I am delighted by the curation that’s been happening with the items on Dylan’s nightstand. Things slowly cycle in and out of this place, but they’re always deliberately chosen and arranged and I really enjoy paying them a visit. 

His current selection, going generally clockwise and spiraling in:

Alarm clock. Riley has the same clock, it has the cool feature of projecting the time on the ceiling but Dylan doesn’t like that option. He does however like setting his own alarm and getting up early, at which point he pads around the house in his little robe and it’s extremely cute except when he comes in our room and stands quietly by the bed and then it’s super creepy.

Plaster cast of a seashell.
This came from a fourth grade science unit and it’s only recently replaced a previous plaster item which is a cast of his thumb from a second grade field trip to an orthodontist and frankly I’m glad to see the tiny severed thumb downgraded to his bookshelf.

Compass. I once asked him if he’d ever used this compass. “Um, in the WOODS I have,” he said, importantly.

Map pins. He has a large US map on his wall and he’s carefully placed pins for places he’s visited, places where people in our family were born, and places he’d like to visit. “If you could go anywhere, where would it be?” *thinks a while* “DALLAS.”

Basketball arm band thing. Are your sportsy kids into the one Spanx-like arm band? This is a whole THING.

Shitty Hawaiian airlines earbuds. Even I had to buy these dumb things during our flight because my own earbuds wouldn’t stretch to the in-seat screen dealie.

Tiny car handmade out of scraps from a tin can. I bought this in Manzanita two years ago, I can’t believe he still has it.

(Seagull?) feather that we made into a quill pen. I think he only tried writing with this once (kids + inkwells = nooooo) but it’s held the bedside place of honor for a long time.

Arrowhead. Purchased from a store in Sunriver, I believe. Briefly attached to a stick with string.

Plastic sea turtle. Gifted as a reminder of a previous trip to Hawaii, brought back out before our trip last week.

Snowglobes: Las Vegas, Hawaii. Neither place seem particularly well-suited to being represented by a snow globe souvenir, but Dylan has decided this is going to be a Thing He Collects from Places He Has Traveled to.

Sharps Bros patch. His dad’s business, naturally that one’s front and center.

Family photo ornament. This one’s from 2016 and it didn’t print well so I ordered another, Dylan loves it and it’s always on display.

Retainer. The retainer itself is printed, I swear I am not making this up, with the OSU Beavers logo. Do you know what color retainer options I had when I was a kid? PINK. It was fleshy pink or NOTHING. Kids these days.

Lockbox. He keeps all his important documents in there: passport, social sec — just kidding, he has like $1.56 in there and he can never remember the combination.

Penknife. He never actually uses it, but it’s there. Just in case.

Dinosaur tooth. Where did this come from? A novelty shop on the coast, I think. It’s probably not even a real tooth.

Cute campfire craft. I made this craft when I read about it here, and it really did turn out so well! Unfortunately either I bought shitty glue or hot glue gunned stuff isn’t made to last over time because this thing will straight-up fall apart if you even breathe on it. Dylan loves it, though.

“Dylan” bracelet. Made at a booth at the surprisingly entertaining Junction City Scandinavian Festival, two years ago. He has never worn it. “I like it, but I’m not really a bracelet guy,” he explained. This is pretty much how I feel about every item of jewelry I’ve ever owned.

Hotel pen. He also loves collecting hotel pens and keycards. This one’s from the Grand Wailea.

Switchblade comb. Oh my GOD was he ever in love with this thing for a while. I think he got it at one of those arcade places where you trade in a bazillion tickets for one crappy prize, and out of all the tragically cheap stuffed animals and plastic snakes and single squares of Laffy Taffy he found this comb and it was the COOLEST THING EVER. I really recommend 10-year-old boys for lots of things, including impromptu hugs, their not-yet-dampened-by-social-constructs-enthusiasm, and how they look when they flick open a switchblade comb and slowly drag it through their most outrageous cowlick.


We were in Maui last week and while we did get a couple days of consistent rain, Hawaii rain is warm. Like, yes your sundress is now soaked, but it’s somehow pleasant, or at least not actively unpleasant, unlike the cold-ass downpour I received yesterday while loading eight thousand grocery bags into my car. There’s something specifically vacation’s over, motherfucker about having to immediately re-stock your entire kitchen while Mt. Laundry looms moistly in the background, isn’t there?

I can’t complain about being home, though; we had a really great time and a week felt about right. Any longer and I would have maybe had to start cutting back on the number of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts I was eating each day and I think we have discussed my issues with moderation.

Some cool things we did: ziplining, which was surprisingly not as terrifying as I thought it would be, at least after the first “training” line; an escape room, something I’ve always wanted to try which ended up being a wildly entertaining distraction on the rainiest day (we successfully completed the challenge, which was to defuse a bomb, although I admit the staff ended up giving us several clues and also extended our time by a few minutes); a fair amount of snorkeling, which Riley really got into; some truly memorable meals at delicious restaurants, one of which was a DIY pancake place called Slappy Cakes which apparently has a location in Portland too (roooooad trip!).

Also cool: this super-boss shirt Dylan picked out.

Less cool: what is up with people who stand two inches upwind of you and empty, like, an entire bottle of spray sunscreen onto their kids or themselves? Bruh. If your attempts to mist your squirming toddler results in the stranger next to you getting a surprise coating of SPF for their trachea, you are breaking the social contract. I am pro-sun protection but not pro-accidentally-inhaling twelve chemical ounces of Banana Boat, why is it so hard for people to check their surroundings and walk their ass down the beach a few feet in order to unleash the aerosol?

Spray etiquette aside, Maui is an excellent place to visit and so relaxing. I think the overall island vibe can be summed up by this random cat we came across:


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