A few weeks ago, my wife and I went for a walk down on the beach at twilight. It’s something we do every so often, because it’s the best time of day for such a thing, and the uninterrupted activity makes for better discussions. In Long Beach, the ocean is down 15 to 20 feet from the city proper (it’s why the collapse of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is NO BIG DEAL here), so you have to climb stairs to get back to the street once you’re done with your walk. On this particular evening, I emerged at the top of the stairs—chest heaving with breath, because I am still hideously out of shape, despite my current diet and exercise regimen—only to find a woman there, out for a run, waiting for a traffic light to change. She had a rape whistle wrapped around her right hand, and when she sensed my arrival—not hard, given my panting—her fingers tightened around it instinctively. She didn’t even look at me. She just did it.
Eric and I recently discovered a shared fascination with the slew of impossibly named NPR hosts we listen to every day: Renee Montagne, Steve Inskeep, Corey Flintoff, Korva Coleman, Kai Ryssdal, Dina Temple-Raston.
In fact, we’ve often wondered what it would be like to be one of them. A Nina Totenberg or a Renita Jablonski. A David Kestenbaum or a Lakshmi Singh. Even (on our most ambitious days) a Cherry Glaser or a Sylvia Poggioli.
So finally, after years of Fresh Air sign-off ambitions, we came up with a system for creating our own NPR Names. Here’s how it works: You take your middle initial and insert it somewhere into your first name. Then you add on the smallest foreign town you’ve ever visited.
I’m Krory Vernazza.
“There are six mistakes of life that many of us make,” said a famous writer. They are so well-founded that we are sharing them with you:
- The delusion that individual advancement is made by crushing others.
- The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.
- Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.
- Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.
- Neglecting development and refinement of the mind and not acquiring the habit of reading and study.
- Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.
This was printed on the back of a 1944 Como-Harriet streetcar line ticket.
Gervais + Elmo = Hilarity on ‘Sesame Street’: Gimme Four!
The GOP has passed what amounts to a spending and tax-cutting and borrowing stimulus package every year since George W. Bush came to office. They have added tens of trillions to future liabilities and they turned a surplus into a trillion dollar deficit - all in a time of growth. They then pick the one moment when demand is collapsing in an alarming spiral to argue that fiscal conservatism is non-negotiable. I mean: seriously.
Obama’s stimulus plan is no call for socialism. It is a far from radical hodgepodge, and there is much to criticize about it, whether you are a liberal or a conservative. No one expects every congressional Republican to sign off on it, or any of them to agree with all of it. But in this moment of crisis, it is reasonable to expect the opposition party to seriously engage with it, be willing to compromise, and where they disagree, come up with a coherent alternative plan. It is reasonable to expect them to work in good faith with the administration to help heal their badly wounded nation. It is reasonable to expect them to recognize that we are all in this mess together, and we must all work together to get out of it.