I notice things and write about them. My youngest sister said she’s going to write her MFA thesis on grief and nostalgia. They’re two very different things I say. Are they? she asks. Both leave us wanting the past back.

Here’s nostalgia, from one of her college freshmen comp students: i wish happy meals still made me happy.

Here’s nostalgia, from one of my college freshmen comp students: Dressed like a slut, I slammed jello shots tll everything turned black and I woke up still drunk. Halloween at home was easier.

I keep revisiting this point. Our words slide into one another. Grief nostalgia. Good bad. Happy hungry. Me you.

Two and a half weeks ago, I cut my dreadlocks and now everybody puts their hand over their mouth when they see me, like they’ve seen a ghost. We mourn past versions of ourselves. Nostalgia or grief?

I notice I’m nice to people if and because they’re nice to me first. On one hand, I need to work this out. On the other: what’s wrong with caring about the people who hold me up?

It’s come to my attention that kids use Facebook for their family, so grandma can keep up on them. So I made an Instagram account for the Alt Dad Diary. Gotta follow he surf. Each day I’ll cut and paste the diary and include a me and baby or baby and Kate or just solo baby selfie.

I don’t know how that will work in January when I have to leave Minnesota a week before Kate and scump in order to teach English 1101 at Georgia Military College. Maybe I’ll screenshot a FaceTime sesh.

Last night my sister Caroline Fraase and I recorded a Brotha Sista podcast. I have three sisters and she’s in the middle. The podcast’s up on the altdaddiary.com and the iTunes podcast app. I guess podcasts are like life. I expected to chomp the stale Twizzlers about both of us being brand spankin new parents and how it’s been with a dead mom. But conversations have a life of their own.

Carol’s a psychologist at a middle school in Fargo. According to her, 75% of students are medicated—for depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, or narcolepsy. When she said that: Whaaaaaaaat!!

That’s a mental health bomb just waiting to explode.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

In the last six months, I’ve started three businesses. The Dread Loctician, Happy Hippie Thai Massage, and The Alt Dad Diary. You could say businesses lite. I have no employees, no official tax status, no insurance, no place of operation other than my home, etc. But I do have clients. And a service to provide. These businesses (hobbies, passions—it’s nice when the three are synonymous) have taught me how much I need other people. Obvious point. The community (or some community) must support the business, or else it fails. Is the same true with individual people? In terms of encouragement, positivity, listening, etc.

No eggs left for breakfast today. Maybe Ezekiel English muffins with Irish butter. Maybe Cheerios with almond milk. It’s hard to have sex when the baby is up cooing, wiggling and writhing all the time.