Thursday, September 30, 2010


I understand, handwriting is an "art," and piles upon piles of notebooks filled with writing is not only cool: it's psychotic. And psychosis is cool to the power of a Bukowski novel, and dissing it is definitely not cool. So call me uncool, but give me a sans-serif typeface over my own handwriting any day.

In the past six months, I've demonstrated acceptable handwriting maybe twice. One of those times was a to-do list that I've been featuring on my monitor for three weeks. All the letters on the list turned out uniform, sheep-like, and at my mercy. Not at all common. I usually get at least one to two rogue letters per sentence who feel entitled to make themselves a couple times larger than their brothers. Reproducing the neatness of the to-do list has actually become more stressful than the list ever was in the first place, but I can't throw it out because it's too pretty, and I can't live with the inferiority complex "change oil in car" plagues me with on a daily basis.

So I just want the world to know that while I respect the Moleskin, I use an iPhone app for my to-do lists now. And I hope we can all just accept one another for it.

*I also reserve the right to keep any small, Hemingway-endorsed notepads with me at any time to make my purse the hip-sexy storage I want it to seem.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"It was cool, but I don't wanna do it again"

I've kept this for over six years after seeing it in the Jacksonville Journal Courier back home, right in the middle of a great tornado season. And the story still gives me goosebumps.
Text: Bob Mulquin sips a beer while looking at his tornado-damaged shed recently in rural Franklin. Mr. Mulquin was hanging out in the shed with his cat, Tank, March 12 when the tornado hit. When one of the windows blew out, "Me and him (Tank) decided we were in trouble." He said he was picked up and thrown over the lawn mower, then thrown back across the room.

He grabbed onto a bench, but the shed had moved off its foundation and was pushing the bench. Then, "I got whacked with an aerosol can. Don't ever leave aerosol cans in front of a window. They were humming. I never knew an aerosol can could hit you that hard." Mr. Mulquin was knocked out and woke up with Tank tucked under his arm and his wife yelling out the door to see if he was OK.

"I woke up and smoked a cigarette," he said. One of the shed's walls had buckled, and the door rested on his truck's bumper. An adjacent silo was blown away. Mr. Mulquin was worried that he was going to lose his beloved shed—which is at least 67 years old—when he moved the truck, but it survived. "It was cool," he said, "but I don't wanna do it again."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Zo

I'll always appreciate my niece Zoe for the way she single-handedly has eradicated most memories of me as a child by carrying just enough of a resemblance to my photos to pass off as my own.

-Who's that loud-looking child with the patchy hair?
-I don't know, some orphan with a rash. Hey, here's a cute picture of me with flowers in my hair!

But I'll always love Zoe for crawling into my heart like a little tick refusing to leave. And I accept. She'll out-eat any adult at the dessert table, she's always brushing the hair out of her eyes, the only thing I see her do more than laugh is lie, and she calls all her stuffed animals by the same name. Except for the one that was named Kari on the tag. That one she calls Maggie.

Zoe's been working her way up the rankings as my favorite niece/nephew (we really need a gender-neutral term for this unit already) for the last five years. But five years to the day and she's done it. Happy birthday, Zoe. On the seventh. Sorry. Tuesdays and Thursdays are very easy to confuse.