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How To Grieve With Challah Bread

My grandfather is dead: I do not know how to grieve. So I make bread.

In the Bible they call bread the staff of life (my grandfather might have liked this: he liked religion), but really it’s the staff of grief. 1,858 more words


Little Steps. Big Steps. First Steps.

Last week, I finished the first draft of my screenplay. It was a goal I’d set for myself so long ago – a goal which I had so often delayed – that part of me couldn’t believe that I had actually achieved it, and that I was really, truly, typing the words “Fade Out” on the bottom of page ninety-eight. 801 more words


How Police Profile and Shame Sex Workers

In May 2013, Monica Jones, a student and LGBT activist at Arizona State University, was arrested for “manifesting prostitution.” Monica said she just accepted an undercover officer’s offer of a ride home from her favorite bar. 32 more words


Bruce Jenner's Story Hits Close to Home

I am uncertain at what point during the Bruce Jenner-Diane Sawyer tete-a-tete that I first reached across my coffee table to fetch a piece of tissue paper. 834 more words


Is Social Rejection the Key to Creativity?

On the psychology of why rejection and loneliness may be necessary evils for the creative genius 1,865 more words


Thoughts on Armenian Identity from a 4th-Generation Outsider

The following post is about ambivalence and remembrance. It is comprised of unstructured vignettes, loosely tied with my thoughts on identity, family, and cultural legacy. These thoughts were inspired by the fact that today is April 24, and we are 100 years removed from the beginnings of the Armenian Genocide. 1,660 more words


Jackie Robinson's First Day in the Majors

By Jon Weisman

In 2007, I wrote the following piece for on what it was like for Jackie Robinson on April 15, 1947.

* * * 1,428 more words


Belle Gibson, the Inspiration Industry, and the Willing Suspension of Disbelief

When I stay in a hotel, there is a tacit agreement that I (the guest) will pretend to not know that someone slept in the bed and used the room before me, and in return they (the hotel) will do everything they can to remove any evidence that somebody has been in the room prior to my arrival. 999 more words


Wild Creatures

by Maria Catt

I have a friend who can’t talk about her appearance without using the word “troll.” She’s short and small. She has beautiful creamy woodsy coloring– light brown hair, pink peach skin, glittering green eyes, a graceful swoop of a nose. 2,762 more words

Rape Culture

Pulitzer Prize Winner Elizabeth Fenn on History and Writing

In August, Erstwhile conducted an interview with 2015 History Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth A. Fenn on her book Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People. 1,405 more words


Feng Shui for Book Lovers: How to Pare Down a Library

Last month I decided once and for all that I was going to either get rid of some books or embrace what my life was becoming: a Grey Gardens kind of gorgeous. 1,289 more words

Spring Cleaning

The Dolphin Trainer Who Loved Dolphins Too Much

Tim Zimmermann | Longreads | April 2015 | 25 minutes (6,193 words)

Panama City Beach, Florida is set on the alluring waters of the Gulf Of Mexico, in northwestern Florida. 6,438 more words


Let's Go Do Something Dangerous

It’s motorcycle season up here in Western New York, the season of paradise finally having returned to us: six months of weather-driven ecstasy that would make a poppy field jealous. 974 more words


The Economics and Tradeoffs of Life as an Independent Artist

Dan Koop is a Melbourne based independent artist. He is currently an Associate Producer for the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival.

I’ve decided to write a post for this series, hoping that there will be some strength in numbers. 1,841 more words


On Ben Affleck and Slavery

A few years back, I was contacted by the producers of Who Do You Think You Are?, a popular TV genealogy show, to help them with an episode.   734 more words


Remembering Poet Philip Levine

On Feb. 14, 2015, Philip Levine died at age 87. One of the most highly honored and widely read American poets, Levine has been mourned worldwide by poets, writers, and friends in ongoing  4,801 more words



When you can’t write what you need to write, you write what you can. I want to write about…

That new Dove ad is absurdly symbolic. 1,671 more words


Forgotten is Forgiven: An Alzheimer's Story

As some readers will know, I was on blogcation last week, visiting my parents. There was much to be thankful for in the time I visited, and much that was difficult. 2,374 more words


Way Back Machine Encounter with a Rock Legend

Like many hardcore New Yorkers, I was born someplace else. In my case, it was San Francisco, a lovely city where I did my earliest lame adventuring. 950 more words


Lying in Translation: Notes Towards a Truthful Memoir

In the grocery stores, dime stores, department stores of the New Orleans East neighborhood where I grew up, my grandmother stole and I lied.  It became part of the rhythm of our days:  Lala brought us into the English-speaking world, where the Americans talked like chirping, or was it squawking birds—I can’t pin down the analogous word, but I knew she didn’t like the sound of it, … 2,429 more words


Whatever Floats Your Boat

“Our love was lost;

But now we’ve found it.”

– Love Lost, The Temper Trap

On the theme of “Afloat” for this week’s Photo Challenge, I immediately thought of Hat Yai’s Floating Market I visited last December during one of my trips to Hat Yai and Songkhla as part of my fieldwork.

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Thai Cuisine

Milton Glaser: Designing Dylan

I can’t help myself – when I go to record stores, sooner or later I find myself in the Bob Dylan section. Seems reasonable, but I’m usually trying to spot if they have one of my least favorite albums of his: … 1,466 more words

Graphic Design

The King's Last Game

Steven Church | Ultrasonic: Essays | 2014 | 15 minutes (3,655 words)

Imagine this: It’s early in the morning at the Graceland estate, well before dawn on August 16, 1977, just a few hours before the end, and the crickets and cicadas are thrumming in the Memphis heat. 3,823 more words


Adrian Blevins: My Mother's First Husband

My mother’s first husband, who was the first mentally ill person I ever met, rents storage spaces all over D.C. He saves in crate after carton after crate: paper towel tubes, his son’s second grade science projects and college term papers, broken air conditioners, hammers, screwdrivers, curtain rods, weights, spatulas, pots and pans, old cans of paint, drills, sandwich bags, magazines and books and paper clips, window panes and big, long rolls of pink insulation and leather gloves and half-empty cans of shoe polish and arm chairs and tube tops and baby aspirin and vinyl records as well as the files of the court records (as well as their Xeroxes) of what was said before the judge between he and my mother more than forty years ago. 1,443 more words

Personal Essay

Evaluate My Work, Not My Body Art

When I was an undergrad, one of my reasons for wanting to continue in academia was my aversion to Western formal clothing. If I became a Ph.D. 620 more words


Why I Don't Run. Ever.

It was my first time in a cinema and I was agog.

People dipped discreetly into boxes of chocolate-covered nuts. There were carpets on the walls. 757 more words


Why I Dropped Everything And Started Teaching Kendrick Lamar's New Album

When Kendrick Lamar released his sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015), I was in the middle of teaching a unit on Toni Morrison’s novel, … 2,347 more words