You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2016.


I’m thinking a lot about hobbies, the modern era, and how lucky we are to be alive right now.


My son loves Minecraft.  He watches videos every chance we give him.  He talks about it and makes up worlds around it.  He imagines himself with the big Minecrafters talking as peers and friends.  He plays it, and today in the office supply store (getting a mouse to further his endeavors) he eyed the “gaming” headsets, keyboards, and mouses (yes, they are different) with awe and aspiration.  They would make him better, cooler, faster, more big league.  A tournament is starting this weekend and he’s going to participate, he has agreed to 30 minutes of practice every day while the tournament is happening.

If you substitute in the hobby of your childhood – 4H, baseball, scouts, dance – that thing you LOVED when you were seven then it sounds like a different voice than the one that says –

Screens are the enemy, when I was a kid I was dirty.

He does go outside, to have epic mental Minecraft adventures.  He does get dirty AND his imagination builds worlds.

I have engaged in seven major “fandoms”in the past few years: Vlogbrothers, Glee, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Welcome to Nightvale, Hedwig, and Hamilton.  I watch episodes, fan cuts, I read all berserk manner of fanfic, I like reading other peoples ideas and sometimes share my own.  The first time I started the list of my fandoms I started with three.  It grew from there.

For a long time I didn’t identify that as a hobby (I’m not quilting afterall) but I don’t watch ANY other television or follow any other Broadway shows in the same way (except maybe Fun House, I could get behind that pretty hard I think).

I don’t click through Netflix or Amazon, I am precision in the way I spend my media time – so maybe fandom is a hobby.

I’m not sure.

Here is what I do know.

I want my son to feel seen, and what he tells me in THESE moment of the spring of 2016 is YES. He will go outside.  YES. He will go to scouts.  YES. He will go to Canopy.  YES.   He will unload the dishwasher.  YES.  He will take his shower and rinse the soap out of his hair.

But if I want to know his soul.  IF I want to be where he is.  IF I want his eyes to sparkle, his voice to quicken, and his pulse to race then I have to know the only way to get there –

Is to ask about Minecraft.




IMG_1025.JPGDinner with my dad when mom was at work is, for the most part, an unremembered thing. We ate food flavored food and I really don’t know what it was most of the time.  What I do remember and attribute to him is the meal anchored in one plate and Ritz crackers.

So – what you do is – take a whole roll of Ritz crackers (the long ones, not those rookie “stay fresh” rolls) and rummage around in the fridge and spread out on a plate everything that makes sense to put on a cracker.

Peanut butter

Deli Meat


Liver sausage



Then you sit down and eat it until you are done.

This isn’t that — but it sort of is.  In a new day and age, my son and I wander through our normal grocery store and try cheese “washed in Merlot” with oatcakes, we already have dates at home, they have that strange fruit and nut bread that you bake at home and tastes great with butter if you can get it cooked through and not  burned.  There is left over mince paste from dinner a few days ago that would match.  My dad would eat pretty much anything we put in front of him (a lifetime of smoking pretty much did away with a nuanced palate which worked to my advantage from time to time), but I doubt that he ran into any of these things naturally.  Still, the meal will be mainly sweet and cheesy – he would approve.

As part of the Dad Series of races this year, I was scheduled to run in Cincinnati this weekend but it then life happened and it made more sense to not go.  Still,  I was trained up for a half marathon and desperate to reset my training which has struggled in recent months.  The plus side of running a half marathon is the week before and the week after you basically don’t run much and you eat a lot.  So moving the “race” forward a week seemed like a good plan.

My husband and son “crewed” for me and cheered me on in 7 different places that morning.  I took 12 minutes of my October time.  I’m recovering right now with fancy cheese and bread.

This isn’t that – but it sort of is.  Both in my actions and my husband’s there was a moment of “well, expletive.” and then moving onto new plans and adaptations.  I didn’t run in a race that I assigned to the Dad Series specifically for the words “flying pig” but instead used what I had and did what I could and loved and was loved by my favorite guys.

I’m ok with that.





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I’m spending a lot of time out of town this month, some of it has been planned and some has been spontaneous but in the end it just is a bunch of time that I’m not at home.


One of the things that it is sharpening for me is the parts of my life which I show up for without reserve.  When the call comes I start moving in that direction (in this case, home to my mom, and she is fine).  I’m grateful that my family and workplace see me zooming out the door and call behind, “let us know what you want us to do ….”.  It helps.

As is always the case when things start getting hectic, I have to look around and see what I can put down as I pick up other things.  Sort out the things that need to stay, apologize for the rest and pick up the things that need it.

Things I have put down:

The Flying Pig half marathon.  I’ll still do the distance that day, but in Athens because I cannot imagine being away from home for another 3 days.

Handstand class.  I’m having a good time in that class, but Sunday afternoon I’m often not home and Wednesday nights I’m just so tired.

Cross – training in general.  Honestly.  Just not enough hours, and I can’t trade a minute of sleep.

On the upside, things I have picked up:

I now have a specific spot I park at my airport.

I crap ton of Illinois time, which has been good in some ways.

A different sense of what my life work is.  In a good way, that will take a long time, and if someone wanted to pay me for As so that I could go to school forever that would be fine.

Good stuff, slightly crazy, super busy.  I miss ya’ll and hope to see you soon.