Crossing a Thin Line

The line between diplomacy and cowardice is much finer than one would imagine. I walk it daily. We all do. It’s the grey area between what we honestly think and what we actually say. But my wife recently broke down such a barrier in her life. I was scared for her while still being so proud.
She admitted her apostasy to her devout, Catholic family. I never saw it coming. I knew her feelings about the church itself and its tenets, but all the way to disbelief in the divine? That was entirely through her own contemplation.

So I should move forward as well. One would think I’d have less inhibition about such things, as I have never been a believer. I think I believed in Santa Claus longer and more deeply than a god. After all, at least I had evidence of that once a year.

Yet for years my tongue has been bitten. I went through hoops for the sake of love. I lied when asked to swear oaths regarding Jesus and Satan in order to keep the peace with those I love and care about.

It’s a fine line between diplomacy and cowardice. All those nods and acknowledgements, even when my children started repeating things they’d been told that contradicted fully what is known about the world. I was as diplomatic as I could be.

And every moment of it I felt like a searing coward.

I have read stories of people coming out atheist and being ostracized by their families. Parents, siblings, friends, all suddenly turning on a person they loved unconditionally moments before. My wife is still waiting for the other shoe to drop and we continually prepare for serious discussions over what is passed through our children.

By all accounts, I should have the easiest time admitting how I see the world. I have never believed in God beyond any general contemplation on divinity. To say it more clearly for the majority to understand: I have never been a Christian. And I despise having to say as much. Not believing is the default.

We’re not born with a belief in anything. Early life is all food, sleep, and bitching about the lack of both. Even as adults, that’s a solid 80% of what we have going on as well.

I loathe defining myself as a negative. Hi, I’m Evan, and I’m not a German. Well, I have ancestors who were. And I learned a bit of German language… Yadda, yadda, yadda.

It’s ridiculous. I’m Evan, and I’m an American. I’m Humanist as well. People are naturally kind and open; it is other factors that turn them dark. We’ve developed amazing tools and art, and more tools and more art, all to the benefit of humanity. Things aren’t perfectly good and balanced now, but they’re progressively getting better. And knowing my own limitations and mortality is a powerful driver for making what comes after my death better. For that, for all our faults, I am humanist.

Most importantly, though, I am Evan.

And I will let diplomacy be the key to my honesty.

Kids Fix – ‘Twas a Holiday

More pictures, from the current month even!
From April 8th.

Happy Easter! Have a scimitar.

Good plan on the Easter Bunny’s part. Thanks dude.

And a Happy Easter from Tyrone Biggums, Esq.


Chocolate = win. Always.

So’s that smile.

Time to rock some cool shades from the goodie basket.

Lookin’ good.

But some people are far too cool for the room.


The kids were on fire with the expressions that morning. Here’s Emily posing for her Senior Portrait.

Yup, more leg than Dad would approve of there, at any age.

Actually, I could see him doing this for a portrait too.

While the lad got up rather early and rampaged the house, we did get some shots of the Lass hunting eggs.



Then later that day, on to Grandma’s for lunch and more fun.

I don’t remember what she’s looking at, but she’s definitely a doll.

Cousins. I’m still amazed how alike they look.

Auntie with the brand new baby cousin.


Now counting, but not quite all there.

Oh the expressions.

And the hunt continues…


And the look I get when taking pictures of her.

Or saying something to the kids.

Or saying anything at all.

Or breathing.

I do love her so!


Kids Fix – Birthdays

Once again, long overdue. Beyond a simple blog post, here’s a big reason anyone comes here.
However, now that Instagram is out for Android, M and I are using it. Way easier to share pictures. I tag mine into Twitter, M goes to Facebook. Or you can check out our feeds directly on your phone. It’s a free app. If you want our account names, just ask directly.

From February 12th.

I turned 29. And this is my family.


From March 12th.

The almost birthday girl. Posing. Kinda cute. Striped leggings.


Then she turned four.


No way it’s been that long. She was just a wee thing barely walking, last I checked. And sporting a Maggie Simpson hairdo.

From March 17th, 2012.

Hair as long as can be. Smile that overshadows Helen of Troy.

And talks. Constantly.

I’d be annoyed, but I think it’s awesome.

These two pictures amuse me. She’s just digging on her new iPad-like toy called a Leap Pad.

Woah, wait a second! That has a screen!?

Instant big brother.

You should push that. And that. Here let me do this. This is how it works. And go here.

It’s okay. She’s stoked to have a birthday. We do have to sport the Irish Green bows.

And cake!

She’d been asking for Hello Kitty for a couple of months at least by this point.

Out they go. She used to need help…

That’s a four-year-old Emily Rose.


She’s my little girl and she’s perfect. I love how she’s growing up. I love every day being more and more and more. She can do so much, understand so much. The world keeps opening up so big and I love watching her mind decipher it all.

It’s great.

The other day, she started saying 3 correctly. Before that, it was One, Two, Free, Four, Five. I’d been correcting her occasionally, knowing she’d get it eventually. And suddenly, she has. She can’t say it wrong anymore. One, Two, Three, Four, Five. Exactly perfect.

But now I miss the Free. She’ll never be Free again. She’s Four now.

Every moment is a whole world that never comes back. We mortals should cherish them more.

At least I get to remember her being Free, no matter how old she gets.


[And at least she still skips Thirteen when counting. Here’s hoping that sticks.]

A Little Bit Nuts


That word means exactly what it sounds like, and yet, is not an onomatopoeia*.

Though, now that I’m over-thinking, cockamamie (which I originally spelled cockamamy, also acceptable, thank you) it sounds really terrible and painful. That poor chicken.

Cockamamy, just as much ridiculousness as you’d think.

*Onomatopoeia, however, does not spell how one would think it would. By one, I mean me. And by how one would think, that one must be erudite.

Actually, erudite isn’t the right word for that sentence. Except for the fact that my intuition believes that erudite and onomatopoeia start with the letter a.

How cockamamie is that?

Quick Thoughts

First, from my daughter’s brain:


Emily wanted to write a letter to her friend Elizabeth. The top is her attempt to sound out the name. Then she asked me to write out the name below, so I did to give her an example. Last, she copied it herself. She turns 4 next week. Kinda cool there.

Some links:

Emily’s schoolwork. She’s big into cartography. And posing.




Did you know that Eskimos have 600,000 words for snow? It’s true. I, like, totally looked that up just now.

Minnesotans have a few different words for them as well.

“Shit” comes to mind.

In less than a day, we went from no snow on the ground to 8.5″ being dropped. That’s after having rained yesterday afternoon. Not only is there a lovely layer of slush under everything, it means this was a warm storm and the snow is very wet. In the city, it was mostly rain and a couple of inches of snow. Up here, we got nailed hard enough that even the district called a Snow Day.

After sleeping in a bit, the neighborhood got up and began work to dig itself out. I and the boy were sweating through our gear pretty quickly. Once we got about 1/3 done, he was off and playing. 1/3 more of the driveway cleared, a neighbor loaned me his snowblower.

Upon handing the rumbling contraption off to me, his only words were, “This shit is too heavy.”

See!? It’s not just me. The natives do have many words for snow up here! Cultural Anthropology is so fascinating.

Point of order, however: this heavy, wet snow is some of the best. At least for kids. Why? You can reach right down and grab a handful of snow and it automatically forms into a functional snowball. Had I not wiped myself out shoveling, the games would have been on.

On like white on rice.

In a glass of milk.

On a paper plate.

In a snowstorm.


This entire site has been a feast of “It’s been a while” I suppose. I had turned off the automatic Twitter posts because that’s about all this space had become. Well, since turning them back on, it apparently decided to catch up on all that was missed the past few months.


That’s a lot of chaos to weed through. At least 6 months worth, now that I’m looking at it. Hopefully that won’t happen anymore.

And be warned, the puns are rather brutal. Ones spaced out over months are more tolerable. This is lots of punishment. I’d apologize, but I still believe I suffer as much as anyone else from them.

Hang One’s Head

To hang one’s head, is a lowering of your chin and your gaze, generally in shame. Right?

Does this strike you as an odd phrase? Would it not be better to droop one’s head? Hanging sounds an awful lot like a hanging. And outside of hangman, there’s been no good hanging. Ever.

Hang your head in shame! And pretend you have a hemp necktie!

And seriously, can hangman move onto a cool geometric shape or something? Not only would it be less morbid, it would also be more consistent.

So remember: it’s better to find a place to hang your hat than hang your head.