Friday, February 7, 2014


Friday Open Thread

The weekend's coming! What Would Winter Olympics Ice Witch Do? Maybe she'd:

• Rule at naked yoga; she'd definitely have been Posh, too

• Already know how to get surfbort hair and how to make daikon cakes for the snack luge

• Check her horoscope and be like "Whatever, I'm my own sign"

• Dress like she's in a fairytale for all the events she hates (the Olympics Ice Witch hates everything)

• Skip the co-ed baby shower and recognize no celebrity offspring but her own

• Make a nice Manhattan, join (or lead!) the flower cult.

Was your week Ice Witchy? How's the weekend looking? Thanks for hanging with us, and we'll see you on Monday.

48 Comments / Post A Comment







love so much! so amazing.@v


So, I might get kicked off the Hairpin forever for admitting what I'm about to, but, I have realized lately that I am not much of a reader, though I'd like to be. When I get home from work, all I want to do is space out in front of sit-com reruns that I've seen a million times. But I'm starting to feel embarrassed by just how little I read. I even let my Runner's World subscriptions stack up until I have to knock out like 4 issues at once. So by that point, I'm just skimming for something that grabs my attention.

So, 'pinners... any good book suggestions? I seem to enjoy books with female protagonists. (Easier to relate to, I guess?) I have read almost all of the Spellman series by Lisa Lutz and have enjoyed those (mysteries keep me interested). But I have no idea how to even go about picking out a book, so instead of trying, I guess I don't even bother? So, any book suggestions? Or suggestions on how to find good books?


@coolallison I just finished How to Say Goodbye in Robot (YA cause my brain is mush after work) and it was mostly good. If you want an amazing book that is a quick read, but mind bending then I'd suggest the Lover by Marguerite Duras (she's awesome in all ways; this book is good/strange/uncomfortable). Those are my thoughts, a.k.a. what I can see on my nightstand in my mind's eye.


@coolallison All of the YA! I like my books to fall into my face with no effort.

It's a scourge, but I have really enjoyed Hunger Games and all of the ensuing copycat post-apocalyptic YA, for example.

chickpeas akimbo

@coolallison ok, this is my wheelhouse. I'm gonna throw out some suggestions of books that I've found compulsively readable. If anything looks particularly good to you and you want more recommendations in that vein, just let me know.
Mysteries -- if you haven't read it, you simply must read The Secret History by Donna Tartt. (Her two later books are good too, but start with TSH.) Male protagonist, which, eh, but holy crap it is impossible to put this book down.
If you like urban fantasy (that's basically fantasy without swords and castles) you might like Dark Currents and Autumn Bones by Jacqueline Carey. Female protagonist who is part demon who lives in a small town and... crazy shit happens, basically. The writing is very witty.
Jacqueline Carey also wrote a series of alternate histories that feature a female protagonist who is a courtesan in an alternate history France and... you know, I'm really not sure how to explain these books. More here: http://www.sfsite.com/08a/kd109.htm. Try the first one, and if you like it, there are like 8 more to read.
Another good alternate history series is Jo Walton's Small Change series, the first book of which is called Farthing. It's a murder mystery set within an alternate history in which the UK made peace with Nazi Germany in the early 1940s and starts to slide into fascism.
As @OhMarie mentions, The Hunger Games series is ridiculously addictive. If you like YA, I would add two other dystopian series: The City of Ember series by Jeanne Duprau and the Moon Crash series by Susan Beth Pfeffer, which begins with the book Life as we Knew It.
I have always found Jean Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear series ridiculously hard to put down, with the exception of the last book, which sucks.
If you are looking for something funny or lighthearted, you might try books by Christopher Moore or Tom Perrotta. Or, of course, David Sedaris.
If you specifically want to read about women, you might want to widen your search to biographies, autobiographies, and memoir.
Finally, a couple of books that, for whatever reason, I found utterly compelling:
What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
Affliction by Russell Banks
Atonement by Ian McEwan
World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler

In terms of how to find good books, best thing is to have a friend who knows your taste very well and can recommend things (bonus points if that friend works at a bookstore.) Amazon's recommendation engine is... okay, not great. Goodreads can give you leads on must reads in your preferred genres. Bookish.com is supposed to be a pretty sophisticated book recommendation engine; I've had mixed results but might work for you. Finally, go to a bookstore and ask them to recommend something! Tell them "I really liked X, can you recommend something similar" and I bet you'll walk out with something good.

Hope this helps!


@coolallison Honestly, my weekday reading is the internet and romances. Romances are great for getting your brain to turn off after work, and they press the same buttons as sitcoms. But you're actually putting words in front of your eyeballs, and honestly some (especially some of the historicals) are pretty well researched and interesting. Or hilariously awful.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is a great starting point. They also regularly post deals for romance and non-romance books (usually e-books). I like Katie MacAllister and Courtney Milan because they are funny and have excellent female protagonists.


@coolallison I had no idea that Life as We Knew It was part of a series! That book is basically my platonic ideal of a post-apocalyptic or dystopian YA book, because it was hyper-realistic enough to scare me into, like, buying a bunch of canned food.

Gordon Bombay

Anybody have insight on long distance relationships? Bf is currently at a dream job interview in New York and I'm tied to DC indefinitely. Things are great but I don't feel like they're serious enough to talk about moving for each other (I dont even know when we'd have that talk). I'm trying to be a grown ass lady about this but I'm terrified. All the advice I've read online just doesn't seem tailored for young professional types who have it mostly together but not entirely together and are vaguely overwhelmed.

Like is this serious? I dunno! Do I love the hell out of this person? Hell yeah! Do I love my job in my city? Also yes! Stop making me have adultlike conversations, life.


@Gordon Bombay Girl, I get it. My boyfriend and I had been dating for six months when we graduated; our parent's homes three hours away, my career pulling me toward New York, his tastes pulling him toward the country. It was hard: we couldn't move in together, we didn't feel like we could ask the other to move to a random city and NOT live with the other...

So we were apart, for nine months, until we moved in together (moving in together after being long distance is another barrel of bananas, but I can get into that with you later). It sucks, it totally does; I would spend one Friday night a month on a Chinatown bus from NYC to Boston, when all my friends were out having fun; I was sharing a room in my first apartment, so I'd have to stay up until he got off his restaurant shift and talk to him in the bathroom, etc. It was not always fun, especially because our relationship was relatively new.

The biggest advice I can give you is to keep the spark going; it's a shit-ton harder when you're apart, but equally, if not more so, important than if you were together. Text, a lot, all the time. Turn him on to Gchat. Send letters, packages; surprise him with random visits. Talk about your future, too; it may seem scary and too soon, but it gives you something to hold on to. Assess your anger: you guys will get short tempered with each other, but realize it's likely because you miss each other. Stay sane. Make friends. Enjoy not having to shave your legs for weeks at a time. Figure out when you guys will combine lives, and stick to that plan-- you don't want to hold on for years and realize that neither of you will budge. Find something that will work for you both. Best of luck!

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Hi everyone! No real exciting stories or desperate pleas for advice this week... at least none that I can think of right now (due to great huge headache).

I am, however, thisclose to sending a Facebook message that reads "Hey, remember when we were friends? It was sometime before I only heard from you when you wanted me to buy stuff from you."


@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) Hahaha do it! (Don't do it)

polka dots vs stripes

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) Is there a not-snarky way you can message them? "Hey we used to be friends, I never hear from you, is everything ok?" I've done that on occasion, with varying degrees of success.


@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) UGH--I know that situation too. This happened after a friend of mine got married and I hadn't seen her for a while (which, understandable, I guess). But when she did want to hang out like we used to, I was treated to an Arbonne cosmetics demonstration.


I need to vent:

I revealed here a while ago (around Christmas) my Jerry Springer-esque tale of my sister having a secret relationship with a very serious ex of mine (together five years, and not an amicable breakup)… well, secret from me; seems my parents knew all along (and even lied to me when I started to figure it out). Anyway, he gave her the "just friends" speech after she characteristically because too attached to what I assume was intended as an FWB relationship. And then my mother called me for advice on how to console my sister now that her relationship with my serious ex was over.

And now, here I sit, driving myself crazy stalking my sister's Twitter/Instagram because she is posting sad memes about heartbreak so that all her friends can give her the poor baby/he was intimidated by your love/he feels it but doesn't realize it speeches. Ugh, the whole situation os just… ugh, gross.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@Hellcat what the actual fuck.

You decided to keep your distance over the holidays, right? And not pull your sister aside and have A Serious Talk with her that might have made her think you were crazy or jealous? ...actually, it sounds like she wouldn't have listened anyway!


@Hellcat "because" should be "became." And I believe I have an "os" for "is." Yikes, sorry!


@Hellcat nope nope nope nope nope nope

Just nope the fuck out. Have nothing to do with it. Tell yr parents to fuck off. She'll live.


@Hellcat Fuuuuuuuck. A while back I was sad that I didn't have sisters, now less so. And ugggh douchey exes that will not disappear, bleh bleh. I did have a best friend who dated an ex briefly (and they would 'secretly' make out when they thought I wouldn't notice) but we were 19, so I feel like that's forgivable. She wanted my advice when they broke up, and in my memory I just fixed her with a withering glare, but I probably got weepy. Whoops. He was not even remotely worth the effort. Maybe instead of instagram stalking, you could watch this hypnotic video of a (gentle) penguin attack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKMYKwAUknU


@jazzloon Exactly.


@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) I did keep my distance, even to the point of not answering e-mails or texts… for a few minutes, until she'd text again to try my work e-mail. Her frenzy made me feel like I was being so mean to her! I have a feeling she knew that I knew and, while not eager to talk about it, she was maybe looking for an opening to do so? So I replied in short-and-sweet ways, and didn't bring it up. And she didn't either because I think she was scared to.

SO… she didn't even show up to my mom's at Christmas, but she came by the next day as did I, because we had relatives visiting. We small-talked a little but I left soon after her arrival. She proceeded to have a meltdown (about the sad breakup, not that she's been lying to me or anything). I don't think she revealed to the relatives who the breakup was with.

And then… I get a flurry of texts and FB messages about how I should be supporting my (38-year-old) sister better in her time of need. I even got a total passive-aggressive Facebook post from MY GRANDMA (only she posted it as her own status by mistake because grandmas and Facebook don't always mix). Then other relatives (who, again may not have known who the guy is) chimed in about how they knew the vague status was about me but they didn't want to call me out (for… what? I dunno). It was a mess and somehow it is these silly-ass sad-girl memes that are making me madder than anything! She is wallowing over an ill-conceived to begin with relationship in the most juvenile way possible. Who reTweets "I miss you"? I am serious, that's all the tweet said from something called "LoveQuotes." And when people offer encouraging words, she gets all, "But you don't understand how I feel" about it! Ugh.

Oy, rambly--sorry! Whew, I let it all out there, didn't I? I have to stop spying, don't I?

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Possible advice for this situation...

GOOD ADVICE: What jazzloon said. Nope the fuck out of there. (I wish there was an app that would remind me to do this when I'm in an awkward situation.)

ALSO GOOD ADVICE: It's a great time to take a break from social media. Stick to other Internets instead, because Instagram will only infuriate you. Play some random game on your phone instead. This will likely have blown over by the time you're sick of that game on your phone.

BAD ADVICE: Call your sister, Skype, text, whatever means of communication you like best. (Not cat videos, though. Like actual real communication.) Tell her that yes, breakups suck, and it's really too bad that The Ex dumped her, and you probably know exactly how she feels since he wasn't exactly great with you! And that should have been a huge red flag but she missed it, and yes breakups suck, but what else was she expecting when she pinned way too much on a person who was so obviously toxic? Now start acting like a 38-year-old and put on your big girl pants and stop acting like a 21-year-old whose best friend is her iPhone, which she bought a $60 case for because it has three Swarovski crystals on it. Three. For $60. That is a terrible fucking deal.


@Hellcat And because I am (secretly) evil I will add the worst possible advice.

THE WORST ADVICE Post the following gif as a response to each sappy/dumbass luv post that she retweets:

BETTER ADVICE Resist the worst possible advice, but imagine doing it and cackle quietly to self. Have a glass of red wine. Turn off the computer and your phone.


@adorable-eggplant But obviously stay on the pin (so by 'turn off' I really just mean close the Facebook/Instagram window). Figure out how to fedex me a glass of red wine? Hmm, I might slowly be veering back towards bad advice.


@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) CALL ME BEEP ME IF YOU WANNA REACH ME


@adorable-eggplant I want you to always give me life advice. And also we could be wine-drinking buddies! Aww funn!!

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) "What the actual fuck" is what I said outloud while reading hellcat's comment, so I was happy to see that someone else thought it, too.

@hellcat what the actual fuck. I'm so sorry for this situation. I'm really proud of you, because if this were my sister, I would probably respond to all the pleas for attention. And tell off my family. So hey, stay strong. I'll drink a glass of wine for you tonight. Virtual toast?


@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) and @everyone
ALL GOOD ADVICE HERE--thank you! And you're all getting some virtual toasts! I just should say that not only do I not have an iPhone but I also don't have Twitter or Instagram; I just keep spying on hers! Because why, I do not know--I've gone a little crazy, maybe! Oh, the memes, you guys--so, so bad. She is not posting this nonsense on Facebook though because she knows I'll see that. Whether that's out of respect or fear, I also don't know.

So cheesy, this whole thing, right? And yes with the red flags; there are many--did I say that he'd also just gotten out of rehab for alcohol abuse? They both have their issues but on a purely superficial level, I do not care what he does and with whom. But my own sister--that whole thing is mind-numbing, especially with (A.) the fact that he was a beast to me at the end, (B.) rehab, (C.) your own sister's serious-level ex--not a date, not a guy I liked back in college, not someone we both thought was cute in a bar but my ex of many years with whom I was in love until shit went sideways (and let's face it, after that for a while too). That was a bad time for me, yet... he's a swell candidate for her? What? How? After he treated your sister like garbage? Oy. OY! And what was the goal here--that he'd be at Thanksgiving dinner like it's normal? Photoshopping her face over none in all the old pics my mom probably has somewhere? I don't know how she thought it would work out different for her after being dumped after a handful of months than it did for me after a few years! And now she acts like she's the first person to feel upset at a breakup.

And what mom asks Daughter/Dumpee #1 for help consoling Daughter/Dumpee #2? And all the…conspiratorial lying just made me feel so stupid! (See, my sister would divulge bits and pieces to me of their "just friends" relationship, which I thought was weird enough, but kept my mouth shut about anyway--even though I found it inappropriate that she pursued him on FB years later.)

I should clarify also that my relationship with him ended for good in 2005 so it's not a new wound by any means. Or even a wound at all at this point (I have an awesome BF of just under five years--and he is equally annoyed and baffled at my sister's… decision-making skills). But who does this? I don't know anyone who would! I can only imagine the hellfire that would ensue if I did the same thing with her ex--my family would take to Facebook over it, that's for sure.

OK, again…whew! I am unloading like a moving truck over here…



@coolallison Aww, shucks. :)

@Hellcat Prost! (although all I have is cold coffee and a few sad hershey's kisses, huddling together in terror, sooooo... kind of a wimpy toast) Family is the absolute weirdest. I'm glad you have a supportive BF with whom to be baffled.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Oh actually, I do have a question - has anyone had a problem with their Sephora Beauty Insider points? It looks like I didn't get double points during a promotion when I should've, but all I can find is a phone number to call (which I'm guessing isn't 24/7.)


I am unpacking two years' worth of stuff in therapy tonight! Hahahaha, oh god. :( I wish I was watching the opening ceremonies, though I don't think anything will beat Mary Poppins defeating Voldemort in London in 2012.


@rhymeswithholly Stay strong! Could not find an appropriate gif, but:


I am getting my period and I am RAVENOUS. I want to eat everything, including you.

I miss the big FOT. Where did everyone go?


@jazzloon I think they went to The Toast. I dropped out entirely because it got too spammy here plus I actually have enough work to do on Friday afternoons now.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@jazzloon I'm surprised that my last bout of PMS was not accompanied with a desire to eat every food in a 5-mile radius but especially those with lots of sodium.

Most people went to the Toast, but I'd hoped that both FOTs could coexist! :(
There are also quite a few on Twitter, which makes Twitter much more delightful for me. Though I haven't decided if I prefer to hear about the Bergy Bits at the end of the week, as a pick-me-up, or if it's that much cooler to get updates in real time.


@jazzloon An entire bag of hershey's kisses. It's like a tiny tinfoil apocalypse over here.

I think the log in issues are bugging people too, cause I still have to log in every damn time I want to comment. But meh, I do not actually care.


@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) @adorable-eggplant @meowmischen but i miss itttttttttttt. My workload has actually lessened on Friday now so I'm all about coming back. Yuh. :( Who are you all following on Twitter?

Yesterday I ate five pieces of pizza and three tacos so I think I will just leave (heave?) now.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@jazzloon iceberg! (@IceBergMama) Jasmine! (@thebestjasmine) frigwiggin! (@figwiggin) (or vice versa, I forget)
@Sedna51 is StandardTuber, I think? Sometimes I forget who's who.

If you follow them you'll likely see more Hairpinners because every now and then they get to talking.

And now I'm hungry because you talked about food and I'm thinking about my steak dinner tomorrow.


@jazzloon I miss it too! And I'm not on Twitter. Sometimes I get my fix by reading open threads on Monday (when I have less work) but it's just not the same. Also, last time I had my period I ate nothing but nachos for the entire weekend and justified it as healthy by adding a whole bell pepper to each batch. Try it!


@meowmischen Maybe it's the newfangled constant logging in that sent people away? Maybe people have better plans than I do of Friday nights… though it's too cold for plans and I like being home alone with the kittens (BF has a gig) and my mac & cheese and gin & tonic while reading the cast blogs from Vanderpump Rules. That last part is weird, I know.


@Hellcat um, no, the entire part sounds awesome.

Well, I'm still here: both loyalty-wise and temporally. I'm working the nightshift. Let's chaatttt


@jazzloon Count me in. For now, at some point I have to drag myself into an ice storm for drinks and pizza, not complaining tho. Because, well, drinks and pizza. And it's not actually ice, just coldness.

ETA: What is Vanderpump Rules? I'm imagining a Ciderhouse Rules parody, but that does not seem likely.


@adorable-eggplant It is a spinoff of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, focusing on the lives of the waitstaff of wannabe models and actors in a restaurant owned by one of said Housewives. It is really just terrible but in that "good" kind of terrible way. I guess.


@Hellcat The login problems certainly aren't helping. I'm still here, sort of. Drinkin' wine and eating donuts while browsing OKCupid. Also the cat is here. What else can I do to complete the single woman stereotype?


@meowmischen Talk on the phone while twirling the cord (haha--phone cord!) around your finger with a towel on your head and a facial masque on your skin? Cry at a Lifetime movie while painting your toes?

I should have gotten some donuts.


@Hellcat Ooh good suggestions. You can make donuts! Chips optional. http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/02/chocolate-frosted-raised-donuts-with-um-crunchy-kettle-potato-chips/


@hellcat @meowmischen DONUTS!!!

I have heard great, great things about the Vanderpump Rules. I should watch. You two are certainly doing better than me right now. I'm at work. :(

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