From Yesterday’s Lake Harriet 1 & 2 Mile Swim and Double Baby 1 Year Birthday Bash 🎉🏊‍♂️


The race this morning was too chaotic. My friend John, who is entered in my phone as co-op John because I met him at the Seward Co-op and I don’t know his last name says that organized races are full of shit. He is referring to running races. I asked him if he wanted to jump in a few this summer. 5k here, half marathon there. He said organized races miss the point. Don’t have the spiritual element.

Now I get it. I feel the same way about swimming races. All the thrashing all the jockeying all the torquing neck forward searching for the buoy. All the hurry. All the unnecessary movement. All the rush. All the time keeping. All the noise. All the people.

But but but when you’re in there by yourself and 529AM and it’s early early early. Like a church. God speaks and you have no choice but to listen.

My knee was bothering this morning doing freestyle. The rotation of turning doing freestyle hips moving up-and-down ahhhhh fuck added lateral pressure to the inside of my foot. I think I tore my MCL somehow playing soccer maybe overuse maybe just whoops. I think I can fix it. I YouTubed a bunch of exercises. Kate suggested doctor visit to analyze and evaluate for surgery and I said I don’t know but I’ll look into it. Which means I’ll look into a DIY solution. And I looked into it. I think surgery is a last resort. I think Americans go to surgery like Americans go to divorce. Because we like things that are fast. We like sharp edge solutions instead of the long slow road of shallow squats. No more than 60°. Lay flat on the floor. Lift the whole leg. Lower. Repeat. Rotate onto outer hip. Lift lower repeat. Inner leg. Ride a stationary bike. Lie on your back and do the stationary bike but with your legs. Do it forward and backwards. Churn the blood flow. Massage knees. Do circles. Stretch your hamstrings. Be sure to do quads. Balance on weak leg.

Imagine this as the analogy for a troubled relationship. Do that. All that work and maintenance and PT. It’s methodical and it’s meditative. Slow.

I just got in the car. Driving back home tonight alone. Kate is following behind in her sisters car. I don’t have the radio on. I don’t have a podcast on. It is just me and the quiet Saturday night Road. There’s a bunch or two bunches or 10 bananas on the dash yellow spotted with brown. The passenger seat is filled with the diaper bag my swimsuits towels change of clothes miscellaneous bag of extra shit because why not.

My sisters baby Dori and Ellie Roo celebrated their first birthday today late for Dori early for Elle. My dad and Laura splurged for Greek food from falafel King. And bagpipes. I love the hummus. Siri autocorrected homeless. And Bubba ganush. And tzaziki. And lamb. And falafel. Damn Greeks kill food.

Two full plates. My stomach is full.

I really can’t say enough about family. I have a mouth full of shit to say about the state of economy and the way it makes millennial‘s feel fragile disconnected untethered broken worthless and useless. I think one of the antidote his family. It’s a horticultural greenhouse for root building.

My dad his wife my sisters my wife my wife’s family her mom and her dad her sister and brother my dad‘s wife his children their friends our friends and all comes together and melts the different relationships and the different qualities of the experiences over lap and I think everyone’s going with like yeah with her psycho bullshit and they just want to live that make sense of them but if you boil it down comes to a four letter word that sticks to the bottom of the pot and doesn’t burn it all the better how much you turn up the heat for a little word is love.

Everybody was crying tonight out of joy and happiness except for me and the bagpipe player and they asked me why I wasnt, and I said that I’m crying on the inside.

I swam the 1 mile race with a wetsuit and placed top 10. I’m not sure how high up or low down exactly because they didn’t post results online or after the race. Because I was feeling good in the wetsuit I took it off like everyone else for the 2 mile and froze a slow death. Everybody else was doing it. Bad logic right. So I thought I could do it. But everybody else is doing is terrible logic. Of the four laps that made up the 2 mile course, by the end of the first one the jaw was rattling my teeth like marbles in a glass jar, by the end of the second my eyes were closing on their own and it wasn’t because of this wicked off water glare from the sun, and by the third and fourth I was hanging on to threads cursing myself and the lake. I told myself if you keep thrashing you’ll make it. Thrash. Thrash. Thrash.

I need to work on my endurance.But the thing is I don’t swim to work on anything. I swim just to swim. That’s the thing. I run for time and I run for competition I run to beat people and I run to win and I run to improve on myself and previous times of previous races. But I passed that swimming, it burned out of me from years of club swimming in middle school and then high school and then a year of college before I dropped out. Now I swim just to swim just to cut through the water just to feel the pull between my fingers just the challenge of waking up early in the morning and sinking in.

I guess I’ll sleep well tonight. People have been talking about how it’s difficult to get a good nights sleep. Minds are wired. My sister says try this magnesium thing. I think I will. I didn’t sleep well last night. I woke up at 3:30. Kate too. She was on the couch. Phone a glow with Phone. My dad said he didn’t sleep well because Laura was coughing. Maybe I will sleep well tonight. Maybe not. Either way I’m grateful for a good day.

I know this got a little sappy at times and for that I apologize. I’m the first person to loathe that sticky shit, the sappy thick maple syrup that comes out of the trees and spills onto hallmark cards and gets stuck on your fingers and never leaves and you have to scrub it with soap and paint thinner.

Peace people.

📷: Michaela Adesso


Self help

Got to the lake swim early. Is it a race? Or a swim? I only have one gear. Couldn’t sleep last night. Worries I’d forget to put dish soap on my goggles. Keep them fogless.

My side of the family got together yesterday. I really do wish my sisters lived closer. The community is like beef roast after 10 hours in a Crock pot. It really sticks to you. Sinks you down in your chair.

I told Kate I don’t want to be right or wrong or okay that battle or have to logic argue like I’ve been doing my whole life. I just want to roll and be easy and flow. It will take me some time to adjust and retune my strings. But all things are possible for those who believe?

Question: hypothetically, is using plant medicine like MJ to cool off really any different than taking a magnesium CALM supplement or rubbing your temples with lavender or taking doctor prescribed chill pills?

I mean who is keeping score and judging? It’s like this bullshit anvil weight of moral purity that we me suburban raised white former Christian kids put on ourselves like a damn cross. The weight of guilt.

Been listening to Drake God’s Plan because my 11 year old nephew is obsessed.

Going to visit the Porta Poddy and then keeping sipping the caffeine coffee concoction from the orange mug and we’ll see how the one mile and two mile swims go.

I hope my uncle Mike who is in the hospital gets a heaping plateful or karmic strength and gets the hell out of there today.

All good things float free. Let it go Ry and swim. Self talk is always awkward coming out but it’s honest. Or as honest as journaling publicly can be.

Let it gaaaaaa

Notes to self:

Bottom line as a father and husband and man at age 31. Be better. Be family first. Don’t pout. Don’t whine and mope when you don’t get your way.

My mom told me much of this over and over and over again.

I’m sorry. I say.

Sorry does get old but I’m rewriting reworking re-wiring my neural circuitry.

Be chill and relaxed and easy going and go with the flow and stop being so damn controlling. About money. About buying shelves and end tables and dressers and clothes. All of it. Just let go big boy.

I told Kate if she says I’m being controlling again I’ll 100% reverse course and change my tune no matter what I’m right story my mind is screaming. No more self rationalizing.

The game is on and its language isn’t right or wrong, it’s let go.

This may not make any sense because I’m trying to avoid the hell details because I’m tired and we’re on our way to bed and I need to participate in PM routine.

Be well.

Universal basic income

5:15 PM.

Just listened to the Sam Harris podcast episode on Universal Basic Income. While running. Legs are acting like they don’t want to run. But I want them to run. So we go back and forth. The UBI podcast says that automation is and will continue to eat away at our jobs. And that as a result, instead of letting let go workers wallow on video games and get hooked on opiates and addicted to booze and off themselves in record numbers, we should provide every American with $1000 a month, which isn’t enough to live on, but it’s a decent supplemental income, so there won’t really be an incentive to quit work but there will be a semi safety net and a little cushion with which to go out on a limb and start that company you’ve always dreamed of.

I’m highly compelled by the idea. Because I agree the world is going AI automated. McDonalds kiosks. Sam Harris brings up radiology and oncology. And the big one is trucking. 3 million jobs in the US are for commercial long haul truckers. Soon these guys will only be needed during the ten miles entering and exiting a major metro area. Otherwise the computer. Some say real people in the truck won’t even be needed. You can have a bank of remote operators in a warehouse in Arizona or Nevada and they can drive the truck remotely during the exit/entry or when the AI fails.

I can see it in coffee. I can see it in education. I can see it most everywhere. Sam says arguably the one profession that would survive the AI apocalypse is massage therapist. So that’s good. I mean I know Thai Massage so wee.

The podcast moves me on non-policy grounds, too. Like it’s sort of a deeply embedded assumption of capitalism that human virtue is tied up in having a job and taking pride in the job and working hard at the job. And yet take the example of a cashier. One philosopher said imagine that you’re a cashier playing a video game of being a cashier. It’d be torture. Imagine doing that five days a week. All day. And then pretend that you’re supposed to get deep fulfillment out of this meaningless task. It sounds so much like so many jobs now. I could easily write a dystopian novel about how we millennials get trained up in our high schools and colleges about the universe and how we’re going to make a difference and this liberal arts bullshit propaganda about the sky is the limit but the real truth is that the march of progress means technology is getting better and better and taking more and more jobs and that means more and more young 20 year old men are living in their parents basements playing World of Warcraft.

I’m rambling but I think you should all listen to Sam’s podcast.

Which is also a way of saying that. I’m now happily employed at a coffee shop down the street splitting my time between the front of the house and back of the house. I’m happy because while it’s like $9.50 an hour or something, it’s honest, and it’s part time meaning I can have a life with my wife and daughter and my running and swimming and writing and dog and baking and fermenting and painting. And it’s something I did in high school too. Which is ironic. Or sordid. Or sour. If you look at it that way. But it’s also just the way of the march march march march.

3 million truckers in the US. And servicing this industry which is 94% men, median age 49, and 50% with chronic disease from spending 4 days a week sitting for 11 hours a day. And for these men who are soon to be out of work, 5 million servers and gas stations and hotel workers and other people who are also soon to be screwed.

5:29 PM.

The podcast carried me through my run which is great and I’m grateful and the two knee braces came from Amazon so my right knee is feeling tight and might with all that compression.

Kate and I are swell too. Married men must real look and listen. It’s like crossing the street. Look both ways. I haven’t been doing this enough, but I will.

Sourdough is in the oven. Sliced smoked salmon is on the counter. My sister is coming into town this weekend. From Colorado.

Family first

New day. Rough start. Smooth finish.

Found out the open water swim on Saturday disqualifies swimmers with wetsuits from the podium. So I tried just Speedo. Cold Lake Harriet. Ran out shivering after 20 minutes. Continued running, since the swim didn’t work out and I was there already. 3 miles easy. Testing the knee. Didn’t bring shoes so ran in Crocs. Slipped and fell.

Oh well. The cost of doing business.

I mean it’s karma again.

I let the dog out last night without a leash. Just said potty then bed. He just ran. I found him later and wasn’t thrilled. I’m stiff brained and mean around bedtime. Which is something I need to chill out with. Easy Ry. At all hours.

I think certain plant medicine might be a wonderful way to deescalate my tense violin strings. Slow down man. Slow down. Chill out man.

I played in the dirt street this morning and afternoon with an 11 year old and we set up a slack line from one tree to another. Across the street because the road is under construction but the crew is apparently done working.

I’m wearing the wetsuit on Saturday because I value being warm and comfortable and why not.

I legitimately don’t know what I want to do with my life in terms of single minded career passion.

Immigration attorney, college English teacher, writer, Thai Massage, yoga, EMT, fitness knowledge guru, sponsored endurance athlete.

I’m thinking about unplugging entirely during the month of August and then writing about it with pen and paper. Why August? Because it’s not now. Why unplug? Because addiction poison breathe.

I don’t know so many basic things about being an adult but I know I’m going to tattoo family first on my bicep because it’s absolutely true not in a bullshit preacher sense but that if you don’t put family first, if you put yourself first, then karma will hammer you into the wood board of the front porch whose pale purple paint is chipping.

Reinvent myself as family first

445AM. Bzzz. Grind coffee. Fidget with wetsuit zipper. Pour. Brew. Bowel movement.

540AM Toes in Lake Harriet. Rainy. First time pitter patter rain swim. Dad’s already in. Somewhere. Good swim. Strong arms. Thick glide. Easy stroke. Big waves on the south side. Pushed through.

7AM. Again coffee.

This chronology reveals selfishness. Which is good. We all need to carve out time for ourselves. Grow our garden of passion. Yada yada. Especially as a parent. Find the niche of personal space. Avoid insanity. I have no problem with this. Except I have so much of no problem with this that I take take take without give give giving. Our marriage partner marries our best and worst traits and this might be one of my slipperiest shadow sides. The fact that I think mostly of myself first, instead of others.

As parent, and as a marriage partner, this trait is unfortunate. I’m cutting the conversations that led up to this realization. Or the deluge of frustration. It’s like the construction job on the street next to our house. Sometimes you need to rip out the pavement, cut down the trees, dig a huge hole in the middle of the street, gut the pipes, and fucking start from scratch. Sometimes you need to yell and say harsh things because that’s what gets the job done.

Kate does, and has been doing, more than 50% of the workload with the baby. It’s a difficult thing to admit. As it’s also difficult to admit that I have to rewire my psychology to be less self-focused and push the needle more towards others and team and community and Kate. From breastfeeding, to dog walking, to vacuuming, to laundry, to washing the bedsheets, to feeding the baby, changing the baby, playing with the baby, napping with the baby, she’s the dominant workhorse and I’m on the kitchen floor with a foam roller massaging my IT band. I do contribute, but I do hypnotically think of myself in most situations. I don’t know what neurons or genes cause this. Or what environmental factors or upbringing.

I’m not a lethargic cow, chewing cud while watching nightly news. But I’m more cow than field surgeon skipping from body to body asking if they need water or a quick shot of whiskey.

Maybe The Alt Dad Diary is the perfect illustration of self-obsession. Let me tell you about my life. Me me me. Maybe it’s beautiful and maybe there’s something to be said for honesty and public admission, but to what degree is it a self-absorbed whining? Like foam rolling on the kitchen floor while Kate is folding laundry?

The beautiful thing about being shitty at something is that you can always improve. When I set my mind to something, be it marathon training or alcohol consumption management, I succeed. I’m wired that way. Obsessed. So it’s just about identifying goals. Once something is on the goal list, or the to-do list, it’ll get crossed off. As a matter of fact.

So, Monday. You know, they say there’s always two sides to an argument. I think that’s true. There are. Maybe married men see the women breastfeeding the baby and they extrapolate like oh, that little ameba baby is THEIRS (meaning the woman’s) and I’m here to hunt and lift big rocks and that’s the division of labor. If I had to take a non trained neuroscientist stab at my inner working, I’d say that’s kind of the primal musing that’s going on.

After this morning’s talk, it’s been a rest day. Napped with the baby. Fed her organic cheerios and quiche. The ax of silence falls heavy. Making mistakes is miserable. The ego is limping along. But so it goes. And brighter days are ahead.

No growth without pain.



Working grunt North Face camping event inspired me. To new heights. Maybe I should practice law? Immigrants are getting fucked and fractured everywhere. And while I haven’t paid bar dues, I did once upon a time pass the bar.

I haven’t seen EllieRoo in three days and saw her last night before bed and eoahhh YOURE SO BIG! She’s growing up so fast. Which is what everyone says. About kids generally.

Immigration law. Actually helping people. I’m not into a law office. Because ugh set hours and lifestyle restrictions and people politics. But DIY? Is it possible? I’m looking into it.

Fathers Day. I feel something instead of the ugh lame holidays. I feel like yeah being a dad is a damn cool thing and I’m like yes I want to be a good dad who gives a damn and is present and chill and involved. Though the baby does seem to prefer mom. Strongly. But maybe this is the inevitable voice of nature.

Haven’t had breakfast yet. Except coffee. It’s not pleasant to work manual labor with a full stomach. Lunch, easing in. Peanuts and carbonated water and organic Cheerios. And then apple pie and then sweet potatoes and then eggs and then bread and then mmmm I don’t know. Watch the rain fall.


Rain. In the car at Afton Alps. I’m spending the weekend as a brand ambassador or production assistant, both titles apply. 12 hour days. Yesterday we set up tents all day for today’s camping extravaganza.

And today? Rain.

My knee is swollen from soccer. While working and bending yesterday I wondered weather all the movement was therapeutic or detrimental. It’s funny how when you’re a swimmer, and you’re not swimming, you’re thinking about swimming. And when you’re in the water, you’re thinking about the towel and the thermos of coffee and yada yada. New age folks would be like ah it’s the battle to be present. And maybe it’s a battle but I think there are so many damn battles happening here there these days. Yemen. Cholera. The border. Separating kids from moms. Too many battles. So I’m inclined just to say the non present mind is just part of the human thing we call human living.

Mmmm. You can skip eating or deprioritize or fast but not coffee. Coffee is mmmm.

Working all day including now. We’re in a white SUV waiting for God to stop with the rain but honestly I prefer rain to sun.

Tally ho.

Knock knee

Shouldn’t of played soccer last night. Double header. Scored a goal. But right knee ahh. Socket is eeeeee. Hurts to walk now. I’ll sit out and babysit next game.

Up at 430AM. Just to pee. Had the alarm set for 445. To swim. You know when it’s that early and you’re like should I or shouldn’t I get up? What’s sleeping in worth? What if I stay here and can’t sleep? So I got up, boiled water for coffee, put two chicken sausages on the stove, fried crispy. Squeezed into the Quintana Roo wetsuit and drove to Lake Harriet.

Toenails in the water at 5:40AM. Big breeze caused big wave chop. I thought oi damn. You know the way you second guess yourself. I thought maybe I’ll just to laps near shore. But second guessing must be banished.

Was a good swim. I look good in that wetsuit.

I’m writing this sitting on my tucked toes,trying to loosen up this right knee. Some people mulch. Others buy yoga pants. I’m going to get this right knee better. Roll, stretch, talk lovingly, exercises, lots of movement.

The lake brings out thoughts and thinking that’s a layer deeper. But it’s interesting because the lake also banished thoughts and thinking, swallows them. It’s the size of the lake, I think. The ego body mind realizes that it isn’t the center of the universe. This becomes obvious with the cold and more obvious with the size of the lake and the constant navigation.

I think it’s very much worth the cost of early wake up. Cheap medicine.

Did you know that it’s very likely that every star we see is a planetary system containing at least one planet? Says the last guy on Joe Rogans podcast.

Kate and the baby were gone in Brainerd the last two nights. The dog seems worried. I miss them. But like the me time. They’re coming back today and I’m away the next two nights working a North Face promo event at Afton Alps.

One thing in my mind are the tomatoes in the frig. I need to either roast them for sauce or dice for guac on Sunday when I get back.

I had a summer shandy two nights ago and it ballooned my belly and made me feel bloated and so that’s it for me and beer. It’s a bad training drink and your either training or your not.

What else? Carhartt double knee work pants. I’m debating. The shape is kind of square, no slim fit. DIY tattoo. Word or simple symbol. Read Chop Chop.

Maybe on Monday I’ll attempt two laps around Harriet. I’m resting the knee from running until at least Sunday.

Stretching and yoga until then.

$92 Tire

Karma kills. At least when you’re an asshole.

Admittedly, I was an asshole to the dog yesterday. This schmuck Dakota County Sheriff who was like 18 years old was driving a 4-wheeler through Lebanon Hills and “SIR! SIR!” stopped me mid-run. Said I’m not going to cite you today but you know that dog is supposed to be on the leash. So I yes yes yes. Then I put Tacoma on a leash, and he pulls the whole time like this is the damn Iditarod. I curse and tell him not to pull then call him a dumb damn dog and he must hear me, because today one of those mower trailers that trucks pull behind swung across the lane and shredded my front right tire on the way back from my morning lake swim. I knew it was karma because that’s the first thing I thought. I need to be nicer to Tacoma.

With the donut on, I drove home and said Tacoma Tacoma? And then I said I’m sorry for being a dick yesterday and I gave him a treat. And his demeanor was like yeah right asshole actions speak louder than words. So I went out for a second job interview at Black Sheep coffee and then got the tire replaced at Discount Tire for $92 and when I came home I was decent and we seem to have reached an accord.

Tomorrow and Saturday I am working a North Face event at Afton Alps which I’m thrilled and not thrilled about. Thrilled because I hope to meet some cool like minded folks and not thrilled because I have a fetish for sleeping in my own bed. But sometimes you do things the tribe needs you to do. And in this case, the tribe is the family and the family could use the $600.

The morning swim was dope. My fourth loop around the lake. I went to bed at 7:10PM to get the requisite sleep. The solstice time of year means 5:30AM is light light light. Still get to watch the sun slip up over the horizon from the water, though. Fingers didn’t go numb today. Cough is lingering, but almost gone. Had to ask a runner to zip me up. First runner shook his head, like I was asking for change or something. Second runner stopped.

My dad is writing a competing blog, unpublished on social media. Which is probably more honorable. Discussed the deeper meanings of swimming, and family swimming. If dawn is the holy hour, then dawn swimming is the holiest of holy. You can’t fake it. I mean you’re immersed in the water and things become what they are. You can’t lie to yourself. Your pecs and biceps get tired. If you get too tired, you’ll drown. This thing is bigger. Stop lying. I was a dick to the dog.

If car accidents when no one gets hurt are the universe’s slap on the wrist for being a foul mood moron, then lake swimming at dawn is the therapy required to get over the I ME MY run around. If that makes sense.

The upstairs neighbor is vacuuming again.

My oldest sister said 7 minute miles for a marathon may be to fast for her. I asked her about doing Twin Cities Marathon together in October.

Dad says he’s ready for two laps around the lake. Just needs bananas and tea with honey on the dock.

I had chicken sausage and coffee and avocado and walnuts for breakfast.

Now I’m slurping Ezekiel cereal with almond milk.

There’s a breeze and the windows are open.

I have a double header soccer game tonight, which I’d like to skip but Kate says we owe it to the team. I’d rather go back to the lake and have another lap but Dad says the police will come because the boaters will call the cops because they don’t like when swimmers leave the designated swimmer area.

Ball and chain.


Peace with the dog.