Things I Read That I Love #279: Surly Twentysomethings Resembling Peter Pan’s Lost Boys If the Lost Boys Were Girls

HELLO and welcome to the 279th 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 Brendan Fraser! 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.

Whatever Happened to Brendan Fraser?, by Zach Baron for GQ, February 2018

No day like today to check in on Brendan Fraser! Gods & Monsters used to be one of my favorite movies.

Bowel movement: the push to change the way you poo, by Alex Blasdel for The Guardian, November 2018

Look I’m not gonna talk about it but I did read it and it was interesting.

The Ghosts of Highway 20, by Noelle Crombie for The Oregonian, December 2018

The five-part story (with video, if you desire it) of John Ackroyd, a highway worker responsible for the murders of several women and girls in Oregon. It’s a really impressive collection of materials including a deep-dive into the methods employed throughout the two years of research that resulted in this story and a 71-page PDF that tells the story with footnotes and link to source material! Great reporting!

How One Man’s Quest to Spread Christmas Cheer Led to a Miserable Four-year War With His Neighborhood, by Daniel Walters for The Inlander, November 2018

This man is an idiot! And somehow he managed to bring his case before a jury of OTHER IDIOTS. I cannot. I read this story before bed and it kept me awake longer than the Oregon murder story I read the night prior before bed. The idea of Christians being under attack in this country is hilarious, please read this so you too can suffer as I have suffered.

Hags in Your Face, by Michelle Tea for The Believer, May 2018

The rise, and terrifying drug-related fall, of a San Francisco dyke gang who called themselves the HAGs.

More than the presence of a women-only bathhouse soaking with lesbians, more than the women’s bookstore selling Dorothy Allison novels and feminist newsletters, even more than the Bearded Lady, the dyke café that hosted late-night art events attended by Kathy Acker, the HAGS were evidence of the mad freedom to be found in San Francisco. The city was plagued by fag bashings and other antiqueer hate crimes, but if this was the place this group of magnificent and terrifying dykes thought best to call home, it was where I wanted to call home too.

The Sunburnt Country, by Madeleine Watts for The Believer, October 2018

On skin cells in trauma, the hole on the Ozone layer right over Australia, the White Australia policies, gold mining, the Gold Coast, the Coppertone girl, skin cancer, aging, and also just like… a lot of beautiful sentences. The Believer is a very reliable source for beautiful sentences.

Ambient Cruelty, by Linda Besner for Real Life Magazine, December 2018

A real deep think about consumer rating systems like Yelp and the in-app rating that happens on Taskrabbit and Uber and Ziosk. I’ve often felt grateful that my many years in the service industry took place prior to the advent of these practices. But this piece is also about subjectivity and the pleasure of saying something mean.

Distress Tolerance, by Kaveh Akbar for Medium, April 2018

On the long and winding road toward sobriety, the literary drinking tradition, blackouts and … it’s just really beautifully written, this piece.

The best $6,250 I ever spent: top surgery, by Danny Ortberg for Vox, December 2018

I mean you’ve maybe read this one already, we have linked to it elsewhere, but what if you haven’t? You should, it’s great.

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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 3213 articles for us.


  1. Hags in your Face was so good! Thanks for sharing, I’m definitely going to have to check out Michelle Tea’s other work.

    • There’s a version of this story in her book Against Memoir which was one of my favorite reads of the year. Highly recommend it as an intro to her work!

    • She’s amazing! You won’t be sorry if you read more of her work. There’s no bad place to start but Valencia and Black Wave are two of my personal faves.

  2. Ambient Cruelty was really interesting. It must be terrifying to have your entire livelihood depend on a score that in reality means very little.

    I used to work in retail and we had a survey that was important but not used that much. It used to frustrate me when the big bosses (who didn’t work in the store) would complain about us getting less than perfect scores for stuff like long queues (we were understaffed, not our fault), items being out of stock (usually popular items, not our fault), things being too expensive (you guessed it, not our fault!) or other petty things we couldn’t control. One person literally put that her score wasn’t perfect because she was having a bad day! If people were scoring us low but not giving their reasons then we could be ranked bottom of the area being blamed entirely unfairly. That doesn’t help anyone, staff or customers because nothing positive can come of it.

  3. ‘Last year, I publicly admitted to having a body for the first time, an act so embarrassing I have still not fully recovered. The dominant story of my life as a woman had been, “I’ve never given a moment’s thought to my body, although I’m sure it’s quite nice; never been there myself, but I hear it’s lovely this time of year.”’

    Fuck, I’ve missed Daniel’s essays. His instagram is delicious but I literally need his sweet sweet long-form writing to sustain me. Sometimes I feel weird about relating to a writer this much but oh well!!

    • His newsletter, The Shatner Chatner, is a goldmine – some of it is subscriber-only, but there’s plenty of free issues.

  4. Sunburnt Country was amazing Riese, thank you for sharing it.

    Interestingly, men are at higher risk of melanoma cause sunblock is often thought of as a cosmetic. I wonder if the dawning of the age of the queer will mean a shift away from the haggard leather-skinned masculinity of my childhood?

    • That may also just be that a lot of moisturizers and makeups contain sunscreen so women end up wearing more sunscreen incidentally than men do.

  5. Damn. I couldn’t get past the verdict paragraph of the Christmas article (not willing to go through that suffering), but the HAGS piece will stay with me for a while.

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