TL;DR: Quar Edition

Writer Nicolaia Rips tells us the least and the most "worth it" articles she's been sent this quarantine in her latest installment of "TL;DR."

Illustration by Anna White

Story by Nicolaia Rips 

Now that we are all stuck in our houses all the time, the only thing there is to do is connect virtually, so here I am again with my weekly round-up. I’m back, baby. I’m quarantined. And I just graduated, kind of. Can’t tell if my personal barometer is in the toilet or I actually enjoyed most things people sent me this week. Here we go!

The Not Worth It

Into The Gloss’s “The Effortless Way To Get Model Makeup At Home”

I did NOT come to “Into The Gloss” (Glossier’s beauty and wellbeing blog counterpart) for snark, not exactly sure why I came to “Into The Gloss,” probably because I am incredibly dissatisfied with my current beauty regime of Cetaphil and oversleeping. I mean a good point about how ridiculous and terrible beauty standards are. Regardless, pass.

The only way to look like Bella Hadid is to get extreme plastic surgery. We knew this. Read Jia Tolentino’s “Instagram Face” instead. 

Also not worth it, any TV show that has a party scene in it. Content warnings for pre-Covid life please.

The Complicated

Vulture’s “My Appetites”

My god. Where to start. Worth reading because Jerry Saltz is considered to be one of the most important art critics of our time. To him life mimics appetite, appetite mimics life. At turns, both are boundless and then both are deeply self-constrained. The piece, however, is not worth reading if the idea of someone subsisting off of microwavable chicken paillard and bodega coffee in a Big Gulp container sends you into a cold sweat that smells like artificial grape medicine. I’m serious, Jerry Saltz is fascinating, yet try as I might, I could not, could not get past his diet. This is more of a flaw in my own food (excellent, delicious food) forward approach to existence, rather than a flaw in his writing. One of the points of the piece is to venture beyond the Big Gulp and observe how trauma manifests. Value is not universal–food is not everything to some, art may be in fact be everything. AND YET, I could not see past the Big Gulp. You may have a less myopic mind than me and I encourage you to read this and make your own decision. If you are interested in other actual food related memoirs, might I suggest, “Between Meals” by A.J Liebling. 

LitHub’s “This AI-generated dictionary is very cool and also terrifying”

Not much of an article but the generator itself is interesting to play with. Word of the day is: “fomentom” (n): an inclination to look at other people and treat them formally or informally.

The Good

The Cut’s “One Night at Zoom’s Hottest Club”

Quarantine has me missing things I would not typically miss, like clubbing and showtime on the NYC subway. Enter, and I quote “The hottest new club [adopting Bill Hader–as–Stefon voice] is Club Quarantine: an underground queer nightclub hosted every night of the new socially distanced reality from 9 p.m. to midnight on the videoconferencing app Zoom.” Club Q= queer space, not having to leave your home, new and known artists. It’s also amazing because it takes that awkward feeling of not knowing anyone at a party into your own bedroom! Jokes aside, when I went about a month ago, Caroline Polacheck did a surprise set which was incredible. Club Q is fun and irl clubs should absolutely be more accessible. This is a great thing and hopefully a move forward that we should try and sustain after quarantimes. Check it out.

GQ’s “Robert Pattinson: A Dispatch From Isolation”

While there has been a lot of internet air time devoted to the people who were already good cooks to begin with, using quar to level up culinarily (the bread-makers, the yogurt cultivators, the meat roasters) we cannot ignore the important subset of the population that did not cook before and are now struggling through creating very simple meals for themselves. Robert Pattinson, hot or not, Edward Cullen or not, Batman or not, is one of those people. This interview is about him being Batman I guess, but to stop there would be a false reading. What this is reaaalllly about is how Robert Pattinson, clearly unworthy ex boyfriend of singer and master of mixed martial arts and pole, FKA Twigs, does not know how to cook a bowl of pasta.

His crimes are too numerous to go into fully, but to start with he microwaves penne. Stop, I scream to my phone, just don’t do it. But he does and as I continue reading, the wails of millions of Italian grandmothers fill my ears. His goal is to create handheld pasta, to elevate it to other fast food staples. Why? Nobody asked for this. In fact, it is a stupid goal because pasta is perfect. It does not need cornflakes affixed to it, heartthrob Robert Pattinson! He doesn’t stop at microwaving, he puts the soggy pasta on a hamburger bun, douses it in unidentified sauce and then there’s this whole tin foil packet sugar cheese thing that is inexplicably put into a microwave. The interview had the same artificial grape sweat inducing effect on me as reading about Jerry Saltz’s Big Gulp. 

Sweats aside please read this, it is endlessly entertaining. The self-portraits in the interview are pretty stellar and the time devoted to Piccolini Cuscino was by far the best thing I read this week. To be a fly on the wall during this zoom sesh. I even did a dramatic reading of the interview for my pod, i.e. long-suffering parents. 

Ultimately, nobody is hot enough for this behavior, nobody! (Separately, FKA, if you are looking for someone who will not blow up a microwave or scorch initials into a hamburger bun, I am here and will make you a nice carbonara.)