Down and out in Naptown

It was the last day of a conference in Indianapolis and I was starting to crack. Three days of breakfasting and lunching with strangers, cheerful collaboration during workshops, and shoptalk between sessions were getting to me (see the name of this website). That morning I unintentionally shut down the conversation at a table when I wasContinue reading “Down and out in Naptown”

My Sunday making America great again

When the good people at Make the Road put out a call for volunteers to register voters, I knew I should sign up. It had been too long since I had done something charitable. Plus it was in Queens! On a Sunday! How could I say no? I had a brief moment of panic when IContinue reading “My Sunday making America great again”

A glitch in the matrix

As I do most nights (and as she described in this lovely article), I was reading to my wife in bed. This time, it was a very strange story about a community of people who believe a ’90s children’s movie starring Sinbad has disappeared, possibly due to a crossover with other dimensions, a glitch in theContinue reading “A glitch in the matrix”

The five lessons I learned from strangers

This morning I crossed paths with the elderly Indian gentleman I see most mornings on my way to work. We went through our usual routine: I smile and say good morning, and he smiles back, performs an elegant flourish with his hand, and responds, “and a very good day to you.” Not only is hisContinue reading “The five lessons I learned from strangers”

Don’t judge a book by its readers

A girl in college once told me she thought that people who liked the same bands could probably be friends. Her sentiment struck me as terribly naïve, but it’s taken me two decades to question my own assumption that people who like the same books share a sensibility. Last week my wife and I wentContinue reading “Don’t judge a book by its readers”