Monday, October 13, 2014


How To Change Your Name In 41 Easy Steps

1.) Practice saying your new name. Say it aloud to friends, family, and police officers. Ask yourself these questions: Can I pronounce it? Can I spell it? Can I remember it?

2.) If you are changing your name as part of getting married, proceed to step 2b.) If not, skip to step 3.

2b.) Go online and print out an application for your marriage license. On the application, there will be a question asking what you want your new name to be, followed by a large blank space. Whatever you write here will be your new name! Congratulations! Mazel tov!

2c.) The application will most likely have some rules attached stating that you can only change your surname during the marriage process, but apparently this is bullshit. If say, you are going from Kathleen Hale to Kathleen Rich, but want to change your middle name from Erin to Hale (sorry Ireland) you should do it here. Otherwise you will find yourself going through the usual name change channels at the courthouse, which, as you can see by the length of this guide, is a total nightmare. Not to mention: once you have gone through weeks of bureaucratic bullshit, and endured a lot of snark from government employees, you will find yourself face to face with a particularly snarky government employee, who will tell you, "haha, you could have just done this when you got your marriage license—yeah it says not to, but they have to honor whenever you put down" and you will understand in that moment why he is talking to you from behind bullet proof glass. If you were stupid enough to take these bullshit rules at face value, proceed to step 3.

3.) Your only option is to Google "how to change your name in [insert your city, state, country here]." There will be application forms available through a government website. Fill one out. Press print.

4.) The printed application will include a list of things to bring with you to the courthouse in order to change your name. Some of these things are hard to find and scary to lose (birth certificate, etc.) Also, the courthouse might not accept copies, depending on where you live, so put everything in a special folder.

4b) Duct tape shut the folder.

4c.) Wrap it in chains.

4d.) Padlock the chains around your waist.

5.) Proceed to the courthouse.

6.) Take a number.

7.) Wait for the rest of your life. READ MORE


Hardcore Romance & Dreamy Delinquents: An Interview with Mary Timony

For more than two decades, Mary Timony has written songs that are weird little wonderlands. Timony’s references range from animal allegory to cosmic imagery to mythology, and she uses them all to tell stories of love, depression, and transcendence.

With power-pop trio Ex Hex (her latest project in a musical history that also includes bands like Autoclave, Helium, and Wild Flag, along with her kaleidoscopic solo career), Timony’s make-believe world is maybe a roller-derby track or cruising strip sometime in the early 1980s: Ex Hex’s debut album Rips is all fast guitars and big glossy hooks, with lyrics that feel torn from the notebook of some dreamy juvenile delinquent. A sample couplet: “You got all dressed up but there was nowhere to go/When the cops shut down our rainbow.”

I spoke with Timony about the making of Rips, her sixth-grade Casey Kasem obsession, new wave fashion, and teaching teenagers to shred like Joan Jett. READ MORE


Our Eyebrows, Our Selves

I’m not sure when I decided that my eyebrows—thick, dark, and joined—weren’t considered attractive, but I was a preteen when I realized that I would have to do something about it. When I was 12, I begged my mother to let me get the offending patch waxed. Getting my eyebrows “fixed” was Step One of the makeover process that I just knew was necessary if I was going to be a pretty teenager. In teen magazines and on The O.C. (everyone’s favourite show in 2003), I saw smallness and whiteness celebrated in bodies, in clothes, and in upturned noses. Even Kristin Kreuk, the only image of non-white beauty I remember from that time, was hairless and thin.

I always wondered if my eyebrows could be a little better—a little more arch, a little less thick, a little further apart. Maybe, by some miracle, my eyebrows would make the rest of me seemed smaller, small enough to fit into a white, blonde, hairless ideal that seemed to be attractive to everyone around me. I understood that to be small, to not offend, was to be feminine, which seemed instrumental to achieving all the milestones of successful teenagehood—parties, boys, Marissa Cooper’s hipbones. READ MORE

Watching Roseanne's Early Standup and Secret Sitcom Pilot

126 – roseanne
The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

Before we begin, I must first make a confession. My knowledge of Roseanne Barr's comedy is based solely on my memories of watching her sitcom as a kid in the 90s, and that time she screamed the national anthem. But in a way, my lack of knowledge has perfectly primed me for the subject of today's article. Today we're going back to 1987 to watch a proto-version of Roseanne, which was, for many, our introduction to this singular comedic voice.

What's most interesting about The Roseanne Barr Show is that it is a standup set within a show, within a show. Let me explain. Layer number one is the standup itself. Roseanne performs her standup live on stage in Los Angeles. To reflect her "brassy mom with an attitude" persona, the stage is designed to look like a regular, middle-class living room, complete with ugly throw pillows, an easy chair, and coffee table. This show, the announcer tells us at the beginning, is brought to us by FemRage, which we'll hear more about later in the program.

Occasionally, Roseanne's act is interrupted by a couple of actors playing her children. They'll run on stage to have their mom settle an argument, or to inform her that they had to get out of the room, and run on stage, because their dad farted. These interactions require Roseanne to be a mom, and smooth over whatever's going on, so she'll walk backstage, out the door to the street, and step inside her family's trailer home, parked outside. Here, in the second layer, we have another household set, this time resembling the trailer that she and her family lived in before she broke in to comedy. In this world we have the same child actors but in a weird twist, her then real-life husband Bill Pentland is portrayed by her then friend and future-ex-husband Tom Arnold.




Attachable computers will be less expensive to make, provide greater accuracy because sensors will be closer to a person’s body (or even inside us) and offer the most utility, as something people won’t forget to wear.

The fact that this article exists and there is not a single "Long Live The New Flesh" joke is unacceptable and I for one will not stand for it.


Weekend Roundup / Open Thread / A Picture of Boobs

WELCOME TO THE END OF THE WEEK (*a million hands clapping emojis*). Let's look back: we assimilated, celebrated Susie Carmichael, wrote letters to our future daughters, considered Gone Girl as a rom-com, finally got our October horoscopes, worked at Hot Dog on a Stick, stood with Texas women, interviewed Eva Michon, heard from Baba Yaga, talked about Toronto, got some new book recommendations with cocktails to match, broke out of the flesh prisons that are our bodies, and, as always, got great advice from a queer chick. READ MORE


"Too Many" Straight Friends, Hiding Your Sex Tools, and Life in the Queer Lane

chicks I had a breakup recently from a relationship that meant a lot to me. It was quick and intense, but I feel absolutely hurt and broken-hearted. During our breakup fight, she accused me of having too many straight friends (her exact words: "all your friends are straight!"). Even though I'm pained from the breakup as a whole, this one statement has really stuck with me.

I'm a gold-star lesbian (in my mid-twenties), and I do count some awesome queer ladies and dudes and gender-neutrals as my friends. But my ex is right: the majority of my friends I have met through work and college, which means that most of them are straight and cis-gendered. I really haven't ever cared that much, since I love these people like they're my family.

There are definitely things that I get out of my relationships with my queer friends that are missing from my straight friendships. There are experiences that my straight friends will never understand, just like there are girl-crushes they don't understand, and they aren't ever up for explaining Lesbian Undertones In Everything. Instead, we can talk about music, or go to the opera, or talk about each other's relationships and still relate to each other that way. It isn't often that I feel like "the gay friend," I'm just me, even if sometimes I feel left out.

I am actually worried about this. Am I a bad lesbian for having mostly straight friends? Am I not being a good part of the queer community by removing myself from it to a bigger extent than, say, my ex did? Is it possible to be 100% gay and still not gay enough?

Sometimes, the things your ex says during a breakup fight are painful truths they weren’t brave enough to share while you were together, and if you can find them strength to take them to heart, they genuinely help you grow as a person and have more success in your future relationships. I would estimate the prevalence of this at about 3% of all total breakup revelations. The other 97% is just shit your soon-to-be-ex is throwing at you to make you feel bad. Was the comment about your straight friends part of a longer diatribe laced with insults regarding your personal appearance and sexual prowess? If so, she probably didn’t have your best interests at heart. READ MORE


Nothing But the Truth: An Interview with Teyonah Parris

unnamed-1You may recognize Teyonah Parris for her role on AMC's Mad Men as Dawn Chambers, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s first African-American employee, and subsequently, the series’ first recurring African-American co-star. As Don Draper’s former faithful secretary, she has mastered the series’ distinct sensibility of balancing thoughtful, serious drama with wry humor and wit.

As Parris started her role on Mad Men, I began writing my master’s thesis on the series, a critical feminist analysis of the representations of women in the workplace. After hours of multiple viewings, I was most intrigued by the pivotal scenes among Parris, Elizabeth Moss, and Christina Hendricks, and their personal and professional struggles at various levels within the fictional advertising agency. For a series set amidst the civil rights and second-wave feminist movements, Mad Men has done little to directly address the issues surrounding them.

Parris seems acutely aware of the developments in contemporary mainstream and independent film and television, and has actively taken on challenging and complex roles that address issues of race, gender, class, and privilege. With the end of Mad Men in sight, her career is only getting started: she has two projects premiering this month—Dear White People, a critical favorite at the Sundance Film Festival, and the Lebron James-produced Starz basketball drama Survivor’s Remorse. She also worked with Amy Poehler in this summer’s satirical rom-com They Came Together, poking fun at the inherent tokenism of the sassy-best-friend archetype.

I talked to Parris about her education as an actor, landing Mad Men, working on Survivor’s Remorse and Dear White People, and the future. READ MORE


R.I.P. Malls


Shopping center owners have been angry with media coverage of their industry. In June, David Simon, CEO of America’s biggest shopping mall owner, complained: “It’s confounding to me…the New York-centric media need to be negative on the mall industry. I mean, I don’t know if it’s like a drug they take — they just feel like they have to shit all over the mall every time I listen to the TV or read the newspaper.”

I mean, I’m not laughing at David Simon’s comment, but I’m not not laughing at it. The idea that there is some sort of densely-populated-urban-city-media bias against the shopping mall is only worthy of a few lols because, like, sure, a lot of what we consider The Media™ is based in New York and there is definitely a demand for a certain kind of "death-of-the-mall-relics-of-a-former-society" porn that can only be satiated by images of the hollowed-out landmarks that used to be the linchpin of the Western economic wheel. READ MORE


What's The Deal With These Flesh Prisons?

prison of flesh1 READ MORE


How We Eat

parksnrec I've already told you how nosy I am, so projects that answer "how X does Y" fascinate me. Also, I really like pictures of kids. Accordingly, probably just for me and no one else, the New York Times published a feature on what kids around the world eat for breakfast, launching a minor investigation into the nature/nurture dyad of how we categorize foods into "appropriate" meals. Breakfast-for-dinner, or brenner, according to my friend Brenner, always feels like an indulgence, though it's just a delay of food "normally" consumed ten hours prior, whereas dinner-for-breakfast feels backward and disruptive. Why have we set up these arbitrary food barriers for ourselves? Who's to say that fermented soybeans (or natto, a breakfast dish in Tokyo) aren't a delicious meal for any time of the day? READ MORE


Read This, Drink That

When it comes to drinking, I like to follow the rules. Well, I like to follow my rules: beer with friends and taco dip, wine on a date with cheese and crackers, frozen fruity drinks on vacation. I firmly believe, when used appropriately, beverages (and food) heighten the tone of whatever it is you are doing, so here's a list pairing great reads with great drinks.

There are a few ways you can enjoy these combos: reading and drinking alone is completely acceptable, as is hosting a book group and serving alcohol, in order to get the conversation flowing. Option three is to bring your book to a bar in the afternoon and order up the complimenting beverage. READ MORE

The Real Cost of Prescription Drugs

Last night, I left the office around 8:30 so I could make it to a pharmacy before it closed and pick up some prescriptions. The young woman behind the counter asked me for my name, and then her eyes got wide for a few seconds before she said:

"Your copays are insane!"

I felt my stomach drop for a moment, and tried to reconcile that bad feeling with the thought that, no, I had great insurance—employer-sponsored health insurance that I had just re-selected during an open enrollment period in August. And then I remembered that the drug store that I used to go to near my apartment had closed, and that this pharmacy probably didn't have any of that insurance information on file.

"Oh, here's my insurance card," I said, and as she typed my information into her system, I grabbed one of the bags with my name on it that she had placed on the counter. The dollar amount read: $1,034.09, for a bottle of antibiotics. "Um, yeah, that's insane," I said. "Wait, were you going to ring me up for that?" READ MORE


Worst Behavior

From the outside, Toronto seems like a utopia: the world’s greatest rapper calls this city home (that’s Drake, if you haven't been paying attention), gay couples are free to get married, our healthcare system is beleaguered but subsidized, and our film festival is a barometer for Oscars. Torontonians are a happy clash of cultures; almost half the population are native speakers of another language. Vogue recently named our bustling Queen West the second hippest neighbourhood in the world. THE WORLD, YOU GUYS. VOGUE.

But in the tense run-up to the municipal election later this month, there’s been a lot of drama that exposes the conservative, xenophobic face of this city’s power elites. Two female candidates, both women of colour, have publicly come forward about incidents of basic bullying hate rhetoric directed at them online and IRL, some originating from self-professed members of the ill-defined, amorphous mob known as Ford Nation. READ MORE

The Artist Is Present and Also a Robot

Between 2004 and 2008, I worked as a video editor in Hollywood. This description comes with plenty of qualifiers: It wasn't a job with any artistry or excitement (it was, as I described it to curious/confused parties back then, "industrial editing"). The motto of the company I worked for was "Know Better," and its logo looked eerily like an Illuminati eye; it sold itself as a way for corporations/PR companies/freelancing-citizens-full-of-vanity to amass knowledge about their place in the business world through the monitoring of media. To do this, it recorded TV and radio broadcasts from around the country, and resold commercial-free chunks of said broadcasts to the as-yet uninformed. Need to see how your opposition is being perceived by CNBC's Jim Cramer? We got what you need. Want a shot of you catching that foul ball at the game? Give us a call.

When I was first hired, there was an editing staff of twelve. We edited how teens did in the nineties: two VHS decks, lots of trial-and-error. Already, by 2004, the cracks in the company's model were already evident, as the introduction of live-streaming and TiVo meant ambitious interns could accomplish what we were charging top dollar for. When YouTube hit, you could remove the ambition, and the intern, entirely. If an exec wanted to see how local Topeka news was covering his sex scandal, all he needed was an Internet connection and a few keystrokes. (Since the branch I worked at was based in Hollywood, in the same building where Larry King's suspenders were filmed on a nightly basis, the most common requests were from movie studios wanting compilations of quips and anecdotes and fluff pieces that aired during the promotional round of their latest blockbusters. We also catered to Ron Jeremy, who'd forgo the custom of splurging for a delivery service and personally schlep into the office, once a month or so, to collect a mixtape of his mentions; personally, I worry for his surely-hermetic state following the invention of Google Alert.)

Midway through my term, the company came to understand its place in the world, and dumped the VHS decks for an expensive digital encoding system. Soon, we were no longer wasting time fast-forwarding through tapes; we wasted time surfing the net as the combination of fewer orders and quicker output times led to six hours of downtime per shift. Among other things, this allowed me to become adept at flicking playing cards into a hat. In 2011, the company filed for bankruptcy. It had outlasted its usefulness, and was summarily dispatched by the cold force of free market evolution. This is how progress works. READ MORE