November 26, 2017

you lucky, lucky girl
you have an apartment
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea, a heart the size of Arizona,
but not nearly
so arid.

“Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell” by Marty McConnell

On Thanksgiving weekend 2014, Eric and I began our move to Brooklyn so I could take a job at BuzzFeed. After a whirlwind holiday weekend spent acquiring a new mattress and picking out a couch and buying two armchairs and a trash can, he flew back to Houston. (He hadn’t found a job here yet, and would stay in Texas with Indiana and the bulk of our stuff until he accepted an offer in NYC, which turned out to be three months later.) That Sunday night, I sat in the bare apartment, with Chuck and basically no stuff, alone and a little scared and a little sad and very uncertain about what our future here would look like.

Three years later, I am sitting in the same apartment. The couch Eric and I picked out that Black Friday arrived a week or so later and is beautiful, as are the two armchairs; I hate the trash can but haven’t bothered to replace it yet. There is a plenty of stuff here now — lamps and pots and pans and blankets and rugs and a dining room table and all of my books. And I am here with Chuck, alone and a little scared and pretty sad and very uncertain about what my future here will look like.

I’m sure if you asked Eric, he’d use cliches to describe what happened. And I wish I could honestly say “we grew apart” or “we made the decision to separate.” But the truth is, my marriage collapsed under the weight of an impossible-to-untangle knot of toxic masculinity and untreated mental illness. That collapse — which began with zero warning in late August 2015, two weeks after a truly perfect trip to Vermont for my thirtieth birthday, and officially ended in mid-October of this year — was deeply traumatic and utterly, breathtakingly surreal. The decision to end our marriage was not a mutual one; I had no say in the matter.

I know better than to ask the Internet for privacy. But what I do hope you will give me is time. Because this is a story that I am just not ready to tell in full publicly. I’ve actually been going back and forth for a long time about whether or not to write this post; I really wanted to hold off on saying anything until I could just tell the entire story. But I realized that it could be a while before I’m ready to do that, and, well…it just seemed like saying something was probably a necessary thing I should do. Doing it like this isn’t my first choice, but, well…none of this is my first choice.

If you are wondering why I didn’t say anything publicly sooner, it’s because my priorities for the past two years were my marriage and my husband; I was concerned that writing about the situation — which was incredibly sensitive and also super personal — could make things worse. So I was waiting until there was some sort of resolution, and I truly, truly didn’t expect it to go on for as long as it did. (Or…to end this way.) That said, it hasn’t really been a secret. All of my IRL friends and a large number of my coworkers know, and most have known since Day 1. I ultimately decided to give the Internet the same amount of me that I gave my acquaintances/the coworkers I’m not close to: I stopped talking about my personal life entirely and just kept things professional. I didn’t lie about it, or even try that hard to keep it a secret; I assumed people knew something was going on and I didn’t really care if they found out. (Also, to everyone who was curious but chose not to “casually” mention Eric or push me to talk about this before I was ready to: thank you. Truly.) I didn’t feel great about not talking about it openly, but I was in survival mode, and Eric’s well-being and my marriage were my biggest priorities. And all of this *gestures around* — figuring out what to say and how to say it, and dealing with people’s judgment both of me/Eric/my marriage and of how I’m choosing to talk (and not talk) about what happened to me — is exhausting. I just didn’t have room for it. 

If the fact that I wasn’t forthcoming with you makes you feel some kind of way, know that I barely even kept my mom updated with everything that was going on. Thinking about all of the terrible things that happened hurts. Talking about it hurts. Writing about it hurts. (Everything…just…hurts?) I just didn’t want to talk about it. I still don’t.

And on that note…if you are reading this and want to be nice/supportive but don’t know what to say or are worried about shit being awkward, know that I will truly not be hurt or offended if you don’t say anything at all. (And TBH, it’s better to say nothing at all than to say “everything happens for a reason,” IMHO.) As I’ve written before, sometimes the kindest thing you can do for people who are grieving is just give them space. That said, I’m not made of glass and don’t want or need to be treated like I am. So, whatever — if you do want to say something and aren’t sure what to say, here are a few solid options: I’m so sorry. You didn’t deserve this. And, maybe the most important thing: I believe you. Or just send me a heart emoji! Like, whatever!!

As for how I’m doing, I’m…alive? Upright?? I no longer know how to accurately answer when people ask me how I’m doing. Is there an untranslatable German word that means, “I am fine but also my life/the world is falling apart, so I’m BAD, but I’m also like…functioning and here and…fine? I guess?” Because that is how I am. I am both OK and not OK. Like, I got promoted at my mid-year review and I published a book and I manage a team of incredibly wonderful people and I love my work. I have great friends and an amazing apartment and Chuck. But I am also incredibly angry and deeply confused and so hurt and so sad. Like…my husband abandoned me. I was gaslit in a pretty extreme way for two years. That takes a toll on you, fundamentally changes your worldview. Some days, I just feel utterly detached from reality. So the best answer I can give to “How are you?” is, I guess, “Here.” You know? Like, I don’t know what else to say. I’m just…here. This is where we are. This is where I live now.

46. A hill to die on

November 19, 2017

Glamour WOTY

Hi hi hi. I had a lot going on this week! ICYMI, here’s my recap of my question for Joe Biden earlier this week. Here’s what else I was up to…


White Sheets Are The Way, The Truth, And The Light

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

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


The Uncounted, The New York Times.

The myth of the male bumbler, The Baffler. “We need to shed the exculpatory scripts that have mysteriously enabled all these incompetent bumblers to become rich, successful, and admired even as they maintain that they’re moral infants. … Allow me to make a controversial proposition: Men are every bit as sneaky and calculating and venomous as women are widely suspected to be.”

Men Don’t Get to Decide What Counts As ‘Sex’, The Cut. “Taking your clothes off in front of that 14-year-old girl and forcing her to touch you is not sex. But why do we continue to have to explain this? Why do men who have never experienced this form of attack get to define what an attack is?”

Rebecca Solnit: Let This Flood of Women’s Stories Never Cease, LitHub. “So many women who told stories about men trying to harm them were treated as crazy or as malicious liars, because it’s easier to throw a woman under the bus than a culture.”

The Digital Ruins of a Forgotten Future, The Atlantic.

How the Pioneer Woman Is Single-Handedly Saving a Small Oklahoma Town, Thrillist.

When Dentists Criticize This Online Braces Company, It Takes Them To Court, BuzzFeed.

We Received $95,000 Worth of Free Stuff in Six Months, Racked. This is so good; I wish PR companies realized how much literal garbage media orgs are sent, and how much extra work they create for not just editors, but also for our mailroom employees.

How a DIY YouTuber became the target of a sexist conspiracy theory, The Outline.

The Forgotten Lifestyle Star Who Taught Women of the 1930s How to ‘Live Alone and Like It’, Jezebel.

Where is all the good affordable furniture?, Curbed.

This American comfort food leads a double life – but only some of us know the secret. Do you?, The Charlotte Observer.

Why Don’t We Eat Turkey Tails?, Smithsonian Mag.

Barstool Sports and the Identity Politics of Being Apolitical, MEL Magazine. “All of this is uncomfortable to most sports fans, many of whom resent racial politics from infringing upon their enjoyment of NFL games, and some who view the protests as deeply offensive to the American military. For them, Barstool provides a haven from the endless back and forth over the meaning and efficacy of the anthem protests. And the NFL’s lingering domestic abuse problem. And concussions. And the inclusion of transgender people in sports. And college players being exploited by the NCAA. And the myriad other sports issues that involve larger social context.”

Amazon’s Last Mile, Gizmodo.

The Joy of Not Wearing a Bra, The New Yorker. “I always wondered about the stigma associated with taking one’s bra off. Is the problem that the bosomy braless woman—breasts swaying, nipples pointed—is too sexy? Or is it that she isn’t sexy enough—that, without propping, her breasts are egregiously unround, wilted, differently sized? I suspect that she isn’t the right kind of sexy, which is to say that she isn’t contained. She isn’t fighting desperately against gravity. She would appear to be a critical consumer. Part of being the right kind of sexy lies in wanting to be the right kind of sexy, and in buying things to make it so.”

The World’s Most Famous Actor Whose Face You’ve Probably Never Seen, BuzzFeed.

Meet the Female Firefighter Whose Side Hustle Is Getting More Women on the Job, Glamour. Sarinya Srisakul is the first Asian-American woman in the NYFD. The first one. THE FIRST ONE!!!!!!!!!!!

Do Yourself a Favor This Year, and Just Buy the Keg, The Kitchn.

‘Get Off Your Ass and Talk to People Face-to-Face’ and other tips for improving your emotional intelligence, MEL Magazine.

Hims Is Basically Glossier for Dudes, Racked.

A Holiday Survival Guide for Sad People, Pinch of Yum. “Light a candle. I fully embrace the cheesiness – there is something just so magical about a flame. Since it gets dark so early now, every night I come home from work and I light a candle. It feels special and sacred and spiritual, and I don’t need to explain anything to anyone.”

The week ahead…

Hoping that the cold I caught runs its course ASAP!!!! 

On Joe Biden

November 19, 2017

This week, I took my “repeal the patriarchy and white supremacy” show on the road! Since Joe Biden’s answer to a question I asked him made the news (also here), I wanted to share a bit more of the context.

Last Monday, I attended Glamour’s first-ever Women of the Year Summit. I attended the Women of the Year Awards in 2015 and it was an incredibly powerful and moving experience — truly, one of the highlights of my year. The WOTY Awards is held in a big theater in front of a large audience, but this year, they added a new event, the summit, which was smaller (about 300-400 people). It was a series of panels and talks featuring truly remarkable women and I was so, so thrilled to be in attendance.

The program said that the last panel of the morning before lunch would be Glamour EIC Cindi Leive in conversation with “surprise guests.” As it got closer, I thought that perhaps it would be HRC, especially because we kicked off the day with Chelsea. (Also, the security that morning had been surprisingly intense, which I didn’t think much of it until later.) Dallas guessed Michelle Obama. It turned out to be the Bidens. Which…fine! Cool!

I probably wouldn’t have felt so compelled to say something if Joe hadn’t spent so much time talking up his record on women. Look, he has done good, important things for women, and I’m all for tooting your own horn (OBVIOUSLY), but there was something about a white man coming into a room full of women and just sort of accomplishment-dropping (“When I wrote that legislation…”) to provide evidence of his wokeness that really rubbed me the wrong way. Also, I found him smug and just…pandering. I’m sorry, but saying things like “There’s not a single thing a man can do that a woman can’t” (to applause, of course) and openly adoring and supporting his career-woman wife is…pretty basic-ass shit. You know? Like, it’s easy to forget that in the year 2017, when there’s an unabashed misogynist and racist leading the country and we live in hell. But, sorry…Joe Biden ain’t special. (Even Dr. Biden says at one point, “We already knew that, Joe.”) Like, great job being a PERSON, Joe Biden. You don’t get a cookie for BEING A PERSON.

Anyway, the thing that really made me say “OK, but also…no,” is when the topic of Harvey Weinstein came up and Cindi said something to the effect of “What do you think of the argument that these men came from a different time, that they are old dinosaurs?” and Biden got out his soapbox and called bullshit on that. Which: great! It is bullshit! But as he went on to say that he’s from that same time, and his dad (also from a different time) raised him to know better, I just thought, But that’s probably the exact same defense he’d use if ever called to answer for his own behavior. And between that and him talking about how brave all the women who have come forward are and how “we have to change the culture,” all I could think about was Anita Hill.

And I couldn’t think about anything else.

I was texting my friend Sally with updates from the Summit throughout the day, and as I was having these thoughts, she texted me something like, “Ok but also….Anita Hill” and I was like, “Right???? THANK YOU.” So I was like, Ok, if they do a Q&A for this panel — which seemed HIGHLY UNLIKELY — I’ll try to get the mic and ask him about her. A few minutes later, I was looking down, taking notes, when Cindi said that she’d take a few questions at the end, and my head JERKED up. (I’m pretty sure everyone around me noticed.) Still, though, I knew that getting a mic was a long shot.

Aside from worrying about whether or not I’d be able to bring up Anita Hill, I was also debating whether or not it would really be appropriate for me to say something. After all, the Bidens were basically the guests of honor, and Cindi wasn’t interviewing them like a reporter. (Which: fine!) So I was sitting there asking myself whether or not the question I wanted to ask would be, essentially, rude. But then I thought, Well, the “rude” question would actually be “So hey, are you going to stop being kiiiiinda awfully handsy with women during photo ops?” so everyone should be happy I’m sticking to something a little easier. I also just kept thinking about two things women have said recently: “You can’t get away with this shit anymore.” And, “But what’s the alternative? To approve? I do not approve.”


And as I weighed my options, I thought back to all of the panels from the morning, and I was kind of like, If anyone thinks this is inappropriate, I can quote back several amazing women who told us to be brave and fearless and to get in formation. To ask a serious question felt like it would be acting in the spirit of the summit. And as I considered the possibility of things going badly, I thought, Well, if there’s a hill worth dying on, Anita Hill is it.

To be clear, I do not expect a long life in public service to be without mistakes or growth, nor am I asking for purity from Democrats (though anyone who thinks reproductive justice is negotiable or that “identity politics” is real/a problem can kiss black ass). But I have zero patience for people who are incapable of a genuine apology, or who refuse to have a real, non-defensive reckoning with their own failings. And the more Biden talked, the angrier I felt.

So once the production people with mics sort of dispersed and the first audience member was asking her question, I, like, looked around until I spotted another production person holding a mic and basically communicated “I’mma need that mic” and she nodded at me and moved into position at the end of my row with it. (That was actually the scariest part for me — like, aggressively claiming a mic outside of the designated “now is when we raise our hands and ask to be called on” time. It felt impolite.)

So I got the mic and I stood up and said to Joe Biden, “My name’s Rachel Miller and my question is for the former vice president. In the context of changing the culture and women being brave enough to come forward [which he’d also said], I’m wondering if there’s anything that you would do differently with regards to Anita Hill if given the opportunity.”

And he said, “No.”


And then he said, “Let’s get something straight here.”

Which — sure, is a thing an old white man can say to a black woman asking him a question at a women’s event about the shameful treatment of a black woman on a national stage. He is certainly allowed to say that, if he wants to. 


Biden then went on to say a lot more words, but what he was really saying was, “I’m a good guy, I’m a good guy, I’m a good guy.” (The entire event was live streamed, and you can see the Bidens’ panel here; my question is at 25:53.) And here’s the thing: I have had eerily similar versions of this exact conversation several times over the past six weeks, and I am sick to goddamn death of men who have demonstrably not always been good guys immediately jumping in to defend themselves and tell me that I’m wrong — that they ARE, in fact, good (GREAT, even!!!), and I just don’t get it. They get emotional, they get belligerent, they get nasty as they try to get me to listen to the story of that one thing they did for a woman, like, three years ago. And they do this instead of, I don’t know, being introspective for one fucking second, and considering that maybe they are wrong. Maybe they aren’t great. Maybe they aren’t good. Maybe they aren’t that brave, maybe they didn’t always do everything they could have done, maybe they ignored certain things because they were ignorant or cowards or lazy or, hell, because “it was a different time.” But instead of pausing and thinking about how he could have done more, Biden, like so many other men, looked me dead in the eye and just said, “No.” No, I couldn’t have done more. No, I will not consider that I’m anything other than a good guy. I’m the hero of this story. Has no one told you that I’m the hero?

He ended his response with, “What I do feel badly about is the bad taste that got left in the mouth of some of the people around Anita Hill.”

Again: OK, but also…NO. 

After he finished speaking, I fully expected Cindi to accept his answer and pivot back to softball questions. (Which: fine! I know how this works.) But that’s not what happened. And this was actually kind of the best part for me. Cindi didn’t just let his narrative stand. She said, “If I can just follow up on that for one second…Professor Hill has said herself that she expected a fair process and did not feel that she had one. Do you, given your leadership on these kinds of issues, have any kind of message to her now?”

And Biden said, “Well, my message, which I’ve delivered before [translation: Why are you wasting my time with this?] is that I am so sorry if she believed that.”

I am so sorry if she believed that.

I am so sorry IF she believed that.

And then he followed it up with, “I feel really badly she didn’t feel like the process worked.”

I’m sorry if. I feel badly that she felt.

And then, for good measure, he finished it up with a little bit more about how he was the hero. He talked about “the shouting matches I had with those witnesses who were attacking her” and then finished with, “I said something at the time that proved to be right. I said this is going to be the start of a fundamental change of what constitutes harassment in the workplace, and people are gonna begin to change.”

I said something at the time that proved to be right.

I just…what a gross thing to say here. “I said something at the time that proved to be right.” It’s not really surprising, but that smug-ass delivery was still enraging. 


Later that night, at the WOTY Awards, there were a lot of surprise appearances, including when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohy — the journalists who broke the Weinstein story — dropped in and talked about #MeToo, and then said that four survivors of sexual harassment who told their stories in the name of justice would be joining them on stage. And then the name “Anita Hill” appeared in huge letters on the screen and I blurted out, “Oh, holy shit,” and then started crying for like the dozenth time that day. (Watch the video here.) It was really incredible, seeing her there and listening to her speak. (Especially right after seeing Zendaya give Maxine Waters a Lifetime Achievement Award.)

“I saw that we had a chance to shift this narrative,” Hill said on stage. And to that in particular, I hope we can all look back someday and say, “Me too.”

45. These stories are true

November 12, 2017

This week, the world felt more capitalist dystopia than ever before. Like, we’re here, guys. We made it!!

Here’s what else I had going on.


Please Stop What You’re Doing And Read This Failed Restaurateur’s Batshit Story

This Modern Home Ec Book Will Stop People From Asking, “You Live Like This???”


Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies, The New Yorker.

Angus Johnston on Louis C.K.’s apology.

Brave Enough to Be Angry, The New York Times. “Like every other feminist with a public platform, I am perpetually cast as a disapproving scold. But what’s the alternative? To approve? I do not approve.” I want to tattoo “I do not approve” on my body.

“Do not trust men who love guns.”

How to Hire Fake Friends and Family, The Atlantic. I cannot stop thinking about this article. It takes a turn from “oh my god” to “oh…my GOD.” Like, we are living in a goddamn episode of Black Mirror.

Where do kids learn to undervalue women? From their parents., The Washington Post. In studies, these young men and women predominantly report hope for a future in which they will split the pleasures of breadwinning and caretaking equally with their spouses — what researchers call their Plan A. But when asked for a Plan B, the sexes divide. The men anticipate being primary breadwinners alongside wives who are primarily caretakers. The women anticipate divorce. This conflict is not a road map toward any kind of meaningfully connected life.”

Dustin Hoffman Sexually Harassed Me When I Was 17, The Hollywood Reporter. This is a couple weeks old but I just read it and…Jesus Christ.

Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman: ‘I find the idea that there was a posh cabal offensive’, The Guardian. This hed really undersells the fact that this woman is just really fucking ignorant and racist.

Here’s All The B.S. About Weight Loss You Should Stop Believing, BuzzFeed.

Crystals, Puppies, Sparkles, Rainbows, and Rage: Aidy Bryant of Saturday Night Live talks comedy and style, The Cut.

Johnstown Never Believed Trump Would Help. They Still Love Him Anyway., Politico. “‘Everybody I talk to,’ he said, ‘realizes it’s not Trump who’s dragging his feet. Trump’s probably the most diligent, hardest-working president we’ve ever had in our lifetimes. It’s not like he sleeps in till noon and goes golfing every weekend, like the last president did.” I am realllllllly not a fan of this type of profile of Trump supporters, but you should read this one all the way through to get a sense of what we’re up against.

Can My Children Be Friends With White People?, The New York Times.

Teen Girl Posed For 8 Years As Married Man To Write About Baseball And Harass Women, Deadspin.

How the ‘Shalane Flanagan Effect’ Works, The New York Times. “Every single one of her training partners — 11 women in total — has made it to the Olympics while training with her, an extraordinary feat. Call it the Shalane Effect: You serve as a rocket booster for the careers of the women who work alongside you, while catapulting forward yourself.”

Listen to ‘The Daily’: Was Iowa Killing a Hate Crime?. This was a really hard episode to get through.

The Forgotten Art of Squatting, Quartzy.

The War To Sell You A Mattress Is An Internet Nightmare, Fast Company. I don’t think I shared it when I first read it, but it’s pretty wild.

A Beautifully Simple Chicago Apartment, A Cup of Jo.

10 things i say to preschoolers slash grown-ass men, KatyKatiKate. “I don’t know where your shoe is. It’s yours. Where did you put it?”


Contouring 101 (“Makeup is for women who want husbands. Contouring is for women who want to leach the souls of their dead lovers and collect the inheritance of their ex-boyfriends who disappeared under mysterious circumstances.”); this seagull (watch with sound on!); and everything from Hearth & Hand.

Best life

I can’t stop evangelizing this pasta and chickpeas recipe! It’s simple, cheap, comes together easily (my advice: chop/measure out everything in advance because it moves pretty quickly), and is SO DELICIOUS AND FEELS FANCY! PS If you’re tempted to skip the finishing oil, don’t — that’s where most of the flavor is.

Also, I finally bought Smartwool socks and I feel like other socks have been lying to me my entire life.

The week ahead…

Rejoicing in this sweater weather!

44. Obligations

November 5, 2017

Millennial killer & victims costume

Photo: Taylor Miller

I…can’t believe Halloween was this week. (My team went as a killer Millennial and his victims. Also, all of my reports are ~100~ and I just adore them.) I just…so much is happening!

Here’s what else I was up to…


This $11 Candle From Target Smells Just Like The $30 Anthropologie One

ICYMI: I shared my pumpkin butterscotch cookie recipe.


I finished Home Comforts! (Well, to be honest, I skimmed several sections — it’s essentially an encyclopedia and some of it is really dense/not particularly relevant to me right now.) Anyway, it’s a great reference book and a good all-around read; it legit left me feeling very inspired.


Ask Polly: ‘I Hate Men.’, NY Mag. “For your personal emotional health and resilience as a woman, you must choose to view the world of men through a new Cranky Old Bitch filter. Through this filter it soon becomes clear that men are simply too pathetic to waste your giant brain contemplating for too long. Sure, they lord their power over us, they cast their dismissive eyes on us, they attempt to jack off in front of us because they are sad deluded animals who always need a new fix to feel like more than nothing. It’s gross and it’s sometimes litigable but it’s also just hilariously unevolved. Imagine, the desperation of living that way! And sure, they might fire you if they catch wind of your total lack of respect for the way they operate. Many of them are in charge. What a hilarious irony, right? I mean you at least have to admire their tenacity. In spite of countless obvious deficits, they STILL find a way to stay on top.” P R E A C H.

The Reckoning Always Comes, Deadspin. “There are too many men out there who think if they can’t be bad men, they can’t be men at all.”

How Men Elevate, and Women Ruin Food, Taste. “But the central critique of women-driven food trends is that women are getting food wrong. Things that are supposed to be complex, like wine, are vilified for being simple (never mind that the majority of wine drinkers are women), while foods like cupcakes and froyo pander to people who have no taste. And let’s not forget that women also needlessly complicate food that is ‘supposed’ to be simple—why drink coffee when you can have a half-caf double caramel soy macchiato instead? Men can obsess over every aspect of procuring, drying, and grilling a steak, but women are the high-maintenance ones for arranging a beautiful smoothie bowl. … If a man is fussy about craft beer or protein shakes, it’s food that should be fussed over. If a man requires nothing more than meat, potatoes, and a Budweiser, neither should anyone else.” This is so, so good.

America is facing an epistemic crisis, Vox.

Harvey Weinstein and the Power of Celebrity Exceptionalism, The Atlantic.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Robert E. Lee and John Kelly.

I’m your mentor, not your mother, Science.

Former ‘Male Feminist’ Columnist Faces Multiple Allegations of Assault, Jezebel. (Note: this is a pretty intense read.)

Modest Dressing, as a Virtue, The New York Times Style Magazine.

NYC strippers strike: Dancers say nearly naked ‘bottle girls’ are grabbing their cash, cite racism, Washington Post.

The Fable of Aesop’s Hand Soap, Racked.

Inside the Joyfully Deranged Kitchen of Amy Sedaris, Eater.

9 Books That Taught Me All Of The Random Shit I Know, BuzzFeed.


This episode of Vox’s podcast The Impact, this puppy, this (very) short story, and his Royal Flatness, Mexican burrowing toad.

Best life

I’m preparing for the coming frost! I ordered these flannel sheets (The Sweethome’s budget pick) and this blanket. I also ordered some new bath towels and hand towels, but I’m really psyched about the sheets — my first flannel sheets as an adult! I just feel like the all-white will be so pretty and cozy.

In other news, these garlic knots look delicious. 

The week ahead…

Trying to cook more and work out more (so, like…at all). I can’t get over how quickly this month is going to go! 

Pumpkin butterscotch cookies

October 30, 2017

Pumpkin butterscotch cookies

This is one of my favorite cookie recipes, which I posted to my old blog many moons ago. (I *believe* I got it from the Libby’s Pumpkin website way back when, but I’m not 100% sure) The cookies are a big hit every time I make them, and while I typically bake them in October as a Halloween treat, they’re also great for Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving/whatever.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1 cup sugar
  8. 1/2 cup canola or corn oil
  9. 1 cup canned pumpkin
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup butterscotch chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer.
  4. Add the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla and mix until blended. It will turn the color of Halloween and smell like cake batter.
  5. Add the flour mixture slowly, until it is thoroughly blended, and the batter is thick.
  6. Stir in the butterscotch morsels.
  7. Line two baking sheets with wax paper and spray with cooking spray (or just use a silicone baking mat).
  8. Using a small spoon, scoop globs (there’s no other word for it — you’ll understand if you make them) of the dough onto the lined sheets. ***Do not make the rounds too big! I did that at first, and ended up with massive pumpkin pillows. Try to keep them neat and cute.***
  9. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes.
  10. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for five minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

43. All the rage

October 29, 2017


‘Sup, witches? Here’s what I had going on this week…


Neti Pots Are Low-Key Awful, But Honestly, You Should Get One

If You Secretly Kinda Hate Brushing Your Teeth, Try This Fancy Toothpaste


When Staying in the Trump Administration Is Worse than Leaving It, Highline. This is really, really good.

Our National Narratives Are Still Being Shaped by Lecherous, Powerful Men, The Cut. “We can’t go back in time and have the story of Hillary Clinton written by people who have not been accused of pressing their erections into the shoulders of young women who worked for them.”

Harvey Weinstein: how lawyers kept a lid on sexual harassment claims, Financial Times. “I want to publicly break my non-disclosure agreement. Unless somebody does this there won’t be a debate about how egregious these agreements are and the amount of duress that victims are put under. My entire world fell in because I thought the law was there to protect those who abided by it. I discovered that it had nothing to do with right and wrong and everything to do with money and power.”

Weighing the Costs of Speaking Out About Harvey Weinstein, The New Yorker.

Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent, The Atlantic. “The things that happen in hotel rooms and board rooms all over the world (and in every industry) between women seeking employment or trying to keep employment and men holding the power to grant it or take it away exist in a gray zone where words like “consent” cannot fully capture the complexity of the encounter. Because consent is a function of power. You have to have a modicum of power to give it.”

How These Two Women Finally Exposed Harvey Weinstein, Marie Claire.

YouTube Trumpkin and Former Milo Intern Kills His Own Dad for Calling Him a Nazi, The Daily Beast.
My Failed Attempt at Illness-Chic, Racked. “I bought the caftans seeking an aesthetic of grace — soft, flowing, dignified — but what I was actually after was Grace itself. I wanted a way to grant my body and mind what I no longer believed they deserved: a pardon.”

The War To Sell You A Mattress Is An Internet Nightmare, Fast Company.

You Should All Be Ashamed of Yourselves, Splinter.

Why Is Getting Ready For Bed SO EXHAUSTING?, BuzzFeed.

12 Admissible Facts About Judge Judy, Mental Floss.

How to Talk to Women if You Believe Feminism Has Made It Really Hard to Know What Counts as ‘Harassment’, VSB. “And now we have roaming gaggles of men neutered by social progress and emasculated by consent, who see colleagues in fitted pantsuits and with exposed wrists and get panic attacks and live terrified that merely saying ‘Hi’ might get a call from human resources. Fortunately, if you happen to be one of these men, you’ve come to the right place! If you are a grown-ass human male adult and you still, after decades of existing on earth—breathing oxygen and eating Fritos and shit—haven’t yet figured out how to interact with women without being a creep, and you long for the days when gotdamn fucking feminism didn’t make expressing romantic interest at happy hour or grabbing a random boob on an escalator so damn perplexing, I have great news for you.” This had me cackling.

10 Scary Stories to Fuck You Up at Night, Jezebel.

Don’t Put Your Keys Between Your Fingers for Self-Defense, Lifehacker.

Yiiiiikes: I (F35) threw away old photos of my husband (M44) with his late wife years ago. He just found out and hates me for it.

Autostraddle Feelings Atrium: Sara Ramirez In This Suit And Suspenders With A Pocket Chain Around Your Heart, Autostraddle.

19 Things That Will Make Every Kind-Of Adult Say, “Oh Shit, That’s Me”, BuzzFeed.

I also read a bunch more of Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House (and then cleaned the fuck out of everything). And I can’t stop thinking about this short story: “They’re made out of meat.”

Best life

I’m obsessed with these $5 rubber gloves. I got a pair for the bathroom and a pair for the kitchen and I love them.

The week ahead…

It’s almost Halloween! Per usual, I expended all my Halloween energy in late September and now I deeply don’t care. *shrug*

42. He said, we said

October 22, 2017

me too — @alannabean

Photo and embroidery: my friend Alanna

This week was rough. In multiple areas of my life, I was dealing with men who know how to talk but not listen; whose lack of emotional intelligence and basic empathy is genuinely stunning; who have spent decades being rewarded for being appallingly average (and then turning around and rewarding others like themselves); and who are just shitty. I was also surrounded by so many women who are overwhelmingly, shockingly, infuriatingly better at this whole “being an adult person in society” thing…and yet have to fight to be taken seriously, to be believed, to be respected, to be cared about. Meanwhile, the still-pervasive idea that women are “too emotional” while men can be trusted to remain rational and in control at all times is so demonstrably false, it’s almost laughable…except, you know, the part where it’s our fucking bodies and livelihoods and dignity and time — God, so much fucking time!!!! — at stake. Watching so many smart, competent, kind, thoughtful women be repeatedly disappointed and disrespected by men who are so grossly mediocre and maladjusted, who trade mainly in bullshit and bad faith, and who just don’t fucking get it is not good for the soul. I am tired, and I assume you are too.

Here’s what else I’ve got:


The Pretty Little Bookmarks That Can Actually Withstand The Trauma Of Your Backpack

Just 17 Tweets That’ll Make Women Lolsob


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

Um, Disneyland’s Opening Day In 1955 Sounds Like It Was A Dystopian Hell

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


Yes, This Is a Witch Hunt. I’m a Witch and I’m Hunting You., The New York Times.

Why Would This Time Be Any Different?, Deadspin. “For too long, men have considered sexual and other gendered violence to be the problem of women. It is a problem for all of us to solve. Yet men have gone on, frowning and furrowing their brows. They are doing it now. They give it the old How horrible, I agree it is horrible and go about their days. For women, this often is our day. This is a constant. We live with the unceasing fear of what a man is capable of. We know that it’s not convenient; we know that the urge to prey on women does not discriminate by how a man presents to the world otherwise, and especially the men around him. It’s time for this to get inconvenient for men—for, perhaps, you. It’s time for them—you—to sit with this issue, not just for a day or two, but as part of your life.”

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Showrunner on Harassment in Hollywood: “It’s Not Just Harvey” (Guest Column), The Hollywood Reporter. “We work within this culture so that we can amass some power so that we can have a voice.”

The Conversation We Should Be Having, The Cut.

20 Things Men Can Do RTFN to Support Women, Beyond Just Literally Ceasing to Sexually Harass Us, Helen Rosner on Medium.

How to Listen to Women When They Share Their Stories of Sexual Assault, MEL Magazine. “From the time we’re little girls, we’re taught to behave, be quiet and not to make a fuss. If I fought every man who touched me while I was waitressing or grabbed me on a bus or at a bar, I’d be dead from exhaustion. We pick our battles — daily — and so when a nasty woman does rise up and make a ruckus, don’t be surprised when it unleashes decades of suppressed rage on behalf of women everywhere.”

Why I Defended, Supported & Enabled Bad Men, Bustle.

Hey Hollywood, Don’t Forget David O. Russell Is An Abusive Jerk, Pajiba. For crying out fucking loud.

Men of the world: You are not the weather, The Washington Post.

Lupita Nyong’o: Speaking Out About Harvey Weinstein, The New York Times. “I was part of a growing community of women who were secretly dealing with harassment by Harvey Weinstein. But I also did not know that there was a world in which anybody would care about my experience with him.”

Men’s “Cluelessness” and the Rape Culture, Shakesville.

Women have always tried to warn each other about dangerous men. We have to., The Washington Post.

What We Know About the Niger Attack That Left 4 U.S. Soldiers Dead, NY Mag. More plainly explained in this Twitter thread.

Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded, The New York Times.

California Restaurant Admits It’s Been Serving Popeyes Chicken for Months, Vice.

How a Gilded-Age Heiress Became the ‘Mother of Forensic Science’, The Atlantic.

In Texas, Homecoming Mums Are a Team Effort, Racked.

A Catfishing With a Happy Ending, The Atlantic. This story is wild.

Rose Totino, Patron Genius of Frozen Pizza, Mental Floss.

These Tights Are Still Perfect After Nine Years Of Wear, BuzzFeed.


The October 18th episode of The Daily was really, really good.

Related: I loved listening to Michael Barbaro on the Longform podcast.

You can also hear me talking about journaling on Stuff Mom Never Told You/a>.

And this linguist talking about 45 is amazing.

Best life

I spotted this bookHome Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House — in my new friend Alyce’s home — she of the amazing rug I mentioned last week — and then she actually recommended it, so I was instantly like, Yes, sold. After it arrived on Friday, I immediately bought the Kindle version so I could casually read it on the train. (The softcover is a legitimately beautiful book and I’m glad I bought it, but it’s 896 pages.) Anyway, IT IS SO GOOD, YOU GUYS. I highlighted like 75& of the first chapter. The author — a Harvard-educated lawyer — is the perfect amount of bossy/extra, and just, like, deeply wants us all to have clean homes that we feel good in. Also, I’m learning so much from it!!! And it’s legitimately inspiring me to come up with a new cleaning schedule, and to give some things I’ve been neglecting more attention. It’s just great.

I also bought these hipster millennial pads based mostly on their beautiful packaging and I’m not even sorry.

Oh, and Dallas started a new thing where each day, at the end of the day, we share three positive things with each other. It helps a tiny bit!

The week ahead…

Rage-cleaning, probably.

41. So much

October 15, 2017

Photo: Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

Photo: Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

God, this week was SO MUCH. I headed down to DC on Wednesday morning for a long weekend. Sometimes it’s just nice to watch the world burn with the friends you’ve known for more than a decade, you know? I attended Julia’s Ladies Article Club for the second time, which was such a treat, along with her third annual Oktoberfest party, where there were some good babies and some great dogs. And when I wasn’t making apple cider sangria/screaming into the void about all the things that shitty men were doing, I was publishing my big Halloween posts! It was all just so much.


17 Clever Halloween Costumes For Anyone With A Prime Account And A Dream

This $17 Dress From Amazon Is The Stuff Group-Costume Dreams Are Made Of

Here’s How To Make A SpOoOoOkY Haunted Playhouse For Kids

17 Photos That’ll Make You Say “It Me”


First, here’s everything I read about Harvey Weinstein and shitty media men this week.


Non-Compete Clause, The Baffler. “You can’t blame men for wanting women to keep on competing with one another exclusively. Late capitalism is still a zero-sum game, and men who suspect their own mediocrity have every reason to fear that they’d be fucked if women and girls ever started competing with them for real.” This whole thing is fantastic.

What if the right-wing media wins?, Columbia Journalism Review. Kind of feels like they already have, TBH.

What I Don’t Tell My Students About “The Husband Stitch”, Electric Lit. (First read “The Husband Stitch,” if you haven’t already. And while we’re on the topic of Carmen Maria Machado — author of one of my favorite essays of 2017Her Body and Other Parties: Stories is next on my list of books to read. She was also recently featured on A Cup of Jo.)

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

The Protection Racket, Jezebel.

Rose Totino, Patron Genius of Frozen Pizza, Mental Floss.

A Week In Los Angeles, CA, On A $1,250,000 Joint Salary, Refinery29. This is only the second time I’ve read one of these Money Diaries and I cannot stop thinking about it.

Americans are pack rats. Swedes have the solution: ‘Death cleaning.’, Washington Post.

Reboot or Die Trying, Outside. This was one of the articles for Ladies Article Club; it’s a bit older, and I really didn’t expect to love it as much as I did!

MTV’s “TRL” Reboot Is a Spectacular Failure, Pitchfork.

We All Have a Retail Flinch Point, Racked. This is so real!

A Cake You Can Take With You Anywhere, The New York Times.

“A weird part of toxic masculinity is not knowing how to poop properly.” I gasped so loudly and so many times when I was reading these, I had to read them out loud to Julia.

Best life

This weekend, I learned that Target apparently sells great dupes of Anthropologie’s signature candles. This great-smelling Cedar & Juniper one is what started the conversation, and even though says it basically no longer exists at any store anywhere, I have gotten some intel that they do, in fact, still exist in stores. Also, according to the internet/Julia, the Island Moonlight candle is a spot-on dupe for the main one Anthro burns in their stores.

Also! Elise, who hosted Ladies Article Club, had THE most beautiful rug in her living room. (The photo online doesn’t do it justice; it looked more like this IRL, though the rows were quite slim/tidy.) It’s expensive — because all fucking rugs are fucking expensive — but dang. It was so pretty and felt like walking on a cloud. *wishlists*

The week ahead…

“all i want to do with my time on earth is make some nice things and suport some briliant people and combat institutionalized systematic evil.” Same, Jomny. Same.

A post-Harvey Weinstein reading list

October 15, 2017

Quote: @heylauriestark

Once again, men have gone and done some more fucked-up shit that requires its own separate post.

Here’s the thing I want to say about Harvey Weinstein: I don’t believe Meryl Streep or anyone else in Hollywood who says they didn’t know about this. *I* knew about this, and I deeply DGAF about anything related to the entertainment industry. (I watch, like, two movies a year.) Hollywood is a small-ass town. They fucking knew.

Anyway. Here are the links:

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories, The New Yorker.

I highly, highly recommend you listen to the Oct. 11 episode of The Daily to hear Katherine Kendall tell her story in her own words. 

Why the Harvey Weinstein Sexual-Harassment Allegations Didn’t Come Out Until Now, The Cut. “After Weinstein failed to respond to my calls for comment, I was sent, on Election Eve 2000, to cover a book party he was hosting, along with my colleague Andrew Goldman. Weinstein didn’t like my question about O, there was an altercation; though the recording has alas been lost to time, I recall that he called me a cunt and declared that he was glad he was the ‘fucking sheriff of this fucking lawless piece-of-shit town.’ When my colleague Andrew (who was also then my boyfriend) intervened, first calming him down and then trying to extract an apology, Weinstein went nuclear, pushing Andrew down a set of steps inside the Tribeca Grand — knocking him over with such force that his tape recorder hit a woman, who suffered long-term injury — and dragging Andrew, in a headlock, onto Sixth Avenue.”

Tell Us What You Know About Harvey Weinstein’s “Open Secret”, Defamer. There’s a LOT happening in this old post, including this chilling bit: “The Harvey Girls are easily spotted. They are all very pretty, often in a rather generic sense. Their instant fame and the push behind them comes seemingly out of nowhere and without any justification in terms of resume or skill set. Most obviously, at least as of 2007, they are clothed exclusively in Marchesa on the red carpet (the fashion line of Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman).”

Here’s Why So Many Women Knew The Rumors About Harvey Weinstein, BuzzFeed. “There are enough men like Weinstein and Ailes, young and old, liberal and conservative, ones who make us feel like objects, or dirty and out of control in our workplace or classrooms, ones who can and will ruin our lives — that we’ve become dependent on unofficial modes of communication to protect ourselves. It’s no wonder, then, that so many men deride and degrade gossip: It’s our most effective armor against their abuses.”

How Harvey Weinstein’s Hollywood Connections Helped Make His Wife’s Fashion Label a Success, Jezebel.

I’m a Coward, The Cut.

Stop Mentioning Your Daughters When You Denounce Harvey Weinstein, Vulture.

As A Father Of Daughters, I Think We Should Treat All Women Like My Daughters, The Toast.

Ben Affleck Has Apologized For Groping Hilarie Burton On TRL, BuzzFeed. Also don’t miss him molesting another woman on camera here.

Sarah Polley: The Men You Meet Making Movies, The New York Times.

Study finds 75 percent of workplace harassment victims experienced retaliation when they spoke up, Vox.

Here’s a look how the AP chose to cover this story. Which actually brings us to…

The Protection Racket, Jezebel.

You Can’t Get Away With This Shit Anymore, The Hairpin.

“Is he on The Island?” On the (lack of) professional consequences for sexual harassers, Ann Friedman.

And here are some good tweets:

On people shaming Terry Crews.

“When it’s someone else’s fault vs when it’s your fault.”

“If you think being in the same room with a woman makes it hard to avoid raping or harassing her, perhaps you should stay home. Forever.”

“When your subhead thinks you’re full of shit.”

“If you wanted Hillary Clinton to comment sooner on the Harvey Weinstein allegations, you should have elected her president.” (See also: this.)

And a moment of appreciation for Anita Hill.

I’ll be back later with our regularly scheduled programming.

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