Wednesday, March 4, 2015

This is the sort of pressure creators who are people of color, and who write programs about people of color, feel. Black-ish has to be twice as good as Modern Family in order to be mentioned in the same conversation; I can’t even do the math to figure out how good Black-ish has to be to win the Emmy over its white peers. It’s why these shows have to work harder, and it’s why viewers, to a certain extent, have our own responsibilities to them. We have to first show that there is a demand for these programs, then continue to demand that more exist, and then, finally, demand that each one is better than the last.

I mean, you could sit here and listen to me about the importance of diverse representation on TV, or you could go over to Flavorwire and read Pilot Viruet absolutely crush it. | March 4, 2015


Stress Dreams, Ranked

1. Lost on the New York subway; late to meet a friend; the subway opens up inside a gym where a former co-worker is stationed behind the receptionist desk with the biggest, most sinister smile on her face.

2. Lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood of New York; pouring rain; what I thought was an umbrella turns out to be a very thick copy of Women's Health magazine, torn to shreds. READ MORE


My Father, the Philosopher

2139509450_d55b0b0691_zIf the bed was here, if I touched it, lay down in it, walked away and came back, then it existed.

If it existed, then when I left for school and came back, it would still be there. If it was there today, then it would be there tomorrow. Right, Dad?

I touched the objects in the house. The bed and the Mickey Mouse light switch and the crumbling flower wallpaper. The Garbage Pail stickers. What about the office up in the attic? The porch? The sidewalk? I dashed over the slats, avoided the cracks.

My father smiled, pleased. “Well how can you know for sure? It's just like Descartes’s bad dream. What proves we’re not all living in a dream?”

Descartes's bad dream. What a lie. I bet Descartes loved his dream.

“Think about your first premise.”

“My first what?”

“Your first premise. Does it follow? If x, then p. Does touching something mean it exists? Are the conditions necessary and sufficient?” READ MORE

The News Just Came in From the County of I'm Looking at the Internet


The news
Just came in
From the County of Keck
That a very small bug
By the name of Van Vleck
Is yawning so wide
You can look down his neck.

This may not seem
Very important, I know.
But it IS. So I’m bothering
Telling you so.

I never noticed, until Zelda was born, my very odd need for repetition and order. Only now, where chaos is born and reborn in the space of a child’s room each day anew do I see it: I do the same things over and over. I write in my journal each day, no matter how mundane the activities I log. I note the temperature and the time. I sometimes count in my head while doing other things for no reason other than I feel like it. I silently stand at the kitchen drawer sorting the silverware after opening the drawer just to get a spoon. It feels satisfying in a way I can’t make sense of. It’s not that I’m overly neat or fastidious; don’t open my clothing drawers, because they are worse than a teen’s.

And so, because I am insane, I take the “make your baby’s bedtime routine the same every single night” thing to heart. Like, seriously: I do the exact same thing down to almost the minute, night in, night out, in the hopes that my daughter, like her mother, will one day grow up to list “sleeping” in her top five life activities. I read Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book to Zelda every single night.

Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book is one thousand, seven hundred and seventy-six words long and has fifty-six pages. It used to take me approximately twelve minutes to read, but now I can mow through it in about eight. By my count, (I counted), I have read the book to her two hundred and ninety-eight times (once I subtract the first horror-ridden weeks where bedtime didn’t exist and the very few nights when someone else has put her to bed). I know the book inside out and backwards. By August—when Zelda was six months old—I was already bragging to friends that I had it memorized (cool brag). My memory was tested a month or two later when I turned down the lights as Zelda finished off her milk, laid her down in her crib, cranked up the white noise, and began, as always, while still cleaning up: “The news just came in from the County of Keck,” I said, reaching for the book which wasn’t there. “Shit,” I realized, “I took it downstairs to tape one of its pages back together earlier today. I can’t leave the room; I’m going to have to wing it.”

I did. I could. I didn’t fuck up, not once. READ MORE


Soap Options

Fetus soap
fetus"Each soap is created one at a time using a fetus mold made by yours truly. Casting mimics gestation and birthing with its long production process and patience in curing."

Poo soap
turd"COLOR – brown
SCENT – vanilla bean


Last night I went to sleep around 1:30 and used my sleep cycle app to set an alarm to wake me up at the end of whatever sleep cycle ended around 7:30 but then I woke up and was still groggy so I snoozed until about 8:10 and then I started to feel guilty and dragged myself out of bed and onto my couch so I could start blogging but then I just feel back asleep until 9 or so and then I read this profile of a short sleeper—a person who only needs 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night to function—and now I'm wondering if I can do.... that. | March 4, 2015


Kelela, "A Message"



World Time

Louvar_worldtime_ills READ MORE


A Yeezy for all Seasons

I might have landed on a different 32 if I were not trying to incorporate fair representation from all the albums, probably, and pay tribute to all of Kanye’s evolutions. They would have looked different a year ago. They would look different if I didn’t live in New York. They’d look different if I were single, if I had a different relationship history, if I had a different job.

Hairpin friend and frequent source of lipstick inspiration Casey Johnston is contributing some pretty powerful stuff to the Kanye canon; an extensively researched and methodical attempt to determine which Kanye song is her favorite.

This is an IMPOSSIBLE question to answer, as she wisely points out—I know which Kanye songs I listen to the most, and which ones I think are the best, but my actual favorite?! I don't know!! Favorite depends on my mood, the time of day, my location, sometimes my outfit. If I tried to do this bracket I think my insides would just crumble from the stress. I applaud Casey's incredible strength and hope that she inspires you to apply the same methodology to your Kanye feelings.


But simply watching people of color having a private conversation, one that’s not primarily about white people, is a huge deal. It changes who the joke is on.

Emily Nussbaum in this week's New Yorker, writing about Fresh Off the Boat and Black-ish, hits the nail right on the head: white people, it's not about you for once, and it is so, so refreshing.

The Cost of Becoming a U.S. Permanent Resident, Part II

Green Card
Part one of this series is here.

In our household accounting spreadsheet, P and I almost forgot to make two separate categories for wedding and immigration expenses; right now they kind of seem like the same thing. The city hall wedding, while a pretty fun engagement with the municipal apparatus—was the first step towards staying in America above board. And like the I-693 described in my last post, the marriage certificate is just one of the many parts of the permanent residency application.

On the morning of January 12, we went to the marriage bureau office in Brooklyn and got a marriage license. You need to get a marriage license at least 24 hours before you get married, it’s good for two months (unless you’re on active military duty, in which case you get six months). We got to the office when they opened at 8:30 a.m., confirmed all the information we had filled in online (our names, birthdays, lack of previous marriages, parents’ names and places of birth). We paid $35 and received a fancy piece of paper that allowed us to get married anywhere in New York state. The woman in the fluorescent-lit drop-ceilinged room asked us if we were coming back to get married; we told her that we were going to Manhattan.

We got married the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 30 with the intent to send in our permanent residency application on Monday. Feb. 2; we needed to have the packet assembled before the actual wedding. The copy of Marriage and Fiancé Visas I had taken out of the library was an invaluable guide to figuring out all the specific pieces and walking us through what to type in every box. We had spreadsheets, checklists, and drop boxes to manage it all. I typed my married name over and over again even though it wasn’t my name yet. I went to the passport services office at the Brooklyn Public Library and got two sets of passport photos taken to include with the various applications. We gathered our evidence of marriage: printed out the statements from our shared bank accounts and affidavits from our friends who would be at City Hall swearing that we were really a couple and that they were at our wedding (they signed them after the actual wedding! We were very certain to make sure that happened in the right order). We assembled the documents that proved that my U.S. citizen husband made enough money so that I wouldn’t need government welfare benefits (form I-864EZ, W2s, and tax transcripts). READ MORE


A Reasonable Conversation About Carly Rae Jepsen's New Song, Which is the Best Song Ever

Hu: JENNNNNNNN. We meet again.

Vaf: Yes, Jane, for a GOOD REASON.

Hu: So, this morning, when I logged onto Gchat, I had no idea that you would be blessing me with this:

Jen, I really really really really like this song.

Vaf: ME TOO. I had no idea that we, the world, would be blessed with it.

Hu: Apparently, one of my friends listened to it last night? Without FW-ing it to me? #notmyfriend

Vaf: Um, I sent it to you immediately after listening to it. Just saying, I’m the greatest.

Hu: All I know is that the last time CRJ came out with a single—”Take a Picture”—I forced you to put on your headphones and listen to it ASAP. Actually, there’s some nice continuity between that last song and this one: our girl looooves to sing about the moon. Also special deep cuts mention: the line “Wake up moon we spend the night alone together” in "Your Heart Is A Muscle.” And there’s a whole comparative essay to be written about that song and Britney Spears, but I digress.

OK, so first impressions: Carly DOES IT AGAIN. Also, have you heard about this rumor where her publicist apparently doesn’t let her release songs that aren’t going to be guaranteed hits??

Vaf: Well, not again again, right? This isn’t “Call Me Maybe Part II.” It’s slightly older? But not by that much. She’s still 13 going on 30, bless her. Yes, I’ve heard that rumor, and it’s kind of delicious, in that Hitsville U.S.A. sort of way, like there are a bunch of horny monkeys with typewriters working on the new Carly Rae Jepsen single. READ MORE


Kim Kardashian: Model, Actress, Mogul, Fashionista, Wife, Mother, Lover, Coder


Does the game always correlate to your real-life schedule?
We try to mirror it as much as possible. The look of the game was really important to me. I must have pulled thousands of references of all the different ways that characters should have their hair, the outfits and the shoes. One time there was a strap wrong on one of the character's shoes—her feet weren't matching. I had to change the programming to fix that. It was important to me that everything is right.

We are gathered here today in solidarity and in full, unencumbered awe of our Lord and Bae-vior Kimberly Noel Kardashian West (quoted here in Adweek), who is singlehandedly on her way to conquering the fashion world, the reality world, the tech world, and my heart. Ready? OK. READ MORE


Face Masks with Absolutely No Placenta Listed in the Ingredients

Here are three face masks I have in current rotation, as well as a guide to using them appropriately and some little-known facts about the restorative powers of slathering a fine layer of goo over your lady face in order to trick a man into thinking you're pretty and then marrying you, lol, shoutout to my husband if he's reading this. None of them contain placenta because I have tried to be open-minded about the fact that The Hairpin is now exclusively a placenta products blog but honestly I am struggling with it at this point in time. READ MORE

Eudora Peterson (@Pjetey) on Twitter's Character Limit and Not Overthinking Jokes

eudora petersonEudora Peterson is a New York City-based comedian whose work has appeared on The Hairpin, The Toast, and more. She currently runs Fashion What Ifs, a fashion advice video series on Jezebel’s beauty and style site Millihelen. Recently I asked Peterson to share and talk about three of her favorite tweets, and our conversation covered topics including writing in different personas, the strengths of Twitter’s character limit, and some of her material that’s made the jump from tweets to other media.

Peterson: Tweets written in character voices make me laugh, especially if the characters have an uncompromising and/or aggressive point of view. Alexis Wilkinson does it really well. People getting out of hammocks makes me laugh, too. READ MORE