Things I Read That I Love #169: More Stories We Tell Ourselves In Order to Live

HELLO and welcome to the 169th 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 read them too and we can all know more about Keurig! 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.

A Brewing Problem, by James Hamblin for The Atlantic, March 2015

Well, this was depressing because I am secretly overjoyed every time I’m at somebody’s house or a hotel with a Keurig. I knew they were bad but jesus they are BAD.

The Gangsters of Ferguson, by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic, March 2015

One should understand that the Justice Department did not simply find indirect evidence of unintentionally racist practices which harm black people, but “discriminatory intent”—that is to say willful racism aimed to generate cash. Justice in Ferguson is not a matter of “racism without racists,” but racism with racists so secure, so proud, so brazen that they used their government emails to flaunt it.

Some Hollywood Extras Suffer, But Others Are Rolling In It, by Hillel Aaron for Los Angeles Weekly, February 2015

An interesting look at an interesting profession, especially as a follow-up to last week’s bit about Showbiz seniors.

Behind The Cutting-Edge DIY Drug Movement, by Taylor Hatmaker for The Kernel, February 2015

This article is written by my friend Taylor Hatmaker and mentions my former secret best friend, The Erowid Vaults, and if that’s not reason enough for you to read it then I don’t know what to tell you.

The Rocky Road To The Making Of the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie, by Vanessa Grigoriadis for Vanity Fair, January 2015

Have you read the recaps of 50 Shades by Jenny Trout? You really should. Anyhow, I nearly laughed out loud about the things from the book E.L. James wanted to keep in the movie because the book is SO STUPID and the movie was simply trying to save it from itself, I imagine.

Black is the Color of my True Love’s Hair, by Nishta Mehra for Guernica

Four or more issues relevant to your interest: same-sex parenting, adoption, racist microagressions, people who think “post-racial” is a thing, gaystreaming, etc.

Most of us don’t have the right language for these situations. Maybe the right language doesn’t exist, no way around the weirdness of saying, “How awesome that you adopted a black baby!” and “We are not assholes and we think your same­‐sex relationship is lovely.” Maybe it seems ridiculous that such statements should even be necessary or notable, except that we know they are and so that’s why we say them.

Who Killed the Gangster’s Daughter?, by Lisa DePaulo for New York Magazine, December 2001

Are you watching The Jinx? That shit is WILD y’all! One of the events discussed in the documentary is the murder of Bobby Durst’s BFF, Susan Berman, who was the daughter of a mobster. She also wrote for New York Magazine for a spell. This is the article about her murder after it happened, dredged from the archives because of HBO.

The Online Stories We Tell, by Amanda Miska for The Rumpus, February 2015

There are many reasons we search out people from the past online, but for me, the most compelling is the desire for story, for narrative, for a relationship to come full circle. It is a rare thing that a relationship ends in a fully satisfying way for both parties. Even if you’re the one who ended it, there are often doubts and uncertainties. You want to know you did the right thing. You want hard evidence. Sometimes you want to dream about the life you didn’t get to have. Sometimes you want to see the life you were lucky to escape.

Am I Crazy To Think I Actually Know Where That Malaysia Airlines Plane Is? by Jeff Wise for New York Magazine, February 2015

“In the year since the vanishing of MH370, I appeared on CNN more than 50 times, watched my spouse’s eyes glaze over at dinner, and fell in with a group of borderline-obsessive amateur aviation sleuths. A million theories bloomed, including my own.”

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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 3212 articles for us.


  1. the article by Nishta was amazing, if you read tags at the bottom of the article they say family, transracial adaption and race. I feel like those words don’t do it justice. especially when you get to the end and she mentions her worries about her son right after hearing the ferguson decision not to try darren wilson, i remember the pain of that night i can’t imagine what that pain would feel like as a parent of a child color.

  2. I just had to drop a line about Nishta Mehra’s article, but I don’t really have any words so I’ll just leave this here.

  3. “Am I Crazy To Think I Actually Know Where That Malaysia Airlines Plane Is?”

    As someone who spent 2 months of her life independently (with one other guy) fact-checking, verifying, critically analyzing, and debunking the myriad of news, rumours, theories, ideas, questions, reports about MH370:


    Also fuck this guy for capitalizing on this crash by publishing a book with yet another half-baked theory.

    • As for the lists of screwups by the Malaysian government: sure, they fucked up some. But from the tons of research we did, the bigger fail was the mainstream media, who were not at all accurate in their reporting of press conferences and statements, relied way too much on unnamed “officials”, forgot context at all, and couldn’t even report people’s names or original sources right. Here’s an example of one part that went absolutely wrong – the whole Balotelli derail:

  4. Taylor’s article was so good! It wasn’t at all what I was expecting but I really liked it. And also, I <3 Erowid so much too!

  5. Well that was excellent, thank you. The piece by Amanda Miska was especially interesting/thought-provoking I thought. Although I feel it’s also kind of an unsettling group of thoughts to consider…

  6. Oh god, the one about the Malaysian airlines missing flight. That one seriously shook me.
    But seriously, with the work he’s already done on this, coupled with the fact that nearly everyone has stopped talking about it, don’t you think that someone with more money and access to resources would contact him and continue the search? His theory points out that the plane must have reached the ground in Kazakhstan on or around a now-defunct landing strip just large enough for a 777 to self-land, implying that the plane had been expertly hijacked. Data revealed that the plane had just the right calibration for first-class passengers in the front row to access a control deck that would have made it possible to disable certain features and momumentally confuse data analysts after the fact. Satellite photos reveal that the landing strip, which was in the middle of nowhere and built and leased to Kazakhstan by Russia (of all entities) had been bulldozed EIGHT DAYS after the flight went missing, despite the fact that nothing had happened to it in decades. I’ll stress again that this strip had been built for auto-landing aircraft, meaning that hijackers who otherwise would not have any experience landing planes could still do so.

    I think that the author sounded a little defeated at the end of the article, which worries me. I hope someone gets into contact with him soon about investigating this further.
    I want to live in a world where missing plane mysteries come to a real close. The families of the passengers deserve that closure. And all of us deserve to know that the organizations and governments that surround us can be held accountable for answers when disasters happen.

    • Plenty of people – especially scientists and engineers – are investigating the plane without the news agencies poking their nose into it. A lot of the research is too arcane to really be properly reported (they can’t even report basic facts right). People worth their salt aren’t going to look at some huckster’s blog and go HMM, MAYBE WE SHOULD INVESTIGATE THAT WHY DIDN’T WE THINK OF THAT.

      Be skeptical of what you’ve heard about the data, such as “oh wow that runway is PERFECT for hijackers!” A lot of the claims bandied about are based on barely any truth or understanding of science, by people who think life must work just like a mystery novel.

      People have made a zillion random contradictory theories about the plane, all pointing to some shred of evidence to back them up. Even though I haven’t updated WhereIsMH370 in a while, I still get emails from people who claim to know where the plane is based on the flimsiest of claims. We have not had a claim that actually stood up to any sort of reasoning. The only difference this guy has is that he managed to make money out of it by selling on Amazon – which makes him worse than a huckster.

      Don’t buy it. Literally and figuratively.

  7. I will read the articles in a moment, but I just wanted to take a moment and say: *clears throat* OMG TAYLOR HATMAKER’S NAME IS ACTUALLY TAYLOR HATMAKER? THAT IS THE ACTUAL BEST NAME.

    Okay. Done now.

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