Posts Tagged: jess kimball-leslie

The Prom King on Instagram, 10 Years After the Party

When I was a junior in high school, I decided that I wanted to become popular. Fortuitously, my scientist parents were about to make the one wanton decision that they would ever make in their lives: leaving me home alone for a weekend, along with my little brother.

Normally ones to frown upon any vacation not spent in a tent, my parents made this special exception for Maine, a place where they could remain on their rigorous work schedule. They’d planned a quintessential rise-at-dawn, sleep-by-dusk experience: stilted breakfast conversations with strangers at inns, jaunts to folksy outlet stores, and long walks along punishing rocky coasts. Lost in their excitement, neither [...]


Memories of a Bette Midler Message Board Childhood

I was a lounge-singing weirdo in rainbow clothes, accidentally placed in a family of geniuses: that is how I explain my entire childhood to the people I meet as an adult in New York.

My father’s hobbies included turning lights off and extolling the benefits of turning lights off to others; he was a software engineer by trade and a “mathemagician” by night. One weekend when I was in high school he carefully re-covered my remedial math book in clean brown paper and titled it, in his trademark, all-capitals handwriting, “MATHEMAGICS.” I was seventeen years old, I was learning to divide, there was nothing magic about the math in my [...]