Citizen Lily, or I Drank the Kool-Aid

Before I depart into the mountain wilderness, I want to briefly make a confession: I fell for a marketing ploy.  Faced with a 22-hour layover in Paris, and burdened with a 30 pounds of luggage and a decidedly unParisienne wardrobe, I decided to forgo a jaunt in the City of Lights for the comfort of…

30 Years Hath…Well, Let’s See

Certain birthdays have significance. 10, for example: Double Digits! Any elementary schooler knows that the difference between a schoolyard Sally and the Queen of the Concrete is that oh-so-essential bump into the next tens spot. But all being 10 really means you’re that much closer to being 13. Bar and bat mitzvahs! Boobs! Pimples! Periods…

Dorothy was Stupid

Kansas. Really? We’ve spent the last seven hours driving on the same flat godforsaken highway, by far the most boring stretch of land in the entire world. No hills, no trees, eight houses total. Just wind turbines, dry grass, and the occasional cow. Seriously, though – what the fuck do people do here? I don’t…

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…

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…

A Few Rules in a Rule-Less Realm

Don’t be a douche: Hold the damn door, get up for people on the subway, if you bump into someone, apologize, tip well, and for the love of god, if someone talks to you, answer them, even if you hate them, because nothing is more infuriating or depressing that not being acknowledged. That said, if…

Cawfee Talk

At the end of December, the NYT website posted a test about dialect. By answering 25 questions based on how you pronounce or refer to certain words, the test analyzes your “personal dialect map”; in other words, show you where on the map of the US your linguistic tendencies tend to situate you. After spending…

AWP Special #4: Breakdown of the Blitz

AWP, or Amazing Writerly Playtime, is pretty much the most awesome thing I’ve done all year. This may not seem like much of a statement, considering 2014 has been two months of penniless frigidity, both financially and phallically speaking, but I do mean it! Even though New York is the center of the publishing world,  it’s…

AWP Special #3: I’ve Paneled Myself Blind

Well! Barely did we have the chance to wipe the belligerence of a six hour flight off our face before being thrust into AWP land, located this year in downtown Seattle. AWP does not, as I thought, stand for American Writers and Poets, as I told everyone at work, but Association of Writers and Writing Programs….

AWP Special #1: Penn Station

At twenty-seven, I have very few firsts left. My first sexual experiences, first drinks, first jobs, first trips, first loves, and first losses all happened so long ago that I barely remember them as mine; rather, they seem like dreams, or half-remembered movies, that happened to a character for whom I care dearly, but who…

This Blog Post Will Change Your Life

Cliff’s Notes for “A Wednesday Evening Blog Post by Me”: I’ve written a blog. The first paragraph will have you doubting your own writing skills and ability to take the tools provided by the English language and craft heavenly prose. The third sentence in the second paragraph will have you donating the majority of the insulation…