All posts tagged: TueNight

TueNight 10: Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder is the founder of ClearHealthCosts, a journalism startup in New York City bringing transparency to health care by telling people what things cost. “After almost 25 years at The New York Times, I volunteered for a buyout in 2009. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but was lucky enough to land in a class in “entrepreneurial journalism,” at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, with Jeff Jarvis and Jeremy Caplan, where I grew the idea for this startup.” Almost exactly a year later, she won a shark-tank-type pitch contest in front of a jury of New York City venture capitalists and internet bigwigs to found the company. Jeanne hails from Iowa, where she started her career as a journalist at her family’s paper, The Grinnbell Herald-Register, as a cub reporter at the tender age of 13. This means she has been a journalist for more than 50 years! Here is her TueNight 10:1. On the nightstand:  The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer. No One Tells You This, Glynnis MacNicol. Women and Power, Mary Beard. Rereading: Eloquent Rage, …

Pregnancy, Menopause and Learning the Ukelele — Not Necessarily in That Order

At 36, I decided I was ready to get pregnant. I had quit drinking two and a half years earlier, and had just met someone new — an AA-approved boyfriend who was financially stable, mostly trustworthy, and as tired as I was of being a destructive, melodramatic alcoholic. He also had a wonderful Irish accent. Most of my life I had been late to the game. I took the SATs without preparation, applied to college weeks before the semester was set to begin, schemed my way into a study abroad in Amsterdam at the last minute*, took a job with AOL after the merger with Time-Warner (thus not benefitting from any of that stock-splitting that made nearly everyone in the DC suburbs filthy rich). Having a child in my late 30s would fit my pattern. Besides, it’s what I wanted. I was 36, but I always looked young. I often joked that all the alcohol I drank in my life pickled me. At that point, my situation was as good as it was going to …

A Sexpert’s 5 Tips to Mind-Blowing Sex After Menopause

We think about menopause as a time when our sexuality slows down or becomes more of a struggle — while this is true for some people it also doesn’t have to be if you want to flip the script. It’s true: lowering levels of estrogen during menopause means less blood flow to the vagina causing a decrease in vaginal lubrication. This makes sex at best, less than appealing and at worst, downright painful. Bladder control, medication side effects, stress, anxiety and even sleep disturbances during menopause can seriously affect one’s sex life. On the other side, post-menopausal sex is likely to be more relaxed. Knowing pregnancy isn’t a concern anymore can greatly improve the expression of sexuality and intimacy. Just make sure you keep using condoms until your doctor confirms you are no longer ovulating! Menopause aside, our culture needs the constant reminder that sex is not just penetration. Furthermore, sex really shouldn’t be so goal oriented towards orgasm. It’s counterproductive to consider sex in such a heteronormative, big O-oriented way. It’s important to honor …

What is an Orgy Dome? This Midlife Couple Finds Out

Burning Man is a festival — really a temporary city — that appears for one week every summer in the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada, and then disappears. Started in 1986, it’s a lot of things — at the very least a hugely wild art and community gathering, a place where exchanging money and commercialism of any sort are prohibited. Participants (70,000 last year!) live in tents and trailers amid fierce dust storms, ride around on bikes, and admire ginormous sculptures on the playa. Clothing is optional, electronic music blares all night long, and drugs and alcohol are plentiful (if kept hidden from the police, who are there to keep everyone safe). Imagine Mad Max meets Alice in Wonderland, and you’ve pretty much got it covered. Of course, these ingredients lead to some wild adventures… On the third or fourth day, biking around in the hot desert, we passed the famous “Orgy Dome,” a place we’d both heard about, but never discussed. We stood, we stared, we felt uncomfortable, and then we rode on. But …

Flashing Back to the Playboy Mansion, Paris & Prague in Search of a Better Body Image

Cannabis lube and three orgasms in one night. Yep. That’s what my middle-aged, present day, post-divorce sex life looks like… sometimes. While some friends are complaining about atrophied vaginas, my legs are open for business and I’m letting hot suitors visit my grand canal. My curves are being adored and admired and I feel sexually, like the song “Free Bird.” It certainly has not always been this way. Long before my hot romps of late with the Joes, Peters, Pedros, Fabios and Juan Miguels, I would look in the mirror and dissect myself. I didn’t trust or love my body as much as Louise Hay wanted me to. My screenwriting professors always told us to use FLASHBACKS sparingly, but I decided it was time. I wanted to see a time-line of my body image psyche. Flashback, 1980s. I’m a 17-year-old virgin spending the summer in L.A on a film internship. My roommate is a Malibu bombshell who is very “in” with the “LA fast track.” She’s about to attend Hugh Hefner’s Midsummer Night’s Bash and …

The 5 Kübler-Ross Stages of a Hotflash

July 2016. The month New York City officially became hot as Hades and even Texas was sympathetic. Given the temperature, I wasn’t surprised when my sweat glands exploded on a downtown subway platform. I mopped my brow, my neck and the crook of my elbow, grateful when a finely air-conditioned train arrived. But I was still hot, and still sweating. “The temperature is over 95 degrees and it’s humid,” I thought. “Overheating is a side effect of my new antidepressant. I’ll be fine.” Meanwhile, I’d been on the “new” medications for over a year with no other adverse events. I tried to ignore my history of night sweats. I’d just turned 44. Denial. I was hot, and uncomfortable. Everyone around me looked as you’d imagine: cool, comfortable, relieved to be relaxing in a temperature-controlled conveyance. Meanwhile, I was boiling inside, literally and figuratively. I was hotter than I’d been during a summer in Las Vegas, or when I had a 102 fever. What the fuck, man? Was it a hot flash? I was too young …

How I Officially Became a Middle-Aged Badass in the Finnish Arctic

A few summers ago, I was offered the opportunity of a lifetime: a roundtrip holiday junket to the Finnish Arctic region in hopes that I’d write about the region’s beauty, sustainability and why it should be a top travel destination for millennials who are increasingly seeking meaning and purpose when they travel.  But as a woman in midlife, a decidedly non-millennial, I found meaning, purpose and a little bit of a super-hero skill in the deep-freeze. I was offered two, week-long options. The first was to take the trip during the summer solstice in August, featuring hiking, biking and outdoor trekking. The second was a visit during the darkest and coldest time of the Finnish winter, January. Given that I’d be traveling solo and am middle-aged, I initially leaned towards the safe and more “typical” sounding summer holiday. But, after reflection, I thought, “Hell, Susan, why not go the challenging route? Get out of your comfort zone and be a badass for once.” So winter darkness was the selection I made, and my trip would …

How The Flash Inspired My Perimenopausal Alter Ego

8:15PM on a Tuesday Family bonding time. We’re all huddled in my bed watching The Flash on Netflix, a bowl of popcorn propped precariously between my younger son and husband’s thighs. I’m wrapped in a fuzzy sweater under the duvet even though it’s May. In three hours, I will look like Heat Miser doing a striptease when my hot flash hits, but right now I’m shivering and pissing off my older son by using him as a human heating pad for my ice-cold feet. And I want to punch Barry Allen. Barry, AKA metahuman speedster extraordinaire The Flash, is such a whiny bitch. He needs to face the evil Reverse Flash in some bad acid trip called the Flashpoint or all his friends and what’s left of his family will die. But. He’s. Too. Hot. Barry’s friends are science-ing in a panic to literally chill Barry the fuck out and create a new superhero suit that can withstand the burden of saving the world. Meanwhile, I get eyerolls when I ask my kids for a …

TueNight 10: Jamia Wilson

Jamia Wilson is quite fond of the Florynce Kennedy quote, “Don’t agonize! Organize!” — a sentiment which prompted her to co-create the kick-ass guide, Road Map for Revolutionaries: Advocacy for All, just out today (Happy Pub Day!). “In the post-Trump frenzy, I turned to books written by strong women disruptors as a roadmap for what to do, says Jamia who co-authored the book with Elisa Camahort Page and Carolyn Gerin. “I was compelled to collaborate on a direct, snappy guidebook that showcases tools you need to ignite the change you want to see in the world.”Jamia is also the director of Feminist Press, the author of Young, Gifted, and Black, and she wrote the oral history in Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World.  Carolina-born and Saudi Arabia raised, she currently lives in New York City, where she’s an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.“I love teaching undergraduate classes about gender studies and revolutions,” she says. “We can learn so much from the past to help inform a better future.” 1. On the nightstand: Training School for Negro …

TueNight 10: Theo Kogan

Theo Kogan is a makeup artist, musician, native Brooklynite, activist and mom. She is well known for being the singer of the Lunachicks, a band of best friends who happened to be girls. Theo and her pals started the band in high school just for fun; they ended up touring the world through the ’90s, becoming one of the Riot Grrrl bands of the era, and opening up for many of the legendary pop-punk bands of the day. She was a NY nightlife muse, and one of the first heavily tattooed fashion models/actors. We were thrilled when Theo made her live reading debut at TueNight Live: 90s Bitchin July. She has two essays in the forthcoming book Women Who Rock, which is being released next month. You can pre-order a copy now, so do it! She is currently painting faces in New York Fashion Week. Literally. Right now. 1. On the nightstand: There’s a stack of books (seriously) but what I am reading is The Power by Naomi Alderman… for the past 6 months. Clearly I don’t get much time to read. Also tissues, my Hurraw! …

The Case of the Bad Panties

In 1992, I was 23 and the girl who had sex on the first date, if not before.Not coincidentally, I was also drinking too much and dating a lot of low-wattage losers. After a few drinks, I found myself far more interested in what my date was like with his clothes off. To get him to shut up, my underpants came down. But this strategy was getting me nowhere. I was beginning to suspect that it might be better to date people who didn’t bore me into having sex. It was around this time I was asked out by someone I actually liked, a person in whom I potentially could invest time and energy. He was a gentle, shy creature, the type who might be scared off by my willingness to — well, by my willingness. How to keep myself from jumping him pre-appetizer? The beauty of my solution lay in its simplicity: I would wear a pair of panties too embarrassing to reveal to him. The panties in question were a pair of threadbare, …

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9 Lessons I Learned from My 9 Favorite 90s Shows

Oh, 1996: The time in which my eighth year of life on this Earth came to an end and my ninth began. I had begun to take school seriously (#honorrollgoals), spent most of my time in dance class and didn’t care about too much more than my coke bottle glasses and whatever new sneakers were coming out for the week that I could sport on casual Fridays (the perks of being a private school girl.) The year was also a pretty fantastic time for television. I still frequently hear that television kills brain cells and that it’s an idiot box, but I have always begged to differ. Like any kind of media you consume, it can be either imbecilic or informative and, though a balance is best, there’s absolutely no reason why you cannot take any major keys from the telly. I’m still gleaning some epic lessons from television and fondly remember the messages I received from the good old year of 1996. Here are a few from some of the legendary (well, in my …

TueNight Live: Photos from “First Jobs” at The Wing

All photos by Erika Hokanson. We worked Fashion Week, drove a Weinermobile, toured with RuPaul, sold chocolate chip cookies — and got more than we bargained for. These were just a few of the “first jobs” our storytellers shared during our April 24 event, TueNight Live. The evening was a benefit for Higher Heights, a phenomenal organization that works to get more Black women into political life — as candidates and participants. Thanks to generous donations from ticket buyers, those who donated at the event and a matching gift from philanthropist Ruth Ann Harnisch, we raised over $6000! Thank you for that. Now, some snaps: We cozied up in the drop-dead gorgeous Wing Dumbo location. Chatting up new and old friends.       Margit took the mic, introducing the night. Kimberly Allen-Peeler, co-founder of Higher Heights, talked about the HH mission and about her job as a 15-year-old Girl Scout spending a week in a congressional office… during Tailhook. Watch her story here. Mallory Kasdan reads her first job essay about touring the country with RuPaul …

6 Things I Learned Tracking the First Jobs of Famous Folk

Photo (Stocksy.com) Everyone gets a start in the working world somewhere. So, as the Money editor at Reuters, I thought it would be interesting to use the monthly jobs report released by the U.S. Department of Labor as a springboard talk to notable people about their very first gigs. (For non-financial types, the jobs report is by far the most closely watched economic gauge of the U.S. economy’s health.) After all, no matter how famous or powerful they have become, all of us remember the first moment of bringing home the bacon. Here is what I’ve learned from editing three years’ worth of first job stories: 1. Many people got their start delivering newspapers It sounds so old-timey, but the list includes MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, baseball legend Ron Darling and financial wizard Warren Buffett. However, so far no one has mentioned being chased by a dog. 2. Many more of them worked in restaurants Fredrik Eklund of Million Dollar Listing New York, Olympic gold medalist Carmelita Jeter, football star Damien Woody, Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna …

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On Going to a Better Place: What I’ve Learned from My Brother’s Death

Originally published in the Loss Issue, 2016 I have a picture of my younger brother when he was four days old. I’m sitting on my parents’ black and white geometric-patterned bedspread, cradling him. It’s one of my favorite photographs. I’m the oldest, followed by my sister, 13 months later. Almost a decade passed before my parents had another baby. Bryce’s birth was momentous. He was charming from the first day, with a wide, impish grin. As time went by, my mother would say, Bryce is going to do great things: He has the brains, the work ethic, the brawn. When Bryce was thirteen, he started drinking. In our family, drinking wasn’t just about experimentation. No one in my family drank. At fourteen, when the cops called to say he had broken into our neighbor’s house on the hunt for cash to buy booze and drugs, my mother called me at college, desperate and knowing there was a real problem. What had begun as acting out for Bryce had become a salve for anxiety and depression. When my …

RISE: Get Tickets to Our Next Event!

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE! It’s time to rise up, get a rise out of someone, watch the bread rise, and rise to this fabulous occasion… Join TueNight for an evening of Gen-X storytelling around the theme RISE on Tuesday, March 6th in Manhattan. We’ll be in the cozy downstairs bar at The Wren where we’ll drink cocktails, enjoy delicious food and rise up together. Our Storytellers: Abby West (@AbbyWestNYC) Now a senior marketing manager at Audible, Abby is the former executive editor of Essence.com, and an Entertainment Weekly and People mag vet. A self-described “pop culture fanatic,” she’s a firm believer in the power of storytelling and will one day finish her own book. Melanie Dione (@beauty_jackson) Melanie is a writer, and podcaster from New Orleans, currently residing in Pittsburgh, PA. She is one half of the creative duo behind The Good & Terrible Show, and can be heard weekly on the popular “Bad Advice Show.” When she is not using her gift of gab, she is making geek dreams come true as the Director of Entertainment for Universal …

What’s the Most Ageist Thing Anyone Has Ever Said to You? (VIDEO)

“You’re old!” “When are you going to dye your hair?” “You look great for your age!” We asked several women over 40 to share the rudest, funniest, and just plain strange comments they’ve heard about being the age they are. Which um, isn’t old, by the way. We filmed this at our last TueNight Live event in Manhattan, sponsored by AARP (High five AARP! We love our sponsors!) and we’re so happy to have them sponsor this video. It’s all part of their mission to reinvent what it means to age — aka #DisruptAging. What’s the most ageist thing anyone’s ever said to you? Watch this video and then tell us YOUR most ageist story in the comments below. We’ll be rounding them up to share for collective commiseration.  We’re #NobodysMaam.  

Before We Ever Met, He Tattooed My Name on His Hip

When he got my name tattooed on his hip, we hadn’t met yet. He was 50. I had just turned 30. He had a big job in the city at a law firm, lived on Long Island, and wore tailored suits to work. I assumed he was rich. He sounded rich. I was working as a telephone dominatrix from my ramshackle apartment deep in Jersey City and had just filed for bankruptcy. His voice was measured, wise. I liked him more than the others and more than I was supposed to. My voice on the phone, was confident, lulling — often just a whisper. It was one of my trademarks and how I controlled them. I was good at it. The other women on the line thought the guys would spend more money on you if you yelled at them. They were mostly wrong. One of my best clients, a shy music professor from England who had six pet rats, left me five stars and this comment on my site one time: “I’d sell my …

Choosing Calm Over Chaos Made Me Less of an Asshole Mom

For a long time, I couldn’t relate to mother-daughter relationship drama stories. I was way too preoccupied with an operatic level of paternal drama for that. My father’s attentions, and the absence thereof, consumed my childhood. I was too busy being adored, smacked, screamed at, and gaslighted by my dad to have any emotional space left to hate my mom. My own daughter, Amira, was born 11 days after my 30th birthday. Four and a half years later, my son Lev was born. I did the stay-at-home-mom thing for 10 years, throughout my 30s. My job performance was fair. In the “pro” column: I think I gave my kids pretty good advice about how to stand down bullies. “If someone teases you,” I said, “squint real hard, look totally grossed out and say: ‘Ewww…! What’s that green stuff coming out of your nose?!?’” They both say it never came to that, but I know they knew what I was getting at: Don’t dignify shitty behavior. You’re bigger than that. My temper, however, was at the …

Life Blindsided Me And Then I Learned to See.

One Sunday afternoon about fifteen years ago, I wandered into a panel discussion at The Brooklyn Public Library just as Carmen Boullousa, the Mexican poet and novelist, was being asked a question. “How do you write?” the questioner asked. Carmen Boullousa threw her hands up in the air and slammed them down the table in front of her. “You don’t know what you’re doing!” she burst forth, with a shout and a laugh. “You start off blinded, and you work until you begin to see.” I was 37 or 38 at the time, with a husband and two young daughters doing whatever they were doing in our Prospect Heights brownstone a few blocks away. And for as long as I could remember, I’d been trying to connect life’s dots with a modicum of elegance and a minimum of fuss. Determined to press on, to be a trooper, to feign competence, to not give passport, ever, to a willingness to be blinded. Carmen Boullousa was talking about writing but I sensed her advice might help me …

That Last Day I Ever Trusted My Father

I trusted my father to always do the right thing because he constantly barked at my sister and me about how hard he was working for us to have a good home, go to good schools, go to college, etc. My father was the first Black man ever hired at Western Electric in their managerial program. He did a lot of good, helping other Black folks get jobs, being the President of the NAACP chapter, and integrating the Kiwanis and Lions civic organizations. In hindsight, though, there were signs I shouldn’t have trusted him as much as I did. He was of the generation of men who did not cry and were not affectionate with their family. From the time I was four years old, I knew that he and my mother didn’t have a very loving relationship. When I was five, I remember being awakened by a huge fight they had one night. They were yelling at each other, and she grabbed a giant glass ashtray and tried to smash him in his head …

The Day I Stopped Trusting My Memory

“I don’t have time for this shit,” I grumbled to myself as I searched the apartment for my keys. Moving piles of unopened mail around on the kitchen table, I felt the familiar pit in my stomach begin to grow. “Why didn’t I put the keys on its porcelain dish as usual?” I chastised myself. “And why was this happening so often lately?” Just last week, I went searching for my iPhone and found it in the freezer. In the freezer. Don’t even ask me how I did that because — guess what — I don’t remember. Back in my years before Impending Cronehood, I had a remarkable memory — almost photographic. Dates, names, and intimate details were etched into my brain so clearly that I could recall them vividly, and I was often used as my friend’s journals, to be opened when their own recollections of the past grew hazy. “Hey, Issa, what was the name of that guy I used to date our freshman year in college? You know, the one who was …

Why Don’t We Trust the Institutions We Create?

In June of 2017, the Gallup organization conducted its “CONFIDENCE IN INSTITUTIONS” poll, which it has been conducting pretty much every year since 1973. And this year, despite what you might expect would be some sort of pre-apocalyptic low water mark in America’s trust in institutions, our trust in general went up. Specifically, it went up 3 percent. The poll measures confidence in 14 major public institutions — from public schools to banks to labor unions to the Supreme Court to police to big business to small business to newspapers to television news to churches to the military to the medical system and, yes, measuring trust in Congress and the presidency as well. The fine people at Gallup found that in 2016 just 32 percent of the American people on average said they trusted these institutions. A year later — this is THIS YEAR — we now trust these institutions 3 percent more or a WHOPPING 35 percent. Now, you may be thinking — as I was when I encountered this data — that WHOA, that 35 percent …

TueNight Live: Photos from “TRUST”

Walking into the red room at Spring Place, one of our storytellers, Jenny Douglas squealed, “This place is like a ’70s sunken living room!” Later, she corrected herself and whispered, “No, it’s more as if Hugh Hefner had a vagina. I love it.” Last week, on October 17, we brought TueNight Live and our TRUST issue,  to the seriously swanky Spring Place, where we shared wine, sandwiches, and — of course — stories, in a sort of loungey theater in the square, with a beautiful view of Tribeca. Margit kicked off the evening, thanking both Spring Place for hosting and our evening’s sponsor, AARP. Reading her story via her phone — because 2017 — Dori Fern described how choosing calm over chaos improved her relationship with her kids. (While she read her story off her phone, her daughter actually texted her, “do you have the laundry card on you?”) After fixing our microphone (it was backward — sigh) Crystal Durant told a harrowing story of learning her father was untrustworthy. Oft CNN contributor Sally Kohn posed …

The Glow of A Warrior Woman

The sun is a glowing ball of fire in the sky and every pore of my body is sweating. I’m on mile three of the morning run, jogging along manicured lawns in an upscale neighborhood outside of Bangkok. The smell of the morning air is a mix of dampness, jasmine, car exhaust and tropical decay. The Thai sunrise looks different to me, seeing it from the other side of the world from my home. That ball of fire in the sky glows a different orange-pink, not a typical yellow, which I learn later might be air pollution. A few weeks after the US election last year I decided I didn’t need to keep delaying my craziest dreams. Reality was upside down, so why keep waiting to see the world? I booked a ticket to go with my Muay Thai boxing gym for a two-week fight camp in Thailand. I’ve traveled internationally maybe four times. I came to martial arts two years ago, after recovering from some chronic health issues. I wanted to celebrate beating the …

The Best Voice in the World Is… Need You Ask?

For the most part, I don’t trust most people’s taste in music. To debate a musical topic or question with someone is to know for sure that you and your opponent have a shared music-listening lineage and appreciation or, at the very least, the two of you share a mutual understanding and interest for the music that one of you likes that the other person doesn’t. For me, someone with a baseline understanding of many musical genres, the mutual understanding thing is tricky, especially when the mutuality is to be established with: 1. A non-black person — especially a non-black person who hasn’t spent much time around black people. 2. A black person who hasn’t spent much time around non-black people 3. A much-younger person — any race, doesn’t matter. 3a. Case in point: my much-younger white coworker who didn’t know Bananarama’s “Venus” outside of the razor commercial (which until writing this piece and being schooled by our beloved EIC Margit I didn’t know was originally sung by the Dutch garage band Shocking Blue) 3b. …

It’s Getting Hot in Here: The Sweaty Signifier of Age

I was at the kind of music festival that draws packs of “festies,” young people who travel from concert to concert in the summertime wearing Indian-print skirts and bikini tops, their skin pierced and tattooed, wafting a fragrance that commingles pot and patchouli, with a base note of humid sleeping bag. An afternoon spent among them was making me feel my age, 48 at the time. They were groovy goddesses of their own anointing, with crazy-curly-cool hair highlighted in green and purple, bare feet kicking up dirt as they danced. They looked like beautiful children with their exposed tummies — flat or rounded, it did not seem to matter which — playful and unselfconscious. I was sitting under a dusty sycamore, wondering how weird I’d look if I starting reading my library book, when it struck me: a bolt of searing heat, a sudden scrambling of the brain. A hot flash is a bit like a menstrual cramp or migraine. Even if you’ve never had one, you know it when you feel it. And perhaps …

Am I Allowed to Be Happy Even If My Kids Are Not?

I was raised to believe that happiness and motherhood were inherently incompatible, if not irreconcilable. I learned from my mother’s example. Mothers did not live to be happy. Mothers lived to be useful. Mothers lived to be productive. I don’t remember my mother ever talking about being happy. I do remember her always working, laboring, being useful to others. My mother’s hands seemed like they never stopped moving. If she wasn’t pulling strings off string beans or picking worms off tomatoes in her garden, she was peeling apples for a pie or peaches for a cobbler. Or, she was sewing us or herself a new outfit, or turning our old outgrown clothes into quilts. Over time, arthritis made sewing too difficult, but she kept cooking and gardening until the day she took her last breath. As infants, my children were born pushy, in that way that is socially acceptable only for babies and cats. My daughter came out stubborn, demanding and unapologetic. My son, on the other hand, used his fat cheeks, bright eyes and …

A Luminous Photograph with a Story to Tell

It’s a photograph no one else but me could have taken. My mother didn’t take it, that’s for sure. She was great in front of the camera, her rightful place, and pretended — feminine wiles, how quaint — not to understand how to depress the shutter button on a point-and-shoot. My ex-husband was a distracted photographer with an artsy eye that didn’t translate to family photos. Twenty-five years later, no, Philip, I don’t remember whose earlobe that is. But Philip didn’t take it. I’ll describe the image. My daughter, Sophia, is three. Her hair is summer blonde and flows. She is wearing a yellow dress that is now packed in a bin marked “Girls,” in the basement of my building. My father, Tom, is 67. He is tanned and grey and rugged, with a big dad head, square and block-sturdy, the kind of dad head you don’t see much anymore, who knows why, something to do with the internet? Craniums diminish to accommodate next level evolution? I don’t know. Anyway, my father with his big …

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Baked Goods and Bad Trips

Last June was our 16th anniversary, so Scott and I spent a weekend at this funky hotel in the Catskills. Every room is themed at this place. I chose a space-themed room. It was appropriately far out. Before we left, Scott mentioned that one of his coworkers, a fellow video editor, had gifted us an edible. A pot cookie, in other words. (I feel like I’m a million years old when I say “pot cookie” but I don’t feel like I’ve earned the right to say “edible.”) He apparently was a frequent user (and baker, I guess) of such things, and thought we’d have fun with it. Sure, I said! Pot’s fun! Couple of important details: First, I smoked pot plenty in my twenties, but not really since. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s … changed a little, in the past twenty-odd years. I learned this a couple of years ago, when I shared a one-hitter with a friend and spent the next few hours paranoid and hyper, my face in a jumbo bag of Cheetos. Number …