Welcome, 2014!

I hope we are best friends, like this baby monkey and this pigeon.

I can’t believe how lucky I got in 2013. I got a new job, I landed a fantastic apartment in a cool town, I made amazing new friends, and I found a hairdresser who did not give me the soccer mom bob of doom. I’ve been on this track where each year is the best one I’ve had so far for the last couple years, and I’m trying to stay on that train as long as I can. Here’s to an awesome year! I’m glad you’re here and reading Chronderlust, and I hope you feel as excited about the coming 365 day as I do. 

In the meantime, there’s always room for improvement, so I’ve started by making some resolutions. I’m going to clean my house every day to stay in front of it. I’m going to take control of my finances. I’m going to get back into the shape I was in before I got hit by the car. I’m going to hang out with y’all more often, and I’m going to take more time to be grateful, aware, and kind. 

What are your big plans for 2014? Any resolutions you’re trying to keep? What would you like to see more of on Chronderlust? Happy New Year, friends! This will be our year!

Fantasy Life Update: Moving to Charleston

My front yard, maybe?

Friends, I have a lot of news for you. I’ve accepted a new position as the American South commissioning editor for the History Press, and I’m moving to Charleston, South Carolina in a few weeks to start my new job. I couldn’t be more excited– helping people write books about the South is absolutely my dream. I’ve never lived near the ocean, either, and I’ve always wanted to, so I anticipate a lot of time spent down at Folly Beach, too.

What does this mean for you? Well, I’m still eager to help you with any design work you want done, I’ll be blogging from 600 miles east of where I am currently, and I’ll be actively looking for people who want to write works of non-fiction. In short, it’ll be me with a different driver’s license (I KNOW.). I ask only for your patience in the coming weeks- things might slow down a little bit while I’m moving, but I’ll be back as soon as I can!

Do any of you know anyone in Charleston? Got any great recommendations or good leads? Want to write a book for me? Get at me. I’m excited about this new chapter and I’m grateful for your support.

Part of Every Particle

Y’all seem to really be enjoying the poems I’ve been bringing you for National Poetry Month, so I thought I’d bring you this one. I worked with Malachi for awhile, and I didn’t know he was a Big Deal Poet, just that he was a sweet, gentle smoker prone to making excited, declarative statements in blooming prose and that he taught the kids things about dystopian futures. Enjoy this, his work.

This Gentle Surgery

by Malachi Black

Once more the bright blade of a morning breeze
glides almost too easily through me,


and from the scuffle I’ve been sutured to
some flap of me is freed: I am severed


like a simile: an honest tenor
trembling toward the vehicle I mean


to be: a blackbird licking half notes
from the muscled, sap-damp branches


of the sugar maple tree . . . though I am still
a part of any part of every particle


of me, though I’ll be softly reconstructed
by the white gloves of metonymy,


I grieve: there is no feeling in a cut
that doesn’t heal a bit too much.

Jon Michael and Kirstan’s Engagement

Before I say anything else, I feel I should tell you I am not engaged, but my friend is! His new fiancee and I share the same name, and he enlisted me to help him plan and execute the proposal he’d been dreaming of.  He probably picked me to help him because we have the same name. They’re a little shy, so I’m not including photos of them, but after the jump, check out some of the photos!

Pretty pretty, Jon Michael!
Pretty pretty, Jon Michael! Ring was custom-made for Kirstan by an Etsy artist.

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Moving In: True Stories

This movie, more than anything else, defined my teenage years.

True confession: I was a teenage hipster dirtbag.

To be fair, I grew up into an adult hipster dirtbag, so I guess this is at least representative. My friends and I found this DVD at the bottom of the Wal-Mart $5 bin and were like, “hey, I’ve heard of the Talking Heads, I wonder what this is.”

And oh, what wonders were contained within. You’ve got John Goodman singing karaoke, you’ve got a lot of broken fourth wall, you’ve got a half-joke about how weird and wonderful Texas is, and a lot of bizarre filler, all set to an amazing soundtrack.

The look is pretty 80s, but the liberal use of colors and weird shapes can be easily updated– check it out after the jump.

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Nostalgia: A Hell of a Drug

I think the guy on the right may be my real dad. Mom, please advise. (via Slate.com)

Check out these amazing photographs of tourists from the 80s and early 90s. I definitely spotted some stuff that I owned circa then. I’m not sure why I find this whole thing so touching, but it’s definitely worth a quick look midday.

Do I Love You? A guide on how to know.

Maybe you’re wondering if I love you. The answer is a firm “maybe.” A good hint would be that if you get hurt and are feeling kind of bummed and are just hanging around the house alone, I make you a pie and bring it to you and sit on your couch and watch Nashville with you.
A couple days ago, I promised that I would share a few things my grandma taught me how to do. I meant to get this to you yesterday, but, you know, Nashville. The particular coconut cream pie recipe that I will share with you after the jump is well regarded to be the alpha and omega of coconut cream pies. I will let you be the judge.

Sweet, sweet convalescence.
Sweet, sweet convalescence.

Continue reading “Do I Love You? A guide on how to know.”

Making a withdrawal from the doughnut bank

Today, this is the only post I’m going to make– the others were scheduled in advance. I’m in Evansville, Indiana today with my family to lay my grandmother to rest. She was a kind and gentle woman who loved my sister and me a lot, but she was also a formidable DIYer, a hell of a gardener, and an excellent, excellent home cook. For the next couple days, I’m going to share with you a few of the things she taught me over my life. 
I’ve never been one for funerals, so I ducked out as soon as I could and made a withdrawal from Kemp’s Doughnut Bank (Evansville institution and damn good doughnut makery) and headed over to Wesselman Woods. We went there all the time when I was little, and she and my grandfather taught me a lot about birds, flowers, leave-no-trace camping, recycling, and nature. It’s raining pitchforks and plow handles  in Vanderburg County, so I’ll leave you with this drool-inducing photo of my coffee and cake doughnut breakfast under the picnic shelter. I’ll be back tomorrow.Image


Dixieland Jazz Blues

This morning, I got nostalgic for New Orleans. I used to spend a lot of time there, and now I don’t. Why am I so overrun with a need to return to Louisiana? It could be this:


But I think it could also be that I miss my friends and to go cups for my cocktails. I’m not going to rule out any of it. But, you know, you make do. I put on the Dixieland Songza station and made myself some New Orleanian snacks.

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