Here’s a hint: it’s money

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Whenever someone offers me a job I think about how they’re going to make money off of what I am doing for them and how much money that is. Like they’re not offering me a job out of the goodness of their heart. They have something that needs to be done, they don’t have the time or the skill or the desire to do it, so they want me to do it and they’re willing to pay me, but they can’t pay me so much that they don’t make money off of what I am doing. …


I would like to thank all the dogs that met and made love over the years and ultimately created the pet of my dreams.

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My last dog, Merle, looked so completely like a Blue Heeler (Also called Australian Cattle Dog, or ACD) I did not feel any need to get her DNA tested. I mean, I might have found out she was five percent something else, but there was no burning mystery there, google the breed and you see a dog that looks exactly like my Merle, RIP.

But when I got Ruthie I was like — what is this dog? I mean, there was no doubt she was at least half Red Heeler, as “advertised” by the pound, but she was also a little more gold than red, and also, not as mottled as I think of Heelers being. Then there was her body. Every Heeler I’ve ever known is about the same size, like, 20 inches high, I guess? Ruthie is maybe 14 inches high, and she’s also about two inches longer than a Heeler. I thought for sure she was part Corgi. …


The answer isn’t “Make him give you appliances” but it might as well be

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We have lived in this house for seven years and the refrigerator has sucked from Day 1. Anything put on the top shelf freezes, but at least that shelf exists. The other big shelf — it broke. This allows us to store pretty tall things in there, like, if we got in a head-on collision with an owl we could stand it up in our refrigerator overnight instead of having to call an emergency taxidermist, but mostly it just means we’re down a shelf, which, given that the railings (? Do refrigerators have railings?) on the door shelves are all broken at the joint means you’re not talking about a lot of good places to put stuff. …


It can make your life better, too. Now go finish that draft.

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Photo: George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

When I was in my 30s I did a kind of stupid thing. Oh well, I thought, I guess I’m never going to get over it. Years passed. Then, by chance, I was asked to write an essay about this thing, so I did. Then I revised what I wrote, then I revised it again, then again. It was hard to make the story make sense, but finally it did and it was done. It never got published. That’s just the way things are sometimes.

I was mad for a week or so—no one likes to not publish an essay they wrote for publication. But one day, while I was busy being mad, I realized something truly incredible: I didn’t care about this thing anymore. It no longer held any emotional charge. I was pissed about my kill fee, annoyed with the editor, and their boss, and their boss’s boss. But when I thought about the actual subject of this doomed, never-to-see-the-light-of-day thing I wrote, I felt nothing. …


And the adults in the room make it nearly impossible for you

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The bad scissors. Wikimedia Commons.

It’s 1974, and probably raining. I am in my first or second week of kindergarten at a small school in Massachusetts, and I am probably sad because it’s dark out — it is always dark out. I am fat and four years old, a slightly strange kid. I never know what anyone is talking about, I don’t like playing very much, and am terrible at arts and crafts. Why anyone would make something that they couldn’t sell? I like stories, and that’s about it. Everything else is the gray expanse between stories and eating.

There are kids who are stranger than me, and I also am aware there are some kids here who are not strange at all. Kids who are never wondering, as I always am, what we are doing here in this thing called “kindergarten”? Why do dogs live with us but squirrels don’t? …


You write back. Sort of.

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LETTER FROM A NON-FAN

Yesterday morning I received the following email:

“How predictable. A writer from one era who finds herself in an extreme position of privilege as an editor decides to throw stones from the top of that pedestal at young creative talents from more youthful generations.”

This was not the only email I got telling me that a piece I wrote several weeks ago for the New Yorker’s website, about The Queen’s Gambit, was bad. It was probably the tenth. Maybe the eighth. It was the only one I wrote back to:

“I don’t understand how I am a writer who finds myself in an extreme position of privilege as an editor. There’s a lot going on in that sentence. I am not an editor. I think you have confused me with someone, possibly someone with the same name as me? I don’t know. Also there are a lot of mixed metaphors in this. Also I hope you’re not a writer, and certainly hope for your sake and for everyone else’s you never suddenly, over the course of a sentence, become an editor.” …


Well, it delivers on its title. But are these burglars even…real?

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Welcome to the first installment of “Movies Keith and Sarah Have Never Seen. (Until Now)” Keith Harris lives in Minneapolis and was, until very recently, the music editor for Minneapolis’ City Pages (RIP.) Sarah Miller is a writer and lives in Northern California.

Through years of correspondence on Twitter, both publicly and in DMs, Keith and Sarah slowly realized there were all these movies most people have seen that they had never seen, movies like The Shawshank Redemption, Beaches, Baby Boom, Ghost. etc. They thought, “Hey, we should watch these movies and discuss.”

To start, neither Keith nor Sarah has ever seen the 1990 film Home Alone — until now! …


If I wrote a diary, which I do not.

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I got up around 7:30am and was a slug, drinking coffee with the dog in bed and doing the NYT Spelling Bee thing. It feels like it’s supposed to be “good for you” but it’s probably just a waste of time.

Then I worked on a Secret Project with my (Twitter) friend Keith Harris involving the film Home Alone. In the course of working on this project I discovered that John Hughes, producer of this film, was a Reagan Republican. I think this is one of those things everyone in the world already knew. …


The neoprene doesn’t thicken but the plot does

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Now that I have stopped putting the thing on backwards my wetsuit life is really taking shape. My wetsuit journey is all I imagined and more. It’s amazing that these things exist. They really work. People are like “wow you’re swimming in a cold lake in December” and I certainly don’t want to dissuade people from being impressed with me but I do have to give credit to the wetsuit. It’s pretty snug in there.

And yet although wetsuits do work it’s interesting the ways that they don’t totally work. They haven’t figured out a way to get a little zip-up crotch door so you can pee, sort of like dirty lingerie, but functional. I know, you can pee in the suit. I have peed in it. I am not against it, but I like to have the option of wearing my wetsuit home if it’s just too cold to get it off at the dock and I want to just peel the top down and hightail it home. …


My dog Ruthie talks to Peter, the dog behind Kelly Conaboy’s delightful, funny, and sweet “The Particulars Of Peter.”

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When I saw that Kelly Conaboy, the genius behind classics like Do Men Enter Bathtubs on Hands and Knees So Their Balls Hit the Water Last? and The Vast Bay Leaf Conspiracy, had completed a book about dogs, I was very excited. She has a way of being funny that’s just not like anyone else, I would describe it but you should just read “The Particulars of Peter” and see for yourself. I asked Ruthie if she would like to interview Conaboy’s dog Peter to get an inside look. Ruthie said yes, because she is a good dog.

Ruthie: Welcome, Peter. My mom loved this book. She chortled a lot while reading.

About

Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller is a writer living in Northern California.

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