Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

07 November, 2017

Just yesterday morning, Part 3

All things are made bitter, words even / are made to taste like paper, wars gets tossed up / like soldiers used to be/ (in a child's attic) lined up / to be knocked down, as I am... ~ Charles Olson
The life of reality is confused, disorderly, almost always without apparent purpose, whereas in the artist's imaginative life there is purpose. ~ Sherwood Anderson 
Daylight Savings Time, Marriage, Art
Give it about 30 years and no one will even talk about Daylight Savings Time anymore.

Seriously. As annoying as it is, as pointless as it is, and as completely illogical as it is, it will cease to be the topic any real discussion.  
This won't happen because the powers-that-be will suddenly come to their senses and realize that moving the hour hand backwards or forwards doesn't actually extend or shorten the day. As a matter of fact, if anyone talks about hour hands, it will be in the sense of a quaint curiosity. Like jewelry made out of the hair of a dead loved one or the concept of privacy. All things fall into the dust of quaint curiosity shops of the mind -- including curiosity shops -- so seriously, don't put too much stock in the illusion that you're getting an extra hour sleep when we  FALL BACK IN THE FALL.

Don't worry about it. The Internet of Things will do it for us. We won't have to think about Daylight Savings Time because the ability to think about anything -- like the ability to read a clock or have a private thought that can't be described by a meme -- will have disappeared and we will have the IOT (Internet of Things, or, as we'll maybe call it NetStuf) heft the apparent burden of consciousness for us.

But if this Internet of Things... I mean, NetStuf... is so damn dandy, why can't it fix the hole in my ceiling? It can, apparently, predict what kind of advertising I'll respond to based on (really, very) random keyword searches. It can tell me who I was in a past life. It can tell me how I'm probably going to die and -- based just on my Facebook profile picture -- tell me where my ancestors came from. This Internet of Things assures that I'm instantly and permanently connected to countless facts, factoids, fake news, friend updates, new business connections, and scores for everything from the little league game (in languid immobile Summer, anyway) to World Cup Soccer.

But it can't crawl up into the very small and sort of claustrophobic space under the ceiling awning off the attic and repair a hole. It can't climb up on the roof and make any necessary repairs. It's 2017 and there are robots that can vacuum your house while you're gone... not that we can afford one or could even make use of one with three dogs and two cats to either hunt it, stalk it, or asphyxiate it with the endless trails of shed fur.

Ok, I know. I signed up for this life on the margin, right? Making Art out your life isn't easy, nor, I suppose, should it be. Though I'm still unsure of why. And I feel like I've been asking that question a really, really long time.




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10 October, 2017

Perpetual pilgrim, Part 1: introduction to the off-the-road edition

God is at home, it's we who have gone out for a walk.~ Meister Eckhart

Home life is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Lately my goal has been to try and apply the basic rules of the road to my everyday life.

It's not that I'm going to be out and about anytime soon... work and other responsibilities make this impossible... but it occurs to me that I've been living like the things I did out on the road had no relation to how I was living my life now. The problem is that in my most natural state, my mindset is that of a permanent traveler. It's not that I don't love the home I have with Amanda and Stella and Will; but I also know that as much as I love home... home as family, home as a place I'm comfortable... I'm not, in my natural state, much of a homebody. Yes, I like to maintain my space a certain way. When I travel I'm a tediously organized packer, too. So really, it's less about being domesticated and more about the aforementioned particularness ... whether home is on my back or four walls and a roof that needs to be re-shingled.

But I think part of my problem has been that I've still been trying to tackle this domestic bliss stuff the way I was socialized to by small town culture, by television, by mentors and heroes -- none of whom ever suggested, even remotely, that I orta do things the way they do things.**

In trying to figure out how to do this stuff  My Way, the only conclusion I've come to is that I have to live at home the way I live out on the road. Certainly there are some modifications. But overall, it's more about spacial awareness than a shift in awareness. Or, that's what I'm going with now.

My road rules went through multiple drafts and notions, but they boil down to something like this:

  1. Read and write everyday.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings.
  3. Leave things as nice or nicer than you found them.
  4. Etiquette makes society, not the other way around.
  5. Be grateful when things are good. They won't always be.
  6. Keep your head up when things are bad. They will be more often than not.Show appreciation and articulate love. Daily.
This isn't always easy, though I often think it should be. With four adults, three dogs, and two cats living under one roof, sometimes it feels like it's a little hard breathe. And I LOVE these people. But generally, if I keep my art at the center*** and tether myself to being essentially humane and focus on trying to be the best husband, father, and father-in-law that I can be, I believe I'm doing my part in helping maintain our conglomerated family unit.

Even if it's not altogether natural feeling sometimes.


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* No less than every girlfriend I've ever had and two ex-wives have pointed out/accused that I have an antagonistic relationship with the world. But clearly, the world started it.
**All of them actually said the contrary, on multiple times. A wise mentor will never tell you to do what they do, exactly how they do it. That's how you tell the difference between a mentor who has your best interests at heart and a megalomaniac who's interested in feeding his ego.
*** There's a reason why "Read and write everyday" is the first rule.


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17 October, 2016

Notes from the Bunket #6: the grand experiment resumes

Lord give me a job of work to do. - Tom Paxton


Back to the work force for me. After nearly 6 months of drawing unemployment and trying to find work in a field for which I have ample training and massive experience, I have, at the tender age of 43, entered an industry where I have hardly any expertise at all.

Getting a job in catering means signing yourself into an insane asylum, regardless of how sane you actually are.* It moves fast and for the most part -- even in a good shop, like where I work -- what you don't know you pretty much have to pick up on yourself. It means asking a lot of questions, sometimes to the point of annoying people who would rather work around you to get the job done instead of trying to teach a newbie how things work. While I have tended bar and worked around food, there is a mountain's worth of difference between serving in a sports bar or bowling alley working in fine dining. There are expectations. There are particular ways of doing things so customers feel like they got their money's worth out of the thousands of dollars they spent in hiring us.**

Catering is the kind of work with long and irregular work schedules. 12 hour days are not only common, they are pretty much the norm. With the holiday season fast approaching, I know there are long days and even longer weeks ahead.  It's the nature of the thing and you have to be willing to embrace the tidal wave even attempt it. People at the shop have been asking me if I've gotten used to the long days. To be honest, it's not been the schedule that bothers me. I could tell them about teaching at 3 or 4 different universities at once, sometimes leaving home at 6 am and not getting back until after 10 or 11, depending on where and how many classes I was teaching.  Most everyone at the shop knows I used to teach, but I like to think I approach work with enough tenacity and fearlessness that they are also figuring out that I don't think my past career has any bearing on my position in the shop. I'm a grunt. I like being a grunt. When I'm done with my work, I clock out and leave, and I leave work at work. When you teach, you can never leave work at work. You carry it with you, even when you're supposed to be relaxing.

I plan on working in catering for the next couple of years as move onto some other new possibilities, and I plan on learning as much about it as I can.

Being back in the work force also means that the grand experiment resumes: the quest to balance my creative life and my family life with the world of work. This is a challenge with any job, but I have too many things in the works to pull up my creative stakes and shrink away from all my projects.

The Kentucky Muck Podcast will resume on an irregular schedule, and Alidade: an audio map, will launch later this week. I also have other writing projects to work on, and I'm really looking forward to what being back in the work force will do for my writing.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed the link to a Pantheon page. This gives you the opportunity to help support the writing. Yes, I'm back in the work force, but your monthly patronage, at one of several levels (with accompanying perks!) will maybe someday enable me to return to writing and podcasting full time.

I'm pleased to announce that the blog has it's first patron, Ernest Gordon Taulbee. Thanks, Ernest! Look for your patron-only post later this week as well!

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*I commented to my wife how strange it is that I would end up in a field that attracts so many quirky personalities. She simply patted my arm and said "Well, you did enter it on your own."
**It's crazy how much people spend on food. But then again, it's why I have a job, so...

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23 July, 2015

Superstition and Tradition

Pictured left is my second round of drinks as a paid freelance journalist in Louisville.

Nothing fancy. Just my usual round of Miller Lite and Maker's Mark. This combination has been my bar drink of choice for longer than my second marriage lasted. My older brother, whose tastes are far more refined but who can drink with the best of them when the mood strikes him, is always a little sickened by my choice of combinations.

I was feeling a little squirrelly last night after a days of spending my days in the basement, sitting at the desk, working. I love the solitude, love the pace of the work I do -- gig based and sporadic as it feels at the moment -- but sometimes I need to get out. As Amanda understands and is extraordinarily patient about, it's not even about being social. Unless I'm meeting friends, I don't even socialize all that much.

The best way I know how to explain it is that sometimes I just need to swim around in a reasonable crowd of normal people who are not me, my books, my stringed instruments, the dog, or the cat. And sometimes I need a good bar with an uncomplicated air to find the ground. I need a place where I can be quiet and still feel like I've socialized.


I've established myself in a neighborhood watering hole that meets all the requirements set forth my pre-established Rules For Not At Home Drinking*.  And although I don't see the inside of a bar as much these days thanks to "the gig life" and the general financial burden that is summer (Thanks engrained academic schedule!), I felt it was important to go and have a  round or three out of the first check I earned as freelance journalist here in River City.

This was as much about wanting to see the inside of a familiar bar as it was superstition. In my last gig as a freelance muckraker -- with the The Prairie-Advocate out of Lanark, Illinois -- the first thing I did when I got paid was walk up to the local watering hole (there were two at the time and I was strongly discouraged by my  now ex-wife from walking in to one...  she called it, not incorrectly, "the redneck meat market") and have a beer and a shot. Bourbon is hard to find that far north, so I made do with a shot of Jack** and stuck to beer after that.

Drinking to inaugurate a new gig is something I see as crucial to the success of that gig. I did the same with first checks from teaching gigs in my 30's and still do in my 40's. I did the same from checks from day labor and factory/warehouse gigs in my 20's.  I will admit to a certain superstitious bent, but that's only because once money rolls in on the regular or semi-regular, it is immediately gobbled up in that bottomless pit called Bills and Other Unsavory Obligations.***

I had more reason to celebrate this gig check, though. When Amanda and I were first talking about me moving to River City and setting down some roots, I wasn't planning on going back to teaching. My Plan was to try and wow some of the local media with my portfolio of news writing. My Plan was that maybe I'd wiggle my way into some freelance work, and start building a fresh portfolio upon which I could build a livelihood out of writing. I don't really consider myself hampered by the fact that I don't have a degree in journalism (I did minor in it once upon a time). But I did find, on first pass, that not having a journalism degree in a medium-sized market as problematic as not having an MFA when you're applying for creative grants.

Sometimes editors, publishers take the absence of a specific degree personally. So my foray into the Louisville journalism scene didn't pan out. Initially.

But, as I am often reminded, everything is about timing.

Talking with Amanda about moving here and writing for LEO was the beginning of  this new and happier chapter in my life. In case you didn't know this about me, in addition to being somewhat superstitious, I'm also a touch sentimental about certain important things. Although I know that this gig is only prelude to something else and life moves forward, it reminds that 1) I really do like writing about news and think good, researched journalism matters, and 2) the Universe is sometimes very kind to me... and even looks out for me from time to time.

So, Sláinte ^ , Dear Friends and Readers.

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* Rules For Not At Home Drinking, codified and approved 2004, Cincinnati, OH. 1) Do not drink more than stumbling distance or not more than a 30 minute bus ride (no transfers) from home without having a ride. 2) Do not drink more than 5 shots of bourbon in a two hour period, regardless of how good or how empty the mood. 3.) Hydrate regularly. 4.) Eat properly 5.) Be safe.
** Any drinking rules I have get altered when Jack Daniels gets involved. Say what you will, but different liquors hit me differently... and the last time I went on a Jack induced bender I ended up getting hit... and hitting other people. Something in that Tennessee swill raises the temperature of my blood to an unpleasant degree. I take this as proof that I am, at least physiologically, in the right state now.
*Or, THE DEVIL INCARNATE
^ Gaelic for 'Good Health' or 'Last one to drink is a Protestant Tory.'

09 May, 2014

Everything Flows: The Dirty, Sacred River of the Soul


One of the things I like about traveling is the reaffirming sense of my place in the world. Riding the bus out here from River City, barrelling through the night the cement slipstream through Tennessee into West Virginia and Virginia, I thought about all the other times I'd been through those places. Tennessee -- Knoxville in particular -- continues to leave a bad taste in my psyche.  There was so much promise, so much denied, and, looking back, the foundation of my second marriage's eventual failure has it's roots somewhere in that haunted little city overshadowed by a large state school and the unrealized hope of the sunsphere... remains of the 1984 World's Fair... and the nuclear warhead manufacturing facility in Oak Ridge. 

I found myself feeling increasingly cynical and bitter as the bus rolled through the Volunteer State, even though I was generally happy to be back out again. The academic year is finished. I got most of my list of tasks completed. I scribbled a few lines in the first entry of a fresh travel journal about the leaving and about looking ahead to the sun I am perpetually chasing:

So long to the bean counters.
So long to the nit picking biddies.
So long to the dirty sacred river.
(Your memory courses through my veins.)
So long Beloved, until my promised return.
(Your love courses through the marrow of my soul.)

I would have prefered to bring The Traveller's Angel with me on this jaunt, like I would prefer to have her with me on every jaunt.  I've mentioned before that she travels well and how I appreciate her observations, her quick wit and insights about the world. It is important to be able to see the world differently when you are out in it, even if you are travelling to a place you've been before.  

And even though she couldn't come out with me in person this time, I carry her with me, anyway.

I was asked recently by a friend and fellow Wob, J.P. Wright, how I managed to find a woman who understands my need to be in my head... which sometimes means I need to be out and on the road, moving.  

My only answer is that sometimes the universe is inexplicably and unjustifiably kind. Though it's possible to reconstruct the timeline of our relationship (which, in all honesty has roots that reach back almost 20 years) I am mindful of the words my friend George Eklund told me on one the many times he and his wife Laura have welcomed me into the warmth of their home: 

"You know," he said, "there's someone for everyone. But the chances of actually running into that person are so against us."

This is one of the ways I understand grace,and am learning to accept faith.

Travelling without her in the seat next to me is hard; but there is magic and a miracle in loving someone and in being loved by someone who understands that I need to get out and stretch my legs from time to time, if only to meditate on my place in the world and see what there is to see.

My eastbound jaunt takes me once again to Virginia and the Atlantic Coast. The weather is better, and The Kid is living on her own (with her boyfriend, who I'm starting to like inspite of my deep and intense desire to not like anyone who dates my daughter.*), working, and going to school.  I have spent most of her life trying bolster her up across large geographic boundaries, and I was never able to visit as much as I would have liked. Now that I dedicate time exclusively to being on the road, it's easier for me to drop in and check on her, if only so she knows that I am in her corner regardless of my current zip code.

Travelling as I do, sometimes visiting friends, I run back into my own footsteps from time to time. But with each new visit, I am aware that the footprints eventually wash away, that even familiar places are always a little new, a little beautiful, a little sad, a little dangerous. 

And though I stand by my assertion that Norfolk is the UNFRIENDLIEST CITY I HAVE EVER BEEN IN, I have always had an affinity for the water, and I like the North Atlantic coast.  I never get tired of staring out into the horizon, focusing on everything and on nothing, feeling myself saturate and be saturated by the place in the distance where the water meets the sky, and everything merges into one thing. 

This is the only way I can grasp what sacred means... that place where all things merge, where the Traveller's Angel's soft touch reaches out to me in a sunbeam carried by North Atlantic winds, and I can watch my daughter and marvel at the adult she is becoming.

More later from down the cement slipstream...

25 April, 2014

Learning Along the Dirty, Sacred River: Educated vs. Learned; A New Poem

 Educated vs. Learned


I grew up believing that if I wasn't immediately good at something, then I should instead focus on those things I did excel at after one try. While this idea was not planted in me by any one person in particular, it was cemented into a false truth by pee wee football coaches who were either more interested in seeing their sons play or trying to compensate for their failure to coach in the NFL; it was fostered and encouraged by well meaning teachers whose impatience at my stubborn inability to grasp things like long division and the particulars of photosynthesis placed me firmly in the group of dim students who sat in the back and doodled rather than sat up front and knew every answer.* This idea was bullied into fact by other children who were more impressed with their own imaged prowess than with a quiet boy's curiosity about nearly everything.

Funny how curiosity was not (and generally still is not) one of those things people consider something worth being good at. I am very good at being curious and I have always been -- even when I was not good at articulating my curiosity. 

This idea of not doing what I wasn't naturally good at was also encouraged and developed by the list of things I was told, specifically, NOT to do. Adults like to say (and I have said it myself) that all children believe they are immortal. That sense of immortality was not something I experienced all that much because I was a sickly kid. I was in and out of the hospital several times before I turned five. Doctors took out my tonsils when I was four because they assumed that swollen tonsils were the reason I was having trouble breathing.  It took a while before my parents could find the right doctor to make the correct diagnosis. The smart, non-cutting doctor determined it was chronic asthma made worse by allergies. And I was allergic to almost everything. The doctors assured my parents that exposure to any level of dust, pollen, or mold might trigger an asthma attack that would kill me.**

This created a long list of things I could not do. If a neighbor three yards away was mowing their yard, I couldn't go outside to play. Sports were problematic, and even after I was cleared at the age of eight to join the world outside of school and church, I struggled. I couldn't tromp through the woods or explore the wide open fields near where I grew up -- both of which I did, often once I was old enough to be let out on my own without fear of the Carnahan's lawn mower.

One of the places I was never allowed to go was Grandpa's workshop. My brother and my (male) cousins were allowed. Most often I was left in the house, where I learned to play gin rummy with Grandma, and where I continued to develop my already over-active imagination.  Looking back, I wonder if my being barred from the workshop somehow limited my ability to talk to my mother's father. I remember him being a silent man; but he was not always silent. He would tickle me and sing silly songs to me when I was very young. He once gave a very nice pork pie hat -- grey brushed felt with a leather band -- that had been his, I think.***

I love the smell of wood and tobacco. Both of these smells represent things that were forbidden to me when I was young and it was believed that the dusty ol' world might kill me.

More than that, though, I love the thought that I am learning, again, how to work with wood.

One of the projects Amanda and I are working on this year are covers for the raised gardens. We have 4 raised Amish-made cedar garden beds. Last year, we tried to plant a garden that was trounced by flying squirrels, a squatter possum, bluejays, crows, and cardinals. The solution this year: simple wood frame and chicken wire covers. The scope of the project is not grand. I'm not going to try and jump from this project to building a house. But it's start.

Photo by A.Hay. The useful looking one is her Dad.
The hardest part is that while I can intuit a lot, and while I can figure out a lot how things work, and while I can research and learn about the things I can't figure out on my own is that somewhere, in back of my mind, I hear echoes of that thought -- generally in voice of Coach Thornberry, the king of jerk^ pee wee football coaches -- that if I can't do something, that I shouldn't do it at all.

But, in the parlance of our times: To hell with that bozo.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Poem



Seedling

Winter makes me tire of myself.
Cold, dark February days instill in me
a desire to whittle away everything
that might signify I am alive.
Erase. Cut back. Wear a different hat.
Forgo certain enjoyable habits –
as I am and always have been
a creature of habit.

I was never so free
as when I lost my identification
to a pickpocket in a Minneapolis casino/
Bereft and released,
no longer obligated to my father’s name
I was only who others saw
or chose not to see.
There would have been no urgency at all
except that terrible itch in my foot and the anticipation
of touching your soft, warm skin
of looking into your bright eyes –
You, who know do not need to know my name
to know me
or to know my place in this world.

Now it is Spring
and the honeysuckle is blooming.
I find myself more inclined
to write myself back into lines
rather than obliterate all trace
and pray for the insight of others.
Your eyes, they shine on me
trace the lines that demarcate me,
the lines I have spent a cold season erasing.
Within the fresh lines,
your eyes fill me with ten thousand colors
of ten thousand forgotten nourishing suns
as the neighborhood roosters call out
demanding us all to rise.

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*Sometimes I scribbled poems and silly stories. Sometimes I drew robots and then scribbled little poems and stories about them. Sometimes I daydreamed that I was a robot. Or that I was Superman. Or that I was a secret agent in enemy territory... that was a particularly favorite daydream during Ms. Melvin's 4th grade class when we studied multiplication tables.
** Not being able to breathe is an odd experience. I call it odd, rather than traumatic, because it happened often enough that it stopped being scary and became annoying. The only thing more annoying than not being able to breathe was everyone else's reactions to my not being able to breathe.
***I wasn't able to wear the hat very long. My head has always been unusually large.
^ Think of a wanna-be Mike Ditka. Same ego, same attitude, sans the coaching skill.

12 March, 2014

Short Form, Long Story

Some stories do not fit in a short format.

With the monthly Moth Story Slam quickly approaching, I've been pondering what story to tell. And with this month's topic being HEROES, I thought I had a shoo-in.

There's rarely a day that goes by that The Old Man doesn't cross my mind at least once. This September 3rd will be 24 years since he died, and while I like to think I've come to understand him as a person and not the larger-than-life myth I created around him as a child, the fact is that even in -- maybe especially in --  his imperfect humanity there's a touch of the mythic about him.

The stories about him are legion. He dropped out of high school at 17 and joined the Navy in time for the Korean War. (I suspect that the military was seen as a last ditch effort to keep him out of jail. He, like his father before him and his sons after him, was born with a chip the size of the Continental Divide on both shoulders.) Joining the Navy taught him three things: 1) that some men are bigger men than others (learned after standing naked in a room with several hundred other young men for induction); 2) that he hated boats (no one mentioned the stress point built into the middle of battle ships that keeps them from sinking during rough waves); and 3) that he hated the bananas.

After his 3 year naval hitch, he remained a civilian for about a year and then joined the Air Force, which he stayed in for 20 years and attained the rank of Master Sgt. Among the things he learned in the Air Force 1) All officers are assholes; 2) there's an art and craft to telling someone to go to hell; and 3) that it was still possible in the 20th century to be banned from a state upon penalty of incarceration. (He was -- let's call it asked -- by then Governor Ann Richards to not return to the state of Texas after a furlough weekend with two childhood friends, each in a different branch of the military. I have only heard of the existence of this letter and have never seen it.)

There are more stories, many that I know, and too many I will probably never know. Except for my immediate family and one cousin in New Jersey, I can't seem to maintain any contact with The Old Man's family. He has two brothers still living -- one who is an extreme misanthrope and another who lives in Colorado who I have only met once. (I was going to go back out and talk to him some more. But thanks to a Facebook Troll during the '12 Presidential Election season and that familial double sawboard should chip the size of the Continental Divide, that second meeting never occurred.)

On the topic of Heroes, The Old Man has always been mine, but I cannot seem to reduce his legend to a good 5 minutes. It seems unfair to his memory, and unfair to the audience. And so I find myself wondering what it is I have to say about heroes.

Don't worry. I'll come up with something. It may even be safe for an NPR crowd.

03 September, 2011

21 Anno Domini



Ken Parsons, 1955.
The picture I chose of my dad was taken in 1955... 18 years before I was born. Although I have pictures of him from my childhood – the way I remember him – but I like this picture of him more than any of those. This is him in his youth, in his prime. There's a cockiness in his stance that grew into something larger, into a mental and spiritual indefatigably, which lingered, even when his health and his body began to fail him. The stamp on the back of the picture indicates that the picture was taken – or, at any rate, developed – in November of that year in San Antonio, Texas. The only thing I know about my dad being in Texas was that after being in that state with two other friends – he in the Air Force, and one friend each in the Navy and the Army – my dad received a letter from the governor asking him to please never return to the state or risk being incarcerated.

At least, that's the way I remember him telling the story. And while I'm sure that there was probably some exaggeration involved – the men in my family are prone to exaggeration – I have found there's an element of truth in all forms of exaggeration.

Today is the 21st anniversary of his death. Some years it's easier for me to handle than others. This year seems a bit more difficult than I've experienced in a while. Maybe it's because lately I've been acutely aware of his absence. There are times when I still want to ask his advice, still want him to make everything better. I'd ask him what he thinks about my life. Silly, really. I think maybe the reason I care so little about the opinions of other people is because his opinion was always the one that mattered – and in its absence, there is no one who's opinion can act as a substitute.

That he is gone doesn't mean I don't still learn from him. That I can't remember the sound of his voice doesn't mean he still doesn't speak to me. It is the blessing and the curse of children to carry their parents with them, in their bones and in their hearts. The imprint is a permanent one. I continue to learn from him because the core of what I learned continues to apply to my everyday life. He teaches me that being honest counts for more; that convictions are worth standing up for; that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity until they've proven otherwise. He also teaches me that I am not less deserving of respect than others so long as I remember these three things.

I miss you, Dad. Give'em Hell.