Monday, May 21, 2018

Sunday Postcard #4

Ann Arbor, Michigan April 2018

Every morning when I walked to work I looked at the reflection of the graduate school in the mirrored windows of the modern language building. The beauty of the older structure captured in the new(er) one was a favorite view that I usually admired alone. It felt like my own moment on a campus that is always full and in motion.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Sunday Postcard #3

Krabi, Thailand, May 2012

Eric and I arrived in Krabi on an overnight train. The ride left me disoriented and I woke up at dawn our first morning. We searched for breakfast on nearly-empty streets. A woman walked through the main road towards a temple on what I soon realized was a daily route. She left food in piles for the stray cats and dogs that wandered around the area. By the way they followed her, it was clear they expected her. It was a rare chance to see the evidence of how someone matters to other creatures, how much others rely upon someone’s acts of care.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Sunday Postcard #2

Night Sky Hotel, Da Nang, January 2018

We woke up to a power outage at our hotel. The hotel still served a full breakfast by candlelight. We listened to the rain outside while the chef, an older woman, instructed us on how to properly season and eat our noodle soup. I devoured mine along with the mini creme caramel she served. The women working the front desk insisted on high-level customer service despite the outage. They carried luggage almost as big as they were up the many flights of stairs, as the elevator wasn’t running.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday Postcard #1

Sunday Postcard is a new project where I share a photo and story each week.

View from the Belmont stop, October 2015

Every weekday for two and a half years, I caught the Purple Line Express to Evanston. There was one couple in their mid-thirties who took the same route. If they were waiting when I got to the platform, I knew I’d be on time to work. In my second summer, the woman was pregnant and had a baby. For several months the man rode alone while she was on maternity leave. I got to glimpse a small piece of their lives every morning. This photo is from the last day I commuted on that route. Though we never spoke, I think of that couple as often as I remember the sunrises over the lake.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Edge of (20)17

The post title may have been more appropriate going into 2017, but I only thought of it now, so here we are.

For me, 2017 felt like living through several years at once. Here's a quick round-up of some of my favorite pieces of culture from the past twelve months:

The most French bicycle

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo - This is one of the most remarkable books I've read. It follows a couple in Nigeria struggling with infertility while trying to push back against polygamy. Each twist is enough for its own novel, and yet Adebayo continues to surprise the reader with her precise look at a marriage.

No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal - As I wrote in July, this novel follows two Indian immigrants in Ohio as they struggle with loneliness and grief. It's beautifully written and even side characters have depth and complications. It remains one of my favorite novels.

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach - A woman returns to upstate New York after her twin sister supposedly dies in a fire, yet seems to have set up a twisted scavenger hunt to draw her back from Paris. This remains a favorite from 2017 for its creativity and careful pacing.

Marlena by Julie Buntin - Cat examines the brief, intense friendship she had during high school with Marlena, a drug-fueled teenager she met after moving to northern Michigan. I hadn't realized how much I crave novels that examine the nuances of female friendship until I finished and wanted to reread it immediately.

Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan - Economics professor Rachel Chu agrees to join her History professor boyfriend Nick Young at his best friend's wedding in Singapore. Little does she know that Nick's family is one of the wealthiest families in Asia. The first book is hilarious, dramatic, and heartwarming and somehow the sequel is even better. I'm partway through the final book in the trilogy, Rich People Problems, and can't get enough. Kwan's footnotes throughout are delightful.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Summertime Recommendations

March in Las Vegas

It's been a busy few months! Here are a few things I've been making and enjoying while celebrating the longer days:


My first short story was published in June and I struggle to describe fully how much it means to me. It's set in Chicago at some of my favorite places. You can read it at Chicago Literati, a nonprofit online magazine:
I had my first comedy pieces published and am particularly proud of them. I feel that much closer to achieving my youthful dream of being Tina Fey. The Belladonna editors are great to work with and I highly recommend submitting your stories.
I've continued working with the Billfold, most recently to discuss graduation season and my ever-expanding wish list:

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Favorite Things, 2016 Edition

Now into February, I bring you my annual favorite things list from 2016! With so many bigger things to worry about as we start 2017, this list feels rather minor. It's more culture-focused than gift-focused this year, and I hope it provides some entertaining links and maybe something new that you'll like as much as I do.


The Good Place is the best show. Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) dies and goes to the Good Place, which is run by architect Michael (Ted Danson). She realizes it's a mistake - she's not the Eleanor who conducted humanitarian aid trips in central Asia - and chaos ensues. The diverse ensemble cast matches Ted Danson's incredible energy and comedic ability, and the character development and structure of the Good Place provoke fascinating questions about the meaning of goodness. All episodes are currently available for streaming on!

Image result for the good place