Short Thoughts on Long Nails

David Foster Wallace, from
David Foster Wallace, from “Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself.” Highly recommended.

I never thought I’d be the kind of woman with long nails. Growing up, I bit my nails to the quick. It took hard work and a couple years, but I finally broke free from the nervous habit by keeping my nails painted. Jagged edges were my trigger, so I put a glass nail file in my bag for easy touch ups.

Miracle in a bottle.
Miracle in a bottle.

One product took my nails from short and round to long and oval: Duri Rejuvacote. Two years ago I was perfectly happy using Nailtiques, but Rejuvacote delivers much faster results. I’m planning on cutting my nails short tonight; removing my contacts is getting dicey. But it’s nice to know that I can grow them back out quickly, if the femme fatale yearning overcomes me once again.

My 5 Favorite Articles of the Week


The Internet is a cruel mistress. As the wise Aziz Ansari said, “I read the Internet so much I feel like I’m on page a million of the worst book ever.” But it sure has some wonderful highlights. Here are my favorite things I read this week:

  1. Grantlangst, by Carles.Buzz. There were many obituaries of the late, great Grantland, but this was my favorite: “In a sea of ‘hot takes’ delivered by traditional talking heads, the internet prosumers needed a place for a branded intelligent take. But the audiences in demand of intelligent takes no longer achieve the necessary economies of scale to sell ads against.”
  2. The Grown-Up Styling Tip You Should Forget About, by Rachel Syme. Rachel is an inspiring fashion writer, especially with Iris Apfel as her muse: “Giving yourself the permission to don whatever you desire will keep you excited to wake up the next day and do it all over again; when you turn your closet into a playground, you are prolonging your own life.”
  3. The Deadly History of Women using Perfume as Poison, by Arabelle Sicardi. The story I never knew I needed until I read it: “While invisible scents may seem like the poltergeist of aestheticism, perfume is often the monster, too, leaving bodies behind in the fumes.”
  4. The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield, by Daniel Engber. The long, gripping true story that explores disability, sexuality and consent and left me thinking about it for days: “What made them so upset — what led to all the arguing that followed, and the criminal trial and million-­dollar civil suit — was the fact that Anna can speak and D.J. can’t; that she was a tenured professor of ethics at Rutgers University in Newark and D.J. has been declared by the state to have the mental capacity of a toddler.”
  5. Overcoming the 10 Biggest Obstacles to Creating, by Leo Baubata. A practical, straightforward look at the emotional, challenging reality of avoidance and procrastination: “Every day I struggle with the resistance to writing, and every day I lose the struggle … but then I beat the struggle. I lose more often than I win, but I win every day. And that’s what matters. “

5 Small Steps Toward a Happier Life


Cloisters sketch
From a trip I took to the Cloisters a few weeks ago.


Life gets frustrating. And sometimes you want to overhaul everything, all at once. But I’ve found through plenty of trial and error that overhauling rarely works. Too much change at once can entrench those unhealthy habits deeper into your life. So I’ve been trying out the reverse: smaller changes I can stick with right away. Here are a few that have made my life better:

  1. Making my bed – I’ll be honest, I didn’t understand the point of this for a while. The most I’d do was throw my comforter back over my sheets. But I’ve realized it can be a great “small win” to start off your day, and resist the temptation to jump back into bed.
  2. Morning Pages – Two years ago I read The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron’s classic creativity book. The first tenet is writing Morning Pages: 30 minutes of freehand, stream-of-consciousness writing. It’s a great way to acknowledge all of your worries, annoyances, and to-dos. Once they’re on paper, I have the necessary distance and objectivity to act on them. They also help me with “real” writing later in the day.
  3. Green tea (and L-Theanine) – Like many people, I have a love/hate relationship with caffeine. I love its bitter taste and thrilling boost, but I hate the jittery anxiousness I get when I drink too much. So I’ve started switching to green tea after my first half cup of coffee. Besides the 5mg of caffeine per serving that keeps me from crashing, green tea also contains L-Theanine, an amino acid which induces a relaxed but not drowsy mood. Perfect.
  4. Sketching – I bought a sketchbook in July, and that purchase has brought me a lot of joy. I love the creative outlet of sketching, but also how it keeps my hands busy and my mind clear. Sketching has been a much more satisfying activity than reaching for my phone, and it’s been fun to watch myself improve through practice.
  5. Foam rolling – The latest trend in fitness? Foam rolling, aka myofascial release, aka self massage. If I were a billionaire I’d get a professional massage every day. But since I’m not, I use foam rollers and massage balls to work out my (many) muscle knots. For covering large areas, I like the Grid Foam Roller, which has a pleasantly textured surface. My new favorite purchase are the Yoga Tune Up Balls, which are like mini foam rollers that release trigger points one by one.

The downside of these habits can be the sense of obligation – “oh no, yet another thing I should do.” But if I take a positive stance – “ooh something fun I get to do” – I’m a lot more likely to stick with it. I hope you have a lovely rest of your week!

The Best Music of 2015 So Far (Pt. 3)

Looking for new music? Here are my favorite albums of the last few months.

10. Drake and Future, What a Time to Be Alive

This is a Drake-Future collab, but musically it’s all Future’s codeine-soaked trap atmosphere, with Drake showing off his chameleon-like adaptability.

9. Ryan Adams, 1989

You’ve never heard Taylor Swift like this. Ryan Adams turns her pop masterpiece from last year into a folk-rock tragic breakup album.

8. Kelala, Hallucinogen

A sexy, take charge EP from Kelala, delivering alt-R&B in the vein of FKA Twigs.

7. Big Grams, Big Grams

New music from the legendary Big Boi is always welcome. Here he teams up with Phantogram to explore where indie pop aligns with Southern rap.

6. CHVRCHES, Every Open Eye

CHVRCHES hasn’t stray too far from their alt-pop debut, but lead singer Lauren Mayberry has stepped up her vocals several notches.

5. Big. K.R.I.T., It’s Better this Way

Once again Mississippi’s Big K.R.I.T is rapping circles around his peers and not getting nearly enough love.

4. Foals, What Went Down

Less poppy than their last (truly awesome) album Holy Fire, this LP shows Foals’ raw side. If you have any angst you want to rock out of your system, check out this album.

3. Lana Del Ray, Honeymoon

Maintaining her status as the slowest tempo pop star of all time, Lana stays firmly in Hollywood sadcore but grows as a singer and songwriter.

2. Josh Ritter, Sermon on the Rocks

I’ve been a huge fan of Josh since I first saw him back in 2004. He’s one of the smartest songwriters working today, and it’s a lot of fun watching him take chances with a country-inflected album.

1. Joanna Newsom, Divers 

After a five-year break, Joanna has dropped her most accessible album yet. That said, the harpist/singer-songwriter still writes densely layered, byzantine lyrics that will take dozens of listens to unravel. If you’re in the mood for an epic album, this one’s for you.

A Plan and Not Quite Enough Time (pt. 3)


It’s two days after the supermoon/blood moon/lunar eclipse extraordinaire, and I’m feeling a sense of accomplishment. I’ve been using moon cycles to set goals – new goals on new moon, and achieved goals on full moons, ideally. It’s been a great natural reminder of the ebbs and flows of life. It’s crazy how quickly life can seem to slip by, so I enjoy the daily reminder of exactly where I am in life.

My goal for the full moon was to have a solid second draft of my screenplay typed up and shared with friends. I sent it out to a few select friends on Friday. It was scary but exhilarating to finally have it exist outside of my own head. I have an intuitive sense of what the screenplay needs next, so I’ll be working on that with a new moon deadline, October 13th. Then I can start fresh again on the next round of edits. Wish me luck. And good luck on your own goals!

My Top 5 Articles of the Week


The other day my boyfriend called me out on a phrase I unknowingly use all the time: tops. The context? “I’m so excited about the new Big Grams album, Big Boi is really tops.” It’s jarring to realize the vocabularies we’ve built out of habit and eccentricity. I thought I’d share with you some fascinating articles I read this week I’d consider “tops.”

1. Rachel Syme on Kim, Kanye and Marina Abromovic:

“Kim and Kanye are performing as a couple all the time — they perform the idea of what love and parenthood are in 2015, what art and fashion look like as a constant dialogue between two people, and what two people who have a joint vision can do when they decide to rise higher and higher in cultural esteem, beyond what anyone thought possible.”

2. Monica Heisey on the history of bangs:

“30 B.C.E.: Not to start off on a total bummer, but Cleopatra’s famously blunt bangs are a myth. In actuality, she would have worn a wig of tight curls over a shaved head, as was the fashion at the time. The popular image of Cleopatra with bangs comes from the 1934 film Cleopatra, which made use of actress Claudette Colbert’s pre-existing bangs.”

3. Jenny Zhang on poetry and yellow-face:

“The reparations white people claw for the minute they feel excluded from this world is not our problem. We shine bright like a diamond, and for once the blinding light from our gemstones is not white, but goddamn it is so, so divine.”

4. Lindsay Peoples on the Spring 2016 fashion trends to follow this fall:

“Rather than wait until 2016 rolls around, why not shop the best runway trends now — especially since so many of them will transition into fall with ease? Most of the really wearable new trends are hybrid, new-and-improved takes on what’s already happening in fashion, with a more modern and relatable approach.”

5. Sinead Stubbins on Almost Famous and gifting records:

“It gets to the heart of fandom: nothing is quite as good as that first high, but you try to repeat that feeling anyway. In the film, Sapphire the Band-Aid explains that to be a fan is to “truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts”. Like fandom itself, Almost Famous refuses to be embarrassed by the earnestness of reliving this memory.”