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MONORAIL: LATEST ENTRIES [random]
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.




 
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PHOTO (permalink) 06.02.2008
gone fishing
it is that time of year again. that time, when i step away and devote my time to my second love, making latch-hook rugs. this is probably the first time i've taken a break where i don't feel i need one, but as my tennis coach has always said, never change a winning game, and this has been working for me so far, so continue it must.

for now, i leave you with this little piece of troy, which for many will be much more troy than you were ever prepared for.

i'll see you all again on july 1st 7th.

a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
june 2008



monthly archives




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
buck-wild!
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.

DISCLAIMER:
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.

t

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.

t

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.




WIFE (permalink) 03.17.2017
hidden gems
this year when parent-teacher conferences swung around, marty announced that she would miss dinner the next night. i followed up by asking the kids what we should do since we wouldn't have the dead weight around. bella immediately piped up asking what i meant because i was going to be gone too. i asked where i was going and bella said i was going to be meeting with her teachers because as mother announced it was parent-teacher conferences. mildly confused and glancing at marty for support i told bella that having a parent at your child's school (marty teaches where bella attends) carries the awesome perk of me not having to go to those meetings because we've got a for-real boots-on-the-ground resource in the building. bella's body sagged to one side and after a beat or two she said, "i work hard in my classes. that is my job. your job, a few times a year, is to go hear about how hard i'm working in my classes. that is how it works."

so i'm at parent-teacher conferences, my first ever at the high school and i spied marty doing her thing. over the years i have always felt for her on these evenings because they are wicked long days and i always hear about the salty and pissy parents as like with the students themselves, they are the ones that stick on your brain's wall like neon post-it notes. but when i saw it live i got the sense they held the event for marty. it was like a talking-gala where you got to wear a pretty dress for a rotating cast of strangers and talk all night. marty's dreamscape. worst possible environment imaginable to me. so now i feel no kinda sadness for marty who looked like true royalty and whose dance card was blurringly deep.

for me, i shouldered my core objective—hearing my daughter's teachers lavish her with praise and laughingly comment on her perpetual need to knit. one guy leaned in to me and said in a hushed voice, "i honestly think bella has done more good in the world by fifteen than i have in my whole life. i mean seriously. one day i asked her what she was knitting and she said 'hats for premature babies' and i was like 'hats for premature babies' are you kidding me.".

inbetween those gush-fests, i took in the tumultuous event and studied the organization of it all. my biggest question was why are some teachers so busy and others standing patiently by their clipboards amidst a sea of people. those teachers-in-waiting looked pretty exactly like me at every high school social event i ever attended. did that imply they were a good teacher or a bad teacher? i obviously didn't know the players well enough to do a proper assessment but it didn't curb my fascination in it all. and if i can use the only inside-baseball info i have, marty's table was hoppin' so i imagine there is at least one path that makes the good teachers a little more booked than others. i can kinda hear kids saying to their follks, "and you totally have to talk to mrs. walters because she is crazy ... and wears wild stockings ... and will say ANYTHING!".

marty told me about one of her last meetings of the night. the lady was reasonably miffed as she had to wait over an hour for her turn to speak with marty. thus the conversation began on the cool side. but marty, ever the pro, went about her task. in time the sleight seemed forgotten and their business was done. marty shook her hand, apologized for the wait and went to call her next name.

the following morning marty found a message in her inbox from this lady with a subject line of "conferences last night". marty saw that the school principal had been cc'd. minutes into this new day that followed a fourteen hour workday and not enough sleep, marty drew a breath and clicked on the message.
Mrs. Walter,
I just wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank you for my time with you last evening. Admittedly, I was growing a bit frustrated waiting 1.5 hours for my turn to speak with you, but as we started to talk, all of that quickly melted away.

I've been attending parent-teacher conferences for my daughter Evelyn since she was in preschool, and quite honestly, they've all been pretty much the same. She's a pleasure to have in class, she is doing great work, she participates in class, she truly cares for her fellow classmates. All of those things are wonderful to hear mind you, but my conference with you was different.

It started pretty typically with her current grade and that neither one of us had concerns about her coursework. But then you blew me away. You talked about noticing a time during the school year that Evelyn was a bit down, and not quite herself. I never thought I would hear something like that in a conference. Not in high school. And definitely not from her Biology teacher. I can't begin to convey to you how much that meant to me. You know who my child is. Not just by name, or what hour you have her, or where she sits in your classroom. And you CARE. Not only did you notice that something was off with her, you talked with her about it. You made sure that she had someone that she could turn to.

I asked Evelyn about it later that evening, and she told me that you continued to check in with her for the next few weeks. And she told me how much she appreciated that. I can't thank you enough for being the teacher that you are. That all high school children NEED to have in their lives. I'm so glad that I waited for my time with you. To hear the funny, personal story that you had to tell about my child. I could have spent an hour talking with you, but I wanted to be respectful of the family still waiting to talk with you.

My daughter is very blessed to have you as her teacher. This school is fortunate to have you. Thank you Mrs. Walter for truly looking out for my child and giving her an amazing education in life.

With gratitude and profound respect.
there are so many hidden gems in the world. professions you love. life-long friendships that keep unfolding. hope-inspiring children. new tantalizing experiences. unexpected kindnesses paid by strangers. these precious gems are everywhere really. they can be given and gotten with unreasonable frequency. this life can be just endlessly wondrous.




PHOTO (permalink) 03.16.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.



MARCH 2017




PHOTO (permalink) 03.15.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.



FEBRURARY 2017




TRAVEL (permalink) 03.14.2017
charm-ridden
we are soon to go on a trip and will be staying with friends. we have stayed with these friends, like a good number of times. they seem open to having us. eager to having us even. but every time we pull into their drive and five humans, who all seem much larger than the last time we were in their drive, spill out of the car the same thought runs through my mind--oh these nice, poor people. marty never thinks this way. neither does our hostess. but then when the first driveway-exchange anthony has with them is:

ANTHONY
do you still have the popcorn machine?

MICHAEL
uhhh. yes, we do.

ANTHONY
is there already popcorn in it or do i have to make some?

MICHAEL
uhhm. ya know, i think it has some in there, possibly from the last time you were here.

ANTHONY
ok. i'll see if it's still eatable but if not i'll make some new stuff.

here michael will pat anthony on the head and smilingly say, "i see ole anthony hasn't changed". i smile in agreement and look around taking in the lovely scenery, certain this is the last time the dearmitt-walter clan will be invited to this zip code again.

but each year the invites and feelers go out. below is marty's email to the family this year.
Dear Keri,
Your BnB received great stars on Yelp!


Comment after comment mentioned your great red couch, a dog named Sadie, a backyard trampoline, and popcorn available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus 2 great hosts who charm you with their conversation and show tune songs.

Our family would love to stay at your place over Spring Break 2017!

We are hoping that there is room for 5: 2 "cool cat" adults, 2 teenagers with lengthy locks of hair, and one ten-year-old who thinks he is 13.

Although last year, we found Sydney, NE so alluring that we stayed for 48 hours to explore its treasures and local AAA-rated auto shop, thus delaying our arrival by a full day. We bought a new van shortly after that experience so we are hoping we can avoid a replay.

Let me know where to send the deposit.

Thanks,
Marty Walter & Troy DeArmitt

the mention of sydney refers to a car breakdown we experienced during last year's road trip. this debacle led to the purchase of a new car (chonicled here). but ten days before our super-trip, there was a slight incident with the new van. it was bella's 16th birthday. she and marty were arriving home from school and had anthony and some friends in the back who were coming over to play. while marty was backing into her spot in front of the house, bella, excited to run in and check on the state of her steak dinner, threw her door open which, while the car was still moving backward, caught the edge of a largish tree trunk in our font lawn. before the sick bending of metal reached marty's ears and marty's brain was able to signal her to brake, the damage was done.

neighbor jeff, as i was out with aleo, helped marty bungee the door closed with the help of the headrest. marty threw a bike on the carrier and headed to the body shop her go-to mechanics referred her to so they could start assessing things as soon as possible so we had a hope of getting the van back in time for our trip. when bella told me what happened, as marty was off to the body shop, she said she had good news and bad news. always taking bad news first she told me about the van. when i asked what the good news was she meekishly said, it will make my 16th birthday more memorable in the future. i can't deny that as it is sure to go down in the growing list of dearmitt-walter family lore.


MUSIC, VIDEO (permalink) 02.17.2017
jaw-dropping
an email i received from bella:
This girl is like a grown grace vanderwaal in a way (very very unique song writing style, they're funny and beautiful at the same time, she's also very quirky herself) check out these original songs by her:

Your favorite daughter,
baya




and in case you missed the grace wanderwaal experience, here is where it began





QUOTES (permalink) 02.16.2017
quotes-fest
i may give out but i won't give up.

- mr. tom overton, age 109 and the oldest living wwII vet


love people and use things.

- minimalism documentary.


wondering if you're happy is a great shortcut to being depressed

- 20th century women quote


A sage has said, "This is the oldest we have ever been." and also "We will never again be this young!"

- a xmas card from former neighbors (wally and norma)


be good first and first second.

-grant tinker


If I only did what I was qualified to do, I'd still be pushing a broom.

- Naval Ravikant





QUOTES (permalink) 02.15.2017
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
COMFORT-WHAT?




GAMES, FRIENDS (permalink) 02.14.2017
butter-spectacular
i have a friend who makes video games.

i have mentioned him twice before (way back in 2013 and again in 2014).

for the last few years, st. louis has spooled up a bit of an indie game thing. enough so that folks around the country were noticing it. enough so that a film studio in california sent a crew out here to make a documentary about it. as the film team began their work interviewing the known studios they ended each interview by asking the dev shops if there is anyone in particular they should talk with. all of them unanimously said "the coster boys over at butterscotch". after repeated recommendations, the movie men reached out and scheduled a twenty minute informational session. that meeting lasted three hours.

the next day the film crew re-contacted the coster boys and (1) thanked them for their time and (2) asked if they might be interested in having a feature length film done about their story. they said yes. well, technically they said, "heck yes" turning the typically two syllable phrase, somehow, into a five syllable verbal roller coaster because that is just what they do in life.

the documentary just came out. here are some related matters:

GAME TRAILER


EPISODE ONE (of the six part documentary)
full series may be viewed via amazon


COFFEE WITH PODCAST EPISODE (sam talks briefly about the start of our relationship)





WIFE (permalink) 01.13.2017
sweet-tooth
our family was at ted drewes, a famous dessert shack in our town. after putting in our order we stepped to the side to wait for our treats. a group of old guys took our place at the order window. the first of them said, "i'd like a hot fudge sundae with extra-extra hot fudge and the seniors discount."

after completing his sentence, he turned to the two old guys behind him and said, "i bet you didn't know about the seniors discount."

the consented they did not. he flashed a schoolboy's smile.

then he caught marty's eye and before he could say anything to her she said, "and i didn't know about the extra-extra hot fudge."

his schoolboy smile got a bit younger and a touch wider at her clever quip.




QUOTES, WIFE (permalink) 01.12.2017
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
MANHOOD




TECHNOLOGY (permalink) 01.11.2017
redundant
some people recently learned marty still didn't carry a cell phone. as most, they pushed her on this doing little to hide their incredulity. her response.
The only reason I would need a cellphone is to call people to tell them I'm running late but everyone I know already knows I'm going to be late so what's the point?
next issue.




PHOTO (permalink) 01.10.2017
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.



JANUARY 2017




LIST (permalink) 12.23.2016
web sampler, 2009 - 2016
part 1 is here

2009
anthony lotion


2010
mom


2011
boyhood


2012
potty words


2013
someone to love

vcr


2014
black

2015
you spilled


2016
hear out

new car



PART 14
< Web Sampler, Part 1
List-Fest 2016 - PART 15
Table of Contents




LIST (permalink) 12.22.2016
web sampler, 2001 - 2008
selecting past posts to share was a much harder assignment than i expected but not for the reason you would think i would say, at least not fully.

finding anything of merit in the early years of the site is very challenging. i was a blathering dolt. and i know this. i know this now at least. and it is why i nearly deleted the first five years of the site one night. but a reader, the way-with-words girl from seattle, convinced me to leave it in tact. now, yes, she agreed with me that the early days were quite the embarrassment and i was a competition-grade bore but the point she made was that when viewed en masse you get to see an opinionated and self-absorbed CHILD transform into an opinionated and self-absorbed ADULT. she was obviously kinder in saying this. she more eloquently, as is her way, put it as "you get to see the birth of a man". namely because there was a lot of sharing about what a fumbling parent looks like. so to protect the transformation story, that early stuff will stick around. but you can't know how hard, painful even, it is for me as it really is quite embarrassing.

so while this began as finding my favorite posts, it turned into trying to find ANY posts in the early years to then when my children were older and more entertaining to limiting myself to just a few posts. so this is far less organized than i hoped and represents a collection of posts that my memory drew me to.

2001
the start of it all


2002
dad nursing


2003
aleo


2004
sonogram glove


2005
marty in florida


2006
alex toys

anfer


2007
a morning in the life

bloody anthony

FSU


2008 (the year of the bathtub)
alex sleeping in the tub

bella tub battle

stroller debacle




PART 13
< Best Conversations
List-Fest 2016 - PART 14
Table of Contents
PART 15
Web Sampler, Part 2 >




LIST (permalink) 12.21.2016
best conversations
teasing a good conversation out of a situation is a powerful bit of alchemy. when younger, i was horribly unskilled in this art. and it's not a young versus old thing as i have seen plenty of effervescent conversationalist of all ages. fact is, lots of poeple would want to point at my daughter as someone who can handle herself pretty admirably in new and tough rooms but my aleo, now thirteen, has proven himself to be a capable ambassador in all sorts of situations. he has a quiet and easy way about him that makes people calm and comfortable. for all the unweildy baggage applied to middle children, marty and i believe their ability to be comfortable with older AND younger people provides them with a unique skill to be able to speak to a broader range of people (bella can get goofy around older kids sometimes and anthony just stares at anyone younger than him like they are an odd animal at the zoo he's never seen before). regardless, being able to facilitate good conversations is a skill and craft i have given hard hours to in improving. given all the time i've put into it, this is a rather meager listing. but, they are also what incent me to keep trying to get people talking.


marty first date
when marty and i went on our first date (the second time around) something happened at the dinner table that had never happened to me. the world around her, around us dissolved away, almost like it was greyed out, and we fell into this deep conversational void. i have no clue how much time passed. it could have been five minutes but it might have been forty. all i remember is having a laser focus on her face and words that i had never experienced before. the two most remarkable things about the moment for me were (1) we were on a double date when it happened which means there was a couple across the table from us that we were completely ignoring (and i promise you were not locked in an equally connected conversation) and (2) what happened to me happened to marty too. it was truly as if someone had drugged the two of us. we deem that as the true start of our now 27 year relationship.


chris and gina wedding night
i used to work with a guy i loved talking to. he sorta liked talking to me but not as much as i liked talking to him. i think this was because i asked him questions he deemed too personal. but he was such an interesting guy i couldn't waste my time talking about the game or the popular show of the time. this was in part because the dude didn't have a tv which in 1996 was interesting thing number one about him.

i found his wife and their relationship equally interesting. his wife was so lovely and i enjoyed the rare minutes i got to spend with her. these minutes freaked chris out though because he was always afraid of what i might ask her. knowing this, and liking chris, i was always respectful of his concern and reserved my questions for gina to innocuous topics, until one night.

chris and gina were about to leave the country and it was likely that we would never see them again, so marty and i threw a small dinner party for them so our small circle could say our goodbyes. after dinner and while sitting in the living room, with no real prompting on my part, gina got to talking about their marriage and wedding night. i'm not going to share the specifics of the conversation that unfolded in the conversation because it is not my story to share but i will say that i believe for the handful of people in my living room that night it was one of the most beautiful pieces of storytelling we ever experienced. if there was a downside, it was how uncomfortable chris seemed as his wife shared their tale.


brian and tracy start of relationship
third up is another relationship centered one. there's probably a perfectly understandable reason for that but i'm not sure what it was. but here the family of a friend of ours hosted a pre-thanksgiving meal every year. it was a wonderful event with loads of interesting people. the matriarch of the house loved marty and this adoration led to an invite for the pair of us to this coveted event. given all of the interesting people, there were lots of good conversations to be had. one year i got talking to a young couple that were just starting their relationship. i asked a few questions about how they met and whom approached whom and when did they know. as they were re-telling the story you could see they lost themselves in the memories. you could see they forgot there were a dozen other people in the room watching them. they even turned to each other talking through the various details. for the circle of folks in the room, each and every one knew they were seeing something special and not a single person dared interrupt what was happening. for me that was the most striking thing about the moment, that everyone present felt what was happening and just watched. with that many people you almost always have some clod want to interject something about themselves into the story and wreck the whole flow of it, but here everyone just sat back and watched what was probably a twenty minute moment where everyone got to see and feel what young love is from an inside perspective.


joey is a vegan
i found myself at a work party. i knew most of the people in the room because i worked with them but there were a few spouses about so i made my rounds there trying to make them feel comfortable and not completely left out of the affair. i sat down next to one young man and after introducing myself asked him my patented "what are your interests" question. one detail i remember about the moment was as he was talking, i fully interrupted him and said,

TROY
i'm sorry but i just gotta say you look so much like a young tom cruise, it is startling.

JOEY
uhh. well. i guess maybe.

TROY
oh, come on. you're telling me people don't tell you that everyday.

JOEY
well, i have heard it before but i don't think it is everyday.

TROY
i don't know if i believe that. i mean you are like the spittin' image of the guy.

now at some point his wife tuned into the conversation and i'm sure i asked her some possibly inappropriate questions of what it was like to have a relationship with a tom-cruise look-a-like. then i asked him what he did to stay in shape. he gave the typical response

TROY
so what do you do to keep this tom-cruise fit body.

JOEY
uh, well, i don't know just try to make good choices.

TROY
what do good choices mean to you? like working out? dieting?

JOEY
i'm pretty careful about what i eat.

TROY
and what does that mean?

JOEY
i maintain a vegan diet.

ok. so in my defense this was the first vegan i had ever met. AND i knew it was the only vegan i would ever meet that looked like tom cruise. now that part has nothing to do with the story but i just felt like it needed to be said. but what happened next in the story is a vivisection of the vegan lifestyle unlike any that had ever taken place before or since. i was ravenous to know everything about it, everything from the food and its taste to the psychology behind the start and maintenance of such a lifestyle choice. and he was glad to talk about the various questions, questions he had admittedly never contemplated before. now as joey and i were locked in this conversation what i didn't realize because of how dialed in on joey i was, is that all the other conversations in that room had stopped and everyone was just watching and listening to joey and i. when the lack of ambient noise finally did register, i turned and looked at the room which was fully looking at me. i think the next two things said by the others were "geez. let the guy breathe troy" and "yeah, maybe you oughta get a room". there's nothing i would have loved more than to get a room because this guy was super-fascinating and i could have talked to him for days, but i had the sense his young, and also beautiful wife, was not going to let her man go so easily. so like so many beautiful things in this world, our conversational nirvana came to an abrupt and premature end.


the honest opinion exchange


Troyscript: Remedial Self-Help



and of course this one


Troyscript: Feelin' Sexy


christmas traditions
this next one does not refer to a specific converation but rather a conversational technique. please know it only works during the holidays but if you find yourself at a holiday party that is boring or just lacking intrigue, do this to splash a little tabasco into the egg nog. seek out a young couple. the sweet spot is an engaged couple but if there are none of those about, a dating couple will do as will a newly married couple. when you spot your candidates go up and start an easy, typical conversation. how are you tonight? are you ready for the holdiays? you doing any traveling? you know, the usual bore-fest. then once you've established things, ask them about the christmas traditions they are excited to establish in their home once they have kids. sometimes you will have to help this along with a few examples like are you going to have a real or fake tree. when will you open presents. what will christmas-eve look like. but once they get the drift, you can just kind of settle back and watch what was just moments earlier a sedate and droll mood go absolutely nuclear inside of five minutes. guaranteed.

if you're curious how or why this works so reliably (and magically) here's the reason. all people have fond and wistful memories of the holidays in their home growing up. all people also have private wishes of re-creating these memories for their very own footed-pajamad children. aside from the obvious factors, there will be a tree, there will be presents, and there will be a christmas meal, and the like, there are an infinite number of variations to the nuances of each and every tradition decision. and here is the part that matters most, both people care passionately about their traditions and are ready and willing to fight for their protection, like, to the death it seems sometimes. i've heard things like, "fake tree? FAKE tree! have you lost your mind. what next. fake turkey? OH! WHAT! we're not having turkey??? on christmas day? where the hell did you grow up? communist russia?". oh, it's hard to describe how much fun it is.

weddings have the potential to go down this way too but the guy always relents and believes it is the bride's day and takes the 'whatever you would like dear' approach. but the same is not true of christmas. both people have opinions. and both people care. this is why this conversational napalm rarely dissapoints.



PART 12
< Favorite Possessions
List-Fest 2016 - PART 13
Table of Contents
PART 14
Web Sampler, Part 1 >




LIST (permalink) 12.20.2016
my favorite material possessions






the content from this website (starting in march of 2001)

for sure and without doubt, my most cherished and valuable possession in this world is the content from this website, since the birth of my first child at least. this didn't happen by design and it never really occurred to me what i possessed until a reader pointed it out to me in 2006. fact is right around then i was going to shut the site down but that story has been told. i have no idea how many hours i have poured into this over the last 17 years but i also have no way of quantifying the value it holds to me personally, and as times passes, my family. it is certainly not a daily or overt appreciation but can be seen when i observe marty and one of my kids going through old photos, or bella commenting on a troyscript she had recently read, or when i see my wife in the morning stepping through the archive viewer, occasionally saying, "ahh. do you remember when alex/anthony/bella did that?". most often my answer is no and i'll peer over her shoulder to re-aquaint myself with what happened 7/8/9/10 years ago as if i'm seeing it for the first time. that is where the true value of this 'thing' shows itself to me as the vault of my family's forgotten history.









glasses

like most people i started needing glasses in elementary. and like most people the glasses i got as a kid were kinda cheap and sucky--no high fashion here. so when contacts became available i gladly jumped ship to them. but as i aged i noticed my contacts-aided vision became increasingly blurry. when i asked my optometrist about it, he said it had to do with a facet of my vision and (at the time) could not be corrected with contacts. if i wanted crisp vision i would have to go back to glasses. my sight continued to worsen so i decided to make the move BUT declared i would not get crappy glasses. unfortunately, i didn't know what that meant.

then marty and i went to a movie. in this movie there was a character that took a pair of glasses off and set them on the table in front of him. as the scene played out, shown in the image above, i stared at the glasses and with a spooky level of clarity and confidence i knew they were the glasses for me. after the movie, i continued to perfectly see them in my mind as if i was looking at a still frame from the film.

for the next two years every time i passed a glasses store i would tell marty to give me a minute, i would walk in and ask the sales clerk if they had any "rimless, cable-wrap, saddle-bridge glasses" and for two years i was told no. then one day the sales guy said, "as a matter of fact i believe i do". he turned, scanned the wall of options, pulled a pair down and set them before my blurry, astonished eyes. i picked them up, put them on, leaned into the small mirror on the counter and said i'd take them. marty interrupted with a "whoa, whoa, whoa" and asked a silly question about cost. he studied the sticker on the glass's arm and said a number that surprised even me. but my pause was momentary. and before he set them back down on the counter, i repeated my declaration that i would take them.

that was 17 years ago and since then i have bought three more pairs so i would have extra parts for when they stopped making them (which they recently did).









necklace

in any picture you've ever seen of me in the last seventeen years, where my neck is visible, you will see my necklace. when purchased over the web in 2000, i never thought that this sub twenty dollar bit of pewter would be draped around my neck for almost two decades. i'm also amazed it hasn't been lost or broken. but here it is still in tact and still around my neck. sure i've gone through about hundred yards of leather cord, having to replace it every other year or so but that metal nubbin with the single word SIMPLIFY stamped into its soft face has never faltered through my every adventure over these many years, including the birth of all three of my children. i'm not exactly a superstitious man but i would be plenty sad to lose the one physical object that has been with me through it all. the only other such possession i have would be my wedding ring, which i don't know why i would not include that on this list but it somehow feels different.

another thing i like about my necklace is most people who try to read its tiny print thinks it says SUPERFLY instead of 'simplify'. the expression they give me when they think i, a very not-superfly kinda guy, am wearing a piece of jewelry with that proclamation on it, is one of the best faces i ever get to see.









bike(s)

i've only had three bikes in my adult life. i rode my first one for three years. it was a starter bike of sorts to see if i would take to the sport. i did. i rode my second bike for more than twenty years. and it wasn't like it was staying pristine hanging in my garage. i rode it a lot. and i mean a lot. in a story that hasn't been told (yet) a new bike has come my way and i very much see it as my next twenty-year bike. it truly is a piece of art. truly. and flying down a smooth road on its back is truly a source of intense-joy for me.









car

like my bike, my car brings me great joy. i'm not exactly a car guy and my car isn't exactly a showpice. fact is it is pretty beat to hell. part of that abuse is due to a philosophy i adopted after my kids were born that said, "you can love your stuff or you can love your kids, but you can't love both." because of that, in part, my car has plenty of nicks and scratches in the paint, namely because my kids, when younger, loved getting in and out of my car through the sunroof. there wasn't another kid who witnessed this allowance without great envy. there also wasn't a pleading glance at a parent that wasn't met with, "don't even think about it."

as for the car i adore so much, it is a 91 bmw 318i, or an E30 for those in the know. i wanted one for many years and became dour when they stopped making them in 91. when it was time for me to replace a failing car, i kept a sharp eye out for one in the used lots. when i spotted this one, the deal was done before i completed the u-turn. i'm its second owner and have had it for 19 of its 26 years. unlike my bike i don't drive it often (as i walk or bike most places) but the days i get to pull it out of the garage are good days, especially when i'm headed for the highway for a cross-country adventure in one of the most fun-to-drive cars i have ever come upon.









desk/office

ever since i was in junior high, making my desk a place i found comfortable and productive has always been a thing. between having a large workspace, my wall of wonder as the backdrop and lots of custom additions to it, i've always made having a space i want to be at a priority. when we bought our house, i knew the room and space i wanted and claimed it immediately. it was originally the nursery/changing room of the house and is part of the master bedroom suite. part of it included a double doored closet. after we decided to buy the house i gained special access to it again to measure the closet to see if my 50's government issue desk would fit into it. it would with an 1/16 of an inch to spare. to say it was like it was meant to be would be too goofy so i won't, but you gotta admit ...









watch

a guy whose core hobby and interest is time and life managment has to have a watch of note. my timepeice of choice is an original military issue timex. the two things i love most about it are (1) its rolling date feature (not all the modern-day replicas have this), and (2) it does not have the ridiculously large (american) face current-day watches do which is a better fit for my smaller wrist. next year the watch will be 40 years old and still keeps spot-on time just as it did when it originally rolled off the line.



PART 11
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List-Fest 2016 - PART 12
Table of Contents
PART 13
Best Conversations >




PHOTO, LIST (permalink) 12.19.2016
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.



DECEMBER 2016



PART 10
< Ideal Day
List-Fest 2016 - PART 11
Table of Contents
PART 12
Favorite Possessions >




LIST (permalink) 12.16.2016
set your schedule or someone else will

MY DREAM DAY
05.30     wake (naturally)
06.00     write (for web or talk)
07.00     get aleo off to school
07.30     set goals for the day
08.00     get anfer to school
09.00     work - deep-dive development
01.00     exercise
02.00     meditate
02.30     design window
03.00     administrative - work
04.00     administrative - personal
05.00     read - professional
06.00     family dinner
06.30     dad hours (two 45 minute blocks)
08.00     clean kitchen (for marta)
09.00     leisure
10.30     bed

were i allowed to live the above day unperturbed for lots of days, i could cover a remarkable amount of ground on an enviable variety of fronts.



PART 9
< Home Buying
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Table of Contents
PART 11
The Most Important List >




LIST (permalink) 12.15.2016
buyer beware, like, really.
when marty and i bought our first home, we nearly made a dire mistake. but, there was a good reason--the home's front foyer had a circular staircase. well, that and an office that had a secret wall panel entrance. our minds reeled with grand visions of how these two unique and curious features would make the home perfect, especially given the eleven problems we were willing to overlook to make those two features ours. we tried immediately and near-desperately to make a bid on the home but the seller's agent was MIA. it turns out that flaky agent saved us from this near mis-step and during the wait marty and i got our senses back.

what we came to realize is lots of homes have some sexy selling feature, even if it is just one thing like a windowed breakfast nook, fancy tiling work, spacious screened in porch, nearby coffee shop, domed plaster ceilings, sprawling lawn, or even a winding staircase in the front foyer, there are many things that can engage your "i must have this" neurons. we thankfully realized in a moment of calm, non-arousal that we should probably figure out what we really needed and were after in the largest financial purchase we would ever make, document those needs, and then hold each other accountable to those clear-headed thoughts. this is how our home-buying checklist was born.

how it worked is we each got to pick five things our house had to have. if a house lacked any of your five items (even if it had all of the other person's items) you, the one missing stuff, could veto the sale and the other person had to accept your position. our checklist allowed us to make quick work of the dozens of houses that popped up every sunday. got 1, 3 and 4 but is missing 2 and 5. next! heck, we could even rule homes out before even pulling to the curb. super-efficient. i would say super marriage-saving too but after we had our list, one house spawned the second biggest fight of our marriage.

there was a house we looked at that had a two story turret—this was its SUPER eye candy. the bed of the master bedroom sat in this fully windowed circle and looked like the best sleeping nook ever created. even with our list in hand, the home's narcotic took hold of me. i had to have it. the house missed on three counts. it wasn't brick (but that was my item to give on). it didn't have a garage (which was a problem as it was marty's item) and it exceeded our agreed upon budget by 20k (which in home buying, i viewed as little more than a smidgen over--suffice it to say that marty did not concur on this interpretation). after having walked all the rooms, marty gave me the calm where-to next face. i on the other hand was in full rut for the house. i started making the case. without an ounce of emotion or excitement marty matter of factly pointed out that it's missing this, it's missing that, and it's over budget. and while yes it did have a fireplace (in fact it had five of them), none of them were functional. door closed. i told her i would build her a garage and figure out how to make the fireplaces work. marty calmly and rightfully held her ground which means we did not buy the house. marty also held her composure while i huffed and tantrumed over not getting my two-story turret. twenty years later i still cringe at my petulant episode.

years later we came to know the people who bought the house. they said after the sale they discovered massive foundational issue that was costing them a small fortune to rectify. financial ruin averted.

below is what our small but mighty checklist that totally saved marty and i from botching our most important financial decision.

marty's five
  1. wood burning fireplace
  2. garage
  3. two toilets
  4. breakfast room
  5. at least three bedrooms

troy's five
  1. brick
  2. third floor
  3. at least 8 distinct rooms/spaces
  4. circle in the floorplan
  5. it had to already be an old house A
the home we did end up buying lacked one thing from each of our lists. marty didn't get her second bath and i didn't get my third floor office. given the other benefits of the house and the beauty behind how the home came to us, we each forgave those items and wound up with a greatly functional and sound home. had we not made this list i can't imagine what we might have ended up with making this one of the smartest lists we've ever produced.

i should add one detail to this whole process that made it all more difficult. i was the problem here, fully, and my wife and realtor (for a while) were most understanding. while marty drew a hard and deep line in the sand about the budget, i said i would not buy what was termed a "starter-home". this is where you buy a house that will fit your family needs for a few years, typically until a second child arrives and then move to a bigger house. we knew we were going to have kids. we weren't sure how many but knew at least two. i wasn't going to buy a home where we would, by design, have to move when our second kid arrived. our realtor explained to me this was common practice. i explained to her that it sounded like the most asinine decision making i'd ever heard and when my second kid arrived i'd be trying to figure out how to be the parent of two kids and stay married and not looking to unload one home and find another home. just as marty held to her money guns, i held to this conviction until we found a home that could (and has) shouldered the needs of our growing family.

this said, one difficulty of saying you are going to essentially buy a home once and not move is you are young and inexperienced (having never bought a home). while our home has served us well, we have definitely learned some things through the experience as you would of course expect. some things are good, some less good, but thankfully none were super-huge in our case. an example here is our home has a front porch that extends the length of the house. when we first viewed the house we crossed over the porch, barely giving it a glance. it was not on our list and thus not something we were looking for or valuing. the modest strip of iron-railed cement has become one of our most beloved home features. fact is, my nickname to many in the neighborhood is "the porch guy" given how often i'm found out there, feet kicked up reading or eating. a counter-example is i never really gave a ranch-style house any kind of chance. were i buying again that might make my top five.

A for all of my twisted notions, this may be up there at the top. when people asked why i would only buy an old home i explained that it was so i didn't have to go through any growing pains with a house, namely the puberty stage. to explain. if you buy a new home, it is only new for a short while per the below aging scale:

the home aging-scale
  1. new home
  2. recently new home
  3. puberty years
  4. tired looking
  5. old home
two notes. first the puberty years refer to the period of time where the home design falls out of fashion and the trends are heading in a new direction. during this period the formerly new home occupies an awkward stage of not being new but not yet having withstood the test of time to see if its design will be a coveted one or not. this is an important distinction because not all homes make it to those later stages, which is my second point. some never emerge from the puberty or tired states. those get demolished or forever neglected. if you start in an old home, that is all you will ever have. once a home has made it to its wizened years, it has withstood decades of home-buyers judgement and now can never be anything other than what it is, an old home. further, when a home reaches this rarefied stage it will often be described as stately (having been handsome enough to be cared for over the years) or solid (having stood the test of time) or "they don't build em like that anymore" (which becomes more and more true with every passing generation). for all their uneven walls and unpredictable measurements, old homes are rich with character in ways new homes never can be.



PART 8
< Best Game of 2016
List-Fest 2016 - PART 9
Table of Contents
PART 10
Ideal Day >




LIST (permalink) 12.14.2016
if you like words and reading them ...
today i'm going to talk about someone else's list: famous year-end list pusher TIME Magazine. this year i have the honor of knowing one of the people on one of their lists. a dear friend of mine produced a game that made TIMEs list of TOP 10 GAMES OF 2016 (#7). the game is called crashlands.

for those who know my friend's story know that this is an extra-poignant victory on numerous levels. in short, my friend got sent through life's wringer being told at the mature age of 24 that the odds of him being alive in a year's time were quite bleak. hell, i think there was a time they said if he was alive in a month, it would be rather miraculous. if you've ever seen first-hand a greater example of tragedy, devastation, spirit, strength, resilience and perseverance i would deem you a most-fortunate individual as witnessing this young man's ordeal changed me in no small way.

for those of you who don't know my friend's story, here's an abbreviated version of the crashlands saga (in list form):
  • sam graduated college and started making kooky ios games with his brother, seth (e.g. piloting a rocket ship with occasionally working controls through an asteroid belt)
  • sam and seth, working as butterscotcth shenanigans, saw modest but growing success with their early games.
  • out of nowhere the crazily-healthy sam was told he had stage 4 cancer. the day before he thought he was coming down with a cold. three days before he beat his also crazily-healthy brother seth in a three-mile footrace.
  • it was bad. all very bad.
  • modern medicine met super-human samuel coster and a chance, albeit a meager one, was found.
  • in the middle of the multi-month, in-hospital treatment sam said to seth, "i don't want the last game i make before i die to be about a sloth riding a motorcycle through the jungle."
  • the next day the first crashlands neuron was fired.
  • months later sam rang the bell and walked out of the cancer treatment ward, a free and cured man.
  • crashlands development began in earnest and began to take for-real shape over the next year.
  • the cancer returned. bigger and bolder.
  • a half-year medical battle was waged, again.
  • sam rang that bell, reserved for few, a second time.
  • crashland's work resumed.
  • after more than two years of effort, and two cancer treatments, including a bone-marrow transplant, the game was released.
  • as for how crashlands did, its first week out it sat right below minecraft as the most popular iPad game, ready to be the first to knock Minecraft off the #1 perch it held for more than a year. while they never succeeded in taking the pole position, assuming the second spot in today's flood of games is a remarkable feat in itself.
and it also did well enough for time magazine to name it a top ten game of 2016 which is representative of the popular and commercial success it saw.

and lastly, if you're wondering what a kooky ios game looks and sounds like, get a taste of the coster boys work and style below. the voice you hear is sam's.



oh, and there's also a documentary coming out about all of this. the last i heard it is scheduled for release on january 21st, 2017



one last thing. regarding the second round of treatment sam went through. to erradicate the cancer, they, the doctors, had to, essentially, kill him, sam, to kill the cancer that re-invaded his body. when both were dead or in sam's case, walked right to the door of death, the doctors would attempt to nurse him, and just him and not the cancer, back to a healthy state, which they were astonishly able to do. since watching sam shoulder that hell-wrought wildcard from life's deck, i've never looked at another of my "trials" the same.



PART 7
< The List I'm Most Proud Of
List-Fest 2016 - PART 8
Table of Contents
PART 9
Home Buying >




LIST (permalink) 12.13.2016
the list i'm most proud of
over a three year period i lost 25 pounds. two things contributed to this. first my doctor said my blood pressure had been slowly increasing and had now reached a point where i had to start taking medication for it. i have a personal goal of never having to be dependent on any pills, like any and like ever, so my question to him was completely predictable:

TROY
ok, but when can i stop taking them?

DOCTOR
stop taking them? what do you mean?

TROY
i mean how long do i have to take the pills before i can stop?

DOCTOR
well, never. you will take them the rest of your life mr. dearmitt.

i explained i didn't want to take any pills. he said that was a fine notion but my heart was saying something different. i asked if there were any alternative solutions. he said i could stop drinking. i don't drink. i could stop smoking. i don't smoke. i could leave my high pressure job. i don't have a high pressure job. i could lose some weight. well, i'm not exactly obese but i could stand to lose a few pounds. so let's try that. i asked him to give me three months. he agreed but said if there was no change after three months i would have to go on the medicine.

i lost ten pounds in those three months and when i went back my blood pressure had returned to its normal range so no medicine for me. woo-hoo. but during my weight campaign i heard/read something that caught my attention. i can't remember if it was dr. oz or tim ferris but i think it was one of the two and they said that this notion that as we age we have to lose the battle with our weight and physique is a bunch of nonsense. that not only is there no reason you cannot retain your college age body but your college age body is representative of what you are supposed to look like.

when i heard that and after having the initial success in dropping weight, i drew a new line in the sand that i would re-claim my college body. the below chart shows my happiest day over a three year period. that was the day when my weight, after starting at better than 175 pounds first dropped under 150 pounds. this is probably the first time my weight was below 150 in more than twenty years.

at my last annual checkup, my doctor had a student shadowing him. after a few introductions and pleasantries, he asked me to remove my shirt and get onto the examining table. after doing so, my doctor looked at me over his clipboard, turned to the girl at his side and said, "i assure you mr. dearmitt is the healthiest patient we will see today."

i'm unable to quantify how much sweeter a sentence that is than "i am about to put you on a pill that you will take until the day you die". i don't think we've invented the math to compute the difference between those two emotions.


click to view in full size




PART 6
< Steps to achievement
List-Fest 2016 - PART 7
Table of Contents
PART 8
Best Game of 2016 >




PHOTO, LIST (permalink) 12.12.2016
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.



NOVEMBER 2016



PART 5
< Shopping List
List-Fest 2016 - PART 6
Table of Contents
PART 7
The List I'm Most Proud Of >




 
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