Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The pegleg they call Gitche Gumee

A few nights ago Jennifer tried to trim the jungle of wild fur around Bailey's front paws, but she went too far.

That inspired me to sing him a karaoke song tonight.

Turns out the line is actually "the BIG LAKE they call Gitche Gumee."


Does that ever happen to you?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Let the countdown begin

For 16 years I have been the not-shortest person in the Tarpley household. Jennifer has a half inch on me; like Tom Cruise and Michael J. Fox, shortness is part of my sex appeal. But it's going to be weird being the shortest of 4.

Samuel usurped the #2 spot AND #1 spot in the span of a few weeks sometime in 2012, and now he towers above both of us.

Now Ethan is poised to overtake me for the coveted #3 spot.

Can I hold him off until 2015? We'll see.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mixed emotions

I'm happy that Ethan is riding the bus to school by himself this week.

It was his idea. He's going to be in high school next year. This is good preparation.

I'm worried about him getting off at the wrong stop.

I'm worried about him not having enough money on his card.

I'm worried about him not looking both ways when he crosses the street.

I will miss riding the bus with him every morning, the same way I miss holding his hand.

I will miss listening to him tell me what he dreamed about last night, how he got in trouble yesterday for talking in class, how his classmate Lulu actually likes homework, how there should be a reality show about people being forced to live like cavemen.

I'm happy that he's growing up.

I'm sad that he's growing up.

Friday, September 26, 2014

This is Samuel's inbox

I have a feeling the college process with Samuel is going to be more complicated than when I was in high school.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Most marketable skill

I was approached by an online education company called Webucator to write a blog entry on the most marketable skill that new job seekers should possess. Because I lack the ability to say no even to requests from total strangers that pay nothing, I gladly accepted the challenge.

Here's my advice:

Be an interesting person.

Choose a college that inspires you, and a college major that inspires you, and a career that inspires you. That's hard, because college is incredibly expensive, and there are loans to pay back, and you want to think of it as an investment with a clear payoff, and yada, yada, yada.

Here's the thing.

Oxen exist to pull plows. People can pull plows too--often we must. But we can also aspire to be artists and writers and ballerinas and baseball players. Even if you don't end up making a living doing one of those things, don't be quick to trade in that part of your humanity to be a higher-paid plow-puller.

There are hiring managers in the world, believe it or not, who want more than oxen. They want people on their teams who can think creatively, who are intelligent and well rounded, who can adapt and grow, and who aspire to things beyond the mundane. They'd rather hire a person with a BA in English than a BA in Business.

Find those people. Do a great job for them. Then, when it's your turn, hire the smartest, most interesting people you can find.

That's the best I got.