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KIDS (permalink) 02.02.2018
quit right or don't quit at all
bella came to me while i was working at my desk, and asked me if i'd read something for her. she handed me a piece of paper that said, "Please accept this as my two-week notice and December 15th, 2017 will be my last day. Thanks! Bella."

i asked what i was looking at. bella said it was her resignation notice. i asked how she intended to deliver it. by hand? over the phone? bella said she was going to text it to her boss.

this is one of those moments as a parent where you have to catch yourself. you do this by first taking a deep breath and then, following the resultant exhalation, by saying nothing. those first things that roll across your mind's conveyer belt aren't the winners you think they are. no matter how smart or appropriate or necessary they may sound in your head. what you're looking and waiting for during this quiet breath is the realization that the only reason your child doesn't know any better or different is because you, her parent, have not yet taught them the difference. i have found in the past that i have often fumbled these moments because they come (1) frequently and (2) at inopportune times, though if you asked me when an opportune time was, it would probably take me longer to find a time to i'd call convenient than it would to just show you what i need to show you.

so here i told bella there are better ways to do this. to this she said, "but mom said it was ok". to which i said, "you showed this to mom? and she said it was good?" yep and yep. breath and silence. when dealing with spousal disconnects, there's a whole other decision tree which i will simply describe as a higher level of math and leave it at that (for now). after my breath and silence (and spousal calculus) i said "mom and i are going to have to different approaches here. while yes, you could technically send this brief message AND you could technically send it as a text and no one may bat an eye in today's white-knuckled, fast-finger society there is a better way to leave a job and this is an opportune time to practice that better way."

i talked way longer than i needed to (but this is my way and my children may worry for me if i were ever brief, so i in part do it for them). but i talked at length about the value of not burning bridges and making an impression on people, even as you are parting ways, but in short it is always about conducting yourself with class and being respectful (even when there might be angst, which was not the case here). way back when i left the bank and posted my resignation, a few people commented on it to me. so i found it (here) and shared it with bella. using that as a template she produced the following:
Please accept this letter as my official notice of resignation from Doughocracy, effective Saturday, December 16. Working at Doughocracy for the past nine months has been an honor and has brought me great joy. I am thankful that this served as my first, official job. I have learned so much about proper work etiquette, dealing with customers, and the food industry as a whole through my work at Doughocracy. Sadly, I have stumbled across a professional opportunity elsewhere that better aligns with my priorities and busy schedule.

I appreciate the opportunity and the growth that has come from this experience. I will remember Doughocracy with nothing but fond memories. I hope for the best for Doughocracy itself, as well as you. I fully plan on stopping by now and again to enjoy the best pizza in, not only The Delmar Loop, but in Saint Louis.

Thank you,
Bella DeArmitt
my girl, as she so often does, did me proud. and she has already been offered on open-invitation in the summer when she will have more time and they will have more need.

one thing my mom definitely worked hard to teach me was just because lots of people in a society may deem something ok and acceptable does not mean it is ok and acceptable. texting a one-line resignation to your boss to quit your first long-term job squarely lands in that bucket for me. bella and i both thank you mom.

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QUOTES (permalink) 02.22.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
old (part ii)

monthly archives

PHOTOS (permalink) 02.01.2018
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

FEB 2018

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 01.31.2018
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

PHOTOS (permalink) 01.30.2018
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

JAN 2018

PHOTOS (permalink) 12.22.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

DEC 2017

PHOTOS (permalink) 12.21.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

NOV 2017

FRIEND (permalink) 12.20.2017
best email of the year
the below email was waiting for me in my inbox when i woke on my 49th birthday.

FROM: bookguy
SUBJECT : Happy Bettering Day

Welcome to the 49'er club -

I will spend less than two weeks of my entire 49th year sleeping in my own bed. May you have the exact opposite experience.


i'm one of the few people that are giddy about getting older. given how simple and directionless i was when young, knowing more who you are and having a few experiences in the tank makes a huge difference in one's contentment and trajectory in life.

and fold in the fact that i'm in far better health today than when i was twenty-nine, well, now you're talking about that rich, creamy frosting slathered on top of an already sweet treat.

and as if all that wasn't enough, while knowing yourself is surely one of life's many lotteries, having friends who know you nearly as well, as evidenced by bookguy's knowing comment about my home-body-ness, well, that is just another one of life's windfalls.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 12.19.2017
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

STORYTIME (permalink) 11.17.2017
a simple story

PHOTOS, FAMILY (permalink) 11.16.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

OCT 2017

PHOTOS, KIDS (permalink) 11.15.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

SEP 2017

KIDS (permalink) 11.14.2017
a supplement to yesterday's soccer-story.

after the last game on the soccer schedule, we invited the team to our house for an end of season party. it was a remarkable mix of kids spanning all three middle school grades. this is the second year we have hosted this event. i was disinclined initially to make the offer for an odd reason. last year's party went so well i didn't think we could replicate it and the only thing that could happen is it would be a disappointment. i was wrong.

marty and i did next to nothing. we cleaned the bathroom, ordered some pizzas, and whipped up a few pitchers of kool-aid. aside from that everyone, and by everyone i mean every last player that was at the game, came over and enjoyed an easy, laughter-rich afternoon full of trampolining, xbox tournaments, slack-lining and basic juvenile ribbing.

at one point a lid came off a kool-aid pitcher as one of the boys was filling his cup and the bright red liquid raced everywhere. even that misfortune proved to be a non-issue given that the kid responsible reacted quickly and took care of the mess. my favorite part of that moment was the memory it jostled in marty's mind. she re-told the kitchen about when bella, at around age five, spilled a FULL pitcher of kool-aid half in the refrigerator and half on the floor. after walking into the room and surveying the result, marty wordlessly walked to the wall-phone, dialed a neighbor lady and said, "can i send my kids down to your house for a bit?". after a short pause while the other lady talked, she added, "oh no. nothing is wrong, but if they stay here i'm going to kill at least one of them."

for what it's worth i think it would take more than spilt kool-aid for marty to slay someone else's child. so the middle school soccer team was safe enough on this day, even with a near equal kool-aid catastrophe.

SOCIETY (permalink) 10.13.2017
fed up
like many neighborhoods, ours is tied into a community website. i don't follow it myself, but bella keeps an eye on it in case people ask about house or dog sitting jobs. the other day she sent me this a post someone in the neighborhood made.

Hi There! I am one of your neighbors. One that cuts grass, pulls weeds, paints fences - you know, I guess I give a shit about my yard and my neighborhood. Oh, and speaking of shit; I pick up after my dog when I walk him. (I know, a novel concept)

Not once, not twice, but three times in the last week I have picked up large piles of your dog's shit out of my front yard. Yeah, you're a real class act. In fact, so classy that the second to last time you decided to make your problem my problem, you let your dog shit on the sidewalk AND in my yard.

Tell you what: How about we play a game? I am going to figure out who you are and then collect not just your dog's shit, but my own (dog's that is; I am not a savage) and I will bring it to your place. That way you can enjoy this as much as me.

See you soon!


gotta say, if more of the neighborhood updates were this entertaining i might actually look in from time to time. and i think it would have been a little better and smarter if he had done the legwork first of finding out who this person was, exacted his revenge, and then made this post. this fellow doesn't seem like he'd be shy about sharing the name of the thoughtless ass-hat. my fear here is that he's giving the person a heads up that he'll be watching now and may have spoiled his chance of catching him/her (and i do hope he catches him/her). although, there's a decent chance the person is like me and doesn't read the site so there's a bit of hope.

another thing. how new are all of these approaches to pet-care and did something specifically usher them in? i mean, when exactly did people start picking up after their dogs. and crating dogs, when the heck did that start? i don't remember any of this when i was a kid. dogs slept all over the house and shit all over town. let's be clear, now that i own a home, i'm glad grown people tend to their creatures almost like they were children. but i do feel bad that dogs can't sleep at the foot of the owner's beds warming their feet on cold nights. i have warm memories of our family-dogs snuggling into me for warmth and comfort on those cold colorado nights. and when i hear people defend the crate-business, it sounds mildly akin to the explanations made for giving young kids phones/ipads--they make it sound like it is for the dog's/kid's benefit but in the end they, the owner/parent, seem to be the main beneficiary. i mean dog houses have been around super-forever, and dogs used them, i get that. the difference between a dog house and a crate is one doesn't have a jail door on the front.

and before you have any chastising thoughts and say well, of course, people have always picked up after their dogs and crated their dogs. to that, i would first say that, well, that is most definitely not the case that people have ALWAYS been doing those things and that the uber-practice had to start sometime and i think that time has been since i was a kid. and secondly, i saw a new/next level of first-world pet-care at target the other day. and that discovery may have marked the precise moment i became a sour old man. at the end of an aisle stood a large, glass-paned, interior-lit fridge that held PET-food. prominently, or rather loudly, displayed as it was, it looked like it contained the cure to pimples, old-age and herpes all in one convenient spot. but it did not hold the cures to all human ills. it held chilled food for peoples' animals. the furrows in my brow surely grew deeper at that moment as i stared at those privelege-lined shelves. i don't remember exactly what i muttered under my breath, but i promise you it was not fit to share.

all of this said, there has been many i time when i had pets, i'd pour another scoop from a giant bag of food into my pet's bowl and thought, sucks to be you bud, as i would hate if i had to eat the same thing everyday. the saving grace--i knew my pet, like many american pets, would have his dish peppered with table scraps later in the evening which he would quakingly engulf at the end of each day and digest while curled up against my back or on my feet as we warmed each other literally and emotionally through the night.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 10.12.2017
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

PHOTO, KIDS (permalink) 10.11.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

AUG 2017

WIFE (permalink) 10.10.2017
more on vaginas OR i'm a sex-camel
ok. so more than one person has asked why and how a doctor would ever come to tell a patient that she has the vagina of an eighty year old (to a patient that is far from eighty). that story happened over here in case you missed it. as with all such stories, there is a plausible explanation.

marty had just had her first child--miss bella. a few months after bella was born marty and i had the following exchange in bed.

you know troy, i'm not really sure how long it will be before i'm in game-shape again.

uh. what do you mean?

you know in that husband and wife kinda way. things just don't feel right. something is off.

hey i was in that room. i saw what happened. if your parts ever worked again the way they are supposed to, i'd be amazed. so please take all the time you need.

i also recall from that conversation talking about the long stretch of time in my teen years i had convinced myself no one would ever have sex with me. so first off, i was just thankful someone did have sex with me. and secondly, because of those years of desperation i developed a camel-like ability to store up sexual experiences that allow me to survive super-long droughts of action. further, i put intercourse-post-childbirth in the same category as i put the piano. if someone simply described the act of playing a piano to me i would say it was not humanly possible. for a person to:
  1. do two different things with their hands
  2. read two different lines of music with their eyes
  3. WHILE manipulating a foot pedal with some form of control
if someone suggested trying to do that to me, i would recommend they give their time to something that is actually humanly possible. this is how i felt about post-childbirth-intercourse. because if the equivalant happened to me, that is, if i had to pass even something the size of, say a grape, i'd be done, like forever. given this, after seeing bella be born, i assumed i had had sex for the last time ever.

my two additional children represent the exciting sign that i was wrong and i got to have sex again (hows about an internet-wide woot-woot!!!). that a female's reproductive organs can return to their (mostly) original state after birthing a child stands as one of this world's great marvels to me. i mean that they are ever, ever functional again to any degree stands as one of our universes greatest triumphs (yes, sure the whole making a human thing is cool, but ...). and if someone described to me what takes place and said it would work again, i would argue they had obviously lost their mind and i don't debate people with such childish premises.

but they were meant to work again and marty was experiencing some temporary issues, something related to breastfeeding and estrogen and too much of one and not enough of another, that simply needed to be addressed. and marty, being the trooper and seal-grade badass, just thought it was another parenting related hill to be bested. but it was not, it was something her doctor needed to be made aware of and modern medicine once again came charging around the bend and put down her body's uprising.

and it worked again.

and it looked just fine again too.

and i'm still not showing anyone my penis.

PHOTO (permalink) 10.09.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

JUL 2017

FAMILY, WEB (permalink) 09.18.2017
i know, i know
ok. so i've been away for a bit. i know. it's not that i don't still love you all or that my interest in this website has waned. neither of those things are true. the basic answer is over the last few months i have had less time available to document my life.

the first reason for this is my children. when your kids are young life often feels like a merciless beat-down that takes all of your time and energy. and this is true in many regards. you are often told that when your children are older you get your life back. this is also true in many regards. the problem no one mentions is when your children are older they like doing cool things, cool things that you want to do with them. fact is they sorta start looking like grown, real people. and not just people but people you like, i guess maybe in part because you are alike in a lot of regards. but it is also true that you start getting your own life back, which is great. problem is you don't have the bounty of free time you had when you were 25 so now you're trying to shoe-horn your own interest inbetween moments of hanging out with these, in my case, three new adults you like spending time with.

all this equates to more living of life and less writing about life.

and as if this didn't throw enought sand in the gears of time, i have a new child of sorts--my company ofCourse Scheduling. it obviously has placed certain demands on my time that aren't the sorts of things that can be back-burnered. while there is usually a natural divide between my new company and my old life, there are occasional overlaps. one collision recently happended when two months ago i decided i should start a newsletter about my industry. in doing this planning one of the things i realized was i needed a body of seed content to start the newsletter off. so i have been writing, fervently, for the last two months, only i've been writing about something other than myself, my wife and my children. while most civilians aren't probably into course scheduling for universities the evidence of my labors can be seen here: The ofCourse newsletter.

but, now that that boulder is safely perched atop its hill, i'm eager to turn my writing cycles back to the crazed lot i live with. i thought a sensible starting point might be to share a recent moment from each of the cast. so this week we will have five updates to the family scrapbook, one day for each person. obviously you can't really lead off with anyone other than the family matriarch so here i introduce the first recap: Family Scrapbook (Marty) - Your vagina is how old?.

KIDS, PHOTO (permalink) 07.14.2017
trust fall fail

FAMILY, KIDS, WIFE (permalink) 07.13.2017

FAMILY, KIDS (permalink) 07.12.2017
summer 2017 ... so far

Note: The top three pictures were taken within a few minutes of one another and represent a pretty typical summer morning in our household (granted alex isn't usually up that early but he was excited about this old iMac he resurrected from the basement earlier in the week). in the last picture, we were picking bella up from a leadership & service camp she attended where she met a boy she was pretty taken with (and is most likely responsible for her extra-giddy state in this pic). it is also worth noting that at the camp bella was known as "the awesome girl who knitted all the time". i'd say that sums her up pretty well.

PHOTO (permalink) 07.11.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

JUN 2017

FILM (permalink) 06.02.2017
mad and furious
a new (and super-young) friend of mine recently convinced me to watch a fast and furious movie. she named it one of her best guilty pleasures.

one night when i had some free time i watched the first show in the series.

less than two hours after that, got a speeding ticket while running an errand.

and i wasn't going just a tad over the speed limit. i might have been going quite a bit over the speed limit.

my friend laughed when i told her this happened. i asked her if there was some sort of "fast-and-furious" related defense available to me. she said i might be able to get the judge to see the humor in the series of events and take mercy on me in that regard.

i doubt marty will be laughing when she learns of this. the reason i'm not certain is she is going to learn of this when she reads it here on the website. it's not that i was hiding the ticket from her, our conversations just never wended themselves that way.

KIDS (permalink) 06.01.2017
he must be taking it in its opium form
alex calls advil, anvil.

and on alex, anvil shows its curative effects in less than 30 seconds.

marty and i are in active debate if he inherited this placebo-susceptibility from her or from me.

thus far, a case could be made in either direction.

KIDS (permalink) 05.31.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

MAY 2017

KIDS (permalink) 05.30.2017
at least they were in the same zip code.
every saturday i clean the bathroom. part of my process includes replacing the set of towels. i throw the old set down and re-stock the bathroom with four large bath towels, 1 hand towel, and 1 wash cloth (for the shower).

on monday night i went to take a shower (as i realized it had been four days since my last shower -- a curious side-effect of working from home for me) and there was only one large towel hanging on the racks and it was damp. looking about, i found the second one, balled up and wet in front of the toilet. i started walking the house for the other two. i suspected they would be on the floors of one or more of the bedrooms. i suspected wrong. the search went on. in the end i found one in our computer cafe next to the kitchen on the first floor of the house and the other in the basement next to the washing machine.

while i will surely miss my children once they leave my home, i will surely not miss having to dry myself with wet towels that i had to search for once my children leave my home.

WEB, PORN (permalink) 04.07.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

APRIL 2017

WEB, PORN (permalink) 04.06.2017
my most pondered question in 2015 was what to do about all of this internet porn. well, not in regard to you or me but in regard to these children we are bringing up. i come from a generation where most people HAD sex before they SAW other people having sex (via video porn). that era is more wrecked and faded than the playboy you dug out of the apartment dumpsters. for your average teenage boy how many examples of intercourse, both pedestrian and outlandish, do you think they might consume before they, themselves, first engage in the act? your options are (a) none, (b) a dozen, (c) 38,956. if you answered anything other than C then i suggest your pull your head out of the sand (or worse) and join the rest of us in the existence that is actually taking place.

you might say, not my problem, i don't have boys, i thankfully only have daughters. well, who exactly do you think your daughter is going to marry einstein?

and even if you do have daughters, i, like possibly you, thought they are immune and above such hi-jinks. i have siince learned you may not be as safe as you thought.

the pre-youPorn generation likes to joke how a few "instructional" vids may have helped their game and social stock when they were figuring it all out but that joke is funny for about seven seconds which pretty much leaves the rest of your and your children's adult life to figure out how to fold their online porn conditioning into their own real-world relationship(s).

i mean consuming porn for adults who are already formed and broken and kinked in our own way is one thing but what in the world does a bottomless firehose of un-policed and un-curated and un-censored pornography do to a developing mind. fortunately for you, i know the answer: we have no idea. none. not even a start, an inkling. a fragment of a lead. all we know is it might be a good idea to nudge your children towards a career in counseling because next to tattoo removal, that is likely to be one of the most booming industries in the decades ahead.

i've got about seven months worth of things to say on this topic. i won't be starting seriously today but am giving you fair warning that this is a place we will be soon traveling so charge your phone and learn how to clear your browser history as we are going to visit in some dark, cringe-inducing and keep-you-up-at-night topics.

FRIEND, FILM (permalink) 04.05.2017
son, you got a panty on your head.
i have a friend who is a work addict. how addicted? he lives in colorado. i live in the mid-west. he lives a few hours from some of the best skiing in the world. i live a twelve hours from that same skiing. yet, i ski more every year than he does. that's how addicted he is to work. (and yes, he does like skiiing).

now i am not faulting him for being addicted to something. we all have our proclivities. i only faulted him for what he was addicted to—a corporate job. and every time we would get together, this would inevitably become part of the conversation, as uncomfortable and futile as we all knew it was.

but after better than twenty years, my friend recently broke his bonds of addiction and left the company that transfixed him all of these years. he was a different man overnight. and not only did he go skiing with bookguy and i last winter, he also took us to a college football game last fall.

while on my spring break vacation this year, he left me a voice mail. he said he need to talk with me. his voice was serious and he didn't give any additional details. i feared that something happened to one of his parents. i excused myself from our company, went outside and returned his call. the family was fine but his addiction was being tested. a new company had approached him with a very appealing executive job offer. the downside would be he would surely fall into his old ways of seventy hour work weeks and no off days. he confessed to seeing the peril at hand but explained that it was a very good job offer, one that lots of people would want and even more people would question his turning down.

we talked it through and found a position that showed how passing on it would in the end prove to be better career capital than taking it AND that it would allow him to continue enjoying his current life that offered more balance and leisure. we ended the call but just as you might worry about a more conventional addiction problem, i worried for my friend.

he was to deliver his decision the next day. i wrote him the following night and asked him how it went.

admittedly, this following exchange will only mean something for people who are RABID fans of the cohen brothers' film Raising Arizona. if you are not a huge fan of that movie, this may not mean much to you but if you revered it like me and many of mine did, you will find the close of this email exchange to be a great homage to the film and mighty clever response to the situation.
On Mar 20, 2017, at 8:47 PM, Troy DeArmitt wrote:
hey snake,
just checking in to see how things went today.

hopefully you navigated the chop without issue.


On Mar 20, 2017, at  10:26 PM, snake wrote:
I was actually just thinking of emailing you.  I told the company that I was going to decline their offer.  They did say they would hold it open another day if I change my mind, so I have had some anxiety tonight.  Thanks for the time yesterday.

On Mar 20, 2017, at 10:15 PM, Troy DeArmitt wrote:
stay the course.

put it behind you. it was the right decision today. it will be the right decision tomorrow.

and it will be the right decision if they call you tomorrow and offer you 30% more and a signing bonus.

but i get that it is hard.

good luck with it.


On Mar 21, 2017, at 12:03 AM, snake wrote:
Thanks man.  At ----- my job became my life.  I am still working on changing that mindset.  But as H.I. McDunough said to the Maricopa County parole board about his recidivist past "that ain't me no more."  

and marty mocked me and my friends who could and would perform whole swaths of that movie back and forth during long drives in the car ("nobody sleeps naked in this house!") or even over dinner ("what now little brother?"). she said that memorizing the lines from that movie would never come in handy. with such a bad eye for future value, it is lucky for marty that "she's a flower ... just a little desert flower."

WIFE (permalink) 04.04.2017
my mom always knew i was special
i was no kind of celebrity when i was in high school. fact is i did a pretty masterful job of blending into whatever backdrop surrounded me. but now, now i know what britney and gwen and taylor all feel when they enter a room.

unfortunately it is not because of me but because of my vivacious wife who is a story-telling machine in the classroom. she has her students near frothing to meet the man who married the likes of their crazy, say-anything biology teacher. i always knew there was some intrigue around me given the whispers and finger points i get when i go to a basketball game or school concert with marty or bella.

the other morning i had to get something out of marty's van. i could not find our backup set of keys so needed to interrupt her during school. when i stepped through the doorway of her large classroom the student heads swiveled toward me. marty, back to the door, was in full throat giving some instruction. before she could turn, one of the students rose from their seat, pointed at me, and said "IT'S TROY!".

to this marty swung my way and confirmed the initial report, "it is troy. what is troy doing here?".

as marty walked towards me kids leaned into one another, never taking their eyes off me and whispered excitedly. i explained my plight to marty. she got the keys and then wondered aloud the best way to get them back (as i tend to easily get lost in the large school). marty asked if anyone would volunteer to lead me to her car and then bring the keys back so i didn't have to find the room again. twenty seven hands shot in the air, "i'll go! i'll go! i'll go!".

now if i could just figure out how to can that zeal and pump it into the rooms of people who have to interact with me daily.

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