getbullish shop

This Monday in Brooklyn: The Williamsburg Spelling Bee (Open to All, 21+)

December 31, 2011

Monday, Jan 2

The Williamsburg Spelling Bee
Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St., Brooklyn
(Lorimer St. between Frost and Richardson / L or G train to Lorimer)

From “broccoli” to “triskaidekaphobia,” come test out your spelling in a bar backroom filled with smart people and beer. Free, open to all (21+). Signup begins at 7pm — first 18 people get to play. Three-strikes-you’re-out policy means more participation for everyone. Hosted by founder bobbyblue and comedian Jen Dziura. Winners get nerdy prizes and qualify for the annual Finals.

Pete’s: 718-302-3770

Spread the Word: We need prize sponsors! Previous sponsors have included the OED, Bananagrams, Neighborhoodies, Gotham Girls Roller Derby, and numerous Broadway and off-Broadway shows. We love nerdy stuff, but we also love gift certificates for fancy dinners; nerds gotta eat, too!

Bullish: This Year’s Most Aggressive Lady-Advice (And Bullicorns! And the Other Things I Wrote This Year!)

December 31, 2011

This week’s column is a compendious roundup of 2011’s Bullish columns on TheGrindstone:

Go here for all my Bullish Life columns on TheGloss.

Also in 2011, I wrote this basic grammar, logic, and reading comprehension book (with idioms, and a special appendix for Indian speakers of English) for the GMAT, and two sets (Essential and Advanced) of 500 GRE flashcards.

Oh, and here’s the logo referenced in this week’s column!

My word count reads more like a sperm count. Did I just say that?

Retro Photo

December 25, 2011

In which I am the Virgin Mary. By Frank Petronio.

Bullish: Use The Holidays To Get Ahead (While Sitting On Your Mom’s Couch)

December 25, 2011

Question from Formspring: Why Extroverts Are Handicapped as Humans

December 21, 2011

I’ve occasionally been answering questions on Formspring, and realized that not many people are seeing my answers, so I thought I’d post them here. You can ask me anything (anonymously) here, or just contact me through the web form on this site, or — for Bullish questions — email me at

You once wrote that you don’t socialize in groups, because nothing productive comes of conversations between more than two people. So you never go to parties, dinner with friends? I think there is value in this, especially: a sense of community. Thoughts?

I exaggerate. I do sometimes attend events, but I view them as ways to meet people with whom to spend time one-on-one.

Also, I have to really make my point sometimes about being introverted, as extroverts do not understand how draining we introverts find their events; if I know a few days ahead of time about a party, I can steel myself, but if you surprise me … er, it’s like not telling me ahead of time about the blood drive so at least I can eat a healthy breakfast.

Introverts do enjoy a sense of community, though. ON THE INTERNET. Or, in gyms where other people are working out also, so it’s motivational BUT WE NEVER SPEAK. Or, in restaurants where the atmosphere is nice because brunch is an important component of the meaning of life, but where people only really talk to the person they came with. This article in The Atlantic summed it up nicely.

There are two ideas here, really — one is my own preferences/quirks, and the other is advice for all. And I do think that, in the era of ubiquitous connectivity, many people have literally never concentrated IN THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. Some of these people are my teenage students. If you cannot be alone with your thoughts for twenty fucking minutes without needing to call up a friend or wander into the kitchen, then you will never string together enough thoughts to do anything of importance. This is a debased version of the human condition.

I appeal also to Gladwell’s 10,000 hours (how long it takes to become an expert). Sure, if you want to become an expert at cheerleading, most of that time will be spent with others, but to become an expert at most important things, a great many of those 10,000 hours must be spent in solitude.

So, basically, I think that extroverts have a handicap — not a handicap in achieving material success, but a handicap in the great human search for meaning, and the fight against mortality that we can fight only by leaving behind something worthwhile. Introverts leave superior legacies.

Thanks for the question!

Retro Photo: Entertaining the Troops in Djibouti, 2007

December 16, 2011

My makeup looks weird. In 120 degree weather, it’s all you can do to keep anything on your face besides sweat and sand. Of course, it cools off at night, and I was the target of several dozen men thinking a collective, “Well, she’s not really my type, but there’s a woman here.”

Bullish: Screw New Year’s Resolutions – Try Designing Your Career

December 16, 2011

Bullish Life: Gentlewomen Don’t Crash Diet (Take Care Of Yourself While Taking Over The World)

December 16, 2011

Bullish: Speak Up Like A Competent Badass In Class And At Work

December 9, 2011

Bullish Life: What Men Say About Living Bullishly

December 8, 2011

Bullish: Cultivating A Career When You Have Too Many Choices

December 5, 2011

Bullish Life: On Vanity, Plastic Surgery, and Gentlewomanly Living

December 5, 2011