Things I Read That I Love #310: Eight Minutes Of Scream-Talking The Coolest Things You Can Think Of

HELLO and welcome to the 310th 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 know more about murder!! 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.

I read so much about the coronavirus this month wow! Which meant reading The New York Times a lot.

What Happened to Val Kilmer, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner for The New York Times, May 2020

Truly had not thought about this man in what feels like decades, but I would probably read Taffy Brodesser-Akner profile a roll of paper towels, so. Turns out Val is very involved in creating content related primarily to Mark Twain and also Christian Science, including a touring performance of Mark Twain/Christian Science comedy. It’s wild, especially how Taffy gets into how he looks at life and brings it to the current moment?

The Worst Friend Date I Ever Had, by Samantha Irby for The Cut, March 2020

This is so funny I love her

Why has age made me better at so few things? I thought getting older was supposed to make me wise and good at stuff? Should I ask her if she has trouble emptying her bladder all the way? Invite her to an early afternoon book discussion at the local library? HOW WOULD YOUR MOM DO THIS? “I’m gonna friend you on Facebook!” I blurted at the back of her red shirt and mom jeans, feeling my bones weaken and my arteries calcifying as I aged forty years in one second. “We should get together! We could eat some black licorice and watch God Friended Me!”

This Trail-Blazing Suburb Has Tried for 60 Years to Tackle Race. What If trying Isn’t Enough? by Laura Meckler for The Washington Post, October 2019

I came upon this while writing about Little Fires Everywhere! It’s about Shaker Heights, an Ohio suburb founded by black and white families dreaming of a truly integrated neighborhood with “healthy race relations” and were not as successful as they’d hoped.

Hollywood’s Women In Criminal Justice: Sometimes Fact, Sometimes Fiction, by Karen Stefano for Crimereads, May 2020

Why do I watch these movies again and again, reciting their lines out loud? Is this how I long for things to be? Do I lack real life role models? Do I crave neat resolutions because my own status as a woman in the law feels so uncertain? I know these characters are false but don’t care. They feel like friends, always there when I need them, asking nothing of me but to become a better version of myself—even if that version is idyllic.

How We Got to Sesame Street, by Jill Lepore for The New Yorker, May 2020

This wasn’t the first history I’ve read of the evolution of Sesame Street, but this had new elements. However, I would like to say that I really loved Muppet Babies as a kid even though this author clearly did not!

Fearing for His Life, by Chloe Cooper Jones for The Verge, March 2019

The story of Ramsey Orta, who’s still in prison for, essentially, filming the murder of his friend Eric Garner. This piece won a Pulitzer Prize.

Boob Job: How The Chive Built An Empire Out of Bro-Bait, by Zoe Schiffer for The Verge, April 2020

This’s a keen look at a website who survives on the goodwill of their readers, who feel kinship towards the community itself, which is similar to us except that their community is ideologically and demographically the absolute total opposite of theirs.

The Bad Superintendent, by Robert Kolker for New York Magazine, September 2004

HBO just did a film based on this article called Bad Education and I saw it and truly liked it and then had to go read this article, probably for the second time since I’ve been subscribing to this magazine for holy shit 16 years of my life on this cursed planet

COVID-19 Section

I read two (2) entire pieces about cruise ships with COVID breakouts:

  • The Coronavirus Cruise: On Board The Diamond Princess, by Joshua Hunt for 1843 Magazine, June/July 2020 – An account of the now Diamond Princess that ended up docked in Japan for days after an outbreak on its ship. Their final tally was 712 infections and 13 deaths on a ship that held 3711 passengers and crew.
  • Socially Distance This, by Austin Carr and Chris Palmeri for Bloomberg, April 2020 – An account of the Grand Princess, which ended up docked in San Francisco for weeks after an outbreak on its ship, which occurred AFER the outbreak on he aforementioned Diamond Princess, so everybody was doing great. Tally: at least 103 cases and two deaths. The total number of people on board was 3533.

Selections from New York Magazine’s “Rich Corona, Poor Corona were published in last week’s print issue, and yes I read them all.

Rolling Stone has a piece on the week the music stopped, on producers and event planners scrambling to re-schedule concerts and festivals and consider what’s in store for the future.

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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.


  1. Riese thank you for linking to the piece on Ramsey Orta. His name and face are familiar to me but I hadn’t taken the time to *really* read his story until now. It’s fucking wrenching.

    According to this article, he is due to be released this summer but recently became ill:

    (Page 2 of the article includes info on how to support Ramsey and his case.)

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