Sunday, September 20, 2015
by Junot Diaz
Wait for your brother and your mother to leave the apartment. You've already told them that you're feeling too sick to go to Union City to visit that tia who likes to squeeze your nuts. (He's gotten big, she'll say.) And even though your moms knows you ain't sick you stuck to your story until finally she said, Go ahead and stay, malcriado.
Clear the government cheese from the refrigerator. If the girl's from the Terrace stack the boxes behind the milk. If she's from the Park or Society Hill hide the cheese in the cabinet above the oven, way up where she'll never see. Leave yourself a reminder to get it out before morning or your moms will kick your ass. Take down any embarrassing photos of your family in the campo, especially the one with the halfnaked kids dragging a goat on a rope leash. The kids are your cousins and by now they're old enough to understand why you're doing what you're doing. Hide the pictures of yourself with an Afro. Make sure the bathroom is presentable. Put the basket with all the crapped-on toilet paper under the sink. Spray the bucket with Lysol, then close the cabinet.
Shower, comb, dress. Sit on the couch and watch TV. If she's an outsider her father will be bringing her, maybe her mother. Neither of them want her seeing any boys from the Terrace-people get stabbed in the Terrace-but she's strong-headed and this time will get her way. If she's a whitegirl you know you'll at least get a hand job.
If you've never read any Junot Diaz before or if the above made you chuckle you can and should read the whole thing (it's not long) here.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
1. Don't start making it until you're really hungry.
2. Make slightly too much for the tart tray so you have a big blob of the filling left in the bowl.
3. Eat the blob.
4. Eat the leftover chocolate ripple biscuits.
5. Definitely eat the leftover nutella.
6. Lie quietly in bed and look out the window, clutching your too-full tummy.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
I feel like I've been posting a lot of links to short stories on here lately. That's probably because I've been reading a lot of them or, to be more accurate, listening to a lot of them thanks to the New Yorker's terrific short fiction podcast. If you like short stories and podcasts: get onto this, it's terrific.
Since I started listening to this podcast a month or so ago it's not only introduced me to some great new stories, it's also helped me rediscover two short stories, totally unconnected from each other, that I read years ago and which I had failed repeatedly to find time and time again. First it was Joshua Ferris' "The Dinner Party". Now it's "Cryptology" by Leonard Michaels. Oh Lord if you knew how many times I had Google searched for this bad boy, of which I had such fond memories. I can't remember when or where I read it years ago and I couldn't remember much about it except for the super awkward interaction (soooo good/bad) at its heart. I couldn't remember the author or the main characters name, nor even what city it was set in.
The funny thing is that this story didn't appear on the podcast at all - another short story by the same author and about the same main character did. The moment I heard that name, Nachman, it came back to me: that was the guy from the other story that one time. One Google search later and here we are.
All of which is a long way of saying this is a fun story you should read:
Nachman had arrived in New York the previous evening, and was walking along Fifth Avenue when she came up behind him, calling, “Nachman, Nachman, is that you?” He looked back and saw a woman shining with a happiness for which he, apparently, was responsible. His mere existence had turned on her lights. Nachman kissed her on both cheeks, and then they stood chatting at the corner of Forty-second Street, the millions passing with the minutes. When Nachman parted from her, he was holding her business card and the key to her apartment in Chelsea, having promised to join her and her husband for dinner that evening.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
In March 2014, Zuckerberg announced that he would buy Oculus VR for more than $2 billion, and suddenly the question of what is possible now was not so hard to predict. The top two manufacturers of video-game consoles—Sony and Microsoft—are both preparing to release their own headsets in the next year. And just months after the Oculus acquisition was announced, Facebook’s chief competitor, Google, unveiled a virtual-reality-on-the-cheap offering, Google Cardboard, which involves slipping a smartphone into a headset made of a few dollars’ worth of corrugated paper. The press called it “Oculus Thrift.”Over at Vanity Fair there is a long but interesting read on how Facebook's deal on Oculus Rift was done for nerds who are interested in such things. As someone who knows sweet fuck all about these things I cannot see it NOT being, as they point out in the yarn, an intermediate technology but shit if I had a spare $1500* I would get one.
* Or a secret benefactor. Guys? Guys? Call me. We'll talk about it.