Things I Read That I Love #22: A Nice Day For a Daydream

HELLO and welcome to the 22nd 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 being a lady-writer in New York, couch-surfing and The War Against Youth!

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.

You’re Welcome: Couch-Surfing the Globe (April 2012), by Patricia Marx for The New Yorker – A writer not particularly naturally inclined towards spending long hours with strangers embarks upon a journey via and says a lot of interesting things along the way.

Six Degrees of Aggregation (April 2012), by Michael Shapiro for The Columbia Journalism Review – The degree to which The Huffington Post owes its success to mastery of Search Engine Optimizaton is profoundly depressing.

When S’Mores Aren’t Enough: The New Economics of Summer Camp (July 2011), by Natasha Singer for The New York Times – Relevant to my present interests.

What it Cost Eight Women Writers to Make it in New York (April 2012), by Brent Cox for The Awl  – “Our intent here was simply to pick a writer or two from enough different eras to give a sense of what’s been involved in moving to the Big Apple to make it (or otherwise) over the past century.”

Innocence Lost (October 2010), by Pamela Colloff for Texas Monthly – The sheer volume of stories about people not rich or powerful or privileged enough to get a good lawyer or otherwise evade injustice who are therefore at the mercy of courts imprisoning them for crimes they did not commit (and for which there’s no evidence linking them to the crimes) is stunning and heartbreaking. This is another one of these stories.

How Do You Explain a Man Like Gene Weingarten? (December 2011), by Tom Bartlett for The Washingtonian –  Remember that story about kids who died after parents forgot that they’d left these kids in their car (which was in TIRTL way back when) and the story about Joshua Bell playing in a DC Metro station for ignorant passerbys (which wasn’t in TIRTL but I feel like everybody has read it anyhow)? This article is about the guy who wrote those stories, who is apparently a total weirdo. I love articles about the people who write the things that we read here every week like a family. –> “All good stories, Weingarten had come to believe, are about the meaning of life.”

Obviously after reading that story I had to read the story about The Great Zucchini (January 2006, by Gene Weingarten for The Washington Post) that was mentioned in the article and it’s good and you should read that one too.

Misadventures in the Republic of Letters (February 2011), by Alissa Nutting for Seven – Confessions of a literary magazine editor. Reminds me of interning at the lit agency.

Mr.X (1969), by Carl Sagan for Marihuana Reconsidered – On the benefits of cannabis –> “There is a myth about such highs: the user has an illusion of great insight, but it does not survive scrutiny in the morning. I am convinced that this is an error, and that the devastating insights achieved when high are real insights; the main problem is putting these insights in a form acceptable to the quite different self that we are when we’re down the next day.”

The War Against Youth (April 2012), by Stephen Marche for Esquire – We’re fucked, I think, which is why it’s so important that we all support each other! But this is good stuff, you should read it. Compelling numbers in there too.

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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 3211 articles for us.


  1. This is a good one, Riese! I love the Great Zuchinni piece. You know you’ve got a great writer when he can take a children’s party entertainer and get a really moving and engrossing article out of it.

  2. The pole dance studio owner in the couch surfing article is my best friend. She even almost came to A-Camp with me. It still miffs me that the reporter put her on the list of people too weird to stay with (despite having great reviews from people she’s hosted) and called out her business by name without permission. Also, she’s a business owner, not a housewife. Good thing my friend took being called out as a creeper because she teaches pole dancing to be a good thing. She did write a letter asking them to retract the name of her studio, though.

    And I gotta add… A bunch of the people the writer deemed unfit to stay with sounded fascinating. I have a bunch of couchsurfing friends who’ve seen the world because of that site.

    • Yeah, I’m with you on the couchsurfing article. Admittedly, I regularly make fun of couchsurfers’ profiles, and I get that the essay was supposed to be snarky and funny… but I feel like she may have missed the point? It’s not all about staying in fancy, beach-side houses for free!

    • Seriously! As someone who has couchsurfed, almost all people she turned down seem like the people I’d want to stay with.

  3. Jeez Louise, that couchsurfing lady sure has a lot of hang ups for someone who’s wiling to sleep in a stranger’s house.

  4. Another person the couchsurfer rejected: “a male in Antarctica who wishes to live as a female”. Oh aye, you couldn’t be having that like.

    • Yeah I can’t believe she wrote that. I agree with Caitlin’s comment earlier – I don’t think the reporter got the point of the couchsurfing community. My girlfriend and I are on a mission to visit all of the countries in Latin America and there’s no way we could do it without communities like and The whole point of travel is to open to new things and if you’re going to be judging people without even giving them a chance you completely miss the point.

    • But I mean… she lives in Antarctica! I’m not sure I’d go there either.

      But yeah, when I read that list I started off assuming it was meant to show that some couchsurfing hosts are just way cray, and then when I got to the poledancing and thought, maybe this is just a list of some of the people she didn’t get to stay with, and then I read the male/female thing and thought, this person should probably come to the 21st century where I live.

  5. I’m a musician and I get a new person gushing to me about have I read that Joshua Bell article probably once every couple of months or so.

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