For the Love of Books

I was raised in a reading family, by a father who showed his love for us in many ways, but none better than through books. As kids, my sister and I were never chided to go outside and get "fresh air"; if we were reading on the couch, then that was just fine. Weekends found me sitting on a tiny chair at the local bookstore, nose deep in the latest installation of The Baby-sitters Club or Sweet Valley High, tearing through them as fast as I could.

The Haves and the Have-nots

I was raised in a family where talking about money was not taboo. My father did a good job of raising two girls on a variety of incomes—money, was tight, and because of this, I was always aware of what we did and didn’t have.

The Cost of a Road Trip

The idea of the road trip was hatched in the dark corner of a bar in Cambridge, sparked by the restlessness that accompanies all college graduates, ready to start the rest of their lives without a solid road map. I was moving to California, because it seemed better than spending a year sitting on my dad’s couch in upstate New York, and Wendy and Kyle, friends from college, were coming with me. We’d sleep under the stars, drink a lot of regional cheap beer, and spend a lot of time gazing pensively at corn fields out a dirty car window, writing in our journals. It was the perfect plan, the best way to delay adulthood, and an efficient and somewhat cheap vacation.

The Cost of Skiing

I am not sporty. I put in my required hours of standing in the outfield on a softball team and half-heartedly dribbling a soccer ball down a field in my childhood, but sports are generally not my thing. A post-college move to San Francisco thrust me into a world where people were earnestly active—there were touch football games, rock climbing, disc golf. A holiday weekend meant that everyone cleared out of town by Friday at 3 p.m., driving towards the mountains in Subarus, ready to hit the slopes.

A Chat With the Women Who Started ‘Rice Paper Scissors,’ A Vietnamese Restaurant in San Francisco

We're Valerie and Katie, the founders of Rice Paper Scissors, a Vietnamese restaurant based in San Francisco.

“Welcome to the paradise of the modern artist.” – An Interview With Tom Toro, ‘New Yorker’ Cartoonist

I met Tom in English class during my sophomore year of high school, and we became acquaintances and occasional friends. Mostly, I had a crush on him. After high school, I moved out of the Bay Area and to the East Coast, where I received sporadic updates on high school friends from my good friend Julia. She mentioned something about Tom drawing for the New Yorker, a piece of information I filed away until I saw this cartoon posted on Facebook.

The Roommates I’ve Had at the Places I’ve Lived

Remembering the people we've lived with.

Ten Years After Maxing Out My First Credit Card, I’m Still Figuring It Out

I got my first credit card in college, setting it aside for emergencies only. The first "emergency" was a pair of jeans from the Gap on Newbury Street, purchased on a quiet, wintry Tuesday. The second "emergency" was a plane ticket to San Diego. The other subsequent "emergencies" are less memorable, but most likely consisted of cheap handbags from H&M and Camel Lights.

Bosses I Have Had

The Salesman The Salesman was an older gentleman with a smoker’s cough and a bad gossip-site habit. He read Perez Hilton every day at 4 p.m., for one hour, while cackling and reading tidbits out loud over my cubicle wall. He left the office promptly at five, often with his manager, a brusque but nice woman with a penchant for pantsuits, usually off to a bar around the corner to have a cocktail and dish before getting on the BART and heading back to San Francisco’s East Bay. As bosses go, he was one of the best I’ve had: low maintenance, trusting, out of my hair. His teeth were the worst I’ve seen, jagged and brown, but he had a nice smile, a quick laugh and shared my passion for sotto voce gossip, shared in quick bursts every hour. Usually, our subject was the head of sales, a pompous jackass who spent the entire year I worked there calling me Heather. The Salesman used to joke that he came with the building, and for a while, I believed him.

Grateful for the Opportunity

I took my first job like many people do, fresh out of college and sick of working in a coffee shop, fetishizing the trappings of a 9-to-5 lifestyle, the desk, business cards, the quiet self-satisfaction that comes with having a cubicle and health insurance. Mostly, I was scared, and grateful that someone wanted to hire a 23-year-old with no relevant experience to do a job that was salaried and not hourly.

Though You Were a Strong Candidate, We Decided to Go With Someone Else

Every interview that goes well lets you fall in love, just a tiny bit. You’re flushed and high off the rush of saying all the right things at all the right times. There is common ground, there is laughter. The answers you trot out every time feel organic, like you actually mean them. The interviewer has stopped checking her phone during your long-winded monologue about how you wound up in advertising when you studied Post-Colonial Lit, and is actually engaging with you. The frantic tap dance with teeth bared and jazz hands flying relaxes into a slower, smoother groove. The interview is over, but you have already picked out your desk on your way out to the lobby. You follow up, you wait, you start to Google Map the commute in-between refreshing Indeed.com, and then: nothing. Silence. You simply shift that projected future over to a pile of things that didn’t work out.

I Deserve It

I am built to think that I deserve things.