Abstruse Goose: Electronic Man

AG’s mouseover says, “When I forget to charge my phone at night, my existence feels incomplete in the morning,” meaning I guess that he’s become as one with his electronic devices.  But as I know because I’ve been writing an interminable story about insomnia, AG’s identity as an electronic device is just the God’s truth. […]

A Lungful of Quiet

I’m writing to you from inside an artificial lung. Really. I’m sitting at a desk in a cylindrical, windowless room, 180 feet across. The floor and walls are concrete, and the ceiling, several stories above, is rimmed with an enormous black rubber gasket which sighs gently—up, then down—every time somebody opens the door. No one […]

Guest Post: Painful Lessons

It used to go like this: The nice doctor smiles and checks your heart, ears, and knees, pronounces you healthy, and off you go. Grab a lollipop on your way out! (Doctors used to have candy jars. Dentists used to give out toothbrushes.)  You are not yet 20! Life is good! Then suddenly you’ve flown […]

Does Your Messy Desk Make You a Bad Person?

My desk is a disaster. Let’s see…there’s a pile of notebooks. An extension cord. A Christmas card from Switzerland and a postcard from Oklahoma. Index cards with poems by Wordsworth and Blake. A folder with the notes for a paper I wrote in 11th grade. And the only reason there’s no stack of unread and […]

The G-out Room

It would start with tapping fingers on my bar, as the house music blared its inane, sometimes nonsensical, lyrics. The hands would be fidgety, the muscles straining for something to press against. Then his legs would start bopping and his face would start working and he’d launch into a violent dance. The shirt would come […]

How an internet quiz put me in my place

I am from nowhere. Until my husband told me this — stated it as a fact, like “it’s raining” or “the sky is blue” — I’d never had a truthful answer to a question that has always given me pause: where are you from? “You’re from nowhere,” Dave said. His words hit me like a […]

Holiday Review: Closed-System Sibling Knowledge

This post — a proposal which, like Erik’s, could solve a significant world problem if only anybody would listen — originally ran on March 12, 2012. A week or so ago, I commented on an Abstruse Goose cartoon about probabilities.  My brother-the-statistician commented on my comment, taking me apart – lovingly — for missing the […]

My love-hate relationship with e-books

Ever since I read a New York Times article about the possibility of bedbugs spreading through library books, I’ve been too paranoid to check out a book from my local library. (Yes, I know people have argued that the article was way overblown. What can I say? I have an irrational fear of the bedbug.) […]