Without consequences, practice will make perfect…

Why do you continue to do something and why do you stop? This isn’t a trick question. If you’re a human being, you tend to choose the course of action where the benefits are greater than the costs. You do the thing that feels good instead of the thing that feels bad — you do the thing that earns you some desired outcome, rather than incurs some undesirable consequence. You behave in ways that maximizes that well-being and, if you have morals, maximizes the well-being of others, too.

Dispensing quickly with the question of whether Donald Trump and the Republican…


You got this.

Step 1, Pose: Start by getting familiar with your posing technique by building exercises into your daily life. Sitting at your desk staring at a blank Google Doc? Imagine you’re sitting at your desk naked staring at a blank Google Doc. Laying on the couch watching six hours of “Apocalypse Cuisine”? Imagine you’re watching six hours of “Apocalypse Cuisine,” but au naturel. Standing to water your last surviving succulent? Conjure your barest form. Soon you’ll be ready to capture that energy.

Step 2, Clothed nudes: Now you’re ready to bring in the magic of the photographic image. Take a portrait…


The stuff in my childhood bedroom

Every time I visit my parents, my mom asks me if we can “go through my things.” I always successfully avoid it. I say: we shouldn’t waste a minute of our long weekend together. I think: we shouldn’t spend a minute of unnecessary rumination on aging and death. She’s already removed what used to be on the walls and repainted the Festival Orange to Adult Beige. What remains of my childhood belongings fit just fine on the bookshelves and behind closed closet doors.

I’ve now been paused in transit here on my way back to New York for two months…


Aren’t you?

I’m so fucking mad that we have an incompetent, negligent, destructive presidential administration set to kill hundreds of thousands of people.

I’m so fucking mad that politicians of both parties at all levels of government continue to lead the public further into disaster, because they think it’s cute or won’t think at all.

I’m so fucking mad that the Democratic party won’t actually be an opposition party, that they won’t fight for people’s needs and rights, that they are holding primaries that are killing people and hurting democracy, and that they either can’t figure out how to win or just…


Do everything to share the messages our government won’t

New York Times

There can’t be enough COVID-19 content.

Even if it’s unpleasant, boring, or annoying.

Even if it’s stressful, anxiety-producing, overwhelming, and depressing.

It’s better than more people dying preventable deaths, and that’s exactly the situation we are facing.

In lieu of a responsible and competent federal government to inform the public about COVID-19 and take adequate measures, it’s up to us to do what we can to mitigate the disaster.

And that starts with information: information coming from as many directions as to be unavoidable. …


Why the best defense is not mediocre offense

You’ve been an ice cream enthusiast for years and now you’ve been given a surreal opportunity: to sell it to a community of people that’s never had it before. The people there are skeptical — milk, but frozen??? — but your pitch on the benefits are persuasive and practiced. It’s delicious, it’s rich in protein, and eating it is an enjoyable activity all by itself. As you go door to door, you get a mixed reception, but not an overwhelmingly hostile one: some people try a sample and place an order, others are intrigued by the look and sight of…


And what I learned about what we really need to do

When the rabbi started his sermon, he began by saying he wanted to talk about tshuva, about repentance, about “the deep spiritual stuff” — but simply couldn’t because there was something more pressing he must address. My family knows this rabbi’s politics: every high holiday service is a coin flip between these sermon genres. Will he wax poetic on the spiritual thread between the week’s Torah portion and his mundane, relatable human experience OR will he describe why we need to pray for missile defense systems and carpet bomb all of Iran? …


The Daily, with Michael Barbaro: Some guy screams today’s New York Times print edition all the way through.

Slow Burn: A podcast breaking down the intricacies of one yoga pose each episode. It is mostly silence and breathing noises but it is also hosted by Bill Clinton (?).

Ear Hustle: CrossFit for your face.

Reply All: Punk’d, the Podcast. Couple of nerds send replies to office-wide emails and follow the resulting anarchy. (I should really listen to this one).

Serial: I know it’s not, unfortunately, about breakfast food, but other than that I only know that the theme song is…


A short, happy history of a time things worked out

In August of 2013, I was pissed off. I had graduated college and had moved to Washington DC to be with a girlfriend and search for jobs. Since I was on the job search, I was pissed off, and because I was dating her, a journalist, I was encouraged to at least share my gripes with everyone else.

That’s to say: to do journalism.

The first target was the job search itself, followed closely by the employment actually on offer to yet another-recent-political-science-grad in Obama’s DC (now I could probably have my own bureau?). Every position required nauseating labor to…


Mourning and meaning for the average Bourdain fan

Photo: Mkeneally (https://www.flickr.com/photos/42550041@N05/5881610663)

Until last Friday, I didn’t understand how people could be so shaken at the death of a single person they never met, never spoke to, never shared a meal with, and who had never known them to even exist. Celebrity meant celebratory: admiration for a star was the lowest stakes relationship you could have. Save the grief for people that would grieve you too.

Hearing about Anthony Bourdain’s passing last week, I was surprised to find myself starting to understand. I wasn’t alone.

I saw friends and acquaintances and Twitter strangers who were just as shocked at themselves: either because…

Stephen Lurie

Retweets = Endorphins.

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