Photo by Valentino Mazzariello on Unsplash — NOT SMITH COLLEGE

Not that we were surprised.

This past week, a white Smith College employee posted a video to Youtube that is, on pretty much all accounts, excruciating to watch. I’ve included a few of the worse quotes from the video throughout this, and I also want to throw in a warning of sorts — this could be exhausting, painful, annoying, or any of a set of not-good things for those who’ve had to live with this shit their entire lives.

Anyway, yeah, this is about racism.

Pretty sure that anyone who thinks of Smith and doesn’t go here tends to think of it the way I…

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

If they’re of interest to us, we’ve seen them already, the daily articles that speak to this crisis I’m living. Just in case you weren’t paying attention though, this pandemic is having an effect on parents.

Especially mothers.

Especially single mothers.

Especially single mothers who are also students or professionals.

My child has thankfully reached an age where holing up in her room is something she wants to do and although I’ve never been that type of parent, it’s come to this:

I’ve supplied her with enough screens that the secret police will never not know what’s happening in here…

Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez on Unsplash

It’s been a while since I’ve been on Medium, but weird things happened. Those three-year-old articles stopped paying for my membership and I got busy elsewhere (keep reading). Simultaneously I gained a lot more followers. So, I thought it might be time to just drop an update. Or maybe a listicle. Those are still a thing, right?

Are they?

I don’t know. I literally haven’t been around, though it seems like little has changed — I still haven’t figured out how to rid my Medium homepage of “how I made money six things that digital nomad blah blah blah.” …

“white and brown house facing mountain” by Wenni Zhou on Unsplash

How Septic Issues are Reflective of a Good New Marriage

We’re #1 in the #2 Business.

This is the slogan of the local people who’ve helped us deal with our year-long plumbing saga recently. It’s on the business card of the guy who unabashedly handed it to me while standing in my driveway assessing our shitty situation. After handing me his card he put some rubber gloves on, got down in the hole where we’d dug out the “solids” opening to our septic tank, and began unscrewing the bolts on top.

These guys, they’re desensitized. I am curious and I’ve raised a small human. I consider myself to have a strong stomach because of this (after…

Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

Teaching our children to be kind and empowered in an era of school shootings, racism, and #metoo

My daughter was emotional as I read her a Dr. Seuss* story before bed.

“That’s not very nice!” she said tearfully.

The Star Belly Sneeches had found something about themselves that made them feel “better than” and were being awful about it, and my daughter clearly understood something about this already.

In their endless quest to be “better than”, some flaunted their starry bellies. Those who did not have star bellies sought to be more like the others. They wanted to be invited to parties. Someone else saw an opportunity to capitalize on that desire, so after a few rounds…

Photo by Duffy Brook on Unsplash

Why is it always tragedy that brings us all together?

I lived through 911, watching it all unfold from my rooftop in Brooklyn. I moved through the next few weeks in a haze, breathing in the smoke and ashes of buildings and humans as it landed on our windowsills just across the river.

I don’t remember this much tragedy as a child. I will be 45 soon, and the only tragedies I really remember happened in my own home. My mother lived through the race riots in Detroit. Me? …

Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash

And you don’t need to be rich to raise one, either.

I’ve read at least three articles on Medium recently about people defending their right not to have children, why we should stop breeding, how much we lose by having children, etc.

This latest piece by Wudan Yan is what really inspired me to take this further, however. I get it — the world is in major shift. Everything people have been taught is in upheaval.

Frankly, though, I’m terrified that a “scientist and environmental journalist” has enough faith in the human race to think making the choice not to have children is an intelligent and beneficial thing for the planet…

Photo by michael podger on Unsplash

Unavoidable Life Lessons

I arrived in Portland, Oregon, in early September. While it was humid where I’d come from, nothing compared me for the wetness of Portland, even in its “dry” moments. Greenery popped out of sidewalk cracks, and in Portland, it wasn’t some sort of symbolic determination of life despite odds like it was back in New York.

Here, green stuff poured from every surface, as if the city had carved itself out a spot in the plant life, as if the two had reached an agreement to cohabitate.

Spiders were everywhere. Overnight, plump and speckled garden spiders would weave webs across…

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Your friends and neighbors

Here’s the shocker, perhaps: I had no idea who Anthony Bourdain was. It was post-death that I spent hours on the internet going “goddamn it!” while I watched Youtube video after Youtube video of a guy who, as it turned out, I probably would have really loved (and you may wonder, how in the world did someone live life without knowing who Anthony Bourdain was? I can’t name a single Rihanna song, either, if that helps make any more sense out of things).

Kate Spade, sure, I knew who Kate Spade was. Although I have a distinct fondness for bags…

“A man in a gold watch adjusting the cuffs of his white shirt” by Jonathan Francisca on Unsplash

From that time I was kind of a pimp.

I was 28 or so, and the dot com bubble (round one) had begun to burst. I’d been freelancing for a few years at that point, and also venturing into some wild scenes, but life was about to take a step up in the weird realms.

My upstairs neighbor had a sister — she was sexy and smart, in the beginning years of law school, and she called me one day to see if I wanted a job.

I could hardly turn it down, and if a woman like her was doing it, surely I could too. The world of…


Compulsive storyteller. Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith College.

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