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Stephanie Georgopulos
Illustration: Daron Nefcy

In February I was introduced to a man, a successful man by any standard, a man called Rupert (and naturally by “introduced,” I mean I heard him talk about himself on Radiolab for three minutes). Rupert is your average 71-year-old podcast guest, probably, except for one thing: He has gone almost his entire life knowing nothing about science. I mean it. I mean it as someone who failed earth science once and biology twice. (I never got around to failing chemistry but I’m confident I could, if given the opportunity.) …

I’ve been silent online for most of the year leading up to this, my 35th birthday, because simply put, I had no words. Ran clean out of them. And when you’ve built your livelihood — and reputation, and self-worth — on words, that’s a miserable place to be.

So far, I’ve had two great blessings in my life — my friends and family (one and the same), and my career. I’ve worked in online publishing for over a decade. (Can’t believe I’m old enough to have done anything for a decade, but math’s math.) And in that time, my work…

The author with her grandpa. Photos courtesy of the author

What the textbooks never taught me about Black history, growing up, is that it sat beside me on a plastic-wrapped couch most Sundays, watching reruns of Baywatch over microwaved TV dinners. The lectures never acknowledged that the people who were spat on — taunted, threatened, denied basic human rights on the basis of skin color — looked just like the people I called “grandma” and “grandpa.” Grandma and Grandpa, who were also homeowners and foster parents; a seamstress and an artist; so many things to so many people that no one living knows the half of it.

I don’t recall…

liz west

Spotify recently released their annual year-in-review…experience?, which is pretty much the only year-end content I care about (sorry, “Auld Lang Syne”). I love reflecting on the flavor of my year through the songs I had on repeat — taken in sum, they reveal the unconscious layers of an era, details that would have otherwise escaped my awareness: my shifting moods, where I directed my attention, what I wanted to say but didn’t (or did).

Much like 2020, my Top 100 is all over the place. It’s obvious the year has permeated my psyche and yes, my musical preferences: the instrumentals…


I’m a big fan of 911. As a kid, I watched Rescue 911 religiously. When my little sister shoved a Lite-Brite peg into the depths of her nasal passage, my first responder six-year-old ass had the phone off the cradle and the 9–1 dialed before my mom could say “tweezers.” If I see a person laying face-down on the street — or anywhere people typically don’t choose to lay face-down — I’m calling 911. If you’re driving like you’re drunk, an asshole, or a drunk asshole, you better hope I’m not on the road that day. Because if I am…

Growing up, I was what you’d call boy-crazy. There seemed to be no limit to the number of crushes I could simultaneously manage; logistical issues of geography, age, availability, and physical existence mattered little, if at all. I had crushes on cartoon characters (Dale of Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers; Alvin of the Chipmunks). I had crushes on every Aquarius in my middle school, crushes on old photographs of my dad, crushes on boys who crushed on other boys. If you could sing or wear a sweater well, you know I had a crush on you. I had crushes on…


Photo by Alice Dietrich on Unsplash

When I first began writing online over a decade ago, I wasn’t just building the foundations for my eventual career — I was awakening to the notion that I had a voice. And it was an intoxicating discovery: I had no shortage of things to say, and I lacked the neuroticism and experience that would otherwise have me hesitate to say them. That would come later. In the meantime, I became prolific: giving form to hundreds of thoughts, ideas, and questions that’d been piling up in my brain for a lifetime. I told stories I’d never spoken aloud; I experimented…

Story Spotlight

In his beautiful braided essay “Last Boat to the San Juan Islands,” Andrew Jazprose Hill achieves the impossible: He makes me miss the ferry.

Reading about his ride with a dying woman and her family was, for me, a sensory experience: I could taste the salt-licked wind, the desperation of watching your cell service decline, the joy and terror of leaving solid ground with a boatful of strangers. Remember strangers? Chance encounters that weren’t planned or even necessarily desired, spontaneous conversations and connections with people who, as far as we were concerned, didn’t exist when we woke up that morning?

The uncle of Dijon Kizzee, Lamont, grieving at the memorial where Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies killed Kizzee on September 1. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Birding, jogging, and biking all sound like innocuous ways to spend a little time outdoors, unless you happen to be Black.

On Sunday night, two LA County Sheriff deputies attempted to stop 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee as he was riding his bike, which he was apparently doing in “an unlawful manner.” Kizzee, rightfully fearing for his life, abandoned the bike and attempted to flee. A physical altercation ensued, which ended in the officers opening fire — and yet another Black life cut short by police violence. (The officers are fine, if you really had to ask.)

What code did Kizzee violate…

Stephanie Georgopulos

former editor-in-chief of human parts. west coast good witch. student of people.

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