How Old Are You?

No, not your physical age. Your mental one.

I have a theory that personality/chi settles in the brain mold early, despite all the wisdom we supposedly acquire with each additional trip around the sun. (Or, if you question science, the sun’s trips around us.)

I’m convinced because I think I’m still somewhere in high school.

It’s not just the sophomoric jokes, which make me snort to this day. But the irrational fears, insecurities, and motivations that manifested themselves in high school still seem to drive me today.

I often wonder this about my friends with kids. Sure, parenthood thrusts a whole new set of responsibilities on you, and the world somehow expects you to “grow up.” But to my friends who are parents: Even with progeny in tow, is your brain somehow still in its teens?

I ask this question a lot in the workplace because I’ve seen behavior — both good and bad — that’s led me to wonder why people act the way they do. Were they hugged enough as children? Is their territory marking motivated by some deep insecurity that started when they were 12? Are they assholes at home, too, or just at work?

This Is How Busy I’ve Been


I haven’t appropriately :::squeeeeeeeeeeeeed::: at the prospect of having Mulder and Scully grace the small screen once again. 1997!Archie would totally be ashamed of 2015!Archie.

By now, you know that talks are heating up about an X-Files reunion/reboot/re-I-don’t-care-what-you-call-it-just-make-it-happen.

I am all sorts of giddy at the prospect. I never was satisfied with the way seasons 8 and 9 panned out. I liked Robert Patrick as Doggett and Annabeth Gish as Reyes. I didn’t even mind that Mulder was MIA for the last two seasons. And I actually enjoyed the second movie, even if the story was too pedestrian.

But like many of my favorite TV shows (ahem, American Horror Story: Freak Show), there were lots of squandered creative opportunities (e.g., Scully searching for the abducted Mulder instead of tending to an alien baby) that could have further sealed the show’s groundbreaking impact.

Having a seasoned Mulder and Scully — preferably back at the FBI (hey, feds get rehired all the time!) — investigate a season-long mystery a la True Detective or Fargo would instantly modernize the show’s storytelling, which occasionally fell under the weight of its own bloviating self-importance.

I’m on board, even if Chris Carter’s terrible The After pilot on Amazon terrified me in all the wrong ways. (Side note: Carter should never write an ensemble show. Characters turn into stock caricatures.)

Best case scenario: He invites his old friends Vince Gilligan and Howard Gordon to map out the season’s arc and write a few episodes. There’s no reason this should be a solo venture, should it?

Maybe there’s hope.

Where I Come Out as Pro-Government

It’s been about a year since I left the Washington, DC area. On a night like tonight — when the President gives his State of the Union address — I miss DC’s intoxicating energy. There’s no other place on earth where bars willingly air the SOTU (and presidential debates, among other political fare), and where drunken patrons actually engage.

I don’t consider myself a political person. After all, I’m just a lowly educator trying to get students to and through college so they can fulfill their own brand of the American Dream. (Confessions: I scored a 3 on my AP U.S. History exam. I’ve never seen an episode of The West Wing. The last “political” movie I saw was Air Force One.)

But after moving into the Beltway in 2005 and spending nearly a decade as a public servant working closely with senior officials in both parties, I developed a healthier appreciation for both the infrastructure and the process of the federal government. No matter who’s in power and whether we agree with his/her policies, there’s a reason we’re the nation we are 230+ years later.

Which is why it bothers the crap out of me that there are people who want to wholesale destroy the federal government. They may wrap themselves in the American flag, brandishing words like “patriotism” about. But their anarchic views only overshadow the truth that the federal government is us. We — i.e., you and I — are the federal government.

Sure, we’re messy. And sure, we’re a gajillion light years from perfect. (You can read my musings from when the federal government shut down in 2013 and I grew a beard* here:

*not really a beard

We somehow keep electing megalomaniacs who don’t seem to have a basic understanding of generally accepted scientific concepts. We’re easily distracted by stupid crises manufactured for profit. And I’m not too naive to understand that there’s too much influence on policy decisions from many dark corners of the woodwork. The extent to which our representatives actually represent us is questionable.

But I’ve got to believe that this great experiment works because we — i.e., you and I — participate in the process. Because we are our government. Despite many serious bumps in the road, we’ve somehow survived as a nation. And that, to me, is worth raising a glass to.

Do Grown-ups Journal?

It’s a new year, which means it’s time for a new design and newer content.

So what to write about?

I’ve been blogging on and off since 1997. My internal monologue is very active, so I grew up an avid journaler. My geocities site became my de facto journal, digitizing late night musings that I used to pen on notebook paper.

I recently read entries from 18 years ago, and I’m both horrified and impressed. Many were overblown, yes. But most were thoughtful — and now, educational. Back then, I relied on journaling as a way to process my thoughts and feelings. I wrote novel-length entries. These days, my thoughts have been narrowed to 140 characters that are carefully curated and vetted through various filters.

<Carrie Bradshaw>I couldn’t help but wonder: Aside from using therapists and bartenders, how do adults hurtling toward middle age process their thoughts and feelings?</Carrie Bradshaw>

Getting married, moving to a new city, starting a new job, and having to create a new support network in the span of 18 months got me thinking. Do grown-ups journal? Or are we somehow expected to have it all figured out by now?

Notes to Self

Every once in a while, I need to be reminded where I’ve been. So I’m starting a new series of short posts called “notes to self.”

My inaugural note on this Throwback Thursday:

May I never forget that I auditioned seven times before I got into Washington Improv Theater’s company ensemble, Caveat.

The troupe has since disbanded, but holy crap was it a lot of fun. Here’s our demo reel from 2011:

Happy Anniversary to My Hot Cuban Sandwich

A year ago today, I married my best friend in an epic 80s extravaganza. Below, my vows:

My boobear:

Your smile lights up a room a hundred times over. You light me up enough to last a thousand lifetimes. You are my energon cube, my all-spark.

You are the cataclysmic lightning bolt that creates Kelly Lebrock, the enchanted necklace that brings Kim Cattrall to life, the splash of water that turns Gizmo into a rambunctious Mogwai party.

You are a gift from God, the answer to a question that I never posed.

I am blessed beyond blessed that you give life to mine.

I promise to be, like Richard Marx, right here for you — right where you want me, but more important, right where you need me.

I promise that we will watch terrible, bad, stupid TV and movies until we’ve killed off most of our brain cells.

I promise that our inside jokes will keep us laughing until we’re old.

I promise to support your dreams, no matter how hazy, no matter how hard, no matter how high.

I promise to hold your hand and take every step of our crazy adventure with you.

Whether it’s navigating Jareth’s insufferable labyrinth, smuggling an illegal extraterrestrial on a bike, or quitting our high-paying, high-stress jobs so we can launch our gourmet baby food business… I will go there with you.

Teej: You are beautiful and adorable and all sorts of scrumptrulescent. You are the nicest, most kind-hearted person I know.

You are also complicated and emotional and loud.

There are so many ways that you and I are the same.

And there are many ways that you and I are different.

And it’s easy to say I love you anyway.

But I don’t. I love you because.