Category Archives: Humor

How Many Easy Chicken Dinners is Too Many?

Have you guys noticed how listicles are getting longer and longer by the year?

Consider today’s front page links from

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Being a human alive and using the Internet, I’m accustomed to getting my information in list form. I’ve embraced it. And on first glance, I’m happily surprised there might be FOURTEEN margaritas in the world that will lit’rally change my life. I can’t wait for my moment of revelation to come when I bite into one of those marg cupcakes there on slide #3. But as we continue down the page, I’m a little baffled by the prospect of 67 pasta options (one per night for over 2 months), and downright overwhelmed by four months’ worth of surprising AND simple chicken dinners. How much surprise can I deal with at mealtime, and for how long?

Doing this type of writing from time to time, I know that more items=more better. Still, the sustainability of this model is questionable. Right?

Notes from the Tardy Front

[I wrote this as an exercise last year and I kind of liked it. That’s all. Ain’t that what blogs are for?]

My mother reports that I arrived in this world one and a half weeks past due, at 11:00 am on a Saturday. This is the time I’ve awoken, sans-­alarm clock, for as long as I can remember. In middle school, my friends changed the meaning of “EST” to mean “Ewing Standard Time,” which averaged 30 minutes behind the clock time of whatever time zone myself or one of my parents occupied. From that first dance recital onward, I’ve told my family that events start an hour before they actually do, and I’m aware and grateful that my friends do this to me. One time the priest at the 65­-parishioner church in our 900-­person town made a pointed sermon about being on time for God, very obviously not to looking in the direction of the pew where my mother and our brood had shuffled to fifteen minutes into the service. Because, you see, it’s inherited. I am a late person in a long line of late people. On behalf of multiple generations, let me beg your pardon.

I know the arguments, they are solid. Tardiness is evidence of a lack of respect. If you make someone wait for you, it means you don’t care about them. If you can’t get off your butt or stop what you are doing ten minutes earlier, you clearly think your time is worth more than everyone else’s. It’s hubris, disregard. It’s all the things that break personal bonds and endanger the social order. Except, it’s not. Not really.
The problem is not the respect between the late and the on­ time. Given the choice, I would not select living in a state of perpetually asking forgiveness. I left Catholicism when I left my little hometown, much for this reason. There is no satisfaction in crashing through a door, being greeted with annoyed stares and eye rolls. I know, I know it’s the worst.

So why, the earlies ask, why don’t you just not be late? Well, I’ll tell you.  Continue reading

Rewatching Cheers as an adult who has since been to a bar

In honor of achieving my lifetime bartender win by serving a drink to Ted Danson, I thought I’d share some thoughts I’ve had about watching the epic, childhood-filling sitcom that launched him to stardom.

The show shuttered in 1993, and I clearly remember the frenzy leading up to the final few episodes, but the early years are hazy.

So I started again.

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Randomized List of This Year and Last

I would start with how much I dislike end-of-year roundups of things, but that belies how much time I spend reading them. I like to be reminded of things periodically, like slightly out-of-date fashions and mildly memorable pop songs, just to reassure me that time is passing at the same rate as usual and not in a Van Winkle-esque jump/cut.

But I really hate ranking things. Having to assign a better/worse value to a group of items gives me anxiety, as I’ll never know if I’ll feel differently about it later. So here’s an incomplete list of things from life in 2015, micro and macro, good and bad, in no particular order, without explanation.

  • pants
  • aged gouda
  • domestic and international terror
  • a bride
  • You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
  • vaccines
  • mood stabilizers
  • Nita Nita
  • climate crisis
  • Pendleton wool shirts
  • Teeling whiskey
  • dancing
  • Cascade Barrel House, Portland, OR
  • Blood, Bones, and Butter
  • gas leaks
  • farm distilling
  • The Painted Bunting
  • flapper-era haircuts
  • privilege
  • Girl at War
  • broccolini
  • grays
  • nonfiction workshops
  • a silver tabby kitten
  • a Hora like a mosh pit
  • Dansko clogs
  • trans-continental flights
  • Solvang, California
  • Sherry
  • Serial and Gimlet
  • moderation
  • hives
  • the Boston Globe
  • yeasts and molds
  • apple brandy
  • 12 parsecs
  • the restaurants of Lima, Peru
  • cilantro
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
  • drought
  • a life size cardboard cutout of Bryan Cranston
  • the Grand Canyon
  • debt
  • Baijiu
  • liquid eyeliner
  • Infinite Jest
  • banana-free smoothies
  • leggings-as-pants acceptance
  • thousands of hand-carved ice balls
  • Sleater Kinney’s No Cities to Love
  • Pok Pok LA
  • a 12-hour farewell
  • used kitchen appliances
  • central AC
  • Punch
  • health insurance hikes
  • avoiding presidential campaign news, but still, the Bern
  • Malibu AVAs
  • gettin’ it together.

Happy New Year, y’all.

Diatribe Fridays: Seriously, brunch?

It’s not Friday, but this is my space and I do what I want. My weekend starts on Monday, actually. It’s a life I chose. I’m not complaining. I will occasionally complain when someone has a life event on a Saturday (my most lucrative day!) or asks me to go to a bar on a Friday night like some kind of plebian. But in general, I love having the mid-week days off when I can do my laundry unimpeded by competition. So it’s not the fact that I have to work every Sunday, even though even thousands of years ago people decided it would be a good idea for everyone to have one day off work per week to chill, that bugs me. It’s the following. Strong language ahead!

The facts in the case of Brunch is StupidContinue reading

Diatribe Fridays: Issue 1. I hate avocados.

So I’m taking a workshop with the fabulous and stellar Writing Workshops LA this fall. Worth every penny and, more dearly, every minute I spent white-knuckled on the 110 before I figured out I could just take surface streets all the way to my instructor’s house. Almost two years in LA, kids.

I got an idea, after an assignment wherein we had to write our own NYT Mag style Letter of Recommendation, and the discussion swung around to not only the things we irrationally love, but also things we hate, too strongly, for no apparent reason, and what does this say about us?

So I thought it might be fun to explore some of these personal hatreds, in polemic form, then deconstruct them.

ISSUE 1: Avocados are Awful

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On formality and acting like an old person and a child simultaneously

I have this habit. I think it comes from working in nonprofit development, where every word out of one’s mouth must be vapid and obsequious. If I’m emailing or calling someone for the first time, for some reason, I feel obliged to refer to them formally, as a Mr./Ms. For example:

Dear Mr. McDonald,
I am writing with an inquiry about your delicious (if deadly) hamburgers.

When I feel many people would probably be perfectly comfortable writing:

Dear Ronald,
I have been a conflicted fan of yours for ages.

Continue reading