And Now a Quick Break from Our Regularly Scheduled Programming…

September 21, 2009


Happy 3rd birthday, stud. That’s my youngest up above, doing his impression of Macaulay Culkin’s career. There are more photos over at Tetra Master.

I wish I had a ton of wisdom to impart to you but a.) someone has already beaten me to it and b.) I mainly play the class clown on the internet.

I am certain of very few things in life, but here are a few:

1. I will always be happy you’re a part of my life.
2. No matter how brief the glimpses are, I always get a thrill from seeing the world through a child’s eyes.
3. You are going to be trouble. Someone who is 2-going-on-3 shouldn’t be working so many angles.
4. Listen to music. Read. A lot. Get a hobby. Follow what interests you, no matter how unpopular.

Some advice:

Don’t hate irrationally. Racism, sexism, etc. is for cowards.
If you need a large group to hate, take aim at the politicians. You’ll just be returning the favor. They have contempt for the public, whom they feel are too stupid to live their lives without a million rules and too ignorant to properly spend their money.

Think before acting.
This sounds like a cliche, but if you find yourself rationalizing a lot of your actions, you’re doing the wrong things. Make good decisions. Act with confidence.

Use slang judiciously.
Either use very sparingly, so it’s a refreshing surprise; or use it completely out of context.

Love your brother and sister.
At times they may be the only friends you have. And at some point, you may have to borrow money from them.

Listen to your mom.
You can safely ignore about half of what I say. Just choose the right half. Don’t do this to your mom. She’s done all the hard parenting and she actually knows what she’s talking about.

Raise the bar.
Find out what others expect of you and exceed it. Aim higher. It’s not so much about impressing them as it is about staying hungry. Complacency is a monster. The greatest danger to your potential is the limits placed by others.

A general note about school:
School is important, but for all the wrong reasons. It preps you for an 8-hour workday. It teaches you that it’s easier to punish everybody than it is to hold people responsible for their own actions. It shows you how easily the system can be “gamed.” It shows you the futility of throwing good money after bad. It makes you aware of how dangerous it can be to voice your opinions. It teaches you how to stand in line. It sands the corners off square pegs so they can fit in round holes. It shows you how to run with the pack.

This will be the toughest place to retain your individuality. Take only what is important from the experience. Fight it. We’ve got your back.




    • Thanks, Claire! And you brought music! And party hats!

      He had a blast, I would assume. The house was filled with the noise of a toy Black & Decker Drill that ran incessantly for about 3 hours.

    • Sorry about the bugs that came in the party hats. I have a big shoe you can use.

  2. That’s great, CLT. Really wonderful.

    And Tetra Master — Love that shot! 🙂

    Hahaha… “Walter’s Funeral Home”

    • Thanks, Alan.

      That shot was pretty much an accident. He and his brother were walking back and forth on the curb and he saw me levelling the camera and made that face.

  3. One other word of wisdom. When you scratch your crack, always smell your finger to make sure it came out ok. That’s just good manners.

    • This is why TL makes the best “uncle” material. You just can’t say that stuff when you’re the biological parent.

      Nice to see you, TL. Keep those hands to yourself.

    • Mental note. Never ever shake hands with TL. Or let him touch your food. Or your children. Or your car. Or anything for that matter.

    • Good lord! Not the hand towels! Aaaaahhhh!!!

    • Careful, he might try to wipe them on your jeans…

    • Hahahaha!!!

  4. This one is going to be quite the heart-breaker, CLT.

    Judging by the talents that both his parents possess, I’m sure his vocabulary and creative skills already surpass most 25-40 year olds.

    And great words of advice. I always wish I’d listened to my Mom more…and used slang a little less casually.

    • He is quite the looker, bschooled. I’m already putting money into his “Paternity Suit” fund. And you’re right, he’s swearing at an 8th-grade level already.

      Thanks for stopping in, bschooled.

  5. Adorable and cute as a button Capitalist!!

    • Thanks, elizabeth. Well, half-thanks. I brought 50% of the genes to the pool.

  6. Wow, that was amazing. You’ve inspired me and I’m 36. I love what you said about ‘raise the bar.’ I’ve always found that if you can stay passionate about what you are doing, you will succeed. Once you take the attitude of ‘I don’t care,’ about any one thing in your life, it becomes that much easier to give up on everything else once times get tough. Great advice all around, he’s lucky to have you as his father! And he’s like real supercute and that!

    • Thanks, Scott.

      I’m glad you found that inspiring. I just want the best for my kids and I hope that all the stuff I fucked up will help make them more successful.

      You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but at least you can hopefully still teach the new dogs some old tricks. (That doesn’t really make sense…)

  7. Excellent advice CLT. Well done. The last point you make about school is particularly good. Happy belated birthday to your boy.


    p.s. I like the “mom and pop” sound of “Walter’s Funeral Home.” Conjures up images of Old Walter with his sleeves rolled up embalming people on the dining room table after Millie has cleared the plates and is washing out the gravy boat.

    • Thanks for the visit and the kind words, Don.

      I’m sure Walter is busy now, surrounded by leftovers, dry ice and formaldehyde, prepping the latest stiff for the great beyond.

      Maybe a glass of milk near the heavily-made up head and a plate with a sandwich perched on the chest.

      Just like Norman Rockwell envisioned it.

  8. “Love your brother and sister.
    At times they may be the only friends you have. And at some point, you may have to borrow money from them.”
    It took me a while to figure out that most people will come and go, and when they do, my family is still there. Thus, I learned to move family up the priority list a few notches.

    Thanks for being such a good brother, and I’m proud of you as a dad. This is like exhibit 498…or something around there.

    I miss you and your family. I wish you weren’t so far away.

    • Thanks, ShearV.

      I learned that lesson as well. For the most part, though, I seem to be the person who keeps coming and going.

      It’s tough being that far way from you all, but I think it’s going to be a good thing for the kids.

      (Quick disclaimer: Shear Viscosity is one of those rarest of creatures: a schoolteacher who gives a damn. She also is a spectacular writer in her own right. Check her out here:)


  9. Professor, I’m not surprised that you’re related to a teacher.

    • Yes. However, her title is more than honorary. She actually had to do college work and stuff. And she still puts up with me no matter how many flaming arrows I fire at her profession and employers.

  10. I’m sure Sears will sue, but oh well… “The softer side of CLT”. (hanky – blow)

    • Sears is welcome to at least 50% of all the money this blog has brought in. They can also have as much as they want of all the money my children have brought in. (This is a little higher, due to their hobbies: three-card monte and graverobbing).

  11. Grave robbing? I thought concrete had detoured such hobbies…

    • They’re very persistent. And they tend to hit the wrong side of the tracks cemetaries first.

  12. […] last, but not least, I’m doing this for my family. I’ve got two boys (here and here) that need some undivided attention, especially as they’re going through some very formative […]

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