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FEATURED COLUMNS

40 days in the desert
want to reach that next level? create your own identity crisis
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: general
4.2.10 • CLASSIC

Self-examination is a bitch. Of course, I'm not talking about the physical. There's nothing funny about finding lumps or shoe fragments where they shouldn't be. No, I'm talking about the meta-physical, the mental, the dare-I-say spiritual experience of taking a good hard look at yourself in the proverbial mirror. And it isn't the act itself that's rough - you basically sit around and put on the Cure and mope for a few weeks. One of my buddies in college did this when his girlfriend dumped him.

read on



downton, shabby
predicted knockoffs of the latest tv craze
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: television
3.5.12 • CLASSIC

Somehow, this winter, a crazy thing happened: a show on PBS became all the rage. “Downton Abbey” brought soap-tastic plots, rich dialogue, and sumptuous costumes to World War I Britain, and wrapped it all up in a Masterpiece Classic bow for America. But sadly, a British TV “series” is much shorter than an American TV “season”, and after only a handful of episodes this winter, the show is off the air again. No more viewing parties. No more themed cocktails. Whatever shall we do?

read on



how do i love and insult thee?
let me sing it in a couple different ways...
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: music
2.13.12 • CLASSIC

So, this is February. A surprisingly warm February. I say "surprisingly" because I mentioned global climate change in my last column and don't want to sound like a broken record. Broken record. Broken record. Broken record.

February, for those of us old enough to remember last year, is usually fraught with much more peril - snow, wind, sleet, sub-zero temperatures. In addition, there are so many pitfalls awaiting us, in terms of holidays. We stress over whether Phil will see his shadow (and in New York, why he and Chuck disagreed so vehemently). We fondly remember the days when Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday were two separate holidays, and not this hybrid "Presidents Day" that's all too confusing - people walking around in a daze wondering how to celebrate James K. Polk. And, given this week's big holiday, we all just go a little crazy.

I don't know why Tu B'Shevat does that to people.

read on



baby without the maybe
awake in the present moment of pregnancy
by michelle von euw
topic: general
7.12.10 • CLASSIC

I won’t be pregnant forever. This thought turns itself over in my head as I lie awake at some way too early hour, experiencing the insomnia that has been yet another symptom to add to a growing list. As the months ahead of me that have been carefully measured turn to weeks, to days, what this statement means has changed significantly, too. At first, it was a forbidden thought: I was so terrified during my first trimester, so scared that something would go wrong, that I barely allowed myself t

read on



oh, great. expectations.
take it down a notch
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
9.6.10 • CLASSIC

[Preemptive disclaimer: Calm down, everyone. This column isn't about babies.] Expectations are a bitch. About two weeks ago, my wife and I went to the doctor to check on the progress of our fetus. He’s not due to be born for another week or so, but on this day – still three weeks before the scheduled due date – our doctor decided to whip my wife into a frenzy by announcing that labor might very well happen that coming weekend. Here we are, two weeks later, and nothing; Not a Cabbage Patch D

read on



tune out to tune in
reducing external information clutter
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: news
9.29.11 • CLASSIC

In the book, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, Dr. Andrew Weil promotes a news fast one day each week. The theory is when people absorb too much news, especially the kind that induces feelings of helplessness, anxiety, or rage, this impacts their health in negative ways. These emotions stay rooted in the body unless progressively moved out.

If we are constantly taking time to read the top headlines, are we also creating a balance of positive influences to offset the news impact? Because the natural news cycle is gore, injustice, corruption, repeat. If it bleeds, it leads. Good news is no news, bad news is good news, no news is bad news. Without equal scales of information, we ingest a current of despair that can, quite literally, affect our health.

read on



where do broken hearts go
the unstoppable rise and fall of whitney houston
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: music
2.15.12 • CLASSIC

1. She was, without irrational argument, the greatest female singer of her generation, and the greatest female singer, possibly, to ever live. If you were sculpting a pop star from scratch, you couldn’t have built a better voice, a prettier face, or a greater vocal lineage. She rendered MTV colorblind in the mid-80s, following in Michael Jackson and Prince’s footsteps. Her talent was unreal at times, moved mountains that shouldn’t have budged. Who else could’ve pulled off The Bodyguard or turn “The Star Spangled Banner” into a best selling smash? Who else could remake songs previously recorded by George Benson and Dolly Parton into two of the biggest pop hits of their decades? And yet, despite all that – or maybe because of it – here we are.

2. How much can people give of themselves and remain sane? To have your foibles, flaws and mistakes analyzed, lambasted and paraded in front of millions, daily, is more than most of us could bear. And being on top in the music industry subjects one to a spectacular kind of evil. Yes, Whitney Houston was rich and beautiful and talented, but once that was who she would be forever, it was no longer unique or special. It became like being able to write or speak or drive a car, or any of the other things most of us do every day and take for granted. Many of us behave because we have jobs and bills and family members that make us do so. If those societal constraints were not only lifted, but abolished, and we were encouraged to do whatever we want, whenever, and with whomever, well, then, a clearer picture begins to formulate as to whom we really are.

read on



cleaning a dirty mouth
quitting cursing cold turkey
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: humor
10.10.11 • CLASSIC

This article is about foul language and is not appropriate for children.

For as long as I’ve been old enough to use curse words, I have. Living in New York City from 2002-2005 did little to curb this behavior. I also had one work situation that featured cursing on an often and loud basis. Overall, since my mid-twenties especially, I’ve had little need, desire, nor encouragement to curb my foul-mouthed behavior.

Fact: I have been known to shout offensive words in public places just to cause a rise, because I think it’s funny, and especially after a few drinks. Fact: Cursing earned me a awesome rear corner office at my law firm, because people in the waiting room could overhear my cursing from my original smaller office. True story. The word mentioned was fuck, by the way. Just think about that when you want your corner office.

And now, after thirty-six years, I am changing my behavior. Kind-of, sort of.

read on



sir, you have entirely too much baggage
either pack your therapist or learn to pack light.
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: pop culture
9.26.11 • CLASSIC

On a recent transcontinental flight, in between offering First Class a pre-departure beverage and greeting the shuffling masses, I had to keep one eye open for people and their drama. I mean baggage.

I shouldn't have to be the Bag Nazi. I'd much rather be nice to you, I truly would. It gives me wrinkles when I have to frown at you, admonish you, tell you to turn your phone off for the seventh time, ask you to please bring your seat up, request that you please hurry up and step out of the aisle, etc. I'd like to avoid that additional early aging if I could.

But the bag situation, well, it's getting out of hand.

read on



kicking off operation 2012
mapping out my own set of great expectations
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: general
1.16.12 • CLASSIC

Semantics. Sometimes, it's just a question of semantics.

For this year, I've decided to actually take some time to plan a set of goals to achieve. Some can call these resolutions, but I refuse to call my objectives such. Like a fusspot who never grows to like eating cauliflower (but is okay with having it in mashed form), I simply don't like the word resolution. It seems too serious, too Model United Nations, even pretentious.

Above all, I have the mutant ability to disregard it (and anything else that smacks of overly serious dweebs with political anglings).

Still, in spite of my inability to digest the R-word as a fun or tolerable experience, I am determined to experience 2012 with a set of set objectives. I want the kind of year where I hit my milestones instead of seeing them get dust bunnies; I want to be productive.

Therefore, here goes Operation 2012.

read on



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.

read on



google+
a post-technologist's early review
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: tech
7.11.11 • CLASSIC

When I heard about Google+ I was excited. Yeah, I am nerd, hear me roar. Without much to go on but a cryptic Flash movie and hear-say, I had that tingling I used to get as a kid whenever I would go out and buy a new video game. I would spend the entire trip home thinking about how I was going to waste an entire weekend playing it to death. It was the tingle of anticipation for new content, new stories, an exploratory experience, and something new to learn and become proficient at. That kind

read on



socialgeist
slimed by digital ectoplasm
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
3.14.12 • CLASSIC

Man, I've worked with some really fantastic people. People I'm proud to call friends 20 years later; folks I hope to know for many years to come. Others, despite our natural chemistry and the sharing of a thousand pizzas and coffees and cigarettes (I've since quit), I keep only in my memory, for whatever inexplicable reasons people have for maintaining distance in the face of friendship.

But then sometimes – and it's a fortunate rarity – there are people I just want to forget completely. Inevitable adversaries that've had such an ill effect on my psyche, I not only want them out of my life, I want any residual smears of negative energy they’ve left in my airspace GONE. FOREVER. The idea that they might irrevocably occupy some part of my brain is not only depressing, it’s offensive. All I want is for their memory to just...peter away, down the drain of my subconscious, and with any luck...poof! Gone.

“TOO BAD!” say Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

read on




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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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