My mom says clothes look good on me.

On Ask Polly: Why Am I Deathly Afraid of Success?

OK, this is going to be weird advice, and also it's kind of the opposite of Polly's. It's probably not right, but it's at least something to think about.

In your letter, you describe a previous career trajectory where you climbed the ladder at your profession and then climbed back down, along the way reclaiming "over a hundred hours of my week back." (Weeks are only 168 hours long, so this sounds like hell on earth was escaped.) You got a normal (perhaps not high-paying) job with normal hours and lots of free time to develop your new interest. You've turned out to be great at your new interest and now this new high-powered opportunity beckons you.

But is it possible that what you actually want is a job that sustains you and lots of free time? In other words, say for example you went from working 20 hours a day, seven days a week in finance to working 40 hours a week at a bank branch. Then in your copious free time, you joined an improv group, because you'd always been interested. And it turned out that people think you're hilarious, and you and your favorite scene partner got an agent and now someone's trying to get a TV show for the two of you, where you'd be the producers, writers and stars. This feeds into your tendency towards workaholism and perfectionism. Except maybe you're rebelling against it because what you actually want to do is work 40 hours a week and play with your improv group three or four times a month.

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 1:48 pm 4

On Train Terrible

If you think the G train is a sorry little railroad, just wait until you take the train he's proposing, a streetcar that runs in mixed traffic from Red Hook to Astoria! Don't worry, it won't matter how painfully slow it'll be, because according to the column streetcars "aren’t about getting around quickly" (so why complain about the G train, then?).

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 10:14 am 0

On Four Twenty


Posted on April 18, 2014 at 1:55 pm 1

On How Bookstores Survive

In Seattle they're doing it by ... catering to Amazon employees, apparently?


Posted on April 14, 2014 at 9:41 am 0

On Prudish Child Files Suit

"saw their shuffleboards replaced by washboard abs"

So wait, they oldsters were literally playing shuffleboard on the sculpted torsos of the exotic dancers? Kinky!

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 9:25 am 0

On You Slept With Too Many Men At Work, And Other Reasons Why You Ladies Are Single

"says the 50-something divorcée"

Posted on March 13, 2014 at 9:57 am 2

On "A day doesn’t go by where you don’t hear about more bank layoffs and branch closings."

"On top of that, you hear politicians from the president on down blaming 'Wall Street and bankers' for the crisis, as if they were all the same, when in reality it was only five or six individuals very high up at places like Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros. who share responsibility." Haha, sure?

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 11:17 am 2

On Meet The Awl

Hey there's no footnote to go with the asterisk on "whatever founders do all day". I guess I'm going to assume it's "roll around in big piles of money"???

Posted on March 4, 2014 at 11:00 am 1

On The Israeli Vegan's Dilemma

*cough cough* best produced in territory militarily controlled by Israel but not formally annexed or internationally recognized as Israeli territory *cough cough*

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm 0

On Alain Resnais, 1922-2014

certainly hope the Awl offers proper respect to Paul Blart: Mall Cop auteur Stever Carr when he passes on in 2049 or whenever

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 10:05 am 0