Intelligence Vs. Instinct

So, there I was, in, what? Fourth grade? We were learning about instincts. Birds that could fly halfway around the globe to find exactly the same nesting site. Salmon swimming upstream without their parents to guide them to the pool where they were born! I raised my hand. “Why don’t we have any instincts?” I asked. […]

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The Awful Lie of Fitting In

As a teen, I felt the agony of not fitting in. Advice from my peers didn’t help.  “Dress how you want! But not in that!” I wrote many angsty teen poems about the tyrannical conformity of teal and pink penguins. I couldn’t escape ridicule for my clothes. I didn’t have control over what clothing I owned. […]

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Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

My office just got a new gender-neutral bathroom. There was a lot of objection from some staff members, mostly women, about having to ‘share with men,’ but ultimately, no amount of objection could erase the simple need: We needed it to meet building code for minimum number of toilets per residents. It’s true! The building […]

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Made-up Words

I was in third or fourth grade when I wrote a story about a group of kids forming a club with a friendly alien.  With a treehouse. Treehouses where very important to me at the time.  Other than that, the story was a straight rip-off of “The Story of the Four Little Children Who Went […]

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Making it Harder

We make things harder than they actually are.  Take rock-climbing. The beginning rock-climber takes way more steps and hand-holds than she actually needs.  Trust me. I’m a beginner.  I will not move an inch unless I am braced with both feet and both hands and the distance to step is smaller than a stair.  You […]

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To the Non-Sports-Fan

Sorry, I’m a little distracted. Remember that feeling you had when they announced the Star Wars prequels? And you didn’t even have the faintest suspicion that they could possibly suck? How about that feeling when you read that awesome book and then you found someone else had read it too, and then it became a […]

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My Career in the Mob (Or: Mindset is everything.)

My first job after college was working the night shift at a store downtown. I frequently had to close the store alone and catch the last Red Line east to get off at the lonely, rickety East 120th rapid stop. (If I was lucky and got out before midnight. Otherwise I had to wait for […]

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