A handful of various, just-for-fun dabblings.


Do a quick search for “thighs” on any major women’s interest magazine website, and you’ll inevitably find innumerable results instructing readers how to “smooth,” “sculpt,” or “shrink” thighs that are “lumpy,” “stubborn,” or just plain “fat.” Fashion magazines devote endless real estate to the offering of guidance on how to hide, slenderize, or minimize our thighs with optical illusions and other sartorial wizardry. It’s one of those aspects of female anatomy that is simply meant to take up less room. (See: “thigh gap”, a frenetic cultural zeitgeist literally focused on negative space, wherein the value is placed on where a woman isn’t.) They’re meant to be minimized, subdued, tamed into submission with dark tailored pants. And unless you’re Beyoncé, they most certainly aren’t meant to be stuffed into skin-tight pants and flaunted about. Yet, there I was in that dressing room, unable to stop checking myself out. MORE

the year we stopped celebrating father's day (buzzfeed IDEAS)

The last time I saw my father was in a courthouse in 2006. The only thing I remember about my testimony is turning toward the jury and sputtering out, through chokes and sobs, “We just want him to leave us alone.” MORE

What getting laid off taught me about work-identity balance (the billfold)

In the beginning, we had no human resources, no official vacation policy, no 401(K) — but we did have a ball pit and a beer fridge. We also had the joy of watching the fruits of our labor take shape, seeing this scrappy fledgling startup transform into a genuinely successful endeavor. Outsiders cheered us on. Media began to notice. We were underdogs, and it felt like our city was rooting for all of us. We worked our asses off. Most of the time, it felt worth it. It became who we were. We wore it like a badge. MORE

the cost of wedding teeth: my brief foray into luxury dentistry (the billfold)

One thing they don’t tell you about “smile consultations” is that they are, by definition, not consultations. They’re sales meetings, in which you’re interviewed by an unsettlingly attractive and pleasant person whose only mission is to discover and exploit your weaknesses. (Mine being a quivering inability to say “no” to pushy salespeople, and also a wedding on the horizon.) They photographed my teeth while making small talk about caterers and, presumably, hypnotizing me, because I essentially blacked out and woke up an hour later having forked over a $200 non-refundable deposit for an actual appointment, in which someone with real dental school credentials would examine my teeth. “Oh, and we only take AmEx.” Swipe went the emergencies-only credit card. MORE

My Dachshund Is Plotting Something Sinister In My Backyard.

Heidi's inherent villainy extends beyond that of a normal bad dog. She does not seek revenge with a simple carpet stain; she is more reserved, cold, calculating. She is capable of more than you would expect from an eleven pound animal, and that is her strength. One of them, at least. She also possesses an acute intelligence and a sharp eye. I am fairly certain that Heidi was at least partially responsible for my parents' messy divorce. MORE

Of God and Graceland: Exploring A Rock 'n Roll Mausoleum

Visitors gingerly graze their fingers across the glass cases that hold gold records and tenderly added their own pittances to the family grave plot: flowers, wreaths, teddy bears. Home-made alters recall Elvis’ likeness with clumps of tissues stuffed through chicken wire, college homecoming-style. They solemnly line the paths like the columns of a church aisle. Traipsing through the Trophy Hall, devotees gaze humbly up at Elvis’ painstakingly preserved milestones, his own Stations of the Cross. Despite the tinny melodies wafting through the air of the mansion, there hangs over the crowds a hushed sense of reverence—a quiet awe, interrupted only by murmurs of appreciation and clicks of countless Kodak Funsavers. MORE

Mitchell, South Dakota (Or, An Unexpected Culinary Adventure In The Halls of the Corn Palace)

In all of our summer-long research for the strangest, wackiest, most wonderful roadside stops in America, we had indeed come across Mitchell. It wasn't so much the town that was alluring to travelers as much as their great palace made of corn, aptly named the Mitchell Corn Palace. Mitchell boasted itself to be the “Corn Capital of the World,” a tall order in a state full of seemingly endless stretches of corn fields. Amid our excitement for Graceland and the Coors Brewery, we had very nearly forgotten about poor Mitchell. Like that imagined oasis in a Looney Tunes desert, Mitchell swooped in on us and came to the rescue. We pulled off the interstate. MORE

Unbest: On The Kills' "Blood Pressures"

The Kills came out with Blood Pressures in 2011. It was an album undoubtedly influenced by Mosshart’s bluesier stint in the Dead Weather. It was also a year of newfound hamster-like routine in all areas of my life. “Future Starts Slow” got kind of popular, further edging the band into the mainstream, much to my inner badass bitch’s chagrin. This music was my secret; my magic bullet. I listened to it when I needed to feel powerful. I listened to it when I wanted to feel in control, out of my body, away from my safe past and safer present, closer toward a cigarette-smoking, bangs-in-my-face, trashy, sinewy sort of hellish seductress. MORE