Looking, but Not Seeing

Lance Bass is gay? You’re kidding. Does this mean he’s not going to be an astronaut? Because I really, really wanted him to go to outer space. Joan Collins has a paid-in-full ticket to go on the Virgin 2010 flight, but she’s kind of old, and though I love her, I think Lance Bass is […]

The Cheese Man Speaks

When Bruce Wry was a marine stationed in Vietnam, he spent some time studying the local language. He never would have guessed that, forty years later, the Vietnamese he learned during the war would come in handy for selling cheese at the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market. “It’s nice. When the Vietnamese come here I can talk […]

The Upside of Knocked Up

My husband and I recently went over our wills. This was pretty easy for me, since I don’t actually own anything of value. In fact, the only thing I am leaving my husband is a postmortem “honey do” list. The first thing on that list is to throw away all of my notebooks and journals. […]

The Monster Mash

It was the Paris Hilton-Stavros Niarchos breakup that did it. I’ve decided that since the average celebrity liaison lasts less time than it takes Britney Spears to endanger a baby, I’m in favor of assigning these jet-set hook-ups shorter, more easily memorable names. The TomKats, Brangelinas, and Bennifers of the entertainment world become shorthand for […]

“Bitch-Slapped by Mother Nature”

told my girlfriend Liza that I was going camping for a week with some friends at a remote nature preserve in the mountains of Tennessee, where there would be no modern conveniences. She peered at me over the rims of her geek-chic glasses. “Now, why the hell would you want to do that?” she said. […]

Minnesota Dreamin'

A few weeks ago, when the Powerball was around $300 million, one of the chefs at my day job took up a collection among the employees at five bucks a head to buy as many tickets as he could. “Remember the Lunch Ladies!” he said. And so almost everybody pitched in for her share, and […]

A New Game For Milton Bradley

I was hanging out with a group of buddies the other day and several conversations were going on all at once. During a lull in the chatter, I heard my friend Mike describe someone he had known all of his life as a guy who was once a world-class adventurer, but who wound up “a […]

A Tale of Two Tales

I just saw Memoirs of a Geisha. In the movie, there’s a scene where the geishas play a drinking game with their clients. Somebody tells two stories, and then everybody else has to guess which is true. With that idea in mind, I have two stories for you this month. Story #1 goes like this. […]

Hang In There, Baby!

I live in utter fear of motivational products—those soundbites of schlocky uplift that appear on calendars and posters, accentuating images of glorious sunsets, soaring eagles, big-eyed children dressed as cute hobos, and kittens dangling precariously from tree branches by their tiny, razor-sharp claws. It’s because there lives inside me a deep-seated anxiety that everything I […]

Giving It Up

Losing weight and quitting smoking are always the top two New Year’s resolutions for us Americans. Not to brag, but I’ve done both—quitting a twelve-year, pack-a-day smoking habit and losing (and regaining and relosing) a rather substantial amount of weight in my life. I did neither by making a New Year’s resolution. Like most really […]