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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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I had a question in last Sunday’s Ask the Ethicist in the New York Times. See if you can guess which one!

I feel stupid. I blame jet lag, although it’s been almost a week. I don’t know how people do it, the hopping over time zones. Here is Scott the day after we got back, as he attempted to construct a sandwich: “I’ve been standing here waiting for my bread to cook. But it’s just sitting here, being bread.” That made sense to me, when I first heard it.

Reader Comments (40)

I didn't know you lived in Ohio!
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Kennedy
That darned physical therapist!

And my bread's just lying there being bread, too, and I haven't even been out of the house. This could be bigger than we think.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda
Bwahahahha, loved the ethicist's answer!
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMir
Hi Anonymous! You are so pretty!
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterEm
I am going to try that. Just being the bread. It will be my new mantra.

Be the bread ... be the bread.

At home:

Q: "What are you doing lying there with your head on the table?"

A: "Being the bread."

At work:

Q: "So, why is it you can't get me those TPS reports by 4?"

A: "Too busy. Being the bread."

I like it.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterchristy
Is it wrong that I feel that way and I don't have jet lag? I seem to be perpetually mad at the bread. Stupid bread not becoming toast or some fancy garlic bread that's lightly toasted with a little cheese and.....stupid bread.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLee
Jet lag can last forever. I've been back from a cross-country trip for almost 2 years now, and I still feel stupid due to jet lag.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
So glad you're back, jet lag and all. Christy, that was genius. Next time my kids won't settle down I'll try asking them to be the bread.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
I love it! I'd keep switching time zones so you can hear lines like that constantly.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commentererinire
Hey, I read that on Sunday and I remember thinking that I had read it somewhere before...thanks for confirming I am not crazy.

September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
I *knew* I recognized that question from somewhere!! And here I thought I might have actually been seeing a plagarized question in the Times. And how sad would that be, a plagarized ethicist question?

Was the toaster on? Because both my husband and I have stared at the contents of the unplugged toaster, waiting for the bread to toast. And we had no jetlag to blame.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterCraige
Good post. Just passing through, I'm liking the blog by the way.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterHumanityCritic
I last flew back from England over three years ago. Still not over the jet lag. Good luck with that.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterbuffi
You guys crack my shit up. Plagiarized ethics questions!!! =D
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy
Alice, will you please come and live in my medicine cabinet so you can say funny things to me in the morning.

Hey! weren't you going to tell us about the Bravo thing.

(As an aside the bra place I'm getting fitted at is named: Bra-Vo!)
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMelissaS
So, I'm reading that and thinking, I've read that question before; that therapist is sending out an awful lot of letters. Duh.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSuzyn
I must not have jet lag because I read it and shouted "Hey- I read the blog of the woman who has the question for Randy Cohen!"

I felt so connected to the universe at that moment, and enjoyed his answer too. I also thought, gee if you needed that advice fast you would have been in bad shape.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterclickmom
So I click your link and there is a story about my alma mater (does anyone acutally USE that term any more?), Kenyon College. And the best part is that when I was a student there, lo these many moons ago, I ALSO voted for a property tax that would in part fund the elementary school.

Good to know, all these years on, that I did the eithical thing.

Oh and your letter was interesting, too. Really!
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
OMG, I knew that was you. I knew I read that here first!
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMarcia
How are those stock tips lately?
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterliz
Craige, there was no toaster. I mean, we have a toaster, but I didn't want toast. I plopped a couple of pieces of bread on a plate, shuffled ten feet to the left and started thumbing through a magazine, thinking I had two minutes to kill while my bread became ready to be a sandwich.

Could toasting have fit into that time? Sure. But I'll be goddamned if I thought anything was amiss, until I looked up, saw Alice, saw the bread, and wondered why I hadn't eaten yet.

Tired as I still am, I'm afraid it might happen again with a raw chicken.
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterScott
OH. MY. GOD. You wrote to the ethicist and he CONDEMNED! Yes, ETHICALLY CONDEMNED the practice which you too objected to...

I mean, is there a definition of 'gratification' which does not include credentialed (well, published) authorities taking up one's own grievance and yea, enhancing upon it. (Yes, there is but it is not the variation which is TRULY gratifying--i.e., the one in which the NEW YORK F-ING TIMES says the person ye do not like is hertofore NOT ONLY UNLIKEABLE but downright CRIMINAL.)

I commend you, Alice! For the Ethicist has spoken and you are SANCTIFIED. For it t'was not PERFIDY it was actually FRAUD. Nay, in perhaps even more than four ways was it perfidous and fraudulent!

(And even if my celebration of all this sounds sarcastic it totally isn't 'cause I would be seriously PSYCHED to see those I ethically question be roundly and soundly TAKEN OUT by the NY Times Ethics Column! Admitedly, I love the parody by Steve Martin where the guy writes in to ask if he can eat his brother-in-law but this doesn't put a damper on an Ethics Column Triumph.)
September 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermiel
Hey, I'm totally understanding that bread thing. It's just being bread. When he wishes it weren't just being bread.

It makes perfect sense to me.

Then again, I'm all hooped up on cold medicine.
September 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie
Jetlag does crazy things to the mind.

When I came back after being gone for 6 weeks, the first week being back felt like I had been entered in a loony bin. One of the weirder things that happened is that I completely unpacked a huge suitcase, put it away in a closet and FORGOT. Later, I tore apart my tiny apartment looking for it and started to completely freak out that I had lost this HUGE suitcase somewhere during the 24+hour trip back to the US.
September 14, 2005 | Unregistered Commentercagey
I like the fact that the Ethicist included a joke about stock tips from your manicurist. Did he steal that from you?
September 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

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