It’s not a typo. It’s not a typo. It’s not a typo. It’s not a typo. It’s the most intriguing plot summary I’ve ever read and the most effective bit of book advertising ever.


(That thing in the top-left corner was the one that got jettisoned. I do not know why I originally thought I should keep it.)

(Yeah, yeah, I also do not know why I continued to think that I should keep all the other ones, and currently have them sitting in my bedroom right now.)

Anyway, The Tempest was okay!

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[This is a placeholder for the thing I don't really feel like writing but it would have been about how the movie Godzilla is super-hypocritical about, like, parents protecting their children and stuff, and I know that's like the point and everything - that, like, there were all these parents going to these great lengths to protect their spawn and then Lady Mothra was all upset that somebody killed her kids - but if that was the POINT, then why was OKAY that they killed her kids, right?!? And she was fucking SAD about it, too! It was kind of a super duper heartbreaking scene! She's all just fighting and stuff and then she's like, "Wait, what's that I hear? Is that some fucking guy who has spent the last 90 minutes desperately attempting to save his own family and also the family of some random couple at the airport setting my fucking babies ON FIRE???" And she made rilly sad noises about it for a rilly long time! And I know Godzilla was supposed to be the hero but there was some uncomfortable sympathy being created there right then, right? And WHY WAS IT, exactly, that Godzilla was supposed to be the hero? It's not like she killed any more people than he did, ultimately. Why is SHE the bad guy??? Like, the whole movie was just some weird long story about how it was super-cool that this one white cis military guy methodically hunted down a Japanese lady and gave her an abortion. (Also: Godzilla.) Also, the monsters were TERRIBLE. I know there was all that whining and stuff about how they were TOOOOOOOO BIG and like were super duper physically impossible and also couldn't have fit under the ocean or some such (and that is TRUE; they were TOOOO BIG and it was noticeably SILLY). But I mean also besides that, too! Boy Mothra looked like some really dumb too-human-bodied thing with stupid wings and he was a MOTH which is DUMB and Godzilla had dumb feet (or maybe more like dumb ANKLES, though, really?) and looked like a piece of candy that wanted to hug you and also the way he killed Lady Mothra was by putting on some glowing rave gear and then spitting in her mouth. Also, where did that little toy army man come from (and then where did it go)? Also, EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT THIS MOVIE, right? Also, SO MANY PEOPLE DIED in that movie. Also, Walter White is all like, "They're not really quarantining Japan because of that ASTOUNDING HORRIBLE MASSIVE LITERAL COLLAPSE of that massive nuclear power plant - it's for other reasons!" But that nuclear plant really did just like fall down, so probably they should also have been quarantining it for the normal reasons. Also, when Godzilla walked off into the ocean at the end, I just started shouting "BYYEEEEEE!" at the tv and waving, and I wish people had been around to see it, because it was SUPER FUNNY TO ME and I feel like I wasted it all alone there in my living room. What else? Let's see. Does Lady Mothra count as a female character? Because if so, and then if she and Elizabeth Olsen had talked to each other, and if it had been about something other than the white guy murdering-slash-saving their respective children, and also if Lady Mothra had had a real name other than "Lady Mothra," then this movie totally would have passed the Bechdel test! Also, the two lines Ken Watanabe had were: 1. The word "Godzilla" pronounced funny, and 2. Pointing his finger at some white guys. Also a white lady kept following him around and I'm NEARLY POSITIVE she called him "sensei" at one point. Also I really really really was hoping that Elizabeth Olsen was going to tell the white military guy that she was pregnant, even though he'd just been away at war for 14 months. Like, not that it would be a plot point that she cheated on him, but just because I thought that would be a really great editing goof for the movie to have made. Also, do the cops in Japan really call your son in American when you get arrested for trespassing and make him come and pick you up from the station? Also, do bridges work like that? Also, do oceans work like that? Also, does radiation work like that? Also, do leashes work like that?

Hint: They do not, no. When tsunamis are heading toward cute dogs on the beach who are leashed to trees, those leashes do not just sort of snap and let go of the tree out of cuteness. And even if they DID, that does not mean that that dog outran that tsunami or reunited with his family or survived at all after the camera cut away. Same goes for that adorable young family who ran into a building just before it filled with tsunami water and collapsed on top of them, even though the camera cut away. That is not how cameras cutting away works.]

[I really like Elizabeth Olsen, though, just in general.]

[And this movie, honestly.]


I heart the nytimes weather report.

Today’s forecast is:

Moodier. Cloudy, often overcast.

Thunder may awaken you tonight.



What is this? Why is this? Can I have some? (It’s very expensive.) (Can I MAKE it, out of, like, the dirt from around Brooklyn sidewalk trees and leftover university conference coffee gone cold?) Why do I WANT this so much?? I WANT THIS.

If I am living in some sort of fully-constructed-for-my-benefit Truman-Show-type fake world, then whoever wrote this article is starting to get a little lazy. I know this is a serious thing and not actually cute or funny and I shouldn’t joke about it, but…this is an article about two men who recently escaped from prison. Their names are David Sweat and Richard W. Matt. Dick Sweat and Dave Matt[hew]? I see what you did there, Jessica Show writer.

“‘They could be literally anywhere,’ said Maj. Charles E. Guess, commander of the New York State Police troop leading the search.”

Though, of course, he declined to make a…major guess.

COME ON, GUYS. You thought I wouldn’t notice that??

My favorite line in the article, though, is this one, just because it sounds SO MUCH like a line from a New York Times article:

“The governor himself cited the escapee’s personal connections to the Buffalo area — Mr. Matt kidnapped and beat a man to death there in 1997.”

Like, how many words would you have to change there in that sentence to make it fit into the Style section or the Travel section?

“The governor himself cited the actor’s personal connections to the Buffalo area — Mr. Gyllenhaal found and adopted an Airedale Terrier to death there in 1997.”

Okay, no, but almost. How about:

“The governor himself cited the interior decorator’s personal connections to the Buffalo area — Mr. Matt found and beat a vintage hook rug to cleanliness there in 1997.”

Better. Better.

Maybe this is a Super Suprize Prize contest!!! Who can come up with the best sentence, changing the smallest number of words, and not showing too much disrespect to the families of the victims?!? (Mr. Matt’s name is a freebie and doesn’t count toward your total number of changed words!) Winner gets a SUPER SUPRIZE PRIZE!!!! The rest of us get to feel kind of dirty and guilty about making this joke for the rest of the day.


1. Sitting.
2. Not knowing which side the doors are going to open on.
3. Knowing, but having to stand on the wrong side anyway because it’s crowded or whatever.
4. Leaving one train to go to the express train across the platform, as though you’re abandoning that train driver because you don’t think she or her train is good enough.
5. Holding coffee while standing near a person who is sitting. (I always try to make a super-big obvious show about how careful and responsible I am with it, and how I am very aware of them, and how I am totally not going to spill it on them, I swear.)
6. Making a bitchy face when someone does something rude/thoughtless, and then they apologize for it, but by then you’ve walked far enough away that you can’t smile and say, “No, no, you’re good!” or whatever, so it turns out you were just bitchy to a person who turned out to be nice after all, and you’re THE WORST.
7. Feeling ill and wanting to say: “Excuse me, but I feel ill. Could I have your seat?”
7.a. Because gah asking people for a favor but also:
7.b. Because you should be able to do that and NOT being able to do it makes you feel even guiltier, somehow, because, like, grow a pair!!
8. Not giving people money.
9. Giving people money, but then feeling, like, too good about it, like you’re congratulating yourself for being some kind of good person, or something.
10. Realizing that that one guy asking for money says it’s his birthday every single time (and also offers to show you his ID to prove it every single time) and says that a bus ticket to [Wherever] is only [whatever] dollars, and he already has [some other number of] dollars, and he doesn’t expect anyone to give him thirty bucks, of course, but if everybody gave him one dollar…. And then feeling guilty for feeling smug for figuring out that a homeless person in need is trying to scam you, because who cares? And because of COURSE he would and he SHOULD, too, right? Isn’t that just his developed method of survival, and anyway, it’s just MARKETING or SALESMANSHIP or whatever, and if he was applying those skills in an advertising agency because he’d grown up in a different life and had a different education, and blah blah BLAH, so who are YOU to judge?
10.a. But also, you don’t think you’ve ever heard his voice so slurred and slow and awkward ever before and that seems like super-bad news, right? Like, that dude is SUPER HEROIN-ED UP right now. And does that make you feel more or less guilty for not giving him a dollar?
11. The fact that you almost always give money to the dancers (because you LOVE the dancers!), thereby encouraging them to continue dancing, even though everyone else claims they hate the dancers.
12. The fact that you have favorites among the dance groups, and so you sometimes don’t give money to the less-talented groups.
13. Where is the guy who used to sell batteries and sing-song: “Businessman, Businessman! I am a businessman.” Is he OKAY? Shouldn’t you be more WORRIED about him? Are you a bad person for not FINDING OUT where he is and what’s going on with him?
14. Is that person old enough for you to offer them your seat?
15. Is it sexist of you to offer your seat to older women more often than older men? Or to offer your seat to women who are older-than-you but younger-than-the-men you would offer your seat to?
16. Is it sexist to be sort of charmed when old men chuckle and insist that NO, of COURSE they would NEVER take your seat?
17. Not being able to give people directions.
18. Moving to a different car if there is a stinky person in the car you are currently in.
19. Coughing, sneezing, sniffing.
20. Glancing up to look at babies crying super-loudly and getting caught doing so by their parents.
21. Carrying things.
22. Accidentally touching people.
23. Moving away too fast when other people accidentally touch you.
24. The sneaking suspicion that you act nicer to people or smile more or something when you are wearing your jacket with the “Black Lives Matter” button on it. You don’t know exactly WHY this makes you a bad person, but you’re pretty sure it DOES.
25. Figuring out what was going on too slowly to be able to swipe that guy in as you were leaving without like turning around and making a big weird awkward deal out of it, and also someone else already got him, anyway.
26. Or figuring it out in time, but not doing it anyway, because it’s a hassle.
27. Standing.

Dear Internet,

“Grandmother’s House” is maybe great? I don’t think it’s so-bad-it’s-good? I think I’m not being sarcastic? Is that true? I’m not sure. I need advice on how to feel about this movie, please.

Yours truly,



Why is anyone talking about anything other than Taylor Swift’s Giant Pony Boots from the three-ladies-in-white-visors scene of “Bad Blood?” Have they not seen the video yet? Are they yet too stunned to speak? I’m still seeing news articles about, like, ISIS and stuff. Why isn’t ISIS talking about Taylor Swift’s Giant Pony Boots? My institute has not yet been renamed “The Institute for the Study of Taylor Swift’s Giant Pony Boots, Culture, and Public Life,” and I’m also confused by that. I mean, of course I knew how strange and new the whole world would be after Taylor Swift’s Giant Pony Boots came into my life, but I just didn’t expect it to be like THIS. Then again, how could I have? How could any of us have predicted the radical effects Taylor Swift’s Giant Pony Boots would have on our lives? How could any of us have known?

On my birthday, I subscribed to’s word of the day email.

On my birthday, even. It was a whole thing. Like, I would use it that day in a sentence, I thought! (I never, ever, EVER once remembered to do this. Ever.) They would be like little horoscopes each morning! It would be a fun conversation piece! Something-something something something!

Well, I am officially unsubscribing, today, 50 days in to this grand experiment. Because today’s word of the day is:

Frabjous is SO MUCH not-a-word that it literally comes from the poem “Jabberwocky.” As you may know,, a word that comes from the poem “Jabberwocky” IS NOT A REAL WORD!

The words of the day have tended generally to fall somewhere between “wacky-sounding / -meaning thing that isn’t a real word” (bafflegab, grubstake, boodle, fucking frabjous) and “wacky-sounding / -meaning thing that is a real word but everyone already knows” (globular, malarky, schlemiel, pepper-upper, forsooth). Also, NO ONE THOUGHT YOU WERE CLEVER with that whole “paramnesia” thing,

(Well okay yes but the second definition, I mean.

Okay and so fine but to be fair, a few useful exceptions that I admit to appreciating having learned: Dendrochronology. Oology. Verdical. Funabulist. Formication (which came before I signed up, but I happened to notice it now, as I was looking back through my old words).

I complained about this often enough at work that one of my students, who is from India, started giving me alternate words of the day – Briticisms and Hindi words, mostly. His were indeed better: Barmy. Chamchagiri. Douche duty. Chauncey.

But anyway. I am grown malcontented,! This a thing up with which I will not put! I am hereby unsubscribing, jerks!

Sry and gubbye!

Awww, but PS, though –

I just looked back to check and see what the word of the day was on my birthday, and realized that because I had SIGNED UP on my birthday, I hadn’t actually RECEIVED a word until the 23rd. They still list all the past words on the website, though, so I was able to check. As far as horoscopes go, or whatever, this was kind of a wonderfully accurate prediction of the experiment itself, right? I should have known. The word of the day was:

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