The 5 Podcasts That Fill the Serial-Sized Hole in My Life

Like much of America I quit my job, stopped eating, and refused to leave my house last autumn after I became obsessed with Serial. Ok, so none of that is true, but I did love the podcast. My dog and I take a long walk every afternoon (or morning, depending on the time of year) and I like to listen to podcasts while we walk. I listened to just about every episode more than once, and when it ended I had to search for podcasts to fill the hole.

I’d already run through most of Marc Maron’s archives, and because I listen to NPR in my office, I didn’t really want to listen to any of its offerings. So here are some of the podcasts (Serial-related and otherwise) to fill the hole between seasons. Continue reading

Just Say No to “Go Set a Watchman”

I don’t recommend trying to go to your local bookstore today. Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman came out this morning and there are, no doubt, long lines of To Kill a Mockingbird fans waiting to purchase it. I will not be one of them.

If you’ve been following this story, you’ll know that Harper Lee has prevented this book from being published for decades. She wrote it before she wrote her beloved classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, but has kept it secreted away for years. But now, as the author pushes 90-years-old the book is being published–most likely against her wishes and under very shady circumstances.  Continue reading

Preciousssss: Bob Durst is Gollum

For the past five weeks the Serial-sized hole in my life has been filled by The JinxI was just as blown away and satisfied by the end of Andrew Jarecki’s documentary series as the rest of America. If you haven’t seen it I won’t ruin it for you, but there is plenty of press coverage out there to fill you in. I was still thinking about it this morning and I realized something: Bob Durst is basically Gollum.

Bob Durst

Bob Durst



Continue reading

Hoarders: The HGTV Edition

HGTV has come to Netflix. I assume the House Hunters and Love It or List It collections were released in time to coincide with cold, rainy fall weather that keeps people like my shut up in the house, drinking tea, eating soup, and staring at the walls thinking about all the things we would change. Here’s the thing, though: If you watch Love It or List It back to back, you start to realize that about 75% of the people are just slobs/hoarders who don’t know when to stop having children. The people on this show are just lucky that HGTV showed up at their doors before TLC and the Hoarders crew.

Yes, sometimes you get people who genuinely have a mess of a house. Their kitchens are falling apart, their windows leak, and the walls are drafty. But most of them could get by with hiring a professional organizer and buying some new furniture. Alternatively, they could stop having kids, because more often than not the big problem seems to be that the kids’ toys are EVERYWHERE! A simple trip to IKEA could solve all their woes.  Continue reading

Photoshoot on the Farm

It recently occurred to me that I am going to need an author photo. This presented a bit of an issue for a few reasons:

  1. Most of the pictures of me that I actually like involve me making a weird face
  2. The pictures I’ve used for professional purposes are pretty darn old (and I harshly judge those who are still using their head shots from before they lost their hair, went gray, or developed wrinkles)
  3. A lot of my pictures have my dog in them

So I turned to my friend Leah and asked if we could have a photo shoot. She always makes me look good. We got some good author photo options, but as per usual, I ended up acting like a goon and taking a bunch of goofy pictures — and some with the dog.

IMG_9488 Continue reading

I’m Fully on Board with the McConaissance/Obsessed with True Detective

I am no small amount of obsessed with True Detective…specifically Matthew McConaughey, who I suspect of being a half-lunatic. Seriously, this guy pulls off crazy eyes like no other! He is also the most convincing functional drunk I’ve ever seen–like, h e even looks like actual alcoholics I know. He’s got the thousand yard stare of someone who isn’t all there down to a T!

But what I’m even more fascinated by is how the internet has completely lost its mind theorizing about the final episode. Here are a few examples:

One Last Wild True Detective Theory Before the Finale

This one about the Lawnmower Mann is soooo long

And a collection of a whole bunch of crazy theories Continue reading

Welcome to Sochi: The Schadenfreude Olympics

My Sochi schadenfreude knows no bounds. Between the homophobia, the “disappeared” Orcas, and the general gangsterism I can understand why some people might boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics. I don’t particularly care about the games, but I love seeing Putin fail so publicly.

And I can’t help but wonder is this…like… the Russian Village People? And is this considered gay propaganda?

I’m barely old enough to remember the Cold War. I was in elementary school when the Berlin Wall fell, but there is some weird, deeply patriotic part of me that just loves to see the Russian government flounder on such a public stage. And the tantalizing tid-bits that are filtering out about the open ceremonies are just too much. The ring that didn’t light up. The weird militaristic Daft Punk cover (I was wondering who Russia could trot out to perform a musical number. I mean, they don’t exactly have a Paul McCartney waiting in the wings, but I never thought it would be this hilarious.)

I may pop the cork on a bottle of champagne to watch this and let my inner-German emerge.

Adventures in Self-Publishing: For the Love of Zombies

zombieWhen I decided to start my experiment in self-publishing by publishing Fiona vs. the Foot Tickler I had a theory that the only way to be truly successful in this world is with zombie, vampires, werewolves, or fairies. Or at least those critters seem to be the fastest way to self-publishing success in the fiction world. So for a few years I’ve been mulling over a couple of ideas about vampires and zombies.

I’ve started the vampire story more times than I can count, but haven’t been able to make it work… not yet anyway. I had a little more success with my zombie story–which is really a zombie story for people who aren’t necessarily all that into zombies.  Continue reading

Why Bustle Isn’t Going to Win the Hearts and Minds of Women

A while back Bleacher Report founder Bryan Goldberg found himself in a bit of a PR nightmare when he announced he would be revolutionizing women’s media by creating a site that *gasp* put politics and hard news alongside beauty tips and fashion advice. Mostly people just laughed at him because clearly he hadn’t done any homework before launching, which would have shown the many thriving websites aimed at women. Among his competition is Jezebel. I’d forgotten all about Bustle because, well, I read Jezebel, Rookie, XOJane, Slate’s XX blog, and any number of other lady-focused sites. Today I confirmed that I was right to stay away. Continue reading

A Small Quiet Room

The other day a friend sent me a G-Chat message asking if I’d ever ready anything by Cheryl Strayed. “WHY YES, I HAVE!” I told him and launched into my standard praise of Wild.  Then he sent me this “DEAR SUGAR” column, and it made me tear up. it’s the kind of thing we should all print out and give to any daughters we might have one day: Continue reading