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This is by no means a complete list of things I’ve read or even enjoyed, and the sad fact of the matter is that I know that I’m leaving out a ton of great books for the sake of time, simplicity, and the fact that I can no longer remember their titles (I’m such a book-slut). But these are the ones that stood out.

Oh my god, was there anything worse than “Have a great summer?” You might as well have written “Piss off and die, you social pariah!” Whenever someone would write that in my yearbook, I would basically weep in the corner and be like, “Why does this person hate me so much? I thought we were friends!”

You will begin to really care about these people, these exceptions to the rule. Not only talented, they’re so likeable. You love them before they’ve even performed. And then they perform! It is an amazing thing to see a person redeemed. You may cry at parts.

2 hours passed, then 4 hours. I did the usual: deleted his number, swore I was over the whole thing, realized I wasn’t, Facebook stalked until I found a group he’d joined where someone had dropped their phone in a pool and needed numbers (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about), got his number from there, and decided to send the dreaded DOUBLE text.

The cottage/ camping/ vacation weekend – a theoretically relaxing “break” from the real world – is in fact the mentally defective brainchild of the residual borderline alcoholic and self destructive “experimenter” in every newly “socially productive” postgraduate. It almost always plays out something like this.

We don’t condone shoplifting because it’s illegal, embarrassing, and so 2002. But if you’re really jonesing to channel your inner Winona, here are some tips you should follow to avoid being arrested and taken to Shame Spiral Jail.

By introducing a quiet person to a group as a “quiet person,” the quiet person is instantly a) categorized without having input, perhaps ruining any chance of making their own first impression and b) denied the option of being seen as a normal social individual, in the case that today is one of the days that the quiet person is going to try to enhance his conversational output to “normal.”

This was not how it was supposed to work. I never set out to be half of that couple you hear about. The ones that because of high rents or long leases or the great dysfunction are forced to live with each other long after their relationship has expired. Yet here I am. Freshly twenty-seven and living with my ex-boyfriend.

I can’t believe this, but according to NY Daily News, Charlie Sheen is apparently in negotiations to star in another television sitcom, which could start as early as January. Sources say the show will air on broadcast television, but that Chuck Lorre – producer of Two and a Half Men – will not be involved.

He’s revealed himself as some sort of sexual demigod, capable of being modest, funny, charming and face-meltingly handsome at the same time, all while speaking French while we had our backs turned. You could practically feel the internet become a little… humid… as women (and gay men) passed the video fervently amongst each other, sharing the glory.

Every time I go to the gym and everyone else is fatter than I am: As I currently live in one of the tubbiest states in the nation and work out at a very small gym, this is the primary source of superiority feelings at this particular point in my life.

We went back outside to the table where everyone was sitting, and there I was, between Dan and my boyfriend, with my ex and my secret sexual fantasy sitting directly across from us. Dan and I talked. He showed me his Flip and being the giant nerd that I am I thought it was really cool and it made me like him more. We talked and we told jokes and we picked on each other and flirted inappropriately.

College. A time of growth and learning. A chance to broaden horizons and sew wild oats. Having experienced life almost entirely through the medium of DVD, this is what I expected the experience to be like, and oh, how wrong was I.

In fact, so many normal people and casual fans of video games have asked me, with an air of morbid curiosity, ‘what is E3 like,’ that I have decided to present this helpful primer about things that you do at a video game conference so that you will feel like you have been there. Except your feet won’t hurt and your blood will not be half-liquor and you will not be exhausted. Lucky you.

The single grainy black and white photo of Marianne, half obscured by her own shadow, bestows her with beauty, for she is nothing more than an idea of what she is, a personal vessel of fantasy.

Start partying as it gets warmer. Get to the club at 3am and don’t leave until midday the following day. Wonder how you’ll ever keep up with this sort of party lifestyle. Go to Berghain at least once. Get a bar job in an illegal club and start going to underground parties where the walls sweat and people like Dan Deacon play for free. Start to genuinely love electro music.

We all know what it feels like to want to be so close to someone that merely pressing yourself up against their body is not enough, and the only way to achieve the desired level of closeness would be to literally cut them open and crawl inside their ribcage, submerge yourself in all the weird junk that lives beneath their skin.

I’ve gotten fairly drunk in the course of my lifetime, but never quite as drunk as this particular English gentleman, who falls into a wall, tumbles down some stairs, then flips backward over the railing, landing upside-down directly on his neck, while avoiding killing himself… somehow or other.

Recently my American housemate sampled some of my Vegemite while I was out of the house and she hated it. When I quizzed her about how she had eaten it I was horrified to hear that she didn’t layer it with margarine, nor did she toast her bread. “That’s not how you do it!” I screamed at her, cheeks turning rosy (rosy, not red, because I’m a happy little Vegemite, as bright as bright can be!).

I mean fine, whatever; my standards aren’t really that high after a few gin and tonics anyway. I can sift through the rest of the Jews in the five boroughs. Actually, make that four. I wouldn’t date anyone from Staten Island. Queens is pushing it, too. And the Bronx, well, odd numbers bother me, so let’s just make it two: Manhattan and Brooklyn.

There are two public spaces I can poop in without reservation: Bookstores and movie theaters. I’m not talking about indie bookstores because they usually don’t have public restrooms. Barnes & Noble, however, has amazing facilities. They’re huge with tons of stalls so you don’t feel rushed.

You want your professor to read it because you want to show her how good it is, and after two weeks of waiting for the grade, the paper comes back with high marks and a page-long handwritten note about how well-written and genius the thing is.

When I finally broke, it was very difficult to un-break. I cried a lot. I didn’t understand why this was happening to me. I’d only had a handful of sexual partners and the only unprotected sex I’d had was with boyfriends who had been checked for STDs. I was immunised against HPV when I was 21—a fact that scared me more than anything, the knowledge that this thing could have been hiding inside me for up to 5 years completely undetected.

Coffee makes the bitch at my office tolerable. I can slap on a fake smile and pretend she’s not a horrible human being, and I can listen to Nicki Minaj without feeling like a sellout. I can crank out bullshit assignments at 8 a.m. Coffee makes me feel like fucking Grace Jones as I walk down the office hallway. I might work for the government, but I’m the biggest legal drug buyer since ugly hippies discovered salvia (RIP).

One of the most terrifying experiences of my pre-teen years was sitting in the movie theater with my friends just before the previews for Jurassic Park were set to begin. Despite the fact that I had been super excited to see the film during the weeks leading up to its release, I became – secretly – scared shitless, sitting there in the dark, waiting for it to start…

“Did you write this newspaper?” he asked and held it up for me. “No,” I said. “That’s funny. Because some students told me they were confident it was you who wrote it.” “Yeah, I heard that too. I think it’s because I write for the school newspaper, so they just assumed.” “Uh huh?” “Yeah.” “Okay, I’m going to give you one more chance to tell me the truth. Did you write this?”

Being gay is super confusing. Just go on Craigslist and look at all the M4M ads that ask for a “straight-acting masculine dude.” Um, excuse me? If you want someone who’s straight maybe you should just roofie a frat boy. No one should feel ashamed for being femme and a certain kind of gay should not be favored over another.

But people are more complicated than just being this or that. I may be a pervert in this way but that doesn’t mean I am a pervert in all ways. Which is to say, our assumption that there is a real self, some defining nugget of self truth, shuts down the complexity of what it means to be a human being. This insistence on truth, on authenticity, becomes a sledgehammer of judgement.

Do get a French boyfriend. He will screw with your head, he may or may not drive a scooter, he will have a cute smile and he will most definitely cheat on you. If you date a French man you will guarantee yourself a healthy dose of drama and romance… isn’t that what being abroad is all about?!

Each month, I’m going to recommend my favorite new books. Why should you trust my suggestions? I read a lot of books. I edit Omnivoracious, the book blog of Amazon.com, and The Bygone Bureau. But mostly, I’m extremely optimistic about the current state of books. I believe the best literature is being written right now.

And this is why we never last. Because I don’t defer—not to you, not to your opinions, not to a belief system based on anything but coexistence. Because I won’t tell you I love you so you can clasp that love around my neck and use it to take me for a walk around the block. Because I have opinions, and you’re not always right. Most of the time, I am.

The letters start to swim before your eyes, your lids begin to droop. This is it! Quick, turn off the lights, lie in bed. Immediately, you’re awake again. But that’s just momentary, from moving, right? Stick it out. Lie there. Count the seconds, then the minutes. Turn the pillow over. Fluff the duvet. Too hot, too cold. Throw the duvet off the bed. Retrieve it. Turn over. Lie on your front, back, side. Turn round so that your feet are where your head used to be.

Alcohol is the devil. It swallows people up completely. I’ve seen my drunk friends completely lose their personality and become transformed during a night of heavy drinking. If they happen to blackout, it’s like they don’t live in their own bodies anymore. Someone else has invaded and this someone is a scary life-ruining trainwreck.

I’m both fascinated and revolted by my food baby. I look at it sometimes and stroke it, pondering the wonder of life — the awesomeness of the human body that it can contract and expand in such a way relative to what’s inside it. And then I look at it sometimes and wonder why, WHY, must I always look like I have a fucking small human growing inside of me every time I have a meal?

Suddenly the lyrics to “Sadness is a Blessing” were no longer just comforting verses to her emo fans but indicative of a woman who in all her indie celeb glory was still immensely depleted of life’s fleeting elixir – love, obviously – and who, like most manic depressives and artists, needed real help and none of us had noticed until now, and most still hadn’t.

Must be able to entertain children who will wait for hours for the bumbling ill-paid and thus aggrieved Head Nurse to see them. Must be able to tolerate co-workers who spend the whole day either doing Facebook Farm Town or absconding to the back of the nurse’s cabin to smoke.

Even so, as a child, my mother urged me to pick up the racket. For God’s sake, it’s one of the businessman’s sports. Indeed, to my mother, the tennis court was just another hoop to jump through on my way to a corner office at Goldman Sachs. Of course — just like my reign at Flushing Meadows—that indulgence never happened.

The kid can dance. A nine-year-old Robert Jeffrey that is, way back in the summer of 1991. Robert performed Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ in front of a blue screen at the Hampton Beach Casino in Hampton Beach, and what a performance (the best I ever did in front of a blue screen was pretend to fall down the face of a building—absolutely no skill involved)!

And it’s not just that the characters find themselves in depressing situation after depressing situation (well, they kind of do), it’s the fact that the scope of the novel makes every depressing instance so much more tragic because you’re highly familiar with what lead each character to the sad place they’re in currently.

This video is called “Food Fight” — and yes, it depicts modern warfare via stop-motion animated food. For some reason — for me, at least — this video does a better job of illustrating the pointlessness, stupidity, and folly of war than most real war documentaries or movies do. The news has decided to pretend that we’re not involved in two wars right now, but this video helps to remind you that we are.

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