In which I’ve made a terrible mistake

I am roughly forty-three and three-quarters years old. For roughly 25 of those years, I have had facial hair, and for the last, oh, 15 months or so it has been long enough to be notable.

Apparently, in all that time, I have not acquired the necessary skills that “let’s trim this mess back by a couple of inches” is something I am actually capable of doing. Believe me, it came as a surprise. I thought that was something I knew how to do! But I do not. I did not intend to do this terrible thing to my face when I began “trimming” my lovely beard earlier today. And it happened anyway. I am very sorry, particularly since the children will not want to discuss anything but my face on Monday.

I am probably going to go ahead and dye it now, because it’s not like I can fuck up any further than I have.

Why not, right?

STATUS: Ridden Hard, Put Away Wet

So we ended up going with Pair #2, against the advice of virtually every single person who voted except for my entire actual family, all of whom preferred this pair– and since my wife, in particular, who has to look at my face a lot more often than y’all do, liked these the most, that was what we went with.

But man, do I look raggedy right now.

That face is the face of a man who has just completed his fifteenth year of working in schools, and who is mildly surprised that it only turned out to be fifteen when he sat down and did the math. In accordance with tradition, I’m completely and utterly fucking exhausted and I plan to sit in my chair for a couple more hours and then go to bed.

Oh, and I got rehired for my job. So … good news, I suppose? Sure.

In which I alter my face and it is still terrible

Guys, I totally recommend being an old white man if you can find a way to do it. Because I have been walking around looking like this since October and no one has said shit to me about it the whole entire time:

I tend to grow a full beard between October and March or April every year, right? It’s cold outside, Goddammit, and I’m already losing enough heat through my bald-ass head. This year for some reason I decided to throw any caution about, like, basic grooming completely to the wind and just let that bastard grow out however it wanted to. I kept my upper lip somewhat trimmed because otherwise it gets in my mouth when I’m trying to eat, but other than that? You do you, beard. I’m not getting in the way.

(And, okay, I hadn’t showered or really done much of anything when I took that. I usually don’t look that bad. But still.)

(This is utterly male privilege, by the way. I know nothing about grooming at all, despite having had some sort of beard for all but maybe two weeks since I went to college. I just let the shit completely go. And no one said boo the entire time. Let a woman go two days without brushing her hair and try to show up at work, I dare you.)

There is also the variant I call the Full Pappy. This is the Full Pappy:

To achieve the proper Full Pappy, you take your bushy-ass unkempt-ass beard and brush it against the grain for a couple of minutes until it looks even more ridiculous. Now, I never went out of the house looking like this, but still.

Anyway. It’s mid-March and the beard is starting to get annoying when I’m trying to sleep (that’s a thing!) so it was time for it to go. So now, because, again: white dude, I look like this:

I was in the bathroom killing off my cheeks and trying to figure out how in the fuck I wanted to shape this raggedy monster and it suddenly occured to me that I really like the feeling of the extended length on my chin, as I am an inverterate, unapologetic beard-stroker, and so I just stopped shearing the sides of the damn thing at a 45 degree angle and left all the length. So now I maybe look a little younger and a touch more in control of my face but I also look like I should be wearing a jean vest covered in patches and carrying some sort of flag.

I dunno. We’ll give it a couple of days and see if I decide to trim it back to something civilized or if it’s gonna be halfway to my nipples by summertime.

And now…

…to spend the next several hours sweating like a pig.

In which we’ve created a monster

narcisiSo the boy has figured out that there are pictures and videos of him on those little objects that Mommy and Daddy carry around and look at all the time.  If you look at my Instagram feed, there are two videos on there already where basically all I’m doing is pointing the front camera at the kid and recording his reaction to it.  He’s gotten into the habit of crawling into our laps and insisting on being shown videos of himself.  Over and over and over and over.

“More Kenny!  More Kenny!”

“You’re right there.  You can look at yourself!”

This remains unconvincing.  Mirrors don’t work either; he wants to see himself moving on a screen, and nothing that isn’t a screen will do.  I can’t wait to see what he does the first time I mirror my iPad to the television in the living room with a video of him.

We’re raising a narcissist.

(That said: it bugs me how often we have our phones out around him; if anything, this will end up curtailing that behavior a bit, which is probably a good thing.  I don’t mind him seeing me with my nose in a book all the goddamn time.  I’d prefer he not grow up thinking your cellphone is how you interact with the world.)


The pulled pork didn’t quite work out as I intended, unfortunately– not to say that my family didn’t devour it with great gusto and insist that it was wonderful, but I would have expected something substantially spicier with the amount of seasonings and the entire freaking jalapeno pepper that I put into it. It ended up with barely any kick at all; I was openly adding sriracha to my food by the end of the meal.  (Sriracha makes everything better, including, now, barbecue and cole slaw.)  What little is left– of, again, nearly five pounds of pork, so it ain’t like it was rejected– was buried in barbecue sauce and put in the fridge; I have high hopes that marinating overnight will lead to food that’s better on Day 2 than it was on Day 1. We’ll see.


I have a to-do list today as long as my arm, featuring the full gamut of Things That Must Be Done: some parenting (handing the boy off to grandma for part of the day so I can do the rest of this) some shopping, some cleaning, some intellectual work (I have an essay that I must finish and some other writerating that I ought to work on), some teacherly planning stuff, and a fair amount of physical labor.  And then OtherJob at 5, and it’s going to rain again.  Who wants to bet that I spend the whole day on the computer but don’t actually get any of the computer-based stuff done?