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Diversity&Inclusion educator. Author, Pin Ups (9/20). Columnist, The Writer mag. theGooddirt.org; @gooddirt. Psst: Say “yeeshun.” You can do it!

“A bird is just a blob that has wings, a beak, a tail, and legs. I have never met a blob I couldn’t turn into a bird.” — Sophie Lucido Johnson

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Artwork: YSL

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Watercolor-and-ink paintings of various watercolor blobs turned into birds. The blobs are multicolored and splotchy; bad paper quality has produced feathering and puddling which (editorializing coming) looks like markings. Birds are labeled A–M.

A. [Oblong round-edged yellow blob; one feather on head, dots for eyes; triangle beak; feathered legs and markings]: Chick, clearly.

B. [Squat orange blog with inked comb on head and feathered…


4 practical ways to make the ordinary feel extraordinary

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

It was time to say goodbye to the Formica table that had graced my kitchen in Chicago, in New York and in suburban Los Angeles. The thing had so many memories tied to it, though — irrationally long dinners with friends; a brunch date with my friend Jo and her octogenarian aunt; countless letters penned on it — that I hoped it’d go to someone really cool.

I got lucky. S— answered my ad. Later, she sent me a text of my table looking happy in a corner of her home, with a plant on it and everything. We started…


Here’s how the writers took the character from gimmick to fan favorite

A photo of a TV screen showing the “Ted Lasso” title card
A photo of a TV screen showing the “Ted Lasso” title card
“Ni som har Apple TV+, missa inte fantastiska serien Ted Lasso! Ni som inte har Apple TV+, skaffa — Ted Lasso är värt det.” by Granding is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Ted Lasso was initially created as a way to get Americans to watch NBCSports’ coverage of Premier League soccer. But the Ted Lasso we met in 2013 is a long way from the Lasso we know today, and the changes the creators have made since then is a master lesson in how to take a cute idea and turn it into something significant.

I unpacked a few key changes that will help you gauge whether your character is ready to go or not. …


A handy guide for when you need it, and a graphic essay

(Alt text for all images is below the graphic essay.)


…Me, Elizabeth Gilbert, and some decorator crabs

(Full alt text for this graphic essay is down below the illustrations.)

handwritten script with three watercolors of cartoon crabs. In the first, a crab sits on a sandy bottom with a sprig of something green in his claw. He is surrounded by a rock, a brittle star, a sponge, and some other green. The second crab sees a rock and some greens. The third has decorated himself with a rock, a sea anemone, and some green sprigs. Full text below images.
handwritten script with three watercolors of cartoon crabs. In the first, a crab sits on a sandy bottom with a sprig of something green in his claw. He is surrounded by a rock, a brittle star, a sponge, and some other green. The second crab sees a rock and some greens. The third has decorated himself with a rock, a sea anemone, and some green sprigs. Full text below images.


Most-read stories

https://yishunlai.medium.com/american-things-i-was-late-to-f3bfab0d65a9

https://yishunlai.medium.com/my-terrestrial-gastropod-mollusk-issue-9190c8a2f667

https://yishunlai.medium.com/signature-offerings-e473d717eee7


And it’s allowed me to operate from a position of abundance

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

On my weekly walks with my parents, my dad likes to tell goofy stories, things he picked up over his long life (he’s 82) and wants to share with us. We don’t share the same sense of humor, exactly (he’s prone to puns and I hate them, say), so I usually listen with half an ear, trying to exercise my patience now that I’m old enough to have gained some, and preparing a suitable laugh, so my dad doesn’t feel bad.

But the story he told me a few Fridays ago was riveting. There was an old man, he said…

Yi Shun Lai

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