I Still Think About the Bomb Sometimes


After The Day After ran on ABC in November, 1983, it took me weeks to sleep normally again. The attack scene cycled through my brain, night after night. But not the panicky running and the electromagnetic pulse. Just the mushroom cloud. Just the bright light revealing the skeletons within the doomed. Just the fire and the flash.

Much of The Day After takes place in Kansas City. At the time, my family and I lived in Kansas City. Because of The Day After, and until he left office, I was always at least a little afraid of Ronald Reagan.


This pizza place near our house had some arcade cabinets, and the one I liked best was Missile Command.

Here’s the best decision the designers of Missile Command made on the cabinet: they gave it a trackball. A joystick makes reliable moves. A trackball is about imprecision. READ MORE >

Behind the Scenes / 9 Comments
August 16th, 2013 / 2:32 pm

On Aging and Anxiety

Today is the very last day of my 20s. I feel like a hot wreck. Whereas I know that age doesn’t really mean anything and we age every single fucking day, it seems monumental.

I remember one of the first conversations I had with Joyelle McSweeney. I was 25. I had just graduated with my MFA. I hadn’t even submitted my first book manuscript for publication (though I was getting ready to), and she said something like: “Oh, I’m so old in comparison, it’s ghastly: I’m thirty!” In my head, I thought to myself: “Fuck, if I do even half of what Joyelle has done by the time I’m thirty, I would be grateful!”

Well, boys and girls, here it is: thirty.


Random / 30 Comments
March 25th, 2011 / 11:05 am