• Life

    Döstädning

    by It’s a word in Swedish that means something like “death cleaning”. I say something like as it seems probable that there are a whole lot of cultural connotations with the word that don’t properly come into English. If they did, I probably wouldn’t feel the need to qualify the two-word translation with the next whole paragraph, and I likely still only have the basic gist of things. My background is half-Scandinavian, but not Swedish. Döstädning is the idea of recognizing your own mortality and doing what you can to lessen the amount of stuff you leave behind for the people you leave behind to deal with. A big chunk…

  • Life

    The Unexamined Life

    by I’ve run across variations on certain a meme a few times now. Text only, it goes something like, “I grew up hearing and learning racist, sexist, and homophobic things. Eventually, I learned to think for myself and unlearned it. You were raised that way? Unlearn it. It’s 2020 and there’s no excuse for it.” Another variant: “You are not responsible for the programming you received in childhood. But as an adult, you are 100% responsible for fixing it.” Or, to borrow from Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I grew up in the 1970s and 80s. There was plenty of racist, sexist, and homophobic crap in popular…

  • Life

    And So It Begins

    by I have, ultimately, made the decision on the basic path I want to follow for the next few years and, as of this afternoon, I’ve had the first phone and email exchanges to explore whether my preferred option is even possible. Yes, I know I said I’d take a little time to breathe. I think I also said that there’s a bit of potential time pressure on one path and, well, that’s the path that will give me the most of what I want, that will let me have a shot at the largest number of my dreams. I’m genuinely excited just by the idea of being able to…

  • Life

    What My Life Looks Like Right Now

    by In a word: weird. I’ve more or less become a house-husband, which is kind of cool. The cooking, the housework, the maintenance, pretty much all me. And that’s as it should be since my wife is the one working full time and making sure there’s money for food, utilities, and basic necessities. In between the housework, cooking, and maintenance, I’m getting a fair bit of writing done, plenty of martial arts training, and a surprising number of odd projects (like last week’s composter made of pallets and the tree/brush removal and cleanup we’ve been putting off for several years). I’m available as needed for my kids (all at home…

  • Life

    I’m Actually Not Missing Work At the Moment

    by Meaning, I’m currently at a mental place where I don’t miss work. Really. Some of the people, certainly. But being out of the house 50-55 hours per week to see those people while I bring home a paycheck, not so much. Oh, I’ve been there during this enforced shutdown of my industry, and I’ll get back there too, but right now I’m good. Since I’ve been off, I’ve pounded down the list of household projects to about a quarter of its original length. Of course, there are a couple of big projects (<cough> kitchen <cough>) we can’t afford with me off work, or even very easily if I’m back…

  • Life

    A Daughter’s Birthday

    by In the ongoing saga of, “When did I get so old?”, today is my oldest daughter’s th birthday. In every way marked by our society, she’s now a legal adult. I try not to blog about my kids’ major life events too often, at least partly for privacy concerns, but there are certain milestones that are a big deal, and nineteen is one of them. Strictly speaking, nineteen is absolutely one of them as it takes away the last handful of things that our society puts a legal age minimum on, mainly: Buy/consume alcohol, cigarettes, or cannabis products Buy lottery tickets or go to a casino Adopt a pet…

  • Life

    #CovidCooking

    by I’ve been making the occasional big deal out of learning how to cook during the shutdown. Under ordinary circumstances, my wife does most of the cooking while I do most of the dishes and related cleanup. This division suits us both. She’s a much better cook and seems to enjoy the process, and I don’t mind handling the dirty dishes or dealing with spills and wipe downs, though I’m sometimes entertained by just how many dishes can be generated in the preparation of one meal. But the truth of the matter, and I suspect it’s true for a lot of people who are in similar boats right now, is…

  • Life

    How Are You Coping?

    by There are as many ways of coping with the current isolation practices and how they’re reshaping our lives and society as there are people coping with it. New hobbies or a return to old ones, learning new things, bursts of creativity, exercise, extra housework or jobs around your living environment, reading, binge watching, social media, and on and on. For myself, now on Day 14 of true isolation in the aftermath of my place of work being shut down, I’m doing most of these things. Not because of some drive to make all this extra down time productive, although I’m sure there’s some of that in my psyche somewhere,…

  • Life

    18

    by Holy crap, my oldest daughter is 18 years old. My little Squeaker, my independent toddler who nonetheless always had know I was watching, my in so very many ways incredible oldest daughter. I’m going to forgo the usual sentimental dread where I remember first steps and first teeth, where I’m shocked and amazed at how long it’s been since I held her for the first time and how old she is. She’s 18 today, and that’s huge. She is tremendously politically and socially aware and I’m pretty sure she has a vision of a world that’s far better than the one we live in. Now, a legal adult, according…

  • Life

    At the Laundromat

    by Sometimes, it’s an interesting cross-section of people you can discover at the laundromat. Sometimes interesting is the wrong word. I don’t do laundromats much anymore, because, with three small children, it was one of our earliest goals after we moved to the small town we’re living in to have our own washing machine and dryer again to make sure that we didn’t have to take those three children to the laundromat once a week for several hours. On a weekend, when it’s crowded, and there are other people, too many other people, trying to use the same machines. And, likely as not, there are a couple of other sets…