Category Archives: Uncategorized

Things that made me go ‘Hmm’

hand-thumbs-up-shutterstock-115608682c-300x180It’s been almost a year since I posted something here, and I don’t love the idea of a random mediocre blog post living at the top of this page forever and ever. So! How about some recommended reading?

I keep a folder titled “Stories I like” in my bookmarks bar, where I throw anything I particularly admire and don’t want to forget about. It’s a real hodge-podge, and the only thing that connects this stuff is that at some point I was struck by some aspect of it for personal or professional reasons, and thought to bookmark it in the moment. So, with the caveat that this isn’t anything close to a comprehensive list of Best Journalism, or even All My Favorite Stuff, maybe you’ll find some things here you enjoy.

These are essays and reporting from the past two years or so, arranged in rough order of publication date. Happy reading!

A family learns the true meaning of the vow ‘in sickness and in health,’” Susan Baer, Washington Post

Country Music, Openness to Experience, and the Psychology of the Culture War,” Will Wilkinson, Big Think

Follow the Sacredness,” Jonathan Haidt, the New York Times

A Monument to a Sioux Warrior, Its Completion Date Somewhat Unclear,” AG Sulzberger, the New York Times

So Many Feelings,” Molly Fischer, N+1

How to get under Aaron Sorkin’s skin (and also, how to high-five properly),” Sarah Nicole Prickett, the Globe and Mail

The New Theist: How William Lane Craig became Christian philosophy’s boldest apostle,” Nathan Schneider, the Chronicle of Higher Education

Single Mothers With Family Values,” Molly Worthen, the New York Times

Little Libertarians on the Prairie,” Christine Woodside, the Boston Globe

Murder by Craigslist,” Hanna Rosin, the Atlantic

What’s Killing Poor White Women?” Monica Potts, the American Prospect

Why the Marriage Plot Need Never Get Old,” Adelle Waldman, Page-Turner, the New Yorker

Fighting Family Breakdown Will Take More Than Contraception,” Anna Sutherland, Family Studies

California English,” David Sessions, Jacobin

You’re Richer Than You Think,” Casey N. Cep, Pacific Standard

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Has Ryan Tedder ever turned down an interview with public radio?

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Oral Roberts graduate, in-demand songwriter, and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder has been interviewed on public radio eight times. Doesn’t that seem like a lot? They LOVE him: Continue reading

Epicurious commenters I have known

epicuriousMy favorite genre of internet criticism is the recipe review that lists all the modifications the home cook made to the original recipe and then goes on to offer a glowing review as if the dish the commenter concocted has anything to do with the recipe. Epicurious, the Condé Nast food site that compiles recipes from Bon Appétit and other pop-gourmet magazines (including, well, Gourmet), is a particularly great source for these, possibly because it’s just sliiiiightly pretentious. (Exhibit A: I’ve already had to type “é” twice in this short paragraph.) Most Epicurious users seem blithely confident of their abilities to freestyle it Ruhlmann-style, and they are not afraid to tell you about it.

To be clear, I’m not opposed to making do with what you have on hand while cooking; every home cook does this around the edges of recipes, and why not? You don’t have turnips; you use potatoes. No thyme; toss in some rosemary. Your rural New Hampshire grocery store doesn’t know what queso fresco is; crumble up some feta. What cracks me up is when a person does this 10 times in a single recipe, tweaking her way all the way to a new, and often disgusting-sounding, foodstuff and then still feels the need to weigh in about it online as if this could possibly be useful.

Here are three of my favorite comments on recipes that I make frequently, with my own comments in brackets within.
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Photos of presidents and their wives eating Mexican food

This man is clearly an authentic taco fan. Look at that smile:

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But I’m concerned that his wife might not even know how to eat a taco. She seems to be starting from the top?

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THIS is how you eat a taco, Michelle:

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Here’s Bill Clinton at Mi Nidito in Tucson. I had lunch here last summer, and the menu includes an option that includes everything Clinton ordered. He apparently ate a bean tostada, a birria taco, chile relleno, chicken enchilada, and a beef tamale. That is so much food!

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Laura is like, “Do these pathetic-looking nachos even have any jalapeños on them?”

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I’m actually pretty sure this is barbecue but, what, was I supposed to leave it out?:

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Lindsay Lohan’s hilarious history of convoluted excuses

As you may have read this weekend, 47-year-old actress Lindsay Lohan crashed her rented Porsche into the back of an 18-wheeler on the Pacific Coast Highway on Friday. She was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. At first, she claimed the truck, presumably driven by a professional truck driver as opposed to a troubled starlet with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, cut her off. But then her story got even more complicated. Here’s how TMZ explains it: Continue reading

Lindsay Lohan’s hilarious history of convoluted excuses

As you may have read this weekend, 47-year-old actress Lindsay Lohan crashed her rented Porsche into the back of an 18-wheeler on the Pacific Coast Highway on Friday. She was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. At first, she claimed the truck, presumably driven by a professional truck driver as opposed to a troubled starlet with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, cut her off. But then her story got even more complicated. Here’s how TMZ explains it: Continue reading

David Brent or Kristen Stewart?


Who said it: David Brent, buffoonish “Office” boss, or Kristen Stewart, petulant ingenue giving an interview to Vanity Fair? (Pronouns and a few gender clues changed, but otherwise verbatim.)

A. “When people say to me: Would you rather be thought of as a funny [person] or a great [professional]? My answer’s always the same: to me, they’re not mutually exclusive.”

B. “What matters to me is that the people in the room leave and say, ‘[He or she] was cool. [He or she] had a good time. [He or she] was honest.’”

C. “I don’t care about the voracious, starving sh-t eaters who want to turn truth into sh-t.”

D. “A philosopher once wrote you need three things to have a good life. One, a meaningful relationship; two, a decent job of work, and three, to make a difference. And it was always that third one that stressed me, to make a difference. And I realize that I do.”

E. “People see me, and they see the [formal clothes], and they go: ‘You’re not fooling anyone.’ They know I’m rock and roll through and through.”

F. “If I took perfect pictures all the time, the people standing in the room with me … would think, What an [actor]! What a faker!”

A, D, E: Brent; B, C, F: Stewart