INSIDE VOICE #5: …initiating connection…initiating connection…

For their mental health, we’ve been strongly and persistently encouraging the teenagers to make in-person plans with their friends. Provided they stay outside and don’t climb on each other – we’re cool.

Ensuring in-person social interaction is far tougher for the elementary school kids, as coordination still happens through parents.

Turns out, asking about comfort levels of previously banal activities with a parent of your kid’s friend inside a global pandemic is more awkward than asking, “Do you have guns in the house?”

I mean, at least new mothers practice asking each other that question in neighborhood ECFE classes.

I’m going to start couching the question in Pixar movies:

“Oh, hi, um, yes, just wondering, how you feel about our kids playing together outside. Are you more:

or are you more:

It’s cool either way,…oh you haven’t seen Monsters Inc? Fun movie. Makes for some timely conversations. Twist at the end. Yea, for sure it’s on Disney+.


The kids, before their distance learning started, would mock me working. They’d put their arm in the air like a T-Rex at an invisible standing desk, taunting, “I’m Dad. Type. Type. Type.”


I’ve been (near exclusively) listening to Mike Doughty, specifically his The Question Jar Show album, these past couple months. I find a great calm in his voice and his presence. The Halloween treat in the last verse of Grey Ghost is complete magic to me. Every. Single. Listen.

Turns out, I’ll listen to him do just about anything, including comfortably type on an IBM Selectric.


By the way, I’d like to take this moment to formally nominate Andrew “Scrap” Livingston’s upright bass for: Instrument Most Embodying the All the Feels of 2020

Autumn morning.

Inside the Loop.

Suburbs of grey flannel suits

Streaming among the tallest towers,

As they look away.

A voice in my head whispers:

“See, you can hide anywhere, if you want to.”


I thought it was odd the brewery credited their illustrator and design firm on the label.

Doubly odd, I recognized the design firm. My friend Jon started out there nearly 20 years ago. Jon tells me, the brewery owner and the designer firm owner have known each other since childhood.

That’s so great.

Where can labels are increasingly works of art, it’s fantastic to see credit given, whatever the situation.

Cheers to more artists getting credit on beer labels.

And to life-long friendship.