Just good shit: 2017

December 31, 2017

As you may know, I love stuff and things! I don’t actually really love to shop, and I research everything pretty aggressively before buying, so I most of what I buy is stuff that solves a very specific problem, and that I end up loving.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun/useful to put all of my favorite stuff and things in one place! (And, per usual here, all of the Amazon links are affiliate links.) So here, in no particular order, is all the good shit that was worth every penny, sparked joy, and really made my 2017:

  1. Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House. A game-changer.
  2. Puzzles! Especially this beautiful ombré barrette one.
  3. Smartwool socks. One of my big goals for 2018 is to own a lot more pairs of Smartwool socks.
  4. White flannel sheets and a lovely white cotton blanket.
  5. Muted pastel sticky notes. I love the Post-It Helsinki collection. (Other sizes here and here.)
  6. An electric tea kettle. 2017 was the year I became a looseleaf tea person, and I love this kettle a lot.
  7. Alpine Punch looseleaf tea from David’s Tea. I drink it before bed with a little vanilla syrup (like the kind you’d get in a coffee shop) and a splash of half-and-half and it’s heaven.
  8. A beautiful Dutch oven that replaced the shitty old pots that I hated. (And that is way cheaper than most beautiful Dutch ovens on the market.)
  9. My beloved Pilot Juice 0.38 pens.
  10. Book darts (mostly for my journal, but also for books)
  11. A rolling pet carrier (that also converts to a backpack), which makes taking Chuck places in the city (or taking him on Amtrak) less of a chore.
  12. Original Soylent. OK, Soylent is dumb but it’s also incredibly helpful if your appetite is shit or on days you just, like, cannot cope with all of your lunch options. (Which is..a lot of days for me.) A friend of mine who is nursing also mentioned that she has relied on it to help her get the nutrition she needs. (I also like the chocolate flavor.)
  13. Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patches. These things are god damn witchcraft, and I’ve sold a bunch of friends on them, too.
  14. An inexpensive wash basin, which actually got me to wash my stupid bras.
  15. A set of pretty Millennial Pink food storage bowls
  16. Uniqlo cashmere crew neck sweaters (keep an eye out for sales; I think mine were BOGO).
  17. A great little space heater. (WHYYYYYY didn’t I buy this sooner?!)
  18. This clear tumbler for drinking water. (I own two.)
  19. The Shhhowercap.
  20. And Grace Eleyae satin-lined caps. (I have two ivory ones and a navy one, which is currently on sale.)
  21. A pair of kitchen gloves that I love. (I actually have a pair for my kitchen and a pair for my bathroom. Wearing gloves was such a game changer for me in terms of cleaning motivation.)
  22. Two new perfumes: Riddle Oil (get a small sample dram here) and Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt.
  23. O’Keeffe’s Working Hands hand cream. After my hands literally bled from being so dry, I realized I needed to take better care of them. I bought this stuff based on the positive Amazon reviews and I’m so impressed. (I actually bought a tube to keep at work, too.) The packaging is truly hideous, but I just scooped some into a smaller clear jar and all’s well.
  24. A high-quality rolling cart for laundry/groceries.
  25. The Muji oversized lint roller (so helpful for cleaning my velvet headboard).
  26. Dish cloths. (Home Comforts really sold me on switching to dish cloths instead of using a dish brush. I have a bunch, in a few different colors, and also use them for general cleaning/cleaning my bathroom.)
  27. Marvis Jasmine Mint toothpaste, which made brushing my teeth a million times a day (THANKS INVISALIGN) less of a chore.
  28. A Kokuyo Campus notebook (for morning pages) and a Kokuyo Campus High Grade MIO notebook (for evening pages).
  29. Public Supply notebooks.
  30. Kneepads for DIY projects and chores. (Another “WHY DIDN’T I BUY THIS SOONER?”)
  31. Candles! I’m currently loving the rosemary mint one by Illume at Target (not available online).
  32. A hot water bottle. The Sänger one I have is currently sold out, but this one is actually cheaper and has really good reviews.
  33. A butter dish that is very beautiful and is also big enough to hold Kerrygold butter.
  34. Glossier Haloscope. (If you use this link you will get 10% off and I will get a $10 credit.)
  35. A lush (hooded!!!) robe that turns me into a snow queen.
  36. We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True. I’m just gonna keep stanning for this book until all of you read it!!!
  37. NPR’s Up First podcast and the New York Times’ The Daily.
  38. And the Done app!  

The best things I read in 2017

December 31, 2017

Photo: Death to the Stock Photo

Happy New Year’s Eve! I come bearing lots of links.

First, some good books:

We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House

Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: A Book

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love

Second, my absolute favorite Internet from this year:

When Things Go Missing, The New Yorker.

‘London Bridge is down’: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death, The Guardian.

The myth of the male bumbler, The Baffler.

How Amanda Chantal Bacon Perfected the Celebrity Wellness Business, The New York Times.

Anger That Can Save the World: On Justice, Feminism, and the Furies, Catapult.

I Didn’t Know What to Wear to My Brother’s Funeral, Racked.

And, finally, here’s the best of the rest — very loosely organized into categories (as much as possible, given that pretty much everything is politics, and racism and sexism are hard to separate), with my favorites bolded!


The Radical Crusade of Mike Pence, Rolling Stone.

To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation, The New York Times.

I Loved My Grandmother. But She Was a Nazi., The New York Times.

This Is What It’s Like to Come to the United States as a Refugee, The Atlantic.

No Time To Be Nice: Now Is Not The Moment To Remain Silent, WBUR.

Inside Putin’s Information War, Politico.

Our Lady of Complicity, The Baffler.

The Long, Lucrative Right-wing Grift Is Blowing Up in the World’s Face, Splinter.

Anita Hill and her 1991 congressional defenders to Joe Biden: You were part of the problem, The Washington Post.

LEAKED: The White House’s Black History Month Program Of Events, Full Frontal on Medium.


Race and racism

The First White President, The Atlantic.

White Liberals Still Don’t Understand White Supremacy, Harper’s Bazaar.

Inside the Trial of Dylann Roof, The New Yorker.

How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality, The New York Times.

From Louis Armstrong to the N.F.L.: Ungrateful as the New Uppity, The New Yorker.

We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs, Teen Vogue.

Love Needs Fury To Defeat Hate, The Fader.

The 5 Types of ‘Becky’, The Root.

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

Gender and sexism

Women Aren’t Nags—We’re Just Fed Up, Harper’s Bazaar.

Ask Polly: ‘I Hate Men.’, The Cut.

The Reckoning Always Comes, Deadspin.

Own, Apologize, Repair: Coming Back to Integrity, Nora Samaran.

Real Men Might Get Made Fun Of, The New York Times.

Non-Compete Clause, The Baffler.

Meltdown of the Phantom Snowflakes, The Baffler.

A Circular History of Circle Jerks, MEL.

Re: Sweat Nothing’s 2018 Deodorant Scents (for Men and Women), The New Yorker.

Why Do Men Put on Basketball Shorts After Sex?, Racked.

The Protection Racket, Jezebel.

I’m Not Ready for the Redemption of Men, The New York Times.

So You Married Your Flirty Boss, The New Republic.

Why Would This Time Be Any Different?, Deadspin.

How to Talk to Women if You Believe Feminism Has Made It Really Hard to Know What Counts as ‘Harassment’, VSB.

This Moment Isn’t (Just) About Sex. It’s Really About Work., The Cut.

Ask Polly: Men Are the Worst, and I’m Married to One!, The Cut.

I Have Been Raped by Far Nicer Men Than You, VSB.

Nobody Wants to See your Dick — A Guide to Handling your Newfound Wealth and Influence, Chris Rosenthall on Medium.

10 things i say to preschoolers slash grown-ass men, Katy Kati Kate.


The Uncounted, The New York Times.

The LA Times’ Dirty John series.

The Man Who Cleans Up After Plane Crashes, GQ.

Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich, The New Yorker.

The Incarcerated Women Who Fight California’s Wildfires, The New York Times.

The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth, ProPublica.

The Tampa Bay Times’ series on kids and auto theft in Florida: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Queens of the Stoned Age, GQ.

Beauty and bodies

The Trash Heap Has Spoken, Guernica.

A History of Women Who Burned to Death in Flammable Dresses, Racked.

What If We Cultivated Our Ugliness? or: The Monstrous Beauty of Medusa, Catapult.

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

I Feel Like I Live in Somebody Else’s Body, Racked.

My Failed Attempt at Illness-Chic, Racked.

Home, family, work, and how we live

Do something. But you can’t do everything., Lenny Letter.

In the Shadow of a Fairy Tale — On becoming a stepmother., The New York Times.

Women Aren’t Ruining Food, Taste.

Parents Who Pay to Be Watched, The Cut.

Sorry for the Delayed Response, The New Yorker.

My Family’s Slave, The Atlantic.

SuperBabies Don’t Cry, Vela.

HGTV Is a Never-ending Fantasy Loop. Look Deeper, and It Gets Pretty Ugly., The Cut.

One Woman’s Reasons for Using, Not Storing, Heirloom Dishes, Philly Mag.

You Need an Afternoon Routine, Lifehacker.

The Story Behind the Greatest Internet Recipe Comment of All Time, The Cut.

How the Elderly Lose Their Rights, The New Yorker.

Quick note on starting a new draft, Jamie Lauren Keiles on Medium.

We Received $95,000 Worth of Free Stuff in Six Months, Racked.

A Holiday Survival Guide for Sad People, Pinch of Yum.

Your Happiness Is Built With the Little Things, Lifehacker.

I Rebuke Your Bullcrap Marshmallow Roasting Tactics In The Strongest Possible Terms, Deadspin.

Why do recipe writers lie and lie and lie about how long it takes to caramelize onions?, Slate.

The Week My Husband Left And My House Was Burgled I Secured A Grant To Begin The Project That Became BRCA1, The Huffington Post.

Let’s All Stop Saying Bless You, Lifehacker.

Pilgrims Without Internet, The Rumpus.

I Work from Home, The New Yorker.

ICYMI: The best things I wrote this year and the best things I edited this year.

The best things I edited in 2017

December 30, 2017

In December 2016, I had one direct report at BuzzFeed — same as I had had since September 2015. This December, I have five. They are all wonderful — so talented, bright, curious, kind, and funny — and bringing them on/editing their work has been one of the best things about my year. I also edited a handful of freelancers this year, which was new/cool/fun.

Here are some of my favorite things that I got to help bring into the world in 2017:


The Forgotten Story Of The Radium Girls, Whose Deaths Saved Thousands Of Lives by Kate Moore

Here’s What My Parents’ 1974 Wedding Would Cost In 2017 Dollars by Meg Keene

Why The World Went Wild for Pumpkin Spice by Virginia Chamlee

I Style Dead People by Virginia Chamlee

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

A Friendly Guide To Exactly How A Dead Body Decomposes by Kayla Suazo

The World Is Ending, Just As It’s Always Been by Terri Pous


I’m Terrible, Thanks For Asking by Nora McInerny Purmort

Introducing My Parents To My Boyfriend Meant Introducing Them To Me by Tom Vellner

My Makeup Routine Is My Morning Meditation by Gyan Yankovich

The Small-Town America I Love Is The One I See At Football Games by Delia Cai

Yes, I Call My Mom Every Day by Terri Pous

Why Is Getting Ready For Bed SO EXHAUSTING? by Kayla Suazo


9 Books That Actually Helped Me Win On “Jeopardy!” by Terri Pous

If You Drink Any Kind Of Liquid At Your Desk, You Should Buy This Tumbler by Tom Vellner

I Tried The Underwear That’s All Over Instagram To See If It’s Actually Legit by Tom Vellner

This Facial Oil Will Solve All Your Skin’s Problems by Kayla Suazo

Classic Buzz

Tag Yourself As An Ugly Renaissance Baby And We’ll Reveal What Type Of Drunk You Are by Anjali Patel

If You Get 9/9 On This Quiz, You Should Travel Back In Time And Be A Doctor by Terri Pous

21 Tweets For Women That Are So Real It Hurts A Little by Gyan Yankovich

A Definitive Ranking Of The Planets By How Fucking Dramatic They Are by Anjali Patel

19 Things That Will Make Every Kind-Of Adult Say, “Oh Shit, That’s Me” by Kayla Suazo

Hey Millennials, If You Score 5/8 On This Quiz You Deserve To Own A House by Anjali Patel

26 Stories That Prove Dads Must Be Protected At All Costs by Anjali Patel

21 Pure Tumblr Posts About How Beautiful Women Are by Anjali Patel

12 Women Share The Practical Money Advice They Wish They Knew Sooner by Gyan Yankovich

Rompers For Dudes Are Here And TBH I Don’t Hate Them by Tom Vellner

17 Things That Will Make Anyone With Big Boobs Say “That’s Too Real” by Gyan Yankovich

21 Things That’ll Make Any Catholic School Student Laugh And Then Genuflect by Tom Vellner

15 Things People Actually Used To Believe About Women’s Bodies That Will Make You LOL-sob by Kayla Suazo

22 Extremely Important Questions I Need Americans To Answer by Gyan Yankovich

Earlier: The best things I wrote in 2017.

The best things I wrote in 2017

December 27, 2017

At the beginning of 2017, my job shifted pretty considerably from a mix of writing and editing/managing to mostly editing/managing. As a result, I didn’t think I had really done that much in terms of writing this year. But when I started going through my posts from the past year over the weekend, I realized I’d written a lot more than I thought I had, including some stuff I’m really proud of. (I also edited a bunch of cool stuff, but I’ll put that in its own post.) So tonight, I bring you a post-mortem of my favorite things I wrote this year:

Being Organized Is A Gift I Give Myself And Other People. For this essay, I took a few paragraphs that I had written for my book and fleshed them out, turning them into something new and different that I just really love and am proud of. This essay also contains what I consider my two sickest burns of all time: “a cracked iPhone screen that somehow gained sentience” and “they ‘think it’s maybe strep’ at least a half-dozen times a year.” (And yes, that last one was absolutely a subtweet.)

Everything You Need To Know About The Leggings Taking Over Your Facebook + 15 Women Tried LuLaRoe’s Leggings So You Don’t Have To. I started working on these posts in the fall of 2016, and right after I published my list of my best work from 2016, I was kind of like, Oh shit, I need some new hits, and that pushed me to finish these. One of my core principles is writing about things that women care about thoughtfully and honestly — being critical while also being fair and reasonable — and I put a lot of goddamn thought into these leggings and the women who buy and sell them. One other thing I’m proud of here is that our CEO Jonah emailed it to former manager (the person who hired me!) and commented that it was a great post. So that felt good.

Why Venmo Is My Favorite Sympathy Card. I just believe in this so strongly, and it felt great to bring it to a wider audience. It also makes me happy to know that people have started doing this for friends after reading this essay. Also, the number of people who Venmoed me last month after I shared bad news was surprising and really, really moving.

25 Simple Meals You Can Make When Your Life Is In Shambles. This was a topic that was near and dear to my heart, and the responses I got were really lovely. Also, nearly a million people read it!

The Peace Of A Puzzle. I spent a lot of time on this one, mostly on weekends, as it was more for me than for BF. But I hope I sold a few new people on puzzles!

How Popular Are Your Opinions On Pens? This was one of those posts where the spirit just, like, moves you, and you just do the whole thing in one feverish sitting. (Technically I did it in two; I wrote the whole thing one night after work, and then the next morning went into the office and took the photos. But I rarely move that fast on posts, especially ones that I really care about.)

This $17 Dress From Amazon Is The Stuff Group-Costume Dreams Are Made Of + 17 Clever Halloween Costumes For Anyone With A Prime Account And A Dream. I didn’t do any original Halloween content in 2016, and that was honestly fine; I wasn’t sure if I’d do it this year or not. But for Q4, I was given new goals around affiliate content (basically, posts that make money when people buy stuff after clicking the links). It was a new challenge for me, but it was the perfect creative boundary for Halloween original content. Looking at the photos just fills me with so much mirth and pride. Also, I put the line in about people being welcome to email me if they wanted my Cricut files…and I was shocked by how many did! And I ended up getting 17 emails with photos from people who had used my costume suggestions which felt amazing. A few even won their office costume contest! I’m really proud of that in particular.

21 Legitimately Great Gifts To Give Your Boyfriend, Husband, Brother, Or Dad. As I wrote in this post, I reject the idea of gifts “for men” because like…what the fuck even is gender??? But I also know that this is a thing people want help with. So figuring out a way write this that I felt good about was important to me. (Bet no one came to a gift guide looking for a lecture on gender but TOO BAD!!!!) Anyway, it was a traffic smash and sold a ton and I am happy with how it turned out.

23 Practical Gifts For People Who Are Hard To Shop For. As I mentioned recently, this was the top post on BuzzFeed the week after it was published. That is…not common for me. Like, at all. It’s also definitely not a sure thing with gift guides. But it did gangbusters in traffic (currently more than 2 million views) and sales, and it’s really cool to know that a bunch of people got things for Christmas that I recommended! Gifting is something I just care so deeply about, and I truly wrote this one (and the other one) from the heart/from real experience, so I’m so thrilled that people found it helpful.

This Modern Home Ec Book Will Stop People From Asking, “You Live Like This???” Last but not least, this post about my beloved Home Comforts! I just cared so much about this book personally and wanted the world to know how great it is. I knew it was kind of a hard sell — it’s just so specific — but my post sold a lot of copies, and the paperback is now sold out now on Amazon (after being re-stocked at least once already). Last week, I had the realization that, based on the gift guides that I wrote, that like…people were going to open gifts on Christmas specifically because I recommended them. Which maybe seems obvious, but I hadn’t really considered it like that before, and which felt really cool and special! Anyway, this evening, I got a message from my coworker that said, “I got my sister Home Comforts for Christmas and she loved it so much her eyes filled up with tears.” Which is so nice, and is a great note to end on.

51. Wrapping up

December 24, 2017

This week felt SO LONG! We’re all, as my friend Sally said, “riled up, tense, panicked, wishing we were having way more fun than we actually are, and dragging ourselves to the end of the year just trying to cross the finish line.” Whew! But I wrapped a lot of gifts and wrapped up a bunch of shit at work, and actually did manage to have a ton of fun in between all the panicking and dragging.

Here’s what else I’ve got for ya!


Why Miniature Christmas Villages Are Such A Big Thing

Let’s Talk About Giftovers, Those Gifts Your Relatives Give You Every Year

ICYMI: My Christmas apartment decor.


How Tough Is It to Change a Culture of Harassment? Ask Women at Ford, The New York Times. “‘It just was way, way, way, way too much,’ Ms. Wright said of the abuses. ‘Each time that I was taking it, again and again, it just felt like more of me diminishing,’ she said, ‘just getting smaller until it was just like a shell of a person.’” (You should also listen to the episode of The Daily about this.)

Saying You’re Sorry Isn’t Enough Anymore, BuzzFeed. “The catch is that giving forgiveness is more work than merely asking for it. True atonement, an honest attempt to fix something you broke, would involve work invisible to most women. Apologies are, largely, performative, and the ones women have received in the last few months have become burdens unto themselves — and, crucially, pathways for men to shrug off responsibility: I said I was sorry, ball’s in your court now. … Now, receiving an apology has the adverse effect that it’s supposed to: It just feels like being asked to process someone else’s regret, and embarrassment, and pain, on top of my own anger and frustration. It sounds like dealing with more work.”

Make Them Leave, Paste. Also: fuck that guy.

Annie Lowrey on the NYT’s decision not to fire Gleen Thrush.

Something personal, Ask a Manager.

A History of Women Who Burned to Death in Flammable Dresses, Racked. “It’s not a build-up like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re smoking, let me tamp that out.’ It’s like, ‘Ahh!’ Your girlfriend beside you is a ball of fire, and you’re now a ball of fire, and boom boom boom boom boom boom boom, they’re all balls of fire.” This article is wild from start to finish.

The Year that Skin Care Became a Coping Mechanism, The New Yorker.

Why Aren’t Fashion ‘Disruptors’ Serving Plus-Size Customers?, Racked.

HQ Trivia Is a Harbinger of Dystopia, The Atlantic. “There’s something off in HQ Trivia. The form of the game only amplifies its ideology of foreboding. When players log on, pulsating, bright-colored blobs animate over a deep house-music track. … It’s almost as if HQ is a fictional entertainment broadcast, like the kind created to broadcast the Hunger Games in the fictional nation of Panem. There, the motion graphics, the actors portraying news or talk-show hosts, the sets, the chyrons—they impose the grammar of television in order to recreate it, but they contort it in order to emphasize that it is also fictional. This is your world, but not quite.” OK this is kind of extra but also it really accurately describes how HQ Trivia makes me feel whenever I see/hear it on my coworkers’ phones. It’s just SO Black Mirror!

Why Can’t Hearing Aids Be Stylish?, Racked.

The Best Scented Holiday Candles Will Make Your Home Cozy AF , GQ. Here mainly for the Bath and Body Works candle review.

And this week’s TWIM.

Best life

I’m making this milk punch tonight and this taco soup at some point this week. I’ve been really enjoying 30 for 30 podcasts. (I started with “Hoodies Up.”) And I started watching The Crown on Friday night and I’m very into it so far!

The week ahead…

I’ll be posting a bunch of best of 2017 stuff, so check back here mid-week for that!

My Christmas apartment decor

December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas Eve! Just wanted to share some photos of a bunch of the Christmas decorations that I’ve been collecting over the past few years. (Pretty much everything is from Target, Flying Tiger, or Home Goods, but if you want the source for something specific, hit me up on Insta/Twitter/FB!)

50. Fa la la la la blah blah blah blah

December 17, 2017

It feels like so much happened this week! We had our work holiday party and I had one of the top three worst hangovers of my entire life. (I had three cocktails. LIKE. I don’t… that’s not… I’m confused?) Meanwhile, work was busy and the world was still pretty bad (even though Doug Jones won!) and I spent a good amount of time under a pile of extremely soft throw blankets in my safe and cozy apartment.

(^Me with three of my five wonderful direct reports.)

Here’s what else I was up to…


How To Spend Christmas Alone

17 Great Gifts For The Tiny Young Feminist In Your Life

And in case you’re still shopping, I’ll re-up two other gift guides I wrote:

21 Legitimately Great Gifts To Give Your Boyfriend, Husband, Brother, Or Dad

23 Practical Gifts For People Who Are Hard To Shop For


Here’s this week’s TWIM.


This Moment Isn’t (Just) About Sex. It’s Really About Work., The Cut. “A woman who is harassed, or who is in a workplace where other women are, might feel vividly the full weight of the system that’s not set up with her in mind, and see with clarity how much more difficult her professional path will be at every turn, how success might not be on her terms, but on terms set by powerful men. She might feel shame, or embarrassment that worms its way into her head, affects her confidence. She will likely spend time and energy focusing on how to maneuver around the harasser, time and energy that might otherwise be spent on her own advancement.” This is really, really good.

This Is The Daily Stormer’s Playbook, Huffington Post.

Sexual Harassment Training Doesn’t Work. But Some Things Do., The New York Times.

Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too, The New York Times.

Are Private Schools Immoral?, The Atlantic.

How New York Times Reporters Broke Hollywood’s Biggest Sexual Harassment Story, Variety. “The stories that are coming out about these predators are so depressing. Has it taken a toll? Kantor: It’s an honor to do this work.”

How the Alabama Senate Election Sanctified Black Women Voters, The New Yorker. “Her lack of power and ego makes her the right arbiter of justice. Materially, though, she is ignored, and her efforts to safeguard her own welfare are instead regarded as efforts toward a national salvation. She is of America only because she works for it.”

Dear Male Chefs: Talk Less, Bon Appétit.

The end of American prison visits: jails end face-to-face contact – and families suffer, The Guardian.

Shopping Helped Me Reinvent Myself After Abuse, Racked. “In this case, after the violence that was loving Brad, changing my appearance was more than an upgrade; it was a metamorphosis. A magical first awakening into a body that was controlled by my desires, and mine alone.”

What a Cross-Dressing Lady Knight Taught Me About Gender and Sexuality, Electric Lit. This is so lovely.

How Marie Tussaud Created a Wax Empire, Smithsonian.

All of my 2017 book recommendations, Ask a Manager. Added a bunch of these to my wishlist.

It Feels Awful Because It’s Awful, Anne T. Donahue. “Sometimes things are just fucking bad. And a fun night can be the reprieve from the reality of things being shit. It is fine and acceptable to feel like shit. It is fine and acceptable to be like, “I cannot go to that party tonight because honestly, I just don’t want to be around that many people right now.” It is fine and acceptable to cocoon and to admit that no, right now, you do NOT have the bandwidth to deal with anything but The Thing, and if someone wants to reach out, that’s wicked, but if not, honestly, what can you do. It is fine and acceptable to be choosy about who you can be around and talk to and commiserate with. All of it is fine and acceptable. Sometimes you don’t get to be taken out of the moment, you get to be distracted for a second, and then return to it because it is your reality right now. And that’s fine. I think for as much as we talk about joy and mindfulness and staying positive, I also think we need to talk about the value in being and feeling the opposite: you still have to go to work and eat your meals and be alive, but you are also allowed to exist in a realm where You Are Fucking Dealing With Something, So Fuck Off, Please and Thank You.” Wow, hi, yes. This approach is basically how I’ve gotten through the past two years.

A Winter Guide to NYC, A Cup of Jo.

100 Times Women Were Fucking Hilarious On Twitter In 2017, BuzzFeed.

The 2017 Hater’s Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog, Deadspin.

Best life

This is legitimately the best Christmas playlist I’ve ever listened to.

Here’s the jumpsuit I wore to the holiday party.

I’m really loving the new rosemary mint candle I bought at Target. (I can’t seem to find it online, but it looks like this.) 

I made a Twitter thread of all my favorite Christmas motifs.

And I learned how to use Instagram Stories Highlights and posted a Christmas decor apartment tour! (My Insta handle is the_rewm.)


This thread, a Sesame Street fellowship for writers of color, and this tweet.

The week ahead…

I’ve got lots of posts to write and gifts to wrap! BYE!

49. Go hug yourself

December 10, 2017

Photo by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Photo: Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

This week got off to a fiery ragey start with an article about men who are apparently CONFUSED by all these new RULES about how to treat women. (That link is to my whole furious thread about it, btw.) And then it continued. But on a more positive note, I’ve got cozy flannel sheets on my bed and beef stew simmering on the stove, and my practical gift guide was the top post on all of BuzzFeed last week!

Here’s what else I was up to…


I finished We’re Going to Need More Wine and am so sad it’s over! (I bought the Kindle book with Whispersync and ended up listening to all of it — def recommend the audiobook because she reads it herself!) It was so, so good and I really want everyone to read it.

Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving’s Story Explains Why, NPR. This is a tough story to read, but read it anyway.

So You Married Your Flirty Boss, The National Review. This is a response to a terrible article from earlier this week and it’s so even, so good, so thoughtful…it’s truly a master class in takedowns, but it’s also just fantastic in its own right.

Cat Person, The New Yorker. (Short story. Oh also, here are some of the ways men are reacting to it.)

Terry Crews: ‘Men Need to Hold Other Men Accountable’, TIME. “I was really angry because these women were being discounted. These women were being discarded. Their pain was just—it was nothing. I wanted to join in. I wanted to say something. I wanted to support. But I did have to let these women know they weren’t alone. And that I understood. My whole mission was to give them strength. Don’t accept the shame that people are giving you. Because that’s what it was. They were being shamed. They were being victimized again. I just couldn’t stand for it.” (Related: What About Your Friends? Why Hollywood’s Abandonment Of Terry Crews Is Unacceptable.)

We’re Going to Need More Gabrielle Union, The New York Times.

Al Franken isn’t being denied due process. None of these famous men are., The Washington Post. “But the courts aren’t where our national conversation is taking place, so let’s not dither about the dangers of proclaiming guilt or innocence. The standards of evidence necessary to decide you don’t want to go see someone’s movie, or laugh at his jokes, or watch him read the news while you get dressed, or elect him to the Senate are not the same as the ones required to put such men in prison.”

How We Eclipse Women’s Literary Brilliance With ‘Scandal’, Jezebel. “Artists and writers who are not white men continually have to fight back against a public obsession with their personal lives, a desire to link those lives with their work as a way of diminishing their talent.”

After Trent Franks, men worry if asking subordinates to bear their child is still okay, The Washington Post. “Some have lost their jobs for grotesque activity spanning decades, others for a simple query such as, ‘Okay, Rhonda, how MUCH money for me to rent your womb?’ or, ‘What do you mean, you do not want a box of dildos?’ It is those latter cases that have men sweating at their desks. Will they lose their jobs? Should they have offered money for sex instead? Or asked a male colleague to bear their offspring?”

What the World Gets Wrong About My Quadriplegic Husband and Me, Catapult.

The Life-Changing Magic of Overpriced Candles, Quartzy. “When you give someone a candle, you’re passing along the gift of ritual. Striking a match and lighting a tiny, pleasant fire in your home means committing to the idea that everyday life can be an occasion worth celebrating.”

Layers of Deceit: Why do recipe writers lie and lie and lie about how long it takes to caramelize onions?, Slate. This is 100% true — it takes 45 minutes!

Why Socks Are Actually the Perfect Christmas Gift, MEL Magazine.

Dear 24- to 45-Year-Old White People Who Live in Urban Spaces: Why Don’t You Put Curtains and Blinds on Your Windows?, VSB. “And then, when walking or driving past this complex one evening, you notice that you can see clearly into every apartment. You can stand on the sidewalk and watch them watching Stranger Things and applying nipple tape for their post-dawn runs. You can read their lips while they’re having aggravating and self-aggrandizing conversations where words like “disrupt” are used frequently and unironically. You can almost smell the pesto and the privilege. It’s their most prominent aesthetic.”

I Think About This a Lot: When Kimberly Shaw Ripped Off Her Wig on Melrose Place, The Cut.

I Rebuke Your Bullcrap Marshmallow Roasting Tactics In The Strongest Possible Terms, Deadspin. This is the most extra thing ever and I love it.

Also, here’s this week’s TWIM.

The week ahead…

Retrograde season.

48. Whew

December 3, 2017

Image: Rifle Paper Co

This week, I felt like I finally exhaled after two years of not knowing that I was holding my breath.

As I was publishing my post last week, I was bracing for the worst, but my best-case scenario was something pretty quiet/neutral. I wasn’t totally sure what to expect, but I guess I just didn’t…really…expect…much…response? (I don’t know…I’ve never shared terrible news on the internet before!!!) I was definitely not expecting to be showered with heart emojis and so much support and kindness by coworkers, Internet friends, and total strangers all week. (Seriously, at one point on Sunday night, my entire iMessage list was just a bunch of red hearts.) It actually reminded me of the moment at my wedding during the processional when I walked in and everyone in attendance stood up and I was totally taken aback and moved by it even though, like, of course that’s a thing people do at weddings when they see the bride. I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming, then or now. But in any case, there’s something about seeing a group of people stand up for you in a significant moment in your life that is incredibly powerful and deeply moving. So just…thank you so much. I really, really appreciate it. 

Here’s what else I was up to this week.


The Peace Of A Puzzle

19 Puzzles That’ll Give You Something To Do Now That It’s Getting Dark At 4:30 PM

21 Little Ways To Make Your Home Less Of A Death Trap

7 Little Ways To Upgrade Your Life This Month


I’m still reading Gabrielle Union’s memoir which is amazing and I want everyone to read it! Also:

I’m Not Ready for the Redemption of Men, The New York Times. “Redemption must be preceded by atonement. It is earned, not offered. If you want amends, you have to make them.”

Your Happiness Is Built With the Little Things, Lifehacker. “Wake up each day ready to take those small steps toward your happiness, and recognize that it will always be a work in progress. Take good actions, no matter how small; make beneficial choices, no matter how simple; and show gratitude for what you have, no matter how basic. In time, the small things will add up to a genuinely great thing.” I love this.

More Than 180 Women Have Reported Sexual Assaults at Massage Envy, BuzzFeed.

Nobody Wants to See your Dick — A Guide to Handling your Newfound Wealth and Influence, Chris Rosenthall on Medium.

Meghan & Harry’s perfect day, Lainey Gossip. Not gonna lie: waking up to a half-black 36-year-old divorcée getting engaged to a prince was exactly what I needed on Monday morning, and had me and everyone around me in a genuinely great mood all day. (See also: this.) I’m all-in on these two.

The Instant Pot Is Now an Entire Economy and Religion, Slate. “Is it possible to just casually admire the Instant Pot? Judging by the Facebook reviews, the answer is a steadfast nope. Of the 39,000-plus reviews of the 7-in-1 DUO Pressure Cooker from Instant Pot ($84.96 for the 6-quart model), 83 percent are five stars, and only a paltry 4 percent are one star. This may seem unremarkable, until you realize that Beyoncé’s Lemonade has an 82–6 ratio on the same metrics. Yes, the Instant Pot is more revered than Beyoncé.”

What I’ve Learned in 16 Years of Editing Glamour, Glamour. This made me cry.

The Men Who Cost Clinton the Election, The New York Times.

What it’s like to win the lottery as a woman, Washington Post.

The Most Fascinating Part of The Big Bang Theory Is How Bad Everyone Is at Fake-Eating, Vulture.

Banana thefts, peppers for potlucks, and other weird office food stories, Ask a Manager. This made me laugh so hard.

Prince Harry Engaged To Woman Who Will Never Love Him The Way 29-Year-Old Idahoan Graphic Designer Jennie Hoffman Does, The Onion.

Things to Do at Work Besides Showing Your Penis to Coworkers, McSweeney’s.

Also, here’s this week’s TWIM.


This sweet Christmas story (you’re gonna get teary, just FYI), Gabrielle Union on Death, Sex, and Money, and “Welcome to Hell.” Also this tweet.

Best life

After wanting this faux fur robe for more than a year, I finally got it on Black Friday on a mega sale and am loving it. (It’s not on a major discount anymore, but it is still on sale!)

Also this candle holder DIY is so pretty.

The week ahead…

Working on my newest project!

47. Thankfully

November 26, 2017

Photo by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Photo: Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

This week, my mom and brother came to visit me and we ate lasagna soup and did a bunch of shopping and finished this puzzle and saw Sponge Bob the Musical. Here’s what else I was up to….


23 Workplace Horror Stories That’ll Make You Say “WTAF?????”

Stop What You’re Doing And Look At This Kindergarten Class’s Thanksgiving Cookbook

23 Practical Gifts For People Who Are Hard To Shop For

And ICYMI: Here.


Introducing My Parents To My Boyfriend Meant Introducing Them To Me

Meet The Woman Who Has Been Saving Thanksgiving For The Past 33 Years


The Nationalist’s Delusion, The Atlantic.

After Trump, New York Magazine.

Anita Hill and her 1991 congressional defenders to Joe Biden: You were part of the problem, The Washington Post. “Hill: You didn’t read his full apology. He said, ‘I am sorry if she felt she didn’t get a fair hearing.’ That’s sort of an ‘I’m sorry if you were offended.'”

Caitlin Moran’s Posthumous Advice for Her Daughter, Films for Action. “The main thing is just to try to be nice. You already are – so lovely I burst, darling – and so I want you to hang on to that and never let it go. Keep slowly turning it up, like a dimmer switch, whenever you can. Just resolve to shine, constantly and steadily, like a warm lamp in the corner, and people will want to move towards you in order to feel happy, and to read things more clearly. You will be bright and constant in a world of dark and flux.”

The Last of the Iron Lungs, Gizmodo.

She Said A Powerful Congressman Harassed Her. Here’s Why You Didn’t Hear Her Story., BuzzFeed.

The Strange Task of Researching a Book About the Apocalypse in 2017, Vulture.

You Might Think You Hate Crowded Stores, but Science Says Otherwise, Racked.

Meet Ann Gregory, Who Shattered Racist and Sexist Barriers in the Golf World, Atlas Obscura. “In 1959, on a warm August evening in Bethesda, Maryland, Ann Moore Gregory ate a hamburger and went to bed. That night, every other player in the United States Golf Association Women’s Amateur tournament, which began the next day, was eating a traditional players’ dinner at the Congressional Country Club. But Gregory, the only African-American player in the tournament, had been barred from the clubhouse. So, she said later, she ate by herself. She was ‘happy as a lark. I didn’t feel bad. I didn’t. I just wanted to play golf, they were letting me play golf,’ she said. ‘So I got me a hamburger, and went to bed.’”

Here’s the deal with all those turkeys terrorizing the suburbs, The Washington Post.

16 Amazon Comments That Are Never Not Funny, BuzzFeed.

5 Controversial Things to Discuss at Thanksgiving Because Your Family is Black and None of You Voted for Trump, Reductress.

Also here is the latest edition of TWIM, a new link thread on Twitter I started last week.

The week ahead…

Putting up my Christmas tree!

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