Just Good Shit: 06.16.19

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Hello! Here’s what I was up to this week…

On the blog

Reading

The Invisible Victims, Marie Claire.

You saw me covered in blood on a bus. But do you get outraged about all homophobia?, The Guardian.

The Pink, n+1.
“The situation of the vagina in feminist politics today is, even by optimistic standards, hairy.”

Dear Therapist: It’s Hard to Accept Being Single, The Atlantic.

They Gave America 13 Goals—And Got a Lecture in Return, The Atlantic.

Track Star Gabriele Grunewald Couldn’t Win This Race, The New York Times.
“She died on Tuesday at 32 and left a husband, Justin Grunewald, for whom she was everything.”

This Book About Apologies Changed My Life, The Cut.
I bought/read the book after reading this post, and I thought it was great.

The $500m smiley face business, The Hustle.

Booksmart flips the script on the typical teen comedy. Same goes for its costumes., Vox.

The Real Dog Moms of New York City, The New York Times.
I want a movie inspired by this immediately.

Keanu Reeves Keeps His Hands to Himself, Kottke.
Manner hands!!!

Great tweets

“My dad died. Classic start to a funny story. He was buried in a small village in Sussex. I was really close to my dad so I visited his grave a lot. I still do. [DON’T WORRY, IT GETS FUNNIER.]”
I gasped at the end of this!

“The story of a modern London cafe...”

“this artist remembered that there are boy-chickens and girl-chickens but let their guard down with the lions i fear”

“I can’t believe this but #Lover leaked.”

“Just a quick sniff”

“Welcome to physical therapy.”

Fun stuff

The Times has a new puzzle game: Tiles. It took me a little while to understand how to clear the board/actually complete a game, but now that I’ve figured it out, I’m hooked!

Shopping

I am currently obsessed with Freedom Moses knockoff Birks ($45), which come in basically every color, and every color is made in men, women, and children’s sizes. I bought the Lagoon because the Tropicool was/is sold out, but I love the Capri and Baby options, and the Fuji and Parma are very pretty IRL. (Also, they were three pairs for $99 when I bought mine and it looks like that is still the case.)

NYC

If you enjoyed the recent “nuns and nones” NYT article, you might be interested in the fact that Mariandale in Ossining is hosting a daylong version, which sounds lovely. I won’t be able to make it, but I’ve had nothing but great experiences at Mariandale.

In other news, I took the Rockaway Ferry line from Wall Street to the beach this weekend and it was great — highly recommend it as a way of traveling to Rockaway Beach/Ft. Tilden/Jacob Riis.

Have a great Sunday! 🌊

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Just Good Bops: June

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

June’s here! It’s hot! It’s time to go outside and show the world your legs and arms and feet! With that in mind, I tried to make this month’s playlist broad so that it can cover any number of outdoor/outdoor-adjacent summer activities of varying energy levels — from laid-back beach days (surreptitiously drinking wine spritzes out of view of the lifeguards) to raucous weddings (hitting the dance floor with your drunk extended family members).

And once you’re on Spotify, you should really click through and listen to these albums in full:

Hot Chip, Why Make Sense?

Hot Chip consistently makes excellent pop music with R&B and house undertones. Their dance songs are fun (funny, even!) and their sweet songs are romantic, lush, and wistful. I included a song from their 2015 album, Why Make Sense?, which Pitchfork aptly described as, “probably the fourth-best Hot Chip album. But that’s not necessarily a knock, because their fourth-best album is still a very good album.” Give this album a listen, and make sure you carve out time for songs like “Boy From School,” “Over and Over,” “Ready For The Floor,” and “Look At Where We Are.”

D’Angelo / The Vanguard, Black Messiah

D’Angelo hadn’t released an album in 14 years and then, with no warning, he decided to pull the biggest flex and released an unbelievable album that spoke to the national unrest sparked by the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. If you like blues, funk, soul, or R&B, then you’ll like Black Messiah. It’s weary and funky. Make sure you listen to “Sugah Daddy” and “Another Life.”

Vince Staples, Big Fish Theory

If you’re like me and you want your club bangers to come with a side of commentary on class and entitlement, then look no further than Big Fish Theory. The songs are explosive and manic in the best way possible. And I know that this is meant to be a music recommendation blog post, but Vince Staples is also an extremely good Twitter follow (but he has a habit of deleting his best tweets).


And here’s the usual disclaimer! I’ve never been good at curating a playlist that ebbs and flows in just the right way, so just throw this shit on shuffle and have a good time. 🎧

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Should you happen to find yourself spinning out, try cleaning your bathroom

Image: Bernard Hermant / Unsplash

Image: Bernard Hermant / Unsplash

Whenever I find myself pacing around my apartment and kind of spiraling, dealing with a brain-on-fire situation — when I’m overwhelmed and I know I should do something but I can’t decide what it should be so I’m doing nothing and everything all at once — I’ve gotten in the habit of just…cleaning my bathroom. Like, I don’t overthink it; I just go and do it. And 15-20 minutes later (which is about how long it takes me to clean my bathroom, despite what I might tell myself when I’m avoiding doing it), my sink is sparkling and I feel so much better.

Why is cleaning the bathroom the perfect activity in these moments? I think it’s because it tends to be a relatively quick and contained chore — unlike, say, cleaning your closet, which you’ll start with the best of intentions and then somehow spend $75 ordering hangers online before falling asleep on piles of clothes — BUT it’s just long enough to distract you and redirect your energy, to get the headspace required to make a decision, to gain a sense of accomplishment, and to basically press the reset button in a panic moment. And because it’s one area of your home that could pretty much always benefit from a little cleaning! 🛁

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The lemon butter pasta recipe I make all the time

Image: Julia Gartland /  Food52

Image: Julia Gartland / Food52

I tend to roll my eyes at recipes that claim you can make them with “pantry staples,” a phrase that feels very similar to “day to night look!” in that it’s something that’s mentioned a lot in magazines that never *really* happens IRL. Like, you don’t know my pantry OR my life, Bon Appètit!

That said, this lemon butter pasta recipe is the closest thing I’ve found to being a recipe that you can make with pantry staples — if you stock your pantry with the things you need to make it, which is what I do now because I like the recipe so much. Though literally nothing about it is French, I sort of think of it as the ~French girl~ version of boxed mac and cheese.

The ingredients list is very short: angel hair pasta, butter, chicken broth, a lemon, and salt and pepper. (I don’t consider lemon a pantry staple because lemons can go bad, but I now just buy a few lemons every week.) You can add Parmesan cheese or some fresh or dried herbs if you have them, but you honestly don’t need any of that. You can also easily double the recipe to serve two people, though I appreciate that it’s a dish for one because those are kind of rare.

Bonus tips: I always use Better Than Bouillon when a recipe calls for broth because my former coworker Erin told me that they did a big broth taste test at Good Housekeeping (where she used to work) and BTB was the winner by a mile. I also find it more convenient and more eco-friendly than canned/boxed broth and the individually wrapped cubes. And instead of using regular salt to finish off this recipe, I use Maldon sea salt, which I’m a big fan of, and which is definitely a pantry staple of mine.

Anyway, it’s rare to find a dish that comes together in less than 20 minutes, tastes delicious, and looks/feels elevated. It’s also pretty rich (thanks to the butter), so it ends up being way more filling than I expect. And the cleanup is minimal, which is important! On nights when I don’t have it in me to fuck with chickpea pasta, this is what I make.

Get the recipe: Sue Kreitzman’s Lemon Butter Angel Hair Pasta, Food 52. 👩🏽‍🍳

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Just Good Shit: 06.09.19

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Hello! Here’s what I’ve got for you this week…

On the blog

Reading

Brendan Fraser’s #MeToo Story Is Why More Male Victims Don’t Speak Out, MEL Magazine.

Gay couple beaten for refusing to kiss on London bus, BBC.
This is so upsetting, and something I worry about…not infrequently. It also reminded me of this (much lighter!) Sara Benincasa essay.

The Catastrophist, or: On coming out as trans at 37, Vox.
“My name is Emily VanDerWerff. I fought hard for that name, as hard as I’ve ever fought for anything in my life. Now that I have it, I’m so scared of losing it, so I’m telling you in hopes you will bear it forward and carry it in your heart.”

Why People Hide Their Disabilities at Work, HBR.

I’m A Feminist Killjoy—And My Husband Loves it, A Practical Wedding.

Teens Taking AP Exams Are Battling for Their Right to Meme, MEL Magazine.

Too Many People Want to Travel, The Atlantic.

How to be a library archive tourist, Tiny Subversions.
This is so cute! I loved visiting special collections at MSU!

Four Steps to the Perfect Smoky Eye, Strange Horizons.
I spotted this short story in a Captain Awkward post this week and thought it was great. (Note: it deals with domestic violence/violence against women.)

How could The Overstory be considered a book of the year?, The Guardian.
I finished The Overstory this week (finally!) and this review perfectly sums up how I felt about it. I loved the idea of it, but I just couldn’t ever really connect with the characters. I wanted this concept, but in the hands of a different author (like Min Jin Lee). That said, a lot of people loved it, so what do I know???

Laura Everett and Abbi Holt: United by Love and Religion, The New York Times.

How to Make Yourself Work When You Just Don’t Want To, HBR.

The rise of granny panties, Vox / The Goods.

Unconventional Life Hack: Always Say Yes to a Glass of Water, Man Repeller.

Actually, Phone Calls Are Good, The Cut.

How to Draw a Horse, The New Yorker.

Great tweets

“Some are born a peacock, some have to work a little harder to achieve their peacockness.”

“Happy Pride to my favorite exchange in SVU history.”

“Grandpa’s comin.”

Shopping

On Saturday, I spotted these extremely fratty sherbet-colored Polo pants in the men’s department at Urban Outfitters and my entire body lit up? I tried them on and it was obvious — I could not let them get away. Happy Father’s Day to me!

NYC

I had drinks/dinner at The Springs in Greenpoint on Friday night and it was delightful. The backyard is huge and so well-manicured, and the Aperol spritz slushy was SO good (better than a regular Aperol spritz). And it didn’t hurt that the sunset on Friday night was truly magical.

Have a great Sunday!🍹


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Reading list: Pride edition

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

In honor of Pride Month, I put together this list of the best and most memorable content about the many shades of LGBTQ2IA identity, lived experience, and history that I’ve read over the past several years. It’s a mix (in no particular order!) of moving, funny, sweet, sad, infuriating, and informative content, and is meant for both queer folks and allies.

First person/essays

“You Girls Having Fun?”, Eater.

A Modest Proposal, David Sedaris for The New Yorker.

Planning For A Future We Can Actually Imagine, BuzzFeed.

The Catastrophist, or: On coming out as trans at 37, Vox.

My Wife and I Are (Both) Pregnant + A Year Ago I Had a Baby. So Did My Wife., New York Magazine.

Introducing My Parents To My Boyfriend Meant Introducing Them To Me, BuzzFeed.

I Fell In Love With The First Girl I Dated After Coming Out, BuzzFeed.

Harry Potter and the Secret Gay Love Story, The Paris Review.

The best $6,250 I ever spent: top surgery, Vox.

No, We Won’t Sandwich the Bride: On Handling Gay Tokenism, The Toast.

My Queer Skincare Secrets, Gay Magazine.

Being Queer Means I’ll Never Stop Coming Out, BuzzFeed.

I Got Kicked Out Of A YMCA Locker Room — Twice — Because I’m Trans, BuzzFeed.

I Thought My Immigrant Mother Would Never Accept My Queerness. I Was Wrong., Bitch.

Falling in Love with My Transgender Husband, Marie Claire.

I Dress ‘Straight’ to Protect My Clients, Racked.

How I Divorced My Husband of 5 Years, Came Out at 28, and Married a Woman, A Practical Wedding.

This Is What It’s Like When Your Dad Comes Out To You, BuzzFeed.

When I couldn’t tell the world I wanted to transition, I went to Dressbarn, Vox.

Now We Have Seen The Epitome of Anti-Gay Hatred, Gawker.

Please Don’t Stop the Music, The Nation.

Only When I’m Dancing Can I Feel This Free, MTV.

After Transitioning, No One Calls Me Fat Anymore, BuzzFeed.

Could The Baby-Sitters Club Have Been More Gay?, The Paris Review.

A Love Letter To All My Gay Firsts, BuzzFeed.

‘Mallory Is Not Gone’: Daniel Mallory Ortberg on Coming Out As Trans, The Cut.

How I Learned the Craft of Going on Dates with Girls, Catapult.

How to Draw a Horse, The New Yorker.

Advice & service

‘My Parents Still Won’t Accept That I’m Gay!’, The Cut.

Ask Polly: Why Do People Always Think I'm Gay?, The Awl.

#1194: “I’m moving in with my girlfriend and now my homophobic parents want to disown me.”, Captain Awkward.

Coming Out As Gay In Elementary School, BuzzFeed.

I Don’t Know What My ‘Label’ Is. Can I Be in the LGBTQ+ Community?, Out.

19 Insanely Useful Makeup Tips For Trans Women, BuzzFeed.

Incomplete list of books by black trans women, Queer Book Club.

55 Things That Helped LGBT People When They Were Coming Out, BuzzFeed.

Navigating LGBTQ issues at work: an open thread, Ask a Manager.

100 Easy Ways to Make the World Better for Trans People, Vice.

#453: Guest Post: How Do I Come Out to My Mom?, Captain Awkward.

#978: “If you were a ten-year-old boy who just told your mom you’re gay, what would you want her to say?”, Captain Awkward.

The BuzzFeed Style Guide LGBT section.

News, culture, and history

The Woman Who Cared for Hundreds of Abandoned Gay Men Dying of AIDS, Out.

When Brooklyn Was Queer: A History by Hugh Ryan (available from Amazon and through local bookstores via IndieBound).

Black, queer, feminist, erased from history: Meet the most important legal scholar you've likely never heard of, Salon.

How an Ad Campaign Made Lesbians Fall in Love with Subaru, Priceonomics.

The Bittersweet Beauty of Adam Rippon, Vanity Fair.

No, Queer Women Aren't "Just Experimenting", BuzzFeed.

The Complicated Appeal Of Celesbian Gossip, BuzzFeed.

Who’s Afraid of Gender-Neutral Bathrooms?, The New Yorker.

Queer Eye’s “Black Girl Magic” Is the Blackest, Gayest, Most Moving TV Episode of 2019, Autostraddle.

Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Boy Problems' Is a Beautiful Gay Song of Discovery, Jezebel.

“This Is Us” Breaks New Ground With Tess Pearson’s Coming Out Storyline, Autostraddle.

Beyond The Favourite: The Royal Family's Very Queer History, Town & Country.

How—and Why—Did Fruitcake Become a Slur?, Food52.

Podcast episodes

The Pentagon's Secret Gaggle of Gays, Nancy.

Return to Ring of Keys, Nancy.

Bi Bi Bi, Call Your Girlfriend.

(Both of those Nancy eps made me weep, BTW!)

Fun shit

16 Vintage “Gay” Advertisements That Are Funny Now That “Gay” Means “GAY”, Autostraddle.

An Important Look At Gal Pals Throughout History, BuzzFeed.

21 Pure Tumblr Posts About How Beautiful Women Are, BuzzFeed.

The Internet Has Made The Babadook Our New Queer Icon And Just, Yes, BuzzFeed.

34 Times Tumblr Taught You Everything You Need To Know About Bisexuality, BuzzFeed.

Space Is Gay And I Will Prove It With Science, BuzzFeed.

Baby-Sitters Club Creator Ann M. Martin is Queer, How Did I Not Know This, Autostraddle.

American Girl Dolls Ranked In Order of Gayness, The Niche.

Everyone Wants Rachel Weisz to Dominate Them, The Cut.

“Snesbians”.


Happy reading! 🌈

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Very good beach shit

summer beach gear.png

Last summer, I — after a lifetime of being Not Really A Beach Person — became a person who genuinely enjoys a day at the beach! The trick? Good gear. (Turns out, the secret to everything is just…having money.) In my experience, the beach isn’t a particularly comfortable place to be, and you really do need gear to offset that. Like, I can only sit on a towel reading — in direct sunlight!! — for so long before my body starts aching, you know? Having better gear made a world of difference; I was cool and comfortable and able to stay out for hours last year. And those beach days made me feel relaxed, happy, and whole, so I really am glad I found a way to make them happen.

Here’s the beach gear I love and recommend:

The Chair

Image:  Amazon

Image: Amazon

I love Rio Brands Deluxe Aluminum Backpack Chair ($42.96 on Amazon). Fun fact: I liked this chair so much after sitting in one at my friend Alanna’s parents’ house that, two years later, I dug up the photos I took of it at the time so I could figure out what the brand was and order one of my own! It’s so good: comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, lightweight. I love the adjustable pillow and the fact that you can wear it like a backpack when you’re walking to the beach. (Also, the cupholder is very handy!) I really don’t think I could do a long beach day without a good chair! I have it blue, but the blue one is inexplicably $70 at the moment, so maybe go with the red?

If you want a less expensive but still great chair, I ordered the Rio Gear Original Steel Backpack Chair ($25.97 on Amazon) and had it shipped to my mom’s house before my family’s trip to Saugatuck last summer, and it was also great. I’ll be using it again when we head to Saugatuck this summer! And if you want something similar to these two but a little roomier, this Tommy Bahama chair ($54.09 on Amazon) has a bigger seat and a maximum weight of 300 lbs.

What I really want is the white (!!!) “Rolls-Royce of beach chairs” ($141 on Amazon) with its matching canopy ($44.95 on Amazon). It’s pricey but it’s apparently built to last a decade. Someday!

The Tent

I’m obsessed with my Lovin' Summer Beach Tent ($150) and recommend it to everyone. I received mine as a PR gift back in 2015 and I love it. Every time I take it to the beach, multiple people come by to ask me where I got it; it's beautiful and just really unique looking. It's also just so practical; it provides a truly impressive amount of shade, but still allows for a wonderful breeze flow through. It's really easy to enter and exit, and it's super stable. It's also very lightweight and packs down in a bag that's similar in size to a yoga bag, so I can store it under my bed. If you go to the beach a few times a year, or if you are planning a days-long beach vacation, I think it's completely worth it.

My only caveat is that you should watch the video of how to set it up before you take it to the beach; the instructions are very confusingly written, and while the setup isn’t hard at all, it’s also not intuitive. (That said, the first time I ever took it out, I wasn't nearby when my friends set it up. When I got back to our area, it was fully assembled and they all said it was very easy!)

Anyway, because you may not get good cell service on the beach, you should watch that setup video and save some photos of how it looks when assembled to your camera roll before you head out. Once we figured out a couple crucial details, it came together really easily and quickly. (The setup and breakdown takes about 10 minutes.) You also could also easily string some battery-operated twinkle lights on the interior bar for evenings on the beach or for backyard camping type activities!

The Hat

Image:  Amazon

Image: Amazon

My current summer hat is a wide brim sun visor/hat ($12.99 on Amazon, available in 10 colors). For years, I wanted a good visor; my goal was "Offred, but make it summer." I mainly wanted something that would keep the sun off my face while I'm walking to and from the train every day — so I didn't want anything overly sporty/beachy. After discovering that most cute visors cost $150 (?!), I finally found what I was looking for in this visor. This visor completely keeps the sun off my face (and means I don't have to fuck with sunglasses / can wear my glasses to the beach). Also, the bow detail in the back is really cute! But, full disclosure: by September, it was falling apart, so I will be buying another one this summer.

Some other good beach shit:



The Cooler

I bought a cooler bag ($38.95 on Amazon) for picnics and the beach a few weeks ago but haven’t taken it out yet. But it looks/seems great!

The Towel

Last summer, I started using a beach towel from The Beach People ($49.50+). This was a PR gift and it's really lovely. (The exact one I have isn't on their site at the moment.) I don't think you need a fancy towel to enjoy the beach...but as someone who loves soft things and great towels, having a big blanket-like towel (seriously, it’s so blush) that matches my general aesthetic made me pretty happy. 

The Shoes

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, the Hurricane Drift Tevas ($40 from Zappos) are great, and are perfect for the beach. If you want to get them in white, my friend Marisa recommends cleaning them with a Magic Eraser, which is genius.

I’m also super curious about these Sea Star Beachwear waterproof espadrilles ($89), because I’m always on the lookout for closed-toe beach/summer shoes. (Terri also pointed out that they might be good for rainy summer days when it’s too warm to wear boots.)

The Beach

It’s Jacob Riis Beach for me! ⛱

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How to be laid off

Folks, Terri is back! Today she’s here to offer some good practical advice for surviving a layoff. —Rachel ✨

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Back in January, I got laid off from my job along with Rachel, our entire team, and 200 or so other coworkers. I’ve been working in media for the past seven years and have watched the industry shift and shrink. I’ve witnessed layoffs happen around me, both at work and to my close friends, and yet when it happened to me, I was completely floored. As in, on the floor crying in shock.

I don’t know if anything could’ve prepared me for the sting and multiple stages of grief that accompanied losing my job — the numbness, the confusion, the anger, the hurt, the bargaining, the desperation — but I do know that being laid off is an incredibly specific state of being. It’s also probably different for everyone who experiences it. Some people are relieved, some quickly pivot to the next thing, some people have had something like this happen to them many times before and already have their go-bag packed. But for me, and a lot of people I’ve talked to (turns out, LOTS of people I know have been in similar situations, especially in the past six months), the experience of being laid off and the time that ensues generally follow the same outline.

So, should you find yourself in that boat, here are some tips that helped me survive my layoff:

  1. Take time to absorb the shock.
    Even if your layoff wasn’t unexpected, moving from a reliable schedule of spending most days feeling productive with the same people to...not...is a major life change. I tried to fend off the Bads by networking and setting up freelance opportunities literally the day after getting laid off. A week later, I had a full-on meltdown right in front of CVS because I was feeling like a part of my identity was gone. I’d loved my job. I led with it during small talk; I cherished the work I did and still look back on it with pride. Instead of gradually acknowledging this truth by letting it seep into my consciousness, I’d try to shoo it away. As a result, had a big old “Come to Jesus” cry on the phone with my mom in public that, blessedly, the citizens of New York let me carry on in peace. (I do love New Yorkers.) After that, I gave myself a weeklong break from any kind of work/job searching, which helped a lot.

  2. Also, unfollow/mute/cut your former employer out of your life if you need to.
    Losing your job is like going through a breakup! Especially if you worked somewhere that has a big social media presence! Seeing them continue on as normal can infect still-fresh wounds, so just block them out for a while. You can always re-follow later, or ask trusted friends to give you only the most important highlights. After a while, you might realize you don’t even care about them anyway.

  3. Realize that you will probably deal with constant guilt.
    I was not prepared for the crushing waves of guilt that happened every time I stopped doing anything job-related. With a lot more “free” time, it’s easy to feel like you need to spend all of it looking for and applying to jobs, networking, doing side gigs to scrape together money… anything that feels “productive.” And yes, job hunting really is a full-time job. But! You still need to, like, clean your home and bathe and maybe even go read a book for pleasure in a coffee shop. There is literally nothing wrong with doing any of those things, even though it feels like a violation of some kind of rule. Not being on a regular work schedule means you can very easily do worky-type things all day, but if the circumstances allow, try to avoid that. Because I was lucky to have a good enough savings and severance to augment job-related stuff with more less goal-oriented tasks, I was able to create some rules and guidelines to free myself of guilt. Maybe for you, that means you get one (1) matinee movie for every three jobs you apply to, or maybe that means carving out nap time every day because you need it. The guilt of not doing “enough” never truly goes away, but accepting it and telling it that it doesn’t need to define your laid-off self helps.

  4. Start making a daily schedule.
    You’ll be doing a lot of the same things over and over: You’ll send a lot of introductory emails, spend an equal amount of time willing certain emails to pop up in your inbox, wash endless dishes, spend countless hours alone (a nightmare for an extrovert like me), and become invested in the personal lives of daytime TV personalities. A schedule helps with the monotony and with the guilt.

  5. Figure out your lunches.
    One of the most thoughtful things someone asked me after I got laid off was, “What have you been eating?” Turns out, feeding your stupid body thrice a day is really annoying! At least when I was working, lunch was provided twice a week, and on the others, I could run out and buy something. But alone in my apartment without a steady income, I had to...make?? Food?? I’m not a great cook and I have a tiny-ass kitchen, and every time my stomach grumbled at 1 p.m. I cursed the human digestive system (and my former employer lolololol). I ended up making a lot of toast. There were many fried eggs in there, too, along with many bowls of Corn Flakes and simple dishes like chickpea pasta and lemon butter pasta. I usually love eating, but during the long, lonely days, food was sustenance, and comforting meals like these were manageable and filling. All you need is a few go-to meals to make lunchtime a little less awful.

  6. Accept that paperwork for health insurance and unemployment fucking sucks.
    Figuring this out was so stress-inducing that I asked my friend at one point if it was even worth collecting unemployment (it is, but getting money has hardly ever been less fun). Don’t beat yourself up if your heart is racing and you feel sweaty by the time you’re done with these tasks.

  7. Don’t be afraid to tell your loved ones what you need.
    When I’m struggling, I need to talk and let it out and just be with people. Pretty much everyone in my family and friend groups showed up for me in a massive way after my layoff, presenting their shoulders to me when I hadn’t even asked for one to cry on. But some people thought I needed space or that I didn’t want to talk about it or that I was doing fine. I had to say, “I am constantly grieving, but this is what I need from you if you want to be there for me.” And you know what? That’s OK! Some people needed the nudge and were relieved to be told what to do in a weird and awkward time. It’s an incredibly vulnerable, raw thing, but I’ve felt closer to my friends and family than ever since getting laid off because I was open with them.

  8. Lean into activities, if you can manage them.
    Since getting laid off, I’ve become obsessed with crosswords and the New York Times’s Spelling Bee game, tracked my Jeopardy! Coryat score, and done many jigsaw puzzles. I have not, however, become a gym rat or a master baker like I said I would. I only had the bandwidth to do so much, and I’m happy I was able to hone a few new activities during this shitty time. (Related: A case for having activities instead of hobbies.)

  9. Lean into the good things that accompany being laid off that you might miss when it’s over.
    Since being laid off, I’ve had weekday lunches at hard-to-get-into restaurants and spent quality time with friends who’d also lost their jobs. I’ve easily scheduled midday doctors appointments. I’m a terrible sleeper, and my new loosey-goosey schedule has been so generous to my restless nights. I’ve seen my parents a lot more than usual, and forgotten about Sunday Scaries (although they’ve been replaced by constant existential ennui, so…). I’ve gotten to spend some gorgeous spring days outside while people with jobs are stuck at their desks. I watched all of Fleabag and rewatched many old episodes of The Real Housewives of New York. I’ve traveled and felt more spontaneous than I did on a constricted, 10-6 schedule. Being laid off isn’t all bad, but I’d be lying if I said it was easy to enjoy these perks unreservedly (see: guilt). I know that when I start working a regular job again, I’ll wistfully remember that chunk of time when I didn’t have to set a morning alarm. But I also know those things are small, cold comforts in an epically terrible time. Know that it’s OK if you can’t summon much gratitude right now. ✨

Terri Pous is a writer, editor, two-day Jeopardy! champ, and an Aries. She loves abbrevs, reality TV, obscure facts about the US presidents, and the 🥴 emoji. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @terripous, and on sidewalks @ petting every dog.

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Just Good Shit: 06.02.19

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Hello and happy June! ICYMI, I shared some ~ personal news ~ this week in honor of Pride, which felt scary but also good! I really appreciated the genuinely joyful and deeply kind messages I got in response — it really does mean a lot.

The best part — aside from the fact that I can now be unrepentantly queer on the Internet and also stop posting the bulk of my Instagram Stories to “Close Friends” (RIP) — is the number of messages I got from people who had similar experiences to mine. I knew I was far from the only person who had dated or been married to a man and then started dating women. (In fact, knowing I wasn’t the only one was what made it possible for me to follow my heart when I first realized I had a crush last year!) But still. It was lovely and humbling and special to hear it from so many people I “know,” especially on the first day of Pride. I hope we are getting closer to a world in which we are all allowed to be open, to be truly seen, to feel a little less alone, to be a little more OK.

Here’s what else I had going on…

On the blog

Reading

An Alabama Woman Got Pregnant While In Jail. She Has No Memory of Having Sex., The Appeal.

Olivia Wilde, Director: ‘Too Old to Play Dumb Anymore’, The New York Times.

Murder, They Wrote, Bookforum.
My Favorite Murder isn’t personally my cup of tea, but I thought this was a really good and thoughtful article.

Everything you know about hyenas is wrong — these animals are fierce, social and incredibly smart, TED.
Holy shit????

How Beanie Feldstein Made It to the Party, Vulture.

These Millennials Got New Roommates. They’re Nuns., The New York Times.

Nicolás Medina Mora with thoughts on / tips for Americans vacationing in Mexico.

I think my bad personality is sabotaging my good work, Ask a Manager.

Why Are We So Obsessed With Being "Spontaneous"?, Man Repeller.
“Being the purveyor of a good plan brings with it the delectable delight of being able to look forward to things. There’s something tantalizingly pleasing about peeking at your diary and seeing all the treats you have lined up.” It me!

I Can’t Hate My Body if I Love Hers, The New York Times.

Why Tracy Flick Is Still Inescapable, Vanity Fair.

How to Be Happy? A Nearly 90-Year-Old Has Some Advice, Glamour.

What Every Successful Person Knows, But Never Says, James Clear.

IT’S MOTHEREFFING WEDDING SEASON AGAIN, SO LET’S CHAT, Captain Awkward.

Watching

This video of a deeply upsetting police interaction.

Also: Booksmart, which I loved! (Except for the ending to the Jessica Williams storyline, which is so bad, it’s genuinely bizarre? I have SO many questions!!!) Also Election, which I haven’t seen in like a decade, and the first episode of Gentleman Jack on HBO. And the Muses from Hercules.


Buying

Last week, I bought Fenty concealer ($26 at Sephora) — my first-ever Fenty product — and it’s SO GOOD, holy shit? I’m angry I didn’t try it sooner.

NYC

I went to Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturday last night, which was good, wholesome fun. If you get a chance to check out the Stonewall exhibit, do — it’s worth it solely for the centerpiece on Stormé DeLaverie.


Have a great Sunday! 🌈

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I just really love Paperless Post Flyers

I mentioned Paperless Post Flyers a few months ago in my newsletter, but because they got such a good reaction (seriously, very rarely do people reach out to tell me they liked a thing, but multiple people told me they found the Flyers mention helpful) and because I was just working on one last night, I thought I’d mention them again!

The flyers (which are free!) are perfect for casual parties/gatherings. The templates and available images/gifs are trendy and cute, and you can also customize them/upload your own stuff. And they look good on mobile! (You can view the live — far less blurry! — version of the example flyer shown above here on desktop or mobile. BTW, I turned off the RSVP button — since it’s a fake party — but every template has the option.) I also love that you have the option to text people the link to the flyer (vs. having of send it over email). Mainly, they offer a much-needed alternative to FB party invites.

Overall, they are just a bit cooler than regular Paperless Post e-vites — truly more like a flyer than a traditional mailed invitation. Since we’re heading into summer party season, I thought it was worth putting them back on everyone’s radar! 🎉

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Here's an extremely cute idea for your next museum visit

I recently came across a very charming idea in the book Cozy by Isabel Gilles:

“A friend of mine gets a postcard from every museum she visits, and instead of saving it to someday give away, on the back of the postcard, she writes the name of who she was with and the date, and then sticks it up on her wall.”


As a journaler and a human who is extremely here for pretty souvenirs that only cost a couple of bucks, I love this idea! It would be a cute one to do with a partner or with kiddos. It’s so simple and straightforward and wholesome! 🏛

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Just Good Shit: 05.26.19

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Hello! Here’s what I was up to this week…

On the blog

From the archives

It’s OK To Feel Sad In The Summer — for everyone who feels like shit this time of year.

Reading

Breaking: Nobody Knows What’s Going to Happen in 2020, The Cut.

Allow Aurora Perrineau to Reintroduce Herself, Glamour.

Francesca Lia Block and Nineties Nostalgia, The Paris Review.
Wowowow, I feel like this article was written just for me.

Two days with Curvy Wife Guy, the most controversial man in body positivity, The Goods / Vox.

Women on wheels, Curbed.

When I couldn’t tell the world I wanted to transition, I went to Dressbarn, The Goods / Vox.

I Wanted a Burrito, but Got This Brain Injury Instead, Human Parts.

The Politics of Going to the Bathroom, The Nation.

When a Fatal Grizzly Mauling Goes Viral, Outside.

The Underrated Pleasures of Eating Dinner Early, The New Yorker.
I eat very late but I still appreciated this!

And this very good thread about Floyd Martin, a beloved mailman who is retiring after 35 years.

Watching

Fleabag Season 2, which is excellent. And I’m seeing Booksmart tonight!

Wearing

I recently bought a pair of Hurricane Drift Tevas in Endive ($40) and I…love them? (Also available from Zappos.) They look like a Teva fucked a Croc but IDGAF. (TBH, everyone in Brooklyn wears kind of ugly shoes, and these are extremely comfortable.) I often struggle to find the right neutral shoes to wear with my preferred palette (that also isn’t creepily close to my skin color), and this muted lemony yellow looks just right with my mint pants, blue J. Crew pants, white jeans and shorts, and other assorted pastels! While having Reynaud’s means I can’t wear open-toe sandals as much as I’d like to in the summer, these shoes are very good for short jaunts / very hot days.

Have a great Sunday! 🕶

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The joy of Friday Jr.

My friend Sally and I are kind of obsessed with Bitmojis. We send them back and forth to each other a lot, and delight in finding new ones that are particularly silly and/or useful.

For example, here’s our exchange from the first time I completed the New York Times crossword:

text.jpg

And here’s the start of a Monday morning text convo:

Monday texts.jpg

And one from earlier this week:

IMG_5474.jpg

But our all-time favorite Bitmoji, hands down, is the Friday Jr. Bitmoji.

Friday Jr.jpg

After Sally discovered it a couple of years ago, we started sending it to each other every week. One of us would text our version of it, and then the other would reply with her version of it. We do this pretty much every Thursday and it…never gets old. As Sally put it, “I feel like Thursdays were already just conceptually great, but in a way that we didn’t as a culture fully appreciate until Friday Jr. was invented.”

We also can’t get over the idea of calling the day before a different day “junior,” and have taken to applying the underlying logic to many other dates and events. Consider this: Christmas Eve is actually Christmas Jr. (And December 23 is Christmas Eve Jr.) Saturday is Sunday Jr. and May is Pride Jr.

The junior convention has caught on in our bigger friend group, and our partners now use it regularly too. (My favorite Friday Jr. exchange was the time I texted Sally the Bitmoji — fairly early on in our FJ history, if I recall correctly — and she replied that at the exact moment my text came through, her wife had said, unprompted from across the room, “Hey girl — it’s Friday Jr.” )

I enjoy Bitmoji unironically; I like texting, but sometimes it’s hard to communicate “I received your message, and I feel neutral-posi toward its contents” without having tone and body language to rely on. And if you text a lot, there are only so many times you can say “ooh” in reply to something before you start to worry it looks like you’re not paying attention. A well-deployed Bitmoji helps! Also, a lot of my friends have mentioned that they find Bitmojis are particularly helpful for communicating with parents — particularly parents whose first language isn’t English — and other family members.

I asked Sally to share her thoughts on Bitmojis as I was working on this, and here’s what she said:


"Sometimes Bitmoji express feelings that I otherwise wouldn't know how to express — like you know that joke where people are like ‘what is the German word for [complex feeling with five different distinct constituent feelings]’? This is a thing Bitmoji do SO well — encapsulate feelings comprised of a cool 5-6 distinct feelings.

For example you have 'I H8 U' with a pic of your Bitmoji smiling gleefully. You have 'I helped' and one of the E's is backwards which is perfect for expressing 'I tried to help and I fucked it all up, my bad, but give me credit for helping.' Then you have the ones where the Bitmoji is doing the reaction WITH the emoji of that reaction — so like laughing so hard you're crying and one hand is on the laughing-so-hard-you're-crying emoji.

Also the fact that there are three different versions of a hump day Bitmoji — so that you can express exhaustion, elation, or perseverance — is truly amazing because those are the three ways to feel about Wednesdays which I didn't realize till Bitmoji told me!

The other thing they are amazing for is if you are communicating with someone who REALLY GETS YOU, you can use a weird Bitmoji and the person will so get the spirit in which you mean it. It just gives you another way to express yourself."

I would love for some enterprising tech journalists to do a deep dive on how Bitmoji designs happen — the main people responsible for them, which ones are the most popular, which ones users hated, which ones caused the most internal debate, etc. — and I would love to know who is responsible for our beloved Friday Jr. and what inspired them.

Until then, happy Friday Jr.! ✨

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5 delicious recipes for anyone who loves beans and greens

I realized the other day that most of my go-to recipes lately have some combination of beans and greens! (And also lemon and Parmesan.) It probably has something to do with my love of chickpeas and chickpea pasta (with an assist from some of the bigger food trends happening right now). In any case, it’s going great and I have no desire to get off this train!

If you’re looking to get more beans and greens in your life, here are some of my favorite recipes:

  1. Linguine With Crisp Chickpeas and Rosemary, NYT Cooking.
    This recipe is so damn good. The crispy rosemary step always seems wildly fancy to me because I’ve never seen it anywhere else, but in reality it takes like three minutes and zero work. (It’s actually easier than having to chop the rosemary.) And the leftovers hold up quite well.

  2. Roasted Broccoli and White Beans, Shutterbean.
    This one is very good for breakfasts or lunches (or dinners) at home. I made it with frozen broccoli, which worked great. I also did half chickpeas and half white beans, as white beans because I was making a big batch and wasn’t sure how well the white beans would withstand reheating. (They were fine!) My fellow beans and greens enthusiast Alanna made it recently and said she thinks it would be great with the addition of some crispy breadcrumbs, and I very much concur.  

  3. Linguine With Chickpeas, Broccoli and Ricotta, NYT Cooking.
    This pasta really sold me on broccolini! Also, the broiled broccolini, kale, and chickpeas is so good — like, I just wanted to eat that on its own (maybe with an egg on top, like in the Shutterbean recipe). One note: adding the ricotta cools the entire dish down considerably; we ended up warming our bowls of pasta up in the microwave because it had cooled down so much.

  4. Shredded Brussels and Kale Spaghetti with Parmesan and Pine Nuts, How Sweet Eats.
    I’ve made this a couple of times now, in part because Whole Foods/Amazon Fresh sells pre-shredded B sprouts, which makes the recipe that much easier. If you make it, definitely don’t skip the pine nuts! Like all nuts, they are on the pricey side, but they add a lot of flavor and texture to this one, and really are worth it.

  5. Broccoli and Chickpea Salad, Martha Stewart.
    I discovered this recipe after Gyan — another beans and greens lover — brought it to a work potluck. It’s SO good — and basically a cold version of all of the warm recipes above! You can make it with frozen broccoli, which I think is worth it; if you do that, chopping the parsley will be the biggest lift. It’s super fresh and flavorful, is great for a potluck/party/picnic (Gyan’s has appeared at other parties since that first one and it never disappoints), and pairs extremely well with perfect chicken for a delicious lunch. 🥦

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Just good shorts

Image:  Gap

Image: Gap

I am not, in general, a big fan of wearing shorts. I have a singular pair from Nordstrom Rack that I bought in 2015 and will wear until they are threadbare, and I found a style at J. Crew Factory in 2016 that I like/wear quite a bit (both here). But in general, shorts are not my fave garment.

But last summer, Terri came to work a few times in white shorts that I loved. Every time she wore them, I would think, Wow, those seem like the perfect shorts! Eventually, I just decided to try them for myself.

The shorts are, to be exact, the Gap 5” Girlfriend¹ chino shorts and they are great. I bought them in a couple of colors (white and anchorage cream) and I love them. They are short without being short²; casual, but still tailored enough to look nice; practical without being frumpy; and available in several colors. I’m extremely here for comfortable, practical shorts for grown-ass women who semi care about looking nice. Just good shorts!

Get them from Gap for $34 (currently on sale). (They are available in seven colors + three stripes versions and sizes 00-20; tall and petite options are also available up to size 16.) ✨

¹ The “girlfriend” label makes me think of this 2016 Racked article on the problems with the “boyfriend” clothing trend.

² My other tip for buying shorts is to pay close attention to the inseam lengths. I won’t go longer than 5 inches or shorter than 4 inches. While it bums me out to dismiss the (extremely common!!!) 3 inchers entirely, I know I won’t be comfortable in them. Anyway, figuring out your preferred inseam length can definitely save you some time when you’re shorts shopping online.

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Just Good Shit: 05.19.19

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Heyoh! It’s another light one this week because I’ve been spending most of my time working on my book and interviewing. Here’s what I’ve got for ya…

On the blog

A modest proposal: all office bathrooms should have a radio in them

Reading

Our Fury Over Abortion Was Dismissed for Decades As Hysterical, The Cut.

Related: here’s a thread with the most compelling and moving things I’ve read on abortion over the past several years.

The Night The Lights Went Out, Deadspin.
If you read one thing this week, make it this.

Walking Time Bomb, Vulture.
I’m going to be thinking about this article for a long time.

How the Hell Has Danielle Steel Managed to Write 179 Books?, Glamour.

Stuff Your ‘Rules’, The New York Times.

Inside the Fervid Mind of a Professional Crossword Puzzler, Man Repeller.

When the Music Biz Had It That Way, The Ringer.
This one sent me down a rabbit hole! I also read about prolific songwriter Max Martin and learned that “I Want It That Way” originally had entirely different lyrics.

Why You Should Start Binge-Reading Right Now, The New York Times.

#1200: “My mom is bugging me to clean my room.”, Captain Awkward.

Honestly, We Just Hate Women, McSweeney’s.

Have a great Sunday! 🌼

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A modest proposal: all office bathrooms should have a radio in them

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Not long after I started working at BuzzFeed, a CD player/radio appeared in the women’s bathroom. It was the kind I had growing up (which retails for around $25), and it appeared without any fanfare or information about who put it there or why. At some point, there was a brief conversation about the new radio in the Women of Edit slack channel (“So there’s a radio in the bathroom now!” “Do we know who put it there?” “I like it!” “Me too!”) and then it just...was. Eventually, I am told, the men’s room got their own. We eventually moved buildings, into a space with a bathroom on each of the seven floors, and all of the bathrooms had radios in them. It was such a small thing, but I loved it.

Aside from the fact that the office bathroom radio makes a lot of people way more comfortable, it was also just fun. Like, what a treat to walk in there and discover that a bop is playing! Because I don’t spend much time in cars these days, I basically never listen to the radio. I cannot tell you how much pop music I learned about solely from hearing it playing in the BuzzFeed bathroom. (Weirdly, many of us noticed that we each tended to have certain — discrete — bathroom songs during a given season that would always be playing when we were in there.) Sometimes it would be tuned to a different station, and I’d be subjected to a truly monstrous shock jock prank for the duration of my bathroom visit, but on the whole, I heard a lot of Cardi B, Drake, Taylor Swift, and that Justin Timberlake song from Trolls.

The BuzzFeed bathrooms may have had the worst, most unflattering mirrors known to humanity, but the radio did its part to make using the restroom a little more pleasant. I’m now convinced every office bathroom should have one. Anyone can put a radio in the bathroom, but I think it’s an extra-nice move if you’re a manager. (BTW, it doesn’t need to have a CD player; we literally never used that feature, and it just makes the radio bulkier. Also: if your office bathroom has an outlet, definitely look for one that has an A/C adapter so you don’t ever have to replace the batteries.)

You can get a cute little radio from Amazon for $19.95 or a super no-frills one from Amazon for $7.99. 📻

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Just Good Shit: 05.12.19

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Hi! Here’s what I had going on this week…

On the blog

Reading

My Cousin Was My Hero. Until the Day He Tried to Kill Me., The New York Times Magazine.

What ‘Good’ Dads Get Away With, The New York Times.

Why Rachel Held Evans Meant So Much To So Many, BuzzFeed.

Where on Earth Is Sam Sayers?, Seattle Met.

My Queer Skincare Secrets, Gay Magazine.

Desperately Seeking a Black Sperm Donor, The New York Times.

An Extraordinary New Book Dismantles the Myths That Surround Domestic Violence, The New York Times.

My Quest for the Perfect Pair of Summertime Clogs, The Cut.
I, too, am on the quest for perfect summertime clogs/non-sandals.

An Interview With A Man Who Eats Leftover Food From Strangers' Plates In Restaurants, Deadspin.

Watching

After the Met Gala on Monday night, I went down a rabbit hole and watched The First Monday in May, The September Issue, The Devil Wears Prada, and Ocean’s Eight.

Buying

On Saturday morning, I was first in line at the Dusen Dusen, Cold Picnic, Areaware, Golde, Helen Levi, and Susan Alexandra sample sale. My prize? The sole 4x6 “Flood Season” rug, plus a pretty huge haul that included a Cold Picnic bathmat, a Dusen Dusen striped throw blanket, and a bunch of other goodies. It was so fun, and I'm really happy about everything I got!

Have a great Sunday! 🌷

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Make cut flowers last longer by putting them in the fridge at night

white flowers.JPG

Here’s a little tip for anyone who is giving or receiving Mother’s Day flowers this weekend, or who just can’t resist buying a bunch at Trader Joe’s every week: If you want a bouquet of fresh flowers to last for a while, stick them in the fridge every night (and/or during the day while you’re at work).

I’ve been doing this for years and it works remarkably well. Like, I’m always genuinely surprised by how fresh the flowers stay when I employ this trick, even when they are several days old. (It’s especially helpful in the warmer months if you don’t have AC.) I have a small fridge so it’s not always possible to put fresh flowers in it, but I’ll usually stick the vase in the door shelf where you’re meant to put milk and it works out fine.

Speaking of fresh flowers, I’m a big fan of The Bouqs and Urban Stems for fresh flower delivery to long-distance friends and loved ones! I’ve always been impressed by their bouquets, user experience, and customer service. (This is not an ad BTW — I just really like them.)

Anyway: put your fresh flowers in the fridge! 💐

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The eight types of friends

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

Image: Kiyana Salkeld / Just Good Shit

While doing research for my book this week, I came across author Tom Rast’s list of the eight most common friend types (from his book Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without) and thought it was really cute/interesting.

Here’s an overview of the eight friend types Rast defines:

  1. The Builder

    Builders are friends who motivate you, invest in your development, and truly want you to succeed — even if it means they have to go out on a limb for you. These friends help you see your strengths and advise you on how best to use them.

  2. The Champion

    Champions stand up for you and your beliefs, and they sing your praises. They are the friends who "have your back" and who will advocate for you even when you're not around.

  3. The Collaborator

    Collaborators are friends with similar interests — the basis for many great friendships. Shared interests are what often make Collaborators lifelong friends and those with whom you are most likely to spend your time.

  4. The Companion

    Companions are always there for you, whatever the circumstances. When something big happens in your life — good or bad — these are the people you call first.

  5. The Connector

    These friends get to know you and then instantly work to connect you with others who will share your interests or goals. They extend your network dramatically and give you access to new resources.

  6. The Energizer

    Energizers are your fun friends who always boost your spirits and create more positive moments in your life. They pick you up when you're down and can turn a good day into a great day.

  7. The Mind Opener

    Mind openers expand your horizons and introduce you to new ideas, opportunities, cultures, and people. They challenge you to think in innovative ways and allow you to express opinions that you might be uncomfortable articulating to others.

  8. The Navigator

    Navigators are friends who give you advice and keep you headed in the right direction. You seek them out when you need guidance and counsel — they're great at talking through your options.

(Read the full descriptions and an interview with Rast here. I thought the results of his research about the importance of work friendships were super interesting.)

I immediately sent this list to a bunch of my friends to see what role they think they tend to play in their friendships. I’m mostly a Navigator, with some aspects of the Builder. I really like this list as a tool for recognizing the different ways you show up for people and as a reminder that most friends won’t be the end-all, be-all friend in our lives — and that’s completely OK. ✨

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