My poor friend Dan Kois. Apparently he lost a big bet, and had to write a bizarre and maniacal Slate piece to prove that literally anything could be denounced in a counterintuitive Andy Rooney freakout. And here it is: "Tilting your seat back on an airplane is pure evil." His solution: don't bother replacing the seats, just outlaw people from reclining in them. AM I STILL ASLEEP UP HERE IN MY FULLY FLAT BUSINESS CLASS SEAT, IS THIS A SURREAL DREAM???
Yesterday morning we woke up here on Earth and got dressed for church. Our youngest daughter, who is in year two of a dogged princess phase, wanted to wear a particularly awful pair of costume shoes, hot pink heels with little tufts of fur at the toes. “I think you should wear other shoes,” I told her.
“Mommy said I can wear these!”
“It’s true, I did,” Alia said.
“I just don’t think she should wear h-o-o-k-e-r shoes to church,” I groused.
“I’m trying not to fight with her about this on weekends,” Alia said.
“I know, I know.”
“It’s not the end of the world," she said.
When the choir director, Mr. Swiggum, announced that the spring musical my senior year at Whitefish Bay High School would be The Wiz, it seemed an absurd choice. Our northern Milwaukee suburb was already colloquially known as "White Folks' Bay," and the preceding year had not done much to improve the community's image in a city that studies have suggested is America's most segregated.
Natasha Vargas-Cooper: Dan Kois! I consider you a top critic. A man of refined taste and considerable insight. How do you defend your love for such a subpar project as "Treme"?
Dan Kois: Natasha! I consider you a canny TV viewer, and a recognizer of quality in all its forms. How do you defend your dismissal of such a quality project as Treme?
Natasha: A Battle of Wits!
Dan: Let us first define the terms of our debate.
Natasha: Personal attacks: allowed!
Are you looking for an authentically grim Russian culture experience, but don't have 12 hours and ferry fare to Governors Island to spare? A new graphic novel by Kevin Baker — the historical novelist behind such Brooklyney favorites as Dreamland – brings an ex-Russian soldier to Coney Island and gets him wrapped up with the local mob. It also calls to mind a recent, similar, much better comic, which was mostly ignored when it first came out but is finally available in collected form.
On a Sunday last fall, I was working downstairs with the space heater on and the office doors closed when the phone rang. The caller ID read DAN KOIS, which meant that it was my wife, upstairs, calling our home phone from my cell phone. As is often the case on weekends, we were trading carefully-negotiated Work Periods. I was writing while she looked after the children; later, I would take the kids while she worked. Later still, we would maybe eat dinner together and then put the kids in the bath.
I answered the phone. In the background I could hear crying. Alia said, "You have to come [...]