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Courtesy of a racist sixty-year-old neighbor still living with his mother; a virtually nonexistent housing inventory due in turn to Jeff Bezos, Mt. Rainier, and murky multifamily home regulations; the less-than-shining precedent set by other groups of male,...

A Writer’s Creed

It spoke to Plath the suicidal, Keruouc the drunk, Hemingway the shotgunned, and—Snyder, voice of Buddhist Beats, who did not die of lead or alcohol, but found peace in tin cups and axe handles.

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.

The Pre-Exodus Project

I discovered the other side of recorded music. The side we didn’t talk about in Professor Nordling’s class, and the side that makes recorded music even more challenging, I think, than live music.

Hot Food Makes Me Happy

But this is efficient, I tell myself. Hot food requires a stove, and a stove requires money, and I am a sophomore trying to backpack Europe on a budget. Food seemed like the best place to cut corners.

Stealth Camping: Part Three

Maps do not mark nameless places. Guidebooks rarely print recommendations of ambiguous legality. So the frugal traveler must listen to vague rumors and offhand comments. Although they carry more risk, they also carry more potential than any official source.

Stealth Camping: Part Two

I approached the Mustang with my hands raised in surrender. No weapons. No threats. I passed through the glare of the headlights and saw three men sitting in the car. All were big in the Mike Tyson way, and all three looked angry.

Urban Rednecks

From the OED’s inbred, perverted cousin, Urban Dictionary: Although the idea of an Urban Redneck would at first seem an oxymoron, they do exist, and are actually quite common. There are three kinds of Urban Rednecks.

Quick Stress, Slow Stress

One thing I miss about school is stress. Quick stress. The kind that comes from five deadlines in four hours. Quick stress that keeps you worried at night—Do I know game theory? Should I revise again? Will she curve the test? Quick stress that keeps you too busy to...

A Day in the District

Orderly mobs with agendas of social change and economic prosperity flowed around me, people branded with “D.C. haircuts” and business casual.

We Had Lived

In case my brother dies before me, he and I have already planned his funeral. It will go, more or less, something like this:

I Am Lord Voldemort

The first of Adalbert Waffling’s Fundamental Laws of Magic: “Tamper with the deepest mysteries—the source of life, the essence of self—only if prepared for consequences of the most extreme and dangerous kind.”

Messy Resolutions

My resolutions are bricoleur. They are messy and vibrant and ambitious and mundane. It is a dirty, wrinkled list held together with Scotch tape, because this is the time for it.

Thanksgiving Lies

Normally, I hate lying. I prefer honesty and the rewards and consequences that come with it. But I was loving this kind of deception.

Let’s Go Exploring

I saw a 1958 Chevy Cameo last weekend. For those who don’t know your classic vehicles (like me), a 1958 Cameo looks like that picture on the left. Old trucks don’t normally get me excited, but this one had exactly 1.3 miles on its odometer. Fifty-five years old, and...

Phishers of Men

Say what you will about jam bands and hippies—Phish fans have enthusiasm. More than the music, more than the thrill of seeing famous performers, I liked the concert for its energy.

Traveling on Trust

Everyone knows the basic concept: stand on the shoulder with a thumb in the air until a driver pulls over. But that alone will get you glares, pitying glances, and head shakes. Through online research and personal experience, I have discovered a few tricks to effective thumbing, so you, too, can hit the road.

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