I got an email from my library that Arbitrary Stupid Goal was ready to be picked up. I didn’t remember reserving it. I couldn’t even remember hearing about this book.

I’m glad that me-from-the-past gave me this surprise homework assignment.

Cover of Arbitrary Stupid Goal

After reading the first pages, I realized I had reserved it after seeing those same pages on Kottke.org. Like Jason, I tore through the book.

I don’t have any particular fondness for Shopsin’s. Outside of Ken’s recent passing, I had never heard of it. As an outsider, the book still drew me in. I wanted to know everything about Shopsin’s, starting with the menu.

Arbitrary Stupid Goal is part memoir of her father’s restaurant, part eulogy to family friend Willoughby, and part exploration of life. It reads a bit like the real-life counterpart to one of the Bob’s Burgers kids. Underneath it all is a love letter to New York City and Greenwich Village.

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