Things I Read That I Love #51: More Casual Than Real Life

via the bold italic

HELLO and welcome to the 51st 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 Magic The Gathering and Pretrial Prison Detention! 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.


Bookin’ It To The Bar (November 2012), by Matt Bloom for The Bold Italic – On reading in bars!

Barred From Freedom: How Pretrial Detention Ruins Lives (November 2012), by Albert Samaha for SF Weekly – In my seemingly neverending series of articles about Prison in America, this is about how poor people who can’t afford bail are often stuck in prison for eons before their trial, and when they’re proven to be not guilty and return to the world, they find their lives are already in shambles.

Female Players of Magic: The Gathering Face a Daunting Opponent- Sexism (April 2012), by Lauren Rae Orsini for The Daily Dot “From ‘get back to the kitchen’ to comments about how fat or bangable I am, to openly stating one’s intention to masturbate, it was pretty much as bad as you could imagine,” Lee told the Daily Dot. “They grew more and more desperate for me to lose, and when I finally lost my semifinal match, they exploded in delight.”

The Lying Disease (November 2012), by Cienna Madrid for The Stranger – Another piece on my favorite topic of people who make up a bunch of shit, emotionally manipulate you, and leave both of your lives in shambles for no discernable reason or benefit! This one’s about Munchausen-by-Internet.

Clear Eyes, Full Plates, Can’t Lose (November 2012), by Jon Ronson for GQ “In recent years, the “sport” of competitive eating has expanded from a Coney Island freak show into an international, well, freak show. Jon Ronson hit the contest trail with some of the circuit’s deepest stomachs—men who devour unholy amounts of chicken wings in minutes flat; women who make stupid money mowing down quesadillas—and returned with a tale that answers the only question that really matters: Why?”

Meet The Mind Behind Barack Obama’s Online Persona (November 2012), by Brian Ries for Storyboard – Obviously it’s a 31-year-old woman. This is fascinating I think.

Last Call (November 2012), by Tim Hefferman for The Washington Monthly  – “Industry giants are threatening to swallow up America’s carefully regulated alcohol industry, and remake America in the image of booze-soaked Britain.”

In Sable and Dark Glasses (October 2011), by Joan Didion for Vogue – “I never had much interest in being a child. As a way of being it seemed flat, failed to engage..”

How To Be Gay (August 2012), by Serena Golden for Inside Higher Ed (August 2012), I actually was at the University of Michigan as a student when David Halperin’s “How To Be Gay” class was offered (obviously it served as inspiration for our how to be gay tag) and there was all this controversy. This article is about Halperin’s new book and discusses the controversy around his class and the evolution of “gay culture.”

Donna (September 2012), by Zoe Ruiz for The Rumpus – What better time to run into your porn star crush than when you’re wondering if maybe you’re a lesbian and you’ve not had sex in what seems like forever and you’re wearing your sister’s Orphan Annie dress

Grace Paley: The Art of Fiction (Fall 1992), by  Jonathan Dee, Barbara Jones and Larissa MacFarquhar for The Paris Review“I will say I knew I wanted to write about women and children, but I put it off for a couple of years because I thought, People will think this is trivial, nothing. Then I thought, It’s what I have to write. It’s what I want to read. And I don’t see it out there.”

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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 3202 articles for us.


  1. “booze-soaked Britain”?! I prefer “the land where the liquor flows more freely and there are at least three pubs in every village” (mine has 6, I’m just saying)

  2. “bookin it to the bar” reminds me of this girl I’m dating, who reads Andrea Gibson poems to me in movie theatres instead of watching the previews.

  3. “The Lying Disease” really punched me in the gut. I’ve never even known a Munchausen-by-Internet manipulator, but there’s something so viscerally horrifying about it that I can’t even explain. There’s something so especially terrible about people who prey on the sick. I can’t even.

  4. There’s a bar here in Wellington called the Library that has bookshelves for walls, it’s awesome. They let you take the books if you bring another one to swap in its place :)

  5. Watch out for Walmart and their cheap booze or you yanks will end up sad violent alcoholics like us Brits living in a broken society, ‘glassing’ each other for fun on a weekend. It’s a good job I work in a supermarket so I can easily get a crate of beer on my way home and when I walk down my street I have to carefully step over the drunks reenacting Hogarth’s Gin Lane.

    I have to point out that the picture in the article is of Beer Street which is supposed to be a positive representation of beer swilling, as opposed to Gin Lane which shows the alleged evils of gin. Personally, I love gin.

  6. People find it irresistible, to talk to people reading in strange places. Textbooks and poetry anthologies up those chances tenfold. If I was a full-on hetty, it’d be an excellent way of snaring a man, but as it is I’d rather just get on with my book.

    • Maybe I’m the minority, but actually textbooks and poetry anthologies are the two kinds of books I see in public where I WON’T talk to the reader. I even like both those types of books too, I just am prone to be more suspicious of other readers of those books. But maybe that’s just me…..

  7. Re: David Halperin, I especially liked this sentence: “We end up teaching canonical texts, which students often find boring. We are seldom trying to forge new ways of thinking what has never been thought, as we did 25 years ago.”

    It seems like the queer canon (and it’s a little ironic, if inevitable, that we would subscribe to that to begin with) is becoming fossilized. There simply isn’t as much that’s exciting anymore.

  8. The first piece is very relevant cause my Cosmo horoscope told me that if I went to go read at a wine bar around the tenth of December, the bar tender would hit me. And I was planning on doing that, so this guidance helps.

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