A photo of the cover of Will Mackin's book called "Bring Out the Dog"

Book Review: Will Mackin’s Bring Out the Dog

Will Mackin has probably read a lot of Tim O’Brien (National Book Award-winning author of The Things They Carried). His debut story collection, Bring Out the Dog, is set in the familiar counter-insurgency backdrop of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, and plays with the idea of story truth. That is, Mackin’s stories, while fictional, […]

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A picture of pasta made from scratch

Think Outside The Box: Make Your Pasta from Scratch

Fresh, hand-rolled pasta is made with four ingredients, which is, by the way, the same number of ingredients used to make instant ramen (water, noodles, spice packet, and if you’re doing it right: an egg). The following recipe serves 2-4 people. Ingredients: 1 cup semolina flour,* 1 cup all-purpose flour, 3 eggs, generous splash of […]

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A photo of Tintoretto's self-portrait

An Artist Date with Tintoretto

There’s something called a weekly artist’s date. It’s not some I came up with. I got it from a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, a kind of old-school new-age hippie guide that’s supposed to help you unleash the artist inside of you. Anyway, a weekly artist’s date is meant to be something […]

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Wine Escape

We live in a city. This means that wherever we go, there’s people. And noise. And traffic. The peculiar sights and sounds for us, are those peculiar to D.C. At the present moment these come in the form of cranes, and in the form of long-drawn out beeps from construction vehicles constantly backing up. While […]

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Getting Oriented in Seoul—Hiking Up to Namsan Tower

Korea has no shortage of mountains. Yet, in Seoul, they are easily missed. An industrial cloud from China that scatters yellow dust and hangs just above the city’s densely packed skyline is partly to blame. Winding alleys crowded with markets, stalls, restaurants, street vendors, bars and quirky shops are also at fault. With so much […]

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My Cat Walks on a Leash

She responds to commands like “come,” “sit,” and “shake.” She also likes to go on road trips in my car. This all started around twenty years ago, well before she was ever born. In fact, at the time, I used to say I hated cats. I didn’t want anything to do with them. Fast-forward to […]

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On “Fluency”: My Chinese Language Learning Journey

For years now, a trickle of Chinese has come out of my mouth—occasional happen-stance interactions with strangers in airports, brief exchanges with people interested in trading English for Mandarin; and, of course, the on-again, off-again Skype lesson. Now that trickle has slowed and become an intermittent drop. It’s frustrating. Chinese Language and Literature was my […]

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Paul À Quebec: An Authentic French immersion experience

Reading Michel Rabagliati’s graphic novel, Paul à Quebec, feels like a real immersion. The opening scene takes place on a highway in Quebec with Paul’s French-Canadian family. And for someone who’s never been there before, there’s so much to take in: the peculiar road signs written in French, weird tourist traps like parks with fake […]

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