06. Nevertheless, she persisted

February 12, 2017

Since the inauguration, I’ve had to pretty dramatically change my media diet. Once I’m at work, I don’t check/read any news until after 4:00; if I get sucked in in the middle of the day, things will go completely off the rails and I won’t get any work done. I’ve also started documenting each day’s fresh horrors in my bullet journal.

Here are some other things that happened this week…


The 13 Most “Um, EXCUSE ME?!” Moments From Last Night’s “The Bachelor”

5 Creative Ways To Hang Out With Your Grown-Up Friend Group

ICYMI: Blush things I recently bought and liked

Also, I wrote a review of Amtrak’s AMAZING Red Cap Service here.


When Things Go Missing, The New Yorker. This is one of the best things I have read in a long time.

Linguists have been discussing “Shit Gibbon.” I argue it’s not entirely about gibbons., Language Jones. This is a goddamn delight.

Meltdown of the Phantom Snowflakes, The Baffler. This is excellent.

The Best Valentine’s Day Gift is a Knife, Alison Freer.

How to stop an autocracy, Vox. “In amassing power and breaking troublesome norms, Trump will be doing what the Founders expected. But in letting any president do that, Congress will be violating the role they were built to play. We need to stop talking so much about what Trump will do and begin speaking in terms of what Congress lets him do.”

Ordinary Americans carried out inhumane acts for Trump, Baltimore Sun.

Why you might feel like it’s been years since the inauguration, The Verge.

Click Here to Kill Everyone: Security and the Internet of Things, New York Magazine.

10 Words for ‘Snow’, Merriam-Webster.

Jackie Rayos-Garcia Tells About the Deportation of Her Mother, Guadalupe García de Rayos, Teen Vogue.

Trump 101: he is definitely not a health nut, Axios. “The only workout Trump gets is an occasional round of golf. Even then, he mostly travels by cart. On the campaign trail he viewed his rallies as his form of exercise.”

The Case Against Contemporary Feminism, The New Yorker.

‘I thought I was smarter than almost everybody’: my double life as a KGB agent, The Guardian.

Can Megyn Kelly Escape Her Past?, The Atlantic.

I Write Letters, Shakesville. “And now there are people—many of whom are self-identified Bernie Sanders supporters who voted for Stein in those aforementioned key states, or who voted for Trump, or who didn’t vote at all—who are demanding to know why Hillary Clinton isn’t ‘doing something’ to stop Donald Trump and his authoritarian onslaught. She did do something, you ungrateful wrecks. She campaigned for 18 months, the last of them against Trump himself, day after exhausting day, keeping up a ruthless schedule that would drive most people half her age to collapse after three weeks, no less a year and a half. She gave up time with her family, her grandchildren; gave up anything resembling free time; gave up her privacy. She made countless sacrifices on behalf of this country in order to prevent this exact outcome. You took a hard pass, and now you have the unmitigated temerity to want more from her? Fuck you.”

Related: Where is Hillary Clinton? Hopefully Taking ALL the Naps She Deserves!, Awesomely Luvvie.

Hey J. Crew, Why Don’t You Want My Plus-Sized Money?, Racked. Dallas wrote this and it’s SO GOOD!

And I read There Is No Good Card For This, which I can confidently say you will love.


The New Yorker’s copy editor earnestly trying to edit 45’s remarks, Maxine Waters here and here, everything that makes 45 say “bing”, and the black Bachelor.

The week ahead…

Um, waiting to shed my skin like a snake, as it’s now been a full week since I did Baby Foot!!!

Blush things I recently bought and liked

February 9, 2017

You know I love me some winter pastels, and Millennial pink is no exception. Here are some of my recentish blush purchases:

1. Midori notebook cover. This was a Christmas gift and I love it so much; my Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook journal fits in it perfectly.

2. H&M skinny sweatpants in powder pink. I’m not really a sweatpants person, but these are the goddamn best. I just bought a second pair.

3. H&M sweatshirt in powder pink. (I also have it in lavender!)

4. West Elm cozy texture throw in rosette. I got this on sale for $19.99 right after Thanksgiving, and it’s currently on sale for $24.99.

5. Standard space mouse pad in pink gray. Also this is the first wireless mouse I’ve ever bought that doesn’t suck — highly recommend.

6. Everlane cashmere sweater in pale pink. This sweater is thin (but not too thin), very soft, and fits perfectly. Also, I guess I’ve reached the point in my life where I buy cashmere sweaters!!! Really moving up in the world.

Still considering: Warby Parker Finch glasses in Bellini and this wall art.

05. I’m with the banned

February 5, 2017

Art: Libby VanderPloeg

Hey, y’all! Here’s what I got up to this week…


14 Of The Most WTF Things That Happened On “The Bachelor” Last Night

Here’s How A Jewish Woman’s Poem Redefined The Statue Of Liberty


How to Follow All This Donald Trump News Without Going Crazy, New York Magazine.

How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind, Mirah Curzer on Medium.

Liberals On the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown, Politico.

How to Build an Autocracy, The Atlantic.

Inside the Trial of Dylann Roof, The New Yorker. This is an important piece, and you should read it all the way to the end. That said…plan to take a walk afterward, or at least look at videos of puppies and kittens. I read it on my way to work on Wednesday and after crying for 20 minutes, it was sort of hard to bounce back and have a normal day.

No Time To Be Nice: Now Is Not The Moment To Remain Silent, WBUR. “Nice people made the best Nazis. Or so I have been told. My mother was born in Munich in 1934, and spent her childhood in Nazi Germany surrounded by nice people who refused to make waves. When things got ugly, the people my mother lived alongside chose not to focus on ‘politics,’ instead busying themselves with happier things. They were lovely, kind people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away.”

Mosque shooting victims: Six men who sought better lives in Quebec, The Globe and Mail.

It’s a More Complicated Choice Than Uber Vs. Lyft, Jezebel.

New Law Lets Dads Veto Abortions, The Daily Beast. “Arkansas Act 45, signed by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson last Thursday, bans dilation and evacuation abortions, the most common abortion procedure during the second trimester of pregnancy. Rushed from filing to law in less than two months, the legislation effectively blocks abortions after 14 weeks by making the safest procedure a felony. The earliest current abortion bans block the procedure after 20 weeks. With no exception for rape or incest, and a clause that allows a woman’s spouse or parent to sue an abortion provider, the law potentially allows the fetus’s father to sue even in cases of spousal rape or incest, abortion rights activists say. The law could go into effect as early as spring.”

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

Frederick Douglass Opens Twitter Account from Beyond the Grave to Troll President Trump, One Hot Mess.

The Most American Thing, The New Yorker. “I have felt patriotic again in the days since Donald Trump’s Inauguration, in those moments when millions of Americans have exposed their civic conscience and gone to protest in the streets. The overwhelming aura in these demonstrations is one of love, the kind that really matters—the kind that can see something appalling and refuse to turn away. Since Trump issued his shockingly cruel executive order on Friday, forbidding entry into the United States to refugees from anywhere in the world and immigrants from a set of majority Muslim countries, the rhetoric that has abounded in clogged airports and public spaces all over the country has been the rhetoric of solidarity and inclusion, of not wanting to repeat history’s mistakes.”

23 Fascinating Things You Never Knew About The National Parks, BuzzFeed.

What it’s like to work for the National Park Service right now, Curbed.

Donald Trump has treated women like sex holes, trophies or trash. Now we’re fighting back, The Guardian.

Texas Without Syrian and Lebanese Refugees Would Not Be Texas, Texas Monthly.

The cult of the paranoid Medium post, The Washington Post.

Donald Trump Through a Loudspeaker, Darkly, The New Yorker.

How Putin Played the Far Left, The Daily Beast.

Letter of Recommendation: Hot-Water Bottles, The New York Times Magazine. I mean, sold.

19 books to help children find hope and strength in stressful times: A librarian’s list, The Washington Post.

A Thorough Analysis of Beyoncé’s Pregnancy Photo Shoot Looks, ELLE.com. “These photos have taken over my entire life. I used to spend eight hours a day trying to get my elected representatives on the phone so I could read them passages from The Hunger Games but all that is canceled. My resistance has become Bey-sistance. I’m literally going to spend the rest of the week faxing my senator photos of a pregnant diva with the note, ‘These twins say no to DeVos. Also, OMG TWINS! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?'”

Pilgrims Without Internet, The Rumpus. “I enjoy my member so much. I know adultery is a sin, but I long to share my member or at least its representation with more and more women every day. This is not a holy thought, yet I think it daily. Goodman Daniels could paint me in the nude, and then I could find means to share the painting with all the women I find comely in the village. No doubt some would make their way to me to savor its prowess in person. A perfect plan but frustratingly beyond reach.”

Three gems from the NYT’s wedding announcement retrospective: The Roosevelts’ Wedding Announcement, Annotated; She Received 65 Proposals, but Never Married; and A Couple Used to Breaking the Color Line.

Winona Ryder Made These 22 Faces During A Speech At The SAG Awards, BuzzFeed. I could not stop laughing when I was reading this.

Actual lone wolves issue rare joint statement: “Stop comparing us to white terrorists”, CBC.

33 Political Tweets That’ll Make You Laugh Despite *Gestures At Everything*, BuzzFeed.

During My Campaign I Promised to Be a Spineless Colluder, and Boy Have I Ever Followed Through On That, McSweeney’s. “This past week, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, people said we would never again let something like that happen. Of course, I agree. Never again — unless opposing racist measures would require an ounce of effort and political capital. We must never forget the suffering of those millions murdered, unless it’s a different group, in which case: fuck ’em. These are the lessons our Nazi-fighting ancestors passed down to us so we could decry the punching of Nazis.”

I Work from Home, The New Yorker. This is perfect.

And, finally: Would your astrological sign punch a Nazi?


Make someone a freezer care package, pay a student’s lunch debt, send extra blank cards/stationery to Miriam’s Kitchen, and easily find out what the fuck just happened today.

The week ahead…

Doing yoga regularly (I started tonight), plus other healthy things. It’s…time.

04. Doubleplusungood

January 29, 2017

Art by Mary Purdie; buy a digital download here for $10 — all proceeds from purchases through Jan. 29, 2017 go to the ACLU

On Monday, aboard a seriously delayed train from D.C. to NYC, I started reading 1984. I bought it like five years ago — Eric is a fan, so I thought I’d give it a read — but I just never got around to reading it. I actually put it at the top of my to-read list a couple months ago for some research unrelated to the current political climate, and then after the inauguration it started to feel like it might be a good time to read it? Uh, turns out, it was a terrible time to start reading 1984. Like, JFC. Going between this book and Sean Spicer’s press briefing and Kellyanne’s “alternative facts” was…grim.

Here’s what else I got up to in this utterly surreal week…


Everything You Need To Know About The Leggings Taking Over Your Facebook

15 Women Tried LuLaRoe’s Leggings So You Don’t Have To


The Radical Crusade of Mike Pence, Rolling Stone. You’re probably going to want a drink before you read this one.

Trump’s Lies vs. Your Brain, Politico.

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

I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah, Autostraddle.

Donald Trump Can Absolutely Walk Up and Down the Stairs Like a Big Boy, Jezebel. *Italian chef kissing fingers gesture*

Warm Welcome for Syrians in a Country About to Ban Them, The New York Times.

Trump Aides Keep Leaking Embarrassing Stories About How He Can’t Handle Embarrassment., New York Magazine.

Anne Frank Today Is a Syrian Girl, The New York Times.

Protest Works, Slate.

Maybe Trump isn’t ‘lying’ and In Trump’s mind, it’s always ‘really sunny.’ And that’s terrifying., The Washington Post.

Send the interns, PressThink.

The Three Very Symbolic Things People Carried To The Women’s March, BuzzFeed.

Malnutrition Wiping Out Children in Northern Nigeria, Aid Workers Say, The New York Times.

‘Make America big again’? The headache of translating Trump into foreign languages., The Washington Post.

Woman Who Caused Emmett Till’s Death Admits to Lying, The Root. Oh. (Related.)

Megyn Kelly, the Glittering Aberration, The New Yorker.

The Girl Who Pushed Tyra Banks (And The Internet) Over The Edge, BuzzFeed.

The Temporary Miracle, The New York Times. *cry warning*

Gavin Polone on ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Outcry, What Really Happened and Who’s to Blame, The Hollywood Reporter.

Merriam-Webster has become the sassiest Twitter account of the Trump era. Meet its author., Vox.

Celebrity Feminism Has No Place in Trump’s America, Cosmopolitan.com.

Norway wants to give Finland a mountain for its birthday in ‘unprecedented show of kindness between countries’, The Independent.

When Ida B. Wells Married, It Was a Page One Story, The New York Times. “A sharp-tongued career woman uninterested in being tied down, Ms. Wells had many suitors before meeting her match in Mr. Barnett, a lawyer, ‘a race man’ and a fellow feminist. Still, once she agreed to marry, she postponed the wedding three times in order to keep up with her rigorous antilynching speaking schedule.”

The Kellyanne Diaries, The Hairpin. “‘Self care’ was a phrase she only ever heard the enemy use, so she hated it on principle. But recently, after these 22-hour screaming matches with Anderson on CNN and berating single mothers on public transportation, Kellyanne yearned to take care of herself. All beauty funds in the campaign were allotted to either the diesel fuel that ran Ivanka’s wind machine or the small-batch bleach for Pence’s asshole. Kellyanne decided to treat herself to a makeover. Nothing fancy, but she was going to give herself a pedicure.”

You Would Do The Same Thing If An Old Witch Had Your Father’s Soul Trapped In A Lantern, The Onion.

19 Sean Spicer Tweets That Will Really Make You Think, BuzzFeed.

What, Exactly, Is a Dog’s Purpose?, GQ. Ah, it feels good to laugh again.

And some good twitter threads: this great story, Sandra Schwab on how it starts, Sean Spencer is a spineless fuckin’ Dippin Dot, and some important questions for the Nice Liberal Nazi Defense Club. Oh, and this tweet.

The week ahead…

Doing something. But not everything.

03. Size matters

January 22, 2017

Text in the photo of my journal is from Masha Gessen’s Autocracy: Rules for Survival

So, you may have heard that we got a new President this week, and also that a few of us took to the streets on Saturday to express our displeasure. Millions of people marched all over the world, including in small cities and tiny — red — towns as well. This is what we were marching for.

The inauguration was surreal; every time the band played cheery music, I felt like I was watching a horror movie, and at one point a chill literally went down my spine. The speech was awful and dark, but of course it was. The crowds were relatively small, but of course they were. I genuinely liked Melania’s dystopian Hunger Games Kate Middleton costume, and I thought that Hillary looked magnificent and I hope she was on so many drugs, but she probably wasn’t because she’s a pro. I appreciated that Bill took her arm and not the other way around.

On Saturday morning, we were walking to the train when a car pulled up. “You all going to the Metro? Get in, I’ll drive you.” We got in. The driver was 70-year-old black woman, who told us that she was at the original March on Washington. She said she was too old to march today but still wanted to support, hence the ride. It was humbling, a nice start to the day.

We spent a lot of time before the march taking in the glorious signs and the glorious crowds. We stood in the holding pen area for a while as it filled with people, and then 1:15 came and went, and then 1:30. Then we learned that there were actually too many of us to match on the the planned route, so we took to the surrounding streets (which were already closed/empty) instead. After two hours of standing, it felt good to move, and to yell. We held our signs high and chanted “What do we want? Equality. When do we want it? NOW” and “Black Lives Matter” and “We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter,” and, in one of my favorite moments, stood outside Trump’s newest hotel in DC and shouted “Shame! Shame! Shame!” over and over again. There were so many people in the streets — truly, it was stunning to get up a small hill at point and then look back and take in the thick wave of people as far as the eye could see (and this was only on ONE street) — and also the weather was bearable and I somehow got through the entire day without having to pee once.

A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Post published an extremely bad take entitled “The Women’s March needs passion and purpose, not pink pussycat hats.” I thought it was incredibly stupid at the time, but after being there on Saturday, I felt even angrier about it. Symbols matter. Women’s art matters. To see thousands of people — men, women, and children, of all ages and races and ability levels (and, presumably, orientations and gender identities) — wearing the same hat throughout the city all weekend was powerful. I was genuinely surprised by how many people were wearing them everywhere I went. And the fact that the hats were handmade, one by one, in the grand female tradition of sewing/knitting circles — the fact that thousands of people, across the country, took the time to knit these hats for themselves and their friends and their daughters and for perfect strangers so that a group of people could clearly say who they were and what they stand for (and what they stand against) — made them beautiful. It was a lovely antidote to those fucking red baseball caps (which give me so much anxiety), and a powerful reminder that people who shit on traditionally female art forms need to have a seat. (Also: I never was able to actually get a hat!!! My biggest regret from this weekend, actually.)

A lot of people have been saying that marches and protests have no place in this day and age and no longer matter; obviously, criticism and accountability is fine/valid/necessary, and the reminders that this is only the beginning are important, but I think it’s worth pointing out that, among other reasons, this march mattered because of who this president is. Do I think someone like Mike Pence gives a fuck about more than two million Americans protesting his Handmaid’s Tale views on women? Of he doesn’t. But Trump, who desperately wants to be popular and liked, who cares so little for facts and science and norms and reason but so much about ratings and numbers? Who took such pride in the “size” of his crowds during the campaign? I think that masses of people in the streets was actually the perfect way to get under his skin. He has already set the standard that crowd size matters. And with the world watching, we made him look undeniably small.

Here’s what else I got up to this week…


The Complicated, Controversial, Historic, Inspiring Women’s March, NY Mag. “‘From the beginning the only question the media wanted to ask us was whether we had a permit,’ said Linda Sarsour, the Palestinian-American Muslim activist who is one of the four national co-chairs. It was almost funny, the fetishization of the question of whether thousands of angry women literally had permission to show up and protest. Sarsour felt it was indicative of a basic distrust of women as serious activists and organizers. ‘Logistics became the main focus,’ she said. ‘As if women were not sophisticated enough to know how to obtain permits. I was like, Can someone ask me about my principles and values?‘”

The Radical Possibility of the Women’s March and The Somehow Controversial Women’s March on Washington, The New Yorker.

A March Can Change Your Life, NY Mag. I actually attended the March for Women’s Lives in DC when I was a wee lass — yes me, Rachel, a country mouse from an area with loads of economic anxiety boarded a bus in Flint, Michigan and took it all the way to Washington, D.C., where the liberal coastal elites lived, because even in the year two-thousand-fucking-four and at the age of 18, I somehow understood that there was a world beyond my economically depressed, white, Catholic bubble and also that women should have the right to control our fucking bodies and oh my god I just remembered how much I hate this condescending fucking election narrative and now I’m angry again.

Here Are All The Best Signs From Women’s Marches Across America, BuzzFeed.

Eve L. Ewing’s inaugural poetry, The Rumpus. “with all the mean they learned from you.” (h/t SMI)

Not My President, Not Now, Not Ever, The New York Times. “Mr. Trump isn’t my president. I don’t mean it emotionally; I mean it literally. It’s not sloganeering; it’s observable truth. Mr. Trump has no intention of representing me, my family, the people I care about, or the majority of Americans, from the imperiled to the comfortable. It is a stretch to call him anyone’s president but his own.”

Without a path from protest to power, the Women’s March will end up like Occupy, The Guardian.

Trump’s Speech Gave Us America the Ugly. Don’t Let It Become Prophesy., NY Mag.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Will Read You Now, ELLE.com.

‘He Has This Deep Fear That He Is Not a Legitimate President’, Politico.

How Jokes Won the Election, The New Yorker.

Ben Carson’s Nomination is an Offense to America, TIME. “So—would we accept a celebrity chef in charge of the Pentagon? What we would all say in unison if President-elect Trump dared to make such a nomination is this: No. Our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less than the most qualified leader. And they do. As do the millions of men and women who benefit from a smart, effective HUD. And by accepting the appointment of Dr. Carson, we implicitly tell them: Be okay with run-down neighborhoods and towns. If you were denied a lease because of your skin color, be okay with it. And if you aspire to find a quality, affordable place to call home, please contact the Housing Secretary who knows nothing about housing.”

Republican Lawmakers in Five States Propose Bills to Criminalize Peaceful Protest, The Intercept.

This, on Sean Spicer’s lies.

Our kids may never get the chance to know America, The Correspondent. “We are living in a rupture, and we might not make it back.”

What Happened When I Cut the PEOTUS Out of My Life, ELLE.com.

The Nihilistic Purity of the Far Left Will Kill Us All, Sammy Leonard on Medium. “These grandiose motherfuckers LOVE to do nothing but shit on Democrats who aren’t 100% perfect progressives when they’re in office — which is pretty much everybody — and love to go on and on about how “both sides are the same” and how ‘we’re fucked either way’. And when a right-wing extremist that would inflict pain and suffering to the most marginalized populations inevitably comes to power, suddenly they want to either complain about how fucked we are, revel in the prospect of the ‘revolution’ that will finally be at hand, or try to wash their hands of their complicity and say ‘don’t blame me, I voted for (fringe minor party candidate)’ and use it to advocate the ‘necessity’ of a third party.”

Security Tips Every Signal User Should Know, The Intercept. (Related: Worried About the Privacy of Your Messages? Download Signal.)

Slutty-Cozy Is the Perfect Aesthetic, Racked. I relate to this deeply.

Here’s What ‘The Bachelor’ Stars Really Eat While Filming, Delish.

What is keeping bears out of our schools?, The Washington Post. “Fish are always in schools. All mammals are in a class. What is keeping bears out? I can understand why bears do not attend college: SAT tutoring is out of their price ranges. But I don’t understand what is deterring them from putting in an appearance at our nation’s many exceptional institutions of primary education.”



Republican Men Say It’s a Better Time to Be a Woman Than a Man, The New York Times. “‘It’s easier being a woman today than it is a man,’ he said in an interview. ‘The white man is a low person on the totem pole. Everybody else is above the white man.'” 1. GFY, and 2. Stop saying “totem pole.”

Why Obamacare enrollees voted for Donald Trump, Vox.

All the reasons you could be denied insurance coverage before the ACA.

Who Trump voters apparently think Donald Trump is.


These women singing and the many faces of Maxine Waters. “Fuck him up, Elsie.” Samantha Bee on Kellyanne Conway (this entire episode was great), this lolsob Twitter thread (be sure to read the responses), Nick Offerman in a pink pussy hat, and a reminder not to toss your Metro cards. This tweet and this one. Obama on the origin of his “Fired up, ready to go!” chant. And this perfect poem.

The week ahead…

Wondering why it’s so goddamn hard for the national news media to not do shit like this and this.

02. Trash talk

January 15, 2017

This week, the President-Elect of the United States called my place of employment a “failing pile of garbage” which is…a first. Here’s what else I got up to!


“The Bachelor” Episode 2: Hold My Boobs

There’s A Sexy Spider-Man Boudoir Shoot And Holy Crap, I’m Blushing


Inside Putin’s Information War, Politico.

Warning: Abortion’s Deadly DIY Past Could Soon Become Its Future, NY Mag. And OH LOOK AT THAT: A National Version of the ‘Heartbeat Bill’ Was Just Introduced in the U.S. House.

Craven Reporters Scold BuzzFeed For Reporting News, Deadspin.

Jared Kushner’s Rise to Unimaginable Power, NY Mag.

Neanderthals Were People, Too, The New York Times Magazine.

How Albert Woodfox Survived Solitary, The New Yorker.

What the Investigation Into the Chicago Police Department Found, The Atlantic.

4Chan Claim About Inventing Trump Pissgate Report Is Complete Bullshit, Gizmodo.

About that Explosive Trump Story: Take a Deep Breath, Lawfare.

For the Forgotten African-American Dead, The New York Times.

Putin: The Rule of the Family, New York Review of Books.

Clare Hollingworth, reporter who broke news about start of World War II, dies at 105, The Washington Post.

Domestic violence accounted for nearly one-third of Utah homicides in 2016, The Salt Lake Tribune.

21 Little Everyday Changes To Make Your 2017 Even Better, BuzzFeed.

The Life-Changing Magic of Decluttering in a Post-Apocalyptic World, The New Yorker. It’s like this was made specifically for me.


Good Girls Revolt, Hidden Figures, this tweet, Seth Meyers interviewing Kellyanne Conway, Obama and Luther’s Farewell Address, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rebecca Traister, Chris Hayes, and Sherrilyn Ifill talking about politics. (Seriously, I loved every second of this hour-long segment. It’s great.)

The week ahead…

It’s gonna be a doozy. I’ll be in D.C.!

01. New year, who dis?

January 8, 2017

Death to the Stock Photo

Hello and welcome to 2017, the year I’ve resolved to give this post a unique title each week. Let’s get right to it — because I haven’t done my standard round-up in two weeks, this one’s kind of a long one!


21 Mesmerizing Winter Gifs That’ll Make You Feel Warm Inside

Screw It, Let’s Watch A Hot Knife Slice Through Some Inanimate Objects

24 Minimalist Bullet Journal Layouts That’ll Get You Hard

8 Tips For Anyone Who Wants To Learn Calligraphy And Hand-Lettering

15 Gifs That Are Basically Porn For People Who Love Paint

15 Products That’ll Make You Actually Look Forward To Second Semester

8 Creative Hobbies To Take Up In 2017

“The Bachelor” Season 21, Episode 1: Dolphinately Here For The Right Reasons

23 Moments That Basically Every Bridesmaid Has Experienced

17 Leftovers You’re Probably Eating Wrong

19 Products To Help You Take Your Bullet Journal To The Next Level


The Worst Year Ever, Until Next Year, The New Yorker. “This year is not the worst ever. What hurts so badly right now, I think, is this sense of unexpected retrenchment—the fear that decades of incremental progress will be rapidly eradicated by an empty-headed demagogue who appears to be doing everything on a whim. Perhaps 2016 feels so terrible partly because so many of us felt like we’d come so far.”

Dressing the Women in Blue, Racked. I find it so weird that I’ve never seen any “Blue Lives Matter” folks demanding that all female officers get uniforms and bulletproof vests that are actually made to fit their bodies. HUH SO WEIRD. 

100 Tweets That Made Women Piss Themselves With Laughter In 2016, BuzzFeed. God, these are all so good.

Inside Ivanka and Tiffany Trump’s Complicated Sister Act, Vanity Fair.

Another, more beautiful America is rising. Trump will be resisted, The Guardian.

The Man Who Cleans Up After Plane Crashes, GQ. This story is intense but really, really good.

The Year in Unsolicited Advice, Hazlitt. “Moisturize your body heavily and don’t look at the Instagram accounts of people you don’t like. That’s basically all you can do.”

The Year in Plagues, Hazlitt.

Inside The Million-Dollar Get-Rich Doula Clique, BuzzFeed. 

What if a President Loses Control?, The New Yorker.


David Fahrenthold tells the behind-the-scenes story of his year covering Trump, The Washington Post.

Trump national security pick Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in 2012 book, CNN.

I’ve left Twitter. It is unusable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators, Lindy West for The Guardian. “I’m pretty sure ‘ushered in kleptocracy’ would be a dealbreaker for any other company that wanted my business. If my gynaecologist regularly hosted neo-Nazi rallies in the exam room, I would find someone else to swab my cervix. If I found out my favourite coffee shop was even remotely complicit in the third world war, I would — bare minimum — switch coffee shops; I might give up coffee altogether.”

Tacky, Midnight Breakfast. “‘Tacky,’ is, of course, a signal that you are losing the race, a way of policing people—and particularly women—by letting them know that they are decidedly outside the bounds. The rules are invisible and unspoken, and you have broken one. Tackiness is a reminder of an ambient atmosphere of judgment: the unseen eyes flinching at the sight of you, the quiet, barely perceived tut-tutting.”

Loved ones of people killed in 2016 carry more than 750 crosses down Magnificent Mile, Chicago Tribune.

Becoming Ugly, Jezebel. “We’ve been told time and time again that prettiness and likability will protect us from harm, that to be good women, we must play by these rules, but this is a lie. Nothing will protect us except for ourselves—and what’s more fortifying than a defensive exterior? There are days when all I want is to become a human road sign, a blinking hazard to any man misfortunate enough to cross my path: ‘I WANT TO OFFEND YOUR SIGHT. I WANT TO OFFEND YOUR EVERYTHING.'”

A slave mother’s love in 56 carefully stitched words, KUOW.

A Guide to Hatchimals, The New Yorker.

The Teen’s Guide to the Trump Presidency, The New York Times.

‘Eat a Bag of Dicks’: An Origin Story, MEL Magazine. “They say necessity is the mother of invention; at some point, it’s obvious that we as a society simply realized that telling someone to suck or eat one dick was no longer an adequate insult. We needed to go bigger. To solve the problem, we did some simple math: If instructing someone to suck or eat one dick was a solid sick burn, then surely sucking or eating several dicks, presumably all at once, was even sicker. Problem was, dicks don’t bundle themselves, and a phrase was born.”

We Rewatched The First Season Of “The Bachelor,” And Holy Shit, You Guys, BuzzFeed.

The 30 Most Important Cats Of 2016, BuzzFeed. You will not regret clicking on this.

Marion Pritchard, Dutch rescuer of Jewish children during the Holocaust, dies at 96, The Washington Post.

The story of a courageous WWII hero who saved 2,500 lives, Mackenzi Lee on Twitter.

Patagonia Catalogue Copy Revised to Better Reflect My Lifestyle, McSweeney’s.

Charged a Fee for Getting Arrested, Whether Guilty or Not, The New York Times. Ugggghhhhhhh.

A Friendship for a More Tolerant America, The New Yorker.

To Understand Pizzagate, It Helps to Understand Cults, NY Mag.

If You’re in the Fight, Get Ready to Do the Work, Dame Magazine.

Debbie Reynolds’ Legendary Gossip Game, BuzzFeed.

True Story: I’m 36 + I Live With My Sisters, Yes and Yes.

All the Buzzy, Prestige Dramas Guys Won’t Shut Up About Are Just Manifestations of the Male Id, Glamour. “The same way that a snob might peer down their nose at the diner who orders the wrong wine and the athlete brushes off the imp who can’t lift, the cool guy is taken aback, aghast, personally offended as he asks, ‘What do you mean you aren’t watching [show]?’ It only furthers my resolve to stay away from [show] forever. Besides which, so often, the hype is unmerited. Ahem, True Detective.” 

33 Things That Were Originally Called Something Completely Different, BuzzFeed. This is WILD!

Letter of Recommendation: Grandma’s Teenage Diaries, The New York Times. This is delightful.

100 Tweets That Prove Black Twitter Was The Real MVP Of 2016, BuzzFeed. I laughed out loud multiple times.

Hipsters Broke My Gaydar, The New York Times.

21 Tumblr Jokes About Boyfriends To Make You Laugh, BuzzFeed. 


This illustrator, Chargaux (seriously, have been listening to them all weekend), these teens’ dance moves, 3% on Netflix (inspired by this post), this incredible butchering of a simple phrase, this tweet and this one, A 2016 Retrospect As Depicted With Wigs, and the NEWS TO ME that you get six months free of The Washington Post with Amazon Prime and then it’s just $4/month after that!

The week ahead…

Same old thing: work, hanging out, journaling, wearing two pairs of socks and still not being able to feel my toes, etc.

Wake up and fight.

January 1, 2017

woody guthrie new years rulins

Singer Woody Guthrie wrote this list of “New Year’s Rulins” in his diary on Jan. 1, 1943. More than 70 years later, they’re still pretty relevant.

1. Work more and better

2. Work by a schedule

3. Wash teeth if any

4. Shave

5. Take bath

6. Eat good — fruit — vegetables — milk

7. Drink very scant if any

8. Write a song a day

9. Wear clean clothes — look good

10. Shine shoes

11. Change socks

12. Change bed clothes often

13. Read lots good books

14. Listen to radio a lot

15. Learn people better

16. Keep rancho clean

17. Don’t get lonesome

18. Stay glad

19. Keep hoping machine running

20. Dream good

21. Bank all extra money

22. Save dough

23. Have company but don’t waste time

24. Send Mary and kids money

25. Play and sing good

26. Dance better

27. Help win war — beat fascism

28. Love mama

29. Love papa

30. Love Pete

31. Love everybody

32. Make up your mind

33. Wake up and fight

The best things I read in 2016

December 23, 2016

Photo: Death to the Stock Photo

2016 produced a lot of great Internet, a sampling of which I’ve rounded up below. Tell your Pocket to gird its loins! (FYI, all the links will automatically open in a new tab.)

Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker, BuzzFeed. This is, without question, the most moving thing I read this year.

What to do when you’re not the hero any more, NewStatesman. This was published in late December 2015, but I’m including it anyway because 1) I read it in January, 2) things published in December never make it on any best-of lists, and 3) it’s just so damn good and really stuck with me.

I’m a Previvor, Catapult.

The Funny Thing About Abusive Relationships, NY Mag.

St. Teresa and the Single Ladies, The New York Times.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting The Collapse Of Society As We Know It, BuzzFeed.

About Writing While Loving Blackness and Hurting White Feelings, Awesomely Luvvie.

Ask Polly: Why Did My Dream Man Dump Me?, New York Magazine.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Get in Formation, Seven Scribes.

Why Everyone on TV Has the Same Hair, Racked.

Chris Christie’s wordless screaming, Washington Post.

What it’s like to be that fat person sitting next to you on the plane., Future Travel.

Out Here, No One Can Hear You Scream, Highline.

The Reckoning, Texas Monthly. This story is…remarkable, truly. I wept a lot

The Vast Bay Leaf Conspiracy, The Awl.

The rise of American authoritarianism, Vox.

On Race, Good Intentions, and the Benefit of the Doubt, The Toast.

The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans, The Atlantic.

How Blac Chyna Beat The Kardashians At Their Own Game, BuzzFeed. This…made me interested in the Kardashians for the first time ever.

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Was Never Going to Be Easy. But Did It Have to Get This Hard?, New York Magazine.

A Renegade Muscles In on Mister Softee’s Turf, The New York Times.

How to Cover Donald Trump Fairly: A Style Guide, The Washington Post.

Princess for a Day, Disney Bride for Life, Racked.

Hunger Makes Me, Hazlitt.

The Audition, The Stranger.

Our Fancy Foods, Ourselves, Eater.

Am I Going to Write About Murdered Black People Forever?, Jezebel.

I’m proud to announce that I was the one who bought George Zimmerman’s gun. And once I destroy it there will be only four Trump horcruxes left., McSweeney’s.

Why Do So Many Men Whisper ‘Hey’ After Fucking You?, Jezebel.

The Rabidly-Followed Leggings Brand You Can Only Buy on Facebook, Racked.

Today’s Vagenda, Sara Schaefer on Medium.

When Will New York City Sink?, New York Magazine.

Marie Kondo and the Ruthless War on Stuff, The New York Times Magazine.

My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard: A Mother Jones Investigation, Mother Jones.

Ask a Former Drunk: How Do You Start Sobriety?, Jezebel.

When My Grandkids Ask Me What I Did to Fight American Fascism, I’ll Proudly Tell Them I Tweeted a Few Times., McSweeney’s.

The Uber Killer: The Real Story of One Night of Terror, GQ.

‘The Arrangements’: A Work of Fiction, The New York Times.

A Celebration of the Beautiful, Lightly Deranged PR Emails We Get From Period Undie-Makers Thinx, Jezebel. Update: Chelsea has left Thinx! She sent a good-bye email to all her ~squirrelfranz~ (myself included) a couple weeks ago. 

Why Am I So Fat?, Sara Benincasa on Medium.

This election isn’t just Democrat vs. Republican. It’s normal vs. abnormal., Vox.

The 24-Year-Old Coca-Cola Virgin, Eater.

No, I’m from New York, The New Yorker. 

He Had His Reasons, Granta. (Note: graphic descriptions of domestic violence.)

Ask Polly: Why Do Women Obsess About Babies and Fertility?, New York Magazine.

Baltimore vs. Marilyn Mosby, The New York Times Magazine. This is just…grim.

How to Be a Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit, Literary Hub. I should set an iPhone reminder to read this every Sunday.

Hillary Clinton for President, The New York Times.

A Closer Look at Debate Makeup, Racked.

“You Girls Having Fun?”, Eater.

Ted Cruz and his conscience amicably part ways, The Washington Post.

This is Not My Beautiful House, Kim France on Medium.

Donald Trump, Shamer in Chief, The Nation.

I Was Pregnant, And Then I Wasn’t, BuzzFeed.

Children Don’t Always Live, The New York Times.

A Time for Refusal, The New York Times. 

How Trump Made Hate Intersectional, New York Magazine.

White nationalists? Alt-right? If you see a Nazi, say Nazi, The Guardian. 

On Rural America: Understanding Isn’t The Problem, Forsetti’s Justice.

That Time I Almost Stabbed A Couple Rednecks Who Saw My Headwrap And Assumed I Was Muslim, VerySmartBrothas.

Now Is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About, The New Yorker.

Happy reading!

The best things I wrote in 2016

December 22, 2016

It’s been a trash year, but amidst all that, I did manage to do some work that I’m proud of! So if you don’t mind me getting meta (and bragging) for a moment, here are my favorite things I published in 2016…

WTF Is A Bullet Journal And Why Should You Start One? An Explainer + Here’s How To Use A Bullet Journal For Better Mental Health. The first post was actually pretty challenging to write and to figure out photos/art for; bullet journaling is so simple to do but surprisingly hard to explain. But it performed better than I expected, and people still link to it as a “start here” post, which I take as a huge compliment. I also know that it put bullet journaling on a lot of people’s radars — both average people and media outlets — and inspired a good number of people to start bullet journaling. The mental health post also took a while (though this time I wisely made the decision to have one of our photographers shoot the photos), and because it was basically aiming to reach a niche of a niche audience, I didn’t expect it to do that well, but thought it was worth doing anyway. But! It now has more than 750K views, which is wild, considering the narrow focus. Plus, the feedback we got on it was so wonderful!

Wedding Etiquette Rules Every Grown-Ass Adult Should Know. This post was Terri’s idea, and so much credit is due to her — she really did the heavy lift here — but I am proud of the things I contributed and did to shape it, and I love the final product a lot. (I’m also just so proud of her, my first — and, until this week, only! — direct report, and my shining star.)

In Defense Of Cottage Cheese. This was just really fun, and I was able to turn it around pretty quickly, which felt good, as I am a bit out of shape in that regard. (Me every time I try to write something quickly these days: *hands on knees, breathing heavily* I used to be a blogger back in my day…till I got that injury senior year…)

For Everyone Who’s Ever Loved Someone Who Loves Sports. I will never not be proud of having written a rhyming poem. I had actually been trying forever to write something kind of ranty about how I feel about men and sports and nothing was really working…and then one day I had the sort of weird thought that maybe if I started writing it as a poem it would help me push through the writers block. (I…do not know why I had that thought??) Anyway, it worked! Working on this was also when I realized that I could write fiction — like, that there is a specific type of writing where you have permission to make things up, which had simply never occurred to me. This was…actually sort of an important realization!

My Food Diary, Re-Written by a Celebrity Features Writer. This idea has been in my head for years, and I finally sat down and wrote it! It was also on The Hairpin, which is neat!

I Tried The Hipster Toothbrush That’s All Over Facebook And TBH I Loved It. This post was definitely experiment for me — I wanted to see if I could combine a product review with more of a dive into the company’s background and make it interesting and fun and servicey. It was hard for me to fully envision the flow and format at first, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

Make America Rape Again. Originally published on Facebook, this was one of those where, like, the spirit took over and I sat down and started writing feverishly and didn’t move until it was done.

Re: why I don’t carry a knife for self-defense. My emails are where I do some of my best work, TBQFH. This one makes me chuckle every time I think about it.

How My Glasses Showed Me That I’m My Father’s Daughter. I wrote about how this post came to be here. I hope you all enjoy this one because I open up about really personal things on the internet, like, oh…once every seven years or so!!!

And, finally, this Tweet.

Also, much love and thanks to Jess Probus and Rachel Sanders, who edited me this year!

Next up: the best things other people wrote in 2016!

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