Things I Read That I Love #216: More Fun Than The Law Allows

HELLO and welcome to the 216th 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 Legos! 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.

Lego Is the Perfect Toy, by Genevieve Smith for New York Magazine, December 2016

We had like an entire room of Legos when I was growing up. That was in the 80s and early 90s though, and now we have all grown and changed, including Legos. Legos!

Christine Who Fed The Hungry, by Emily Gould for The New Yorker, December 2016

This is a nice ‘slice of life’ piece for people who will read anything Emily Gould ever writes about New York and the interesting humans who inhabit it. I am one of those people.

Confessions of an Instagram Influencer, by Max Chafkin for Bloomberg Businessweek, November 2016

The concept of this piece is borderline-douchey, but yo there’s secret (and expensive) ways to get popular on instagram and reading about those ways is quite a trip.

November 30, by Molly Wizenberg for Orangette, November 2016

A gorgeous blog post with a twist that will really resonate with y’all, I promise.

I felt the same way when I started to write Delancey, realizing that I couldn’t tell our story, or not in any way that felt complete, without exploring us from our most unflattering angles – and particularly me, as I bumbled and flailed, learning to trust and love someone whose dreams are much grander and riskier than my own. I felt the same draw again after June was born, when I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. If anything, I wish I’d written more about that, been less afraid. I was afraid.

Growing up with the Family, by Abigail Haworth for The Guardian, November 2016

YOU KNOW I LOVE A GOOD STORY ABOUT A CULT Y’ALL. And this one was about a cult with a female leader! 

The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management, by Theme Park Tourist, July 2016

Just another gem from your favorite website and mine, Theme Park Tourist. FWIW, I found the Tiki Room terrifying as a child and confusing and problematic as an adult.

New Neighbors, by Ryan Ruff Smith for Subtropics, November 2016

A gay couple (one cis, one trans) moves into an apartment in Cincinnati and something bad happens and this wonderful essay emerges from the rubble.

RL always took time to process things. He preferred not to talk about something until he fully understood it. If I forced an issue too soon or too stridently, he might shut down; if I waited too long, the issue could become overgrown and unmanageable. For my part, I was almost physically unable to live with uncertainty. My tendency was to discuss something as soon and as rashly as possible, in the interest of dissipating any temporary unease, even at the cost of a worse outcome in the long term. As we’d spent the past three years poring over each other’s instruction manuals, we’d found that this was the key calibration between us.

Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President, By Richard C. Paddock, Eric Lipton, Ellen Barry, Rod Nordland, Danny Hakim and Simon Romero for The New York Times, November 2016

Want to read something true and extensive and terrifying? I’ve got JUST THE THING.

Silicone City, by Mimi Swartz for Texas Monthly, August 1995

A throwback about Houston at the peak of the breast implant craze.

Of all the symbols of modern Houston—the oil derrick, the building crane, the designer skyscraper—the breast is the most unlikely. The ultimate emblem of femininity—it yields, it nurtures, it entices—the breast would appear to have no more than decorative use in a place that has always been known as a man’s town of big deals and big deeds, where self-invention has achieved the status of religion. Houston, it has always seemed safe to say, isn’t soft on anything. But whether locals recognize it or not, Houston is in the grips of one enormous breast fixation.

“It Smelled Like Death”: An Oral History of the Double Dare Obstacle Course, by Marah Eakin for The AV Club, November 2016

I loved this show but my Mom wouldn’t let me watch it. It’s one of those things that made sense as a kid but as an adult you really need this entire oral history to figure out what was going on and why on earth this show was so popular.

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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 3203 articles for us.


  1. I am an avid Lego enthusiast, and as such, I have had several people post this article to my FB account, or reference it. While I am excited that there is a whole line of female heroines being produced and sold, why do they look so different?!

  2. I actually work at the agency used in the Bloomberg article! It was cool to see it from start to finish behind the scenes. Also since working there-I’ve learned all the inner workings of influencer marketing- its a super great crash course on current culture and media as a whole. Awesome that you featured it :D

    • Just read that article. Can’t believe the price of those stock photos! Do you ever with that it’s all a bit vapid and materialistic, or do to try to focus on the positives? (Genuine question which I’m worried is a bit snarky)

  3. Mom’s always seem to have one strange show they won’t let you watch, my mom’s was Hogan’s Heroes. I’ve asked her why she wouldn’t let me watch that show and she claims to not know her reasoning for it being forbidden.
    (Of course I watched it when she wasn’t around.) :-D

    • Yes me too! I guess we will have to wait for the documentary/ books. I have this slight obsession with cults, the whole mindset just intrigues me so much! I always wonder how you start one and get people to stay, especially in this day and age when there is so much information available.

  4. riese, id like to personally thank you for your interest in true crime and cults. since the first things I read that I love that featured cults, I have read many true crime and cult essays and my life has improved tenfold. really excited to read about the family

  5. I love the ‘Things I Read That I Love’ articles, so many interesting links and I always learn something new or find out a new thing I want to learn more about.
    Thank you!

  6. The LEGO article was just wonderful. Also appropriate timing because I just bought my niece a batch of Duplo LEGO for her 5th birthday.

  7. That Instagram article is simultaneously hilarious and horrifying.

    “After an awkward exchange during which I half-muttered the words ‘J’ and ‘Crew,’ it was decided that I couldn’t be trusted to dress myself” = lolllll.

    But “Distinguishing between when is it my life and when am I creating content is a really big burden” = D:

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