I’m currently reading This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett’s latest essay collection. So fucking good. Here’s a passage that really resonated with me as I was reading at the laundromat today. It’s from a piece about the passing of her dog Rose.

I want to tell you that Rose was an extraordinary dog, bossy and demanding of attention, comforting in her very presence. Famously, she first appeared in the pages of Vogue fifteen years ago. She sat on my shoulder in book jacket photographs. When she was very dirty after a run I would tell her to go get in the bathtub, and she would. She once scampered onto the headrest of Karl’s parked car, made a vertical leap through the open sunroof, and ran across the parking lot, into the grocery store, and up and down every aisle until she found us. She was loyal and brave and as smart as a treeful of owls. By explaining her talents and legions of virtues, though, I would not be making my point, which is that the death of my dog hit me harder than the deaths of many people I have known, and this can’t be explained away by saying how good she was. She was. But what I was feeling was something else entirely.

I came to realize in the months following Rose’s death, months that I referred to myself as being in the ditch, that there was between me and every person I had ever loved some element of separation, and I had never seen it until now. There had been long periods spent apart from the different people I loved, due to nothing more than circumstances. There had been arguments and disappointments, for the most part small and easily reconciled, but over time people break apart, no matter how enormous the love they feel for one another is, and it is through the breaking and the reconciliation, the love and the doubting of love, the judgement and then the coming together again, that we find our own identity and define our relationships.


Mood Disorders in the Media: Hyperbole & a Half


On Tuesday I got a great surprise- the chick from Hyperbole & A Half was on Fresh Air, promoting her new book.  Well, make that two surprises, because I’d totally forgotten about the book.

The book is made up of some original content & some work from the blog. One of the most popular posts (which I linked to back in the day) was her two part series about living with depression. So of course it came up in the interview. The part about mental health is a must listen, especially if you have depression or know somebody who struggles with it. She describes the feelings (or uh lack of feelings) so vividly.

Talking about personal experiences with depression is never going to be easy, but hot damn! As the interview progressed my jaw dropped lower and lower. There seriously should have been a trigger warning. Terry Gross normally is pretty good about gauging the comfort level of her guests as she goes but in this interview she ended up fixating on the suicide aspect of this woman’s depression. She pressed and prodded, ultimately asking the guest to specifically detail out her previous suicide plans. Wow. O_O  It was so overwhelming to listen to this poor woman explain in a trembling voice how she was going to fake a drowning accident. I was basically crying at my desk at work. I had to take a break.

I don’t think that depression should be off the table for talking about in an interview, since it’s part of the author’s artistic work, but I just felt so ill during that segment. It felt mildly exploitative.

That said, the interview is mostly not a downer/ super hilarious . Seriously, just listen to it! Tho maybe not at work if you are a crybaby like me.

Art, Food, Shopping

Drink Like Your Favorite Characters



From Pop Chart Lab:

A catalog of 49 drinks culled from great works of film and literature, depicting everything from Philip Marlowe’s Gin Gimlet to Fredo Corleone’s Banana Daiquiri to the simple yet effective Buttermaker Boilermaker.


Finally, an infographic worth framing! Now I can finally make  The Flaming Moe from the Simpsons and the Gibson from North by Northwest. Which drinks are your favorite?


Judge a book by its covers…

Great Gatsby

The New York Times has a piece out about how people are getting all hot and bothered over the new movie tie-in cover for The Great Gatsby.

It’s true, it is atrocious.

I’m not partial to the original art, but this looks really really cheap. But I suppose whatever gets people reading books again ought to be commended. The Times also has a nice interactive module where you can check out all the different versions of the book’s cover.

Here are my favorites:


UM…Can I buy this copy somewhere? Seriously. THIS is how you do a movie tie-in book.



This one evokes time/memory/gears–>car thoughts for me. Classy.



Well, who WAS Gatsby, really?


It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book so I’m considering reading it again (even though I didn’t care for it the first go round). I’m probably going to rent it from the SF digital lending library (or even buy it online), so in a sense the cover doesn’t matter.

Are you going to see the Baz Luhrmann movie? Do you care what your book cover looks like at all, or am I just being a snobby book snob ?