My Month of Yes

I spent a month saying yes to opportunities that scare me or take me out of my comfort zone, and then wrote about it for the New York Times.

 

I miss Downton’s Thomas and O’Brien

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/downton-by-the-seashore 

 

Uneasy Lies the Head

Vanity Fair had me ask six therapists and mental health professionals whether Donald Trump is legitimately a narcissist. Psychology Today wrote a follow-up (the sparky British tabloid the Daily Mail also  wrote a follow-up, as did something called IfYouOnlyNews.com).

 

“Welcome to Weedstock”

I recently attended the National Cannabis Summit in Denver for a New York Times story. Caught up in the go-go-go entrepreneurial zest on display at the Summit, I went and visited a few pot dispensaries, telling one of them, “I want to feel like tiny wings have emerged from my nape and ankles.”

 

Recently

Should you be close friends with people who you work with? At the risk of sounding churlish, I argued “No” on this episode of the public radio show Q. (The opposing and more humane “Yes” is provided by “noted cozyologist” Elizabeth Bromstein.)

 

Newish stuff

-I recently wore pheromones for a month to see if it would make me more attractive to members of the opposite sex? (I’m using a question mark there to connote deniability.)

How some of use our pets to conduct our relationships/disputes with/through.

-Congratulations to Julie Schumacher, the first woman to win the Thurber Prize (for her hilarious novel, “Dear Committee Members”). I got to host the awards ceremony, held at Caroline’s comedy club. Here’s an article about it from the Guardian, and one from the San Francisco Chronicle.

 

The Aspirational R.S.V.P.

Saying “yes” when you really mean “no” has an ugly new (or not so new) iteration, as discussed in my column on the aspirational RSVP.

I got to talk about the article on the public radio shows The Colin McEnroe Show (I’m at 37:39) and Q.

 

Words o’ wisdom

I was hugely honored to give the commencement address at Simon’s Rock, which I attended as a wee lad.  Video here.

 

Recently

-I have a story in this week’s New Yorker for which I sat in the orchestra pit of the new Broadway production of “The King and I”

-My two most recent manners columns in the Times: the etiquette of asking someone if he’s gay, and the tyranny of being constantly reachable.

 

Recently

-I had lots of fun being a judge in the Piglet, the annual cookbook competition held by the website Food 52. I was asked to weigh in on–and cook from–Brooks Headley’s “Fancy Desserts” and Sean Brock’s “Harvest”. Here’s my judgment.

-In my monthly New York Times column about manners, I looked at the etiquette of being in therapy.

-When I hear that Apple’s new smart watch may have been inspired by cartoon character Dick Tracy’s two-way radio watch, I realized that lots of digital innovations had unexpected precursors.