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Everything is Problematic

The internet is pretty amazing. You can find out just about anything, about anything, at any time. What might be even greater than your ability to find thing is your ability to say things— revolutions have practically started over the internet, and it’s one of the first things foreign governments like to limit access to in times of unrest.

For most people, however, the internet is not for starting revolutions—  it’s for posting pictures of our cat in a holiday sweater and letting everyone know what we’re eating for lunch, where we’re eating, and who we’re eating with. Which is as awesome as the completely insignificant can get.

The great and terrible thing about the internet is that you can say whatever you want. If you just had a really awesome Pork Salad at Cafe Rio you can tell the world. If you’re totally unnerved because your grandmother just told…

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So excited to try this!

{love+cupcakes} Blog

Happy Friday Friends! What are you doing this weekend? Something fun I hope. We’re heading out to Palm Springs for a relaxing weekend under the desert sun. Before I go, I wanted to leave you with a yummy recipe for watermelon limeade. It’s easy to make and so refreshing, perfect for this first weekend of Summer! Have a wonderful break! xoxo!

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Everything is Problematic

There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to (giving advice about) choosing a profession— “follow your bliss,” or, “do something practical.” The unspoken “truth” of the first option is that it often means making more sacrifices and doing the starving-artist gig (unless of course your bliss means being something like a plastic surgeon). When people tell you to do something practical, what they really mean is do something that will make you lots of money. These are usually the people who will tell you that you can “do what you love” as a hobby. While there is nothing wrong with hobbies, but there is something vaguely dirty about the way it gets thrown around in these instances. Every few people seem to be espousing the need for a cross-section between “bliss” and practicality. 

Everyone has things they love doing and are passionate about. Everyone also has…

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must try this!

{love+cupcakes} Blog

Over the weekend, I was in a food mood and I just couldn’t shake the desire to make ice cream (among other things). This Coconut Saffron Ice Cream, a David Lebovitz adaptation, has been on my radar for quite some time and I just happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. Having only used saffron in rice dishes and, for the most part, only eaten coconut in some form of dessert, I was pretty intrigued by the juxtaposition of the two spectrum-spanning foods. Saffron, with its distinct taste and smell (and color), clearly takes center stage in this recipe, while coconut milk adds a sweet creamy balance. Together, this unusual combination, makes for a deliciously sophisticated flavor. Fair warning, this ice cream is not for everyone, but I do highly recommend it to those of you with more adventurous palates. It’s really quite good. Recipe below. xoxo!

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I deal with my issues and parse out my feelings by sharing them with the entire world, via the internet.
But seriously, this piece is close to my heart.

Everything is Problematic

I find that I can’t help falling in love with my best friends. It’s a kind of love that there doesn’t seem to be a word for, outside of the convenient and conventional bounds. Not quite romantic love, but also not familial. It is only with my closest friends, the ones I most deeply admire, that this occurs. It’s hard to explain, but I think it has always been that way. I don’t know if other people experience this same strange romanticism, or if maybe its some defection of my own that causes me to feel this love that defies definition. 

One of the closest facsimiles I’ve come across to this kind of love is in Elizabeth Bowen’s “The Jungle,” which explores the friendship of two teenage girls. Tessa Hadley, an author and literature professors, refers to the bond between the girls as a “passionate friendship.” Having no better descriptor…

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Everything is Problematic

Lists.

I know an artist whose medium is list making. There books and websites for list making. I’m told that lists are the boon of organized people, of accomplished people, of productive people. Life has the potential for a lot of lists, because lists are good for a lot of things. Things like groceries, or suggested reading, or obscure trivia… I’ve been told that lists are also good for decision making. As someone who is both indecisive to the nth degree and a perfectionist to the very last, decision making weighs quite heavily on me. I devote intense thought to minuet things, like whether or not to buy my favorite season of my favorite show on DVD* (What if I don’t watch it? Is it a waste of money? What if it’s not as good when I re-watch? What if I find it cheaper after I’ve paid for it? What…

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Sounds like a summer project to me!

Diary of a Mad Crafter

I’ve mentioned in past posts that I used to have an Etsy shop, and I used to sell these polaroid charms. They were a very big hit! I actually got the idea from another listing I saw on Etsy, but it was metal (and expensive), so I recreated it using polymer clay. The metal charm looked nice, but this actually looks like a polaroid, since I used white clay.

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With working on Everything is Problematic for the past month or so, I’ve been spending a lot of timing looking at digital magazines, blogs, and other things of the sort. I’ve been trying to get a feel for how these things operate, and what I think works best about them. Alex sends me articles from all over the internet, so that was one helpful source, and its almost amazing the stuff you can find through twitter and retweets from people you like.

When I initially conceived of EiP, I pitched it as a cross between Hellogiggles and The New Inquiry. If you’re unfamiliar, Hellogiggles was started by Zooey Deschanel and her two best friends who’s names I always forget and really should learn as a website/contribution based blog for content that was ‘women friendly’ about everything from media and fashion to everyday life. The New Inquiry is a website and digital magazine that is “a space for discussion that aspires to enrich cultural and public life by putting all available resources—both digital and material—toward the promotion and exploration of ideas” — basically it was started by some post-grads who needed an outlet for their liberal arts degrees (I say lovingly). My reason for the cross-bred explanation was that Hellogiggles was more light and fun while still addressing stuff that people care about, while The New Inquiry was sharp and investigative and biting. Apparent opposites, it seemed to be that together they would be the perfect forum for… everything.

I’ve since realized that I don’t particularly care for either venue. I still think TNI is a brilliant idea and that they put out great stuff, but I also find that more often than not their content depresses me and often seems overly complicated and verbose. I know the writers are intelligent, so I’d rather their content show me that than their demonstrative language– but maybe that’s just me.
For me, Hellogiggles seems like it’s gotten out of hand. I no longer find those really interesting compelling and fun pieces I liked so much before, because they’re bared under a mountain of posts about kittens, nail polish, and thirteen year old girls (whose thoughts, to be honest, are of zero interest to me). Today I read an article on there about the stupid shit teenagers do to get high, including drinking hand sanitizer (which is 120 proof, btw). I wasn’t sure what exactly the point of the article was, since I doubt that any off-brand drug using teenagers are browsing HG, and if they are they’re probably not going to stop what they’re doing because some random chick told them so. Really, I found the piece to be more of a trying-to-hard-to-be-funny alarmist piece on teen culture. LOOK AT ALL THE TERRIBLE THINGS YOUNG PEOPLE DO! As you may have guessed from this rant, the whole thing irritated me.

But in my digital content browsing, I’ve found a number of sites that I really do like, and I thought I would share them with you.

http://www.good.is – This is probably one of my favorite new discoveries.

nplusonemag.com – I had heard about this site before, but didn’t check it out until recently. Another great site with really talented contributors.

thoughtcatalog.com – Sometimes hit and miss, it blends topics and tones in a way I like.

deeplyproblematic.com – Mainly run/written by a single person, the site explores media and a lot of other topics from a feminist perspective in a really great way.

I’ll add more as I find them. Any suggestions on sites I should check out?

Blog-ception!
Really enjoyed this article on ‘How to be a fan of problematic things’- so much so that I wrote a ‘suggested reading’ post about it for Everything is Problematic. Now you get a sampling of both!

Everything is Problematic

I like things, and some of those things are problematic. I like Lord of the Rings even though it’s pretty fucked up with regard to women and race (any narrative that says “this whole race is evil” is fucked up, okay). I like A Song of Ice and Fire even though its portrayal of people of colour is problematic, and often I find that its in-text condemnation of patriarchy isn’t obvious enough to justify the sexism displayed. I like the movie Scott Pilgrim vs The World even though it is racist in its portrayal of Matthew Patel, panders to stereotypes in its portrayal of Wallace, and trivializes queer female sexuality in its portrayal of Ramona and Roxy’s relationship … How much more cliché and offensive could this movie be? … Excuse me while I vomit…and then keep watching because I still like the rest of the movie.

Liking problematic things…

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My first piece for the recently launched and SUPER AWESOME Everything is Problematic.

Everything is Problematic

“Each generation of adolescents makes its own sort of search for meaning. The pilgrimage of the young is individual, though it is committed in concert … The shape and color and sound of the young pilgrims’ journey changes from generation to generation, defiantly defining itself against its predecessors. Yet in every generation the unrest, the seeking, the hunger are the same”

I recently heard a Professor say, “You can only be a Marxist in college, so enjoy it while you can!” I don’t know if she meant that college is the only time it is socially acceptable to be a Marxist, that in the ‘real world’ Marxism is impractical, or some combination of the two. In any case, the implication remains the same— only the young can be radical. I would like to say that this is untrue, that anyone can be radical, that radicalism is timeless, but I can…

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