The Last Walkman

If you’re working as a writer, working is a kind of play. I feel like, if all day long you’re just applying yourself to what you’re most genuinely curious about or most excited about—if you do that all the time, work will emerge.

- Sheila Heti

How to Do Dinner When It’s Already 8:30 PM and You’re Too Broke for Takeout

1. Grab leftover bunch of kale that is one fridge door-swing away from going the way of the triceratops (leathery; extinct).

2. Wash it in a previously used colander that the person with whom you cohabitate has left out on the counter.

3. Dry the kale with a paper towel or a kitchen towel or a pretty clean-looking thrifted skirt, no cares-ies.

4. Pour some oil of whatever questionable provenance in a pan.

5. Heat up the pan.

6. Cook the kale till it wilts like your self-confidence in the face of close scrutiny from your favorite college professor.

7. Crack two eggs into this business.

8. Scramble ‘em up. Are there shells in your scramble? Fish them out with your finger. Then burn your finger, run it under cold water for a minute only to realize that now you have also ruined your eggs. JK, ROOKIE MISTAKE. Just leave the eggshells wheresoever they may fall, for texture.

9. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you are out of regular-sized sea salt, crack open the kosher salt you bought in a haze of delusional, lifestyle blog-inspired determination to make lavender-ricotta ice cream.

10. Consume while reading Storify summary of petty Twitter fight.

"It was good to be greeted, to be embraced. I’ve missed you, Alastair once said, and my heart jumped at the pleasure of existing in someone else’s life."

On loneliness, cities, art


even bad poems aren’t bad poems




1. Eric Garner executed on July 17th, 2014. Put in illegal choke hold and strangled by the NYPD

2. Pregnant lady gets put in an illegal chokehold by an NYPD officer for “illegally grilling” while her seven year old daughter watches July 27th, 2014

3. NYPD enters wrong house and drags a naked woman across the floor, then pepper sprays her four year old grandson August 2nd, 2014.

4. Man shot and killed by police for holding a toy gun in a Walmart, Dayton, Ohio - August 6th, 2014

5. Unarmed Black teen shot ten times by the Ferguson Police while walking home with his friend from the convenience store - August 9th, 2014

Since July 17th there has been five reported occurrences exemplifying the police and American justice system’s lack of reverence for Black life. These are the five stories that were able to attract at least minimal attention. Who knows what is going on out there covered up (like the Ferguson police is trying to do with Mike Brown’s murder), unrecorded, and unknown. In the past 23 days the police have perpetrated the humiliation, degradation, and murdering of Black dignity,souls, and people. Knowledge is power. Do not rely on mainstream media to give you the full/accurate story. They will always be complicit in the devaluing of Black life because Blackness has been criminalized in America. Please spread these stories and add any more that you know of under the hashtag #badges are the new hoods. We need to start documenting, and spreading information. They will try to silence us as they did to Ramsey Orta, and Alba Lekaj, the people who filmed the NYPD harasing and murdering Eric Garner. But united we can make a difference.  Knowledge is power. Stay woke Black America, Stay woke.

this happened in the past 23 days


On my second day in the new town, I went to Best Buy to buy a telephone. In the store, I asked a salesperson, “Do you have old fashioned telephones as opposed to cellular phones?” He knew exactly what I meant and pointed me in the right direction.

I have a landline in my new apartment because,…

It’s less about technique than about persistence. There’s just all kinds of bullshit you have to go through first. You’re getting through your own bullshit. Their bullshit. The inherent bullshit of the scenario. In most cases, it takes time for them to say things they mean. You’ve got to be willing to make time for that.
John Jeremiah Sullivan on reporting. (via elisabethdonnelly)
Sari Botton Interviews Samantha Irby.
Irby: My dad’s lawyer brings her dog to the animal hospital where I worked, and I was in Chicago magazine, which is like the type of magazine your Jewish lawyer orders for her office. My dad used to drive her to the airport, and he’d have me in the car with him. He was like her chauffeur. And one day she was like, “I checked out your blog, and oh, the language, and oh, whatever,” and you could tell that she was waiting for me to apologize. So I just didn’t say anything, and then we had an awkward silence, and I was like, “What do you want me to say? Sorry? Or I’m ashamed? Tell me what you want, ’cause I don’t have the deference thing because there’s no parents around to shame me, so I get to look you in the eye as an adult and ask you what it is you’re trying to do to me. How are you trying to make me feel?”
Rumpus: Wow, what did she say?
Irby: She didn’t say anything. She just stood there and was just like, “Well, it was shocking to me.” And I was like, “Okay, but what am I supposed to do with that? Do you want me to tell you I’m sorry? I’m not sorry. I’m sorry you read it. If you can’t be supportive, I’m sorry you read it.” I don’t want anybody to put their shit on me.
What kinds of reward can failure offer us? Perhaps most obviously, failure allows us to escape the punishing norms that discipline behavior and manage human development with the goal of delivering us from unruly childhoods to orderly and predictable adulthoods. Failure preserves some of the wondrous anarchy of childhood and disturbs the supposedly clean boundaries between adults and children, winners and losers. And while failure certainly comes accompanied by a host of negative affect such as disappointment, disillusionment and despair, it also provides the opportunity to use these negative affect to poke holes in the toxic positivity of everyday life.
The Queer Art of Failure by Jack Halberstam (via pablo-neurotic)


1) “I had never had any desire to be a writer. I wanted to be a reader.”

2) “One thing you discover in psychoanalytic treatment is the limits of what you can change about yourself or your life. We are children for a very long time.”

3) “Fortunately, I never recovered from my…

Bastille Day.

Yesterday after work I went with a group of mostly new-ish friends to a Bastille Day street fair in Tribeca.  Sand had been poured into the middle of the street to create a makeshift pétanque court, upon which several men in neckerchiefs were throwing silver balls. I don’t know how many of the people at the fair were actually French but a lot of the women wore bright matte lipstick with little other makeup, which made the whole thing feel more authentic. The crowd also seemed heavy on dogs in a Gallic sort of way. I spotted a sleek black bulldog puppy, another puppy that looked like a cross between an Australian shepherd and a miniature Greyhound, a curly-haired poodle mix trotting around without a leash.

While we were waiting in line to buy wine and beer a red-cheeked man with a Panama hat came up to us and gave us all raffle tickets that he said we could exchange for free drinks. This seemed improbable—why so lucky??—but when we gave the people behind the counter the tickets, they gave each of us drinks plus of us a dollar back, which was even more confusing, and then we used the dollars to tip. I had Lillet, which tasted sweeter than I’d imagined, like a hip grandmother’s orange grove.

Earlier in the evening one of the new-ish friends, K., and I were talking about how living in New York and being a journalist seem like mutually exclusive options, money-wise, yet we are currently doing both of those things. How is it going for each of us? The answer is: okay, but not super-sustainably. Then I said that if I eventually have to pick, I’ll choose writing over New York, which is something I hadn’t realized was true until I said it. K. said she’d choose the same thing.


For your summer grooving pleasure from Marlys!

"I like it with no clothes."

Celebrate Brooklyn.

One of the pleasures of getting older is that I’m no longer self-conscious about going by myself to places I want to be. 

Yesterday I went to see Valerie June play in Prospect Park. I paid $8 for a plastic cup of what the woman behind the counter promised was a “mediocre Sauvignon Blanc,” filled to the brim.

"Now I’ve told you ahead of time, and you’re gonna drink it, and you’re gonna think, ‘Hey, that’s okay," she said with a grin. She also told me the wine was in a magic cup, for unexplained reasons.

Then I weaved through trios and quartets of Brooklynites floating on their islands of picnic blankets until I found a little clearing in the grass. On my left side a man with glasses and a short-sleeved button-down shirt was lying down on his stomach, showing a girl he didn’t seem to know very well pictures of his students’ high school graduation. He seemed to be trying to impress her. She was polite but hard to read.

On my right side a pair of women who looked to be in their twenties were eating paper cones of thick-cut french fries, burgers and cups of steamed broccoli from The Farm on Adderley's stand. This reminded me that I was hungry, so I took out the artichoke and hearts of palm salad I'd brought from Trader Joe's.

Around this time Valerie June came on. She was a tiny woman in a white dress; her hair was loosely piled on top of her head. In a rich, piercing twang she began to sang about Tennessee and the working woman’s blues.

The crowd around me kept up a steady murmur, so I had to listen a little harder than usual to follow along with the music, squinting with my ears. It wasn’t at all like Tanglewood, where there’s so much space out on the big lawn that any neighboring conversation is easily canceled out. In New York you have to be vigilant about what you pay attention to. We’re past the summer solstice now, our days are only getting shorter. I’m choosing not to mind.

Bad Boyfriends and “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.”

"Men, Waldman’s novel makes clear, are only able to get away with treating women poorly because we live in a culture that dismisses close scrutiny of their behavior. Dating is seen as a trivial subject, the territory of light romantic comedies and books with tropical-colored covers. Who cares if a guy starts snapping at his girlfriend when she asks if he’s tired or whether he’d like eggs for breakfast? What’s the big deal if a dude pursues a woman for weeks only to do the fear-of-commitment dance when she finally agrees to go out with him?

The big deal, of course, is that misogyny often both underlies and excuses these kinds of romantic misdemeanors. And while Love Affairs is often funny, Waldman takes the patriarchal mores guiding the bad behavior of her titular character quite seriously. By peering into the moleskin-bound heart of the liberal chauvinist, she takes away his power.”

- thinking about bad boyfriends, sexism, dating and “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.” over at Girls Like Giants