Moments That Stop You During The Day: People Who Look Like Ex’s

I was trying to figure out what figure out speech “about” is when I stumbled across this video. There’s no profundity to this blog post. This girl just looks a LOT like a college ex I remember fondly. She even speaks in similar rhythms. And I’m a sucker for hoop earrings, and my ex had never worn them but did to drive me wild, and then this video came on and it’s like…it reminds me so ineffably yet tangibly of my undergrad years. What a time of life.

I wonder if we conflate our memories with sensory details. For instance, my college ex was a super cool person. She had dimples and, at the time, her hair was cut short. Whenever I see dimples and short hair, I’m inclined to like that person, by association.
By contrast, another girl I dated who let’s say I would describe as something less than super cool had a snatch that sometimes smelled like bleach. Things did not end well with this loony bin. To this day, I really kinda don’t like the smell of bleach. But is that because of the smell? Or the memory associated with it?

Also, if Elizabeth O’Brien is single…that’d be cool.

Do you ever see people who look like your former lovers? Are there traits you’ve liked or resented for life because of some initial, romantically-entangled experience? What’s your stance on the smell of bleach?

Carmelo Addresses the Atlanta Hawks Racism Controversy

850Hawks Sale Basketball               melosuit

Posting&Toasting published my short write-up regarding Carmelo Anthony’s thoughts on this week’s revelation of racist comments by Atlanta Hawks soon-to-be-ex-owner Bruce Levenson and not-long-for-this-world-as-a-GM Danny Ferry. To synopsize: I liked hearing from an unusually candorrific Carmelo.

The Effect of Foreign and Native Speakers in the Classroom

In addition to bluesofnine here and my fabulous-yet-neglected-classic-middle-child sports blog Page 2 Sports, I’ve added another ingredient to my blog stew: Stony Brook University’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric blog. I posted my first blog there tonight, about how the evolution of a group I founded with two students last year combining English-speaking natives and non-native speakers has benefited the students who attend the meetings and benefited me as a professor by its influence on my classroom lessons. If fluency excites you, this blog post’s for you.

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What do Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, and yours truly have in common?

We all have works on display at the Museum of Modern Art!

Didn't have to cut my ear off or get shot, either.

Didn’t have to cut my ear off or get shot, either.

My most controversial story (so far), “Black Jesus,” in Carrier Pigeon magazine (volume 3/issue 3) is now on sale at MoMA PS1. Vinnie and Andy’s works can’t be taken home from the museum, whereas mine can; thus, my art, being more portable than theirs, is also more modern. Also, they’re dead. Now that’s a win-win for me!




One Man’s Pets A.K.A. Girls I Have Loved–Jamie Rodriguez

Today it hit me like a shot to the duodenum: I turn 36 in a few months. 36’s almost 40. 40’s almost dead. 
I also realized I haven’t lived at the same address for consecutive birthdays since I was in my 20s. This will be my 7th straight birthday somewhere new from the year before. Accepting that one is aging and noting a propensity for upheaval in one’s domestic tempo are changes that speak to an evolving, maturing individual. On the other hand, as Gandhi famously said, “the internet is a bitch that must be bedded on a mattress of cute pics of doggies and kitties.” So instead of evolving, I’m gonna share my history with pets, and hope that it inspires you to share your own…petstories? Continue reading

Question for Bloggers (especially if you’ve been Freshly Pressed):

When you include photos/videos/gifs in your blog, do you cite where you found them or who created them? I always provide links or attribute credit for articles that aren’t mine, but I haven’t done so with images because…well, because I don’t have a Youtube channel, and I don’t even have a camera, and I don’t know how to create a gif. But I read that WordPress has a list of “don’ts” when they’re screening blogs to be Freshly Pressed, and one of these don’ts is not citing “copyrighted images.” I figured anyone clicking on a photo/gif/video would be led back to the original site. Maybe I’m wrong?

Do you cite every image you use that isn’t yours, originally?

Everybody poops. But nobody needs to know that.

I have a question.

I’ll admit I’m kind of uncertain about even asking this question. Because it might be a ridiculous question. Because this is the last week of summer semester, and the last week of any semester my I.Q. drops about 30 points. Seriously: ever made soup and poured it into a colander, then poured the remaining solid into a bowl and heard the sad squish sound of soup solids sans broth? That’s not even the clearest sign you’re brain-dulled. It’s the fact that you stare at the bowl for a few seconds, aware that something’s wrong but not exactly sure what. That happened to me last night. That was when I knew twas time to stick a fork in me gulliver.


I was so exhausted by midnight, as the emails kept coming in with more and more essays to look over, I burst into tears and laughter. The laughter was not a sound of joy; it was like a belt snapped and my sanity had rolled downhill away from me. The tears were actually closer to joy than the laughter, though I wouldn’t even call them joyous. I wouldn’t call them anything, because they didn’t feel like my tears. It didn’t feel like I was the one crying. Something inside just…snapped. I heard myself reacting, but I couldn’t control it.

I was in the middle of an awesome sleep when, around 4:30, I awoke to the smell of rotten eggs. This wasn’t the first time this has happened in my current digs. In fact, it’s the 4th time in 4+ months it’s happened. Once again, something was wrong with the plumbing. This meant no using the toilet till a plumber OK’d flushing.


Continue reading

Givers vs. Takers

Borges would approve of this image. But he's way smarter than me anyway.

Borges would approve of this image. But he’s way smarter than me anyway.

In most of my relationships, I am the giver. This can sometimes lead to problems, especially when you’re involved with shameless, aggressive takers. I promised myself after my last relationship ended that I would look to date givers. I have a date later this week with a girl I met on-line. One of the first things she told me, unprovoked, is that she’s “a giver.” We’ll see.

I wonder what drives givers to be givers instead of takers. Or takers to be takers instead of givers. Or either to be one or the other, rather than balanced. Are there balanced people out there?

This is the last week of the summer semester. My students are emailing me their papers left and right, and as is always the case the last week of the semester, I’m so overwhelmed by the intense focus devoted to literally hundreds of thousands of words that every night when I go to bed I have a piercing headache.
Last night one student emailed me her latest revision at 3:00 a.m. This morning in class–that’s a 9:30 a.m. class–the first thing she wanted to know was whether I’d read her paper yet. I’m guessing that one’s a taker.


Are you a giver? A taker? Balanced? Do you date givers, takers, balanceds, or others? Is there a relationship between what you avoid in your romantic life and what you seek or end up encountering in your workplace?



I had a meeting today at work with a new boss. I’m teaching a course in a new department and she wanted to go over some details with me. When I arrived at her office, she asked me to sit, then asked me to wait a second while she fetched “the other professor.” Apparently someone else had been a new addition to this department. Then this someone else walked in the room.

I may have mentioned before that the universe, given her exquisite sense of humor, saw fit to have my ex and I both hired at the same college right after our breakup. In the same department. Our whole first year there, we shared the same desk for office hours (not at the same time…mostly. When we were there at the same time, it was usually polite. Sometimes very polite. But the one time it wasn’t polite…oh, man).

I don’t hate my ex and I don’t think she hates me. But you can’t spend 2 years together, living together the whole time, raising a child together the whole time, then do the predictable hook-up-for-a-few-months-after-breaking-up thing, then have that unilaterally broken off, too, and have everything be hunky-dory. The shift from being the everyday center of each other’s lives to no longer mattering at all’s a bumpy one.

At this point it makes me laugh. It’s too funny. It doesn’t hurt anymore. Doesn’t sting. She doesn’t look the same to me. I’m grateful for that. The first few times I saw her after our breakup, she still looked beautiful to me. Now she looks older. Smaller, somehow. I’ve become grateful for the forced proximity. I think it’s the universe unfolding in a way that guards against scapegoating her or creating a too-cynical memory of what happened. I loved my ex. For a year and a half, it was an awesome relationship. I probably had as much fun with her as anyone I’ve known. When it went south, it was because of both of us. There’s shit I’ll always hold against her. Que sera, sera.

When she walked in to the office as “the other professor,” I hope she saw me and laughed inside, too. As she sat next me, the two of us cramped so close in the tiny room we were almost touching, our new boss asked if we knew each other.

“Yes,” we said, in atonal unison.

Later in the meeting, our boss decided we should meet every Friday during the semester, the three of us, to talk about how things are going. Friday was my only day off this semester. Now…not so much.

At this point, it makes me laugh. It’s just too funny.


Have you ever had an awkward post-breakup experience with an ex? Ever shared a workplace with someone after dipping your pen in the company ink? How does the universe use you as a punchline in its jokes?