Knowing When to Walk Away

•January 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment


Three months into my third decade, the plague of neurotic guilt is subsiding. The tumult of the twenties — its flapper morals, knotted feather-pearls and ankle-strap relationships — has given way to an engaging and demanding career. Any creativity previously used to rationalize terrible ideas is daily funneled into the intersection of idealism and clarity. Simply, there is little left in the waning hours, and any attempt at coherence could be mistaken for a fourth-grader’s diary entry.

Sharing is caring, thus oversharing is the absence of care. So, I leave you with this, something to cringe at in a decade, just as I cringe at phrases I tested out in the early 1990s. Fuck with words once, fuck with words forever.


workingmanbeerbelches mark each hour
yet dedicated riders don’t budge for holidays or elderly women
pissweat and mold-eaten sock incense curls up thousands of noses
rewarded only when the steel earthworm comes up for air
to see glittering remnants of offseason lakeshore fireworks burning through the fog

Delayed Response

•December 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment


Ideas, vague ones, surfaced at intervals, mostly in transit as I stared at the tripartite floorboards slip past each other like seismic faults. Each of these thoughts were tinged with anger and despair, imperceptible at first.

Twenty children, first-graders; they spend play time at the window pretending to be their destiny, don smocks before submerging their hands in tempura paint, anticipate numerous visits from the Tooth Fairy. Six educators who, full well knowing how little they’d be compensated for sweetly encouraging those young minds to learn numbers and letters, chose to greet the munchkins anyway.

Legally purchased weapons grabbed by the hands of people who understand their terrible power, but do not respect the world enough to care. Thoughtless and inflammatory statements tossed about by a public that increasingly allows the Internet to filter their words instead of taking the time to do so themselves. CNN turned to Dr. Drew to be a voice of reason. End-of-the-world fears turned over on themselves like batter in a stand-mixer. Each a thousand-word rant in waiting. For none have I the breath.

Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam 
When troubled by negative thoughts, cultivate the opposite.

Disengage from your smartphone in public. Look one additional person in the eye on each city block. Do not let the cynical thought be the only thought. Smile at a stranger. Open a door.

We, as a collective nation, have had a rough go of it lately and that’s likely to linger. But it doesn’t have to be that way.


•December 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

That instead of simply saying that this photo is exactly what I think I’m looking for in a significant other, a full-blown post will materialize in its place.

Looks like I’m S.O.L.

Talking to My Team, Vol. 2

•October 1, 2012 • 1 Comment

Hey now, Swarthy. It’s your birthday month.
Let’s go; let’s get a hit.

An Incomplete List of Things I Don’t Understand

•August 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Gender pay gap

Nicki Minaj (+ Nikki Sixx = Nicki minaj a sixx)

Academic writing

String Theory

Leather seating (vehicles/living room)


Anecdotal ledes

Hatin’ on flip-flops

Adult acne

The Astros’ owners

Light beer


Collective fascination with movies

Chicago’s dudes


Continued affluence in a time of world economic crisis

Multiple credit cards

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

New York City


Rampant use of headphones

Love of money

Pink sportswear

Watching YouTube as a means of entertainment while hanging out with friends

Blind love of country


Willingly living in the suburbs when there are other options

Car alarms




Talking to My Team, Vol. 1

•July 16, 2012 • 1 Comment

Skip, you wear your socks the right way.


Creating Roadblocks

•July 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Human exoskeletons exist. In my case, it’s in the form of a hard-shell chocolate ice cream topping. It looks impenetrable before the pressure of the spoon produces thin fissures through which ooze buried regrets and disappointments.

Sleeping is easy. It’s when you close your eyes and pretend that 13 kids weren’t killed by jealous parents. It’s when you try not to think about how the nation’s breadbox won’t be covered in crops to supplement the American corn-sweetened diet because there’s no got-damn rain on the horizon until 2014. It’s when you end up on the far side of an empty bed, leaving space for a missing person because you failed at practicing what you studied: patience, kindness, respect and small-ball.

Satiation, though, is fickle. All you can ask for your life is to be truly free to be you in front of me — discussing your latest fantasy move because Viciedo was a steal, your latest frustration with the nation’s apparent inability to property insert commas, a shared shock at the world’s latest masterpiece horror. That, a proper pint and a passion for your profession.

But, no, I want for everything. Is this greed? Avarice? No need to speak of Christian morality here, maybe it’s shitbag syndrome? Another face among the voiceless SNOOT masses who drink alone in a crowded bar with their noses so far up in the air that an O’Hare jet clips the tip on its descent.

Confession is no guilty pleasure, it is merely GUILT, deep and abiding and heartbreaking guilt. My basic human needs are met, I have no reason to complain or wallow. But the driven ones never accept satisfaction when it borrows a pair of Umbros because its jeans needed to be dried after a 10-minute bike ride to your house in a monsoon because it didn’t want to be late. No, the driven ones fuck it up repeatedly, so that there are infinite hurdles to clear.


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