All of these events occurred in my head. Some of them occurred in real life as well.

Monday, December 24, 2012

meh.ry christmas

Season’s greetings, Friends, Family, Loved Ones, and Others (you know who you are...)

I found the writing of this Christmas card to be egotistic to the highest degree and, as such, I delighted in the idea. However, I still desire to mitigate the adverse reaction you may have towards reading a recital of the adventures of my twenty-four-year-old self in Two Thousand and Twelve. I have, accordingly, elected to provide for you an account of my past calendar year that is as close to entirely false as possible in the hopes that it shall be a more authentic reflection of my life than a careful selection of only the most self aggrandizing true events. I feel that I must reiterate, I will attempt to be as dishonest as possible hoping that the humor provided will be a more accurate representation of my personality than any catalogue of events could ever be. With that established, let us commence this whimsical chicanery posthaste!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

tucson: on hanes, hot tubs, and the desert darkness

It wasn’t until I began scaling a stone wall behind a stranger’s hotel room in the desert darkness of the Arizona night that I became confident that the Tucson Conference’s hot tub party was, at best, a myth and, more likely, some elderly academic’s idea of a hilarious snipe hunt. My severely under-dressed body was frozen stiff and my feet had been worn raw and I made myself swear that any future backcountry swimsuit trekking would involve a less hilarious swimsuit that protected enough of my delicate and precious inner thighs to defend against an assault from the Arizona desert scrub and chaparral. Nonetheless, Mike and I gritted our teeth and clutched our beers tighter and pressed onward while all hope seemed lost and our bubbling beacon of chlorinated comfort shone dimmest.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

puerto rico: on quesadillas, conquest, and culture

If you find yourself in Old San Juan and you follow the right cobblestone street, down the proper narrow alleyways, past the correct two-story, Spanish-style, a-touch-too-bright-but-not-quite-gaudy orange apartment building you will see a park. It is unassuming in the purest sense. Literally, it assumes nothing. It can’t because assumptions are a luxury only afforded to sentient beings and this park is simply a diminutive but well apportioned arrangement of trees and benches with a gazebo and some ivy thrown in for good measure.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

miami: on airboats, facial hair, and assorted miamigans

There was a man and there was a airboat and there was one can of Budweiser and there were two cigarettes and there was a cadre of alligators and there were twelve inches of dead, fraying, sun-bleached hair formed into an absurd ponytail and secured in place by no fewer than a half dozen rubber bands. The man was on the airboat and one cigarette was in his mouth and the other was waiting in his left hand and the can of Budweiser was in his right hand and the absurd ponytail was clinging desperately to his head and the cadre of alligators was lurking in the water next to the boat and there could be no doubt that I was in the Florida Everglades. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

topeka: on being a kid

The vast majority of questions about being the child of a politician can be answered with a simple statement: We are proud of our father and confident in his character.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

puerto rico: on car seats, tropical heat, and personal space

The light had fled and it was pitch black and the cool steel of the jack handle was a relief to my sweaty palms. I was cramped and it was humid and I decided that the trunk of our rented Toyota Camry wasn’t that different than anywhere else in Old San Juan. It certainly wasn’t a bad thing. There are times when crowded is comforting and humid is pleasant and it just so happened that this would turn out to be one of those times.

Then suddenly, and with neither welcome nor warning the light burst forth as quickly as it had fled and my mother stood there laughing, “You are NOT riding in the trunk!”

Friday, September 28, 2012

fake dating profile friday: hariet

Inspired by the Friday dating service at Kelly’s Korner Blog.

Meet my friend Hariet:

Hariet isn’t tall but she does have broad shoulders and she may live in Omaha now and not in Texas anymore but she will always live in Texas in her heart. She wears overalls in the manner that was popular in the Nineties with one strap on and one strap off with a white, crew-neck, Hanes brand pocket T-shirt underneath, just the way her mother taught her. She has long, blonde hair but she takes great pains that it never gets in her way and so she always fixes it tightly into a school teacher bun with two sharpened, yellow, number two, Ticonderoga graphite pencils holding it resolutely in its place. She broke her glasses long ago and has never found time to buy a new pair but she is hopelessly blind without them and so her haphazardly repaired, frameless, metal spectacles are as constant a companion to her as her seven-year-old Invisalign retainer that she wears religiously.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

washington dc: on carousels, top hats, and america’s capital

It was late into the evening on a cool, damp night in early autumn and the headlights of my sister’s car had provided a thin, periscopic view through which I was able to investigate the current state of our nation’s capital. Much to the chagrin of the oncoming traffic, she had passively elected to maintain the sinister luxury of her high beams but even with my augmented field of view my perspective was limited and constantly shifting with about as much dynamism as a two thousand and eight Toyota Prius can manage. The leaves had not yet begun to change colors but the specter of that beautiful metamorphosis lay heavy in the wet air.

Friday, September 21, 2012

yosemite: on elephant trainers, half dome, and mountain conquest


The man merely grunted but the accent was clear and thick. It was not particularly distinguishable but it was thick. New Jersey, maybe. Regardless of its origin, the accent had transformed America’s favorite expletive from its proper, Germanic pronunciation into something new, something larger, a grandiose expression of blue-collar discontent with a hint of self-aware mischief. This f—k, this f—k was different. Take your standard f—k and replace the “uh” of the U with an everyman’s “ooh” and you just might get it. My God it was endearing. It was the f—k that your small-town, brown-bag, alcoholic uncle would sigh the morning he woke up hungover with a flat tire on his truck. Soften the F, dwell on the vowels, tie things up with a crash, kiss your fingers like a French chef and acknowledge the masterpiece you have fathered.