That's Brian my brother, younger by five years, and his cat Lan Lan. He's more boldly addressed the male pattern baldness that runs in our family, while I still cling to the notion that I could have bangs if I wanted them.
But beyond his considered hairstyle choices, he's emerging as quite the academic rockstar. This is hardly surprising. Even as young child he was incredibly inquisitive, verbally deft, and a skilled storyteller. He created an entire fantasy world built around a stuffed rabbit (crocheted, not a real one) when he was, what? Eight years old? He was passionately into Native American (back then we said "Indian") culture and dress and I suspect he was annoyed when his older brother jumped that train. And he was a champion debater, competing at the high school and college level and spending long nights doing research on esoteric topics so he could slay the competition with a tightly packed argument on either side of whatever issue it was that was "Resolved:". He credits his current trajectory and success to that debate experience.
We both followed in Dad's footsteps and earned PhDs, but I lost interest in my field and career path somewhere along the way. But Brian was the real deal. He married his soulmate Natalie, landed a great gig at the University of Kansas published his first book, earned an NEH Fellowship and is on the tenure track.
That track got some grease in the past two weeks when he was named co-editor of The Sociological Quarterly, a leading journal in his field. Just this week he was told he'd be receiving the Silver Anniversary/Chancellor's University Distinguished Teaching Award. No doubt, Brian's got the mojo on.
I love my bro and am so happy to see him making things the he cares about happen and be happy. Makes a brother very very proud.