LA Daily: Winter Mute

This week’s LA Daily is called Winter Mute:

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a sentimental guy, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I love my kids more than anything in the world. I would walk through fire for them, or even sit through one of those holiday movies with the talking animals. Which I did when they were little. More than once.


I walked into the living room, where Nolan was watching TV.

“Hey,” I said. “Do you want to go out front and play frisbee with me?”

“I don’t know,” he said, with a wry smile, “is your Old going to be able to keep up with me?”

“Only one way to find out,” I said.

For the next forty minutes, we ran around in the street together, making spectacular throws and equally spectacular catches.

Okay, one of us did, and the other one was reminded that he’s not in the same great shape that he once was, but the important thing is that both of us genuinely enjoyed each other’s company, as we always do.

As I worked on this column, I was reminded of something I wrote for here in November: “I woke up this morning with searing pain in my left arm and shoulder. It was joined by some pain in my right hip, and even though I’m pretty damn achey today, it’s worth it. I’m not going to be an old man and wish that I’d played less frisbee with my son.”

18 thoughts on “LA Daily: Winter Mute”

  1. Took the kids, 12 and 8, bowling yesterday. Barely made it to the bathroom this morning to choke down the ibuprofen between clenched teeth.
    Funny the muscles you have but never use. Until you use them and it’s not so fucking funny.

  2. I can totally sympathize: I’m reminded every time I take on my kids at Wii Sports that I’m no spring chicken any more. (Six games of bowling last night, and my arm felt like it had come out of my shoulder socket!) And that’s not even real physical activity. /sigh
    (BTW: Am I missing something? Is there some Gibsonian link to your LA Daily column that I’m not getting? Or am I mis-referencing your title?)

  3. I’m glad to see people smart enough to see the joy of playing with their children while the children still a) have time and b) want to play with you.
    I have many memories of my sons and myself while they were growing up. Some of these memories do include sore muscles or facial twitches when I remember them, but I’m so glad for those memories.

  4. Ever played ultimate? I assume you’re familiar with it. You’d love our play group — mostly older guys (although not all men), some of which bring their kids, we usually don’t keep score. Perfect for a frisbee fan who’s past his prime. I suspect there are similar groups in LA. I’m trying to imagine the looks on faces if you were to show up at such a group.

  5. The last time my husband played frisbee with our younger daughter (who was, at that time, still on chemo for leukemia), she threw it so hard it hit him in the face. His glasses were destroyed, his nose was bleeding, yet we all had such a good laugh. Who knew she could have thrown it that straight?

  6. Hi, Wil! Do you take your kids geocaching? I and few other geocachers met you briefly at a coffee shop in Burbank to get a travel bug to you. I just found my #18,000th cache (!), so yes, I still enjoy it…. I’m even writing a book on it! Cheers!
    EMC of Northridge, CA
    For more on my caching adventures, please check out my weekly blog:
    To follow me on Twitter and read my Twitter novel:

  7. The column reminded me of one of the things that made me warm to my stepdad when I was a teenager, and he had just started dating my mom — he made a point of coming to my basketball games when he was in town. Even though I’d been playing since I was nine, it wasn’t until I was 14 that anyone ever watched me play in a game. Seeing him in the stands was a total surprise, and it meant the world to me. It showed me he was interested in getting to know who I was and what I was all about, and not just someone he tolerated in order to date my mom. He wasn’t a particularly athletic guy (one-on-one would’ve put him in the hospital), but he loved sports, and found his own way to share that with me. He’s not exactly the effusive type — so thank you for giving me the chance to see that through a stepdad’s eyes.

  8. Along with the title (though the rest of the article doesn’t exactly reference futuristic dystopia or AIs gone amok), I love the quote of one of my favorite images in Neuromancer (not coincidentally from the first sentence of the novel): a sky “the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”
    The funny thing is that someone on the LA site pointed out that that should mean the sky is a fuzzy static gray, not blue, but I’ve always read that as blue, too … And I just realized why: it’s the brilliant blue of the VCR channel before you’ve turned on the video. Generations are funny things.

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