My Other People’s Republic

Here goes an attempt to paint a geopolitical assessment of China in 900 whimsical words using lazy broad strokes. If you’re an Asian friend, it should hold your attention OK. If you’re not, just stick with me as long as you can. Surely you have Asian friends. Or I’ll bet a few shares of Alibaba stock you have some white friends who love Asian women.

Note I’m putting China and the rest of Asia in the same bucket. Chinese, Japanese, Koreans generally don’t want to sit at the same Benihana table to discuss imperial history. But no one else can tell the difference among us or cares to try. Public service announcement: If some racist hooligans are about to rough you up for starting the kung flu, clarifying you’re Vietnamese isn’t going to elicit an apology and send them on their merry way.

I’m intrigued and slightly nervous about how being Chinese in America will look and feel in the back half of my life. China wants a shot at the title from the back-to-back World War Champions (still the best Fourth of July shirt out there, especially when cut into a midriff).

A brief history of China in my mind would read like this… Beast Mode since basically the beginning of civilization. Absolutely flourishing while thumbing noses at the pagans in the rest of the world.

Then 100 years of humiliating decline starting in the 19th century. Everyone just kept nutting in their rice Chex cereal for a century, like the time I hustled back to defend a two-on-one break in a Riverside rec league and got dunked on with such disrespect I kept imagining the sensation of a ballsack resting on my forehead for weeks afterward.

There is an inferiority complex when that happens and an intensity behind the comeback. China is ready. China is coming. Our back-to-back impeachment champ was right to confront the surging Beast of the Far East if Uncle Sam still wants to play uncle and alpha to the rest of the globe.

China is going to be right up in our face for a long time. It’s hard to care much right now when the folks rampaging through the Capitol don’t look very Chinese. But there will come many times when what that Capitol stands for clearly is being challenged in a superpower standoff.

It was a peculiar and telling episode when NBA general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The Chinese government was furious, and the NBA cowered with a lucrative ecosystem of sponsorships on the line. LeBron said Morey was misinformed and not educated on the situation at hand.

Now, LeBron got an education like none other growing up in front of 300 million people waiting to pounce on every misstep. But I doubt he joined the U.S.-Sino relations committee at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Morey went to undergrad at The Northwestern University, 2021 Citrus Bowl Champions, and then business school at MIT, where he made Hong Kong friends.

I’m not overly informed about China either and only as knowledgable as the Western media in my chosen reality. It doesn’t feel like QAnon’ing though when I say China is doing things at scale to the Muslim Uighurs that the most indignant BLM marcher or election protester couldn’t even comprehend happening here.

The Trump administration called it genocide this month, and the Biden crew is backing it up. That’s kind of a big deal. We should probably do something about it. But human rights issues have a way of detaching themselves from economic ones, especially when talking about a market of 1.4 billion people.

We can’t live with them; we can’t live without them. My 36-year-old former roommate appears to have developed an addiction to a social media platform for infants called TikTok, given the volume of content he puts on our group text thread that no one wants to click. If TikTok were shut down as a trade war casualty — which almost happened last year — I don’t see him getting up from that knockout. Better than opioids I suppose.

Things could get really weird at the top of the GDP food chain this decade. China’s No. 2 economy was the only major one to grow in 2020, which sounds awkward when the virus that decimated everybody else’s started on your watch.

Trump certainly wasn’t bashful about straight-up blaming the commies, and only about 74 million Americans voted for him. You figure if even 0.1 percent of them line up with the liberal-drawn caricature of hillbilly racist in camo, that’s a football-stadium army in America who won’t be holding the door for the Asian American walking into Walmart behind them.

Like I said, I’m only slightly nervous. All I see every day in this country is people who live by common decency, no matter what overconsumption of media would lead you to believe. Plus there is a much larger army produced by the aforementioned banana-vanilla love swirl, which really does create ethereal-looking babies.
But it’s only a matter of time before my son has his first moment feeling conspicuously Chinese in America, whether overt racism or just a little clumsiness in the crossfire of us-against-them. As the last four years have strikingly displayed, we do not excel at absorbing and expressing nuance.

My perspective has evolved a bit after 2020 and that fun first week of January. I still indulge in beautiful American condescension and just don’t see how any place on earth can be as good. However, I am more open to criticism.

I can see how an authoritarian government might deal with a pandemic better. I can see how the freedoms we enjoy might be more difficult to scale in a country with quadruple the population.

We try to slap at the heavy hand of the Chinese government. But given our Capitol was just overrun by — I don’t know what to call it, a mass — imagine if there were four Americas to govern. Maybe some narrower guardrails backed by force would be better than the alternative chaos.

When a U.S. State Department spokesperson crafted a flowery Twitter statement heralding the Hong Kong protests, her counterpart in the Chinese government replied with three poignant words: “I can’t breathe.”

Hey every country and person selectively overlook some degree of double standards, and I would rather take ours over China’s any mother blankin’ day.

I hope they do well though, and they do good. I have national pride, and I have ethnic pride. They are intertwined, just like the fortunes of the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China.

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Just Beat the Countdown

I had a job interview this morning, New Year’s Eve, and accepted this afternoon. If you’re a friend, you’ll forward this HR-eyebrow-raising blog along with a couple of nudies from my 20s to my new employer. If you’re a true friend, this will be done quicker because the nudies are saved in your Favorites. Given the amount of work I put into my body, I would be offended if it didn’t occupy at least one filled-in heart icon on your iPhone.

It’s a career change from business development to Salesforce administration, roughly speaking sales to IT. Back in 2008, I left sportswriting for startups. Basically anytime a massive recession challenges all that we know in America, I feel it’s the right headwind to spread my wings.

There is a lot to unpack here. The new salary is less than half of the old one. Although to be fair, I was unemployed. Glass half full, this is technically a raise of infinity percent.

I spent an unhealthy amount of time on LinkedIn in 2020. It is the best tool for career discovery, connections and jobs. This stimulating opportunity to completely own a Salesforce instance — and play admin, consultant, architect, developer — seemed to happen by chance when I caught the listing on LinkedIn 38 minutes after it was posted. In reality, I was simply checking at short intervals because the platform offers so much value.

But it’s still social media, and an even more crafted one at that. Scroll too deep on LinkedIn, and your model of America’s workforce falls into a twilight zone where everyone is so proud and humbled to be named to the regional 27 Under 27 list.

Social media feeds always will skew toward what is notable. In this year of record economic upheaval, seemingly every other LinkedIn post was an announcement of losing or getting a job. Neither makes you feel particularly good when unemployed yourself.

What has been nice to hear as a 36-year-old with a 1-year-old perusing entry-level positions… are other stories of nonlinear paths. My old roommate has some big balls, which I saw so many times during our spectacular year living together that they still make cameos in my bittersweet dreams.

He’s walking away from trillion-dollar Microsoft (which owns LinkedIn) and its zero-cost health insurance for his family of four and moving out of their house in Philly to build the largest vacation rental company in Jersey Shore.

In the big ovaries category, my cousin went to Harvard Law — and Macedonia this year to teach English. My old coworker just quit her job at a tech unicorn whose stock price has looked like Covid graphs. She enters the raging tail end of the pandemic with no plan.

I hope she doesn’t mind my linking to the first post of her newsletter, which is just gold. It’s like Tony Romo’s goodbye press conference times 1,000. It also links to some deep and useful thought around work fulfillment.

Like I said, there’s a lot to unpack. Read those fantastic articles. I’d like to write more about this, but only two hours remain in December to finish my monthly post and I want to start a long countdown to the end of the longest year with the best part of my year (wife).

I haven’t written on this tight of a deadline since covering high school football games in ’08. Then and now. I am proud and humbled for the opportunity of 2021.

Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.

Thankful Eve

Although it was my semen, my responsibility, it was the wife who for the most part got us into this mess. She had to be the one to secure the exit route.

I am not allowed to say having a child was her idea in an effort to offload obligation or blame. That is not productive. This is a partnership. However, you could say she was Batman and recruited me as Robin. I will block and tackle, and we can divide and conquer at times, but ultimately this is her show. She needed to be the one to take out the Joker.

She did so, I hope, by getting what sounds like a great job as a virtual curriculum designer at an edtech that owns Montessori schools nationwide. The operative perk is 50 percent off childcare, which creates the fiscal logic needed for an unemployed father to ship the Joker to a Mandarin immersion program deep in the tract-housing wilderness of Orange County.

The Joker’s first day of school is tomorrow. I can’t wait. I feel like I’m being born again. I might put down a dozen Krispy Kremes courtesy of the Mission Viejo drive-thru during the 20-mile trip home in gluttonous celebration.

The Joker is going to cry all day, maybe the rest of the week. His mother might cry all car ride and sporadically through early afternoon. Both of his parents could end up shedding tears, except one set will be sourced from pure joy.

This is so uplifting. I am getting a nice chunk of my life back. I don’t need the whole thing; otherwise I never would have agreed to supply the semen.

I just need to recoup some of that staggering opportunity cost exacted by parenthood, enough to make me feel like at least a shell of who I once was. Being at home with an 8-month-old and staying there the whole time as the creature doubled in age was beautiful in fleeting moments — but sucked so hard overall.

This is going to sound like a dramatic reaction, but I mean it as an objective assessment: It’s been the worst life stage for me so far. Portly elementary school nerd and insecure teenage virgin have nothing on unemployed parent of toddler during pandemic.

My god this child is a battering ram against my mental wellness and serenity. Bro you’re so cute, but can you just exist for a continuous 60 seconds in a way that does not require my attention?

For anyone privileged enough to live in comfortable First World conditions, really the most precious resources are time and attention. Going from zero to one in the offspring department feels like a difference of infinity and makes you painfully aware how finite those resources are.

It wasn’t bad when I spent all day at the office and got to play Daddy Disneyland nights and weekends. This was a more humane cadence for child-rearing. Every random bit of anthropology I come across supports the adage of “It takes a village.” Children are supposed to be raised within a large support system, not by one or two adults who don’t even have renters insurance.

Now we get the help of a professional village for the first time, and I am so excited. Tomorrow will be a good day.


Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.

2020 for the Win

In the year of our lord of holy capitalism, 2016, I did not vote. At age 36, I have voted one time in a presidential election. During midterm elections, I was more engaged in comparing Sprouts and Vons weekly ad flyers than candidates.

I’m not proud of discarding a right people die for, but I will express some defensiveness and genuine confusion if you want to kill me for it. Here are the questions I struggle with:

1) Does being a conscientious American, shouldering my civic duty, simply mean voting red or blue down the line without any effortful analysis or original thought?

2) If the first and last time you know the name of your congressman is when you open the ballot, and you don’t understand the difference between state and U.S. senators, how much did your input help optimize outcomes for our country?

Photo credit, both idea and blurry execution: Wife

If you spent more time figuring out how to post your “I Voted” sticker to social media — in a subtle, clever, cute or tactful way that accomplishes the overriding intention of virtue signaling — than actually looking at policy differences, is democracy better off?

In other words, should there be a requisite level of diligence to earn the right to vote? And if we both didn’t reach that level, yet we both pay our taxes and treat people kindly, do I deserve more ill judgment for skipping rather than guessing?

3) Perhaps the hardest conundrum… Even if I do all the research, what should be my criteria for selecting a candidate? The one who is best for my family, or more total families across the country? Or all of humanity?

Trump generally is good for the stock market. I own a lot of stock relative to total assets. Our hallowed free enterprise system is built largely on a belief that people pursuing their own self-interest is the best way to run the shop.

So if you’re telling me to vote, can I do it for myself? Or should I try to somehow project the number of people who will benefit more on a daily, tangible level under each candidate? With that kind of processing power, I’d also like to take a shot at helping out Einstein with uniting general relativity and quantum mechanics.

If my civic duty is to look out for all of humanity and our children, shouldn’t I more or less be a one-issue voter on climate change? If I want to prioritize Black people getting a fair shake, would it be more principled to write in someone who would actually shake the racial tree rather than settle between 70-something white men who already had their chances?

Just be specific with my objective: What is the subset of people I should be thinking of when I vote? A candidate almost by definition cannot be the best choice for everyone; otherwise there would be no other candidates.

In my liberal echo chamber, all these exhortations to vote really just mean vote against Trump. This is fine, but call it like it is. Don’t scream about the importance of voting rights and democracy when you only want to enable those who agree with you.

I’ll come clean and say I have no interest in urging any potential Trump supporter to vote. I hope tons of them stay home because the margin of victory this year might mean more than it ever has.

While picnicking off one of the marinas in Newport Beach, Calif., last weekend, it was challenging not to stare at a group of children partying aboard a boat with a Trump flag. If not high school, I would say early college. Hello Orange County.

Assume they were 18. I don’t feel they’re obligated to fill out a ballot, not one bit. I don’t want another Trump vote tallied just because it happens to be the name flying over daddy’s boat.

This is extremely prejudiced of me, I know. It’s worth noting there was a house on the marina with a Trump flag, and the people on the porch were friendly and playful with my son.

Perhaps those young boaters were taking AP Government study breaks below deck and care deeply about the democratic process. I doubt it, and I doubt the value of people voting just to vote. I don’t see how no vote is any worse than an uneducated vote if you don’t really care.

I care enough to vote this time because Trump is such an unrelenting assault on intellectual rigor. Listing more reasons would cause an ice cream headache due to volume and severity. Plus I forfeited my right to complain in 2016 when I sat in the stands instead of joining a team.

It really is similar to sports. Actually sports are a little better in that you at least hear impartial broadcasters and stats. Consuming politics is a feast in confirmation bias, like Uncle Rico reading his high school’s booster newsletter for his source of truth. Watching a presidential debate has nothing to do with learning about platforms, just shiny-object entertainment and hoping your side scores more points.

You pick a team, wave the flag or sign, vilify the opponent, cheer unconditionally even if you don’t follow the sport or players until the final stretch. I only started watching the Dodgers this year in the NLCS and don’t know much about baseball.

But I decided I wanted them to win, and that was that. They won; I felt happy; life resumed. Those who get rich off the sport stayed rich. Most everyday people saw no difference in their everyday lives.

It’s just a game, for politicians and us. If it weren’t, if governing were more about statesmanship than gamesmanship, Amy Coney Barrett would not be on the Supreme Court right now.

The Republican-controlled Senate blocked Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland four years ago when Justice Scalia died in February, saying it was too close to November and voters should have a say via the presidential election. (This, by the way, likely got more social conservatives to turn out for Trump.)

By that logic, when Justice Ginsburg a.k.a. the Notorious R.B.G. died this September, We the People should have gotten a say in who filled her seat with our votes this Tuesday. Instead, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put a rush on pushing Barrett through confirmation. These are lifetime appointments.

It’s a pretty strong indicator of hypocrisy when you can argue against McConnell by simply quoting him word for word. But if the Notorious herself could weigh in, presuming some self-awareness and rap game to match the nickname, she might drop:

Don’t hate the player, silly goose, hate the game.

Ginsburg could have retired in 2013 and allowed President Obama and a Democrat-controlled Senate to pick her successor. Even at 80 years old and a survivor of cancer twice, she bristled at any suggestion of retirement. Kobe, Jordan, Brady… you don’t tell them when to leave the game.

Essentially it was a gamble, assuming Ginsburg cared to align the future of the court with her 27 years of liberal work for it. The big, risky bet: When she eventually did leave her seat, Democrats would still be in control.

The Republicans won the Senate, and then the presidency. Ginsburg went for it on fourth down and didn’t make it. Her team threw tantrums on the sideline, but they didn’t have the ball anymore.

That’s how it works. You can’t turn the ball over and then cry about what plays the other team runs.

I’m not saying Ginsburg was wrong in squeezing out seven more years. I’m not even sure timing retirement to play keep-away with her seat before a tenuous election is any better for We the People than expediting a confirmation in the same scenario.

It’s not about what’s good for We the People. It’s just the game. This year I picked my team and hope we win.

Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.

Harry and the Sheep

The Orange County I see every day is very white, very nice, possibly politically conservative (depending on your definition of political and conservative), and not very interested in wearing masks.

It is almost endearing how few f’s are given about masks, like the stately gentleman in Titanic who refused a life vest but ordered another brandy. I saw an old Asian woman being pushed in a wheelchair down my street. She turned and smiled at me, and I had to multi-task with a smile back while trying to process whether this was the oldest breathing creature I’d ever seen. There must have been some tortoise I spotted on a remote vacation that can contend.

This lady had one foot in the afterlife and still wasn’t wearing a mask. I guess when you lived through the Boxer Rebellion and fought off the Spanish flu in your 30s, this pandemic isn’t so scary. No substitute for experience.

I went to the beach in Newport (O.C.) and Santa Monica (L.A.) on consecutive days, and it was like two different civilizations. No one wore masks on the sand, but in L.A. everyone wore masks everywhere else.

Are we missing something down the 405? Is there a nasty cold or something going around?

My wife and child picnic at a park off Back Bay, while I work out with sprints up an adjacent hill. There are full-on pickup basketball games running in the park now. It’s a beautiful diversity of skin colors, especially for this area — white, black, brown, yellow — but they huff on each other without masks and clearly don’t belong to the same household unless Orange County is more progressive than the numbers show.

Meanwhile on the hill, I suffocate in my thick cloth mask under the sun while zigzagging to keep six feet away. No one else cares to deviate from moving in a straight line, let alone wear a mask — including the elderly folks whom I picture protecting when I pull on mine.

A social distancing reminder was placed at the top of the hill. Check out the sweet bumper sticker response:


Tying patriotism to mask or no mask is an interesting endeavor. The salient event in my lifetime was September 11, when about 3,000 Americans died in terrorist attacks. We recently passed 200,000 Covid-19 deaths.

If 9-11 happened 66 times in six months, if every three days we woke up to another 9-11… how many nukes would our commander-in-chief have tried to fire by now? He would be launching them on a swivel if Congress let him.

It’s not a perfect analogy, but the logic is sound. There was a threat on American soil, and Americans rallied, enlisted, came together, changed rules and fought two wars. There is a threat on American soil, and you don’t even have to be a Marine to be on the front lines. You can just put on a mask and go on with your day, not exactly a hearty Londoner ducking for cover from Nazi air raids in 1940.

The inconvenience is such a tiny cost compared to military service. And it kind of makes me feel those sacrifices are in vain when we won’t look out for each other at home.

Oops, that took kind of a bombastic turn. I’m actually not militant about masks. When I take the baby for quick walks, I only recently started masking up (but have always graciously yielded off the narrow sidewalk to allow for social distancing).

My general approach is to match the comfort level of those around me. If they’re wearing masks and I don’t have mine, I am mortified and can’t concentrate on anything else. If they’re not… well, you don’t care, I don’t care bro. My immune system is almost certainly superior based on my genetics, diet and exercise.

The O.C. bubble doesn’t appear to be any worse off for cavalier interpretations of personal freedoms. Our liberal La La Land neighbors have five times as many Covid-19 deaths with three times the population.

My mother’s native Taiwan is an island nation of 23 million. The Covid-19 death count is seven. Seven. As in under 10, so I have to actually spell out the number according to AP style. The amount is painfully hilarious relative to the norm, reminiscent of when Chris Farley got pulled over in Black Sheep.

Since April, Taiwan has traced only one Covid-19 case to local transmission. The rest were imported. Again, I don’t even know how to comprehend the number “one” when we’re trying to handle outbreaks every day from parties in the U.S.A.

Now, we have 300 million more people here. We’re too big and too free to compare, although Taiwan is a democracy with a female president. But I was struck by the difference in philosophy when listening to my cousin’s experience temporarily moving her family of four from Philly to Taipei to escape cabin fever.

Back in the day, that blue U.S.A. passport was like showing up at the club with a throng of models. Welcome. Now it means a 14-day quarantine monitored by Big Brother.

All meals were delivered to their door at the hotel. When my cousin’s husband didn’t answer a check-in text, he got a call within 15 minutes. My mom’s friend was scolded for going out on the balcony during her quarantine. Either the GPS over there is next level, or Big Brother has some big binoculars.

Once quarantine is over though, you can pretty much party like it’s 2019. Everything is open and packed. A lot of people don’t wear masks anymore, but a lot still do.

With a single-payer health care system that would give Bernie the boner of his life, Taiwan used a massive database of personal information and essentially wartime technology tactics to manage outbreak risks and containment. Even humoring an idea like this in the U.S. of A. would flood every Capitol building with guns.

I’m not saying we should or even can take the Taiwan approach, but it’s provocative to imagine how an aggressive early response by our government — and citizens who buy in — might have looked. We don’t like being told what to do in America, which is a big reason for leading the world (arguably) in innovation and culture. We don’t want to be sheep.

But the sheep in Taiwan just had a 10,000-person indoor concert, while we’re about to have the most depressing Halloween eating candy at home with our diabetes. Concert entry at Taipei Arena required masks, temperature checks and contact-tracing QR codes. Freedom has a price on both sides.

Back in January, I bought baller tickets to Harry Styles at the Forum for my wife’s birthday. This almost certainly would set up steamy intercourse if I managed her pregame rosé intake strategically.

The concert was supposed to be this month, and I remember thinking multiple times earlier this year that of course things will be fine by then.

The new date is Aug. 27, 2021. Of course things will be fine by then.


Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.

Ballin’ Out

I don’t know how many where-were-you moments 2020 feels the need to collect in its prolific career, but we’re not at a saturation point yet. When my wife told me the NBA playoffs shut down due to player boycotts, I initiated my four-step nu-uh, nu-uh, no way, no way sequence. (She had to confirm the news after each tic as if there were any reason for her to make this up.)

In the incredulous tone of Jim Mora… playoffs? This felt momentous to me.

Now in my fourth calendar decade as an NBA fan a la Vince Carter, I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s as Twilight Zone as best-of-seven in a Mickey Mouse bubble or Kobe dying in a helicopter crash.

This makes kneeling during the anthem look like a save-the-whales flyer taped to a sidewalk at Berkeley. Yawn. The platitudes plastered on floors and jerseys are nice to see and maybe contribute marginally to morale. In marketing, this would be top-of-the-funnel awareness.

But moving down the funnel to consideration and conversion — the action people want— requires big-boy moves. Baller moves. Especially in our beautiful and terrible capitalist America, I tend to think just about everything simply comes down to money.

If Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk were told their stock prices depended on police reform and then given the keys, they would go buck wild running it like their businesses — customer obsession, ruthless efficiency, data-driven decisions, testing and iteration, bias toward action, unequivocal expectations, perform or get fired. Things would look different in a hurry.

The analogy to the private sector isn’t apples to apples, but my point is to focus more on money. Even with police brutality rightly under a microscope, I have my reservations about where to channel the swelling frustration, anger and resources.

In my opinion, which I am willing to update with more listening and reading, the unprecedented spotlight right now should shine squarely on economic investment in Black communities. Money put in the right places will have more impact than raging against law enforcement every time a video goes viral.

There are lots of cities in the US of A, lots of police, lots of troubled people, lots of 911 calls, lots of guns. There will be more videos no matter which party is in power.

This is uncomfortable to say because it’s something white supremacists bastardize for their agenda, but the reality is the chances of a Black person being killed by a racist cop versus another Black person aren’t even on the same scale. Actual toddlers are dying from routine gun violence, and no one seems to care: no athlete tweets, T-shirts or funeral processions fit for a president.

Obviously it’s different when the shooter wears a badge, and the two problems can be worked on concurrently. But with finite time and public attention and irreversible loss of life, the 80-20 rule comes to mind.

Where can the biggest impact be made? It’s like being caught up on keeping Steve Kerr from getting an open look, while Michael Jeffrey Jordan is torching us every time down the floor.

Even if every last racist or subpar cop were stamped out, even if every last bit of bias were magically removed from every officer’s mind with some kind of Men in Black contraption… there would still be a racial wealth gap, disproportionate crime, and unconscionable disparity in privilege and opportunity. Frankly there would still be police shootings too.

Money for education, housing, jobs and social services changes things at scale. I was inspired and enlightened by Netflix’s pledge to move up to $100 million of its cash holdings to lenders focused on Black communities.

The idea was based on a professor’s book tracing the origins of the segregated economy and undercapitalized Black banks. I’d like to read it but probably won’t given my slow pace.

Coincidentally though, I’ve been bookmarked on page 308 of Sapiens for weeks. It happens to be the chapter on capitalism.

Bank credit is the magical engine that creates wealth. It’s how you make the future pie bigger for everybody rather than fight within a zero-sum game.

It’s how new businesses are created and the economy grows. I presume the other book explains how Black communities have been screwed by limited access to capital, rooted in systemic racism that goes all the way back to the beginning.

Anyway, I think paying more attention to stuff like this — following the money — can be more productive than obsessing over every police shooting. That sounds callous. A better way to put it is if you’re going to obsess over every police shooting, there should be some cognitive dissonance if you’re not obsessing over other Black shootings that happen on a much larger scale.

Netflix by the way also pledged $120 million to support scholarships at historically Black colleges. The NBA created a standalone foundation dedicated to Black economic empowerment and committed $300 million.

These things get me fired up. Some cynics might think checks from corporations or billionaires are more about PR than actually caring. I couldn’t care less about sincerity with that many zeroes. It seems more helpful than changing your company logo to black and white for a month and pumping more rhetoric into the echo chamber.

That’s why I was exhilarated by the player boycott. Nothing matters until there’s money on the table.

Considering TV contracts, advertising spend, player salaries, ticket sales and the live event economy down the road, the expiring collective bargaining agreement… not ballin’ for even just three days was so baller. It was historic, and I didn’t see it coming at all.

I feel like the players of a league I’ve been following since the 90s were heard like never before, and I wanted to be sure to add that to my 2020 scrapbook.


Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.

Baby as it Relates to Father Time

The baby arrived one year ago. Of Japanese and European descent on his mother’s side, he was predisposed to conquer what came before him and brutally eradicate ways of life he could never understand.

He’s nowhere close to literacy yet, so I want to take advantage of this window to write honestly about what the creature has done to me. It’s possible I will have to delete this eventually, censoring for stability in keeping with my Chinese heritage.

I love my son but am unsure how I feel about being a parent. To be less evasive, I actually hate it. I hate it very much. I feel like it is literally killing me, and you know I’m serious if I use the word literally.

This is a stark reversal from four months ago. If you asked me how I felt about it then and before, my go-to word was awesome.

Parenthood brings out the bipolar in me. I used to mock moodiness in people, the inability to manage discomfort and keep separate things separate.

Now I am pissed off all the time and butt up against some kind of dam holding back a nervous breakdown. I get mad at myself for the mental weakness and spiral further.

What changed in the last four months is not hard to diagnose. When I was working at an office, being a father was all dessert and no vegetables. Snuggle in the morning, make a clean getaway, come home and open the door to big smiles as if I were Chappelle walking out onstage. Hang out for dinner, read a bedtime story, and play the role of fun clown dad on weekends.

I of course always credited my wife and moms everywhere for transforming into superheroes after giving birth, something I didn’t understand until getting the best seat in the house. But you change a few diapers yourself and draw some giggles, and the illusion of being a decent contributing parent is created without the pain. It is indeed a pretty awesome deal.

Now unemployed and sheltering at home, I am living and struggling against the truth I sensed anytime I had to babysit too long. (My wife says it’s not called babysitting when the child is yours, but whatever.)

Spending time with children has a dramatic cliff of diminishing returns. They are so cute and cuddly, and the innocence is heartrending. My baby has a fat face, provoking a visceral urge to press my skin against his and bite him.

But after a few minutes of aggressive canoodling, I am simply ready to move on with my life. It’s why petting zoos charge only a few bucks or carnival tickets. No one is trying to stay there all day.

I do not want to hang out with a baby. I cannot comprehend why anyone would.

The scary part is I have a really easy baby based on my impressions of the average. My boy likes people and dogs, eats well, sleeps well, poops well, and pees outside of the diaper so infrequently I can motorboat his abdomen when changing him without fear of R. Kelly-grade retribution.

We have so many sweet moments together. He went through a phase of giving me a Black Panther salute during every diaper change, and this was months before the rest of America awoke. I am proud to be raising a progressive young man.


As soon as he could hold himself up, my baby made it a habit to sling his little arm on my shoulder every time I pick him up as if I were carrying him off the battlefields of ’Nam. He thinks we’re buddies.

He makes four grandparents so incredibly happy, which is probably the area of highest ROI in my book. He understands numerous commands in Mandarin from my parents, including an open-mouth Jaws kiss.

The latest trick is beating his own chest while humming gutturally. I taught him this. It’s loosely modeled after Matty Mac’s spectacular scene in The Wolf of Wall Street. My bros and I would start the ritual to rally as a unified team before crushing beers at Stagecoach.

My baby’s version does not make him look like a highly evolved species, especially when he strikes himself in the face and stops temporarily in bewilderment. Yet this is how he greets and calls for me now, and he’ll break into it spontaneously too.

I could go on with the endearing snapshots because they happen every day. But they are specks in a big picture that makes no sense to me.

The benefits of having kids aren’t on the same scale as the opportunity costs. They’re not even visible on the graph. I’m going to continuously challenge my physical, emotional and financial wellness… for a hug? So an underdeveloped human can figure out how to say “Dada”? (I’m actually trying to get him to address me as “foo-ching”, a super formal way of saying “father” in Chinese that befits the tone I want to set with him.)

Lately I’ve developed a sort of tic in conversations with my brother, blurting out “Don’t have kids” regardless of context. I can’t control the urge.

When he tries to laugh it off, my voice takes on an edge as I try to make him understand. If I told him I was going to remove five hours from his day, every day, he would find that insane.

And with the remaining 19 hours, his energy level would be reduced by 30 percent. Sex life would go down by a number with an exponent. Aging would accelerate to the range of meth addict.

It really is irrational. He would need to have a serious conversation about compensation. The reason why children are priceless is because the cost is infinity.

All I want out of my time is to be productive or enjoy not being productive. Live a simple and in many ways minimalist life.

I can’t do this as a parent. Going to the beach used to be strolling four blocks from the front door with the love of my life, maybe carrying a roadie and book.

Now going to the beach is straight-up camping. We’re talking provisions, equipment, project management software.

And at home, I can’t get things done or have fun. Quarantine was timed disastrously with the baby transitioning into mobile exploratory mode.

He is so high-touch that multi-tasking has become an exercise in deluding myself. I feel like I’m in a straitjacket when babysitting, a form of mental torture.

Just enjoy the moment? I already did, about 90 seconds worth, and now he won’t leave me alone for two hours. I find myself looking at the clock and willing time to go faster, which is such a wasteful way to live unless you’re holding a plank or awake during surgery.

Moreover, when nap or bedtime mercifully arrives, I feel like I’m on deadline to live the life I want. It’s stressful to sense the clock ticking, like Cinderella trying to hurry through everything and soak it in at the same time.

I often stay up late even though the 6 a.m. wakeup call only bumps to 6:11 on good days. I just can’t let go. Fatigue is outweighed by the need to feel like myself again. But skimping on sleep doesn’t help my mood the next day while being exhorted by my tyrannical child to sing the same page of nursery rhymes as he intermittently grabs and twists my nipple without warning.

Battle-worn parents say it gets better, but this is precisely the thought that pushes me toward a meltdown. I don’t want to hang out with a 2-year-old either. Or 5-year-old. Or 10-year-old. Or 15-year-old.

In some ways these options seem to get progressively worse. I just don’t like to be around kids. They don’t have anything to offer me outside of unsustainable bursts of oxytocin.

Kids can be lovely in small doses but are surely destructive over time, essentially drugs anchored in obligation rather than addiction.

I can’t say I regret having one now that he exists, which would create a walking therapy bill if there ever were one. Independent of my baby or any other, I would just say being a parent is not awesome. It has an awesome effect on your life, literally.


Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.

My Phone and George

I might have failed my first #woke test in the George Floyd era. Debatable. I don’t feel bad about it but am open to your take.

I was standing on what we opportunistically adopted as our front lawn, a patch of grass at the front of our alley that faces the main street.

Someone was approaching on the sidewalk over my shoulder. I opted not to turn, fearing pleasantries would escalate into conversation and challenge my Covid-reduced tolerance for idle social interaction. (I’ve responded curtly to enough how-are-you-holding-up text messages that this problem appears solved.)

As the pedestrian passed though, I did a little sideways look-look away-look back sequence, the kind you do when willing to risk eye contact but not seeking it.

The 20-something guy must have been trying to catch a glance because he immediately stopped his brisk walk and asked if I had a phone so he could call his mom. Without hesitation, I said sorry I didn’t, and he mumbled or nodded and resumed walking.

My phone was in my pocket. I probably had just checked my stocks. I was wearing my signature faded peach shorts, so translucent, thin and tight that my sister-in-law has trained herself to keep her gaze upward when around me to avoid being startled by a python sighting. The outline of my phone in my pocket was clearly visible, along with additional treats given his upward angle.

Oh, and I also answered his question with effing AirPods sticking out of my ears, the visual equivalent of a buzzing lie detector.

The guy was wearing a backpack, lots of tattoos and dark skin — all accessories that do not define a person. Is it OK to say dark skin? I need to run that by the Twitter zombies, arbiters of truth.

I’m simply trying to describe skin, the largest and most prominent organ, as I would shirt or eye. And it’s material to my story.

I don’t think he was Black. My guess would be Hispanic or mixed. Is it OK to guess someone’s race? I need to run that by the Facebook puppets, guardians of moral high ground.

I wouldn’t care if someone guessed my race, right or wrong. Hey I guessed the guy’s age too, which might be more offensive to some people.

Do me a favor and suspend any thoughts of taking offense, and help me through a more productive thought experiment.

Suppose the pedestrian looked like George Floyd, Black and 6-foot-7. Would I have offered my phone in light of everything that’s happened this month? Would that have been necessary to avoid cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy?

What if the pedestrian were Black, 6-foot-7… and a woman? How about a hot Scandinavian blonde? I feel like the right thing to do would be to help and schedule a Zoom follow-up because social interaction is important during this #allinthistogether time.

Is it racist to make a joke about hitting on a hot blonde and not the 6-foot-7 black woman? What if he were Asian, 5-foot-7… and wearing a Hello Kitty backpack? Honestly that would be the scenario eliciting the most caution if we’re talking about a grown man with a Hello Kitty backpack.

I put this all in question format because I don’t know. I can’t discern what was running through my subconscious when I instinctively lied about not having a phone on me.

The narrative in my conscious was we both weren’t wearing masks, and it felt weird to give him something that spends so much time in my hands and near my face to put in his hands and near his face.

This could be revisionist history though, my brain helping out my conscience. Continuing the thought experiment, had we both been wearing masks, I still likely would say no.

It just felt weird, how he was walking the opposite direction from an intersection a few blocks away with 7-Eleven, Shell, Starbucks, McDonald’s and strip malls where it would have been easier to borrow a phone and get picked up. He also seemed content to pass if I hadn’t looked his way, so it didn’t seem like a pressing need.

A little more context could have altered my response too. Maybe hold up your phone and say it died. Maybe summarize why you need to call your mom.

I don’t know. I just didn’t want to hand him my phone. I wouldn’t be able to chase him down while holding the baby. (I was holding the baby by the way.)

Then again, it’s hard to imagine someone stealing from a baby on the side of a busy road in daylight, let alone my boy and me.

It may be pertinent to mention I was shirtless and hadn’t shaved in five days. With an early-puberty goatee and a strip of my wife’s old shirt tied into my hair to keep bangs out of my eyes, I looked like the bad guy in Bloodsport who always had to play a bad guy.

My giant-head 11-month-old has the countenance of a Chinese real estate scion with close relationships in the triad. In short, we don’t look like two mother effers you want to eff with over an iPhone 8.

I took this selfie minutes after the incident with the phone I didn’t have:


He surely wouldn’t have tried to pull a fast one on these tag team champions. Does it even matter? Like I said, I answered in a split second so no fair analysis was completed. I made a snap judgment.

Was I racist? I think ageist would be more appropriate because I wouldn’t have turned down an old man or child, but if the same young adult in white skin asked, I would have had the same answer.

How about Asian skin? I could see myself offering the phone, which sounds bad. Here’s an interesting counter though. Shanghai is an overwhelming place to me that makes New York City feel like Plano, Texas.

If I were drowning in that swell of humanity in China, lost and bewildered on some jostling street corner, a Black American would be the most wonderful sight. I would cling to him like my mother — not the people everywhere who looked like me. Country and culture would override race.

Yet in Southern California, I wouldn’t necessarily give him enough benefit of the doubt to borrow my phone. Why didn’t I just put it on speaker and hold it for the guy? Would that have been like following a Black teenager around a store though? Is this even relevant if he wasn’t Black?

In what appeared to be a non-emergency, should the desire to be an antiracist have superseded my gut feeling even if that feeling wasn’t entirely based on race?

Is it annoying to ask question after question on a normally opinionated blog? I’m trying to calibrate.

Two days ago, I was walking my best friend Piper when a young Black man with dreads opened the window from his parked car. He asked with such enthusiasm about Piper, I got the feeling he sensed her special powers. It was one of the high points of an unusually stressful week for me.

And it’s a bit uncomfortable to realize I wouldn’t have let him use my phone.


Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.

George Floyd

I had planned to mail it in this month with a whimsical blog post on mask adoption in Orange County. But I kept thinking about George Floyd while trying to learn Python and couldn’t get through one problem set all day. I went to bed thinking about George Floyd and woke up at 3:33 thinking about George Floyd. I should probably just offload some thoughts about George Floyd. That’s what a blog is for.

My wife brought up the topic as we were steamrolling In-N-Out at the dining room table. She started crying, and I was kind of a jerk about it. In-N-Out fries have a short window of deliciousness, and I did not want to engage in one of those conversations that to me just sound like a lot of noise. I asked her rhetorically how many black friends she has, which was probably unfair.

Eh, more mean than unfair. My wife is the best person I know. I haven’t met anyone as genuinely good as her except maybe her parents. Her empathy registers at an extraordinary level I can’t reach.

Most folks are more enamored with feeling like a good person than aligning thousands of tiny daily actions and ways of life with their lofty ideals. My wife has a heart of gold and lives that way even when no one’s looking.

You can probably sense a “but/however/that said” coming up, and here it is. I like to approach anything important with a certain amount of intellectual rigor and reflection.

I’m not saying you have to keep a tally of black friends to care and stand up for what’s right. But if you’ve spent 35 years in America, and all your friends are white, Asian or a mix of only those two… it feels like we’re just going for a quick swim in your shallow Facebook-Instagram pond of indignation, a kind of emotional masturbation with intense feelings that will fade away by Saturday.

I feel it too. I watched the video. In my highly untrained legal eye, the officer committed something ranging from murder to, best case, manslaughter of the most senseless kind (not sure there’s any other kind). It would be absolutely horrific to treat a dog like that. Hearing a 46-year-old man call out for his dead mama is not something that can ever be unheard.

Moral outrage on the surface is easy, especially from the comforts of a Newport Beach townhouse where I sleep soundly in part because I know there are so many good cops out there. Depth is harder.

A black man’s life was not valued by police. You don’t say? We landed on the moon!

I asked my wife, again rhetorically, if she’s aware American-made bombs kill children in Yemen. Black kids are shot up on Chicago streets like it’s Yemen before they ever get a fair shake in America.

My brother offered an amazing quote, also amazing because I didn’t know he was capable of reading anything besides his autobiography on how to be a loser. The idea is tough to stomach — no less so because it’s attributed to Stalin — but valid.

A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.

It’s a maddening part of human nature. My point is this. If you’re galvanized by George Floyd, then you probably know there are a lot of George Floyds out there in some form every day.

So what are you going to do the other 50 weeks of the year when this news cycle passes? Actually, if you’re really passionate about this problem, where were you until now?

I’m not trying to be a troll. Surely there is value in all these social media monologues for racial justice, if only to show support. I do wonder though how much of that support is for black men you don’t care to know personally and how much of that support is for your self-identity as a good person.

What are you suggesting? That bad cops stop killing unarmed black people? Yes, I would like to sign up for that too.

What’s the plan? I see your clean two-step process but am skeptical of its efficacy:

Step 1, get fired up over headlines, clever tweets and eloquent posts starting with some variation of “I will never know what it feels like…”

Step 2, get back to your life.

It’s not much different than watching a sad movie, feeling it in the moment, thinking about it afterwards, and smoothly transitioning back to your reality within 48 hours.

We don’t really care as much as we like to think. The things we really care about — our kids, career, health — cannot be sustained by bursts of emotion and inspiration.

If we truly care about something, we do the work. That work is tedious, less sensational and more behind the scenes. If we really cared about racist police brutality we might:

  • Ease off the Trump tweet porn and focus on politics at the local level, which often has more material effect. I, for one, couldn’t pick my state senators or city councilmen or police chief out of a lineup.
  • Educate ourselves in a meaningful way. That means the ratio of reading Instagram to balanced journalism can’t be so lopsided. That means spending precious leisure time comprehending dense research, policy, law and history. That means talking to people outside your bubble.
  • Come up with ideas. It’s reassuring to hear your heart is filled with love and compassion, but there will be bad actors in any system. What can we test across technology, organizational behavior, protocols to reduce black fatalities in police encounters by x percent every year? Humans launched humans into space today. There has to be some engineer at Google, some professor at Harvard, some scared kid at Compton High with concepts to produce progressively better outcomes.

I don’t do any of these things or anything proactive to help George Floyds. The one puny, reactive, almost certainly trivial thing I will do after watching that video is have a plan in the improbable event I encounter similar circumstances.

If I see a handcuffed human whose right to breathe is being restricted by police, I will immediately begin live streaming on Facebook and announce it loudly. If this doesn’t clear the airway, I will approach with both hands held high and do my best to get to the handcuffed human.

I am willing to risk the handcuffed human pulling an epic Houdini and killing us all. I am slightly more worried how the police would react to my approach. Overall I’m comfortable making this particular commitment, but I have no illusions about a sleepless night and blog post masking what is effectively indifference in the long run.


Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.

Terminator, I Love You

After I was terminated from my job like it was 1984 and Arnold just appeared naked in the parking lot, multiple people told me I took it well.

Agreed. Not bad for my first time. It should get easier with more reps. There was one misstep though that makes me think I was more flustered than I let on.

As I was driving out of the parking lot for the last time, one of the endearing office managers was walking the opposite direction in the same lane. I only had a second or two to process the predicament but realized the only option was to engage. It was a virtual certainty she would see me, and even the illusion of peripheral eye contact would have been too awkward to bear.

Without even thinking really, I rolled down the window and said, “Thank you for everything [first name]! I love you!”

I don’t think I even tapped the brake, so I felt like a schoolboy blurting out his crush and then running away.

I love you? Who says that? Generally when somebody yells something out of a moving vehicle, it’s a hurtful epithet. This was almost as unprofessional. Were they firing me in some kind of time warp because this happened first?

To the office manager’s credit and compassion — and my everlasting gratitude — she rattled off “I love you too” and some other niceties without skipping a beat. We need as many people like her as possible during the Covid-19 era, folks who are kind and can roll with surprises.

My god that was embarrassing though. I drove away more distraught about the “I love you” exchange than losing the ability to provide for my family. I think I will always remember that morning without the images fading much:

  • getting a Slack from my boss in New York three minutes before our one-on-one to go to the Green Room, the only conference room sealed off from the rest of the building by badge access
  • walking in to see an HR person seated and my boss on videoconference and deadpanning, “Well this can’t be good.”
  • the Terminator line being “This will be your last day at Acorns.”
  • what I interpreted as empathetic, maybe even pained expressions from the other parties
  • sensing I would not be allowed back up to my desk but asking anyway. Pondering whether it was really a security protocol thing or just a humane way to spare the freshly unemployed from a gauntlet of blundering goodbyes. I would have forced myself to take a lap on all three floors, which sounds roughly equivalent to a dentist appointment when you’re hung over.
  • my impeccable timing having downloaded 411 baby pictures and videos from my phone onto my work laptop the night before as an inefficient intermediate step to freeing up space. I had to explain these were not backed up anywhere and scrambled to put them in a folder while suggesting solutions to transfer the huge file size before they took the laptop. The HR person, an amiable work friend, saw my distress and promised she would take care of it. Two days later, the other office manager (not the “I love you one” but one I love equally) dropped off the pictures on a flash drive at my home in the pouring rain as the corona office shutdown began.

Overall I feel the company treated me well during my 16 months, including the exit. The details of that morning stick out vividly more because it was a unique experience for me rather than emotional.

Of course it was unpleasant. We are evolved to react viscerally to rejection. You figure the prehistoric chap who was dismissed from the tribe during the days of hunting, foraging and saber-toothed cats usually didn’t last long enough to pass on his genes.

It is not an uplifting feeling when you put your heart and mind into something and are told no thank you. (And then you inexplicably reply I love you.)

So what happened — My position was lodged in the path of the massive Covid wrecking ball? Methinks the pandemic might have been an abrupt accelerator, but this was coming eventually anyway no matter how hard I continued to fight.

Why? Here’s the thing. When you try to answer that question, the natural inclination is to launch into ego protection mode. You got rejected and want to preserve your sense of worth to others and yourself, which are intertwined no matter how independently confident you hope to be.

Now, unless you’re a degenerate and got fired for salacious behavior that would make for a more interesting blog post, there might be some reasons outside of your control and fault. The probability increases if you’re smart, likable and hardworking. And increases further in the wild west of business development at a startup.

That’s about as specific as I should go. It doesn’t feel like my business to write about an active business of which I am no longer a part.

Plus, after about 15 seconds of explanation, it starts to resemble a mash-up of excuses and whining.

No one cares. If you followed sports before they converged recently into one giant flashback to a basketball team that played in the 90s, you know a lot of outcomes could have been different if it weren’t for this injury or that questionable call. No one cares or even remembers in the long run. It’s part of the game, garbage (can) Astros notwithstanding.

In general, complaining without an action plan should be relegated to the dinner table when conversation with significant others is slow. Otherwise you should appreciate all experience as good experience, and don’t waste the pain by not getting better from it.

Gotta bring in my boy Ray-Ray here. Ray Dalio is a billionaire philanthropist who started and ran the most successful hedge fund in history. He wrote a book called Principles to share his framework for life and work.

I indirectly credit the book for helping me get the Acorns job. Offer letters don’t come easily there. I didn’t finish Principles until this month after a long hiatus to focus on baby reading, which was so boring I lost my reverence for the written word.

Somehow I picked up Principles again just before the part about firing people. So you could say Ray-Ray guided me end to end.

The way he approaches removing employees might seem savage to the avocado-toast millennial. Run a business like a machine. People are an input.

It sounds impersonal, but his stated goal is meaningful work and meaningful relationships. His path to get there is anchored in hyper realism. But Ray-Ray also seems to draw upon just the right amount of optimism when expedient.

Page 522:

Don’t get frustrated. If nothing bad is happening to you now, wait a bit and it will. That is just reality. My approach to life is that it is what it is and the important thing is for me to figure out what to do about it and not spend time moaning about how I wish it were different… It makes no sense to get frustrated when there’s so much that you can do, and when life offers so many things to savor.

Everything happens for a reason. People tend to use that notion too liberally, with the implication everything happens for good reason or at least as part of a grand plan. Let me know how those case studies on genocide and child cancer are coming along.

However, you can make some negative things appear to happen for a reason by producing good outcomes afterward and then retrofitting. If Acorns hadn’t let me go, I would have never…

It’s up to me to fill in the blank. I plan on an answer that will allow me in hindsight to embrace Terminator Judgment Day — dare I say, even love.


Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.