Time to honesty

You get back, energized from the conversation over a great meal, only to find a glob of food stuck between your teeth. When you’re finished being mortified, the questions set in: did they notice? why didn’t anyone say something? It might be tempting to question the character of the people involved, or the quality of […]

Conversational risk

It was freezing out today. Which was pretty unusual, because it’s been really hot out lately in the middle of December. We thought it might be global warming before but now it’s so cold. But at least it’s not raining. Sound mundane? I hope so. But it’s very real. So many conversations walk a well-trodden […]

Checking it once

I replaced my light bulb tonight. That may not seem like much of an accomplishment, but it’s a victory against myself. Let me explain: in my bathroom, there’s a commercial grade fluorescent light bulb that’s been dead since before my September move-in. My roommates had cleverly installed another small lamp on the counter to avoid […]


June 25, 2009, and October 5, 2011.  What those two dates have in common is that I’ll remember exactly where I was, forever.  2009 was Michael Jackson. And 2011 brought Steve. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TahH7B_aUZc] The song playing in the background couldn’t have been more appropriate: Speed of Sound, by Coldplay. I was absolutely frozen in place […]

Stacking business cards

I started a new job a few weeks ago, and my employer unwittingly gave me a bunch of future collectibles and items worthy of a museum. Let’s quickly recap the process: Filled out a bunch of government and insurance forms by hand Got a box full of crisp new business cards Given a plastic corporate […]

Say their names

José comes all the way from Costa Rica every year, leaving his family behind for six months.  Peter moved here from Ireland fifteen years ago and thinks Americans can’t drink.  Aubrey lives in the Bronx and remembers every Yankees stat you could think up. Mae just started a new job and doesn’t know many people […]

Labor therapy

June to August 2011 marked my last ever commitment-free summer.  I spent the majority of the time in Cali and Seattle, picking up web programming and devising a startup.  Soon I found myself spending 80% of my waking hours at my computer. Though I flew west bearing four books, I had finished only two by […]

Baby gaga

Staring at a blank canvas is both daunting and inspiring at the same time. I imagine this is how many parents feel when looking at their babies just after birth. Perfectly innocent, malleable, and dependent on your every move. So I’m puzzled when I see so many parents paint without giving thought to the works […]

Conversation, hold the coffee

I’ve taken a lot of meetings this year, and aside from meals, they always seem to follow the same format. We meet for coffee, or drinks, or dessert, at a nearby shop, and spend about an hour, at a cost of somewhere from $5-15. And that would be totally fine, except that I don’t actually […]

Jobs: a roundup

Yesterday the east coast had an earthquake, but today the entire world was shaken by the news that Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple. He’s going to continue as chairman, but retiring from daily operations. He leaves at a time when Apple is truly at its height. He’s disrupted some of the biggest […]