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I’ll be back with memories later; I’m in Colorady makin’ some.

Not having a real understanding or attention span back in the day for what MDA was, I sincerely thought for many years that Jerry Lewis was special needs in a nondescript way, and was functional enough to host a telethon every year, which was why it was so heart-wrenching and popular.

Because half the fun of the little dingleberry is finding things like closet lilypads.

And someday I will have forgotten she ever did this.

Lando ate Jack’s homework last week, and I actually had to email Jack’s teacher and tell her that.

Epic win or epic fail, I’m not sure yet. But she appreciated the humor of it, so that’s good.

Betty Hogg was my first car, bought the summer between freshman and sophomore year. It was a 1980ish Honda Accord hatchback, not unlike this one:

Except mine had a Yakima ski rack on top, because I bought it for four shiny quarters from my uncle in Colorado. She was named Betty as a reference to the Flintstones movie, and Hogg came when the muffler fell off one night, which consequently made her the LOUDEST EMEFFING CAR IN TOWN. That is a true statement. People everywhere liked to comment on knowing where I had been on any given day because they could hear me. I got to where I quite honestly wouldn’t drive on campus.

Before its eventual sale to the recently-divorced guy who showed up in a taxi and gave me $150 cash for it, the following things happened to Betty Hogg in a time span of one semester:

– the windshield wipers quit working

– the heater quit working

– the emergency brake went out

– the governor switch went out

– which I think might have been tied into why the fourth cylinder blew

– which was when I couldn’t put it into 4th or 5th gear anymore,

– which was fine because then my speedometer went out anyway

But I still think of the car fondly. Whether because it was my first – and by far most memorable car, or because I felt love from friends who would come help me change the oil or alternator, or because Meg and I spent many hours driving around talking and listening to music in it.

That car was near 300k miles when it sold, and if that’s not the most succinct review you can give a car considering what I put it through, nothing is.

Hondas rock.

I have been all over the board when it comes to attending different denominations within the Judeo-Christian church. In high school I quasi-attended a local church that I’m pretty sure leaned on the charismatic side of evangelical, (though I don’t know that with certainty). And though it was not entirely uncommon for people leading prayers to start ‘speaking in tongues’, it wasn’t enough to scare me away from the church entirely – mostly because though I was a little skeptical of the idea that it was something everyone could do on command, it hadn’t been forced upon me personally, so I respected the fact that I simply couldn’t know if it was real or not for those who did it. Whatever.

So one evening, I went with our youth group to a larger church in the area to attend a youth conference. I’ve been to my fair share of youth conferences, and I get the pump-up idea of worship bands and clapping and testimonies from those who had been into DRUGS and OTHER DANGEROUS THINGS and that’s fine, I get it. But at this particular conference after the inspiring testimony, they told us to stand up and move our chairs and line up against the wall.

And then as one person stood on stage yelling (forgive me) gibberish into the microphone, other people started going down the line of kids, one by one.  These people would put their hands on your forehead, and with eyes closed, pray to impart the holy spirit into you, with the obvious goal being you started speaking in tongues to prove that God is real and He was there.

That was the very first time I was forced to admit that this HAD to be bullshit. That I disagreed with everything that was happening.

Not because I don’t believe in prayer, or because I think something like that couldn’t happen – I’m not sure it could, but I’ll resort to my above theory that I don’t know concretely it couldn’t happen either  – but because it was so embarrassingly obvious that there with enormous pressure to comply. I mean come on,  every kid down the line MIRACULOUSLY started speaking in tongues? No way. It was just anxious and pressured bullshit. If the holy spirit had actually invaded the room, I wouldn’t have been the first of.. thirty? to break the chain, leave the auditorium and go home, would I? No. Because we would have all been filled with the holy spirit.

People not yet touched were already dancing and mumbling, and I was standing there in shock with every fiber of my being telling me to run.


I liked that church well enough and liked the people in it; they seemed like genuinely nice people without much personal agenda. And in retrospect I still don’t think they were anything but incredibly indoctrinated. But that conference put a very large rip into the delusional wrap of ‘faith’ that I tried to use as excuse for my questioning, and it definitely was the beginning of the end of organized religion for me.

Hiya my sweet Lo-Lo,

You were born 1825 days ago – more or less some leap year math.

I never knew before you that I could spend every waking moment with someone.

And never need a break.

But, you baby girl, stole my heart immediately.

And I have happily followed you around since then.

Because who wouldn’t? You are one of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever met.

You are so wickedly clever.

And so joyful in life.

You inspire me. Quite honestly.

So happy birthday, my sweet, beautiful monkey girl.

I love you more than I could ever fully explain.



Your Mama

I read books everywhere as a kid, not excluding the shower sometimes, where I would prop it up on that shampoo holder thingy.


The Baby-sitters Club was the real deal, people.

I was fifteen when my sister was born. And though I lived with her for three years before leaving for college, I don’t really have a lot of strong memories concerning that time period. One that does stand out, though, was when she was just over a year, and I had the idea to take her to get pictures taken of both of us for my parents for Christmas. I had the whole thing planned out, but it necessitated having a reason to take Lizzie somewhere in the car without my mom, something I’d simply never needed to do before. And what stands out incredibly clearly to me is that when I was preparing to leave, Mom started crying while sitting at the table. When I asked her what was wrong, she just said she wanted me to be careful, because by taking my sister with me, I was essentially leaving her helpless to protect not just one, but both of her babies.

I don’t think I ended up doing it. I don’t remember.

The point is that now, as a mother, I can’t believe she would have taken that leap of faith to entrust me with her baby. I was a reasonably smart and average teenager, but I was by no stretch a great driver, and she obviously knew that. Yet she attempted in that moment to bridge the surely difficult road of parenting her generationally-gapped daughters, and made it clear to me that though she was scared, she trusted me. It was huge and though I’m sure that’s why I ended up choosing something else to do, I know I couldn’t have fully understood that sacrifice until only recently.

Much appreciated retrospectively, Mamasan.

Far, far less interesting to tell, I’m sorry to say. Just that it was a beautiful outdoor wedding on a CO mountain top, and the second the officiant began to speak, my mother and I started giggling like crazy people, because he sounded like this, no lie:

The end.

There are not many things cuter than this on earth, so don’t bother arguing..

Holy batman this child is my heart.

Went to Chicago a few years ago to see this concert, and this particular song then, was transcendent.

Something on my drive home just made me think of the time when Ryan and Wayne and a couple other rotating guys lived in a big house on Bertrand street. One year, to decorate for the holidays, they plugged in some outdoor Christmas lights and dropped them in a tangled heap onto the bush out front. Then they left them plugged in for an entire year.

It still makes me laugh.

In my last year of college a good friend went with a group of people to the spillway attached to the reservoir outside of town, and ended up drowning after saving one of the girls that had waded in too deep and had gotten caught by the undertow. A few months later Ryan’s best childhood friend (and very close friend of mine as well), Wayne, and I, attended a wedding for a friend in the group. After the reception, more than a little drunk, we drove out to the spillway to see where Ryan had died. I remember being furious. Inexorably furious, that you could actually hear the water rushing from the reservoir, and that somehow my friends had been dumb enough to come here and attempt to get in the water, even jokingly. There was no mistaking that despite the calm surface, the water was roaring off the dam just around the corner. I remember that it was an icy cold December night, but surprisingly not very windy, which is odd for Manhattan, and that at some point after silently sitting on some rocks for a while, I just stood up and started hurling things into the water. I stood there and threw as hard as I could anything my hands snatched off the ground, and then I lugged big heavy boulders, discus style, into the water with big splashes. I don’t know how long I did it, or that I did anything much more than scream and throw rocks. But whatever I did was enough to make my right arm almost useless for many days afterward, and that this soreness was oddly comforting to me. It seemed defiant, this attempt to fill up the particular bend of the river, and was was by far the most cathartic and freeing thing I did during the grieving process. I needed to do something with that much powerless grief, so I filled up the river like a big fuck you. Because what I really wanted to do was yell at Ryan for being so stupid, but I couldn’t.



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