Things I Read That I Love #50: Habitat Habit!

HELLO and welcome to the 50th 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 The Electric Daisy Carnival and hazing in college marching bands! 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.

Screensavers (December 2011), by Meghan Daum for Prospect – How can you not read an article by Meghan Daum (My Misspent Youth) about watching seven seasons of every TV show ever with your significant other?

Dance Dance Revolution (Novemeber 2012), by Gideon Lewis-Kraus for GQ“The biggest thing in music this year? A supercharged version of something that nearly died in the ’90s: the rave. Gideon Lewis-Kraus reports from the Electric Daisy Carnival, a three-ight (and surprisingly polite) bacchanal where international DJs spin for 100,000 wasted hedonists scantily dressed in furry underwear”

Can You Say…Hero? (1998), by Tom Junod for Creative Nonfiction – An amazing article about Mr. Rogers. Really it’s amazing. Go read it right now. Trust me!

Recounting The Deadly Hazing That Destroyed FAMU band’s reputation (November 2012), by Ben Montgomery for The Tampa Bay Times – Another horrifying story about hazing in one of the country’s best college marching bands. At some point I felt like I was reading a 4,000 word piece that used to be 8,000 words and was cut by a very precise editor, but that’s just my hunch.

As Not Seen On TV (November 2012), by Pete Wells for then The New York Times – this is so so funny – “GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square?… Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?… “Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?… “Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret — a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers — called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?”

Greetings From Willston, North Dakota (July 2013), by Stephen Rodrick for Men’s Journal – “In recession-strapped America, Williston, North Dakota, may be some kind of paradise: a town where oil jobs are plentiful, lap dances are cheap, and desperate – possibly meth-addicted – men can change their luck. On the loose in the new Wild West.”

The Underground Economy (November 2012), by Nicole Gelinas For City Journal – “The bus lines point up two lessons of Hurricane Sandy. One: New Yorkers have a strong work ethic… Two: New Yorkers—and New York—cannot work without their century-old subway system. Nor can they work without the many miles’ worth of electrical equipment that threads its way underneath the dense streets.”

Please Don’t Oil The Animatronic Warthog (May 1998), by Tad Friend for Outside Magazine: “Two months before Disney animal Kingdom’s April 22 opening I spent a week peeking behind the scenes, watching construction workers punch-listing the exhibits and “cast members” learning their scripts, and being hurried into—and quickly out of—interviews with the park’s creators. Disney minders bird-dogged me everywhere, wearing worried expressions and having sotto-voce cell phone conversations. The marvels I did see made me confident that DAK will be a great success with Disney World’s forty million annual visitors—and, at $39.75 a head, highly profitable. Yet DAK also left me with a lingering unease: its cinematic departure from the taxonomic, geographic, and natural history framework of zoos does facilitate our intimacy with animals, but it also blurs our sense of what, exactly, animals are.”

Java Man (2001), by Malcom Gladwell for The New Yorker – “How caffeine created the modern world.” It’s really interesting for real, w/r/t how coffee changed the American workday and seemed to override a prior respect for actual rest over a cup of coffee.

GONE: Tragic Endings For Felix Vail’s Mates Coincidence or Foul Play? (November 2012), by Jerry Mitchell for The Missisippi Clarion-Ledger – WHY ISN’T THIS MAN IN JAIL

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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 2896 articles for us.


  1. “Screensavers” really made me think. As a culture, we do a lot of talking about the destructive power of television. But the author has an interesting point that it’s in many ways just this era’s version of the story around the campfire. Hadn’t thought of it that way before….

    • yes, it’s interesting… it might also be part of the larger conversation about when television can be considered ‘high brow.’ it also made me think of that portlandia episode where they watch all of battlestar galactica

  2. GregYes, yes, and yes to your Big Three. And also Yes to foreskin, you can never have engouh. Vancouver is a delicious place, Victoria is sublime, but both will be quite pricey because of the 2010 Winter Olympics. And don’t forget to check about border requirements for your poochie before heading across. It’s probably in coming back that you will get more hassle from the Yank side. And I also agreewith Bastien (salut!) that a visit to Que9bec will be the most interesting part of any Canadian trip, especially this year of it’s 400th anniversary. And you will find lots more foreskin in Que9bec!Be well

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