The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Category: A to Z Challenge

Weary World

ecology and responsibility

Mother Earth has been at this a rather long time. According to science roughly 4.5 billion years. That’s a long workday. A myriad of natural systems working night and day, day and night with little rest. No weekends; no holidays. Just constant toil to keep the balance just so. And her reward? Condos. Well, not […]

Trasmogrified Time Machine

Our sense of time is dysfunctional. We’re always trying to change time. Or, rather our place in time If anyone of us had a time machine we’d go somewhere. We’d fast-forward ourselves to some imagined point in our future where life has been fulfilled far away from the present in which we find nausea, grief […]

Spaceman Spiff

We’ve all been there… The ultra-boring class, the meeting that just would not end, the family gathering that — well honestly you’d really rather be having a root-canal. What can you do? Escape, that’s what. Sure, as you get older the escape is material. That is you can manufacture actual reasons to leave the room. The […]

Risky Business

Risky business, living this life thing, no? At the top of a snow-covered hill, Calvin expresses a view widely held by many — unless you’re living on the edge, unless you’re pushing the envelope, unless you’re slamming against the sides of the box attempting to escape, then you’re not living. As Hobbes might attest — […]


Every question has an answer. Or, so we are led to believe. But are we asking the right ones? My officemate and I were having a conversation the other day about a controversy on campus. Emails have been flying back and forth, forth and back. A fair number of learned and esteemed colleagues were trying […]


Philosophy is often characterized as being the study of knowledge, existence and reality as an academic discipline. The term is also regarded as being a theory or attitude by which guides the way a person or an organization acts. The origin of character. Bill Watterson, the creator of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, has said that […]

Oh, boy!

Sometimes you get backed into a corner. Sometimes you are the reason for being in the corner. Other times it’s an unforeseen consequence of being shortsighted. In other words, you were being stupid. When you find yourself up the creek without a proverbial paddle, or said creek is full of excrement (you figure that one out), […]

Lunch Time

Ah, school lunch in elementary school. The cafeteria, aka the “all-purpose” room, with the fold out tables, no windows and sometimes a stage at one end. Teachers aides, or occasionally the teachers who weren’t quick enough to invoke “planning time” roamed the polished linoleum trying to police who was rolling tater tots across the room, […]


Without imagination, Calvin would not be Calvin. And he certainly would not be able to lay waste and siege to the metropolis of his choice.   Without imagination Hobbes would not be Hobbes. He’d merely be fabric and fluff rather than the ferocious body guard Calvin needs him to be.  Without imagination, snowmen would be […]

High Dive

It takes a certain degree of fearlessness to grab the step ladder from the garage, drag the inflatable pool to the middle of the yard, fill the pool with the garden hose, and ascend for the ultimate-super-duper-triple-spiral-back-flippy-thing. As with any daredevil-like stunt planning is involved. And by planning I mean moving nonchalantly through the engineering […]


The game in question is… In order to play the game of Calvinball you need all, some or none of the following equipment: tennis rackets, croquet mallets, wickets, volleyballs, water balloons, assorted flags or any other sports items you might think of. There are no rules except for the only permanent rule that Calvin mentions — […]


Existentialism can be defined as “a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will”; translated from the Dutch “existents-forhold” or ‘condition of existence’. Calvin is nothing if not a sheer force of will personified. It should be natural […]


The equation is simple — in theory. You cook it, they eat it. Yea, right. Actually, we’ve been lucky. Our children never really gave us too much grief at the dinner table. They’ve always eaten just about anything you put in front of them. My almost-16-year-old actually has greater moments of difficulty at the dinner […]


No, not that Calvin. Not the 16th century theological reformer. No this Calvin is the one in need of reform.   Yes, that’s the Calvin I’m talking about. He defies authority and is addicted to television and Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs cereal. He eschews formal education for the experiential kind. He borders on the brink […]

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