Archive for July, 2011

About a month ago, I embarked on an ill-advised (and perhaps ill-fated) attempt to learn German. This is my report from the trenches. I have the short-term memory of a stoned gnat, so I knew that learning German would be a challenge. And because I am both impetuous and impatient, I decided to try the […]


For the first time in HBlog history, I’ve received a request from a reader: “I think you should do a post [on writing for the Web] … if you haven’t already.” Thanks for the suggestion, Marcia! I did a post about writing subject lines in January. But today I’ll focus on some more general guidelines […]


Type “how to” into Google enough times, you will eventually—inevitably—end up at eHow. My query today started innocently enough, with a search for how to change the permissions on a computer file. But before I knew it, I had gone down the eHow rabbithole. My first stop was How to Become a Death Metal Guitarist. […]


“There’s always next time.” That’s been my mantra every time I’ve visited Paris. Whether I’ve been there for two days or three weeks, I’ve never quite hit everything on my “must see” list. So it seems fitting that today I should happen across a recent post by my blog-buddy Marcia at InsideJourneys. Her experience in […]


A couple of days ago, I went out on a limb with perhaps my most morbid post yet. I worried about offending someone who had lost a loved one to lymphoma. I also worried (just a little bit) that a reader might overlook the quotation marks around “kill” and call the authorities. As it turns […]


With apologies to my male readers: Today’s post is uncharacteristically girly (and truly random). But perhaps you’ll want to read anyway, in case you ever need to cheer up a dejected woman who has accidentally smashed her expensive makeup to smithereens. A few years ago, I was ecstatic to find a pressed powder light enough […]


Esteban and I had dinner with our friends Darren and Laurice last weekend. They’re two of the kindest people we know. But — as further proof that life is utterly unfair — they’ve been beset by misfortunes lately. The most recent was the discovery that Laurice has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hers is a rare case, a […]


There are few things I love more than an orthographic malfunction: With the loss of a single “r,” a book can instantly go from sexy to savage! My friend Tom (aka., The Blogfodder) reminded me of this fact today with a wonderful piece titled The Prince of Typos. Make that The Price of Typoes. Uh, […]


Today is le 14 juillet, the date on which France celebrates its liberation from a tyrannical (or at least breathtakingly clueless and inept) monarchy. “Bastille Day” was a significant turning point in France’s history, bien sûr. But what many people don’t know is that it was also the birthday of a most curious French pastime: […]


It would be hard to estimate how much money I’ve wasted on eBay. Most of my mistakes have been minor, thank goodness. Others—a Coach purse, some Timberland boots, and a handful of cameras—I’ve been able to resell. But a couple of my eBay purchases have been so hideous that the only appropriate response was to […]