Right hand in a trench coat

I hope you like things because I like things.

Time and Change

It has been two and a half years since I have watched an Ohio State bowl game. That game was an infinitely-forgettable Gator Bowl that mercilessly extended a season that would never end. I watched with a friend from college and her daughter who was, at the time, all of eight weeks old. We parked the stroller at the bar of a shopping plaza Mexican restaurant and watched the game. I could not tell you one highlight of lowlight from that game, except that the game existed and was held during the daytime.
I watched the 2014 Michigan game with the same friend and her daughter, who was two years old and plenty precocious and delightfully bored by her mother’s choice of football game. That afternoon we drank gin and were disproportionately afraid of Devin Gardner. The game ended and my in-laws arrived from out of town having sat in the car and listened to the end of the game on the radio in front of our house so as to not miss out on the final plays. (I then watched with horror as my friend tried to get me to peer pressure her boyfriend to propose to her in front of my in-laws. Afternoon gin drunk is a special place.) That Michigan game was the last Ohio State football game that I’ve watched.
The Michigan State/B1G Championship game coincided with an house party-slash-baby shower for my wife and (unborn) daughter; the Clemson game happened an hour and a half after birth. I got a phone call what I assume to be mid-way through the Clemson game from my father-in-law, desperate to know how the hell to turn our tv to ESPN. A few hours later I checked the score and tried to get some sleep on a hospital chair/bed hybrid.
My daughter was kind enough to arrive in time for kickoff. I did not want to take my eyes off of her to take it in.
This Saturday, we go to Baltimore to watch the Ohio State-Navy game in person. My parents will be watching my daughter so that we can step out for a few hours and be home in a crowd of tens of thousands for a few hours. In a strange way it’s as though football exists on a separate plane from our daughter. I do not know how to interpret this, but realize that maybe it is a real thing. I hope that it is not, because I desperately want both things to live and thrive and feel like home. One of them most certainly will. Now, eight months later, I get to find out if both will.

I want Ohio to thrive, but I do not want to live there. More accurately, maybe I’m not willing to give up the life I enjoy in the District of Columbia to ensure that Ohio does thrive. This feels somewhat hypocritical and more than a little cowardly at times, but it is the bare and honest truth. I like where and how I live and do not see any opportunities to live similarly in Ohio. So it is rather heartening and exciting to see Ohio immediately improved by the presence of one LeBron James. It’s nice that he decided to fill in for me in my absence.

—I wrote some words about Ohio, and LeBron James, and the idea of ‘home’. 

The Company You Keep

The day after Madeline was born, I came home in the afternoon to shower and to pick up the dogs from a friend who was watching them overnight. My in-laws, who were staying with us, had left to go to the grocery store. I parked the car, walked up the back steps where two days earlier we stopped mid-flight and did a slow two-step until the contractions passed, and then I came in the back door and stood in the dining room. The lights were off and the blinds were open, the blue afternoon light coming in the west-facing windows and cascading off the hardwood. The house was silent, save for the echo of my footsteps and the furnace blower.

As I stood there, a thought occurred to me – that this was the last time that our home would be empty and quiet. I set my overnight bag on the floor, stared into the empty living room, and sobbed without restraint for a few minutes. Then I went upstairs, took a shower, and put myself into a constant and unrelenting motion that has been going for four weeks straight.

Since that day we have hosted dozens of friends in our home, visited with many more, gotten care packages from across the country from family and friends, and reheated half a metric ton of lasagna that has been so kindly left with us. I have sent out numerous panicked text messages and hundreds more just fishing for reassurances from parents more seasoned than I am.

I go back to work tomorrow, which will require that I leave my wife and month-old daughter at home together, alone, for more than an hour for the first time since we came home from the hospital. The two of them will not really be alone, as they will be together, but they will be more alone than perhaps any of us feel that we are ready for. I don’t know if we’re ever going to feel ready for it. Any of it.

We’re not going to be alone again for a long, long time. Then again, we haven’t been alone for quite a long time, either.

#ff @Pontifictorious (been watching a lot of Friday Night Lights lately)

#ff @Pontifictorious (been watching a lot of Friday Night Lights lately)

We few. We happy few.


My friend Katie sent me this tonight:

Yes, I definitely do. That’s because on the afternoon of Aug. 26, 2011, I was starting to hear from family members and friends that they wouldn’t be coming to my wedding.

There was only so much we could do when it became clear that Hurricane Irene was a really, really big deal, and that it would be sweeping up the East Coast and into the New York/New Jersey area on the 27th — which was, of course, the day toward which we’d worked and planned for the better part of the previous year. Everything was booked, the contracts set, the non-refundable deposits shelled out. Our immediate families had already started making their way to N.Y. for the rehearsal dinner. The venue was going to stay open barring an evacuation call by local authorities; the officiant and caterers were still in, too.

We knew for sure that our wedding was going to happen, but we also knew that it was going to be a very different day than the one we’d planned. The only question, then, was how many of the 150 or so* RSVP-ed guests would actually wind up making it**.

Read More

I’m thinking about resurrecting this abandoned tumblog in order to serve as a medium for more writing. This may seem completely unrelated to Dan’s beautiful post, but it’s not; his Irenniversary piece yesterday was one of a few that I’ve read as of late that are giving me the itch to write more. So thanks, Dan, for that. And thanks to you too, Ramzy. Let’s do some writing.

If I ever open a fish taco stand, this will be our logo.

If I ever open a fish taco stand, this will be our logo.


“Bling Bling I got the ring!”
I actually felt disgusted upon seeing this in Kohl’s.
If I ever saw this frame in your house I’d shove it so far up your ass you’d be pulling faux silver out of your mouth for weeks. 
Any woman that owns this is the worst thing ever.

This picture frame is perfect for a Blu-Ray copy of 2002’s ‘The Ring’ starring Naomi Watts


“Bling Bling I got the ring!”

I actually felt disgusted upon seeing this in Kohl’s.

If I ever saw this frame in your house I’d shove it so far up your ass you’d be pulling faux silver out of your mouth for weeks. 

Any woman that owns this is the worst thing ever.

This picture frame is perfect for a Blu-Ray copy of 2002’s ‘The Ring’ starring Naomi Watts

(Source: lnthefade)

Our Retribution Will Be Celebration

The sky this morning when I left the house cast down a sense of gloom, gray clouds rolling in from the west, choking off the small stretch of open sky to the east. I headed out to run as confused and scared as everyone else. About a mile and a half into the run, I came to the Capitol, where the flag stands at half-mast in honor of those killed and injured in Boston yesterday.
I nearly stopped to cry, and all I wanted to do was turn around and go home. The stark image of mourning—official mourning—framed by a dark, looming sky was nearly too much for me.

The politics of self-identity can lead to great things. They can uplift and unite. They also can drive wedges between neighbors, turn sons against fathers, and cause unimaginable pain and suffering. It is for these latter reasons that I have found myself fighting the natural urge to self-label myself as anything, really—whether that is as a runner, or a scientist, or as a Buckeye—as foolish as that may sound.

Now though, I find my line of thinking to be exactly that: foolish. What we all have undoubtedly seen from yesterday is horrific, but it is also fantastically uplifting. Just as in New York, where runners ran through the city and helped people sort through their homes, there was an immediate outpouring of help and assistance in Boston. A surgeon who had just finished the race immediately went to the triage tent and worked with doctors there.

Runners do amazing things, and whoever did this couldn’t have picked a worse group to target. You’d be hard-pressed to find a kinder, more resolute group of people on the planet.

The 26 mile journey from Hopkinton to Boylston Street is our spiritual journey, our Hajj. Nothing will change that. Ever since I failed to qualify in 2009, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if I have the resolve needed to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I know now, and the answer is yes—because I am a runner.

Runners’ retribution will not involve helicopters or toppled statues or international summits. Our retribution will be toeing the line, side by side with our brethren, heads high and smiling. It will involve handing out paper cups filled with Gatorade and handing out medals at a finish line.

It will involve celebration.

I headed out on my run this morning looking for some sort of answer, for some catharsis or anything, really to make sense of the world. I went out and forced a set of conditions on my run that made it impossible to do so, and so I ended up at the Capitol steps with tears in my eyes wondering if I should just go home and cut six miles down to three.

I didn’t. And so I continued westward, towards the dreary clouds lining the National Mall. When I got to the Washington Monument I turned around, and there was the answer that I had been looking for: an eastern sky filled with every pastel color you can imagine–yellows, purples, pinks, and oranges. The sun came up today and it filled the world with beauty, at least for a few minutes. And that will keep happening, regardless of how hard cowards try to take everything away.

kottke.org: Apollo 16 lunar rover dash cam


I had no idea there was footage shot on the Moon from the perspective of a lunar rover passenger…basically a lunar rover dash cam. It’s the second half of this short video:

Amazing. The first part shows the rover speeding off (at about 6 miles/hr), being put through its paces. From the…