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Archive for the ‘Leisure’ Category

Paul A. Toth

My Siamese Twin

November 6th, 2009
by Paul A. Toth

SARASOTA, FL-

This has been what I call the Year of Ice. Colder than a shaved polar bear. Sayonara 2009. It’s been a year of pills, pills and more pills, until finally I seem to have reached some kind of treaty with bipolar disorder, which barely warrants discussion given that virtually everyone is now diagnosed as bipolar. Still, it’s important to note that when I write “ice,” I mean anxiety, yet when I write “anxiety,” I do not describe all attributes of “ice.” (more…)


Megan DiLullo, Erika Rae, and Lenore Zion

Girl, You’ll Be a Bond Woman Soon, or, Happy Birthday Rich Ferguson, TNB Style

November 3rd, 2009
by Megan DiLullo, Erika Rae, and Lenore Zion

THE DARK RECESSES OF OUR MINDS-

Rich Ferguson, because it’s your birthday and because you just make being a Bond Girl so insanely cool, we’ve run a little contest in your honor: Who Makes the Best Bond Girl?

As you will see, several of the TNB guys have slipped into something a little more comfortable in your honor. So, quiet your inner Wai Lin, have a martini and leave your briefcase tear gas canister and testosterone at the door.

(more…)


Matthew Gavin Frank

Red Beard’s Silent Deal

October 29th, 2009
by Matthew Gavin Frank

ALBA, ITALY-

In Alba, Italy’s rain, my hair flattens wet against my skull. Hugging the shopfronts of Via Vittorio Emanuele, I see a white triangular peak in the distance. It could be anything—a downed mountain bowing to commune with this street, the cobblestone river that carved it—except, glowing with rain, it looks to be made of canvas. I know.

(more…)


David Breithaupt

I Have Become a Cranky Old Fart

October 16th, 2009
by David Breithaupt

COLUMBUS, OH-

It’s been a slow encroachment, subtle, like the onset of age or the shot that divides the casual user from confirmed addict. Perhaps it has been ticking inside me, like some DNA time-bomb waiting to release its gas, infecting me in increments until finally, I awake one day to realize: I have become a cranky old fart. (more…)


Kip Tobin

Curiosities, Absurdities and Other General Silliness Overheard In and Around the Greater Dayton Area Between June ‘08 and October ‘09

October 12th, 2009
by Kip Tobin

BROOKVILLE, OH

Summer ‘08

“Sleep yourself tight.” –Alice Tobin

“Hey Jim, this headstone says W. A. Goner. That’s funny.” –AT, to Jim Tobin while walking through a cemetery. The headstone actually read “WAGONER”.

“I deserve a paper plate that’s as strong as I am.” Paper plate commercial

“I’m a connoisseur of my own taste”.— AT

“Next thing we’re gonna get is a miniature one of these that has the attitude of a rabid lion.” –Overweight, overly-friendly 50-year-old man talking to a young woman in reference to the chihuahua she’s petting on her lap, which was clearly already pretty miniature, at O’Hare airport, Terminal G, gateG1A. The woman smiled flatly in response, and then, after a second the man added, “Ah-heh-heh”, somewhat nervously.

(more…)


Tyler Stoddard Smith

How to Write, Or Not

October 4th, 2009
by Tyler Stoddard Smith

AUSTIN, TX-

They tell me you should write about what you know. I’ve always had a problem with that. I may know some things other people don’t, but in writing that down, what good does that do me? Not much. I already know it. I want to write about things I don’t know about. I want to learn things about what I don’t think, how people I don’t know don’t act and why. Perhaps I say this because I don’t know much. I know a lot of facts about arcane things, but I already know them and I already know that nobody, unless they are short of Trivial Pursuit cards, wants to hear that kind of bilge. However, I don’t know one thing that I think will serve me well in my writing career: I don’t know how to write.

(more…)


Simon Smithson

Decompressing from TNB - LA

October 3rd, 2009
by Simon Smithson

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-

I’d been warned about Los Angeles. They (the same ‘they’ in ‘That’s what they say’) warned me that it’s a city where people smile at your face and stab you in the back; that the whole town only exists to exploit people of youth, beauty, and talent; that everyone there is obsessed with making money, making their cut, and then getting out of Dodge as fast as their new Lexus can carry them.

People characterised the city as soulless, shallow, and desperate for a quick buck.

Why people thought they should warn me, I’m not really sure. Because it sounded like I’d fit right in.

But seriously - LA, man. Now that’s a fun town. (more…)


Christopher Eaton

Taking the Waters

October 1st, 2009
by Christopher Eaton

CHICAGO-

Recently I visited a friend staying at the Four Seasons Chicago. This was a new experience for me. I usually stay at hotels where “room service” is code for “vending machine.” Among the things you can have sent to your room, free of charge, at the Four Seasons are: a humidifier, a thermometer, the bellhop (shaven and bound), and a loaner swimming suit. This last item intrigued me. I imagined the concierge forcing a lifeguard to strip so I could go swimming.

When the swimsuit arrived, I was disappointed to discover it was just a pair of men’s trunks in my size. Apparently, someone expected me to actually go swimming.

(more…)


Zara Potts

So Like Totally Awesome

September 28th, 2009
by Zara Potts

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - 

I’m a black and white kind of person. I either like things or I don’t. I love them or hate them. It’s one or the other. Hot or cold. Black or white. Get it? There’s not much grey in my life.

So, just to be totally clear that there’s no sitting on the fence here…

I love LA.

I totally heart it.

(more…)


John L. Singleton

Things I Learned About the Apocalypse Over Labor Day While Vacationing In Palm Springs, California

September 15th, 2009
by John L. Singleton

LOS ANGELES, CA–

So, I’ve been working pretty hard lately. And by working hard, I mean that I’ve been working really hard, for long hours (12 or so of them every single day) for about the last two years. As a reader of this little article, you might wonder what I’ve been working at for all of these hours, but that’s not important. What is important is that at this point, the only thing that really punctuates my working of really long hours is the drinking of highball glasses of Jim Beam, which helps me work more but alas (according to all of the addiction recovery books I seem to be reading lately) doesn’t really relax me. At least not in the way a good vacation would. A good, sober vacation. And what better place to get away from it all (or at least the burning, wood-fired Tandoori oven that is LA right now) than Palm Springs, California, just two hours away!

At first this seems like a great idea, right? A relaxing desert, a pool, room service… All awesome things. However…

(more…)


Christopher Eaton

Dressed for the Occasion

August 30th, 2009
by Christopher Eaton

CHICAGO, IL-

Growing up in New England, the winter season was always reliably white. Snow thick and rolling on the hills, limning the streets, topping every traffic light with a nightcap. It has colored memories of my childhood: snow angels, ice sculptures, toboggan runs, rimed windows, white-dusted trees, icicled eaves, snowmen with the obligatory carrot marking the front.

Since Mom believed strongly in the restorative powers of outdoor play, I spent part of everyday outside, even in winter. Equipping myself for the rigors of winter recreation meant encasing my frame in layers of cotton, wool, rubber, and nylon.

(more…)


Zara Potts

A Thousand Words: The End of Summer

August 28th, 2009
by Zara Potts

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND -

In the morning, there are tui. Native to this land of the long white cloud, they call to each other with the sound of bells.

Their feathers look black but if you happen to find one carelessly shed; you see that it is made more of the sea than the air. The colours are iridescent green and violet and they shimmer before your eyes.

(more…)


Paul Clayton

Le Voisinage de Monsieur Roger, First Blood, Part I, Chapter 7, addendum 1.2, or Wally Gator gets down with the crew at the sauna…

August 17th, 2009
by Paul Clayton

SAN FRANCISCO-

As usual, I drove to the municipal pool last Sunday.  My route takes me past the soccer field.  A game was in progress, one team wearing green shorts and jerseys, the other blue.  Soccer is really big here in South City with the Mexicans and Central Americans.  They’re out there most Sundays, their families picnicking on the grounds, watching.  There’s always a truck parked alongside the field selling burritos and tacos.  We also have a baseball field adjoining that.  They usually play Saturday and some evenings under the lights. (more…)


Colleen McGrath

Look

August 7th, 2009
by Colleen McGrath

BERLIN, GERMANY -

That people don’t look at each other here may account for the otherwise inexplicable disinterest in personal appearance in Berlin. That or city-wide depression. Nobody’s looking so who cares? Granted, in New York people look way too much. Gone are the days (and by days I mean the 80’s), when a woman can walk up Madison Avenue in sneakers and slide on pumps at her desk, oh no. You ride the subway and walk the whole distance in those puppies, no matter how far or you’re excommunicated from the club. Did you know you had to walk fifty blocks in stilettos to be considered a true New York Woman? You do. Do you see men coming to work in shorts and a t-shirt carrying a suit bag and changing in the men’s room before the big meeting? No, you don’t. That their shoes are generally not torture chambers doesn’t enter into the matter; you come dressed for your day. People are looking. From the minute you leave your house to the moment you get home, people are looking.

(more…)


Sung J. Woo

Book Review: J. Robert Lennon’s Pieces for the Left Hand

August 6th, 2009
by Sung J. Woo

WASHINGTON, NJ -

Every time I open a new book of fiction, there’s a part of me that hopes for the improbable: to encounter something new, something utterly original.  So as you can imagine, I’m let down a lot.  But sometimes I get lucky.

It’s been two weeks since I finished reading J. Robert Lennon’s Pieces for the Left Hand, but here’s this little gem of a book, still sitting on my desk.  I don’t know when I’ll return this paperback to its designated shelf, but it won’t be anytime soon, for I keep going back to it, reading one of the 100 anecdotes in this collection at random, smiling and chuckling along the way.

(more…)


Kristen Elde

Big Sky

August 4th, 2009
by Kristen Elde

MISSOULA, MT-

September 2003

It’s late, 12:30-late, and I’m just now pulling into the parking lot of Hubbard’s Ponderosa Lodge in Missoula. The toll of a thousand straight miles on the road won’t register for a while yet: I’m still carrying a charge.

“Hi. I’d like a room—two nights, one person.”

I’m traveling by myself, my preference from the age of five, a time when my version of a solo vacation was putting Mom and Dad thirty feet at my back, all but forgetting them as I crouched low, sifting through frosted sea glass and limpet shells with glossy, purplish undersides—alone on the beach with a green plastic bucket and an active imagination.

(more…)


P.T. Winton

The Bastard Child of Jackson Pollock and Claude Monet

July 30th, 2009
by P.T. Winton

PARIS, FRANCE -

Emerging from the Metro station in Montmartre, Paris, the sun plays through a haze that makes all the edges of the city drip with dew. I think back to the maps that got me here.

I came from Germany — a trip in a couchette as resilient as birch wood, to the Metro sub-station in France. Then a quick and jarring ride on the Metro to Montmartre. Paris was going to be a different experience than Germany. The Metro map told me so.

(more…)


Dawn Corrigan

A Thousand Words: My Dancing Career

July 28th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

Last week I received a package in the mail from my cousin Kelly.

It was the tap dancing outfit I wore in my 4th grade dance recital.

That recital marked the debut, the apex, the anticlimax, and the denouement of my dance career.

(more…)


Aaron Dietz

A Thousand Words: I Have a Fear of Heights; I Went Skydiving Anyway

July 26th, 2009
by Aaron Dietz

LONGMONT, CO-

I’m at the airport, confident. I’ve never had vertigo in a plane before, so I’m not worried about jumping out of one.

Besides, my dad is jumping, too, and I don’t want to wimp out on him. Mom is here, too, documenting the whole thing in photos, so if I wimp out, there will be photographic evidence of my cowardice. (more…)


Lenore Zion

A Relaxing Day at the Spa

July 24th, 2009
by Lenore Zion

LOS ANGELES, CA-

I went to a spa for the first time the other day.

Booked myself a massage and a facial at Burke Williams. It’s very fancy, and when I checked in I was immediately escorted to the ladies’ locker room, where there were Jacuzzi baths and showers and a sauna and a steam room and dozens of beauty products and expensive blow dryers and fuzzy bathrobes and towels, all of which were available to me.

I’d been told when I made the reservations that I should come at noon, as this was when the spa opened, and I was free to spend the entire day there, soaking in various baths with other naked women. (more…)