// home

End of Week Zen

October 17, 2014

Austin Kleon

Today, a friend who is an accomplished poet and writing teacher, admitted that she never finished Giliad by Marilynne Robinson. I didn’t either. What acclaimed book did you quit?

Illustration by Austin Kleon

Do You Get a Flu Shot?

October 16, 2014

Ivan Navarro

With all the ebola hysteria, it’s a good time to remember the virus we’re infinitely more likely to get, especially because there’s something we can do about it. A few years ago, I was finally persuaded to get my first flu shot by a doctor friend who works in a free clinic. He explained that the shot may not be so important for me, given that I’m healthy and would likely survive the flu. But I could transmit it to someone who is more vulnerable.

Sculpture by Ivan Navarro

 

Why We Still Need Pennies

October 15, 2014

Robert Wechsler

Yesterday, I got an indicator on my iMac that the trackpad batteries were low. Apple’s design is so seamless, I couldn’t see where the opening was to remove the batteries. So I googled it and found an illustration with clear instructions which began with, “Use a coin to remove the battery compartment cover.” And I wondered, who keeps coins around anymore?

Sculptural cube made from pennies by Robert Wechsler

 

The Upside of Getting Emotional

October 14, 2014

Simon Evans

“Whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.”  - E.E. Cummings  (born on this day).

Feelings by Simon Evans

 

 

When Was the Last Time You Read Outloud?

October 13, 2014

Tom Gauld

I’m in a wonderful book group. Right now, we’re reading The Waves by Virginia Woolf, which I find pleasurable, but difficult. Last night, when we assembled for our monthly discussion, someone suggested we each take a character and read passages of the book out loud. It was an inspired way to absorb Woolf’s complicated prose. Try it sometime with other adults (or by yourself). It’s liberating.

Illustration by Tom Gauld

 

Have You Eaten a Doughnut in the Last 10 Years?

October 10, 2014

img_0111

 

If so, subtract 4.

Comic by Matt Groening

Everyone Needs a Hobby

October 9, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 6.50.12 PM

I keep a jar of garlic-stuffed olives readily accessible on a shelf in my refrigerator. Before stowing them in the fridge, I empty out the liquid and replace it with vermouth. And whenever I want a martini, I toss a few vermouth-soaked olives in the bottom of a glass (which has been kept in the freezer) and pour chilled vodka over them. Starting Friday, October 10, you’ll be able to check out my guest post on Eating Rules. Andrew Wilder, who created the site, asked me to take his “October Unprocessed Pledge” and we had a series of negotiations about it. The one thing I told him I couldn’t give up were these olives. He assured me that would be ok.

Illustration by Design crush

 

On the Lookout for Some Grace

October 8, 2014

Geoff McFetridge

“Being really in love with someone is sort of like seeing them the way they ought to be seen.” And the fact that we have this as a very isolated experience, most of us, if we’re lucky enough to have it at all, distracts us from the fact that it is another kind of seeing that has a kind of deep grace built into it.”  - Marilynne Robinson, talking about her new book Lila.

Illustration by Geoff McFetridge

What Does It Mean to Make a Vow?

October 7, 2014

Pledge

A few weeks ago, Andrew Wilder, creator of the blog, Eating Rules, asked me to write a guest post for his annual October Unprocessed Challenge. Sure, I said. Why not? Then I reviewed the guidelines for guest bloggers and gulped. It would mean signing a pledge to eat unprocessed foods for a whole month. Even though I consume mostly healthy foods, did I really want to commit. And this got me to thinking about commitment and being single and whether there’s any sort of adverse relationship. One thing about my single life is there’s a lot of freedom of choice, and I don’t like to feel hemmed in. But does that mean I have trouble taking a vow? What’s your experience?

Old School

October 6, 2014

Roc Canals

 

Photo by Roc Canals