Hi!!! So this isn’t an actual post. It’s just me sharing some fun news: I’m launching an author newsletter! If you’re a fan of this blog then I’m, like, 99.9% certain you’ll be a fan of this newsletter. It’s where I’ll be sharing updates on what I’m writing, reading, watching, cooking, and more! And once we get closer to my book’s publication date, it’s where I’ll share fun stuff like announcements, cover reveal links, preorder info, etc. I’d be eternally grateful if you’d consider signing up and/or sharing. (It’s totally free!)

You can learn more about it (and subscribe!!!) HERE. I promise I’ll tend to it more frequently than I’ve tended to tend (lol what) to this blog lately.

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Obligatory End-Of-Decade Retrospective Post (Spoiler: It Ends with a Book Deal!)

2010 // I kicked off this decade with a bang — literally! I crashed my car into a guardrail that January. (All because I was crying over a breakup, like a dumb bitch.) Aside from that whole saga, I’d describe 2010 as academic AF. I graduated from college in May and then moved to NYC for grad school at NYU at the end of the summer. This was also the year I started writing my first book — a half-baked collection of personal essays — which I ultimately had to shelve once I got to New York and realized that grad school requires you to, like, focus on it or whatever.

2011 // Ah! The year I fell out of love with New York. Didn’t take long! Just a few months of urban life before I realized that Sex and the City was a total crock of shit. (Carrie wrote ONE column a week, spent all her money on shoes, and somehow lived the most glam 1%-adjacent NYC life ever documented on television. Ugh! Still love her, though.) Living in Manhattan on a budget of student loans was not cute for me. I missed all the things I used to take for granted — space, washing machines, air, etc. So I escaped to Nashville for the summer in an attempt to a) get some air, and b) kick off my career as a songwriter. I didn’t quite get anywhere with that second one, which was crushing at the time — both my degrees were in music, and up until then I had always seen my life as being built around being a musician (who maybe also wrote books). But my Nashville experience helped me realize that I didn’t quite love songwriting enough to move there permanently and really pursue it. So then I started this very blog (!) and focused my attention on writing-writing about my fucked up love life instead. (I mean, I told you I still loved Carrie.)

2012 // I started working in the music licensing department of MTV that January — my very first “real” job! So from then until May I did the full-time grad school/full-time work thing. It was exhausting and I would not recommend it, tbh. After graduation, I moved into my first apartment in Connecticut and settled into the commuter lifestyle. But most importantly: that summer I got really serious about my book and started writing it in earnest (while also continuing to document my absurd dating journey on this blog, of course).

2013 // I finished my book in July! If you’ve ever read this blog, you probably know all about that book. It was my baby. I was obsessed. I pitched it to every literary agent in New York and talked about it with everyone I knew. When I wasn’t in book-mode, I was either a) working, or b) romantically entangled with some asshole. Oh my God. I swear I blew dated every gay man in the tri-state area during this time period. In November I even had a rom-com-y organic meet-cute with a guy on the Metro North train — only for him to interrupt our spontaneous make-out session at the end of the night with the revelation that he had a wife. It was a fucking saga! (And then I ran into him at Dunkin Donuts a few months later!)

2014 // Shit got kinda dark this year. My publishing journey was not going as planned. While many agents expressed interest in my manuscript, none were willing to take me on as a client. Their biggest concern was that my book was nonfiction and I didn’t have a big enough platform to make it appealing to publishers. I revised it a zillion times and kept pushing, but still no luck. There were many moments of despair and existential angst. But! I finally met the man of my dreams that October — and this time he DIDN’T have a wife! So that was a pretty huge blessing.

2015 // This year started with a literary rejection from an agent who — after some back-and-forth in the SAME goddamn email chain as my book pitch — told me that he was horny and asked for nudes. So… that’s where my writing career was at. Yo! I was ready to fucking SNAP! I had so much pent-up resentment toward agents, toward my day job, toward the entire system. In retrospect I realize that my writing wasn’t quite ready to be published yet, but still. I wanted to “be a writer” so fucking bad. So that May I quit my job at MTV and took a big pay cut to be a full-time Staff Writer at an online media start-up. Also! I moved to New Jersey to be with my incredibly supportive boyfriend.

2016 // After a hellish year as a full-time internet writer (much to the neglect of my actual book goals), I got laid off in September. (You can read all about THAT saga here.) Still agentless after a zillion drafts of my book, I finally decided it was time to move on with my life and write the second one.

2017 // I finished my second book in February! It was a YA novel, a genre I pivoted to largely because I knew from experience that I couldn’t get an agent writing nonfiction and the story I most wanted to tell was about my high school years. Sadly, this book didn’t nab me an agent right away either. But it did solicit some really detailed, encouraging feedback, which I hoped meant I was headed in the right direction. In the meantime I cycled through two new day jobs (lol).

2018 // I kicked off this year watching The Founder on my couch. It’s about how Ray Kroc’s perseverance turned McDonald’s into an empire. Very inspiring!!! So I decided to do one more revision on my second book and really ramp up my pitching efforts. And it worked — I finally got an offer of representation and signed with my (incredible) agent just a month later in February! She took the book out on submission, and I had to pinch myself knowing that editors at all the major publishers were reading MY words. It was a longtime dream come true! But alas… despite lots of flattering feedback, it pretty much got rejected across the board. One editor offered to look at it again if I revised according to his notes, so I got busy doing (yet another) revision that May. Also in May I started yet another day job (this time at Condé Nast), because student loans are a bitch.

2019 // This year alone was basically its own decade, so allow me to break this one up into li’l chunks.

After another string of rejections on my 2018 revision, an editor finally took my book to acquisitions (basically the finish line before you get a deal) the first week of January 2019! And on January 10th, we got the news that it was rejected. OMG… I was a fucking mess. I sobbed in my car after work that night and honestly questioned why I was devoting all my time and energy into such a difficult pursuit. I mean, the business of publishing is so subjective and unpredictable; putting in thousands of hours of hard work literally guarantees you nothing. I knew I had written a decent book — my agent and the editor who took it to acquisitions were proof of that — but I learned that writing a good book is just a tiny fraction of what it takes to get published. The rest of it requires so many uncontrollable factors to align in so many intricate ways, it’s amazing any debut novels ever get through the door.

So basically I was ready to give up on my dreams. But! I still had this one really great book idea in me that I NEEDED to get out. So I decided to write my third book as quickly as possible. I was sick of spending so much time laboring over something with such an uncertain outcome, and I worried that if I didn’t get it out quickly I never would. So I spent every hour of free time I had from January through March working on it — waking up at 4am every day and writing before work, after work, and for 20 hours on the weekends. I didn’t even shave! I finished and sent it to my agent at the end of March right before going to Vegas for my 31st birthday.

After a quickie revision once I got back from Vegas, my agent sent my newest book out to publishers on April 2nd. And we got a wildly enthusiastic response from an editor three days later saying he wanted to take it to acquisitions! Over the next two months we received tons of praise from other editors, but also many rejections with the common feedback that it wasn’t easily categorized as either YA or adult (possibly because my two main characters were 18 and 34). There was so much back and forth during this time — it felt like years — but on a random Friday in June… we got a DREAM offer!!! My amazing editor — the one who responded three days after we went on submission — jumped through several hoops and got the approval to acquire it as an adult title (even though he typically only acquires YA). I’m still pinching myself that my debut novel, BURN IT THE F*** DOWN, will be published by Little, Brown (!) next year.


It’s funny; I spent the first nine years of the decade pouring my heart and soul into projects that ultimately went nowhere, and then the book that finally got me a deal is one that I churned out in a three-month blaze of focus and determination. But! I know for a fact that that three-month blaze would not have been at all possible without the the nine years of hard work and countless hours of writing that preceded it. The cliché is so true — failure is inevitable, but it’s also a blessing. You just have to learn from it, grow from it, and continue to stay the course.

Wow! This was a much longer-than-expected post. But so therapeutic! To think I started this decade crying (and crashing a car) over a breakup and dreaming of writing a book — and finished it in a healthy, loving relationship AND with a deal at a major publisher. Sometimes I can lose sight of just how blessed I am amid the stresses/anxieties/struggles of daily life. But I am an extraordinarily lucky bitch! And one of my goals for this next decade is to be present and grateful and not take anything for granted. I’ve already given my boyfriend permission to punch me in the nose if I complain about literally anything in 2020. Happy New Year!!!


Just Some Reflections on My Time at Mic

Last week, Mic — the woke-for-profit millennial news startup I worked for in a past life — met its inevitable demise, laying off most of the newsroom and selling its remains to Bustle Digital Group.

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’ve been quietly anticipating Mic’s failure for over two years now — ever since they laid me off (along with my editor and fellow staff writer) without warning. On the other hand, I have lots of empathy for all the bright, talented, hard-working journalists that got fucked as a result of Mic’s toxic atmosphere and gross mismanagement. It’s not cute.

In the weeks following my own layoff in September 2016, I contemplated posting a longwinded account of my grueling experience as a cog in the Mic machine… but then I’d remember that I signed a dumb NDA in exchange for a morsel of severance, so I figured I should avoid any potential drama and just STFU.

But now they’ve crumbled, so let’s discuss!


I spent my early twenties pursuing a career in the music business, eventually working as a music licensing coordinator at MTV after finishing grad school in 2012. It was around this time that I realized I wanted to be a professional writer. Lol. The timing was not great!

I started working on my first manuscript — a funny memoir about my fucked up relationship history — in my spare time. Oh my God. I labored and obsessed over that damn book for hours and hours and hours. When I finally finished, I thought it was so perfect. I queried probably every nonfiction literary agent in New York. Some requested and then rejected it; others rejected it based on the pitch alone. One agent read my book, turned it down, and then asked for nudes. (I know, right?) Other agents suggested revisions. I revised and resubmitted and still got nowhere. In the end, there was one piece of feedback all their responses had in common: “You need to grow your platform.”

I started writing op-eds and unpaid posts for sites that had open submission policies, but getting attention as a writer was hard. None of my shit ever went viral. Eventually I decided that the only solution would be to write for the internet full-time.

With no real connections in media, I started randomly applying to job listings with “writer” in the title as they popped up on Indeed. Crickets chirped in response.

I was in a dark, ready-to-give-up-on-the-dream-of-writing-y place by the time I came across a Staff Relationships Writer role at Mic in March 2015. I was elated to hear back a few days later. Over the next few weeks, I poured myself into their edit test, interviewed with various members of the company, and even published two “test” articles on the site. Eventually I was invited to quit my full-time job at MTV for another “test”: three months as a full-time freelancer to help grow their new relationships vertical (called “Connections”), with no guarantee I’d get an actual job out of it. There was a $12,000 pay cut involved.

It was a very shitty offer! But it was a career change. And they made an excellent case for their ability to help me grow a following and develop my chops as an online writer. Plus, this was during an era when Mic articles were going viral all the damn time. It was thrilling (and naive and stupid) to imagine myself writing one of those posts and finally proving to literary agents that I could be popular enough to sell a book.

I did notice that a lot of Mic content was clickbait-y and formulaic, but the vision I’d laid out in my edit test was adorably not clickbait-y and formulaic — and management seemed fully on board with that direction for the section I’d be helping to launch. Plus I saw that Ashley Judd (a famous person!) had written an op-ed for them earlier that year. So the place had to be legit.

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I started in June. My first editor was a lifestyle content wizard with an insanely sharp eye for clean, concise copy. Under her guidance I quickly became a pro at churning out trending stories in the sex/dating space. I wasn’t in love with everything I was posting — I never had the time or freedom to inject thought, nuance, or humor into my relentless coverage of relationship studies, sex toys, and viral celebrity tweets — but I needed to get an actual staff position out of this whole ordeal. I became adept at filing my work, hitting reset on my brain, and moving on to the next post. It actually wasn’t all that different from managing a pipeline of projects/emails in a thankless office job.

Mic’s lack of editorial standards became suffocating over time, though. The only stories approved by management were those that could be squeezed into “frameworks” that had already been proven to perform well on Facebook. This issue obviously wasn’t unique to Mic, but they took it to ridiculous heights with their various paint-by-numbers headlines.

I eventually started to cringe at the sight of my own byline.

Weekly pitch meetings with the v. pretentious Co-Founder/Editor In Chief were particularly painful. His favorite question was, “Who’s sharing this?” — at which point you’d have to make the case for how your headline would rile up at least one reliably share-happy chunk of the internet. It was especially encouraged to craft pitches with the “outrage share” (pandering to PC culture/liberal outrage) and the “identity share” (pandering to millennials’ obsession with self-identification) in mind.

I’d silently die inside as my pitches were dissected and reassembled by the Audience team to become more click-y and formulaic. For example, an idea I once had for a thoughtful personal essay on whether I had made a mistake by leaving my hometown somehow turned into “There’s Good News for People Who Go Back to Their Hometowns.” (The post contained no news, good or bad.)

The most successful article I wrote checked all the Mic boxes: “11 Brutally Honest Reasons Millennials Don’t Want Kids.”

The listicle format! The usage of “brutally honest” in the headline! The usage of millennial in the headline! The guaranteed identity shares from the proudly anti-baby crowd! It racked up millions of views. I’m sure the EIC came all over his Google Analytics dashboard.


I was officially hired full-time a few weeks after the kid-free article went live.

By then our vertical had become one of the most successful on the entire site. My editor got promoted to launch other sections, and Mic hired another editor and two more staff writers to ramp up output for Connections. They also hired a fancy new Executive Editor to take the overall newsroom in a more legit direction; she had a journalism background and a commitment to editorial integrity and everything! With all the changes afoot, I started thinking it might be possible to develop a lane at Mic where I could publish writing I was at least semi-proud of.

But alas, weeks passed and Mic’s clickbait-mad-libs strategy persisted.

Now that I had secured the staff role, I figured I could at least finally speak up about my concerns. I detailed all my complaints in a lengthy email to my new editor. She was supportive and understanding — I got the sense that she agreed with the majority of what I was saying — but it was largely business as usual for the time being.

I resigned myself to the belief that good writing and “Mic” were mutually exclusive concepts, so I focused on turning around quick trending stories with as much voice as possible. I packed my posts with sentence-to-sentence jokes and over-the-top phrasing in hopes of at least slightly differentiating them from the boilerplate Mic hot takes of the day.

But the Audience team was nevertheless encouraged to slap inflammatory headlines on all content when packaging it for social. I once did a silly 250-word write-up about how Khloé Kardashian said she’d never seen a white dick before — lol —  and the Facebook team opted for share text along the lines of “Khloé Kardashian is perpetuating a harmful stereotype about race and penises,” which… was an actual lie. I made a huge stink about this on Slack until they finally agreed to change it up a little. “Khloé Kardashian Has Some Thoughts About Race and Penises” was their final offer.


Meanwhile, weekly pitch sessions had become a special circle of hell. I was reluctant to share good ideas with the team because I knew there was no way I’d ever be given the space to execute them properly. So instead I just spat out half-baked and outlandish pitches that were basically second-rate ClickHole posts. I considered it a small, sad victory when one of them actually got published.

The directive to spark outrage and/or foster empowerment at every turn intensified. I was required to write about slut-shaming, body-shaming, post-baby-body-shaming, food-shaming, working-mom-shamingselfie-shaming, period-shaming, boob-shamingbreastfeeding-shaming, age-shaming, phone-shaming… all in a way that suggested I personally gave a shit! Not to discount the validity of (some of) those issues, but the standard for something to be labeled an act of “shaming” was remarkably fucking low in the Mic universe.

I often fantasized about writing for another, less horrible website — but was positive that none of them would ever take me seriously at that point.

And so I took all my frustration out on my editor and generally became a nightmare to work with. Months of pent up anger and embarrassment over the state of my byline would unleash itself on her at the slightest piece of editorial feedback. I became unprofessional and unfair. Our daily Slack exchanges were stressful and exhausting as she tried her best to quell my outbursts while still graciously insulating me from the bullshit she had to deal with from her bosses.

Our relationship eventually became so tense that management had to get involved. We scheduled time in a windowless little meeting room with an internally beloved Editorial Director who admonished me for not being a team player and threatened to fire me if I didn’t start being more cooperative.

“You’re a good writer, but you’re not that good,” he said with a chuckle. “No one is irreplaceable.”

The irony was that even if I wanted to be a team player, the directives from the top were shifting so rapidly that I couldn’t even figure out how to do so. I had thought that churning out multiple trending pieces a day to fill their Facebook quota was being a team player — but then they randomly started asking for generic evergreen SEO content out of the fucking blue.

I seized every chance I could to quietly revolt. I accepted an assignment to write “something about Earth Day” and turned it into a vulgar and ridiculous roundup of Earth Day sex tips that reads like a rejected Howard Stern Show bit. I randomly argued that Ariana Grande was a closet pegging enthusiast. I agreed to give the SEO director “A Complete Guide to Taylor Swift’s Ex-Boyfriends,” but instead gave him a complete exploration of what would happen if all her ex-boyfriends were cereal.

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Mic moved into new offices at One World Trade Center on August 1, 2016 and my section was cut without warning exactly a month later. My layoff took place in a sterile conference room with a member of HR and — randomly — the fucking SEO guy. I think he was maybe promoted by then? Lol. Idk. He wasn’t a fan!

Traffic and politics and other high-level shit I was oblivious to surely played a role in the decision to kill the section, but it felt at least semi-personal. An ex-coworker texted after my editor and I were escorted out of the building to inform me that my Earth Day sex tips article was specifically called out by management at an all-hands meeting about the layoffs later that day. Seriously!

I was relieved for my time at Mic to be over, but I was also sad and furious that the split had happened so abruptly and entirely on their terms. My ballsy career change had blown up in my face. And I still didn’t have an agent.

In time, of course, it turned out to be a huge blessing. The only reason I’d joined Mic in the first place was to invest in my future as a writer — but somehow I’d ended up accomplishing the exact opposite of that. Churning out half-hearted bullshit for the internet day after day left me with no time or energy to actually work on writing projects I was passionate about.

I spent the year after the layoff working on a brand new manuscript, which ultimately turned into a YA novel that (finally!) landed me a literary agent and is currently on submission to publishers. I have a non-writing day job again — coincidentally at a legacy media company in One World Trade Center — but I’m working on my third book in my spare time. I desperately wish I had more time to focus on writing, but I try to be grateful that I have any time or energy to focus on it at all.

I don’t regret my experiences at Mic. Like many of their alumni will say, the people in the newsroom were mostly excellent — management was the problem. I loved my Connections team, and they were extremely patient with what was probably the worst professional version of me that has ever existed. I learned a lot. And if I hadn’t taken that leap, I’d have always wondered what would have happened if I did.

I was sitting at my desk in One World Trade Center last Thursday when I read the news of Mic’s final act. It was a quiet day in my office as, forty or so floors directly above me, the company that made my life generally miserable for fifteen months entered the throes of collapse. There was something kinda melancholy and poetic about it all. I started pulling up my old articles, some for the first time in years. Many of them still made me cringe, but others weren’t so bad. I still laugh when I think about the Taylor Swift cereal post. It even makes me a little proud.


This Nightmare Drive from Hell Actually Happened

The plan for Friday morning was simple.

  1. Leave New Jersey at 6:30.
  2. Hit up my dental spa in Connecticut for an 8:00 a.m. teeth cleaning.
  3. Get back on the highway and continue driving north up to my hometown.

But this plan was disrupted early on, because some shit got in the way. Literally! Literal, actual shit got in the way. Rain, traffic, and vomit were also involved. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s just start from that first bullet point and work our way down.

It was gross and rainy outside. Graig (boyfriend), Tank (dog), and I left our apartment about 10 minutes late. Not off to a great start — but! We had scheduled a 30-minute traffic buffer anyway, and Waze still promised us an 8:05 arrival time. So I was only mildly stressed out. People are five minutes late to dentist appointments all the time.

From the moment we merged onto the slick highway, traffic was a problem. By the time we approached the George Washington Bridge, we were moving at the pace of a large tree. (Which is to say that we were in fact not moving.) By the time we finally crossed the bridge and traffic cleared up, it was 7:45. Our Waze ETA had updated itself three times by then and had seemed to stabilize at around 8:25. I called my dental spa to let them know I’d be late. They were actually pretty chill about it.

But the rain! The rain was not chill. Even though we were no longer stuck in traffic, the relentless spraying from other cars made it difficult for Graig to see clearly enough to speed. Meanwhile, Tank — a dog — was getting restless. He paced around the back seat and jumped on the center armrest every few miles to check in on us.


“Remind me again,” Graig eventually said, “why you won’t just find a dentist in Jersey?”

“Because it’s a dental spa,” I replied, as if that explained everything. (Which it actually kind of does; dental spas are rare and delightful.)

We finally crossed into Connecticut at about 8:20, which meant we had just a few short exits to go. It looked like I might actually make it by 8:30 — not ideal, but not wildly egregious given the circumstance.

And then the car suddenly filled up with a putrid odor. A most putrid odor. I knew it had to be a Tank-fart, but it smelled worse than his usual variety — more aggressive, with top notes of dead flesh and rotting garlic. I turned around to yell at him and saw that he was squatting over the seat, assuming his full I’m-about-to-take-a-shit position.

“TANK!” I screamed, hitting him and Graig at the same time. “NO!”

“Don’t shit in my car!” Graig howled, trying to use his free hand to intervene without crashing into a guardrail in the process. The smell was getting stronger. It created a thick fog of pure chaos in the vehicle. “DO NOT SHIT IN MY CAR, TANK!”

We successfully snapped him out of his about-to-take-a-shit stance, but now he was huffing and puffing and kind of foaming at the mouth. I mean, I guess I would be too if I suddenly had to hold in a shit that I had already mentally greenlit for departure. Still, we were concerned. Was he sick? He’s not a shitting-in-the-car kind of dog! He’s a good boy!

As we kept trying to get him to hold it in, he jumped over the armrest into my lap — which I then immediately envisioned covered in dog shit because my mind loves to envision worst-case scenarios against my will.

We knew that making him wait 10 more minutes would be literal animal abuse, so we got off at the very next exit to let him go. Right as we pulled into an empty parking lot, the dental spa called me to see how much longer I would be.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, a carsick bulldog still shaking on top of me as Graig parked. “Probably about ten more min…”


Tank projectile vomited directly onto my legs. It was a macabre scene, but I managed to only let out the quietest little gasp so as not to alarm the dental spa receptionist on the other end of the phone.

“…utes. Would ten more minutes be okay?” I glanced downward, stunned that I had evaded being shat on only to get puked on instead, and finally just admitted defeat. “Actually, I’m sorry. Can we just reschedule?”

Graig looked over at the mess of foamy vomit — most of which ended up on my jeans and not his car — and just started laughing. Fair. I opened the door; Tank jumped out into the rain and peed on a nearby patch of grass. I stepped out and tried to figure out how I’d clean off my jeans without any paper towels or napkins or even tissues. I recalled that Graig keeps Armor All wipes in his backseat.

And then. I opened the back door, looked down, and saw that Tank had somehow ALREADY COVERTLY TAKEN A GIANT fucking DUMP all over the FLOOR when we weren’t looking. No wonder the smell was so repugnant! It wasn’t the smell of a shit that was aborted in the eleventh hour — it was the smell of a shit, period! And it wasn’t solid or neat, either. It was mushy and took up a lot of surface area.

So this was actual hell. I had taken a whole day off just to wake up early and sit in rainy traffic for two hours and miss my dentist appointment and then  get vomited on and then stand outside in the pouring rain while a backseat full of dog shit stared me in the face. It was not spa-like at all.

WHY, GOD? I wondered. WHY?

I called Graig over to show him the crime scene, and he just started cracking up again.

“We actually couldn’t have invented a worse morning if we tried,” he said. “This is incredible.”

He used poop baggies and Armor All wipes to eliminate the waste as best he could until we’d have access to real cleaning tools and chemicals. Meanwhile, I used a combination of rain and a single Armor All wipe to deal with the puke on my jeans. Watching Graig find so much humor in the situation helped me calm down a bit, even though I was still mourning the vision of the harmonious Friday morning I had previously dreamt of for myself.

The three of us finally piled back into the car, soaking wet and making even more of a mess but not caring at all by then. As Graig was about to pull out of the parking lot, Tank puked again — this time all over his backpack in the backseat. We didn’t have any Armor All left, so Graig pulled out a sacrificial pair of boxers from his luggage and used them as an impromptu rag. It was like we were on Survivor.


As we got further and further into Connecticut, Tank returned to his normal self. He eventually even mellowed out and went to sleep. And then the rain stopped! The storm seemed to have passed. We laughed about it for the rest of the ride home. Even I had to appreciate that the universe wasn’t lazy in its quest to fuck up our morning; it really went all out. I can respect that! But I was also grateful that it wasn’t even worse.

“Imagine if Tank had, like, stepped in his shit while we were still driving?” I asked Graig as we continued our post-debacle discussion. “Imagine Tank’s paws just completely covered in shit, pacing around and jumping all over the car. That would not have been funny at all. That would have just been mean.”

“True,” he said. “We’re very lucky.”

This is How You Gain 20 Pounds of New Relationship Weight in One Year


October 2014. Graig and I meet for our first date on the second of the month and it’s like a total “OMG marry me now, K? K.” situation. The ensuing weeks involve frequent beer-and-wings-marathon sessions that turn into frisky all-nighters, which, as someone who requires a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night, is more than a little problematic. But I’m also euphoric at having finally found the man of my dreams, so mostly I just shout “YOLO!” in the face of my newfound fatigue. I develop a daily empanada craving, usually in the afternoons when the clock strikes four.

November 2014. We’re still riding high on our mutual infatuation, and I have officially accepted that skipping the gym and saying “fuck it” to healthy eating throughout the week will simply be my fate until our honeymoon phase starts to cool down, something I predict will happen just in time for Christmas, maybe.

December 2014. Christmas happens. Mariah Carey happens. Reclaiming my healthy eating and gym-going routine happens. JK! Instead, Graig and I go to football games where we tailgate and consume thousands of beer calories. Also, I randomly get into donuts, which is just silly. “Diet starts Monday after New Year’s!” is my new mantra.

January 2015. LOL. Who thought eating healthy would be a possibility when the Patriots are dominating in the playoffs? We go to every home game. My mantra becomes “Diet starts Monday after the Super Bowl!”

February 2015. THE PATS WIN and so this month is cancelled.

March 2015. IT’S MY 27TH BIRTHDAY and so this month is cancelled.

April 2015. Seven months into our love affair we’re still cruising high on our infatuation with one another, but I decide that I need to make a serious life change after my doctor confirms that I have indeed gained ten pounds. Which, honestly, she didn’t need to tell me because I felt like a blob of shit anyway. But the revelation serves as total motivation, as does the fact that Graig and I have a trip to Aruba slated for May. I randomly go through a deep Sheryl Crow phase and also I start running again, both of which allow me to close out the month feeling vaguely human.

May 2015. I get offered a new job as a full-time writer! It’s exciting and also a reason to celebrate and pig out for an entire month. My start date is June 1, after our decadent Aruba trip (during which I essentially eat the entire island), which happens to be a Monday. Diet starts Monday of my new job!


These are a few of my weight-gaining things.

June 2015. This shit is kinda stressful. It’s longer hours and a more difficult commute than I’m used to, so I start sleeping at Graig’s most nights because it’s closer to work. Of course this means that a) having a routine of any kind is basically impossible, and b) I can’t even pretend to go to the gym, because the one I’m a member of is literally fifty miles away. I start eating bagels for breakfast every morning while simultaneously contemplating a self-reinvention as an unapologetically overweight BHM, or big handsome man.

July 2015. It’s summer and I’m fat! I avoid the scale but I am so sure that I’ve gained at least a total of fifteen pounds by now. Clothes are getting tight but I can still more or less fit into them after I empty myself of the tears that go along with realizing my clothes are getting tight.

August 2015. Graig and I are at my best college friends’ condo for a fiesta of sangria and pasta and cigars. As we absorb the beautiful sights from their nature-y back porch, I get up to go to the bathroom. In doing so, a button literally pops off from the waist of my shorts and lands on Graig’s lap. It’s so fucking symbolic I could write a novel (and/or blog post) about it.

September 2015. You know that line in “Summertime Sadness” where Lana Del Rey is all “Nothing scares me anymore”? THAT’S HOW I FEEL. Except replace “scares” with “fits,” as I keep destroying my clothes simply by trying to, like, wear them.

What I’ve learned from this journey so far is that I’m such a (hungry hungry) hypocrite! If you’d asked me in 2014 why I kept a strict diet and gym routine, I’d have probably said, “Because I care about my health and it makes me feel good.” But, well, LOL, nope. It was really just to catch a dick. Humans are basic!


Those jeans ripped while I was trying to get into a car. It was cute!

October-December 2015. There is an end in sight; maybe we’re not so basic after all! Graig and I moved to a new place together in Jersey. The building has a very nice gym, which, combined with the stability of having a constant home, has allowed us to settle into something of a routine that involves whole wheat english muffins and morning workouts. So here’s to a 2016 that’s, like, healthy or something!

How Not to Lie to Your Boyfriend

The following is a tale of deceit. It involves a milkshake, a car, a cell phone, the seminal 2003 film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, an inflatable penis pool toy, many bottles of alcohol, and one twisted WEB of dirty motherfucking LIES.

So let’s begin.

Last Thursday night, I had to drive to my hometown in order to be picked up the following morning at 8:00 a.m. for a weekend beach house extravaganza. Before hitting the road, I pigged out on a dinner of boneless Buffalo wings and curly fries (as one does) (when one is a fatass). Because a heaping platter of fried goods does not a balanced meal make, I also decided that a chocolate milkshake would be needed to cleanse my palate during the long drive.

(Side note: Yes, I have a food addiction. I’ve gained twenty pounds of comfort weight over the past year and frankly am just like “fuck it” right now until I can initiate a major life overhaul to reverse the damage, which I currently have loosely scheduled for early-to-mid-October, but who really knows how the fall season will shake (lol) out.)

So I went to Dairy Queen to grab my lil’ shake before hitting the road.

Before I could even merge onto the highway, though, I realized that the DQ guy must have put too much syrup in it or something because it was ridiculously sweet. To the point where it, like, hurt to swallow (no comment). So I put the cup in the center console and vowed not to touch it until I got to my destination and could throw it out.

But old habits die hard (with a vengeance). I found myself reflexively reaching for the shake and mindlessly taking syrupy little sips about every two minutes, which would then make me want to vomit. So after a while I just decided to bend down real quick and place it on the passenger side floor so as to ensure it would be totally out of my reach for the remainder of the ride.

When I finally got home and parked my car, my boyfriend, Graig, called me. “Hey babe, how was the ride?” he asked. “I take it you made it there safely?”

“I did,” I responded, ejecting myself from the vehicle and walking around to the passenger side door to grab my backpack off the seat. “It was actually quite pleas—SHIT! FUCK! Fuck a GOOSE in an AIRPLANE!”

“What’s wrong?!” he asked, audibly rattled by my vulgar outburst.

“I accidently spilled… a Diet Coke,” I answered. “I spilled Diet Coke all over the floor of my car.”

I know what you’re thinking:

  1. What kind of ne’er do well places a drink on a car floor and expects it not to tip over after literally the first pothole?


  1. This kind of ne’er do well.

“You had a Diet Coke?” Graig asked, knowing that I kicked my Diet Coke addiction years ago. “Why?”

“You know, it was just such a rando craving!” I replied, and then quickly pivoted back into a longwinded rant about the tragedy of the spillage. He bought my story and we each went to bed, separated by two state lines and one thin veil of deceit.


The beach house crew (all women plus me) went relatively bananas on our first night, so Saturday was the chill portion of the party. The remnants of the night before — empty beer cans, chips, a floating dick in the pool (above), etc.— surrounded us. We were drunk but mostly exhausted, lazily drinking margaritas on wicker furniture (like the Golden Girls that we are) and watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days on the porch TV.

Because How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is a film all about deception and betrayal, I began thinking about my Diet Coke stunt from Thursday. I realized it was the first time in our yearlong relationship that I had ever been dishonest with Graig. And about something so stupid! I thought to myself. Who does that? I don’t want to live a lie!

“Guys,” I said, randomly perking up and addressing the group. “I have a fucked up tale to tell. Are you ready?”

In an effort to get the shame off my chest, I then gave them a dramatic retelling of the incident. We all laughed heartily. Moments later, I noticed that my sister-in-law was looking down and deviously typing on her phone.

“Check your inbox, bitch!” she maniacally chirped when finished.

And then a group text in which she and Graig are both members lit up on my phone.

Hey Graig, remember when Nic told you he spilled Diet Coke in his car? she wrote.

“OH MY GOD, NOOO!” I screamed.

Yup, Graig wrote back.

“SHONDA RHIMES,” I desperately pleaded from the couch. “DON’T DO THIS!”

IT WASN’T DIET COKE, she texted, nefariously dragging the announcement out in a melodramatic, all caps-y fashion as I watched the horror unfold on the screen before me.

Wait, Graig (innocent lil’ Graig) replied. Huh?

She then dropped the bomb: It was a chocolate milkshake. And much to my surprise, the first emotion I felt was not disgust. Rather, I was overcome with a tsunami of relief that my dark secret was finally out in the open.

Playing along with the dramatics of it all, Graig responded with exaggerated shock at first, but then quickly transitioned into an adorable text-soliloquy about how he was “more upset that Nic lied” than the fact that I drank a milkshake, and that he “knew something was up” because “Nic never drinks Diet fucking Coke.”

And so a brand new lesson that nobody’s ever learned before was revealed: lying hurts people and is bad for relationships. Even when it stems from a shameful place of milkshake-addiction.

In (about thirty seconds’) time, Graig ultimately forgave me. And now we’re moving into a new apartment together next week! (This was technically already in the works, but whatever.) The place is in Jersey and I refuse for our new home to be built on a foundation of lies, so I am thanking God that there aren’t any Diary Queens in the neighborhood. Also, we will now have a beautiful pool, into which I plan on bringing the inflatable penis basically every day next summer. So this tale has a very happy ending, which is good.

All We Wanted Was to Watch Some Damn Golf

On Saturday my boyfriend Graig and I went on a beautiful eight-mile walk along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. It was scenic, serene, far removed from the city, and this is apropos of nothing but I’m currently writing this blog post from the train and the man to my left is eating a very aromatic banana.


Waiting for it to be over.

Keyshia Cole.

Okay, he’s done.

So after our walk, we ended up at what is steadfastly becoming my favorite bar/restaurant ever — a picturesque, waterfront tavern in a park where wealthy middle-aged humans like to hang out and heterosexual couples like to get married. (Why this recipe somehow spells out “Comfort Zone!” for me is its own sad problem, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Everything was going great at first. I had a Landshark Lager in one hand and a lobster roll in the other. There were also many oysters involved. We were watching the Masters on the bar’s only television, and I was inexplicably invested in every nuance of the event.

Love shocking my friends.

Love shocking my friends w/ my golf knowledge.

Things took a dark turn later in the day, though, and by the end of the night we ended up in a weird situation where our bartender hated us and wished us dead in her head, and yes, I just rhymed.

Something to note here is that I am cripplingly afraid of confrontation and/or ever saying anything that could even vaguely paint me as an asshole to a waitperson. I don’t say things like, “I’ll have some more water,” as my subconscious seems to believe that only a total dick would make such a demand. Instead I say, “Um. So. Can I have some more water, p-p-please?” in a very high, mouse-like voice. It’s embarrassing for everyone involved and really I’m sure waiters hate me even more for making it weird than they would if I just asked for water outright like a normal citizen, but whatever, this post isn’t even about water, so let’s just move on, Jesus.

Somewhere around Jordan Spieth’s seventh hole of the day, the lunch bartender decided that “nobody cares about golf” and changed the station. This caused a panic between Graig and I, but luckily with a very polite/awkward request (see above paragraph) we were able to get him to put the golf back on (and also bring us more oysters, which are delicious and bring me joy and should really just be called joysters IMHO).


But then.

An hour later we were forced to close out our tab with the lunch bartender and start a new one with his replacement, a sassy blonde girl with crunchy shoulder-length hair and baby blue nail polish. Immediately upon starting her shift, she grabbed the remote and proclaimed, “I don’t wanna watch golf!

“Bitch, you got some neeerve!” is what I absolutely did not say to her but should have.

Luckily, the outgoing bartender did the dirty work for us and whispered to her that we were invested in the men on the screen in the pants and the shirts with the metal rods and the balls. (I should have known that writing about golf would swiftly turn into erotica.)

She looked annoyed but changed it back, and then proceeded to pretend that Graig and I didn’t exist for the rest of the evening. Like, she was being a total gem to everyone else at the bar — engaging in friendly small talk, smiling, generally being a non-dick – but every time we tried to flag her down for another round it was like getting the attention of an angsty teen in possession of a smartphone and very severe resentment issues.

We managed to get the bar-back to get her to get us drinks when we could, but overall we just felt vehemently hated yet entirely invisible at the same time.

Once the final hole of the day was shot, we decided it was time to vacate and go somewhere where we weren’t de facto lepers. We tried for ten minutes to get the crunchy hair bitch’s attention—in what was not a crowded bar at all, I might add!—but she kept avoiding our hand gestures and actively sought out patrons to engage in lighthearted banter with instead.

“What’s wrong with us?” I asked Graig. “Are we THAT hate-able?”

“Apparently,” he said. “Should we just do a dine and dash?”

Before we could fully contemplate the option, a spunky woman in a mini jean jacket randomly approached us from behind.

“Hi guys,” she started as we turned around. She was pointing to another girl across the bar. “Do you see my friend over there? What do you think of her?”

“I don’t know her personally, so I ought not to form an opinion based purely on her physical appearance, because to quote alt-R&B songstress Janelle Monáe, who will tweet this two days into the future, a woman’s body is ‘not for male consumption,'” is another thing I did not say in response but should have.

“She’s a dish!” is yet one more. (Because Titanic.)

“She’s super pretty,” is what I actually said, trying to sound stereotypically gay enough for her to realize that she was barking up two entirely homosexual trees. But somehow I failed. (I blame the golf.)

“So why have neither of you hit on her yet? Come on, guys!”

Graig then jumped in and cut to the chase: “Actually, we’re boyfriends.”

And then the girl was all, “Oh my God, really? We’re lesbians! I just wanted to boost my girlfriend’s self-esteem and also try to play you guys for some free drinks.”


“Well, even if we wanted to buy you drinks we couldn’t because the bartender is very mean…” I started to say to her, but then her girlfriend stormed out of the establishment in an emotional tizzy and she abruptly chased after her before anyone could even say bye.

I felt bad for the girlfriend, who was clearly having a rough time in this Bar of Broken Dreams. I wondered if maybe she just needed to feel sexy for a moment, as her GF obviously sucked at satisfying that need on her own. Or maybe she was dehydrated because the bartender was being a vindictive goblin to them, too. Or — wait! Perhaps the whole thing was just an elaborate ruse designed to enable THEM to ACTUALLY DINE AND DASH. You know what? Those lesbians were evil geniuses.

Meanwhile, Graig and I ended up waiting another ten minutes for the bill, which we paid, because we plan on going back for the U.S. Open.


How to Survive the Internet

Remember AOL? When a profile was a thing with like five questions (“Marital Status: LQQKING”) and a space for a personal quote? In sixth grade I remember my high school-aged cousin wrote “a weekend wasted is not a wasted weekend” for his PQ, and I didn’t even get it but I thought he was the “kewl”-est, so I put it in mine too (right next to an Erykah Badu lyric that I thought sounded sophisticated but didn’t realize was about the spiritual complexity of being a woman).

Then there were the “hometown” webpages! Mine was filled with shiny bubble letters (which totally required knowledge of ~HTML~) and those weird slutty avatar things. How anyone didn’t detect my gayness is a mystery, but that’s neither here nor there.

Nothing during those AOL days was ever here or there, and that’s what was so wonderful about it. Nothing mattered. It was all so safe and vacuum-y and intimate. You could log in and log out, knowing that you were always pretty much aware of everything you needed to be aware of, because really there was nothing to be aware of anyway. Save for maybe your forty or so buddies’ profiles. (OMG, was I a loser?)

But now we have this information overload situation. Today’s Internet is all about making the world a better place generating money and expressing outrage and displaying sad, dark thoughts for the world (see: no one) to read and humble-bragging and think-piecing and time-wasting and lots of other things but mostly generating money. It can (Taylor) swiftly turn into a soul-sucking place if you let it.

This is especially true for those people who want to feel like they have a grasp on shit. Because unlike AOL Hometown, one can never have a grasp on today’s actual Internet. Obviously! I know.

But how often do you still feel like you’re trying anyway? How often do you try to get to a point online where you’re like, “Okay, I’m fully aware of everyone out there who wants the same things as me, and I can totally take all of them on”? (#SelfObsession.) How often do you find yourself with twenty tabs open only to work through all of them and then feel LITERALLY LIKE YOUR SOUL HAS BEEN PUNCHED IN THE FACE?

(Do souls even have faces?)

I un-followed about two-hundred Twitter accounts last week.

And! It was such an Emancipation of Mimi moment. With a simple Twitter cleanse, the mental curse of the Internet becomes a million times more manageable and less draining. I now wonder why I even bothered reading half of the shit I used to in the first place. Like, why did I ever even follow Gawker? All that site ever did was make me feel like a loser for not being as “clever” (/snarky/bitter/troll-y) as its writers, and also like there was no reason to ever be positive about anything at ALL, EVER, which is a fun way to live. (Except not.)

Ugh, Internet snark. There is just so damn much of it. And it’s so contagious. Especially if you’re smart. Especially if you’re frustrated with just about anything in life. It’s so gross. Except for when it isn’t and it’s just hilarious. Bah! Snark is such a contradiction-inducing topic of ugh-ness for me. I love it! But I hate it. Everyone is such an asshole. But sometimes that’s the perfect thing to be? I don’t know.

Surviving the Internet means constantly reminding yourself that it is so not real.

I suck at remembering this, because social media especially targets this weird, #basic corner of the brain that thrives on attention and validation and empty communication and self-identification and instant gratification and comparison — and it’s addicting someTIMES, you GUYS!!! It’s like being wasted on some kind of fruity vodka drink that tastes super sweet going down but then makes you want to vom about an hour and a half later.

But social media can do so much good. Spreading positive messages and shit. It has turned my mood around on many an occasion — whether seeing someone else’s inspirational post or getting feedback on one of my own. Of course the same things have turned my mood in the exact opposite direction on more than a few occasions, too. So again I don’t know.

Can we talk about fan armies? They are frightening.

Who even are they???

Whenever I make the mistake of exploring the online world of fandoms (#BeyHive, #Grandtourage, #Swifties, etc.) I always come out of it super sad and afraid for the millions of people who worship other humans for no reason and live in these, like, delusional states of wishing that one day they’ll be validated for good by the Internet celebrity of their choice with the magical power to make all problems go away forever.

But then fandoms can also be a crazy beautiful modern phenomenon of community. Yet another paradox of the Internet!

It can be tricky for the Internet celebrities themselves, too. I randomly met Frankie Grande the other day and we were talking about his Big Brother journey and at one point he sighed and was just like, “People love to assign their own versions of my story to me.”

It made me think deeply for like, two seconds, but then I just couldn’t WAIT to tweet/Insta a pic of us together.


Because I’m a hypocrite, duh! I want to be Internet-popular toooo.

Which is just silly, because if there’s anything to be learned from this post it is that the Internet isn’t going to solve any problems that you can’t solve yourself (except for when you need to find out Zac Efron’s height, maybe) — but it just may create new ones.

Surviving the Internet is to accept this fact. It’s taking the pressure off, signing the fuck out whenever possible, and knowing when it’s time to focus on something real in life. Because as unremarkable as you think real life might be sometimes, it’s all any of us actually have. And when it comes to the fruity vodka drink that is today’s Internet, a weekend wasted really is a wasted weekend.


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