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FEATURED COLUMNS

laughing in the face of death
potentially stupid, definitely necessary
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: pop culture
10.3.11 • CLASSIC

After an exhausting four-day combination conference/lost-weekend, one that required a lot of driving, I returned home, crashed, and woke the next morning to the news that my Grandmother had passed away a few hours earlier.

This was not unexpected. In fact, I had packed a suit on the trip just in case I got the call. She was 93, she had been ill, and although she was lucid, she was ready to go.

Oh, and everyone claims their Grandmother is a saint, but mine was indeed a saint. Saint Grandma.

She was the only grandparent I ever knew, she single-handedly raised my father and his brother when my Grandfather died shortly after returning from WWII. She also pitched in a lot when my own Mom got sick during my pre-teen years. I'm the oldest of four. Four hellions.

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books are not babies
part i: approaching the launch
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: writing
4.4.12 • CLASSIC

In many ways, we writers feel like our books are our children -- we created them, we're protective of them, and somehow they infuriate us even as we love them to pieces. A quick search for "my books are my children" instantly delivers 140,000 results, and author blogs like Book Pregnant draw the parallel in detail.

And yet. There are some important differences, right?

Last April I had the wonderful adventure of seeing my first book come out into the world, and this April, I'll have an even more amazing adventure when my first baby does the same. I know enough to know that I can't possibly understand how much having a child will change my life. But I've observed some differences so far in preparing for the baby's arrival and the book's, so I can certainly share five ways in which the two things are worlds apart at this stage:

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gym-iny cricket
do i really have to be the conscience of the health club?
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: sports
9.7.09 • CLASSIC

Those of you who read my columns religiously (that is, while wearing a yarmulke), and memorize my every word, will likely remember a piece I wrote a few months ago in which I mentioned that I joined a gym and was going to get in stellar shape. It would have worked, too, if it hadn't been for you snooping kids. And the fact that I got downsized and lost the membership I had through work. However ... and it's a big "however" ... I have been gainfully employed for slightly over three months, and

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do what i say, not what i do
advice from the queen of all things procrastination
by michelle von euw
topic: writing
6.5.09 • CLASSIC

“Dear Professor,” the email reads. “I started to write my poetry collection, but after 2 poems, I came up with a bad case of writer’s block. I really love this class, and I’m really excited about this assignment, but I have to let you know that the ten page poetry assignment that’s due in five minutes will only be a page and a half. I hope you understand.” One part of me – the one that meticulously creates assignment sheets and spends entire class periods explaining exactly how writing is wo

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tattoo you
carve yourself a personality
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
12.7.07 • CLASSIC

Just like Allen Iverson, I've had a fair amount of conversations about tattoos (I also hate practice). Just like everyone else, I've considered having someone brand my skin with a hot needle, but never very seriously. I have, of course, spent some time thinking about what tattoo I might get, were I to make such a mistake. Based on these brief ruminations, I've realized such a decision would likely be the hardest of my life. I just know that after months of going back and forth about what tattoo

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the bad boys of television
and why we love watching them
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: television
11.30.09 • CLASSIC

Periodically, entertainment magazines float out the titillating buoy title, "Bad Boys on Television!" There's a splash pictorial of hunks, usually all under age 25, shirtless, and pouty, or with wry sideways smiles and frisky forelocks loose across their foreheads. 9021-ooohh. The summer of 2009 was no exception. BuddyTV ran a "Which TV Bad Boy is Right for You?" quiz. AOL developed a slideshow featuring everyone from Spike (James Marsters of "Buffy" and "Angel") and Dr. Christian Troy (Julia

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soldiers of love
prodigal songstresses corinne bailey rae & sade offer different takes on post-relationship struggles
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: music
2.17.10 • CLASSIC

Corinne Bailey Rae’s accomplished second studio album, The Sea, is not just an album about loss. Although all sad songs don’t have to be sad (see Allen, Lily), the album’s unwillingness to do the expected is remarkable. Since her album was recorded within a two year radius of the sudden death of her husband, saxophonist Jason Rae, and given her previously melancholy leanings, it was easy to imagine this album might be in the vein of Beck’s magnificent, somber (and similarly titled) Sea Change

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saving for the other things
if the best things in life are free, you should at least save on the other things
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: general
11.17.08 • CLASSIC

I read IM contributor Lucy Lediaev's piece posted last week in the gallery entitled Belt tightening. I thought I'd add my 2 cents on trying to make the most of your money. The first thing you have to do is have some sort of budget to see where your money is going. Until recently, a "budget" was more like, "do I have enough to pay all my bills?”. The answer usually being yes, that was the end of it. Anything left over was thus fair game for blowing on... whatever. I didn't really keep track

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my eyes are bigger than my stomach
taking on more than you can handle
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: general
2.23.09 • CLASSIC

What happens when you have so much on your proverbial plate that you literally don't know where to start or what to do? Or you're scared of taking that first 'bite' because you might not like it? Or it turns out to not be what you wanted? Or you're so locked into analyzing what might be or could be or should be you completely fail to take action at all? I am staring at this plate of mine, and it looks huge. Daunting. I am not so much holding onto my fork as I am grasping for a handhold in

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as long as it isn't babysitting
deciphering a surprise attraction for the younger guy
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: humor
8.16.11 • CLASSIC

This past month, I turned 36.

Though my age change isn't earth-shattering news, it feels significant to me because when the date fell, I swore to appreciate myself and not feel too self-critical. I didn't go around putting myself down with dynamite-fishing-for-compliment wails of, "I'm old!" Instead of throwing a John McEnroe-like meltdown at my local CVS, I simply decided to embrace my progression into the latter half of my thirties with, "I'm getting older."

Surely, by owning my age with that statement, I wouldn't have any reason to feel awkward. I decided to use that as my daily mantra a couple weeks ago; at the time, it made perfect sense.

In line with my general strategy of greeting life more proactively, I've decided to make some new friends. While meeting and greeting, I came across someone whose sharp, scrappy personality mirrored mine and completely threw off my generally-accurate age radar. As I laughed at his jokes and exchanged quips, I predicted his age to be on the younger side of 30, and no younger than 27.

Then, he told me he hadn't turned 23 yet.

And now, I feel old.

read on



loving
a part of our speech
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: news
4.16.12 • CLASSIC

Loving: Noun
Loving begins as a noun, but not just any noun. Loving is a personal noun; it is something we experience only through the prism of ourselves. We can’t point to the source of love, diagram its location, or dissect it from our body, and yet it is there. Loving is also a noun in the stricter sense: Richard Loving, a white man born in Caroline County, Virginia, in 1933.

Loving: Verb
Loving may begin as a noun, but we know it best as a verb. We recognize love only because we see it in action: caring, sharing, laughing, kissing, touching, soothing, healing, helping, grieving. These actions can shape our lives, yet we can’t trace them to a source. Love – of nature, of creatures, of music – is a mystery in the abstract, but vibrant in reality. Something happens in your spirit, your physical heart might thump, your nerves might jitter, and suddenly that potential for love comes out into the open. That kind of spark caught Richard Loving (noun: white) and Mildred Jeter (noun: black) and whirled them into action. They were loving each other, and – as it always does – that love was shaping their lives.

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a full case of christmas spirits
pairing beer with your holiday treats
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: pop culture
12.17.07 • CLASSIC

Beer: it's not just for breakfast, anymore. 2007 has seen a big push by craft brewers around the country, with the help and guidance of the Brewer's Association, to pair beers with food. It's treated like a crazy new concept, but it really shouldn't be. It's well known that using flavors in your refreshing alcoholic beverage to contrast and compliment the favors in your well-prepared dinner opens up an entirely new gastronomic experience. After all, wine has been paired with food for years.

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constant craving
*the secret* to success
by heather m. millen
topic: humor
8.27.08 • CLASSIC

The other day I was sitting at my desk. It was about 4:00 in the afternoon, the day had been a bit stressful and I was greatly in need of a tiny token of relief. Suddenly, I realized that all my soul craved was a cookie. I don't eat cookies very often but who am I to judge what my soul desires? My husband happened to call and I said aloud and with conviction: "I really want a cookie." Ask. Cookies are good. I used to make cookies with my grandmother. She made these amazing little thumbp

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possible ride effects
a blog at best
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: advertising
9.28.07 • CLASSIC

It's Wednesday again, and I'm not impressed. Another ride to work on my aging Trek mountain bike, which has been modified only slightly with "hybrid" tires that make riding on the pavement a little less sluggish, but will explode if you hit a sharp curb. Fortunately, like most of the commuters you encounter in Boston, curbs in this teenytiny city are worn, dull, and slowly eroding into forms barely distinguishable from the street itself. As I ride in, I listening to yet another podcast. This t

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RECENT COMMENTS

re: irrussistible
I am not going to read it this time. I do and I just cannot pull myself together to comment. It is a beautiful tribute. I am very glad that you wro...

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I would expect that and especially Netflix. Marketing, baby. They're spending zillions to get new subscribers....

re: everybody poops
What a bunch of crap! :-D Sorry. I tried to let it pass. Butt I'm weak. [edited]...

re: you are on your own heroes journey
Too short. Sigh. Thanks Maigen. I just miss him. I am glad that I can find people who cared deeply for him here. He had such good friends here!...





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