Monthly Archives: June 2012

Two things

1. I fell down the stairs, which is the most embarrassing thing you can do in front of your dog, because it forces you both to suddenly face an uncomfortable reversal of roles: you writhing and moaning on the floor, her dialing 911 and calmly telling you to quiet down and keep breathing.

2. The kind editors at one of Minneapolis’ most awesome magazines, Paper Darts, let me rant on their blog a bit about buying new books. You can read it here, and when you’re done, mosey on over to their store and buy John Jodzio’s book, Get In If You Want to Live. Fred Armisen says you should, and he’s pretty much the coolest.

Instagrammed Rainbows

I was on a walk with the poodle this evening when I happened to look up and see the most fantastic and vivid rainbow arching gracefully above our neighborhood. I’m talking Roy G. Biv, full spectrum, 275 ppi resolution. Angels playing trumpets, all that.

It’s been raining like crazy in Minnesota and flooding so hard that seals are washing up in the streets (you think I’m kidding but I’m not), so a handsome rainbow shining from the heavens isn’t such a rare sight, but the clarity of this one took my breath away.

What also took my breath away was the fact that the second my eyes moved up and took in the rainbow, before my brain had even had a chance to say, ‘Wow, what a freaking awesome sight,’ my hand was already in the pocket of my hoodie, rooting around for my iPhone, so I could snap a picture of the rainbow and upload it to Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest so that people I know could like/share/follow/tag the rainbow and comment things like, ‘Wow, what a freaking awesome sight that is’ or ‘Holy cow, is that a freaking awesome sight or what.’

But you know what–I left my iPhone in the apartment somehow, in my rush to get the poodle out and around the neighborhood while the rain was holding off. Yeah, I was super disappointed. But I took my hand out of my pocket and tried to remember what my yoga teacher had said just an hour earlier while I was huffing and puffing indelicately through a deep Warrior pose. Something about seeing the moment you want to escape the pose, and then just staying there, with the ache of it.

So I decided to just accept the rainbow as a rainbow and give up all desire to immortalize the moment. I stood on the sidewalk, feet pressed on the cement, the world holding my body up, and looked at the sky. I stayed with the rainbow, and I stayed, for just a fleeting moment, with the disappointment and the sadness that blossoms from the realization of how impermanent everything is.

It was a freaking awesome and beautiful moment.

The poodle gazed up with me, a robin’s egg casually wedged in her cheek, her heart full of hope that I would not see it so she could carry it all the way home and place it under our pillows for safekeeping. I did see it, I took it from her mouth, and then we walked home together.

Anyway, it didn’t matter–I got home, logged into Facebook, there, in all its pixelated glory, was the rainbow, forever memorialized in my newsfeed by no less than eight different friend(ster)s.


Check out a short piece I wrote for McSweeney’s, (not-so-subtly inspired by three years of teaching undergraduate creative writing).


Welcome to summer, you say? Welcome to June, more specifically, and it’s currently 78 degrees outside, which is still not an agreeable temperature for the sensitive cauliflower plant, who has been hunched over on the porch like an old lady with an afghan wrapped around her shoulders, begging us to please bring her inside where she can rest on a proper feather mattress, like the poodle does all day long?

Why, thank you for having me. Here is my advice for the day: quit your job (you never liked the commute anyway, or Paula in Accounting, who clicks her teeth together all day), stretch out on the couch with Elizabeth Strout’s Abide with Me, and read while you eat Pringles chips in that very efficient way where you pull a stack of seven out and then slide them off one by one on your tongue like communion hosts. And then seven more, seven more, etc., until the book is finished, and you can’t decide whether the rolling nausea you feel in your gut is due to the envy you have of Strout’s magical ability to slide between narrative points of view so effortlessly, or from the 78 chips you just ate (not counting the jagged crumbs at the bottom of the tube, which you poured into your mouth with no shame whatsoever).

Also on your to-do list for the week: read Rachel Dratch’s new memoir (even better if you buy the audiobook, so you can hear her read it herself. There are a few jokes that are way funnier when they’re hollered).