Tired of “Must-Read” Book Lists

Sick of being confronted with lists of “100 Books Any Semi-Literate Person With Even One Measly Ounce of Self Respect And/Or Intelligence Absolutely Will Have Read” (and corresponding sentiments of inadequacy), I set out to knock some of the low-hanging fruit from the tree.  I decided to go for three at a time, selecting Continue reading

The Manual, by Steve Santagati (Get Incensed!!!)

the manualMy approach to literary criticism has gone through several phases.  When I was young (and dumb), I was very smug.  About books.  I hadn’t written anything myself, of course (still haven’t published anything), but just assumed I was talented, knew I was (very) intelligent, and figured my opinion mattered.  That people would care what I thought.  Should care, because clearly I was much brighter and more insightful and headed for greater greatness than they were. Continue reading


Caught a brief excerpt from Conan O’Brien’s speech/routine at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.  He said something to the effect of:

for those of you live-tweeting this event, don’t forget to use the hashtag “#incapableoflivinginthemoment.”

Like so much of comedy, it’s only funny because it’s true.

Don’t we see that?  People so eager to tweet about some exciting experience they are having that they cut the full experiencing of it short?  Continue reading

Cashier Commentary: Enough is Enough!

"I wonder what he's going to do with that."

One of my biggest laments about my job is that I don’t get any quality interaction with people.  As a result, I am sometimes jealous of those who do.  Having worked some retail and customer service in my past, I know that’s not all fun and games either.  But the day goes faster when you can talk to people and make them smile. Continue reading


"The camera LOVES you!"

Walking across a college campus recently, I happened upon the following advertisement, black and white, on a piece of Xerox paper.  I present it here, as seen, unedited, with only a portion of the e-mail address redacted.  And, of course, I wish I was exaggerating or kidding; but assure you that I am not.  Continue reading

Secret Phone Anxiety

"I'll call you..."

You wouldn’t know this to look at me, or even talking to me on the phone, but I have a secret.  I am actually terrified of  the telephone.  The phone rings, my anxiety levels rise, my palms start to sweat, my breathing gets out of rhythm, it’s a mess.  And if I ever have to make a phone call, especially one to a particularly scary destination, like the insurance company or a doctor’s office or my in-laws, forget about it!  Heart palpitations, hyperventilation, the works! Continue reading

In defense of V-Day!

The night before Valentine’s Day found me (as it has before) crowded around the holiday card section at Target.  Surrounded by twenty or so like-minded (or like-procrastinating) fellows, there is a sense of guilty solidarity.

I had my selection narrowed down to two (I opt for funny (which usually means mildly inappropriate) over sentimental in these situations) when just behind me, and very close, I heard: Continue reading

Political Phone Scam!

Last night, our phone rang, and an automated voice said: “Hello, you have been selected to participate in a brief political phone survey.  For your participation, you will get two free tickets for a cruise to the Bahamas.”  Sounds nice, right?  So we agreed to participate (I say “we” because it was on speaker phone). Continue reading

McRib Mania!

It’s safe to say that McDonalds knows a thing or two about advertising.  And there is no better example than the McRib campaign.  Their string of frantic, “limited time only,” drop everything, act now before it’s too late advertisements have (or, I should say, had) my mouth watering.  I had missed out before; I was not going to miss out again. Continue reading