Things I Read That I Love #286: It Was That Time Where Everyone Wanted To Be Edgy

HELLO and welcome to the 286th 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 frequent flyer miles! 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.

There Is No Reason To Cross the U.S. By Train. I Did It Anyway, by Caity Weaver for The New York Times, March 2019

So many of my interests combined in one gorgeous article! Wow! What a time to be alive!

AACK!, by Rachel Syme for The Cut, March 2019

The comic character Cathy was everywhere growing up, and as retro as it seems now, it was such an accurate portrayal of a generation described by how Syme recalls her mother – “a highly functional and accomplished professional who nevertheless spent most of the 1980s yo-yo dieting and Jazzercising, seesawing between omnivorous ambitions and rigid self-control.” This profile of Cathy’s creator covers all that and more.

Up in the Air: Meet the Man Who Flies Around the World for Free, by Ben Wofford for Rolling Stone, March 2019

I still… am unclear on exactly what the ultimate goal of this lifestyle is for those who aren’t making money writing about it, but that is okay because I very much enjoyed this journey into the heart of it.

Lindy West Is Watching Herself, by Madeline Aggeler for The Cut, March 2019

So many good profiles of women who have interesting things to say about the human body this week!

I Met Fear on the Hill, by Leslie Jamison for The Paris Review, Winter 2018

As a reader, I followed the unraveling of their marriage with a sense of tender sadness mingled with selfish relief. Their marriage needed to fall apart, after all, in order for me to exist.

The Gift Economy, by Joanne Solomon for Longreads, January 2019

This is ostensibly about Burning Man but what drew me to it was that it’s also just about what is revealed about your relationship and its potential when you take your partner to a thing that means a lot to you and that thing does not fully resonate with them.

All Hail The New Queer Teen Stars, by Shannon Keating for Buzzfeed, August 2018

Relatable! Also I had not heard the term “dyke camp” and now I have and my life is the better for it.

King Princess is one of many queer teen and twentysomething artists whose meteoric rises have filled me with joy and wistfulness in near equal measure. Listening to music by the likes of Hayley Kiyoko and Troye Sivan and Shamir — musicians whose songs and videos are brimming with explicit, unapologetic queer aesthetics in terms of both gender presentation and desire — makes me thrilled for queer kids growing up today. But I’m also a little bit sad for the queer kid I once was, back when even Tegan and Sara weren’t using female pronouns in their songs.

The Senseless Logic of the Wild, by John Mooallem for The New York Times Magazine, March 2019

A really gripping story of a kayaking trip in Alaska that was almost fatal for one of its participants.

Death of the Calorie, by Peter Wilson for 1843 Magazine, April/May 2019

This isn’t the first article I’ve read or shared on this topic I don’t think, but since this ~topic was unfortunately one I was deeply invested in at one point in my life and also eventually realized it HAD to be wrong, just based on my own experiences and those of my friends, I now enjoy reading about how yes, indeed, all that stuff they said about calories was wrong! Is wrong! There is really no solid science on weight loss that works for all people and all bodies!

Class Dismissed, by Frank Guan for The Point Mag, Winter 2019

This is a dense and really brilliant evocation of class/race and the poetry “industry” and how often “professional poets are entirely trained and largely employed within the university system, producing work primarily for each other while a very small contingent of outside enthusiasts looks on.” Listen I’m not smart enough to describe this essay to you but if you read it I think you’ll be glad that I told you to? There’s a lot of zingers in here!!!

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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 3200 articles for us.


  1. That Amtrak article was really well written and somewhat beautiful.
    Logically, in the face of climate change, especially, it would be worth to entertain the idea of relearning to decelerate and to get to the point where it’s possible to enjoy the scenery again.

  2. “Forgive me if I find nothing ‘weird’ about being gainfully employed under a supervisor with the kind of multinational name recognition God has.” If you read one article this week, it should be the Amtrak one! It was so good!

  3. Thanks for posting the Death of the Calorie article. As someone who previously had an eating disorder and spent years at the mercy of the calorie, my now-totally-recovered self feels vindicated!

  4. “when you take your partner to a thing that means a lot to you and that thing does not fully resonate with them.“

  5. Yes! I loveTIRTIL !
    I’ve read the Caity Weaver train piece twice already. It was a perfect blend of factual, anecdotal, and sweeping sidenotes.
    If anyone wants more kayaking in Alaska, Carrot Quinn (who wrote for AS) paddled up there for a couple of weeks and blogged all about it. It’s a great read. Everyone ends up safe and sound.

  6. Leslie Jamison :

    “I’m also a writer, that particular species of vampire: one part barnacle, one part critic, always capable of betrayal”

    Jeesus. That article was one heck of a trip.

  7. That Cathy article was great! I recently saw someone tweeted this photo of Cathy standing next to a cardboard cut out of cartoon Cathy w/ the caption that was roughly “young Cathy Guisewite was a babe!”

  8. “But I’m also a little bit sad for the queer kid I once was, back when even Tegan and Sara weren’t using female pronouns in their songs.”

    Oof. This is where I live mentally.

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