No More Birthday Blues

It’s strange how birthdays change meaning over time. Growing up, your birthday is the best day of the year — presents, cake, everyone’s attention on you. You have a party with all of your friends. You feel special and important.

But isn’t that all true when you’re grown, too? The fanfare is all the same, and yet we feel bad about our birthdays. They fill us with dread. Another year older just means we’re getting further away from our youth and closer to the tough, painful years of elderliness. And I suppose this is true, but why do we turn so pessimistic about our birthdays when we used to be so optimistic?  read more

The Hack Boy of Colorado Springs

For several years, my dad rented an office space owned by a man he somewhat affectionately called “Hack Boy.” Hack Boy owned this dated barber shop just a street over from Main in our little town. The barber shop itself was small, only holding a few chairs for haircutting, but the building was a bit bigger, housing two small, rentable office spaces and an upstairs apartment. Those lucky enough to visit the office spaces got to pass through Hack Boy’s hair studio, featuring ghastly taxidermied animals and that classic old person smell. The furniture was all from the eighties, unquestionably. read more

Beginner by Choice

You always feel bad for adult beginner skiers. Having grown old enough to develop a sense of fear, they look truly terrified and pained as they make their pizzas down the mountain. Injury could strike with just the slightest turn of the heel, the smallest chunk of ice. Building confidence is quite the endeavor. 

You never feel bad for adult beginner roller skaters, however. Because there are so goddamn many of us. You know who we are. We’re those people who never (or rarely) went to the roller or ice rink as children, and now as adults, we are forced to learn balance and grace for one night every five years. Luckily, unlike skiing, roller skating is such a niche sport; no one expects you to be spectacular at it. If you can make it around the rink without falling, you’re golden. read more

Pull It Together – The Greeting Committee

You gots to, gots to get it out,
All the nonsense in your head.
These days it gets so loud,
Best to put it to rest.
Momma says it won’t be long
Till I get along with myself.
I guess, I guess I never have,
But it’s all just as well.

I’m gonna pull it together.
Talk me down until I get better.
You know I’m gonna pull it together.
Shake me out, I wanna get better.
But I don’t know how.

Oh please, oh please settle down,
She said to me as I spun out.
Off the handle again,
I never was a good friend.
In all of my attempts
To kick myself out of this,
I fell, I fell right on it,
Tripped on that silver lining. read more

A Piano Ponder

I’ve always been drawn to the sound of a piano. That’s not to say that I can play the piano, however. After watching my siblings both gnash their teeth, throw themselves from the piano bench, and burst into tears countless times, I decided piano lessons weren’t for me. Instead, years later, I’d sit at my father’s piano and study my siblings’ instructions books, essentially self-teaching. When I’d encounter a note or symbol I couldn’t decipher, I’d call over my father, an accomplished pianist from childhood, to clarify. And so, I learned some basic piano, though I never really mastered the building blocks, the scales and keys. read more