All posts tagged: cool

Raise Your Hand If You Think You’re Cool

If charged with the task to assess, based on a scale of one to 10, how cool people think I am, I’d say I’m a 6.25. I’m neither un-cool nor super-cool. In fact, I’m barely cool-adjacent. On the first day of ninth grade, I took the liberty assigning a (moderate) coolness quotient to myself. My own self-ranking put me modestly above the kids who scavenged for recognition and markedly below the ones who seemed to always hover in the uppermost echelons of the lunchroom pecking order. Suffice to say that when I was in high school, I never once sat at the cool kids’ table. I didn’t even deign to sit at the table next to the cool kids’ table. No, I made a beeline for the table next to the table next to the cool kid’s table. Granted, my faulty memory could be inaccurately reporting my cafeteria habits of yore. And if so, then I’m sure that one of my Facebook friends from The Graduating Class of 1995 at Manheim Township will swiftly post a correction on …

What to Wear When It’s Hot As Balls Out

I am NOT a hot weather person. Don’t get me wrong. I totally appreciate the more laid-back vibe of summer. I love that it’s easier to find a parking space in my Brooklyn neighborhood for two blessed months, and I definitely can’t complain about the three kid-free weeks I get now that mine are old enough for overnight camp. But when the temperature hits 90 and I have to go about real life (as opposed to sitting under an umbrella on the beach or by the pool), it’s a little unbearable. In July, WNYC tested New York City’s hottest subway stations. One night in July at 7:09 PM, the Union Square L train platform measured 106.6 degrees. I break into a sweat just thinking about it! So what can a girl do to stay cool when it’s hot as fuck outside? For me, I’ve found a few go-to outfits that seem to make things at least moderately better. A few caveats: I’m sorry to say, none of these outfits will likely make it in a …

Henry Rollins Helped Me Become the Coolest Girl in School

In the fall of 1981 in San Pedro, California, I led a double life. By day, I was the senior class co-president, well liked and respected by my peers and teachers, if not Homecoming court-popular. As a student, I was something of an underachiever — I ended up getting into both Berkeley and Oberlin, but I was often bored in class and put in the minimum effort required. I read Sylvia Plath and Kerouac and felt that nobody knew “the real me.” Perhaps all teenagers feel this way. But in 1981 in L.A., there was a home for a certain kind of young person who felt a dissatisfaction, a longing for something unnamed, and this “home” was the punk rock scene. So by night, I was a punk rocker. My female friends and I would don thrift store dresses, ripped tights and combat boots while our male counterparts wore ripped jeans and band t-shirts. We would drive to various nightclubs or halls or occasionally garages to hear bands like The Minutemen, The Dead Kennedys, Sonic …

Story Gone Cold: A Reporter Finds an Unexpected Angle in the Arctic

I bet you can’t find Salluit on a map. Look for Quebec – six times the size of France – then move your finger north. Way, way north to a spot just past the Arctic Circle, which lies at 60 degrees. You can only reach the Inuit town of Salluit by air. There are no roads. And you can only fly into it via Air Inuit, coming to and from places like Aupaluk and Inukiak. I visited in late-December in the mid-1980s. We took a jet north from Montreal to Kuujjuaq, a two-hour flight, before switching to one of the tiny DASH-8s, small aircraft specially designed and built for use on the Arctic’s short frigid runways. The kind of runways where all you’ve got to work with is a lot of snow and ice and little room to maneuver before skidding off into seawater, the temperature of which will kill you within minutes. I was a reporter then for the Montreal Gazette, sent north on an assignment typical of the paper’s tastes. The story was …

Virgin Cocktail Cooler: The “Fizzy Lifting Drink” (Recipe)

  Before I had children, my friends would bring their kids to my home — and I was sometimes ill-prepared. As the only non-alcoholic beverages in our home were coffee and margarita mix, I needed to think fast. Since I’m a huge Willy Wonka fan, I invented this drink to encourage everyone to stay hydrated. Thankfully, this was the most popular and refreshing drink of the day for both the grownups and the little ones.   Ingredients: 1 can lemonade concentrate 2 of the empty cans of concentrate filled with club soda 1 of the empty cans of concentrate filled with ginger ale 1 lemon’s worth of lemon slices 1/4 cup sugar 1 1-gallon Ziploc-type bag of ice that has been smashed a few times with a mallet straws   Slice the lemon into round slices. Sprinkle both sides with sugar. Gently stir the concentrate, club soda and ginger ale together in a pitcher. Add smashed ice. Add the sugared lemon slices to the glasses and pour the lemonade concentrate mixture into the glasses. Serve with …

Charting My Life History Through Best-Loved Shoes

For many women, our teenage years mark the birth of our personal sense of style. At that age, we’re striving to fit in with our peers even as we’re working hard to establish our individuality. What we choose to wear helps us navigate both gauntlets. Teens also focus on differentiating themselves from their parents, and God knows fashion is a powerful way to do that. In every generation, adolescents opt for clothes and shoes (and hairstyles, tattoos and piercings) that intentionally shock their elders in a not-so-subtle attempt to deliver this message: “I’m not you, I’m me. I make my own decisions now, and here’s what I think is cool.” As I began to emotionally separate from my very fashionable mother, I started choosing styles that she would never wear nor pick for me. To her credit, she supported me all the way even when my choices were, in retrospect, hideous. (Anyone else remember Earth shoes?) When I think back on my best-loved shoes from that time in my life, it’s clear that the choices …