The Tangential
Bad News Bears

How to Suck at Sports

1. Harbor irrational fear  While America marveled at the gravity-defying finesse of the parkour craze, I foresaw bone breaking against concrete and braced myself for shock footage of compound fractures. My instant cowering from dodge balls, volleyballs, and even ping-pong balls is not just human reflex.  That is because as a terrible athlete, you are […]

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Products to Accompany Google Glass and Smart Shoe

Google Skin: This data-encrypted silicon is applied directly to the body, much like sunscreen. The silicon dries on contact and acts as an impenetrable shield for the entire person. Google Skin will interpret sensations of everyday living, such as change in temperature, texture and pressure, and advise you in the most appropriate reaction. Should you doze […]

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The “Evil Psychiatrist” Isn’t Helping Anybody

My dad and I are both big movie and TV lovers, and often discuss the stock Evil Psychiatrist character who seems to show up more and more in the shows and films we see. On screen, the psychiatrist is an ideal villain, often set in scary psychiatric wards with unchallenged power over their patients—that is, […]

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Pre-Menstrual Responses: Thoughts vs. Words

Comment: “Wake up, sleepy! You look tired today! You feeling alright?” Response in Words: “Oh, I’m fine…just need some coffee.” (weak laugh) Response in Thoughts: Is that so. What specifically about my appearance appears “tired”? Is it my listless expression or simply the fact that I’m not wearing eye makeup today? I’d love to know […]

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Dear Older Colleague: Let’s Compromise

Stop using a “valley girl” voice when imitating my generation. Example: “Like, whatever! Everyone knows what the Internet is, duh!” This is partly for your own sake, as these dated generalizations are as socially isolating as they are aggravating. In exchange, I will stop: Vocal fry and apathetic verbiage.  Because a fairy loses its wings […]


Popular “Life Goals” I’m Happy to Never Achieve

Run a marathon In my experience, marathon runners are a lot like Wisconsinites; they’re incredibly cool and fun, or they’re bragging know-it-alls. (“This is not cheese. Minnesota’s lakes just don’t compare. You think you can drink? I’m from Wisconsin.” “You just don’t get it until you’ve experienced that high around mile 18…it’s indescribable, I just […]


Insights From My Elders

“It amuses me to see how addicted your generation is to those toys.” – Co-worker referencing the Blackberry in my hand as she glides past my desk on the way to a smoke break. “Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve been knee-walking drunk…” – My former internship supervisor’s wistful response when he asked […]


Baby Love and the Double Standard

As an English major in college, I was asked countless times if I was interested in teaching as a career. I said I considered teaching at the college level, but wouldn’t enjoy a classroom younger than that. “No grade school or high school English classes for you, huh?” was a common press, to which I […]


How to Celebrate Rejection from the University of Iowa’s Summer Writing Program

If you’re not surprised… Upon finding the letter in your apartment mailbox, inspect it as you would a flyer you just picked up off the street. Ask the tenant next to you if he knows origami. Look over the work you submitted for admission. Two sentences in, toss the papers in the air and indulge […]


Wonders of the Free Market

1. Magic Socks According to a promotional Magic Socks blog (it’s real), this product line offers: “A magical collection of socks that will revolutionize New Yorkers’ perceptions and expectations about socks…Gone are the days when socks are merely about keeping your feet warm and clean.” Finding out that seemingly basic commodities (like socks) can actually […]


10 Personal Tidbits I Considered Including in My Tangential Bio

Once, while traveling by plane, I tried to recall how many times I’ve flown in my life. My family likes to travel. It’s a good thing I don’t have a flying phobia, I thought. Then I considered an aerophobe’s reasoning, and suddenly realized that I was in fact THOUSANDS OF MILES above ground in a […]

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What Your Favorite TV Shows Can Do for You

Glee At last, a show for the socially isolated dreamer! Don’t stop believing; despite your “geekiness,” you can rise to the top of a highly polarized social hierarchy like high school* *note: only applicable to conventionally attractive geeks harboring untapped Broadway-grade talent   True Blood Cancel your tanning salon membership and decrease your melanoma risk, […]

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