10. Get out

March 12, 2017

‘Truth Coming Out of Her Well’ by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Here’s something that has been on my mind this week: A few summers ago, I was on vacation with Eric and his family, when Eric’s dad started talking about “Obamaphones.” A group of us was sitting outside on the patio, and he went on about how all these poor people were lining up for their free phones, around the block, down the street…so many of them, he said, no jobs, but there to get their free iPhones from the president. Eric and I were incredulous (though I didn’t express my feelings) — like, everything about it was so truly ridiculous, I remember that Eric struggled to even form a response.

I think part of the reason the conversation stuck with me was because of where it happened: on a (wonderful!!) summer vacation at the family’s second home; the patio we were sitting on directly overlooks the fourth hole of the surreally beautiful golf course on which the house is located. It was the same patio where, at a different point during that trip, I came upon a group of white male relatives (nice people! truly! I cannot overstate this!) having a casual, non-heated, totally chill-ass discussion about whether or not it’s OK to display the Confederate flag. One relative (who I genuinely adore!!!) said that he’d heard some people say it was mostly about Southern pride. The one who disagreed took the position that it just seemed like “treason.” Race and slavery were never mentioned, not even when I finally — very hesitantly, very measuredly — said that I don’t think it’s OK to display the Confederate flag, and, after all heads turned to look at me, followed that with a careful, aggressively neutral, “I’ve heard the Southern pride thing…but what, exactly, is the South so proud of here?” There was a beat, and some “Mmm”s, and some brisk man-nods, and then we moved on.

Anyway, the Obamaphones conversation popped into my head twice this week. The first time was when Jason Chaffetz said that if poor people wanted healthcare, maybe they should just not buy a new iPhone. The comment was widely (appropriately!) called out in my corner of Twitter, but I keep thinking about how Chaffetz probably thought that large swaths of the voting public would agree with him. The fact that I saw “Obamaphones” spoken of with such derision on a beautiful, privileged patio by someone who doesn’t want for anything that money can buy makes me think that Chaffetz’s comment went over just fine in some parts of the country — really, any parts where people who have very nice things and who hate the idea that other people might also have nice things live. The other time I thought about it was after I saw Get Out — a highly entertaining movie that’s brilliant in so many ways; one of the things it does best is capturing exactly how unnerving nice things can be.

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


Are Your Pasta Habits Normal?

7 Wild Facts About Potatoes That You Didn’t Know And Will Now Want To Tell Everyone

9 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Daylight Saving Time


Why Ben Carson Said That, MTV.com. “Carson provides not simply symbolic cover for his fellow Republicans to push racist policy such as Trump’s discriminatory travel bans. By claiming that slaves were immigrants, he also positions that policy in a narrative of individualistic heroism. In those remarks, he added that enslaved Africans, too, ‘had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.’ That isn’t a dissimilar message from what we hear in Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Still I Rise’: ‘I am the dream and the hope of the slave.’ But tied to this new idea of enslaved immigration, which isn’t a thing, Carson’s uplifting end note doesn’t just send a message to other black folks that ‘we started from the bottom, now we here.’ It’s more akin to ‘I started from the bottom, now I’m here. Why aren’t you?'”

In Get Out, Racism Is The Horror Story Black People Try To Survive, BuzzFeed.

Why Get Out Is the Best Movie Ever Made About American Slavery, Esquire.

Get Out Understands The Black Body, MTV.com.

22 Secrets Hidden In Get Out You May Have Missed, BuzzFeed.

23 Hilarious Tweets About Get Out, BuzzFeed.

What Do Feminists Owe Kellyanne Conway?, Jezebel. (Also: “highlights” from Kellyanne Conway’s book.)

Despite a mother’s plea, her mentally ill daughter was sold a firearm. Here’s why she sued., Washington Post.

The Trouble With Disney’s Remake Machine, BuzzFeed.

In Praise of the House Bra, Racked.

A 5-year-old, Edith Fuller, is headed to the National Spelling Bee. She’s the youngest contestant ever., Washington Post.

The New York Times Is Not Built For This, Deadspin.

NYPD ‘patrol pig’ hams it up downtown, NY Post. *siren noises*

The week ahead…

Ranting about how much I hate daylight saving time, obviously.

09. Maybe just…don’t?

March 5, 2017

mermaid art by Vashti Harrison

Art by Vashti Harrison; order a print here

Happy Sunday, my hot lil’ wire tappers! Here’s what I got up to this week…


17 Times Texans Reminded Everyone They Are Not To Be Messed With

+ a review of There Is No Good Card for This


I read Milk and Honey and I am still chugging along in A People’s History of the United States. Also…

Ask Polly: Am I Pretty?, NY Mag. “So how would that confident, calm person dress? How would she act? How would she spend her time? Do those things. It really is that simple. And that’s not faking it or pretending. That’s being who you already are; it just doesn’t show because you won’t let it show, because you’re ashamed.” This entire piece is very, very good.

I Did Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Workout. It Nearly Broke Me., Politico.

Stop Telling Women Their Feminist Ideas Don’t Matter Because of How They Dress, Harper’s Bazaar. “There is no magic outfit that will make people who do not want to take you seriously take you seriously. Whatever you choose to wear, if you speak about something people don’t want to hear about, it will be used against you.”

You Can’t Balance Out Racism, Deadspin. “Look at what our national discourse has been reduced to. Here I am writing an essay pointing out that racism is bad. This is kindergarten material. We should not have to have these conversations. Our national media’s instinct to normalize whatever is happening among the politically powerful is so strong that they are now writing stories giving positive reviews to a speech in which the president just proposed one of the most baldly racist official government actions that I can remember. The fact that he stuck to the teleprompter does not balance this out.”

NBC and the Manufacturing of Donald Trump, Bitch.

When A Woman Deletes A Man’s Comment Online, The Establishment. “It has been really freeing, as a woman, to not have to ask permission or apologize for deleting a comment that I do not want. At first I just said no to really blatant hate. But now I delete whatever minimizes, distracts, obfuscates, or annoys — if I feel like it. It’s my house and you will get kicked out if you smash my windows, and you also don’t get to track mud all over my floors or change my radio station. It has been really freeing, as a woman of color, to be both public and to be able to say, ‘no, not here in my space.’ It has been empowering to know that yes, I could exist in the world and retain my right to refuse to engage with those who would force their way into my proximity. I don’t have to fight each individual foot soldier of oppression; I can keep my focus on the big picture and my fight on where it could be most effective.”

What Do We Do with the Clothing of Grief?, Racked.

Saving Nina Simone’s Birthplace as an Act of Art and Politics, The New York Times.

White Men Behaving Sadly, Bully Bloggers.

This Is How Your Hyperpartisan Political News Gets Made, BuzzFeed. Woof.

What’s In A Name: On Kimmel’s Casual Racism, Birth, Movies, Death.

Ivanka Trump And The Aesthetics Of Denial, BuzzFeed.

He’s a Local Pillar in a Trump Town. Now He Could Be Deported., The New York Times.

Why You Can’t Ever Call an Enslaved Woman a “Mistress”, Teen Vogue.

After 130 Years, Harvard Law Review Elects a Black Woman President, The New York Times.

This Far-Right Tweet About “The Future That Liberals Want” Backfired Into A Huge Meme, BuzzFeed.

What Is Your Name? Where Are We? Who Is President? Oh God., Slate.

I Can’t Help But Think These Pink Coveralls Would Change My Life, Racked. I…need these? I wore coveralls for a play in eighth grade and remain convinced that they are a truly perfect garment. And the pink!!! I love them so much. 

Patrick Stewart Will Look Great Forever, GQ. This is so effing charming.

Sean Spicer’s tragic fall from grace as White House Easter Bunny, A.V. Club. “Sean Spicer, the holy fool of the Russian tragedy novel that is our current existence, has been a reliable source of comic pathos ever since his first appearance as press secretary, be it the revelations of his years-long war against ice cream balls, his desperate attempts to laugh off Melissa McCarthy’s impressions of him, getting into a fight with the press over where he was born, or any of the many hourly humiliations he endures while attempting to deflect criticism of a president who repeatedly leaves him hanging, twisting in the wind of his baggy suits. But it wasn’t always this way.”


Jon Stewart taking the news media to task, this sweet thread, this time traveler, and this tweet.

The week ahead…

Living my life like Alex Jones: screeching, attempting to collect myself, pretending to be sorry, and then screeching some more.

08. Undone

February 26, 2017

All month, I’ve been trying to be better about unplugging before bed, but I hadn’t been doing a great job of it. Finally, last Sunday, I realized that I just needed to set an actual rule for myself. So I decided that I would read 20 pages in a book before bed. That’s it; that’s my rule. No reading for a set amount of time (which ends up stressing me out more for some reason)…just making reading 20 pages the last thing I do before bed. I haven’t hit the goal every night (and sometimes I am too tired to read 20 pages), but on the nights I’ve missed the goal, it’s been because I’ve been journaling, which I feel fine about. My book of choice is A People’s History of the United States, which I hadn’t read before, and which I’m really enjoying so far. (I mean, as much as one can an “enjoy” a book about all the terrible things white people have done.)

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


How Popular Are Your Opinions On Pens?

I’m Sorry I Made Fun Of Nick Viall For Wearing A Livestrong Bracelet

Just A Bunch Of Crazy Things That Happened During Hometown Dates On “The Bachelor”


Own, Apologize, Repair: Coming Back to Integrity, Nora Samaran on Dating Tips for the Feminist Man. This covers a lot but it’s really, really great.

Janet Mock: Young People Get Trans Rights. It’s Adults Who Don’t., The New York Times.

Maxine Waters Is Back and She’s Not Here to Play, ELLE.com. Hot damn, this is good.

Chill With The “Journalists Are Heroes” Thing, Deadspin. “My cursory viewing of CNN tells me that Jake Tapper has been consistently asking tough questions of lying White House functionaries who appear on his show. Does this make Jake Tapper a hero? No. It makes him a guy who is doing his job. (For which he is extremely well-compensated.) The national reporters at major news outlets have been turning out an admirable number of meaningful stories about the new administration’s mismanagement of the government. Again: this is literally their job description. I am glad that they are doing their jobs well, but it would be more remarkable if journalists were not able to produce good stories at a time of profound national crisis and routine public lying by top government officials. The level of heroism here is roughly the same as that displayed by a Subway™ sandwich artist who really nails the flavor on your turkey foot-long: give em Employee of the Month, sure, but let’s keep the Medal of Honor in reserve for now.”

I’m an Arab actor who’s been asked to audition for the role of terrorist more than 30 times. If La La Land cleans up at the Oscars, I’m done, The Independent.

Queens of the Stoned Age, GQ. This was a great read; I didn’t want it to end.

I Ordered Plan B And A Bacon, Egg, And Cheese On Seamless, BuzzFeed. The more you know!

I told my doctor I didn’t want kids. She sent me to a therapist., Vox.

Why Does Dating Men Make Me Feel Like Shit?, Emma Lindsay on Medium.

Y’all’s President Is a Lazy Thot, The Root.

The Bachelor Recap: No Place Like Home, Vulture. “The first ladytestant to drag this sad sack to her hometown is Raven. Raven is riding around in the swamps of Hoxie, Arkansas, and she says she’s ready to show Nick a new side of her: ‘a little fun, a little sassy, a little sexy.’ Today could be the day that she tells Nick she’s falling in love with him, and she says that there could be nothing better than falling in love in Hoxie. I can think of like 18 things better than falling in love in Hoxie. I looked up Hoxie to see if there were any other famous residents or fun landmarks. Guys. Hoxie is 98.15 percent white and is the home of the third school in Arkansas to integrate after Brown vs. Board of Education and is one of the first sites where the decision had to be defended after half of Hoxie’s white students boycotted school integration. I … I … I dug too deep.” This is a very, very good recap.

What Celebrities Wear Under Those Red Carpet Dresses, Racked.

I’ve Honestly Had Very Little Trouble With West Elm’s Peggy Couch, But Now I Fear Her, Jezebel.

60 Times I Laughed And/Or Gasped In Horror While Reading The “Bachelor” Book, BuzzFeed. I literally don’t know who any of these people are and I still laughed out loud multiple times when reading this.

The week ahead…

I mean, I can tell you what I won’t be doing, and that is picking a fight with the Anne Frank Center. Like…for fuck’s sake, people.

07. Words mean things

February 19, 2017

Recently I — and then, totally independently, two different friends did this exact same thing — have used the word “incredible” to describe a current news story, and then followed that up with, “I mean that in, like, the dictionary-definition, literal, like…biblical sense of the word. Like, this is…I N C R E D I B L E.” Because it is incredible. It’s all so incredible.

The other thing I’ve found myself saying is “words actually mean things” and “words have meanings.” I spent this week writing and editing thousands and thousands of words, so I’d sure like to believe that that’s true. But when our president shouts “fake news!” to shut down anyone who dares to criticize him, when white people are constantly telling people black people what counts as racism (hint: it’s…nothing, according to them), and when destructive men insist on rewriting history and constructing an alternative present in order to protect their fragile egos, and then turn around and accuse us of gaslighting them…it feels like maybe words don’t actually mean anything. Or perhaps words only mean things if certain men are saying them. And it’s all just incredible.

Here’s what else was on my mind this week…


Ask Polly: Men Are the Worst, and I’m Married to One!, New York Magazine. God, Polly’s answer is full of so many fantastic lines.

The Trash Heap Has Spoken, Guernica. This is a marvelous piece of writing.

Why Do Men Put on Basketball Shorts After Sex?, Racked. I, like, yelped when I saw this hed — I don’t know if I’ve ever been filled with such overwhelming love for men and hatred for men at the exact same time.

If You Care About Food, You Need to Care About Immigration Policy, Eater.

President Trump Has Done Almost Nothing, Politico. “There is a wide gap, a chasm even, between what the administration has said and what it has done. There have been 45 executive orders or presidential memoranda signed, which may seem like a lot but lags President Barack Obama’s pace. More crucially, with the notable exception of the travel ban, almost none of these orders have mandated much action or clear change of current regulations. So far, Trump has behaved exactly like he has throughout his previous career: He has generated intense attention and sold himself as a man of action while doing little other than promote an image of himself as someone who gets things done. It is the illusion of a presidency, not the real thing.”

Trump’s Radical Anti-Americanism, The New Yorker. This is actually quite lovely.

Why you should stop taking the GOP Media Accountability Survey — now., Katie Wohlgenant on Medium.

President Trump, White House Apprentice, The New York Times. “The White House is a toxic mix of ideology, inexperience and rivalries; insiders say tantrums are nearly as common as the spelling errors in the press office’s news releases.”

The New Twitter Detectives Want To Bring Down Trump Without Becoming Alex Jones, BuzzFeed.

Your Criticism Might Be Valid. It Might Also Be Sexist., Cosmopolitan.com.

29 Disturbing Pictures Of American Life Under Jim Crow, BuzzFeed.

The Story Behind Planet Earth II’s Unbelievable ‘Iguana vs. Snakes’ Chase Scene, Vulture. I watched this video twice and was straight-up YELLING.

75 Years of Crosswords, The New York Times.

How a Decision Journal Changed the Way I make Decisions, Farnam Street.

On “outrage” and “distractions”, Sunny Moraine on Twitter.

Why Does This One Couch From West Elm Suck So Much?, The Awl. This is so outrageous; I will legit never look at West Elm the same way again.

Emergency Preparedness Amongst the Liberal Elite, McSweeney’s.

34 Easy Ways To Lose Weight Fast, BuzzFeed. “You’re more likely to eat junk food when it’s in the house. Burn down your house.”


We’re Still Not There: A Practical Guide to Resistance, New Yorkers singing “A Whole New World” (yeah, I cried), and this video (also made me cry).

The week ahead…

Really looking forward to Planet Earth II tonight and a day off tomorrow!

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.!

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