Things I Read That I Love #276: Thelma, Too, Has an Unquenchable Thirst

HELLO and welcome to the 276th 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 Erotic Photo Hunt! 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.

An Out-of-Print Novel About Gay Activism, With a Trump Stand-in As Its Villain, by Peter C. Baker for The New Yorker

I loved this book (which inspired RENT although the writer of RENT never admitted it), and I love this take on this book (which the author confirmed with Sarah Schulman — the “evil developer” was indeed inspired by her walking into Trump Towers and being like “it was so ugly, so anti-New York. It was offensive”) and wow, you should read this book and then also read this article! Maybe you read this book already like I told you to when I interviewed Sarah Schulman.

Revenge of the Lunch Lady, by Jane Black and Sam Kaplan for Huffington Post Highline, February 2017

This one’s been sitting on my instapaper for a while and I wish I’d dug in sooner (GET IT?) ’cause it’s very good and interesting — mainly focusing on one middle school where an ambitious woman is doing everything she can to get healthy food to her kids — and also about the history of the U.S.’s school lunch program and how one functional aspect of it is at risk with the present administration, who would prefer for kids who can’t pay for lunch to just starve. I wonder if that has already happened!

U.S. Law Enforcement Failed to See the Threat of White Nationalism. Now They Don’t Know How to Stop It., by Janet Reitman for The New York Times, November 2018

This has been maybe the most discussed longread of the past two weeks — why aren’t white nationalists and alt-right extremists being pursued by the government and law enforcement with the same fervor dedicated to Muslim extremists, when the alt-right has been responsible for significantly more carnage in recent years? (I mean, we all know why, but this is a good piece on the topic.)

If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen, by Madison Miller for Bright Wall Dark Room, July 2018

“When God closes a phone booth door, He opens a window—through which Brad Pitt enters drinking straight from a hose.”

African Hospitality Served with Spaghetti Bolognese, by Yemisi Aribisala for Popula, September 2018

I love, specifically, the observations on being an introvert in an intensely extroverted culture.

Without reading the small print I had presumed my introverted self would be queen in my marriage. I thoroughly overrated the cuteness of my quirkiness. Quite confidently, my husband presumed I would be turning to an extrovert, a caterpillar to butterfly, as soon as we were married. In Nigeria that was the unwritten expectation, that women bent where they were pressed. Where a tree falls there it lies, great or small the tree, no exemptions.

Gabrielle Hamilton and Ashley Merriman Dreamed of Writing the Second Chapter in the #MeToo Story Instead, they got scorched, by Maggie Bullock

Remember when Ashley Merriman was that really cute girl with short hair on Top Chef? Well, this is what’s going on with her now.

Highly Recommended: Erotic Photo Hunt, by Marian Bull for Eater, January 2016

It has recently come to my attention that not everybody even knows what Photo Hunt is? I feel like I’ve played it in multiple states — definitely a lot in Michigan and I’m pretty sure in San Francisco, too. If only my memories of playing it were not so similar to one another (zero’ed in, as we were, on the screen) and also so drunken… according to this piece, Photo Hunt has been discontinued but she doesn’t know why! A true human tragedy!

Dorothy Allison: Tender to the Bone, interviewed by Amy Wright for Guernica, May 2018

Every word that Dorothy Allison speaks is so great and every story she tells is so wonderful.

On the Edge of Seventeen, by Sarah Kasbeer for Guernica, October 2018

A seventeen-year-old boy, a violent incident, and twenty years of reckoning: the writer remembers the boy she visited in prison before one day sending him there.

The Stranger in The Shelter, by Earl Swift for Outside Magazine, November 2018

Late in this story — which is the weird and disturbing tale of the first man ever murdered on the Appalachian trail — there’s a mention of a prison escape in Jackson, Michigan. There’s a lot of hitch-hiking in this story. I grew up near Jackson and remember there were signs on the side of the road near the prison that said “prison area: don’t pick up hitchhikers” and I remember asking my parents about them and that’s how I first learned about hitch-hiking in general.

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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 3184 articles for us.


    • Wasn’t it? I would have loved it to go more in depth about how they concretely saw things for the Spotted Pig, and their way of expressing it. I’m still not sure what they were aiming for, and the article is very much on Hamilton’s side which is awesome, but wish we’d heard more from the chefs, less from the journalist.

      • Yes. I was really struck by one of the chef’s comments that they wished their peers had asked them why they wanted to save the Spotted Pig instead of just getting mad and assuming the worst. Because even after reading the whole article I’m still not sure I understand why they wanted to do it.

        • @cleo Me, too! I really wish that the writer had delved into their specific goals and motivations. It was very unclear.
          I was also interested in/horrified by the treatment they received, ESPECIALLY because their goals were so murky. The writer strongly implies that Hamilton wasn’t well-liked, which perhaps contributed to their public condemnation by other women in the field. Without a clear statement from the Hamilton and Merriman, it’s impossible to tell if that reaction was justified.

          SO MANY ANGLES.

      • Agreed! It raises a lot of complex questions with complex answers. Do we throw away with every institution that dirtbags built? Do we use the framework they put in place to leverage ourselves up? Is is salvageable, should it even be salvaged? Should someone be judged guilty by association for a decision like theirs? I can’t even put into words the number of angles and issues here. Like you said, without their explanation we can’t know their intentions. I think that we’ll see many more situations like these in various arenas as sexual predators continue to be outed. I’m very fascinated to see how people deal with it.

  1. Riese I love you, and I’m probably not going to read it for my mental well being, but I am so mad at you for posting the article about murder on the AT!! HOW AM I EVER GOING TO HIKE A LONG TRAIL EVER AGAIN?!?!!!! ?

  2. Thanks for the article about Sarah Schulman.

    I have not read People in Trouble but I did buy Conflict is Not Abuse after reading your excellent interview with her. It’s still sitting on my TBR shelf with a bookmark halfway through the first chapter (which was fantastic). (Too many books, not enough time.)

  3. That article about Erotic Photo Hunt – what a trip down memory lane! In our mid-20’s, a friend and I used to play pool and Erotic Photo Hunt (aka, “titty tag”) at our local dive bar. We had several scores in the top ten. After a number of years away, I went back to the bar to discover the machine had broken and was not going to be replaced. My heart! The article really captured why we loved it, and why I’ll miss it forever and always.

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