Mom’s Not Cooking Tonight Cabbage with Sausage

We took the Christmas tree down. It’s fake, so we shoved it back in the box and stuffed it into the closet for safe keeping. I was sad to see it go, but there are weird rules about new years and deconstructing the past. January doesn’t like twinkling lights. The spirit of giving scares away the groundhogs. Something like that, anyway.

Happy New Year, by the way.

Now, for the recipe.


1 head of cabbage

1 package kielbasa sausage (more if you’re good for it)

A big steamer pot


Steps 1 Through 3

  • Decide that you don’t want to cook dinner tonight.
  • Tell your spouse and children that they’re on their own.
  • Take a nap.

Now, I know that these directions can seem a little out there, but if you’re going for the full experience, I really do recommend following them to a T. It’s the only way to fully appreciate all that this recipe has to offer.

Did you take your nap yet?

Steps 4 through 6

  • Wake up just before dinner time
  • Walk into the kitchen and see that no one has even thought about cooking yet
  • Find the boys in the garage finishing up with a woodworking project. Realize that your teenager is behind a locked bedroom door with music that is barely music playing too loud.

Okay, so this last set of steps may be a little different depending on your household, but you get the idea. Everyone’s doing their usual thing, and dinner is just supposed to magically appear like it does every night.

Step 5

  • Sigh to yourself and allow your resolve to dissolve. Go back to the kitchen and stare at various ingredients, waiting for something to speak to you.

Step 6

  • Open the fridge one more time and realize that you just happen to have some cabbage from a meal you never got around to prepping, and hey! Is that sausage in the drawer?

Step 7

  • Get out that big steamer pot. Chop up the cabbage and slice up the sausage while the water is coming to a boil.

Step 8

  • Toss everything into the pot.

Step 9

  • Let is all steam til the cabbage is soft.

Step 10

  • Tell everyone that dinner is ready. For this one, you’ll want to prepare yourself for a couple of different reactions, just in case. A) Your spouse will say, “Oh, really? I was just going to order a pizza. This is way better!” or B) Everyone will look at you like it’s just another day in the neighborhood, having completely forgotten that they were supposed to fend for themselves.

Step 11

  • Roll your eyes

Step 12

  • Curl up on the couch with your tablet and headphones and get caught up on that show you’ve already seen three times, but they just came out with a new season, so you have to relive it all from the beginning in order to get the full effect.


Dad’s Famous Buffalo Dip

I love lazing around my parents’ house, pretending that I’m only here because it’s the holiday season instead of my puppy and I needing a place to crash after I quit my job for no good reason. Yes, there’s Christmas music is in the air, and the tree is all decorated with care. Never mind that my dog is chewing the bows off of the bottom rows. Lets get down to this week’s amazing dish!

The Recipe

Step 1

  • Send Mom to the store at least a week before you get around to actually making the dip.

The Shopping List

Step 2

  • Wake up one Saturday feeling particularly productive.
  • Eat breakfast, take a shower, clean your room, and do some laundry.
  • Think about getting ready to do some writing, but get distracted with tidying up your email inbox instead.

Step 3 

  • Email tidy, further avoid any real work by wandering into the kitchen for a snack.

Step 4 

  • See Dad on the couch reading his Kindle.
  • Ask him how to make Buffalo Dip.
  • “Throw some shit together,” he says.
  • Respond, “I  can do that.” 

Step 5

  • Throw some shit into a pot – low heat – with the finely chopped, nearly fresh herbs.

Step 6 

The $64,000 question:

  • How much do we want to make?

The answer:

  • There’s three of us and a whole weekend to eat it.
  • What we’re making will probably be enough for 12 people.
  • Leave well enough alone.

Step 7

  • Take the crackers away from Mom so she doesn’t eat them while the dip cooks down. 

Step 8

  • Sit around the kitchen table while the smells filling the air make everyone wonder if there’s something quicker in the fridge.
  • Dad grabs a beer and reads his Kindle in between bouts of stirring. He hasn’t added the chicken yet, but it’s cut up.
  • Mom decides to eat half of a sandwich over the sink, remarking on the weather through the window, “I’m so glad to finally see some sunshine!”
  • Use your Chromebook to start typing up a recipe for buffalo dip.
  • Get stuck about halfway through. It’s going to take longer than you thought, and now you’re hungry too, and maybe you need a cigarette. And damn it, how did you end up being productive while trying to procrastinate?

Step 9

  • Watch Dad take the pot off the burner. Its contents have been bubbling for a while now.
  • He lets is cool for a minute or three.
  • He puts the chicken in a bowl and adds a little of the creamy stuff from the pot and some buffalo sauce to taste.
  • He starts a’mixing. 

Step 10 

  • Realize that the stuff in the mixing bowl is the dip. It’s all of the dip. There’s still a bunch of the creaminess in the pot, and there’s still some chicken he hasn’t cut up yet.
  • Wonder if that was the plan all along as he puts cling wrap over the mixing bowl and puts it in the fridge.
  • Remove bowl from fridge when he leaves the kitchen.
  • Take a picture of it all next to each other.
  • Put bowl back into fridge.

Step 11

  • Come to the conclusion that this dip is gonna be rad in about an hour.
  • Until then, procrastinate some more.

Step 12

  • Wait all of 13 minutes.
  • Decide that it’s probably been long enough.
  • Grab the crackers you were hiding, and 
  • Enjoy!

Step 13

  • Munch on that awesome Buffalo Dip all day until you realize you never took a final final pic of it.
  • Stop the writing you finally got around to doing and go get the bowl out of the fridge.
  • Put some crackers next to the half-eaten delicious mush and take a picture.*
*final tip – make sure all your pics are set for  
low-fi quality so they have that extra hipstery feel

And there you have it

It’s as easy as wasting a whole day.

If you have a recipe you’d like me to try, share the link or give me an easily searchable name for it. The comment section works really well, but if you want to be all secretive about it, try the contact form instead!

Happy munching!

June 16, 2018

I have nothing in particular to write about. I have fallen out of my manic writing phase, and I want to try something new. I’m goal-setting, and one of my goals is to write something – Anything! – every single day.

Today, this is it. This is all.

Florence + the Hendersons


When I don’t sleep

everything takes on meaning.

Buying cigarettes, the Dog Days are over,

and I start thinking things are new.

I start thinking about what I want –

what I have to do and why.

I start thinking I should listen

to those gurus who died out a decade ago

when the new millennials stopped believing

their lives are their own.


I grew up with guilt

for what I had, though it wasn’t a lot.

It was everything.

It was more.


I started smoking in the house.

I’m rebelling against the only thing

holding me back:


I never got over the idea.

There are no rules.

No one’s watching.

I do what I want.

If we never existed,

no one would know.

If we never existed,

no one would know to care.

Meaning comes from doing this anyway.


I stopped listening.

I stopped writing songs.

I stopped letting myself elevate

above the moment and become eternal.

But sometimes…

Sometimes I’m up early and

walking through a convenience store

and the dog’s been walked,

and the Lady’s buying breakfast,

and the bills are paid. There’s gas in the car.

And then a song comes on

and I mix up the name of the band

with the mom from the Brady Bunch

and I start laughing as I move to the sound.

A Procrastinator’s Self Aggrandizment


It occurs to me that as I get older, I tend to have fewer of the realizations – the epiphanies – as I experienced as a young person. It’s probably for the best. I take it as a sign that I’m less sure that what I’ve grasped onto is correct; I no longer believe that there is such a thing as truth. This isn’t to say that certain facts are not by definition true, only that my subjectivity is incredibly limiting, and I do not know that what I would take as science would really be more than hearsay.


Case in point – I recently had a fight with my significant other. I think we may still be fighting. I think we’ve been fighting since the day we met, but we refuse to acknowledge it. I no longer believe that we are fighting with each other. I’m beginning to suspect that we are at war with ourselves instead – with reality as we know it and the disappointments and fear of disappointment therein. Perhaps this is the very thing that attracts us to one another.

Or not.

It feels as though – and I do find myself relying on feeling more than fact these days – we can see each other so clearly while the other sits in complete darkness of themselves.

It’s as true as anything, I suppose.


Case 2 – in a more scientific sense – I believe what I am told about gravity. I believe that there are things called physics and chemistry and biology. I believe these subjects exist, and that those who study them can produce incredible things. Hell, I believe that these sciences built nearly everything I can see. I cannot, however, quite convince myself that the universe in which all of these sciency things dwell actually exists at all. We could very well be living in a simulation. At the very least, we could be but one dimension among many. We could, in ‘fact,’ be one giant organism experiencing itself through some confused circuitry, at war with itself because the nature of the universal body appears to be that of entropy – of the slow dispersal into the chaotic – while the organizing force called electricity seems to be dissipating, dwindling into cold black death.


Did I mention that I’m an optimist?

I get obsessed about things. I read stacks of material and listen to hours upon hours of talking heads, and I think that I may be closer to understanding something. Philosophy and economics and sociology and… well… it all feels like the same thing. But then it occurs to me that these subjects are ‘soft.’ They’re observations made of the behavior of people who understand little about those ‘hard’ sciences and even less about their own motivations throughout a given day.


And I wonder what I should be doing.

I wonder if I should be doing anything.

There are plenty of things that I could be doing. Focusing on work, whether corporate or my own writing. I could be reading more, learning more, understanding more. I could be opening up these ideas and feelings with the woman who has agreed to be my wife. I could be working toward growing closer to her, expressing my love for her, cementing my future with her, forming shapes of soulmate architecture as the time dries on the canvas of our personal history.

I could be. I should be.

I’m just finding it hard to believe that the old adage is true: Everything worth having requires work. Nothing is free. I cannot just sit around and wallow in the moment. Roses die as you’re sniffing them.

Anyone who’s ever known me knows that all I’m doing now is finding flowerier ways of saying – of lamenting – the things I’ve always fretted about.

Is that what I’m doing?


I am trying to get myself to finish writing my novel(s). I get stuck in my head and I’m trying to dig my way out. It’s like this with everything I do: I think. And sometimes thinking feels as good as doing. And sometimes writing shit in a notebook feels as good as saying it out loud. And sometimes saying shit out loud makes everything more real – makes the GOALS take firmer shape – points me in a definitive direction (a course which I can later alter in mid-stride when the real idea comes into focus).

And maybe that’s the realization. The epiphany, as such: I don’t know where I’m going until I’m moving. I never move until my intention is made clear. I never feel that my intentions are clear until they’ve been said – until they’ve been written – until they’ve been read – until I feel heard – until I’ve at least given myself the chance to feel some external validation – until I’ve been given the opportunity to either a) bask in the glory of a “hell yeah!” or b) give the naysayers the finger and do what I want to do anyway.


Hedberg with an ‘e’

I miss Mitch Hedberg. I know, I know. Everybody does. But hey… I’m feeling nostalgic. I still find myself mimicking him. I’ll be sitting in my dining room, reading the label of the ketchup for my hotdogs –

“I don’t like calling them hot-dogs, man. Like, dogs, man. Like, Hey, you wanna see my dog? He’s hot. Hehehe Yeah, Man, He’s a hot dog, man… Now let’s eat him with a little ketch-up.”

Clearly, I’m not Mr. Hedberg. But that cadence is fucking addictive. He just let it flow. He’d throw that laugh in the middle of it, and the audience would laugh, and then he’d laugh at the audience, and then the audience would laugh at him laughing at the audience, and then he’s right back into questioning the necessity of bringing ink and paper into this.

I miss where I was when I heard him the first time. He takes me back to it, almost. I was a teenager or maybe just a little older. I was looking for myself. I was searching far and wide – inside and outside – and I kept finding myself in a bad way emotionally; I’d put on one of Mitch’s albums (Yeah, that’s right. I feel like I can call him Mitch like I know him), and he’d just make me fucking giggle. Sometimes that giggle would build into a full bellied laugh, but just that giggle, man. That first couple of jokes where he’d start talking, and you’d just shake your head at the corniness, and then he’d hit you again, and you just couldn’t help yourself, and then… It would just keep coming. An hour full of one-liners, two-liners, three at the most. He’d be all over the map, and he’d keep you right there with him. When people fell off the wagon, he’d gather them all back up again with something like, “Yeah, fuck that joke, man.” That acknowledgement of the crowd made everyone get right back on board.

I could go on and on.

Instead, if you’ve got a couple of hours, and you feel like mourning the loss of greatness one more time with the people who loved him…

Listen to this – with Doug Stanhope and Lynn Shawcroft

Los Enchiladas – Mitch’s movie! Starring the likes of Dave Attell and Todd Barry, as well as some people I don’t recognize. Oh Marc Maron‘s in it. Check it out, man. Hehehe Yeah.

Zombeh 1.1

Tom Stovel and Amy Blithe (35, both) lived in a treehouse on a corner of Hickory Street in Savannah, Georgia. The walls of their top-floor two-bedroom apartment were paper thin, and there were too many windows. It felt just short of camping. Glamping, maybe.

The house was built well before lead paint had been banned. The ceiling fans were installed before bulb sizes had been standardized. The kitchen had been remodeled to include a clothes washer and dryer with a dishwasher in between – about six full paces away from the sink. They could not use more than two appliances in the same room without tripping a fuse, the box for which was hidden behind the refrigerator.

The apartment was a pain in the ass, for sure, but it was oddly comfortable. It was home.

Drew and Foster Effingham (39 and 32 respectively) lived in the apartment below. Instead of glamping, the Effinghams dwelled in the equivalent of a Hobbit’s den – the ceilings were only seven feet high – and the concrete floors of what was once a prototype garage sloped in all directions beneath thin carpet. Their washer and dryer was an afterthought, stowed in the storage space around the side of the house near the trashcans in the alley.

The neighborhood was a grid, as were all neighborhoods in the city. The four of them would sit in their driveway smoking cigarettes and waving to the pedestrians walking their dogs. Savannah, after all, was a dog kind of town. The couples would drink beer and tell stories, getting downright rowdy when the boys had had one too many – when shouting over one another became the only way to be heard.

They never really saw their neighbors doing the same.

The neighbors all owned their land. They built fences around eighth-acre lots for their kids and dogs to play in. They stayed inside and did things that real adults do, venturing out only for the aforementioned walks and bit of light gardening.

“Fucking grown-ups, the bunch of them,” Drew would say. His compatriots would toast in agreement.


They knew something was wrong when the power went out. Of course, the power went out regularly in a house built before electricity was a sure thing, but it only ever stayed out for a few hours at a time, usually in the middle of the night when they’d all fallen asleep with all of the switches on. This time, however, it didn’t come back on and blind everyone. They woke up to warming fridges and no internet.

Their cellphones were all dead.

It was going to be a rough day.

Twenty-three days

I keep dreaming of people dying.

I saved your soul in a coffee mug

And drank you with a little cream

You were always sweet enough.


It reminds me how I never asked

How you’re doing, only hoped you’re doing well

While pouring declarations down your drain and saying

I’m sorry. Hope you don’t mind. I can’t help myself, I can’t help myself, just look at what your doing to me.

And this dream comes, and I’ve got 23 days to tell you, 23 days to say I’m selfish, 23 days to say I’m stepping out of my own way and asking

How are you? Where are you, even? Did you find what you were looking for? Did it find you?


I keep dreaming of people dying.

I keep dreaming of finding myself crying in the hall of that old apartment building above the river where we sat watching the water trickle through the dam.

I keep dreaming this was all real and that I ran away from it, that I ran away from you because I was always doing the chasing, and all I wanted was to be chased in return, to feel a hand pull at my shoulder and a voice to ask me –


I keep dreaming of people dying of old age, of regret, of sadness and happiness and boredom and delight.

I keep dreaming that I’ll outlive you all, but we both know that’s a lie.


I keep dreaming of people dying, and every one of them makes me think of you,

like a tangled ball of string in the corner of a closet I haven’t opened in a decade

still just sitting there waiting for me to pick it up and tie more knots.


And here, I’m doing it again. I’m telling instead of asking, and see? Didn’t I tell you? I cannot help myself. Even in the face of death.

I heard you say once –

While I was taking a breath from all my talking

That you only ever wanted love,

And I thought that my cue.


I keep dreaming of people dying, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if they do. It doesn’t matter if I cry. It doesn’t matter if I feel anything at all.


How are you?

Time Travel in Fiction: Why Over How

Auston Habershaw

After having a conversation with my agent the other day, I’ve decided my next novel project is going to be time travel based. I wasn’t really planning to write this particular novel at this particular time, but he feels its the best career move right now and that’s basically what I’m paying the guy for – his advice – so why wouldn’t I take it? Anyway, the point here is that I’ve been thinking (a lot) about time travel in stories today and I want to share some of my ramblings.

One of the questions I’ve gotten recently is how the character in my time travel story is going to travel through time. What are the rules, in other words? Is time linear or non-linear in this story? Are we going to be dealing with the Grandfather Paradox or the Butterfly Effect or what? What about free will? Now, it…

View original post 585 more words