In 2005, I blew up my blog and couldn’t fix it. So I started a backup blog at Typepad, where I wrote and published until 2012.
As I’ve been promoting Still Just A Geek, I am more and more aware of this enormous gap in my story that is a significant part of my journey from 2004 me to 2022 me. I’m not sure how or why it got left out; it just sort of … slipped my mind. Brains and memories are weird that way. But I’m discovering that nearly that entire time is well documented (for better and worse) at WWdN:iX.
So I’ve been slowly revisiting that part of my life, as I consider putting together some sort of novella-length … supplement? I don’t know. Something will replace the graphic that says “SOME TIME LATER” between the end of Just A Geek and the beginning of The Big Bang Theory.
I wrote A LOT about my sons, and our relationship, during this five year mission. It’s rewarding and special to look back at those posts, now, knowing everything I know.
So here’s one from September 28, 2005:
the autumn moon lights my way
I heard Led Zeppelin coming out of Ryan’s room, so I put down my Sudoku book (yeah, I’ve been hooked for about a month), walked down the hall, and knocked on his door.
“Come in,” he said.
I opened, and entered his sanctuary: astronomy posters hung from his walls, and a stack of books (Les Miserables, The Count of Monte Cristo, Macbeth, Divine Comedy and a host of other books that your average AP English student with a 4.0 in the class reads*) sat on his desk. A pile of (clean? dirty?) clothes lay in a heap at the foot of his bed. He sat at his desk, looking at The Internets.
He turned around in his chair. “What’s up?” He said.
“Oh, I just heard you listening to Zeppelin II, and I didn’t want to miss a chance to share in something we both love, that I happened to introduce to you in the pre-Pod days.”
“I . . . just wondered what you were doing.” I said.
He got very excited. “Oh! I found this awesome Family Guy Website, and I was downloading audioclips from it, and putting them on my computer.” He clicked a few times, and showed me the website.
“When I was your age, I did the same thing, with The Prisoner and Star Trek,” I said, “on my Mac II.”
He frowned. “Weren’t you on Star Trek?”
“Yeah,” I said, “but the sounds were from the original series.”
He looked back at me.
“So it was geeky, but it wasn’t totally lame,” I said. Why did I feel like I our ages and roles were reversed?
“What’s The Prisoner?” He said.
“A show that I love, that I don’t think you’re geeky enough to enjoy.”
He clicked his mouse, and iTunes fell silent.
“Wil,” he said, “you didn’t think I’d like Firefly.”
“Touche,” I said with a smile. “Any time you want to watch The Prisoner, I am so there.”
“Actually, any time you want to do anything, I am so there, because I don’t want to be a stranger to you for the next five years, and I’ll close the gap any way I can.”
“Okay,” he said. “Maybe after school some day next week.”
“When my homework’s done,” he said. “I know, Wil.”
He wasn’t snotty. He wasn’t rude. He wasn’t impatient or unpleasant. He just . . . was. I saw a lot of myself in him.
“I need to work my a–” he began, “I need to work very hard this semester.”
I nodded my head. “I’m glad you know that, Ryan.”
He turned back around to his computer. I stood in his doorway and looked at him for a minute.
“He may not have my DNA, but I’ve given him some of the things that matter in life,” I thought.
He didn’t turn around. “Hmm?”
“I love you.”
“I love you too, Wil.”
“Ramble On, And now’s the time, the time is now, to sing my song.
I’m goin’ ’round the world, I got to find my girl, on my way.
I’ve been this way ten years to the day, Ramble On,
Gotta find the queen of all my dreams.”
*Yes, I’m proud as hell. Sue me.
9 thoughts on “from the vault: the autumn moon lights my way”
“He may not have my DNA, but I’ve given him some of the things that matter in life,”
even in their teenage podpeople-who-hate-everyone-and-everything days, my girls would have gone full screeching bar brawl on anyone who suggested I’m not really dad, but the real payoff has been watching them fly in their mid-20s with fledgling careers, their own living spaces and all the “adulting” it requires…
damn, someone’s chopping onions again…
P.S.: also being told regularly “ugh, dad you were right about this thing you used to nag me about, why didn’t nag more until I listened?” is very gratifying…
Of course there’s no amount of nagging that will get a teenager to listen if they don’t want to.
Every parent needs to introduce their children to Zeppelin. it’s in the manual.
I remember the epic blog blow-up. That’s happened to me–but usually intentionally. I may or may not remember this specific post, but I enjoyed it. I always loved it when you wrote about your sons. I’m sorry you didn’t have a father like the one you have been. You’ve set a fine example for your boys to follow, though. I am left wondering about your paternal grandfather. What example did he set for your father? Maybe there’s a story worth telling in there.
At any rate, I’m currently enjoying both the print book and audiobook. I look forward to your next book of all-new material.
Parenting? How do parents teach their kids to drive in L.A.? I want to know! That little on-ramp from west-bound Sunset to northbound 405? Whose idea was it to put THAT THERE???
(Just detouring off topic to vent a bit—lol)
That ramp, alone, is such an enduring argument against human intelligence.
Was the engineer dyslexic? Tectonic shifts in the local plates? A social experiment conducted by and now abandoned by extraterrestrials? I’m open to possible explanations!
Just today, I was thinking about my editor from 2008, when I used to do big-time real writing for websites and had such a person. The one who taught me about the em-dash. And how we met and are still friends because of the internet. In 2008. Such a long time ago, and yet no time at all. I remember this blog, Wil. And yeah…such a long time ago, and yet no time at all, for the man who is your son. Much love to you all.
And I sometimes miss the “in exile” title. Sue me. 😉
But did you introduce him to ‘The Prisoner?’
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