Things I Read That I Love #7

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HELLO and welcome to the seventh 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 army recruiting and wax museums!

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.

This is what you can read on your way back to where you came from, or when hungover on New Year’s Day.

Onward and Upward With Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen of Portlandia (January 2012), The New Yorker: Carrie and Fred are such cute best friends!

The Recruiter’s War (June 2005), Vanity Fair: “Pressured to fill quotas, army and Marine recruiters have been enlisting kids who don’t meet basic physical, moral, and educational standards. Ten recruiters reveal just how corrupted—and in one case deadly—their job has become.”

Halfway Heaven (1996), The New Yorker – “A year after a young woman at Harvard killed her roommate and then took her own life, questions remain about why it happened, and whether it had to.”

In the Land of the Dear Leader, (July 1996), Harper’s: You guys, this is FASCINATING. It’s a piece about North Korea from an American journalist sent there right after Kim Jong Il’s father (“The Great Leader”) died.

+ A Monster Among the Frum (December 2011), New York Magazine: My girlfriend read this one before I did, so. I read it on the airplane. Here’s the description: The faithful of Borough Park have a saying: “We are all of one face.” The life of Levi Aron, the outcast awaiting trial for the murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, suggests otherwise.

Sealed in Wax: Madame Tussaud’s Anniversary (December 2011), Prospect Magazine: You may or may not know that I’m obsessed with Wax Museums. Caitlin got me an entire book about Marie Tussaud (of Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum), but you get this essay!

“Psychic Benefits” and the NBA Lockout (August 2007), Grantland -“...both arguments miss the point. The issue isn’t how much money the business of basketball makes. The issue is that basketball isn’t a business in the first place — and for things that aren’t businesses how much money is, or isn’t, made is largely irrelevant.”

Between The Lines (December 2011), Los Angeles Magazine: I know you’re thinking, shit Riese, why would I want to read about parking lots? I can’t explain it to you, I can only tell you that I both read and loved it.

And Another Fifty Million People Just Got Off the Plane (November 2011), New York Magazine: The recession has not tempered the growth of the tourism sector. The most interesting part of this is the breakdown of tourist behavior based on where they’re from. Australians are the most adventurous, FYI.

A Young Woman Struggles With Oxy Addiction and Recovery (December 2011), Tampa Bay Times: There is an epidemic of prescription drug abuse in Florida — this is one woman’s story.

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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 3211 articles for us.


  1. I read the parking lot article earlier! It really is fascinating. I love articles that show how different the outcomes of human endeavour/folly can be, with a dash of history and technology and a bunch of shady-sounding people.

    I am sure I read something else about parking a while back, but damned if I can remember it…

    • Ah, I found the article, but it’s like a smaller-scope pre-hash of the LA Mag one. Atlantic Cities is like crack for the distraction-vulnerable with a weakness for urban planning. I think that makes this column crack for the distraction-vulnerable with a weakness for anything.

      My productivity-raising resolution for 2012 is to become illiterate.

      • i am actually in los angeles as we speak and as we were circling the universe in search of parking earlier, i was like SEEEEEEEEE YOU HAVE A PARKING PROBLEM

  2. I wish you had put some kind of warning about the “Monster Among the Frum” story, I feel sick to my stomach and sad.

    • yup, it’s very sad. when i read it in new york magazine, i thought “murder of an 8-year-old” in the subtitle was warning enough that it wasn’t going to exactly be uplifting?

  3. i realise i never scroll down far enough to see the comment box on these lists, so just fyi I APPRECIATE SO MUCH

  4. I’ve been obsessed with North Korea since Kim Jong Il died. I’m gobbling up documentaries & articles like nobody’s business. Also: I like to think it’s a relatively productive way to spend my off-time during the holidays.

  5. “Of all the oxycodone prescribed in America in the first half of last year, 98 percent was dispensed in Florida.”

    It’s been almost a year since I’ve used oxy (or any opiate), and my first thought when I read that was, Dang I better get to Florida. :( stupid druggie brain.

    • Brains suck. But it’s been almost a YEAR! So my first thought is, you rock! Congrats to the max! Let your thoughts be stupid, mine sure like to be.

    • What Darcy said… congratulations on a year. I think you’re so strong for being able to say no to the druggie brain when it starts talking.

  6. First link that I clicked on was parking lots. All that I want to read about is parking lots. More parking lot links!

  7. I was unaware that someone else shares my love of wax museums! When I was young and vacationing to see Niagra Falls, all I wanted to do was go in the wax musuems, over and over. It’s getting harder to find them but when I am in a city and find one I don’t care about the rolling eyes of friends, the museum is my first stop.

    • Oh! If you a professional wax museum visitor, is there any chance you have been to the Weird Michigan Wax Museum which I tried to go to this summer, but it was unfathomably closed for the season.

      I interpreted the closure as meaning “too amazing to function” and I have been wondering about it ever since. Not, like, every day or anything, but, you know, sometimes you just drift off and think what was in that wax museum in the middle of nowhere other than the makings of a plot for a dodgy teen slasher film?

      • I think it may be closed now, not sure. I attempted 3 times to go there in the past and each time was thwarted by strange events so perhaps I was saved from death by a slasher? Although someone told me later that that the figures were mannequins, not wax, so maybe fate was saving me from disappointment.

  8. I just recently watched Portlandia on Netflix and fell in love with it… hard. That article was fantastic!

  9. The parking lots article’s mix of behind-the-scenes urban planning and financial conspiracy with a pinch of city-to-city car and foot traffic comparison COMPLETED MY LIFE. I had no idea that San Francisco’s Union Square was home to the country’s first underground parking lot! I had no idea that it was metered parking that turned Old Town Pasadena into the suburban outdoor mall-sprawling hell that it is today! The vision of the five parking lot moguls exchanging tidbits of information over breakfast (I keep picturing it like the funeral directors’ meeting at the Astro Diner in “Six Feet Under”) gives me buckets and buckets of pleasure! Riese, thank you so much for posting this article!

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