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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Directionally Disabled

I am astounded by those who can internalize the length of a road, noting landmarks and intersections. My roads are more like fishing lines; I don’t find out what’s at the end until I’ve reeled myself in.

A College Graduate Asks Us Five Simple Questions. The Answers Will Change Your Life Forever

Said acquaintance makes a skittish joke. You choke up an overcompensating laugh and wince your eyes shut. When they re-open, the house is an inferno.

Look at the Poo Poo

I asked my brother Sam, father of three, why kids hate going potty. His son Judah had, moments before, flat out denied need of the potty despite wobbling through the house with crossed legs.

Weaker Than

So if a thesis has to be mined from The Weakerthans’ incredible corpus, it must at least mention strength, the loss of it, and its recapture.

My Year in Data

I’m all for having a Mint account to track budgets, and I’m certainly a proponent of keeping journals and calendars, but we’re coming to live in an age that is frighteningly invasive in its observation.

A Cormac McCarthy Christmas

In my most profound experience of joy at the Savior’s arrival, perhaps there rang on heaven’s side a blow of sadness and pain wrought from the reality of impending suffering, separation, and death.

Negativity Scene

Negativity Scene

by | Dec 24, 2014

It’s okay that you hate Christmas! You’re not the grinch and I’m not Cindy-Lou-Who (first of all, I could never pull off that hairdo). You’re not the villain; I’m not the hero.

Non-Traditional Christmas

Non-Traditional Christmas

I wouldn’t say that I dislike traditions; it’s amazing to see how long they can last, connecting people of the present, past, and potentially future. However, for me, most traditions quickly lose their appeal.

Sorgy: A Word Study

Sorgy: A Word Study

We should be sorry for these things. But we certainly don’t act or even feel sorry. We need more words for negotiating guilt and grief and the multiplicity of affects that accompany them.

2014 Underreported Stories

2014 Underreported Stories

Lost in all of those stories, though, are some ongoing topics which are just as important and get one percent of the airtime. Without further ado, a few issues which received short shrift in 2014.

Music to My Year

Growing up, I never developed my own music taste. There wasn’t any need for me to. The upper level of my house was consistently filled with my parents’ eclectic blend.

25 Things About Turning 25

25 Things About Turning 25

I use words like “tacky” unironically. I’ve gone to wedding showers. I’ve gone to baby showers. Without my mother. I eat breakfast because it jumpstarts my metabolism.

Laura Hubers’s Absolute Definitive List of the Worst Ten Christmas Songs of All Time

Laura Hubers’s Absolute Definitive List of the Worst Ten Christmas Songs of All Time

So. With some overlap with Will’s list (see especially 9 and 7, corresponding to 4 and 10 on his list, plus a couple honorable mentions), here is my Definitive List of the Worst Ten Christmas Songs of All TIme.

Wine Before Breakfast

Wine Before Breakfast

As worshippers trickle into the little sanctuary, we smile and nod our good-mornings. Our collective sleepiness encourages contemplative silence. The low lights glow gold off the bare wood floor.

2014 in Books I Didn’t Read

2014 in Books I Didn’t Read

It’s December, month of retrospectives and best-ofs and year-in-reviews. My contribution to the conversation is a look back at the unbroken spines and not-yet-dog-eared pages of my 2014 reading list.

Seventy-Seven

Seventy-Seven

And yet, when we fail to be our best to those we love and those we hardly know, I find it difficult to believe that it’s how we hurt people or how we’ve been hurt that defines us.

Will Montei’s Unarguable Top 10 List of the Best Christmas Songs of All Time

Will Montei’s Unarguable Top 10 List of the Best Christmas Songs of All Time

The title is self-explanatory. You may feel the need to argue with my list. That’s fine, but this is the final word. And the final word does not include the Pentatonix.

It’s In The Cards

It’s In The Cards

Much like Ron Swanson, I believed that birthdays were invented by Hallmark to sell cards. And if Hallmark sells it, I’m probably not interested. But this year was different.

Talk the Talk

Talk the Talk

Sometimes there’s just no better word than “discern” or “redeem” or “vocation,” and it slips out. Maybe you embrace it, or maybe, like me, you cringe.

The Worst

The Worst

O Dear Sweet Christmas Tree of the many pine needles, whom we all ignored eleven and a half months of the year but for whom we have so much love that we have to chop down and murder.

Rosie

Rosie

I’m not confident you can earn crowns in heaven—but I’ll petition God that Rosie get them, mostly for her other deeds of righteousness, but also for taking good care of the clueless, quirky American.

“Look On My Works Ye Mighty, and Despair”

I don’t have to dress up to go to work! HA! You rat-racers. You penguin-suited pieces of—what?! You don’t have to dress up either? Wait, you work and talk with real humans?

Baby Mamu

Baby Mamu

Sometimes I wonder what happened to all of those kids. To little Mamu and Japuca. And I’m sad that they didn’t grow up with all the love and happiness that my niece has.

arts & leisure

arts & leisure

home is where the Times is./pieces of yesterday, scattered sections of weeks ago–/a slice of October still sits in the living room./seasoned with eraser crumbs (crossword abandoned.)

Sitting In the Aisle

Sitting In the Aisle

You don’t talk to people on the Metro. You don’t talk to coworkers, you don’t talk to friends, and you especially don’t talk to strangers. Talking is the mark of the tourist.

Longing for Roots

So what do I have? I have my ancestors. I can’t visit them, anyway—most are long dead—so distance doesn’t matter. Still, though, this litany of names acts as a sort of symbolic rootedness.

A Nighttime Trip

A Nighttime Trip

And yes I’ve been reading a terrible lot of The Lord of the Rings, so you’re going to be dealing with lots of long winded nature imagery and intensive moon stage analyses.

Imagine all the People

We—that glorious, plural pronoun. At the end of the service, we sang “Oseh Shalom,” a Jewish blessing, but the chorus was John Lennon’s “Imagine,” a song we dreamers all knew.

Little Inconveniences

Little Inconveniences

Our car—our little-sedan-that-could—broke down last month. Yes, it seems our green Chevy Impala finally uttered those three fateful words: “I can’t even.” Requiscat in pace.

An Infinite Succession

An Infinite Succession

It’s easy to make a choice to leave something that’s hard. But it’s difficult to actually start over—because the problems you tried to leave behind are not necessarily gone. They might be inside you.