I watch this manwho has three different degrees from three different universities tacked on the wall of his palatial officehunched over the toilet bowl, his ass peeking out of his scrubs like a boiled ham. “Y’know, if I did end up flunking out of med school, I reckon I would’ve made a good plumber!”

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The TPR Stream
Tuesday Throwback: Flannery O'Connor's Eight Rules for Writing By Glyn Rebl

Flannery O’Connor is considered one of the great American writers, and indispensable reading for anyone wanting to delve into the Southern Gothic genre. Completing thirty-two short stories, two novels, and a number of reviews, essays, and commentaries in her lifetime, O’Connor was a diligent worker who believed that good art doesn’t necessarily just appear out of the airit has to be strived for.

Playing Frisbee with Monks By Skye Makaris

I was fifteen when I had my first stalker. An old friend dunked himself thrice and became born again, and he decided his foremost mission was my soul. I don't know what religion preaches salvation in the guise of perpetual harassment, but it's not one to which I'd ever bow. It enrages me a little that everything in my life must be so goddamn weird. Why couldn't I be chased by some sex fiend like everyone else? Why must I take the time to explain my association with a perverse John the Baptist?
Cable TV Payola By Teri Cross Chetwood

Pay attention, boys and girls. Auntie Teri's about to get medieval on your asses. Not in a bad way, but I'm going to explain some facts of life about household bills; specifically your cable TV bill. I know it's expensive. In fact, I know why it's expensive and I'm going to tell you that secret. Your cable provider isn't the only one with his hand in your pocket. If you've ever wondered why it's so high, grab a seat and a nice drink. It all has to do with the growth of an industry.
On the Couch...with Aleksandar Todorovic By Constance A. Dunn

An interview with the Serbian artist: “Living in Serbia during the 90's I have seen the collapse of many moral and citizen valuesthe former Yugoslavia broke down in a bloody civil war. Growing up in a society where the politics is ever-present I became interested in it, so I started making my own art inspired by it. The central character of my art poetics is the character of the politician. He is the archetype of evil, the obese, blind, pale-skinned, bald and gluttonous individual in a black business suit, pure greed in human form. He is portrayed in practically all of my personal works.”
Why Mona Lisa Smiles By Vishwas R. Gaitonde

Mona Lisa’s enigmatic half-smile: once seen, never forgotten. From the time she was painted by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci around 1503, Mona Lisa (also known as La Giaconda) has captivated people from every generation. She is the most sought-after exhibit in The Louvre, viewed by over six million admirers every year. Hers is said to be the most famous face in the world, but the more she becomes familiar to us the more inscrutable her smile becomes. Why does Mona Lisa smile?
How to be Temporarily Unemployed By C. James Bye

That giving up your job to move across country to be closer to family thing not going so smoothly, eh? Blame baby boomers (they refuse to die!). Blame the economy (Obama or you can maintain Bush—you have options here). Blame the education system in which you were raised (maybe more math and less Heads Down Seven Up for the next generation, huh, teach?). Blame yourself. As the saying goes, “We all have to get unemployed sometime” (that’s a saying, right?). Whoever you blame (the correct answer, for those keeping track, was “baby boomers”—that answer again: baby boomers), here are some suggestions on how to handle the otherwise debilitating despair during your interim of funemployment (if you’re not in one now, you will be soon; just resign yourself to the bleakness of your reality. Seriously, stop it with the optimism shtick. It’s disgusting).
Tuesday Throwback: Dali Meets Disney By The Editors

There was a time called the mid-20th century. It was a time when painters were at the vanguard of a culture that knew not a twerk and animated films were hand-drawn. In a beautiful universe the meeting of the two is natural, maybe destined. And so it was that Salvador Dalí met Disney. The project, taken up and abandoned only to be taken up again, took 58 years to complete.   
Brestovac By Catherine Kapphahn

The first building turned out to be too small for the increasing number of TB patients, so it was expanded twice. It had been used as a military hospital during the World Wars. At the end of World War II, Partisans killed 200 wounded soldiers here, and it was believed that their bodies were buried somewhere on the grounds. My mom was about 17 when she stayed here in 1953; she escaped Yugoslavia the following year, but continued to fight the disease. In 1968, Brestovac closed; medicine was used to treat tuberculosis instead of nature. The sanatorium was completely abandoned.
Rabbit By Jeffrey David Stauch

At some point during that week, either in between heaves or while curled up in the fetal position on top of the covers, waiting for the next wave, the thought crystallized in my head that I would not wait until September to get a rabbit. That I would get one as soon as I got home. That that would be the consolation prize to myself for five straight days of suffering. That I would be happy now, dammit all. 
The Book of Home By Nathan C. Zackroff

In a search for the right abode, Nathan Zackroff contemplates the homes of his favorite authors and the comfort of "interior design of the soul".
A Journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad with Observations on the Russian People By Douglas Arvidson

Hauling our carry-on luggage, we made our way past the first attendant and moved to our seats in the far back of the plane. Once there, a second flight attendant took our bags and tossed them onto a pile of others in a space at the end of the aisle where they remained, unsecured, throughout the flight. We sat down, fastened our seat belts, and I noticed the tray table on the seatback in front of me. It was a battered, dented, aluminum affair and when I lowered it, it revealed a smear of graffiti written on the seatback in Russian in the Cyrillic alphabet. The only word I recognized was that universal epithet that is, the world over, always written in English: Fuck.
Tales from the Trough: Veep By Alex M. Pruteanu

Downstairs in the studio green room, the crew chews the fat, looks through takeout menus, cleans its fingernails, slings Goodfellas and Big Lebowski insults at one another, and casually places bets on who the Mystery Guest is going to be: Betty Currie (personal secretary to President Clinton), Kenneth Starr (Independent Counsel), Linda Tripp, Monica Lewinsky herself. Nice Guy Freddie (camera/lighting) gives bizarre 7-to-1 odds on the presidential sperm-stained blue dress.
The Slow Death of Tobacco By Teri Cross Chetwood

When I worked as a waitress, I brandished, with great joy, a short cigarette holder. I could smoke while carrying a tray full of drinks, wearing high heels, and just generally be me. In a lot of ways, it was fun.
Tuesday Throwback: Kafka Writes Milena By The Editors

The letter comes way back from 1921. For all his problems with nerves and anxieties, Kafka, like many writers before and after, was a great lover of the opposite sex. This manifested itself in fevered letters, shot off in the dead of night.
But When She Was Bad . . . By Lucy Gregg Muir

How do you know when to draw the line between normal teenage-girl bitchiness and fear for your life? How do you know when to cross that line and dial 911?

The Constant Tourist, 1: Paradise Lost By Siegfried Mortkowitz

Demos tells me a small group of Syrians reached the hotel before we did and had him call the police. They are on the way, he says. The refugees insist on being taken in hand by the authorities. They want the document that allows them to stay in Europe and travel on. The Syrians are authentic political refugees; no European country may refuse them entry.
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