Sorry Your Gift Came from a School Fundraiser


Looks dandy. Fails spectacularly.

It’s never too late to regret a Christmas gift whose inherent flaws were kept hidden at the time of unwrapping only to manifest weeks later like a time-delayed disappointment bomb.

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If We Were Having a Coke and a Smile But You Stole My Name…

Randy v. Randi.

…I would try very kindly not to make a big deal because you’re one of the only six people on Planet Earth named “Randi”. Despite your rarity, whenever someone writes my name down on a form, application, sign-in sheet, Starbucks cup, or speeding ticket, your kind is the reason I’m too frequently asked, “Is that with a ‘y’ or an ‘i’?” I try to keep an open mind here in the 21st century, but I’ve been fielding that largely nonexistent dichotomy since the 20th.

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Lord, Grant Me the Resilience of a 91-Year-Old Great-Grandmother


Photo by loyal wife and granddaughter Anne Golden, taken at the 2016 Indiana Christmas Gift & Hobby Show.

Pictured above is my wife’s Mamaw, one of the most resilient people we know. When she was born, Calvin Coolidge reigned as the 30th President of the United States of America. Her husband, who served as an ambulance driver in WWII and refused to discuss the experience with the grandkids, passed away in 1996. To this day she lives in the two-story house he built for them decades ago, with assistance from family as needed for transportation, errands, groundskeeping, major repairs, and her biennial special outings — the Indiana Flower & Patio Show and the Indiana Christmas Gift & Hobby Show. Each year they’re her World Series and Super Bowl.

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Sweet Anticipation of Goodies to Come

cookie mix!

Courtesy of my workplace, I came home today after a long, draining week bearing a glass jar of merry Christmas benevolence. Some assembly required.

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“Relax! It’s easy!” says the dog.


I took a four-day staycation the week before Thanksgiving, but any therapeutic benefits were nullified days ago by the nonstop holiday weekend, the long work week that followed, and the little family dramas encroaching on various fronts. I’m under orders from my wife to get some rest this weekend after three straight nights of failing at proper sleep. Our dog Lucky, the master of power naps in our household, makes relaxation look sooooo simple.

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It Takes More Than Seven Minutes to Save America

I Voted! I Count!

Another year, another free sticker. Too bad I haven’t owned a Trapper Keeper for sticker displays since junior high.

Once again it’s Election Day here in America, the taut finale to one of the worst seasons our political showrunners have written for us to date. When I began typing this shortly after a new episode of Chopped Junior ended, Twitter was having itself a series of roiling meltdowns as everyone insisted on paying too much attention to the early returns even though some states won’t be finished tabulating or even voting for the next several hours. That’s setting aside any pending conflict resolutions or triple-overtime recounts for those neck-and-neck battleground states where the Big Two are finding their supposedly easy leads in the Presidential race thwarted by votes siphoned away by third-party candidates and repelled away by their own morally compromised candidates and constituents.

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