Hypnotic Peacock

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 18, 2013 12:28PM

Underemployed and Loving It

Each morning when I wake up, I can barely believe my luck: Another day with no obligations. I check my emails to see if any work came in over the transom during the night. Usually, there’s nothing. So I snuggle in my bed and dream of what to do until it’s… Read full post »

Seven years ago I wrote a book called Bad Mom: 85 Women Who Ruined Their Children’s Lives. It was a tongue-in-cheek reference work with the kind of content that nowadays lives on sites like Buzzfeed and Jezebel; a romp through history with the goal of illuminating just how stupid the “mom… Read full post »

JANUARY 16, 2013 11:08AM

Book Jackets I Have Loved

You’re in a book store, browsing with nothing particular in mind. Suddenly, you see something so compelling that you have no choice but to pluck it off the shelf. What makes you do it? The title, the author? Maybe. But chances are that, more than anything, it’s the book jacket. You’… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 2, 2012 5:33PM

How to Be Middle Aged




Congratulations, you’re past 40! You’ve lived through the nation’s Bicentennial, Miami Vice, Madonna’s cone-bra phase, Reaganomics, picture discs, floppy discs, laser discs, compact discs, and the war on terror. You remember Star Wars before it became EpRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 18, 2012 2:24PM

10 Observations from Perusing 1950s Issues of Playboy

My husband bounded excitedly into the living room last Saturday: “I bought a box of 1950s Playboys for twenty bucks. And all the centerfolds are intact!” I was delighted for him; he is a dealer and collector of all things mid-century and stands to make a pretty penny on these relics.… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 10:33AM

Twitter Fiction

You know you can microblog a novel, right? There's Tweetheart by Douglas Sovern, The Twitter Novel Project by Shawn Kupfer, and a bunch of other novels you can read about here. 

It's the pomo version of Dickens, taken beyond Stephen King's The Green Mile. I've… Read full post »

Years ago, I was an editor for a publishing company by day and a freelance writer by night. Publishers Weekly printed my book reviews, college presses clamored for my copyediting prowess, and Salon even published one of my essays for money. Things were going swell, but I had a dream: I was… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 20, 2012 3:28PM

Am I a Crafting Addict?

I devote an extraordinary number of my waking hours to playing with a set of markers, scraps of paper, half-dried containers of Mod Podge, and glitter. Meanwhile, the bathroom is in disarray, the kitchen floor needs a good scrubbing, and I should really do something about the laundry. I like to… Read full post »

Being a locavore is the trendy thing these days, and many of us happily trod to our weekly farmers markets and pick up raised-in-the-vicinity fruits, vegetables, chicken, bison burgers, raw milk cheeses, and beef jerky. We pat ourselves on the back for doing the local thing, and then we get back… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 20, 2012 1:43PM

Patron Saints of Random Things

1. Patron Saint Against Twitching

Pope Saint Cornelius (d. 253) Feast Day: September 16

Cornelius was dragged kicking and screaming to the papacy. He knew it was a death sentence, since the Romans had stepped up their persecution of the Christians and any pope was sure to meet a… Read full post »

JULY 19, 2012 3:30PM

Footloose: 10 Iconic Shoe Designs

1. boat shoes

AKA deck shoes and topsiders. These practical beauties were created with a white, non-skid sole that would grip the deck of actual sailing vessels. Their treated leather or canvas uppers are meant to repel water. Designed to be worn without socks, these durable, tie-on shoes are… Read full post »

JULY 17, 2012 5:16PM

Tramp Art: Not Made by Tramps

I always thought tramp art was created by tramps, sequestered illicitly in boxcars en route from Abilene to Albuquerque during the dust bowl years. To ingratiate himself with a kind family at his next stop, the story goes, the tramp would find an old wooden crate or a cigar box and… Read full post »