Skip to the article, or search this site

Home: The Toast

The oral history of Home Alone (I really recommend reading this, it captures the weird sweetness of that movie so well, and also I love knowing stuff like this):

Cynthia Abendshien, former owner of the Winnetka house

We were told shooting would be four or five weeks. They gave us an apartment. But [Bucksbaum] explained that, under the contract, if they needed to knock down a wall when we weren’t home, they could do it. So she told us it was best if we remained on the premises. First of all, it didn’t take four to five weeks. They were setting up the production and dismantling everything for five and a half months. In that time, we spent maybe three nights in the apartment. 

John Abendshien, former owner of the Winnetka house

In that house, there’s a master bedroom suite with four rooms. Basically, we just moved into that. We put a hot plate up there to cook. We didn’t have to cook that much, because we had full access to the food truck that the crew used, which our daughter, who was six at the time, loved.


I love Alanis more than anything, she is my countrywoman, my soul, and my first cassette (okay technically I had Boyz II Men and Ace of Base first, but THEN her), and the writing and production of Jagged Little Pill is something I could read about forever:

When “You Oughta Know” was first taken to radio, the consistent response was “We are already playing two female artists, we don’t need another one.” Female artists “weren’t lucrative,” apparently. But I knew in my heart that the feminine imperative (found in male and female artists equally) was of the highest importance. Archetypally, the priests and priestesses and poets and writers have always been relied upon to engage the planet on multiple levels. And that we as artists could not be reduced to how “lucrative” we were. There were a million forms of currency that contribute to this funny, colorful planet, and music-from-the-core-of-yourself was one of the greatest contributions that artists through time immemorial have offered.

There was a cultural wave swelling…a readiness, perhaps, for people to hear about the underbelly, the true experience of being a young, sensitive, and brave person in a patriarchal world. This wave was moving through culture with or without me, and I happened to grab my glittery surfboard and rode that wave like a feisty androgyne on the back of a megalodon.


On keeping “the mentally incompetent” from voting, and who decides:

Roberta Blomster, 37, lives in a suburb with her parents and sister outside of St. Paul, MN, where she interns with Congressman Keith Ellison’s campaign and testifies at her state capital on behalf of people with disabilities. During her free time she knits and spends time with her family and their two dogs.

Doctors have diagnosed her with mild mental retardation and epilepsy, and she is under limited guardianship, meaning that her mother manages her health and financial decisions.

The decision about whether to vote, however, is hers alone — a reality that might be different if she lived in another state. She gets her news from the local paper, television and social media. “It feels wonderful knowing that I’m able to make informed decisions about who I’m voting for,” she says. “It’s a very satisfying feeling knowing that you’re making a difference.”


Beloved Friend of The Toast Ezekiel Kweku is going to be writing about the Warriors for Vice Sports this season, and here is the first installment:

What should truly make the rest of the NBA uneasy is that it feels like the Warriors have not yet reached their ceiling. Steve Kerr, one of the best coaches in the league, has been kept from the court by complications from back surgery. While Luke Walton has been ably filling in for him, he hasn’t made the minor adjustments necessary to tighten a defense that could stand to be more frugal, or make their offense a bit less dependent on Curry. Andrew Bogut, their starting center, has hardly played because of multiple injuries; his return means more depth and versatility—and fewer minutes for Marreese Speights, whose cold start is a photonegative of last season. The return of Bogut’s interior passing and dribble handoffs will also help Klay Thompson, who, perhaps hampered by a nagging back injury, also has not looked completely like himself on offense.


Nikki wrote so beautifully and kindly about the issues around crowdfunding adoption yesterday, and I really want all of you to read it (this particular point is one I had genuinely never thought about before, and now I will always think about it squeamishly):

Other people don’t need to know personal, private details about a child’s life before they were adopted, or how much their adoption cost. Crowdfunding pages often list all manner of personal details about the specific child in question – everything from birth names and family history to the reason for relinquishment and the exact amount the adoptive parents will need to pay to adopt them. Yes, this is the Internet! We love to overshare! But a child’s life, personal history, and adoption story belongs to them first and foremost. Private information about their birth family, details about abandonment, factors that led to placement, their personal medical needs, any history of abuse or neglect, and any other sensitive information should not even necessarily be shared with everyone in the adoptive family, let alone everyone on the Internet. Nor should these details be shared before the child has even been adopted, years before they are old enough to understand and take ownership of their own story.


ugh i have to wash my bras more:

Helmink chose to test four areas of the bra that he considered bacterial hotbeds: the underwire of the left and right breast and the parts closest to the left and right armpits.

“I moistened a swab with a sterile solution and then rubbed it on the sections,” Helmink explained over the phone. He then put the swab in a liquid solution. “I used an enrichment broth to see if there were any organisms there. If they grow, then I grow them on a plate.”

The result? Indeed, my bra specimen tested positive for coagulase-negative staphylococcus.


Everything they say about Rachel Fershleiser is true:

“Well Rachel’s the ultimate literary advocate, isn’t she?” novelist Jami Attenberg tells me in an email. “Although sometimes I think that what she does is indefinable. She moves people and books and ideas through the air. She’s a wizard of community.”

Novelist and musician John Darnielle calls her “a celebrity.” Nicole Cliffe, cofounder of The Toast, “an avenging angel who is also very nice.” The Millions described her work as “using technology to make things happen with books to make things happen with technology by having parties—so, the best job in the world.” Poet and Riverhead Books Associate Publisher Jynne Martin says Rachel’s work is “able to bring together the tech world, YA readers, serious literary publishers, indie bookstores and more. She is constantly generating ways for these disparate spheres to overlap… and helping on even the most granular of levels.”


Han Solo is amazing, and also clearly invented negging:

The 73-year-old star has softened significantly now that the planet is beside itself awaiting his return inStar Wars: The Force Awakens. “I was glad that the character was still alive for me to play in this new iteration,” he says.

If you spend any time with Ford, one simple reason for his long-standing discomfort with the role starts to reveal itself. Here is the hard truth that some, and Ford himself, may find difficult to accept:

Harrison Ford is totally Han Solo.


Are you anywhere near San Antonio? Maybe adopt a dog who washed out of bomb-sniffing for the TSA and offer them a better life than perusing filthy airports and then sleeping in kennels without knowing the bliss of sprawling on a couch to watch Netflix with their human mom:

The dog adoption is free, and the animals are between 2 and 10 years old. The breeds include German Shorthaired Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois.

The dogs available for adoption are very active. And while some are trained, others are not, the TSA said in a press release. Most of the TSA dogs have lived in kennels and aren’t familiar with home environments.

The available dogs live in San Antonio, Texas. Adoptive families will have to travel there to pick up their new dog. The agency won’t cover travel costs.

On any given day, between 12 and 24 dogs are available for adoption, said TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.


Here is a fascinating and disturbing article about how Putin owns everything everywhere but never on paper (this article is also only scraping the surface, but who wants to get LITERALLY POISONED?):

Since Vladimir Putin began cementing his grip on Russia in the 1990s, many of his friends have grown famously rich.

Not so the president himself, say his supporters, who insist Putin is above the money grab that has marked his reign. His public financial disclosures depict a man of modest means. In April, Putin declared an income for 2014 of 7.65 million roubles ($119,000). He listed the ownership of two modest apartments and a share in a car parking garage.


Amy Davidson on interrupting during the GOP debate:

Why wouldn’t Fiorina, or any of them, interrupt? This field is still in flux—either that, or Trump or Ben Carson (who joked about recent attacks on his biography) will be the nominee. They are each at about twenty-five per cent in the polls; Bush is at eight per cent. The number of debaters on the main stage was eight this time, rather than ten, but the reduction has resulted not in the coalescing of support around a front-runner but in the emergence of more back-benchers—Ted Cruz, like Kasich, had an active night. Paul seems to have benefitted more than anyone from the absence, last night, of Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee, who were relegated to the undercard, where they spent their time dodging questions and provoking Bobby Jindal. Paul is now the loud, assertive voice at one end of the row, while Jeb Bush, at the other, standing on his toes for attention, is the dismayed one.


Roxane on the serious business of student activism:

I attended Yale from 1992 to 1994. While I was there, I understood that, as a black woman, I was regarded as a usurper on hallowed Ivy grounds. Either I was a scholarship student or a New Haven local—no one could believe that I was there, like the others, simply to learn. It was not uncommon to be the target of racial slurs, to be the subject of whispered discussions about affirmative action, and to tolerate microaggressions on a daily basis. Campus police made a sport of asking me and other black students, to show our student identification cards. My experience was in no way unique.

The current protests are symbolic of a far more complex problem: a troubled racial climate on Yale’s campus that has persisted for many years. In truth, most predominantly white campuses across the country are similarly plagued. I have spent most of my adult life on college campuses in one role or another, as both student and instructor; regardless of campus, the racial climates were always tense, at best. I am not surprised by what is happening at Yale. I am not surprised by the Mizzou protesters, or by the fervor of their commitment.


$
Select Payment Method

Loading ...

Personal Info

Donation Total: $1.00

Add a comment

Skip to the top of the page, search this site, or read the article again

(Close this.)