Oh boy, oh boy, get yourself ready. It’s that time of year, folks. Christmas lights hanging like icicles! Children making snowgentlemen and snowladies! And the shimmering, frosty release of the bitter, angry, pissy, woebegotten, godforsaken annual Christmas rant!!!! I bet you didn’t even know there was ANY such THING as an annual Christmas rant. Well, that’s because I just now...
A little secret: I haven’t listened to all of the podcasts ever made. But in the spirit of year’s end ranking lists, here are the best podcasts of all time, according to the extremely limited knowledge, and fully admitted bias, of your host, Liza Achilles. But first, a Q&A (literally just a single one) for any old-schoolers and holdouts out...
“You have to engineer a village for yourself, because it won’t happen otherwise.” —Dr. Kirk Honda on his podcast Psychology in Seattle It’s the village, people. It seems that the folks behind the song “Y.M.C.A.,” Hillary Rodham Clinton, and all of the people who passed along the traditional African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” were on...
Words. Insubstantial Words Words seem solid and weighty. In reality, words are neither static nor stable. Not only can they change over time, but they can have wildly different meanings and connotations, to different people, at the same time. This can have big implications, as was driven home to me recently. I have encountered, in the last couple weeks, two...
I recently met a guy who disclosed to me that his personal motto is “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” Despite this expression having been popular for a number of years—it’s all over the Internet—I did not remember hearing it before. But I instantly took to it. What lovely imagery. And what lovely meaning: so metaphorical, yet so obvious. At...
The Rejection Dear Liza, Thank you for sending us “TWO NOVEMBERS: A Memoir of Love ’n’ Sex in Sonnets.” We enjoyed reading your manuscript, but it did not quite make it to the finalist round . . . The Hurt I receive emails like this on a regular basis. It’s part of being a writer. Yeah, it hurts. But it’s...
This is a blog post. A blog post is extant in cyberspace. The title of said blog post in cyberspace is This Is a Blog Post. This blog post is digitally located on a web server, somewhere on planet Earth. This blog post may have made its way into your email inbox, through means that are quite cryptic to me,...
Have you ever wondered what whales eat? What’s in those big-ass bellies? Big fish? Little fish? Lobster with butter? Shrimp cocktail with lemon slices? Lots of men named Jonah? A report from this week’s New Yorker answers this pressing—I use this word completely unironically—question for us: “In 2017, a beaked whale washed up onshore near Bergen, Norway. In its stomach...
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On Monday, June 1, 2020, I was not physically present for what the Washington Post called “48 surreal, violent, biblical minutes in Washington.” I was otherwise engaged on Monday, June 1, 2020. However, in light of the darkness of the times, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what Ibram X. Kendi has to say about demonstrations and...
Happy Memorial Day! Hope you are having a wonderful day, despite the challenges of gathering together with other people during this time. Hope you are making it work somehow, celebrating somehow, honoring our military and our country, somehow. If you live in the U.S., that is. I had planned to share with you my big and exciting news today, but...
Big things are happening over here! Concussion or no concussion! Mental health struggles or no mental health struggles! Arm issues or no arm issues! Don’t care—I’m making it happen. Look at your favorite timepiece, of ancient or modern technological style. Mine says it’s Wednesday, May 20, 2020, around 8ish a.m., Eastern Time, in the Common Era. And then wait around,...
I can’t catch a break. What is going on? Every few days or so, I get myself tangled up in another incident. I used to think one of my brothers was accident prone. Now I know: I must’ve inherited the same family trait. Two days ago, I was trimming bushes in my yard. I was being VERY careful as regards...
A friend of mine requested a blog post about hope. Yes, let’s have hope. Let’s have a fight song. Or actually, let’s have a love and peace song. Let’s watch and listen to and remember this: We Shall Overcome. Will you sing along with me?
The granny square afghan has holes in it. The yarn does not cover every space. There are gaps in the pattern. Perhaps the granny square afghan was crocheted by a girl in middle school, cerca 1990. Thirty-some years ago. Perhaps this was the first crochet project she ever completed. Perhaps she was a total amateur at crochet. Perhaps, as a...
If you’re a book lover like me, you’re probably constantly on the hunt for new books to read. But you don’t want to read just any book. You’re wondering which books out there—and there are a lot of them to choose from!—are getting a lot of buzz, or are highly acclaimed, or are pertinent to your interests. You may also...
It’s March 29, 2021, and I want to add a disclaimer to this post. I am no longer convinced that recovery is exponential. Doctors tell me it is linear. I have also experienced linear recovery. This is a subject that I am continuing to explore. So, disclaimer: I’m not sure whether recovery is exponential or linear. I welcome any input...
Hi, friends. How are you holding up? Someone dear to me sent me the following image and gave me permission to share it. (I’d love to give attribution if I could learn where it originated. So if you created this, send me a message, and I’ll give proper attribution.) So here are some great daily quarantine questions for all of...
What works in healing anxiety? Mine and others’? This is the topic I promised to write about in my recent blog post Managing My Anxiety During a Time of Mass Anxiety. What Cures Anxiety for Me Is Generating the Feeling That Someone Cares About Me Feeling that someone gives a shit about me is really important to my health and...
I’ve been battling my old anxiety demons continuously since my concussion setback. That was seven weeks ago. The concussion symptoms themselves were sorta kinda back to okay within two weeks, though some of the symptoms persisted a few weeks longer. But the anxiety and panic ballooned and ballooned until they once again started afflicting me with physical symptoms that prevented...
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