Things I Read I Love #297: Anyone Who Wears a Carabiner With a Certain Sprezzatura

HELLO and welcome to the 297th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can know about BH90210!!! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.

The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.

“Are You The One?” Proves Soulmates Aren’t Really A Thing, by Natalie Adler for Buzzfeed News, September 2019

I can read these takes all day! Watch me go!

The laughable self-importance of the refrain “for the first time in Are You the One? history” elides what queer theorist José Muñoz called the limited, pragmatic politics of “the here and now.” What the queer season of this show teaches us about queer love is that its supposed failures are part of queer world-building — they suggest a future, a “then and there” on the horizon, where we have more options available to us than the set track of heteronormative milestones. “Queerness and the politics of failure are linked insofar as they are about doing ‘something else,’” he wrote, that “something else” being a gesture toward a possibility not yet named, difficult to imagine because of how utopic in scale it could be and how limiting the inhibition of heteronormativity is on our imaginations.

The Wisdom Of Never Leaving Your Hotel Room, by Yonatan Raz Portugali for Popula, August 2019

In my first two days of seclusion in the hotel, I lived on room-service salad and tomato soup and focused on finishing  a long-delayed article while Toony worked at the gallery. My confinement caused me to enjoy Berlin for the first time: not going out into it, I couldn’t be disappointed, frustrated or cheated. From the hotel room, the city seemed so full of potential for adventure. Through the window, everything looked so interesting!

The Gospel According to Marianne Williamson, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner for The New York Times Magazine, September 2019

This was a real journey!! I didn’t really know what this woman was about and now I do and wow. I feel like this week I read a lot of stories about things i did not know anything about and therefore have nothing to say about them besides INTERESTING STUFF, FOLKS!

Joe Exotic and His American Animals, by Robert Moor for New York Magazine, September 2019

There’s a lot of wild stuff in this article but also… I had no idea that petting tiger cubs in the mall was like, a thing?

The Niche Celebrity Satire Of “BH90210,” by Emily Nussbaum for The New Yorker, September 2019

It’s me, I’m the niche who is here for this program, it’s me!

Amazon’s Next-Day Delivery Has Brought Chaos and Carnage To America’s Streets, by Caroline O’Donovan and Ken Bensinger for Buzzfeed News, August 2019

This investigation has already prompted three senators to call for Amazon to actually do something about the situation and I wonder if anything will come of that.

What College Admissions Offices Really Want, by Paul Tough for The New York Times Magazine, September 2019

Despite alleged diversity initiatives, “who can pay full tuition” and “who has good SAT scores that’ll up our U.S. News rankings” remain the two most crucial factors of all.

“Trump” “SoHo” “Hotel”, by Emily Flouton for Tin House, August 2019

Honestly her bio at the end is a true finale to the piece. Also! This is Tin House’s last issue, which is sad.

The Death and Life of America’s Lesbian Bars, by Meghan McCarron for Eater, September 2019

It’s so interesting to read about this from the perspective of lesbians who turned 21 and were like “wait, there are no lesbian bars here?” as opposed to my perspective which is “ah, my fellow lesbian dinosaurs, dost thee remember when there were lesbian bars here?” It’s good, this new energy! The future! Also I personally am eagerly awaiting the launch of this bar, so.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3182 articles for us.


  1. These are all really good! The one about who gets admitted to private colleges puts words to something I’ve felt for a long time.

  2. I was promised Pretty Little Liars content!! Granted I didn’t read all of them but was this false advertisement?

  3. Thanks for sharing that Eater article. As someone newly out and trying to find queer spaces, I enjoyed that. Oh also, there are no queer spaces. In a city as liberal as Minneapolis, this is actually baffling to me. The queer community feels very inaccessible. I want to be able to walk into a lesbian bar like you walk into a target.

  4. I’m applying to colleges right now and it’s so scary. I’m torn between going to a really good, but super expensive, university or a lesser, but much cheaper, college. I just don’t know what to do.

    • It depends on your family’s financial status, but financial aid can erase a lot of the price difference! I chose a theoretically expensive liberal arts school but had almost all of it covered by grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. It’s four years of your life, so I think it’s really worth investigating whether it’s viable to pursue the environment and the education that calls to you. I’ve seen a lot of people dismiss the thought of applying to more selective schools out of hand due to the cost factor, or an outsize fear of loans—which, yeah, no one loves paying back loans, but it was fully worth it for me.

    • It depends on what field you are thinking going into. I live in a part of the country (Midwest) and work in areas where no one gives a hoot which college I went to, as long as I had a BA or BS. Go where you think you can get the most out of the experience because with college, like most things, you get out what you put in. If you are in a community or environment that is stifling, unsupportive, etc, you aren’t likely to put much in. I spent exactly one (1) semester in a small, expensive liberal arts school and it was absolutely horrible (even though I thought it was surely perfect). I finished my degree with great joy AND in-state tuition, as well close group of queer friends, at a state college.
      Also remember, transferring is an option in the future, if your choice isn’t right for you in the long-run. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to choose the perfect school, there is no such thing.

      Signed, I’m a hs a teacher and would say the same thing to my students.

  5. Thoroughly agree with the wisdom of never leaving your hotel room, although I suspect the places I’ve done this have been rather more down at heel than where that article’s author was staying.

    I don’t know whether it’s the peculiar appeal of going to far away places to not actually go anywhere, or the joy of taking a vacation from your vacation, or that I find hotel rooms to be delightfully distraction free environments to get things done, but in general I think everyone should give it a go.

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