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Ivy Tripp, the latest album from Waxahatchee, is out next Tuesday. You can stream it here, and you should: It is, at the moment, the best record to be released this year.#

As someone whose dour demeanor and seeming lack of charity has caused him to develop a reputation for negativity I decided recently that I would try to approach all new endeavors with a certain generosity of spirit, i.e. I would assume that everything I came across was constructed out of a sense of sincerity, or at least genuine curiosity, rather than obligation or outright cynicism. As you might imagine (and it does me no credit that I was unable to foresee this inevitable result, but I suppose this is what comes of unbridled affirmation) this was an experiment I needed to terminate almost immediately, as it soon became clear that looking at the current climate of creativity through a lens of good intentions results in an even more frightening feeling about what we are offering up to the world, which is to say that so much of the garbage with which we surround ourselves is only tolerable if you convince yourself it originates from a disingenuous place; the idea that these things do not come from bad faith or desperation or a slavish imitation of what is already terrible but instead are conceived by their creators as worthwhile and positive contributions is so distressing as to make one wish the asteroid on its way over to wipe out our species would put on some speed. That said, I want to find at least a little light in life in the time I have left, so my alternate strategy has been to discover at least one hobby or obsession each week about which I in my normally terrible way—and believe me, as bad as everything is (and everything is terrible and only getting worse) I am a hundred times more horrible; part of why I allow myself to judge so harshly is I have higher expectations of everyone else, knowing that they are nowhere as awful as I—would tend to be dismissive and instead see the good in it. So then, adults who like coloring books: I did not know that they existed until now, but in keeping with my commitment to positivity I will just say that in a world where there is unrelenting horror beamed at you from every direction each day and the last time you actually felt somewhat secure was when you were too young to be allowed to make your own decisions (and before you came to the sad realization that each decision you made would not only be bad but would lead you down a path of choices progressively more poor), I can appreciate the comfort and strange sense of freedom these people must have as they experiment with hues and shades in the patterns provided, providing as they do the pleasant memories of a simpler time when a piece of paper and some crayons were the ticket to a world of expression in which even the existing lines were only suggested guidance. In a strange way I almost admire their ability to do this without a shred of self-consciousness. Good for you, grown-up colorers: I wish I were more like you in that regard. On an unrelated note, this is probably the last attempt I will make at this experiment as well.#

How to Sell Bottled Water to Thirsty Bros

thirsty boy People drop things on the Internet and run all the time. So we have to ask. In this edition, writer Andrea Ayres-Deets tells us more about the thirst for wholesome hydrating water.

Andrea! So what happened here?

I live in Palo Alto and work remotely. So every day at around 1:00 p.m., I usually venture off to one of the various coffee shops around town.

It’s fairly common to see and hear people pitching products, having meetings about their startups, and yelling at one another about code. Invariably, I find myself listening in. Tuesday was no different. As I sipped my coffee, I observed the communal table in front of me—two men were sitting at the end of it surrounded by various coconut waters and water bottles. I counted at least seven different kinds of water.

One of the gentlemen was apparently a water industry veteran. He wore a black pullover sweater with dark denim jeans and had the kind of carefree confidence only someone who had been successful in selling water to people who have the stuff running out of their faucets could possess. He looked like the progeny of Eugene Levy and Harvey Keitel. This was a man with answers, and the dude sitting across from him wanted those answers, desperately. Young tech bro had a startup. He was the founder of a sports drink—water that wasn’t just water, it was more than water!

What's Happening on Ghost Twitter?

A few years ago I made a fresh Twitter account and never used it. It follows nobody and has never Tweeted a link. I have not logged into it in at least two years. I receive at least one email about this account each day, sometimes more. The messages go to a folder I do not check. This is Twitter without people. That’s not quite right. This is Twitter without signals. This is Twitter without you. This is Twitter for Twitter’s Average Human. This is Twitter for… Twitter?

A selection of stories from the last few days:

“The general election campaign is under way, after Parliament was officially dissolved. Journalists waiting outside 10 Downing Street on Monday morning spotted a fox, apparently chasing a duck.#

Wi-fi makes you sick and blogging can be fatal. It is almost as if God is trying to tell us all to stay away from the Internet. Will you heed His loving warning or will you deny His message of salvation and open one more worthless tab to satiate your base and primal urges? Damnation is but a click away.#

"Cheap Sunglasses, Expensive Lingerie"

1b4be7ae I don’t believe in “rules,” because like, what am I, your mom? We’re all Grown Woman™! We can do whatever we want! I have a particular distaste for fashion rules (don’t mix patterns, don’t wear white after Labor Day, don’t don’t don’t), because they only exist to force people into these totally arbitrary categories of completely meaningless concepts like “taste” and “class” and “beauty,” all of which are based in subjective and constantly shifting priorities that have more to do with enforcing a status quo than actually encouraging people to look and dress in a way that feels best for them. Oof. I just tried reading that sentence out loud and ran out of breath. But you know what I mean.

HOWEVER. On Saturday I spent a good six hours by myself, wandering around Toronto and completing various errands I had been putting off; I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sit in front of my computer all day because I could feel a very real burnout coming on, but I also couldn’t do nothing, like oh my god perish the thought, so I went to Toronto’s fanciest department store to pick up some skincare stuff I “needed” to replace, and while I was there I was like, fuck it, I’m going to the floor with all the Agent Provocateur bras and buying something ridiculous. Pictured, left: one of the bad decisions I made while I was there. It’s called the Alina Bra and I will probably never take it off. I also bought this bra because I was in a MOOD for making BAD DECISIONS.

Afterwards I kept waiting for the guilt or regret to creep in because, like, I don’t know if you clicked on those links, but those bras cost money. Money I’ve been saving (hoarding, really), for important life things. But you know what? The guilt didn’t happen. It STILL hasn’t happened. And that’s because of one of the only fashion rules I do follow, one that has many practical applications and iterations but I’m choosing to simplify it, is: “cheap sunglasses, expensive lingerie.”

I once bought a pair of really beautiful, very expensive Karen Walker sunglasses; this was back when I worked as a legal secretary and was just rolling in disposable income for the very first time in my adult life. I still have them! They’re great! But I almost never wear them. They feel a little too…heavy, maybe? Too much. Which is strange, because I almost always wear sunglasses when I’m outside, my eyes are extremely sensitive to light and even indirect sunlight makes me tear up almost immediately, plus they just make me look cool. I prefer the sunglasses I get from this cute store around the corner from my apartment. They have a whole wall of sunglasses for $10 each and I’ll buy one or two, wear them to death (you should’ve seen what happened to the sunglasses I brought with me to Cuba, R.I.P. those beautiful reflective aviators, they were too pure for this world), and then replace them as necessary.

Sunglasses bounce around in your pockets and bump up against your keys and get jammed into your purses. More than that, they’re right in front of your face all the time!! Everyone sees them! They’re not special. That’s my point. They’re common. Like, who cares about sunglasses.

Lingerie, on the other hand. I expected to feel guilty because, like, how could I spend so much money on something that I was going to show to so few people? I mean, I’m not some kind of lingerie purist who is like “this is for my husband’s eyes only” because like lol as if. You better believe I sent about a million texts and Instagram DMs of my tits in those bras when I was in the Agent Provocateur change room, I looked amazing and I knew it and I wanted all my friends and loved ones to simultaneously know it and share in my narcissism. But if you’re someone who wears bras and enjoys wearing bras, you know how it feels to find a really, truly great one. I once had a friend who described the way her tits looked when she held them in her hands guided into exactly the right height and shape and said her life’s mission was to find a bra that did exactly that, a comparison I loved because I knew what she was talking about but also because a really good bra should feel like someone is lovingly propping your breasts up to the height and shape you feel your best in. Sunglasses can’t do anything even remotely comparable to that kind of emotional and physically flattering support. I mean, apparently they make your face look more symmetrical? Who cares.

Once I started thinking about this I realized I have so many other similar rules that I’d been secretly holding on to, guiding all my purchases and beauty priorities. This has been a very longwinded preamble to sharing those with you. They are, more or less in order, the following:

Daphne and Celeste, "You and I Alone"


“It would have been easier to pick someone really respected like Charlotte Gainsbourg … but this was more of a challenge, taking a band people were chucking bottles of piss at.”
My admiration for Max Tundra is such that, sure, I will give his career resuscitation attempt on confectionery pop act Daphne and Celeste a shot. And so should you. Anyway, enjoy. But do also read this for context.

I Love My Parents Yet Also May I Murder Them?

The Concessionist gives advice each weekend (ish) about the sordid choices of real life. Trouble? Write today. This week! TWO related letters!

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Dear Concessionist,

I didn’t have a terrible father who physically abused me or like, left never to be heard from again. He DID leave when I was 5 but then he was also my little league coach when I was 8. He was “in my life” but didn’t then/still doesn’t know who that many of my friends are. I had a super fucked up/resulting in years of trauma thing happen to me in a hospital when I was 16 that he didn’t even know about until I brought it up last year (I’m 28.) I’d honestly estimate that at least 90% of the time that he calls me it’s a pocket dial. He’s a lawyer. Being concise with words is important to him. I can’t just talk to him if something is going on with me. It needs to either be 1. Some problem he can come up with a quick solution to or 2. Some update on my life he can use to put me in a box to describe to himself or his friends. 3. Oh he likes to give me money sometimes which is cool. Like if I ever got into an emergency situation I could just charge a phat hospital bill/car mechanic bill to him. Which is awesome. But also he doesn’t love me so.

I kind of HATE HIM and feel ALL THIS ANGER. And I’m sure it affects my relationships with guys I date/would want to date in a ton of ways. One way is that I KNOW I don’t feel worthy of asking for attention or respect or love that I want because duh–my dad doesn’t give it to me. But I want to be confidant and love myself and get that from a great man, too. (Except I don’t even fucking know what a great man looks like or acts like???)

But also I wish me loved me. He doesn’t. Or I mean, he says he does and my mom says he does “as much as he can” and I believe that and know it’s true. But so my question is how do I reconcile all this with the fact that he DID coach my softball team and he DOES brag about my work successes on Facebook and like, he wasn’t the dick that easily fits into the “absent father” narrative we’re fed on TV and movies. How do I free myself from giving a shit about this man and what he thinks of me? (Do I even want that?) Help me PLEASE.

Sincerely,

Oh Dad’s Bad

New York City, March 26, 2015

weather review sky 032615★★★★ In the sleepy cloudshade of morning, a teen on the bench pinched a rolling paper in his fingers, surrounded by other teens. The tag came off the waterproof jacket that had been waiting in the closet since Christmas. A light and harmless drizzle started falling. Walking was still pleasant; the smell of cart food rode the damp air. A real, demoralizing darkness settled over the early afternoon. Suddenly it lifted, and there was sun on the fire escape, warm sun, and the sky opening out into blue and white, even though the Empire State Building was vanishing in drifting yellow-gray smoke, and Lower Manhattan was still veiled in humidity or lingering rain. The interlude was over by rush hour. The rat down in the uptown B/D track bed was so fat it needed an extra moment to squeeze under the rail. It crossed to the downtown side and mounted or assailed another rat—or vice versa, the rats being equally sleek—till one tossed the other away with a sharp lurch and chirp. Up by 72nd Street golden light broke through again, and the mildness was gladdening. An agitated man yelled at passersby. Clouds blew along either side of a moon cut neatly scant of half, the mare matching the bright blue of the sky. The children and other children scattered from the apartment building, scooter borne, to seize the chance.