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Showing posts from May, 2012

29 Life Lessons

Inspired by Thought Catalog contributor Ryan O'Connell's 25 Things I've Learned in My 20s, I also would like to share some lessons from living through my 20's decade, when I saw the invasion of Iraq, the Great Recession, the end of the Sri Lanka civil war, Obama's White House win, the campaign against Muhammad Yunus, the Arab Spring and, appallingly, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Here is my List of Lessons Learned in My 20s, one for every year I've been alive!

1. Your mom is always right. Maybe not now, but definitely in the future.
2. The friends who stick around after you've been a horrible bitch to them are keepers.
3. Never let money get in the way of any relationship. It just isn't worth it.
4. Jealousy is normal but unattractive. Someone will always be better than you. Get over it.
5. The grass is greenest on your side, because it's your side. Self-love, baby.
6. Throw up if you're feeling nauseous. Your body wants you to get rid of wh…


I run so I can eat like a truck driver. A couple of years ago, as part of my campaign to get my lung cilia back after quitting smoking, I decided to increase my running speed by getting the famed Vibram "toe-shoes." My local City Sports had a sale going on, so I got some green-and-grey ones. (Pictured above are Boyfriend's ninja black ones.) The shoes fit my feet--and toes!--like gloves. I zipped through three miles in about 25 minutes, which is absolutely ridiculous. I was delighted. I ran through the winter, and drew admiring stares from passerby. I basked in their respect for my amazing athleticism. "They look so comfortable," said a woman reclining on a bench. "Hohoho," I replied, in my best Japanese noblewoman laugh.

Then, sometime in the spring of '10, I woke up and could not walk without pain. I limped to my chiropractor, a crusty New Yorker who, in between tales of how dangerous the NY subway was back in the seventies and eighties, inform…

Electionerd: Romney's Running Mate


Our time has come. We are now the dominant pet species in the United States. Soon, the world will be ours.

But first, a word from our sponsor:
In this ELECTIONERD post, we will tell you who Mitt Romney's running mate should be: Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina. She is a bastion of conservatism, fighting tirelessly against illegal immigration, abortion, cigarette taxation, regulation, and allegations of extramarital affairs. Most importantly, her Tea Party scent complements Romney's new-yacht smell.

Yes, the depth of our olfactory information surpasses belief. We have a network across the nation, sniffing humans at the most inopportune moments. An early report indicated that Chris Christie smells like cheeseburger, which catapulted him to the top of the contender list, until our agents came to the conclusion that in fact, he smells like meatballs.

We approve of self-education. Here is a slideshow of other viable running mate options. You may review them. But f…

Keeping Up with the Takahashis

Google+ can help you keep up with your foreign tongues! Just follow a major newspaper in that language and then quickly scan the blurbs. News writing dictates that the most important details go in first, so those three sentences you read in that little box are pretty much what the article is all about.

For example, I follow the Asahi Shinbun, a national daily in the land of the falling birth rates:

The first news item is about a popular "mini-pig" that can follow commands like "shake hands" and "sit." The lesson to take away from reading this is that today seems to be a slow news day for Japan.

Next, we have the 30th anniversary of the country's famous bullet train, at least the eastern bits of it, if I'm reading correctly.

The truly fun part about this informal language reinforcement is the comments. In the mini-pig news item, Makiko (bunny icon) asks if pigs are smart. Yes, Makiko, they are, but consider this -- wouldn't a cat be smarter be…

Electionerd: Intro

This mint, collectible first edition of ELECTIONERD is brought to you by caffeine! Caffeine: it might be why you're bloated!

As background, I was perusing the BBC during my tea and crumpets break when I happened upon this pretty little interactive graphic about the upcoming US presidential election. I was adding up the numbers whilst clicking on my mouse with my pinky finger daintily raised, when suddenly I exceeded "10" and as you know, the next number is "lots." So I laboriously transferred the information to that old standby, Excel. Excel: it's how people know you don't mess around.
So, to review: you need 270 votes to become President of GoogleAppleFacebook the US. The Republicans can rely on 185 votes, the Democrats have 186, and there are 161 votes floating around that pledge allegiance to neither party. Those battleground states will be fought over like they're the roast beef sandwiches at the company picnic, while the rest of us are the gra…

How to Cram More Links into your Chrome Bookmarks Toolbar!

1) Google Chrome is a fast, light browser and the choice of awesome chicks everywhere. Like my mom.
2) Switch to Chrome! Unless you're a seasoned Firefox developer, in which case go ahead and bask in my respect.
3) Cramming even more bookmarks onto the toolbar in Chrome is SUPER EASY, I promise.

All right! Gaze upon the finished product:

There! I could easily stuff at least a dozen more bookmarks on there. To achieve this amazing space-saving feat:
Right-click on the item in the toolbar and select "Edit..."Delete the content in the "Name:" field.
That's it! Do it for all your links. Then all you get is the favicon. Sites that don't have a favicon will show up as little globes, which adds excitement to your life as you try to unravel the mystery of where that icon will take you! A naughty site, perhaps? Your private blog? The suspense is beyond belief!

Bragging Break: My Fragrant Elephant Comics site now has a favicon! I did it allllllll by myself. Very p…

Boston Fog!

To think we were worrying about needing rain just a month ago. The New England spring descended soon after Boyfriend proclaimed that we've only had 9% of the rainfall we had last year, because nature hates statistics, apparently. Nature also overachieves, at least around these parts. Not only did we get continuous rain, we also had some terrific fog. Check out this baby from last week:

And here's that same area, today:

Yeahhhh sunshine! Uh, and please ignore my finger on the upper left. kthxbai

Happy Friday! I've got a white sangria with my name on it. What about you?

Two Magical Books

That was an awesome moon last Saturday, huh? Almost as big and as round as my face!

Today let's look at two magnificent works of literature. In my mind, they're linked because they underline the point that no individual is truly alone -- we are all our family, our friends, strangers, enemies, all the way to people we've never met. We are not just us when we each make the construct "I."

Also, the books below are connected by a thread of pure magic, the magic that lets us peer into the lives of others and immerse ourselves happily in a world of someone else's making: the magic of good writing! sparklesparkle

Magical Book A--The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007)
Summary: Oscarstruggles under the curse laid down against his family by a Dominican dictator. Or maybe life. 

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a paradise: it talks about history, it brims with S&F references, it examines heavy themes with a light heart, and best of all, it expanded my arse…

Seek and I Shall Whine

Looking for comics? Go here!

Alas, the spirit did not move me to blog this week because...I wrote a short story! Insert sparkles here. Or I should say, I wrote another short story, but that first attempt was so weird that I am confident it will explode as soon as an editor lays eyes on it.

Anyway, I sent my manuscript to Boyfriend, who, full disclosure, is ferociously intelligent and not at all shy about ripping anything idiotic to shreds. Will I have the graciousness to accept constructive criticism? Stay tuned!

The best part about finishing the story was doing a Google search for literary agents, and coming up with the true, magnificent events of 2005, when a group of sci-fi writers created the worst book ever, called Atlanta Nights, under the pen name Travis Tea (say it fast). They were out to get a deceitful publisher, PublishAmerica, which purported to be a real publisher but actually did POD (publish-on-demand, meaning their writers' works didn't make it to bookstore sh…

Sheba Wants to Love You

She likes people. But sometimes, when the sun is shining...