Off the Richter

Off the Richter: An ode to parental units

Remember my “Over/Under” column a few weeks ago? There’s one thing that I didn’t put on the list that I should have: Parents. Parents are most definitely underrated. I didn’t always think so. I remember when I was growing up, I thought that my parents were pretty standard and also a little boring (sorry guys).…

Off the Richter: Some things I wrote about

Over the weekend, I was poking around a bookshop in Chagrin Falls and I came across a volume called “642 Things to Write About.” And, of course, I had to buy it. You’d think that as someone who writes quite frequently I would be able to come up with creative things to write about at…

Off the Richter: Over/Under

Pitchfork has this video series called “Over/Under” in which they interview different musical artists and ask them if they think certain things are over or underrated. They’ve been asked to rate a multitude of things from donut holes (which Vampire Weekend thinks are underrated) to Billy Crystal (who Danny Brown thinks is overrated, but only…

Off the Richter: So happy for you (really)

When I was in Ireland last year, I came home from the pub one night and was surprised to have an email from my father informing me that my elder sister, Hannah, had gotten engaged earlier that evening (it was two in the morning in Ireland, but only 9 p.m. at home). I was shocked.…

Columns: Sentiment, schmentiment

Here it is. The beginning of the end for the class of 2014. I can see the tears in your eyes and everybody is standing poised with their tissues as we make our way through this final semester of our undergraduate career, overwhelmed with fear, sadness, excitement and, in my case, a deadly case of…

Off the Richter: Not yo mama’s top 10

It’s almost the end of another calendar year and in my mind that means three things: resolutions I’m not going to keep, making people listen to me recite sections of Tennyson’s “In Memoriam” and top 50 best album of the year lists. I don’t have room here to outline the albums I would put in…

Columns: It’s not feminism, it’s humanism

I was talking with a professor this past week about my time abroad. We got to chatting about feelings of safety in foreign lands and he made an interesting point. “It’s so much easier to be a man. Of course, there are still dangers, but it’s not the same as a woman, when you have…

Off the Richter: Back to (thinking about) the future

At about 11:42 p.m. (give or take a few minutes) on Monday, Sept. 23, I had my first senior year breakdown of the semester. I’m sure that many of my fellow members of the class of 2014 know what I’m talking about. That moment when you realize how grossly underprepared you are for the real…

Off the Richter: This column is vulgar

I just want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Banned Books Week. That’s right. Every year, those of us in the literary (aka nerdy) community take a full week to celebrate books that have been banned in various arenas around the world, and to remind us all to remember to defend our…

Off the Richter: Mind your own beeswax

In 1948, J.D. Salinger submitted his first short story, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” (read it if you haven’t), to The New Yorker, but it wasn’t until after the publication of “The Catcher in the Rye” in 1951 that Salinger was launched fully into the spotlight. He remained in the public eye for 14 years,…

Off the Richter: Disconnect

Although he probably doesn’t remember it, there was a brief moment this summer when my father considered getting a Twitter account. Why? So that he could follow the superintendent of the grounds at Merion Golf Club, where they held the U.S. Open this year. Duh. For the most part, my parents stay far away from…

Off the Richter: European adventures, continued

DUBLIN  – It’s now April 11, and I’m sure you’re all wondering the same thing: “How is St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland?” Well, to be honest, it was fairly anticlimactic. As much as I would have liked to have been sipping on multiple Guinnesses in a Dublin pub, I was, unfortunately, sick, and therefore my…

Off the Richter: Where in the world is Clara?

ROME  – By the time you read this, I will be in Rome, Italy, wandering the streets of saints and caesars, perhaps strolling along the Appian Way or enjoying some gelato (or a glass of wine) on the piazza. I suppose it depends on what time you read the column. Last Sunday, I hit the…

Off the Richter: A broad abroad

DUBLIN – I wish I could tell you that in the past two weeks I’ve been on all kinds of grand and glorious adventures, and I’ve met interesting people and fallen in love and pet a baby sheep (I guess that’s called a lamb) and seen amazing sights, but instead I was in bed sick…

Off the Richter: The Irish rambler

DUBLIN – The first thing I noticed when I got off of the plane in Dublin, Ireland was the smell. It smelled like spring; grass and damp air. The next thing I knew, my hair was frizzing out like it was nobody’s business. Welcome to the Emerald Isle! The forecast calls for rain for the…

Off the Richter: An interview of the author, by the author

I wish I could say that I found the author in the midst of doing what she likes to do most: reading and drinking tea. However, the pressures of the week before Finals Week find a way to wreak havoc on us all, and instead I find her in a secluded corner of campus, bent…

Off the Richter: Warning: A slightly pretentious, completely bookish column

We all have goals in life. Your goal could be to make enough money to retire at 50 and travel the world. Maybe your goal is to marry rich and write a romance novel. And maybe your goal is just to make it through the next week alive. I don’t like setting goals. Five-year plans…

Off the Richter: Forwards is backwards

There are certain obscure pieces of technology (although I guess we would hardly call them “technology” in this day and age) that I find myself inexplicably drawn to. One of them is the typewriter. The other is the record player. I have a typewriter. It sits on my desk, right next to my computer. It…

Off the Richter: Solitary refinement

I spent Fall Break alone. That’s a sad-sounding sentence, isn’t it? It may be sad-sounding, but I promise it’s not all that sad. I discovered something about myself that weekend: I really like being alone … which is another sad-sounding kind of sentence. I was worried that I would go absolutely mad if I spent…

Off the Richter: In retrograde

Remember the days when you didn’t have to worry about what was going on in world news, or for whom we had to vote? We didn’t have to worry about the two tests that we had to take next week or what lab report that was due tomorrow. There are days when I wish I…

Off the Richter: Advice to writers, from writers, by a writer

In an age when we are constantly using the broken language of texting and email, it’s important that we don’t totally lose the craft of writing altogether. With books like “50 Shades of Grey” flying off the shelves like hotcakes, I worry about the future of good prose writing. A few weeks ago, my fellow…

Off the Richter: Feminist-ish (apologies to my mother)

Has everyone heard of the new Bic “Pen for Her?” Are we all aware of this? It’s a pen. And it’s pink. And that’s pretty much it. Oh, and it’s a little thicker than a normal pen; all I have to say is, what a breakthrough for womankind! Someone has finally made a pen just…

Off the Richter: Inspiration for the uninspired

I’m not really a big fan of what you would call “inspirational” movies. I guess you could say that I don’t like anything really inspirational. They just seem so trite and cliché. However, as with most rules, there is an exception. The movie is called “Breaking Away,” and this 1979 Oscar winner for best writing,…

Off the Richter: WWCD, or ‘Do as I say, not as I do’

Remember the WWJD craze that tried to make us all better people? Maybe it did. Did anyone ever do a scientific study on that? I would like to see the results of that research. Well, in light of the days of WWJD, I am starting a new craze. The WWCD craze. That’s right. “What would…

Off the Richter: Not getting killed in the woods 101 (based on the incredible true story!)

I guess you could say it began with John Steinbeck. He wrote a book called “Travels with Charley,” in which he describes his circumnavigation of the United States, which he did with only his poodle, Charley, for company. The book is essentially about one big camping trip. Steinbeck’s camping trip inspired our own. We (“we”…