Archive for the ‘Commerce’ category

Peasant stuff

Since I moved in with a friend of mine a few months ago, I often walk into the kitchen and find my roommate standing at the stove, stirring a pot of stew or checking on a loaf of something in the oven. “What’s cooking?” I ask. “Eh. Peasant stuff.” She’s from a small European country […]

Finding my Guy

Sometimes you just need a Guy. I am aware of how sexist this is–maybe sometimes the Guy is actually a Gal–but in my experience they’re mostly Guys, these experts upon whom I depend. The Mechanic Guy, the Contractor Guy, the Computer Guy, the Landscaper Guy–it’s crucial to me that I place absolute trust in the […]


As a child, I had a series of Ladybird children’s books with fairytales such as Snow White and Rose Red and Beauty and the Beast.  The illustration style was a 60s mainstream version of archaic, as if it were a series of oil paintings with the stories set in some ill-defined period between the middle […]

My life on the C-list; or, The ones that got away

The first time, I am incredibly nervous. We exchange a polite email before I call to set up the appointment at her house. Driving into an unfamiliar neighborhood, cash bulging from my wallet, I wonder: what’s the etiquette? Do I ask her last name? Do I try to make small talk? How long should I […]

Facebook vs. the blogosphere

It’s been a long day, so I didn’t feel up to writing the post I was planning about socialism, anarchism, and capitalism. I figured I’d post a few cat videos, like this one that I saw on Facebook (I forget who posted it) of a cat playing with an iPad: Or this one, which I […]

Closing time

(Part One here.) My friends, I have joined a secret society. It hides in plain sight. Some of you are members already. Some of you aspire to be. Others remain proudly free of the constant demands, financial obligations, and emotional binds the society exacts from its members. To the latter of you, I say: congratulations. […]

An American year

Meaning that there is a holiday — federal, religious, cultural, or celebratory — about every two weeks.  This is not so elsewhere. It struck me this week as I walked home from work in my green suit in a sea of people decked out in emeralds, limes, and spring greens.  I know several of these […]

La maison, c’est moi

My family religiously observed the tradition of Sunday dinner (literally, since, as many readers know, family time is a Mormon fetish). Every other week we gathered for the whole evening⎯the grandparents, the siblings, and us, the first cousins. To say the teenaged me took these get-togethers for granted would be a huge understatement, but I […]

Businesses I wish I’d started

The creator of the Frisbee died last week, age 90, a wealthy man for having adapted a popcorn tin lid into a toy. How great would that be – to invent an object beloved by millions and retire off it? Whenever I read stories about the people who become zillionaires by inventing cool stuff, I […]

Inconspicuous consumption

Welcome to Black Friday, Whatsiters.  I hope you are curled up in a post-Thanksgiving haze, browsing your favorite news sites, sipping coffee, and giving a second round of thanks that you are not battling crowds at the mall. In October, I went to the Washington City Paper’s Crafty Bastards craft fair, which turned out to […]