Buying your first piece of IKEA furniture. Backpacking around Europe. One-night stands. Splurging on dinner Friday night and spending the rest of the week eating ramen. These are just a few of the things most of us expect of our 20s.
Something that isn’t on anyone’s list? Slowing going blind from a degenerative eye disease.
It wasn’t on Nicole Kear’s list, either. And the Yale and Columbia graduate intended to live her life like it wasn’t. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, fell in love, got married and even attended clown school. Yet through it all, Kear knew a degenerative eye disease she had been diagnosed with at 19 was slowing taking her vision away. She was told she had one good decade before she would be entirely blind. Her family and husband knew about the disease (retinitis pigmentosa), but Kear was embarrassed and hardly told any friends — she had lots of excuses for why her eye makeup looked messy or she wouldn’t drive at night. However, Kear and her husband settled into new parenthood, and she had to come to terms with the realities of her disabilities, including learning how to walk with a cane.
I read Nicole Kear’s funny, fascinating memoir Now I See You in almost one sitting and came away from it thinking, I could be friends with this person. She’s smart, spunky, and makes it easy to put yourself in her (unfortunately, no longer high-heeled) shoes. I gave her a call at home in Brooklyn to chat about blindness, how she managed to write a book with three young kids, and giving strangers the benefit of the doubt.
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Activities are wonderful, but sometimes, it’s fine to want to shut the world out for a couple of days, and make some serious time for you. Don’t be afraid of FOMO, either. There will always be another party, another pub crawl, another picnic. The time you’ll spend indulging in the things you want to do, alone, are well worth it. Here’s a handy list of awesome things to do this weekend!
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I was sitting with a couple of smart women that I respect when the subject of dating came up, as it tends to do. “I read The Rules, and it changed my life,” one friend told me, in complete earnestness. “I swear by The Rules. They really work.”
I was taken aback, and for good reason. I’m a generation behind The Rules’ target demo. Twenty years ago, when this book was first published, I was in middle school, when “dating” meant writing about someone in your dream journal and holding hands. As my dating life developed, any mention of The Rules felt laughable, like an ancient relic from a never-seen “Sex And The City” episode, something the girls would discuss over cosmos at Buddakan.
“Aren’t they old-fashioned and sexist, and you know, stupid?” I asked. My other friend interjected. “Seriously, they’re great,” she said. “Trust me.” Keep reading »
I was born with Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome, a genetic bone and muscular disorder. I had 26 surgeries by my 16th birthday, so hospital rooms and intimidating doctors’ offices quickly became the backdrop of my childhood, filling up metaphorical pages that other kids had reserved for dirt hill races and princess tea parties with their stuffed animals. Growing up, I was always a little different than my peers. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just boiled down to different life experiences that I was having. I spent a lot of time reading, but it was tough to relate to the characters’ adventures when my world often seemed confined to a small, square hospital room.
Then a little book called The Fault In Our Stars came along. Keep reading »
You might have seen Stephen Colbert’s take on the Amazon vs. Hachette debacle, or you might have seen articles floating around Facebook, or friends declaring that they’re not buying books from Amazon anymore. What’s the big deal, right?
Here’s what’s happening: Hachette is a gigantic publisher — right up there with Harper Collins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon and Schuster — and it owns a huge imprint, Little Brown and Company. Amazon wanted to slash prices on books published by Hachette and its imprints, and Hachette refused to undersell its product, so Amazon resorted to bullying tactics: removing “Buy” buttons from Hachette book pages, suggesting that customers buy the books from used book stores (authors receive no royalties from used books), enlarging links to similar titles from different publishers, delaying shipments by 3-4 weeks, or claiming not to be able to sell titles at all — anything to decrease the sales of Hachette titles until Hachette caves. Keep reading »
Farrah Abraham excels at being a celebrity, if our working definition is someone who finds a way to keep themselves in the news no matter what. The former ”Teen Mom” star, singer, and tomato sauce social messenger has now parlayed her much-hyped Vivid sex tapes with porn It Boy James Deen, “Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom” and “Farrah 2: Backdoor and More,” into an erotic novel trilogy based around them. The first book, In The Making (Celebrity Sex Tape), which will be published July 1st, comes with a disclaimer at the front of the first book by publisher Ellora’s Cave CEO Patty Marks stating that it “has been carefully written, edited and proofread to ensure that the book has not revealed any actual occurrences or business practices that have not already been publicly revealed or acknowledged.” Perhaps this was a nod to the legal warnings Vivid has supposedly sent her; in the book, the porn company is called HALE’O and is owned by Schmite Hale (who has the same initials as Vivid CEO Steve Hirsch). Keep reading »
Michelle Obama spoke this weekend at the memorial service for beloved author Maya Angelou, who died on May 28 at age 86. Her tearful and touching speech remembers Angelou for celebrating Black women’s beauty. “Oh, how desperately black girls needed that message,” the First Lady said. “As a young woman, I needed that message.”
Read Mrs. Obama’s full speech after the jump:
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Two of the best things about summer are as follows:
- Getting to sit at the beach or park while reading an awesome new book.
- Getting to show off your fun, beautiful tattoos that have been hiding all winter like you’re Dolly Parton.
I myself have tattoos from stories by two out of the three preceding names; you’ll just have to click to find out which ones! Click to check out some of the absurdly incredible body art that people have had done in honor of these writers’ on The Gloss…
I just started reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed (yes, I have been under a rock for the past few years) and am completely swept away by it. Strayed, who’s also behind the much-adored Dear Sugar advice column at The Rumpus (which has been turned into a book called Tiny Beautiful Things, which you will read and then instantly buy for all your friends), describes tough decisions and what it is to be human in a way that nobody else quite can.
In honor of the campaign to turn one of her best Dear Sugar columns into an animation (and simply because her words never get less awesome), here are some of Strayed’s most wonderful and inspiring quotes about life, love, fear and forgiveness: Keep reading »