Just You

Beauty Queen Totem, 2009
Bianco Carrara marble
132 x 40 x 36 inches

I’m currently sitting at my “Cheers” bar. The place where everyone knows my name. I come here several times a week. I try to cut myself off at no more than four times a week. Once, I overheard another patron say, “we are all sitting here killing ourselves.” That has always stuck with me: actively participating in our own demise in the company of others. Yet we, the regulars, all come to this one familiar place to feel less lonely, searching for companionship or an escape, but within the muck of searching, we are also drowning ourselves. It feels like […]

Past Present Podcast: Boy Scouts, Eugenics, and Eloping

Boy Scouts

In this week’s episode of Past Present, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate Trump’s divisive speech before the Boy Scouts, the return of eugenics in criminal justice, and the rising wave of elopements. Boy Scouts Donald Trump’s recent speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree has earned criticism for its political tone and inappropriate remarks. Niki pointed out that other presidents have given political speeches to the Boy Scouts, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt and George W. Bush, but Trump’s was unique for its partisanship. Natalia shared Amy Davidson’s New Yorker piece that argued Trump had distorted the one Boy Scout value he […]

Past Present Podcast: Brangelina, EpiPens, and Dr. Oz

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

In this week’s episode, Niki, Natalia, and Neil debate the dissolution of the Jolie-Pitt marriage, the price of EpiPens, and Dr. Oz and medical entertainment. Dissolution of Brangelina Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, famously known as Brangelina, have announced they are divorcing. Neil argued Angelina Jolie’s public remaking as mother and humanitarian repeated a common pattern for actresses in the history of Hollywood, like Loretta Young. Natalia remembered W Magazine’s 2005 issue that officially introduced the couple to the world with a photospread of them as members of an unhappy 1960s suburban family, and recommended the celebrity gossip historian Anne Helen Peterson’s writings on Brangelina. […]

Creative MVP: Katrina Majkut

Katrina Majkut

Katrina Majkut is creating in feminism, art, and writing.  She is a visual artist and writer dedicated to exploring and understanding feminine narratives and civil rights in aesthetics and social practices within mediums such as embroidery, painting, and writing. She recently exhibited at the Mint Museum, NC and was an Artist in Residence at MASS MoCA. Majkut also has an upcoming solo exhibition at Babson College (Fall 2016). Mic Media listed her as one of four international artists starting a new chapter in feminist art in 2014. Majkut also specializes in Western marriage and wedding traditions as examined through her writing with humor […]

Sara Eckel: The Problem with Happy Ever After

happy ever after

  Earlier this year, a reader told me that until very recently she always thought she needed a man to “complete” her, citing the line from Jerry McGuire. Fortunately, she later realized that wasn’t the case and discovered new interests and relationships that filled her in ways she never imagined possible. I definitely recall a certain feeling of emptiness when I was single, and sharing my life with a man I love has eased that ache quite a bit. But my husband doesn’t complete me. I’m not finished. I still have hopes, dreams, sleepless nights. I’m still making new friends, […]

Building a Startup With Your Spouse… Successfully

Pia Silva Wasterval and Steve Wasterval

Whenever people hear that I own a business with my husband, the first thing they usually say is “I could never do that!” followed by the question “How do you do that?!” People are so curious about it that Forbes even did a piece on it! How do you do it? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice! You see, I absolutely love working with my husband. I mean, I liked him enough to marry him, didn’t I? Of course I like spending lots of time with him, building something meaningful together, and sharing the glory of success (and the pain of failure) with […]

#LOVEWINS: Photographer Gia Goodrich Shares Her Bold New Project

gia-goodrich-love-wins

LOVE WINS: Faces of Marriage Equality is a powerful archive of LGBTQ love stories. Conceived by photographer Gia Goodrich, the evolving project makes these loving relationships visible, normal, and accepted. Yes, we’ve come a long way, but the sad truth is that the vast majority of us in the LGBTQ community have felt isolated, shamed and questioned whether or not we’re lovable.There are still people all over the United States and the world, who don’t understand, don’t value, and don’t support our relationships. Prejudice is very real, and there are still places in the US where couples can be shunned or attacked just for holding […]

The Most Interested People in the World

Maui Jeep

Being interested in others makes us interesting to them. No one wants to be around the world’s biggest know-it-all or the person who seems perfect all the time, yet many of us confuse being interesting with being interested. Being interesting is all about you. It’s posting your latest photos on Instagram and Facebook and ensuring you announce to everyone how fabulous you are. Being interesting is often all about me, me, me. However, being interested is about others. It’s listening with intention to the people around you and looking for ways where you can truly help support their goals and […]

Book Brief: It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single by Sara Eckel

single fabulous

It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single by Sara Eckel 2014, TarcherPerigee The Idea Dating advice is horrible. The premise is always “you’re doing it wrong” or “you’re not enough” or “change yourself.” Still, it’s seductive to think that some new piece of advice will be the magic formula that manifests Mr. or Ms. Right and end in happily ever after. Eckel challenges every “reason” we’ve heard before, whether from dating advice books or well-meaning friends or popular culture, and offers optimistic counter-evidence and practical guidance to reframe singledom as possibly the most rewarding time of life. Recommended For Obviously, for single people, especially […]

Past Present Podcast: Tubman Twenties, Adult Toys, and Whole Foods Politics

Whole Foods

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Harriet Tubman’s replacement of Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, the regulation of adult toys, and Whole Foods. Harriet Tubman The Treasury Department announced Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. Neil noted this has been largely an uncontroversial decision, although Donald Trump called the move “pure political correctness.” Natalia and Niki cited the historian David Greenberg’s defense of Andrew Jackson as one of the architects of the American political system as a reason for keeping him on our […]