Archive for November, 2008

Stella’s ten tips for cheap and cheerful holiday shopping

Today is Black Friday, which sounds like a mediaeval day of reckoning to non-Americans.  Stella will not shop today and has not yet participated in any Black Friday consumer experience in nine years of living in the United States of Capitalism.  She is scared of the busy mall and fortunately does not have to shop […]

It’s a Bird!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! I’m thankful for all of you.

The Rush to socialism

I have to admit a dirty little secret: since the election of Mr. Obama, I’ve been listening to Rush Limbaugh’s radio program every day. And I can’t stop. It’s actually quite embarrassing; I have to make sure that I’m turned back to FM when I have friends in the car, and I have to lower […]

The price of change

I was listening to a recent This American Life podcast at the gym the other day that included a bunch of interviews by Studs Terkel with people who’d lived through the Great Depression. A few things stood out: several people interviewed displayed a great empathy that had come from their own experiences with tremendous poverty, […]


It sounds: like a fun thing to get: con-junct-ivitis. Hookin’ up words and prhases and clauses. You think: I will hook up words and phrases and clauses. You think: I will become a human contraction – two things, to ideas together as one: are not? Aren’t? No. Am. You are? Indeed. You’re? Yes. Yours. It […]

And so we begin

If you are a woman, you enter my office in your best silk or linen clothes, makeup perfectly done. You know that you shouldn’t have put the mascara on, but you had to look your best. If you are a man, you are in your work clothes. We shake hands and sit down, two strangers. […]

Thursday Favorites: Big Street Murals

I love running into great graffiti.  You don’t see it that often, but when you do it kind of takes your breath away.  It always catches you by surprise because you are never looking for it.  Last week I had to go to the South Bronx to run an errand and I came across this. […]

Reading between the lines

With the end of the semester approaching, your professors will soon be returning your essays and term papers—graded, with copious comments. Because we know it can be really difficult to translate your instructors’ oft-cryptic, hastily scribbled gibberish into plain ol’ English, we’d like to provide some helpful translations of their comments: Comment: “First of all… […]


Scenes from a business trip: (Click here, here or here for an explanation of photo 1.)

When the stories we create become true.

I rolled the mud into a shit log the way a child might roll out a Play-Doh snake.  I curled it around itself, taking inspiration from rubber doggy poo, and then I set it down gingerly on my English teacher’s front porch.  I soiled some Kleenex and arranged it dirt-side-up next to the little mud […]