Being nice is an act of defiance nowadays. Niceness is the harder thing — the tougher thing. Read my essay for The Los Angeles Times here.
For years now, whenever I travel, I have fallen asleep to the sweet white noise hum of… an airplane cabin. Often, it’s to cover up more nature-y sounds: rooster crowing, crickets cricketing, children crying, etc. For the special new SOUND issue of California Sunday, I talked to the guy who made that app. Turns out people have all kinds of funky regional preferences when it comes to sleep sounds: snoring! dust storms! F-16s!
Read the story and listen to the sounds here.
The hardest story I’ve ever written. When an artist of optimism is cruelly taken away, what remains of her message? A profile of the artist Susan O’Malley, from the January 2016 issue of San Francisco magazine.
On the afternoon of February 25, 2015, artist and curator Susan O’Malley was at home in Berkeley, taking care of business. She posted a note on Facebook asking if anyone could help her transport a piece of artwork down to San Jose, where she was curating a show at the Museum of Quilts and Textiles; several people cheerfully responded. She exchanged emails with her editor about the final page layouts for her first book, Advice from My 80-Year-Old Self, which will be published by Chronicle Books this month. In the next room, her husband, Tim Caro-Bruce, a computer programmer, was working from home.
Read more here.
The eradication would begin on Floreana Island in October. If all went well, the rodents would be dead by Thanksgiving, the feral cats, by Easter.
Read more about Karl Campbell, the animal removal specialist working on the front lines of extinction, here.
Would you read the Everyone Poops of death? A new essay I wrote for Ozy, on how we might normalize conversations about death from the beginning.
Martin Yan can break down a chicken in 18 seconds. I cannot. Still he let me hang out with him for the March issue of Sunset.
I write about Gertrude Ederle’s coach and mentor, Charlotte “Eppie” Epstein, for The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History, new from Chronicle Books — it’s the rad follow-up to the bestselling The Where, the Why, and the How, a great project by the supremely talented design team of Jenny Volvovski, Julia Rothman, and Matt Lamothe.