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On Before Too Long, Everyone You Know Will Be Named Emma

@werewolfbarmitzvah Howard! Or Harold, for which Hal is a nice nickname. There are a lot of little Maxes running about but I'm also fond of Maxwell.

Posted on May 29, 2013 at 11:30 am 2

On My Foreign Mom

Wonderful, wonderful piece.

My mom and I have a great relationship now -- balanced, loving, etc., though I should call her more and specifically call her more often to talk about HER life. And we didn't have any big traumas when I was growing up, just the typical teenage nastiness and the things I will never stop regretting having said/done.

But it's weird to me that we went from "as your teenage daughter, I am going to be routinely thoughtless and occasionally deliberately cruel" to "as your adult daughter, I love you completely and I will do anything to spare you any kind of hurt or harm" with...literally no processing/intermediate steps in between. I just went to college and came home a better person and I never apologized and we never discussed what a horrible brat I was from the age of 13-18. Is this normal? Is the point of adult life to do penance for the teenage years? Why are teenagers so awful? How do parents love their unpleasant teenaged kids?

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm 2

On Ten Days Alone In: Shanghai

Oh man, I spent a couple weeks effectively alone in Shanghai about five years ago and it was fascinating and shaking and really good for me (not to reduce a vibrant city to its effect on me me me). Your perspective on what the art deco-y built environment actually means is great -- that didn't occur to me as I wandered around the French concession.

All the food is wonderful, but I especially loved the roasted sweet potatoes you could get from guys with coal stoves in pushcarts. Those remain the Platonic Form of sweet potato to me and I have never been able to recreate them at home even though they are literally an unadorned baked potato.

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm 1

On Getting Guns

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Her now-fiance gave her a ring and a gun! Sadly they were separate items, but an engagement ring with a tiny pistol mounted on it would be an excellent way to propose to a spy.

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 10:38 am 1

On Getting Guns

One of my coworkers recently got engaged and received on that occasion the traditional diamond ring and pistol with laser sight and monogram.

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm 4

On Friday Open Thread

@JanieS Ah, that reminds me -- The Blue Flower, by Penelope Fitzgerald.

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm 0

On Friday Open Thread

@funfetti I Capture the Castle, but also We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and all the James Herriot books like All Creatures Great and Small AND The Age of Innocence AND A Year in Provence AND Emma(all of which are obvious and probably already on your shelves, but!)

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm 2

On Friday Bargain Bin: Super Bowl Weekend

@highfivesforall For sure. What do we think the new foxes will be? Deer, maybe? [unless deer are already cool? aaah, I can't keep up]

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm 0

On Memories of Austen and "Pride and Prejudice"

1. Emma
2. Pride and Prejudice
3. Persuasion
4. Northanger Abbey
5. Sense and Sensibility
Fragments, drafts, Sanditon, etc.
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39. Mansfield Park

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm 6

On A Conversation About Books and Money, Part Two

@photoalice Yes, seconded. Thanks for the follow up, and thanks for bringing Emily into the conversation!

Posted on January 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm 0