On the front of the holiday card my husband, Frank, and I sent out this year there are five photos meant to represent our 2021. Here’s what the images depict:
- us in Boston Common ‘cause we moved to the Boston area over the summer
- Frank in his doctoral robes before his graduation ceremony after completing his EdD (he stands next to me as I hold our dog, Lucy, who’s wearing a cone around her neck ’cause she had a mild skin infection and wasn’t supposed to lick it until she finished her antibiotics)
- me emulating one of the statues near the Frog Pond at Boston Common ’cause ain’t we got fun?
- us wearing masks during a day trip to look at Hocus Pocus locations in Salem around Halloween
- Lucy amid moving boxes as we packed up our apartment in New York City
As usual, I composed a little light verse for the back of the card. For the third year in a row, the words are meant to go with a classic Christmas carol.
Jingle bells, wishing wells Frankie finished class! Less exciting: Zac's still writing — Now in Cambridge, Mass. Love to you! Miss ya, too! Let's meet up real soon. Like this song, our lives aren't long So let's not wait till June.
I wanted the first stanza to go like this:
Jingle bells, Lucy smells (She has chronic gas.) Change your contacts — Frank's and Zac's — We've moved to Cambridge, Mass.!
But Frank wouldn’t let me put a fart joke in the Christmas card. I guess that’s déclassé.
Fortunately for him, I’m not the type of writer who refuses to make revisions, so we settled for my significantly less hilarious second effort. Marriage is all about compromise, even when it comes to your artistic vision, apparently.
And speaking of my various writing efforts and compromised artistic vision, I thought this, my final Indirect Objects post of 2021, would be a good platform for sharing some highlights from among the many pieces of content I churned out this year. I’ve selected 10 pieces: two short plays that got published in literary journals, four travel stories from my day job, and four posts from this worthless blog.
The Zac Thompson Reader 2021
TRAVEL STORIES I LIKED TELLING:
- an interview with the guy in Dallas who invented the frozen margarita machine 50 years ago (published April 27)
- an interview with the author of an English dictionary for Americans visiting Britain (published August 10)
- an attempt to settle, once and for all, a dispute between two Puerto Rican bars that both claim to have invented the piña colada (published September 18)
- an account of commuting via commercial seaplane from Boston Harbor to New York City’s East River (published October 25)
A COUPLA PLAYS:
- The Pit: a comedy about a married couple trapped in a deep, dark pit with no way out—literally but not only literally (published in Ellipsis, May 2021)
- Away Up North: a bittersweet comedy about a struggling writer, her visiting sister-in-law, and the private burdens of disappointment we carry (published in riverSedge, December 2021)
OBJECTS DISCUSSED INDIRECTLY:
- University of Illinois Coaster: on specters, tailgating, and betrayal (February 3)
- Snow Boots: on winter(ish) wonderlands, bruised tailbones, and the fleeting nature of beauty (February 10)
- Taboo: on party games, frustration, and infuriating buzzers (March 21)
- 125th St. Refrigerator Magnet: on leaving New York, Uptown abundance, and the time I saw Bob Balaban at an Indian restaurant (May 24)
Happy new year!