Things I Read That I Love #31: Working One’s Way Through A Crisis

HELLO and welcome to the 31st 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 lots of terrible things! 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.

The Drunkard’s Gait (April 2005), by Ann M. Bauer for The Sun –  “Sometimes I tell them my husband is dead. More often I say he’s working out of town. Or that he’s ill and in a hospital receiving treatment. None of these things is true. Or maybe one of them is. They all could be.”

The Sharp, Sudden Decline of the Middle Class (June 2012), by Jeff Tietz for Rolling Stone – A reporter spends some weeks with various people using the Safe Parking program, which allocates space in parking lots for people living out of their cars. VERY SAD.

Grace in Broken Arrow (May 2012), by Kiera Feldman for This Land – How the Grace Church in Oklahoma failed to protect its youngsters from child abuse and molestation and the evolution of the eventual case against Aaron, a serial abuser.

Proof of Extreme Hardship (December 2011), by Sarah Menkedick for Vela Magazine – “US/Mexico border and the relationships that straddle it: personal narrative-reportage about the waiting in Ciudad Juarez for a fiancé visa.” (via) (Sidenote: I feel like it got weird and xenophobic at the end? Did anyone else pick that up? I saw this linked a lot without any critique, idk)

Critics in the World Of Rising Souflee (September 1968), by Nora Ephron for New York Magazine – “How much longer life in the food establishment — with its back-biting, lip-smacking and pocket-jingling — will go on is hard to tell. There are some who believe that the gourmet explosion that began it all is here to stay, and that fine cooking is on the increase.”

Apple’s Retail Army: Long on Loyalty, Short on Pay (June 2012) by David Segal for The New York Times: This is interesting for all the normal reasons, and also because he talks about how despite shipping manufacturing jobs overseas, we’ve still got heaps of retail jobs here and those people are being underpaid.

Action Park – This is actually a Wikipedia page that longform linked to, but it’s really wild. Like a lot of people died at this place, they had the weirdest “rides” ever.

When My Crazy Father Actually Lost His Mind (June 2012), by Jeneen Interlandi for The New York Times – I’ve been where the author was — trying to do right by someone who is destroying your life (and their own) within a horrific “mental health system” which refuses to commit anybody unless they’re about to kill you or themselves, basically, which has dangerous repercussions. Great article, A+++. Must read. It’s always haunting how similar everybody’s cases are when it all comes down to it.

Aaron Sorkin Works His Way Through a Crisis (October 2001), by Peter de Jonge for The New York Times Magazine – Following Aaron Sorkin while he was working on “Isaac and Ishmael,” has a lot of interesting bits about Sorkin in general.

Angels & Demons (October 1997), by Thomas French for The St.Petersburg Times – This is the longest longform article of all time, but it’s really fucking compelling.

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Marie Lyn Bernard, aka Riese, is an award-winning writer, blogger, journalist, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in the midwest, lost her mind in New York City and is currently making it work in California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better, The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image and The Hazards of Being Female," "Dirty Girls," and "The Best American Erotica of 2007," magazines including Nylon, Marie Claire, GO, Curve, Interlude, and CollegeBound, and all over the web including, Jezebel, Queerty, Emily Books and OurChart (RIP). She was the recapper for The L Word Online and host of Showtime’s Lezberado and her personal blog has earned many dubious honors including Best Personal Blog 2008. Riese has spoken about blogging, community-building, feminism, cyberculture and sexuality at places like BlogHer, Yale, New York University, The University of Chicago and The Museum of Sex. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Interlochen Arts Academy and The Olive Garden's week-long training intensive; she enjoys eating foods, having big ideas, reading books & talking to her stuffed dog, Tinkerbell. Also, she's Jewish. Follow her smokin’ hot adventures on twitter. Contact: riese[at]

Riese has written 2893 articles for us.


  1. Just read that Rolling Stone article a couple of days ago. Incredibly sad.

    I’m going to read Angels and Demons (super long!). It sounds really interesting. Can;t get enough of some true crime.

    Also, I know this has been floating around several blogs, but the Globe & Mail article/interview with Aaron Sorkin is a must read. “I’m sick of girls who don’t know how to high-five”. What a dick.

  2. That article about people living in their cars was very depressing. Also depressing were a lot of the comments that just assumed they wouldn’t work at a coffee shop or grocery store. People often have no idea how hard it can be to find a job.

    • It’s actually more like $40K (at least in Toronto – two of my friends work/used to work there, though they also work nine-hour shifts and take on overtime). But there are some serious drawbacks – one is that the hours are *really* irregular so it’s hard to have any kind of life outside of work since you can’t really plan anything in advance, and second is that I hear a lot about people being harassed at work (by fellow coworkers). So.

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