Missour-really?

When I think of Missouri, I think of racist lunatics, murderous thugs, inbred meanies, and high-pitched voices. I can’t explain why. It’s just a feeling. I was surprised, then, to take three pictures in the state of Missouri that were very nice. Here they are. Sunrise over the St. Louis Amtrak/Greyhound station, taken through stained…

Where is the Man in the Gabardine Suit?

The sunset in Pittsburgh last night was beautiful, lighting up the old steel city and making the fact that someone was clipping their nails in the bus a little more tolerable. Indeed, the latter part of the day, from Pennsylvania into Ohio, was a casual cruise, almost pleasant. Between Can’t Remember and Columbus, I sat…

Yelp Me! I’m on a Bus!

As everyone knows, Yelp and other review sites spew lies created by irate individuals after a miserable experience probably due, in part, to their incomprehension of rules or refusal to listen to instructions. However, on Tuesday night, I had utterly convinced myself that I’d be murdered before Topeka, and covered in semen shortly thereafter. To…

Country Roads, Take Me…Far

“Just so you know, sir, these are Beiber nuts. From the Beiber animal. I just want you to know in case you have an allergy or something.” The Muffin Man, who didn’t seem to speak English, nodded slightly, and squinted. I, who do speak English but still didn’t understand, also nodded and squinted. “That’ll be…

Marathon Musings: Staten Island State of Mind

A lot of people say that running the New York City Marathon was the best experience of their life. I hope this is true, because it would be really awesome to wake up tomorrow and have the best thing that has ever happened to me happen to me. However, I doubt that this will be…

The Final Countdown: Marathon Special

Ladies and Gentlemen, the countdown has begun! The TCS New York City Marathon, a.k.a. the reason I have forsaken all friends and fun for a large part of the summer and now fall, is officially one month from today. I ran a 20-mile run last week, which means that I’ll probably finish the race. It’s…

I Need Your Yelp Like I Need A Hole In The Head

Last week, my coworkers were discussing a recent review that had been posted on Yelp. They had been navigating the site for a while, and still couldn’t find the offending entry. “Ask Lily,” said one, “she’s pretty much the mayor of Yelp.” I admit it: My obsession with reading the online reviews of my place…

It’s Not A Sprint: Part Two

But fine. You’ve accepted the facts, you know it’s going to be hard, you’ve run your 5ks and 10ks, and maybe even a half or two. You take a break from training, smoke a few cigarettes, stay out later than you should, and then there you are: 20 weeks away from the ultimate adult extracurricular activity, The…

It’s Not A Sprint: Part One

I mentioned in my post about attending graduation that the older we get, the fewer Big Life Events we have to look forward to. As we run out of milestones, or at least drift farther away from them, we need to establish new goals to punctuate our directionless floating in the morass known as life. Enter…

A Day Off

Days off in the summer are tricky, especially when you work in a restaurant. I can swear on all your holy spirits and blood relatives that I’ll never be given a weekend off, and that my workless Wednesdays will either be rain-soaked and dismal, or coincide with the one afternoon I have to wait for the cable guy to show up (“between…

On Graduating

When I first thought about attending the commencement ceremony, my instinct was: “Why the fuck would I do that?” When I asked my friends, the general consensus was: “I mean, it’s not like it’s Columbia…it’s an MFA from CCNY. Like, WTF.” It’s common knowledge that getting an MFA at City College is as hard as hailing a gypsy…

If Olives Were Real: On Growing Up Dreamless

When I was younger, I had an unnatural interest in pimento-stuffed olives, the plump green ones stuffed with pickled red peppers generally used as a garnish for martinis or tacky antipasto plates on which cubes of cheddar cheese and Genoa salami are nestled in clumps of shredded iceberg lettuce and have American flag-wrapped toothpicks flying high. I could conjure up a reason…