Possible Trouble

Earl Belke, a 35-year-old Boy Scout volunteer accused of physically and sexually abusing Boy Scouts during the late 1970s and early 1980s, did not know the color of his eyes. On a confidential one-page form that he filled out upon request from his superiors in the Boy Scouts, he speculated that his eye color was […]

Read more "Possible Trouble"

Harvest Moon

She doesn’t want to hear the elderly couple kissing in the seat behind her. She wants the bus ride to work to be the comfortable silence of people who don’t want to talk to each other. She doesn’t want to be reminded of things that last. Because she’s back at the beginning again. Well, she’s […]

Read more "Harvest Moon"

Pucker Up

The word nadir is an Arabic word for the depth of something; it’s an all-time low. This word is often contrasted with the word “zenith”; famously, in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace referred to the cruise ship (its actual name Zenith) he was profiling as the “Nadir,” thereby using […]

Read more "Pucker Up"

Cooper Spur: Part Two

This is the second part of a serialized recounting of my hike to the top of Cooper Spur, on Mt. Hood. Read the first part here. *** We begin climbing through a forest of hemlock, the ground sandy volcanic ash that slides beneath us with every step. We are traveling uphill, notably, exclusively, but it’s […]

Read more "Cooper Spur: Part Two"

I’m Just Fine, Thanks

One of my favorite quotes is from Tina Fey as the fabulously disgruntled Liz Lemon.  It’s the simple decree that “Everything is the worst.” As an oft-grumpy pessimist, this is a phrase that rings in my ears all the time.  Don’t get me wrong, I laugh a lot, and I’m happy on a regular basis, […]

Read more "I’m Just Fine, Thanks"

My First Night in Brooklyn

Everyone’s always talked about how magical Brooklyn is in the fall. I never understood why until I lived here. It’s a fresh season—rooftops are abandoned, littered with reminisces of carefree summer hangouts as artists return to their drawing boards. Muted guitar riffs and drum beats echo through the walls as musicians return to their studios […]

Read more "My First Night in Brooklyn"

My First Fat Joke

When I was 21, something trivial happened to me that profoundly affected the way I see myself when I look in the mirror: someone made a fat joke about me.  It was the first (and so far, only) time anyone had ever commented on my weight, to my face, in a negative light, and it’s […]

Read more "My First Fat Joke"