“My Hero” by Billy Collins

It’s startling how Billy Collins pierces through the verbosity of prose to the core of an emotion. Since I discovered “The Lanyard,” poems like “Old Man Eating Alone in a Chinese Restaurant” and his new work “Cheerios” and “To My Favorite 17-Year-Old High School Girl” from Aimless Love have found their way into my scrapbook. “My Hero,” below, made me smile with its twist on perspective.

baby gopher tortoise

Just as the hare is zipping across the finish line,
the tortoise has stopped once again
by the roadside,
this time to stick out his neck
and nibble a bit of sweet grass,
unlike the previous time
when he was distracted
by a bee humming in the heart of a wildflower.

(photo via The Nature Conservancy)

10 Seinfeld Quotes That Sum Up Your Life Perfectly

#9 is exactly the way you want to be and what you want to say when something or someone enrages you to no end. Ha! If only we could be as eloquent in the moment and not after the fact (in our own heads).

Thought Catalog

Seinfeld is, of course, the best show of all time (to quote Poppy, quite fittingly, “On this issue there’s no debate!”). For those of you who are less fanatical about it than I am (which is a bit disappointing, as an aside), you might not realize that it serves as an incredibly accurate blueprint of human behavior. It’s a biblical document, in its way.

Here are ten quotes that will hopefully convince you that the Seinfeld writers already canvassed your life problems. Consult the show to see how things turn out (Hint: not well. Sorry).

1. “Ahh, what’s the point? When I like them, they don’t like me, when they like me I don’t like them. Why can’t I act with the ones I like the way I do with the ones I don’t like?”

My all-time favourite quote from the show. Part of the genius of it is in…

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“Soppy” by Philippa Rice

This panel from Philippa Rice’s mini comic Soppy was recently posted on Susan Cain’s “QUIET: The Power of Introverts” communal Pinterest board. “Introvert bonding time!” the poster said. It’s sweet. Even “dangerously sweet,” as the website It’s Nice That put it. (“It will get you. You will be won over by the charm, the illustrations, the painfully lovely relationship that plays out in front of you where boyfriends kiss girlfriends’ heads, order them pizzas, make them cups of tea, fall asleep on top of them on the sofa, and yet still refuse to bake them biscuits.”)

soppy philippa rice introvert

Being alone, together. 

The original 16-page Soppy is currently sold out but should be available again soon in Rice’s online shop, alongside prints of certain Soppy panels (though not the one above). The likewise 16-page mini comic Soppy 2 is still in stock and going for £4.

The Founding Fathers were young

The Founding Fathers were basically teenagers. That’s what Joanna Goddard wrote in her weekly roundup of fun reads, which included the intriguing kottke.org’s post “The surprising ages of the Founding Fathers on July 4, 1776.” At the thought of it Jason Kottke was like,

“This is kind of blowing my mind…because of the compression of history, I’d always assumed all these people were around the same age. But in thinking about it, all startups need young people…Hamilton, Lafayette, and Burr were perhaps the Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerberg of the War.”

That Aaron Burr was only 20 and Alexander Hamilton 21 at the time caught my eye immediately. At first I thought they could have both been ambitious, impetuous early-20-somethings who were possibly hot-headed enough to have engaged in that famous duel, but I then realized it didn’t take place until 28 years later, in 1804. Of course, in the ensuing time they came to despise each other anyway.

Just to show how my mind turns, at the mention of Aaron Burr I immediately thought of that famous original “Got Milk?” commercial, circa 1993.

Did you know that commercial was directed by Michael Bay? And the hapless history buff was played by Sean Whalen, who also played Drew Barrymore’s dorky assistant, Merkin, in the movie Never Been Kissed. (Doesn’t it drive you nuts when you know you’ve seen an actor elsewhere but can’t pin down where?)

Omelette (and) the dog

I know this short film by CalArts’ Madeline Sharafian has been making its rounds on the blogosphere, but it’s such a sweet piece. Even the bossa nova accompaniment (“Águas de Março” by Elis Regina) is soothing—the kind of music you’d switch on after coming home at the end of a long day. The animation is like Totoro meets Ratatouille, all wrapped up in love.

In Sharafian’s words,

I wanted to make something that focuses on how meaningful it is to make food for someone you love. My family’s lives practically revolve around cooking for each other, so it’s a theme that I’m deeply attached to.

The Pigeon does Hamlet

Behold, lovers of children’s books, “two of literature’s most tortured characters, together at last” in the Willems Shakespeare mashup of Mo Willems’s pigeon (from Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!) performing Hamlet’s famed soliloquy.

ImageThat is one pigeon with an existential crisis.

Here is the entire parody. This day-maker brought to you by bottom shelf books, via The Children’s Book Council.

Ice cream as medicine

Well, technically sorbet, not ice cream. But why quibble over details? Influenza_Pint_web__76291.1325274097.460.504Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has just come out with a flavor to battle the “death flu” that’s been going around this season. So far I haven’t succumbed to that flu in particular, but I’ve been grappling with the last vestiges of a wretched cold that’s also been going around, which my doc informed me has been lasting about two to three weeks for everybody. Great.

Anyhoo, Influenza Sorbet is made of orange and lemon juices, cayenne, ginger, Maker’s Mark bourbon, and honey. Jeni’s says of the concoction, “This is our flu-season fix. It’s proven to clear nasal passages, ease a sore throat, and soothe the body. It’s modeled on the home remedy my mother and grandmother made when anyone in the family was under the weather.” Cold cure, who knows, but I’ll take it—if I can find a local market that carries it.

(via Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams)

Update: Jeni’s has renamed Influenza Sorbet; it is now called Hot Toddy Sorbet and is sold seasonally only in Jeni’s scoop shops and online.