Things I Read That I Love #195: Turning From Something Ugly Into Something Beautiful

HELLO and welcome to the 195th 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 Thinx! 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.

Lights, Camera, Love, by Tiffany Yannetta for Racked, February 2016

There is a lot of information about “Singled Out” in this look at online dating shows, which’s important as we watched that like lunatics at sleepovers in the ’90s. I’m really loving the feature stories they do on Racked, they always seem to be catered to my precise interests.

A Country Breaking Down, by Elizabeth Drew for The New York Review of Books, February 2016

This will be highly appreciated by high-speed rail advocates! But you know, the jist of it is that our bridges and train tracks and roads are in really piss-poor shape, behind many less-wealthy countries, and the government should do something about this, and a lot of people have written books about it.

Miki Agrawal’s Panty Raid, by Noreen Malone for New York Magazine, February 2016

Uh…. your mileage may vary. This is about the woman who made Thinx, the underwear that won’t leak when you’re on your period.

96 Minutes, by Pamela Coloff for The Texas Monthly, August 2006

This is the story of the first mass murder in a public place in America, which happened at The University of Texas-Austin in 1966. It’s in the style of an oral history

Winona, Forever, by Soraya Roberts for Hazlitt, February 2016

I cannot ever read enough about Winona Ryder, because I love her. This was a nice long journey into the world of Winona, I enjoyed every minute of it.

PeeWee’s Big Comeback, by Jonah Weiner for The New York Times, February 2016

Real talk I loved PeeWee’s Playhouse. I loved PeeWee’s Great Adventure and his breakfast machine. My Mom hated getting brand-name stuff or licensed merchandise for us but my brother had PeeWee pajamas and would do the PeeWee dance. In retrospect, man, that show was so weird and subversive! Also kd lang was on it once, she wore a prairie skirt. Anyhow this is about his past and his new project and everything that’s happened since everything fell apart.

I Made Less Than $13 An Hour To Serve $13 Bud Lights at the Super Bowl, by Gabriel Thompson for Slate w/The Investigative Fund, February 2016

Sadly, he was lucky to get paid at all — apparently volunteers fuel much of the game’s labor. But this is also about the overall underpaid labor situation at football games in Levi’s Stadium in general. Apparently this is part of a series they’re doing about the labor conditions behind some of our “most cherished annual traditions.” I look forward to future installments!

The Life and Lies of a Professional Imposter, by James C. McKinley Jr & Rick Rojas for The New York Times, January 2016

He’s inspired comparisons to legendary con-man Frank Abagnale. This guy is terrible!

TV: The Shame of Wisconsin, by Lorrie Moore for The New York Review Of Books, February 2016

She talks about the beauty of the midwest so wonderfully, and also the pain, and Making a Murderer.

“Nonetheless, a feeling of overlookedness and isolation can be said to persist in America’s dairyland, and the idea that no one is watching can create a sense of invisibility that leads to the secrets and labors that the unseen are prone to: deviance and corruption as well as utopian projects, untested idealism, daydreaming, provincial grandiosity, meekness, flight, far-fetched yard decor, and sexting. “

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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 3183 articles for us.


  1. I haven’t read it yet but I just know I’m going to love that Lorrie Moore piece because what could be better than one of my favorite writers expounding on a neighboring state!

  2. Oof, the Making a Murderer article hit all my Wisconsonite shame-complex buttons. It totally nailed what that state can be like and made me miss the scenery but feel sooooooo glad I got out.

    I was a kid when the Halbach investigation was going on, and I remember being terrified by the thought that guys would just randomly murder a lady who came to their business. I’m really glad this documentary happened, because it’s helped me re-frame my naive understanding of what was going on then – even without having watched it yet!

  3. Real Talk Tho my grandpa had the entire PeeWees Playhouse series on video cassette and we would watch them with him whenever we slept over

    I liked the one where they go to space and the mail lady kind of freaks and learns how to whistle to make your worries go away

  4. My girlfriend and I volunteered at a Superbowl a couple years ago and it was absurd. We were doing the exact same things as paid people, with the exception of game day, where everyone at the Superbowl we were at was paid. (We were just volunteering at the events beforehand). It felt super dodgy. But I think most people did it for the clothes, which my girlfriend saw for $200+ on eBay the day after we got them, before anyone had volunteered.

    Anyway, the whole thing has made me super cynical about volunteering. Since then the only volunteer thing I’ve tried to talk her into, the Superbowl was my idea, is walking shelter dogs.

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