Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Hugging

I don’t like hugs.awkward-hugs

It’s nothing about the hugger, nothing that anyone should take personally. I just don’t like hugging.

I don’t think most people appreciate how much interpersonal skill goes into giving and receiving hugs. What if one of you is sweaty? What if one of you is stinky? How long is a hug supposed to last? What if the hug is misunderstood as a gesture of sexual interest? What if I’m hugging a man and he gets an erection? Am I allowed to notice? Where do the arms go? Do I put them around the neck if someone is taller? Do I wrap them around the back and do a full frontal? Most importantly, consider what I look like. I’m a short woman with larger-than-most boobs. This is really the crux of the situation.

In the event of a hug, what do I do with boobs? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


When the Rain Washes You Clean You’ll Know [Stories]

blog waterMy little sister died last night.

I’m fuzzy on the details but I know it happened while she was running. She is an endurance athlete, striving to complete her first 100-mile ultra-marathon. The farthest she’s accomplished is 72 miles on a run almost a year ago through central Washington in March – her body gave out due to hypothermia. Her feeling of failure was absolute, her shame considerable. Freddie’s made two attempts since then – both times disqualified at a checkpoint, moments too late. She’s determined, my sister, running thousands of miles a year and perhaps a hundred over a “normal” weekend – long back-to-back runs, often overnight, over the hilliest terrain metropolitan Portland has to offer. Ultra marathon runners don’t get medals – they get belt buckles. She is determined to get that belt buckle of accomplishment even though as girls in Montana we joked that large belt buckles are “tombstones for a dead dick.”  It’s okay though. She’ll never wear the belt buckle and no one could confuse a woman with massive balls with someone who has a dick. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


Heavy Medal

I’m a committed non-collector. That’s all you need to know about me and my willpower.

But I want to collect, so badly. Disney pins, stamps, coins, letters, postcards, stickers, crushed flowers, spices, pictures, dolls, pieces of lint that look like presidents (that’s a joke…or is it?). The only thing that might make me happier than collecting is organizing the collection into some kind of obscure taxonomy that would make sense to only the most analytical.  Collecting would give me control to create order. It would make me the Larry Page and Sergey Brin of my own little domain.

Speaking of organization, here’s a true story: In my teens, I used to make mix CDs and tapes for my friends. Nothing special there. Prehistoric cave man Grog probably did this for his long-haired Grettahilda using teeth rammed into a barrel and yak whiskers for percussion implements to make a music box filled with “Early Man’s Greatest Hits.” But for me, the art wasn’t just in the selection of songs but in their arrangement. Each song had to be connected to the next in some very precise way. Options included: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Two Forward, Forty Back

There’s a post I’ve been working on for a couple weeks – it’s about my family’s relocation from Arizona to Montana when I was a tween. It’s not a great post but it’s a necessary bridge to get me to where I want to go next. We moved in the summer of 1990, more than 21 years ago and about 40 degrees warmer than today. It’s hard to write about a sunny summer day when this is day four or five of 20-mph winds and torrential rain.

Autumn reminds me of endings. It’s not my favorite season. It doesn’t have the still calm of winter, the hope of spring, or the lazy sanguine properties of summer. Autumn is a year’s worth of family gatherings and eating pressed into weeks, it’s the claustrophobic press of humanity just to save a few bucks on a toy or electronic, it may be a time of thanksgiving but it’s also a time of being inwardly focused – we’re thankful that we have more than the other guy or gal. Thanksgiving is the day we all become the chunky kids at the dinner table eating our dinner because everyone else out there is a starving Ethopian.

For Mother and Dad, though, autumn reminds them of beginnings. It was Election Day that they met when Mother was a late-shift bartender and Dad was a network deejay.  It was the day after Thanksgiving forty years ago when they married. Those two events were three years, one child, and two divorces apart – the chronology of which eluded me until I was in my late teens. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Uncategorized


The Finish Line Is Only the Starting Point

I’ve been derelict in writing for weeks now. There are lots of good reasons or at least good excuses: I travel a lot for work, I have kids who I’m supposed to mother and a lot of volunteer work on my plate right now. It’s also true that I’m struggling to find the hook to get writing again, to make the words flow, and trying to find the way to give my history some shape and context so at least it makes sense to me, if no one else.

And I struggle with the meaninglessness of writing. Let’s face it: If you don’t know me personally (and few reading this do) and if I didn’t tramp this blog’s URL around on WordPress forums or Twitter, you wouldn’t be here. This blog is simultaneously an exercise in emotional decompression as it is an exercise in ego. I feel worthless and stress about that so I write about my worthlessness — but what I really want you to do is say, “oh, you’re such a talented writer – how can you feel worthless? You’re not worthless at all!” And some of you play the game and do just that — which simply increases the self-loathing.

How bad is the self-loathing? I celebrate successes momentarily and then move onto the next one (what’s the point in doing more? Success is fleeting) and I wallow in failure privately (I have no patience for sympathy). There’s no way to win here. But at least I’m being honest. Does that count for anything? Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Uncategorized


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