Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

Last year, I made one of my New Year’s resolutions “eat more cake.” It had occurred to me that we often reserve cake for solely birthdays, when it’s a dessert worth having on a much more regular basis. I am proud to say that I CRUSHED that resolution.

Other resolutions I actually fulfilled included “do/see more things that blow your mind” and “have an espresso martini.” I failed, however, to have a hair-braiding party, buy more blue potatoes and purple carrots, and explore more national parks. read more

I’m Pretty Good at Giving Toasts

It’s the time of year that every publication posts best-of lists and every app has your personalized year in review. We all feel this need to summarize our year, to look back on the last 12 months with some newfound wisdom or growth. People always characterize their year as “full of ups and downs” as if that weren’t how life simply is. Still, I suppose the end of the year is as good a time as any to reflect, for if life weren’t punctuated this way, when would we?

This year felt very eventful and honestly exhausting compared to the last couple. Obviously, there was a pandemic at play, but in 2021, I did go to the Tokyo Olympics for a month, and that was enough taxing on my body (and brain) to last the entire year. This year didn’t have so many momentous moments per se, but it just had a constant restlessness, more so than the norm. In contrast, I remember 2019 feeling like an actually momentous year: running my first marathon, graduating from college, starting my first real jobs. There were some big LIFE moments that year. read more

We Didn’t Start the Fire

Tomorrow, I’m going to compete in a climbing competition for the first time since middle school. I’ve always been unnecessarily stressed by individual competition, which is why I avoided running track beyond 9th grade and felt genuinely relieved to walk away from climbing competitions when I went to boarding school. There were some climbing comps in college, but I either purposely showed up to them too late (maybe tipsy) or was one of the monitors to set the boulder problems, thus eliminating myself. read more

My Corgi and I, Growing Together

It was a hard week. I knew I was signing myself up for mental and emotional exhaustion this month and the next with all of the activity I had planned. I arrived home on Sunday having been gone since Labor Day. In the time between, I had been from Colorado Springs to Durango to Ouray to Telluride back to Ouray to Colorado Springs to San Francisco to Fort Collins and back again. All of those travels had been well worth it; I reconnected with college friends, ran the sickest race of my life, finally met some of my coworkers in person, and did some adventuring with relatively new, but lovely friends in Colorado. I was set to leave for home in New York on Thursday, with a concert in Boulder on Wednesday, so I planned to hunker down at home for the few days in between. Sometimes life doesn’t care if you have a plan, though. read more

What did you learn today?

In the past two months, I got COVID, ran an inordinate number of ill-conceived and hot miles, traveled to Clif Bar headquarters, dog sat seven pups across three different towns, and limped to the finish line, a bachelorette weekend (though very mellow) in Savannah. I probably spent a week total in my own home in July. And as exhausted as I am, I know that once I settle back down in Colorado Springs, I’ll start bitching about how BORED I am after about a week. I think I’m resigned to living my life in this constant battle between hating and craving routine. I suppose I’m living consciously enough that I care one way or the other. read more

Reclaim Your Joy / Have a Time

I started a post in February and now it’s complete. Better late than never I guess … but also there wasn’t a deadline?

In Colorado, having a car is somewhat non-negotiable. Unless you live in Boulder or Denver, the public transportation is so poor that it can take you up to two hours to get somewhere that takes 15 minutes in Colorado Springs. The Springs is relatively bike-able (nowhere near the immaculately designed Boulder bike paths, but you can get from point A to B), but chances are, you’re not trying to hang out in Colo Spgs all the time. read more

A Certain Softness

The word optimization seems to be dominating my life lately. Optimize your omnichannel strategy to see the greatest ROI. Optimize your supplement and protein intake to repair muscles faster. Optimize your peanut butter to jelly ratio for the perfect sandwich. You get the idea. For a while, I used this buzzword frequently, thinking I sounded knowledgeable when I did so. Now, I find the whole concept dizzying. While optimization isn’t perfection, it is striving for it, in a sense — and that’s why it feels unattainable at times. read more

I’ve Got a Feeling

I’ve been accumulating a lot of thoughts over the past month, fluctuating between waves of feeling so compelled to write and feeling like writing is the last thing I want to do. I’ve always thought that writing was the way I was meant to express myself — that it would express my feelings better than anything else could. I still believe this, fundamentally, but I lately feel at a loss for expressing myself, period. It’s good and bad. Good, in the sense that I truly do feel like I’m living in the present. I’m taking one day at a time, not looking too far ahead, not dwelling on the past. At the same time, my head and my heart seem to be all out of whack. read more

Know Thyself

I lately have felt like all of my thoughts are just recycled. It’s probably because I do the same dang things all the time and am stuck with myself 100% of the time; when there’s little variability in your life, why would your thoughts radically change?

Something inside me wants to believe that I’m thinking the same things because these thoughts are truly important to mull over. However, I proofread the following snippets multiple times, and all I can confirm is that I’m just getting more self-absorbed. And so I’ve named this post “Know Thyself” simply because that’s all these snippets are indicative of — that I know myself, maybe to a fault. read more

Drake – Still Woozy

All I want is to be happy,
All I want is to be happy.
All I want, all I want is love.
All I get is another day,
All I get is another day
That I can’t, that I can’t get out of …

When I wake up, slap my face,
When I wake up far away.
Now we’re laid up, all okay,
And we made up for today.

All I want is to be laughing,
All I want is to be laughing
With you one, with you one more time.
But I know now, I’ve been stupid,
“Just keep moving, ” that’s what you said.
And I will, and I will, alright. read more

Disappear Daily – Ollie MN

Getting out of bed
Shouldn’t be so hard to do.
When it’s dark inside your head,
Who cares if the sky’s blue?

The smallest thing
Can split my mind in two.
I wish everything
Came as easily as loving you,
As loving you, you.
Loving you, you.

Isn’t it fun how I completely
Disappear daily?
And make it hard to see
Why you love me at all?

Isn’t it funny when I can’t breathe,
Insist that we both leave
Your own birthday party
‘Cause of nothing at all?

I wanna dance
Freely like others do.
I wish everything
Came as easily as loving you
As loving you, you.
Loving you, you. read more

Is This Anything?

I was home a couple weeks ago when I noticed a book by Jerry Seinfeld on my dad’s bedside table. I’m very fond of Seinfeld despite not having watched his show nor stand-up very much. The book is titled, “Is This Anything?” and my dad explained that it’s about Seinfeld’s thought process. When he’s coming up with a bit, he brings up the idea with friends and asks, “Is this anything?” e.g., “What about a bit on how useless cotton balls are to men? Is there anything there?” and the friends will either confirm that there’s something or reject it outright. read more

Manifest – Andrew Bird

I’m coming to the edge of the widest canyon,
My companion’s dear.
I’m starting to question my manifest destiny,
My claim to this frontier.
I’m coming to the brink of a great disaster,
End just has to be near.
The earth spins faster, whistles right past you,
Whispers death in your ear.
Don’t pretend you can’t hear.
Don’t pretend you can’t.

I can hear your tendrils still digging
For everything that’s walked this earth once living,
Then to be exhumed and burned to vapor.
Can you save her?
Now she’s in the air,
Radical and free,
Neither here nor there.
She’s obliged to no one,
She’s obliged to no one. read more

If that’s movin’ up, then I’m movin’ out.

“If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that moving always sucks; it just can suck a little less sometimes.”

That was my career counselor and dear friend, John “Chief” Mann. I just finished moving a couple of days ago, and we were catching up over beers. I had to agree; I’ve moved countless times over the past six years, usually by myself, and it’s never been fun. The times I have been given help, I’ve actually gotten tearful out of gratitude. I can’t help but getting emotional over a move, between “this is the end of an era” and “oh my God, why do I own so much crap?” read more

Much Love for the Familiar

I’ve been feeling a lot of nostalgia lately, or perhaps, comfort in the familiar.

For instance, I saw a fox while I was out running about a month ago. Looking at it, it brought me back to the outdoor trip I led with my current roommate several years ago, a freshman orientation trip doing trail work on Mount Yale. This trip would solidify our friendship and also reveal to me that the fox is my spirit animal. Ever since that trip, I have seen foxes pretty regularly, and it usually happens while running. There’s a strange connection I feel when I see them. We seem to lock eyes, and it’s almost as if I am Mr. Fox, gazing in awe at the wolf at the end of Fantastic Mr. Fox, the movie. The spell always breaks when we start to run separate ways. read more

A Tribute to the Queen of Good

Millie always brought you a gift when you got home. It could be an old shoe, a book, even someone’s homework.

She loved to ride in the car, though anything above her cruising speed, 35 miles per hour, was too fast for her. With her long eyelashes and eyebrows, I suspected that riding was the only time she could fully see.

Millie was messy, with a constantly slimy beard, burs in her fur, and muddy feet. But she was beautiful. And when you told her she was beautiful, she’d look at you with eyes that said, “I know it.” read more

White Russian

Name: White Russian

Brewery: Lefthand Brewing Co. (Longmont, Colorado)

Style: White nitro stout with coffee + vanilla

Rating: 3.9/5

Review: It’s been a hot minute since I’ve reviewed any beer, so bear with me.

This beer was very tasty, but it almost wasn’t beer to me. I should admit that I have little experience with drinking White Russian cocktails. One of my best friends, Evyn, introduced me to them in Cuba, of all places. That was four years ago. I may have gone another three years before drinking a White Russian again — and that was when my friend Danylo decided he’d make them for me and all of my roommates to celebrate their graduation in May 2020. I will say: I am quite fond of the beverage, given the limited experience. read more

Blame Game – Beach Bunny

Time keeps slipping away, slipping away.
Same routine settles in next Friday.
TV news interviews saying, “She’s loose.”
Police officer asks what she’s wearing.

And I’m tired of the world perceiving me.
And I’m tired of girls saying,
“Something here’s gotta change, it’s gotta change.”
We keep playing the same blame game.
Do you think calling names makes me feel safe?
You look prettiest when you smile, babe.

But I don’t want to smile for anyone.
And I’ll be caught dead saying, read more

I Donut Have an Obsession

It’s more about the quest for the donut than the donut itself.

I’m fairly certain that my coworkers all think I’m obsessed with donuts. Much of this is owed to my affinity for Dunkin’, which I talk about incessantly. I can’t help it that I run on Dunkin’ and that I get major points and deals through Dunkin’s app and that I am very serious about getting sponsored as a trail runner by Dunkin’. In Colorado, where the ubiquity of Dunkin’ is abysmal compared to the East Coast, I have developed a Dunkin’ radar. Wherever I am, I know where the closest Dunkin’ is. (There are 4 in the Springs; one in Montrose and north Boulder; several in south Denver, including off exit 196 and also south Broadway … I could continue.) This obsession is undeniable, but it causes confusion. Certainly, when I get my iced caramel macchiato with skim milk at Dunkin’, I am inclined to purchase an accompanying donut, but that’s not always the case. Why? Because I pursue donuts as a quest, not an afterthought. read more

Crocodile Pants (Why Interaction is a Good Thing)

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

COVID has really made me wary of interacting with others. I’m
already quite cynical, and the pandemic has only made me more so. Moreover, I’ve always been pretty OK with doing things alone. And so, I’ve been just going skiing and climbing by my lonesome — a lot.

A few weeks ago, I was at the climbing gym, you guessed it, alone. I was doing the auto-belays for the umpteenth time, air pods in, forehead creased and eyes narrowed, daring anyone to talk to me. An employee approached me. I assumed he was reproaching me for wearing both air pods while climbing, but he was trying to help me out. “You know, there are a couple of others who are also doing the auto-belays, but they’re like you — strong and sick of the repetition. You could get on top-rope together — I could introduce you?” read more


I was reading an article about the deteriorating mental health of young people during the pandemic. It was depressing. Psychiatrists believe the incidence of depression and anxiety is so severe among youth right now, that a mental health pandemic is occurring parallel to the virus. I can’t say I was surprised by what I read, but still, I’d like to think things are going to turn out alright in the end. But then I considered all the times in the past year that things didn’t seem like they’d turn out at all. read more

I Only Say I’m Sorry When I’m Wrong Now, News Reporters, and “A Tool is a Tool”

About a week ago, I was finishing up a run and listening to a playlist I had made a friend for Christmas. Despite being the creator of said playlist, I had forgotten that I put a song titled “I Only Say I’m Sorry When I’m Wrong Now” on it, by Cheekface. The song itself is very deadpan and cheeky (no pun intended), and it never ceases to amuse me. But as I listened to it, bearing in mind that the year was coming to a close, I couldn’t help but feel like it actually had some serious wisdom. The chorus goes as follows: read more

Impossible – Clairo

How are you feeling? How are you doing?
I’m sorry, I just wanted to hear your voice so clear
What are you thinking? Am I amusing?
It’s so strange to talk after all these years.

What is the meaning? It’s so confusing.
All my old feelings coming back to me,
When was the last time that I saw your face?
Know it like the back of my hand, I’d say.

And you’re not that dumb anymore,
I picked up the books you threw to the floor.
Put them back on the shelf,
Don’t you see how much I want your help? read more

Predictability, Unpredictability, and the Magic of Girl Friends

I have been tested for COVID six times now. I imagine that number will climb to a total of nine for 2020. I’ve flown to Mexico, having tested negative for the sixth time four days ago. I’ll get tested upon return. And if I go home to New York for Christmas, I suspect I’ll test before and after that trip, too. I’m getting so tired of tests that it makes me want to forfeit returning home for the holidays, which is just absurd. Of course going home is worth a couple more nasal swabs. But part of me just wants to forgo the stress of the airports and contact with so many others; to just hole myself up in one place, spending time with only a small cohort of people, and not too often. It certainly unburdens me of all the necessary COVID mitigation. But that’s just 2020 for you. read more

Journey / Inspiration

I woke up yesterday with the creeping sensation of fall drifting through the window. As much as I like fall weather, it always fills me with a feeling of dread. I get the sense that things are changing, as they did every year of school, and that it’ll be cold and I’ll be missing home in an instant. This morning, I was also bracing myself for the arrival of pest control, and with them, the hassle of emptying drawers and cabinets, rearranging, and ultimately undoing all of my meticulous organization. read more

Getting Scared pt. 2, ft. Screaming Toes

Five months and five days. I had counted. That was how long I went without rock climbing—the longest stint in my life. Man, it was good to be back.

I had a realization about a month ago that I was simply existing. It wasn’t inherently a bad thing, but it was perplexing. COVID had stripped me of so many passions: concert-going, brewery visits with friends, traveling, and most of all, climbing. And yet, I was numb. Shouldn’t I be more upset, given that these activities are what form my entire identity? Shouldn’t I lament their loss? Maybe I did, back when this began in March. But at that point, I really had just gotten used to feeling uninspired by my daily routine. And that frightened me. read more

A Couple Months’ Worth of Nonsense

Everyone knows that anything in miniature form is inherently better than its normal-size counterpart. Those mini glass Coca-Cola bottles. Mini cupcakes. Mini whisks. Try to argue against me, I dare you. I had this thought (as I often do) when I recently passed by one of those mailboxes that look like a miniature house. Which reminded me of a house in Colorado Springs that has a tree house that is a miniature version of itself. People with these sorts of constructions are some of the few that I’d actually like to meet. read more

Coriolis Effect

Name: Coriolis Effect

Brewery: New Image Brewing (Arvada, Colorado)

Style: New Zealand Style IPA

Rating: 4.2 / 5

Review: I will preface this review with stating that I am quite, quite biased on this one. Further, I am going into launch into a long story that barely reviews the beer.

I actually saw this beer for the first time back in December (remember December? A time when we weren’t wearing face masks and could socialize without fear of contracting a devastating virus?). My rad co-worker had given me a $15 gift certificate to the liquor store right before you get on I-25 from my exit of Colorado Springs. I never go to this liquor store because it’s just *slightly* more expensive than my go-to, college liquor store. But hey, I had a gift certificate! read more

A Call to Call Me Out (or In)

I haven’t posted on here in a while. It didn’t feel like it was my place.

Like the vast majority of America, I was shocked, disgusted, dismayed [insert more adjectives] by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. And as I watched my social media feeds flood with infographics, calls to action, resources to listen to, read, and watch, and all of those black squares, I felt dizzy and paralyzed. And rightfully so; as a white person, I should be humbled and made uncomfortable by my complicity in innumerable structures that systemically and systematically harm people of color. But those feelings couldn’t tell me what to do. read more

Twenty Two and Some Change – Stephen Day

I don’t wanna die young,
Don’t wanna get old,
And stay so warm
That my heart gets cold.

So tell me there’s a reason
Or something upstairs.
And tell me they’ve been seeing
What’s going on down here.

‘Cause I get to feeling sad,
And I miss my mom and dad.
Why’s it so hard to tell ’em that?
When you get to a certain age
You miss what you could’ve had,
But don’t really want it back,
And hope that you’re on track
For twenty-two and some change.

I just wanna have fun
And have a good laugh,
Make a few friends,
The kind that last. read more