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WIFE, QUOTES (permalink) 02.28.2014
i'll let you guess who wears the pants in this arrangement
the email i received from marty after she read the family gallery posting (trapped) about her choosing to quit work and stay home with the kids.
It's amazing how you can write like a woman.
that was the message in it's entirety. no hello. no thanks. just, you write like a girl. i reckon the most appropriate response would have been:
and, it's amazing how much you write like a man.
but instead of sending that response, i went to the kitchen and did the dishes.

FRIEND (permalink) 02.27.2014
beaten to the punch
i had lunch with a friend. we talked about many things. family, both immediate and extended. the generational divide in belief and approach. he talked about how disengaged his parents were with his children. he went on to add that he shouldn't be all that surprised because they weren't all that engaged with him when he was young. now rolling in his deconstruction of the relationships he said the following, and i'm paraphrasing here:
my girls are the only two people i will know for every minute of their lives. i mean i saw them enter this world. i held them moments after. i cleaned maggie off minutes later. and i've seen every moment since. i get to witness them experience the world for the first time and am watching them turn into adults before my eyes, and get to help mold and direct that. i mean how f'ing amazing is that. how could you not want to be part of that if you're fortunate enough to have the chance?
when he paused i complimented his beautiful verbalizing of the experience, confessing i had never thought of it in just that way—that as a parent you get to experience nearly every facet of a child's experience in this world and how that isn't going to happen anywhere else, like ever again, except for maybe as a grandparent if you're lucky enough to have grandkids and live long enough to see it but even then you will spend much of the time in the next room, thus making your parental run all the more special. then, selfishly, i expressed my dismay at not verbalizing that sentiment before he just did (and me over-thinking just about anything kid related that can be ruminated on).

sometimes i hate being so predictable.

VIDEO (permalink) 02.26.2014
bella meets youtube
a local community activist, after meeting bella, asked if she could interview bella for an awareness program they were working on. bella agreed and we just recently saw the resultant video.

PHOTO (permalink) 02.25.2014
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

LIFE, FRIEND (permalink) 02.21.2014
raising the bar
this recent post by dan martin stands as one of my favorite-ever facebook posts. granted, i've only ever read seventeen facebook post. still, it's one of the best i've seen. beautiful and thoughtful work dan. kudos.

LIFE, FRIEND (permalink) 02.20.2014
the talking artist
so this friend i've written about the last two days (tue, wed) would be the same friend i recently celebrated reconnecting with (told here) after a multi-year hiatus. as noted when i first brought him up, he is one of my all-time favorite people to converse with as partially evidenced by the last two days postings, both of which came from our most recent outing together (i could probably bleed two weeks of content from that single lunch). that said i fear i may not have properly represented him in those two examples.

one problem in sharing our conversations is i'm not a good enough writer to accurately convey the spirit of our talks and because of this, his inquiries might come off as insensitive or fumbling but this is very much not the case. what makes this fellow so good at discourse is he is able to ask the perfect questions, questions that are way obvious and way probing all at the same time. the special part is he can do so without coming across as aggressive or judgmental—no small feat. this is his art. truly. i've never met a person who can engage another as intensely and innocently (simultaneously) as this guy. and frankly, i don't know how he does it but would quickly trade a skill or two of my own to possess the rare ability. after much thought though, i believe it to be, simply, his natural gift.

the big thing he is able to do that most can't is pose his questions, and he has many, in a way that is not menacing. he is not looking to challenge your ways but instead understand them, possessing a genuine interest to know why you do what you do. it's fundamental curiosity at its basest form. the only time i've seen a like level of interest elsewhere is in small children. the significant difference though is his questions are curated and presented with the grace and clarity of a professional conversationalist, if there is such a thing. and this is not a one-way affair. i share a like curiosity and wonder at his life, past and present, and he is every bit as giving as he might ask you to be. the culmination of this mutual interest in each other's lives makes for twisting, unpredictable, and meaningful conversational journeys that, when we really fall into the stream, could best be described as 'heady'.

i cherish my time with this friend because he routinely gets me to re-contemplate my choices. for me this is big because my choices, our choices, are what will go on to make us who we are three months and three decades from now. when looked at like that, i'd challenge you to name a more critical service or use of your time. in our talks, there are times his curiosity affirms my position and other times it prompts me to adjust or abandon my notions. either way it gets cut up, i'm the better for our vivisection of ideas. in many regards it is the relationship bookguy pined for many years back (documented here).

i reckon it's clear by now that i could easily devote six months worth of posts to my interactions with this friend, known by all simply as luby, as our time has been most interesting pretty much from the moment we first met. i hope to enjoy his magical, elegant way for many decades to come.

LIFE, HEALTH (permalink) 02.19.2014
more wheaties. more piss.
another question my friend, the same from yesterday, asked me about in our last outing was why i worked so hard to lose weight and get in shape. his question, obvious as it was, took me a little off-guard and without much thought i told him, generically, so i could make sure i'm able to keep playing with my kids as i get older and don't have to be the dad that sits on the park bench reading the paper, shooing them back to play on their own when they call me in to share in their climbing and chasing games. later in the week, my sub-conscious, certainly un-enamored with my wanting response, pushed forth the real answer by replaying one of lester burnham's many great lines from american beauty. this particular exchange came when he caught up with the male couple from next door during one of their morning runs.
Lester: I figured you guys might be able to give me some pointers. I need to shape up. Fast.
Jogger: Are you just looking to lose weight, or do you want increased strength and flexibility as well?
Lester: I want to look good naked!
if i were honest with my friend, and myself, this is the core reason i'm working as hard as i am. first and foremost i believe that if i achieve that goal, of looking good naked, many other pertinent and meaningful dominoes will fall, like looking good at the pool, having clothes fit me better, feeling energetic, avoiding doctors/hospitals (!!!), walking into speaking engagements with greater confidence, sleeping more soundly, biking a hundred miles with my daughter, getting out of a chair or off the floor without accompanying groans and moans, and yes, all that and being able to rawk the park with my youngins.

the biggest and most unanticipated benefit of getting my body back more like my college days was surprisingly not on my list: making my wife more interested in me. she had never discerningly reduced her affection for me over the decades as i added better than a pound a year to my frame but once the weight left my mid-section, there was a perceptible uptick in the attention i received from her. for instance, as i passed her in the hallway where before we'd politely skirt by one another without any antics, she might now hold a hand out as i passed and rake her fingers across my flat-ish stomach or she might come up behind me as i did dishes and send a slow hand down my side, leaving a tantalizing comment in my ear before peeling away. again, while this sorta stuff never fully went away, this sorta stuff wasn't happening with the same frequency when i was having to up-size my pants every other year. and even though this perk wasn't on my radar of benefits when i began the trek, i can whole-heartedly say it stands out (and up) as the best part of the view now that i've crested the hill.

LIFE (permalink) 02.18.2014
talking about pissin' in a man's wheaties
a friend recently questioned my practice of doing daily, routine things for my family members as a show of love. these things can include doing the dishes to honor marty, watching suspense movies with bella every saturday night, playing minecraft with alex a few nights a week, or reading harry potter to anthony every night before bed. my friend argued that given my consistency people would soon deem these acts as "normal" and come to expect them. the result of this expectation would be my efforts would lose their shine of specialness. i quickly refuted his claims as short-sighted and immature but can confess that since he planted that seed in my head i've now come to observe the reactions to my rituals with a new eye, an eye that is looking for signs that my rituals are carrying the unintended consequences he predicted, consequences that are injuring the very growth i'm looking to foster. how much would it suck were it true?

TRAVEL (permalink) 02.10.2014
a man's gotta live

it's mancation week here at, thus the offices will be shuttered for the week.

talk at ya next week.



QUOTES (permalink) 02.07.2014
a young friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer. it arrived with a suddeness and ferocity that is hard to comprehend, let alone understand. the manner in which this young man, sam, has shouldered this dark card in his deck is as hard to comprehend as the event itself. i have twenty years of life experience over this fellow and even had the privilege of once calling myself his teacher, and he has faced this moment with a maturity and courage i don't think i've ever witnessed first-hand, like ever. suffice it to say i often feel as though i'm the one in the auditorium looking up at him standing tall and confident at the lecturn. to give you a taste of this young man, i share his latest broadcast from his company web-site:
When I got my cancer diagnosis in November I was completely blindsided. I went in on a Friday afternoon to get a lumpy piece of my chest checked out and the doc, calm as a hurricane eye, stepped back from the table and crossed his hands.

"You' old?"

"I'm 23."

"This is going to... sound strange. I'm nearly certain that this is cancer. You'll need to get it cut out as soon as possible."

I went out to my car and had an earthshattering bawlfest that lasted a brief 4 minutes. Then I called my brother Seth, the programming half of our studio.

We are a two-man team, doing everything from inception to launch on the games we make. In telling him about the diagnosis I admitted I was terrified that this cancer would take our fledgling indie studio and throw it under the ground, as it may throw me. Seth reassured me and became my chauffeur for the next week as we went up to Iowa from St. Louis to do surgery, get the diagnosis complete, and figure out treatment.

It was Stage 4 lymphoma. It was on my spleen, my liver, my pelvis, my entire lymph system. The docs at the time said it might even be in my spinal fluid. A PET scan showed that my insides, rather than consisting of nice fleshy pinkness, were a coating of tumor. Despite how aggressive the cancer was, I was given a 65%-ish cure rate. Chemo was to begin the next week before I decided to up and die from tumor load. 

The two weeks between diagnosis and treatment was a true whirlwind of activity and emotion. It wasn't until after I received my first chemo infusion that my anxiety settled and Seth and I sat down to begin again on our project at the time, Extreme Slothcycling.

As we began to plan a wry feeling started bubbling up from my chest. Something about this was wrong. Hysterically wrong. I interrupted Seth as he was in mid marker-swing across the whiteboard.

"Seth. I don't want Extreme Slothcycling to be the last game I make before I die."

you can follow the adventure, and get plugged into their next game which my alex is feverishly awaiting, at their website butterscotch shenanigans.

PHOTO (permalink) 02.06.2014
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.

LIFE, HEALTH (permalink) 02.05.2014
work smart, not hard
the most important health lesson i've learned in my near decade long pursuit of a healthy body.

it is easy to wreck a strong exercise regimen with a bad diet.

and, it is impossible to wreck a good diet with a bad exercise regimen.

this bit of knowledge has been the difference between me running like mad and making no ground and me nearing my health goals while barely breaking a sweat.

QUOTES (permalink) 02.03.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

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