First D.C. Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, DC was serene. Congress was on holiday; no C-SPAN to be seen.No stockings this year, and no tree to be had:Such things are too pricey for a recent post-grad.And I in my sweatpants, with hot mug of teaHad just settled down for The Grinch on TV.When out on the street there arose such a clatterThat I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.My mug hit the floor, and I slipped in the mess(Mr. Moore missed that detail in his poem, I guess)....more

Thanksgiving: Age 12

Thanksgiving is always at our house.Thanksgiving is watching Home Alone in the basement with the cousins, even though it’s technically a Christmas movie.Thanksgiving is Grandpa speaking German to the dog as he makes the gravy and she salivates from her rug. I haven’t yet taken my year of University German, but I’m old enough to notice a word that sounds like “shy-zah” is frequently repeated....more

What Books Say

Late at night, when I’m the last human awake, and even Ruby is shut down save one ear ...more

The Swamp Renegade Strikes Again

I let Ruby outside a few minutes ago because she was exhibiting all the signs of having to take care of business:following me aroundwhiningbeing generally obnoxious...more

Back to the Future

Last night I played the party game that involves writing famous people’s names on slips of paper and then trading papers with someone else. You then stick your piece of paper to your forehead (with a sizable gob of spit, or with tape if your own saliva is unappealing) and spend the next hour asking the rest of the group yes/no questions in order to guess which famous person you are.Last night, the paper on my forehead said I was Dr. Emmett Brown....more

About Clarence Darrow

I am thinking, tonight, about high school speech. About the miracle that was high school speech. About Clarence Darrow, whose courtroom defense of Leopold and Loeb I chose to deliver for my sophomore year speech. Imagine a sixteen-year-old, only half understanding the magnitude of it all, standing in the middle of a dingy classroom in Duluth or Roseville or Princeton, Minnesota, reciting Clarence Darrow's 1925 words:...more

Bury Me in Whole Foods

When I die, bury me in Whole Foods,that I might look upon the glistening bundles of organic parsley(gluten free)the tidy bars of paper-encased soaps(dairy free)the hooded samples of all-corn tortilla chips(dye free)the blue-capped nut butters(paraben free)the ribbed pats of salmon resting on their skins(fat free)the lines of parked Subarus(oil free)the college hipsters, arms full of Annie's, cracking sugar free and drinking Kombucha at checkout.(nut free)....more
Denise We don't have a Fresh Market nearby, sadly.  Or maybe that's a good thing; no temptation ...more