tuesday nostalgia

Hello, readers.

It occurred to me, as it often does, how my life divides itself around moments. For example, it’s been 18 years since Buffy premiered on the WB. Which is a longer amount of time than I had been alive at the time of that premiere, which I didn’t actually watch. I didn’t start watching until a few episodes in. For shame.

Also, this happened in Seoul, during protests surrounding the sinking of the Sewol Ferry, this being the anniversary of that.

Speaking of anniversaries, Facebook, and companies like Timehop, enjoy reminding us that every day is the anniversary of something.

Nostalgia was originally thought of as a mental illness. Swiss doctor Johannes Hofer coined the term in 1688, combining a pair of Greek words: nostos (homecoming) and algos (pain). Nostalgia, in other words, was homesickness — an affliction suffered by Swiss students and soldiers who went abroad. Some doctors of the era considered it a “hypochondria of the heart,” and thought it could be cured by shaming sufferers until they stopped feeling nostalgia, or by covering them with leeches. If nostalgia got bad enough, some believed, it was possible to die from it.

Now, less so.

The researchers began bringing people into their lab and trying to trigger nostalgia, sometimes by showing them certain photos or playing certain songs, but most often just by asking them to write about fond memories. Their stories almost always involved social memories, created with friends or family years ago — and when surveyed afterward, participants reported feeling significantly more loved and connected with others, and had higher levels of self-esteem, compared with a control group.

The above come from “The Nostalgia Machine” by Joseph Stromberg.

It’s funny to think that a long time ago, in more or less this galaxy, people couldn’t see their past. And then they learned to draw, and they could see a representation of it. And then they took pictures, and that was still a representation, much in the way that film and sound and, I suppose, tweets or posts are. There’s a whole Radiolab episode about time and objects and the tangibile intangibles of things, including email.

I just finished listening to a Mutant Enemy Reunion podcast done by the Nerdist Writers’ Panel.

Once, I told someone that Joss Whedon was the most important man in my life that I never met. This is probably true.

See you next time, readers.



Hello, readers.


you probably can't actually see the snow but trust me it's there and besides some things are better left to the imagination
you probably can’t actually see the snow but trust me it’s there and besides some things are better left to the imagination

That is all.

well. actually.


The Verge has a fanastic, and fantastically designed, list of the “most important people at the intersection of technology, art, science, and culture” in 2014. Besides snow, this is how you know it’s December. All the lists.

In case you ever wanted to know all the lists of, if not people, at least all the books in 2014, you can always head over to largeheartedboy’s list of lists purporting to list all the best books of the past year.

also. also.

It’s Tuesday, and that reminds me of Buffy, which reminds me of this one moment where my sister and I received a ride home from Hercules. This was in Los Angeles. May of 2003. Hercules was, possibly still is, a writer for Ain’t it Cool News, a primordial movie news website that emerged from the pre-facebook goo of the internet around the time of THE PHANTOM MENACE. My sister and I were there to witness the final ever episode of Buffy at the Downtown Athletic Club in Los Angeles. It was a party thrown by Ain’t it Cool News. It was a graduation present for both my sister and me, who had both just graduated–me from undergrad, her from, um, over grad. Every seat at the event had a box of kleenex close by. There were clip-reels backed Smashing Pumpkin songs. Special guest apperances. And after the episode, and all the crying, my sister and I were talking to Hercules and he offered us a ride back to our hotel. Which we took, because no one walks in L.A. It’s a strange place with people named Hercules.

Happy whatever day it is where you are, readers, and whatever of which it reminds.


p.s. SNOW!

p.p.s. You thought I was going to just write SNOW! But I didn’t. I wrote all these other words, too.

p.p.p.s. um. i forgot.


Hello, readers.

I wrote a thing about Nick Drake for the folks over at And now we rise. It came about after listening, and tweeting about, the 99% Invisible episode about him, Three Records from Sundown. Here’s the beginning of that thing I wrote:

Under the television, behind a couple of cabinet doors, she kept her collection of CDs, a myriad of albums, artists, and mixes. For a time, after she left, she left that collection behind. I guess I knew one day she would come back for it, and she did, but in between when she first left, and when she came and collected everything, I listened, I swallowed, I absorbed, I pushed that music deep, deep down into my soul, holding on to what we had and what I knew we had lost. Among those CDs–so many of them just CD-R’s with the name of an album, artist, or mix written in black marker–were Weezer, Neutral Milk Hotel, Badly Drawn Boy, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and one mix called “The Frantic Panic Mechanics.” The music blurred into a soundtrack for that moment. One of those CDs had a name written on it I had never seen before.

Nick Drake.

Head over to And now we rise to read the rest. Music is the best time machine. Well. Except for a delorean.

Also. It’s Thanksgiving in the U.S.

So, remember, if you make a bear, undo it, whether you meant to make a bear or not.

Also, also. Someone quoted this passage from To Kill a Mockingbird the other day. It seemed right.

“Atticus–” said Jem bleakly.
He turned in the doorway. “What, son?”
“How could they do it, how could they?”
“I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it — seems that only children weep.”

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (published in 1960 – based in 1936)

Happy today, readers. Be awesome. Be worthy of thanks.

Thank you.