Missing Doña and Otto on a Stormy Day

Those of you who watch the news might know that the Pacific Northwest is under a storm warning/advisory today. I had fully expected to stay home by myself all day and ride out the storm. I had specifically purchased peanut butter and canned tuna, two foods that are Not My Favorites, and a new MagLite flashlight, to ride this sucker out, reading a book in the half-dark, maybe with the occasional entertainment of a large oak tree barreling down my street, carried by forceful winds. This has not happened. While I have little compassion for immature people, I do have lots of it for immature trees. As I live on a Gentrification Block full of slender, twiggy tree residents recently planted in small squares of dirt, I keep looking out my window to see if those immature tree friends are being uprooted and tossed against the parked cars. So far, they just waggle around like those air-filled dancing weird air things in front of Jiffy Lubes.

I did not expect that today would have Adventures. I rolled my ass out of bed this morning, saw unthreatening weather, and hiked my bum to Zumba class, and figured that would be it for socialization for the day, but as I was rolling home afterwards, my from-Austin pal Phil rang me to say that he was homesick for breakfast tacos. He had a hankering. Would I like to join him for homestyle brunch at the local Austin-ish meatery called “Partners?”

The answer was yes, and so we went to Partners, where I had been wanting to try their Austin-style brunch options. For some reason, whenever the weekend rolls around and friends want to do brunch, I never think of Partners, but here we were, two Austinites with VERY STRONG OPINIONS ON BREAKFAST TACOS.

I will say here that Phil is a very chill dude, so when we were going over exactly what Partners was getting wrong with breakfast tacos and why, he was very calm. Phil ordered the meat-filled breakfast taco, which had upwards of seven ingredients in it, which was the first problem with their breakfast tacos. Back home in Tejas, a breakfast taco has two, maybe three, four items inside: eggs (obvs.), cheese, bacon or sausage, maybe beans, potato. THAT’S IT. Anything else is gilding the lily. The beauty of the breakfast taco is its simplicity.

Partners had exceeded the recommended number of ingredients. They had also exceeded the recommended circumference of a breakfast taco’s flour tortilla by using burrito-size 9″ tortillas. “What are you, a size queen?” Phil asked of the Partners breakfast taco mastermind, alluding to the idea that if you think a taco has to be this big to feel good, maybe you should just call it a burrito and pull your head out of your ass.

The other place in town advertising Austin-style tacos causes much consternation by using piddly-ass 4″ tortillas, which is bullshit. You’d get shot in the face if you pulled that shit in Texas, but here, it flies. My quarrel with Partners tortillas was that they were clearly from Safeway. These were average-ass store tortillas, the ones I avoid buying as they are starchy and have a slight chemical tang. I thought about the HEB mitad y mitad tortillas I have in my freezer, and worried about losing them to a power outage, and how I’d pay someone in Austin to FedEx me more of them because they are THAT GOOD.

The whole time we were eating, we were talking about Tacodeli. Tacodeli is the gold standard of Austin gringo taquerias. They serve something like forty different varieties of tacos, but my favorite is always the migas, followed by The Otto (beans, bacon, avocado). In fact, at some point, Phil and I considered opening a Tacodeli franchise in Portland, because that would make some serious bank. Take the line you see in front of Salt & Straw on a Saturday night, multiply that by ten, and that would be the line at Tacodeli. Tacodeli is the holiest of holies when it comes to the category of Gringo Tacos. We know they’re gringo, but they’re really fucking amazing. And their awesomeness has nothing to do with the quality of the tortilla. The tortilla is merely the vehicle by which tasty ingredients get to your mouth hole.

So why were we bitching about Partners tortillas when we wouldn’t give a care or thought to the tortillas were we at Tacodeli? It’s not ABOUT THE TORTILLA at Tacodeli. Or Torchy’s.

Because the other ingredients weren’t grabbing center stage with deliciousness, yo! No Doña salsa up in the Beaver State.

The thing is, objectively, there was nothing wrong with my migas plate. Sure, it wasn’t Tacodeli: at Tacodeli, their potatoes are mashed and creamy and full of green chiles. Every other place in the world has home fries. Whatever. Partners had acceptable home fries, fairly good beans (Phil thought they were Rosarita from the can), and eggs scrambled with The 3 Chs (chips, cheese, chiles) plus onion and tomato and a scoop of guac. Objectively good migas. Better than Torchy’s! (Torchy’s scrambles their eggs in the devil’s sebaceous excretions–always stomach-churningly greezy, those eggs.)


“There should be a steam tray by the cash register full of foil-wrapped tortillas, marked with a sticker that says what’s inside. “That’s legit.”

The breakfast taco is the food of the people in Austin. $2, maybe $3, max, and you are full and fed, and there’s only eggs, cheese, and potato or bacon, and the salsa really holds it all together. They sell them in coffee shops, and the steam tray ones are kind of puffy and soggy, but soooooo good.

Maybe there should be a food cart that does legit breakfast tacos, we mused. It would do well. But people wouldn’t GET IT. They’d want soyrizo spinach breakfast tacos, or eggs and wild boar meat. Something that a regular Texan would think was gringo-ass stupidity.

Why do we forgive Tacodeli its gringoness but not anywhere in Portland?

ARE WE NOT GRINGOS? (Yes, we are gringos.)

The Storm of the Century was not manifesting, so we paid our $22 check and fled ass out of Partners and hit up the nail salon, still trying to figure out what’s going on here with breakfast tacos, with us, with the hold that Austin, Texas, will forever have on our palates?

The answer we came to is that we just have to make breakfast tacos at home.



with vigor, clown sundaes

Dyna has unearthed a treasure trove of old drawings from our epically productive youth. We made so much art! Children of the ’90s, we wrote letters. On paper! With pens! She put on the Bookface this humdinger that I drew for her in ’04, based on a ’96 photograph I had taken:


Which led me to wonder where Dyna had acquired a clown sundae in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1996.

Friendly’s seems like the obvious answer, but Friendly’s sold the Cone Head Sundae, which was served in a dish and would not be eaten freestyle as depicted. Baskin & Robbins would have required a car, which we didn’t have, but also why and how would the clown sundae stay unmelted and why would Dyna wait until she was in bed in her jammies to eat the clown? While we were scrappy as fuck, I don’t think we had access to the constituent elements of a clown sundae on campus, unless someone found some cake decorating frosting and got clowny with a Drumstick from the student store. I know that didn’t happen. Where did she get that clown sundae?

WordPress suggests I offer US readers a subtle prompt to register to vote: REGISTER TO VOTE, PENDEJOS. You dig?

Everywhere I look online, people are talking about gaslighting. I didn’t watch the VP debate last night–fuck that, I went on a date. We talked about gaslighting on the date. (Date was a rarity: a writer more successful than me! Those dudes ordinarily avoid my ass like I’m a bucket of shark chum.) See, everyone is talking about gaslighting. Also: asslighting, the act of farting on a match. Which doesn’t work.

Gaslighting works, though. And hey, lookie, it’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Over the last month, I’d been following a thing online in which a famous sex educator was outed as an abuser by one of his former partners. I used to admire this sex educator. I quoted him in my abuse writings. He knew my Bestie Jules and we talked about how much we admired him and his work. Then it comes out that he was an abuser, guilty of gaslighting.

So here comes Famous Sex Educator. He’s a FSE, so he must have an accountability process. On the Bookface. And he is clearly controlling the narrative, throwing around his jargon, but also minimizing the words of his victim, who has publicly stated that he gaslit them and was continuing to do so as part of his so-called accountability process.

So even a guy whose career and reputation rides on the idea that he’s not abusive, and, when he is, can’t even properly take on accountability without having a number of people point out to him that he is continuing to gaslight his victim. Was that a little disappointing? Maybe a little triggering? I’d mostly made peace with the fact that I’m never getting acknowledgement or an apology from my abuser until this happened. And then it was like: wow, not even someone who holds himself to the highest standards of decency in relationships can pull this accountability shit off. Wow, nobody gets anything.

Let’s not forget TROMP:

Be outspoken about your experiences with narcissistic abuse on the internet, and then find yourself in this week’s American historical/political moment wherein an ugly blowhard narcissist is given the pulpit to lie and look like an ass and people will start contacting you. People will ask questions. People conflate your experiences with the experiences of every non-ignorant American asking themselves what the hell is wrong with this guy. You’ll pray this is a teaching moment.

There’s one quote from Abuser I kept going back to over and over again this past week, in light of Trump’s bullshit. He told me, more than once, “I never lie. Other people do but I don’t. The reason so many of my previous relationships failed is because they didn’t take everything I said at face value.”

(Here, I take a failure bow of extreme dick-drunkenness. At least I didn’t go full Myra Hindley and start murdering alongside him.)

Okay, let’s pick this one apart: “I never lie.”

Yeah, he did, actually. Where to even start?

“Other people do.” No, other people say things he doesn’t want to hear, that disrupt his pretend fantasy world, that require empathy that he doesn’t have.

“The reason so many of my previous relationships failed…” In other words, believe everything I say, even when you know it’s a lie, or I’ll leave you for someone who does.

I read somewhere that the nutso-butsos who love Trump think he’s honest because he’s emotionally honest–he says what he really feels. He doesn’t care much for actual facts. And he likely actually believes what he says, because he wants it to be true, and that’s more important than it actually being true. This, to them, holds more value than us boring fact-loving types. While we may argue that this is a dangerous quality for the Commander in Chief of the US Military to have, that it would be ruinous to international diplomacy, they simply don’t care, because they want it to be okay to say they hate black people or that women should shut up and get out of the workforce, but they can’t but that’s their truth!

My writer-more-successful-than-me date said something to the effect of “you have to have been through it to know it.” Which is true. Watching video of frumpy middle-aged Midwestern women make excuses for Trump’s bad behavior was sobering, but I’ve seen that happen here in Portland, with non-frumpy women who Abuserface has made feel special. Dick is a drug, apparently, and if you haven’t been through it, you can’t see it.

zoola boola

I went to Missoula, Montana, this past weekend for the Montana Book Festival. Missoula reminded me a lot of Northampton, but western. Slightly bigger than Northampton, and western. By western I mean not eastern. I did see a man in waders walking around downtown, looking like he was fixin’ to grab some trout out of the river. The local coffee place had outdoorsy-themed coffee names. I came home with a pound of “Trout Slayer” light roast.

Everywhere I went, I kept being asked if I wanted Birdman bread. “What is Birdman bread?” I asked. It’s a honey wheat, I was told. “Do I look like I want a honey wheat?” I asked before punching them in the face.

I attended a dance party in a closed bakery, and they had stacks of this Birdman bread. Sorry for the blurry picture. It’s rough business being nerdy enough to photograph a loaf of bread at a dance party.


The first night I was there, I attended a reading/drinking fete held at a union hall. Packed house. It’s nice that literary events are so well-attended in Missoula, I thought as I grabbed a seat in the back and nibbled my pie (there were twenty flavors of pie to choose from, and I went with my old standby, blueberry).

A number of the speakers that night were older men who began their readings by talking about that special moment X number of years ago that local legendary poet ______, who is now dead, and would be very old, bought them a whiskey and talked to them, and how sitting at the bar with ______ made them want to be writers.

“How male,” I thought, because my mind immediately went to Bukowski, and I hate Bukowski.

I pictured a grizzled old man hunched over the bar, one who had been rewarded endlessly by locals for holding court, for writing poetry peppered with sexual and scatological imagery, for being a drunk, for having many ex-wives and girlfriends, all of whom they scorn openly as crazy shrews, even the ones who were dead by their own hands. “The night Chet Hustler read ‘Smoking Dope on a Prostitute’s Dead Body’ he drank eleven shots of Jack Daniels and then threw up all over himself and then passed out on the sidewalk, and while we tried to help him up and get him into Bernie’s truck to take him to the hospital, he told me that he thought the poem I read that night was decent and it was the first time I had ever felt validated as a human being was when this drunk guy with a shirt full of puke looked me in the eye. He smelled terrible, but I loved him and felt so lucky to be there that night. To Chet!”

The female equivalent of the extremely drunk and destructive poet would very likely get ignored or shunned, or sent off to the looney bin. Her poetry would be reviled, not celebrated, and bartenders would scheme to find ways to get rid of her, since her disorderly behavior would pose a threat, not be thrilling, life-affirming entertainment of legend.

“I remember the night Marilyn shit her pants, and then lifted her skirt, and brown clumps of her own shit fell out of her stained panties right on stage! Then she read that poem, ‘God Help All the Men I’m Going to Kill With My Pussy,’ before passing out. We threw her in the car and took her back to my apartment and put her in the shower, where she passed out with the water running, and in the morning, when she woke up on the couch, she told us about the time she stole Jack Kerouac’s wallet and then called an editor at the New Yorker and told him that she’d suck his dick if he published her poem called ‘I Wipe My Cunt With Ham on Rye After Taking an 45-second Piss on Bukowski’s Grave’ and he said yes. So amazing! To Marilyn!”

I had some really delicious potato casserole in Missoula and a $5 breakfast burrito and I met some of the Titans of Narc Abuse Writing and ate a yummy slice of raspberry cake.

The shape of the state of Montana was everywhere, which I could respect. Also, there was a bar called The Mo Club, which was very exciting for me for obvious reasons.

There was also a street that had businesses with the names of EAW characters in them.


One could argue that The Dictator’s Club bar could also be called “Bodies by Bender.”


And look! A free public solar phone charger. Missoula!

My friends Cody and Michelle gave me a bag of fresh peaches from Michelle’s parents’ garden outside of Missoula, so now I have a pile of peach crisp in my fridge.

The entire trip ended with my friend and fellow writer Monica D. and I finding a bunch of abandoned half-full liquor bottles in an elevator at PDX, which is something you really can’t top in terms of ending a trip to Montana.



dyna is here

Dyna came to visit us here in the Pacific Northwest. Us means me and Sarah, who is the friend who made the paella at my house a few weeks back. These details are not important. What’s important is that Dyna is the Gorey to my O’Hara. We were college roommates for a hot semester twenty years ago. Dyna is superlatively talented as an illustrator, and I apparently write novels, so Gorey : Dyna as O’Hara : Mo, and yeah, I know O’Hara was a poet, so shut up.

Here is a child-friendly drawing I made at the coffee shop:


I made a drawing that belongs on baby shirts, but Dyna, skilled artist, drew Lena from my book.

Dyna is ugly and a horrible person and has three breasts and a fart machine under her skirt. She burned my couch by looking at it with her evil butt eyes farting everywhere. She ate Massachusetts for breakfast and then had sex with Don Rickles.

(None of the above is true.)

Here is Dyna’s artists rendering of Lena from my novel: img_0079-jpg

As Portland is a very biscuit-drenched, I have been pushing biscuit-related foods on Dyna. Long ago, when we were very young, Dyna enjoyed a good biscuit, especially a chicken-in-a-biscuit sandwich. Dyna had opinions when McDonald’s attempted to compete with Chik-Fil-A by introducing their own rendition of the chicken biscuit. We walked by the Reel ’em Inn last night and I explained chicken and jo-jos, even though jo-jos have nothing to do with biscuits.

Dyna has thus far eaten one (1) biscuit. And 1/4 of that biscuit got thrown away.


you poor baby

This note I got from some dude on OKC hit at just the right time to piss me off. The online narcissistic abuse survivor group had been discussing the role of pity as one of the top tools of manipulation earlier that day, so when this SAD, LONELY guy wrote to me to tell me how miserable he is in his marriage, which he simply can’t leave, and could I help a guy out, a guy who is so sad and wants to feel alive again, just wants a woman to show him that life is worth living,


I was like, “OMG you did not choose ME to dump that on.”


Screenshot 2016-08-24 15.41.26

The thing that bugged me the most about that guy and his message wasn’t that he was cheating on his wife (and who knows what the story is there–I don’t believe able-bodied white men when they say they “can’t leave.” They either don’t want to leave, because there isn’t anything wrong with their wives other than they aren’t sexually exciting to them anymore, disrupting the house/kids would make them look like an asshole, etc. Unless she’s got a gun to your head, or you’re dependent on her income because you’re disabled, you can leave, buddy.). It wasn’t even that he was using this poor-me sob story to try to get someone to cheat with him.

No, the thing that bugged me the most is that some woman out there is going to fall for his pity party and give him what he wants. Some woman is going to believe that his misery is all the fault of his wife and open her nurturing mommy-legs to this man baby, never really asking what’s in it for her.

TRUE FACT: IKE TURNER HAD THREE WIVES AFTER TINA. That’s right, THREE women thought it was a good idea to marry Ike Turner when his name was synonymous with “beat the shit out of Tina.” Those three women were convinced they were different/special, Tina was the problem, and married THE GUY WHO IS MOST FAMOUS FOR BEATING HIS WIFE.

Wonder how Ike pulled that shit off? Maybe he used…PITY?

Men acting like little babies needing a woman to save them is very effective. It works! It worked on me! Poor me, no one will indulge my squicky kink (except that everyone did–that was a lie). Poor me, my girlfriend is sooooooo terrible will you be my much better girlfriend by never getting depressed and not asking me for any sort of compromise or to acknowledge that you have feelings of your own? Poor me, I never lie and my previous relationships failed because none of my exes ever took everything I said at face value and never questioned anything. Poor me, I lost friends for being poly, which is the word I use in place of “sociopath.”

These men are so masterful at pulling off the pity show that even WOMEN THEY ARE NOT FUCKING FALL FOR IT! Abuserface’s boss is so far up his ass that she once, completely seriously, told me she FELT SORRY FOR HIM BECAUSE HE HAD TO WORK. On one side of her mouth, she’d talk about how he actually isn’t that great at his job, but also that he’s so burned out and tired of it that she felt SORRY FOR HIM. FOR HAVING TO WORK FOR A LIVING. AT THE SAME JOB SHE HAS. AT HER BUSINESS. WHICH SHE ADMITS HE HAS NOT REACHED THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE PROFESSION. But still: she feels so sorry for him because no one has dumped a truckload of money on his front lawn for being so talented and deserving!


I get that this is very effective for a reason. I get that women are culturally attenuated to believe it when a guy they are attracted to, who is flirting with them, tells them “my girlfriend is terrible and crazy.” Because that means that you are so much different/special/better than this other woman who you don’t even know, and it’s fun to believe the worst about other women.

That whole “I just want someone who understands me” crap basically means “I just want someone who will put up with my bullshit unquestioned, who will endlessly sacrifice herself for me while asking for nothing in return.”

Got that, ladies?

If a guy’s marriage is making him soooooooo sad, then the question is, “then why aren’t you getting counseling or asking for a divorce?” The answer is he wants it both ways. The answer is he doesn’t think he has to be an adult and make a hard choice.

Narcissists and sociopaths are masters at the pity ploy. There is an entire chapter of the book The Sociopath Next Door about the manipulative uses of pity–one guy makes his five year old son feel sorry for him and uses him to make sure that the child’s mother doesn’t kick him out of the house, even though he was a mooch who quit his job and then acted like a the world was against him when he couldn’t find another one (hint: he wasn’t actually looking for a new job) and when she protested the expectation that she allow him to function as another child in the house.



This works because the worst thing a woman can be is not-giving of herself. Not being there to fix things. And if you’re not there to bare a milky tit of emotional labor, then he can just go out and find a woman who is.





the foremothers of smith lived to be very old

This past week, about a thousand alumni of my alma mater called me some variation of “awesome.”



“You’re a fucking rockstar!”

“I need to meet you. We would so be friends!”

“You are a queen!”

I think I sold some books based on a single posting I made in the online tea group.

I mean: yes, I am a rockstar. A queen. A national fucking treasure.

To women. Who went to a women’s college.

I don’t discount that, but the people in the world who are most like me are, well…like me.

Value-less thought of the week: Stovedump dumping me made me think a lot about Laura Woolsey Lord Scales, Smith Class of 1901. There is a dormitory on campus named after her.

No, really.


The foremothers of Smith (Ada Comstock, Mary Ellen Chase, Eleanor Duckett, et al) all lived to deliciously ripe old ages. Laura Scales wins for longevity, as she lived to see her 110th birthday and missed her 111th by a few weeks.

Laura Lord was married to Mr. Scales for only four years. He left her a young widow, and she spent the rest of her life in service to Smith.

Ada Comstock married in her sixties, after retiring as president of Radcliffe College.


(NOTE: I fucking love that photo of Ada Comstock rocking her Class of 1897 Ivy Day staff like a boss. I know exactly where on campus she is standing–in front of Seelye, with her back to Seelye Lawn and Dewey House. Neilson Library is to the left as we are looking at Ada. And OMG CAN WE GET CLASS SMOCKS FOR OUR TWENTIETH REUNION?)

Mary Ellen and Eleanor were a couple, though to what extent that was known or accepted back then I do not know. But there goes the legend of why their houses are connected in the back.

But all of them lived to be really stinkin’ old. There’s a picture of 108-year-old Laura Scales on the internet and whoa, she looks all of her years, but they must have been good ones for her to keep having them.

Laura Scales might have lived to 110 because of great genes, because she jogged and ate fruit and rarely spent a day doing something she didn’t want to do. Being at Smith her whole life might have had something to do with it–why leave Paradise for Paradise, right?

There wasn’t some man asking Laura Scales for his dinner, or being weird about her commitment to being the Warden of Smith. (The Warden is now the Dean of Students, but imagine, if you were a Smithie in the 1920s and 30s, it was to Mrs. Scales you would go to to have her sign the slip that said your parents grant you permission to go motoring off-campus with boys.)

She read books and signed slips and maybe drank port with Mary Ellen and Eleanor. Maybe she had lovers–she never would have let the record of history show that. Unlike me and probably you, too.

I don’t want to live to be 110, but she had to have been happy to hang on that long. Smith probably had something to do with that. Maybe she was awesome and funny and smart and people loved her, and that’s all she needed.

At Smith, one of my archives jobs was to do errands for Margaret Grierson, Class of 1922. (I almost typed ’22, but the Class of 2022 is about to rear its born-after-I-graduated head). She was 97 when I’d walk to her apartment and ask her a million questions about Smith in the 1920s.

She had no idea why she was still alive.

She was married for eight months in the 1930s, and she devoted the rest of her life to the Ladycollege.

The scientific answer to the science of female longevity is, obviously, never leave Smith.

They dragged me out of Baldwin House kicking and screaming. I lost my voice and use of my legs the week after graduation. Seriously: I couldn’t walk for, like, three days. I laid on my bed at home-home and watched TV and cried and crawled to the bathroom. I remember my family ditching me to go to Disneyland. (Little Bro was seven at the time.)

I bet if I swore off men and took a teaching or administrative post at Smith, stayed until I retired, and then moved into a Smithie-occupied retirement villa, I would live to be 120. Easy.


OMG, I saw a guy in Portland obviously out on a date with a woman ACTUALLY WEARING A T-SHIRT that said “I BRING NOTHING TO THE TABLE.” ACTUALLY WEARING A SHIRT THAT SAID THAT.

I bet I would be shunned for wearing a t-shirt that reads “I BRING A LOT TO THE TABLE.” Or I’d get some sexist snark, like “BRING A SANDWICH TO MY TABLE.”

That Smithie retirement villa is going to have one hell of a table.



fish balls

It’s a good thing that my most erudite friends, Sarah and Johnnycakes, had their long-scheduled convergence upon Portland this weekend, or I may not have been able to indulge so much time with other graduates of elite colleges who have read so much and can overanalyze everyday issues, bask in self-awareness, and speak to each other in a variety of world languages over a smattering of entrees from Pok Pok, including a yellow noodle soup full of both pineapple and fish balls. I had to be reminded of who my people are this weekend, and Sarah and John are the platonic ideal of Who My People Are. Why use just one language when you can use three plus a made up one? Current events? Si! Also: dumb fart memories of youth.

Here they are. Mo’s People. Imported from other points along the west coast! Faces of care and concern, and also of unbridled erudition:


My first impulse after the gentleman formerly known as R. Stove escaped my island of whimsy was to look into applying to PhD programs. There might be some classism behind that doctor of philosophy knee-jerk, but he did say I made him uncomfortable. I wondered about all the things about me that made him uncomfortable about me. I have my assumptions after a life of people reacting to me badly. The Michigan diploma on my wall? My vocabulary? That fucking 180 IQ? Talking about my agent? My film deal? The fact that I threw most of my previous life away to be able to write? I don’t drink much? I think centering your life around partying past the age of 23 is kinda lame-o? I worked really, really hard to not make my PTSD situation apparent, or an issue, because god forbid anyone call me crazy ever again?

Members of my community, including about a thousand Persons of the College on the weekly tea website, declared to have my back through this break-up, at which point I encouraged them to direct their vague threats of fake violence at the abuser, not at R. Stove, because at least R.S. didn’t abuse me.

Dating after surviving: you’ll sing this in the streets: AT LEAST HE DIDN’T ABUSE ME. AT LEAST HE DIDN’T ABUSE ME. HE DIDN’T ABUSE ME. I WASN’T ABUSED.

That’s a fucking low bar, of course. But it’s a bar you’ll love. It’s covered with marshmallows stars and dreamy pillows. The bar of He Didn’t Abuse Me.

But the good news is, folks, I did everything right, was incredibly careful, and was entirely reasonable thanks to the rearrangement of my neurotransmitters such that I do not fall in love anymore. I can like and appreciate someone, love them in the quiet way, but googlies? Nope. All gone. And I’m fine with that. The loss of the googlies. My googly bank account was drained and I’ve come to terms with the loss. It’s fine. Googlies, my brain tells me, lead to abuse and abuse leads to PTSD, and PTSD leads pills and therapy and to dating someone for little other reason than they’re not abusive, not ugly, not entirely unintelligent. Even if they’re not exactly like you. Even if th

When you’re a single-issue voter, you don’t get hurt.

Sarah and John and I celebrated twenty years of friendship this weekend. They say that the friends you make in your college years are the ones who remain the most special to you your whole life, and that adage is true. I think of all my college-era friends (mostly Smithies, and even the Smithies I became friends with after Smith, or who are older/younger than me and were there at different times, have a certain quality that feels like home–to clarify, Sarah and John are friends from my one-semester stint at Wesleyan.) and how we can go years without a face-to-face meeting and still pick up where we left off.

We knocked over that lefse cart on Belmont. So much lefse. Buttery/sugary.

Sarah made an abundance of paella, as she recently traveled to Espana and returned with a box of pimenton and xocolata. (Xocolata never turns out the same in the U.S. because our milk is full of crap.)


She bought legs-on shrimp and Washington clams for this saffron-y feast.

Team Erudite also consented to a lengthy line wait at Salt & Straw. I had parsnip sorbet. (PORTLAND!)

I’m going to leave you all with this video of David Richo. The thing I learned from dating R. Stove is that if you are dating someone and are afraid to give them a copy of Richo’s landmark book How to Be an Adult in Relationships, because you knew deep down they’d be threatened by it/wouldn’t read it and it would turn into one of those “did you read it? No? When are you going to?” things, you should probably just jump ship and go look into doing a Fulbright.