Miscellany

Some of my favorite words

Crepuscular. Schadenfreude. Verisimilitude. Palimpsest. Galactagogue. Erstwhile. Kerfuffle. Taco Cat. Defenestration. Umbrellabird (along with other odd bird names, such as Bananaquit and Ovenbird—why yes, I do have a birds page-a-day calendar). 

You’re likely to find me reading

Longform journalism at Longform.org (RIP). Books and articles about the human brain and the practice and history of medicineNew York magazine. WIRED. The Washington Post. Dystopian novels. The New York Times. r/HannibalTV. Nonfiction books about cheery topics like the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918 and a group of hikers who disappeared in the Russian Ural Mountains in 1959 (although since March 2020, pandemic books don’t quite hold the same appeal). Speaking of 2020–2022 … fluffy novels with guaranteed happy endings. Metafilter

Two fun side projects
  • Art + cats = this, which started here(Yeah, I’ll get back to this someday.) 
  • With We Love Rochester, I invited people in my hometown of Rochester, NY, to share what they love about living here. I shared posts from more than 100 contributors before I stopped updating the blog in 2017.
My 15 minutes (or rather, few minutes) of fame
  • My tweeted contribution to #RuinARealityShow in June 2014, part of Hashtag Wars on Comedy Central’s @Midnight (RIP) was deemed “one of the funniest” by StyleCaster. (I’m prouder of this than I should be—but now that it’s been, uh eight years, it’s probably time to remove this bullet point.)
  • A Change.org petition I created in 2015, which asked Apple to remove racist ringtones from the iTunes Store, garnered about 2,300 signatures. The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed me for a story — and Apple removed the ringtones soon after (which I choose to believe wasn’t a coincidence, but who knows). I even got mocked on San Diego talk radio, and how many people can say that? (Perhaps not surprisingly, eventually the ringtones—or ones like them—returned.)
  • The abovementioned We Love Rochester blog got some press mentions, and in 2016 it gave me the opportunity to talk about Rochester on local TV.
  • I was included in The Rochesteriat’s blog post, “You Should be Following these 7 Creatives” [archive.org], in 2016. 
  • My name makes an appearance in a 2009 amicus brief filed for a Supreme Court case. (The brief was filed by the Humane Society of the United States, where I once worked, and referred to an article I wrote in 2006.)