Things I Read That I Love #247: A Pit of Pink Snakes That Will Inject Me With Pink Venom

HELLO and welcome to the 247th 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 HGTV! 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.

We Have Found the Cure! (Sort Of…), by Taffy Brodesser-Akner for Outside Magazine, April 2017

This is deeper than I expected, truly.

I know what people think about detox—that it’s a way to deal with an ultratoxic world. Even so, the true impetus for it seems to be something a little more subtle and even a bit nefarious: on Planet Wellness, despite all the oohs and ahhs about the glories of nature, there’s a general mistrust of the way the human body actually works, with natural systems getting overridden so that nutrients and herbs and tea and light and wishes can get inside you through avenues that weren’t necessarily meant to accommodate those things. It seems that the further we go with fancy and intricate treatments, the more we’re engaging in a ritual effort to make ourselves pure again. And this is something that has a lot of implications for how we feel about ourselves as women, particularly as we age. I don’t mean how our bodies look and work differently as we get older, but how we think of ourselves as whole people who have a history, people who have made mistakes, people who have eaten a cheeseburger on occasion, people who have loved the wrong people and have been imperfect in a way that feels unforgivable. In my journey through detoxification, I didn’t find that these treatments were just attempts to be young again. No, they were attempts to be new.

Sherri Rasmussen’s Murder: Tracing the Shocking Resolution to a 23-Year-Old Cold Case, by Mark Bowden for Vanity Fair, June 2012

A MYSTERY, SOLVED, AND WHO WOULD’VE THUNK IT! Me, I should’ve thunk it, because after finishing this gripping piece I realized I’d definitely read about this case before and maybe even seen the interrogation videos? Maybe I’d read this? Is this ringing a bell for anybody.

“Harmless Errors”, by Thomas Dybdahl for The Marshall Project, March 2017

asdsakdjkashfaiaosfisanas a story of a group of Black men who went to jail for doing a thing they did not do. Which is a thing that happens all the damn time, as longtime TIRTL readers know.

From Prison to Ph.D.: The Redemption and Rejection of Michelle Jones, by Eli Hager for The Marshall Project, September 2017

She was accepted to Harvard right from prison and then they changed their mind and un-accepted her and how and why did that happen.

Beware HGTV’s House-Flipping Fantasy Loop, by Caitlin Flanagan for New York Magazine, September 2017

Listen guys, buying a house is not like it looks on television, it’s actually potentially a terrible idea a lot of the time. This article is not about my own personal experience with home ownership but it is about home ownership, kinda, and mostly about the ethos behind the HGTV programming slate, and about the hosts of these shows, and how women are in charge and men like smashing walls down and putting lampshades on their heads.

Keepers of the Secrets, by James Somers for The Village Voice, September 2017

This ones for all my librarians out there

The End of Progress | Hazlitt, by Neil Price for Hazlitt, September 2017

“…it came as a complete shock when a flummoxed supply teacher cornered us one day, desperate to get a message across. “They’re watching you two,” he said. He spoke in that urgent but hushed tone reserved for secrets. “They’re waiting for you to fall on your faces.” We laughed. We had no idea what he was talking about. It never occurred to us that we were being “watched,” nor did it register that “they”—which we later understood to mean our white teachers—were expecting us to fail.”

The Life and Death of Jamaica High School, by Jenali Cobb for The New Yorker, August 2015

The author attended Jamaica High School and it did him well, as he quotes a Black friend recalling, “We came from neighborhoods where very few people went to college, but went to school with a set of people almost certain to go to college, and the school had a bigger influence.” In 1998, Jamaica High had a 75% graduation rate, and by 2009, it had tumbled to 39%. In 2015, they shut it down. So this is about how that happened and it’s about the consequences of seemingly radical “school choice” and charter programs because “the people who gathered angrily outside Jamaica High School weren’t really protesting its closing; they were protesting the complex of history, policy, poverty, and race that had brought it about.”

Rosé Is Exhausting, by Sarah Miller for Eater, August 2017

Whether you’re buying haute rosé or supermarket rosé, what you must never forget is to be drinking it all the time, and thus never not living the rosé lifestyle: Go on a rosé cruise, take in a rosé sunset, have a rosé night. Tie your rose gold hair back with a rosé-colored silk scarf so it doesn’t get in your rosé while you write a text on your rose gold iPhone that says, “rosé o’clock, bitches.” You can also sip it all day — why else would the hashtag #roséallday exist? “At a low 11.3 percent alcohol, you could easily drink this wine all day long,” a 2016 Vine Pair article confirms. The founder of Wine Savvy, Sayle Milne, recently told Refinery29: “You should be drinking rosé when you wake up. You should have it at lunch, you should have it at dinner. You should have it with a straw.”

Sharon Stone Crossing and Uncrossing Her Legs, by Rachel Kincaid for Autostraddle, September 2017

Rachel wrote this and it’s brilliant.

Long Live the Group Chat, by Aaron Edwards for The Outline, September 2017

This is a great article because of the words in it but also because of the way it’s presented, like how it’s visually designed. You’ll see.

But the GroupMes, the iMessages, the WhatsApp groups, the email threads, the Slack rooms — spaces we make when we can’t be there in person — instantly remind us we’re still here. That morning, I needed a reminder that I was still alive, still in pain, still allowed to feel that pain, and still angry. Without those texts, I imagine my feelings would evaporate into an intangible fog in my bedroom. I imagine that, given time unattended, the fog would eventually crush me.

Why Cops Shoot, by Ben Montogmery, Connie Humburg, Monica Herndon and the Times Staff, April 2017

A big project from the investigative journalism team at The Tampa Bay Times. I’ve had this in my Instapaper forever and finally hunkered down and dug into it and you should too.

Also, Bookforum’s “Omnivore” makes these paragraphs of links about relevant topics every day, and although the links within that I’ve followed thus far aren’t longform, per se, they are excellent portals:

Also, here is a link to donate to The Relief Fund for Centro Comunitario LGBTT De Puerto Rico.

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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 3197 articles for us.


  1. RE: the HGTV:
    ‘Jonathan wanted to be a magician with a big, David Copperfield type of show until someone stole all his props and he had to file for bankruptcy.’

    All of a sudden, he makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE. Thank you for this revelation.

  2. I really really love Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s writing and I want her to be in every TIRTL so we can all be as into her as I am. Have you read the one about taking her mom to a weed convention it was really great

    • i mean: “I cried because I knew that we interpreted our life’s worth of experience to be a kind of sullying, and that the men in our lives would never think that of themselves; the men in our lives aren’t capable of hating themselves the way we are.”

  3. Thanks for the reminder to read “Sharon Stone Crossing and Uncrossing Her Legs”
    It must have slipped through the cracks when all of my open tabs crashed a couple of days ago

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