Friday, May 20, 2005


I gave away my little girl's toys yesterday--just some things she'd outgrown. Sad little blue eyes stared up at me; it was heartbreaking. But really, I think she was more upset that I took away her fistful of tissue paper.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

30 min. commute


At 16 I wanted to drive just for the sake of driving. A full tank of gas was as good as an airplane ticket to Mexico. Even with a rusted out minivan, half an hour on the highway used to be a lot more fun.

Friday, May 13, 2005


A group of rowdy pirates inspired me to read Treasure Island. Now I've got the song "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest-- Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!" stuck in my head.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


My dad was in on Monday. He was the top story in the Technology section. Over the past few weeks, the story has been picked up by AP and posted online in the NY Times, BBC Online, Slashdot, and MS-NBC. The last time we talked on the phone he said, "I love you and I'm proud of you. I mean, I'd love you no matter what, but I just want you to know I'm proud of you, too." I should've been the one telling him that.

Monday, May 09, 2005


". . . while ones grammar does not necesarilly show ones education...when making a serious argument you need to remember to use real words and punctuation. this makes what you are saying far more solid as an argument." [sic]
-online post

I want to bring this quote to school and make all the freshmen write about it.

The point of language is communication. When awkward phrasing, spelling, and haphazard punctuation get in the way of making a point, language has failed. And yet, "I ain't got no satisfaction" isn't bad or even ungrammatical, just nonstandard.

Grammar is a matter of style. English is fluid; that's what makes it beautiful.

Is the above author right that grammar strengthens your argument and reflects a certain diligence and logic? Yes. Does his writing have errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and point of view? Yes. But, and most importantly, does he make his point?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

It's weird to be on this side of the holiday: less spectacular and more important.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


On the bridge, just where the skyline of St. Paul comes into view and you can see both the railroad tracks and the river undulating beneath you, we nearly had a car wreck. Honk, swerve, and it was back to normal rush hour. Still, the few milliseconds of disaster haunt me.

Sept. 2. I was driving home from work. Less than a block away, I had stopped at an intersection waiting to turn left and was rear-ended by a car going 50 mph. It was after the crash of glass, the vertigo of spinning had stopped, and they turned off the car radio, when I started to feel the panic. I was nine months pregnant and Laura wasn't moving. Nothing in my entire life has been more horrific than sitting on a curb and waiting desperately to feel her kick. I had to wait three hours before we knew she was ok. Then I spent another day in the hospital, hooked up to two heart monitors. It's good that I was pregnant at the time. There's no way a child in the backseat would have survived. Through the whole accident and ambulence ride, I never cried. But when we stopped by the junkyard several days later to officially declare the vehicle totalled, I touched the crumpled metal frame and sobbed.

It's hard to write about. I don't think catastrophes are fated, and I don't think our survival had a greater purpose. I just think I was lucky.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Top 10 movies to live for, in no particular order:

* Cinema Paradiso -- the last scene
* Smoke Signals -- his father
* Ghost Dog -- the girl's lunchbox
* Kelly's Heroes -- Donald Sutherland
* No Man's Land -- the photo in his wallet
* Apocalypse Now -- the ceiling fan
* The Big Lebowski -- the Dude
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest -- the sink
* Curse of the Jade Scorpion -- Paris
* Once Upon a Time in the West -- the sound of water dripping

Sunday, May 01, 2005

black ink

I think the most important words I've ever written were on napkins.