I want to be someone’s Amy Rose Spiegel.

I am a dame of intense passions. As a teenolescent, this proclivity led to mildly deranged romantic obsessions with boys who were wildly unenamored with my shy-manifesting-itself-as-creepy brand of infatuation. Think Helga’s shrine o’ lust from Hey Arnold! Or Angela Chase’s reverence for Jordan Catalano. Or Sméagol’s ring, “my precious.” Ergo, historically, I’ve been prone — wont, if you will — to idolizing individuals/“falling in love” with ideas of them, amorously and otherwise. Which I’ve concluded is vastly unhealthy/detrimental to both parties … which is the crux, thematically, of my (forthcoming, eventually) novel, Paperboy; its title is a metaphor for…

Alexander’s mother of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” was a cultural icon

Writing sample for The A.V. Club editorial application. 3 of 3. 1972 sooth the release of Big Star’s #1 Record (featuring the nostalgic non-single “Thirteen”) as well as Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. But perhaps more emblematic was the publication of Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and its miffed-without-being-pessimistic child protagonist, who lives dormant in all of us. In AatTHNGVBD, to checkered-flag the day with a kick in the groin, Alexander’s compatriots Anthony and Nick discover a Corvette Sting Ray car kit and a Junior Undercover Agent code ring in…

“Senior Prom, Tape Two”: Review of a 1987 compilation cassette I bought at Goodwill for 25 cents

Writing sample for The A.V. Club editorial application. 2 of 3. I skipped senior prom, so I’m not an authority on the minutiae of horny classmates grinding on one another to euphemistic pop hits whilst attired in ill-fitting suits and luminescent gowns made of recycled plastic desk chairs in a rented ballroom after spending a generous pie-slice of their parents’ yearly income on country-club dinner and an extravagantly unnecessary limousine. Still, yesterday, whence I found this compilation tape from the 80s in a neglected cardboard box in a corner of Goodwill, I was intrigued by its title. Its cover boasts…

“Cult classics” that taste better stoned

Writing sample for The A.V. Club editorial application. 1 of 3. Be it by blunt, bong or brownie, sometimes we middle-class Americans need to park our asses on the atrocious, Juno-esque plaid sofa, Cletus, that we snagged off a neighbor’s sidewalk on trash day, in our unfinished basement with exposed pipes and puffs of shrimp-colored insulation, fortified with Taco Bell, and get baked to some thrifted VHS tapes. But what to watch, given the expansive cassette-realm of Disney animations and our own mid-90s home videos? Hark! — a carefully curated selection of antiquated analogs that make more sense under the…

Mens sana in corpore sano

Tattoo itch is a psychologically classifiable phenomenon defined in the DSM-V as “the fierce desire to adorn one’s bodily-canvas with subcutaneous ink.” I’ve 3.5 tats mesirch: a feather quill on my foot representing my penchant for writing; the Roman numeral XXXVIII on the back of my neck below my hairline to commemorate family both biological and acquired (four of my five grandparents were born in 1938, except for my paternal grandfather — his birthdate, ’28, fits à la a matryoshka doll); a Venus symbol “prison tattoo” I stuck-and-poked on my ankle featuring an immaculately ballpoint-penned circle; the faded word valkyrie…

Music as a “microcosm of the soul”

Belatedly, I’ve become besotted by the sonic cohesion of an album … as evidenced by the borrowed goliath black boombox stacked atop a turntable in my dorm room and my multiplicative library’a music in weathered sleeves/cracked plastic cases. Listening to a record in full provides a different auditory experience than singles alone. Particularly analog mediums: vinyls and cassette tapes. CDs fall somewhere mid-spectrum between tangible and digital. Presently, I’m playlisting Paperboy, my cautionary tale (read: book-to-be) about mythologizing/mythicizing people in a très romantique capacity … inspired by my true teen-ass tendency to valorize my crushees unawares! Which I wholeheartedly advise…

“We are here!” — Theodor S. Geisel

Periodically, I marvel at the fact that, in the grande schematic of our dimension, here is a toenail-sliver of time/space in which I exist. Churning organs and mitochondrial whatnots comprise the machine sheltering my singularity, and I am breathing oxygen, and I am alive. Time extends its insouciant fingerlings before and after my presence on…

“I know it breaks your heart / Moved to the city in my dad’s functional silver 2008 Prius, Sebastian”

Over Halloween visiting my Manhattan-dwelling pal — heretofore MDP — in NEW! YORK! CITY!, I perched on a fifth-floor fire escape at a party, dressed like Ursula/Medusa/a deep-sea Saturday night seductress, inhaling secondhand carcinogens and city lights like goddamn Carrie Bradshaw. A welcome weekend escape from the what-do-I-do? “Game of Life” charade that’s been plaguing…

WARNING: Self-help-y

Surprise, decipherers of my manic dialect! I don’t partake in the ingestion of mind-altering substances, save caffeine and doctor-prescribed pharmaceuticals. I experimented with alcohol/weed (sorry, Mom) ages 18-21, at which point, truthfully, liquor lost its “off-limits” allure. I quit drinking — not to imply I struggled with addiction; luckily, alcoholism was never a symptom in…

“Your aesthetic is on point.”

… sayeth a stranger on the recent re: my outfit as I procrastinated in the library! What a squire. Tuesday’s ensemble: vest with bespectacled dogs clad in ski gear overlaying purple Urban Outfitters bra, high-waisted (+ high-water) “space pants,” rhinestone’d/sequined/netted floral jacket double-knotted ’round my waist, BirkenSOCKS, baseball cap, consignment-shop sunglasses I categorize as “John…