You’d think Jiffy Lube would have logos all over its waiting room to get free advertising from bored customers taking waiting-room selfies to ease the tedium of adulting. But it only has acres of plain walls covered in faux stucco, giving us bored adulters no other option but to take selfies documenting the empty-vacuum desperation of our bland, meaningless, faux-stucco lives.
Sunday, April 22, 2018
There’s a tidy little Edward Hopper exhibit at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art featuring pieces on loan from the Whitney Museum in New York in exchange for the Grant Wood pieces lent from the CRMA for the Whitney’s current Grant Wood exhibit.
The Hopper exhibit here is perfectly OK, but I much prefer the extant architecture from the Carnegie Library that was repurposed into the CRMA with its gloriously geometric Postmodern addition in the 1980s:
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Pickled cubes of ham! Cottage cheese with chives! Oven-baked steak! Other foods that have funny German names! Old-timey farmey stuff nailed to the walls! Waitresses who call you Dear! Waddling to the car when you’re stuffed!
Friday, April 20, 2018
I’m not sure what’s most disturbing about this picture: the bar mitzvah clown smile, the Disney villain eyes, the dinner-plate glasses, the scarecrow neck, the weird-ass way I wore my watch on the inside of my wrist or the pink-on-white shirt that hung on me with all the sex appeal of a Mayan burial gown on an immolated corpse. The girls on my floor (Loser alert! I was living in the Foreign Language House, a co-ed dorm filled with language dorks who stayed in on Friday nights studying verb declensions!) had decorated my door with pink 21s. Probably to match the shirt. Or the homosexuality. I’m not sure where I got the wine, but I am sure I had only a sip of it to celebrate reaching such a milestone age. Because actually drinking a whole glass of alcohol on my 21st birthday would have been something the cool kids would do.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
When your 50 and your a writer and you’re mom was an English teacher, she of course orders you a chalkboard birthday cake framed in homonyms and conjugations:
When your April birthday is in the middle of winter, your mom of course makes both tulip cookies and snowman cookies:
My mom—along with the rest of my family—totally gets me.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
I feel like that ominous, grainy photo of the Titanic sailing away from the White Star Dock in Southampton that’s always accompanied by a caption saying something about it being the last time the ship would ever see land. I was born at 6:30 am, so when I close my eyes tonight it will be the last time I see my bedroom as a 49-year-old because by the time I wake up I’ll be 50.
Turning 50 is bugging me WAY beyond the expected complaints of a certain age milestone making someone feel old. I know I’m not the only person to turn 50 or to feel profoundly older because of it ... and I’m certainly not the first person to complain about it. But 50 brings with it a mathematical sense of mortality that even 49 didn’t: I’m well over halfway done living my life. But I don’t feel like I’ve even STARTED living it by most measures. There’s so much about living that I worry I haven’t even started thinking about, much less doing ... even though I’ve consciously and purposefully been living by the motto “someday just began”—meaning someday is here, so stop putting things off (like tattooing “someday just began” inside your arm where you can easily see it) until some far-off-procrastination someday—for well over two decades.
So in that spirit—and flying in the face of the defeated spirit of the 50-year-old man I desperately don’t want to be—I’ve mapped out a pretty rigorous Summer Of Running Away From Being 50 that includes multiple vacations to favorite destinations including New York City and Washington, D.C., and multiple races including two half marathons, the second of which winds through the parks of my beloved Walt Disney World in November.
So tomorrow’s my new someday. The beginning of my sixth decade. The dawn of my summer-long celebration of that milestone. The onyourmarksgetsetGO! of my sprint toward everything that awaits me between here and 60.
And the moment I wake up tomorrow, it’s only just begun.
We have a refrigerator at work filled with icy cold pop and an honor-system piggy bank (that’s shaped like an actual pig!) on top for us to pay a quarter every time we take a pop. Naturally, I brought every quarter I could scrounge out of random couch cushions and pay phones to work and stacked them so precariously on my desk that they became a safety hazard and five OSHA violations. So I searched through our storage room at home for a handsome, tasteful demitasse or votive that I could possibly repurpose as a quarter caddy (coffer? cradle? cauldron? kettle? so many alliterative options!) ... and instead I FOUND A WHOLE BAG OF ASSORTED DISNEY PRINCESS PARTY CUPS, the Cinderellaiest of which I—as people do—arranged on my desk with a Diet Coke can and an artful jumble of quarters for this celebratory photo:
Monday, April 16, 2018
It's--as per my usual sleek, masculine aesthetic--black. Which Apple calls space gray. Because why burden yourself with the efficiencies of accurate nomenclature when WHAT THE HELL IS SPACE GRAY, APPLE? C’MON. Anyway, I eagerly await having the ability to watch an entire commercial without my battery dying. Plus WIRELESS CHARGING, PEOPLE.