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Shumai, raw and cooked

If one is looking for those odd relationships that one finds in literature, then look no further.

It feels like I’m married and raising a daughter. Except, I’m married to my mother, and the daughter we’re raising is my grandma (her mother), who has dementia and is regressing.

Today marks the 6th day my mother has given me the cold shoulder and done grandma’s routines in complete silence.

My mother’s method of reminding grandma to do something is like this: “You can’t lie down like that. Look, just letting your muscles go. You’re going to hit your head on the…


Once she used my sister’s wedding as a weapon, the gloves came off.

October 5th, 2020

“Aunt, I heard you’re planning on getting a haircut tomorrow?”

“Yes.”

“Can I ask you not to go?” I asked. “Hair salons have a high transmission risk and grandma is in a high-risk group.”

“OK,” she said with a wave of her hand. “OK. That’s fine.” She turned away. Her clipped words meant it was clearly not OK.

“I can take you to the salon the day you leave, if that works,” I suggested with my first alternative.

“I’m leaving early in the morning.”

“How about the night before?” My second alternative.

“Well, I’d still have to…


Nonlinear Narrative vs. Traditional Storytelling vs. Abby

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Same, Ellie. Same. (From The Last of Us 2/Naughty Dog, in-game screenshot by me)

SPOILERS AHEAD

The Last Of Us 2 (TLOU2) is an ambitious game. It’s been out for about 5 months now, which has given players time to reach the end and process its unconventional storyline. The response has been mixed:


When Were You Last Tested?

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Take the first nostril and go all the way down. (Tree image from Treetopia, nasopharyngeal swab image from CDC, combination by me)

It’s October 2020. That means isolating at home and when we must go out, masks. I used to use isolating and quarantining interchangeably, but I recently learned that quarantining is the two-week period one must remain in timeout — penance for becoming infected. Otherwise, we can also be SIPing: sheltering-in-place.

But we’ve dealt with this before, haven’t we? In fact, our unique circumstance of having OCD and being gay gives us an advantage. It’s taken a lot of time to get over my fear of other people as disease vectors. Though I was never one…


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You’re here for the words

Greetings High Command. <Seasonal phrase and in-group marker>. The Second Medium asked for a report at an inflection point in this country, and though there were earlier candidates during my observation period, this confluence of events is similar to other inflection points throughout this planet’s political history. Pursuant to <established protocol>, this report will be written in the language of the people here. They’ve recently acquired the ability to communicate with each other instantaneously, so slang is changing as quickly as they speak. I’ve also included updates on the species per the Culturer’s request. Refer to attached contemporal subdata for…


— Canceling Cancel Culture and Separating Artists from Their Work

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J.K. Rowling pic from Samir Hussein/Getty Images. Daniel Radcliffe pic from Chad Kirkland. Mashup by me.

Against the backdrop of coronavirus, pride month, and protests across the world, J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, posted some controversial tweets over ‘transgender’ and ‘woman’. The argument is currently running its course, with Rowling posting an additional essay[1] explaining and defending her views, but there’s been social media backlash. Daniel Radcliffe, the face of Harry Potter, has written a counteressay[2] addressing her comments and how readers may be affected by them:

To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished…


When in doubt, turn to science.

With conflicting reports from various news sources, I found myself unsure of who to trust and what to believe. No, putting a hairdryer down one’s throat and blasting hot air is not a treatment. And when in doubt, I turn to science. As a result, this essay will only cite articles from Nature, the premier scientific journal. These are articles published by the scientists themselves, unfiltered through politics, the press, religion, or well-meaning relatives with crazy and often dangerous DIY cures. The scientific method is tried and true and I have always trusted these…


I’m a relatively new Taylor Swift fan. I remember the night it happened, at the Midnight Sun, a gay bar in the Castro, San Francisco. She had just released “Look What You Made Me Do”, the lead single off her new album Reputation, and the bar was playing the music video on its big screen. As I watched different versions of Taylor fight herself, an earlier incarnation getting a boot to the face, followed by each of them lobbing criticisms at each other, I realized this was no vapid pop star. This was a self-aware artist, worthy of understanding and…

Jon Lang

A steak pun is a rare medium well-done

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