When I started using my Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal, I said that I wasn’t going to be one of those people that turns it into an arts-and-crafts project with a small side of productivity. I haven’t. If you look at my Instagram feed, though, you will see a rainbow assortment of highlighters, gel pens, washi tape, and even stickers. When I take photos of some of my spreads, you can see that they aren’t entirely devoid of asthetic considerations. So what gives? Am I a hypocrite? Have I given in and jointed the cult. It’s simpler than that. I’m embracing the idea of my bullet journal as a vice, in addition to a tool. My Bullet Journal as a Vice There are[…]

In November 2014, right around my birthday, one of my cousins reached out to me on Twitter. We hadn’t spoken in probably close to 30 years. After sending direct messages back and forth, he told me that my mother had died. She’d passed on June 27th of that year. I was still living in the United States at that time, and didn’t leave for Finland until mid-August. No one contacted me to let me know, or to invite me to the funeral. My cousin felt guilty about that, and felt that I should know that she was gone. Once he’d gotten past the small talk and managed to tell me, his guilt assuaged, he ghosted me. A few days after[…]

When I was a kid I had a paper route. That sounds so old fashioned now, and a lot of people today would probably consider it to be dangerous, negligent, and possibly abusive to allow a child to walk around alone, in the dark, at 5:30 in the morning delivering newspapers. There were probably no more child molesters and serial killers lurking in the shadows than there are today. But in the age of fear and hyperbole all we’ve been conditioned to see are the monsters. It sort of bugs me that the first thing most people ask, when I tell them I had a paper route as a kid, is whether I was scared. Wasn’t it pants-crappingly terrifying to[…]

The other day I had strange realization, which I now feel compelled to document. Katie had asked me about what age I started reading, in terms of really becoming a book addict and avid reader. The narrative that I’d always told myself, and it’s true, is that it was a matter of economics. When I was very small, I’d get comic books when we went to the grocery store. DC Comics used to sell these 3-packs on grocery store magazine racks. They were sealing in plastic, with two comics facing out on either side and a mystery comic in the middle. The magazines were right inside the door of the A&P, and I’d get handed one of those packs and[…]

Today I added “spa time” to my schedule. Nothing fancy, just an hour of “me” time on Sundays where I mix up a sugar and coconut oil scrub for my face, soak my feet, and read a book for an hour. Spa day, writ small. I’m thinking of adding painting my nails to that, because there are about a billion articles on the internet about how that activity dramatically reduces anxiety. I haven’t found a nail polish color I like, though. I used to love taking long baths, but bathtubs aren’t a thing in Finland. Every apartment has a shower, and every building has a sauna. It’s purely sauna culture here, in lieu of a good soak. Unfortunately, heat makes[…]