“I wrote 63 songs this year. They’re all about Jeter.” Just kidding. The game we love, the players we hate, and more.

Culture and Criticism

From Norman Mailer to Wendy Pepper — everything on film, TV, books, music, and snacks (shut up, raisins), plus the Girls’ Bike Club.

Donors Choose and Contests

Helping public schools, winning prizes, sending a crazy lady in a tomato costume out in public.

Stories, True and Otherwise

Monologues, travelogues, fiction, and fart humor. And hens. Don’t forget the hens.

The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

The Imposter: The past isn’t past
November 30, 2012 · 6 Comments
<em>The Imposter</em>: The past isn’t past

Though [Bourdin] emphasized his cunning, he acknowledged what any con man knows but rarely admits: it is not that hard to fool people. People have basic expectations of others’ behavior and are rarely on guard …

The Vine: November 30, 2012
November 30, 2012 · 17 Comments
The Vine: November 30, 2012

A Vine question from my brother…who is single. And lives in Seattle. And needs a girlfriend. But anyway, he had a movie question, and as my normally encyclopediac movie brain has failed me, I’d like …

The Vine: November 28, 2012
November 28, 2012 · 39 Comments
The Vine: November 28, 2012

My husband and I are at an impasse with holiday hosting plans, and I’m hoping you might be able to make a ruling for us.
For each of the last several years, about half of my …

The Vine: November 21, 2012
November 21, 2012 · 28 Comments
The Vine: November 21, 2012

Happy American Thanksgiving, Nation. I’m thankful for all of you, and your hilarity, generosity, and insight. The Vine is off on Friday as I recover from my annual date with poultry, but if you have …

X-Files Rewatch: Season 4
November 20, 2012 · 5 Comments
<I>X-Files</I> Rewatch: Season 4

So, I started rewatching The X-Files from the beginning — or, really, “watching it,” because during the series’ run, I came in late and only watched casually. It holds up pretty well almost 20 years later, despite …

Half a Life: When too much is enough
November 20, 2012 · 2 Comments
<I>Half a Life</I>: When too much is enough

It’s written too well, Half a Life. And that’s understandable. Darin Strauss’s “memoir” — a poor fit, that word, but the closest available — concerns the death of a girl half (his) lifetime ago; Celine …

The Vine: November 16, 2012
November 16, 2012 · 41 Comments
The Vine: November 16, 2012

I have a heel spur and plantar fasciitis (damn turning 40!) in my right foot. I am going to a podiatrist and getting medical attention. For a variety of reasons, I can’t get a steroid …

The Vine: November 14, 2012
November 14, 2012 · 39 Comments
The Vine: November 14, 2012

The good news first: I found out two days ago I will be offered my dream job. I have a boyfriend whom I’ve been dating for almost a decade and have lived together with for …

A Tale of Two Menendezes
November 12, 2012 · 12 Comments
A Tale of Two Menendezes

Two TV movies about the Menendez case came out within five weeks of each other in 1994: Honor Thy Father and Mother: The True Story of the Menendez Murders, and Menendez: A Killing in Beverly …

The Vine: November 9, 2012
November 9, 2012 · 15 Comments
The Vine: November 9, 2012

A book (of course): young-adult, I was probably 12 or 13 when I read it (late ’80s, early ’90s), though the book may have been older than that.  It was a ghost story; a young …