All posts by talentfreeinterestful

18 years ago…


President George W. Bush had recently been inaugurated. My friends and I found ourselves interrogated by many French people, “How could we elect someone like that?” I think maybe they are now too stunned by our current President to even ask, or maybe they also see similar politicians rising in their own neighbors.

Amazon was a website for books.

Google hadn’t IPO’d yet.

Neither had Marvel.

It’s almost half the age I am now and I was still in university, doing a semester abroad in Paris. I met people I am still friends with today and through whom I met other great friends.

Service here is still slow, snotty, possibly a little racist.

Now there are “tacos”:

Why O’Tacos??
An abomination in all cases
1. Not a taco 2. Fries with tacos or burritos 3. What is the difference between nuggets and tenders??

And “bagels”:

At least a little racist
Also possibly racist

I met someone who visited me once a few months after I returned home, in September 2001 and was forced to extend his visits when all planes are grounded. We kept in touch with for close to 8 years after that and then gradually dropped since we were both seeing other people in our respective countries. And yet, Facebook Messenger enabled me to contact him despite not knowing his current phone number or e-mail address (though conversation quickly switched to WhatsApp, also owned by Facebook).

Facebook, let alone Instagram, was unheard of.

Ditto Netflix.

Mobile phones like were common but people barely had T9 texting capability. Nokia was huge.

Though I am not working now, I am more financially comfortable than I was then so I can actually eat and drink good food, wine and cider (cider to me back then was freshman baby alcohol, not the craft brew I recognize today). When buying a couple bottles of cider at the grocery store, I was asked my age. My comprehension has suffered over the years, so the checkout boy repeated himself in English, “How old are you?” My response, also in English: “Very old.”


On Anxiety and Depression

If you are having thoughts of suicide, please know that you are not alone. If you are in danger of acting on suicidal thoughts, call 911. For support and resources, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.

Yesterday was a rare beautiful summer day in the NYC area, just sunny and warm with very little humidity.  I was out walking my dog near my building when I came across a table set up by a security vendor my condo management company had hired.  I heard the sounds of “Funeral Pyre” from Phantogram’s 2016 album Three coming from the table and stopped to inquire who had chosen to put it on, since I thought it was a bit of an odd choice. Continue reading On Anxiety and Depression

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Friendships

The gripping conclusion to the “things you learn when you travel with others” saga (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).

3 years later, I have scaled back my meetings with this half-shitty group of friends to roughly once/year, and have probably seen them only twice since that enlightening wedding weekend in the summer of 2015.

Continue reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Friendships

Girls don’t ask

I am not what most people would think of as stereotypically girly.  I think fashion is stupid.  I think designer shoes are especially stupid, as not only will they give you bunions and other foot ailments, everyone stuck walking behind you as you teeter along can’t help but think of ways to exterminate you and your kind (I’ve heard “these are actually really comfortable” and “just shove some gel soles in them and you can practically run” and it’s all lies). Continue reading Girls don’t ask