I used to joke that I would regret all of the postapocalyptic novels I read in my twenties and here I am, regretting all of the postapocalyptic novels I read in my twenties.
(With gratitude and apologies to the inimitable Anne Tyler.) I was in Palo Alto this past week for work. Now that I live in Europe, my once- or twice-yearly visits to the California office are a jet-lagged flurry of hugging people I thought had been fired long ago. (To be fair, they obviously think the…
As I start thinking about how to eventually market myself as an author, I’ve set myself to actually participating in social media. In case you’re wondering how that’s going for me, a misanthrope, here is an actual excerpt from my diary this morning: “It’s nice to see how engaging on social media begets engagement on…
“To understand just one life, you have to swallow the world.” — Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children Where you were when When September 11th happened, I was twelve, a couple weeks into seventh grade. The footage on television was terrifying, but my classmates and I had never been to New York, and it felt consequential but…
I can’t figure out why YouTube wants me to watch Carpool Karaoke and segments from the Ellen Show so badly.
I approach anything that’s not, e.g., reading Proust with a keening sense of shame and thus never learn to do it properly. The trouble is that I’ve also never read Proust, either, putting me in this liminal space where I have neither Instagram followers nor highfalutin lit-bro cred.
I could write a solemn thesis about how my travels are shaping my view of my homeland, but my worst nightmare is accidentally becoming a sanctimonious travel blogger, so instead let me leave you with a brief list of probably-awful American things that I miss in spite of knowing better.
On reading in the 21st century: “God help me if I have to wade through another gratuitous description of the hysterical wife of a put-upon man chafing at the bonds of corporate servitude and his milquetoast children. Give me Eileen and her constipation any day.”
I lived with four of my best friends when we were seniors in college. Our chore strategy was that we lived in filth until someone got fed up and rage-cleaned, and then they got to passive-aggressively sulk everyone else for the rest of the week as a reward.
I don’t think about childhood often, but the turn of the year always brings me back to that little burst of pleasure I felt preparing the year’s first sheet of college-rule notebook paper, when I wrote the new year for the first time.