Things I Read That I Love #63: Like A Warm Danish From An Expensive Pastry Shop

reading-ladyHELLO and welcome to the 63rd 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 being an ICU nurse! 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.

Falling Hard in New Orleans (October 2012), by Eva Holland for Vela Magazine – “In the beginning, you were angry. When The Other Girl first tracked you down and you went to that yuppie bar on Magazine St. and the truth about him and you and her began to come out. She wailed into her white wine, “My mother warned me about bartenders in the Quarter!” and you thought, “Shit, nobody warned me.”

The Upside of Distraction (February 2013), by Benjamin Nugent for The New York Times – The thing that happens when you concentrate on your writing and absolutely nothing else is called “monomania,” and I’m a bit scared of it now.

Critical Care: The Making of An ICU Nurse (November 2005), by Scott Allen for The Boston Globe – Due to a shortage of nurses, some nurses are entering the Intensive Care Unit right after finishing school. This article follows one of the newbies as she acclimates to her new position and develops a tense relationship with her supervisor in a busy unit where nurses are saddled with more responsibilities than ever and the smallest misstep can be fatal.

Through the Cracks (February 2013), by Sue Sanders for The Rumpus“I felt an adrenaline surge. It was a bit like I was floating above my life, watching someone else’s, but at the same time it was also so real that it shimmered around the edges. This was the same disconnect I’d felt a few years earlier, when I called 911 while my ex wrestled with his seventy year old father over his car keys, my ex’s eyes wide from days of psychosis and nights without sleep.” 

Diary: Google Invades (February 2013), by Rebecca Solnit for The London Review of Books“All this is changing the character of what was once a great city of refuge for dissidents, queers, pacifists and experimentalists. Like so many cities that flourished in the post-industrial era, it has become increasingly unaffordable over the past quarter-century, but still has a host of writers, artists, activists, environmentalists, eccentrics and others who don’t work sixty-hour weeks for corporations– though we may be a relic population. Boomtowns also drive out people who perform essential services for relatively modest salaries, the teachers, firefighters, mechanics and carpenters, along with people who might have time for civic engagement. I look in wonder at the store clerks and dishwashers, wondering how they hang on or how long their commute is. Sometimes the tech workers on their buses seem like bees who belong to a great hive, but the hive isn’t civil society or a city; it’s a corporation.”

The Science of Sex Abuse (January 2013), by Rachel Aviv for The New Yorker – This reminded me of another piece I’d read recently about the ethics of To Catch a Predator. The question here is; “Is it right to imprison people for heinous crimes they have not yet committed?”

Battling College Costs, One Paycheck At A Time (February 2013), by Ron Lieber for The New York Times – Great piece looking at how kids are trying to get themselves through college without debt or parental support, and the sacrifices they must make in order to do so (lower grades, no social lives), and why the republicans who think college tuition isn’t a problem are totally full of it.

My Favorite Author, My Worst Interview (February 2000), by Donna Minkowitz for Salon – In which a Jewish Lesbian Radical interviews homophobic Mormon Sci-Fi writer Orson Scott Card, author of her favorite book, Ender’s Game, and realizes about ten minutes in that he’s a really awful human.

Interview: Lena Dunham (Febraury 2013), by Miranda July for Interview – Miranda July interviews Lena Dunham and it starts like this – “As soon as we’d placed our orders at a French-ish café in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles, we plunged into a conversation about love between girls—both platonic and romantic. I began to describe my first real relationship, which was with a girl, and Lena immediately asked, “How did you feel about her vagina?” It’s actually a really interesting interview, although I suspect that affection might be directly linked to my own personal demographic of girl.

Is Dr.Oz Doing More Harm Than Good? (February 2013), by Michael Specter for The New Yorker – I always find these articles really reassuring because people like Dr.Oz make me really fucking skeptical. It talks about his history, the difference between what he promotes and how he acts in his actual life, his embrace of controversial alternative medicine and how good medicine often loses out to entertainment value. It’s also interesting that his wife’s attitude about certain health issues are so different form her husband’s.

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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 3212 articles for us.


  1. I always get super excited when I see something I’ve already read on “Things I Read That I Love.” This week I’ve already read TWO of them. This means that Riese and I are kindred spirits, right?

  2. The link for ‘Falling Hard In New Orleans’ isn’t working. It kept saying ‘Page not found’ every time I clicked on it. That’s unfortunate, because it sounded like a fascinating article.

  3. Orson Scott Card is actually the worst, but I have probably half a dozen of his books on my bookshelves.

    But I think I bought them all used SO IT’S OKAY, he’s not funneling money to NOM from me!

  4. The article on becoming an ICU nurse…wow! It’s a great read and a very realistic portrayal of what it is like to be a nurse in the ICU. This is extremely relevant to my life right now as I am in nursing school doing my preceptorship in the ICU. It is going to be an exciting and challenging last semester. Thanks for sharing this article!

  5. Urgh at Lena Dunham. I’m sick of white gay women championing her when she’s made a number of racist comments. I can’t imagine you would be so forgiving if she had made homophobic slurs.

    • I’ve never watched Girls or really researched Lena Dunham. But your comment made me curious and so I googled her and read a few articles to find out more.
      Honestly, the reason I haven’t really cared about anything she did is that it seemed really boring to me–I am sick of the twenty-something girl finding herself in New York trope. It smacks of all kinds of privilege. And also, New York, while I am sure it is cool and everything, is not actually the center of the universe. Most people live lives far removed from those of people living in New York, and I actually believe that people who champion that city in a way that seems to erase anyone who doesn’t live there and therefore doesn’t “get it” are more annoying than people who wish Texas could secede from the Union. So anyway….
      (I don’ have a problem with New Yorkers, by the way. I just dislike the creative white girl in the city thing. It’s old, and it’s frustrating, and I just don’t care about it anymore.)

      Anyway, that was a tangent. My real point was to share this short article about race in the context of Lena Dunham’s Girls. I found it fascinating.

      • I feel exactly the same way (except I did watch an episode and it was uninteresting for all the reasons you just mentioned).

        Thanks for sharing that article.

    • Agreed. I understand that people are defensive about the crazy hateful criticism of her body but I don’t get how people gush over her and I don’t think they’re doing her any favors by doing so. It sets up a standard she can’t possibly reach and by constantly minimizing the nepotism and privilege they only make these factors appear more glaring.
      I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt but there’s a line. How do her fans justify her solidarity with her coworker who obnoxiously tweeted about how underrepresented she felt watching ‘Precious’ in response to critiques of the show’s whiteness?
      I would encourage people to read her essay about going to Japan with her mother. She whines about how much fun it would have been to use Japan as a strange and exotic backdrop for a story and how unfair it is that Lost in Translation beat her to it. Her writing itself is barely on par with that of an average Gawker intern.

      • Thank you. The criticism of her body is unnecessary but her horrible racist comments shouldn’t be ignored. She’s mocked Muslim women and wrote offensive things about Japan as you mentioned. Her co-writer also compared the President’s skin tone to ‘shit’ and defended her use of the ‘N’ word. That’s why I’m sick of gay writers saying Dunham is such an important figurehead – she only represents white women. And if a Black female celebrity made homophobic comments no one would be defending her here.

    • my favorite part of having to go into work on Saturday so far is not going in yet because I’m reading these.

  6. I hate that Card is such a bigot, because Ender’s Game is seriously one of my favorite books. I feel at home in it. And like Andrea, above, I will never understand how the person who wrote Speaker for the Dead can be such a jerk.

    Card brings out all my feelings of guilt slash enjoyment slash responsibility slash comprehension. I mean, it’s easier with authors that are stupid but write texts I’m not interested in reading. Ender’s Game is a book I recommend to people, while feeling defensive.

    Bloody Card. He brings out all the feelings, even when he doesn’t deserve them.

  7. also also THANK YOU for including the rebecca solnit piece because i read it a while ago and it terrified me and i want everyone in san francisco to read it but i feel like no one is

    • Word. It touched on a lot of things I’ve been thinking about lately, though I had been thinking more in terms of east bay v SF.

  8. I do not get Dr. Oz. How can somebody who attended medical school and hold such prestigious positions be supporting the idea of the subjectivity of facts? And how can he be EVEN MORE prestigious because of it? Ugh.

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