The Plagued Parent

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

Category: Society and Culture

Scroll at Your Own Risk

My wife emailed me a link… Likely you’ve seen the post. Its been on Yahoo Parenting and on the Good Housekeeping site. It’s titled: “Estrangement Doesn’t Just Happen to ‘Bad’ Moms — It Happened to Me Too”. In the post the author discusses her son’s engagement to a young woman, their wedding plans and how everything fell […]

Acceptance, meet Reluctance

So it happened: this week I turned 50. How the hell did that happen? I don’t really “feel” any different, or more grown up. I keep waiting for wisdom to descend from up on high, but that appears unlikely. Probably for the best. Chasing that need for wisdom, I realize there are a great many things in […]

Refugee No More

  If I am being honest, I’ve always had a rock-n-roll dream. Honestly, who hasn’t? I don’t play as often as I’d like, but I love my guitars. If I lack anything other than time required for devotion to my instruments, I suppose it would be drive and discipline. Maybe it’s my personality — at […]

The poetry of our very flesh

In Walt Whitman’s Preface to Leaves of Grass, Whitman writes: “…and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of it lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes and every motion and joint of your body.” Several weeks […]

Effortless Effort?

I screwed up my knee. For the past three weeks running has been painful. Equally painful is the fact that the registration deadline for the half-marathon came and went on June 30th. True I can still register and run the race in October as planned — a birthday gift to myself which I announced months […]

Farewell Ninja Mouse

I’m a killer. Not the pathologically homicidial kind found on “Criminal Minds”, nor am I the quasi-accidental kind from “How To Get Away with Murder”. No, I am a killer of mice. “Why is there a dead mouse outside,” my wife asked as she headed off for a run. “I’m leaving him there as a […]

Dark Matter

Either we are the most superlative creations that this universe has ever seen, or we are the least significant life forms that this cosmos has to offer. This “either-or” proposition does not sit well with us. It has never sat well with us, at least for the last several thousand years, that is. Humanity demands […]

Reasons Upon Reasons

One of the first questions my wife asked me was, “Do you think she did this on purpose?” I answered, “No.” At that point, my daughter had not been formally diagnosed with depression so when the dust settled we asked my daughter directly and bluntly about the incident. She was insistent. No way, she said. True, that […]

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 […]

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 — […]

Questions?

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

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 […]

Anthropomorphism

Anthropomorphism is attirbuting human traits, emotions, and intentions onto non-human entities and this act of cognition is considered by some to be an innate tendency of human psychology. Psychologists consider the concept a form of cognitive bias. We use brain patterns (schemas) to layer human qualities upon the non-human based on what we’ve come believe about […]

64 Days? That’s it? Oy vey!

This isn’t like me… For the first time in my adult life, I am actually rooting for a politician, a president, to fail. I’ve never felt this way before and I grew up in the Reagan years — which oddly enough many seen to pine nostalgically for. Some want to blame government for the muck […]

The Specter of Sacrifice

I forgot Ash Wednesday. No big surprise; I forgot last year too. I probably could have swung into the church I only haphazardly attend. I dropped my daughter off at school for 7 am so I could have stopped in… but I didn’t. So begins a stretch of 40 days and nights where my family […]

Of Mice or (Hu)Men?

The other night I walked in the door just after 6 PM. Before my bag even hit the floor, my daughter blurted out from the dining room, “I need help with my English homework.” I sighed, took off my shoes and headed to where my daughter had all manner of study materials fanned across the […]

Time See What’s Become of Me

Mother Nature has a bit of a cruel streak when it comes to New England weather. Last week she dumped 14 inches of snow on us and today she come back with another 3-5. My wife checks weather on her phone and says with regret, “Well, I guess this isn’t actually going to keep me […]

Good Night and Good Luck

Curiouser and Curiouser. Here’s how slippery these bastards are. Five hours after the inauguration, Donald J Trump for President, Inc, filed FEC Form 99 declaring Trump’s candidacy in the 2020 Presidential Election. Why is this significant? Simply put: it limits dissent, chiefly dissent from non-profit organizations. An election lawyer in DC Tweeting with the handle The Resisterhood  broke […]

Raging Into This Brave New World

Women's March 2017

My wife and I were having lunch at a restaurant in Mohican Sun Casino as they swore Trump in. The images seemed surreal, his speech unreal. For me the scene fit because casinos are the epitome of surreality with their absence of light, their carnival-like sounds and colors surrounding the bent denizens hunched over flicking buttons […]

A Winter of Listening

Right now the thermometer says the outside temperature is 50 degrees and rising. It is warm, too warm for January, and almost unnatural for Winter. Last week a storm threatened us here in New England with temps in the teens and 4-8 inches of snow. The computer models were off a little, by Sunday we ended up with […]

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