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“In 2008 the U.S. economy was collapsing, but I myself was experiencing a brief and temporary period of financial abundance, the first and only time like this I have ever known. After years of working at office jobs that barely allowed me breathing time on the weekends, I was fully freelance, or as I would later come to think of it, unemployed. I was renting my own one-bedroom apartment and spending a lot of time eating, going to yoga classes, and lying on the floor crying while dredging up bad memories to put in the book I was working on. I had been through a lot, I thought, and I was due some time to relax. I wasn’t a complete idiot — I knew that the windfall I was living on, from a book advance that was rapidly being decimated by taxes and insurance premiums, was finite and unlikely to be replenished via writing alone. But I was enough of an idiot to imagine that teaching yoga was going to be an adequate Plan B. And I was also enough of an idiot to start hanging out with T.
T was around during the day when I had nothing pressing to do, willing to have me over at 2 p.m. for tea and gossip. She was beautiful, with a wild head of perfectly maintained hair, and always smelled amazing. She had usually just come from a fitness class or a massage or a haircut or other more esoteric spa experience. She had written for years for women’s magazines, which were then much more of a thing, and so a lot of this self-care was either subsidized or a legitimate research expense. But you got the sense that she would still be doing it, even if it weren’t part of her job. This was just the way she lived. She reminded me of Colette, the author whose photograph was on the vision board I kept above my desk. She was a sensualist, an aesthete. She made it seem normal and rational and good to spend hours taking care of your body and mind, soothing and nourishing yourself like a pampered, beloved pet.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."
"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."
"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."
"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."
"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."
"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."
"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."
"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."
"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."
"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."
"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"
"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."