November 30, 2016

Two fun things I made

It's Wednesday and I'm still getting over this seasonal cold, boop. One of the best things about being freelance is having the freedom to scale back for a few days and really rest, without the pressure of going into an office and being "on" when you're under the weather—that said, I did find myself getting a little anxious over the past few days because I felt like I wasn't being productive enough. Sometimes you have to remind yourself it's OK to take things easy, especially when you have the luxury to do so. Something tells me that my freewheeling sweatpants-intensive schedule isn't going to last forever. Stay tuned.

Food & WineHow food service works on board the Rocky Mountaineer

Food & WineNo wonder I like this show

November 29, 2016

Quiet start to the week

It's always slow getting back off the ground the day after the Thanksgiving long weekend. Here's hoping it was a merry weekend! Now I have to go re-watch six hours of Gilmore Girls for a story.

Food & WineEverything we know about The Distillery hotel in London, so far

November 27, 2016

I got one!

Also, I have a cold, so I sound GREAT.

November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are some things I'm especially thankful for this year: New Yorkers.

I've been listening to the Stephanie Tarling cover of "Pure Imagination" on repeat on my new Google Home (obsessed) all afternoon. It's the version of the song on the Microsoft commercials.

A couple of new things over the holiday weekend.

EsquireWhat to wear if you're a banker but want to be a DJ (hint: the same clothes, more color)

EsquireThe anti-fashion fashion editor

November 23, 2016

My first Self stories

Happy day-before-Thanksgiving everybody! Lots of things to do and emails to send out before the holiday weekend. Here are a couple of things I recently wrote for Self.

SelfLong and strong (hair)

SelfThings to plan for (scar prevention and treatment) before plastic surgery

November 22, 2016

Crashing in a few things before the holiday

Last night, one of the editors I work with emailed me asking me to come up with 10 social memes by 11 a.m. today. I'm flattered she thinks I'm capable of writing 10 memes in such a short turnaround time, but now I'm like uh-oh.

Food & WineThese guys met that guy

Food & WineNoma heads to Mexico

EsquireThom Browne and Andrew Bolton (and Hector)

EsquireI know about this guy from his merch at Colette

EsquireWhen everyone is obsessed with your shoes

November 17, 2016

Some things I made

Things I've been busy mentally doing over the past few days: waiting for the Snapchat Spectacles Snapbot to come to the East Coast, obsessively tracking my new laptop's immigration from China, thinking about new book story arcs and plot points, and trying to work out exactly how many Lazy Oaf pieces are acceptable to integrate into my wardrobe in my old age.

Food & WineA kitchen that talks back

Food & WineMorgan Spurlock wants to change fast food from the inside out

November 16, 2016

Free ideas

For years I've kept an ongoing list of notes in my phone. Obviously, I never write down anything important that I actually need to remember, but I do keep a running tally of random ideas that seem brilliant at the time. Sometimes I look at my list. Most of the time I'm like: wtf. Here is a sample of phrases and story ideas I found when I looked just now: porch week, get people to answer a prison intake form, Helsinki syndrome, no kale in Japan, salmon derby, Chinese calzone giant dumpling, not Yelp, stranded mammal, fashion kinesiologist, pizza dartboard, male model safari, bring a psychic.

Men and food

I've been very unproductive over the past week (can you believe it's only been a week since the election?), so to get out of this work malaise I've decided to set myself some goals—first of which is to organize a video-shooting space in my apartment. There's already a chunk of space earmarked for this, but over the past few months, with going freelance and all, I haven't really put much thought into how I'm going to be organizing it. So this week the goal is to get it together so I can always have a video-ready set-up gtg.

A couple of things to share today:

Food & WineI love The Rock

Food & WineIt's finally safe to eat fish on Mondays

November 14, 2016

Random app I procrastinated with today

Mondays amirite. I procrastinated a lot this morning by playing around with Color Pop, this app that lets you make parts of photos black and white while leaving parts of photos full color. I don't know why I'm so obsessed with it. I feel like the editing effects give a very '80s result, which, obviously, I like because I am from the '80s.

Some things I made recently

Stream of consciousness blah blah blah: Quiet weekend, quiet Monday. Kind of concerned about the Bannon appointment, but work is a good distraction. Two good friends moving out of New York this week and next. It's kind of a weird feeling when you're pretty sure that when you're say goodbye to someone, it's going to be the last time you'll ever see them. I think it's normal thing, though, this mid-to-late-30s NYC exodus of media industry types. All my friends want me to go west, but I think I'll head the other way, instead. Here are some things I've made in the past couple of days.

Marie ClaireBoots boots boots

Food & WineLong live the White House vegetable garden

Food & WineRemember this guy?

Food & WineThe great White House chef mystery

And then, some random thoughts.

November 11, 2016

Some food and travel things

Some lighter-hearted bits and bobs from this week.

Food & WineMy kingdom for sleep on a plane

Food & WineLet's hope this doesn't last long

Food & WineNow you can drink out of a shoe without grossing everyone out

Some post-election thoughts

Am I taking crazy pills or does this post-election narrative of "lower-income white working class people voted for Trump because they're poor, their communities are succumbing to drug abuse, and they're disenfranchised—not because they were motivated by racism, misogyny, and bigotry" not make any sense? Keep in mind that minorities have had those exact same problems in this country for centuries, but somehow managed to vote, in an overwhelming majority, for Hillary Clinton.

I'm seeing this week's analysis break down into a few different camps:

— White male analysts: The DNC failed to pay attention to the needs of this country's white working class; media "elites" failed to give proper weight to the grievances of the white working class in this country; Democrats should have done more to back Bernie Sanders in the primaries (this all in spite of the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the general election).

— White female analysts: We were optimistic, but the misogyny ingrained in our society made the election's results inevitable. We blame ourselves, we need to work even harder next time (as if Hillary Clinton didn't work hard enough).

— Minority analysts: Trump supporters voted for him because they fear people who aren't just like them. Their vote for Trump was a last grasp at maintaining white male power in this country: see the ensuing fallout and rampant increase in hate crimes and race-based harassment over the past three days (wherein perpetrators have near-universally invoked Trump's name as justification for their criminal behavior).

I don't really have any definitive thoughts on how to explain what happened on Tuesday. The United States is a big country, and there's no blanket statement that can account for the behavior of hundreds of millions of people. But my gut instinct is that the "why" of this week lies somewhere between these three mainstream trains of thought—and probably leans more heavily on the bigotry, misogyny, and racism explanation than white male analysts would like to admit or acknowledge.

The most important thing right now, I think, and the only thing we can do at this point is support and protect the vulnerable in our country—minorities, people who identify as LGBTQ, and our children—from hate-motivated attacks and bullies. I'm disgusted by what's happening in the United States right now.

One thing that's really been bothering me over the past few months is the rallying cry of some people I know (and am friendly with) against political correctness. Sure, the term "politically correct" is pretty absurd—I first started hearing it in the late-80s and it was always widely satirized as an extreme version of self-censure. But if you stop and think for just a minute about what political correctness really means: it really means civil dialogue, being conscious of how your words impact others, and not going out of your way to call people names. Being politically correct means: not being an asshole. That seems like a pretty good way to go about life: Don't be an asshole. I think our country could use a little bit of political correctness and civil dialogue right now. We could also definitely use fewer assholes.

November 09, 2016

My first GQ story

It's always nice to step outside your comfort zone every once in a while and learn about something totally new. Here's my first piece for GQ—all about Mack Weldon's new boss-man of design, the amazing Matthew Congdon: How one designer engineers a perfect-fitting pair of boxer shorts

The morning after

I'm having a hard time processing yesterday's events. The only thing I keep thinking about is how scared I am about what's going to happen next to my friends and people I care about: the Latino, LGBTQ, African-American, and Native communities. I'm worried about women's healthcare and reproductive rights. I'm worried about global militarization, the world economy, and the Earth. I'm ashamed and embarrassed that we'll be forced to carry the stain of a Trump-Pence administration when we travel abroad or want our work to be taken seriously on an international stage.

The thing that's most baffling is that the people who voted for Trump aren't going to be the ones who benefit from his administration's policies. In fact, I'm pretty sure their lives are about to get much worse.

Me, I accept reality and eventually I'll be fine. Like my friend's daughter says: "You get what you get and you don't get upset." But I've been thinking a lot about privilege, because it's a word that's been thrown around in this election cycle on a daily basis. I know I'm privileged. I have plenty of master's degrees, my family is very supportive, I'm very lucky to live in a very particular Manhattan media bubble, I have transferable career skills, international credentials and experience, and I happen to be a race that Trump hasn't really gone after and vilified (yet). So I know how to cope: If I just put my head down and immerse myself in my work and cat videos, ignoring all political and world news for the next four years, I should be fine. In fact, I'll probably make out pretty well under Trump's new tax "plan".

What makes me angry is that the result of this election has put us all on the defensive. I can't comprehend how a showdown between good and evil—between a woman who was eminently qualified and wanted a job for all the right reasons and a man who is completely unqualified and wants a job for all the wrong reason—ended up this way. So now I'm teetering on the precipice of becoming a bitter separatist who wishes we could draw national borders around all the red states and split the country in two (because: fine, congrats, you won, good luck to you, you really don't know what's coming, the new administration you've elected doesn't care about you in the least, now go fend for yourselves without the blue states' wealthiest cities, diversity and international communities, creative hubs, technology and innovation). I hate feeling this way.

Republicans and conservatives call Democrats and liberals "bleeding hearts" for a reason—because we try to vote with a conscience, for the greater good, and not just with our own selfish interests in mind. Liberals are liberal—we're not trying to get you to fall in line with one straight-and-narrow prescribed path. You don't need to look a certain way, behave a certain way, or live your life just like me in order for me to advocate for you, your freedom, rights, and civil liberties. But Trump voters want to strip these things from people who don't look like them, love like them, worship like them, or speak their language—and what's crazy is that, as it turns out, so many Americans are full of blind hatred, and they won. In the process of winning, though, they've burgled their own house and will have to live with punishing economic consequences, rollbacks on civil liberties, and healthcare fallouts for four years now and a generation of ramifications to come.

I think some of the most heartbreaking stories to come out of the Clinton defeat so far are the stories about children. Even small children know that Trump is a disgrace. One of my friends says his little daughter cried herself to sleep last night because she was afraid it wouldn't be safe for girls to go outside anymore because our new president believes that it's OK to molest women.

I don't know what to do anymore.

November 08, 2016

Just voted

I stood in line, waiting to vote, for two hours this morning. There was no wifi or cell service at my polling station so I had a lot of time to think about stuff. I live in bubble-land Manhattan, and all around me this morning were a bunch of rich, well-dressed, woke middle-aged white people talking passionately about equal rights and the state of our nation. When I think about what we read and when we see what's happening in other parts of the country, there are moments like this morning where I'm so thankful for New York City.

I think one of the things this social media-propelled election year has brought us is a renewed consciousness about how far we still have to go as a nation at large. Standing around for hours in a high school gymnasium with hundreds of other type-A New Yorkers in disorganized queues that wrapped their way around the giant room in no discernible order wasn't anyone's idea of a good time, but no one complained—except for one woman who went on a rant at a volunteer about how there's no wifi and she was hot and it was taking too long. Everyone just looked at her blankly—I think because we all know we have it pretty good. I couldn't help but think that if voting in New York City—a city built on the principles of convenient living—was already kind of a pain in the neck, what must it be like to vote as a disenfranchised, geographically isolated person living in a community that irrationally hates you and wants to see you stripped of your rights.

Even though you can't shed privilege, you can make a decision to check it at the door—and this year there seems to be a greater sense of self-awareness, at least in my community and among my friends and colleagues, that we're very lucky, that we can't take any of this for granted, and that we have to pay it forward.

I have a lot of thoughts about what this election "really boils down to" (there are a lot of things), but I won't write them all here because there are too many. But the one thing that keeps coming back to me is a question I have for people casting their vote for Trump this year: Why do you hate us so much? Why do you hate people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, immigrants, refugees, women, anyone who's different from you? Why do you want to strip fellow citizens of basic human rights and civil liberties? While liberals are pro-freedom—essentially saying: go ahead, live life how you want to live it, you do you—why are you demanding the government legislate everyone's lives so they fall in line with your arbitrary interpretations of religion and personal rules for behavior? What's so great about your life anyway?

November 07, 2016

Two things I made today

I ate caviar udon for lunch and it was stellar.

Food & WineInside the Guest House at Graceland

Food & WineFamous YouTube dog chef passes away

November 03, 2016

That time I left my apartment

I rarely venture out to morning events, but here's one I couldn't pass up—the ColourPop x Hello Kitty launch breakfast here in New York at the Scott Conant Loft space in SoHo. I'm a huge fan of ColourPop products—they're great and also totally affordable—and you know I love cute things like Hello Kitty. I'm now totes obsessed with the "Ribbon" shade of ultra-matte liquid lipstick.

Also this thing:

Food & WineCookie Monster turns 47, makes a mess

November 02, 2016

Back on my NY schedule

Every morning, the first thing I do after getting out of bed is drink at least half a liter of water. I learned this from Cameron Diaz's body book. Then I make tea or coffee (tea, lately), drink a cup and immediately feel nauseous because both are way too acidic on an empty stomach. Then I get down to work.

I've been a little under the weather since getting back from Memphis—it's probably all the flying over the past few weeks: NY-Edinburgh-London-NY-Vancouver-Calgary-NY-Vancouver-NY-Memphis-NY—I feel fine but I've lost a bit of my voice. Eh. Here are some things I've done this week.

Food & WineSave the chickens!

Food & WineWhen the internet ganged up on Chobani