I live, write, and work full time in Los Angeles, but I'm originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Right now, I'm making this list on a bus heading into Manhattan. Going home can be rough, but this trip has been good. Turns out I really missed PA and all its trappings.
  1. I hugged my mom a lot
    My dad passed away suddenly two years ago when I was 23. I only get to see my mom a couple times a year, so I try to spend as much time with her as I can. Parents are precious, dwindling assets, and only people who have lost theirs know the hole that it can leave in your life.
  2. I attempted to explain what it was like being in an abusive relationship over a mediocre Japanese lunch
    My previous relationship was a disaster, but I didn't recognize what was happening until it was over. No one ever expects to be abused by the person they love. I apologized a lot for letting another person dictate my actions and affect some of the most important relationships I'll ever have. My mom and I hugged a lot.
  3. I forgot where the chopsticks were in my own house
    Late Friday night I went to reheat my leftovers from the mediocre Japanese lunch. Waiting for the microwave to spit my food out, I opened a drawer to get utensils. We have some really nice, old wooden chopsticks that feel good in your hands. But when I opened the drawer I thought they were in, I found them missing. I opened ever drawer in my old kitchen looking for these. I was suddenly a stranger in my own home. My mom opened the drawer where they have always been. We hugged and I felt strange
  4. I helped my mom sell my father's car
    In 1992 my dad bought himself a Miata, a great car for anywhere except PA in the winter. It was a two seater treat, and we would take it out on back roads and down highways at night. I helped my mom sell it to a nice girl who just got her associates. I took one last drive in the car with the top down. It's been humid in PA, and the breeze felt nice. We sold it and I said goodbye to another piece of my dad.
  5. I reconnected/ smoked a bowl with a high school friend
    PA has made my friend really nervous about smoking pot, so I invited him over to my house and we talked and smoked on my porch. We caught up, talked about old friends and speculated about where people were. I realized that life wouldn't have been so bad had I stayed in my home town. We talked about my friend Michael, a boy I was always at odds with while growing up. It made me think about how bad I was to him because I couldn't understand his way of thinking. I wish I hadn't been so cruel.
  6. I hung out with my sister
    My sister and I were never close as kids, but that's what a 5 year gap will do. She has always been perfect- class president in high school, dean's list in college, U Chicago for grad school -and for a long time I resented growing up in her shadow. But when I entered the real world I realized just how lucky I had been to have such a strong, smart, and competent sister looking out for me. Where would I be without those mix CDs she made me for Christmas? Or the vice magazines? Lame, that's where.
  7. I hung out with my mom
    Growing up, she was my mom. She and my father were part of the same whole: my parents. But following my father's passing, I feel as though I have gotten to know my mother all over again. I'm not a religious person, but I've been blessed to be able to spend time with her, and learn about the incredible woman who raised me. We watched game of thrones in her bed. "The blood and the ice and the winter is coming and you know nothing john snow- what a crazy show!" - my mom
  8. We went out for Mother's Day brunch
    My sister, her fiancée, and I took my mom out to brunch. The meal was ok, but we got a chance to walk around Easton in the sun. We took pictures beneath a row of flowering cherry trees. The petals carpeted the ground in pink. We dropped them at the bus and said our goodbyes. Then next time I am home, it will be for their wedding. Always tell the important people in your life that you love them.
  9. I helped my mom around the house
    My mom is all alone in her house in PA. Thank god my sister lives in NYC and we have family around. While I'm home I try to be as handy as I can for her. So I rebuilt a rock wall and helped her hang pictures and a shelf, we cleaned out the garage and I took care of the driveway and lawn for her. I worry about her and want to make sure I do all I can while I'm home. You know, good son stuff.
  10. I bought my girlfriend an antique microscope
    For everyone reading this list, just know that the Lehigh valley has some bomb ass antique stores. I got an antique microscope + box+ tools for like 30$. And I saw dozens of great, old typewriters for under $50. If anyone in LA wants anything leave me a comment.
  11. I remembered why I love Pennsylvania
    My friend and I drove up to the Poconos in the dead of night. I saw stars I could only dream of in LA. I smelled horse shit wafting off the warm fields. I saw the trees in the forest around my house come to life. I remembered humidity, wegmans, and that deer don't give a fuck. I saw geese, and hopefully tonight I will get a thunderstorm. I will miss the fireflies, but PA in the summer is truly beautiful. When I return for my sister's wedding, I will take a trip with my partner to Centralia.
  12. I drank a lot of yeungling