It is our tenth year of making Valentine’s Day cookies. I can’t believe how long it’s been. Ten years of making nipple cookies. There’s something to be said for the holiday rituals of married couples. These things sustain us and keep us whole when the world outside is unstable and cold. To use one of our couple idioms, we protect each other from the elements. It’s a good thing to remember on this wintery Valentine’s Day. Nipple cookies make staying inside and warm just the thing.

1. Unhappy Hipster: It’s Lonely in the Modern World — Ever look at Southern Digest at Home or Architectural Living and wonder who lives like this? And what do they do with themselves? Unhappy Hipster offers Stepford families and interior design porn/architecture porn settings. Great captions.

2.  Whole Foods Biopower — Whole Foods is tying employee discounts to employee health such as BMI, smoking, and blood pressure. The amount of your discount is contingent on how you measure up. One commenter suggested that government-run healthcare will adopt this model. Scary

The origin of the word “swag” is appropriate since we are now in Mardi Gras season. Swag, as a bag to haul stuff around in, has been used for half a century in one form or another.  The version we use today – the free crap you get from car dealers, trade shows, and Mardi Gras floats – first appeared around the 1920s. During that time, it referred specifically to the sort of crap folks got from fairground showmen. From a bag to haul your crap in, to the crap you haul in your bag, either way swag has got it. I hope my husbandRead More →

New technologies erode the boundary between the personal and the public, as Joshua Meyrowitz observed about television in No Sense of Place twenty five years ago. Since displaying ourselves is de rigeur, thanks especially to Facebook and Twitter, I feel less guilty about doing it on my blog, even though personal disclosure was never my original intent. In class, students appear to enjoy my disclosure. Still, there’s an art to disclosing appropriately in the classroom, one that has taken me years to balance comfortably. As one friend put it, it’s easy “to hold your students hostage” to your personal narratives in class, which is anRead More →