Category Archives: personal

Forty-Three

I remember playing the Smashing Pumpkins’ song “Thirty-Three” exactly ten years ago today. Beyond the fact that it’s just a good song, and that listening to it reminds me of a simpler time in my life, I had a very good reason for playing that song on that day: It was also the day that I turned thirty-three years old. As often as I’ve heard “Thirty-Three” throughout my life, I don’t think that song even felt more meaningful to me than it did when I…

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No Off Switch

Last month was incredibly exhausting for me. In addition to all the weather-related problems I’ve been documenting online (perhaps too much, I know), and some challenges at work, I’ve been chin-deep in research for my next big book. An opportunity arose for me to go deep into one thread of my research, in order to write an article for a major academic journal, so I spent an awful lot of time tackling that, doing work that should definitely help when I get around to writing…

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City Permanence

Recently, I loaded up the busiest intersection near my old house on Google Maps and went into street-level view so I could have a first-person Google Street View of it. As much as I recognize how every corner of that intersection has changed over time — although the Internet has been failing me in my attempts to photographically prove that some Toledo staples of my time, like Centre supermarkets and Gastown gas stations, existed before they were driven out by bigger competitors — part of…

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Watching As It Happened

Polar vortex death toll rises to 21 as US cold snap continues (BBC.com) I kind of get the old stereotype about older women who watch the Weather Channel non-stop, but I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable about it because, for much of her life, Mom was one of those women. After we first got cable television, news and information shows quickly became Mom’s go-to when there wasn’t anything else on; she kept the living room television tuned to either Headline News or the Weather Channel…

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A Stand in the Snow

Polar vortex to bring prolonged, life-threatening cold outbreak to midwestern US this week (Accuweather) I’ve been thinking lately about how I’ll probably have to write a multi-volume memoir when the time comes for me to do that, simply because I have far too many bad memories indelibly stamped into my brain to just gloss over those events in a chapter or two. I’m guessing that I’ll need at least one whole book to describe all the horrible teachers I had when I was younger, and…

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