- I deal very poorly with rejection, and things I perceive to be rejection.
- I have to give credit to the Chicago police for handling NATO really, really well. They made some mistakes, but so did the protestors, and in no case did I get the sense that the cops started the trouble when trouble did arise. And it arose infrequently.
- Metra, however, gets a big, fat F. No backpacks on commuter trains? No coffee? If you’re following TSA’s security model, you’re doing it wrong. And, further, if a guy can take over a speeding train with nothing more than a venti with an extra shot, I say he deserves to.
- The media gets an F, too, for panic mongering and emphasizing the negative. Shocking, I know, but they made my city look bad, and I deal poorly with that, too.
- We went way over the top for Danny’s Harry Potter birthday party, and I am sure all the other parents hate us for it, since we live in the kind of place where people compete over ridiculous things. Ha!
- Speaking of the party: I set up a light bulb with a footswitch. The kids had to cast a lumos spell at the bulb to see which wand was right for them. The 8-year-old boys figured it right out, but they played along in the spirit of it. But apparently after the party, Leah (5) was still trying to cast spells on the bulb. She really believed it was magic.
Another hail of bullets.
- There comes a reckoning for men of conscience whose professional fortunes are aligned in opposition to an external, more general good. Men of the other kind just keep grinding.
- I should have installed this astronomy app a long time ago. I realized yesterday I can run it in my office during the day, and it (of course) still works and shows me the stars that are always there but unseeable for the sun.
- “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Article VI, clause 3. The problem is not that 51% of the republicans in Mississippi think Obama’s a Muslim; the problem is that anyone, anywhere is talking about his religion AT ALL.
- Dad’s moving about 4 miles but AT&T won’t let him keep his land line number of 40 years. He can, however, transfer it to another provider? Fantastic business model, fellas.
- I needed an audio CD-R yesterday and asked around the office if anyone had one. I will get a different result at the next place I work.
- Serious question for married couples who share an email address, Facebook account, and so on: Why?
- My SXSW story: we played that “independent music festival” back in ‘96 before they had SXSWi or any of the other derivatives. Just indies, it was billed. Little bands. We drove down, played a small club, and had 5 people show up because unknown, indie, up-and-comer Iggy fucking Pop was playing a free outdoor show in the street outside our venue. Everything about that “festival” has been pure bullshit for over 15 years.
- When you dismiss someone’s argument out of hand because of their “privilege,” you are engaging in precisely the kind of bigotry you are surely arguing against.
- ‘Tis the season for Facebook unsubscribing. Msg me if you locate your hinges, otherwise see you in November. Maybe.
- Telling me to take my tech support questions to a user forum means I’m only buying from your competitors from now on, Netgear.
- What I do for a living is absurd.
- But I’m having a hard time coming up with a better idea.
- I couldn’t be happier the G8 summit is going somewhere else. I tend to agree with the protestors, if not their tactics, but I didn’t want any of it here.
- I am eating a bowl of pineapple and papaya and pretending I’m somewhere tropical NO YOU’RE PATHETIC.
- I saw a list of all the women Mayer has probably hooked up with and I am feeling ill.
- I got nothing else.
Truthful Tuesday: I really, really miss my old neighborhood.
Danny’s class had a fun project as part of their geography unit. The parents provided names and addresses of friends who live far away. The kids sent requests for postcards, and they got hundreds from all over the world. Great stuff.
The teacher sent the cards home this week, and we got this one from our old neighbors, our best friends back when we lived in the city. Not long after we headed for the burbs, they fled Chicago for Allentown for a lot of the same reasons we left: more room and better schools. They had the additional impetus of a job transfer, which took them 730 miles in the other direction.
Before they left, we had lots of yuks with Chris and Amy about them moving to Allentown, and of course many of the jokes centered around Billy Joel lyrics, which are among the most unintentionally hilarious in all of American songwriting. So when we saw this card, which Amy had clearly directed Aidan to write, we had a good, long LOL last night.
But it was followed by a pretty serious sad. We’re coming up on two years in the new neighborhood, and there are no replacements for Chris and Amy anywhere on the horizon. We’re having an open, hostile war with one neighbor, and while the rest seem mostly pleasant, none of those relationships have moved much beyond the wave-from-the-driveway phase, nor do they seem likely to. I’m pretty outgoing and have made some approaches, and everyone is polite, but clearly interested in preserving their space. I respect that. I can continue to wave from the driveway. How about this weather!
We have made friends with some of the other parents from the schools. And it’s a small world: Sharon and I both have friends from high school and college who live in town whom we’ve reconnected with, to varying degrees. But none of them live close enough to call “neighbor.” There’s no one I could just go over and bang on their door to ask for help moving a heavy old TV, no one to keep an eye on the kids for 4 minutes while running to the store. If you have to make a phone call and someone has to get in a car for that sort of thing, it’s a different social contract.
There’s something we had in the old neighborhood, this thing where people would hang out on their front porches, adults sipping beer while the kids played, and we’d just all be together. It was an informal thing that reminded me a little of living in dorms, where doors were open and people would just congregate without thinking about it. No plans needed, no big parties, though we had those, too. Just a sense of together. There is literally zero chance that will ever happen on my current block.
Maybe we need to give it more time. Keep looking, keep reaching out. The kids’ extracurricular activities seem like promising avenues. And it’s not like it’s enough to make me want to leave, in any case. The move was the right thing to do for a hundred reasons, and I have no regrets in the large.
But something’s missing and I’d really like to find it if that’s possible.
- Win: I sent my doc a message via his website about my 4 week cold, he called in a prescription for a Z-pak, and I did not have to talk to a human.
- Loss: he called it into the pharmacy where I used to live, resulting in a 90+ minute trip home.
- I am washing the first dose down with a surprisingly not-terrible Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA. Bosslike.
- I will be at latitude 23 in something like 100 hours, not that I’m counting or anything, but when I get to work tomorrow, I could tell you to the millisecond.
- Only one rule for me in Cabo: NO SAMMY FUCKING HAGAR.
- Work has been surprisingly good the last few days. Turns out that if you act like you’re in charge long and hard enough, people start to think you are.
- I’ve also read that some cultures have almost reverent respect for the mentally ill, so maybe it’s just that.
- I’m gonna be very sad to see my right-leaning friends who describe themselves as “small government libertarians” trip all over themselves to support Santorum if/when the time comes.
- Can I blame Pinterest for this fad of posting pictures of words on Facebook? I want to blame Pinterest for something. Anything.
- I talked to an old friend for the first time in way too long today. His story was gut-wrenchingly sad and he’s not sharing it widely. I’m glad to have been there to listen. I wish I could do something more.
- The people who run my daughter’s dance class made an “optional” request for the fathers to dance with the girls at their upcoming recital. Fuck them and fuck that. I would absolutely rather die than dance in public, and there’s no optional about it if she asks. They put me in a terrible, awkward place—between one of my greatest fears and my own child. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, motherfuckers.
- I…I don’t understand what’s happening. Again.
- I think the new Van Halen record is pretty good. Not great; it won’t make me forget VH I or II but it might make me forget Diver Down. (I’ve already forgotten all the Sam Halen records and I never knew the other one.) But goddamn if I didn’t need a band with some testosterone right now. A guy who can actually play his guitar, another guy pounding the drums, and a psychopath screaming out lead vocals: god, yes. ROCK AND FUCKING ROLL.
- I got some news today that made me happy and sad at the same time.
- I went to the gym for the first time in 2+ weeks due to my bronchi being all -itised and I’m typing this fast because I’m pretty sure I’ll have no meaningful use of my arms in a few minutes.
- I have a busy gig calendar coming together for the spring and summer. I expect to see you at some of these shows one of these days. You. Yes, you.
- I don’t care about college basketball.
- All these points start with “I” except this one. Narcissist.
You can barely make it out at the top of that tape measure because the Sharpie has worn mostly away. It said “BASE 2.” You can see the remnants of the B, and the A, and the top two tines of the E if you squint.
Base-2 Capital was the company I founded along with my partners in 2004. That tape measure and a bunch of other cool stuff sat in the computer room of our Evanston office. When we sold the firm, all of the assets were acquired by the buyer, my current employer. Some stuff was sold, some made its way downtown to their office, some small things that they didn’t care about like this tape measure went home with us.
This Friday is the two year anniversary of the deal closing.
- I’ve had an image in my head for about a week, a strong visual memory, of lying in my bed as a kid on a summer night with the window open, the air hot and still, looking at the blinking red light of a radio tower that was a couple of miles away and hearing a rumbling freight train. I remember that night like it was yesterday. This was mindwormed into me by a Bob Seger song.
- Some parts of getting old aren’t as bad as I feared they’d be, others are worse, none are exactly what I thought.
- I was a real jerk to someone at work today, someone who didn’t deserve it. I apologized sincerely but still feel like shit.
- And I was just thinking I’d had a really good few days there. Hubris kills.
- There was a big woodchipper droning a couple of blocks east of here until just a few minutes ago. It probably ran all day—a lot of trees were lost around here last night to the storm. Their natural deaths bother me almost not at all, whereas the one I had to cut down in my back yard earlier this year still haunts me.
- The Sox just executed a perfect suicide squeeze against the Cubs, and I am well pleased.
- When they publish those studies about how the internet has destroyed the ability to concentrate and ruins brains? They are talking about me.
- It’s hard to believe what a 45 pound kid can do to an older toilet. I want to replace them all with the commercial/industrial models that don’t have a tank but use like twenty gallons of super high pressure water per flush and have giant, uncloggable downpipes.
- I mean replace the older toilets, not the kids.
- I have a hundred things I should be doing besides this.
- Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Pitchfork, etc.: I have no desire, nada, to go to any of them. Partly because I don’t care about a lot of the music (get off my lawn), but mostly because spending two days in the hot sun with a zillion strangers, $8 water bottles, and 120º porta potties sounds like exactly how I’d sketch out Hell. Pass.
- The faces and poses that the fashion/advertising industry usually has female models strike to be “sexy”—you know, the “come hither” look—are ridiculous to me, bordering on hilarious. Just stand or sit or walk like a normal person and smile. That’s sexy.
- I shouldn’t complain about my job when so many people don’t have one. But I’m really having a hard time. The role of manager where I work is 100% managing, 0% production, and I’m not used to not delivering at least some stuff with my own hands. I have to find a way to be happy exclusively enabling others to deliver (and to be sure I’m actually doing that) or I’m gonna lose it.
- And since rust never sleeps, this lack of hands-on work terrifies me in an industry where two years is a generation. If this doesn’t work out, I’ll next be mopping floors overnights at a VC-funded dot com whose name is a made up word, or making coffee for kids 1/3 my age.
- It’s possible to love your kids but still hate being a parent sometimes. Right?
- If I had it to do all over again, I’d have gone to med school and been a completely kick-ass doctor. General practice—dealing with people all day and hearing their problems, but not necessarily seeing their inside parts all red and wet and throbby-like.
- Nigel was wrong but only by a half step: C# minor is, in fact, the saddest of all keys.
- I’ve been dealing with a slight case of stage fright here since #chsh, but I’m powering through it. It’s what I do.
- The waiting room at the Jiffy Lube smelled so bad I had to wait outside. The weird part: it smelled like rosemary-scented VoBAN.
- I considered getting a roller grill hot dog from the Thornton’s Kwik Mart for lunch. I didn’t, but the fact that I even thought about it for a moment seems confession-worthy.
- Cadbury Creme Eggs also come in packages of twelve. DO NOT JUDGE ME. NO.
- I’m leaving for vacation in 90 minutes and haven’t started packing.
- We have a six-time MMA champion who is also a federal law enforcement firearms instructor housesitting for us, along with a hundred pound vicious killer dog, so don’t even think it, bad guys.
- Even though our original plan to go Caribbean was scrapped, I’m still really psyched to go. The Dells are not quite Jamaica, but the kids like this idea even better, and their enthusiasm is contagious.
- I seriously gotta go pack now.