Category > Advice on how to live your life

Trying to love puppies a little less

Last night I was downtown with some time to kill before a dinner reservation, and I needed a bit of a pick-me-up, so I walked to Christopher Street to perv on some puppies. For whatever reason (no, for a solitary reason: rich Village people) Christopher Street is the nucleus of the Manhattan designer puppy trade. [...]

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I am a good old-fashioned humanoid

Last night I finished Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim and began reading Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. When you really think about it, these two books are not so different. Yes they are. This blog post is off to a bad start. QUIZ! Which dreadlocked computer pioneer wrote the following excerpt, Conrad [...]

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Playing the grief card

Acceptable ways to play the grief card: 1) Getting an extension on a due date at school. 2) Taking some time off work. 3) Cursing at the bank rep who keeps calling to harass you about a $5 fee the day after the service. 4) Eating apple pie for breakfast with impunity. 5) Refusing to [...]

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On the death of my father

My dad liked to read my blog. In fact, the last time I saw him he bragged to my mom that he had “made it onto Wistar’s blog!” (I’d recently written a post about our mutual glee regarding the Dictionary.com snafu.) Dad also played a crucial role in the One Star Watt Turtle/Frog/Spider Saga of [...]

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The art of navigating the New York City street corner

It is a delicate dance. The glowing crosswalk man says, “It is okay to proceed across the street, my child,” and suddenly your brain is calculating faster than your feet can shimmy across the pavement. Because, ahoy, the young mother must push the stroller down the sidewalk ramp opposite you with a child on a [...]

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The cosmic cure for nailbiting

I have been a nailbiter since I was very young. Sometimes I attribute this to the same sort of neurological anomaly that makes small children sniff glue or pregnant women eat dirt. On good days I think, “I am like a momma chimp picking lice out of her baby’s hair, except I am both momma [...]

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George Saunders makes me want to be a better woman

I’m more of an Esquire girl myself, but last night I read George Saunders’ 2007 GQ travelogue about visiting the Dominican Republic and Africa with Bill Clinton, and I was shaken in my boots. I’d read some of Saunders’ fiction, but not his essays, and this one reminded me of a less tangential David Foster [...]

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Breakfast think tank with Dan Ariely, croissants, door prizes

No, I did not win any of the door prizes. Particularly not the coveted free ice skating lessons that drew a murmur of excitement from the business breakfast crowd in the Omni’s conference room. We were there this morning to launch this year’s Virginia Festival of the Book with scrambled eggs and a presentation by [...]

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The Amazing Fact Generator is the new I Ching

Or Magic 8-Ball or what-have-you. This morning I asked Mental Floss’s Amazing Fact Generator, “Can I afford to go to graduate school in New York City?” It responded, “The University of Wyoming opened its doors before Wyoming became a state.” Me: Clearly you mean that I should go even though I can’t afford it because [...]

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Pregnancy rehab

I have always believed that the surest way for a woman to quit drinking is for her to get pregnant, which is why I encourage all female alcoholics to get knocked up. The same goes for crack addicts. Don’t spend tens of thousands of dollars on rehab; just make the small investment of having a [...]

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