“I started writing songs for cats because I’d gotten bored writing songs for humans. But the thing is, cats have limited vocal … limited vocal—” “Limited vocal range?” Rebecca suggests. “Yes, limited vocal range. I found I needed five cats to cover one octave.”—
“In fact, the best things to seek out are the tried-and-true classics: some of the creamiest, freshest full-fat soft-serve I’ve ever eaten, the fair’s justifiably famous deep-fried cheese curds (I ate an entire portion, probably about 4,500 calories, in awe of how rich they were), and giant turkey legs that are as big as people’s heads. I grabbed one of those on the advice of Erin Poster, who hit the fair with her husband and 5-month-old son. Her endorsement of the leg managed to sum up the entire State Fair experience: “I felt gross after eating it, but it was good.”—Orgy of Excess: Three Days of Eating at the Minnesota State Fair — Grub Street New York
Age 1: I am born a month early. As my Mom reminds me each time she calls me on my birthday, “I couldn’t have been pregnant for a second longer,” so I guess that worked out. Still early a lot.
2: My first word is “truck,” which gets me into trouble almost immediately.
3: Hair. Finally.
4: Wuzzles-themed birthday party shows that I’m really good at picking winners and trends with legs.
5: Attend first baseball game (a loss). Despite my early childhood exposure to Tim McCarver, begin a lifelong passion for baseball.
6: I start the first grade. My most vivid memory is visiting the school the week before it began, staring into the classroom and thinking to myself “Gosh! School for the whole day! How will I ever manage?” I was a nervous kid.
7: First trip abroad, to London. Obsessed with the headgear that the Bobbies and Palace Guards wear. Probably not the right takeaway as far as having international tastes goes, but who doesn’t love a good fuzzy hat?
8: Last year in public school, precipitated by a teacher asking “Does anyone other than Alex know the answer?” after I raise my hand for the umpteenth time. Geography—good at that. Knowing the right answer to “Do you like Almond Joy or Mounds?” on the playground, less so.
9: I play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time. My character is eaten by a giant fish. There’s a metaphor in here somewhere.
10: Start acting out in class, but in a high-concept way. Take pink construction paper and hand “pink slip” to teacher I particularly dislike. Material doesn’t do as well with fellow classmates.
11: Middle school begins. For me, puberty does not. Start a pretty awesome minor league baseball team hat collection, though.
12: First sleepover in which I stay up all night (at least until I fall asleep on the couch at 9am waiting for my parents to come pick me up). First in a long string of being the first person to fall asleep at parties.
13: HORMONES RAGE. The first girl I have a major crush on ironed her hair, I now recall.
14: High school! Many more unrequited crushes, including the student from Vassar co-teaching our French class and the woman shepherding campers to flights at JFK for my French immersion program in Switzerland. (Monica and Jessica, respectively).
15: This was the year I was really into computer flight simulators. Buy expensive joystick called the “Thrustmaster.” Surprisingly, still no girlfriends.
16: In retrospect, I should have made more of an effort to look presentable upon getting my Learner’s Permit, since this will be photo I have on my license to this day. Instead, I have a side part and a shit-eating grin.
17: At graduation party, ask one of the “cool girls” to teach me how to inhale.
18: Fencing team captain, upon taking me to one of my first bars as a college freshman, gives me a piece of life advice: “Nobody ever gets to go home with the cocktail waitress.” Spend next 12 years ignoring this advice, or trying to, anyway.
19: Acquire Czech girlfriend during study abroad in Prague. Do not acquire spine, and date her long distance for three years.
20: Move into my first apartment, in the East Village. Intern for Rolling Stone. Alas, both things would have been so much cooler ten years previous.
21: Was my 21st birthday party at Barramundi? Pretty sure it was at Barramundi.
22: Get first writing clips, first meaningful relationship, experience first magazine I work at going under. I eat a lot of Chinese food in response to all three.
23: Get a cat. First blogging job around the same time. Do not recognize that I’ve turned into a cliché.
24: Realize lifelong dream of steady gig writing for magazines; realize shortly thereafter that I picked a really, really bad time to make a career writing for magazines.
25: Take first guidebook assignment; swear “I’m never fucking doing that again.” Do it three more times.
26: Take what remains one of my favorite ever vacations, a road trip from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon. Realize that the best vacations almost always involve disasters (not even counting what the convertible did to my hair).
27: Co-found my company; realize it was a million times easier to become an “entrepreneur” than it was to become a “writer,” though I do have to get dressed more often.
28: Move to Brooklyn but, counter-intuitively, shave beard.
29: Learn that Google is forever.
30: So far? That it feels nice to start a new decade with a fresh pair of socks and my good friends.
“There’s no excuse for square-toed footwear, but it’s nice to know, before the smoke and mirrors of presidential politics descend, even one tiny truth about a candidate. Paul Ryan is the kind of guy who never noticed what the cool kids on Capitol Hill were wearing. Vote accordingly.”—Paul Ryan Wears Wisconsin Shoes - The Cut
“July is the month we wish we were: traditional, festive, patriotic, family-friendly. August is the month we really are: hot, stupid, and devoid of meaning. July is baseball and burgers; August is Arby’s roast beef & cheddar and “Toddlers & Tiaras.”—
“Dinner was served, which made me think of my pal and former CNN correspondent Richard Blystone. He and I once toyed with the idea of writing a handy phrase book for journalists abroad, each expression phonetically translated into numerous languages and dialects. At the top of the list was, “Huuum… Tastes like chicken!” It was a phrase I repeated several times that night as mounds of stews and local “delicacies” were ladled onto my plate of gilded-edge presidential porcelain. Gary—who at the time had more experience covering Africa—cunningly informed the butlers he was a “strict vegetarian” and picked away at a small portion of steamed tomatoes and corn while only eating the inside of his tiny baguette. More than once he shot me a look that implied, “Enjoy the rest of your night on the toilet!”—
“Lhota was there to address the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce at a breakfast held at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, the nicest, and perhaps only, hotel still left in the city’s impoverished downtown.”—
AWWW! Poor Poughkeepsie. (I heard there’s smatterings of gentrification, though I’ve yet to witness firsthand)
“And my thinking was “We have to at least make it through the appetizers, because maybe when we have food we’ll feel better.” That was not in fact the case but it was wishful thinking.”—Dans Le Noir - Shitshows - Eater NY
“T. A. has contributed to the demonization of cars,” said Louise Hainline, a resident of Park Slope, Brooklyn, whose group, Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes, publicly tangled with Transportation Alternatives and the city over the 2010 installation of a bike lane on Prospect Park West. “They’ve been very effective, but I don’t think our city is better for it.”—
“I think email strips away the human being part and people would forget that I’m a person. My go-to line was, “Hey, thanks for your feedback.” I use it in real life now. It’s the perfect mixture of “I don’t give a shit about you” and “I’m trying to be polite.”—Tech Confessional: How Pandora’s IPO Changed Everything
“The Marlins sell-off is so corny and Marlins-y. They are such Miami cocaine nightclub rich-boy babies. “We gave it three months, it didn’t work, let’s give Austin Kearns 400 at-bats and go yacht shopping, then put on white linen clothes and get hands-y with our server in a nightclub called LAS DROGAS.” It really is weird they can’t seem to build a fan base.”—Yakkin’ About Baseball: Tanging the Untangibles | The Classical
“A woman named Brianne said her co-worker once offered a play-by-play of her recent enema. Damon’s colleague said his girlfriend dumped him because he was too, er, small. After a few glasses of wine at a cocktail party, Amanda’s co-worker announced she had a yeast infection. In the middle of her pregnancy, Kristie’s office mate said she’d recently grown a third nipple. Kate’s showed off pictures of her boobs.”—Enough With the Enemas: Why People Overshare at Work - Businessweek
“- For consumer startups with transactional models, e.g. e-commerce, the number of users required is often far lower because revenue is the more important metric. Hence, many early-stage consumer startups are switching to transactional models.”—
“The outrage the power failure elicited from people whose generators hummed right through the blackout suggests a frustration with something more gloomy than the darkness: the persistent intrusion of India’s reality upon its aspirations. The quiet fear is that the flaws of the present government, however numerous, may not suffice to explain the entire decline from exuberance to pessimism. In the end, what connects the fevered middle-class contempt for ruling politicians to the world’s largest blackout is the anger and anxiety laid bare by the diminishing power of the growth story: the people who were led to believe “Superpower India” was around the corner are now demanding retribution against whoever snuffed out its light.”—What Was Revealed When the Lights Went Out in India : The New Yorker