Pushing Thirty

and shedding pretentions

Six word Memoir?

It’s a new fad.  It’s a new book, even.  Can you sum up your life in just six words?  Here’s mine:

“Interstates bruised my youth and pride.”

Tell me yours.


August 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Strong Silent Type

All I can say is that, as a writer, and as an introvert, I desperately wish that I had written this piece.  Enjoy.

Caring for your Introvert
by Jonathan Rauch

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

If so, do you tell this person he is “too serious,” or ask if he is okay? Regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren’t caring for him properly. Continue reading

August 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

A Scarry Neighborhood

I like to read travel essays. So much so that a certain yearly anthology of great travel essays finds its way into my Christmas stocking each year as a perennially delightful gift (thanks mom, dad, sybs, and wifey-poo). My absolute favorite essay to date– having perused three or four anthologies, and a few subscriptions to “those kinds” of magazines– is an essay by Dave Eggers called Hitchhiking Through Cuba. The climax of the essay comes when he gives a provincial character (a dental assistant, if memory serves) a ride because she had lent out her bicycle. Not long after, he sees her again, now waving and riding her recovered bicycle. Eggers comments on this portrait of affable happenstance: Cuba has become a giant Richard Scarry Neighborhood. Continue reading

August 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Time Ever

I just had a peculiar “first time ever” today.  I went to brush my teeth  this morning and, because of a particularly greasy breakfast, was brushing more vigorously than usual.  At one point mid-scour, the bristles of my toothbrush flicked off my molars with such gusto that they released a fine, minty-fresh Mist into the atmosphere around my head.

And then, yes, I got toothpaste in my eye.  First time ever.

It burns a little less than shampoo and a little more than shave gel.  (Don’t ask about the shave gel; no, my beard does not go as high as my bottom eye lid.)

August 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Style Semicolon Commas

Well, I’ve got a secret project I’m working on.  Secret means I can’t say what it is, but I’m back in Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.

I mean, what a phenomenal book.  It’s so thin, and yet covers so much and with such clear examples. Continue reading

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments