The Art of the Sale

Last summer when I went to visit my friend Melissa on the east coast, I was plunged into  nostalgia. Partly because we spent a few days at her family’s house on the Jersey shore, where she and I lived during the summer of ’99, but also because she and her mom were having a garage sale my first day there. Garage sales were a big part of my youth. My family would often stop at sales on the way home from church summer Sundays, and we’d have a huge sale ourselves one weekend every year. But after spending much of my twenties living overseas, many of my American cultural habits faded away. Going to garage sales was one of them.

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It’s a Record!

No, not a running record (but stay tuned for that post soon) – a work record! I’m about to break my full time job tenure record. As of this Thursday, I’ll have been at LogRhythm for 3 years. I lasted 2 years and 11 months at the job before this one, although in theory I could have lasted longer if they hadn’t shut down. Before that, I lasted 2 years and 1 month. And before that, I did a bunch of random part time jobs while in grad school and bounced around from country to country teaching English. Being in a job this long is most unusual for me. Continue reading →

Turning 40: What Does Everybody Else Think?

So now that my big day is here (yay!!!) and now that you’ve read my thoughts on my life at its midpoint and who I am, what do the people in my life think about me? I asked them all to submit a statement for this final blog entry. No rules—could be funny, sad, irritating, scary, nostalgic—no word limit. Most of them wrote things that got me right in my 40-year-old ticker and brought this funny little prickly sensation to my eyes. Damn it, you guys! All of them wrote things that brought up fun memories and made me feel lucky to have them in my life. They inspire me every bit as much as I apparently inspire them and they make me want to be a better and better friend. If you guys are reading this, love you! Continue reading →

Turning 40: 40 Years in 40 Sentences

What sets me apart from most people in my life is that I was alive when Jimmy Carter was president. Then, when I was one, Ronald Reagan took office and we moved into the house my Republican parents live in to this day. I began a lifelong love of reading in that house by going through my father’s electronics catalogs and attempting to read the descriptions of the latest eight track and Betamax players.  Continue reading →

Turning 40: The People Who Changed My Life

I’ve been fortunate so far to have lived my life surrounded by people who support me. My dad worked extremely hard his whole life to make sure I had not only my basic needs of shelter and good nutrition met, but also that I had opportunity to explore my interests, learn, and ultimately become a successful adult. Later in life, I found wonderful friends who provide emotional support, encourage me to accomplish the things I want to, and make life better just by their presence. Additionally, many people throughout my life have inspired me in small and big ways, have (sometimes unbeknownst to them) been role models, and have changed my opinions and perspective. I appreciate all these people so much for their influence on me. But here at the halfway point, there are two people who, in crossing my path, literally changed the entire course of my life and who I am fundamentally as a person.  Continue reading →

Turning 40: Why I Write

At three days away from turning 40 years old, I haven’t been published, and yet I continue to write and call myself a writer. I’m not published because I haven’t ever submitted anywhere or queried an agent. Sure, I’d like to be published some day, but that’s never really been the point for me. The effort required to submit to agents and magazines and to market my work seems like it would sap all the fun out of writing. For me, the point is the process itself. I write because I have to. I have to explore ideas on paper and play with words and get creative. I’ve loved the written word since I was very, very little. Even though writing is an intrinsic part of me and a huge piece of my identity, it hasn’t always come easy. I took a nearly two-decade hiatus from creative writing, something I regret now even though I know I can only look forward. I did this exercise—a history of me as a writer in ten chapters—as part of a class I took and thought this would be a great time to share it on my blog.  Continue reading →

Turning 40: Lists, Part 2

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s. These lists are more random, while yesterday’s were more about who I am as a person.

Things I’ve Quit Because My Ego is Too Big

  • Girl Scouts in second grade because I wasn’t voted president
  • 4-H Club in third grade because I wasn’t voted president
  • Flute in fourth grade because I didn’t get first chair
  • Softball in elementary school because I didn’t like my position in the batting order
  • Musicals in high school because a new girl joined our school and was a better singer than me so she got the lead my freshman year instead of me
  • Plays in college because no one wanted to cast me in a lead role my first semester
  • Gettysburg College because I didn’t instantly have a massive group of friends who thought I was awesome
  • Many, many jobs because I didn’t get to do exactly what I wanted and thought was best

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Turning 40: Lists, Part 1

Yesterday kicked off a week-long series of posts all about me as I’m about to turn 40. The next two posts contain lists. Factual, thoughtful, silly, defining, wishful, nostalgic – all sorts of lists about who I am at this point in my life. Something interesting to look back on in the coming decades as I continue to learn more and have experiences and meet people, all of which leads to personal change. None of these are in any particular order. I’d love to hear how some of my readers define themselves in these categories. Feel free to share in the comments! Continue reading →

Turning 40: I Don’t Look 12 Anymore

Twenty-nine and seven one-thousandths. No, that’s not a fraction from the world’s worst third grade math problem. Twenty-nine is an age and seven one-thousandths of an inch is the diameter of an average human hair. When I was twenty-nine, a single, coarse, dark-brown hair sprouted from the underside of my chin. I already had a handful of gray hairs tucked under a bed of various browns on the front, right side of my head, but at least those grew from the part of my head that female hair is supposed to grow from. Continue reading →

Hands Off The Mutt

Back in January, I invited a date over to my house. Before he came inside, I gave him the obligatory warning about my dog. That is, don’t get in his face or near his food and generally just give him his space. It’s not that Trotsky Bear is vicious, but he does require human interactions to be on his terms. He’s not a cuddler—he doesn’t like any pressure on his body—and gets upset when he feels trapped, such as when strangers grab his face with both hands. I may be paranoid, but when your dog has nipped someone a few times—even if it was over three years ago and only happened because he was living in a stressful situation with a cat and a guy who was drunk and angry all the time—that’s how it goes. Better safe than sorry. Continue reading →