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Starting From the Bottom

People’s reactions to my announcement became a Rorschach test that was fairly accurate at predicting the length of time we’d be in touch after graduation. It sounded cool enough to a few of my closest friends who decided to do the same, and we all began to prepare ourselves for a great migration out West. We dreamed of open skies, a chilled-out vibe, and the space to become fully realized, whatever we thought that meant. It wasn’t much of a plan but it felt like a better plan that most people had, which involved getting a regular office job. But by this time, my grassroots publishing class had begun to work its way under my skin, and I liked the way it took root there. I pictured myself running a similar enterprise someday. We published a magazine each semester, and planning out the issues, the front-of-the-book stories, features, and profiles that we would include was exciting in a way I didn’t even know was possible. In those classes, the beginnings of an idea took shape, if only I could figure out how to finance it. The reality that I had spent the last four years doing everything but studying literature, writing, and reading started to weigh on me, even though all of those areas interested me the most. But I figured I would stockpile cash, leather jackets, and skinny jeans, move to a city, live in a one-room apartment, and work and intern for free in exchange for experience points. Simple enough, right?

I really loved this essay on waitressing and post-college anxiety by Jenna Wortham, particularly the above excerpt; working a service job while your friends and peers pursue more education or entry-level office jobs really is like a Rorschach test for compatibility. I have a bias operating in the other direction, I think, where I don't trust people who don't or haven't worked some kind of service job. My background is retail, but anything where you deal with customer service and get paid to be physically present by the hour counts. I just really believe—in my limited, personal, biased experience, sure—that people who have worked in restaurants, retail, or customer service in general are often better collaborators, friends, co-workers because of what they learn in those jobs. That's what I see in their...inkblots? Human inkblots? I don't know, you get it.

FKA Twigs, "Video Girl"

Self-soothing with this on repeat, all day, every day.

"Don't You Hate Pants?"

The Hairpin has a strong, well-documented stance re: women should wear whatever they want. We also have a strong, well-documented stance against pants. Here is an article that, if you squint hard enough, covers both stances.

Good Vibrations

I really loved this report on vibrators by Into The Gloss; everything should come with an emoji rating system. READ MORE

Pins & Needles, "Runaway and Hide"

I saw Pins & Needles perform at the Rookie Yearbook 3 launch party last night, and they were amazing. Tempted to make them the official Hairpin band; formally suggesting they change their name to "Hairpins & Needles;" just an idea, no pressure.

Maybe we learn the most about the “man’s woman” and the “woman’s woman” when we look at the only thing that each of the varying definitions of the terms has in common: a belief that there’s something men want, and something women want—and ne’er the twain shall meet. It’s uncomfortable from a gender-binary perspective, naturally. But it’s just as uncomfortable from where I’m sitting, as someone who firmly identifies as female and who has plenty of traits associated with femininity. For whenever I’ve tried to puzzle out which camp I might belong in, neither one has felt satisfying. The “man’s woman” and the “woman’s woman” are each reactors, not actors in and of themselves. Each of these women fills the needs of others, even the heroic sort of “woman’s woman” who inspires other women—she’s still cast in the terms of others’ needs, not her own.

As always, Autumn Whitefield-Madrano knows just how to respond to seemingly-impossible questions of gender, taste, categories, and celebrity.

2-4-6-8, Who Do We Appreciate? Donna Tartt.

Bless Nicole Cliffe for bringing this to my attention: READ MORE

Writers Writing About Writers (and Musicians, and Artists, and and)

I was in New York a few weeks ago and I did something truly outrageous—I walked into my favorite bookstore, turned to Anna, and was like, "I'm only allowed to buy one book, ok?", and then actually bought only one book. I hope you can appreciate the magnitude of this event because it has, quite literally, never happened before and will probably never happen again. READ MORE

"This over-the-top Toronto mansion has hosted the likes of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Jane Fonda, but its biggest claim to fame is a leading role in the Olsen twins' hit film It Takes Two."

The mansion plays a minor role in the classically brutal Olsen twins' film, but we've pulled out a few cameos throughout the home tour.

Contrary to popular belief, I do not have an Olsen Twins Google Alert; I believe Olsen Twins-related links have to come to me naturally, that searching for them dispels their magic. Luckily the universe always provides a way.

As for his own sporting prowess, Wang admitted his passion was very much style based. READ MORE