Monks: They’re Just Like Us

May 28, 2023

From Jamie Kreimer’s The Wandering Mind: What Medieval Monks Tell Us About Distraction.

Graffiti in the Bathroom at the University of Chicago

May 4, 2023

Honestly my favorite part of this might be the rather cliched aside of “You are beautiful *heart*”. Is that person writing to the debaters, or just everyone peeing, or what?

Things That Turn Misty Quigley On

March 15, 2023

Bubble baths

Walks in the rain

Muscular calves



Steamed clams (“obviously”)

Is This Findable?!

February 23, 2023

DL: So what kind of stuff were you writing before that movie came out?

DFW: Let’s see, I can remember exactly. Tch tcho tcho tcho thch tcho. I had written––I was taking Old English, and I’d written a story about a village in England, that was all in Old English. And I’d written a long novella that actually ended up coming out in magazine, about a WASP who passes himself off as Jewish. Even with his wife––and is exposed when his wife gets terminal cancer. But both things were basically vehicles for me to show off in various technical ways. Like to do really good, a kind of really good kitschy Jewish voice and dialogue. And it was more like that’s what I want to do, now how can I structure a story so that I can?

Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky

What I’m Like When Asked to Rate Something Online

January 26, 2023

Obsessed with This Correction

December 26, 2022


December 19, 2022

From a book I love, by Erving Goffman:

“Also, it seems possible for an individual to fail to live up to what we effectively demand of him, and yet be relatively untouched by this failure; insulated by his alienation, protected by identity beliefs of his own, he feels that he is a full-fledged normal human being, and that we are the ones who are not quite human. He bears a stigma but does not seem to be impressed or repentant about doing so. This possibility is celebrated in exemplary tales about Mennonites, Gypsies, shameless scoundrels, and very Orthodox Jews.”

I think “shameless scoundrels” is my favorite.


October 20, 2022

So they’re auctioning off the entire contents of the late Elizabeth Wurtzel’s apartment. Most of it is actually kind of ugly and not cool (she has a weird amount of framed art from CB2?) but for the low, low price of $85 (as of now), you can get her AA sobriety chips! In the words of AC, “This feels cursed.”

“Turgenev, can-can. Sad.”

October 20, 2022

In the spring of 1878, Turgenev in Paris and been pleased, but warily surprised, by a penitent letter which he received from Tolstoy: “Forgive me if I have been at fault in any way with regard to you.” Tolstoy begged his fellow novelist to forget all their previous quarrels and to remember only the good things which they had enjoyed together. It was the sort of letter which a postulant nun might have written to a schoolfriend before going into the cloister.

When the opportunity arose, later that summer, Turgenev visited Tolstoy at Yasnaya Pollyanna. He found that a tremendous change had overtaken Tolstoy. Turgenev’s novels reveal the liberal humanist’s ability to recognize life’s master for what it is, and not to worry at it. He was no metaphysician. For Tolstoy, such questions as Why are we here? What is the point of living? Is there a God? What is the Good? were of consuming importance. He had, during this summer, become obsessed by them. Turgenev discovered that there was little meeting ground between the two of them. After this particular visit, he wrote to Tolstoy, “I am glad that your physical health is good and I trust that your intellectual malady… has passed.” He went on to say that he had often experienced such moods of depression himself. To others, he expressed the fear that Tolstoy was going mad. For Tolstoy’s part, Turgenev’s urbanity and good humor were, in such circumstances, intolerable. On a rather later visit, Turgenev, carried away with high spirits, demonstrated a can-can to the children Yasnaya Pollyanna. “Turgenev, can-can. Sad,” was the priggish comment Tolstoy noted down afterwards.

A.N. Wilson, Tolstoy

A Shark’s Preferred Term

August 29, 2022

Look––I’m not saying it’s wrong to consider the linguistics here, or to push back against a human-centric worldview, but… do we really have so much time on our hands that we are worried about the language we use around sharks? Are we really concerned that vast swathes of people are developing speciesist views, and that this will have some kind of measurable negative impact? Or that sharks are being actively persecuted because the average person (who interacts with them… not at all?) uses the wrong terminology? In the nicest way possible: log. the hell. off.