Thursday, December 09, 2010


In Which I Stand Naked (well, semi-clothed) Before You...

Well, that was quick, wasn’t it?

Seems like it was October just a minute ago and we were celebrating first Art Lad’s 12th birthday and then Halloween (although it’s a toss-up as to which event was scarier. I mean, my son is 12. Twelve! How did that happen?).

Now here I am, closer to Christmas than Halloween, sitting snowed in at an extended-stay hotel full of consultants and salesmen, and two guys I’m not sure about, but who might be drug dealers. And me, 16 days into my new job.

Which is going well, thanks for asking. There’s a lot to learn, a whole production process to figure out, many system passwords to juggle (and, for the most part, forget). I’m busy, but I’m happy. Just need to find a house so I can bring my family here to live and the picture will be complete.

And I have much to tell you, but for the moment, this will have to serve as a postcard confirming that I’m alive and well.

But I hate to send you out the door empty-handed, so instead I will direct you to a little piece of writing I did. I was of two minds--okay, three--to tell you about this, but the story wouldn’t have existed without this blog, so you deserve to know.

Some months ago, a long-time reader of the blog reached out to me to see if I wanted to write something for a new magazine he was in charge of. Kevin and I had traded emails a few years back--he's a magazine man himself and it’s always nice when such folks drop by to talk a little shop. But now he had an assignment to offer me, and as someone who remembered well what unemployment felt like, it was a hard thing to turn down paying work. More importantly, I liked the sound of the magazine he was working on, and it was a chance to write an essay about my life as a Dad, something I seldom get to do outside of the confines of the blog, so I jumped at it.

The story I wrote began as a couple of sentences of a post I had once tried to write for the blog, but never quite got around to fleshing out, I don’t know why. That’s how it is sometimes. You head out the door with a specific destination in mind, but you’re not quite sure which road will take you there. So I put those first few sentences away. But when I revisited that brief starting point, I realized I now knew the route, and writing the whole thing took only a few days.

The story appears in this magazine, which just hit the stands and which I’m told you can find on the rack at Borders and Barnes and Noble, although I haven’t seen a copy yet. Have a look at the Web site, though, and see if you can find an excerpt of the story I wrote. I bet it will take you, oh, about this long.

I was of three minds to mention this because one, Kevin is no longer the editor of the magazine. That’s also how it is sometimes. Editors come and go, and everyone has his reasons for staying or leaving. But even though I now don’t know anyone involved in the magazine, I figured that was no reason to keep silent. Kevin did good work while he was there, and he deserves as wide an audience as possible to see his efforts.

Two, I was hesitant to mention this because I don’t like making anyone feel that they have to go out and buy something in order to read what I wrote. But you’re big people and can make up your own minds about that. And if you want free stories, well, there are still plenty here.

Third, I’m also featured in the magazine’s contributor page which, for the first time in print, reveals my authorship of the blog. Of course, anyone who has read this thing in the past three years can figure out who I am fairly quickly, but the idea of having full disclosure on the printed page seems weird, almost contradictory to the spirit in which this place was launched. Also, it makes me feel oddly undressed before you. And trust me, the last thing anyone wants is to see me walking around in my underwear.

But what the hell. We’re all friends here. And anyway, you might like the story.

So enjoy. And try not to hold it against me that I’ve been gone so long. I’ll be back soon.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

AAACK! A preview of one of your stories is worse than a ...! It's just not enough.

Good to see you're doing well, though. Happy Holidays and all that crap, MM.
Extended-stay hotel? Oh boy, do you have a lot to learn about being a geographical bachelor. You should be able to find a nice B&B that will let a room for the same price or better.

In any case, good to hear from you. Look forward to reading the story in it's entirety, someday.

Jake Kloberdanz!!!

Man, all this time I thought I was reading Dave Caruso.

Well, we all make mistakes I guess.
Glad to see you are alive and well...even if you are naked. I sussed you out a while ago, so I'm used to it. :)
Looking forward to reading the article. Happy Holidays to you and yours!
I always enjoy reading ANYTHING you put up here, even though it is a little disappointing to have to wait for Paul Harvey and "the rest of the story." I have faith that sooner or later, you will follow through and share the whole thing with us. Glad to hear too you are employed -again -and hope you find a great place so your family can say "This is home!" Now -enjoy the holiday to the max and come soon to tell us more.
i always enjoy your writing, as usual. glad to hear things are up and running again and out of the unemployment hole. good luck!
Glad to see you're back, and that things are going decently for you.

Also glad to finally see you officially unmasking - kinda sorta - given that you gave me permission to unmask you (or, to use your current terminology of choice, de-pants you) back in November of '09. Of course, my circulation is about 500 (on a good day), and it was on my blog, so it wasn't actually in print, and you've moved on from the position mentioned in that blog (and with some relief, as you told us), and I never actually came right out and said your name (at least not in a straightforward fashion), and...

Nevermind all that. I'm proud of you for coming out of the literary closet, and if the whole world doesn't know that you're Dave Barry from reading my blog, what difference does it make?
Its like finding out that our Clark Kent is Superman.

Yet I still like Clark better than supes.
Oh MM, I am almost bursting with happiness at a new post. You have been missed. I cannot wait to go out and purchase said magazine in the hopes that all of you in the Mansion get a cut of the profits, but I am heading out of, I shall see if the airports carry it. :)

Much love and hugs.
Thanks for sharing the link with us, MM. Congratulations on having your story published! I look forward to reading the rest of it.

Glad to hear the new job is going well. Good luck with the home hunting.

In case, we don't cross paths again in the next couple weeks, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We missed you! So glad you are back and hope you blog more often. But glad to hear you and the family are doing well. It is so odd how totally happy hearing from a stranger can make me, I feel like I've known you after reading your blog for all these years and living through all the crazy adventures you get into ;)

Congrats on getting published and the new job, hope you find a great home soon and get the family back together.
I can't wait to read the rest of that story! Thanks for sharing...I always enjoy yours.
I will purchase the magazine to read the entire story even though it looks like a guy's publication. So glad things are looking up for you and yours. Must be tough on everyone to live apart. Thank goodness Blaze is keeping guard on the family. Now that you've been "outed" I'll know what author to look for when your book is published.
yay, you're back! sort of...

i'm living in an extended stay too. being homeless sucks. so hopefully, we both find a place soon!

don't stay away too long. :-)
I'm looking forward to reading the story. I wouldn't look forward to any sort of underwear footage.

Glad the new job is going well, and good luck on the house hunt.
Happy to hear you & the family are well~ good luck on the house search and Happy Holidays! : )
It's funny, because we (our family) have known your super-secret true identity for a long time, and yet, around here we still refer to you and YOUR lovely family as "MM", "Art Lad", "The Brownie", "The Eclair" and (this one always makes me laugh!) "His Lovely Wife".

It's not that we don't accept your RL (real life) identity or anything... just that we came to know and love you here, and so MM you shall always be - in our hearts, at least.

And, in our hearts, you ALWAYS have your pants on. No naked allowed! ;)

Merry Christmas, to you, and all of your beloveds. Travel safely - and know that when it's time, we'll all be here, waiting for you.

(((hugs))) Thim :)
A) Your email is spamming me--on two different accounts. :-P

B) 16 days? That means a NEW new job. What're you doing now?

C) Now that the mask is off, I sure hope the superhero keeps doin' his darin' do.
NP with spam mail, sir. New Year to you.
You can thank Suldog for sending me here. And I might add it was worth the trip. I'll be sailing along now... but shall return again...
is there anything new.
I am itching for something new to read.

tap tap tap. Is this thing on?
It's been a while - just hoping you and the family are doing alright.
Well? Are you still alive MM? I miss your writing (sigh).
Hey, Dude, I'm signing off come Friday. At least I'm letting people know I'll be gone forever... :-)

(Or until I decide to surprise everyone with a return engagement, hint hint.)
***Blowing dust off of comment section***

Miss you dude. Come back with a cliffhanger please.
Shane! Come back! Come back!
Hmmmmmmmm. It seems I can say anything I want here and it won't be noticed. Excellent!

I killed John F. Kennedy. It wasn't Lee Harvey Oswald. I just made sure all the evidence pointed his way.

Phew! Glad to get that off my chest after all these years!
I was also the mastermind behind the Brinks robbery, and my named used to be D. B. Cooper. Friggin' parachutes made in Taiwan...
Hello? Hello?
If you don't either write something here or write to me personally, I'm going to have to publish those incriminating photos of you and Bin Laden.
Where you at, boo?
In other news, Generalisimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
OK, I'll just go away now...

So did you give up blogging and get a Facebook account like everyone else who used to blog? If so, I'm not quite sure how I feel about the goatee, yet.

And though I miss your stories, can't you come back for one post to shut the blog down properly?

Hope everything is going well for you and the family, MM.
I know it's been a long time, no post from you and I miss your words! But anyway, if you can drag your fingers across the keyboard, click into my place and pick up an award waiting for you there which should give you something to write about! I'm positive you could have some really great wishes about what you'd do if you had Overlord status!
Hi. I treasured to drop you a quick note to express my thanks. I've been watching your blog for a month or so and have plucked up a heap of good information as well as enjoyed the way you've structured your site. I am attempting to run my own blog however I think it’s too general and I would like to focus more on smaller topics.
Do it, Suldog! Publish the MM-Bin Laden pics, I mean. They're both gone.
No, it's The Rapture tomorrow. I'm on my best behavior.

Hey, MM. If I get taken, and you don't, I'll put in a good word for you (even though you're ignoring us...)
The mansion seems to have taken up a life of its own. :)

Be back soon MM.
We are still here waiting.
oh I miss your blogs terribly!! Please come back already
Does anybody know if MM is okay?
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