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I Am a Part of the Facebook Lie

I've been home for the last 10 days, on a trip that's been sort of equal parts fantastic and terrible—the kind where your mom says things like, "I know this trip has been terrible" and then you both start talking about the new puppy. But let's talk about the fantastic bit, or, to stay with the theme, the terrible part of the fantastic bit. Without a doubt, the best part about coming home is seeing people. My trips home are always so poorly both planned and executed that they end up involving a grab bag of friends I have known my entire life and friends I have known much, much less time than that. I am thinking, for the moment,...

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Dudes Like Me More the Dumber I Am

I was eating a burrito and wondering if anyone else had noticed that the Best Picture nominees were the stories of, like, a half-dozen white guys and Martin Luther King (at least we know where the bar is set for the non-white guy portion of the population) when I came across this story: Apparently guys are less interested in confident ladies. And it got me thinking. Typically I might not have much to add to this particular discussion—except for the fact that I recently took a deep dive, shall we say, into the world of French real estate. For what seemed like a Captain Ahab-looking-for-Moby Dick amount of time, I went and looked at French apartments. All kinds of apartments, with bathrooms...

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How To Rent An Apartment In Paris In One Word (Or Around 2500)

1: Airbnb 2: I want to be clear: I am not a victim. When your biggest problem is that you can't find an apartment with a southern exposure and parquet floors in Paris—your biggest problem is pretty fucking small. That said, I can, with authority, say that finding an apartment in Paris was one of the most exhausting, frustrating, infuriating things I've ever gone through. I would not wish it on my worst enemy, and I would move to Mozambique before doing it again. My story: As I've discussed here previously, it makes sense for me to rent an apartment there. In the past, I've subletted. Sublets are easy to find, and relative to the two housing markets I know best—San Francisco and...

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Are Parisians rude?

The question I am asked most often: "But aren't Parisians so rude?" There is no good way to answer this question. My personal belief is that all people are kind in roughly the same way. Once I went for a walk between two small French villages, and one of the pathways between them was a narrow country road. A woman stopped her car and asked if I needed a ride, or some help. I told her thank you, but no—I was taking a walk. (Actually what I said was, "Thank you but no am walk now.") That same day, I saw a mother carrying a child drop a packet of tissues on the metro floor, and another woman picked them...

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The L Word

Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness. Despite the beauty of Justice Kennedy's prose  — and it is beautiful, most of it; it reminds me, in its way, of the closing passage of Thornton Wilder's "Bridge of San Luis Rey," and we'll get back to that in a minute — it does, in those words, obscure its point: No American citizen should be denied access to an institution of the government, a position we have long held here, including with the production of now-irrelevant glitter maps. I feel like Kennedy was perhaps less interested in suggesting that a life without marriage is such poor broth — and yet there it is. There is something so final and damning about the word "loneliness," a...

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