Friday, June 13, 2014

Retiring the Mad Cow

It was in Europe, the epicenter of mad cow disease, that I discovered an entire line of quirky stationery products covered with the word "mad" and a cartoon cow.  Drawing on a debilitating, fatal illness to sell paper products is the kind of thing that seems okay to do in Europe, but probably wouldn't fly here.

It was precisely because of that that I bought a mini-notebook.  This was 2005.

I've had that notebook in my purse (or rather all the purses I've had) ever since.  It is full of barely legible notes for my first book, jotted down at stoplights when things came to me while driving, and of quotes, everything from that trip to Nashville my college friends took in 2006 to last night after the Breakaway run.

But it's time to retire the mad cow.  I went to Walgreens this afternoon and bought another — sadder — notebook to replace it.  What the new book lacks in personality, though, it makes up for in blank pages.

So in honor of the mad cow notebook, which I have been toting around with me for nine years (!), here is a sample of what treasures lie on its pages:

1.  My Irish phone number

2.  "Aren't you glad I think about these things?  We wouldn't want to be licking sugar off sticks while watching Brokeback Mountain."  —Kara, on why Fun Dip was not the best candy choice for that movie

3.  A note to meet Megan at 1:00

4.  Becky:  "Dude.  Lassie could kick Benji's ass."
Kathryn:  "I don't know.  Benji had street smarts."

5.  A list of topics for the Overpopulation Blog that I never wrote about (sample:  "100 billion pieces of mail a year in U.S., more emails than that every day")

6.  "The Czechs didn't kick our ass.  They took us back to fucking school!"  —Alex, two World Cups ago

7.  A shopping list

8.  This sentence:  "When Jake goes live, so do we."

9.  "Oh, I'm in that guy's way.  And I think he's blind." — Crystal

10.  Russell's phone number (who the hell is Russell?)

11.  A list of all the people who called me when Heath died

12.  A note to check my unemployment status

13.  "my hopeless desire to act judiciously" — a phrase that never made it into the book

14.  A list of all the things Melissa and I did in Austin in 2009

15.  "universal story that hasn't been written yet because this universe is still brand new" — a phrase for my book proposal

16.  a list of all the races Megan and I planned to run in 2008 (we did not follow through)

17.  "Beer isn't caffeinated, is it?" — Kara, at her favorite bar in Indiana

18.  Kara's handwriting

19.  "Neither was the good time she was supposed to be having."  (I have no idea what this refers to.)

20.  A list of the wineries Melissa and I visited in Napa in 2008

21.  A list of all the things Kara and I did the last time I visited her

22.  A note to meet Cantara at Cliff House at 1:30

23.  "cash for Heath"

24.  A number for a towing company

25.  An ISJ! blog topic that never was:  "Which Simon and Garfunkel song best fits Jake's personality?"

26.  The number of steps on my pedometer every day that Sam and Alex and I were in Orlando in 2011

27.  A few blood pressure readings from last year

28.  "Hipsters — en masse vs. on their own"

29.  A note to "add TDK [The Dark Knight] paragraph after 'I cried for months.'"

30.  All the quotes from my Sylamore trip with Allie, Lee, and Jessica last summer

31.  A note to "steal hat"

32.  "This is like Slider church night." —Barry, on Wednesday-night debauchery

33.  A story about Sex Trivia night

34.  "We got drunk and we forgot."

36.  "Row 8, Level 3, piano, right by pedestrian crossing"

My life.

Some of it wound up in a mad cow.


  1. I still do not know how that notebook lasted for nine years before you completely filled it up. That's almost a third of your life! Mad Cow, you will be missed on Thursday nights at the Slider Inn...

    1. Oh my God, I'd never even thought about it as being nearly a third of my life!!! That kind of blows my mind...

      I'll unveil the replacement soon (probably tomorrow!). It's really sad and boring in comparison, but I figure we can make up for that with what we put in its pages. ;)