I find myself thinking back to a time, recent yet oh so long ago. A time when the family I chose—not the family I was given—lived across a small stretch of pavement and grass. When there stretched a vast, wondrous playground just beyond the doors of my home. When my loves shared so small a space and yet wanted for so little. When joy and laughter were nestled away, across the street, in a familiar, cozy place. Or just past the shed, where the flames licked the low-hanging branches of trees older than “One small step for man…” Or right in front, curled up on a sofa, all together, all one. Where even frustrations at the age and structure of home were easily forgiven when reminded of the wondrous, happy memories made within.
There are days I wish I could go home again, even if I’m already here.
Eleven years ago today, I married the most amazing woman I’ve ever met, and embarked on a remarkable journey that is still in its infancy. Like the great odysseys of yore, this journey has had setbacks and challenges, victories and celebratory joys, and days of endless plodding forward, trudging ever onward.
Marriage isn’t a straight line. It’s a circuitous path, circling back on itself in a fashion that must appear to be a strange doodle when viewed from above. But within that path are intersections where the struggles meet the successes and that is where the greatest moments of a marriage are born.
Eleven is an auspicious number. Celebrations of tenth anniversaries are as common as they come. The number 12 has a special place in my heart, but eleven is the first double-digit prime. It’s also an incredible visual representation of marriage. The two individuals (both the numeral 1) becoming a single entity, the number 11. I am so grateful that my “other number 1” in life is my wife Autumn. I could not have asked for a better partner in crime. I am well and truly blessed today.
It’s important to note, my son has never heard this song. But he now associates all music from the ’70s with the Guardians of the Galaxy. As such, as soon as that sweet, soul music started to play, he knew what characters were about to make an appearance.
If you’re in the market for a Mac app for editing PDFs, but don’t need (or want) Acrobat Pro, PDF Expert is half off to celebrate their 11th birthday. At $30, it’s a steal.
It’s phenomenal, and I have clients that use it as an alternative to Acrobat Reader. You can get a free trial to check it out before purchasing, to make sure it will do the things you need to do (since it’s obviously not as feature-rich as Acrobat). The iOS version of the app is NOT on sale, but it’s also a fantastic app that I’ve been using for years. Definitely give it a look, as well.
My wife and I have been posting a secret message to social media for the last several weeks, but to make it easier for everyone to get the message, and for the sake of having one place to point to when people ask if it’s true, here you go:
If you’re too lazy to translate, though, then I suppose you can just keep reading.
Keep scrolling, it’s further down.
It spells “pregnant”.
As in, we are. Well, Autumn is. But I’m the one that has to do all the work for the next six months, so I’m going to double-down on that “we”. She just has to grow a baby. I have to feed her and bring her things and bathe her and all that.
Well, maybe not bathe.
Anyway, that’s our news. It’s a thing. If you care about that sort of thing, you can wish her congratulations. I am accepting donations for my therapy bill. Whiskey in lieu of cash is doubly appreciated.
When I was a child, I remember listening to my father’s music and thinking that my dad must be so old to listen to music that was written so long ago: before I was even born. Now, I am 37 years old. My senior year of high school is just over half my life away. When I listen to the songs my youth, I wonder if my kids must feel the same way. I’m fortunate that my teenage son actually thinks I have good taste in music. Even if he’d mostly rather listen to the stuff that’s new to his generation, I still take pride in knowing that he knows who the Smashing Pumpkins are, has heard Nirvana’s Nevermind, and was excited to attend a Green Day concert.
I’m so grateful that I got to enjoy Dad’s music. It heavily informed what I would grow to love as a teenager, a young adult, and then later, a father.
Ten years ago, at this time, I was experiencing one of the biggest rushes of my life. No, I’m not talking about my marriage (though that’s a big one), nor the birth of my children (also up there). In fact, this rush doesn’t compare to either of those. But it’s important, because I shared it with several hundred of my closest friends. I’m talking about the launch of Apple’s first iPhone.
When the iPhone was first announced, the Apple faithful (which included pretty much everyone with whom I worked, since I worked at an Apple Store) were reasonably excited. Very, very excited. We were like kids waiting for Santa Jobs to bring us a Buddha’s Day present (I know that’s not a thing). Shortly after the announcement, my wife sent Steve an email, asking him to please not have the release of the iPhone on our wedding day, that October. I like to believe he listened to her.
Regardless, the day came on June 29th, and we were all bouncing off the walls. We closed the store so we could unbox the new toy, put it out on display, and (for the Genius team and a few others) play with a couple so that we could answer questions about them. One decade ago, today, was the first time I ever dropped an iPhone.
The well-worn shirt I wore, leading up to launch day.
I was turning it over in my hand, marveling at how the engineers had managed to compress a computer more powerful than the original Mac into such a small form factor (compare it to today’s iPhone, and the original is so fat). It slipped through my fingers, hit the floor, and slid to the center of the room. Everyone in the Genius Room got really quiet and looked first at the iPhone lying face down on the concrete, and then at me. I walked over to the nearly $1000 pocket computer and reached down to pick it up.
I fully expected the glass to be shattered, as I flipped it over. I was more than a little relieved to find there was nary a scratch on it. I gladly passed the device to someone else, thankful I didn’t have to explain that one to a manager.
We opened the door a couple hours later and the crowds rushed in to pick up their own. We sold and sold until we were all physically exhausted, but still mentally wired. It would still be some time before any of us got to take one home for our own, but we didn’t care. We had experienced the launch of a product that would rival the Mac in its importance to pushing technology forward. It’s a day I will never forget, not only because of my new technological friend, but because of all the human ones with whom I got to experience its birth.
Finally got my grill down to the house yesterday. It’s been sitting at my parents for years and years, waiting for a home. My wife decided we should christen it with jalapeño poppers, so that’s what I’m doing. A friend of mine made a delicious English Pale Ale home brew that I opened in commemoration. It’s delicious. I only have one more, but I’m really tempted to open it tonight.
My daughter came outside to see the grill and to take a few selfies, because that’s what you do when you’re the father of a five year-old in 2017. We had some smiles and made some silly faces. She kissed me on the cheek and went back inside. On her way in, I could hear her humming The Imperial March.
It was my junior year of high school. I had just arrived at my locker for the day when my friend, Aaron, approached me. He was wearing all black.
“Grunge is dead,” he said to me.
“What?” I replied.
“Soundgarden broke up,” he explained. “Grunge is dead.”
Twenty years later, he got one step closer to being right.
As I’m sure most of you are aware by now, Chris Cornell died today.
Twenty years ago, one of my best friends in the world reminded me of the importance of a band like Soundgarden and its frontman. That same friend saw him this past Sunday, in concert, in Kansas City. I found out about the concert too late to attend and missed it. I feel like I might regret that for some time. My devotion to music as a medium has wavered, in the last few years. It has become more and more difficult for me to listen, simply due to work and having a shitty car with a shitty stereo (podcasts played off my phone sound great, but music doesn’t have the impact it should). As a result, I missed a lot of great music in the last 5 years or so.
Today, I pulled out my headphones, plugged them in, and let the music flow. I discovered entire albums I’d never heard and enjoyed lyrics from one of the great poets of our time, stretched across that unique vocal range Cornell had. It was wonderful. I listened to old favorites and fantastic covers and new works that proved that neither age, depression, nor drugs had dulled the mind of one of the greatest of greats of my childhood.
Cobain. Staley. Weiland. And now, Cornell.
Stay strong, Eddie. We need you now, more than ever. Someone needs to pass the torch to the next generation, before it’s dropped and lost forever.