Get in a position to argue
Right on the edge of his chair, weight on the balls of his feet, my father would be ready to spring a pointed finger at me to punctuate the yelling. After a decade of work on debate teams, I understand that the quickest route to a win is to appear relaxed. Slack your jaw and slouch a little. Tense only the unseen muscles. Tighten your asshole and limit your attention. Don't listen to the opposition too well, or you will often accidentally agree with it. Better that your mind will develop a heart of its own, secreting the mortar with which you will fortify your mansion of glory.
I recommend the Zebra Lounge
If I had a dollar for every time I've cried in a hole in the wall piano bar, I'd have sixty-five dollars. If I had a dollar for every time I've been drunk at a hole in the wall piano bar, I'd only have forty dollars. This is why I haven't been to a karaoke bar since college. Karaoke bars are for losers, whereas piano bars are for the lost. So I have often had occasion to praise the sweetness of Caroline or demand the piano man sing us a song. Everybody should sometimes yell real loud and cry a little. It's cheaper than beer.
I miss my dead dog
She died of an aneurysm just before her second birthday, which would have been on the eleventh of September. So she was born under a bad sign and was a fairly bad dog, though loyal as all hell. We didn't know each other too well, but we were pretty comfortable and clearly planned to spend the next ten years or so together. Now I have this ghost dog that I don't need to run home and feed, which is nice. She takes naps on my chest that don't keep me warm. I guess death haunts you down, or I'm not the type that forgets a dog.
Yeah means yeah
I didn't go to prom and I didn't screw anybody in a frat house. I haven't killed anything that crossed the road in front of me. I only order the smallest cup of coffee and I never pay extra for extra cilantro. A willingness to wear wrinkled clothing has changed my life for the better. Ninety percent of the time I am touching my bike, I have gloves on. Whatever my father's failings, liking country music is not among them. Everybody has to have rules, but only some people make exceptions and those are the ones who naturally expect you to bend your rules on their behalf.