Category Archives: black holes

The Author According to Her Browser

Me in an alphabetical nutshell, according to my browser:

A is for AstrologyZone. I’m still a Cancer, thank god, since I’m told Geminis are “confusing.”

B is for Babblebook (RIP!), and then, less narcissistic-ally, Brooklyn Public Library

E is myself again.

F is for Facebook, then Flickr. Also “Fake.” How apropos.

G is for Gallup. Obama broke 50% approval again yesterday! Today he was back down to 49%. Still, we’re doing better, guys. Doing better.

H is for Huffington Post. Really? I guess not a lot of sites begin with H.

I is for IMDB

K is for Kickstarter, where Tara Leigh showed us all how it’s done.

M is for Modcloth, where I go to “love” items of clothing I will never buy: 107 of them so far! I can’t help it. How could you not “love” this dress? You’d have to be inhuman, or perhaps allergic to polka dots.

N is for the NYT

O is for OpenSalon, where I had a blog for about five minutes.

P is Pandora and Pajiba, two sites that I think could be friends if they hung out.

Q and R are for nothing and nothing, respectively (fascinating!).

S is for Slate & Salon. Slate is the daddy and Salon is the mommy. Their child would be some kind of hipster who reads The Awl.

T is for Twitter. U and V are disappointments.

W is for Washington Post and Wikipedia, the past and the future.

X takes me to Pajiba again for some reason.

Y is for Yelp. No, there are no good restaurants where I work, but I keep looking anyway.

And Z is for Zappos! Of course it is.

The Men in the Family

My uncle, who has made the same Thanksgiving dinner since 1987, died last year, suddenly. The word “suddenly” doesn’t even do justice to the speed with which he was there and then wasn’t. No one has planned the menu for the holiday this year. It’s like how if you call my grandmother, my uncle’s voice still greets you from the answering machine—he recorded over my grandfather’s voice when my grandfather died. No one has had the guts to go next.

My grandmother is still in shock. She is almost 98 years old and she never expected to outlive her husband, her son-in-law, and her son. Will she be able to churn out her annual tart apple pie? My father would kill for that pie. He used to elbow me after tasting it and say, “When are you going to ask your grandma to teach you to bake that pie?” I’d retort, “You want pie, ask her to teach you to bake.” Then we’d both settle down comfortably on the couch and read something.

The men in my family were taken down one by one and now, as the smoke clears, I wonder who is going to carve the turkey. My older brother Adam and I led the seder last year for Passover, but we did it from the kids’ table. Will Adam be able to take a stab at the bird? A thirty year old without a wife or children makes a pretty half-assed patriarch. I would be worse: I’m female, and a vegetarian. The turkey would laugh at me. I don’t even like pie.

To make matters worse, the day after Thanksgiving we’ll gather at the cemetery for my father’s unveiling. Gives a new meaning to “Black Friday,” doesn’t it?


Wow! Both my parents are energy lawyers who have worked for the federal government off and on their whole lives, and they never had this much fun. But then, aside from Jay McInerney, and, we now know, members of the Bush administration’s Interior Department, who does?:

The report says that eight officials in the royalty program accepted gifts from energy companies whose value exceeded limits set by ethics rules — including golf, ski and paintball outings; meals and drinks; and tickets to a Toby Keith concert, a Houston Texans football game and a Colorado Rockies baseball game.

The investigation also concluded that several of the officials “frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.”

The investigation separately found that the program’s manager mixed official and personal business. In sometimes lurid detail, the report also accuses him of having intimate relations with two subordinates, one of whom regularly sold him cocaine.

The culture of the organization “appeared to be devoid of both the ethical standards and internal controls sufficient to protect the integrity of this vital revenue-producing program,” one report said.

The sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives sound particularly enticing, don’t they? Also the paintball outings, because god knows they’re hard to come by.

I am trying to be in a better mood about things. The oh-so-wise Gail Collins is telling me to be, for one. Also, contrary to expectations, Rushdie’s entertaining but narratively muddled Enchantress of Florence was not even shortlisted for the Booker this year, which means all status quos change eventually. AND the Large Hadron Collider succeeded in creating a small black hole but not in destroying the world. This feels like a good thing right now, although ask me again if McCain/Palin are elected.

NOTE: Do you ever think about the fact that life could end suddenly, in a flash, depriving all the religions of the world of ever knowing whether they were right?