Wavers and A**holes (my rules for running and life in general)

In this great wide world, there are two types of people: wavers and assholes. By the great wide world, I mean the national park where I run, the Gettysburg National Military Park (aka the Gettysburg battlefield). By wavers, I mean runners who wave or nod to other runners as they approach. And the assholes? I’m … Continue reading Wavers and A**holes (my rules for running and life in general)


My apologies to anyone named Chad. I don't write much about my relationships prior to meeting Susan. Possibly I subconsciously think these stories aren't interesting, but more likely it's a defense mechanism. If I don't write about past girlfriends, they won't write about me. Although Stacey, who I dated unseriously for only eight months, has … Continue reading Chad

Vomit Draft

I started writing about the weather. Really just the temperature. I thought I could craft a whole essay on what temperature is considered most perfect. The one Goldilocks would love. Seventy degrees, not too hot, not too cold. But then I started thinking about how Americans are just about the only people who use the … Continue reading Vomit Draft

Ask Amy

Do you read advice columns? I do every day. The Washington Post runs a daily column by Carolyn Hax that I read while eating breakfast. As I crunch away on my Special K Chocolaty Delight cereal, the game I play is to compare my off-the-cuff response with Carolyn’s. Mine: a knee-jerk reaction to a seemingly … Continue reading Ask Amy

After Surgery

“How about pain? What should I expect while I’m recovering?” I asked the wrong question. What I should have asked is “Will it flipping work?” The other day, Susan drove me to the Lancaster Surgery Center, an hour-and-twenty-minutes away. A well-respected ophthalmological surgeon cut and shortened the muscles that control my eyeballs. This is strabismus … Continue reading After Surgery

The Mob

Walter Chandoha shot his famous photo, titled The Mob, in 1961. As the story goes, the Chandoha farm in New Jersey was overrun with cats. Because he fed the strays, they followed him around hoping for a meal. Once while walking down a dirt lane, he spotted these five cats trailing him. He laid on … Continue reading The Mob


On Thursday morning, a swollen inter-department mailer sat in my mailbox at work. Are you familiar with these? It’s an envelope, ten by thirteen inches, brownish-gold, the color of dehydrated urine. You seal it by twisting a string around a fastener. It’s not for stamped postal mail, my name is simply scrawled on the envelope … Continue reading Jellybeans

The Meeting 2.0

When the meeting ends, no one stands. Chatter starts immediately. Each person turns left or right, and recounts the pending acquisition, or the five-figure facility repair, or maybe a tidbit from their personal life—a steady din with words and phrases popping occasionally above the canopy. “…from the budget…” “…proxy voting…” “…home for spring break…” No … Continue reading The Meeting 2.0


I don’t even know what to call it. A board? A plank? A tabletop? None of these do it justice. None implies the shear heft of this chunk of wood.  I found it early on, exploring my new neighborhood, looking for idiosyncrasies or treasures in the alleyway behind my house, a hidden thoroughfare whose primary … Continue reading Treasure


The verb stare has two meanings. Opposite meanings. To look fixedly at someone or something, or to look vacantly. The intensity of the first cannot be denied—often, it’s accompanied by deep concentration or malice. There’s that ‘cold stare’ we offer when pissed or annoyed. It carries the weight of intimidation. Other stares contain anticipation, concern, … Continue reading Staring


God, how did I wind up at the Jefferson Diner. After our twenty-five-minute sidewalk wait, they crammed the six of us into a booth for four. Me, pinned to the wall with my shoulders angled to take less space. A wall-mounted mini jukebox sat above the table, face-height, eight inches from my nose. A wire … Continue reading Malted