“One Pop Harem,” a bedtime story by Sam and Sam

Another "former student and present friend" (I've been blessed with several of them) and I wrote a book of poetry together last year, entirely by accident, in a dialogue written on paper plates, serenaded by the music of Spencer Ellliott.We transcribed the poems and interviews, edited them, and self-published the collection as a chapbook: Poems by Sam and Sam. I consider it the best thing of mine in print to date.We're going to co-author another, much longer book this spring: Distance … [Read more...]

A Tale of Three Cubicles, Part III

Part I Part IIThe opening details are mostly unimportant. The hiring process was convoluted and indirect. I quit my job at Target to work closer to where we lived, working on an IT project for Medtronic Corporation, as a consultant for another middle-man corporation. I had to get hired by both of them. Still an hourly employee, but making ten dollars more per hour. My official title, which I only learned after a week or two on the job, was something along the lines of a "coordinator." Most … [Read more...]

A Tale of Three Cubicles, Part II

Part I.Bilingual Benefits Representative. That seemed pretty good. What was it? Target Corporation, corporate headquarters. Sounded important enough. Fourteen dollars an hour, plus ten percent off at Target stores and lots of perks to rent limousines and go watch WMBA games. (I did both.) I was teaching Spanish. 26k a year before deductions. With my commute and everything else I was beginning to feel like Tolstoy's Ivan Ilych: underpaid and under-appreciated. Unlike Ilych, I actually was … [Read more...]

New Year’s Eve

I spent New Year's Eve with a buddy from college. We weren't super close while enrolled, but we knew each other. He was a little older and I had a bad reputation. We somehow ended up in the Twin Cities afterwards and became good friends. I sang and played at his wedding, we recorded music together and played terrible golf at a nine-hole course. He's a genius or something --- understands how things work and can replicate that sense of things in craftwork, computation, and the fine arts. He … [Read more...]

Would you subscribe to an e-mail? Should you pay for it?**

In the early nineties, my Father started a non-profit organization to support our family's ministry. Missionary Ark for Families. It was our sole source of income for six or seven years in Lorain, Ohio and Reynosa, Mexico. My Mom and Dad would put together a monthly newsletter and send it out, with pictures and some stories and updates. We received monthly donations by mail. While living in Mexico we had a post office box in Hidalgo, Texas, just over the border. I loved to go to there to raid … [Read more...]

A Quiet Joy, I Suppose

The easy excuse is "I've been grading." But it's not true. I write most when I'm busy. My productivity thrives on pressure. I've run up on a shore of some kind, somewhere. I don't know what to call it yet. A disposition just shy of melancholy. Paralyzing, in a satisfying way. When sleep finally conquers and washes over you and knocks you out and brings you the rest you need. That sort of paralysis. A surrender of sorts. It's kept me from writing and arguing. It's made me feel a few things, but … [Read more...]

Notre Dame and Its Rather Silly Catholic Malcontents

Notre Dame is the premiere Catholic institution of higher education and research in the United States of America. Period. I don't have a single degree or academic affiliation motivating me to say that. This assertion should be self-evident.Keyword: should.I am also a life-long fan of the Fighting Irish and, with their recent athletic success, I've been hearing fellow Catholics --- including some of my nearest and dearest friends --- say all kinds of negative things about Notre Dame's … [Read more...]

A Proper Blog Post: Writing, Biology, Political Theory

I've made a full recovery from yesterday's outburst. I clarified a few things in comments and others raised some good and completely irrelevant points too. Darwin Catholic wins for the biggest, line-by-line take down of it. He accuses me of being exploitive. The more I think about it, the more I suspect that he's probably right. Let's not pretend like blogging isn't exploitive. I guess it depends on what exploitation is. I don't know. But don't get me wrong: the story genuinely upset me and I … [Read more...]

I Miss My Brother: A Sports Memoir

ESPN is the world's best worst psychic. Always looking ahead to the next story, inventing news before it doesn't happen. Masters of straw-man stories, written in tortured prose. Convenient virtual foils to what transpires in reality. They build their own surprises and punchlines. Sometimes garbage, other times a stretch, and occasionally --- and this is why I read them --- too fun to not play along with. Thoroughly amusing.A few weeks ago they speculated on very speculative speculations that … [Read more...]

We Be, Big Pimpin’ Catholics Down in US of A: The Democrat and Republican Exploitation of Catholics

Certain anti-Catholic Protestants like to claim that the Catholic Church is the "Whore of Babylon," from chapters 17 and 18 of the book of Revelation. Outrageous as it is to think this, there may be some substance to the claim if we substitute the Apocalypse of John with Jay-Z's perverse and misogynistic song, Big Pimpin'. The American Catholic Church is certainly not the Whore of Babylon, but, on the American scene, many of her members have become whores to another Imperial pimp: the American … [Read more...]


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