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Neurotic As Hell

Choosing Figs Blog

I like to think I'm a decent cook. At least when I don't burn all my food. Or my hand. I sauté, stir fry, and steam. I bake fish, stew soup, assemble enchiladas. I make an authentic Tortilla de Patatas. I roast an amazing chicken that will some day make someone fall in love with me. I know it. I'll make it for you some day if you ask nicely. What I am trying to say here is that I can cook. But, if I am to confess here, my kitchen knife skills needed some work. This is partially because I just...

I used to subscribe to the theory, "it's only hair." You see, I was never afraid to do something dramatic to my mousy blonde locks. I've had cuts of all lengths, chopped it all off, let it grow ridiculously long, tried bangs, tried bobs. I've dyed it almost every color imaginable. In college I dyed my hair purple, and green, and orange, and magenta. And then there was that time, a few years after college, when I decided to dye my hair black and while it is ridiculously hard to go back from it, I did, going for 11 more...

Dylan carried the pink and purple plastic tea pot between his small hands. He'd walk around to the tea party guests who were munching on a variety of miniature sandwiches and pastries offering up a glass of lemonade. When someone said, "yes," to him, he'd pour some into the glass, carefully, and then walk away taking a sip from the spout.   [gallery type="rectangular" link="none" size="full" ids="92408,92409"]...

"It's not that I don't like music," I sometimes have to explain to people, "I'm just not a music person." You see, I'm just not a music person. I'm not someone who follows bands. Or could name who sang any song. Or even someone who has a favorite band. And a lot of people don't understand that. Because a lot of people are music people. But I never have been. And I'm pretty sure I haven't had a favorite band since New Kids on the Block in third grade. And if I want background noise at home I usually put on Food Network,...

After 6 months in Central and South America, I flew back home to Chicago. It was nice to be back for a bit, though, really, most of my days were spent doing absolutely nothing and every night was spent sleeping on a couch. But it was nice, and I did do a few things...

After six months traveling in Latin America, I boarded a flight (well, three flights) back home to Chicago. It was a bittersweet journey. Sure, I was ready to eat familiar foods, see my friends and family, be back in a city I love. But I was enjoying Colombia. A lot. A month earlier I was very ready to return home. It was no secret that I just never got into Central America the way I got into Asia and I was just ready to be done with it. But then I arrived in Colombia, and all that turned around. And now...

Carlos turned on the stereo and the son clave beat of a salsa song started blaring through the speakers. He walked over and took my hand, but, just as he was about to lead me into our first basic step, he turned my arm over and looked at my wrist. "Superman?" he asked, pointing to the insignia tattooed there. "Si." He let go of my hand and fished his phone out of his duffel bag, scrolling through his text messages until he got to a point where SUPERMAN was written. His friends called him that, he explained. And I knew I was...

I don't normally add something to my life list only to cross it off that same day. But, as some friends and I were sitting at lunch in Cali discussing the synching up Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz, I mentally added it as number 199. And then, moments later it was decided that that night we would watch it. ...

My private salsa lesson that day had been moved back. And so I had nothing better to do when my friend Yaron asked if anyone wanted to go watch a movie that was being filmed down the block. We headed over the cultural center and watched for an hour as a group of dancers in shiny costumes practiced a salsa routine over and over. At one point, as I was taking a picture, a woman with a badge and a clipboard came running towards us. I quickly turned my camera off, thinking that she was going to come yell at me for...