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The Troutdale Plague

At first, I thought it was just us, that the Valdez family had become a living entity of illness, that viruses came to our home to thrive, grow, and go back into the world stronger than ever.

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Decisions, Decisions

Dear Eleanor and Wesley, I am sorry. It has been a tough month for your future. Recently, our state passed a budget to substantially reduce funding for education. Just yesterday I saw another study that ranks the Arizona education system as 49th out of 50 states based on a cocktail of measures. That means there […]

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Time Is Not The Enemy

Dear Eleanor,   I used to work at the dead-end-iest of dead end jobs that I can imagine. It was my first job, senior year of high school, and easily the worst. The company was The Analytical Group and the position was call center representative. I was the “call you early on a Saturday morning […]

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little girl painting outside

Damn the practical

Dear Adeline, Focus. Intention. Peaceful creativity. Bright red, white, green, blue – you swirl and mix these colors with intensity. You cock your head as you deftly graze your canvas with a kaleidoscope paintbrush. Then you go all in and you smash your hands into your creation, swirling the colors into indistinguishable shades. Distracted, you pause to […]

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When Dad Can’t Offer Comfort, Adam Levine Steps In…

Dear Malin Reeese, 12 a.m. on March 12th You woke up an hour ago, coughing like you’d just swallowed a wheat stalk. I was in the next room, trying to figure out what this letter was going to be about. I’d almost committed to writing a scorched earth political rant(about this) when your hack session […]

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Manhood and the Imperial Measurement System

People, mostly other men, will have standards that they’ve raised, or that they’ve been raised to raise, that measure what makes a man “manly”. And let me tell you, the vast majority of them are far more ridiculous than the Imperial Measurement System.

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Sons- There are plenty of things in this world that carry with them a stigma of adult surrender, perhaps none more than the loaf of wheat bread-on-wheels, aka, the minivan. Your mother and I did what we could to avoid waiving the white flag on our youth, while still addressing the basic transportation needs of […]

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In A Moment

Sons- I’ve been sitting at the computer quite a bit lately. The writing opportunities have been picking up, so in the intervals between dropping you off and picking you up from school, I sit at the keyboard, pecking away and staring into the glow of the screen until my eyes cry for mercy and I’m […]

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A Bit Of Humanity

Dear Eleanor and Wesley, In my job there are times when people do not like me very much. Many times. I’m almost never someone’s favorite person to see. I’ve learned not to take it personally. I’m kinda like the dentist. No one is over-joyed to go to the dentist. You go to the dentist because […]

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When the Cynic Dies

Dear River, Most of us were nervous, a little on edge. A few had moved across the country. All of us had heard the rumors, few believed them to be true. At 9:00 am we nervously sat in black chairs in a gray room and awaited the inevitable  disappointment. It was our first day of “onramping” […]

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