Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Truly Great Artist: Sweet and Lowdown (1999)


I grew up loving Woody Allen--not just the movies, but the man. Over the last year, I've renegotiated that relationship. My essay on Sweet and Lowdown is in the June "Dilemmas" issue of Bright Wall/Dark Room magazine.

You can read it here.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Interlude: Other People's Poetry


The Mangroves
by Mary Oliver


As I said before, I am living now
in a warm place, surrounded by
mangroves. Mostly I walk beside
them, they discourage entrance.
The black oaks and the pines
of my northern home are in my heart,
even as I hear them whisper, "Listen,
we are trees too." Okay, I'm trying. They
certainly put on an endless performance
of leaves. Admiring is easy, but affinity,
that does take some time. So many
and so leggy and all of them rising as if
attempting to escape this world which, don't
they know it, can't be done. "Are you
trying to fly or what?" I ask, and they
answer back, "We are what we are, you
are what you are, love us if you can."


photograph by Barbara Fernandez

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I've Been Busy!



In February, I started writing weekly science articles for mental_floss.

I'll be doing that for as long as I can, because I love it, and I get to write about things like pooting. And pooping.

I've also got two articles in the May issue of mental_floss (the magazine), which should be on newsstands soon.

You can find a constantly-updating list of my articles here.




art by Daniel Downey

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I will use any excuse to write about snails.*



Here's my latest for mental_floss, in which I discuss snail caviar (pictured), fish sperm, and more:

5 Animal Byproducts That Are Also Expensive Delicacies





*Blame it on my mucus trail.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Interlude: Other People's Poetry



The Art of Disappearing
by Naomi Shihab Nye

When they say Don't I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like 
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say why?

It's not that you don't love them anymore.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time. 



art by Danna Ray

Friday, December 19, 2014

Save (Me From) the Whales


"Cetaphobia" by June Park


Some people are afraid of heights, or airplane travel, or public speaking, or spiders. I am not afraid of any of these things--in fact, I like them all--but, as some of you may remember, I am afraid of whales.

Read the essay at The Atlantic.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Seeing Stars


I went to Los Angeles to appear on Jeopardy!. 

My invisible illness came with me.

Read the story in Pacific Standard.