OFF THE BEAT: The perils of StumbleUpon

My computer might as well be named Jesus, because it’s risen from the dead more times than I can count. Now I’m certainly not blaming Hewlett-Packard; this one’s all on me. But I just can’t help myself. Trojan virus overdoses be damned, I’m hopelessly hooked on StumbleUpon. The search engine
Read More…


OFF THE BEAT: Learning to be a sex nerd

I am a nerd. About everything. I over-research anything I decide that I want to do. I exhaust the resources on the Internet and then move on to books if I still want to know more. When I started having sex, I started doing the same thing I always do:
Read More…


OFF THE BEAT: It’s not you, it’s me

It’s 10 p.m., and I’m sitting at the table of my summer home in Portland, Ore. Three empty bottles of BridgePort Kingpin Double Red Ale are on the table next to my laptop screen. A breeze is coming in through the open screen door, and I’m reminiscing about my life
Read More…


OFF THE BEAT: Getting out of the clouds

Many adults have said to me along the years that college is a place of adventure, excitement and growth. For me, college made me swallow one of the sourest tasting medicines ever — the cough syrup that made me realize I had to grow up. In my continued process of
Read More…


OFF THE BEAT: Piss, pastries and Paris

It was nearly 7 a.m. Paris time, a full nine hours ahead of my body’s clock, which thought I was still in the Bay Area even after a 13-hour flight and two nights of no sleep. Under these conditions — with around 90 pounds of clothes and books that I
Read More…

jordan mug cutout

OFF THE BEAT: Fellowship through fasting

Bleary-eyed and carrying a slight headache from jet lag, I stumbled up a concrete staircase to a second-story shop. It was my second day in Amman, the capital of Jordan, and I found myself accompanying our Palestinian study-abroad program director as he ran errands. To a sweets shop, then an
Read More…


OFF THE BEAT: Boats against the current

I never know what to say when people ask me where I’m from. Usually, I just roll my eyes and say something to the effect of “it’s complicated,” but sometimes I take a deep breath and provide the full explanation. There may be an easier way to describe it —
Read More…


Giving it some thought

Sex on Monday

In some ways, I am completely unqualified to write about being a virgin in college. I lost my virginity the summer before college to a boy I ended up dating for the next four years. I also love sex. But if someone hasn’t had sex, I just think that he
Read More…


An attitude of gratitude

The Way I See It

Once, when I was a child, I set the garden hose to the sprinkler function and sat under a huge umbrella protecting me from the spray of water, just listening to its sound. It was all very romantic and strange. And it involved a huge amount of wasted water. The
Read More…


Scrolling through reality

Connect the Dots

I think, therefore I am.” But as the jester literati of the Heuristic Squelch once put it, “I think, therefore I am sad.” And to avoid such pensive thoughts, we plug into something — anything — to animate mundane weekly routines, and then escape into weekends of consumable debauchery. Many
Read More…