the fascinating adventures of sam the slug

Day 1: Purchased several heads of romaine lettuce from a nice lady at the farmers market. Upon preparing dinner, discovered this little fellow has taken an impromptu ride on the snail Tilt-a-Whirl, a.k.a. the salad spinner. Fortunately, he seems to take it all in stride and enjoys “Lord of the Rings.”
Return him, and the leaf he rode in on, to the great outdoors, but later feel a sense of responsibility/curiosity. After several hours in the rain, he (yes, assigning gender, say no more) has grown significantly.

Day 2: Sam (he requires an alliterative moniker), a.k.a. our weird little snail buddy, has hulked out and grown exponentially in 24 hours. This is, like, some crazy science going on. By next week, we fully expect to be living with Jabba the Hutt.
He is residing in a plastic takeout container with lettuce leaves. He is now the gastropod version of a game of Oregon Trail, except I will actually try to keep Sam alive. (Don’t even try to tell me you didn’t race to see how quickly you could kill off everyone in your wagon).

Day 3: I have housed this little weirdo for two days and have concluded that snails/slugs (still not certain, but yelling “grow a shell!” doesn’t seem to help) are basically extremely quiet babies: They’re very small, they ooze weird slime, and they poop a lot. Main difference is gastropods don’t breastfeed and you can’t* store a human in a container of lettuce.
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Friend suggests Sam is a leopard slug. This may or may not be a real thing. Pretty sure this guy used to eat paper in middle school. The again, I’m tracking the lifespan of a slug, so who am I to talk?
*well, you could if you had a big enough container, but you probably shouldn’t.

Day 4: We learn that Sam can change his height at will and that he is not especially devoted to strawberries. He also moves into a new abode, with less depth and more surface area. He seems to enjoy it. 
n the hopes that Sam will develop a shell, I add eggshells to his home for calcium. My significant other, in his unending wisdom, talks me out of giving Sam a prenatal vitamin. Another friend, a preschool teacher, informs me that snails are born with shells. It’s official: We have a slug. 

Day 5: Sam takes a brief field trip outside to play in a small, woman-made puddle. We learn that he does not express any particular affection for small puddles. (Sorry, bad photo – light and shadows and all that).
Back inside, Sam’s supply of romaine is refreshed, because he has defiled his home repeatedly (see Day 3, re: pooping a lot – he does this via a small hole on the side of his body, which I know because he did so on my hand — very rude indeed). At the suggestion of the aforementioned preschool teacher friend, Sam also receives cornmeal and cucumbers.
Sam seems to spend a good deal of his time in a compact state and has a propensity to curl up inside lettuce leaves. It is possible Sam is experiencing some anxiety. There’s no scientific evidence to suggest this, but when I’m feeling anxious, I like to hide under the covers as well.



There are a lot of things I like about freelance writing, mostly the flexible schedule and the ability to do it in my underwear, but there’s one thing I really, really, really hate:


Pitching is The Worst, in title case. It’s not just the fact that you have to have the right idea and the right style, it’s that you have to tell the right person all about your right idea and right style in the right way.

So you spend your time crafting the perfect pitch, and then nine times out of 10, IF an editor gets back to you at all, the response is “thanks, but I’ll pass on this one.” I get it. Tons of pitches come in. An editor doesn’t have time to reply to everyone in detail.

But you know who else isn’t mired in time? People who are pitching stories. Which brings us to the right etiquette: I’ve heard editors say they would never run a story or work with a writer who pitches multiple outlets at once.


When I’ve applied for jobs, I don’t wait until one company rejects me before I send my resume to another. I’m in a long-term relationship, but when people are dating, or whatever people do in the Tinder/Match/rightswipe age, they don’t wait until one potential connection fails miserably before texting the next one, do they?

I don’t think I could take trying to date on top of everything else. It would be like trying to pitch my vagina.



let’s create an old white man sexist jackhole bracket, and other good ideas

Huffington Post senior political reporter and politics managing editor Amanda Terkel today tweeted about a disturbing conversation she had with a professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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Ms. Terkel has not, thus far, named the professor. There are many calls for her to do so and I echo them.

However, should she choose not to, as is her right, I suggest we create a bracket of all the male professors at Medill (and for good measure, probably white and of a certain age) and let students and alumni vote to narrow down the candidates.

(Grammarly wants me to replace the period at the end of the previous sentence with a question mark. No, Grammarly, that is not a question, it’s a declarative statement. Adding a question mark would make it upspeaking. Clearly, you have a sexist algorithm that wants to force me, a woman, into upspeaking). 

Obviously, said bracket would group all men (again, presumably white and of a certain age) under the collective umbrella of rude, sexist, unenlightened, unaware of privilege, etc. etc. so on and so forth.

But we’re all cool with that, right?


(just gonna assume you’re all doing this. don’t know who that blonde is, but she can take off).

My first instinct was to tweet this idea, but I figured some people just wouldn’t appreciate a good* sexist white man joke/feminist barb**.

So I decided to blog it instead.


* The definition of good being subjective

** Is it a feminist barb or a barb at feminism?


slow your roll, PETA

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Pretty sure this is a more a statement about your taste in romantic partners than it is one about the greatness of your dog. And more likely a statement on you as a romantic partner. To be fair, all of your former partners probably thought your dog was the best part of the deal as well.

I don’t get these dog people. Not dog-people as in half person, half dog, people who think their dogs are EVERYTHING. Like, the greatest thing since that machine that slices an entire loaf of bread AT ONCE.

And don’t say “unconditional love.” Unconditional love doesn’t gouge your furniture and sniff your crotch without permission. When men do that, we call it sexual harassment.

Also, I can’t decide if a dog-person would be cool or SCARY AS ALL GET OUT.


win, lose or draw: monday afternoon adventures at whole foods

Adventure the First: Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid

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This dude makes me want to have a dinner party, because the idea of serving guests an entrée that stares them down is highly amusing to me.

Adventure the Second: My Two Cents, Literally


Dear Whole Foods:

Two cents off does not a last chance clearance price make. I would humbly suggest that everyone who enters your store donate the two cents saved on that LAST CHANCE! clearance sale to hire a math tutor for whoever does your pricing.

Adventure the Third: Coconuts for You


If you’ve ever seen this Coco Libre sparkling organic coconut water from concentrate and thought, “wow, that sounds disgusting,” you would be correct. Not possessing your power of clairvoyance, I can tell you that this particular product tastes as though a lemon had sex with a coconut, then they stuck the used condom in a can and poured some fizzy water over it.

Final Score:

You – 1
Me – 0
Whole Foods – negative 2, because that two cents off thing is really inexcusable

Loser: The red snapper, because at least the rest of us are alive and not about to served up at someone’s dinner party.

your name is not always your destiny

I participate in various listservs, including several from my almae matres. One of them had That Person. You know That Person. She (in this case, it was a she) was the one who was always stirring up trouble, needling people, just generally being horrible. So, like any normal person who cannot abide that shit would do, I blocked her. And then I didn’t think about her for four beautiful years.

Her name popped up yesterday on LinkedIn, under “People You Might Know.” That site really needs a category called “People You Do Not Care to Know,” but I’ll pitch Reid Hoffman later. Let’s stay on track.

Under this person’s “About Me” section were the words “I just want to create beauty and encourage love, peace and kindness…” For those who struggle with short-term memory loss or reading comprehension, I refer you to the first paragraph.

Ironically, and I think this is actual irony, not Alanis-irony, this particular person was named for a virtue. Suffice to say the name did not befit the personality.

This is why it’s vital to be prudent when choosing a baby’s name. Prudence, as it happens, is one of the four cardinal virtues, and is a name best given to a child who will be raised to practice a great deal of common sense. And preferably one who is born with a faint moustache, rheumatism, and a fondness for Yorkshire terriers and classism.