Interview with Joanna Rohrback, the Prancercise Guru

Last week, Joanna Rohrback achieved national fame after a five-minute video of her demonstrating her exercise program Prancercise—“a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation”—went viral. I talked to the 61-year-old Florida resident about living free and Prancing hard.

Joanna, I’m a big fan of your work. I tried to do Prancercise this morning as interview prep and it was a lot of fun and I also felt very self-conscious for the first few minutes. Any tips for people who have a hard time letting go?

They might want to try to do it [...]


When Your Relationship Has 8,000 Facebook "Likes"

I was in one of those weird Saturday-night Internet black holes (the “History of cosmetics” page on Wikipedia, Googling “how do I do eyeliner,” makeup tutorials, an innocuous related link in the sidebar) when I first stumbled upon a Lucy and Kaelyn video. At 35 minutes, it was long for YouTube, and it wasn’t much more than two young gay women video-blogging their vacation together, set to a poppy soundtrack — laughing and holding hands over montages of their dates to sushi restaurants and the beach. I have a pretty short attention span, but I watched the entire thing. Judging from the 250,000+ views on that video, I’m [...]


An Interview With the Author of "The Flying Brownie"

Have you ever wanted to be one of those people who sends glorious care packages to friends/loved ones/the troops, stuffed with magically non-crumbly cookies and surprisingly moist brownies? Or, perhaps, do you just want to spend more time around the sort of people who DO send them and would like to know where they hang out? We spoke to Shirley Fan, dietician, young person, Food Network Kitchens veteran, and the author of the upcoming cookbook "The Flying Brownie" (Goodreads | Amazon) for the dirt on all things chewy and spattery.

My father-in-law mailed cookies for Christmas, two weeks BEFORE Christmas, so I froze them, and he was PISSED [...]


Flowers and Champagne: A Party Chat With Party-Thrower Julia Lake

Edith Zimmerman: Julia! You're a professional party planner based in New York, and I happen to have profited from your expertise just last weekend. It was incredible — there were silver punch cups (!) and popcorn in sconces (!?) on the wall, and a trillion gorgeous appetizers, and drinks, and lovely lighting, and everyone looked so nice, and it came together so beautifully, and a wonderful time seemed to be had by all. Very impressive … you jerk. Haha, no, I want to be at parties with you for the rest of time.

Julia Lake: Oh my! Thank you! I tried really hard. Also, one of my secrets is telling [...]


Reminder: Everyone Is Faking It

I think a lot of insecurity has little to do with reality. One thing I think about a lot and talk about on Rookie is how embarrassed you can be of yourself, and how when you’re a teenager you change a lot and constantly try to get away from who you used to be—I think that’s intensified if you are at all in the public eye. Do you ever feel like that? Like, it’s not only the boys at home who can remind you of the “totally inadequate” person you used to be—it’s this whole public documentation of your life?

It’s called the impostor syndrome. It’s almost like the better [...]


Leaving Westboro Baptist: An Interview

"Thank God for September 11!" 19-year-old Lauren Drain yells during a picket of the second inauguration of President George W. Bush in 2005 in the opening scene of her memoir Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church (Goodreads | Amazon). While she once proudly held signs proclaiming attention-getting slogans like "God Hates Fag Enablers" as part of the Westboro Baptist Church, the 27-year-old Connecticut resident now calls the church a cult. When she was 14, her philosophy professor father decided to make a documentary about the church; originally aimed at exposing them, and titled Hatemongers, it instead morphed into a pro-WBC work that transformed their family, [...]


Emailing With Street/Tape/Fine Artist Aakash Nihalani

Edith Zimmerman: Your show that just opened at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York is called "Portal." And a recent picture from the show on your Tumblr is particularly … portally, for lack of a better word. What does the title mean to you?

Aakash Nihalani: I was trying to create a new optical space within the confines of the physical space I was working on. Visually, almost all the works share a central point of entry/exit.

I tried to explore the idea of Portal in different ways; some works have an actual physical void in the canvas itself, while others use the composition to create the perceptual suggestion of receding [...]


Interview With an International Adoptee

Layne is a graduate student at the University of Michigan. She was adopted from South Korea as a baby.

So, what do you know about your birth parents?

Not much! I know she was 17, he was 19, and they weren’t married. I think my biological father had just joined the military service, and it was sort of a fork in the road—either they could get married and raise the child, or he could stay in the service, but not both.

How old were you when you were adopted?

I was born in September 1985, and I got to America on January 15, 1986.

Did your adoptive parents fly [...]


An Interview With a Mom of Triplets

Our boundless curiosity about the ability of a human to raise three tiny lifeforms at once led us to sit down with our own commenter, iceberg, who has survived the first few years and emerged unbroken. She'll be in the comments to answer any other questions you might have!

"HOW DID YOU HAVE THREE BABIES?" I ask with a meaningful glance!

For that, you'll have to wait for my upcoming feature, "Bake-at-Home Babies."

We're very excited! For the record, let's state I deliberately got clearance to ask that super-rude question for humorous purposes.

Oh, girl, that's not EVEN close to the rudest. People have straight up asked if we [...]


Mourning Jewelry Curator Sarah Nehama on Death and Keepsakes

Jeweler Sarah Nehama co-curated the mourning jewelry exhibition that's currently on display at the Massachusetts Historical Society, with the MHS's Anne Bentley (it's free, go!), and put together the accompanying book, In Death Lamented: The Tradition of Anglo-American Mourning Jewelry (it's $35 and filled with beautiful photographs of old jewelry, and old paintings, and old documents, and … deep breaths, deep breaths). I emailed Sarah to ask if she'd be up for answering some questions about it, which she was kind enough to do.

Sarah! The show looks great. Do you wear any mourning jewelry regularly?

I often wear items from my collection. Some only rarely if [...]