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Category Archives: Off Topic

Jane’s Guide to Editing in the Tub

Put your hair up with a chopstick. This not only keeps it dry, it looks writerly. Think ahead. If you tend to accumulate almost-but-not-quite-out-of-ink pens, scribble test before you get soaked. Keep a washcloth nearby so you can keep your hands (and pages) dry. You can tolerate a much longer, much hotter bath if you [...]

My Small Contribution to the Health Care Debate

I usually try to keep politics off this blog, partly because I know not everyone wants to hear about it, but mostly, I confess, because I am a coward and I fear losing friends. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like political discourse has gotten a lot less friendly and a lot more [...]


I’ve been doing Jillian Michael’s famous 30 Day Shred for about… oh, 30 days now, though I have to admit those days have not been precisely consecutive. And it seems to be working. Jillian performs twenty-two minutes of exercises along with her assistants: Natalie, who models the hard version of the exercise, and Anita, who [...]

In Which I Get Angry

The web has been buzzing over the past few days with news of a horrifying gang rape outside a high school homecoming dance. The details of the crime are absolutely staggering: as many as twenty male students watched as a 15-year-old girl was raped and beaten for over two hours. This event comes just a [...]

The First Annual Kitchen Fest

Last week I was home in Texas (ah, Texas!) to visit the fam. My sister, Kate, just got back from a 2-year teaching gig in China, and as it happens, both she and I are really into cooking at the moment. Long before I arrived on site, we had agreed that we might spend basically [...]

8 Totally Random Things I Like, or Don’t

I don’t like: Drying off after showers Pushing grocery buggies Taking out my contacts The smell of clams I like: Taking my socks off in bed Buttering toast Chopping veggies The smell of garages How about you?

Five Things My Mom Does Better Than Anybody Else

Make lasanga Plan birthday parties Fix disasters Scrapbook Love me Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!

Make Mine Sushi

Lately, I’ve had a real thing for sushi. I can’t get enough of it. For dinner, for lunch… heck, I’d even eat the stuff for breakfast. Problem is, you just can’t get sushi cheap. So last Friday I got out my much-read-but-never-used sushi cookbook and decided to give it a whirl. My sushi cookbook, I [...]

Man, I Didn’t Know the Economy was THAT Bad

If you’ve ever been to Zaxby’s chicken shack, you know what it is to get lousy customer service. Zaxby’s is sort of the Anti-Chick-Fil-A; it is staffed almost entirely by stoned, sullen college students who evidently have a lot more important things to do than get me my food in a timely manner. But I [...]

Three Things I Learned While Cleaning out the Fridge

Pillsbury makes a pizza crust. Moreover, at some point, I bought one. My refrigerator drawers come out a lot more easily than they go back in. Yes, a jar of caramel ice cream topping can go bad. And the best way to test this is not with a spoon.