Just Another Town… Again

Dearest Rachel – I want to say that it wasn’t all that long ago, but we both know better than that. High school, for both of us, was more than half a lifetime back – more like two-thirds, in fact – but the gaps tend to fill in with so many days that were indistinguishableContinue reading “Just Another Town… Again”

Among the Savages

Dearest Rachel – I am of the understanding that, in that last hour before wakefulness, our mind puts us through R.E.M. sleep for the purpose of getting us ready for the day. On rare occasions, the dreams it generates appear to be so much like our normal life that we find ways to deal withContinue reading “Among the Savages”

Politics and the Public Sphere

Dearest Rachel – You know, I really thought I had weaned myself off of my political news feed over the past week and a half. What Internet I could get over in Israel was, to be frank, less than reliable, so its main purpose was to be used to assemble and send my updates toContinue reading “Politics and the Public Sphere”

All or Nothing at All

Dearest Rachel – For all that it’s been an edifying trip (even with the distraction of me trying to write everything down as I’m walking through every single site), it’s really good to get back home, and pile myself into my own bed. Daniel agrees, despite the fact that his bed is essentially the familyContinue reading “All or Nothing at All”

This You Cannot Make Me Do

Dearest Rachel – The climax of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the moment when Scrooge brushes the snow away from the tombstone of the ‘unknown’ man he had seen lying dead earlier in his travels with the Spirit of Christmas Future. It’s the turning point in which he realizes how worthless his life hasContinue reading “This You Cannot Make Me Do”

Too Tired to Wash?

Dearest Rachel – I’m not gonna lie, honey; when I heard that we would need to be on the bus as early as we would this morning, I considered taking a shower last night, instead. The trouble is that, by the time I was finished telling you about all the things that we had seenContinue reading “Too Tired to Wash?”

The Point of Power

Dearest Rachel – As soon as I wrote it out, it occurred to me that someone might read the title and assume it was something like the Five Point Palm technique from Kill Bill or some such. And while I understand that something along these lines actually exists among certain aboriginal tribes in Australia –Continue reading “The Point of Power”

He Steals for Us

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure I really should be focusing on our preparations for our flight out tomorrow evening to Israel, but my mind is preoccupied with other things at the moment. Sure, there are personal things that I need to attend to, but today, the events of the world at large – or atContinue reading “He Steals for Us”

One’s Soul For One’s Country

Dearest Rachel – When one thinks of things one would be willing to sacrifice one’s life for, thoughts tend to run toward the things one loves. If there is to be anything worth dying for, it would be (ironically) the things that make life worth living. Possessions rarely fall into that category, although some thingsContinue reading “One’s Soul For One’s Country”

Between Fashion and Utility

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know what prompted the images of last night’s dream – and they were mostly images, rather than any sort of coherent storyline – but I suppose that dreams, by their very nature, don’t require a logical explanation. My best guess, however, is that of various memelords and other Photoshop experts,Continue reading “Between Fashion and Utility”

What Other People Think

Dearest Rachel – After heading downstairs from the home office (a bit on that near the end, by the way), getting ready to have breakfast and start my day, I realized that Daniel was awake, and listening to some of his usual stuff. Granted, this morning it seemed to be some sort of news report,Continue reading “What Other People Think”

Cringe

Dearest Rachel – I woke up rather a bit too early this morning; while I wanted to get an earlier start on the day because of various errands I need to take care of, five a.m. is a bit too much. But upon attaining consciousness, my mind started rifling through various topics to write youContinue reading “Cringe”

Barely Even Half

Dearest Rachel – On the mornings you would wake up without having had a dream to relate, you would often have a song stuck in your head. Now, you and I had different methods for expelling earworms; if mine was annoying enough, I would usually try to conjure something else up in my head toContinue reading “Barely Even Half”

Status Quo Ante

Dearest Rachel – Monday morning. A new day, a new week, a new month – for all intents and purposes – and, for those who bother to keep track, a new quarter. Just about everything is new today. And yet, it’s back to the same old, same old. After a week away from the ‘office,’Continue reading “Status Quo Ante”

Walking the Fine, Fine Line

There’s fine, fine lineBetween love… and a waste of your time “There’ s A Fine, Fine Line,” sung by Kate Monster (Stephanie D’Abruzzo) in Avenue Q Dearest Rachel – Well, I got what I expected to out of yesterday’s adventure. I didn’t actually have a lunch date (in fact, I didn’t have lunch there atContinue reading “Walking the Fine, Fine Line”

We Need Something New, Though the Truth’s Always True

Dearest Rachel – I’m not sure why, but I woke up this morning with the tune of “He Lives” running through my head. I can’t be quite sure of which lyrics, but I think I recall hearing the first (“I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today.”) and third (“Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,Continue reading “We Need Something New, Though the Truth’s Always True”

My Shoulders and the Wheel

“Ssssoooo…” the voice to my left hissed into my ear, smug and self-satisfied, “how was your weekend with the LAY-deeeez?” There was a singsong note to his question, as if he was mocking me about it – which, let’s face it, he was. He’d conned me into agreeing to go up to camp, every bitContinue reading “My Shoulders and the Wheel”

The Things I Can’t Relate

Dearest Rachel – For all the times recently that I’ve gone into detail about this or that dream, there are those that I can’t relate to you – at least, not here. Sometimes, like this morning, it’s simply because the moment I open my eyes, everything pops like an enormous soap bubble. The only thingContinue reading “The Things I Can’t Relate”

What Can I Do?

Dearest Rachel – So, last night we wrapped up Colossians in our Bible study. Joel had everybody go over what each of us thought was the most individually significant part of the last four lessons. For my part, what struck me was the last section of the third chapter, where Paul talks about various responsibilitiesContinue reading “What Can I Do?”

Personal Public Events

Dearest Rachel – Went to bed last night thinking about weddings, honey. The group had been brainstorming ideas over text messages about what to do this evening, or more specifically, what to eat, since I’d been talking about breaking in the new appliances (and despite MatPat’s insistence that it can be done, I have noContinue reading “Personal Public Events”

A Place for Patriotism

Dearest Rachel – I remember the second time we went to Israel as part of the church group. We were in Jerusalem by the Wailing Wall as the sun set on Friday. Various groups – not tourists, but local Israelis, some religious groups, others quite clearly military units, as could be told from their variousContinue reading “A Place for Patriotism”

Primary Concerns

Just remember when you step into your voting boothHe’ll never lie, he’ll just ‘embellish the truth’ Steve Taylor, “Whatever Happened to Sin?” from I Want to Be a Clone (1982) Dearest Rachel – It’s that time again. No, it’s time to spin the Wheel of Amorality, otherwise known as ‘our civic duty,’ or, more toContinue reading “Primary Concerns”

Infinite Loop

Dearest Rachel – Sometimes it’s ridiculous what my mind comes up with overnight these days. Other times, it just ever so slightly depressing, if only for the fact that it spoils the fantasy. But you being you, you would ask about my dream in any event, and while the details are already starting to fadeContinue reading “Infinite Loop”

Fig Tree & Vineyard

Dearest Rachel – I know, I know; the title sounds like some cheerful little English pub: “Don’t wait up for me, luv, I’m off to the Figtree & Vineyard for a couple pints and a round a’darts with me mates. Be home when I’ve ’ad enough.” Not the sort of thing you’d ever expect –Continue reading “Fig Tree & Vineyard”

Very Nearly Giving Up

Dearest Rachel – I’ve occasionally lamented that, unlike the letters we exchanged between each of our graduations from college – between the time I acknowledged that you would have been the one I would have chosen to spend the rest of my life with, had I been offered the opportunity (the window of which IContinue reading “Very Nearly Giving Up”

Clearing One’s Sinuses

Dearest Rachel – There really is something to be said for T.S. Eliot’s theory of ‘the death of the author.’ The idea of it is that a work of art can and should be enjoyed without having to consider its creator’s biography or influences. It’s something of a take on the old saw that youContinue reading “Clearing One’s Sinuses”

We Give Time Significance

Dearest Rachel – These days, it seems that you have to have a sense of humor to deal with what’s happening in the world each day. A sick sense of gallows humor, to be sure – probably along the lines of someone who would be an expert at Cards Against Humanity or something like thatContinue reading “We Give Time Significance”

No Choice But to Continue

Dearest Rachel – You would probably be pleased note I stayed awake during the entire two hour run of Anime Hell; no need for you to nudge me awake as I nodded off (a good thing, since you weren’t there to do so – I know now how those folks we would always see scatteredContinue reading “No Choice But to Continue”

Life in Escrow

“Do you have any brothers and sisters?”“Well, I have a big sister, a little brother, and we have a baby in escrow.”“In escrow?”“That’s how daddy describes it when it seems like it’s never going to come out.” Art Linkletter and a candid guest, as taken from Kids Say the Darnedest Things Dearest Rachel – Sometimes,Continue reading “Life in Escrow”

Define ‘Temporary’

Dearest Rachel – At least it had nothing to do with the construction team. Shortly after noon on Friday, I had brought home lunch for Daniel and myself (well, since mine was a chorizo-and-egg burrito, it might been better characterized as ‘brunch’). We were hanging around in the dining/family room, surfing our various corners ofContinue reading “Define ‘Temporary’”

It’s That Much Worse If You’re There

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned a little while ago about a dream I had that might have been based off of a plan I was trying to make for yet another trip – and at the time, I didn’t bother to tell you about the details, partly because it was still up in the airContinue reading “It’s That Much Worse If You’re There”

Mouse Trap

Dearest Rachel – As if politics weren’t meaningless to you where you are, I feel the need to talk with you this morning about our portfolio. Believe me, I get that this is literally of no value to you, but it’s been keeping me awake at night from time to time. And it’s not evenContinue reading “Mouse Trap”

Who Was That Tomato?

Dearest Rachel – During my final year in college, I took both a business class in marketing, and an art class in graphic design. I’m not entirely certain, therefore, which class introduced me to the Wolfschmidt Vodka ad campaign. Dating from either the late 50s or the early 60s, it was one of the firstContinue reading “Who Was That Tomato?”

from Rachel: God Almighty

Take a minute to remember some of the characteristics you know about God. I’ll get you started. Finish the sentence, God is… faithful, loving, “(omni-)kind, (omni-)caring, (omni-)merciful, (omni-)gracious, (omni-)glorious, (etc.) magnificent, awesome, indescribable, uncontainable, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, providing, protecting, generous, righteous, perfect, alpha and omega, holy, friend… “but also jealous, just, wrathful, vengeful.” Read [the]Continue reading “from Rachel: God Almighty”

Instant Regret

Dearest Rachel – I’m guessing this has something to do with yesterday’s letter, combined with having watched a couple of speed runs of Cuphead last night. It’s the only thing I can think of off the top of my head that’s why I would have a dream about the governments of Massachusetts and Connecticut throwingContinue reading “Instant Regret”

The Dissonance of a Different Drummer

Dearest Rachel – Morning of the fourth day. We were supposed to have been docked in Aruba by now, but that’s understandably been put on hold. Indeed, even while we were in a holding pattern in Kingston Bay, there was another alert topside, as ‘Alpha Alpha Alpha’ was repeated over the public address system. FromContinue reading “The Dissonance of a Different Drummer”

The Call of the Wired

Dearest Rachel – Back in the day, we used to bring our computers with us on these trips (just like we did when we went to the island) in order to entertain ourselves on certain slower days. In the early days, we had stuff on CDs, which we later swapped out for portable hard drivesContinue reading “The Call of the Wired”

Dying of Complications

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned the other day about that book of humorous epitaphs in my grandparents’ basement; another one that always caught my attention was this one, which could probably describe everyone on earth (or at least, most of us here in the First World): He was a simple man who died of complicationsContinue reading “Dying of Complications”

Three ¡Alarma! Fire

Dear Rachel – The irony of this letter is that, while the mix tapes we sent each other back in the day included songs from each of the albums from which I’m referencing, I’m not touching on them at all today. You see, this letter isn’t about our relationship with each other, but our (inContinue reading “Three ¡Alarma! Fire”

The ‘All Right’ Lie

Hush… It’s going to be all right Dearest Rachel – It’s a lie that we tell our children. In the most extreme case at present, a Ukranian father has to tell them as he bundles them off with their mother; they are to head for the border and relative safety, while he must stay behindContinue reading “The ‘All Right’ Lie”

Not Quite, Forrest

Dearest Rachel – I woke up this morning to an orange glow covering my eyes. Now, this shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise: having gone to bed with a sleep mask on (because for whatever reason, the neighbors’ house has their backyard burglar light on all night, and it seeps into the bedroomContinue reading “Not Quite, Forrest”

Brilliant Unconcern

Dearest Rachel – Well, it’s on. I feel like I was keeping you out of the loop, dwelling on my own problems yesterday, rather than focusing on the big picture as tanks roll into Ukraine and explosions rock the country from Kharkov to Kiev, and so many unpronounceable places in between. Of course, in termsContinue reading “Brilliant Unconcern”

Distance and Silence

Dearest Rachel – Sunday mornings are a challenge for me these days. Well, every morning is a bit of a challenge, but the weekend is particularly difficult. While I think I’m starting to get accustomed to the fact that the bed – and the room – are empty apart from myself, and you’re not goingContinue reading “Distance and Silence”

Floods, Droughts and Equity

Dearest Rachel – There are things you don’t notice when they don’t apply to you. For instance, whenever I go shopping at Meijer, I pretty much ignore everything except for the grocery section; that’s basically dismissing out of hand nearly three-quarters of the store. As far as I’m concerned, the clothing, the housewares, the gardening,Continue reading “Floods, Droughts and Equity”

Forecasting Follies

Dearest Rachel – Aside from the fact that I don’t want the responsibility – and cannot fathom why anybody else would – I have certain… ideas… that probably would suggest that I shouldn’t be trusted with the reins of any sort of power. I’m not a big fan of the psychic community, for instance. Personally,Continue reading “Forecasting Follies”

The Mockery of Billboards

Dearest Rachel – I forget if I read much of his stuff before you were a part of my life – I don’t think you introduced me to his work – but you seemed to have an affinity toward the poetry of Ogden Nash. His series on ‘Animals’ was one you favored, but the mostContinue reading “The Mockery of Billboards”

Why So Serious?

Dearest Rachel – These words, spoken (and written) by pop culture’s favorite nihilist, the Joker, seem so innocuous in print. Indeed, I’ve long known a more homespun, friendly-sounding take on this perspective, thanks to being a fan of Walt Kelly’s Pogo: “Don’t take life so seriously, son. It ain’t nohow permanent.” But hey, everything soundsContinue reading “Why So Serious?”

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Dearest Rachel – I suppose this evening, I’m going to ‘find out what it means to me.’ Which I could really stand to do, as I do not understand the concept. I should be giving you a little context, here. Tonight is the annual men’s night at church, when they bring in a speaker toContinue reading “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”

Define ‘Okay’

Dearest Rachel – The other night, I received one of those regular emails from Nightelf. You know the sort; the kind of elaborate narrative that inspired me to begin writing you – although what I lack in erudition, I try to make up for in quantity. Between a career in academia in certain other lifeContinue reading “Define ‘Okay’”

Glitches, Botches, Dreams and Reality

Dearest Rachel – For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been watching several new channels that I’m sure you would’ve appreciated were you still around, hanging out with us in the family room while YouTube was running in the background. We started looking for such channels after watching a video essay on the concept itself,Continue reading “Glitches, Botches, Dreams and Reality”

Passion Endured

The death of ·one that belongs to the Lord [his loyal ones/saints]    is precious in his ·sight [L eyes]. Psalm 116:15, Expanded Bible Dearest Rachel – You’d probably think, based on the title of this letter, that this is going to be another one of those essays where I go on and on about how much I miss this orContinue reading “Passion Endured”

The Payoff

Dearest Rachel – After pondering last night’s dream, I found myself wondering about how, exactly, I would be expected to make good on such a wager in the first place. For that matter, for the other guy – whoever the heck he was – to even expect me to do so would have required himContinue reading “The Payoff”

Betting Our Lives

Dearest Rachel – Well. Thank heavens that wasn’t anything more than a dream. I couldn’t tell you the specifics, exactly. And in fact, it probably doesn’t make any difference as to who the teams were that were involved, other than the fact that they were playing football. All that really matters is that time wasContinue reading “Betting Our Lives”

Rich Fools

Dearest Rachel – I will always remember the story that you used to tell about your mom‘s father, who worked for the SEC in its early days. It was a fairly lucrative job as I understand it (working for the government often is), and most of his colleagues were both younger than him, and decidedlyContinue reading “Rich Fools”

Keep the Bar Low

Dearest Rachel – In all the letters that I’ve written to you since I’ve started doing this, I’ve mentioned several times about your parents’ astonishingly low expectations for the two of us; how they were afraid that ours was no more than a ‘starter marriage,’ whatever that is, and how they were pleasantly surprised atContinue reading “Keep the Bar Low”

What Was So Important, Anyway?

Dearest Rachel – You might remember how, back when the magazine still existed, I would buy myself a copy of Life at the end of the year as a sort of memory refresher; their “Year in Pictures” issue. This is what happened in the world during the year, the important stuff, the important people, theContinue reading “What Was So Important, Anyway?”

Real Life Rickrolling

Dearest Rachel – I would like to think that I wouldn’t have to explain the concept of the rickroll to anyone on the internet. Anyone who’s been out here any length of time has probably been conned into clicking a link that took them to Mr. Astley’s music video, and those who haven’t, really justContinue reading “Real Life Rickrolling”

The Tomato in the Fruit Salad

Dearest Rachel – Well, I have no idea where that came from. Obviously, our university experience wasn’t nearly so unpleasant, but there you are. I literally just woke up from chasing down a professor, who made it abundantly clear that anyone who arrived at his classroom later than he did would be immediately locked out,Continue reading “The Tomato in the Fruit Salad”

Present People

Dearest Rachel – I’ve mentioned before to you that I’ve had some difficulty with regard to the traditional gift exchange that is a part of Christmas: what do I want, or more to the point, what can they get for me? Materially speaking, I have pretty much anything I need, and if Daniel or IContinue reading “Present People”

The Wind Has No Answer

Dearest Rachel – I wonder if you ever bother to look down on the earth from wherever you may be. How fast is it moving, from your perspective? They say that the spin is a thousand miles an hour at the equator, but what is that on a sphere of 24,000 miles in circumference? CanContinue reading “The Wind Has No Answer”

A Time to Show Up, A Time to Take Off

Dearest Rachel – So, last night was the final Awana club meeting for the calendar year. There was also a get together of the Grief Share group that Cheryl was hosting at her place, and I didn’t want to miss that. So after checking with Daniel as to how he felt about serving at SparksContinue reading “A Time to Show Up, A Time to Take Off”

Culture Stunned

Dearest Rachel – Over the last week and a half, I’ve said a number of times about how ‘what’s mundane for one person is exotic for another.’ Naturally, it stands to reason that this situation goes both ways. What’s particularly weird is how it’s happened to me in both directions. I can’t say that IContinue reading “Culture Stunned”

More Than You’ll Ever Have

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know when I first heard it; probably from someone leaving a bad movie at a theater. “Well, that’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back.” It seems the sort of thing I could get away with saying at the moment. Sure, I have travel insurance, and that’ll coverContinue reading “More Than You’ll Ever Have”

The Imperative of ‘Be Still’

Dearest Rachel – For all the suggestions I made in my last letter about how to keep oneself sane and on an even keel throughout a situation such as mine, I mentioned reading and keeping up with the news, but I neglected to mention reading the most important thing of all. Maybe it’s so muchContinue reading “The Imperative of ‘Be Still’”

A Traveler’s Nightmare, An Introvert’s Dream

Dearest Rachel – Morning in Basel, and as it would happen, my window is faced to receive the sun. And the sun, for once, is more than happy to come in. it’s a bright and cheery morning. Were I in worse straits, I might think it was mocking me. As it is, I am willingContinue reading “A Traveler’s Nightmare, An Introvert’s Dream”

Lessons From Tippecanoe

Dearest Rachel – I woke up at what I thought was the morning (actually, it turned out to be eleven something at night here, meaning it was barely four in the afternoon back home) thinking about President William Henry Harrison. I know that sounds silly – and there’s a ridiculous amount of silly to wadeContinue reading “Lessons From Tippecanoe”

This Present Tense

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure you know that I want to have a good relationship with Daniel. I want to be able to encourage and praise him for the good that he does (even if it’s not in my presence). But how do I praise him, when I don’t find out about the good thatContinue reading “This Present Tense”

Dancing While It’s All Torn Down

Dearest Rachel – This is probably what comes of driving to the ‘office’ as the weather chills, and the rains that fall are cold and unpleasant. As I’ve said, I’m no runner, and I have no desire to expose myself to that sort of weather if I don’t have to. That being said, it’s suchContinue reading “Dancing While It’s All Torn Down”

Can’t Buy Me

Dearest Rachel – You might remember, before I got into (and got the two of you into) certain websites of a more political nature, I used to practice my reading voice by reciting bits out of the Onion. One of our recurring favorites was the horoscope section, allegedly written by retired machinist and A.A.P.B.-certified astrologist,Continue reading “Can’t Buy Me”

A Fifth Freedom

Dearest Rachel – Many years ago, back during the throes of World War II, Norman Rockwell created a series of paintings entitled ‘The Four Freedoms,’ highlighting the liberties we have as Americans that made this country what it was. And yes, I’m using the past tense, because it seems that everybody and his uncle SamContinue reading “A Fifth Freedom”

Small Steps in the Morning

Dearest Rachel – I know I touch on the topic from time to time, but for the most part, I’m loathe to talk about politics in my letters to you. To be sure, that wasn’t always the case when you were around; like with my dad at the dinner table, I enjoyed sparring with youContinue reading “Small Steps in the Morning”

Time-Released Time

Dearest Rachel – I think I remember your roommate (and eventual maid of honor) Elizabeth talking about how, when she was young, she would occasionally find herself scared sleepless pondering the concept of eternity. The idea of time going on, and on, and on forever without an end terrified her. What would you do withContinue reading “Time-Released Time”

Empty Reminders

Dearest Rachel – It doesn’t really follow to mourn a place you never patronized, but we always agreed it was said to see a business leave the area, regardless. Every empty restaurant, even one that we never got around to visiting, is still a blight on the landscape for sitting vacant. And let’s not getContinue reading “Empty Reminders”

Mercenary Worship

Dearest Rachel – You know, ordinarily something like a dream about Christmas shopping would be more of a nightmare – and let’s be honest, this Christmas is both going to be a lot easier (in terms of not having to wrack my brain trying to find something that you might truly want or enjoy) andContinue reading “Mercenary Worship”

But Father, By Your Grace

Dearest Rachel – I almost feel the need to apologize for upstaging you today; this being Sunday, I would be posting (and I have posted) some of your notes from the Purpose-Driven Life journal you were working on in 2004. But this is likely to overshadow it, I’m afraid. Of course, why shouldn’t it? MarathonContinue reading “But Father, By Your Grace”

Can’t Get Too Comfortable

Dearest Rachel – I swear, honey, I have got to learn – or perhaps, rather unlearn – about falling asleep in the rocking chair. Namely, that I really shouldn’t do that. It messes up my sleep schedule, breaking the night in half. The trouble is, it’s too comfortable in that chair. I watch videos withContinue reading “Can’t Get Too Comfortable”

Only From A Distance

Dearest Rachel – I haven’t talked to you all that much recently about how things are going on the dating front. Not because I think you’d be jealous (while you never explicitly gave me the permission to find someone else after you were gone like I gave you, I’m pretty sure that your reaction whenContinue reading “Only From A Distance”

American Royalty

Good morning, honey – I woke up this morning with the – not realization, exactly, as it was a dream and cannot be relied on – that Tom Wopat and John Schneider might well have just been heavily into stock cars during their days at Hollywood High School, and lucked into a television series fromContinue reading “American Royalty”

Everything Looks Different in the Morning – But What About the Afternoon?

Dearest Rachel – One of the things they talked about at Grief Share last night was the difference between actively pursuing suicide, and the simple desire to no longer live. The latter is an attitude of “if you were to take me, too, God, I wouldn’t mind,” and is a fairly normal reaction to theContinue reading “Everything Looks Different in the Morning – But What About the Afternoon?”

A Day to Remember

Dearest Rachel – Twenty-nine years ago today, we were simply hanging out at the hotel, waiting for family and friends to arrive and greeting them as they did. Only one story stands out with me at this point – most of the others, I’m afraid, have faded into obscurity. It was some of your mom’sContinue reading “A Day to Remember”

The Box of War

Dearest Rachel – I don’t think you performed this before I was aware of you; at least, not when you performed it for the BASIC group as part of a talent night. If I recall, you had also recited this as part of a similar talent night on the educational cruise you took with yourContinue reading “The Box of War”

This Is Only A Test

Dearest Rachel – So this morning, as I finally set out to walk across town to the ‘office’ at my folks’ place, I was mildly startled by the slowly rising wail of klaxons in the air, eventually surrounding me on all sides until I was very nearly at the (all but deserted) downtown area. It’sContinue reading “This Is Only A Test”

Unsettled

Dearest Rachel – It’s a challenging thing to try to navigate the ocean that is the dating pool. I chatted with a woman who seemed frustrated that the men she was meeting didn’t seem to know what they wanted out of a woman. Since I didn’t see her as a potential match (and therefore wasContinue reading “Unsettled”

In Defiance of Entropy

Dearest Rachel – When I was a kid, I collected some book about the ‘Official Rules.’ I don’t recall if that was what was titled, but I think it may have been. These weren’t rules for a game, or instructions for anything in particular; just observations on how life worked, or didn’t. Stuff like Murphy’sContinue reading “In Defiance of Entropy”

Group Therapy

Dearest Rachel – It’s surprising to consider how busy my weekends are, especially when I’m getting questions from strangers about whether or not I’m free, and I have to answer ‘well, no, not really.’ Today has been a little bit more than usual, however. For what it’s worth, Pastor Joel seems to think I’m readyContinue reading “Group Therapy”

Talking to Thin Air

Dearest Rachel – There are some days in which I have to confess I’m not all that motivated to write you these letters. Sometimes it’s that I’m distracted by other things that require me to respond to them, so I spend my writing energy on something – or someone – else, thus causing what IContinue reading “Talking to Thin Air”

When the Veil Pulls Back

Dearest Rachel – I wonder if, at the moment of your passing, you are exposed to all the answers. Does the Lord sees fit to, at the moment which you can no longer do anything about it, release to you the wisdom of the ages, and the minutiae of how His plan is meant toContinue reading “When the Veil Pulls Back”

Civic Duty Never Ends

Dearest Rachel – Out of all the mail received yesterday, the only thing that wasn’t either an advertisement or a plea for money (but I suppose I repeat myself) was a summons for you to appear for jury duty in about a month for now. I suppose, since your death was recorded in a differentContinue reading “Civic Duty Never Ends”

All the Same, All Around the World

Dearest Rachel – You know how our Boy with the Blaze, Simon Whistler, loves to talk about how ‘the past was the worst.’ Heck, he’s even made T-shirts with the slogan on it. He’s hardly wrong. I didn’t save too many of the books that we brought back from your folks (again, that merciless diktatContinue reading “All the Same, All Around the World”

Out in a Freezing Rain

Dearest Rachel – I’m not gonna play the song here and now, because it deserves it’s own essay sometime in the future, but Mark Heard wrote “Another Good Lie” about those well-intentioned lies he had been told in his younger days by his closest friends and those older and supposedly wiser than himself. Things likeContinue reading “Out in a Freezing Rain”

Self-Indulgence and Survivor’s Guilt

Dearest Rachel – Among the many reasons why I wish you were still here, you could remind me of some of the things we did together back in the day. I have mostly vague recollections, and the occasional sharp image or phrase, but that’s about it. Sometimes, the only way I can remember when somethingContinue reading “Self-Indulgence and Survivor’s Guilt”

It’s Only Property – But it’s All We Have

Dearest Rachel – Since I was awoken this morning by the dog whimpering (he’d pooped in his sleep on the blanket yet again – I do sometimes wonder why I wash it every time he does this, as this means I’ll wind up sticking it in the laundry almost every day at this rate), thisContinue reading “It’s Only Property – But it’s All We Have”

Secular Answers

Dearest Rachel – You might remember the many times that we would talk together about various issues of the day, and what’s up with the younger generation. Part of that had to do with one of my ideas for a YouTube channel – I was hoping to illustrate to a younger audience than ourselves (which,Continue reading “Secular Answers”

If You’re Looking for Devils

Dearest Rachel – When I was a freshman in high school, I think it was our youth group that went to another church where there was a presentation about the evils of rock music. I heard it all there: the ‘fact’ that the Eagles’ Hotel California album featured Anton LeVay head of the church ofContinue reading “If You’re Looking for Devils”

Trying to Take My Own Advice

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure by now that you’ve noticed a lot of my letters to you seem a little bit disjointed and disorganized. They do tend to bounce around from thought to thought within the alleged confines of the topic I’ve decided to cover in the letter (and even then sometimes it’s hard toContinue reading “Trying to Take My Own Advice”

The Drama Llama

Dearest Rachel – Among the piles of clothing that filled the sunroom once upon a time, there were some Christmas presents that you never got the chance to enjoy. There was the odd item that didn’t arrive in time, since you had ordered them for yourself (it was a standing agreement that if you foundContinue reading “The Drama Llama”

Nevermind

Here we are now, entertain us… Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, from Nevermind (1991) Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained?! Maximus (Russell Crowe), Gladiator (2000) Dearest Rachel – Well, I said that I would let you know about the festival once I actually went to one (Although I specified that it would beContinue reading “Nevermind”

To What Purpose?

Dearest Rachel – It has been a while since I last identified myself as such, and probably even longer since someone else has, but the other day, I was told that I was “task-oriented.” Now, that’s not news to me; in my many struggles with my boss back in the day, I often brought upContinue reading “To What Purpose?”

Not in the Night Soil Business

Dearest Rachel – Leave it to the Victorians to come up with such a quaint and pleasant-sounding term for a decidedly unpleasant job dealing with decidedly unpleasant material. In the days before indoor plumbing was common, human waste was removed from the privies and cesspools of urban dwellings and transported out of the city byContinue reading “Not in the Night Soil Business”

The End of Pride Month…?

Dearest Rachel – So, today is June 30th. And we all know what that means: the end of Pride Month, apparently. WordPress even got in on the act a couple of days early; their app, which has been a swirl of colors for most of the month, changed back to its standard basic blue onContinue reading “The End of Pride Month…?”