What’s in a Name?

I remember a poignant scene from the movie What’s Love Got to Do With It? where Tina Turner is divorcing Ike Turner and she’s willing to give up everything as long as she gets to keep her name. œAll I want is my name, she said proudly. Her name meant more to her than all her riches or her royalties. I sat there watching this scene thinking would I do that? Would I give up everything for my name?


Toilet Humor

I know I can’t stop using the office bathroom. I don’t have the ability to hold it like some of my more skillful friends. The only thing I can do is to treat it like an expedition to an uncivilized country and to do what all explorers have learned to do: expect the unexpected.


Life and Death: The Vietnamese Way

On occasion, the accompanied letter would sometimes describe grief stricken family members trying to crawl in the casket of the deceased. Whenever we got those letters, it would always spark a debate among the children as who in the family would be the casket crawler. Somehow I was always chosen being that I have a flair for the dramatics.


The Weiner Circle

A Weiner Circle from  This American Life  


Chris Ware, This American Life

Illustrated segment of This American Life  with Chris  Ware  


Tobias Wolff

Author Tobias Wolff reading an excerpt from  his book, The Benefit  of the Doubt.


Hunger of Memory

The title of his book, at first blush, suggests an intimate discourse in the retrieval of his memories but as the book unfolds, the main focus turns out to be more about cultural identity and alienation.


Fashion Statement

I returned back to my seat and remembered the last time I wore this scarf, two lesbian friends said the same thing. I didn’t believe them either. It’s a scarf for Pete’s sake. Scarves don’t make you gay. Come to find out scarves don’t make you gay “ they just make you look gay.


This Boy’s Life

The main prevailing thought I am left with after reading Wolff’s book is that good writing doesn’t have to be complicated and convoluted. Good writing is beautiful constructed sentences simply organized to give the reader a clear view of the message the writer is trying to convey.


What I Think I Did

There are two statements Woiwode writes that encapsulate the hurdles of a young writer, œbecause the search for words in a beginning writer is as elusive as the search for physical expression (p.209) and œ What a writer often needs, and especially a beginner, is an answer to technical difficulties. (p.259) Woiwode definitely got an amen from me as I read those passages.