Better Than Adequate

My boss gave me a nice compliment today. “You’re a solid writer,” she said. “And you make things interesting/entertaining.”

I was touched, and thanked her profusely. But then I began to wonder just how complimentary the word solid actually is. It’s better than adequate, to be sure, but not quite on par with fantastic. This “compliment” suddenly had quotation marks around it, and sent me off on a Google search to look up the precise definition of solid as an adjective.

I may have a slight tendency to overthink things…

Some of the definitions didn’t apply, of course. Firm and hard? I ain’t touching that with a ten-foot pole. Not a liquid or a gas? Fair enough. Strong? Getting better. Completely good, with no mistakes or bad parts? A-ha! That was precisely the validation I was looking for.

The irony in all this? I responded to her by saying I never take criticism personally and my skin is pretty thick. Ha! Maybe not as thick as I led her to believe.

Pro tip: Don’t ever invite a writer to a cocktail party. We might be smiling on the outside, but inside, we’re overanalyzing every single word. And, let’s face it, mentally correcting your grammar. Plus, we’re sure to end up drunk, because writers are all a bunch of lushes.


It’s been really cold here the past few days. Nothing unusual for South Dakota, but this winter has been very mild, so the normal temperatures feel abnormal. Highs in the 20s the last few days, low of 7º this morning. That kinda thing.

I have such a short commute to work, I’m usually just pulling into the parking lot by the time the heater really gets going. Thank god for heated seats! Those things are an absolute joy. I walk into the office with a hot ass every day, and it’s lovely.

Because it’s been so cold, I’ve taken to starting my car five minutes before I leave the house and letting it run with the heat blasting so it’s nice and toasty when I’m ready to go. Only I park in the garage, so I have to open the door a few inches to prevent carbon monoxide from building up. Granted, today’s cars have catalytic converters, which reduce CO emissions, but they don’t remove them completely. Ventilation is key.

On a very morbid side note, I’ve always thought if I were going to kill myself, I’d go the garden-hose-in-the-exhaust-pipe method. DON’T WORRY, I AM THE LEAST SUICIDAL PERSON ON THE PLANET. I love and cherish life, and my oft-stated goal is to live to the age of 100! But sometimes the mind goes to dark places and you ponder these things.


I’ve always been a sucker for bold flavors. When it comes to seasoning, my motto is, go big or go home. If it’s salty or spicy or tart, I’m all in. Tara rolls her eyes sometimes, because there are four different kinds of mustards and three jars of pickles in our fridge at any given time.

So, when I saw these in the grocery store last week, I pounced.

I’ve always loved the Blue Diamond Bold almonds, particularly the Sriracha and Wasabi flavors. The spicy dill pickle is really good. If you’re into aggressive flavors like me, I highly recommend them.



Categories: writing

Tags: , , , , , ,

21 replies

  1. This is great, Mark, and well-deserved. It is still always good to hear it, and especially from your boss. In my books, “solid” is exceptionally good and consistent. Oh, and I get it on the over analyzing. I lose perspective when it ruminates in my mind. Spicy dill pickle and almonds……hmmm….not sure about this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey a compliment is a compliment, and unless your boss is commenting on your physique…. solid is fine. In fact, it’s a solid tribute.
    😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not much for novelty T-shirts, but If I were, I’d get the one that reads: I’m silently correcting your grammar.

    The husband got me remote car start for Christmas. Fantastic.

    Speaking of the husband, he recently discovered those very nuts – in Wasabi flavor. Ewwww.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have an engaging voice when you write. Always enjoy popping in here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You only open the garage door a few inches??? Mom here! That doesn’t sound safe!

    Mom here again. . . Those Blue Diamond flavored almonds are full of sodium!

    Or maybe I’m the overthinker?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Any kind of writing validation is welcomed! We’re all addicted to praise, right? Along with every other kind of addiction. I think The Washington Post once ran an article with famous dead writers in two columns: those with alcoholism and drug addiction on one side, and “well-adjusted” writers on the other.

    You can guess which column was much, much longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Walking in to work with a hot ass. If a coworker said that to you it would be sexual harassment. But I’m happy that your seats warm quicker than the rest of the car.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Agree about the overthinking, overanalyzing, and over drinking part of being a writer. [NOW WHAT HAVE I JUST SAID ABOUT MYSELF HERE?] I’m sure it’s all perfectly normal [FOR A WACKO LIKE ME].

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I will look for the dill nuts!
    I also over analyze everything, but I haven’t been drinkin much lately, and I very much dislike cocktail parties as well.

    Like

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