This One Goes Out To The Band I Love

Prologue: Hi. I’m still here. Apologies for the lack of regular posting of late. Life, family, et. al. take priority. I may post more regularly now, or it might be another two months. Read as you please, I’m not here to judge.

I dig music. I’m always listening to something and routinely seeking out new bands, artists and genres. But since at least early high school – meaning, for more than half my life – I’ve had a very particular fondness for the alt-rock band R.E.M. Continue reading

My 10 Favorite Scenes from Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is my all-time favorite trilogy / series of movies.* I would love to watch through them all once a year, but it ends up being like once every 5-7 years. (They are 4 hours apiece,** since we’re talking about the Extended Editions.) Well, foolishly I thought that Alicia and I could easily watch through them after I quit my job and she was still on maternity leave.

That was December. Fast-forward to July, and not only did Alicia bail out after The Two Towers, I just recently finished Return of the King in bits and pieces over the last several weeks. Mea culpa. Continue reading

Life After Work; or, Thoughts on Being “Retired” At 32

Most of the regular readers here know I quit my job in December to be a full-time dad to our new baby girl. (If you didn’t know, consider yourself caught up.) It’s now July. I’ve been *not* working for at least six months, am not seeking a job, and have no plans to seek a job in the immediate future. (More on that later.) In short, my professional marketing career is voluntarily over.

That’s retirement, right? When you voluntarily stop working to pursue other interests (even if those interests are raising children)? I think so. Maybe. I’m not sure.

The more interesting question: What’s it like to be retired by your early thirties?

Continue reading

Yemen: The Syria No One Is Watching

A wedding hall destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen’s capital Sana’a July 12, 2015. A Saudi-led coalition continued bombing the capital on Sunday in violation of a temporary humanitarian truce. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

While the world continues to fret, shake its collective head and point fingers at each other over the civil war in Syria, the conflict has only deepened over the last six years.

But frankly, at least the world is watching Syria. Situated in the southern Arabian Peninsula, with nearly three times the land area of Syria and twice its population, Yemen faces the triumvirate crisis of war, famine and disease that threatens to turn it a failed state on the scale of Syria – or worse. Yet no one is watching Yemen.

Why? Continue reading

Trump and Syria: Seven Questions

Warning! This post contains discussions of politics, foreign policy, and international relations. It has zero photos or mentions of cute babies. Bail out now!

Yesterday, President Trump announced that the US fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against the Shayrat Air Force Base in Syria, marking the first military action taken directly by the United States against Syrian forces in the course of the six-year long civil war. Trump alleges that Shayrat AFB was the origin for the chemical weapons attack that killed 72 people in Khan Shaykhun, a rebel-held town in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.

I have many questions. Continue reading

Firenze and Food

Of all the places we visited in Italy, I miss Florence the most. I would move there, should Alicia and I ever become wealthy and decide the fashionable ex-pat lifestyle is for us. I found the city less touristy than either Rome or Venice (though certainly still packed full of tourists), and with far more to see and do than smaller places like Assisi or Siena. Plus, we had the best food and wine on the entire trip in “Firenze.” Continue reading