Recipe Stories: Happiness Tacos

    It can be hard to match the quality of tacos with that of your happiness sometimes. I thought the tacos and margaritas festival would do it: Not just food and drink, but a taco-eating contest, hot pepper-eating contest, live music, and the athletes of micro wrestling (Micro Jackson, Syko, Baby Jesus, Little Show, […]

Home Again

    Here is the event, a talk I am asked to give at the library in my hometown, on the centenary of a historic violence. Here are the dangers: that the small book I published on the topic was a long time ago, and I do not remember specifics; that the politics of the […]

Crowned Head

    Dentistry was different in my day, I tell my kids. Really that means it was different in that time, place, and at my mother’s income level. Cavities were removed with a melon baller and packed with lead ingots the size of an ice cube. A crown was made with an angle grinder borrowed […]

The Best Cat in the World

    It is a fact that every cat is the best cat in the world. Rascal was living on a golf course, eating mice, little birds, and trash, and lapping water from puddles when he was captured and taken to the pound. When we went to adopt, my sons small, he immediately agreed to […]

Shakespeare in Love at 25

      This week is the sort for me in which a beloved family pet may need to be put down, I have to have crowns put in, and someone whom a friend calls The Ruiner (because the person ruins everything, as if it is a superpower) has been at it again. One of […]

AI, Call Me

    My friend Larry made a friend recently of an artificial intelligence chatbot. He did not have access to the Bing AI that has been much in the news recently, so he tried the more limited version, YouChat, at Larry, a former IT manager, said he wanted to make the AI “come out […]

Hold Fast

    Some people are great at throwing their oddly-shaped balls around, coding our new overlords, painting with pixels, manipulating spreadsheets, drinking to the dregs, defenestration. I am pretty good at waiting. I have had a lot of practice in my life. In the service they say hurry up and wait. I did that, eating […]

Inescapable Stories

    A shipwreck, a desertion, a stranding on an isle, then the adventure stories begin. The mind creaks and groans in the storm of life like a ship in terrible seas (metaphors of course: life is life, and a storm is a specific storm, and the mind, whatever it is, is not a 19th-century […]

Recipe Stories: Toast

    I started to say there is no bad toast—a simple enough sentiment but simply wrong. Simple, it turns out, is often difficult, and mere simplifications are lies. Good toast is twice-baked to the right degree both times, twice-realized, twice-perfected. Art, craft, ingredients, and timing go into it, and the process starts with a […]

The Cheekiness of Corporate Voices

    Nike Run Club got weird this week. I use the app to measure my speed and distance on runs and have always left the volume on my phone off because the voices of its encouragement sound corporate and insincere. “Wow! Great job,” a faceless trainer-actor will say aloud, if I let him, after […]