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I’ve Known Some Soldiers

2 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2009
School administrators herded us young boys into a room to listen to two men tell us we should consider enlisting. The images of national guardsmen stacking sandbags to battle against hurricanes and the words “Earn money for college” appealed to me.  

Dollars and Sense

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 14, 2009
At a convenient store on Main Street a few weeks ago, a guy was trying to buy a pack of cigarettes with some coin dollars. He had six of them. The cashier was giving him a hard time about it. The cashier told him he needed real dollars, not the “fake” coins he was offering. Frustrated, the customer threw down the coins, reached into his wallet and pulled out a five-dollar bill and a one.  

Unemployed

3 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Getting the news: 4:40 p.m. My manager stops by and says HR would like to see me. No real panic (yet), just curious. Maybe a promotion? As I sit down, a bad feeling comes over me. I hear the word "termination." I visibly shake. Fireworks go off in my head.  

Rikki, Cops and Cucumbers

2 Comments · Wednesday, September 30, 2009
On that Friday afternoon, when the guy awkwardly climbed over the roped-off section to get to the outside tables in front of Knock Back Nat's on Seventh Street, I had a feeling we were in for trouble. Just a few minutes earlier, I had to step around the same guy at the Garfield Market just around the corner on Vine Street.  

Benj Clarke Is Living the Dream

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I’m sort of playing “navigation lady” with my friend Benj Clarke. We’re both on our cell phones with Benj trying to locate my secluded street in Westwood. It doesn’t take him long to figure out how to get here, but why would it? He was the circulation manager at CityBeat, so he knows Cincinnati’s streets pretty well. He also loves The Beatles, as do I, and I could always tell that music is where his heart is — that being a full time musician was his dream. That dream is now a reality.  

Sit or Spin IV: Trentin

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Late on July 1, I was folding clothes at the Laundromat when my mom called, and I complained that there were no stories that night. It was quiet. Too quiet. I sat on top of a folding table, my feet dangling, when Mom and I got on the topic of kids. I told Mom that I wanted to adopt a little boy. “If I had a girl, I might send her back,” I joked.  

Having Talent and Being Competitive

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 9, 2009
One of the things I like about Facebook is finding old friends I’ve been out of contact with. One of those friends is Donita. We went to elementary and high school together, and we both lived in East Enterprise, Ind. Donita still does. She sent me a Facebook message saying she’s been trying to find me. She’s been holding a plaque that my twin brother and I won from a school talent show. I’m guessing the year is probably 1962.  

Nose Ring = Devil Worship

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Someone thought my nose ring was a sign of the devil. Or gross or inappropriate, I'm not sure. In any event, he/she complained to the management at a club where I fill in as a substitute yoga teacher. I'm not sure exactly what the client said, but I wish I knew. That would be awfully entertaining.   

Tomfoolery

3 Comments · Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I admit that my restaurant of choice, the Applebee's in Western Hills, showed very little imagination on my part, but it was going to be fun seeing my friends Jan and Jim again. Looking at the menu, I asked our young waitress how good the BBQ chicken salad was. "Oh, it's great," she said. "Really?" I asked. "Would you tell me if it wasn't great? Would you tell me if it sucked?" The waitress gave me a surprised, odd look, and Jan and Jim were probably looking at each other, saying to themselves, "There he goes again."   

Remembering Oliver

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I moved to Clifton last week, out of my parents’ home and into my first apartment, just in time for the dog days of summer. I moved with my family a couple of times over the years. Each time I move I find a trace of my childhood worthy of a chuckle or pang of nostalgia — a movie ticket from a first date, an old diary teeming with girly, juvenile discourse.  

Looking for the Good

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 12, 2009
So far this year, I haven’t visited any of the New England states. I love it there — being around those small mountains of trees that are close to the ocean. When I’m away from New England too long, I find ways to remind myself that someday maybe I’ll get to live there. For example, my party lights arrived in the mail yesterday — little lighthouses that I now have hanging up in my bedroom area in my studio apartment in Westwood.  

The Bloodless Battlefield

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Chess is a game of honor. Two players face off in a battle of cunning and strategy with the only element of luck being the choices of the player's opponent. Each player must accept his mistakes and learn from them to enhance his game. No person is injured when the commanders sacrifice their soldiers to achieve objectives on this battlefield.   

Bedbugs on Holiday Schedule

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 29, 2009
People tell me they like my bus stories. Well, I've got a million of 'em, and you're about to get another one. On July 3, the afternoon before the holiday, I was going to meet a friend downtown for drinks. Busing it, I waited for the 64 on Werk Road, allowing myself plenty of time to get there by 3 p.m. We were meeting at the Public Library downtown, where I could kill a little time before meeting my buddy.   

Garbage Watch

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 22, 2009
A little more than a year ago, I moved to South Korea to teach English to spoiled kindergartners. I was crammed into a small box apartment in the outskirts of Seoul furnished with only a mattress and a television I found in the trash. As the weeks went by, I started to notice that near the entrance of every single building in Korea was a "Garbage Watcher" who watches people take out their trash during the day, ensuring efficiency and respect for the dumpster.   

Remembering Teri

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 15, 2009
One Friday afternoon, I got a call from the head of security and met with him in his office. He told me someone was vomiting in the ladies restroom, located near the accounting office, every afternoon. The person doing the vomiting wasn’t cleaning up her mess very well and he had it narrowed down to one of two women who worked in my department. He asked me if I had any suspicions as to which one it was...