Has it really been three months since I posted anything here? Boy. I have been busy.
My extended absence has less to do with running out of things to write than it does having too many things to write. Work – both my salaried employment and a bit of freelance work – have picked up considerably over the last few months and really, better to write the stuff that pays than write the stuff that random Indonesian teenagers read (apparently Indonesia has a bunch of narcissists looking for an example). I also continue to languidly plow toward finishing a book; I estimate it will be done sometime before 2032. I’ve also reignited my passion for reading; I’ve finished some half-dozen books in the last two months, and am working on books for class, the Game of Thrones series and a Hunter S. Thompson book as we speak.
Oh, class. I’m taking a summer class because the fall is a nightmare when it comes to trying to juggle class and work. My spring semester class was… interesting. Without delving into too many details, I would like to say that if you decide to become a graduate-level professor, leaving your students high-and-dry mid-semester and expecting them to ‘just figure it out’ is a pretty crappy way to go.
What else? Oh, yes, going to Europe in about a month. Visiting Italy and Ireland, which in terms of food, drink, historical relevance and beautiful weather, may be two of the most diametrically opposed locations in Europe Mrs. Me and I could have chosen. Whatever; Mrs. Me is Catholic – we’re hoping to get a selfie with New Pope – and I am Irish enough that I like Smithwick’s and golf and the color green. Pictures to come (much like Vegas last year) and if you have any suggestions (much like Vegas last year), leave ‘em in the comments.
Oh, and we’re adopting a baby.
(Knew I was forgetting something.)
We’d been on the attempt for a while now and it just wasn’t working. Medical help had reached its logical conclusion without being crazy invasive or crazy expensive, and even the expense was going to push our chances of conceiving naturally to about 30 percent. That’s not very high.
So we thought, “Hey, instead of paying a lot of money to not improve our chances for a natural conception, why don’t we just adopt? That’s got a pretty high success rate.” We’d talked about adoption before, and now was as good a time as any. As the proud owners of two dogs who pretty literally run our lives, I’d say we’re good at loving adopted things. You’ll probably hear a lot more (way more than you want) about this development in the coming weeks and months.
Well, that’s that. Let’s do this again real soon.
My dad has been many things in his life, most of them involved somehow with using tools. He graduated high school sometime a long time ago and went to work at an electric company; he tried college for a year but liked making money more, so he quit and kept working. When I was a kid, his employment ranged from working for the county school system to building houses to fishing (although not in a professional capacity). He’s not a big reader, although he’ll plow through a book if the subject is interesting enough. He’s a pretty sharp guy – my aunt told me he took hard-ass math classes like trigonometry for fun in high school, so we are extremely dissimilar in that and many other respects – but by his own admission he is not, as they say, a rocket surgeon.
However, he answered every oddball question I had as a child (Why is the sky blue? Why do we need spiders?) with a casual assurance that led me to believe that those were simply answers that you acquired along the road in life without much trouble. I just took that to mean you just eventually knew some things without being able to remember where you learned them from.
Now I am older, I have a college degree and a place in the world and I don’t know shit. If it weren’t for Google Maps, I may not be able to get home from work every day. I’m trying to learn new stuff all the time, but it seems like I’m forgetting all the other stuff. So it really annoys me, as a scholar and a ‘gentleman’, that a guy who wasn’t much interested in either of those things knows so damn much.
My saving grace is that I haven’t had a child yet.
Much like I’ve seen many an Average Joe turn into the Incredible Hulk once they have children (DAD SMASH! will be a fun catchphrase) and can start lifting the car with one hand to change a tire, I’m hoping there’s such a thing as Dad Smart. I don’t know if there will be a test or a study-guide, but I’m blindly assuming that somewhere along the way of fatherhood somebody gives you a manual with all the answers, to be consulted as needed. Maybe it’s handed down, generation to generation, with space left in the margins to account for questions a new generation of youngsters might ask – in this day and age, I’m excited to have to list all the reasons why a future child shouldn’t show off his genitals on Twitter even though some people find it a good political move.
It would also be cool if every one of these situations was Rain Man moment, where a kid asked a question and you instinctively gave the right answer without even knowing it. I think if I was going to have that ability, it would’ve presented itself at some point before now, but maybe I’m wrong.
All that said, it’s likely that the next generation of kids won’t ask questions anymore – I don’t think I’ve asked anyone a question about anything since Google became a part of my life. If they do, I’ll have a phone at my fingertips ready to search my way to intelligence. Kinda like carrying around an encyclopedia, although not as bulky nor as accurate.