Posts

Every Body's Business

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  I’ll chalk this week up to being one of a couple medical check-offs. I had a physical yesterday and I am scheduled for a colonoscopy on Friday. (Don't be jealous!) I’ll spare you the details of both, because nothing says you’re old more than talking about your health, or lack of it. But my visit to my doctor provided a reminder of my current read. I am reading Bill Bryson’s book, The Body: a guide for occupants. The book is fascinating at so many levels and has given me a new appreciation for the complexity of the human body. Each chapter addresses a different part of the body and I can tell by how it’s written that Bryson did a ton of research in writing it. It’s a 500+ page book, a size that will usually dissuade me from even checking it out, but I have to say, I am hooked on it. I find myself telling my wife and kids some of the trivial facts that are in it. Things like: 1. The average person blinks 12,000 times a day. Enough time that your eyes are actually closed for

Sometimes Things Happen For A Reason

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For a number of reasons I spent nearly six years pursuing my Bachelor's degree in Geography and Anthropology. As part of it I spent a year as President of the Anthropology Club, a nonprofit, student led group of peers that met for talks, speakers and social events. As part of that we organized a Spring Conference every year that was held at the Itasca State Park Environmental Station.  I'll spare the details of the conference, but my last year there I met a woman, Christine, and we sort of hit it off. I seemed to have an affinity for shorter women and she was no different at just about 5 feet. She was also spunky and feisty and rode a motorcycle. In this case, she had even ridden hers four hours up to the conference, which is an amazing feat on any motorcycle, especially the little Kawasaki 400 she had. Well, anyways, after the conference we dated a few times. I quickly found out she was a fairly strong feminist, which I totally respected. When I asked her if it was okay if I

So It Goes...Revisited

Well, it's been a long hiatus for the So it Goes blog. Other than the short post in 2021, I think it's been since pre-COVID that I actually posted regularly. I think I just needed to step away for a time and take a break from the commitment. It was beginning to get a little robotic and obligatory and so I just put it on the back burner for a while. Much has happened since then I think. I've published a couple of books since then, Cretin Boy and At the Lake. Both give me a great sense of accomplishment, despite the fact that they are not NYT best sellers. I can't imagine not writing, and having four memoirs and a handful of poetry books is about nine books more than I ever imagined, so that's something. I have missed some of the nice feedback that my blog used to give, I'll tell you that for sure. Looking back there were some that even said my blog was what led them to checking out my books, which is pretty cool. I think I will stick with keeping it to a weekly p

My Story Of His Life

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 As I mentioned last week, my son, Ben graduated from UW - Madison this past weekend. We were fortunate enough to be able to watch it via a YouTube stream, which was the best we can do in these strange times. I've said it too many times, how proud I am of him. He finished in 3 1/2 years having had many of his AP credits transfer. With both of my kids, I've kept a journal of major events and milestones in their lives, from birth until they graduate from college. These entries can go from back-to-back entries all the way to not writing anything for 6 months. I wrote as I felt inspired or led. I gave Sarah hers in 2018 when she finished school at the University of Minnesota. She was emotional when she opened it, knowing exactly what it was, but not expecting it. Read about that,  here . Well, this weekend was the chance to give Ben his. We had a small outside gathering of friends at a local brewery here to celebrate. When I gave him the gift he had no idea what it was. He opened a

A 2021 Badger

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In a few days, my son will graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. For some reason this is both an extremely proud but sad occasion for me. I couldn't be prouder of his achievements, especially given that he graduated in 3.5 years, one semester early. That can be attributed to his AP classes in high school. Both he and my daughter took a slew of AP courses and those credits (mostly) transferred as college credits. With college tuitions what they are, this amounts to thousands of dollars saved.  I will go ahead and say that both of my kids were better students than I was. They were smarter and applied themselves much more than I did. Some of this might be a dual vs. single parent upbringing, but much of it was just that they were extremely self-driven. We coaxed them, but in the end, it was their own high expectations of themselves that helped them succeed. I remember when I took Ben to his orientation/tour. The keynote speaker made a mention that as a student who was a

Mom/Mary/Nanny

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So, my mom turns 88 today.  I can't say enough about what she means to me, my wife and kids and the rest of our extended family. Any of you that know my family, know that she has been through so much in those 88 years, not the least of which is the current pandemic. Her story is written in her children and that is her single biggest and most beautiful legacy. Seven children, 14 grandchildren and a handful of great grandchildren. Add to that, a host of my cousins, a few stepsiblings and random other people that have adopted her as their mom, and, well, it's a lot.  Sarah's Graduation. Much of Mom's legacy. Mom goes by three different names, depending on how you are related. She's Mom to us kids, of course. To her daughter and sons in-law, she's Mary or Mary Lou, and to her grandchildren and great grandchildren, she's known as Nanny. That is what her own mother went by as a grandmother, and she inherited it or took ownership maybe,  Mom/Mary/Nanny is still in

Sharing in the Struggle

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 I watched a Barnes and Noble interview with Barack Obama the other night about his newest book, The Promised Land. I'll confess, I didn't watch the entire thing, as I had screen/zoom fatigue by then, but what I saw of it was interesting.  What I found the most interesting wasn't necessarily the content of the book, but the commonalities we share as writers. He was frank and honest about his routines and methods. He mentioned he tends to do his best writing between 10 PM and 1 AM. This is actually the polar opposite of when I like to write. I tend to like writing first thing in the morning and into the afternoon.  He also mentioned that he writes all of his stuff using longhand on yellow legal pads. He said that is more productive for him and makes for a cleaner transcription. I thought that was particularly interesting given my efforts on my latest manuscript "At the Lake" (Working Title).  As I've mentioned, I am trying to write this one entirely in longhand