Power Couples

“Obviously, extroverts have many charms. And they are a good balance for us introverted types. They help us go out and about. We help them slow down.” — Marti Olsen Laney According to Carl Jung, we’re drawn to those whose qualities complement our own. That certainly matches my experience. When I think of my deepest […]

Pizza Night

This was composition. Unity. Balance. Texture. Each topping in proportion. He added one last sausage crumble with an almost theatrical flourish, then turned to put the leftover toppings behind him. He turned back just as quickly, plate still in hand. “Fuck it,” he said mischeviously, sprinkling the remaining toppings over the pizza. He moved the […]

On Becoming

My sixth-grade science class had a pet snake named Lucy. She was a corn snake—almost butterscotch in color, with red saddlemarks down her back. She spent most of her time coiled under a heat lamp but had a knack for pedagogical disruption. Every couple months, we’d arrive to find that Lucy had slithered right out […]

Dating Profile for Nowhere

Hi! I’m Dan. I’m 6’4″, 33 years old, and I still wear my retainer every night. I got my braces off when I was 13. My orthodontist handed me my retainer and told me to wear it as long as I wanted my teeth to stay straight. So here we are. When I die and […]

My Gratitude Resume

With LinkedIn, Twitter, and so many other avenues for professional expression, our work has never been more public—nor more vulnerable to pride and pretense. Just as we’re all living the good life on Facebook, our online work personas reflect an idealized version of who we are and how we got there. That’s fine, but it […]

10 Smart Ways to Say “I Don’t Know”

“If you don’t know the answer, say you don’t know the answer. People will accept that you don’t know… what they cannot accept is if you tell them something that’s wrong, because they are going to act on that. And, then if you have to come back later with a different answer, you’ll lose credibility.” […]

Re-reading ‘The Catcher in the Rye’

If I were to hop back through time exactly fifteen years, I might find myself sitting in John Shafer’s English classroom. I imagine a full class—Shafer’s generally were—with a couple dozen high school juniors: athletes dressed for game day, the popular looking enviably presentable, the studious with notebooks out, and a motley remainder eluding easy stereotypes. Regardless […]

Amusing Ourselves to Death?

What can we learn from the intellectual tradition of media bashing? Human history is littered with intellectual grumblings about media: Socrates objected to the written word, Thoreau shrugged at the telegraph, and Neil Postman railed against television. In Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman makes two key arguments: The media we use to communicate affect the […]

A Real Son-of-a-Bitch

“Read this, Bud. It’s a real son-of-a-bitch… the greatest I’ll ever write.” – Faulkner, delivering The Sound and the Fury to his friend and agent, Ben Wasson Son-of-a-bitch, indeed. This book is unwieldy, uncompromising, and still worthy of attention. One read through, I’m left with begrudging respect—what one might feel when a competition ends in […]

‘Shoeless Joe’ and ‘Field of Dreams’

How do we judge books that inspire more memorable films? I’ll be honest: I fell in love with Field of Dreams long before I’d ever heard of Shoeless Joe. My appreciation for the film colored my reading of the book—a bias that usually works the other way around. There are things to like about Shoeless […]

Thoughts on ‘A Sand County Almanac’

The irony of innovation is that it’s gradually overshadowed by its own impact. A once-seminal idea can—by its own power—become self-evident, erasing its tracks through time. This progression makes it difficult to appreciate what something meant at its beginning; the appreciation that remains is rooted more in retrospect than true inspiration. Given this, I’m surprised […]

Exploring the Magic of Summer Camp

Though the summers of my adulthood bear little resemblance to those of my youth, the season retains the alluring aura of possibility that accompanied it throughout those earlier years. Even when summer weather in San Francisco is anything but, even when I find myself engaged in the most un-summerly of activities, those months continue to lend […]

Ask Someone to the Dance

Last August, I spent a couple weeks as part of staff at Green Mountain Running Camp in Lyndonville, Vermont. Each week-long program ended with an evening dance, where (it was hoped) campers would dance away all capacity for mischief before lights went out on that final night. For a handful of senior counselors, the event […]



[ Day 447 — Sept 3, 2013 ] I wrote for many reasons—some admirable, some not. I wanted to better understand the trip, both in the moment and in the decades to come. I also wanted to share my story in hopes that it might resonate with others. The adventures of teachers, friends, and family inspired adventures […]


[ Day 30 — July 12, 2012 ] Erin and I got off to a late start that morning, aware that it would be our last together and in no particular rush to say goodbye. My trip was near its end, and there were things I would miss, but on the whole I felt satisfied—and […]

More than OK

[ Day 29 — July 11, 2012 ] Erin and I spent the night at Bodega Dunes, just outside the Bay Area’s northern boundary. We continued south the next morning, following Highway 1 past Tomales Bay and turning onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard at Olema. For me, this marked the transition from what felt familiar […]