Neurotic Dad

The journey to parenthood. And irrational fears.

Jul 21

3 Things I Don’t Regret

  1. Taking time away from my extended family to focus on my wife and kid and my own mental health
  2. The outrageous quantities of alcohol and unhealthy food I consumed last weekend at my annual camping weekend with my college buddies
  3. Barcelona, 2007

Jul 17

I Don’t Feel Very Good About Humanity Right Now

In the past week I have seen video of children running from bombs, children killed by bombs, children screaming for their dead relatives killed by bombs, children cowering from rocket fire, children in overcrowded detention facilities.

This in addition to the usual helpless victims of hunger and abuse.

Meanwhile everybody wants to make sure they have the right opinions so they can feel okay about doing nothing. Myself included.

Jul 16

Today’s Neurometer Level As Indicated by Quantification of Irrational Fears

1 = completely rational fear
10 = completely irrational fear

  • The increased police presence in New York City, including patrolling helicopters, indicating an elevated threat of terrorism
    Irrationality Level (IL) = 1
  • My kid hurting himself badly at day camp and needing to go to the hospital and crying out for his daddy in pain and fear
    IL = 3
  • My writer friends secretly believing that I am a talentless hack but saying nice things about my work because they like me
    IL = 5
  • Dropping dead of a heart attack while playing with my kid in the sandbox
    IL = 7
  • Spending the rest of my career on the fringes of the publishing industry, a respected but obscure figure
    IL = 4
  • My son growing up to hate my stinking guts
    IL = 8
  • Not bring able to lose 5 - 10 lbs
    IL = 5

Today’s Neurometer level: 4.714

Comments: Those of us who tend to worry are perhaps helpless to prevent irrational fears; and yet by identifying them as irrational we can, with practice, reduce their impact. Thus we can approach equanimity not by expunging the damaged parts of our psyche, but by accepting them.


Jul 15

Stop the Opinionating About Israel and Gaza and Do This Please

The Internet is like a huge room where everybody is yelling at each other while wearing earplugs.

Instead of taking an hour to craft a post about the war in Gaza that won’t do a fucking thing for anybody, let alone change someone’s mind, I donated $10 to Children of Peace, a UK charity that helps “establish projects and programs in the arts, education, health and sports for Israeli and Palestinian children, aged 4-17.”

The idea is to build bridges between hostile communities and to help relieve the chronic anxiety suffered by the region’s children.

The next time you are tempted to post your opinion about the conflict, please also donate to Children of Peace.

I Will Answer Your Questions But I Will Not Tag Anyone Else Because I Am (1) Self-Absorbed and (2) Lazy

I was tagged by fernsfamily which is really nice because I’ve got tumblr-block

  1. Did you have a lot of acne as a teenager?
    Sure did, hurt like hell
  2. Would you rather eat potato chips or chocolate cake?
    Neither. Almonds, which is how I maintain my girlish figure
  3. What is the worst injury you’ve ever sustained?
    Coccyx (aka the tailbone). Slipped while playing soccer when I was 15, then made it worse when I fell a few weeks later. Still hurts to this day.
  4. Do you bite your fingernails?
    No. I bite other people’s fingernails, hence the restraining order
  5. Do you like your name?
    I do. Although when my parents named me “Neurotic” it created a self-fulfilling prophecy
  6. Would you rather read the book or watch the movie?
    Depends on the book or the movie.
  7. When you were a kid what was your favourite thing to play on at the park?
    Behind the kindergarten there was a yellow cement turtle. I used to like to sit under the turtle and be alone. It was calming. But I didn’t get to do it very often because when a kid saw you under the turtle then of course he or she wanted to be there too. Once I was beneath the turtle, running my hands through the dirt, and David N got down on all fours to tell me that my peanut butter and jelly sandwich was ready. Reluctantly I left the turtle and walked down the hill to the classroom.
  8. Celebrity you’d most like to meet? Why?
    I can’t really think of anybody. I’ve met some famous (or at least semi-famous) people in LA and found some of them were nice and some insufferable. It would be interesting to sit down with Jesus because we’d have a lot to talk about, both being Jewish boys who have a complicated relationship with their mothers.
  9. How many languages can you speak?
    Mediocre French — like good enough to get the gist of a movie but not good enough to have a meaningful conversation. I used to be conversant in Polish too but that’s gone away. But if you dropped me down in the middle of Warsaw I could order a meal and get a hotel room without a problem. But why would you want to drop me in the middle of Warsaw?
  10. Do you cry a lot?
    Not so much.
  11. What would you cook for me if I came over for dinner?
    My first thought was “lamb” but you’re from New Zealand so you probably have it all the time. So whatever you like. Because I don’t fuck around in the kitchen.

Jul 13

5 Top Tips for Going Viral

  1. Don’t wash your hands.
  2. If someone’s about to sneeze, put your face in front of his mouth.
  3. If your friend has a cold, make out with him or her.
  4. Don’t get a lot of sleep.
  5. Avoid fruits and vegetables.

Jul 12

cerebralzero said: If you disagree with what elpatron56 said, than why don't you refute it?

Because there’s no point. Some people don’t understand the difference between fact and opinion, evidence and innuendo, real research and googling, etc. There’s not a chance in hell I could convince elpatron or any of his followers of anything.

Jul 11

What I Am Thinking While Reading the Comments on My Previous Post

Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls.

Jul 10

An Open Letter to the Guy I Just Unfollowed

Dear Guy I Just Unfollowed,

You seem like a decent person. Which is why I am taking the time to write rather than merely unfollowing you and moving on.

I used to talk about the “pseudoargument” with my students, when disputants can’t agree on the basic premise of an argument so there’s no point in discussion — for example, when pro-life people explain themselves to pro-choice people. Pro-life people will never believe that personal liberty trumps the moral evil of terminating a pregnancy. And pro-choice people will never believe that a fetus is the same thing as a baby. So talking to each other on this subject is a waste of breath.

I know I am risking a pseudoargument when I tell you that likening gun control advocates to “faggots” is bigoted and undermines your cause. Nevertheless: posting things like that is bigotry and undermines your cause.

The thing that anti-gun folks don’t understand is that the right to bear arms is in the Constitution, so guns aren’t going to just go disappear from American life. They might say, “Okay, let’s change the Constitution,” to which I say, “fat chance.”

The thing that gun-loving folks don’t get is that rights have limits. And that limit is when the exercise of your rights causes harm to other people. Which is what legal and illegal guns do to people every day. (Sorry, which is what the people who own legal or illegal guns do to each other every day.)

And by the way the Second Amendment cites a “well-regulated militia,” which, while vague (in fact the amendment itself is terribly written) does take the right to bear arms out of the same unlimited category, as, say, the right to religious expression, whether it be Christianity or Satanism.

So I guess all I’m saying is that the issue is nuanced and that both sides really don’t fully understand what they’re talking about.

As for using words like “faggot” and then being all like, “What, am I not being PC enough for you?” I hope you’ll listen when I explain that the excesses of the PC movement in the 80s or 90s does not excuse you from decency, which in this case is avoiding hurtful language.

Yes indeed you have the right to call gun advocates whatever you want. But that doesn’t mean you should.

Now I am going to get off the Internet and do some work.


Neurotic Dad

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