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Month: February 2014

The case for growing up and grabbing a broom

A New York Times essay attempts to make The Case for Filth: A recent, large cross-national study on the subject by an Ohio State sociologist found that “women’s housework did not decline significantly and men’s housework did not increase significantly after the mid-1980s in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.” [..] So why won’t men pick up a broom? Why won’t they organize a closet? Beats me. And, frankly, I’m DYING for a plausible answer to that question. At least one thing is becoming clear: The only possible solution to the housework discrepancy is for everyone to…

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Single ladies

Okay, okay, I couldn’t resist dissecting this very special February 14th message in the Wall Street Journal (?!?) from somebody I’ve never heard of before: Susan Patton: A Little Valentine’s Day Straight Talk: Young women in college need to smarten up and start husband-hunting. First of all — what is this deal with middle-aged women feeling the irrepressible need to give college women condescending and sexist advice? First Emily Yoffe, now Susan Patton. I’m sensing a pattern. I think it’s born of a mixture of envy, regret, and privilege. The source of the envy is obvious: college women are young, young, young,…

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All about werewolves: Part 2

Do you like werewolves better? Not really. Look at my book collection — I have a ton of vampire fiction but very about werewolves or other shapeshifters, except as adjuncts to vampires. But that might be another thing driving this book. I’ve tried writing vampire novels — believe me, I’ve tried! — they weren’t very good. Maybe with vampires I never found anything new to say. What did you find to say about werewolves? Well, I mentioned the lycanthropy panel that got me interested in writing about werewolves. Then there was the folklore book that got me interested in writing…

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All about werewolves: Part 1

At one point while I was working on an earlier draft of the book, when I was completely stuck on the plot, I wrote this little self-interview. [Edited to remove spoilers] Where did you get the notion for having two kinds of werewolves — natural born and bite-infected? When I first realized I was writing a werewolf novel, I spent a lot of time thinking about the mechanics of it. I didn’t want to take anything for granted. Full moon or not? All three days or just one? Can they change at will? Do they remember being the wolf? How…

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Who’s got spirit, or, how I learned to hate, and then be okay with, the sport of American football

I’m not sure when I learned to hate team sports as a participant — it was probably some time in elementary school. You know the story — pretty much every nerd lived through it — unpopular, uncoordinated, and inevitably picked last. The thing is, I wasn’t completely unathletic — I went hiking with my family and took dance classes and even got a Presidential Physical Fitness award one year. But team sports demand a certain kind of ability and attention that I was never very good at. Softball, for example, requires standing around doing absolutely nothing for very long stretches,…

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