I find it impossible to write fiction that's set after 2002. Not because I'm a Gen-Xer waxing nostalgic about relaxing to Morcheeba on a distastefully stained sofa I found partially torn apart by a dog in an alley. (Oh, the glamour.) It's just that it's inconceivable to depict contemporary times authentically without including interludes where characters stare at their cell phones instead of advancing their plotlines – their lives – towards some conclusion. Which is, as a thing to read, mind-numbingly dull. Unless I write "and then his Galaxy 4's battery died" no one can ever get lost, forget an important fact, meet a partner outside of a dating [...]
Nothing makes my day like an upgrade clearing at the last minute!
— Matthew Klint (@LiveandLetsFly) January 26, 2012
This story has it all. Okay, first the facts, as we know them. (We know them, so far, from the account of just one party.)
Dude—Matthew Klint, a 26-year-old preppy white man and a frequent flier blogger—boards plane. (The plane is a United plane.) Dude takes a few pictures of his seat. Flight attendant says pictures are forbidden, points out printed rules. (Photography is disallowed on-board, say rules: explicitly any photos of other passengers, crew, equipment and procedures are banned, with an exception for "personal events.") Passenger says [...]
1) Who is your favorite Beatle? A) John: +0 points. B) Paul: +1 point. C) Ringo: +0 point. D) George: +5 points.
2) Who is your favorite musical Jackson? A) Michael Jackson: +0 points. B) Janet Jackson: +0 points. C) Wanda Jackson: +0 points. D) Jackson Browne: +5 points.
3) How many members of the Indigo Girls can you name? For each one, +5 points.
4) Do you own any jazz records? A) Yes, many: + 0 points. B) No, none: +3 points. C) I own one jazz album, “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis: +3 points. D) Yes, I own several Kenny G albums: +5 points. [...]
I recently finished a gig which entailed looking at and writing about the well-appointed homes of various New Yorkers, which made me eager to do something to make my own home more well-appointed. We have glass front bookcases in the dining room, which doubles as playroom for my two kids, and is also where I work. The bookcases are crammed with books and trinkets, and toys are everywhere; it’s a riot of visual stimuli.
I decided to buy some fabric to pin under the glass. I went to eBay, where I was drowning in options: an insane modern toile by Alizée Freudenthal, a graphic Greek key, a bright [...]
I had one of those random two-hour talks with a friend in Union Square last night (New York City! IS IT THE BEST? Yes, discuss) and we talked a lot about where you draw lines. (He doesn't give his money to Whole Foods; I am lazy and will buy organic milk at the nearest available vendor. Just like I will buy things from Apple and Amazon at the drop of a hat. Also I'm STILL trying to get my domains off GoDaddy. :( But then I have a number of other seemingly random uncrossable lines in the political sand.) All this to say that: Kurt Loder only uses Bing, [...]
"I’ve never had any luck with publishing companies. Nobody has, really—discounting the handful of Famous Bestselling Authors you read about in the NYT. It occurred to me, a few weeks ago, that I personally know about forty people who have sold books to big or medium-sized publishers, and their experiences are all the same: Long after you’ve written it and long after you’ve spent the advance on food and rent, a forgotten little bundle of words with an inscrutable cover is released in the night, you might do a few readings in empty Barnes & Noble stores on a weekday, and then four or five years later you still [...]
FALSE REPORT>>> RT@thematthewkeys: Just in: Suspect 2 on the ground at gunpoint.
— Mike Hayes (@michaelhayes) April 19, 2013
…perhaps if I was in a real newsroom with access to my work email, instead of shut out a month ago, I wouldn't be working out of a bedroom
— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) April 19, 2013
"The important thing, I think, is to—as soon as you know something that you sent out is incorrect, you correct the record. And it's OK, I think, to make mistakes in these circumstances. You—everyone will make mistakes, and it's kind of almost impossible to avoid them." —Slate's social [...]
With the news that Monterrey is no longer a functioning city, with the police force literally controlled by organized crime, and Mexico City not much better, the old "I'm moving to Mexico if the Romney-Rubio ticket wins" is pretty much right out. And with the imminent collapse of the EU, moving to much of Europe—particularly Spain—seems like a not great idea. To what locale will disgruntled Americans (particularly those who can't take the cold of Canada or Berlin or Sweden) pretend they're going to relocate now in the event of a rightward turn in the White House? I guess Istanbul isn't a bad choice, unless Iran gets nuked? Is [...]
When my German-American mother married my black-American Indian father, her dad and stepmom disowned her immediately. They would have been upset had she married an Irishman–"Those people kiss the filthy Blarney Stone," my grandfather would say–but a dark man was practically incomprehensible, like marrying an ironing board. "Race-mixing," as my grandfather called it, was an abomination.
The last thing my mom remembers her dad saying as she walked out of his modest Akron home is, "I never want you in our lives again."