Rants & Raves posts


Stranger in a Strange Land

Although I try to embrace my introverted nature as much as possible, there are days when it’s not easy to do. Today was one of those days. Even though I know that I don’t function well in large groups, especially when the dominant language spoken (French) is one that I still struggle with, I develop […]


Loner Solidarity

I’ve usually found the CNN Web site a good source for catching up on daily news, but lately I’ve been disappointed with the sensationalistic tone it often employs. One example of this trend was a “Commentary” article written this week by James Alan Fox, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston, regarding the recent mass […]


Summer, and the Living Ain’t Easy

Summer has always been my least favorite season, so I was delighted to see an article on Salon.com last week with the blunt title Why I hate summer. The author, Rachel Shukert, shares painful memories of childhood summers spent at camp, where she encountered the “tyranny of enforced merrymaking,” and preferred to hide out in […]


Through the Wringer

My first experience with public laundromats occurred in my early twenties, when I first moved to San Francisco. I had a strangely romantic idea about them at the time, that there was something grittily poetic about airing one’s dirty laundry in the company of strangers. It didn’t take long before I grew tired of the […]


Flying the Unfriendly Skies

A few weeks ago, I read an article in the International Herald Tribune that struck fear into my heart. No, it wasn’t about the economy (well, not directly) or the latest health study crisis, but a more trivial subject that nonetheless makes me shudder to think of it. The headline of the article says it […]


Sad and Shy, or Melancholy and Introverted?

One of my favorite Web sites is Arts & Letters Daily, a round-up of interesting articles from across the Web. This week the site brought two articles to my attention that I found noteworthy for a variety of reasons, and the more I thought about them, the more they seemed to fit together in some […]


Addressing the Extrovert in the Room

I have a love-hate relationship with advice columns. I love them because they prove that other people out there have the same problems I do (albeit usually in a more extreme version), but I hate them because they make me feel like I’m rubbernecking at a crash scene, somehow getting comfort or enjoyment out of […]


Bar None

About a week before we left San Francisco, Joe and I found ourselves at loose ends on a Friday night. Needing some exercise and an escape from the piles of boxes in our apartment, we decided to take a walk. This is a normal activity for us, but on this particular night we decided to […]


Converting the Introverted

I think one of the most difficult aspects of being an introvert is dealing with those people in our lives who want us to become extroverts. I have experienced this phenomenon many times with individuals who I didn’t feel the need to impress or explain myself to, but the more challenging encounters have been those […]


Of Bells and Bubbles

The city of San Francisco, and the Bay Area in general, is known for its great range of eating options; from bargain bites to fancy dining, you can usually find something to satisfy almost any diner. In particular, San Francisco gets attention for the high number of cutting-edge restaurants it contains, and for the seriousness […]


Are You Being Served (Well)?

On my most cynical days, I fear that introverts will never be understood by their extroverted peers. One phenomenon that causes me to despair of being accepted as I am is the prevalence in any number of restaurants of that most dreaded of species: the overfriendly waiter. Their usual haunt is the tourist trap, those […]


Silence of the Fans vs. The Fandom Menace

The last time we were in Vegas, Joe and I went to see a show that had recently opened in the new Wynn Las Vegas hotel. Created by long-time Cirque du Soleil collaborator Franco Dragone, Le Rêve reminded me a lot of Cirque du Soleil shows I’d seen in the past except, surprisingly, the “plot” […]