Two Minutes

I wrote the following in two minutes at a writing seminar a couple of weeks ago. I made no edits or changes whatsoever. I had originally signed up for the seminar because I believed it to be about something else than it was about. Granted, it was titled �Writing the More-Than-Human: Fact, Perception, and the Natural World�, but the blurb also mentioned Nabokov. I love Nabokov and had no idea that the focus of the workshop was nature writing. I also had no idea that the leader of the workshop, Robert Michael Pyle, was what I now understand to be a renowned nature writer. Fortunately, the seminar wasn�t so bad. There was even a quirky old woman who wore a wide-brimmed hat that enveloped her entire upper body; she really like squirrels and wanted to write about them. I also learned from a perspective outside of what I normally wallow in, so I guess it was well spent money.

Thick clouds hung low in a cottony blanket the enveloped the earth. Pushing past mossy gnarled trees and over grass, nettles, and clover, the wind wrapped a chill grip around me. It wove through the fabric of my woolen sweater, teasing and taunting.

Men Appreciation Week

In my life (my academic life, that is), I am currently surrounded by überfeminists. I have never had much experience with this odd brand of personage until this quarter, so I haven�t decided until recently that I don�t like them.

Feminists, rest assured. I like you and am on your side. However, there is a very bold line in Mindy’s Mental Vocabulary between feminism and überfeminism. Those who cross that line and enter überfeminism become annoying bitches who hate men and salivate over any minuscule reason to express their hate. What’s worse is that their hatred for men isn’t the most annoying thing about them. Even more annoying, is how they give a bad name to feminism by being short-sided, disagreeable, and refuse to do a damned thing to find a solution for the problem they spend all day bitching about. Maybe if they’d get off their ass once in awhile and stop obsessing over the glories of the vagina they could find common ground with their so-called “sisters”. But of course, that would never happen. No, never. Instead, überfeminists would rather feed their blistering hatred towards men and over-look the fact that they are no better than the very men they hate.

Since classes began, I’ve pondered the many possible reasons why these women might hate men. Sadly, I have pondered in vain. Sure, some men are a smarmy lot. I would know: my ass is grabbed regularly, I often have creepy older guys with no teeth call me “Kitty Cat”, and I have been stalked by a man driving a Salvation Army truck through downtown Seattle. Yet, despite the numerous negative man-related experiences I’ve had- and despite the fact that my father is an asshole- I love men. When I think back of my college days, the greatest moments of my life will revolve around the male friends I have. When I think of the most inspiring teachers/instructors I’ve had, only one has been a woman, the rest men. And there’s also the boyfriends of my life. Only one was a horrible mistake that lasted no longer than a month and gave me some good stories to tell. The rest I generally parted with on a good note- or at the very least we had a lot of fun before parting. And lastly, but most importantly, there’s Tyler. Anyone who can take my mental instabilities and insanity in stride for over a year (much less three years) makes men look like gods.

Because I’m pissed at the überfeminists I’ve had to interact with lately, I officially declare it “Men Appreciation Week” here at Mikania. Enjoy.


Hogan's Laundromat

I love this laundromat! If my washer or dryer ever dies, I know where I’m going.

Devoted to Ema

Yes, I have been silent. I have this peculiar thing known as “homework” that I found to be consuming all of my time this week. I also have another peculiar thing known as “procrastination”, or “Family Guy-itis”, that gets in the way of said “homework”.

Anyway, I know that I promised Rabbi J stories, but I somehow doubt those of you who don’t know me care one way or the other. For those of you who do know me, you’ve probably heard them all before.

I will now leave you with an untitled and very shitty poem. I wrote it on a postcard for a friend while lounging in bed and feeling very ill this morning. Don’t expect it to be funny unless you actually know the bird Ema and the cat Milo.

There once was a bird named Ema
who was fond of pecking eye glasses.
This often caused much drama
as well as some painful gnashes

Her rival was named Milo
and he was a temperamental cat
who belonged in a grotto
and deserved to be spat at!

After these messages…

Due to the looming German exam that I have yet to study for, the Rabbi J series of stories I said I was going to start have been postponed until tomorrow. By noon tomorrow, I will hopefully have survived the hellish fires of the German language and will find myself contentedly sitting in my Creative Writing class while scribbling an outline and notes for my next installment. Will it be about the Playboy magazine or the Diet Coke that exploded in the freezer? Stay tunned to find out as I’m not quite sure yet.

In the interim, check out this site. Her illustrations are incredible and you should buy Christmas cards from her. What? Not Christian? So, buy the cards and send them to people anyway. You’ll feel warm and toasty inside because you just supported a freelance artist who kicks ass. And then you’ll feel guilty because you feel warm and toasty inside and it’s not even the official season for America’s favorite capitalistic holiday. It’s okay, I know how you feel- just read “SantaLand Diaries” from David Sedaris in Holidays on Ice and you’ll feel better.


It’s that time of year again- the time of year when Rabbi J storms in unexpectedly, making demands at every step. For Jews, Sukkot is when they build a frail structure with a vegetative roof and eat (or even sleep) inside said structure for eight days to celebrate the harvest and the fact that good ol’ G-d is more meaningful than a fancy house. For me, Sukkot is when Rabbi J terrorizes the staff and I have to drop all my tasks to wait on his every need. My tasks may include freezing a Diet Coke so that it’s just the right temperature or helping him create “shaky things” (lulav) out of willow, myrtle and palm while listening to his lectures about the importance of that $100 deformed lemon called an etrog.

In honor of my anticipated fourth survival of Sukkot and the infuriating yet loveable Rabbi J, I am going to post as many stories as possible about him during the holiday. I will probably run out of stories before the end of Sukkot. Or perhaps I’ll get bored of writing about Rabbi J and decide watching episode after episode of Family Guy is more interesting. But hopefully, by the end of the week you will understand what the hell I’m talking about and why this man manages to spurn a burning hatred full of love inside everyone he encounters.

An Elephant for a Neighbor

“Now, I have to warn you,” she started when describing the apartment we had decided to take, “the person there now is moving because a family lives above him. They have two children, so they can be noisy.”

Tyler and I looked at each other, the memories of our up-stairs neighbors from the Apartment from Hell flashing through our brain synapses.

I laughed. “A family can’t be worse than the people who used to live above us. Their stairs went right over our bedroom and they always came home loud and drunk at 3 AM.” They also yelled and broke furniture and scared the shit out of me when I was living there alone for a summer and called the cops to report the sounds of abuse.

“Oh, well if you guys are heavy sleepers and don’t mind a little noise during the day, then it shouldn’t be a problem.” We both anxiously reassured her that we’d be fine. After all, a family isn’t typically going to be making loud noises at 3 AM and a little noise during the day won’t hurt.

And the family isn’t as bad as the abusive drunks that used to live above us, even though their peak noise hour is when Tyler and I are still trying to sleep in the mornings. However, some of the noises they make are particularly annoying, such as the constant banging sound immediately above our heads that lasts for about a half hour every morning. Sometimes the sound lasts even longer, at which point the song “Banging in the Nails” by the Tiger Lillies starts looping through my mind. Then there’s the sound of chairs/stools scraping across tiled floor. I originally thought this was also immediately above our heads, but I realized soon after moving in that the sound is probably above our living room and can be heard equally loud from any point in our apartment.

But the oddest of the noises would have to be the one member of the family who walks so heavily that their elephantine footsteps reverberate off our walls, shaking everything hanging from or near to any given wall in our apartment. The entire family is petite, so I was often perplexed by the footsteps every time I heard them. I originally thought the sounds were one of the children stomping around. But then I realized one day, while the kids were playing outside and the footsteps continued crushing everything in their wake upstairs, that it couldn’t be the kids. I then attributed the crashing sounds to the father- the next logical step considering he’s always in a hurry and seems like the type to walk heavily despite his small stature. But as I lay in my bed this morning with the blinds partly drawn to let the plants on my windowsill enjoy the sun, I heard the deafening sound of the footsteps crush their way towards the upstairs door. Soon the sound of heavy steps echoing against the metal porch rang though the dull ache of my head and I looked out the window to see the mother of the family leaving- alone.

So now that I know the truth, I’m even more perplexed.

Pepper Me

At first, my goal was to merely have fun. But later in the evening, my goal changed to getting so drunk that I�d be too sick to go to my evil German class in the morning. This new goal garnered me a couple of sloppy drunken high fives. I don�t drink very often, but when I do it tends to be an excessive amount. For some reason, I have more fun this way. I think it�s a carryover from the 21 law of the US- something I am strongly against. I mean, really, what�s wrong with the step-up law that other smarter countries do? Why do we have to be puritanical bastards? Can�t we see that the 21 law is what causes our kids to be binge drinkers? Binge drinking is all I know thanks to this law. It’s mainly due to the fact that I had to drink a shit-load to evaporate any evidence on the rare occasions I got my hands on alcohol before I was 21. Now, I�m stuck in this odd binge drinking habit where I never touch a drop of alcohol for months at a time and then drink excessively when with friends at a bar/private party.

Anyway, here�s me at my half-way point- where I�m so drunk that I can�t taste pepper and my second vodka spiked with sprite tasted like water. Most of my friends thought I was crazy, but they all had a good laugh. Dan�s bro was kind enough to take this wonderful picture.

Me eating pepper

Can you tell that I�m still drunk? Well, I am. I am very drunk. Man, I have a lot more shit to say, but I think I�ll let it pass as I know it�s all nonsensical drunken ramblings. Wow, what a wonderfully drunken night it has been! Here�s wishing the same unto you in the near future. Cheers!



Imagine, if you will, attending to your utmost private business in the sanctity of your personal bathroom while positioned immediately above you is a large stereo system that sings inspirational music. Just as you complete your utmost private business and finish washing your hands, you notice- thank God- that the music has stopped. You continue on with your daily morning routine (or lack thereof, in my case) and begin brushing your teeth to the hum of a free Sonicare you scored off a rabbi three years prior. Over the high pitched drone of your glorious toothbrush, the voices of inspired women rise once again in their vain attempt to sound like angels.

A Short Conversation Amongst Creative Writers

“For the past 20 years of my life- and I’m only 21, so that’s most of my life- I had eaten at McDonald’s maybe four times. I used to think that it was bland and boring and too greasy and I hated it. But then I saw the light during the beginning of this summer. I had lunch with a co-worker who drove, so I had no choice in the matter of where we ate. He chose McDonald’s. I thought, ‘Ah, sure. What difference does it make since it’s so cheap?’ So I ordered the number two meal, and at his coaching supersized it. It was so good! And you can’t beat the value of it, especially since you get a ridiculous amount of fries and more soda than you can drink! Since that faithful day, I’ve been eating at McDonald’s maybe three or even four times a week.”

“That’s DISGUSTING! Think of your arteries, Man! Think of your arteries!” the other girl in our four-person discussion group screamed in terror.

“Well, I have no problem if people decide to eat at fast food restaurants,” I said, jumping to his defense. “Sometimes I eat at Kid Valley. I love their milkshakes.”

“I’m a vegetarian, so I have political motives,” she returned. I was surprised as I thought she would be the last person who was a vegetarian. Her dark hair was cut shorter than most boys and she possessed a short, masculine body that screamed “I eat meat!” I stared her in the eye, thinking; “Well I’m vegetarian, too. I just eat the Gardenburgers.” It was one of those odd moments where the cliché western showdown music would be fitting if it suddenly rose into the air from the depths of nothingness.

“Have you ever read Fast Food Nation?” I suddenly asked her.

“No, I don’t read boring crap like that.”

“Have you ever read Fast Food Nation?” I asked again, turning to the McDonald’s Posterboy.

“Actually, I read it this summer.”

“Well, I guess that means you have a right to eat there without having judgment passed on you.”

“Yeah, I guess it does.”

The above story isn’t entirely true. However, the lesbian person was a total, unfounded bitch about the dude eating at McDonald’s.