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There is No Such Thing As Closure

I am scheduled to leave for Germany in several days. I have already told my husband that I don‘t want to go, in a whining tone that stretches syllables out so far that the words they once formed are barely recognizable. As a woman nearing the aging of forty, this is how I am coping

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How to Become a Better Public Speaker (When You‘ve Just Bombed on Stage)

(Pictured above: me during a far less neurotic presentation.) I am standing in front of a crowd under blinding fluorescent lights. They appear to be listening to my every word. And I am positively bombing. The room is too bright, and I can see everyone‘s faces, but I am absolutely unable to read their expressions.

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I Bumped Into a Guy From High School And Would Now Like to Speak to The Manager

Hello, hi, yes, I would like to speak to the manager please? No, I don‘t think that this is something you could help me with okay. Okay, fine. Yes, so I‘ve been shopping here for several years, and it‘s always been a really positive experience. But yesterday I was walking down the freezer aisle

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When Online Threats Become Real. (It‘s Not Just Trolling.)

(Note: this piece does not link to any of the shooter‘s video or manifesto directly, but some of the news sites that I link to may do so. A few include screencaps of his 4-chan forum discussions. Please click with caution.) 49 people died yesterday, gunned down in two mosques in coordinated attacks across New

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Cambodian Rock Band at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Note: this post contains some content that may be upsetting for certain readers - including mention of torture and the Cambodian genocide. My trip to Cambodia feels so long ago - more than five years - that I have to remind myself that I was there. I look at the photos, and see myself

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Relationship Advice: Buy a Big Ass Scarf

I am on occasion asked for relationship advice. I often do not know how to reply. The list of things I could tell people is long and winding, may be entirely irrelevant, and varies from season to season and day to day. In summer, I learn to appreciate freckles and to not mind when the

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The Tragedy of Monica Geller

I graduated high school in 1998, either (depending on which arbitrary marker you choose) the last of Gen-Xers or the first of the Millennials. Like so many of us who came of age in the 90s, Friends was a delightful, aspirational glimpse of the future. (I had no perspective to realize that my friends of

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What is Left When We Go.

We went to Germany, and I cried. Not right away. It wasn‘t until the last day that I finally did. Rand asked if I wanted to rent a car to go down to see my father‘s grave. He asked me in the early hours of the morning, when jet lag had us both exhausted but

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I Have a James Beard Award and I Think You Are So Great.

My writing pitches don‘t get accepted often. Sometimes an editor will contact me directly, and I‘ll send them a piece, and if it gets published, it may do quite well (my piece on bullying for The Washington Post was an example of that), but it rarely gets to that point. More often than not, I‘ll

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I Got a James Beard Award Nomination and Heinz Made A Creme Egg Mayonnaise (No, Really.)

I was recently nominated for a James Beard Award for journalism, and statement which makes as much sense as saying I was nominated for a Grammy for this cookie that I just ate. The other nominees in my category are - I kid you not - The New York Times and The Atlantic. I submitted

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