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On Ask Polly: I Thought My Mother-in-Law Was Going to Kill Me at My Wedding

Oy. Borderline parents. No one ever wants to believe it's as bad as it is, but it is. (If that makes sense.)

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm 2

On Ask Polly: My Dad Died Unexpectedly And I Can't Get Over It

Heather's right -- the trick is to go all the way through the grief to the other side, without getting stuck. I hiked and cried a lot -- figured if I was hiking, I wasn't sinking into my mother's depression/alcoholism pit, but was still working my way through it. Thank god for sunglasses. Therapy is good. Writing is good. And there are always going to be people who are weird about it, but you'll find your tribe. Mine is full of orphans. With any luck, we're all going to be bereaved at some point. Learning how to do this well, and gracefully, and without lying is an essential skill of adulthood.

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 1:05 pm 5

On My Hairdo Is Not Your Safari

I have super-curly white girl hair, and the TSA went through it at Chicago a couple of years ago. I Nearly Lost My Shit. WTF?! Such a violation. Still makes my tummy hurt to remember it.

People. Keep your hands off other peoples hair! Do Not Touch.

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 2:55 pm 0

On New Yorkers Aren't Going To Let Something Like A Broken Hand Get In The Way Of A Beating Delivery

As did I when beating up my little brother with my cast -- I was 8, he was 6. That cast bought me a full 6 weeks of unsurpassed POWER.

Posted on March 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm 0

On The Terror Of Euro Television

My favorite of the year was Spiral (Engrenages) -- Frenah, stylish, and I could almost understand it without the subtitles.
Also shipping for the US version of the Bridge, since the showrunner is a great friend of mine (and I'm auntie to his kids). I hear the second season is going to be better ... But for the most part, after a steady diet of quieter non-US shows, I can't watch most American ones -- so obvious and heavy handed and thump thump thump thud.

Posted on December 31, 2013 at 2:46 pm 0

On Penguin Randomly Mucking With Vikram Seth

I have a very dear friend who had his advance pulled -- he was late because his partner was dying of cancer. Now he's only being published in France -- and this after having had a very big book early in his career. So no, this doesn't surprise me at all ...

Posted on July 9, 2013 at 11:23 am 0

On The Best First Sentence Of A Novel This Year (So Far!)

Salter is wonderful. Light Years is a book I go back to again and again and Solo Faces is the only decent thing ever written about climbing. As for Sport and a Pastime -- well, I don't have a penis so I don't find that book quite so compelling. And Harrison's early work is wonderful -- every western writer I know has stolen from Legends, although Nordstrom, and the Brown Dog stories grow on me more and more as I get older. My sweetheart adores Warlock ...

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm 0

On The Best First Sentence Of A Novel This Year (So Far!)

@t_birdo "The Man Who Gave Up His Name" -- Jim Harrison. It's the middle story between "Revenge" and "Legends of the Fall" in the Legends compilation. One of my all-time favorites ...

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm 0

On The Best First Sentence Of A Novel This Year (So Far!)

No way. Best first line of all time: "Nordstrom had taken to dancing alone." (10 points to first person who IDs it.)

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm 0

On Take An Internet Break To Learn This One Thing About A Popular Web Browser That Turns 20 Today [PHOTO]

My first high-tech job was way back when Mosaic had only just come out -- word was, it was going to have color! The company I worked for was making interactive music video games, thinking that was going to be the Next Big Thing. Meanwhile, over in my windowless interior office, I was manually keywording magazine articles in prep for Outside Magazine's online launch. We so did not know which direction this thing was going to go .... kind of wild to look back on it now. (Also, met Peter Gabriel briefly by the elevator, he was lovely).

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 10:33 am 1