I am by no means the biggest Pixies fan. I was first introduced to them in college, many moons ago, and I have fond memories of rocking out to Surfer Rosa while driving (maybe a little too fast) over Hwy 17 (a very windy road), from Santa Cruz to San Jose. They are unique in a sea of blah and have influenced so many great bands along the way. I once read an interview with Kurt Cobain where he said when he wrote “Smells Like Teen Spirit” he was just trying to write a song that sounded like the Pixies (and he followed by saying he failed). I do hear the Pixies in Nirvana—and maybe that’s the part of Nirvana I like(?)—but still, the Pixies are really on a plane of their own.

This video is from their appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, February 3, 2014. I particularly like how Francis just stares stoically into the audience between numbers and at the end.

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Beach Rock with Holes

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Holes

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Holes

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What’s Holding You Back?

fearI know my answer: fear. Pretty simple. I hate admitting that and saying it out loud, but it’s real. As I look forward to another day, another month, another year, the one thing I want focus on is accepting my fear and moving beyond it. I want to continue to work on letting go of the phantoms of things that haven’t been because of my fear—fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of doing too much, fear of doing too little, fear of not being the husband or dad I want to be, fear of not being the man I want to be…so. many. fears. They’re not debilitating fears, but everywhere in my life I can see the remnants of decisions based on fear.

I’m ready to move beyond it.

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Every Day Magic

Photo | Shannon Kringen

Photo | Shannon Kringen

I have a tendency to wait too long. Whatever the word is beyond “procrastination”—that’s what it is. Sometimes it’s laziness, sometimes I just don’t want to do what I know is ultimately good for me. Gratitude works a bit like that in my life. Whenever I’m struggling with feeling overwhelmed by work, the kids—life—I know that taking a minute to write down or say out loud what I’m thankful for will help me shift to a more positive place. And yet, there are still times I just don’t take the time to do it.

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unschooling

Diving into Unschooling

diving into unschooling

I wrote my first post about unschooling and how we were thinking about ways to homeschool a little less than three weeks ago, and pretty much right after I wrote that, it became clear we would be jumping in head first, sooner than later. As the testing began and the pressure rose for our first grader, her days became more miserable and her nights filled with stress and anxiety. We found ourselves thinking (again), surely there must be a better way. So we took the plunge and pulled her out of school.

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unschooling

Unschoolery: A Look Beyond Limitations

unschoolery

Our oldest has just entered her fifth year of public school with our middle child entering her second, and it's becoming more and more clear, every day, that much of what I read about school from around the country is true for us: public education is broken. I am not an education expert, nor do I play one on TV, but it seems to be that even at some of the "best" schools, education and learning is still about getting good grades to get a good job to make money to buy stuff. And how to get good grades still looks very similar to my primary school education 20+ years ago. In fact, the rubric for success in school is basically the same, too (i.e. turn in your homework, do well on tests, don't rock the boat, etc.).

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running

Achilles Heel

You see, the funny thing about that title is that maybe you were expecting an interesting retrospective on some weakness I have, or something I struggle with—but no, this is literally about issues with my achilles. Both of them actually. A new chapter on injuries from minimalist running.

I had been cruising along pretty good there for a minute—no pain beyond the usual wear-and-tear of running for months—but after being sick in May and taking almost two weeks off from running, I came back to it, taking it easy, and both my achilles had sharp pains in them. I had experienced this before, on and off, but I was able to just slow things down a little for the first mile and the pain would fade. Sure, the next day my achilles would be sore and stiff, but I wasn’t too concerned. Heading out mid-May was different. I handled the pain for each run, but the next day I was significantly more uncomfortable. And it didn’t fade even with time off.

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Engaging for Mental and Social Health

ConnectingThere are two obvious indicators of the level of stress in my life: how long my beard is and my presence (or lack thereof) on social media. When I’ve got a lot of projects at work, someone in the house is sick, extra family appointments/obligations—or D, all of the above—I can’t seem to make time to trim the beard or bring myself to carve out time for the socials. Those two things, for whatever reason, are the first to go.

It’s a little complicated because part of my job is actually managing our social media accounts. I have a small team now to help with that, so during times I’m overwhelmed, I lean on my fellow team members, just making enough time for quality control, but not much else. And my personal accounts? Forget it. Basically comatose.

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