Too Happy to Write?

I know what you’re thinking; give me these problems!  But I wonder if this truly exists.  I think about this now because, as I mentioned in a previous post, in Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, he describes the main character’s ex-girlfriend, who he hired to be his office manager, but then (unwisely) did not fire after they broke up, going through a period where she experienced this phenomenon.  She used to write poetry, but then found that, in this blissful “honeymoon” period of their relationship, she was simply too happy to write. Continue reading

The Origin of Homesickness

Have you ever wondered where homesickness comes from?  That sweet nostalgic heartache?  I have.  But what is it that we are missing exactly?  Longing for exactly?  Is “home” a place or a feeling?  A memory or a reality?  A person or the idea of a person?  Someone we know well or someone we haven’t met yet?  A favorite, well-known place, or somewhere we have never been?

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“Good People”

Let’s talk for a moment about the concept of “good people.”  And not just as the plural form of “good person” (i.e. “they are good people.”).  No, I am talking about the term in the specific context that a single person is referred to as good people plural; i.e. “he/she is good people.”  That phrase.  What is its significance?

I run, therefore I think

Two nights ago, I decided to go for a run.  The night was hot and thick like summer nights are in the Midwest.  You can smell and taste and feel the air around you like a wet, too-warm heavy blanket.  The moon was as close to full as I could remember seeing it.  The kids were in bed, my wife was on the computer, and I had the next however-long-I-chose to myself.  I headed out of the neighborhood and up a hill along a running trail that cuts past the park, between a main-ish street and a golf course.  Traffic was light.  In the first few minutes of such a run, I usually don’t think about much of anything.  I’m still unwinding and getting into a rhythm, my body and mind loosening up together.  But tonight my thoughts were heavy, and I could not shake or outrun them. Continue reading

Is “good enough” good enough?

Whenever you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while, what’s the first thing they ask you?  “Hey, how are things going?”  And by “things” they could be referring to any number of areas of your life.  If you work, they probably mean work.  If you are raising kids, then they are including that.  Basically, they are asking if you are happy and fulfilled in your life.  And what we say is “oh good” or “great, everything’s great.”  But what we are really thinking on the inside is usually “fine, I guess,” often just “eh,” and sometimes “terribly, if you must know.” Continue reading

Dunce Fashion?

What makes something fashionable?  Styles come and go.  Hemlines rise and fall.  Colors are in and then they are so out (remember the fluorescent 80s?).  What is up with that?  What dictates fashion?

Do you remember bare midriffs?  It seems like this happened sometime in the late 90s/early 2000s, where two competing fashion trends came to a head: impossibly low pants with insanely (wonderfully?) high baby T-shirts.  The result = about 12 to 18 ridiculous inches of exposed skin in the tummy/upper butt region at any given time.  Continue reading

Wide Open Spaces

For a brief time here recently, I was the proud “owner” of about 4100 square feet of space (“owner” is in quotes because ownership is actually, legally and technically, kind of a complicated term.  It often feels like you don’t really “own” anything).  But I bought a house, and was still paying rent on an apartment, and a storage unit, and a moving truck, so for that moment in time, it was all “mine.” Continue reading