My window is open and someone, somewhere is playing a cello.
When my complaint about a piece of art is “All the characters in this are horrible people,” I am generally not convinced to change my opinion by the observation that “yeah, but you’re SUPPOSED to think they’re horrible people.” So whatttttt? The art about horrible people that I DO like has the feature of giving me something to work with beyond “Sometimes...
Just now, while putting on pants, I got really happy that I’m here, putting on pants, while there used to be only primordial soup. Small victories, but also, you guys, VERY LARGE ONES. Respiration! Vertebrae!
i don't really know what to do with this thought
but I like that all the men in Europe know how to drive stick.
I’d felt for a long time that throwing all my clothes on the ground at the end of the day and never flossing were bad things that were having a bad effect on my quality of life, but these habits were so ingrained, had such sway over me in the way that only habits can, that the feeling&knowledge of their badness was not enough. Something would have to be done; extensive research on the...
The day after going to a club and not having fun, listening to the good songs from the club and pretending I’m at a club having fun.
The Science of Pomato Plants and Fruit Salad Trees →
Thinking about fruit salad trees—trees producing multiple types of fruit via the humble magic of grafting—and the fact that they actually exist is making me so unreasonably happy that I thought I should share this article.
I would describe my communication style, and my problem-solving style, as “slightly deranged camp counselor.”
Isn’t “my anaconda don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hon” an example of…ASSonance?
adventures i guess
Wednesday we had the day off from our conference to explore Copenhagen. I started my day with breakfast in a trendy cafe that only serves oatmeal, where I had an oat/barley/spelt porridge with plum jam served to me by a hot blonde with exquisite English (which is how I would describe most of the Danish people I met). After that I went wandering, and wandered into a pretty cemetery. Cemetery in...
I’m a little bummed to be down with a cold on a Saturday in a cool new city where I’m seeing my favorite musician perform tonight, but still impressed with the amount and quality of mucus my nose can produce? I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.
People I enjoy: people too stylish and energetic for their Midwestern suburbs, too earnest and sturdy for their east coast cities, too hip for their church choir, too awkward for their cheer squad. There is a place for every type of person but I hold that sometimes the best thing you can do is go plant yourself somewhere else.
a good joke from "how i met your mother"
Barney: [Wants to insult Sweden, does so by talking in a French accent about baguettes] Ted: Sweden isn’t France, you know that, right? Barney (disparagingly): Oh, it’s France.
on the plus side, my hair has been looking great...
"Delphiniums in a Window Box," Dean Young →
Every sunrise, even strangers’ eyes. Not necessarily swans, even crows, even the evening fusillade of bats. That place where the creek goes underground, how many weeks before I see you again? Stacks of books, every page, characters’ rages and poets’ strange contraptions of syntax and song, every song even when there isn’t one. Every thistle, splinter, butterfly over the drainage ditches....
That summer, girls wore tops made of cheap lace in...
Would be a sentence in a story about this summer
I ventured briefly out of my monastic cave of cheese and science to investigate One Direction. (This is the introduction I will use for all future forays into “pop culture commentary,” because the thought of attempting to become actually literate in these phenomena fills me with exhaustion and terror.) I like boy bands because having a chorus of boys singing about girls is very sweet...
on the way home from the flea market
A dad on a bike with a kid seat in the back; a five or six year old girl, probably a bit too old but not too big for the seat; her arms are wrapped around the arms of a LARGE ANTIQUE CHANDELIER that she is carefully holding in her lap
Places I've Lived →
Wait, I freaking LOVE this feature. I don’t even need there to be any real narrative payoff—I could just listen to people describe their memories of former domiciles all day. The Little House books were the first books I can remember being my favorite, and they are also basically this. I don’t know what my current adventures mean, but with each room I live in as an adult, I feel...
Halting but industrious plinks and plunks of “Ode to Joy” floating out an open window into the street at dusk after a light summer rain; occasional chirp of a probably wet bird.
a recurring theme in tina fey's work
30 Rock: Liz goes to her high school reunion dragging along her memories of being an abject outcast, only to learn that she is remembered chiefly for her cruelty. Bossypants: Tina Fey describes her first terrible job out of college, then describes wheedling her way into a promotion over an older coworker who wanted and needed it more. “That makes me sound like a jerk, I know. But remember...
new personal fad
INTERNATIONAL PUDDING CUPS!
people are being unusually nice to me for no...
Could the prophecy of the odd stranger who said July would be a fortuitous month for me be ramping up to be true??
i wonder if the neighbors can hear how many times...
I keep waiting for “GRIIIIIIND UP ON IT GIRL” to get old, and it doesn’t!
Do you know about raclette? There is a heating element that is placed in the middle of the table. There is a special basket to keep the boiled potatoes warm. Every person has a tiny metal pan and a wooden paddle; you place a slice of cheese in your pan, melt it over the heating element, and scrape it over the potato you’ve smashed on your plate with some sliced pickles. You sprinkle paprika...
I just spent a week in a tiny village (population less than 200) up high in the Alps, and there are lots of things to say about that but the one that is currently amusing me is how much the GIGANTIC MOUNTAINS looked like they were photorealistically painted on the sky in some sort of gigantic backdrop situation, which is quite a thing to think about a real thing, I tell you what. I have seen...
Someone I know is in dental school and was complaining on Facebook about his medical requirements, saying he wants to be done with OB/GYN and on to dentistry already. Somebody else responded with a joke about vagina dentata. PLEASE SOMEBODY WRITE A STORY ABOUT A DENTIST WHO TENDS TO VAGINA-TEETH!!! (This would be a VERY effective story. The thing people love about Harry Potter is the...
Truly, I am realizing this is a big deal: persistent enthusiasm. It doesn’t take the form of TURBO-VIVACITY the way it does in some of the loud lovable inappropriate girls with whom I am friends; I am mostly pretty low-energy and cranky. But I’m still pretty frequently quietly excited about something, and I can always come up with ways to entertain myself even in the absence of...
As far as I know, most “expat literature” is about people being libertines, and most “travel literature” is about being amazed that people in other countries have lives that are both similar to and different from yours, and most “immigrant literature” (which is one of my favorite categories of literature) is about survival and recovery from trauma. Where are the...
I need to read this book →
The cure for everything is history
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a Trilogy in Five Parts - Read while bedridden with Lyme disease. The ecological field station where I was doing summer research and getting bitten by borrelia-bearing ticks had a giant bookshelf of books left behind by previous visitors. This hefty omnibus volume was a source of great amusement and was sometimes read aloud in English accents by other interns...
The fall before last, when my research group went to the Swedish countryside to pick mushrooms in the woods and cook them over an ancient woodburning stove, I came home and called my mom, overcome with joy in describing the fungi, the conifers, the mosses, the lichens, the giant boulders and the deep cold subarctic night, and my mom said, “You’re in love. It happens sometimes, you see...
wait, did you know the word "vagility"?
It means the ability to move around freely. I learned it from a paper about butterflies!
I just wrote a paper for a class and did not cry even once.
it is true:
Asking a guy to get something off a high shelf for you results in instant sexual tension, as unmistakable as it is fleeting.
Sometimes I remember that I am the same age now (22) as my mom was when she gave birth to me, and my heart swells with sympathy and admiration. Sometimes it is hilarious sympathy and admiration, like when I remember the story she told about being home with her new baby and reading “Jane Eyre” for the first time and my dad coming home to find her all wide-eyed and terrified because...
a thing that my friend and i do
Invent an interminable series of characters whose name is [Collective Noun] McQueen. Boats McQueen Spuds McQueen Globes McQueen Rugs McQueen Thistles McQueen I don’t know why we do this.
Have you ever had cancoillotte? It is my new favorite thing. It is a very mildly flavored (sometimes with garlic), semi-liquid semi-solid cheese, and I am completely fascinated by its physical properties. You can scoop it up with a spoon, pulling it up out of the container in a smooth ribbon, and then BREAK off your spoonful such that it has a rubbery edge. Investigating Silly Putty, which...
Dissertation defenses are emotional like weddings or christenings, it turns out. (Graduations are fun but different—like a giant silly game of Where’s Waldo in the hot sun.) In Sweden, the whole thing is an event—it takes all day, ancient professors are dusted off and brought in to ask questions, the dissertation itself has previously been, no joke, nailed to a wall with a big...
In which I bought sausage and pickle salad for the second time. (This meat-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.)