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Living Out Loud
 

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...   

Paul's Wall

3 Comments · Wednesday, July 8, 2009
This sunny day, Paul and I sit on the wall outside my apartment building. My good friend and neighbor admires my purple-painted toes. "You don't want to see mine," he says. "Especially since the chemotherapy."  

A Thong and a Prayer

3 Comments · Wednesday, July 1, 2009
An older man wearing a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap was near me on the bus, and his hands were shaking a little. He was singing: "Precious memories, how they linger/ How they ever flood my soul." The girl wearing the pink thong touched my hand and whispered in my ear. "Kind of like being in church, ain't it?"   

My Weird Life

2 Comments · Wednesday, June 24, 2009
A few days ago, for the first time in probably decades, I started thinking of Carl and Pearl Butler. Would they be on YouTube? Sure enough, there they were in their flashy Country music suits singing “Don’t Let Me Cross Over,” their only No. 1 hit, released in 1963.  

A World Without Paper

4 Comments · Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I’ve certainly made strides in my personal life to consume less and recycle more. But lately — in complete opposition to the elation I feel seeing gas-guzzling SUVs replaced by energy efficient cars — a strange sadness creeps into my heart when I think about a world without paper.   

Milk Going Bad

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Somehow, I felt like I needed to pay my last respects, so I went to Bob’s funeral last Wednesday in Price Hill. I can’t exactly remember how we met, probably through a friend of a friend, but it was in the early 1990s. Throughout the years, we always stayed in touch, but I would often ask myself why.  

Urban Legends

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 3, 2009
A couple of weeks ago I was sitting with Tom Wolfe outside his Tom’s Pot Pies restaurant near the corner of Court and Vine streets downtown, and he suddenly pointed his long arm like a basketball center about to dunk. “That’s the dwarf,” he said dramatically, his eyebrows pointed for emphasis.  

The Last Real Letter

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 27, 2009
It was mid-afternoon, and before going through a backlog of e-mails I decided to go to my real mail box and check my real mail. This is usually a somber experience. What fun is it to look through bills, advertisements and junk? This time, though, something got my attention. A blue envelope was in the stack of mail, and my address was handwritten on it.   

Halfway There

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I was half asleep on the couch the other night when something struck me: I’m the human equivalent of a soft-serve “twist” cone. I jumped slightly at this realization — nothing makes me sit bolt upright, mind you. I’m a twist cone: a safe mix of vanilla and chocolate.  

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Julie: Breakups during this age of cell phones and text messages seem to be so challenging, trying to get away from "it." I'm usually one second away from getting this urge to send a text, avoiding painful conversations, just to make sure that the stupid one will at least think about me for a minute. And reconsider? Larry: Julie's young. I'm not.  

A Oral History of My Future

1 Comment · Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Not long ago, I finished reading The Story of Joe Gould as told by Joseph Mitchell, a columnist at The New Yorker magazine from the 1930s until the mid-’60s. Living solely off his friends’ contributions to “The Joe Gould Fund,” he spent his days as an eccentric, drinking and interacting with the city’s pop society of the time.  

Big and Gas Guzzling

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 29, 2009
A few weeks ago, my friend Julie and I were walking the sidewalks of downtown and decided to take a No. 1 bus to Mount Adams. It was a nice spring afternoon, and we wanted to take in the sights up on the hill. While walking in Mount Adams, I couldn’t help but notice all the cars parked on the hilly streets.