It was Christmas Day, my last day in Thailand, and I was looking for something to make my trip extra special. I roamed the streets of Chiang Mai, listening to Drake’s “The Motto” on my iPod, and I thought about how great those last few weeks had been, and how great the last few months had been in general. After four years on and off in New York City, I had made the decision to move to South Korea to teach English. Making the decision had been rough, and I had a hard time coming to terms with leaving the city. Brunches on Saturdays, partying in the evenings, smoking [...]
For most of us the John Lennon line about life being what happens when you're making other plans seems academic at first but, as the years go by, passes through phases of being something funny, something clever, something understandable and then something cruel. The worst part about our headlong trudge to the tomb is the way that once we realize how much road is already behind us it is far too late to go back and fix the mistakes we made along the way. Maybe the best bit about life—and I am setting an admittedly low bar here, but look what we have to deal with—is that although we [...]
I. On The Battle
Brett Weiner (WHY-ner), director/writer/producer: WEE-ner is a much more make-funable name than WHY-ner. WHY-ner is also not great. Because any time you complain, you get it used against you. But WEE-ner's like… it's a dick. So, your last name means “a dick.”
Scott Wiener (WEE-ner), politician: When people pronounce it WHY-ner, that drives me nuts. Whatever challenges there are around WEE-ner, WHY-ner is worse.
David Weiner (WEE-ner), creative and editorial director: I did a piece a bunch of years ago that was picked up by some right-wing blog. And that Fox News show Red Eye, with the host Greg I-forget-his-last-name, he did this [...]
"A growing body of research has credited the power of positive thinking for contributing to good health and a longer, happier life. But a new study out of Germany suggests people who are pessimistic about their futures — specifically older people — may find greater life satisfaction down the road than their more optimistic peers."
"A genetic process that went wrong 500 million years ago led to the evolution of humans and other vertebrates." —I KNEW life was some kind of cosmic fuck-up! I KNEW IT ALL ALONG! I mean, it had to be. Now where do I go to get my money back?
Possibly the dual shower head is commonplace place in the wider world, but it’s not in mine. So when I recently encountered one in a hotel-room shower, I found it confusing, and vaguely freakish. I wondered: Is this some thick-headed vision of progress—the same level of “innovation” that answers the three-blade razor with a four-blader? Or is it simply a production error, an industrial design mutant? What I would soon learn is that whatever the original intent, what it had become was, of all things, a moral crossroad.
Harvard magazine profiles class of 1969 dropouts from Harvard. It's awesome! They are great! Here's one: "She moved off-campus as a sophomore and had a great time 'hanging out, smoking dope, and having sex with a lot of different guys…. It wasn't Harvard that made me leave Harvard, it was me. I wanted to be young, alive, and free. Free to hitchhike around the country, check out California, try living in a commune. And I did all that.'" Now she works in a family planning clinic in Maine! Love you, Joanne Ricca!
Outside my third-floor window, in a narrow, leafy lane of Bandra West, a suburb of Mumbai, a crow had got itself stuck in some leftover Christmas decorations that were hanging off a tree. One of its feet was caught in string and the crow was dangling in mid-air. As it became more aware of its situation, it became more frantic, wrapping the string around its foot more securely. I’m not an animal activist and crows are not likable but I could not watch it die a slow, painful, and terrified death.
It was too high up and too far away from my building for me to be able to [...]
"Spectators and participants alike marvelled at the impressive race times clocked up at an indoor marathon in Vienna, Austria, on Sunday. But it turned out that the runners weren't particularly fast after all — the race course had been too short." —A brief moment of joy; the crushing realization that the pleasure was illusory, and the acknowledgment of unexpected brevity… remind you of anything?
Content series are produced in partnership with our sponsors. This edition of "Pants: What Are They!??" is brought to you by Life Khaki from Haggar.
Do you know who really, really cared about pants? Peter the Great, that’s who. “Peter The Who?” you ask? This specific Peter was the tsar of Russia who became the "Emperor of All Russia" in the early 1700s. His tenure was committed to the modernization of Russia, which at the time was not so modern. Of the reforms enacted was the Decree on Modern Dress, issued in 1701, providing for Russians that "the upper dress shall be of French or Saxon [...]
Graduates Wayne State University: 1982
The Detroit Free Press: 1987 – 1988
Los Angeles Herald-Examiner : Unknown, but prior to 1989
LA Weekly: 1989
Paramount Pictures: 1992 – 1992
Spin: 1993 – 1994
"Late Call" (which aired in Detroit at 3:35 a.m. on WDIV-TV!): 1994
KCRW, "The Treatment": 1996 – present
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: 1997 – 1999
New York Times: January 28, 2000 – April 30, 2004
Harvard, guest lecturer: 2004
Sony Columbia Pictures: March, 2005 – March 2005
Los Angeles Times: (no-show)
"Elvis Mitchell: Under the Influence": 2008 – 2008
"Ebert Presents At the Movies": January, 2011 – January, 2011
"At Fortune, [former New Yorker managing editor Ralph] Ingersoll developed what came to be called the 'corporation story,' a profile of a company.' He had the idea of writing about The New Yorker…. published, anonymously, in August, 1934. It was 'The Making of a Magazine' told straight, which made The New Yorker look exactly the way Ross didn't want it to look. It also violated Ross's creed: 'I do not want any member of the staff to be conscious of the advertising or business problems of The New Yorker. If so, they will lose their spontaneity and verve and we will be just like all other magazines.' Ingersoll's story, which [...]
I don't seem to want anything all that badly. Well, I do and I don't… You talk about having a compelling vision for your life. Well, I can't seem to come up with much of one. At best everything is fuzzy. I've always wanted one of those careers where you're paid to be yourself—one where you can be funny and show off on a stage and make people laugh and be entertained. To be someone's muse and inspiration rather than the service lackey I am now. Except I took acting classes and auditioned for plays and never got in. I'm not stereotypically good looking and female, plus in [...]
Heads up: This story is out there. Hover over the link to familiarize yourself with the URL in case you come across it in the ether, but DO NOT CLICK unless you are in a safe space for crying and will not see anyone for about an hour beyond that, just in case you have a couple of emotional aftershocks.
I know it's only April, but I wanted to get a jump on the Commencement Addresses for various Colleges, Junior Colleges, Trade Schools, and other institutions of Higher Learning, while reminding everyone I am available for such speaking engagements, to inform and inspire the Youth.
Here is the "Uncorrected Proof" of my current address to the Recent Graduate. It helps to imagine it being read in a shouting voice.
"See your future, be your future" is not just a line one may quote from the movie Caddyshack, starring Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Rodney Dangerfield, it is a Way to live one's life. Like millions of people, I bet, [...]
How many years might be added to a life? A few longevity enthusiasts suggest a possible increase of decades. Most others believe in more modest gains. And when will they come? Are we a decade away? Twenty years? Fifty years? Even without a new high-tech “fix” for aging, the United Nations estimates that life expectancy over the next century will approach 100 years for women in the developed world and over 90 years for women in the developing world. (Men lag behind by three or four years.) Whatever actually happens, this seems like a good time to ask a very basic question: How long do you want to [...]
8788? 8688? I didn't hear the other number. Probably because I was talking. Ha ha ha ha.
I told them that. They said just use that. It didn't matter. But it does matter.
Someone punched me in the mouth. I tasted the blood. It gave me booger snot. Is that what it did? And then I could breath. Or I thought I was breathing OK. Ha ha ha ha.