Dear Abby is Off #22

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a monthly feature in which Ryan takes an actual letter written to “Dear Abby” and answers it himself. For further background see the introductory post here, or maybe also here.

dear abby is off #22This month’s letter was published on February 6, and quoted in full, reads as follows:

DEAR ABBY: I’m a female college student and I intern at a chemical plant. When I arrive at work, the middle-aged men start “working out” and flexing their muscles. Literally! It makes me uncomfortable. I want to tell them I’m not interested and they’re making fools of themselves. Should I say something? They read your column. Help me out, please! — THERE TO WORK

DEAR THERE TO WORK: Sorry, I didn’t see your letter at first. I was busy doing some sick curls with these reams of paper. The glossy, heavy stock kind. Not that lightweight stuff for nerds. No big deal. Tuesdays are arms and back. I’ll hit my tris with some dips when we finish up here to even it out. Anyway, where were we?

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Daddy Issues: Episode 1, Sick Baby

Warning: may contain graphic descriptions of bodily fluids, bodily solids, ectoplasm, and sarlac pits.

Further Warning: may contain spoilers on fatherhood, toddlerhood, sleep deprivation, bath-time, bed-time, and The Man in the High Castle (because I’m loving that show).

babymemeHello and welcome to the first installation of Daddy Issues. There are so many Mom-blogs out there, which makes sense because moms are super important (go call your mother, this article will still be here when you get back. Just tell her hi for no particular reason. She’ll dig it.) There are a lot of Dad blogs out there too. It makes sense that there are so many of these because parenthood is a vast treacherous landscape full of ROUS, Bogs of Eternal Stench, nebulizers, nipple stimulation (check with my editor, can I say nipple?), and in rare cases “crossing the streams.”  This is a journey that simply cannot and should not be travelled alone. I need Gimli’s Ax and Legolas’ bow at the bare-minimum (toddlers aren’t so different from orcs you know).  

I know what you’re thinking, “I get enough pictures of kids I don’t know or care about on my Facebook feed, I don’t need to come to TWR to read about more”. Well, that’s not my plan. I’m not here to just dote on my children (though they are totes dote-able) This is more like an insightful expose on the ins, outs, ups, downs, somersault-y, highly-explored, yet still under-understood world of parenthood. The highs are to the moon on a magic carpet ride with Aladdin and Jasmine (nevermind how we’ll breathe) and the lows are like the scene in Kill Bill where she’s buried alive in the coffin (except as the average parent you do not have extensive ninja training, and instead of punching your way out you think to yourself “ah yes, this is a nice quiet place to rest”). If you have kids hopefully you can identify, enjoy, and share in this journey. If you don’t have kids but want them someday, this is written to begin to prepare you heart, mind, and soul. If you don’t have kids and never want to have kids, this is your window through which to look, laugh, and say “ha! This is why I don’t have kids” while sipping a latte that no one is trying to throw, begging for a sip of, or putting fish crackers in while you’re not looking. FYI, if you are in that last category, and yet someone is doing a, b, or c, you need new friends. Continue reading

It’s the SADdest Time of Year!

The other day I was group texting with a couple of friends when, before I realized it, I had typed something and pressed send. One of those “I was thinking it, but did I really say it?” moments. I looked down and saw what I had half-jokingly written: Remember when life was worth living?

The alarm bells went off in my head: the ones that sound every year about this time, when the days are short but somehow still so long, the temperatures are bitter cold, and the world devoid of any leftover Christmas decorations or cheer. Yes, friends, it’s that time again: time for this year’s round of SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER!

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The Day After Snowzilla

Six years ago, during Washington’s 2010 Snowmaggedon, the blizzard winds nearly knocked me horizontal as I trudged to a friend’s birthday dinner fully clad in ski gear, goggles and all. The storm dumped so much snow on a city unable to manage the slightest dusting, that most of its population stayed home from work as the government’s doors stayed shut. And we played, romping around the city. Dupont Circle’s epic snowball fight, with over 1,000 participants set the stage, and expectation, for snow events to come.
This weekend’s Snowzilla 2016 descended over the swampy banks of the nation’s capital at around 1:30pm, Friday January 22. Just in time to heed Ryan’s tips for surviving the snow, hour-long lines at the grocery store snaked around the aisles and ended at the produce section. Cheese, wine, hot cocoa and toilet paper were gone by the afternoon. Metro didn’t even bother to try. The city’s transit system closed its doors until Monday
Snowzilla 2016, Washington, D.C.

Snowzilla 2016, Washington, D.C.

Snowzilla 2016, Washington, D.C.

Snowzilla 2016, Washington, D.C.

By Saturday morning streets and cars disappeared under a heavy white blanket and a wonderland beckoned.

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You Have to Start Somewhere

About six years ago I was into biographies. Well, kind of. I had read a fantastic biography called Jack: A Life of C.S. Lewis for a class and it flipped a switch in me. See, before that time I was all about the fiction. Science Fiction, fantasy, novels, short stories, it was all fiction all the time. Give me a hero to save the day or a tragedy to lament, but make them creative and multi-faceted, entertain, and excite me! Then I read the aforementioned biography. I read about this ACTUAL person, that ACTUALLY existed, who had ACTUALLY made a difference in what we know of our universe. It didn’t take away my love for fiction, but it intensified my desire to know more about the people in our world who have done interesting things with their lives.

It was nearing Christmas time and my mother-in-law asked me what I wanted for Christmas and so, I requested a few biographies. Who were some interesting folks that I could learn about and in the process, perhaps learn from? How about Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr? They seem neat.

Christmas day comes and I get autobiographies of both! Woo hoo! Score! I start reading Gandhi’s story that very day. Over the course of the next few weeks, when I had time, I would pop my head into the life and times of Gandhi. I made it about three-quarters of the way through the book before something happened. Something that I think every reader hates. I got bogged down with things that I HAD to read. School work, work-work, I had books upon books that needed to be read, so that when I had free time to read things I WANTED to read, I didn’t want to read at all! I escaped instead to Netflix, Hulu or online gaming. Anything to get my nose out of a book.


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