Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Unpublished Grief Memoirs That Are Less Inspiring Than Cheryl Strayed's Wild

1. Crunch: One Woman's Empowering Struggle to Eat Nothing But Cracklin' Oat Bran For Two Months Without Getting Scurvy or Losing Weight

2. Ooze: One Woman's Significant Realization That Her Hair Will Never Actually Self-Wash, No Matter How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Rinsing is Involved

3. Squee: One Woman's Self-Actualized Discovery That the 'Complete Gilmore Girls' Comes in a Set That Looks Like a Lunchbox

4. Slurp: One Woman's Tireless Quest to Figure Out Which Lower East Side Restaurants Relax Their BYOB Policy If You Are Crying

5. Stab: One Woman's Brave Attempt to Rewash Plastic Takeout Utensils in Her Dishwasher

6. Gouge: One Woman's Failed Lifelong Commitment to Not Getting Hit With Tax Penalties for Yanking Money Out of Her 401(k) to Put First and Last Month's Rent Down on a Studio Apartment

7. Croon: One Woman's Difficult Acceptance That She is Neither Tegan Nor Sara

8. Burn: One Woman's Fervent Mission to Buy Four Consecutive Issues of Runner's World Without Ever Once Going for a Run

9. Rewind: One Woman's Very Public Campaign to Warn Other Recently Single People That Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a Snuff Film

10. Blush: One Woman's Late in Life "AHA Moment" That the "PCT" is the Pacific CREST Trail, Not the Pacific COAST Trail

Seriously, though, you should definitely read Wild. It's great.

106 Comments / Post A Comment


Guys, Wild is so so so good, I could rave about it for dayssss.


Can we add "reusable plastic bags" to number 5? Uh, I'm asking for a friend.


@QuiteAimable Toss: One man's refusal to buy garbage bags for over two years instead using liquor store plastic bags for trash and grocery store paper bags for recyclables.


@whizz_dumb Holla.


@QuiteAimable ahh I do this sometimes ! i feel like a depression grandma!

Nicole Cliffe

@crawdad My grandfather insisted that we all shake the crumbs off our paper napkins and return them to the dispenser. Which is weird, right, because why not go to cloth napkins at that point? Oh, and he would NOT throw out Saran wrap. You never knew what that stuff had been covering the day before.


@QuiteAimable Are you kidding? I haven't bought ziploc bags in 3 years.


@whizz_dumb Wait, is that... not normal?

My state went plastic bag free a couple years ago - you can still get them but you have to buy them at the store. I had to BUY garbage bags for the first time ever. It was weird.


Can we talk about my shameless, bottomless affection for Gilmore Girls or better yet let's not let's just all read Squee and ignore me.


@leastimportantperson Yes, let's talk about your shameless, bottomless affection for Gilmore Girls! Then we can talk about my shameless, bottomless affection for Gilmore Girls! I <3 that show so so much.

Nicole Cliffe

Team Richard and Emily! Team Dean Sucked!


@Nicole Cliffe The only reason I don't hate Dean (or even Jesse) was because I hated Logan Huntzberger with the white hot intensity of one thousand flaming suns and all the other boys in Rory's life were Awesome Come to Life in comparison. (This isn't to say I LIKED Dean or Jesse, just that I can't hate them because Logan took all my hate.)
My question: How do folks feel about Luke/Lorelai? Personally, I was for the pairing, but I've come to realize I hold an unpopular opinion.


@Nicole Cliffe There is a not-small part of me that just wants to be Emily Gilmore in every way forevermore.


@Jinxie Oh! I saw Logan (I guess he's a real person with a different name? Huh.) at the Getty and had to actively refrain from glaring at him for being Logan and also being Tucker Max. Yeeeesh.

(Pro Luke and Lorelai, btw!)


@Jinxie Love Luke/Lorelai! Was anti- basically every boy that Rory dated, with the exception of Dean at the very beginning (before he broke up with her because she didn't say I love you back). Emily Gilmore rules all.


@Jinxie LOGAN HUNTZBERGER, THAT BASTARD. I hated Logan Huntzberger so much that my resentment even eventually spread back to Rory, too! "The REAL Rory would see right through a jackass like Logan Huntzberger - who is this impostor who stands in her place?!"

Sam I am

@Nicole Cliffe Dean was not up to par, but Logan really bothered me. Poor Emily, all excited about Logan proposing. I was SO happy Rory said no!

I am totally team Luke/Lorelai (the cuteness, the reverse gender norms...did I say the cuteness?).


@Jinxie I think I may be the only person in the world who likes Logan. I'm just a sucker for overly confident dudes who give out nicknames. My old roommate used to get really mad about my love for Logan and may have even accused me of being bourgeoisie in a fit of rage about it.
Gilmore Girls forever!


@steponitvelma I like Logan too, though in real life I'd punch him in the junk.


@Jinxie I loved Logan. So hard. Still see him on The Good Wife and think "Oh heyyyy, Logan Huntzberger! *wink* Raawrr!" in my super sexy mind-voice. And then I promptly start weeping because GG is gone forever. FOREVER.

PS- DEAN WAS THE LIVING WORST. Get outta my life with your James Van der Beek butt-cut and wrong-side-of-the-tracks-jean-jacket!


@Jinxie I love Luke/Lorelei, I think I stopped watching once I realized they were just gonna go back and forth on that storyline forever


@Where Pies Go When They Die omg, I so need to be in on this thread. ok. let's see. I am actually for Luke/Lorelai as well. Christopher wanted Lorelai but didn't know how to be a normal, supportive person; Luke wasn't perfect but he was a shitload more practical. Also, I am Team Jess. I did like Logan but similar to someone else above, I hadn't actually watched all the episodes with him in, and once I had, my opinion changed. I want to know which was the pressuring episode? Because I always figured that Rory and Jess were both so young, he could easily have grown up and learnt not to be such a pressuring dickhead. That's what happend. In my head. I may or may not also be influenced by my own not-insubstantial crush on Jess. Also, Emily Gilmore. That's all you need to say. Just. Emily Gilmore.


@leastimportantperson Throwing my hat into the ring to say, much to my chagrin, I LOVE Gilmore girls. I constantly get made fun of for liking that show but my love can not be stopped. I realize that the speed and ridiculousness of the dialogue could be off putting to some but that was one of the things I liked about it.

The dynamic between Rory and Lorelai was so unique and rare for television that you can't help but appreciate it. Also, having a TV show, especially on the WB, portraying a young girl as well read, incredibly smart, and ambitious was impressive.

And Sookie and Jackson! And Lane! So many good, well rounded characters.

Classic show,for sure.


@leastimportantperson Team Jess! Ugh I hated Logan SO MUCH! And I hated Rory too after a while. Especially when she went to Jess at that bookstore just to use him because she was having problems with Logan. What a B.

Maybe the actor that plays Logan is a totally pleasant person IRL but he sure plays juiceboxes well (Logan, Tucker Max, guy that pretends to different Logan's half-brother in Veronica Mars) and I think if I met him I'd have a hard time separating "acting" from "reality."

Richard and Emily FTW! Such a good show.


@leastimportantperson can we talk about how great Paris Gellar is? (so great). Also that one time Lorelai sang "I Will Always Love You" at karaoke night for Luke and it was so angsty and Dolly Parton.


@emilylitella sooooooo much love for Paris!!!

Yankee Peach

Slurp Stab Gouge is my version of Eat Pray Love. Sadly, I guess.


@Yankee Peach: No way, I would read the shit out of Slurp Stab Gouge. Get on it!


You left out: Cheryl Strayed is Sugar! of Wanting to leave is enough Fame. Read Wild. Then read Torch. The read the new book of all the Sugar columns.

Tuna Surprise


I love this woman! I would read her shopping list.


@noReally I didn't know she was Sugar! Awesome.

:Cinnamon Girl:

@likethestore I went to her coming out party on Valentines Day and she was grand and her husband was so beautiful/gracious (I talked to him for quite some time), and Cheryl recognized me from Twitter! I went up to have her sign "Torch" because I figured out Sugar was Cheryl before the event, and the first thing she says to me is, "I know you from somewhere. HOw do I know you?" And I was all, Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I don't know I'm pretty sure we've never met. And then we settled on Twitter. It was grand. The end.


@noReally Dear Sugar, much as I want to like her, tries my patience sometimes. She's so grandiose it's a little painful. I do like most of her thoughts, it's just the deep and universal ways in which they SYMBOLIZE OUR INNERMOST DREAMS...

I'm not sure I can do a good parody of her. But another commenter on here once did. I can't remember who.


@whateverlolawants Oh god I just read "Wanting to Leave" and I'm tearing up from the end. I stand by what I said, but that particular piece is so good.


@whateverlolawants Tiny Beautiful Things is the one that always makes me cry.


@packedsuitcase I found the thread of the Dear Sugar discussion from February. Scroll up to see what Diana wrote.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

Bahaha! I want to read all of these.


I LOVE Wilderness survival stories! And it's available on Kindle, eeee!


I'm part way through the prologue (because my job today is transferring files through a remote network connection) and have a vaguely analogous story to share.
A couple years ago my dad, a friend, and I were backcountry hiking in the Cdn Rockies. Despite my friend being a newbie to hiking, we had a superb first day and got 19km in. I was being helpful and putting my dad's tent together while he got water, and despite checking his pack 5 times, discovered he had forgotten to bring his tent poles! I couldn't share my tent because my friend had dibs and it is only just a two person tent. He rigged his tent fly up with rope, but it was poor at best, and to add insult to injury, it snowed both nights we were on the trail. To add further insult to injury we had to abandon the hike due to the snow.
I wrote about it here, but mostly left that part out because he was kind of embarrassed about it.

Sarah Watson@facebook

@bangs only if you're in the US, or at least not if you're in South Africa :(


Seriously, guys, why is plastic cutlery so difficult to wash? With all the stupid little crevices?


@frigwiggin The grooves make it easier for the plastic to release from the mold.

I am making this up.


@frigwiggin Rats, rats, rats.


@frigwiggin Why are there hard water stains on them and not on the metal utensils? And why does my mom look at me funny for doing this?


Yes, #10! My friend was halfway through hiking the trail before I realized the C is for Crest not Coast...


It is a hard thing to accept that one will never be Tegan nor Sara. Though, much as I love them (and I do), it is not hard to sing like a small dying cat (the timbre which permeates at least 30% of their songs), so I have hope for Croon's protagonist.

PS - Nicole, did you know that Sara has a girlfriend now?! Google 'Sara Quin Stacey Reader'. Sara is one of those celebrities that I wish only good things for and whose happiness I am somewhat embarrassingly invested in, so I was really happy when I found out about this.

Nicole Cliffe

I really, honestly care about people I don't know finding love. Like Leon St. James! I want Leon to find love. Find love, Leon, it's the only way!

EDIT: LEON ST JEAN, Which, of course, MUST be "sinjin."


@Nicole Cliffe Leon! You must learn to love again!


@Nicole Cliffe He's probably over there in the corner, dancing on his own...






@wee_ramekin I thought it was leon st. john? i pronounced it sin-jin in my head ¬_¬

Katie Heaney


guess how many tegan and sara posters are in my apartment, just GUESS



@theheadcrusher err, saintjean?

Katie Heaney

also Wee, Imma fight you for using the phrase "small dying cat" in the same sentence as tegan and sara

:Cinnamon Girl:


Also, if Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton ever break up I will literally cry.


@Katie Heaney, I love you, and I love [l.o.v.e.] Tegan and Sara, but I challenge you to listen to 'Are You Ten Years Ago' or 'Where Does the Good Go' and deny the small dying cat-ness of it all.


@theheadcrusher - It's like the ending of the Sopranos, really. You can pronounce it either way. Leon comes from it being an awesome name that sounds cool and a lot of awesome but not too famous (breitling, spinks) dudes have it. Saint-Jean is partly Jane Eyre, partly John the Baptist for a few reasons (hence the Sopranos ambiguity in pronunciation).

Most of all though, Leon and John combined when I was a little kid for a Christmas Carol I completely loved.

Katie Heaney



@Katie Heaney But Katie, maybe I would have been something you'd be good at...

Katie Heaney

@wee_ramekin but now, we'll never know.


@Katie Heaney Here. I'll draw you a floorplan of my head and heart.


@wee_ramekin You are a much better person than me. Try "One Woman's Difficult Acceptance That She Is Not Stacey Reader." Except that would truly be an uninspiring grief memoir, as it is too difficult and I have not. I have not accepted it.


@chensike Oh grrrrl. I only said that I wanted Sara to find happiness with a girlfriend who is not me. I said nothing of Tegan and Lindsey Byrnes.

Katie Heaney

@wee_ramekin I KNOW RIGHT, teamtegan


Mine would definitely be called
Stuck: One Woman's Journey of Determination to Have Everyone Believe She's An Old Soul Because She Listens to Nothing But Classic Rock, Oldies, & Motown (When Really It's Because She Is Too Lazy To Seek Out New, Good Indie Music. Seriously, It's Hard.)

This was inspired by the fact that I am currently staring at my Pandora, wondering when I will get tired of listening to the same two stations full of Fleetwood Mac and its ilk, and Del Shannon and his ilk.


You live off of Cracklin' Oat Bran? What are you, a bazillionaire?? Seriously, it's so expensive, and the box is so-ho small!

Cracklin': One Woman's Envy-Filled Quest to Earn Enough Money to Eat as Much Cracklin' Oat Bran as She Wants to Stuff Down Her Gullet.

Nicole Cliffe

@Fodforever My college made unlimited amounts of it available to us, possibly because they feared an uptick in suicides due to the misery and New England winters if it was taken away. Also, you can buy it by the case from FoodServiceDirect.com.


@Nicole Cliffe So, I was getting ready to kiss your feet, but then saw that they have "Kelloggs Cracklin Baked Whole Grain Oat Bran Cereal 17 Ounce - Case of 10" for $60.55 + $14.95 shipping... does that mean 10 boxes? So... $7.50 a box, or am I missing something?

If not, I'll soldier on...

Nicole Cliffe

SHIPPING, damn it. Wanna road trip? The Best Time I Ever Showed Up At a Dry Goods Warehouse With A Stranger From the Internet and a U-Haul?


@Nicole Cliffe YES! ... Sigh, no. $6 a box is still too expensive! I'm living off of $2 it-looks-like-cereal-but-it's-really-just-sugar off-brand swill...

The kind that doesn't even have a box. I eat cereal out of a "family value"-sized bag. T__T


@Nicole Cliffe I would read the shit out of that.


@Fodforever I used to eat Frosted Mini-Wheats from those bags. Until I realized I was going through approximately one "family bag" a week, and that my digestive tract might enjoy a little break.


@Xanthophyllippa I knoooow, it's pretty sick how quickly you can burn through cereal. Don't know what to have for diner? Cereal! Don't want to make dinner? Cereal! Having a fancy wine and cheese party? No, cereal party! etc


@Fodforever Cracklin Oat Bran looks to me as though every piece is carefully shaped by hand. Hence the cost, maybe.


@Donovanesque Haha, hmm, I suppose I like the idea of little elves hand pouring the secret Cracklin' Oat Bran recipe into tiny 'O'-shaped molds to create each piece ('O' for oat?). But gd, if those Kiebler elves can get me cookies at a decent price I don't see why I can't get me some COB!


Unrelated to Cracklin' Oat Bran (I don't even know what that is) but my favorite kind of cereal is Cascadian Farms Multi Grain Squares. When I lived in Austin it was sold at HEB for $2.49 a box. Here in Boston it is $4.99 a box. I saw it in New York City at a Duane Reed for $7.50 a box. So I never eat it anymore. This price gouging is sick!


I was secretly really bitter about this because it has been my life plan since I was about eight to walk the entire Pacific Coast Trail and write a book about it. But then I heard her talk about it on the radio and was all, "Shit she's so charming it is impossible to resent her." There is room for all of us on the PCT!


Words can not express the sense of peace I found in the universe thanks to:

8. Burn: One Woman's Fervent Mission to Buy Four Consecutive Issues of Runner's World Without Ever Once Going for a Run

I committed to a subscription and several issues in, discovered my plan to "inspire" was just more mockery as they became hidden in corners where friends (that knew I'd never been/become a runner) wouldn't question their existence.


Mr. Donovanesque just finished this book and he liked it, but I prefer trashy romance and books about neuroplasticity.


@Donovanesque What about trashy books about neuroplastic romance?


@Xanthophyllippa annnnd now I have my next writing project.




Amazon lists Wild as frequently bought together with Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Paperback) ~ E. L. James.


@twoweeks Berg. I wish they wouldn't post those lists. I was on bedrest when I was pregnant and made luxiouriously frequent use of a trial Prime membership, but the experience was almost ruined by realizing what lame company I was in.


@finguns Well the hairpin posted about both books, so maybe --- never mind. I don't like where this is going.


I KNOW isn't it inspiring? Let's all go long-distance hiking??? (caveat: I'm allergic to almost all plants and last time I did a 6 hr hike I almost died and came to no profound life conclusion... willing to try again!)

Cheryl Strayed@facebook

I love this so much it hurts. Thank you. It's all hilarious, but the last one especially got me.


@Cheryl Strayed@facebook Sugar! [*flaps wrists helplessly*]

Nicole Cliffe



@Cheryl Strayed@facebook CHERYL STRAYED IS ON THE HAIRPIN. OH MY GOD. Oh my god. My eyes just filled with tears.

Unaccompanied Lady

Reading Wild was the first time I have become screechingly, weepingly homesick in the 10 years I have been overseas, away from the environs of the PCT (OR, WA, CA). Plus, great story, well written. Loved it.


Omg, did I write "Gouge" and I didn't even know? Oh, wait, no. I spent that money on a trip to Oktoberfest (pretty well worth the penalty, methinks).


For the record, washing your hair with baking soda and a bit of apple cider vinegar rinse does work! I do it all the time. Shampoo doesn't work for me. But vinegar-only is just wrong. And now, to read "Wild."


@carolita Obviously, I did it wrong, because I could have written "Ooze" a couple of winters ago.

Lady Humungus

@carolita Do you do the baking soda first and then rinse with the vinegar? I've used every gd variety of "moisturizing" shampoo/conditioner on the market and still have dry-ass hair, so I'm thinking of going hippy...


@carolita & @all - if you are looking for more info on this, I highly recommend the site crunchybetty.com . She goes into a lot of detail about what has and hasn't worked for her; I found this post particularly helpful. I'm a month in and going strong; I wash every 3rd day with a mixture of 1 Tbsp baking soda to 1 cup water plus a squirt of Dr Bronner's (scrubbing/massaging really well!), and rinse with ACV diluted in lots of water that I just pour over my head.
my fine/wavy hair feels healthy and happy. also corn starch makes a pretty good dry shampoo... if you use a TINY bit.
try it out if you're willing to experiment! I think the key is to pay attention to your hair, be persistent, and tweak your system until it feels right or seems to be working for you. So many people seem to try it for a week and give up, which I think is the wrong approach. experimenting is FUNNNNNN!


(just a general suggestion lovingly submitted: could we maybe link to indiebound instead of amazon? supporting indie booksellers! like so: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780307592736/cheryl-strayed/wild)

Michaela D@twitter

Can someone explain #9 to me? I... I still don't get it. Love that movie! Therefore I must know.


@Michaela D@twitter yeah, I don't know either, except it makes me cry like whoa


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