This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for… motha fuckin’ me!

A few weeks ago I was at a bar watching a comedy show when a friend of mine fainted mid-set. It was only 9 p.m. I had been with her the whole time and knew her passing out was not related to booze. Something was wrong.

I tried to wake her, get her to sit up. When that didn’t work I grabbed a coat and put it under her head and yelled for someone to call an ambulance. I went digging at her wrists for a pulse, thrust my fingers under her nose to feel for breath (all of this was done with too much fearful force to actually be effective. It wasn’t until I saw a strand of her soft hair laying gently over her nose rise and fall, like a pretty flower waving in the breeze without a care in the world, that I knew she was at least alive).

A few other friends in the bar were there by our sides immediately. Rubbing her back, asking her questions, calling the squad. One friend had the instinct to grab a wet cloth and gently stroked our sudden patient’s forehead and neck like a mother cooing over her sick child.

The scene was scary and moving all in one flower-dancing breath. The medics came and lifted my friend onto a gurney and rolled her outside. I grabbed our credit cards from behind the bar, gave someone my beer, and headed outside, planning on grabbing my car and following the flashing lights to the hospital. No one should wake up in the emergency room alone.

Nothing could have been prepared for what happened next.

I was already a little shaky. We didn’t know what was wrong and if our friend was going to be OK. But as soon as I stepped outside my eyes shifted to a man with his cell phone out. He was filming her being loaded into the ambulance.

I Hulked.

Before I even could comprehend what was going on, my 130 pounds of fire sprinted in heels full speed toward the man. I shoved his hand with the phone out of view of the ambulance and put my finger in his face. I don’t remember what I said, other than a lot of telling him he should go have wild sexual relations with his jank-ass flip phone. Adrenaline surged through me as I chest bumped his cell phone. I knew enough in that angry state to not break his phone in half, although I could practically feel it happening in my hands, imagining how good it would feel.

Maybe I should have been prepared for this. Because for every three gentle friends with a washcloth, there is a fucking asshole ready to capitalize on someone else’s vulnerability.

It took me two days to calm down. When I finally did I was kind of in shock. My friend was OK, thank goodness, but it was scary how quickly and acutely rage consumed every part of me. When you are that angry, that defensive, you don’t feel like you’re in a furnace, you feel like you are the furnace. Ears ringing, steam thriving, everything happening too fast to do anything other than destroy what you are fed.

That Friday Paris happened.

I watched helpless as other people raged about the cruelty of the furnace that makes up half the world. I thought about how I wish they could step back, not blame, not have one-sided reactions to things that required a wider perspective if we wanted a long-term peaceful answer.

I watched angry that others were so angry at the wrong people. I watched angry that the same people making a France flag filter on their profile pics were the same people who renamed French fries Freedom fries not that long ago. I watched sad as all sides reacted to each other, accomplishing nothing.

I thought about how I had just experienced my own state of extreme rage. Fuck that guy for fucking with My People.

I get it. I understand how both sides happen and how embarrassingly human we all are. I still feel helpless. I have no answers. I guess I’m just thankful.

About a week after my friend went to the emergency room, I cleaned out my Gmail inbox. Again, embarrassingly human. More than 22,000 unread emails dating back to 2009. It took me about an hour and a half to work through deleting them all.

In 2009 I was in a terrible situation with an addict. As I checked boxes to send their contents to Internet hell, I had to resist the urge to read the emails from him. I’d catch snippets, here and there. Half-hearted apologies, check-ins from my scared mom, messages from the landlord asking why the door was punched in.

I can’t believe how far I’ve come.

Actually, that’s not accurate. I never really doubted I would be OK. I never have. I’ve always felt something deep inside myself that ensured I had everything it took to survive anything. What I can’t believe is how bad it got. When you’re in traumatic situations, you don’t realize you’re in a state of survival until much later. Until things get better.

And things are so much better.

My People are people who deserve to be in my life now. I deserve my life now.

Your twenties are hard. You spend them trying to figure out who your boss is only to realize there’s no such thing. You’re in charge, which is terrifying until it isn’t. It’s kind of like how you never see the leaves falling, just one day they’re on the ground and fall has started.

I’m thankful to live in a time and place and with a family that is a net. Combined they are a built-in security system that generally keeps life’s assholes with flip phones, the furnace fires at bay. But what it really takes, what makes survival happen at its most positive and efficient, is love, particularly self love.

This is maybe the first time in my life I can say without shame that I am proud of who I am. I have had all these incredible privileges, of course, but this took work. I was given the foundation, I was given the house, but I decorated the living room, I fixed the sink, I cleaned the windows and paid the electric bills. And I love it here.

I love that my immediate and pure reaction is to tell the guy potentially hurting my friend to go fuck himself. I love that I don’t think I have answers except that there is no immediate one. I love that I can forgive the person that took up space in my inbox and give thanks for the people who checked in on me.

Why are we so afraid of praising ourselves? Because of douchebags who do it on the reg. BUT, I wish we could embrace self love a little more. It can be quiet, and should be most of the time if it’s genuine, but everyone has something brilliant inside themselves that someone else covets.

I see it in women all the time, this fear to say, “Look what I did!” We shame ourselves and so do a lot of other people. It holds us back. I have noticed myself reacting to other women’s insecurity, too. For all my feminist leanings, I am conditioned to take a man’s word more seriously because of the way he says it — not necessarily because he’s a man, but because men, boys are taught to speak differently. Would Donald Trump POSSIBLY have gotten this far in the presidential election, hell, in business, if he were a woman? Fuck no.

So this Thanksgiving I say thank you to me. To that 2009 me who survived. To that two-week-ago me who fought for a friend without doing harm. To that me that took shit because she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, because that was admirable too. To that me today who is thankful for everything she has and the people she was given and the people she now chooses. To the future me who protects this sense of personal freedom in a healthier way than ever before.

I think self-love is different from confidence. I’ve always felt confident. Donald Trump feels confident. But self-love is admitting when you fucked up and not killing yourself over it for years. Self-love is asking someone for help because their brilliance is different from yours. Self-love is seeing why you matter and others do too.

I have what it takes to survive. So do you. And peace starts within yourself. Find it. That’s how we start to fix shit.

We are all 65% water

Fear is something we should take personally. Because it is. Shared fear starts deep inside our own minds.

If we don’t believe we have faith, we blame someone else for being a heretic. If we fear we’re not good enough, we make someone else out to be bad. If we fear we won’t get love, we make sure we stop loving someone else first.

Fear, guilt, rage. They’re harmful emotions. But they’re there. And they happen. And we have to let them roll through us like the destructive clouds they are until perspective comes and we can see things from higher ground. Where the water looks calm and the air is full.

Mixed messages everywhere!

Today in, “When standing up for your body (and, in essence, all women’s bodies) becomes just another way to sell more stories about women’s bodies.”

This story:

Ariel One

Sandwiched between the story’s sweaty cleavage was this:

Boobs in the world.


Quoted and Noted: Carrie Brownstein


image via here.

“I think that sensibility was always there and the ability to observe and to see contradictions and to see hypocrisy, within myself but also in the people and situations around me. I feel like Portlandia is much in the subtext, and this book in particular, so many of the early situations in these punk and indie rock communities that espouse inclusiveness but feel very elite and exclusive and possess very labyrinthine rules that are hard to follow and that you feel terrible for messing up. I think a lot of that ends up in Portlandia. It doesn’t feel like a separate part of myself, just another way of communicating ideas using a different vernacular.”

Carrie Brownstein in a Fresh Air interview about her new book, “Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl”

Ten things horror movies have ruined for all of us

(Written for and performed at Struck A Nerve October edition!)

It’s pretty obvious why we all love horror movies, right? Someone aways ends up topless.

Also, it’s a huge adrenaline rush. According to real science, the average person’s heartbeat increases about 15 beats per minute when watching a horror movie. Watching violence is “a symbolic catharsis that forestalls the need to act it out.” But for all its benefits, the horror genre has really ruined a lot of things for us, and not just birds and wells and dolls and men with knives for fingernails wearing striped sweaters.


Here’s a list of the top ten things horror movies have ruined.

1) Wind chimes

If you ever find yourself really relaxing to the peaceful tinkle-tankle of your neighbor Patricia’s wind chime, just remember it was handmade from the bones of all the people old Pat has murdered.


2) Buying a house

You’re definitely renting a duplex with Patricia and her six dogs because, thanks to horror movies, here’s a list of things a house CAN NOT have if you want to buy it:

a) Chipped paint

b) A well

3) Stairs

c) A basement

d) An alarm clock that mysteriously awakens the demons every 3:15 am.

e) A history of being a house any time previous to October 19, 2015.

You know why. Any of these attributes is a dead (DEAD!) giveaway that the structure is built upon the burial ground of tortured souls left to decry a real American horror story.




3) Redheaded babies





Rosemary’s baby.


Thanks, guys. Now I can never, ever have children.

4) Centipedes

Sure, just looking at them you’d think centipedes did this all by their bad selves. It’s so creepy how you find them just chilling in your shower on a warm spring day, as if they were the guy who hitchiked to your party one night and just kind of sat on the couch until you had to awkwardly ask him to leave the next afternoon.

Centipedes have no chill.

However, considering that they move like the anti-christ during an exorcism and look like people sewn mouth to butthole, they’re pretty much definitely ruined forever.


5) Power tools

HAHA! JUST KIDDING! Everyone knows I wouldn’t use power tools! I’m a girl.


6) Being slutty


Every feminist blog worth its vote for Hilary has at least one think piece that rages pretty hard about how the first people to be murdered in horror movies are the women who assert their sexuality and make empowered sexual choices, AKA the sluts. Virgins never die! It would seem this sexist plot device is used to shame sexual freedom.

I’d argue, though, killing characters off while they’re having sex is an effective visual metaphor for how completely vulnerable being naked makes you, *and* a nice PSA that you should always wear nice underwear because you don’t know if you will be inspected by a coroner and or ER doctor that day.

But the message is clear: Keep your dicks and vaginas in their respective pant holes. If you need further evidence to never have sex again — there’s Tinder. If you need even further evidence to never have sex again, here’s Number 7:

7) Mama’s boys


So considering all of this, you’ve decided to wait until marriage and find a nice man. And who is nicer than a mama’s boy? Tall, dark, handsome, and really sad about his mother’s death? Sounds like this is a genuine, handsome dude who isn’t afraid of a little good old fashioned human emotion. He likes long hot showers, never jokes about his mother in law, and never ever makes you go to the creepy dungeon basement… until it’s your turn to go to the creepy dungeon basement… forever.

Horror movie dating pro-tip number two: Never go on a date with someone who says he’s, “Not like other guys.”


8) Haley Joel Osment’s career



9) Camping

Here’s what they don’t tell you in those Pure Michigan ads.


A nice little weekend retreat in the Muskegon State Park might end with the ghost of Tim The Toolman Taylor slicing each of your limbs off one at a time and building a darling little human bird house out of them.

Unless, of course, you’re still a virgin — like Mark. Arf, arf, arf!


10) Pig’s Blood


If it weren’t for Carrie White slaying more than 440 members of the Chamberlaine community in 1976, pig’s blood may have become the next big thing.

Yes, 614 magazine and Columbus Alive would duel it out for best coverage of the hip growing trend of artisanal hand drawn pig’s blood procured from Clintonville hog co-ops owned by a man named Keith who hasn’t shaved his beard since Mercury was last in retrograde.

Is it so outrageous to think sprinkling your eggs with the bodily fluids of a suckling pig could sweep the local brunch scene? Let us consider this: Some of you have definitely paid $5 for a piece of toast. … The horror.


Writing Roundup: October






Alchemy is a healthy juice bar and quick service restaurant downtown that, ironically enough, I love going to for a Pumpkin Pie smoothie. I also enjoy seeing what fun name they’ve come up with for the daily special.



Whoever made the executive decision that cat lovers are also pun lovers should get a raise right meow.



Open signs are such an untapped opportunity for voice. I dig this Candle Lab sign almost as much as its Pistachio scented candle.

Storytelling tips inked by animation

For nearly 10 years I have subscribed to exactly zero YouTube channels. Impressive for someone so excitable. That all changed this weekend though. “Every Frame a Painting” is a YouTube channel that produces short documentary-style videos about the art of, well, video.

Topics include a look at how Vancouver, a city riddled with IMDB credits, never actually plays Vancouver in a film, or how Jackie Chan masters the art of being funny while kicking ass or, even harder, taking a hit to the jaw or various other soft spots.

The one that hooked me though is this thoughtful look at character development in the Looney Tunes series. I had never thought about how difficult it would be to follow a similar format episode after episode and keep each one feeling fresh. This video illustrates how the artists did this through storytelling and character development; the takeaways could be applied to almost any kind of writing.

Some of my favorite points:

  • The story should sell itself by the way it moves.
  • Big gestures and small gestures can both convey lot of meaning.
  • Since animation lets you do anything, you have to think about what you won’t do and enforce those boundaries. Oh, this just applies to so many things in life, no?
  • When developing a character you must have discipline in regards to what that character would and would not do so that viewers have a subtle intuitive sense of consistency. For example, the audience knew Bugs Bunny would never pick a fight or that the dancing frog only ever sang that one song.
  • Artist Chuck Jones’s advice for success: “Reading. Read everything.”

Enjoy. Subscribe.

From the Lost and Found

The best thing about the Internet graveyard is finding gems like this Tumblr account, called Columbus Now and Then. No one has posted on it since 2011 but there are plenty of pages to click through of historical images that you won’t find in our city’s guidebooks. Here’s my favorite:

Lady cop.

Lady cop.

Five Columbus Police Officers dressed as women on a sting to catch a suspect who had been molesting women, 1955.

(Columbus Citizen Journal)


Looks like a still from “Some Like it Hot.” Weeeoh weeeoh weee. Weeoh weeoh wee.


“They were significant to me”


From “A Long Conversation” by Adrienne Rich

“I come from hod-carriers, lint-pickers, people who hauled cables through half-dug tunnels. Their bodies created the possibility of my existence. I come from the kind of family where loss means not just grief but utter ruin — adults and children dispersed into prostitution, orphanages, juvenile prisons, emigration — never to meet again. I wanted to show those lives — designated insignificant — as beauty, as terror. They were significant to me and what they had endured terrified me. I knew such a life could have been my own. I also knew they had saved me from it.

— I tried to show all this and as well to make an art as impersonal as it demanded.

— I have no theories. I don’t know what I am being forgiven. I am my art: I make it from my body and the bodies that produced mine. I am still trying to find the pictorial language for this anger and fear rotating on an axle of love. If I still get up and go to the studio — it’s there I find the company I need to go on working.”