Of Underwear and Ripped Jeans

Kevin’s not a big fan of wearing underwear.  I realized this early on in our relationship, but having spent many years bra-less, I felt that passing judgment would be hypocritical.

However, when he moved to Korea to be with me, ending our long-distance-relationship era, his lack of underwear became a problem.  For one thing, being the minimalist that he is, he’d only brought two pairs of jeans that were full of holes and rips, and one pair of underwear.  Also, he was planning to find work teaching, and though some jobs were casual, none were casual enough for ripped jeans over an otherwise naked body.  And finally, Kevin, though lean, is also tall.  The Korean pants ran too tight and short for his frame, so he had nothing to purchase to make himself look decent. Continue reading



Filed under Asia, South Korea, Vietnam

50 Reasons I’m Grateful to be Car-less

Like most Americans, I began driving when I was 16.  I bought my mom’s car when she got a new one, and I found myself with a 1996 Plymouth Acclaim.  I drove to high school and back, to parties and to work.  I sped and got tickets, and I bumped against enough curbs to lose all of my hubcaps.  When I was 18, I sold my car.  And unlike most Americans, I didn’t get a new one.

In two weeks I’ll turn 28, marking my ten-year anniversary of being car-less.  I’ll admit, when I’m cyclying to work in the blistering heat or pouring rain, when I’m walking home from the grocery store with my hiking bag full of food weighing down on my shoulders, and when I want to visit my friends who don’t live in the city, I glance at the passing traffic wistfully.

So why don’t I drive?  Because I’m a travel junkie.   Continue reading


Filed under Photos

Clowning Around

A sudden evening breeze rushed at Jason’s neck and he zipped his jacket all the way up.  Angry, he sighed behind his clown mask.  The neighborhood kids were out trick or treating.  Last year he’d been walking door to door too, stocking up on candy.  Now he was in high school, and if his best friend Dennis hadn’t gotten grounded, they’d be spending this night scaring the neighborhood kids. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction

Tampon Flinging Friday

I was biking to the grocery store on a Friday evening and I was feeling old.  It was the second weekend in a row that I’d been scheduled to bartend the morning shifts at work.  So it was also the second Friday night in a row that I was staying in.  Last Friday I had watched a movie and then spent two hours scrubbing the floors in my apartment.  This Friday I was making chili.  And though I told myself I was staying in on a Friday because of my early Saturday shift, I also knew that several years ago nothing would have held me down on a free weekend night, and that’s why I was feeling old. Continue reading


Filed under Milwaukee

The Thing About Clowns

I despised clowns years before I knew it was a common phobia.  I blame the start of this hatred on the movie “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.”  When I was a kid, I lived in a house where cooked carrots were considered candy and I had to eat my crust.  My best friend Colleen’s house had unlimited TV, which was forbidden in my home, as well as white bread and sugary cereal.  It was here that I first got to watch R-rated movies.

Colleen saw the movie “It,” and told me how scary it was.  I was excited to see something that would certainly be prohibited at home.  “Before you see this, I have a different movie we should watch,” Colleen told me.  “If you can handle ‘Killer Klowns from Outer Space, then we’ll watch ‘It.’” Continue reading


Filed under Milwaukee

Jinny Limericks

Became her foster mother

Never expected to love her

But she slept on my chest

A heavy night’s rest

She’s a kitty like no other Continue reading


Filed under poems

Unpacking Time

Moving sucks.  The only thing worse than categorizing all your belongings and carefully boxing them up, is unpacking boxes where half the items suddenly qualify as trash.

My recent unpacking has been more surprising than any from moves of my past.  I had boxed up everything in my apartment in the fall of 2009 and moved to Korea with two suitcases full of clothes.  After teaching there for two years, I moved home.  My then-boyfriend was now my fiancé, and we found a big apartment to settle into together.

Unpacking together, we regularly shook our heads at the little items that the other person owned.  “Can I put this in the garbage pile?” I asked Kevin, holding up his Darth Vader helmet.

“Absolutely not.  That thing is awesome,” he said.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Milwaukee