The {foo} Talk

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

So my kid told a cou­ple of other kids (girls) at school that a “male penis” goes in­side a fe­male and re­leases sperm and the sperm meets the egg and that is mat­ing. I learned of this when the Assistant Principal gave me a call & was au­di­bly awk­ward about the whole thing. I get that 3rd grade might be a bit too early for some par­ents to want their kid to know that kind of stuff, but the night is dark and full of ter­rors.

I’m just glad my kid knows the right ter­mi­nol­ogy and the me­chan­ics of the process & that he’s still in­no­cent on the tech­nique. I gave him the de­tails when he asked. My mom did the same for me when I was nought but a wee bairn.

He knows all of the com­mon curse words. He also knows that I know that he knows them. He also knows that I know that he knows that I know that he knows not to use those words un­til he’s has a bet­ter ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the tim­ing & ap­pro­pri­ate­ness thereof.

He knows that I fuck up screw up as a dad and a hu­man some­times. He knows that this hap­pens and it’s okay, and that it’s healthy to ad­mit when we do some­thing wrong & that we have to work to­gether to be bet­ter peo­ple.

The world is tough to nav­i­gate — I don’t want to make it any harder for my kid. I try to give it to him straight.

Weekly Wrap-up — Third Place

Saturday, 17 September 2016

I’m try­ing to write more and be more pos­i­tive. These weekly wrap-ups will prob­a­bly con­tinue. It’s go­ing to be hard to be “plus-side” this week. It has been a very emo­tion­ally try­ing one.

I took a walk tonight to get a slaw dog at Steve’s Diner and got to see the amaz­ing har­vest moon. I have en­joyed liv­ing in Old Brooklyn so much more than liv­ing in Tremont.

I am part of a team at work that does dragon boat­ing as part of the Cleveland Dragon Boating Association. The fes­ti­val was to­day, and we ended up com­ing home with third place medal — which we earned. It’s nice to be part of a fo­cused team en­vi­ron­ment that has a clear and eas­ily mea­sured goal. So much of mod­ern work (and this is not a com­plaint) re­quires com­plex teams with dif­fer­ing time­li­nes and goals, that when a project is com­plete, it might never re­ally feel like it. And it’s even rarer that you have time to cel­e­brate af­ter.

I’ve been hav­ing more luck with get­ting Abraham to do things that he has, in the past, not been in­clined to do. I think I’ve ei­ther been too sim­ple or too com­plex in my ex­pla­na­tions as to why he should eat broc­coli, for ex­am­ple. I find out what he pre­con­cep­tions are (broc­coli is soggy) and then ex­plain that he had ob­vi­ously had over­cooked broc­coli, and that is can be very tasty in other ways. Then I ex­plained the nu­tri­tional value and how those vi­t­a­mins & min­er­als af­fect his body. Next thing I know, he’s chomp­ing away. This method has also worked a bit with the neat­ness of his school­work.

My friend Amy is a trea­sure. She’s my longest and stead­i­est friend here in Cleveland and if we get to choose friends as a sec­ond fam­ily, she’s my first choice for sis­ter.

I went to Sabor Miami for lunch ear­lier this week, and was greeted by name, and treated to an amaz­ingly de­li­cious lunch. The whole ex­pe­ri­ence bright­ened my day.

My car doesn’t smell much like salted caramel/​vanilla latte any­more af­ter an ac­ci­dent I had in it a few weeks ago. Either that or I’ve got ol­fac­tory fa­tigue.

Manual

Monday, 12 September 2016

I held 
hurt
birds

I held 
handfuls 
of orphan mice

I held
a lame
rabbit kit
shrilling

I was a small
child
beholding
small things

I was a small
god
holding 
fearful congregations

I keep learning 
that
love cannot
be held

only empty
hands
can do the 
work

Week in Review

Saturday, 10 September 2016

  • I try to add a bit of va­ri­ety to my in­ges­tion of news & po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary by read­ing pub­li­ca­tions that I con­sider to be a bit ex­treme, but still rel­a­tively rea­son­able. So I sub­scribe to Reason for lib­er­tar­ian po­si­tions & Jacobin (“Reason in Revolt”, lol) for so­cial­ist ones. Something they have in com­mon is that they only play one tune: “here are the rea­sons [what­ever is in the news] isn’t [libertarian/​socialist] enough for us”. It gets old quickly, and I’ve found my­self skip­ping most of what they post.
  • A guy at a GetGo com­pli­mented me on my sun­glasses, which I picked be­cause they were as close to Isaac Hayes sun­glasses as I could find that would also take a pre­scrip­tion. I re­ally wish I could af­ford, and had the op­por­tu­nity to rock Cazal’s but I guess I might as well get crazy and wish to get some­thing made by Maison Bourgeat while I’m at it..
  • It is very dif­fi­cult for me to read mod­ern po­etry in bites larger than one poem a day. I can’t fig­ure out why read­ing stuff older than the past 10 years is so much more con­sum­able to me.
  • I’ve re­al­ized that for awhile I was kinda “dressed by the in­ter­net”. I think I’ve toned that down a bit, but it’s still pretty damned hard to find #menswear in­for­ma­tion that isn’t more cos­tume than style. Permanent Style is great for be­spoke, best in class, sub­tle lux­ury & fit-re­lated items — but I’ll never af­ford be­spoke & the flannel-​trousers/​suede loafers “sprez­zat­ura” doesn’t fit my per­son­al­ity. Put This On is en­joy­able, but they also fo­cus on main­tain­ing a clas­sic fash­ion sense. Well Spent oc­ca­sion­ally has good finds but their house look is es­sen­tially the Pumpkin Spice Latte of menswear. I’d like HYPEBEAST if there weren’t 500 posts about shoes & Kanye every day. I kind of read them all and try to take ap­pro­pri­ate bits and pieces, but it is all way too rules-based and none of it re­ally show­cases unique looks and dif­fer­ent styles.
  • I guess I like va­ri­ety, and with the in­creas­ing spe­cial­iza­tion of “con­tent cre­ators”, I have to work harder than I think I should to find it.
  • “Content Creator” as a self-de­scribed job-ti­tle might be the worst in­vented job ti­tle of all time.
  • I’ve been catch­ing up on my mag­a­zine back­log. My goal is to be caught up fully by the new year.
  • I’m re­ally start­ing no­tice class priv­i­lege as part of my son’s school­ing. The stu­dents are pretty  much ex­pected to have their own com­puter and mo­bile de­vice at home to in­ter­face with all the var­i­ous apps, sites, and sundry other dig­i­tal as­sets they use for school­ing nowa­days.
  • I’m also try­ing to be less grouchy, but judg­ing by this post, I have work to do.

14788111

Brows

Thursday, 11 August 2016

I caught a glimpse of my life from the cor­ner of my eye the other day & re­al­ized I ap­pear to have be­come a care­fully dressed, quar­terly mag­a­zine-read­ing, European wagon-dri­ving, scotch-lov­ing, in­suf­fer­able, tweedy, bearded cliché.

I hate that. Problem is: I like all of those things. Even be­ing in­suf­fer­able. So yeah, I’ve got some cham­pagne tastes on a beer bud­get.

I’m try­ing to give my­self sparse so­lace be­cause while I ap­pear to be the cliché, my tem­pera­ment is dif­fer­ent. (I hope). I don’t like cool jazz, NPR, The New Yorker, or pretty much any other safe, soft, ac­cepted, lib­eral com­fort-blan­kets. After I stopped be­ing Actively Catholic®, I went to an Episcopal church for a bit, the mes­sage was good but the peo­ple were ag­gra­vat­ingly mil­que­toast about every­thing. To para­phrase some­thing some­one said some­time: The meek will in­herit the earth be­cause no one else will take it. That’s those peo­ple. God bless ‘em. No one else will.

Anyway, but. If you catch me out of the other eye-cor­ner, you’ll see a greasy-spoon eat­ing, dive bar planted, un­leashed dog walk­ing, win­dows open hol­lerin’ at my kid, shirt­less on the porch, filthy-jeaned, south­ern-drawl­ing met­al­head.

I love that. Problem is: ain’t al­most no one else does.

I some­times won­der what con­clu­sions peo­ple reach about me at work, but I’m too busy work­ing to care about it.

I like high brow. I like low brow. I pre­tend mid­dle­brow doesn’t ex­ist.

I have no other point.

If you need one then the point is that the world is messy & even when I re­ject stereo­types, I of­ten use them in the same breath. I’m un­re­pen­tant. I just try to im­prove.

Two Nights Only

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Check out these great pho­tos that Cleveland Public Library took while I was down­town this sum­mer writ­ing po­ems for their First Folio ex­hibit!

Free Poetry for Shakespeare

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Cleveland Public Library asked me to come do Poetry 4 Free in the Eastman Reading Garden on a cou­ple of dates this sum­mer as part of their cel­e­bra­tion of the Folger Shakespeare Library First Folio ex­hibit.

I had fun — it’s been a cou­ple of years since I was down­town writ­ing po­etry on the fly for folks, but I pretty much took right back to it. I wrote 11 Shakespeare-in­spired po­ems in 2 hours. Folks could ei­ther give me a fa­vorite pas­sage, or pick from a few that I had se­lected.

Por ejem­plo:

Some folks had no idea who Shakespeare was, and oth­ers re­lated hor­ri­fied anec­dotes from col­lege. A few peo­ple just grabbed a quote and took off with­out let­ting me write a poem for them. Everybody seemed like they were hav­ing a good time.