Thursday, January 10th, 2013

What Was The First Thing You Shoplifted?

Shoplifting is like drinking beer before you're 21, everyone's tried it once. So in the spirit of reckoning with the past, we asked our favorite young adult novelists to share the details of the first time they broke the law.

Libba Bray, The Diviners

Though I certainly had a misspent youth, alas, shoplifting was never one of my crimes. In fact, when I was nine, I was shocked—SHOCKED—to witness my friend's older sister lift some candy from our local Circle K. I confessed this to my mother, who, of course, reported it to the girl's mother. This prompted shoplifter's mother to narrow her eyes at MY mother before issuing [...]


What Was Your Weirdest Celebrity Sex Dream?

You can't really control what you dream about. And of course, you can't control who you have dream sex with, either. If I could, then my dreams would feature nothing but Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling, together. Yes. But the subconscious has its own ways, and sometimes the most random person will pop into our dreams for an intimate encounter. We asked these people to share the sordid details of their weirdest celebrity sex dream with us.

Alex Balk

I don't know how "embarrassing" this registers as, but I did recently have a sex dream about Angelina Jolie. And it was one of those dreams where you're actually somehow [...]


What Was Your First (Or Favorite) Halloween Costume?

What are you going as for Halloween? As that's the question so many people are asking right now, I thought it'd be fun to revisit the costumes of Halloweens past. So I asked a group of writers at various fashion-slanted blogs and magazines to share their first—or favorite—Halloween costumes. Here's what we got (some with bonus pictures!!!).

Leah Chernikoff, executive editor of Fashionista

My favorite Halloween costume was actually pretty recent. My sister lives in New Orleans where they do everything big so a few years ago we went all out to be the creepy twins from The Shining. We wore blood-stained matching Land's End school uniforms and [...]


What Did You Want To Accomplish When You Grew Up?

The first in a series about youth.

When you're a kid, there are no limits on the world—everything seems possible. When he was seven, my brother truly believed that one day he'd wake up to see a T-Rex peering at him through his bedroom. (Yes, he had just watched Jurassic Park.) He also talked about inventing a plane that could withstand the strength of a tornado enough to fly within its wind currents, for a real bird's-eye view of the storm. To find out other would-be inventions and asked an assorted group of tech- and science-minded folks, "When you were young, what did you want to invent, discover or [...]


Terrible Summer Camp Counselors We've Known (And Been)

The conclusion of a two-week series on the pull of bad influences in our lives and in the culture.

Summer camp: you’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s hot, there are bugs, and you’re being overseen by “adults” who are just five years older than you. There are bound to be mistakes, disasters, and bad decisions being made. At the time we accept these counselors, with their quirks and rules, as givens of the camp experience—sometimes we even looked up to them as role models of young adulthood, only later realizing they had no idea what they were doing either. We asked friends to share some of their stories [...]


What TV Character Have You Wanted to Be?

TV—we watch so much of it, it's only inevitable that eventually we'd want to be it too: time-traveling, crime-solving, vampire-slaying, endless-cheeseburgers-at-Luke's-Diner-eating heroes. Once while on a particularly grueling rowing trip on the Hudson River, I motivated myself by picturing Pam Beesly's walk across the hot coals on "The Office." It worked. We asked a group of the small-screen-obsessed to tell us which TV characters they most wanted to be growing up and/or which ones they wished they could be now. Here's what they said.

Joe Adalian

If you weren't an 11-year-old boy in 1982, you probably have never heard of Phineas Bogg, or the show in which he [...]


What Are The Best Audiobooks For A Road Trip?

Summer is on its way (let's ignore this dreary spring)—and for many of us that means climbing into a car and driving for a long, long time to reach wherever our vacation is taking us to (the beach! college reunions! Chicago!). And what better distraction from an endless straight shot of highway than an audiobook? But, as anyone who has ever been stuck in a car for 13 hours with only a CD read in deadly monotone for company, not all audiobooks are created equal. To find out the best ones, we asked an assortment of folks for their favorites. Some had specific recommendations (as well as titles to stay [...]


What Books Make You Cringe To Remember?

First book crushes: The feelings are so strong and obsessive. The books seem smart, sophisticated, cool; the characters in them say and do such great things, they seem like guides sent to teach you how to be that way too. But then the crush goes, and the object of one's former affection becomes an embarrassment—or at least the memory of you quoting them so seriously does. To explore this phenomenon, we asked an assortment of literary-inclined people to revisit the books they loved back in the day, the ones that make them absolutely cringe today.

Sam Anderson, New York Times Magazine

Oh man, I suspect you're going to [...]


What Movies Make You Ignore Everything Else?

It's been well documented that TV is a time-suck. One reason: the repeat showings of movies, some of which, even if you've already seen them a hundred times (and you might even own on DVD), you will stick with for the duration, through commercials, bad cable edits and all. (Speaking of cable edits, was I the only one who didn’t know about that pubic hair on the pizza scene in She’s All That?!?) We asked an assortment of folks which movies never fail to suck them in.

Kurt Andersen

Pretty much the only time I mindlessly flip TV channels these days is when I'm traveling alone and staying [...]


What's Your Most Played Song?

Now that we've finally cleared out all of those "best of" and "year end" music lists of 2011—and good riddance!—here's something different: most played songs. The songs that show up on your most played list aren't necessarily the songs that defined the year for you. They can be timeless—the comfort songs you return to over and over again. Or they can reflect periods of brief, intense obsession, such as, in my case, with "My Heart is a Drummer” by Allo Darlin’, which I first listened to on a recommendation from a friend, and proceeded to play 50 times in a span of three days.

Here then, from 43 music [...]