We hear the story of a disastrous birthday party and how it's hard not to see these kinds of moments as symbolic of something bad.
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Regular TAL contributor Sarah Vowell takes over the family Thanksgiving dinner by bringing everyone to New York. What results is a series of milestones and family firsts.
The story of Tyler Cassity and how he's trying to remake one of our oldest rituals of commemoration.Tyler is one of the owners of a cemetery called Hollywood Forever, and he's been introducing 20th-Century technology to American funerals, which haven't changed much since the Civil War. At Hollywood Forever, the cost of a burial includes a video of your life: to be shown at your funeral, to be viewable at kiosks on the cemetery grounds, and to be posted—for eternity—on the Internet.
On a commemorative day, it can be hard to feel a real sense of the past and of how time has moved forward. Russell Banks has a story demonstrating what it might take to do just that.
David Sedaris tells the story of a subway ride he took in Paris. Two American tourists mistake him for a Frenchman and, thinking he can't speak English, begin to talk loudly about how he smells.
When a pet dies, to what degree can it be replaced by another? And to what degree can pets replace people in our lives? David Sedaris tells this story of cats and dogs and other animals.