Relationship advice.

Somebody said, “In every relationship, one person is the kite and the other is the string.”

Also: “Never marry someone more neurotic than you.” — Jay Leno

I’m basically going to marry whoever can put up with the fact that I dreamed about drooling everywhere last night and woke up drooling everywhere.

On writing.

Fashion magazines’ September issues always boast a heft and level of coverage unparalleled through the rest of the year: twice the number of $3,000 handbags, three times the runway spreads featuring clothes (or an approximation of clothing) real people don’t actually wear, list after list of the year’s best hair, eye, neck, elbow, knee and big toe serums. This density probably has something to do with seasonal fashion, introducing new designers from Big Shows and cold-weather couture. But just maybe it has something to do with our universal craving for knowledge in September, instilled from kindergarten on and brought on by the first touch of chill in August night air. I unconsciously begin buying books in August, conditioned like a bear prepping for hibernation to seek literature to get through winter months.

Yesterday, Stephen King’s On Writing arrived in the mail, smelling absolutely delicious in that way books have and absolutely dripping with inspiration from a patron saint of wordsmiths. Also new to my shelf, Bird by Bird, another writing guide from Anne Lamott, and the unapproachable David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (if King is a saint, DFW is higher yet — some kind of holy and damned archangel of this writing hobby/obsession).

So I’ve been gorging myself on inspiration before a long Iowa winter (see also: Liz Gilbert’s TED talk on creativity), and the method is producing typically mixed results. Writing for me, and I assume for most people, is: mania, desperation, apathy, fever, dance, headache, flight, distraction, melancholy, work. In Gilbert’s talk, she describes the hunt for genius as catching hold of passing ideas by the tail and pulling them, inch by inch, back into your mind and onto a page. It’s the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night, never knowing when the metaphorical field of fireflies — bright, random thoughts and  associations fluttering around my brain — will coalesce, caught together in a jar and burning so bright I’m forced out of bed and half-dreams to the nearest keyboard or scrap of paper to record whatever it is I’ve managed to capture. It’s sometimes a story or vignette, more often a simple paragraph or amputated sentence begging for context. Writing is the worst kind of tease that way, and so inconvenient and so unavoidable.

And it’s not even like I’m great at forcing myself to sit down and write everyday, which every writer worth the ink she’s printed on will tell you to do. And it’s not even like the writing I manage has resonance — much less coherence. But it’s something, and it’s almost September, so I’m approaching the gargantuan task again and wondering where it will take me. All those fashion magazines took me to a dark-brown vegan leather jacket purchase.

Saint Stephen King, Pray for us. Amen.







This is not your dentist’s soft rock.

My sister, maid of honor in her friend’s wedding, asked me to create a playlist for the wedding shower this weekend —something beachy to reflect their honeymoon in Maui and the theme of the party. It’s hard to create a sun-and-sand sound without going full-on Bob Marley, but I’ve given it a try. The bride and groom are big Ingrid Michaelson and Michael Jackson fans, so “You and I” and a xylophone-infused cover of “Billie Jean” inspired the rest of the mix.

Download it here and enjoy! — R + K Mix. *

* Found out some people were getting an error message when trying to download this, so I re-uploaded it. If that happens again, let me know.


I was waiting at a stoplight this afternoon behind a pickup truck with two 11-year-old boys sitting in the bed, facing me. They looked like little Prince Harrys. They were Amish. They were eating ice cream and staring intensely at me over the cone. It looked like this:


I like the idea of food as feeling — powerful (Popeye’s spinach), healing (post-breakup ice cream with friends), celebratory (Mom’s special birthday meal). This month my food word is “fresh” because it’s August in the food capital of the world and because I’m busy busy busy: weekend getaways every weekend culminating in a 23rd birthday bash. And by bash, I really mean a casual dinner at this place in STL with watermelon sangria and lobster mac ‘n cheese. Lobster mac ‘n cheese!

I found this fruit bowl on a dusty clearance shelf at Coldwater Creek, which means I can no longer make fun of that store.

Some recipes  to drool over:

Toasted Almond Granola.

Chunky Caprese.

Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Cookies.

101 Salads.