I was interviewed about my student debt

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Like most in my generation and my caste, I went into my 20s loaded with student debt. Some of it was mine and most of it was my wife’s. As partners, we’ve spent our entire 6+ years of marriage working our asses off to get out of the hole. We’ve worked overtime, through many weekends, and prioritized self-improvement over vacations and nights on the town. Anything to better our chances of living free.

We’ve had no financial help from our families or friends. No relief from agencies or corporations. We live in a 650-square-foot apartment, don’t own a car, and have held off having kids or owning property until we’re debt-free. We’re always busy, always working, always offering our first fruits to Sallie Mae, a goddess as unforgiving as Drano in your chicken soup.

Last week, thanks to the recommendation of a friend, I spoke with writer John McDermott at MEL Magazine for his “Into the Black” series, which focuses on the experience of young debtors. The opportunity didn’t come with any accolades or awards, but was an experience to share my struggle – and potentially engage with others affected by the same.

Check it out.

The Night of the Gun

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Some words from David Carr’s The Night of the Gun:

“Every hangover begins with an inventory.” (8)


“I’m not obsessed with my own privates, but I’m not one to point a pistol at them, either.” (13)


“Tucked in safe suburban redoubts, kids who had it soft like me manufactured peri. When there is no edge, we make our own, reaching for something that would approximate the cliche of being fully alive because we could die at any minute. That search for sensation leads to the self divorcing from the body, a la Descartes, and a life of faux peril. Everything that brought me joy involved risk.” (19)

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Florida Frenzy

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Some words from Harry Crews’ Florida Frenzy:

“A good editor is nothing but a good reader.” (5)


“But this was more serious than death. This was as serious as money.” (17)


“Well, like the man says, it’s two kinds of people in this world. Us that wants a drink and them that don’t want us to have one. It’s always been like that and I don’t see how it’s gone change no time soon.” (35)

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New issue of Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac

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A few years ago I was browsing the magazine racks at Quimby’s and came across Wolverine Farm’s Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac. The content ranged from creative to informative and I ended up writing an essay for them about my experience cycling in Chicago. The potholes, the asshole drivers, the expected civility.

Due to various complications, the publishers held off printing the issue. It’s been a couple of years and I thought it was dead, but I just got an email yesterday that the newest issue of Boneshaker is finally here! And it’s only $8 bucks. I can’t remember what I said in the essay, but here’s the blurb for the issue:

This is our longest and most complex edition to date! Inside, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo explains why the bike has always been his preferred method of travel. Tin House‘s Rob Spillman weighs in on broken bones and cycling fashion. Dan DeWeese wonders why there are no bikes in Blade Runner (and reviews the Globe Daily 1). Enjoy a swath of bicycle-themed poetry by Chris Dempsey, Claudia Reinhardt, Casey Fuller, Patrick Barron, Barry North, Amy Brunvand, and Stanley Noah. Maureen Foley concludes her epic comic series “Smidge and Space Go West,” while Mike Compton wraps up his ABC’s of cycling. Ben Weaver takes a moving bike and banjo journey, and Bike Commuter Betty bids you ado. Ever been trailed on your way home late at night? Kjerstin Johnson knows exactly how you feel. Itching to break free from your soul-crushing commute? Juliette Birch has been thinking about that, too. If you’re riding from D.C. to Pittsburgh like Adam Perry, or simply across Chicago like Benjamin van Loon, there’s something in the pages of this almanac for you.

Get it here.

Desert Solitaire

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I recently read Edward Abbey’s, Desert Solitaire. Here are some of my favorite parts:

“I’m a humanist; I’d rather kill a man than a snake.” (17)


“We have agreed not to drive our automobiles into cathedrals, concert halls, art museums, legislative assemblies, private bedrooms and the other sanctums of our culture; we should treat our national parks with the same deference, for they, too, are holy places.” (52)

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