Mattress

According to an essay I once read, the U.S. electorate tends to select a president because he’s perceived as having some crucial quality that makes up for something his predecessor lacked. So, for example, we have Joe Biden now because he seemed eager to unify the nation after the divisive Trump era. And we had […]

Tabletop Clock

I had trouble telling time when I was a kid. The whole short-hand/long-hand, numbers-in-a-circle system struck me as prohibitively complicated. I knew you were supposed to glance at your wristwatch or a wall clock and instantly recognize that it was 3:47 or whatever, but it always took me a few too many ticks of the […]

Passport

I’m currently on my second passport. I got my first one in 2004 in order to travel to Italy with my family. I still remember the photo inside because I looked wild-eyed and slightly deranged—sort of like Jack Nicholson in The Shining when he uses an ax to chop his way through that bathroom door and […]