Month: November 2020

S2 E11 – The DIAGRAM 20th Anniversary Tarot Deck

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E11 - The DIAGRAM 20th Anniversary Tarot Deck

In Grab Bag Part 2: Grab Harder, we discuss DIAGRAM’s new tarot deck anthology to commemorate its 20th Anniversary, and Elena uses it to give us all a tarot reading. Also: an album Elena wants to nominate for the Essay Prize, we tackle the question of who’s weirder: poets or playwrights, Bonnie mentions her mother’s famous McDonald’s career, we learn the future for ourselves and our podcast, and more!

Episode links:
DIAGRAM’s 20th anniversary tarot deck:

S2 E10 – Memoirs & MFAs

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E10 - Memoirs & MFAs

In Part 1 of our first grab-bag episode, we answer a reader question about memoirs and, in honor of MFA application season, offer unsolicited advice about MFA programs. Also: more regional-accent conversation, an appropriate cocktail, Arlo’s inappropriate song, and more.

Episode links:

Sound Tribe Sector 9, the jam band from Elena’s high school: 

The grab bag version of a Long Island Iced Tea:

½ oz Triple Sec (we used Bols)

½ oz gin (we used New Amsterdam)

½ oz light rum (we used Bacardi)

½ oz vodka (we used a pint of Prazska Justin’s brother brought back from Poland in like 2003)

Sweet & sour (we made our own: 1 cup mixed lime & lemon juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar dissolved)

Coke Zero

Add the liquors to a shaker over ice, shake–spilling a lot of it on your countertop–pour into highball glasses with ice, then top off with sweet & sour and a splash of Coke Zero. Drink too fast while you talk shit about memoirs, then record a double episode by accident.

Our questioner Harrison’s essay: 

Eileen Pollack’s essay on MFA applications:

Matt Bell’s Twitter thread about what he looks for in MFA personal statements:

S2 E9 – Shapes of Native Nonfiction

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E9 - Shapes of Native Nonfiction

In this episode, we discuss selections from the 2019 anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction, co-edited by Elissa Washuta and Theresa Warburton. Also: Elena does Pennsylvania accents, we issue a warning about robots taking over college campuses, we honor Pennsylvania’s contribution to saving democracy with a Philly cocktail, a Philly-themed lightning round, and more!

Episode links:

Shapes of Native Nonfiction: 

Sasha LaPointe’s craft essay, “Fairy Tales, Trauma, Writing into Dissociation”:

Toni Jensen’s essay “Women in the Fracklands”:

Elissa Washuta’s list of recent Native lit on

The new issue of Territory:

The Citywide Special, or at least the way we drank it:

  1. Open a can of shitty beer.  
  2. Pour a shot of cheap bourbon. 
  3. Drink them both.
  4. (Optional) Repeat 4 times, then start a fight with a Mets fan

S2 E8 – Old Ass Essays (with Megan Ward)

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E8 - Old Ass Essays (with Megan Ward)

(Note: we’re posting this week’s episode on Monday because of the election. We’ll return to Wednesdays next week.)

In this episode, we welcome our friend, colleague, and local Victorian expert Megan Ward to discuss Old Ass Essays: what that means, how old we’re talking, and a few examples from the 1830s by none other than Charlie Dickens himself. Also: our spelling bee failures, a special lightning round, a dog in a unicorn costume, and an authentic (sorta) Victorian cocktail that we light on fire!

Episode links:

Megan’s faculty profile: 

Megan’s book, Seeming Human: 

Dickens’ Sketches by Boz (free online edition): 

The Dickens Punch recipe, as much as we can remember:

  1. Peel a lemon and a raggedy-ass orange and put the peels in a basin (we used a dutch oven with some leftover Indian food in the bottom).
  2. Dump a shitload of light & dark rum into the basin, along with a lot of sugar.
  3. Float a few bar spoons of Everclear on top and light on fire.
  4. Let it burn for a minute, then cover to extinguish.
  5. Squeeze the lemon and citrus into the mixture, add some hot tea, and ladle into whatever mugs you peasants have laying around.