It is with mixed emotions that I announce that this will be the last “Jagged Noodles” column I write — at least for a long while. The baby has consumed my world, and while that sounds like a complaint, it’s not.
Among all the things I love — the first day of summer vacation, “Game of Thrones,” 10 for $10 sales at Safeway, shoving the elderly aside on Black Friday to get that last external hard drive at 50 percent off — being a father is at least third down on that list. There is no joy like it. Every day, the baby does something amazing. He laughed for the first time, a sound so pure, so beautiful, that if I hadn’t gotten Lasik surgery in Vietnam, I probably would have teared up.
For more than four years and 100 posts, I’ve touched on all sorts of stuff: Tea Party Republicans, digital toilets, the existential significance of fall, time travel, discrimination against competent people, interracial relationships, wedding planning, buying a house, why plastic containers are sexy, dead badgers, eating placentas, why Asian parents should stop naming their kids “Kenny” — all sorts of stuff.
It’s been fun writing for the International Examiner. It has forced me to be more disciplined and encouraged me to be more observant of the world around me, a really cool and interesting world. Through the column, I met all sorts of great people and learned all manner of useful things.
But having a baby is all-consuming. He is so fascinating that it is all I can think about. Combine that with my getting four to six hours of broken sleep each night, and my usual sarcastic wit goes out the window. I just don’t have the energy to write a regular column that I can be proud of, so I’ll take a bow and provide room for someone else who can do a much better job, hopefully a whippersnapper who will continue my legacy of making fun of Tea Party Republicans and hipsters, or worse, Tea Party hipsters.
As for me, I’ll continue writing sporadically — maybe even work on a book.
But I realized, now that I have a kid, that time flies much faster than any of us expect. I want to spend as much time with my little baby as I can. I want to do all the things that I wrote about in Jagged Noodles when I imagined my life as a father: Hang out with my son, Huy Jr., on the porch, watching as the sunset paints the skies into bands of crimson and amber; telling him the story of the Magic Duck, which I wrote just for him and referring to myself in the third person while passing down paternal wisdom like: “Son, when your father was younger … (blah blah) … skinny jeans … (blah blah) … to look cool … (blah blah) … cuts off circulation.” Stuff like that.
I want to thank my bosses, the editors-in-chief at IE: Nhien, then Diem, and now Christina. These are awesome women whom I respect and fear in equal measures. Thank you for giving me a dedicated space to ramble on about stuff. You probably saved my mental health, while simultaneously ensuring that I will never be a viable candidate for political office.
Thank you also to all the readers of IE who read “Jagged Noodles.” You made it worth spending the commercial breaks of “Law & Order: SVU” writing these columns.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll probably occasionally still write stuff on the jaggednoodles.com blog. Otherwise, I hope to run into you at Best Buy at the next Black Friday.
Read more Jagged Noodles at: www.jaggednoodles.com.