Sunday, June 16, 2013

Advice From My Dad

Happy Father's Day!

I thought today I would share with you some of the best advice my father has ever given me.

Please don't think I took all of it - part of the reason that people can determine that they have, in fact, gotten fabulous advice, is that they DON'T take it and then realize the wisdom of the advice they disregarded.

Live east of where you work.

What does that mean, you ask? Well, what it means is that you're not staring into the blazing sun for an hour on the way to and from work, you big ding dong.

I, of course, did not do this, and have suffered immensely for 23 years. Listen to him.

Don't personalize your license plate.

I didn't understand this at first. I think he told me this in a conversation when I was 15 or 16. It was embedded in a larger conversation about not calling attention to yourself in a way that made you easy to follow or track. 

As a 16 year old, it didn't really gel, because at that age, you are 95% ego and 5% eyeshadow. But it settled into my pattern-loving brain, and when I moved to Austin in 1990 and, with the rest of my community, lived through a horrible serial killer incident that terrified me, I internalized this like no other advice. I'm a creature of habit for sure, but I'm hyper aware of making that routine private. Just because you're not crazy, don't think crazy people aren't crazy about you.

Print legibly.

We talked about this one yesterday. He used to make us print in all caps when doing our math homework when I was a child and it was maddening for a cursive loving XX chromosome. However, as an artist, I LOVE neat, block printing (as long as it has ZERO to do with math) and I'm glad I got to at least be distracted by how neat everything was from the hideous math problems sitting on the table. To this day, I write this way. 

Nothing good happens after midnight.

This is one of those things you think is complete BS until you've lost your first friend in an accident late at night. Now, in full disclosure mode, I have to say, both of my parents are nocturnal, and I am a creature of the sunlight. But they have the sense to stay indoors at night. And so should you. It's not a normal human function to be active during the wee hours, and if you just want to reduce it to pure biology, your reasoning and reaction time are compromised after the sun goes down. So be safe. You're not a raccoon. Go to sleep. I had a wonderful professor at the University of Rochester - Nathan Rosen, who was HORRIFIED to learn I'd stayed up until 3 AM to write a paper on Dostoevsky for his class. He was 90 years old, and he told me - "Sleep. You will steal your future if you don't."

Unfamiliar cars are dangerous.

Here's another one I thought was overly cautious, but now I know the value of. Every time you get into a rental car, with different controls and geography than your daily car, you increase your risk that you will make a mistake. As if by some sort of dad wizardry to reinforce this, today, on the way to the funeral of a WWII veteran in my husband's family, I, in the passenger seat, reached reflexively over my LEFT shoulder for my seatbelt, even though I was in the passenger seat. We are easily conditioned, and this conditioning can be dangerous if you let it.

No unprotected left turns.

I shouldn't have to explain this to you. Even UPS only takes right turns.

Always back in to your parking space.

It is without a doubt the utmost in safety. Also, as he says, it makes for a quick getaway :). Which I, his model daughter, have never needed. 

Stamp. Every day.

Well, that might be my advice :)

Here's a card I made for the Splitcoast Virtual Stamp Night. I love this event because the 45 minute restriction means I have to keep it simple. 

Pin It

Stamps: Nursery Times
Paper: SU DSP, Whisper White, Going Grey

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Accessories: ShinHan Touch Twin markers: 0, CG0.5, BG178, 120, Y37, Y38, R132, CG4, CG1, YR27, YR132, Y36, R139, SU Washi Tape

Keep it simple is also great advice :).



  1. Love the advice and the stories behind them!

  2. You KNOW only weirdos are out at night....tis requires ME to be also, or am I just a weirdo in a uniform??? Hmmmmm

  3. I love the advise. sounds like something my dad would say especially the nothing good ever happens... I have said that to my kids forever!

    Love love the stamp advise. or sew everyday I say. love the cute card and yes how simple it is and that is great advise.


  4. Your dad is a wise man. The only thing on your (his) list I don't follow is backing into my parking spaces.

    I lied: no unprotected left turns? What? I'd never get anywhere. And at $4 a gallon for gas, I don't need to add the time and traffic to my life. I don't LIKE left turns, but I tolerate them for my sanity.

  5. Your Dad gave wise advice. And you made a cute card :)

  6. I love your dad's advice, but I have to take exception with the backing into parking rule. That is just a sign of age, can't turn your head when backing out, take a million years to get into your parking spot while ppl are WAITING, etc. But pull-through parking... well, that's a no-brainer! :) I 100% agree and practice his no west of work rule.


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