Reading Notebook #11: The Source of (My) Anxiety

Transcribed from Examined Life (Zeitgeist Films), the words of Avital Ronnell. If we’re not anxious, if we’re okay with things, we’re not trying to explore or figure anything out. So anxiety is the mood of ethicity. Now I’m not proscribing anxiety disorder for anyone. … This is something Derrida has taught. If you feel that […]


Reading Notebook #10: How to Destroy a Relationship

From the marvelous Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Committed: There is nothing wrong with a married person launching a friendship outside of matrimony—so long as the “walls and windows” of the relationship remain in the correct places. It was Glass’s theory that every healthy marriage is composed of walls and windows. The windows are the […]

The Story of Your Life IS Your Life

On my Facebook profile, I state my religious beliefs as “The story of your life becomes your life.” After my happiness post, I realized I didn’t comment on one of the key linchpins in happiness: storytelling. Daniel Kahneman, in his excellent TED talk above, speaks to two different kinds of selves: The experiencing self, or […]

Jane - 1997 in Cambridge - maudlin and idealistic youth

You Are Bad at Making Yourself Happy

My job as Writer’s Digest publisher often leads people to remark what a great life I have. So young, so accomplished, so happy! Well, you know the old cliche about people who appear to be living the perfect, enviable life? Right—well, I am thankful and lucky for what I have. I won’t go into the […]

Reading Notebook #9: The Loss of Dreams

From “Slow Fade” by Arthur Krystal, about F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood (The New Yorker, November 26, 2009) Fitzgerald’s scripts were hobbled by the same quality that lifted his fiction above the superficial: the complicated nature of his mind. Although he came to believe that “life is essentially a cheat … and that redeeming things […]

Life Is a Lot of Little Lonely Drives

The curse of overactive minds I know—and so (or yet) I’m a devotee of sleep. It’s the only way to escape and regenerate. So on weekends when I’m home, I amble into Coffee Emporium well into the afternoon. During a recent visit, a musician began setting up his equipment not long after I arrived. I […]