Snark Week: All Blackbirds Should Be Baked in Pie

Welcome to Snark Week 2017! A peaceful summer day. A glittering, blue lake and a sky full of billowy clouds. And on the path below, a young woman rollerblades. She zips from side to side, enthusiastically mouthing the words to “Baby Got Back.” Then, out of the corner of her eye, a glint of something […]

Cassandra and the Climate Apocalypse

When my mother named me Cassandra, she didn’t know anything about Greek mythology. She had never heard of the princess who prophesied the destruction of Troy. But I inherited some of Cassandra’s attributes all the same. I’m a doom-and-gloom kind of girl. My visions of the future involve illness, poverty, and untimely deaths. Each headache […]

Litterbug

On Saturday, Earth Day, I went for a run. About a mile in, I came upon a bald, middle-aged man. He wore a leather jacket and a Bluetooth headset. I was perhaps twenty feet from him when he chucked a crumpled plastic bag on the ground. Then he got on his bicycle and started peddling […]

TSA’s Gratuitous Bun Squeezing

I have a friend named Neda. She is known for many things, but her most striking physical feature is her hair. It is explosive. Thick black curls billow from her head and intertwine to form a wild thicket. Her hair has the tensile strength of woven steel. If it were long enough, it could support […]

My Unlovely Lady Lump

Last September, a tiny, itchy welt appeared just above my left hip. I thought I had an insect bite. I was visiting New York City at the time, and I worried it might be a sign of bed bugs. But after I flew home, the welt began to swell. Soon it was big as a […]

Great Balls of Fire

Early Monday morning, a fireball lit up the night sky over Wisconsin. For a just a second, dark became light. And then there was an explosion followed by a terrifying sonic boom. Loretta Brockmeier, a resident of Random Lake, Wisconsin, a town about 40 minutes north of Milwaukee, got up to use the bathroom and […]

The Telltale Liver

“You haven’t been eating anything weird, have you?” my doctor asked. “Like, really weird?” I was feeling crappy, and a routine panel of lab tests showed that my liver was sending out a mild distress signal. Now we were trying to figure out why. I didn’t think I had been eating anything weird, but I asked […]

Thankful? Oh, Really?

Ann:  It’s been a fairly dreadful year, personally and nationally, and giving thanks is going to be a stretch.  But even when I was a kid, I was thankless.  When my grandfather said grace at Sunday dinners — “Bless, oh Lord, this food to our use and us to thy service” — I thought the […]