My Glorious Lacrosse Career

The year I played lacrosse at Manual High School in Denver, the team posed for its yearbook picture holding beakers and wearing safety goggles. I’m not sure whose idea that was, or what connection existed between chemistry and an ancient Native American sport. Recently, when I came across that image in my Thunderbolts yearbook, my … Continue reading My Glorious Lacrosse Career

What Masculinity Looked Like

Masculinity is a freighted word. I can’t conjure those five syllables without calling to mind certain classic images of maleness. It’s like there’s a memory chip in my brain that serves up the same old picture, even when I change the search terms. The same phenomenon is true, I think, for all kinds of deep-seated … Continue reading What Masculinity Looked Like

Living Life in the Low Beams

The final chapter of my book Midpoint: Manhood, Midlife, and Prostate Cancer, ends with my nervously checking the results of my first post-surgery PSA test. The news that day was good—none of the antigen was detectable in my blood, which indicated that, for then at least, the cancer was beat back. Since then, I've lived … Continue reading Living Life in the Low Beams

“Captain Obvious” Advice for Your Prostate Health

Every now and then I see my wife, a professor of 19th-century British literature, reading a new lit-crit article with a title like "String Theory in Browning's 'Fra Lippo Lippi.'" That's when I remark that everything worth saying about literature was written before 1950. I realize, of course, that's snarky nonsense. Sometimes, though, it seems … Continue reading “Captain Obvious” Advice for Your Prostate Health

It’s Not You—It’s That Hip Injury

You may have noticed I've been a little distant lately. It's not for lack of caring, I promise. It's odd. We've both stayed put but we don't connect like we used to. Sometimes I see you from a distance and it reminds me how long it's been since we spent time together. I get this … Continue reading It’s Not You—It’s That Hip Injury

The Terrifying Truth About Social Media

I need to get my shit together. It’s not quite an existential concern, but it is a problem of identity, and that wigs me out. No doubt there are support groups for this sort of thing. They probably meet in church basements and sit in circles, talking at each other with wild eyes and trembling … Continue reading The Terrifying Truth About Social Media

The Over-Examined Life

I must have been about 14 when my father sent me to meet with our minister for some "counseling." By that point, I had already gone through a couple of phases in my spiritual development. When I was 10, I had a inexplicable surge of religious devotion; but when puberty gripped me, I moved away … Continue reading The Over-Examined Life

A Better View of the Abyss

Note: From time to time, I hope to include posts from guest writers whose preoccupations align with All of That. The following piece is by my wife, Barbara Black, who teaches nineteenth-century British literature at Skidmore College.  Pascal famously claimed that we live by situating something between us and the abyss so that we can … Continue reading A Better View of the Abyss

Middle Age by Any Other Name

Maybe it’s just me whining about my late fifties, but I think we need a better name for this stage of life. “Middle-aged” doesn’t cut it. Calling myself "middle-aged" feels vaguely mendacious. It’s like referring to yourself as a “seasoned veteran” on LinkedIn to skirt the fact that you graduated from college 15 years before … Continue reading Middle Age by Any Other Name

Kickin’ It With the Class of ‘98

A few years ago, I went back to my college for a class reunion. I met up with some friends at our hotel, did a couple of tequila shots at the hotel bar, and headed to the cocktail mixer for the class of 1983. All the alumni mixers were held in separate rooms at a … Continue reading Kickin’ It With the Class of ‘98