Digital Future

Claiming My Daughter’s Digital Future

So it’s a girl. It’s official. Finally. Now IT has a name.

It’s nice to put a name to the sonogram. (Even if the sonogram is creepy as hell.) No more “hey, baby” or “what’s your face.” Oh yeah, we’re ahead of the game. We have a name already. Although it’s caused considerable trouble in our family. (I’m currently not speaking with my father.)

Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful name. It’s all hers.

But the question is, how long will it stay hers? I’m not the only Ryan Riley in the world. There are dozens of them. And they all got to my name online before I did. I have to use some variation of my name on almost everything: Gmail, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

It makes me wonder what her digital future looks like. Read more

how to get free dishes

How to Get Free Dishes from Crate & Barrel

When you get married, you get presents. Presents are awesome. Getting married to a great woman is also awesome. So don’t think that loving presents somehow takes away from the love I have for my wife. Okay? Point is, you get some great gifts.

For our wedding, we registered for and received dishes from Crate & Barrel. These plates and bowls and mugs and saucers have been through a lot. A couple were chipped. One was cracked. Every time I ate something hot out of it, I could hear the crack grow. I expected it to split at any moment and for my food to fall everywhere.

Why did I keep using it? Because I like to live on the edge. Read more


Am I Ready to Be a Father? Or Am I Still a Child?

I’m on the shitty side of 30.

I’m at the age where I should have things figured out. I should have a 401K or an IRA. I should have something dedicated to my family’s future financial stability. I don’t have either. I have a wife. She’s the one that has figured out all those things. She’s the one that makes the contributions. She’s the one who’s keeping us alive.

I make a good living as a writer and consultant. It’s enough to where I shouldn’t be embarrassed to say I do one or the other, but not enough to retire young.

This is all a roundabout way of saying, I’m not quite where I should be this late into 30.

So why am I telling you this?

Well naturally, this all means that it’s time that I brought life into this world.

Yep. Turns out my dick works. I got my wife pregnant.

I’m going to be a father

For all the great things this represents, it’s also terrifying as hell. I think about my childhood. I think about my father. I think about the things I missed out on or the things I did wrong and I wonder if I will be able to do better for this kid or worse.

The baby is due in October and there is this long list of things I have to do first. Mostly home chores like build a fence and add venting fans in the bathrooms. You know, the important stuff.

I joke, but in reality, I do have this growing list, a long list, of stuff I want to accomplish before the kid gets here. I keep telling myself that if I can just finish this list of tasks, then it’s going to be much easier to focus on the baby. But I’m not naive. I know this is going to be hard.  I also know I’m not the first asshole to think about this shit.

But I have to focus on the things I can fix now.

If I think too far in the future, I’m afraid I’ll realize that I’m not ready for any of this.

change in trumps america

A Practical Guide to Change in Trump’s America

Day two of Trump’s America has started and we’re ready for change. Protests have spread through cities across America and celebrities are reminding us to fight:

It’s great to be a celebrity. You can be poetic and inspiring without actually having to do anything. You can black out your Twitter page or encourage people to hit the streets, but once you’re done “fighting” for the celebrities of the world, what’re you actually going to do?

Let’s be honest. Starting fires, throwing bricks at the cops, or pretending like #CalExit will ever fucking happen, is not the kind of fight anyone should be waging. You can argue that you want to make sure your voice is heard and I agree. Hell, I’m on your side. But come at me with #CalExit and I’m gonna tune you out.

Everyone’s fears of a Trump presidency are well-founded. He’s emboldened a segment of our country that should never be encouraged and they feel empowered now to say and act in a way that is not welcome in a modern society.

So when you’re ready, let’s talk about a practical way forward.

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