“Has Leah Got a New Web Address?” said No One Ever Because Who Cares?

When you’re a writer, the simple act of announcing that your blog address has changed becomes an unwieldy task. It’s not enough to quickly state the news – news that nobody, not even your mother, is likely to be interested in. Instead, you must devise something clever, self-deprecating perhaps, and entirely encompassing of you as a person, not to mention your sensibilities as a writer. And you’re to do all of this because writing a post about having a new blog address is just the kind of meta-blogging thing you’re supposed to do. It’s a matter of personal branding, dangit.

Well, everybody, I have tortured myself trying to devise something that fits all of those criteria, and also how to make vague yet well-intentioned statements (lies!) about trying to post more in the future, and the only thing I can do to capture my excitement about this fresh new address and look is:

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Excited crab dance. Yeah! It’s not quite the crab dance I love from Gmail, but it will have to do. So welcome, everyone, to my new blog and my new look. More updates on the writing life, comics on silly things and enraged letters to the editor soon! (Hopefully! Maybe! We’ll see how much time I have and whether or not I can think of anything worthy of posting! Yeah!)

The Travels and Tribulations of a Failed Clown

You meet all sorts of characters on the road, from hard partying hostelers to deep thinking bus seatmates. Sometimes you’ll even meet a great character by the side of the road, like the sole practitioner of this roadside dentistry operation I encountered in India:


But by far the favorite character I’ve ever met in all of my travels has got to be the failed English clown I found battling his way through a life of abject misery in a Lisbon hostel. Naturally, I felt at once sympathetic, concerned, and a great urge to run away as fast as my non-oversized red shoes would take me.

In The Travels and Tribulations of a Failed Clown, posted on the lovely travel site, Fathom Way to Go, I detail the experience in full nose-honking detail. Go on, click the link. I promise not to squirt you with this plastic flower I’ve pinned to my lapel.

(Sorry, just had to get in one more clown joke. Enjoy!)

Notes from a Cross-Country Travel Disaster

A few years ago, when my brother graduated from high school, I began what had become my regular trek across the country from Seattle to Ithaca, dressed arrogantly in nothing more than a t-shirt, flip flips and capris.

Then came Chicago O’Hare and tornadoes. What could possibly go wrong?

In this travel horror story, Notes from a Cross-Country Travel Disaster, up on my new favorite site, Fathom, I recount what it’s like to be a travel zombie, imparting a few key tips like, “Use your waterproof backpack cover as a blanket when the air conditioning on the train is too cold” and “ALWAYS BRING SOCKS IN YOUR CARRYON.”

Watch as your intrepid protagonist overcomes obstacles, tries to keep her cool with airline representatives, and learns a little something about what it means to love.

Just kidding about that last part. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

The Real Pirates of Game of Thrones

Yes, yes, I know there was a lot of drama over the Event-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named on GOT last week, but the real drama is over the pirating of the series. Which, if you weren’t aware, seems to be an international past-time.

I break down the ins and outs, good and bad, peg-leg and not so peglike over at the awesome website, HBOWatch. Check out, “Game of Thrones: Is Pirating Helping or Hurting” and lemme know what you think (and whether or not YOU pirate, you cheeky streamer you).

What the Hunger Games Would Look Like if I Were Katniss Everdeen

I don’t know about you, but when I watch movies, I do a lot of thinking. In good movies, thinking is intensely satisfying. In bad movies, thinking is intensely hilarious and probably annoying to everyone around me, as I constantly push pause to offer up a good dose of mockery.

Occasionally, however, I engage in another quiet past time: imagining what the movie would be like if I were the main character. When I say this, I don’t mean that I picture my own face pasted onto, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body, and that suddenly I’m running and jumping and exploding bad guys and governing the crap out of things. I mean that I imagine what I, Leah Kaminsky, the slightly neurotic, still lacking in self-confidence writer would be if I were just deposited into the scene.

This happened again recently when [someone who prefers to go unnamed] and I were watching The Hunger Games (don’t judge). There’s this great scene in which the main character, Katniss, is on her way to the ring, only to be stopped by the words of her mentor, Cinna, who says something along the lines of, “I’m proud of you. If anyone can win it, it’s you.” (I’m butchering it here, but I’m not about to go back to the movie to find the exact line). Katniss, being the strong, silent, badass type, fixes Cinna with a meaningful stare, then nods her head and continues on without speaking a word. Though she faces her imminent death and the nasty task of killing her peers, she is imbued with quiet confidence, and an abundance of strength.

(That’s the trailer, not the moment I was thinking of, but you get the gist of what Katniss is like).

I was really impressed with Katniss at this point, so I tried to think of what I would be like if I were in her shoes. Here’s what I came up with.

1. Lenny Kravitz

2. Leah's Close Up (X2)

3. Leah is Relieved

4. Leah is Getting Worried5. Leah is Getting Worse6. Leah Wraps it up7. Quiet Before the Storm8. Damn You, Lenny Kravitz

That’s a blockbuster right there, or at least an art house flick directed by Woody Allen.

You’re welcome, world.

To the Bright Blue Skies And Away

Continuing the roommate sagas, I’ve just had a piece published in Halfway Down the Stairs that approaches the drama from another angle. That’s right folks, To the Bright Blue Skies And Away isn’t funny, but my hope is that it delves into the complexities of female friendships. This was a story I tried to write for years in about 9 different manifestations, until finally I read Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, and suddenly, I had a model of a sentence that could move deftly between inner and relational turmoil. So, Jhumpa Lahiri, this abusive/toxic roommate relationship story is for you, as well as for anybody who has survived graduate school.

This story means a lot to me, and I hope it will mean a lot to you, too. You can find it here.