These days, there’s not much I prefer on a weekday evening to working up a sweat on the tennis courts.  I come home from work, throw my bag on the bed, kick of my clompy shoes and lace up my sneakers.  September is the perfect month for tennis, before Vancouver’s rain has started in earnest, when the days are still long enough to get in a few good rallies before dinner.  And our new place, like our old place, is only a block from the neighborhood courts.  But with new courts come new characters and well, let’s just say I’m not really making friends with the neighbors these days.

At our old courts, there was The Wildcard, a tightly-wound spring of a man who you could count on to do whatever it might take to get his racquet on the ball.  He’d show up with one of his short-skirted partners and perform an endless variety of dives, twists, shouts and dances, launching the ball into a powerful, if unpredictable, flight path.  And there was The Hacker, a set of lungs that sat near a high window just out of eyeshot, marking the minutes with the clearing of his throat.  One Saturday morning there was even a full-blown party on the courts, a cooler full of Kokanee and eight guys, each with a racquet in one hand and a koozie in the other, playing in a style best described as “double-doubles.”  For the serious tennis player, these characters might be a little annoying.  I could see how someone into keeping score might see them as an impediment to the game.  But serious tennis players aren’t likely to show up at the neighborhood court with cracked, buckled asphalt and sagging nets.  And I’ve never been all that into keeping score.

But at the new courts, things are different.  Yes, the courts are still asphalt, but the surface is a bit smoother and the nets have pretty good tension.  At the new courts, we quickly learned, there are rules.  Serious ones.  One rule, for example, is that no dogs are allowed with-in fifteen meters of the court.  Fifteen meters!  For those of you who don’t speak metric, that’s over forty-five feet.  The sidewalk isn’t even forty-five feet away!  And there are signs posted, warning of the $500 fines that may be incurred for breaking the rules.  Since we’re dog-sitting the lovely Lola this month, it means she never gets to come to the park with us while we’re there for tennis.  But I can live with making two trips down the block each evening, one for a game, one for Lola’s walk.  What I cannot live with however, are the people who think they are above the rules. I inherited my love of rules from my father.  Like him, I believe the rules exist for a reason, and that when one person chooses not to follow the rules, the whole system falls apart.  Specifically, I’m referring to The King.

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The King of the Courts presides from his front porch, a white clapboard affair situated conveniently across from the northwest court.  The northwest court is also, conveniently, where the King stores his Gatorade cooler, and where, when the time is right, he bellies up to the net, racquet in his hand, glint in his eye, his sweaty tennis whites glistening in the evening sun.  The King has a gray comb-over and a little potbelly and a host of minions who keep him running either in singles or doubles games that tend to last the better part of the evening.  And, no, don’t be fooled by his middle-age looks, the King is quick, light on his feet, shooting balls across the court like lightning.  He’s good.

At first, I thought it was cool that the men in the neighborhood were so into their tennis.  They’d chide each other on a missed swing or a misstep–“You’re slowin’ down these days, Gary.  I can see your hair graying from over here!”  They’d hold vigorous debates on whether a ball grounded just within or just beyond the baseline.  But one day we were playing in the court next to the King and he started to seem a lot less cool.  When I couldn’t get my racquet behind a ball and it went soaring into his direction, he stopped mid-step, raised his racquet and pointed to my AWOL ball as it rolled slowly between him and the net.  With great fanfare the play was stopped and the point restarted.

Okay, I can admit that, to a serious player, an errant ball is a distraction.  And repeated errant balls, thus points that are repeatedly stopped and restarted, must be a real frustration.  I can understand all of that.  And this is probably why, in Wembledon, matches aren’t held simultaneously on two side-by-side courts.  But these are the neighborhood asphalt courts, on which these guys play for hours every day.  If the ball is rolling into and then out of the far rear corner, couldn’t they just let it slide one time??

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m not a great tennis player.  And, as it turns out, the more self-conscious I become about an errant ball, the more likely I am to hit another errant ball.  (These courts are spaced so closely together, you’d have to be Roger Federer to ensure your ball never travels beyond the safety of your slice of asphalt.)  But my real problem with the King is not that he makes a show of stopping the game each time my ball runs off, or that he sticks so rigorously to the rules of the game.  It’s that he does not stick so rigorously to the rules of the court!  Picture this:  it’s Tuesday night, the sun is dipping low, throwing golden shadows across the asphalt, the air is cooling on an early September evening, and the courts are bustling.  Two friendly and polite gentlemen have been waiting patiently by the side of the court.  First, they swang on the empty playground swings.  Then they puttered around in the grass, admiring the neighborhood dogs.  But now, after about forty-five minutes of waiting, with only about thirty minutes of remaining daylight, they are pressed up against the chainlink, intently watching to see who will relinquish their courts first.  I’ve been eyeing them for awhile, looking past the King and his friends, believing naively that because it’s his turn, because he’s been playing since well before we arrived, because he’s a real stickler for the rules, that he’ll eventually call an end to his game.  But no, each time they pause for a Gatorade quencher, they rise again to pick up for where they left off.  Finally I say loudly to Justin, “I THINK THOSE GUYS OVER THERE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR A COURT FOR A LONG TIME.”

“Well it’s not our turn to leave,” he responds, stating the obvious.

“BUT IF SOMEONE DOESN’T LEAVE SOON, THEY WON’T HAVE TIME TO PLAY.”  I look over toward the King, but he appears quite continent in his game, if concerned–as he’s mentioned several times–about the slowness of his backhand tonight.  Suddenly, I don’t feel so bad about hitting the ball into his court, and I step up  my hustle.  Ten minutes later, they’re still going strong.

“I think we should let those guys play,” I tell Justin.  He agrees and we flag them over, so they must cross the King’s court to get to ours.

“YOU CAN HAVE OUR COURT,” I tell them boisterously.  Then add, “THOSE GUYS HAVE BEEN HERE FOREVER, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THEY’LL NEVER LEAVE.”  I don’t snarl in their direction so much as smile my brightest have-a-great-game smile.  But still, of course, they do not seem to respond.

I know, I know, it’s not a very sophisticated way to solve the problem.  But someone who isn’t a friend of the rules isn’t a friend of mine, especially someone who’s so serious about every other rule.  My temporary solution is to find time to play when the King is more likely to be on the porch than the courts, but as work gets busier, mid-day tennis matches are increasingly unlikely.  So the plan is, the next time the courts are full and I’ve been waiting for half an hour, to walk right up and ask him:  “Will you be finished soon?” nodding my head clearly in the direction of the “Court Rules.”  I’m feeling bold these days, friends, especially when it comes to the flagrant flaunting of rules.  And if that means disrupting the Heather Street tennis court heirarchy, so be it.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

of summer, that is.  The end of summer.  You can give me your blah, blah, blah about how the autumnal equinox has not yet arrived, but let’s face facts, people, September is upon us! September means the first day of school, and plum season, both exciting, but it also means the end of other things: namely, my summer flings.

I’m not going to be one of those people who says, “I hate to brag,” because–quite obviously–I do not.  And so I’ll just go ahead and say it: I’ve had a lot of flings this summer.  I’ve always considered myself a loyal girl, but when summer comes, the days grow long and suddenly the world is full of possibility.  No one wants to be tied down on a hot July night.

Here’s how it happened:

I met the Racer on Valentine’s Day at the Alibi Room and we totally hit it off.  By May, I wasn’t interested in anything else.  But then in Turkey, I discovered Effes Dark, which was totally different, and, you know, romantic in that dark, European way, and we were together almost every day.  Then on the pebble beaches of Greece, sweet Mythos was my Danny Zuko.  But by Canada Day, I was back on North American soil, and it had seemed wrong of me to ever leave the Racer.  Because when you come right down to it, I’m always partial to cool, hoppy ale.  There was that brief reunion with last year’s Blue Buck, but things fizzled quickly.  And I won’t even get into that hot South Carolina night with Sierra Nevada.  But I will say that I’m hoping the Red Seal will stick around a few more weeks, to, you know, help me get back into the swing of things.

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I’m a working girl these days, and I don’t have time for trifling.  But if you must know, my chest aches at the mere thought of moving on to something more serious, more stable, something to see me through the winter.  I mean, we had something special, didn’t we??

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Have I told you about my scooter? Well, let me say first that I’m using the “my” in that previous sentence rather loosely and what I really mean is: Have I told you about the scooter I rented for a week in June and the wild adventures I had on it?

I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who is “into” transportation. I mean, there are things that I’m into, like now for example, I’m into baking with blackberries and I’m into the rope swing at the lake. I’m even into drinking beer on the patio. But this will make my fourth blog post about transportation. So I guess it turns out I’ve got something to say about it.

Mainly, what I want to say is this: A girl could get used to life via scooter. Motor scooter that is. I mean, have you tried it?

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At this point I should probably acknowledge that I didn’t really try any advanced moves (like, for example, the one seen above) on the scooter. In fact, my most advanced move was riding on the back with enthusiasm. Of course, I did try to drive the scooter–who wouldn’t–but after veering into a pothole and nearly slamming into an orchard wall on a narrow Greek street, I realized I might ought to stick to what I do best, co-piloting with the camera:

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After a long trudge (okay, longish) through wild sage bushes and eleven (minimum) varieties of prickly vegetation (most of which I notice, decide to avoid, lose my balance while avoiding and then step directly on) under the glaring mid-afternoon sun, no treat is as sweet, not even ice cream, as hopping on our scooter. Justin up front, me behind him with the pack full of our climbing gear, we cruise along the island’s winding seaside roads, gazing up at the endless rocky cliff faces, thinking, maybe that one tomorrow then, ooh, maybe that one. We zip along past bushes of pink and white flowers planted along both sides of the road, their bright flowers in full bloom, and gaze at tiny white chapels with bell towers and Agean-blue roofs.  It’s the picturesque world I envisioned when I heard the phrase “Greek Islands”, only it’s zipping by in full-color with the roar of a small, fuel-efficient motor crooning in my ear.  I won’t even mention the built-in excuse to throw my arms around a hunky rock climber and nuzzle my cheek right up to his neck, our ill-fitting helmets knocking romantically against one other in the crepuscular light.

Maybe I make it sound silly, but really, really, I couldn’t have been happier.

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Though you sit on my head like a wonky walnut shell, tilted always at an unfashionably rakish angle, though you wobble, bobble, and bang against the granite, when I pull myself up beneath a roof, I have not given you, dear helmet, the credit you deserve.

Today, helmet, we became more than just friends.  Today you showed me just what you are made of: very hard plastic, and for that I am forever in your debt.  Yes, it’s true that yesterday I likened you to wearing a greenhouse on my head for all the condensation (okay, it was sweat) dripping down my brow.  But I take it all back, helmet!  Sweat in my eyes is more than a fair trade for a fully-intact skull.  Yes, I have clipped you to my harness, carelessly banging your once-bright surface along the rocks and tree trunks of many a descent trail.  And, I’m ashamed to admit, I didn’t even invite you to Greece for a holiday.  It was wrong of me, helmet.  To so carelessly scratch your powder-blue exterior.  To curse your poorly-designed chin strap.  To doubt your ability to remain on my head if I’d been moving any direction but up.

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Okay, enough with the ode.  I think the helmet gets the point.  I originally intended to write in the style of one of my favorite Romantic poets, Mr. John Keats.  Keats has a real way with the ode.  Take his “Ode to Autumn” for example, in which he exalts the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!/  Close-bosom friend of the maturing sun;”  How charming!  Autumn is fruitful–it is harvest season–but not aggressively so, like summer’s relentless abundance, and Keats is attentive enough to note this.  And how inviting, as if the mature sun is bringing everyone to its bosom, rather like my grandmother at Thanksgiving.  Perhaps I could write to my helmet:

Dome of plastic and July afternoons!

Your snug-fitting strap caresses my chin;

Enveloping my head, a full blue moon

lights midday sky and lets no danger in.

But iambic pentameter is perhaps too formal for my helmet.  Mainly, I want it to know that even though I sometimes act as if it is a burden, I am grateful for its companionship, and, today, it’s protection.  It was not unlike that scene in The Bodyguard where Kevin Costner’s character jumps between a bullet and his client/true love played by (I know I don’t have to tell you this) Whitney Houston back when she was very glamourous and capable of cranking out a killer movie soundtrack all on her own.  But it wasn’t a bullet; it was a rock, a rather large rock that was quickly approaching my head as it–my head–made its way to the ground.  And you’ll be happy to know that my helmet has survived to tell about it.  Though it isn’t talking much right now.  It’s had a long day.

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Today I wanted to write.  Or maybe I didn’t want to write, but I wanted to want to write.  Because it’s good for me.  Because I’m trying to develop a daily habit.  Because it’s the reason I worked thirteen hour days in February.  So I would have the time to write.  Everyday.

I wanted to write  but I also wanted to find out whether or not the mother of Michael Jackson’s children was requesting custody.  And I wanted to research how to get rid of the flies that have recently moved into my apartment.  And I wanted to know how people reviewed the skis I noticed on sale at the used sporting goods store.  Maybe you have experienced this kind of conflict of interest?

So I did what any moderately self-disciplined person would do:  I grabbed my journal and a mat and a floppy straw hat, and I went out into the grass.

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My mother is a grass-lying enthusiast.  When the sun is out, so is she, with a magazine and sometimes some lemonade.  She is very satisfied in the grass.  I discovered today what I suppose my mom has known all along–that grass can be very seductive.  For starters, sun-warmed grass is perfect for toes.  They love it there–and who could blame them?  And on a cloudless day with low humidity, the sunlight is like a quilt straight from the dryer, and after a few minutes of motionlessness, one could readily confuse her patch of grass with a big warm bed*.

You’ve got your usual leaf-rustling, wind-caressing-the-tree-branches kinds of noises: far off bird chirps, insect buzzes, hummingbird wings, etc.  But here in Squamish all of this is punctuated with the desperate, gutteral moans of climbers attempting new projects on the nearby cliffs, the clink of carabiners sailing through the air and the angry goddamnit following a few seconds later.  The serenity comes and goes along with the neighbor’s hip hop music, which is good for staying awake but not so good for writing on topics that extend beyond grass lying (which I did not attempt).

It’s no Walden pond, but my grass has its charms.   Its an ideal location for eating cherries or testing new sunscreen.  It is good for spying on ants and looking for but probably not finding four-leaf clovers.  It is a perfect spot for daydreaming about the Greek summer home you one day intend to purchase.  And an excellent place for considering whether or not you think season five of Weeds is still funny.  The moutains are even visible in the distance–with a little bit of snow surviving on top–if you lay your mat out near the patio.

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I went to the grass to write deliberately, but the truth is I could not do it.  I found myself wishing I was the climber with the clinking biners, and that my neighbors had never invested in that above ground pool.  Old HD Thoreau was, obviuosly, more committed that I was.  Still, I like it there in the grass, if only for how it’s strands catch between my toes, if only for an excuse to eat cherries and wear my floppy straw hat.

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*finding herself disoriented and painfully sunburnt a few hours later.  (I didn’t think this part of the sentence qualified as one of the grass’s seductive features)

I love found poetry.  Love it.  Found poetry reminds me of the time my friend Erin and I discovered John Wesley’s directions for singing in the back of a Methodist hymnal and she sat in the wooden pew furiously scribbling them all down on a spare church bulletin. Number two, for example, commands, “Sing [these tunes] exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all; and if you have learned to sing them otherwise, unlearn it as soon as you can.”  There are seven in total.  

I love how Wesley’s language is purposeful, direct and alarmingly un-ironic.  On the other hand, sometimes you find poetry in an unexpected metaphor, a euphemism that is hilariously endearing.  And that is what I bring you today.  Most of us probably don’t often think of e-mail spammers as endearing, but I present the following list with hopes you’ll reconsider.  

After four weeks out of town, I arrived home to over six hundred (!) messages in my g-mail spam folder.  Of course there was lots of “Hot sale: Generic Medecines and Vi@gr!@”, but some folks took the time to charm me with their subject lines.  Here is a brief review of the top titles:

 

  • Your drillo needs support
  • Your battleship won’t sink
  • Vulcanizer for your hot-stick!
  • Best doping for night monster
  • Your shuttle needs better fuel
  • Energy for your dude piston
  • The best software for your joystick
  • Charge your love generator

 

and, my personal favorite:

 

  • The magic melody for your flute

 

I mean, if I were in the market for some generic Viagra, I’d hands-down buy it from that guy.  In my book, a well-written metaphor goes a long way.  And admit it, you’ve already started thinking of your own.*

 

*Tentacle, love gun, and tasty cake have already been taken.

Today this blog celebrates the humble tool of many a brilliant mind:  the list.

To demonstrate, here is list of lists I like to make:

  • grocery lists
  • packing lists
  • to-do lists
  • movies to watch lists
  • books to read lists
  • books to teach lists
  • books not to teach lists
  • people to e-mail lists
  • reasons I love you lists
  • things I’ve vacuumed lists

And a list of lists I’m currently in the midst of crossing off:

  • things to purchase/get (lens cloth, etc.)
  • things to do at school (e.g. fax visa to Frances)
  • things to do at home (take crap to salvation army, for example)
  • things to write (like write this blog post)
  • money I owe and or owed to me ($50 to j)
  • things to pack  (socks x2, panties x4)
  • thoughts about packing (do we want to bring lamps?)

By calling the list a “humble tool of many a brilliant mind” and then demonstrating my very capable list-making ability, you may think I’m being a bit of a showboat.  You  may find yourself thinking, “that Mandy sure is impressed with herself.”  Well maybe you’re right.  Maybe I can put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as the case may be) and make lists with the best of them.  I hesitate to toot my trombone too tenaciously, but come on, folks, we’ve all got our gifts.  (and perhaps it goes without saying that mine is not alliteration)

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In my home there is an ongoing debate about the value of the lists–as in, does the act of making a list consume more time and/or energy than the actual completion of tasks on the list?–but this blog is interested celebration, not criticism, and as such we will not consider this debate further.  What we will instead consider* is the greatest joy of listmaking: the cross-off.  I can think of few acts more gratifying than putting pen to paper and, with vigor and delight, making a swift, straight line through the completed task.  I’ve even been known to write an item on my list after it’s completion just for the joy of then crossing it off.

 

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So, friends, if you noticed all that “packing” nonsense on my list, it’s because I’m outta here in the morning.  I’m hitting the road (or the air, actually) for a long-awaited vacation.  I’ll go ahead and apologize for how, over the next four weeks, this now vibrant blog post will begin to dwindle, it’s sparkle a sequin short, it’s humor rather stale on second, then third, glance.  But it’s the best I can leave you with, ’cause it’s an hour and a half past my bed time and my pillow is calling.  I’ll miss you, though, and I promise, I’ll come back with something worth writing.

 
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*We may also consider, at a later date, why a discussion of list making seems to enable one to use to “royal We” with abandon.

Throw open your doors. The air is here.

Just before dawn it came peeping in my window, sliding above the sheets along my bare upper arm.  It tugged at my shirt while I walked to the market for butter and avocados. It all but hid for my afternoon tennis game, leaving me damp around the temples and alone on the cracking blacktop courts.  Maybe it had a lunch date, or waited until I left to sneak through the screen and sample the scones I’d left warm and defenseless on the counter.  But it’s Saturday evening and the air is back, just in from the ocean and looking for a place to stay the night.

I have known other airs. The crisp blast of a January wind, careening through the back alleys of the District of Columbia, a wind that powers through the seams of your jacket and the weave of your sweater.  The indolent drift of a North Florida afternoon, which, in September, turns a porch swing into a porch sludge.  And spring picnic air, settling across your shoulders like a silk scarf, already imperceptible by dessert.  But today’s May air is barely related–a third cousin once removed–to these other airs.  It flirts with the hairs at the napes of our necks, but does not demand our attention.  It lingers in the lilac bush on the corner, then suggests we pull on a sweater.

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Today’s May air is a little bit coy, but she knows she can get away with it.  And it is a she, quite clearly, so let’s despense with the gender-neutral pronouns.  After all, we’re the ones on the patio, begging, even now at dusk–or especially now–please, if you want, please come in. She is hot and cold, and we can’t commit to socks or sandals, but she is intoxicating with her evening perfume, the way she breathes behind our ears.

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We can reclaim land from the ocean and water from the sewers.  We can reclaim wood and make beautiful new countertops.  But what about language?  Can we reclaim words?  My theory on this is, pessimistically, no.

Maybe you want to, just for the sake of argument, disagree with me.  Okay, good.  I happen to have a word I’m offering up for reclamation: awesome.  Seriously.  Let’s put it to the work it was intended for.

Here’s a little etymological history for you:  It goes way back to the Greek syllable(*agh-) for “pain,” “fright” and/or “grief.” From that we get our word “awe.”  Currently “awe” suggests “dread mixed with veneration,” mainly because that’s how the Bible describes our mortal reactions to God.  Now there’s something important to note here, which is that “awe” does not just mean “amazement”; to be filled with awe is to be humbled by a healthy dose of fear.  Awe transcends the ego.  “Awesome” entered the written word world in 1598, and a great example of it in its original linguistic context is this quotation by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

There was something awesome in the thought of the solitary mortal standing by the open window and summoning in from the gloom outside the spirits of the nether world.

Awesome is clearly right at home among such concepts as gloom, summoning, and spirits of the nether world.  That’s where awesome belongs.  But I am as guilty as you of awesome-abuse.  It’s one of those convenient enthusiastic responses: “Dude, that’s awesome.”  A quick Google search suggests that the following things, in someone’s estimation, are in fact awesome:

  • socialism
  • topless robots
  • time travel
  • teaching English in Japan
  • Tony Danza
  • abstinence
  • Jessica Alba’s pregnancy
  • freelancing
  • being black

With exception of perhaps time travel*, and oh, okay, Tony Danza**, can we fairly ascribe a sense of “dread and veneration” to any of the things on the list?  Maybe we should blame Jeff Spicoli, but chances are most of the things you or I attribute awesome-ness to are in fact just kind of cool, like my vegetable peeler in the shape of a tropical bird, or the fact that I can easily renew my Vancouver Public Library books online.

George Orwell says, “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity,” and I must agree.  “Awesome” used to describe God, but now, according to Merriam Webster, it’s a synonym for “terrific.”  Terrific?  Come on, can you think of a lame-er positive adjective?  Awesome deserves better than that.

Let’s do it together.  Next time you traverse the Sahara, or encounter an anaconda, or find yourself on a rock climb that challenges all previously-held assumptions about your mental and physical capability, you’re going to need a word for it.  So then, and only then, say it like you mean it: Dude, it was awesome.

*Have you not been watching Lost?

** That one’s for you, Kerry.

When we were nine or ten, my friend Ashley and I would spend sleepovers staying up late enough to watch infomercials.  There was something about that do-it-all kitchen chopper, or sweep-it-all rubber broom, or liquify-it-all juicer that called to us, a certain magic in the grand scope of applications for a single tool.  I suppose most of us find gratification in the perfect execution tasks, and this is what the infomercial offered in seemingly endless variations.  After her parents had gone to bed, we basked in the sea of consumer desire and the glow of the television screen.  Of course we were too young to buy anything, but the siren call of “if you phone in the next ten minutes we’ll double your order” helped us imagine the bounty of appliances we’d someday plug into our own kitchen outlets.

As I’ve gotten older, my attitude toward consumption has changed.  I’ve developed a critical eye for advertisements and am less inclined to believe that anything can really do it all.  For this reason, it is the policy of this blog not to endorse commercial products. (Actually, this blog had no policies until I just typed that–but it feels pleasantly official to have one.) However, every now and then a product comes along that makes you wonder how you lived your daily life up to this point without it.  Surely you’d agree that in such cases, policies should be flexible.  So I come to you today with a special post dedicated to: The J-Strap.

Perhaps you’ve heard of The Y-Strap (if not I highly recommend the first ten seconds of this video).  Inspired by the Y-Strap, Justin—the J-Strap head designer, company president and product user—created an adjustable camera wrist strap from traditional climbing webbing.  I was lucky enough to get a peek into the J-Strap construction process at the design studio:

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Maybe you’re thinking that the J-Strap HQ looks an awful lot like my living room. Well, okay, you’re right.  This product is maufactured in my very own home by my favorite photographer. But just in case you think I may not be entirely objective in my endorsement, I submit to you the e-mail I received on Tuesday, the day after my J-Strap fitting: 

Dear Valued Member,    

We are writing to remind you that to best enjoy your new J-Strap ©, you should have your camera and J-Strap © with you everywhere you go! This might sound like a big bother at first, but you’ll soon get used to lugging around that dSLR that has a renewed sense of heft — all thanks to the J-Strap ©! Shooting with the J-Strap © renews the initial satisfaction you got when first using your camera. Try it out today!

We hope you love your J-Strap © as much as we do. Each one is crafted on an individual basis, with complimentary fitting to you, the end user. To show us your appreciation, please feel free to make a tax-deductible donation in the form of cash, in-kind contributions, or biscuits to the innovative J-Strap © creator, Justin “J-Strap ©” Barnes. 

Thanks again for your enthusiastic support of our evolving product. 

Happy shooting!

- The J-Strap © Fanclub admins


When this arrived in my inbox, I tried so hard to stifle my giggles that  both my officemate and the student he was meeting with looked up to see if I was going to choke on my apple.  What’s not to love about such personalized service?  What’s not to love about a guy who substitutes his product title for his middle name?  And the earnest overuse of exclamation marks!  So, if you buy only one camera product this year, make it the J-Strap–and if you order in the next ten minutes, I’ll ask the J-Strap creator if he’ll consider doubling your order.*  Hurry while supplies last!
*if you receive two J-Straps, you may have to pay for both of them.


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