Personal Growth vs. Old Demons

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I never understood why people said to enjoy high school, that they were the best years of my life. As a miserable teenager, this thought was not comforting. As a slightly happier 20-something, making my first real friends at University, I laughed at the people for whom that was true. As a 30-something “adult,” there are things about teenagehood that I miss. Sitting in my room undisturbed for hours on end, for example. Knowing that my laundry would be done for me. Never having to cook if I wanted to eat. But high school? The large machine through which we are squozen into our final acceptable-to-capitalism shape? That was awful. I remain deeply, deeply suspect of humans who are somehow convinced that being an awkward teen is The Pinnacle of Human Existence. Read full post


Clever Manka, · Categories: Manka's Posts · Tags: ,

Wesley Clark Jr., middle, and other veterans kneel in front of Leonard Crow Dog during a forgiveness ceremony at the Four Prairie Knights Casino & Resort on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Monday. (Josh Morgan for The Huffington Post )

Apologies in our culture are fraught and frequently ineffectual. Most of the apologies we hear aren’t actually apologies–they’re a list of reasons or excuses, or they attempt to push responsibility onto the injured party–what I call Fauxpologies. Read full post

Slow, if not steady

Clever Manka, · Categories: Manka's Posts · Tags: , ,

I wrote this and chose the gif before the U.S. elections. When I have the energy and ability, I’ll write the more metaphysical followup that must necessarily follow.

I’m not what anyone would call quick to action in general, but once I make up my mind to do something, I like to get a move on. I knew changing my life would be scary, difficult, and stressful. I didn’t realize it would take so long. Read full post

Why the Italian Waiter Made Me Cry: Confessions of a Reluctant Celibate

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The author with Italian Waiter (left) and his son (we thought? on the right). Editor’s note: I think everyone who was working this restaurant was related and they were all this beautiful.

It was a gorgeous early evening in San Diego. I suppose most early evenings are gorgeous in San Diego but as I am from the Midwest, it was a particularly luxurious experience for the sky to be so blue, the clouds to be so white, the air to be so fragrant, the breeze to be so delicious on my skin. This is how I experience the world. Sensorially. Sensually. Sexually. Read full post

A Few Words from an Anthropomorphised Crisis

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Hi everyone, and thanks for coming out today. I’m Lauren’s Existential Crisis – call me LEC! – and she is pretty strongly in my grip at the moment, so I’ll be speaking on her behalf. I’m going to give a statement first and then I’ll take questions, so please contain yourselves until I am done. Read full post

Changing for the Best

Clever Manka, · Categories: Manka's Posts · Tags: ,
The dust cloud from McCollum Hall's implosion, November 2015. Also an accurate representation of how I feel about starting a website.

Your host in the middle of a dust cloud from the McCollum Residence Hall implosion, November 2015. Also an accurate representation of how she feels about starting a website.

It’s important to start from a place of honesty.

I am not a go-getter. I don’t like the phrase and even if I did, it wouldn’t apply to me. I am well aware of my strengths and weaknesses. Motivation and ambition are not in my repertoire. I’m all for routines and comfortable, established patterns. I am a fixed person and I don’t care for spontaneity. I understand and appreciate the importance of comfort. When the mattress starts sagging, though, and your pillow threatens to smother you, it’s time to get out of that bed. Read full post