Categories: Journal

Pandemic binge-watching: The Real World

Dear Willow: Did you see that there’s going to be a reunion series for the first cast of MTV’s The Real World? As the most squarely Gen X of the Willow staff, I expect this is more meaningful to me than anyone else here, but I have an even stronger … Continue reading “Pandemic binge-watching: The Real World”

The Stockdale Paradox

Dear Willow, It’s been a doozy of a week in our country, and in the background, COVID grinds on. Some days, it feels like nothing has changed in ages and nothing ever will. The news of the vaccine was wonderful for a moment, and then reminded me of how far … Continue reading “The Stockdale Paradox”

Apple Ear Muffs

Dear Willow: The same week that a weak jobs report landed, macroeconomic signs pointed to a stalling and even reversing recovery, and we’ve seen record numbers of COVID infections and hospitalizations, Apple announced the impending release of AirPods Max, a $549 set of noise-cancelling headphones. I am going to call … Continue reading “Apple Ear Muffs”

Truth is a tricky business

Dear Willow: I’ve been troubled lately. There’s a conflict in our society that has been simmering steadily for the past few years and has now, in 2020, come to a rapid boil: the overt struggle to come to a consensus on what is true. Not just capital-t True, but agreement … Continue reading “Truth is a tricky business”

The emotional balm of The Great Pottery Throwdown

Dear Willow: If you guys are like me and need a little emotional balm of the televisual variety, let me suggest The Great Pottery Throwdown. The format will be familiar to any viewers of The Great British Baking Show, probably because it’s produced by the same company, so just substitute … Continue reading “The emotional balm of The Great Pottery Throwdown”

Joy to the polls!

Dear Willow: I love voting. Every time I get to do it, I feel the same sense of excitement, nerves, and responsibility. I’m a little anxious I’ll do it wrong, somehow, even though I don’t think I ever have. I love the public secrecy of the ritual. I love the … Continue reading “Joy to the polls!”

Three cheers for the Tamale Guy!

Dear Willow: The tamale guy was released from the hospital!!! You’re not familiar with the tamale guy? For 20 years, every weekend the tamale guy would go bar hopping in Chicago. Not to drink, though. He would lug around a big red cooler, full of delicious, homemade tamales for sale. … Continue reading “Three cheers for the Tamale Guy!”

Braces: A Pandemic Story

Dear Willow: This is about my teeth, but it’s also a pandemic story. I am rounding into the home stretch of having braces for the third time in my life, and of course my teeth will at last be straight while we are in the midst of a global pandemic … Continue reading “Braces: A Pandemic Story”

Winter is coming

Dear Willow: Winter is coming. When that phrase was used over and over on Game of Thrones, it just seemed like doom-chic. Now, it’s resonating a little more personally. In a certain sense, the timing of the pandemic was fortunate (if you can say anything good about this situation). In … Continue reading “Winter is coming”

What is going on? My first earthquake during a pandemic.

I experienced my first earthquake last weekend, a 5.1 with an epicenter near Sparta, NC that still had plenty of juice by the time it made it more than 200 km to where I was in Waynesville, NC. I was uh…indisposed at the time, and as things started to shimmy, … Continue reading “What is going on? My first earthquake during a pandemic.”

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