From Observations


Marriage, like anything worth having in life, takes work and luck and patience and forgiveness and more luck and, if you believe in that sort of thing, more than a little grace. It’s a life’s work and it’s never perfect, except for the times when it is, hopefully more often than not. Marriage is like parenting is like life: magnificent/difficult/wonderful/horrible/sanctifying. Our very presence in each other’s lives helps us strive to be the best versions of ourselves. I believe it should be available to everyone, but that’s probably a different post. I am so thankful for the circumstances that put…

Observations from a Series of Snowbound Days

We go through a lot of maple syrup All else being equal, my children’s default state is “fighting” Every morning, the fucking city plows another foot of snow onto the apron of my driveway and crushes my will to live Podcasts are more enjoyable while commuting We are filthy people There is, in fact, a limit to how much coffee I can drink Time, it turns out, is not the issue; it’s attention Everything that happens in The Shining makes much more sense to me now

The lesson.

It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter what other people tell you. If you can find some courage (in yourself) and some faith (in anything) and some perspective (it’s not that big a deal) and some kindness (always be the nicest person in the room) you can make things happen that will amaze people. This is what I’ve learned from my mother. Not just in the past month, but my whole life. There’s a reason my people pay attention to “Auntie Kay.”

Two Years

Two years ago today, this happened. And I don’t mean my son’s tooth coming in; of course, I mean that I first tweeted. What a weird two years. As I’ve become increasingly engaged with some kind of Twitter community, I’ve encountered: love, anger, births, deaths, proposals, breakups, people gone missing, people found. Warmth, filth, and everything in between. Competitiveness and apathy. Most of all, I’ve found laughter. Wait, what? Those things aren’t weird at all. They’re what life is made of, online or off. Turns out we aren’t really living all that differently because of Twitter, we’re just doing it…

Do bookstores matter?

For years—perhaps decades—my dad would walk to the flagship Kroch’s and Brentano’s store on South Wabash on Chicago, spending his lunch hour among the famously knowledgeable booksellers and the then-amazing array of inventory. I only remember being in that downtown store once or twice, but the mall Kroch’s and Brentano’s in the town where I grew up was a key setting in my childhood love of reading. We went to the mall almost every night. If I wasn’t scanning the skies for Soviet bombers or taping Top 40 songs off the boombox, I was likely one of three places: the…

Actually social media

I attended a little liberal arts college in Wisconsin, where we well-off kids were dipped into a fantasy island of hippie liberalism in the middle of a devastated post-industrial blue-collar town. We had to stick together or intoxicate ourselves out of our minds to keep the consensual reality held together, and generally it worked pretty well. I’ll assume there are plenty of inside jokes and camaraderie at your alma mater. But I had no idea what a funny little cult that Beloit College comprised until a few weeks ago, when someone created a wonderful variation on one of those horrible…

When I realized I was a grown-up

I realized I was a grown-up when we brought my daughter home from the hospital. I walked upstairs and found my wife clipping the baby’s fingernails. I remember thinking, “holy shit, that little thing can’t even clip her own fingernails” and realizing just how responsible we would have to be. I had a similar realization when having some beers with old friends, having a blast, and realized we were talking about recent appliance purchases.

Why my hip-hop posse would include nothing but badass chefs

For some reason, I like the idea of my hip-hop posse consisting entirely of chefs. Perhaps because I’d like my own hip-hop name to be Foo-Dee. Anthony Bourdain because he’s a badass and I’d really like him to guide me around the globe, smoking and drinking along the way. Mark Bittman because he’s the one I’d like to actually prepare my food Tom Colicchio because he knows Padma.

Seven Things

The seven things meme, as rendered by yours truly (@mikemorrow). Not really all that interesting—this is definitely harder than I thought, but I also didn’t want to spend too much time agonizing over what to say. Stick around here long enough and you’ll get to know me better, I’m sure. Not that I was asking for it (thanks @frageelay). 1. I have absolutely no fear of speaking in front of groups or crowds, but one-on-one conversations tend to paralyze me with anyone but my closest friends. Hence my fondness for Twitter. 2. I’m a Deadhead. As in, I used to…