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61 to 70 of 153 columns
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61. the best food you haven't eaten
learning from the top food blogs
pop culture - appreciation
4.4.07 : feature column!

Coasting on other people’s originality isn’t plagiarism; it’s a way of life. Not true of writing, of course. But in cooking, you pretty much have to plagiarize. Trial-and-error only gets you so far. You stare at a new cut of meat at the supermarket ("Tri tip? What’s it the tip of?") and know that if you bring it home, you’re going to have to figure out what to do with it. Braise, broil, roast; slice, sauté or stir fry. Screw it up and you’ll be chewing your way through a bland, rubbery mess, wh...
62. pursuing the perfect bite
playing with your food, playing well with others
general - lifestyle
3.5.07 : feature column!

We've been talking about Kobe beef for years, but the truth is, up til now, what you could get in the States wasn't Kobe. It's all been "Kobe." It's been "American Kobe" or "Kobe-Style Wagyu", and you couldn't put the real thing in your mouth in America. But now, the ban's been lifted, and Kobe is here. You can taste it. And how much will you pay for the privilege? Around here, about $25 an ounce. No, not per steak. Per ounce of a steak. Naturally, there's a 5-ounce minimum. Bringing your cost...
63. knowing me, knowing you
a reflection on actors of various stripes
film - appreciation
2.5.07 : feature column!

Where have you gone, Loren Dean? It’s funny. We have taken this silly little profession, acting, and made it so different from what it once was. Instead of going to the theatre to see characters, we go to the theater (multiplex, more like) to see actors playing characters. Sure, the quality of an actor’s performance is measured by how thoroughly they can disappear into the character, but you know what? That really wouldn’t be an issue if we didn’t see these folks as capital-A Actors first and c...
64. 2007: the year of the empty brand
why trust a word?
advertising - criticism
1.5.07 : feature column!

Welcome to the year of the brand. Oh, wait. You know about branding already? You know that people have blindly bought anything with a given word on it for years and years, including words like Levi's, Hershey's, and Snackwell's? You understand that the purpose behind branding is to build a trusted relationship with a family of products on the customer side, and on the corporation side, to inspire customer loyalty and therefore rake in the profits? Good. Then lemme lay down this new groove. Br...
65. disgust under discussion
is television going too far?
television - criticism
12.4.06 : feature column!

Most of the time, I think any kind of kerfuffle about what's on television is silly. The whole Janet Jackson thing? Pointless. Angry letter campaigns about flashbacks to a teen orgy on "Without a Trace"? Overblown. People who turn away when a camera pretends to zoom down a throat or inside a wound on "CSI" or "House"? Overly sensitive. Seven-second delays to keep popstars from letting a swear word slip at the Grammys? Probably doomed to failure, and besides, who cares, right? And then they anno...
66. not-so-secret agents, man
literary agents enter the blogosphere
writing - career
11.3.06 : feature column!

On our darkest nights, every unpublished author has probably said nasty things about agents and publishers. And these days, it’s hardly even the publishers we blame: since most don’t take unagented submissions, we don’t even have the chance to be rejected by them, which means that it’s just the agents we’re up against. And sometimes our words about them are unkind. They reject us. Frequently. Constantly. We pour out our hopes and dreams and in return, we get a form letter. Because the rules of ...
67. doves, dresses, and dacquoise
wedding planning in the real world
pop culture - lifestyle
10.4.06 : feature column!

You know how long it takes to pull off the perfect wedding? Just two weeks. Not for us normal people, no. For Bree, on “Desperate Housewives.” And it’s true, her character is supposed to be detail-obsessed and driven, so maybe we’re supposed to think, “Well, no one normal could pull this off, but Bree sure could.” To borrow the Australian lingo: Evs. Of course television is always unrealistic. There are some things it does well, such as teaching us that “Evs” is Australian for “Whatever.” (It...
68. 'net worth
taking stock of our friend, the interweb
tech - appreciation
9.6.06 : feature column!

So... read the internet lately? It's been a few years since I've surveyed the state of the internet, so I figured the time was ripe. The first few years of the internet brought us some real successes and some real clunkers. I think, since then, the successes have started to outnumber the failures, after people figured out that just because something could be powered by the internet didn't mean it should be. The biggest change so far is how Official Content has really spread out. You can get yo...
69. beyond the call of booty
exercising your rights, among other things
pop culture - lifestyle
8.7.06 : feature column!

This is really embarrassing, so I'm going to just put it flat out there: more than a year ago, while watching a 4 a.m. infomercial, I picked up the phone and purchased a set of exercise DVDs called "Yoga Booty Ballet." Yep. Yoga. Booty. Ballet. Now, it's not that I'm ashamed of buying something from a late-night infomercial. I'm hardly the first person to do it and I won't be the last. There are people all across this great nation with Little Giant Ladder Systems in their garages and the Pasta...
70. summer better than others
the summer tv season's best and worst
television - criticism
7.7.06 : feature column!

Prime time television these days is a supremely competitive landscape. Every season there’s an influx of new shows, battling for survival and supremacy. And the competition is so cutthroat that some shows are cancelled before the second episode can even air ("Emily’s Reasons Why Not," so sorry, you were doomed from the get-go.) Summer is different. In days not too far past, summer was a flat plain of reruns, reruns, reruns. NBC even launched that "It’s New To You!" campaign a few years ago to ...
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re: life is too short

I don't often read things like this, but this was perfect.

re: life is too short

That is good stuff!

re: 40 weeks of a new life

Great job building up the drama without overplaying it.

re: what september means

Absolutely. And I love Facebook first-day-of-school pictures too.

re: what september means

When I lived in NYC, September was my favourite month.

re: what it feels like for an author

You're one of my heroes. But I think you already know that. Thanks for sharing your world once again.

re: the debut author's planifesto

Very helpful for being published, or life in general. Thanks.

re: who cares what you think?

This isn't a professional review, but you're right on target and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

re: who cares what you think?

I was going to rate this poor, just to prove your point, but nice job.

re: like it's your job

We writers aren't interesting, but "Castle" gives us hope that we may someday bag Nathan Fillion. Excellent observations.

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