Monday, February 23, 2015

How to Make Your Girlfriend Like You (Again)

The Concessionist gives advice about the sordid choices of real life. Trouble? Write today.

Dear Concessionist,

My girlfriend is making kind of joking noises about how I've "given up." But it's not that I've given up. I guess that I never really even started. For example I've never been to a gym. Did I maybe give up even harder? Is this bad? Is she going to dump me? Is this how women warn you before they throw you out? We've been together over a year now and I love her.


Yo Ben and Jerry READ MORE


"You Think Writing is a Dream Job? It's More Like a Horror Film."

The horror of the blank page Ö Jack Nicholson at his typewriter in The Shining

A YouGov poll that has just been released rates being an author the most desirable job in Britain – with 60% of people saying they’d like to do it for a living. This is a 24% higher than those who want to be a TV presenter and a remarkable 29% higher than those who want to be a movie star.

The mind boggles—or it would if authors didn’t spend a good majority of their time assiduously, and at tedious length, trying to avoid cliches. The fact that people fantasise about being an author only proves how little they know about the reality of the job—or how under-read they are in one of the greatest of that profession, George Orwell.

You think writing is a dream job? It's more like being trapped in an isolated resort for a long snowy winter while your grasp on reality is slowly peeled back by either alcoholism, insanity, ghosts, or some combination therein, and also maybe it's about how the moon landing was faked. READ MORE


Apotropaic Boners; or, How to Avoid the Evil Eye

Mandy Len Catron recently wrote an article for the New York Times entitled “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This.” After following a long formula laid out by the psychologist Arthur Aron, the last step was to “stare silently into each other’s eyes for four minutes.” Mandy and her partner are now successfully in love.

Intense eye contact as the pathway to a lasting romance isn’t a new realization. The ancient Greek novelist, Heliodorus, wrote “The origin of love…owes its first beginnings to sight, which strikes its passion into the soul.”

But to Heliodorus and his classical contemporaries, an intense gaze was just as likely to bring about pain and misfortune as true love. I’m talking, of course, about the Evil Eye. READ MORE

"Outside his Malibu beach house, all snuggly in the early-afternoon sun, belly protruding from a half-unbuttoned shirt, balding scalp protected by a ball cap, feet not even coming close to touching the end of the chaise longue upon which he rests, Danny DeVito is working his way through one cup of coffee, preparatory to having another one, and maybe even a third. This is the way he is. This is the way he's always been. "I have appetites," he says."

I'm just like Danny DeVito.

After that, he lays back and talks. He likes to talk. About himself, mostly.

I'm JUST LIKE Danny DeVito.

"...I was coming down the street the other day and saw a possum. Who the fuck cares about it? I want to tell you what happened to me!"


[Rolling Stone] | February 23, 2015


Our Favorite Oscar Looks

Oscar looks after the jump. READ MORE


Weekend Roundup / Open Thread


I don't know about you guys, but it is brick outside in Brooklyn. Everyone's instagramming the same thing— their weather app proclaiming that it's 1 degree outside— so I am in bed atop my heated mattress pad (STOP READING THIS AND GO BUY ONE RIGHT NOW IT HAS QUITE LITERALLY CHANGED MY LIFE) and I can't stop thinking about chili. Should chili have beans?! Let us discuss in the comments.

Though our valiant and pixie-esque leader abandoned us this week to do some field research on other hair accessories (Alex Balk presents 'The Bandeau Headwrap' coming to you soon), head witch Anna Fitzpatrick and I held down the fort: we started this week with a stupendous Oscars roundtable discussion, then ranked all the Mister Darcys, identified with James Spader, interviewed Mary Pilon and Nadine Lessio, honored Rose Bertin, also this happened, defended Lina Lamont, learned the natural sound of our voice, read The Orange Eats Creeps, asked Baba Yaga, reviewed an album by an indie female musician, designed the upcoming Katy Perry game, ate second breakfast, and searched in Natasha MH's bag. Haley even popped by from performing on a Mary-Kate and Ashley cruise to introduce some really great changes that I am 100% certain will continue after next week. We also gathered a bunch of stories about how our families troll us, which was really fun! I'd be open to doing it again; email me if you have an idea of what nosy question you'd like me to ask next.

Hands up to the ladies: Rahawa Haile in Hazlitt, Madeleine Davis losing her mind in the best possible way on Jezebel, Meredith Graves annotated Lesley Gore for Genius, and Emily Keeler in the National Post.

Have a chill weekend!!!!! Eat some chili!!!!

Image via Flickr.


When I read about the woman who knit a scarf using gummy candy, I immediately took off my own non-edible scarf, threw it in the trash, lit the trash can on fire, and flushed the ashes down the toilet.

38 Roommates in 10 years

Julie and Elena
I moved out of my parent’s house in the fall of 2005, and since then I have moved 19 times and had 10 different mailing addresses. I recently applied for a NEXUS pass and was required to list five years worth of addresses—a task that was only possible to complete after a hard look through my Amazon order history.

Most of my moving is due to the nature of my undergrad degree: a five-year cooperative education program that involved four months of study alternating with four months of co-op for four years, finishing with an eight-month study program. Let’s start there.

Waterloo, Ontario (starting Sept. 2005): On-campus residence. I was matched with a girl who turned into a wonderful friend. However, her co-op program was "off-stream" from me, meaning she began her program with eight straight months of study rather than four. Due to this, we wouldn’t be on campus at the same time again until 2010.

Toronto, Ontario (starting Jan. 2006): First co-op term. Lived with my family (my parents and siblings do not contribute to my roommate total).

Waterloo, Ontario (starting April 2006): A summer term. Generally, only first-years live on campus, and generally, only engineering and math programs (like the one I was in) have first-years on summer study terms. There are also fewer women in engineering/math programs. Luckily, I was matched with a very cool second-year student as my roommate for the summer term, and as some of the only women in our residence, we were very close friends. A former resident gave us some wooden bunk beds which we painted with our inside jokes. These still exist in their painted form today. READ MORE


Natasha MH, What's Actually in Your Bag Right Now?

natasha's bag

Natasha MH is a stylist, academic, and fashion theorist. She justifies the number of books she carries around with her by saying, “I used to live in Halifax, which is notoriously windy. I’m a small person, so it wouldn’t be unheard of for a gust of wind to knock me over. It feels comforting to me to be weighed down by baggage. Not the emotional kind.” It was really hard to try and fit everything into the frame. READ MORE


"New Wave," by Sleater-Kinney ft. the Belcher Kids

All this needs is a Drake cameo and this would be every single one of the Hairpin's interests in one handy-dandy video.


You Can Have it All: Chickpea-Almond Muffins

For those of you who don’t know that chickpeas can do everything, fear not:


These are some damn good muffins. As an avid second breakfast eater, I’ve made/eaten a lot of tasty muffins in my day. And, for almost a year now, I’ve been honing/hoarding this recipe. I’m thrilled to finally share it. No, really!! READ MORE


Level Descriptions From the Upcoming Katy Perry Video Game

You play pop star Katy Perry embarking on a tropical, candy-coated journey of fun! After waking up in a cloud of cotton candy, Snoop Dog informs you of your mission. You must save a group of California Gurlz who are being held in a blood-soaked chamber at the hands of a torturer named Pyramid Head. In this level you must figure out how to get off the cloud!

After descending from the cloud, you find yourself at Warped Tour. You must make out with hundreds of girls in order to leave the concert venue. Except the girls are, like, really hot and you’re, like, totally straight. The longer you take to kiss each girl, the more confused you’ll feel, therefore depleting your energy supply (which is really just your hair color). Experiment quickly before time runs out or the game extracts $20 from your checking account. READ MORE


MAD LIBS: Indie Female Musician Album Review Edition

stvincent[Earlier this week]

Listening to [name of female musician’s] latest album, one is startled to learn the diminutive [hair color] ingenue is in fact wise beyond her years. Though she looks like a [nonthreatening woodland creature], she possesses an ethereal skill when playing the [instrument that said female musician is known to play]. Unlike [mainstream female popstar], she writes her own songs, reminiscent of [90s singer/songwriter named Fiona or Tori]. One can imagine her taut [body part] [verb]ing as she [sound a bird makes] through whimsical lyrics. There is a dark sophistication to these songs, no doubt thanks to [male producer who was only tangentially involved with the making of this album]. The maturity of this album compared to her previous work, [album name], implies a loss of innocence brought on by [event from personal life], a sign that [name of female musician] is ready to [verb] the [adjective] [noun] in the [noun], so to speak. Tracks 2 and 4 are especially erotic, songs that you’ll hear with your [euphemism for boner] as much as with your ears.


A Fake Knife, A Real Throw: An Interview With Nadine Lessio

iss_meI first saw Nadine Lessio’s work at Vector Game Art Festival, where she was exhibiting a collaboration with Sagan Yee: a game about breaking up with her ex-partner. A game featuring a knife-throwing controller. Players throw a knife at set points on the board, choosing exactly how they’re going to devastate that fictional boyfriend.

No players were harmed in that game, but that doesn’t mean that Nadine’s work isn’t very real. Her medium is physical interfaces: that is, games that use physical, everyday objects as the controls or as the game interface, instead of the expected controller, keyboard, or mouse.
Her first physical interface game, Squiddle, uses a custom controller made from a squish ball that has tilt sensors in it to control the game.

Since then, she’s gone on to program and built the photo booth for the Interstellar Selfie Station, which appeared at the Art Gallery of Ontario, PAX East, and GDC. She also programmed txtr, the SMS-based texting engine used to make Kara Stone’s Sext Adventure. Her work often transcends the space between physical and digital, finding meaningful opportunities for play in mundane objects. Like most of the women in game dev that I know, all of her coding skills are completely self-taught, which is a real inspiration to people like me, who are hoping to learn.

Nadine and I spoke about the politics of being a woman who codes, the power of physical interfaces in games, and why a game engine that can text your cell phone is subversive. READ MORE

Staying Busy with 'Broad City's Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson

glazer_jacobsonIt's been a little over a year since Broad City premiered on Comedy Central, and since then stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson have been working nonstop. A lot has happened in the past year including a live tour and production on their second 10-episode season, and with with a season 3 already in the works, at least we have one Comedy Central gem that has no intention of going away anytime soon. I recently spoke with Glazer and Jacobson about what they learned from making season 1, how their show came to such a deft balance of New York City reality and absurdity, and their thoughts on Broad City's overwhelmingly positive critical reception. READ MORE