Two Ways to Order a Shake

I work in a co-working space. (For all of you who ask me what that is,  I say, "a co-working space is a place where you pay a few hundred dollars a month to share an office space with people, and also, how are you such a genius that you have thus far managed to avoid reading the annoying publications in which you would have learned this annoying term?") In said co-working space, I share a small room with two other writers. We have recently taken to calling our little room The Suicide Suite, because off of it is a beautiful balcony on which we are prohibited from standing as it could easily just snap off the building, like a bad lego. A member of our co-working space's dog once toddled off this balcony,  and as this dog is no longer with us—balcony not at fault here—there is talk of naming it after him. But we'll have to check with the owner first and right now he is in a foreign country, teaching people to do something which I will forget as many times as it is explained to me. READ MORE

Annotating Dr. Oz's The Good Life

Dr. Oz has a new magazine. It's called The Good Life, and according to Dr. Oz’s editor’s note, the purpose of this new venture is  “to make your life more vital and more meaningful... Every word will be treated as preciously as the person reading it.” So I read the magazine, asking myself as I went: Did The Good Life make my life feel more vital and more meaningful? Did every word make me feel precious? Please join me on this very personal journey through Dr. Oz’s The Good Life. READ MORE

I Will Not Soak It In

Last Monday I was on the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge, formerly known as the Bay Bridge, on the Amtrak bus. I was very high up and it was a beautiful afternoon—blue skies, sailboats, and the bridges brand-new steel symmetry were all working together in a magical way. On a scale from 1 to 10, I’d say my mood was about a 7, which is very good for me. At one point I started to text my friend, and then I looked around and saw that everyone on the bus—every single person—was looking at their phone. I said to myself, I am not going to be one of those people. I am going to look at San Francisco Bay. I am going to look at the contrast of white sails against blue water, steel arches reaching up to the heavens, at Alcaltraz and Angel Island sitting in the misty distance. I stared. I stared and stared. Soak it in, I commanded to myself. This is one of the finest views in the world. Plus, you are going to die one day, and you do not want your last words to be, “My phone!” READ MORE

House of Cards in One Day; or, A Tale of Bravery

The fantasy of binge viewing is the fantasy of the cocoon. It is an intoxicating promise, sinking into a world where nothing matters except a story. In pursuit of this feeling, some friends and I made a deal to take Tuesday, February 19 off (n.b. none of us have real jobs) to watch season two of House of Cards in its entirety. READ MORE

Sestina About Hangovers For a 25-Year-Old From a Person Over 40

You told me you had a hangover

But you are really just a youth

You don’t understand failure

You don’t truly understand the demoralization of having been wasted

And waking up to utter misery

Wondering if there’s any point to being alive


You are still in a reality where you think water, or bacon, might make you feel alive

Might make your hangover

And your misery

Give way to your resplendent youth

And within minutes of properly hydrating you will cease to be sorry you got wasted

As you bid farewell to failure


I am afraid of bowing to failure

As I try to explain to you what it’s like to not want to be alive

Just because you got wasted

And have a hangover

Or perhaps I resent you for your extreme youth

And elementary comprehension of misery 


Actually I have no idea what you think of misery

Or failure.

I have no idea what your relationship is to your youth

What’s it’s like you be you, experiencing being alive

With your toy hangover

The result of having gotten wasted


With so little understanding perhaps of the horrible reasons we get wasted

Of the true though largely theoretical depths of your misery

Which when you are older are refracted through a hangover

which when large enough creates a sensation that failure

Is endemic not only to you but to all those alive.

But since you are a youth


And youth

is wasted

on the barely alive

and their toy misery

that makes sport of failure

as it ducks every hangover


In conclusion: just focus on staying alive. Big breakfast your way out of misery.

Ignore me and your youth. Get wasted.

Enjoy for these waning instants the failure of your hangover.


Previously: Sestina For an Annoying Publicist

Photo via rogerss1/flickr.

Sarah Miller is the author of Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn and The Other Girl. She lives in Nevada City, CA. Follow her on Twitter @sarahlovescali.

Sestina for an Annoying Publicist

I don’t know why you don’t just call your client READ MORE

The Hobbit, Reviewed, Perfectly

I was planning on writing something about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug over the weekend, but then I read this. "Hot Elf Action" was published in The Stranger this week, under the byline J.R.R. Tolkien, and it made me decide to abandon my plan. Why? Because when a thing is done right, people, it does not need to be redone: READ MORE

A Plan for Dealing With This

My friend lives in suburban San Diego and he is not a fan. He lives here due to fairly random circumstances, which anyone who ended up without a chair when the music stopped during the recession might understand. READ MORE

What If a Women's Magazine Editor Edited a BBC News Story About Syria?

HED: Syria (READER WON’T KNOW WHERE THAT IS) government site (WHAT SITE?) in Damascus (READER WON’T KNOW WHERE THAT IS ) hit by huge (HOW HUGE) bomb READ MORE

Poetry: A Love Story

I’m going to talk about loving myself. But don’t be scared. I’m not going to hug myself. I am not going to look in the mirror and tell myself I am a beautiful woman. I am definitely not going to take a smaller mirror and look at my vagina, though if you want to give me 50 bucks, I totally will. What I am going to do is discuss loving myself in terms of not loving poetry. READ MORE