The norovirus and various other lesser but still debilitating stomach-oriented bugs are making the spring rounds—"Rhode Island Wedding Results in 74 Norovirus Victims"!—including possibly around the edges of our office. I recently missed four days of work—really my first stretch of sick time in five years. I did, basically, think that I was going to die. There were some dark nights of solemn contemplation of life, and if it was worth living. I also got a great head start on my swimsuit season weight loss, so boo-yah! Also I can eat again now.
And I did it all without barfing. I have only barfed twice in the last 25 [...]
"There’s no doubt social media can make a number of work tasks infinitely easier. But it can also be a land mine of potential snafus that at best cause professional embarrassment — and, at worst, cost you your job." —My initial reaction was, "Huh, I thought I canceled my subscription to The American Journal of No Fucking Shit," but the more that I think about it the more that I realize these are lessons we need to learn over and over and over and no matter how many times we see them it is never enough, so sure, go ahead and add [...]
"Turn being alone into a positive. Do things you enjoy doing alone, like reading or walking. But make it part of your routine to be around people. Join a club, volunteer. If all else fails, have dinner at the bar in your favorite restaurant. Talk to the bartender." —Here are some tips to help you get over loneliness. It sucks to be sad, but I guess given everything that goes on it is probably inevitable, and as long as sorrow is what they're serving up you may as well take it at a table with somebody who might at least smile at [...]
"America isn’t yet a fully formed country. We haven’t decided quite what we want to be yet. And until we do, it would be best if you stay away. Only Alice Munro has made the suburban lifestyle even approach Literature-worthiness. But that’s Canada, where everything seems magical. I think that’s because the whole nation is so close to all that ice and when the sun or the stars hit it everything glistens. Everyone else just seems to sneer at boring middle-class people. As well they should. The most interesting thing that can happen in Suburban America is, like, having an affair or losing your baby in a mall. And relax, [...]
• In Impotence: A Cultural History, Angus McLaren, and leave it to a scholar named Angus, found a 17th century French midwife with a suggestion: "An enchanted husband should drink water from the mouth of a 'young stone horse.'" (To be performed, apparently, while the horse himself is drinking.) My new favorite euphemism for horny and limp is now "enchanted," but better yet: try "due benevolence" for sex. In the same study, "Nicholas Culpeper and midwife Jane Sharp recommended that a man, who due to magic could not give his wife 'due benevolence,' should piss through her wedding ring." That can’t be good for the ring. Culpeper’s Complete Herbal [...]
Now, I don’t think I ever actually believed in Santa. The closest I came was a slow-burning conviction that his name was Santa Sauce because he was, in some sense, actually a marinara-ladled meatball given life and laugh and beard. I don’t think that counts, really—certainly a meatball could never hold a sleigh’s reins, or operate a multinational corporation—so I'll claim that I knew from day zero that Santa was, strictly speaking, a kind of lie.
But he's a useful lie. One that parents can deploy to effectively trick children into not behaving like tiny sociopaths who are too short to drive themselves to school. (Imagine attempting to get full [...]
As told by Arthur C. Clarke's 1990 novel The Ghost from the Grand Banks, 2012 is the year that would see the Titanic resurrected from the ocean floor. But the year is now 2012, and the Titanic continues to sit 12,000 feet below the ocean surface, rusting more with every passing year (indeed, it's predicted here that by 2045, only the hull will remain). The likelihood that any of us will live to see a resurrected Titanic outside a James Cameron movie now seems very slim.
While some predictions of science fiction have come [...]