchfork leaning up against the fence. The two flies decided rather than flying up there, they could just leisurely walk right up the handle to the top to bask in the sun for a while.

When they got to the top, they were just about to stretch out and relax, when they saw the farmer walking straight toward them. Continue reading

How to survive in Utopia.

“Hard times make strong men,

Strong men make good times,

Good times make weak men,

Weak men make hard times.

Our parents, uncles, aunts, and grandparents fought in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II. The suffered the effects of the Great Depression, or they were raised by survivors of complete economic fallout. They lived through housing booms and bubbles bursting.

They were drafted. They dodged the draft. They went to work, joined unions, got degrees on the G.I. Bill. They started companies. They got married and divorced, opinions be damned. They stayed in marriages they didn’t want to because divorce wasn’t an option for them. They lived fulfilled lives without having kids. They had children they didn’t want to because they didn’t have a choice – or at least not a physically or morally safe one. And they had as many kids as they wanted. Continue reading