CoMo Tech: Andrew Leland


Who are you?

Andrew Leland.

What do you do for money?

I’m co-editor of the Believer magazine, an arts and culture monthly published by McSweeney’s in San Francisco. I’m also a freelance writer and editor — most recently I signed on to help revamp and run the True/False Film Festival’s blog

What do you do for fun?

I like to read fiction, and read about fiction, and maybe secretly write fiction. I click on people’s faces a lot. I love the radio — listening to and producing it. My wife and my dog are both really fun people. My dog is a person.

I would characterize my relationship with technology as:

I love it — the mechanical pencil, the book, and the mountain bike are three favorite pieces of technology. I use computers and the internet heavily–the tech equivalent of two packs a day–and I get as much out of occasionally depriving myself as I do from my customary total immersion.

Smart or dumb phone? What kind? If smart, what are the three apps you use most?

When my wife and I decided to move to Columbia from San Francisco, I bought an iPhone for the drive. I have a degenerative retinal condition (called RP) that these days prevents me from driving (severe tunnel vision!), so I wanted to be a good co-pilot, which to me means being able to find good motels from the road, secret delis in rural Colorado, and so on.
My three favorite/most-used apps are probably all radio-related: I love the Public Radio PlayerWFMU, and KCRW‘s apps.

Mac or PC or Other?

I was raised on Macs — around 1987, I inherited my dad’s old 512k, and since then I’ve been a loyal user.

I use Twitter for:

Honing my confessiono-aphoristical chops.

I use Facebook for:


Do you write a blog? What’s it about?

Good Jobbbbbbbbb. It’s about… the inside of my skull. I started it when I had an intense office job, and used it to blow off linguistic steam. That’s still what it’s for. I’m profoundly embarrassed by my blog, and I can’t let go of it. (That may be a common contemporary condition.)

Do you read any blogs? What are three of your favorites?

1. Menthol Mountains, the blog of David Berman, poet and singer of the Silver Jews.
2. Disambiguation, the blog of editor/novelist/critic Ed Park.
3. Weird Vegetables, the blog of writer/grad student/kale daikon radish Katrina Dodson.
4. My Life and Thoughts, the blog of writer Elif Batuman.

Go-to menu item and restaurant in CoMo?

I’m a recent transplant, so I haven’t eaten at many restaurants yet. But in these first few months, the closest thing I have to a go-to is probably…the Peggy Plate at the Main Squeeze. After so many coastal elitist snobs warned me about moving to the Midwest, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Columbia’s abundant 1970s juice-bar vibes.

What is your favorite beverage?

Intensely hoppy beer.

Friends are visiting from out-of-town. You’re for-sure taking them to:

My backyard, then Uprise. Then, if it’s not freezing, back to the yard.

My favorite city/town/hamlet/state/country/province in the world (after CoMo, of course) is:

There’s no interesting answer to this question. New York City? Narnia. New Mexico; Mexico.

Thanks, Andrew!

CoMo Tech spotlights how wise, local folks use his or her tech and town powers for good (or evil). Check out the archive here. If you have someone you’d like to be featured in CoMo Tech, please let us know!


  1. Menthol Mountains is a must read for anyone looking for Silver Joo-type inspiration.

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