10 Things I Hate About You, Travel Edition

The flight from Boston to Los Angeles takes six hours, during which there is a kind of caricature of intimacy that develops, at least in Coach. You might not even know the name of the guy sitting at your elbow, … Read More »

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A Journey to ’25 Random Things’

Three weeks ago, William tagged me in a “25 Random Things About Me” chain letter. I’ve hung around with William a few times, but reading his list feels a lot like a peek at his diary: Here are his hopes, … Read More »

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‘What Happened to Your Nose?’

It’s usually children and foreigners who ask: those who have no sense of propriety or privacy, or those who consider Westerners too uptight about all the wrong things, and, paradoxically, not uptight enough about others. The waiter at the Indian … Read More »

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Refugee At Home

On Monday I had a small patch of skin cancer removed from the bridge of my nose. It sounds like a big deal, but it wasn’t. The procedure itself felt no worse than having an earlobe pierced: There was only … Read More »

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Wii Are Family

In college, I had a friend named Jane. She was the oldest daughter in a family of tennis players, and they all looked like her: tall and willowy, but strong as thoroughbreds, with defined muscles in their long arms and … Read More »

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Evergreen Christmas

1970 It’s four days before Christmas, and my father finally retrieves from beneath the cellar stairs the huge Sears box that houses our Christmas tree. The tree is heavy, its metal trunk solid and plumed with thick branches trimmed with … Read More »

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Innocents At Home

It snowed the other morning north of Boston. It was the first, early snowfall of the season, if you take a very literal view of the term “snowfall,” because the flurries that fell didn’t amount to any real accumulation. They … Read More »

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I Can Haz Hoomin Hart-aik

Maybe it’s because the onset of the holidays always puts me in something of a melancholy mood, or maybe because I’m again staring down the barrel of six bleak months of winter, but I can’t help but read lolcats these … Read More »

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Four Diary Entries

Barb Chamberlain is the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Washington State University in Spokane. She was also the youngest Representative and (later) Senator elected to the Idaho State Legislature–which I didn’t know until she tagged me in a … Read More »

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Punk’d

When the flight attendant advises that passengers place the oxygen mask over their own faces before assisting those seated nearby, I always interpret this imperative more broadly—that I should take care of my own needs first, whether or not I’m … Read More »

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Relax and Open Wide: Dentist vs. Doctor

Sometimes when I’m bored and have neglected to tote some reading material—like when I’m standing in line at the supermarket, or waiting for a movie to begin—I indulge in a debate I have with myself: Which do I dislike more: … Read More »

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A Toast to Cancer

A small, red wound—no bigger than a poppy seed—appeared mysteriously on the bridge of my nose a few months ago. At first it sat there quietly and behaved itself, and I assumed the strange bump would heal steadily and vanish … Read More »

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