Reading List, Mountain Pose edition.
“Right now, I’m lost in a transition. The old is dead, and I don’t know what the new is. The only way to find the new is to start different things and see if there’s something that can come out of experimentation. It’s somewhat unsettling, but it’s a hopeful thing in a way. I’ve been here before, lots of times.” David Lynch.
"At one point she was stuck on a lyric, and Lindsey Buckingham suggested, ‘Just write about sex.’” Christine McVie.
[Marianne Faithfull photo by John Pratt]
Patricia Lockwood’s GrubStreet food diary. I won’t quote from this because it’s ALL GOLD.
I Promise to Be a Worse, More Prolific Writer. Elizabeth Spiers.
Without you I’m nothing. Alexandra Molotkow in The Believer, on the lovers of rockstars.
"Nostalgia for lost love is cowardice disguised as poetry.” Jeanette Winterson, The Guardian.
“They often view it as trivial, even though what I do is try to show the ways in which seemingly trivial things like celebrities and gossip actually communicate much larger ideas about society and ideology.” Anne Helen Petersen, interviewed by Flora Tsapovsky in Ravishly.
On hushed forgiveness. Tag Savage.
The joy of exercising in moderation. Samuel Sattin, The Atlantic.
How different cultures understand time. Richard Lewis, Business Insider.
On the scourge of relatability. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker.
This place makes everyone a gambler. Alice Bolin in The Believer, on Los Angeles and Joan Didion.
"I just never formed the habit of living, the way most people do. They […] wake up and, without a second thought, without knowing they are deciding, decide to live. I am not one of these people. Every day I wake up and think why. I know I’ll decide to live like everyone else, but […] I remain the kind of addict who believes each time she reaches for air that it’s her choice.” Sarah Nicole Prickett.
Reading List, Black Coffee edition.
“What do people dream about when they can choose? Flying, sex, and magic, mostly.” [x]
Moving experience [Helen Garner, The Monthly, via @dailydoseofjess]
“(Lamp lamp lamp) - anyway, the point is, I worked it out.” [Rachael Maddux, The Billfold]
“Seven days without complaining (almost)” [Melissa Dahl, NY Magazine]
The harsh light of predictive technology [James Carmichael, The Atlantic]
For the love of emoji [Mary Mann, Medium]
"Sometimes, the goal of eating is to fill your torsal cavity with so much foreign matter that you are no longer capable of producing even the simplest of thoughts.” Mallory Ortberg, The Toast. … Yea, I’m on a major don’t-eat-crap roll right now and I have some, eh, thoughts, about what eating means.
Related: Movement for Modern Life. This has got me back on the yoga horse out here in the Western Circumstances: this site has proper yoga classes, run by great teachers, with choices for all levels, styles and schedules. And no hippie music. Namaste.
“Freelancing zen.” [Luke O’Neil, Village Voice]
Woman earns advanced degree while husband perfects TV picture. [Sarah Miller, the New Yorker]
"Hey, is it cool if I bring my boyfriend along last minute to our catch up brunch we’ve been planning all week?” 🔫 [Michelle Markowitz, The Hairpin]
“Not Poor Enough, Not Depressed Enough, Not Abused Enough” [Clem Bastow, for I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault]
All the times I lost my virginity [Kathleen Hale, Adult Magazine]
Reading List, Sandal Weather edition.
London is humid and green and lush, and the summer just goes on and on.
"We are such inward secret creatures, that inwardness is the most amazing thing about us, even more amazing than our reason.” [Iris Murdoch]
Summer over the city [George Steinmetz, the New Yorker]
“As though this desire for companionship was somehow equal to submission of some sort.” Summer of Pie, by Jeanne Hodesh on The Hairpin.
“The best time I lived with 100 sled dogs in Alaska and learned to be alone” [Catherine New, on The Hairpin, which has become really quite good all of a sudden.]
Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a resurgence of some good “old” fashioned blogging! Where people just talk about life and no one styles the photos. Currently into: Hels Martin, Kate Stull, Stevie Mackenzie-Smith, Bim Adewunmi, Emily Gould, Roxane Gay, and Laura Jane Faulds on Strawberry Fields Whatever.
“In the future, ‘we’ll see a separation between our meals for utility and function, and our meals for experience and socialisation.’ Soylent isn’t coming for our Sunday potlucks. It’s coming for our frozen quesadillas.” The end of food, by Lizzie Widdicombe in the New Yorker. … I for one welcome our Soylent overlords.
"Poehler ‘went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him,’ forcefully informing him: ‘I don’t fucking care if you like it.’” [Rebecca Traister, the New Republic]
“Listen, mom, I know it upset you that I said ‘pussy hole’ on the Internet, but it’s about the shared experience.” [Samantha Irby, interviewed by Sari Botton in the Rumpus.]
"No act of personal writing makes my skin crawl like when a father sits down to describe what having a daughter has taught him about the female experience. … He was apparently unable to empathize with women before one sprung from his loins.” Kat Stoeffel in NY Mag on “feminist dads”.
“Introversion v extroversion is a fight no one wins” [Jillian Lucas, Nerve]
Photos of San Francisco houses with matching people. [The Bold Italic]
“Big Blue Sky" <3
"Maybe people don’t understand what it is I do. But what am I actually doing? Just living my life, making questionable decisions, and trying to get laid.” Katie West Forever.
Reading List, ‘Oh, Wow’ Edition.
"In summer, the song sings itself" [William Carlos Williams]
“There is no final, satisfying way to balance our need to be known with our need to be alone. The balance is always uncertain and provisional; it’s always a matter of dissatisfaction, give-and-take, and sacrifice.” [Joshua Rothman, the New Yorker]
"There’s always another level of truth sitting around and waiting for you to move to another country.” Laura Jane Faulds, Strawberry Fields Whatever.
A whole supplement on Lana Del Rey in the New Inquiry. This part especially, by Sarah Nicole Prickett: “And if all she wants is dope and diamonds, so what? What if the most radical - fuck it, feminist - thing you can do is believe everything a girl says about her life, whether or not you like it?”
“Even in nonfiction I was still constructing characters - myself included. I began to see how I might owe myself the same things I owed my fictive characters: complexity, interior conflict, strengths and flaws caught in tense tandem.” Great advice on writing (and life) from Leslie Jamison in The New York Times.
"I’m determined to feel a kind of purchase, to defy the instinct that I’ve developed in the last couple of years to always be ready to go.” Jean Hannah Edelstein on a new life in Brooklyn.
"I have blocked so much of, say, ages 13-25 out. I try to be as polite as I can. I wish I could remember. It confuses me that they all remember me, and so distinctly. They tell me stories about things I said or did. I was often sassy, I have noticed.” Roxane Gay.
I recently had to wipe my laptop and everything on it. I’m ok with this. Kate Stull explains the magic of moving on electronically.
"Let’s get one thing straight: I do not talk on the phone,” says Nicole Cliffe on The Toast. “You don’t have to! You never have to talk on the phone if you don’t want to.” My hero.
“One regrets the loss even of one’s worst habits. Perhaps one regrets them the most. They are such an essential part of one’s personality.” Oscar Wilde, via Gretchen Rubin.
Penelope Trunk, being clever on why we are all terrible multitaskers and really need to just focus on what we most want to achieve.
What happened when a couple gave their kid the mother’s last name [Molly Caro May, The Hairpin] … This is interesting. I am happy to have both my parents’ surnames, which was pretty cool of them in 1980. I remember, as a kid, railing against people who ignored my mum’s name when addressing me. They did that a lot.
How the Babysitters Club does money - a Billfold series by Nicole Dieker.
"My verbal changeability is not a sign of a lack of personality. Rather, it’s a function of what it means to be many things at once, but never just one - that one will always speak as befits an insistent now, because there is no pure centre from which to do so." [Navneet Alang, Hazlitt]
Readling List, Wet Summer edition.
July has always been my birthday month, but now it’s my wedding anniversary month, too. One year <3
"Take your pleasure seriously" [Charles Eames]
"I think there’s value in procrastination. I do a lot of writing in my head, doing the work mentally before I ever commit something to paper. I think our minds are telling us something about what we’re ready to do and not do.” Jen Doll interviews Roxane Gay for Mental Floss.
“We found hope in a Mega Millions ticket” - on being broke and dreaming in San Diego, by Mary Mann on The Billfold.
Also on The Billfold (which is on a strong run again/still), a tale of the pre-existing conditions you take into a marriage.
On how the world opens up when you get a driving license while living somewhere without public transport. [Jojo Moyes in Biographile, via @salihughes]
"Tell you about myself? Why?” Quiet days with dad [Lucy Mangan, The Guardian]
Office smalltalk - an illustrated typology.
A reminder of the Hairy Arm tactic of client/boss management. [Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian]
JR Blackwell on the power of admitting to embarrassment.
"I hope I’m coming across as glib and unconcerned, which is truthfully how I feel. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. It seems like maybe I’m taking a gamble. The men I date are historically uninterested in my blog and who I truly am as a person, generally. Let’s just assume it’s going to stay like that forever and ever.” Molly Laich
Katherine Angel in The Independent on the delight and challenge that is Lana Del Rey.
“ “Is this it?” I asked myself constantly, in all seriousness, as each year of the 2000s passed.” No country for old pervs, by Molly Lambert at Grantland
Independence Days, by J Maureen Henderson. “At some point I’ve stopped looking for someone to give me my big break. I’ve stopped believing that the only way I can have more is if someone gives it to me. I’ve stopped looking for a benefactor, a patron, a champion. I’ve accepted, without really realizing it, that if I want more, I can go get it.”
Joan Didion’s packing list.
Reading List, Mercury Retrograde edition.
“I understand now something about the world that I didn’t before. And that’s why I wrote it.” [Ta-Nehisi Coates / Longform Podcast]
Like every time my pelvis touches a sink brim. [Fiona Duncan, Adult Magazine]
… And this, by Larissa Pham. Adult Magazine continues to be amazing.
A surprisingly intriguing essay on YouTube beauty vloggers. [Alice Bolin, The Hairpin]
"If you are ever going to wear a crop top, the time is now.” Lauren Laverne is keeping Eva Wiseman’s Observer column warm and it’s very, very good.
“The amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.” Nora Ephron on maintenance in Oprah Magazine (via @hadleyfreeman)
On the laws of probability and why impossible things happen all the time. [David Hand, Aeon Magazine]
The most wonderful story by Amanda Hess about her father, who got her out of the Grand Canyon alive - twice. [Slate]
"I say all the time that living in New York City requires you to find some kind of drug. It can be yoga, or it can be meditation, or it can be drugs”. Sarah Nicole Prickett interviews Emily Gould for Vice.
“I don’t feel like I’ve worked in four years.” Rosie Spinks on GOOD: Have Plug, Will Travel.
Very important: Captain Janeway sass x 46 on Buzzfeed. [Cate Sevilla]
A visit to the world’s largest ball of twine [Claire Suddath, The Awl]
Reading List, Hottest-State edition
"At which point Yinka Shonibare [RA, MBE] mentioned, dead casually, that he only works three days a week ‘because I need at least one day a week to just stare into space and achieve absolutely nothing’. At this point, everyone went a bit quiet.” [x]
[Arundhati Roy, by Pankaj Rakesh]
A wonderful essay about going to the lakes during the hottest summer heat in Louisiana, by Sam Anderson in the Oxford American (via @rachaelmaddux)
Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s wonderful story about Britney, on Medium. Medium has been getting really good lately.
Weird corporate Twitter. [Kate Losse, the New Inquiry]
28 things that definitely aren’t porn that have been described as “porn for women”. Amanda Hess in Slate.
“Hi, sorry, this is a women-only balcony. Women’s balcony, sorry.” Actual LOL: Western art history: 500 years of women ignoring men [Mallory Ortberg, The Toast]
"Becoming a person who asks for what she wants has not come naturally. Like many people, I always feel like when I ask for things, I’m fighting against that part of me that wants to be rewarded for not asking. I feel like someone will notice my supreme sacrifice and quiet patience – above all, what a good person I am for not being demanding – and all my wishes will come true because I didn’t ask and was good and quiet.” Amy Azzarito on DesignSponge on asking for what you want and, by extension, social conditioning.
Lean-In advice for female hurricanes [Beth Novey, NPR]
”Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds.” By self-proclaimed nerd and Jeopardy champion, Arthur Chu, on the Daily Beast.
Related: “The notion that all women can get effortlessly laid, if only they open their legs … It’s not hard to find female tales of not being able to get laid, but for some reason, these stories rarely seem to make it into the cultural conversation.” [Lux Alptraum, in Nerve]
This profile of Tavi Gevinson is so dreamy. [Emily Witt, The New York Times]
"What is your idea of perfect happiness?" "Being alone, but knowing I’ll soon see someone I love.” <3 [Jessica Stanley on the Benah blog]
"But he also said that it means I don’t want anyone to infringe on my ability to do whatever I want and I want other people to have the same ability, which means by extension I care about anything that affects that. Which I’d never really thought of. I just always thought of myself as selfish.” Katie West!
Reading List, London-Is-Dreaming Edition
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Chandelier, a music video by Sia.
The only time I’ve ever been to Connecticut. Mallory Ortberg of The Toast writes a personal essay.
Navneet Alang in Hazlitt on Twitter and oral history.
Related: ICYMI and how the internet messes with our sense of time, by Elizabeth Minkel in the New Republic (via @annfriedman) … Just because something has been discussed on Twitter for two days doesn’t make it “old” - because most people aren’t on Twitter.
Amy Nicholson in LA Weekly, on how YouTube and gossip sites revolutionised celebrity reporting.
Hunter S Thompson’s daily routine. … This is nuts, but if you took out all the drugs and just looked at the timings (sleep, food, work) it’s actually not a bad solution for night owls who want to have a social life. I mean, he sees his friends, gets his rest, AND gets a lot done.
The business case for the three-day weekend. Like Prince says, it’s the dream we all dream. [Lisa Evans, FastCompany]
"Your companion didn’t get an ice cream sandwich. He thought maybe you’d give him a bite or two. Bullshit.” Realtalk from Meaghan O’Connell in The Billfold.
An improved version of The Hobbit where the dwarfs never show up and Bilbo stays home making cozy meals and goes to bed early.
"I have been gay for ten years now, and things are going really well. Thanks for asking. I have been Asian for my entire life, and I still don’t know exactly what the fuck that means.” Joel Kim Booster in The Toast.
Lucie Goulet on the lack of representation of female engineers in the fashion press, and why representation matters.
"Why is she humoring him?” “Because he looks scary.” Following from the important and heartbreaking #YesAllWomen Twitterstorm, Amanda Hess in Slate on why most men don’t notice the harassment women experience.
"It was surreal to get everything I wanted in one bright flash.” Roxane Gay in BuzzFeed on the book deal(s) experience.
Alice Gregory on the Longform podcast, talking about how being interested and reactive is the key to being a good talker, and how and when to include your personal experience in the story. … Related, a quote from her Believer interview with Renata Adler: "As she leaned in to answer my questions (and ask plenty of her own), the tail of Adler’s famous, waist-length braid sat coiled on the table like a sleeping snake."
Reading List, Atlantic-to-Pacific edition.
I’m home on the island again and I’m not going anywhere for a long long time.
[David Bowie via @bimadew]
On staying hungry. Rachael Maddux in Medium.
Love Sia Furler. [Steve Knopper, the New York Times]
"I hate vagueness and love ambiguity, and when I die nobody will be able to say that I didn’t choose my own adventure.” Sarah Nicole Prickett’s newsletter for Adult Magazine is good.
The trick of life. Akhil Sharma in the New York Times, via @dailydoseofjess
Some recent notes from Lucy Morris. (This Recording)
Literature’s love affair with the only child. Caitlin Keefe Moran in Medium.
Love how Ellen Willis talks about the freelancer spirit (and jealous of her description of what sounds like the journalism glory days). Excerpt from ‘The Essential Ellen Willis’ in Scratch Magazine.
“It is excruciatingly difficult to try to get someone who doesn’t like heaviness to try to grapple with heavy shit.” Oh Polly! [The Awl]
"With only me to stop me, I was unstoppable.” Ann Friedman on being single. [Marie Claire]
”Study finds that women aren’t run by their periods. Scientists everywhere are confused.” I don’t know whether it’s an editor or Amanda Hess herself who writes her Slate headlines, but they’re always brutal.
"Why do publications make it so hard to figure out what they’re looking for?” Big question from Ann Friedman at CJR.
"Ann Patchett writes in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage that you’re not allowed to complain about not being able to write until you’ve sat down for an hour every day for 30 days trying to do it. She says that she has told countless people the same thing, and none of them have ever come back to complain about it again.” Sit and bleed, says Kara VanderBijl.
Reading List, Island edition.
It’s late and there are no sounds in my house other than the gentle rush of the night traffic, My brain is whirring slowly around nothing and everything, it’s been hours like this and it’s so wonderful when it’s quiet.
I’m still on the meditation, which is nothing like I thought it would be and so much better than I ever thought possible. I am starting to hear the hum again.
[Image: From Iain Baxter ‘Reflected San Francisco Beauty Spots’, 1979]
Los Angeles is a woman. Roxane Gay.
"We are not minds who have bodies, in the way we have a cricket bat or pair of sneakers. We are bodies." Charlotte Wood, via @dailydoseofjess
Keith Gessen in Medium, on the opening up and closing up again of Russia.
A new sense of energy and optimism: The state of journalism 2014, by Amy Mitchell and the Pew Research Journalism Project
Adult Magazine has put some stuff online at long last and it’s thoroughly wonderful. This one is a roundtable about money and how it feels. This one’s about bad sex (LOL), by Chelsea Summers. This one’s in Ruth Curry’s sheets: “It’s one of the nice things that I like about being single - whatever goes, you’re fine.”
"I love the rhythm of all this but it feels like stasis. It feels as if I’m in a purgatory of sorts, and nothing yet has emerged.” Felicia Sullivan
"Sorry, I can’t go out. I’m going to be tired later." Katherine Carlson, The Hairpin.
Pete Doherty, in a field, playing Fuck Forever.
Stevie Nicks’ weather forecast. Because the Internet <3
"The company of fellow travelers, the slow burn, the long view - and the perpetual guiding change of nature. Both are bigger than us; they support and carry us. We can fly at the back of the formation they form and take our place as a part of patterns they make … We set out to make something about companionship and wonder in the face of bitterness and disillusionment - and we set out to hope that companionship and wonder might win." Tilda Swinton, speaking to Carl Swanson at New York Magazine.
“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.” Sylvia Plath