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FEATURED COLUMNS

intrepid oscar picks ii the streets
this time it's personal
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: film
2.2.11 • CLASSIC

Last year at Oscar nomination time, I wrote a popular piece on which film would win the Academy Award for Best Picture. And what separated my piece from the billion other articles, columns, and blog posts by all the other self-appointed film experts? Easy. I didn't see any of the nominated films. This was, in fact, part of the joke, based on last year's inclusion of movies like An Education and A Serious Man, both of which I actually did see once I realized they existed. Still can't remember

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the most important resolution for writers
one simple sentence for 2012
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: writing
1.4.12 • CLASSIC

We writers are, perhaps, even more susceptible to the idea of New Year's Resolutions than regular people. After all, we're always setting goals, aren't we? Always trying to improve? And that's what resolutions are about. Setting a goal or making a plan, swearing to do better at something we'd always hoped to be better at, or to stop doing something we shouldn't.

But these goals have a dark side. We sometimes beat ourselves up needlessly for failing to meet a target that was arbitrary -- possibly meaningless -- in the first place. Or, we move heaven and earth to meet that target and we "succeed", only to find it doesn't actually make us better writers or produce great writing.

So what's a resolution-loving writer to do? Stop resolving? Hardly.

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not well read? well, read!
a portrait of the slacker as a young man
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: writing
6.6.08 • CLASSIC

There's a guy in my neighborhood named Harry. Harry, on nice days, sets up a table on the sidewalk by the CVS and sells paperback books for $1.25. I tend to read on the subway to and from work, and so whenever I find myself bookless, I stop by Harry's table and pick up a good mystery or a good courtroom drama. Harry will usually suggest one to me, based, I can only imagine, on the fact that it's the first one he sees. "If you want to read a good author, try her." "Want a good true crime story?

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required summer reading
solving the joys of the detective novel
by michelle von euw
topic: writing
8.10.09 • CLASSIC

Summer has always been the best time for reading. Perhaps because I've spent almost my entire life on a semester schedule, the months of May through August have been the ones in which books I read for pleasure take a top priority over the ones that I have to read. Asking me what genre of books I prefer is pretty much like asking me what type of fiction I write: both questions are met with an uncomfortable silence, some verbal hedging, and then usually the words "literary, but not too literar

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in ur facebook
invadin ur privacy
by mike julianelle
topic: pop culture
5.16.08 • CLASSIC

I am more desirable than 98% of people, including you. And yet that hasn't prevented me from repeatedly being hit with sheep. For the past 6 months or so, my job has required that I stay up to date on the internet, and, more specifically, the latest things the kids are using it for. Unfortunately this doesn't require membership to porn sites, so no expensing those! (Sorry, honey!) Instead, it requires membership to social networking sites, of which there are many, from the obvious ones you've

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the forgotten independent
thoughts of a non-label voter
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: news
8.29.11 • CLASSIC

"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” ~ President John Adams, 1789

Forget the Tea Party and the Coffee Party and Circle of Moms and MoveOn and all those other trumped-up, rabble-rousing, soundbite manipulators. I believe far more people uphold independent, moderate beliefs than either extreme Republican or Democrat zealots dare to admit. Unfortunately, independents are the round pegs that don't fit into square conservative or trapezoid liberal holes, and there's not a single politico who runs the middle ground with sure feet, because it's believed there's no money scattered across it.


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morning sickness
from the unpublished short story archives, circa 2002
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: writing
7.18.11 • CLASSIC

Note: We never, ever run fiction or short stories, but 1) Jason has been a staff member forever and deserves the nod and 2) The story below is just that good. Raymond Harris awoke one morning at the hollow sound of Momma’s face being smacked so hard that she staggered across the kitchen and hit her forehead on the sink. He sat up in his piss-stained bed, then ran to the door and cracked it open just enough to see without being seen. Bobby, Momma’s boyfriend, was manhandling her dutifully -

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thank you sir, may i have another?
justification for inebriation
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: humor
9.19.07 • CLASSIC

I just watched the second seasons of the Showtime series Weeds on DVD. For those not familiar, the show revolves around the fetching Mary-Louise Parker (whom I affectionately refer to as "MLP") playing a mother who, following her husband's death, resorts to marijuana sales in order to maintain her upper-middle class lifestyle for herself and her children. The second season features MLP's character moving beyond sales into production. As part of this process, she attends the "Mohasky Cup" to

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it may be petty
but it's nice to be pretty
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: pop culture
4.18.12 • CLASSIC

What person on earth doesn’t enjoy being considered attractive to those around them? It’s why the makeup industry continues to sell $XX billions of dollars worth of products every year. It’s why there’s a men’s line from nearly every major skin care brand currently available. It’s why clothes are made in various sizes and colors and why high heels even exist. Cosmetic surgery is available in just about any form you can possibly imagine, and then some you haven’t even thought of – heard of a Knee Lift? Supposedly Demi Moore has had one, and US Magazine knows their readers voraciously scan these articles, looking for grains of truth as to why they can’t look like their favorite stars. It’s also the start of the rabbit hole that poor Cat Lady jumped down.

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oh, she didn't again
cringing at britney spears' vma performance
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: pop culture
9.14.07 • CLASSIC

A few days ago on September 9th, my friend Rudy asked me to watch MTV's annual Video Music Awards broadcast with him. Though I usually ignore MTV in favor of watching "Top Chef" reruns and videos on YouTube without being pestered by Kristin Cavallari, I agreed to check it out: Britney Spears was to be its opening act. At nine o'clock that evening, Rudy and I plopped down on my couch to see Britney perform her new single "Gimme More." We thought she would deliver a hot, VMA-fabulous performanc

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loving
a part of our speech
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: news
4.16.12 • CLASSIC

Loving: Noun
Loving begins as a noun, but not just any noun. Loving is a personal noun; it is something we experience only through the prism of ourselves. We can’t point to the source of love, diagram its location, or dissect it from our body, and yet it is there. Loving is also a noun in the stricter sense: Richard Loving, a white man born in Caroline County, Virginia, in 1933.

Loving: Verb
Loving may begin as a noun, but we know it best as a verb. We recognize love only because we see it in action: caring, sharing, laughing, kissing, touching, soothing, healing, helping, grieving. These actions can shape our lives, yet we can’t trace them to a source. Love – of nature, of creatures, of music – is a mystery in the abstract, but vibrant in reality. Something happens in your spirit, your physical heart might thump, your nerves might jitter, and suddenly that potential for love comes out into the open. That kind of spark caught Richard Loving (noun: white) and Mildred Jeter (noun: black) and whirled them into action. They were loving each other, and – as it always does – that love was shaping their lives.

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tasty technology
one might even say del.icio.us
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: tech
1.22.07 • CLASSIC

Maybe it's because I've worked in IT so long, but I'm generally one of the last people I know to jump on tech fad bandwagons, most especially anything that reeks of the redundant moniker, "social networking." I don't use MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, or Last.fm. I'm even suspicious of Friendster (even though I'm there), because they seem really focused on the skanky 18-year old Filipino demographic and I'm just not skeevy enough to be interested in that. Yet, this other thing has really caught m

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who moved my chi?
finding my way back to inner peace
by heather m. millen
topic: general
4.23.08 • CLASSIC

I'm an incredibly organized person. I keep an "Infamous To Do List" that is updated daily and nothing gives me greater pleasure than checking off items. I like clean surfaces and carefully arranged closets. Clothes belong in a chest of drawers, not the floor of my bedroom. I have boxes and drawers and baskets, all to better organize my life... and my husband's life if he would only listen to me and STOP LEAVING ALL THAT CRAP ON THE DESK! When something is lost in the house, it's inevitably

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future tenz
the sexier decade ahead
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
1.6.10 • CLASSIC

In The Tenz, we fly in hovercars fueled by laughter and rock n' roll. We've adopted a single global language, which is a hybrid of all known languages with a sprinkle of jazz theory. Consequently we're all getting along much better, and everybody can dance. Moral and religious disputes have gone the way of Disco, praise Gawd. World peace sets the stage for tolerance, innovation, and a new cultural renaissance. Creativity and intelligence are valued over celebrity and convenience. Our elected le

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RECENT COMMENTS

re: irrussistible
I am not going to read it this time. I do and I just cannot pull myself together to comment. It is a beautiful tribute. I am very glad that you wro...

re: guns don't kill people....
Can we please find a way to heal and protect? I NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A man opened fire Friday inside two classrooms at the Connecticut elementary sc...

re: a year without netflix
I would expect that and especially Netflix. Marketing, baby. They're spending zillions to get new subscribers....

re: everybody poops
What a bunch of crap! :-D Sorry. I tried to let it pass. Butt I'm weak. [edited]...

re: you are on your own heroes journey
Too short. Sigh. Thanks Maigen. I just miss him. I am glad that I can find people who cared deeply for him here. He had such good friends here!...





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