The fact that you even have to ask is part of the problem.
  1. Seven months ago, you ate one of my yogurts.
  2. Sometimes, when you’re sleeping, your mouth reminds me of Mel Gibson’s mouth.
  3. You recently put a butter knife in the dishwasher blade-side-up.
  4. You buy weird brands of mustard.
  5. The other night, while watching Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, you were not sufficiently impressed by the incredible journey undertaken by ordinary house pets.
  6. On Hanukkah, you fed two boogers to my mother’s chihuahua and whispered, “Happy second night.”
  7. Your breath smells like cabbage because we just ate cabbage.
  8. Donald Trump is still the president.
  9. My sweater is itchy.
  10. Mere days…

“Baby Bird” (Rated PG-13)

Where Is My Ascot? (Rated R)

In this nail-biting equestrian period piece thriller, Chalamet plays an up-and-coming young androgynous horse jockey on the brink of his Big Preakness Debut. Yet, just moments before the big cotillion in which he will present himself as the area’s most up-and-comingest young horseman, he realizes he’s missing one critical component: his lucky red ascot, passed down from his Great Great Uncle Albus, an infamous perfumer known for serial-murdering dozens of women in old-timey London. In how many ornate boxes and tiny wooden cupboards must Chalamet frantically search before he finds his favorite hanker-tie? Will…

A List of Things to Expect on This, the Eve of My Complete Transformation into My Mother

Please don’t be alarmed if I leave you many three-hour-long butt-dial voicemails.

See you on the other side, where I buy sneakers in bulk on the Internet. ❤

It both pains and pleases me to report that, upon sunrise, I will have finally completed the transformation into my mother, Susan. As many of you know, the process began somewhere around the age of twelve, when I thought I lost a pair of glasses that I was actively wearing, and has steadily progressed ever since. Finally, the time has come to fulfill my destiny, by which I mean sing incorrect song lyrics out loud at the grocery store and purchase sale candles named after emotions.

Although I…

Because everybody loves to review shit.

They say Kerouac used a whole roll of paper each morning, because talent.

“Every so often a work comes along that changes the way the game is played, that clogs the system entirely. This is one of those works.”

“A dry, irreverent take on what the author ate for breakfast.”

“Uneven, misshapen, meandering…a hard pass.”

“This collection of many smaller pieces comes together into something powerful, mysterious, and completely nutty.”

“Ghostly and haunting. What it lacks in structure it makes up for in tenderness.”

“A flagrant waste of paper.”

“Although less fluid than her usual work, the latest installment in Mandelbaum’s nail-biting trilogy culminates in a truly satisfying ending.”

“In this gripping debut…

As we grow as people, must our creative self evolve along with us?

Photo by Chris Curry on Unsplash

Outside of my relationship with my mother, writing has been the longest, most reliable, and arguably most rewarding relationship of my life. It has been with me since I could hold a pencil, and I imagine it being with me until I die. Sometimes I wonder what the last word I write will be, the last sentence — dark thoughts, but there is also a sweetness to them, to think of having writing by my side until the very end. Sometimes I imagine my writing as another person, perhaps the sister I never had. …

The price I paid for a temporary refuge, immense beauty, and some unforgettable experiences

Mount Moran. Photo by Sarah Ferendo

Part One: The Tetons

Four years ago, I quit my good-paying, respectable job as an acquisitions editor in Kansas and started working at a gift store in Grand Teton National Park. The job was only temporary — a summer gig before I started graduate school in California — but it would, ultimately, change the direction of my life.

I wanted to go somewhere beautiful because I was sad. That spring, I’d gone through a breakup and was suddenly overwhelmed by sadness for all I was about to leave behind when I moved: my friends, my home, my memories. I decided I needed to go…

Let me be clear: this article will change your life.

You’re this much closer to typing your very own nonsense article on an old-timey typewriter.

Before I wrote this article, I was just like you: clueless, broke, single, living in a pile of scrap metal behind an O’Reilly Auto Parts and subsisting on discarded pizza crusts and rainwater. But since writing this article I’ve moved into a detached garage, eaten three servings of vegetables, and finished an entire sudoku. How did I do it? Let me tell you.

First, you must write an article. About what? The answer is: literally anything — your distrust of Elon Musk, how eggs are slimy, your sister’s stupid new ankle tattoo. But what if I don’t have any opinions…

When I felt restless in my writing, rock climbing came to my rescue in more ways than one

Credit: BettinaRitter/iStock/Getty Images Plus

When I was 23 years old, I moved to Davis, California, to start a graduate creative writing program. Almost immediately, I was homesick, heartsick, and restless. I’d just come from working at Grand Teton National Park for the summer and spent most of my free time in Davis dreaming about going back to the mountains. When I wasn’t dreaming of the Tetons, I was dreaming of Kansas, my true home, and the place where I’d left everyone I had ever known and loved. …

In a place where I only had myself, my loneliness turned into something productive

Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash

Like many women of my generation, I grew up believing my goal in life was to find a man and be in his company forever. While American culture has certainly made strides since the era of happily-ever-after Disney princesses and M.R.S. degrees, there is still a lingering notion that to be alone, especially as an adult woman, is a kind of failure, one we should avoid at all costs.

According to this logic, I’ve spent most of my life as a failure. Although I’m currently in a relationship that I like very much (hold your applause, that’s not the point…

Becky Mandelbaum

Author of The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals & Bad Kansas (winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award). Read more at

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