Sorry, The Position's Been Filled

I didn’t have many friends as a child. It wasn’t for lack of interest. Every day, I went to school and surveyed a playground of peers, many of whom seemed like they’d be fun to hang out with. As far as I can recall, that was my sole criterion. The fact that most of them didn’t think I would be fun to hang out with has perplexed me for 40+ years and is also the likely source of all my adult insecurities, but that’s another essay for another time. Point is, I didn’t think about who I wanted to be friends with in elementary school. We were friends or we weren’t. Liked each other or didn’t. As I aged, my friend selection process didn’t change very much. Into high school, college, and well into my 20s and 30s, people entered my life and we bonded deeply or connected briefly or ignored each other like people in line for a Cinnabon at McCarran Airport.  Around the time I hit my late 30s, something shifted. No longer did I meet peers on playgrounds, We didn’t mix in classrooms, dorms, quads,

Tough Love Alternative

A little something for my colleagues in education.

Holden Caulfield, Superspeader

In case you didn't see it, I recently had a piece published at McSweeney's Internet Tendency . 

Loretta and the Nun

The dog is old. I am not sure how old, but dogs don’t really age in years anyway. When we first got her, she would run ahead of me on the trail, then race back as if to make sure I knew the way, then ahead again, before disappearing into the scrub for 10 minutes to chase deer, collect ticks, and coat herself in poison oak, only to emerge 100 yard behind me wondering how I’d had the temerity to get in front of her. If I walked three miles, she ran seven. Her off-trail sorties worried me. I wanted to be the kind of dog owner who let his animal roam. But I’d become attached. I didn’t want to lose her and I didn’t yet know her well enough to know that she would always come back. She was new to us then, a gaunt mongrel, rescued from the mean streets of Madera County, plucked from a high-kill shelter, complete with a right hip full of buckshot, an infected paw, and teats that scraped the ground. There was nothing remotely attractive about her. She barked at strangers, attacked bicyclists,

Thoughts that pop into my head at random and confirm beyond any shadow of a doubt that I turned 46 a couple of weeks ago

E-bikes are actually pretty cool. Le Creuset cookware is definitely worth the price. Weed is just so strong nowadays. Would it be weird if I got Bar Mitzvahed as an adult? I forgot how good Van Morrison is! I wonder if there’s another variety of tomato hybrid that would be more productive in our microclimate. Why the fuck is “Broadcast News” not on Netflix? If George H. W. Bush were running in this election I would totally vote for him. Green tea is a lot better than I realized. How much do stand up paddle boards cost? Pizza just doesn’t sound good right now. Wait, if I’ve always secretly thought that most of my friends married the wrong person does that mean that most of my friends secretly think that I married the wrong person too? I don’t feel like having sex tonight. IPAs are all over-hopped at this point. I wish I had more of a relationship with my financial guy. That retaining wall looks like it’s leaning. The pro

Nanny State Or: How I Learned To Stop Thinking And Trust My Wife

We hired our first nanny (a term that makes me deeply uncomfortable) when our daughter was 12 weeks old. There is a special place in heaven reserved that lovely woman.   Beautiful, bright-eyed, freckle-faced, and Salvadoran, she was preternaturally tender and loving. She had a deep wellspring of patience for our colicky nightmare of an infant who alternated almost exclusively between crying and screaming, with only occasional breaks for chest-to-chest naps in the Baby Bjorn. She rode the bus to our house four mornings a week, every week for nearly nine months. She was our daughter’s second mother, fourth grandmother, third aunt, and closest companion. We trusted her with keys to our home, access to petty cash, the code to our garage door, not to mention the daily watering and feeding of our most precious possession. She called Emma her “muñeca,” her doll. And 13 years later, I can almost remember her name. When she gave notice, my wife and I were devastated. You don’t r