Stay on target.

Doesn’t “irrespective” sounds like a word that that shouldn't be a word, like “irregardless”? I know it’s a proper word, but it feels wrong and uncomfortable to say, like “moist.” So I’m going to avoid it.

The day I moved from Chicago to San Francisco, it was rainy. Really rainy. But not like "this flight will be delayed one hour or maybe even indefinitley because this is O'Hare, after all" rainy. More like "my shoes are inconveniently damp and possibly the heel of my sock, too" rainy. And it was 45 degrees. 45 degrees and rainy. So really, it was more like "this might turn to sleet" rainy and oh God, THEN we might be delayed. Why didn’t I fly out of Midway? Midway never cancels flights. Midway is the honey badger of airports. Plane almost landed on Cicero? Nothing to see here. 6 inches of snow on the ground? Keep moving. How come O’Hare?!

Then I remembered that I’m not allowed to fly out of bus stations. So, that’s why O’Hare. Anyway, 4 hours later I walk into 80 degree sunshine. That’s unusual, even for San Francisco.

Here’s what I had to do: find stuff. Did you know that you can get all sorts of discounts for things you probably don’t really need just for being new to the neighborhood? 20% off at The Container Store (this would have been helpful while PACKING), 10% off at Pier 1 Imports (is that place still around?), 10% off at Target (you need everything at Target).  Target was the first place I drove to without GPS. I’m so adventurous, I drive around without navigation!

Ok like, twice I’ve done that. And one time I got only slightly lost and found a library. So really…not lost at all.

Do you remember the last time you went someplace new or unfamiliar and didn’t use GPS? I have been to several countries where I couldn’t read, speak or in any way understand the language of that very country...what did I do? Just walked around and asked people, I guess. GPS then was me asking someone for directions and then just going in the general direction of where they were pointing and then asking someone else. You get a little bit closer to your target each time. But you don't get 10% off.


My Japanese was not “limited” when I first went to Japan. My Japanese, much like the Higgs boson until 2012, was merely theorized. It was vaguely familiar in a shouty sort of way and was likely elementary to everyday life but I didn’t understand a damn thing about it. Very like the Higgs boson, my Japanese was monumental, pivotal and fundamental to only a small group of people….namely me and the people with whom I interacted on a daily basis. But once I discovered it….well. Higgs boson-levels of excitement

There I was in Japan, not speaking any Japanese, not understanding any Japanese and writing letters to friends at home. So I needed stamps. Easy peasy, I could zoom over to the convenience store and be back in time to watch a Japanese drama and make up dialogue based purely on dramatic hand gestures and the how many times tea was poured in a meaningful way.  I looked up the word “stamp” and “letter” and “send” and set off. What I did NOT do was look up “listen” and “ask” and “come”....which I quickly learned all sound like “stamp” but don’t mean “stamp,” not in any way.  Not even a little.

I never did see that drama. I have no idea if the rebel hairdresser-veterinarian fulfilled his dream of walking along a riverbank in leather pants with a team of corgis and an office lady/pottery smasher who wanted to be a hula dancer. I was in that convenience store for an hour. I tried to understand Japanese and failed to understand most of it.  I tried to speak Japanese and ended up speaking something almost exactly nothing like it. So, I wrote it down here for your entertainment.


(You have to understand that to me, this is what the clerk sounded like. I imagine that this is what I sounded like to the clerk, with my 4 words of Japanese. I have no idea what I actually sounded like to the clerk because I couldn’t ask. Because I didn’t speak Japanese. Keep up. Honestly.)


Me: (smiles) Hi. 4 Listen? Please.

Clerk: (nods) Blargymas.

Me: Listen? 4. 4 Listen. Listeeeeen. Ummmm.. Listen!

Clerk: (tilts head) Shoklemeenshawa? Blicka blag boo.

Me: Come? Come. Please. Listen Come. Cooooome.

Clerk: (looks around)

Me: (waves hands around) Please? Square. AskComeListen. Please. So…? Yes.

Clerk: Shikapoopoo? Kyakakodobleepbloopbap bap.

Me: (doesn’t know why the clerk is turning into a robot. This is a bit much, even for Japan)



Me: (draws a square in the air) Letter! America. Letter America listenask! Please?

Clerk: Ah! Stamp? Stamp! Letter to America...Stamp?

Me: Yes? Yes. Yes yes. Ask. Listen. Stamp. Please.

Clerk: (holds up some stamps) Gokikama bookie bookie sanma?

Me: (holds out money). Ok. Yes. Please.

Clerk: (takes money. Wraps stamps in paper. Wraps the paper in a small bag. Tapes it shut. Wraps them in another bag. Tapes that shut.)

Me: (smokes a cigarette)

Clerk: (Ties a string around the bag. Lights a candle and and seals the bag with sealing wax.

Me: (drinks a coffee)

Clerk: Ok! Blickybooboo raikomacha coo coo!

Me: Ok. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

Clerk: No problem. The mailbox is on the corner. Have a great day, bye bye!


Leggings Are Not Pants, and Other Things You Should Know.

It’s an exciting time, getting your first job. You’re wondering about everything, you’re curious, you have lots of questions. Contrary to your hippie dippie teachers, there is such thing as a bad question. Several of them, actually. Ok here’s the thing. Consider me the older sister you never wanted or the babysitter who told you to go outside and play, but I’m going to lay this out for you so that you don’t embarrass yourselves and ask your recruiters or managers these questions. There will be other reasons for them to laugh at you….let it not be these 5 things, which might make them hate you, too. Or at the very least question why they hired you in the first place.

  1. Leggings are not pants. No matter how hard Target tries to convince you otherwise by calling them “legging-pants,” they just aren’t. If you aren’t sure if you should wear them, you probably shouldn’t. That’s just a good rule for life. There’s no need to send out a group text to all your friends to see if you should wear them on Wednesday with your new tunic. You shouldn’t. Put on some damn pants, get on the bus and get yourself to work.

  2. Nobody cares how you get to work. Just get to work. Unless you have somehow found yourself part of a fellowship with members of questionable height, excessive body hair or immortality, don’t ask me how you should get there. You have a smartphone. You’ve been on it during every single class you’ve ever attended. Use it.

  3. Once you do get to the office and start working, do not ever ask what time you should come to the office. Shout “8am meetings are a-ok by me!” but don’t ask “What time do I have to come to the office?” Not ever. Because the answer is “Well you don’t HAVE to do anything. You don’t even HAVE to work here.” And do remember, when you are late, you aren’t late for class. You’re late for work.

  4. Remember your social security number. I know, it’s a lot of numbers but just try. Yes, you’ll need it. You’ll need it for everything. No, I can’t get it for you. It is your identity. It is what people steal when they want to steal your you. It is what identifies you as you for the bank, for your taxes, for your insurance, for all the money you are saving by living at home.

  5. Speaking of your mom, if you used her as the answer to a security question, do her a favor and don’t forget her maiden name. It hasn’t changed. Not ever. And no, I don’t know it. And no, I cannot find it. Don’t ever ask me that again.

Finally, you’ve probably heard “Do What You Love!!!!!” as a rule for the kind of work you should do. You probably also know it as YOLO or I Have No Regrets or maybe even Carpe Diem if your brother or sister or babysitter allowed you to watch Dead Poets Society as long as you stayed completely silent and didn’t move at all, especially during that one scene. Well,  that’s a bunch of bullshit. If it were not, I would right now be eating and drinking the profits of my cheese-making vinter shop, looking at my new shoes but I am not a cheese- monger, a vinter nor a cobbler. What that phrase means is “Do Something You LIKE.”  Make sure something about what you are doing inspires, motivates or educates you. That it makes you smile. That it helps you grow. Be active about your career. Own it. Like your social security number, it’s all yours.


8.12.14 Dear......


I have to say, beginning a conversation in this day and age with “Hi Ho!” is a recipe for misunderstandings. Saying you mean it in the “Snow White” way leads me to wonder if you are calling me a dwarf or an evil witch. Calling me the apple was a good recovery only until I realized the apple was poisoned. NOT A GOOD RECOVERY. Dammit, indeed. I’ve been glaring at the mirror all day.

Speaking of recipes, yes, I will eat your banana bread recipe, even if it is gluten free (I don’t mind letting the glutens free now and again, we are not savages after all), vegan (is it the no-meat that makes them so angry?) and refined sugar-free. I like my sugar rough around the edges anyway. I don’t mind if it doesn’t know from art.

Math rudely interrupted my day today in the form of greater than-less than and I was less than pleased about it. I was >. Sorry no, I was <. Is that right? I never could get those right. The crocodile eats the bigger number but what nobody is talking about is WHY THE CROCODILES ARE EATING NUMBERS. Are we to believe that the crocodile’s strength is due to a healthy lifestyle of prime numbers and whole integers? That turning their backs on the negative numbers is what makes them live so long? This is why I was never good at math. They use shapes and alphabets and animals….why not just use numbers?

You can make any number of very delicious dishes, but I like that you want to teach people how to feed themselves, not just feed them vegan cupcakes. It's like you are teaching them to fish... only they won't eat fish. So either your demographic is smaller than Jesus' or you have to set the timer on them. Anyway, just because you make great cupcakes doesn't mean that’s all you should do. Unless it's those chocolate ones. You should make those all the time.

You asked if I wanted an apple bread recipe. Yes. Yes, yes, I want everything. And I know that you said, “Of course you do. And that’s ok” but I just want to make sure you know that in this case, I don’t want you to teach me to feed myself. Because you did after all call me a ho. Now where are those cupcakes?

> (I think),

Just this one.

It starts innocently enough. Just one. Just this one. I’m on my way out, I’ve got things to do, places to go, people to avoid. But it’s right there and so tempting…...taunting. “Come on. Come get me.” So ok, one. Just this one. Then I go.

And then you notice another. And the first one felt so good and was so easy. And ok fine….one more. Just one more. And things are starting to look better and you don’t notice people looking at you like you are just slightly off. You, doing these things. You don’t look like a person who should be doing these things. You aren’t dressed for this, you are dressed for work.

But everything looks better, suddenly. The world looks better and you can’t stop yourself. Just a few more….I can be a little late, people won’t notice if I’m a little late. I’m already a little late and I’ve missed my train anyway. And you’re on your hands and knees and you can’t stop yourself and then suddenly, it’s over. There is no more. And you stand up slowly, flushed and sweaty, and you brush off your hands and straighten your clothes. Look around and wonder if anyone saw that. Take a deep breath and start to walk away, back toward what you were supposed to be doing.

Weeding is so easy after it rains.

Stormy Weather

The storm, when it comes, is satisfying. Loud. Pounding. Blowing. Rumbling. I used to be so afraid of thunder. My mother told me it was just “the angels bowling.” Even at 6 I knew that was a load but I did wonder if the angels wore bowling shirts like my dad did every Wednesday and how did they choose a captain, since they were all presumably "good" and how did the balls not fall through the clouds for surely there weren’t bowling ALLEYS in heaven ?...and this was enough to distract me from the terrifying cracks and shakes  of nature in the sky.

And now they fascinate and entrance me, these storms. You can see them coming from miles away...there is no way this storm is NOT happening. Mother Nature has declared that this humidity has got to GO and she is preparing you for it. It’s like being at a show, in the theater. You sit in your seat…. waiting,’s about to start, any minute now. The orchestra starts warming up. There is a silence- just a moment of it- before they launch into the overture and then it all starts.

And I’m sitting here, entranced by a summer storm because I watched it roll in, listened to the wind blow, felt it stop for just a moment and then one drop….two drops….a hundred drops all at once. Mother Nature is goddamned tired of the humidity and call it what you want, bowling angels or hot air awkwardly introducing itself to cold and creating a disturbed atmosphere, it is making enough noise to shake the house and make the dog yelp.

There is beauty in this fury. And the pictures you snap cannot capture the pixellated pointillism of a summer storm, but a summer storm waits for no one. It rumbles on...the angels taking their game elsewhere, the rain off to fight with the lake. Mother Nature, comfortable once more.

Political Cake Rallies

One of my dear friends has been known to stop by unannounced with a bottle or 3 of wine or a plant for the yard or something she just baked. I love unannounced stop bys...they are little bursts of unexpected delight in the day, like finding a bottle of wine hiding in the back of your fridge. As I generally know the exact location of every bottle of wine in my house and how much is left in each bottle (“unopened” or “empty’), this occurrence is rare indeed….but it has happened. I do a dance to commemorate the occasion and promptly open it to celebrate its existence...and then to mourn its passing. The life of a bottle of wine in my presence is short one, but a life well-lived. Anyway, my friend. Of course I adore her. But sometimes I don’t understand her.

The other day she told me that she wanted to make “cake topper buntings.” What?! I don’t even know. I mean, I know what those words mean individually but put in that sequence…Is she planning an old-timey 4th of July party? Is it a country parade? Do I need to brush up on my Shipoopi? Or is this some kind of political cake rally? Will I be expected to chant “NO FAKE, MORE CAKE!” while walking in a circle outside the local Sara Lee outlet (hoping that I land on the right number when the music stops because that cheesecake at #6 looks awfully good)? Has the time come to take a stand on cake?

It turns out, no. She just wanted to put some flags on a cake. I don’t know why, Flag Day is over and there are more pressing concerns than cake for Flag Day. Like the fact that it doesn’t even have a signature drink. That is something to get behind. Flags on a cake, though….you’ll just have to take them off in order to eat the cake, so what’s the point? Cake should just be naked most of the time, like cheesecake. But she was on to a more controversial topic: raisins in baked goods.

Apparently, many lines in the sand have been drawn over raisins in baked goods. I generally do not care for raisins in my baked goods and that is not a euphemism for anything except raisins, in my baked goods. Now that I think about it, I do not care for raisins in general. I think it's because I look at raisins and think "What a waste." I stare those raisins down and I say, "You could have been a grape. And you know what grapes do? Make wine.” And the raisins look at me sadly from their little red and yellow boxes and I tell them, I tell those raisins, “But you didn't take care of yourself. And now you're a raisin. Destined to lie forgotten in car seats and under rugs; scrunched down in couch cushions and smooshed underfoot. You are the toddler's go-to snack and the health nut’s pretend friend. You are damned lucky those oatmeal cookies let you into their lives.” And the Raisin Lady nods knowingly from underneath her sunbonnet and I shake my head and wonder if my friend made a cheesecake and if so, where it is.

Who loses just one shoe?

Yesterday was Flag Day and I feel like no one remembered. And by “no one” I mean “me.” I think the problem with Flag Day is that it doesn’t have a signature drink and therefore no one remembers it. Poor Flag Day. It’s like the lone shoe you see in the middle of the street, all forlorn and run over.

How does that happen anyway? I mean, who besides Cinderella (a questionable woman in my opinion, due to her neglectful attitude towards footwear) loses just one shoe? And who (besides that girl who apparently doesn’t need shoes anyway due to her being a chambermaid ...which I would think you’d want shoes for that. Heavy duty shoes) doesn’t go back for their shoe? I don’t understand this careless and utter disregard for shoes. And I don’t think I want to know such a person. Such a person would certainly not remember Flag Day, to be sure.

Cinco de Mayo has margaritas. St. Patrick’s Day has beer. What does Flag Day have?  Nothing. If I’ve said it once, it’s the only time I’ve ever said it: If you want to be remembered, you need a signature drink. Tom Collins. Shirley Temple. Vodka Tonic. All memorable (though ironically except for Miss Temple, if you drink too much of the others you’ll forget everything, including your name and possibly one or both of your shoes).  

I think people used to celebrate Flag Day, right? I mean, flags have their own songs...those marchy songs like “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Far be it for me to criticize singing to inanimate objects. I sing to just about everything. I sing “Land of 1000 Dances” to my shoes and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” to my passport.  My point is, Flag Day has songs but not a drink. Doesn’t it deserve a drink, this piece of fabric that has its own rules about how to fold it? It seems to me that any piece of fabric that has rules around how to fold it should have its own drink. *  Especially rules that, if not followed correctly, could earn you 30 days in the brig and possibly a charge of treason. TREASON! For incongruent creases!

Perhaps that will be my new summer project: Find a drink to commemorate Flag Day. Maybe with a little flag in it. So meta. Would Campari and soda work here? It’s Italian but oranges are SO American.

*Note to self: check and see if GAP sweaters have their own drink.

5.19.14 Dear......


Do you ever wish that you could snap your fingers and conjure up a cafe table on the sunny side of the street so that you could transport and continue your conversation there instead of where it is? I was walking to the train and said hello to the friendly guy who I always see walking his dogs at that time of the morning (I know he is friendly because he always says hello to me. Or “good morning” or “Nice dress!” Unfriendly people, like barflys, do not care for morning pleasantries and certainly do not care to comment on your sartorial choices). He said hello and we had a moving conversation. Literally, and I don't mean that in an  "I-actually-mean-figurative-but-have-a-very-small-vocabulary" way. I mean that neither of us actually stopped walking and so we were both physically and literally moving in the same direction. And after a few ooohhh it’s so cold nows and where did the spring goes, he said “I know! Jason and I were in Indy with the baby and it’s so warm there now!” Who’s Jason? I don't know. What baby? I don’t know that either! I only know he has two dogs and is very friendly and has admired my pink sheath dress. And THAT is when I thought that we really have waited long enough for teleportation. Willy Wonka did it with a chocolate bar ages ago, there is no reason we cannot have it today, in 2014. So I’m writing this letter while I’m on hold with NASA. I’ll let you know what happens.

A couple of things I’ve discovered recently:

1. Do not, however well-intentioned your intentions may be, tell a woman that from the back, she looks like Thomas Jefferson. It won’t matter that you don’t mean in a philosophical, you-could-have-signed-the-Declaration-of-Independence kind of way. You’ll find yourself having to assure her that you don’t think she’s a man from 1776 and then you’ll try to explain that you just mean her hair is really thick and if she pulls it back in just the right way...and now it sounds like you’re saying she looks like she’s wearing a wig. Nothing good is going to come after that. Especially if you are on a bus.

2. It’s very easy to make a bad bloody mary. And it’s very bad to make an easy bloody mary. I don’t know where that’s going and I’m afraid we are all going to end up staring into a mirror and chanting like 14 year-olds, so let’s just leave it at vodka.

Now, one last thing. I know you said that you were adamant about not wearing red to a wedding but I’m still trying to figure out what an aging pop star from 1985 has to do with nuptials of any sort. Can you clarify?

Goody two-shoedly,

"Texticon" is a word because I said it is.

Droids are very conducive to creating new words. Not R2D2- that guy was all clicks and whistles. Most of the time he was the electronic equivalent of “Mew Mew Mew, why the f*&k do I have to go into the dark swamp with the whiniest Jedi in the galaxy? All he talks about is power converters. Shaggy can’t even land his plane correctly.”  And 3PO spoke 3,000 languages in a British accent and was never respected because he was always narrative exposition. So he wasn’t making up words because he knew them all.

I mean the phones. Almost every day I am inadvertently creating new words when I am simply trying to say “How are you?” For example, the other day I created this: y5oy.

Was my phone trying to say “Hawaii 5-0” but went “y5oy” instead? Incidentally, “y5oy” is, as everyone knows, the Jewish version of that show. It takes place in Boca instead of Honolulu.

“Why 5 oy?” It’s the hottest new catchphrase. “Y5oy” is going to take its place next to LOL and OMG in the texticon to mean “Why even get bothered by this, it’s not even a 5 on the scale of oy. Let it go.”

Did you see how I just made up another new word?!? Because I totally did. That’s so bizzarilarious.

Downtown (where all the lights are bright).

Growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago, with our garage parties and wet beefs and Comiskey Park love, I considered everything in the city except for Beverly, where one went to St. Patrick’s Day parades, to be “downtown.” The Museum of Science and Industry (the best museum) on 59th was “downtown.” The Lincoln Park Zoo (the free zoo) 1150 blocks north of that was “downtown.” Marshall Field’s (where one looked at the windows at Christmas) at State and Washington and actually downtown was “downtown.” The MoSI is still my favorite museum, I sometimes walk through Lincoln Park Zoo and I don’t go to Marshall Field’s anymore because Macy’s bought it and Macy’s is, as everyone knows, New York. And when I went to New York I only shopped at Bergdorf’s. &nbsp;This is absolutely, totally true.

So when I got to go downtown on my own, on the train, which was terribly grown-up, commuting, as it were, I was very excited and my father told me that I could never get lost because Chicago is a grid. Of course, he was terribly wrong because streets are secondary to landmarks when it comes to where I am.  But what I like about Chicago, what I think is so excellent about Chicago, what I learned from a very young age about Chicago is that when you are standing somewhere trying to figure out where you are, when the lake is on your right, you are facing north. The problem is that now whenever a body of water is on my right, I assume I am facing north. I am right 25% of the time.

What direction is this, anyway?

What direction is this, anyway?

This conversation actually happened.

Friend: I thought of you today:







Friend: It's the 1.5L.
Friend: WWUD?
Me: Get a straw.
Me: Put on some music.
Me: Enjoy the afternoon.
Friend: And make a bolognese. You should get on Snapchat.
Me: Wait, did I tell you that I'm doing that? Because I'm doing that!
Friend: OMG.
Me: OMG.
Friend: It's my first time. I am using Marcella Hazan's.
Me: Does she know?
Friend: No, she doesn't. She is dead. I guess she is the Italian Julia Child. You should get on Snapchat.
Me: You should get a straw. I'm buying a plane ticket. I'll be there in 4 hours.



Numbers, musically.

I know about 70% of what I’m talking about unless we are talking about musicals in which I can tell you that I 100% love musicals and 100% hate Rent. “I’m an artist, I just want to dance and sing. Having to pay rent is so awful! Boo, rent! Let’s live in a squalid tenement instead and talk about how free we are! ” Annie knew she had to earn her keep and she was an orphan during the Great Depression. Nathan Detroit sang with Marlon Brando just to make a little dough. Jesus Christ you wannabe superstar, even He knew there was money to be had in an around the town but if you are thinking about that, be careful because you will be told severely in no uncertain terms and almost in a high C that the temple is a house of prayer and you are dangerously close to making it a den of thieves. How about you get a job? If it’s good enough for my dog, it’s good enough for you.

I have a Top Ten list of musicals and while 6-10 changes according to whims of ABBA, my top five generally only change depending on if I feel rain is more important than Christmas or orphans are more interesting than the south pacific at any given moment.

1. Jesus Christ Superstar
2. Singing in the Rain

3. White Christmas
4. South Pacific
5. Annie

Right now, as there are zero degrees to be had outside, the south pacific is most definitely winning.

1.26.14. Dear......


Here is what happened the other day: I got on the train and sat down in an empty seat (that is what they are for, those empty seats. Not for your feet or your bag or your coat. Not for your imaginary friend who’s “coming” so you are “saving” it. You’re not saving it for anyone but yourself and you don’t have any friends and this is why). The person on the right didn’t move or shift and as I squozed myself into the middle seat, I accidentally nudged her with my bag. Now, lest you doubt my commuting intentions, let me categorically state that this was a legitimate seat. An actual seat that was open. It’s just with all the coats and the scarves and the chips on our shoulders from living in a 21st-century ice age, we tend to take up a little more space than usual.

I said “I’m so sorry!” instead of “Don’t worry ma’am, it’s a Louis Vuitton, it’s very good quality leather so it’s fine.”

She huffed and tsked and moved over a centimeter. Then, it happened. You know how sometimes when you are sitting next to someone on a train or bus or in the library and everything they do is irritating? And you want to tell them to STOP eating yogurt on the train or ask them where in the equine hell did they learn to eat apples or point out that the eyeliner they are currently poorly applying has a definite 90’s flair and hopefully they remembered their choker? But you don’t because it turns out you don’t know them and manners. So you shift and cross and re-cross your legs and you get increasingly more annoyed and finally you get up in a huff and switch seats? Well. SHE did that to ME. I KNOW! It was a textbook case of increasing annoyance. I’m not sure why. Because of my bag? I smelled good. Maybe because I was putting on lip gloss? That seems to be what sent her over to the seat across from me. I guess to paraphrase Gary’s grandmother in Weird Science, she doesn’t stand for the lip gloss. She started to read a book called “Just Like Jesus” and I wanted to point out that she wasn’t being very Jesusy. I think Jesus stood for the lip gloss. He stood for all sorts of things. Mostly because He was preaching and it’s a lot easier to preach while standing. You try to get someone to testify while sitting. It’s harder than you think.

Anyway, because I decided lip gloss could be Jesusy, I am considering taking him off the B-list for my dinner party. Speaking of which, I need a clarification from your last message. You suggested I bring “dessert or booze” to dinner this week. Are they not the same thing?


Yes, it's cold.

Everyone’s talking/complaining/instagramming pictures of their weather aps about it. Snow is blowing in though the window cracks, the few brave souls who are outside look like walking sleeping bags and California is smug.

Something called a “polar vortex” has settled over us and I don’t know if that’s something they sell at REI or the rejected title for The Day After Tomorrow. Will I have to burn my books to keep warm? Fight wolves for penicillin? I hear someone outside right now doing what sounds like shoveling but is probably more like increasingly frustrated chipping away at what used to be snow and is now ice because it’s MINUS FOURTEEN DEGREES OUTSIDE, WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING SHOVELLING NO ONE IS WALKING ANYWHERE. Except for those two or three walking sleeping bags. Go back inside.

It can still feel pretty cold inside though even though it’s approximately 78 degrees warmer than everything on the other side of the door. I think that my brain has frozen and the mindsicle inside my head is separating itself from itself. For example, I was asking a friend how her holiday was and I accidentally wrote “hiloliday.” I’m not even sure how that happened. First of all, it’s a perfect word to describe the holidays and secondly, it was accepted as a word by Google and not even auto-corrected.  To which I say,  “Well done Google, you progressives and inventors and lovers of new words!” and also “How do I get a word into the Oxford Dictionary?”

I have at least two or three others to submit, as long as I don’t have to dress like a sleeping bag.