That’s so cocky!

I spent a lot of time one summer sort of figuring out how web servers worked (largely thanks to my brother, brother-in-law, and uncle-in-law). I bought my first domain,, because it was the only domain of my initials that was available. I sort of learned Flash and created my first website. After that, I went hog wild and bought domains for every kind of website I could think of. It became an addiction that I continue to fight. I remember telling Claire that I wouldn’t buy any more.

It was probably the next day that I asked Claire if I could buy just one more domain. She looked disappointed at my lack of resolve and asked, “Don’t you have enough? What is this one for?” I explained that it was for a family blog, and that the domain was She gave a barely perceptible smile and said, “Well, I think that’s OK.”

My brother was telling one of his friends about the name, and she replied, “Wow, that is so cocky!” He tried to explain that it was my name, NOT my socioeconomic status, and, to avoid confusion, I added a tagline to the header: “I’m Rich. She’s beautiful.” (Please note that Rich is capitalized because it’s my name, NOT my socioeconomic status.)

At one point, we were posting regularly and were pretty high on search results for “rich and beautiful.” The results were a lot of dating sites for people who want to meet rich people…and our family blog. Now, it’s only the dating sites to meet rich people.

The Grand Seduction

I don’t remember how we found it, but Claire and I wound up watching the movie The Grand Seduction. It’s a movie about a small fishing village that is trying to convince a young doctor to live there. We thought it was fun, and that it was a movie our parents might like.

I mentioned the name of the movie to my mom, and she said, “You know, Richard, I don’t really enjoy movies like that.”

Not a Pregnancy Test

I got an alert saying I had been in close proximity to someone with COVID, so I went to Walgreens to buy one of their rapid tests. I didn’t know you could get a home test, so I started talking to the Walgreens guy.

Rich: “So, these give you a quick result—like a pregnancy test?”

Walgreens Guy: “No, you don’t pee on it. You stick it up your nose.”

Rich (thinking the guy wanted to joke around, pretends to misunderstand): “YOU PEE ON IT! THEN STICK IT UP YOUR NOSE?!?”

Walgreens Guy (a little irritated): “No! I said you don’t pee on it!”

Got it.

The Model

WARNING: this post contains amateur drawing of nudity.

My sister-in-law is a very talented artist. She and my other sister-in-law—also a very talented artist—wanted to practice figure drawing. They stumbled upon a Craigslist ad by someone volunteering to be a nude model. I can understand why someone would be willing to pose, sans clothing, for artists, but I was really struggling to find a motive here. (Spoiler: we never figured it out.) They asked me to tag along for a little extra security in case things got weird.

The model seemed nice, like I imagine most serial killers to be. He didn’t seem a bit deterred by our gang of three. We were not a very intimidating group, but I did expect to see some recalculation happening in his facial expressions. We met him at someone else’s house who had a studio. Not only did this guy volunteer to pose nude, but he went through the trouble of arranging a complimentary studio space.

I tried to wrap my head around the situation and asked as many questions as I could think of:

“Do you do this a lot?”

“Oh, whenever I can.”

“Are you an artist?”

“No, never had that talent.”

“Are you interested in becoming a professional model?”

“No, not really.”

Not only was he doing this for free, he was all business. It wasn’t like the guy in As Good as It Gets, where the model was confused. This guy had a full quiver of different poses at the ready. He ran us through a few warm-up sketches, followed by a longer pose. We just sat there and sketched. I suddenly realized I had wasted the opportunity by not bringing paint. I started to worry that the model would be disappointed in my professionalism or ambition—that I wasn’t as serious about my craft as he was about…his.

After apparently going through the agenda for the afternoon, we thanked him, packed up our supplies, and drove home. The sketches recently resurfaced during a move, so if anyone recognizes this guy, PLEASE ask him why he volunteers to pose nude for people. No judgement. I just want to understand.


Conrad was having an exceptionally good basketball game and was nailing every shot. Literally every shot. I didn’t know the man sitting next to me, and he didn’t know I was Conrad’s dad. He noticed Conrad and muttered to himself, “Wow, that kid has a good arm.” By the end of the game, Conrad had made every shot except one free-throw.

At the end of the game, Conrad walked up to me and was excited to point out that he had made every shot. I congratulated him, but I did point out that he missed a free throw. (I always tell him that you don’t miss free throws or lay-ups.) The man sitting next to me, now realizing that I was Conrad’s dad, looked at me with wide eyes that seemed to say, “Wow, you are harsh.”

Merit Badge

The scouts are working on their architecture merit badge, and they asked me to give a presentation about Oma and Opa’s house. I think the presentation went well, but all of the ceremony before the presentation took me by surprise. I was never a scout, so I didn’t know any of the pledges or gang signs. I gave a peace sign for the first one, hang-loose for the second, and the heavy-metal horns for the third.

Drinking and Driving

I normally don’t drink soda. I just never really liked it. I also don’t drink alcohol.

Years ago, we were driving home after a family trip to the coast, and I suddenly felt really, really tired. In a rare move, I stopped at a tiny convenience store, in a tiny town, and bought a Coke. (I now realize that I should have just let Claire drive.) Apparently, the kids realized something unusual was happening because I heard Harper whisper to the others, “Papa’s drinking alcohol.”