37. Peachy

September 17, 2017

peaches

I don’t think most people who read this blog regularly know this, but I currently have five direct reports at work. (A year ago at this time, I only had one!) My reports are truly a delight — they are all incredibly bright and so, so sweet, and I love managing them.

So, the way it currently works is there are two big ops groups on New York (non-News) edit, and my work wife Julie and I run one of them. Our group, Peach Ops, skews toward lifestyle content, and is made up of my reports, most of hers, and one other manager’s reports. (You know how when you were a kid, your mom and your aunts would, like, link up to oversee you and your siblings and all your cousins during family trips/holidays? That’s basically what it’s like.) This week, several of the Peaches who work in other offices were in town and we had a few events planned, so we officially declared it Peach Week and added some more special stuff to the calendar, including a hack day, a bunch of brainstorms, and a session on Friday afternoon where we reserved a conference room and brought our laptops to work…and also watch It’s Complicated and eat pizza. It was great! It’s just such an exceptionally lovely group with a lot of really great newish hires who we just adore (and who adore each other), and they are truly a joy to work with. In between all of the Peach Week events, I also shot a video with a different team. I also stopped by the Another Round FB Live self-care happy hour! So it was just a sort of unusual week from start to finish — pretty tiring, but very fun!

Here’s what else I was up to…

Writing

Being Organized Is A Gift I Give Myself And Other People

Reading

I recently put Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries on hold with the library and my turn came this week, so now I’m going between that (it’s great, BTW) and Grunt.

The Week My Husband Left And My House Was Burgled I Secured A Grant To Begin The Project That Became BRCA1, Huffington Post. This is amazing and you have to read it.

Colin Kaepernick Has a Job, Bleacher Report. “Here in Turlock, he absorbed every survival skill necessary to live phenomenally among white people, so expertly that they begin to make assumptions—not that you think you’re white, but that you’ve stopped concerning yourself with That Race Stuff, that you are finally content. It is a commonly unfair expectation thrown upon many an agreeable non-white person in a white space in America.”

Amber Tamblyn Pens Open Letter to James Woods, Teen Vogue. “Since you’ve now called me a liar, I will now call you a silencer. I see your gaslight and now will raise you a scorched earth.”

Hillary Clinton Isn’t Going Anywhere and I’m Here For It All, ELLE. “You don’t think Hillary Clinton should have written a book? Good for you. Go buy Pillars of the Earth and read that. Get a Kindle download of The Pelican Brief. This isn’t summer reading for sophomore year; there will not be a test on this material. If Anthony Scaramucci can get fired after 10 days on the job and end up being interviewed on Stephen Colbert within a month, I think the country as a whole can handle 300-or-so pages of a book you, honestly, are not legally required to purchase or read or even acknowledge.”

Bodega Isn’t Just Bad Branding, It’s Bad Business, Eater.

Related: What Is Wrong With People?, Jezebel. “Have you ever been in an actual bodega? Have you noticed that ‘mom-and-pop’ store is often a literal description of these places and not just a line on your pitch deck to a bunch of ‘angel investors’ who drive Teslas and haven’t called their actual moms or pops in months? If you achieve your goal of wiping out those mom-and-pop shops by which you are apparently so bothered, will you finally experience joy?”

Deep Six: Jemele Hill and the Fight for the Future of ESPN, The Ringer.

Dear Maria Sharapova, You Should Release a Song Called Mad and Mediocre, Awesomely Luvvie. “Clearly, you’ve been guzzling from Lake Bittertonka since 2004, which was the last time you were able to win in a match against SERENA THE GOAT (Greatest of All Time). 13 whole years ago was the last time you beat the greatest athlete to ever play tennis, and you’re so butthurt about it that you must have an abscess. She has wiped the floor with you 18 times in a row, even though you were illegally doping to give yourself an advantage. YOU COULDN’T EVEN DRUG YOUR WAY TO VICTORY. That’s so unfortunate. It’s nobody’s fault you ain’t got the range. Nobody but you.”

What Are We to Do With Cinematic Monuments to the Confederacy?, Vulture. “What makes Gone With the Wind’s racism so important and difficult to taxonomize is the deftness of its characterization. The white characters in the film, including minor bit players, feel real, complex, and human in ways many period epics fail to conceptualize. There are heroes it can be hard not to root for. For all her cruelty and selfishness, Scarlett’s prickly nature make her a fascinating anti-heroine. Yet everyone — including Melanie, one of the most selfless and naïvely angelic women ever portrayed in film — are still complicit in, and directly benefit from, the enslavement of black people.”

William Howard Taft Is Still Stuck in the Tub, The New York Times.

Who Is Killing American Women? Their Husbands And Boyfriends, CDC Confirms., Huffington Post. “It’s not strangers, friends or acquaintances who pose the biggest threat to women’s lives. It’s the men they date and marry.”

How L.A.’s Halo Top became America’s bestselling ice cream pint, The LA Times.

Torrid’s NYFW Show Reaffirmed Fashion’s Disdain for Fat People, Racked.

“I’ve Always Been Political”: Celeste Ng and Nicole Chung in Conversation, Literary Hub.

I keep finding my coworker in a compromising position … with himself, Ask a Manager. For fuck’s sake.

Do Artists and Designers Have an Obligation To Be Political?, Design*Sponge. “The creative process should consider if the work (output) challenges the status quo or reinforces it.”

My Beauty Uniform: Clare Lyons, A Cup of Jo. One of my faves in this series (and I co-sign so much of her skincare)! Also this comment.

The Sorrow and the Shame of the Accidental Killer, The New Yorker.

Thug Charged With Shooting and Critically Injuring Homeless Man After He Asked Her to Move Her Porsche, VSB.

Why Your Favorite TV Character’s Dress Looks So Different on You, Racked.

Ladies Be Tuckin’, The Hairpin. “I know there’s a lot going on in the world and print media has been caving in on itself for at least ten years, but can we talk about the foot-tucking trope in profiles of celebrity/famous/fancy women of interest?”

Chipotle Queso: Liquid Gold or Cheesy Trash?, GQ. Made me lol.

On Smelly Dicks, MEL. I’m so, so sorry.

Loving

This video, this comic, this AMAZING story, this white guy who knows how to be an ally, and the “Essay B” episode of This American Life.

The week ahead…

Starting to map out Halloween projects!!!

36. Back on my bullshit

September 10, 2017

Credit: Erin Boyle / Reading My Tea Leaves

Photo: Reading My Tea Leaves

Hi! Here’s a bunch of stuff from my week…

Writing

5 Great Notebooks For People Who Effing Love Notebooks

Featured

Why You Need to Start Bullet Journaling, The Everygirl.

Habit shift: dot journaling., Reading My Tea Leaves.

PS If you read the book and liked it, please consider leaving an Amazon review!

Reading

The First White President, The Atlantic. If you read one thing this week, it should be this.

The Resegregation of Jefferson County, The New York Times Magazine. Another must-read.

Letter of the week: What is wrong with you, white supremacists?, The Salt Lake Tribune. Letter of the goddamn YEAR.

A tale of two Irmas: rich Miami ready for tumult as poor Miami waits and hopes, The Guardian.

A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Should Never Have Been, Politico.

What the Rich Won’t Tell You, The New York Times. This is pretty enraging. (That said, before you judge these people too hard for thinking they are middle-class, use this calculator to find out if you, too, have a misunderstanding of where you fall, income-wise.)

The Trials of a Muslim Cop, The New Yorker.

This “cool black girl” is gone, Salon. “I stop trying so hard to avoid offending people with suggestions they have offended me. I stop using racial self-deprecation to indulge “ironic” senses of humor. I stop laughing when it’s not funny or nodding when it doesn’t make sense. I stop playing the defendant when they want to play the devil’s advocate — allowing them to intellectually experiment on me with their worst arguments, leaving themselves unscathed and richer for the exercise and me, diminished. I stop making them feel better for making me feel worse.”

How Astrology Took Over The Internet, BuzzFeed.

Michigan’s Chaldean Christians escaped persecution in Iraq and helped Donald Trump win the presidency. Now, they’re at risk of deportation., Slate. Oh.

@gothamgirlblue on the preposterous responses to Hillary Clinton’s book.

The Disturbing Conversations Women Are Having on Fertility Apps, ELLE. This is really heartbreaking. (CW: sexual assault, abuse.)

A Brief Cultural History of Hairy Legs, Racked. 

The Silicon Valley execs who don’t eat for days: ‘It’s not dieting, it’s biohacking’, The Guardian. “Eight months in and Libin finds fasting easy and frequently attends ‘nice dinners’ with friends where he will only drink water. ‘People think it’s torture but it’s actually really pleasant. I get the social interaction, I can see the food and smell it. All of those things are pleasant,’ he said. ‘I usually leave a dinner where I eat nothing feeling kind of full.'” Bruh. You…have an eating disorder.

Exiles on Pennsylvania Avenue: How Jared and Ivanka Were Repelled by Washington’s Elite, Vanity Fair.

The Ivanka Trump Guarantee, Lindy West in The New York Times. “Ivanka Trump is never going to come through. Coming through isn’t her function. She is more a logo than a person, a scarecrow stuffed with branding, an heiress-turned-model-turned-multimillionaire’s-wife playacting as an authority on the challenges facing working women so that she can sell more pastel sheath dresses.”

This Is What It’s Like To Find Out You’re The Son Of A Child Killer, BuzzFeed. (CW: rape, child/spousal abuse, and serious violence/murder.)

What Brands Are Actually Behind Trader Joe’s Snacks?, Eater.

Christina Tosi Has a Cookie, Eater. I kept seeing my friends share this and finally read it myself and it did not disappoint.

What 11 People Are Wearing on the First Day of School, Racked.

Ijeoma Oluo on that gross “romantic” piano motherfucker.

My coworker/friend Bim on Maria Sharapova’s racist bullshit.

Do You Want to Be Known For Your Writing, or For Your Swift Email Responses?, Catapult. “If I bailed on any friend as often as I bailed on my own work, I probably would no longer have that friend.”

5 Highly Effective Ways to Inspire Your Team, Inc.

‘Why Can’t I Stop Thinking About My High School Crush?’, The Cut. Wow, drag me, NY Mag.

Excerpts from the All-Girl Remake of “Lord of the Flies”, The New Yorker. “‘Hey!’ Jackie said. ‘If I took this desiccated pig head down from this spike, would anybody split it with me?'”

I also went down a southern sorority/fraternity rabbit hole doing research for an article I’m working on; you can see a bunch of links/videos/Insta pics here. The stuff about The Machine was particularly fascinating/upsetting. And I picked up Grunt, Mary Roach’s newest book, from the library this weekend!

Best life

A year after I tried them on, I finally bought the Warby Parker Finch glasses in Bellini. (My main glasses are also the Finch, just in solid dark brown.) In other Millennial pink news, Le Creuset has launched a matte pink collection and I am overwhelmed and want it all. Oh, and I got Glossier Haloscope — after like a million people on the Internet recommended it — and it totally lives up to the hype. (PS You’ll get 10% off your order if you use this link.) I also went to the new-to-Bed-Stuy cafe Brown Butter, which is SO dang charming/yummy and has pink lattes.

Loving

The most recent episode of Code Switch (An Advertising Revolution: “Black People Are Not Dark-Skinned White People”), these awesome parents, uhhh Pop Rocks for blow jobs (also, I read that label as “Butt Blast” every damn time), and this.

The week ahead…

I know a lot of people love summer, but I am really not a huge fan and am honestly thrilled to have Labor Day and this four-day week over, and to have everyone back from their vacations. It feels like a fresh new school year is starting!

35. Water, water, everywhere

September 3, 2017

https://www.instagram.com/illustration315/

Image: Sevelle the Artist

Hello again! Here’s what I was up to this week…

Editing

How Pumpkin Spice Took Over The World

Reading

The Incarcerated Women Who Fight California’s Wildfires, The New York Times Magazine. “C.D.C.R. says that the firefighter program is intended to serve as rehabilitation for the inmates. Yet they’re being trained to work in a field they will probably have trouble finding a job in when they get out: Los Angeles County Fire won’t hire felons and C.D.C.R. doesn’t offer any formal help to inmates who want firefighting jobs when they’re released.”

Anger That Can Save the World: On Justice, Feminism, and the Furies, Catapult. “For anyone who might not be blameless, anger with reason and purpose and a will of iron is even more frightening than tumultuous, flailing rage.” Read this, and then read it again for good measure.

First-person Harvey account: In a Dickinson subdivision, a normal weekend turned upside down, Houston Chronicle.

What Makes a Parent?, The New Yorker.

Where Are the Likes? Coming to Terms with Being a Writer on Social Media, LitHub. “Get off your phone. Get back to your desk.”

How Kids’ Sports Became a $15 Billion Industry, Time.

I Was a Strict Evangelical, Until My Faith Unraveled, Racked. “I remember how it feels to be wired for judgment. Judging others constantly reinforces the lines around you that you think are keeping you safe. I didn’t think my beliefs made me rigid. I thought they made me right. When you think having a very particular belief system is your salvation, you aren’t likely to find it constricting. You’re likely to find it life-giving.”

The 5 Types of ‘Becky’, The Root. “This is the standard, off-the shelf Becky with no adornments, around whom the entire world revolves. When ‘alt-righters’ recite the 14 words, ‘Because the beauty of the white Aryan woman must not perish from the earth,’ this is about whom they are talking. This is for whom they made Forever 21. This is for whom they make Pantene hair conditioner. This is for whom they made America. It is easy to recognize a Rebecca. She can’t understand how anyone could be cruel to a puppy, but turns the channel when they talk about Trayvon Martin.”

Melania Trump and the Chilling Artifice of Fashion, The Cut. “And this is how something as apparently trivial as women’s style reveals a profound truth at the heart of this administration and its relationship to America’s citizens: It is as dissociative as a fashion advertisement, brought to power by manipulating and rechanneling the electorate’s desires for wealth and possessions. This truth seeps out of every photographed occasion, including and especially those featuring the Trump women.”

The Tater Tot Is American Ingenuity at Its Finest, Eater.

This Group Of Women Is Helping To Fix The Hair And Spirits Of Houston Evacuees, BuzzFeed.

The History of the Trapper Keeper, Mental Floss.

Letter of Recommendation: High-Visibility Golf Balls, The New York Times Magazine.

@cathythemango explains cultural appropriation.

Football Favoritism at F.S.U.: The Price One Teacher Paid, The New York Times.

State of the Blog Union 2017: How The Online World Has Changed, Design*Sponge.

How to De-Feralize Your Children for Back-to-School, McSweeney’s.

In Memoriam: All the Untouched Food on ‘The Bachelorette’, Bon Appetit.

We Might As Well Talk About Taylor Swift’s New Single, Go Fug Yourself. “I mean, Old Taylor can’t come to the phone ‘because she’s dead’? Really? Also, that’s a lie, too, because this sure FEELS like Old Taylor to me — the one who cannot handle adversity without complaining that it’s someone else’s fault. Girl, be real. You tangled with the pros and lost. You got busted. Write that story.”

Taylor Swift and the Scorpio Midheaven: What Are You Hiding?, Astrology Arena. “Essentially, the point I’m trying to make here is that success is not the best form of revenge for Midheaven in Scorpio people. Anytime Scorpio is focused on revenge, it is a boomerang that comes right back around. It’s only going to manifest more negativity for that person.”

18 Tweets For When Your Life Is A Mess And You’re Barely Holding It Together, BuzzFeed.

Best life

After seeing an ad on Instagram, I bought one of these satin-lined caps, and I like it a lot. (I have the cream one. My coworker told me they run small, so I bought the large because I have a relatively big head/long hair; it’s a teeeeeny bit big, and I’d go with the medium in hindsight.) Anyway, they are currently running a BOGO sale for Labor Day, so it’s worth it to shop now — I’m totally annoyed I missed the deal! Speaking of silky sleep things, I bought this silk pillowcase earlier this month, and it’s very good.

In other news, I’m really interested in trying Beauty Pie after reading this article, but I don’t think I buy enough makeup for it to really be worth it.

Loving

This tiny version of my winter coat, this King James story, and 100 awesome drawings that will definitely make you smile.

The week ahead…

Septeber first, y’all know wtf is up.”

34. Look what you made me do

August 27, 2017

rifle paper co

Image: Rifle Paper Co

This week, I met up with my friend Alanna for drinks and we exchanged copies of our books — a truly special and lovely thing to be able to do! It’s almost enough to make me forget about Taylor Swift’s truly terrible new single.

Here’s what else I had going on…

Writing

Hoooooly Shit, This Story

17 Facts About Octopuses That’ll Straight Fuck You Up

7 Cool Facts About Bras That’ll Make You Say “HUH”

Reading

Parents Who Pay to Be Watched, The Cut. This story is fascinating and the article is really well done.

Things you should know about Joe Arpaio, @phoenixnewtimes on Twitter. 

But wait! There’s more! Another thread with more horrors from Nicole Silverberg.

OH AND ALSO HIS DEPUTIES ONCE SET A DOG ON FIRE.

Chanel Sure Picked a Bad Time to Center a Marketing Campaign Around Coco, Racked.

The total solar eclipse made everything feel big again, Vox. “Venus appeared bright in the sky next to the sun, and I lay down before a black, black disc that was surrounded by the most angelic white light I’ve ever seen.”

How the Wives of Prisoners Use Instagram to Cope, Vice.

The Whitney Plantation Is The Only Confederate Monument We Should Keep, BuzzFeed. A tough read, but worth it. 

I’m Proud of My Husband for Kneeling During the Anthem, but Don’t Make Him a White Savior, VSB.

Take a Look: An Oral History of Reading Rainbow, Mental Floss. This made me a little weepy.

You Won’t Be Able To Recognize These Modern Animals Drawn Like Dinosaurs, BuzzFeed.

Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson and the Ways We Talk About Our Past, The New York Times.

What is it like to be white?, Kottke. “It is now common — and I use the word ‘common’ in its every sense — to see interviews with up-and-coming young movie stars whose parents or even grandparents were themselves movie stars. And when the interviewer asks, ‘Did you find it an advantage to be the child of a major motion-picture star?’ the answer is invariably ‘Well, it gets you in the door, but after that you’ve got to perform, you’re on your own.’ This is ludicrous. Getting in the door is pretty much the entire game, especially in movie acting, which is, after all, hardly a profession notable for its rigor. That’s how advantageous it is to be white. It’s as though all white people were the children of movie stars. Everyone gets in the door and then all you have to do is perform at this relatively minimal level.”

What Life Is Like After a Life Sentence, Mother Jones.

Did This Book Buy Its Way Onto The New York Times Bestseller List?, Pajiba. This is wild.

This Buttercream Kills Fascists, Eater. “If there aren’t already, in short order there will be people who live nowhere near Texas or California or Massachusetts who are furious, just furious, at bakeries in Houston and Oakland and Boston for ‘being political,’ for not ‘sticking to food,’ for ‘alienating their customers.’ This is itself infuriating. Food is politics. It’s always difficult for me to say that without adding ‘of course’ to the end of it: Food is politics, of course. Of course there are political forces pushing and pulling at it, the engine behind everything from the price of grain to the availability of labor to the potability of water to patio zoning to how much sawdust you can add before your processed dairy product is no longer allowed to be called cheese. How can you not understand that?”

Members of ‘UES Mommas’ Facebook Group Threaten Legal Action After Being Called Racist, Jezebel.

I Tried Six Pairs Of Plus-Size Workout Leggings To Find The Best Ones, BuzzFeed. 

Pick Up Lines That Would Actually Work on Me, The Hairpin. I’m #5.

Listening to/watching

Black Girls Rock Acceptance Speech: Auntie Maxine Waters Did Not Come to Play! “If You Come For Me, I’m Coming For You”

Kunta in the House, Another Round. 

A Conversation With a Former White Nationalist, The Daily.

My Little Hundred Million, Revisionist History.

And still working on Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts on Netflix! 

Best life

Got a fancy manicure on Friday. I’ve been working on this puzzle. And these blemish patches are goddamn witchcraft.

The week ahead…

Let’s all send good vibes and maybe also money to the people of Houston.

33. White lies

August 20, 2017

@caroline_south https://www.instagram.com/p/BKqnaJWhddR/

Photo: Caroline South

Hi. Me again. Here are some things I was up to this week.

Writing

Teens Share The Reasons They Keep Diaries

ICYMI: Just a bunch of things I’ve been doing to be more creative/focused/productive (and to spend less time screaming into the abyss)

Editing

Here’s What Three Astrologers Think The Eclipse Means For Horoscopes

If your bank account could text you

If the Disney princesses had a group text

Reading

You can find a long post-Charlottesville link round-up here.

Wrong Way, Tampa Bay Times. “One of the car thieves was just a baby when his mother tried to run him over with a car. Another was molested while playing football in the neighborhood. He was eight. Yet another future thief stood in the doorframe to the kitchen and watched a man choke his pregnant mother, pressed against the dinner table. The boy hid in a corner, 6 years old and too scared to see what happened next.” This story, on the teens and tweens stealing cars at outrageous rates in Florida, is heartbreaking. Highly recommend Part 1 and Part 2 as well.

The White Lies of Craft Culture, Eater. “In the U.S., historical memory considers slave labor in relation to one crop: cotton. From common images depicting enslaved black people in fields to phrases like “wait just a cotton-picking minute,” there is a persistent notion that American slavery was limited to performing a single, unskilled chore. But antebellum society depended on a diverse set of skills transported and developed by enslaved and indigenous peoples and immigrants. … Besides field laborers, planter and urban communities both depended on proficient carpenters, blacksmiths, gardeners, stable hands, seamstresses, and cooks; the America of the 1700s and 1800s was literally crafted by people of color.”

How Eclipse Chasers Are Putting a Small Kentucky Town on the Map, Mental Floss. Posting this again for anyone who still isn’t hype for the eclipse.

20 questions you were embarrassed to ask about the August eclipse, Vox.

Astrologer Chani Nicholas on Why Monday’s Eclipse Spells Disaster for Trump, Paper.

Annie Dillard’s Classic Essay: ‘Total Eclipse’, The Atlantic. Pour yourself a cup of tea and read this one in full.

Our 6-year-old has a fun, comfortable life. Why isn’t she grateful?, The Washington Post. “Past generations of parents: pretty unconcerned with making their children happy. Parents now? Often consumed with it.”

You Need Three Tote Bags, Max, Racked.

Steve Bannon’s Face is the Physical Embodiment of Soul Rot, Awesomely Luvvie.

Easy Chickpea and Feta Salad, A Cup of Jo. This looks so good.

A history of the New York Times discovering “exotic foods”, Quartz.

I Can Be a Badass in a Unicorn Onesie, Thanks, Racked. “When I taught college while wearing hair bows and kitty t-shirts, the point wasn’t to suggest to students that I was someone to be underestimated, but someone to be feared: don’t attempt to go up against someone so out of fucks that they ate the concept of professional dress as a Powerbar between lectures. One of the great kitsch icons of our time, Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series, deploys pink ruffles and bows to great effect while torturing students as the headmistress of Hogwarts. When grown women turn to outlandishly childish garments, that’s a time to fear us, not write us off.”

7 Men on How They Actually Feel About Balding, Racked.

How to Call Out Your Guy Friends on Their Sexist Bullshit, MEL. “Don’t defend your homies because they’re your homies. If they did fucked-up shit, you [have to] cut them off.” A little something special just for the three men reading this blog!!!

Some good little things to do when you’re not doing ok from Beth McColl.

Finally, please consider sending some school clothes or supplies from this Amazon Wishlist to PS 188, where 47 percent of the students are homeless. Learn more about the school here. (h/t @prisonculture)

Best life

I have some updates on my tea journey! 1. I was able to accurately recreate the white berryblossom flavor I was chasing! 2. I got a new steeper that’s shaped like a bucket (vs a ball) and it’s much easier to use and to clean. 3. I ordered an electric kettle! Sadly, all of the really beautiful ones (hi, pistachio Kitchen-Aid!!!) had TERRIBLE reviews and didn’t even have decent features. I ended up buying this one, which is The Sweethome’s runner-up. I’ve only used it once but I’m already feeling so good about this purchase. 4. I bought a couple decaf teas this week and Alpine punch from David’s Tea is a clear winner; I actually like it better than the first one I tried. It’s got a strong cherry/almond flavor and is going to be a great for post-work and also bedtime. (But also all the time? It’s just really, really good.)

The week ahead…

Don’t forget your eclipse glasses!

A post-Charlottesville reading list

August 20, 2017

Here is the thing I want white liberals to know about Charlottesville: I highly doubt that most 2016 Republican/Trump voters are terribly upset about Nazis marching with torches, or that the past week has been any sort of tipping point for them. I would love to be wrong about this, but it seems pretty unlikely that if you voted for him/this party, that you’d suddenly be like, Oh, wow, these statues *do* need to come down, or that you’d actually see a difference between neo-Nazis and BLM (a LOT of white people think Black Lives Matter is a hate group! a lot!!!), or that you’d care if the POTUS said both sides had bad people — because you probably agree. And also, intimidation of or violence against black people (or the white people who care about us) actually…doesn’t…move…a lot of white people? I don’t think they really care what happens to us or care if a Nazi drives a car into a crowd of us, because they believe on some level that we deserve what we get if we don’t know our place. And that sucks! But, like, come on — most of those “nice” white Republicans (like the parents of all my friends growing up, and a not-insignificant amount of my college friends) or even the “nice” white people who “don’t do politics” aren’t actually bothered by any of this, or have honestly even thought that much about it at all. And if you think that I am wrong about this, please go read the comments from all the “nice” white ladies on this video of Heather Heyer’s mother on GMA

Onto the reading list…

White Feelings: 0-60 for Charlottesville, Erynn Brook.

White Liberals Still Don’t Understand White Supremacy, Harper’s Bazaar. “Racism doesn’t always look like the KKK marching hoodless in broad daylight. Racism also looks like white liberals getting angry at people of color who ask them to confront how they benefit from white supremacy and white privilege. It looks like white women telling me that I am being divisive by asking for an honest conversation about race and racism within feminist circles. It looks like tone-policing, emotional labor, objectification, fetishization, the white-savior complex, staying silent when you hear overt racism, saying nothing about working in a mostly white to all-white office, ignoring gentrification and the school-to-prison pipeline, loving The Help but hating Girls Trip.”

The Truth About Women and White Supremacy, The Cut. “Tyler spearheaded the Women of the Klu Klux Klan, the all-women, autonomous arm of the KKK that had roughly half-a-million members during the 1920s. As I wrote in a Timeline piece on the WKKK, the organization was savvier than its male counterpart because ‘they were better than the men’s group at hiding their white supremacist mission behind a facade of social welfare.’ The group helped to normalize the terrorism of the men’s KKK. Pamphlets from the time read, ‘Are you interested in the Welfare of our Nation? As an Enfranchised woman are you interested in better government?’ Through picnics, lunches, and cross burnings, these white women rallied around racist immigration laws, anti-miscegenation, and segregation.”

And some other “nice” white ladies.

The Many Lives of Hazel Bryan, Slate.

Love Needs Fury To Defeat Hate, Fader. “Neither is love inaction, silence, or complicity. Love does not stand down in the face of terror. Love does not demand silence in the face of injustice or submission in the face of oppression and its attendant brutalities. Real love proves more expansive and powerful than previously imagined when tested by the specter of death.”

For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies, Sojourners. “Privilege means that you owe a debt. You were born with it. You didn’t ask for it. And you didn’t pay for it either. No one is blaming you for having it. You are lovely, human, and amazing. Being a citizen of a society requires work from everyone within that society. It is up to you whether you choose to acknowledge the work that is yours to do. It is up to you whether you choose to pay this debt and how you choose to do so. Sometimes living with privilege can disillusion us into thinking that being in community with other humans doesn’t require work. This is a lie; it requires a great deal of work. And all of that work requires being a human and trying to love other humans well.” This quote will stick with me for a long time.

There Was Never Doubt Over What Trump Thought of Charlottesville, Salon. God, the number of “Why won’t he just denounce the neo-Nazis?” headlines this week was OUTRAGEOUS. WE KNOW WHY.

Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?, The New Yorker. The article is less terrifying than the hed, FYI.

How Corey Long Fought White Supremacy With Fire, The Root.

Father of White Nationalist Denounces His Son After Charlottesville: He’s ‘Not Welcome at Family Gatherings Any Longer’, The Cut. TBH, I thought this was going to be kind of basic, but it’s legit.

Why the Charlottesville Marchers Were Obsessed With Jews, The Atlantic.

If you’re still sad about the removal of these statues, please read this thread about the origins of Confederate monuments, and just how worthless they are.

Speaking of statues, can y’all get this out of the goddamn Capitol?

“Condemning killing is the easiest thing. It does not take courage. It doesn’t mean one supports the advancement of civil rights or equality.” Read this thread from Hannah Nikole-Jones.

This episode of The Daily is great — legitimately so inspiring.

And here’s one link that’s just for my black and brown friends who are reading this.

I’ll post my regular links for the week later tonight.

Just a bunch of things I’ve been doing to be more creative/focused/productive (and to spend less time screaming into the abyss)

August 16, 2017

Photo: Death to the Stock Photo

One of my big goals for the next few months is to recalibrate my relationship with my phone/social media/notifications/etc. Like a lot of people, I spend a lot of time looking at various screens, and while I don’t believe our phones are the root of all evil – like, I’m quite often reading books or consuming things on my phone that are genuinely helpful and good, and every time I see hand-wringing commentary from people fretting about the simpler times before smartphones, my response is some variation of “Get off my dick” — BUT I know that I’ve developed some not-great phone habits in the past year or two, and that’s what I’m aiming to reset right now!

I’ve gotten my media diet to a pretty good place (more on that in a second), but the thing I’m really thinking about right now is notifications and multitasking. I’m very available/easy to reach/responsive, and I worry that all the side conversations I’m having – some of which are absolutely a part of my job and can’t be avoided — are having an effect on my creative output. My thought is that I expend a lot of mental energy on texts, Slacks, etc., and that perhaps this steady drip-drip-drip of words all day leaves me drained, even though I’m actually not really producing anything. So I’d like to cut off as much of that as possible so that I can focus more, and, hopefully, publish more! I also sometimes lose an hour after I get home just scrolling aimlessly through Twitter/Reddit/blogs (…while also texting…) instead of reading books or doing things that truly feed my brain, and while we all need a mental break and some time to zone out, I am trying to be more thoughtful and intentional about when and how I do this.

So! Here’s my current plan/the rules I’ve set for myself for how and when I use my phone and laptop.

1. I don’t really check Twitter or Facebook anymore when I wake up, and I typically don’t respond to new messages first thing anymore either. Instead, I’ve been doing morning pages from The Artist’s Way — three pages, stream of consciousness, by hand, first thing in the morning. Like, first first thing; I write while I’m still in bed, per the author’s strong recommendation of doing it before you’ve had a chance to do anything else. I actually now get up about an hour earlier to do it so I can still get to work at my usual (early!) time, and it’s been going quite well. I’ll probably write more in-depth about morning pages later, but I’m mentioning here because it’s definitely keeping me from checking Twitter/FB/Snapchat as soon as I wake up, and by the time I’m done with morning pages, I find that the urge has kind of passed. (And I’ve also run out of time and need to start getting ready for work.)

2. While I’m getting ready for work (and sometimes also once I’ve started walking to the train), I listen to two podcasts: NPR’s Up First (~8-12 minutes) and NYT’s The Daily (~12-20 minutes). The podcasts ensure that I have the major stories for the day, but unlike when I’m reading the news, it’s impossible to read comments/click other links/get lost in a dumb rabbit hole. I’ll often catch up on Seth Meyers segments from the previous night at this point too, but it really depends on the day. I may spend a few minutes on Twitter or FB at that point, like, as I’m walking out the door, but it’s becoming less likely, and when I do go there, I’m not staying for nearly as long as I used to.

3. One of my big goals at the moment is to stop texting/reading on my phone when I’m walking to and from the train (because it’s just a really bad habit/a stupid way to die). I’ve switched to podcasts/audiobooks instead. This is definitely one where I still struggle, but it’s getting easier and I’m even starting to enjoy it. Getting good bluetooth headphones helped a lot; they make listening while walking way more convenient/pleasant. (Full disclosure: I got them from a PR rep like a year ago.) One challenge is finding podcasts I like (especially because I prefer ones under 30 minutes for these walks), but I’m definitely building out a little list. Also: I’ve been using the Overcast app for podcasts, and I love it! People always complained about the default iPhone podcast app and I didn’t understand why until I switched to Overcast. It’s great.

4. Once I’m at work, my *general* rule is that I don’t read any news or open the Twitter app until after 4pm; this has actually been my rule since January or so, and I cannot recommend it enough. If I do go to Twitter (or to FB) it’s mostly for a specific reason – like to Tweet something or to RT something a coworker sent me. But I’m well aware that the latest news story and all of the responses to it has the power to derail my entire day and it’s just so rarely worth it. If someone sends me something to read during the day, or I see something on Facebook or whatever when I pop in, I almost always Pocket it for later. (I read what’s in Pocket once I’m on the train, or later in the evening at home.) Sometimes I’ll check Twitter midday (like if I step out of the office for an errand, or while I’m in the lunch line) but I’ve been reducing that too. I…don’t miss it.

Now that I’ve stopped reading while walking, I typically don’t read much news until I’m actually on the train heading home, or even until considerably later in the evening. It’s fine. I am surrounded by media people and do not feel like I will miss anything important, or like I’m just opting out of the news entirely. I truly, truly cannot fathom getting breaking news alerts on my phone, or keeping TweetDeck all day. Like, what?! Why would you even WANT to???? Of course, this means at like 6 pm I’m often suddenly in a state of “WAIT WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?” because I’ve just checked Twitter for the first time and everyone is screaming and I’m trying to find the source of the story and then once I do, I’m screaming too, but, well…2017!!!

5. The big, very recent change I made: I completely turned off iMessage on my computer. Up to this point, 99% of the texts I’d get were going to my computer (lol @ the one friend with an Anroid phone). It’s been this way for, like, years, and every time I’d get a text, I’d get a notification, and it would break my focus/I’d respond right away. Basically none of these things were urgent, but I just couldn’t not respond. But I recently realized that Slack/email notifications are distracting enough; I just cannot have non-work notifications coming in too. I also was using iMessage as a distraction…because every time I’d see something funny or cool, I’d iMessage it to all of my friends (and coworkers) and then we’d discuss, and so I was just zooming between tabs — having the same conversation with like four different people at once — and just not working very efficiently. This was probably my the biggest nonessential use of my mental energy up until this month, and while I miss iMessage/texts, and some days it takes a lot of willpower not to open it up to send something funny/interesting, or to avoid checking my phone to see if I have any new messages, it was 100% the right choice to make. I just feel so much better already. I do check my texts/Snapchats/Insta once or twice a day during the day, but I try to do it when I specifically decide to take a break instead of doing it out of habit.

6. Work email is still a problem — if I see I have an unread email, I HAVE to see what it is to clear the notification (something I just need to get over, and I’m trying) — but I’ve never done the Gmail pop-up notifications on my computer, which I think helps a little bit. I probably need to be better about closing my Gmail tab while I’m working, though, or only checking at set times during the day. The thing that’s so stupid is that I’d estimate that like…85% of the emails I get every day are non-essential? I wish I could accurately communicate how many PR pitches I get to my work email, or how fucking annoying they are. I’ve been actively and aggressively setting up filters for each new one I get (mark as read, skip the inbox, file to “pitches,” or just mark as read, skip the inbox, delete) for the past several months; as of right now, the pitches folder where these filtered emails go has 6,837 emails in it. SIX THOUSAND. And this doesn’t include the ones that I’ve set to just delete. And yet I still get about dozen new ones to my inbox each day from people/lists I haven’t filtered yet. Meanwhile, I get maybe one good/useful pitch a month, if that. It’s a huge problem, but one that doesn’t really have a clear solution at the moment.

7. I aggressively curate my Slack channels/Slack notifications so that I’m not getting notifications for everything. This is still a major work in progress — I really do need to be on Slack most of the time, and I honestly just love Slack — so this is one of the areas where I’m still trying to make improvements. But at least it’s, like, actual work (ish).

8. Another new thing I started this month: as soon as I get home, I put my phone away, sit down at my desk, and do a way less intense/time-consuming version of morning pages. It’s kind of a post-work, post-commute brain dump and I have to do this before I can get comfortable with my phone. It’s actually been pretty useful because a) this is prime time to flop down and scroll/text for an hour, and I need something simple/straightforward to do instead, and b) because often get a big burst of creative energy/ideas on my walk home and then never DO anything with them. So writing by hand for 20-30 minutes (the goal is three pages, but in a relatively small journal) is really helping me get over the hump. Once it gets colder outside, I’m excited to add a cup of tea to this part of my day, and to my morning pages!

Also, if this all sounds like a lot of writing, that’s…kind of the point. I want to be writing more. I also don’t think it’s any more writing then I was doing in tiny bits before this…it’s just that it’s more focused and happening all at once, which is actually great.

9. If/when I have actual down time later in the evening, I’m trying to opt for actually-good-for-me activities for at least a little while at night…so things like doing a puzzle, watching a documentary, listening to a podcast, working on a a crossword puzzle, reading, watching segments of Planet Earth on YouTube, working out, doing chores, cooking, writing an email to a friend on my laptop (and ONLY writing an email on my laptop…not, like, also shopping on Amazon and texting), writing to my pen pals, etc. (I keep a list of good things to do in my journal, which is helpful to have handy!) I’m not totally anti-screen/anti-phone (at least not until right before bed); I’m mostly just trying my best to single-task, and to have a plan for what I’m doing vs. just scrolling and tabbing around aimlessly for hours until suddenly it’s bedtime.

When I’m doing these activities, I try really hard to be present and focused and not check my phone, or I only check my phone, like, every 45 minutes — which I know is not super impressive! But I am already able to stretch that time out to be longer as I get more used to it. (I also didn’t check my phone or email or anything else while I was working on this post, so…that’s something!)

10. If/when I do news at night, I try to be super intentional about it; I really like Vox Sentences and WTFJHT, and I may pick up stuff on FB in the evening, but, again, I’m trying to minimize my time there and cut myself off well before bed so I can actually sleep. I have an alarm on my phone that goes off at 10 pm each night to remind me to start winding down, and my phone automatically goes into Night Mode/Do Not Disturb at that point too. Once the clock strikes 10, it’s basically like, journaling/relaxing/melatonin/den time.

Of course, there are always going to be occasional exceptions to these rules (I simply could NOT calm the fuck down after that terrible press conference on Tuesday night), and the plan is totally a work in progress. In the next few months, I want to continue to figure out where to add and where to subtract, and also find ways to create more rituals. (So, say, having a cup of tea while journaling, or lighting a nice candle and putting on Leon Bridges every evenning when I get home, or making a point to read a poem every night before bed.) I also still basically never get up from my desk while I’m working except to go to the bathroom and meetings (though I do stand when my Apple Watch tells me to!!!) and that is…not a great habit. But I feel good about where I’m going with this, and with each new rule or habit that I’ve implemented I just feel…better? Like, each of these things has had a really soothing and sort of healing effect that makes me feel a little more whole and present and like myself.

32. Thirty-two

August 13, 2017

Photo by Arielle Vey

Photo: Arielle Vey; I recently ordered the print and I *love* it

I turned 32 on Monday. My birthday was fine/good, this week was fine/good, but things are…not fine/good. Whatever. Here we are.

Reading

Charlottesville and the Bigotocracy, The New York Times. “Now is the time for every decent white American to prove he or she loves this country by actively speaking out against the scourge this bigotocracy represents. If such heinous behavior is met by white silence, it will only cement the perception that as long as most white folk are not immediately at risk, then all is relatively well.”

Take the Statues Down, The Atlantic. “The statues in public squares, the names on street signs, the generals honored with military bases—these are the ways in which we, as a society, tell each other what we value, and build the common heritage around which we construct a nation. The white nationalists who gathered in Charlottesville saw this perhaps more clearly than the rest of us. They understood the stakes of what they were defending. They knew that Lee was honored not for making peace per se, but for defending a society built upon white supremacy—first by taking up arms, and then when the war was lost, by laying them down in such a way as to preserve what he could.”

Charlottesville and the Effort to Downplay Racism in America, The New Yorker. “The belief that America is somehow better than its white-supremacist history is sometimes an excuse masquerading as encouragement, and it’s part of the reason why the K.K.K. is back in business. What happened in Charlottesville is less an aberrant travesty in a progressive enclave than it is a reminder of how much evil can be obscured by the appearance of good.”

So, about those pesky Nazis again., Captain Awkward. “They wait until they’ve charmed you, until they’ve met your parents, until things are all comfortable between you, to show their true colors, betting on the fact that you’d be too far in to leave. I know you’re embarrassed and it’s embarrassing as fuck but it’s not too late to get out of there. I know it’s not fair. Cut. Your. Losses.”

@boguspress on how we shame young boys and raise violent men.

@JuliusGoat on why white supremacists think they are oppressed.

White folks who are struggling to explain why the statues must come down: please re-read Mayor Landrieu’s speech in New Orleans, and study up on Robert E. Lee so you are adequately prepared to talk to the friends and family members who would have you believe that he was not racist.

And donate: to the family of Heather Heyer and to Deandre Harris (more on him here).

Onto some lighter things…

How Eclipse Chasers Are Putting a Small Kentucky Town on the Map, Mental Floss. “Humans have tried to describe the corona for more than three millennia, and every account is said to not do it justice. It is ineffable. But all accounts agree: It is the most beautiful phenomenon in the natural world. The corona makes sunrise over the Grand Canyon feel like a sightseeing trip to a vacant strip mall. … When the brain processes unfamiliar or unusual surroundings—such as, say, a colossal sheet of darkness hurtling in your direction at Mach 3—the amygdala, the brain’s fear center, goes haywire. It incites an unconscious reaction that is difficult to articulate, even for those expecting it. McClean, for instance, felt afraid when he witnessed his first eclipse. ‘I was terrified,’ he says. ‘I felt a sense of dread … It was like the Eye of Sauron was peering through your SOUL.'”

Why do stars like Adele keep losing their voice?, The Guardian.

The Handshake, New Republic.

To be more productive, try angling your morning toward what brings you joy, Quartz.

An Oral History of the Time a Dog Ate a Heart on ‘One Tree Hill’, The Ringer. I have never even seen this show, and I still fully enjoyed reading this.

I am sorry for killing everything: A millennial’s confession, The Washington Post. “I watched homeownership burn while I ate an avocado, coolly, smeared on toast. What home could ever shelter me after all that I have done? I have no home. I am more mobile than any past generation, because my crimes compel me ever onward. The pleas of Applebees fell on deaf ears. ‘Do you think that if I could not find it in myself to spare the nuclear family, I would let you live, Applebees?’ I murmured. Buffalo Wild Wings received no mercy. There will be no wings where I am going.”

The Google Doc I Send to People Who Ask About My Skin, NY Mag. My coworkers and I are all obsessed with this list!

Tag Yourself As An Ugly Renaissance Baby And We’ll Reveal What Type Of Drunk You Are, BuzzFeed.

I also finished reading The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness.

Entertained by

This episode of Revisionist History, which focuses on Brown v. Board of Education. I’m also enjoying The Butterfly Effect, a free download from Audible, which two friends recommended to me. (FYI, if you have an iPhone, you have to download it from your desktop.) And I saw Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812 on Friday night; if you’re in the NYC area, I definitely recommend seeing it before it closes at the end of this month! (You can get a really good deal on tickets here. The website is a little finicky, but click “find tickets” and then go from there. There are good seats for $39!) I’ve also been watching The Roosevelts on Netflix and very much enjoying it. I’m about 90 minutes in and it’s super interesting and also just very soothing.

The week ahead…

Stay safe out there, friends.

31. Present

August 6, 2017

Photo: Death to the Stock Photo

Hello and happy August! Here’s what I’ve been up to this week…

Writing

Millennials, What Should We Kill Next?

And a review of my new favorite toothpaste!

Reading

I’m just about finished with The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness and it’s really, really good! Definitely recommend.

Also:

Losing It in the Anti-Diet Age, The New York Times.

We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs, Allure. This is so sharp.

How Do You Do Your Hair When You Only Have One Arm?, Racked.

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?, The Atlantic. “Even when a seismic event—a war, a technological leap, a free concert in the mud—plays an outsize role in shaping a group of young people, no single factor ever defines a generation. Parenting styles continue to change, as do school curricula and culture, and these things matter. But the twin rise of the smartphone and social media has caused an earthquake of a magnitude we’ve not seen in a very long time, if ever. There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy.” I normally hate this sort of hand-wringing about technology, but…woof.

Facebook’s Complicity in the Silencing of Black Women, Ijeoma Oluo on Medium. “My Facebook page is infested with racist hate and violent threats from people who are so angry that I would be nervous to be surrounded by them. And finally, Facebook decided to take action. What did they do? Did they suspend any of the people who threatened me? No. Did they take down Twitchy’s post that was sending hundreds of hate-filled commenters my way? No. They suspended me for three days for posting screenshots of the abuse they have refused to do anything about.”

Dear Men of “The Breakfast Club”: Trans Women Aren’t a Prop, Ploy, or Sexual Predators, Allure.

The Lost Cause Rides Again, The Atlantic. “Skepticism must be the order of the day. So that when Benioff asks ‘what would the world have looked like … if the South had won,’ we should not hesitate to ask what Benioff means by ‘the South.’ He obviously does not mean the minority of white Southern unionists, who did win. And he does not mean those four million enslaved blacks, whom the Civil War ultimately emancipated, yet whose victory was tainted. Comprising 40 percent of the Confederacy’s population, this was the South’s indispensable laboring class, its chief resource, its chief source of wealth, and the sole reason why a Confederacy existed in the first place. But they are not the subject of Benioff’s inquiry, because he is not so much asking about ‘the South’ winning, so much as he is asking about ‘the white South’ winning.”

Update: is the work environment I’ve created on my team too exclusive?, Ask a Manager. H…holy shit. (Please also do a search for “letter writer” on the original post so you can see their truly terrible comments there.)

They trashed their wedding photographer over a $125 fee, so a jury told them to pay her $1 million, Washington Post.

The Fiercely Precise World of Competitive Table-Setting, Atlas Obscura.

Rosé Is Exhausting, Eater. “The rosé train comes often and it is a comfortable ride.”

How Many Former Lawyers Work at Bethesda’s Williams-Sonoma?, Bethesda Magazine.

Grocery stores are adapting to more male shoppers — whom they treat like knuckleheads, The Washington Post. This article derailed one of my work Slack rooms for like an hour; everyone had a lot of feelings about it.

12 Ways Airports Are Secretly Manipulating You, Mental Floss. “Especially crucial is the ‘golden hour,’ the first 60 minutes spent beyond security, when passengers are ‘in a self-indulgent mood.’ The ‘golden hour’ is great, but two golden hours are even better. ‘One hour more at an airport is around $7 more spent per passenger.'” I found this super interesting, especially because I just got my first-ever airport manicure a couple weeks ago because I got through security really quickly and had two hours to spare before the flight.

Real Deal Summer Water, Kale & Caramel. Dang, this recipe looks fantastic. Planning to make it ASAP.

Buying

This notebook. I recently started using it for morning pages since the notebooks I’ve used in the past have all technically been too small. I just really love this brand for lined notebooks/journals; I was using this one before and it’s amazing; the pages are really amazing quality. The new one has slightly lower quality pages than the other one, but they are still very good.

Cherry blossom tea. So, motivated almost entirely by the stupidly beautiful kettles Amazon keeps showing me in their “new and interesting finds” section, I’ve decided to become a looseleaf tea person! I’m also trying to re-calibrate my relationship with social media/my phone and looking to create some new rituals/routines, and I thought drinking tea might be a good think to add to my list. Wayyyyyy back in the day, I used to get white berryblossom tea at Starbucks with a pump of vanilla and a little milk and it was so comforting and wonderful and such a nice afternoon treat. So that’s the flavor/vibe I’m chasing and I’m hoping this tea will do the trick! (I bought some vanilla syrup too.) I am holding off on buying a tea kettle until it gets colder/I actually commit to drinking tea regularly. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes! Also, if you have any good non-caffeinated looseleaf tea recommendations, HMU.

The week ahead…

Reclaiming my time

30. Roller coaster

July 30, 2017

Pleasure Pier by Matt Crump

Photo: Matt Crump

This week had so many ups and so many downs — once of which was that I did not make it to Six Flags this weekend as planned. Whomp whomp. But hey: my book is now out in the world and that’s pretty neat! Here’s what else I had going on…

Reading

I read Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too on Kindle and loved it so much, I bought the hard copy for myself and bought one for my brother. I finished Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud. And I read this review of Goodbye, Vitamin, immediately bought it, and finished it within 24 hours.

Also:

Online Dating Made This Woman a Pawn in a Global Crime Plot, Wired. This is so wild…like, way more than I expected. 

Why Judging The Poor Isn’t Actually Helping Anybody, Refinery29.

17 Debbie Downer Facts To Whip Out At The Next Party You Go To, BuzzFeed. 

How to Make a Movie Out of Anything — Even a Mindless Phone Game, The New York Times.

Advice About Sex for a College-Bound Girl, Design Mom. 

This Cheap Wine From Walmart Is Ranked as One of the Best in the World, PopSugar.

The X-Rated Furniture Of Catherine The Great Is Something You Need To See, BuzzFeed. 

The week ahead…

Still laughing about this video (watch with sound). 

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