Self-Indulgent Syntax of (Arguable) Merit

what, where, when, how, who and sometimes why


Washington, District of Columbia,
November 27
recovering journalist, overzealous auntie, daydreaming baker, old cat lady in training.


JohannaLG's Links
NOVEMBER 7, 2011 2:33PM

All the world is not a stage

I only just slapped him.  Not that hard, really.  I had done it a thousand times before, so by then it was no big deal.  

But that night by happenstance, as my palm met his face, my fingers clipped one side of his glasses, and they went flying.  They sailed… Read full post »

OCTOBER 28, 2011 10:52AM

My brilliant Never-Never Land career


My mother’s divorce lawyer looked exactly like this hyperactive kid I knew from school.  He had the same helmet haircut and the same roundish cheeks.  Even his frown was identical.   On meeting him, these were my first thoughts.   

Dad’s attorney was… Read full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2011 4:44PM

Confessions of a not-so-newly wed

I didn't really want a wedding. 

The prospect of buying an overpriced dress in which to pose with overpriced flowers for countless cookie cutter photographs while hundreds of our 'closest friends and family' scrutinized my every move had never really appealed to me. So when my husband proposed,… Read full post »

OCTOBER 19, 2011 5:15PM

All we really need

The school social worker’s office was a glorified closet, barely large enough for its small wooden table and a few plastic chairs.  Motivational posters clung to the walls, a miniature rock fountain trickled in one corner, and balanced atop a tall stack of self-help books, a four-cup coffe… Read full post »

OCTOBER 7, 2011 3:00PM

Better safe than science

Intro to Feminism was a required course for philosophy majors, so I had to take it.   Every Tuesday and Thursday (almost), I dragged myself out of bed and across campus to dutifully listen from the back row as a horde of rosy-cheeked freshmen girls from wealthy metropolitan backgrounds babb… Read full post »

OCTOBER 6, 2011 3:12PM

Until the sky feels smaller

The old green futon bears unnoticed battle scars, cracker smash and yogurt smear, the occasional fruit snack splotch.  My five-year-old nephew, camped out in front of On Demand cartoons, looks suddenly despondent. 

“These guys on this show aren’t real," he tells me.  "Nob… Read full post »

OCTOBER 5, 2011 3:28PM

Nothing to do (or do over)

Spring 1993

The mountain path is dewy, overgrown, a thousand dogs' tongues on my cold bare feet.  She is running, zigzagging, frantic.  I do not know why.

I follow, out of reflex, through the thick morning fog.  I chase until the soft outline of her summer nightgown disappears behind… Read full post »

OCTOBER 4, 2011 4:45PM

Where I've been...

Just before I figured out that the bartender's gin and tonics contained actual, perceptible amounts of gin when my husband ordered for me and not so long after I had run barefoot down a drought-dried hill in unceremonious pursuit of the perfect candid photograph, my mother pulled me aside.  Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 6:18PM

Back to the formerly uncomplicated future

During college, I worked part time in a discount shoe store.

On busy days, this meant playing lookout across crowded aisles for customers engaged in enormous games of Jenga with towering stacks of overstock boxes, fitting countless pairs of small, squirmy feet into appropriately sized cartoon logo s… Read full post »

Whenever I think of Jasmine, she is dancing.  She is sixteen and barefoot at the Bob Dylan/Paul Simon co-headlined show.  Her arms seem to drift and glide without conscious direction, tracing some invisible contour of the lyrics.  Her legs keep soft, soundless time.  Long dark hai… Read full post »

JUNE 19, 2011 1:40PM

Oh Bother's Day

The doorbell had been ringing for more than half an hour before it got annoying enough to answer.  There was something riveting on TV involving fictional aliens and FBI agents and conspiracy theories.   

Mom was upstairs anyway.  She could’ve gotten it.  But then, she… Read full post »

“You’ve had an orgasm, right?” 

I still don't know what compelled her to ask me this.  But the way she said it, just offhand, like an orgasm was some new kind of popsicle or candy bar or something, she sounded more like the quiz in the back/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 7, 2011 3:08PM

Without the words

The local middle school had a wide, flat roof and a sturdy old fire escape.  From the top, the view was disorienting, our vantage point unnatural.       

The sun was setting over the post office.  My hair was blowing in the breeze.  The wash of tra… Read full post »

MAY 28, 2011 12:23PM

Not just pen and paper anymore

Once upon a time, I was a writer.  A real one.   I got paid (minimally), worked (constantly) and had the caffeine habit to prove it.   But now, not so much.    Now I’m a scaredy-cat wordsmith.  I’m a silly little girl.  I’m afraid of/… Read full post »

MAY 21, 2011 1:28PM

The Laugh, the Way and the Life

I'm an unapologetic heathen married to a theoretical physicist.  The rapture isn't coming to our house, and right after it doesn't, the world isn't going to end.  

Raised by the kind of atheist to whom even the content-light community of Unitarianism seemed 'too out there,' I grew up… Read full post »

Each summer during middle and high school I looked forward to spending a few hot weeks in some rented-out church meeting hall with a bunch of squirrely, energetic kids whose parents had entrusted me, for some reason, to teach them everything there was to know about musical theater. 

It… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 20, 2011 11:08PM

How Macaulay Culkin Finally Let Me Cry

Right around the time the slightly older neighbor boy I idolized started school without me, his father abruptly moved out of their house, leaving behind a wife, two sons and a yappy, bouncing schipperke.  My mother and I had just walked to the mailbox at the end of our driveway when/… Read full post »