You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Role-models’ tag.

Avery, your brain shall be force fed the words of Amy Hempel. I know that sounds like over-bearing brainwashing parental silliness, but please read below and respect the scriptures that define my creative love.

(All quotes in bold italic are from the novel: The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel)

“S-O-S,” the father informed. “What you want to remember is: Be Simple, be Original, be Sincere. That’s the winning system.”

What makes her so special?

“Did you know that when they taught the first chimp to talk, it lied? That when they asked her who did it on the desk, she signed back the name of the janitor. And that when they pressed her, she said she was sorry, that it was really the project director. But she was a mother, so I guess she had her reasons.” 

Avery, I once had the markings of being another shallow product of suburban mediocrity, and then I discovered the author Chuck Palahniuck. His literature gave me the confidence to challenge the status quo and left me in a state of hostile unease. I understood exactly what I didn’t want to be, and I solely defined my identity on that one-dimensional negation. I attended some of Chuck’s live readings, and he sang the praises of Amy Hempel.

“They say the smart dog obeys, but the smarter dog knows when to disobey.”

I felt a raw truth in her words and learned something about who I wanted to be, rather than who I thought I was. Her writing can weave equal poetic layers of Joy, Sadness, and comedy with an extreme economy of word count. Every time I read the story called “The Most Girl Part of You”, the hair on my arms raise and my eyes water with tears of joy. Her talent for writing is so vast and unique it should have scared me off from being a writer but it only inspired it further. I owe most of my creative ambition to her words and every time I write, I think “What would Amy say?”.

Here is a quote from “The Most Girl Part of You”:

“That was before his mother died. She died eight days ago. She did it herself. Big Guy showed me the rope burns in the beam of the ceiling. He said, “Any place I hang myself is home.” In the movie version, that is where his father would have slapped him”

“The children’s dog had been killed the month before. The children felt it would be unfair to get another dog — unfair to their former dog. The children were in pain, and I felt I knew what to say. I said to their father, quoting a lovely poem, “Tell them this: ‘The need for the new love is faithfulness to the old.’” He said, “That’s what I used to tell myself when I cheated on my ex-wife.”

Avery, there is something about the general idea of minimalism where it both haunts and seduces my attitude on life. I hope to infuse this attitude in my future as your Father, and at the most difficult of times, I can always discover new emotions and ideas on life as I read Amy Hempel from the perspective of your father.

Read a sample of her work here.

I will say it again: Read a sample of her work here. DO IT!!


Hi Avery,

This is going to be a running series from now and then, where I share a personal role model of my own. I can’t hide my naive notion about how I hope everything that makes me tick, will just blow your mind. Obviously, this is a romanticized idea of my ego clashing with reality, but that doesn’t mean the feeling is not real or that it’s not important. Will my personal role-models have a direct impact on you? Maybe some will, some won’t, and some could be like a stepping stone toward finding your own. Think of it as a relay-race, where we wait for our turn to carry the momentum of our predecessors and eventually pass the baton to whoever’s next in line. Read along, and keep pace kiddo.

             Louis C.K.

Louis C.K. discovered he wanted to become a writer and comedian, citing Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, and George Carlin as some of his influences.[1] When he was ten years old, his parents divorced. He and his three siblings were raised by their single mother in Newton, Massachusetts.[11] His primary reason for aspiring to produce movies and television was his mother: “I remember thinking in fifth grade, ‘I have to get inside that box and make this shit better’… because she deserves this.”[11] After graduating from Newton North High School, C.K. worked as an auto mechanic in Boston while summoning the courage to try stand-up.[2] His first attempt was in 1984 at a comedy club’s open-mic night; he was given five minutes of time, but had only two minutes of material.[12] The experience kept him away from comedy for two years.[13] C.K. gradually moved up to paid gigs, opening for Jerry Seinfeld and hosting comedy clubs[2] until he moved toManhattan in 1989.[12]

[Source: Wikipedia.Com]

Avery, this particular role model is very specific to my future as a parent. I once believed that parenting was nothing but a nightmarish chore; in the vein of a surrender from accomplishing anything of creative value. I also thought most parents were insincere and gratuitously over-sell the rewards of parenting, so I crudely chalked this up as being a mere delusions of their “Stockholm Syndrome”, or another example of the phrase “misery loves company”. Now I wonder, even if that were to be true, how would it be different or worse than any other purpose that I had ignorantly painted as the superior path? By the age of twenty-eight, I could no longer pretend I still believed my own anti-parent mantra, and I was learning how to accept that my life can’t be limited by a commitment made by an out-of-date version of myself. I discovered Louis C.K.’s stand-up during this internal dialogue, and I have never been the same.

Louis C.K. demolished every fallacy of parenting that I had conceived of, and he did so in a way that felt honest, dark and yet equally beautiful. Completely void of all the cliche’s and over-sentimentality, that had become the standard nauseating trite of new parents. I needed his comedic voice, to show me that parenting is not summed up with some bullshit lie like, “You will love it when their your own”. Louis C.K. was one of the first parents who never sounded like a used car salesman, to me. In the end, when I listen to his stories, good or bad, I genuinely feel excited to have my own, and laugh, because life doesn’t cater to the living, its just a stage, and his humor made me feel like I needed to create a bigger story for my life, and stop laughing at or judging everyone else’s.

The one temporary problem that plagues Louis C.K. as my role-model, is that he is tragically still alive. His impact on my life can’t be undone or forgotten, but life has a funny way of spoiling your idols, as you watch them demise through physical death and eventual cultural irrelevance, (these things are really not that different). Or worse case scenario, I will find out he has been molesting his kids, and planning a massive murder-suicide. Louie, if you read this, (and my ego hopes you do), please don’t fuck me and my imaginary child Avery, for writing this love letter to you.

Go to and buy his latest stand-up special online (DRM free) and some proceeds do (or did) go to charity. It’s “hilarious”, and if you want more Louie, get caught up with his TV series on FX called Louie. Also worth mentioning, at this moment, a lot of his stuff is on the Netflix Instant watch.

Since being a parent is clearly difficult, creative, and rewarding in a variety of ways, it means a great deal to me if I can start laughing about it now, before its to late.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 17 other followers