Seven things I’m loving this month

Smarter Living by The New York Times

I’m loathe to sign up for more newsletters, considering how inundated my inbox has become with sales pitches, unlimited LIMITED TIME ONLYs, press releases, and political provocations to a mystery woman named “Janet Manty.”

Some Smarter Living stories.

The Smarter Living series by the Times hooked me, though, with its consistently interesting roundup of how-to articles and service-based news you can actually use. Peruse its most recent stories here and sign up for the newsletter, if your inbox dares, here.

Unpublished Black History by The New York Times

The Times again with the win! The paper’s interactive digital project, titled Unpublished Black History, tells stories that deserve telling but didn’t get their due when they happened. Because America. Recommended reading: “Looking Again at James Baldwin” and “A Newark at War with Itself.”

“The 2000s” on Netflix

Huzzah! The CNN documentary miniseries has reached the new millennium. For “The 2000s,” eight episodes examine TV, music, pop culture, political upheaval, and, of course, war in the first decade of the 21st century. It’s worth a watch for a refresher course on history you lived, history you missed, and history that’s hard to believe now falls under the category of “history.”

This panel about pitching as a freelance writer

The Pulitzer Center’s Student Fellow Weekend 2018 panel featured journalists and editors from a range of media outlets. It’s a long conversation—an hour and a half—and I recommend skipping the introductions. But give it a listen for some helpful nuggets on how to make your article or essay pitches standout.

I learned what to and what not to include (ie. don’t include more than one story pitch if you haven’t worked with that editor before… oops), how to format a subject line (ie. put “PITCH:” in all caps and follow it with a headline that would work for your proposed piece), and much more.

Financial Planning for Creative Careers

Related: This free course from Kadenze. It’s pretty high-level, as free online courses are wont to be, but there’s some helpful goodies in here on budgeting, tax basics, financial goal setting, and Excel best practices. Bonus: It’s taught by Columbus College of Art & Design’s super, duper smart Elaine Grogan Luttrull, whom I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing before.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner in “The Resident”

My medical drama binge-watching continues. I’m obsessed with Mina on “The Resident” (played by Shaunette Renee Wilson) and the raptor doc I hope becomes her bff mentor lover, AJ Austin.

THE RESIDENT: L-R: Malcolm Jamal Warner and Shaunette Renee Wilson in the “About Time” episode of THE RESIDENT airing Monday, Oct. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Guy D’AlemaFOX.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner is so excellent at playing the doc whose outrageous arrogance is matched only by his unexpected tenderness. And, of course, by Mina.

“Venom” by Little Simz

Just wait for that beat to drop. So venomous it burns. This new song is perfect for all your feminist musical needs—from a workout playlist to a protest march. 🔥

Nine things I’m loving this month

Can you believe we’re almost one month deep into 2019? I’ve commenced Hibernation Mode throughout most of it, which you could have probably guessed given the following “stay inside under lots of covers” nature of the following obsessions that have been consuming my January.

P.S. Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Apartment Therapy’s January Cure

Ya’ll been Kondo-ing like it’s a verb. I’ve been doing something similar. The website Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a program that breaks down the often overwhelming act of cleaning your place into daily assignments—curing cabin fever and pack rat-ism in one swift swipe of the dust cloth. With assignments like #9 (do a bathroom cabinet cleanout) and #18 (clean the floors and treat yourself to flowers), this is a to-do list I can get behind.

Get it? “Get behind.”

Some of the key projects Justin and I tackled this month: organizing and purging all of our office and art supply cabinets, upgrading our cleaning equipment like the vacuum cleaner and even our guest towels, and sprucing up one room with a few new décor elements. We got a new grid patterned shower curtain from Amazon that we both love and a black and white nude sketch from Etsy that we framed and hung above the towel rack. Racks on racks.

This TED Talk

Therapist Mandy Saligari so wonderfully explains emotional habits that begin forming when we are children—why they happen and what we can do to conquer the unhealthy ones as adults. For a talk about emotion, her logic is surprisingly the most moving part of the whole thing. This one’s worth a listen.

Two new podcasts by writers

Writer Mike Ingram’s new podcast Day Jobs features interviews with artists who are trying to make art while making a living. Though he’s only three interviews/ episodes deep, I enjoy the tips the interviewees offer for how they get creative work done during their day job (ie. a construction worker writes on his phone during a lunch break). It’s realistic and inspiring to hear their stories.

Check out U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith’s podcast The Slow Down.

U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith’s podcast The Slow Down is produced in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Poetry Foundation. Regardless of how you feel about the rise of the Insta-poet, I’m all for the growing power of poetry and the myriad ways poetry has become more accessible to the general public in recent years. An Insta-poet Smith is certainly not; she’s brilliant and The Slow Down’s short five-minute episodes—described as “a different way to see the world, through poetry”—have been a welcome meditative addition to my mornings.

Twitter’s #SundaySentence challenge

To participate, post to Twitter the best sentence you’ve read all week with the hashtag #sundaysentence. Or just be a lurker like me and read all the goodies other people post.

Some of my favorite sentences from “Eat Only When You’re Hungry.” “As a dress, it was a raised fist, but in a silent crowd.”
I love this Sontag sentence, too. “Real art has the capacity to make us nervous.”

This Chicago Public Library branch that opened LITERALLY WITHIN A BLOCK FROM MY APARTMENT (!!!!)

Who’s the luckiest? Me.

“How To Become A Writer”

You gotta read this essay by Lorrie Moore.

Pick Up Limes recipe videos

This blog is run by a dietician who lives in the Netherlands. She’s named Sadia and she’s beautiful. Her voice is beautiful. Her blog is beautiful. Her food is beautiful. Her personality is beautiful… ah, le sigh.

I’ve been watching her YouTube channel’s recipe videos. They make cooking and eating vegan food not seem so terribly challenging. I’m a wannabe-veg, so I’ve been sprinkling her recipes throughout my occasional carnivore eats. One of my favorites right now is the Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie Bowl (that’s my beautiful re-creation of it at the top of this blog post), and I’ve been putting my own spin on the Mushroom and Lentil Tacos with Creamy Garlic Avocado Sauce.

New Amsterdam

Until a few weeks ago, “New Amsterdam” was just a TV show that starred the man I know and love as Tom Keen from The Blacklist. Turns out he has a real name (actor Ryan Eggold), AND that he is also an excellent Dr. Max Goodwin, the good-hearted renegade medical director of New Amsterdam Hospital. If you’re hibernating and need an entertaining, feel-good watch, hit up this mind-numbing show that I’ve been binge-watching on Hulu.

Paging Dr. Espionage!

Art you should know: Sally Nixon’s 365 Insta challenge

Little Rock-based illustrator Sally Nixon illustrates colorful scenes from everyday life. Their bright colors pull you in, their keen observations of human movement make you stay a while, and their dynamic characters keep you coming back.

One of my first-favorite Sally Nixon illustrations (I now have too many to call it my favorite-favorite) was an illustration of a girl taking a shower and absentmindedly making shapes out of the strands of hair on her shower wall. I totally do that, too! I imagine a lot of us with long hair do. But it was the first time I had seen that private moment shown to me by someone else.

Observation and relentlessly relatable documentation is Sally’s art super power.

She draws all kinds of people but mostly women. Women eating. Peeing. Hanging out. Thinking. Not smiling, but not not-smiling. Women just being ordinarily ordinary people—which is exactly what makes her work so extraordinarily compelling.

Well, that and all the bright details in her backgrounds. I wish there was an Airbnb with rentals composed entirely of Sally Nixon apartments and rooms.

"Bri" by Sally Nixon
I’m also endlessly attracted to Bri, fab pizza-getting undercover spy queen. She’s got secrets and pepperoni up her sleeve! My kind of girl.

Check out Sally’s Etsy, her book “Houseplants and Hot Sauce: A Seek-and-Find Book for Grown-Ups,” or her Instagram, where it appears she’s doing the 365 day creative challenge and posting a new work every day. I can’t wait to see what mundane moment she makes feel like magic next.

Featured: Creativity + The Unruffled Podcast

2018 has been my favorite one yet! And one of its biggest moments was my gallery exhibition in September.

I finally started making the embroideries for “Gone, Country” (after, like, a year of talking about it as if I had already started…ha!…) the same month I quit drinking in 2016. I didn’t/ couldn’t allow myself to realize it at the time, but that embroidery work became a physical representation of what I was trying to make happen in my life.

It required humility and fearlessness to just make something, the same way it required humility and fearlessness to make such a huge change. I punched designs into paper one needle-hole at a time, the same way I didn’t drink one day at a time. I made those small incremental holes in the darkness of an image, the same way I slowly began bringing light to parts of myself I had long been avoiding.

Taking time to make an embroidery gave me something to do with my hands while I simultaneously took on the terrifying business of learning to talk to myself in a new way; it took the pressure off. It also proved to myself that I wasn’t just someone who talked about her dreams. I had the courage to try. And, in the meantime, I made some cool shit.

Creativity was means/space/outlet for healing. I recently spoke about this process to the awesome women of The Unruffled Podcast. It’s such an honor to be included in their interviews, and I am thankful for their efforts to create a community for women to talk about these experiences of making art while making a more compassionate way of life. (If you’re interested in creativity and overcoming the nonsense we put in between ourselves and our greatest potential, I highly recommend adding Unruffled Podcast to your pod roll!)

Here’s my episode! I love that it’s the last one for the year. I hope to embrace 2019. To keep getting better, braver, kinder, stiller.

Sending you all so much love into the new year. Thank you for being part of my story. I hope you have THE FUCKING GREATEST 2019 EVERRRR!

P.S. / FYI: I am co-launching Zero Proof Book Club in February with my good friend Shelley Mann. We read and discuss books about sobriety, self-growth, or surviving—and then thriving—in spaces that profit when we numb ourselves, from ourselves. You can go LIKE the page now and stay tuned for more in the future. xoxo

Ready for you, bb. #2019

Three things I’m loving this month

@historycoolkids on Instagram

The @historycoolkids Instagram account is my new favorite thing. It’s full of rare photographs of famous people when they were young (like Sylvia Plath above).

“6-year-old Michelle Obama”

Usually accompanied by some breathtaking quote.

“Charles Bukowski // I don’t think it hurts, sometimes, to remember where you came from…They call it ‘9 to 5.’ It’s never 9 to 5… And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does. As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions. As an old man, I still can’t believe it. What do they do it for? … An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did? … Now in industry, there are vast layoffs…They are laid off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned: ‘I put in 35 years…It ain’t right…I don’t know what to do…’ They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this…I figured the park bench was just as good…Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait? I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system. And now that I’m here, a so-called professional writer, after giving the first 50 years away…the luck I finally had in getting out of those places, no matter how long it took, has given me a kind of joy… I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I can no longer tell a bluebird from a paperclip, I still feel that something in me is going to remember…how I’ve come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die. To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself.”

And photos of stories from not that long ago but nearly lost in time.

“A knocker-upper was someone whose sole purpose was to wake people up during a time when alarm clocks were expensive and not very reliable. In this photo, Mary Smith earned six pence a week using a pea shooter to shoot dried peas at the windows of sleeping workers in East London, 1930s. She would not leave a window until she was sure that the workers had woken up.”

And they’ll just casually drop stories into your Insta feed that will make your heart stop a beat—sending it remembering, mourning, raging.

“Black children look at a white-only playground from behind the fence, 1956 📸: Gordon Parks”
“George Gillette, Chairman of the Tribal Council of the Three Affiliated tribes, weeps as he witnesses the forced sale of 155,000 acres of land for the Garrison Dam and Reservoir, dislocating 900 Native American families, 1940.”

Then something that reminds you why we haven’t given up on each other…

“Freddie Oversteegen was a Dutch teenager when she joined the Council of Resistance to sabotage Nazi military presence in the Netherlands. She and her sister would use dynamite to destroy bridges and railroad tracks and smuggle Jewish kids out of the country. They would also shoot at Nazis while riding their bicycles and even lure then into the woods by seducing them, and then kill them when their guards were down. Freddie Oversteegen died on September 5, 2018, one day before her 93rd birthday.”

Convinced? Follow @historycoolkids on Insta here.

UFC champion Amanda Nunes

Speaking of fighters… check out Amanda Nunes. Nicknamed The Lioness, Nunes is a mixed martial artist best known for retiring Ronda Rousey in under a minute. However, girlfriend just CRUSHED Cyborg, a reigning UFC badass that competitors (understandably) seemed afraid to fight. But not Nunes. She walked into the cage on Saturday without a hint of fear in her eyes. In fact, she looked happy to be there. She knew she was going to win!

And she did. Again, in less than a minute. She’s now the first female fighter in the sport (and third fighter, regardless of gender) to simultaneously hold two titles (bantamweight and featherweight champ). Moreover, she’s an underestimated underdog who continues to prove everyone wrong. How can you not love that?

“Big Mouth” on Netflix

Starring the hilarious voice talents of Nick Kroll (co-creator), Fred Armisen, and the incomparable Jenny Slate, “Big Mouth” quickly and unapologetically slid in to my list of favorite TV shows I watched in 2018 (though it premiered on Netflix last year, and the second season was released this October).

The series follows a group of seventh graders who are starting to navigate puberty—all with the “help” of their “hormone monsters,” horny, one-track-minded little creatures that the kids are finding they just can’t shake.

The brilliance of “Big Mouth” is how it creates characters that represent emotional experiences we all share—and THEN, nails the landing. For example, Shame Wizard.

This show juggles humor and empathy to create totally endearing storylines, memorable characters, and zingy one-liners I’ll annoyingly repeat to my husband for at least three more months.


Art you should know: Sophia Brueckner’s Captured by an Algorithm

Sophia Brueckner is an artist-engineer whose work offers a warm but unsettling bird’s-eye view of where technology, science fiction, and humanity often meet.

A former software engineer at Google, Sophia brings an exciting perspective to her artwork—a comprehensive understanding of how tech works with an unquenchable curiosity about how future tech might—and encourages ethical standards in designing new technology. At the University of Michigan, for example, she teaches courses such as “Science Fiction to Science Fabrication,” which combines sci-fi imagination with practical invention.

 Her ongoing series, Captured by an Algorithm, is a confluence of all of the above… plus, writing and romance novels, so, you know, sign me up.

The project is composed of commemorative plates (such a strange human endeavor when you really think about it, right? Commemorative plates… like, why plates?); on these plates are dreamy landscape collages pieced together by the Photoshop Photomerge algorithm. The algorithm determines what scans of popular romance novel covers are similar and makes an image based on its decision. Voila, a plate.

Then, because these weren’t weird enough yet, each plate’s collaged artwork is stamped with a sentence from a romance novel, selected based on the number of times readers have highlighted it using Kindle Popular Highlights. (Kindle Popular Highlights are the lines in ebooks that readers highlight most often. You can see the lines other readers have highlighted when you read a Kindle ebook, helping you feel validated when a line you like is liked by others, or perhaps making you feel some insecurity if that popular line meant nothing to you until you saw how much it meant to other readers.)

What I love about Sophia’s work is that it is so uniquely and, I think, lovingly, explores how humans connect in modern leisure-fueled spheres, fluctuating between impersonality and deep resonance with another human by way of technology.

This series makes me think about how we “find” each other in a digital age. Romance novels inherently worship love and glorify that final moment of titillating connection/ climax, but they are also things we read alone—even when we’re reading it on a Kindle and highlighting a passage where others before us have lingered. Thus, these plates, especially when hung together like trophies of human desire as organized by a computer program, feel pretty and nonthreatening (even funny sometimes!) but ultimately disjointed and cold.

It’s not that hard to imagine these plates hanging in a dystopian future’s museum, commemorating the once-great human species and how they loved.

Roundup: Address books

I know the saying goes:

“If these walls could talk!”

But what about all the old phones?

As a kid, I loved the way these “old” phones felt cradled to my ear and the way they would “brrring” real fast after you picked up or hung up with any kind of speed. 📞⚡ Getting to use one that was a cool color made me feel like a movie star… a fancy lady with a rotary and, probably, a metal cigarette case and, definitely, a signature scent she wore pumped from a silver and gemstone colored bottle.

And if being a fly on the wall was an option…

I’d rather be a spider.

A little bit off. Watching from the corner. Untouchable.

During the holidays, I love to send Christmas cards to my family. Immediate family only because, like a wedding guest list or an AIM friend list mid-growth spurt, holiday card rosters can fill up quickly if boundaries aren’t put firmly in place.

But I’m always left scrambling to find their addresses. Yes, addresses I’ve sent postcards and photos and newspaper clippings to a million times. Grrr. Why don’t I ever save them? It’s the same routine: Search, sweat, ask, receive, praise be, write, mail, move on to other shiny things, repeat in two months.

It seems rude at this point to keep asking my grandparents and siblings for their A/S/L (address, street, location) when they haven’t moved in years.

I refuse to load the addresses into my phone, which would be the smartest thing to do, but that just feels so cold and impersonal. Instead, I want to be the kind of woman with an address book. Because that feels like it would be lovely.

Oh, now, don’t be so surprised at my motives.

I am, after all, a Pisces.

This one feels almost right:

A thicc-ass address book wearing a sensibly chic green floral print: $39.03 on Etsy.

I like this one, too:

Vintage. Sixties. Brass tacks, and leather bound: $12 on Etsy.

Well, this is just fun:

Address book with the photo from the cover of “Welcome to House Dead” by R.L. Stine: $6 (and your first born… muhuhaha) on Etsy.

Ah, found it. This… is the one:

Hi, pretty.
Beauty. Character. So many clean empty pages.

Reader, I bought it.

Wishing you a happy holiday and a wonderful new year!

Roundup: Blue Christmas feels

Today (Saturday, Dec. 15) at 8 p.m., come see me on the holiday-themed lineup of Fallen Angel storytellers at DMen Tap (2849 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago)!

I’m excited to be included on this awesome showcase. I’ll be performing a story about my leading role in the third grade school Christmas play. AKA my glory days… that ended in bittersweet disaster.

In honor of tonight’s show, here are three of my favorite well-told sad holiday stories. Because let’s be honest, this time of year can be kind of a bummer sometimes, and witnessing other people’s grief can often help you feel not so alone in yours, you know what I mean?

Bill Burr and the time his dad got him a doll for Christmas

This is the story that made me fall in love with Bill Burr (though his brutal bit about lady brunchers and craft fair shopping certainly helped). It reveals the hurt kid inside the seething comedian, and I love that Bill, someone who brilliantly wields comedy as a defense, let us see and experience that with him. It was filmed at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in February 2003.

Bonus: In the veterans parade episode of the new “F is For Family” season, Frank (the dad) yells at Bill (the boy) that if he doesn’t shut up, he’s getting a doll for Christmas. So, thanks for that little Easter egg too, Bill.

Judy Garland’s version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Fun fact: The secret ingredient to good eggnog is salt from your tears! Judy’s voice on this is sure to melt them out.

Jo Ann Beard’s essay “Waiting” from “The Boys of My Youth”

I love this book so much, and I think you/everyone should read all of it. But her essay titled “Waiting” is particularly heart-warming/heart-wrenching right now. It’s about her mother passing away from cancer around Christmastime. Here’s an excerpt, seen from her mom’s hospital bed as carolers circle round to sing (Linda is Jo Ann’s sister):

“Linda hesitates and then opens the door, gestures for them to step in. We move to the head of the bed and stand like cops with our arms folded, trying to smile. They finish one song and all look expectantly at the lady with the vibrato. She says, Three, and they begin to sing ‘White Christmas.’ This is our mother’s favorite, she used to put Bing Crosby on the turntable when we all sat down for Christmas Eve dinner. It was part of the feast, like the white candles, the clean linen tablecloth, the gleaming china. As she passed the first bowl and our father stood to carve they would sing it together, one at each end of the table, softly serenading their children. Our father, in fact, had a wonderful strong baritone just like someone in the crowd of carolers. Suddenly regret is swelling in the room like the voices of the choir. As she lies in the bed, she weeps, for Bing, for the melting, shimmering candles, the filigree on the holiday tablecloth. She is an unwilling astronaut, bumping against the thick glass of the ship, her line tangling lazily in zero gravity, face mask fogged with fear. My sister reaches across, over the bed, and we both embrace the mother, holding her on earth, pulling her onto the ship, breathing our oxygen into her line. Ten hours later she is dead.”

Jo Ann Beard, excerpt from her essay “waiting” in “The Boys of my youth”

Twelve things I’m loving this month

“Bloodless” by Andrew Bird

His new album’s title song is about our bloodless, cold, uncivil culture war. Here’s something we can all agree on, though: That piano part is mmmmm.

Existential Comics dot com

Also: “No, Stalin was not good you guys.”

Particularly the Simone de Beauvior editions.

Tessa Thompson

I’ve been so into actress Tessa Thompson this year! And apparently I’m not the only one: The Cut just featured her in an article titled “Tessa Thompson Knows People Can’t Stop Thinking About Her.” It’s something about the way she talks, right? She’s trance-like and so very deep. And her style. I loved her in “Sorry to Bother You” and she uniquely delivers such a great depiction of a Millennial creative-careerist-mom-wife as Bianca in the “Creed” movies. I can’t wait to see her in her own starring role, though, not just in a role that’s there mostly to just be a girlfriend or wife.

Three podcast reccos

  1. Books of Your Life, hosted by Goodreads co-founder Elizabeth Khuri. She talks to famous people about the books that have deeply influenced their lives.
  2. Art for Your Ear, hosted by Jealous Curator founder Danielle Krysa. She talks to contemporary artists about their practice, inspirations, and more. Try this episode with Los Angeles-based painter Seonna Hong (that’s her work below).
  3. Unruffled Podcast hosted by Sondra Primeaux and Tammi Salas explores the connection between creativity and recovery through interviews with creators of all stripes. It’s so inspiring. I like that the guests offer their own favorite recovery/creativity tools.

Painting by Seonna Hung

Screen Prism’s “Mad Men” videos

Ahhhh! I LOVE this YouTube channel that features video analysis of film and TV shows and characters. Get ready to binge. They’re like taking a film history, movie 101, and screenplay writing class for free. Of course, the super smart “Mad Men” character examinations are my favorite, but poke around, watch, and have your own movie-like ah-ha moments. (Oh also! Film fans should follow the One Perfect Shot Twitter account. It posts perfectly DOP-ed movie shots. The freeze framing lets you meditate on why a scene is so visually powerful.)

Kopari Coconut Melt

I got this stuff as a free sample from Sephora and I’m so grateful. It’s saving my hands and face this winter, which always sucks the life out of my skin. It’s basically coconut oil cream that melts into your skin once you apply it. Guess I’ll be buying a giant tub of it once this tiny sample is gone.

The “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” soundtrack

In this new movie, Melissa McCarthy is brutally good as author Lee Israel, who is infamous for the forgery she committed of letters by legendary writers (and for her alcoholism, which they depict in the movie with such accuracy and objectivity… the scene where we find out how disgusting her apartment is reminded me of Augusten Burroughs’ apartment reveal in “Dry”; he only shows the reader how disgusting his apartment is once he gets home from rehab).

Gray, cold, and funny, the movie also has a soundtrack that’s lethargic and serene… like a rain cloud you’ve gotten used to and rather enjoy constantly hanging over your head. It’s got so many wonderfuls on it: the Pixies, Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Chet Baker, Justin Vivian Bond, and this gorgeous Jeri Southern song that I had never heard before I watched the movie, but that I now want playing whenever I need a rainy day reprieve.

xoxo this album cover and its title… “Coffee, Cigarettes, & Memories.”

This quote from an InStyle interview with civil rights attorney Gloria Allred

“I don’t think fear is useful. I think fear is a weapon that has been used to deny women their rights.”

Read the full interview.

This passage from “The Woman Upstairs” by Claire Messud

“It was supposed to say ‘Great Artist’ on my tombstone, but if I died right now it would say ‘such a good teacher/daughter/friends instead; and what I really want to shout, and want in big letters on that grave, too, is FUCK YOU ALL. Don’t all women feel the same? The only difference is how much we know we feel it, how in touch we are with our fury. We’re all furies, except the ones who are too damned foolish.”

Get the book.

This month’s bro-tivational video!

“Self discipline is the definition of self love.”

See also: “You cannot win the war against the world, if you cannot win the war against your own mind.”

Three things for word nerds to listen to on the commute home

Chuck Palahniuk with Joe Rogan

Check out this Joe Rogan Experience interview with author Chuck Palahniuk (“Fight Club,” “Choke,” etc). Chuck talks about the bravery that’s required of good artistry and how we shouldn’t worry about what can and can’t be marketed—such boundaries only inhibit the most powerful writing and art. P.S. Have you listened to Joe Rogan’s podcast before? Justin is a big fan and he would play it while we were driving or cleaning the house together sometimes and I got hooked. Joe, much to my stereotyping surprise, asks really interesting questions and has a very layered perspective; even when I don’t agree with his opinions, I appreciate that he brings guests on that challenge his ideas or help him understand things he has questions about.

Sana Krasikov reads “Ways and Means”

Krasikov’s short story is a refreshingly nuanced take on the complicated realities of the #metoo movement and issues of power.

Zadie Smith reads “Now More than Ever”

Swoon, Zadie Smith always nails it, now more than ever. Don’t miss this controversial short story about the cultural heat wave to fall in line with the progressive opinions du jour.

“I instinctively sympathize with the guilty. That’s my guilty secret.”