Top Ten Things in My Stanford Apartment

Essays, stories, anecdotes, letters, Letterman-style top ten lists, screenplay dialogue (?!). Maybe some poetry. I want to try out different formats and add/refine some tools to/in my writing toolbox. Here's a top ten list, just for the halibut, as Senora Bailey would say.

It's been almost a week, and I'm mostly moved in to my apartment in Studio 4. Here is a curated list of noteworthy things in my new home.

In no particular order:

10. Books

Notables: Fire at Eden's Gate (mandatory reading for Oregonians), On Writing (mandatory reading for writers), The War of Art (mandatory reading for creatives), Tuesdays with Morrie (mandatory reading for everyone), and The American Spirit (currently reading -- selected speeches of David McCullough that I bought because I teared up reading the first chapter in a Minneapolis airport bookstore. Highly recommended.). 

9. Copious Amounts of Throw Pillows

I just think you have to have throw pillows if you want to be considered an adult.

8. Standing Lamp/End Table

Why? Because I made* it.

7. Framed "In Our America..." Postcard

"In our America, all people are equal, love wins, black lives matter, immigrants and refugees are welcome, disabilities are respected, women are in charge of their own bodies, people and planet are valued over profit, and diversity is celebrated." That's my America. That's a more perfect union worth building. The lawn sign version of this message have been popping up all over the Portland metro area over the last few months. Now there's a desk-sized version in Palo Alto.

6. Bill Clinton Corkscrew

This was my award for being Young Democrat if the Year in 2012. I've cherished it ever since, but I only use it to open wine in emergency situations.

5. Song of India Plant (Dracaena Reflexa)

I'm told this cleans the air. But it also looks nice. And this is the closest thing to a dog that I'm allowed to have here. I also think houseplants are in the same category as throw pillows, you kind of have to have one. 

World's Greatest Dad.jpg


It was a simpler time. I'm a little kid, sitting on my dad's shoulders. I have no recollection of the picture being taken, but I'm pretty sure we are just outside of Kooskia, Idaho -- an annual retreat for my family growing up. Dad's wearing a shirt that says "WORLD'S GREATEST DAD." No truer words. I love this picture.

3. OASC Prescriptions

Some of the most generous, kindest, sweetest, most thoughtful things that have ever been said to me. This stack of handwritten notecards is one of my most cherished possessions and is the best pick-me-up.

2. Cup of Joe

The Joe Biden coffee mug. My favorite birthday gift, courtesy of Mijon and Greg. I don't drink coffee, but I would do just about anything for Joe Biden. That may or may not include moving to Des Moines sometime in 2019.

1. Menehune figurine

According to Wikipedia: "In Hawaiian mythology, the Menehune are said to be a people, sometimes described as dwarfs in size, who live in the deep forests and hidden valleys of the Hawaiian Islands, far from the eyes of normal humans."

My grandma didn't go on vacation much. She grew up relatively poor and then became a homesteader with her husband, ranching on hundreds of acres in Wyoming and raising six kids. At some point, she took a trip to Hawaii, probably sometime in the 60s or 70s, and picked up a couple of lava menehune figurines as souvenirs, and she held on to them. I inherited these bad boys, and now I've got one -- with a big smile and potbelly -- looking out over my desk. I love that it reminds me of my grandma.