Things I Read That I Love #28: Only Hellos

HELLO and welcome to the 28th 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 plane crashes! 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.

A Dog Named Humphrey (June 2012), by Sloane Crosley for The Believer – In which Sloane Crosley has a cameo on Gossip Girl as Sloane Crosley.

S/He (May 2012), by Jesse Green for New York Magazine — I mentioned last week that Morgan was gonna write about this piece for Monday but she ended up not being able to. So here it is! It’s about raising transgender children.

There Are No Goodbyes in the Army, by Simone Gorrindo for Vela Magazine  – “I remembered him when we’d first gotten together—his long dark hair in his eyes, his barren San Francisco studio populated with endless stacks of books, NPR constantly humming on the radio, an abundance of mugs ringed with coffee scattered throughout the apartment. We’d both grown up in liberal Bay Area families—he’d actually spent the first eight years of his life on a commune. But he’d been an athlete since he was able to walk, someone who found the office workday existence an unbearable cage, and somewhere along the line he had changed, or, as he put it, discovered what he’d wanted to do all along.”

The Super Bowl of the Mind (May 2012), by Alan Seigel for Slate – I was on a Quiz Bowl team in middle school, it was like the best thing ever even though we would lose from time to time.

Prep-School Predators: The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse (June 2012), by Amos Kamil for The New York Times Magazine – There’s the article, and then there’s the comments. And this blessed human being.

The Unfuckables (May 2012), by Anna Breslaw for The New Inquiry – This might be a good time to confess that I’ve never been into Tina Fey or “Female Chauvinist Pigs,” which are both discussed in this piece. Also yes I know Ariel Levy is gay. Also, it really pisses me off when women talk shit about strippers, for real.

The High Life and Strange Times of the Pope of Pot (June 1991), by Mike Sager for Rolling Stone “A pioneer of marijuana delivery service in New York City, Mickey the Pope had an 800 number and a corps of bicycle messengers covered by a company dental plan. Everything was blissful at the Church of Realized Fantasies—until fame came calling, in the form of radio shock jock Howard Stern.”

The Devil at 37,000 Feet (January 2009), by William Langewiesche for Vanity Fair – This was insanely gripping and also educational and also devastating. It’s about a plane crash that happened in Brazil in, I think, 2008.

Big Issues: Traffic (April 2009), by Jeanne Marie Laskas for GQ – If you read “The Devil at 37,000 Feet” and then read this one, you’ll probably never want to fly again. Just saying.

Cannibals Seeking Same (March 2011), by Josh Kurp for The Awl – Not gonna lie, I read way too many articles about that gay porn guy in Montreal last week, mostly about how he established a fake reputation on the internet. But also there were really gross parts and this article was also super-gross, but maybe even grosser, and honestly the whole thing seems like an episode of Criminal Minds that’d inspire me to say “this would never happen in real life.” Because WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE. I don’t know. So many cannibals these days. What’s wrong with me? I read this terrible gross thing. You probably shouldn’t read it. I think back to a mere week ago, when I had no idea people were actually into cannibalism, like that it was a real thing that happened in real life. I was so young and innocent then.

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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 3212 articles for us.


  1. I read the Kurp piece last week… and then I drank several glasses of wine and watched an entire season of Arrested Development before I felt better about life. I usually have an aversion to not finishing reading things, but really what was I thinking??

  2. I usually read every link you post. Every single one. THey are wonderful and I am so grateful for this, to give me something to read each day with my morning coffee.

    That said, now that I am currently living in the forest I am no longer able to read each and every one. I would quite appreciate a one-line descriptor of what the article is about… often you include your reaction to the article (which I appreciate), but I am left wondering what the subject is.

    • definitely you could read ‘the devil at 37,000 feet’ without becoming afraid of airplanes at all. it’s a great article, it’s the other article that sort of freaks you out

    • Try not to worry? The GQ article about air traffic controllers is relatively cheerful, and I’ve known a lot of pilots and overheard about a billion exchanges with control towers. Trust me, they are WAY more on the ball than nine out of ten people behind the wheel of your average car.

      My understanding of how it all works is imperfect (getting a pilot’s license is not difficult, it’s just REALLY BORING and involves a little more math than I’d like), but I have family who own and fly small, non-commercial planes, and who talk to airplane people all the time.

      Pilots hear everything that’s going on in the local sky at all times. Each region has its own air traffic radio station that pilots have to check into when they’re entering, exiting, or changing direction in the region. Everyone hears every exchange between pilots and air traffic control, so everyone knows what’s going on. And even without that, pilots’ eyes are on their windows all the time. For the most part, they have a very good eye for other planes.

      People are only allowed to fly on instruments–when it’s dark or cloudy out–if they get additional training for their ‘instrument rating’. If they’re flying on instruments, then everyone is hyper-focused, and in newer planes all the other air traffic is visible on dashboard equipment kind of like those enemy-rader HUDs you get in the corner of the screen of some video games.

      You’re gonna be okay. Biggest hassle is the damn airport itself.

  3. The Unfuckables article structured and expanded many of my feelings about Tina Fey. Also I think that Garnier Nutrisse commercial she does was so so hypocritical.

    Although Tina Fey often induces eye rolls for me, I love 30 Rock. I find it hilarious but then I don’t analyse the stuff I watch on tv. Everything on tv is face value for me, I just want to be entertained. I guess just don’t like Tina Fey when she’s out of character.

  4. Gah, I should have taken Riese’s comments about the last article as a warning. If only I could unread what I just read. :(

        • I shared a cabin on a camp during high school with a girl who was fascinated by true crime. She thought it was a great laugh to read aloud from her book about cannibalism. And then, just when I was recovering, I sat in a classroom full of law students and debated the criteria for who we would eat if we were stuck somewhere and starving.

          The point of those stories is: AVOID cannibalism stories.

  5. I rocked quiz bowl all through middle and high school. It’s pretty much my one claim to fame.

  6. I honestly don’t know how to feel about the “S/He” article. Something about it felt sort of disjointed, “jerky,” as though the author couldn’t reach a conclusion. The language didn’t help either at certain points, and while I realise this may be an illuminating article to many, it felt a tad pedestrian. I’m not quite sure what I expected from it, but I do not feel that I’ve learned any more about transgender children than I had when I approached the article. I was tempted to read the comments section but I have this policy (as many probs do) of DON’T READ THE COMMENTS SECTION UNLESS ITS AN AUTOSTRADDLE PIECE, because I had questions about whether the “puberty blockers” are exclusively about the physical or is mental development also affected. I think a phenomenal subject under the heading of “transgender children” would be about children with Asperger’s that identify as trans. Its certainly a topic that has been ill-explored.

  7. I love how this welcomes us to the 6th installment – mostly because we’re at 22 over that, and that is a beautiful thing <3

  8. I read your comments about the last article and thought, “hey, that reminds me of this website I looked at once and never again. Something Awful Weekend Web. It can’t of been that bad, I might go look there again…”

    Yeah, that was stupid. But I’ll probably go read the last article anyway, since I’m so stupid.

  9. I’m about to go read some of the articles but I’d like to put in that I think cannibalism will lead to the zombie apocalypse…

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