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The Gore Vidal collection at Harvard is substantial; it includes 394 cartons of material that take up 367 linear feet. The library also holds a 1-carton archive of James Trimble III, which I requested during my visit along with the Vidal materials. Just a few minutes with the Trimble archive made it clear that it was not complied by Vidal, or by anyone who knew Vidal or Jimmie, but by an outsider, whom I will call Roger. Roger, I surmised as I leafed through documents, read Palimpsest, and then decided to find out everything he could about Jimmie Trimble’s life. Roger was not a professional researcher or an academic, but just a guy who wanted to know more about Vidal’s boyhood love.

do not do this:

I’m in need of your spot-on dating advice and I’ll get right to it. This evening, I went on my fourth online dating website “date” (which usually is just find a place to chat for a couple hours) and, like the previous three dates, I have realized that the girl that I’ve chatted with for a while online just doesn’t seem that interested in me. (She still could be, but I just got back from the date and I think it’s smart to take a break from texting – don’t want to overwhelm her/appear clingy.) One of the main indicators that she just wasn’t interested in me was the fact that she wasn’t really trying to establish any physical contact. Being an introverted geek, where dating doesn’t come naturally to me, I’ve read about “breaking the touch barrier” and trying to create a (even slight) sense of intimacy on the first date. No, this doesn’t necessarily mean “make out” on the first date, but I always introduce myself with a hug; establish eye contact whenever possible; and give occasional friendly taps on the shoulder to establish a welcoming persona.

Soon to be available for purchase, dog not included:

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LGBT celebs on their first gay bar:

I first found my gay bar, my community, my refuge at Attitude Bar in St. Louis, Missouri in 1998. I can’t remember if it was an all-ages night, but somehow I got in even though I was under 21. I remember looking around at the literal rainbow of people—black, white, male, female, young, old, skinny, fat—and feeling a sense of calm. It felt like I was holding on to this weird anxiety that I couldn’t understand, and then all of a sudden it clicked, and the anxiety was gone, and finally I could stop hiding my Madonna CDs in Led Zeppelin CD cases.

I asked notable LGBTQ artists, writers, actors, and comedians about their first gay bar experience and the impact it had on their lives. Sometimes the story is good, sometimes it is bad, but one thing is for sure: everyone’s first gay bar experience is a story. And everyone has one. In sharing their stories, they are taking a stance against hate, and honoring every victim of violence based on hate.

Hero of The Toast, Constance Wu:

“Let’s talk about some race shit!” Constance Wu laughs, her lemonade-yellow dress spinning as she turns to give me a conspiratorial smirk. In many ways, Wu, who plays matriarch Jessica Huang on ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, is the actor Asian America has been waiting for: funny, bold, analytical, and outspoken about Asian-American representation in Hollywood. In two conversations, one by phone and the other over lunch, we talked about the show and tiger-mom tropes, as well as her recent controversial remarks about yellowface, Hollywood’s “It”-girl syndrome, and her decision to leave her last agency because of a racist interaction. By the end of the conversation, we were both in tears as she explained why she won’t sell herself out for a job. “I’d rather lose all my stuff than lose myself,” Wu says, “because I’ve done that before, and that feels way worse.”

If someone wants to start a Game of Thrones spoilers thread, I’m here for it, now that my pulse has gone back to normal.

Fiction by Friend of The Toast Jess Zimmerman:

The past is like a foreign country: They have weird McDonald’s specials there. Here, it’s a burger with olives and larks’ tongues; it’s called the McTrojan Deluxe, which makes it sound like there’s something sneaky hiding inside it, which if you hate olives is true. I hate olives. But they also serve wine, so I’m drinking lots of wine. It’s unpleasantly packed in the restaurant, but then, it’s packed everywhere.

The McDonald’s special in 5th-century Mongolia, where I went to a conference last month, is some kind of unspeakable meat patty. That’s what they call it—the UnMcSpeakable Meat Patty. To me it looked and tasted a lot like a regular McDonald’s burger, but maybe that’s the point. People don’t want to feel uncomfortable or out of place when they go on a trip, especially if they’re going for work; work trips should be easy and predictable, the same tastes and schedules and climate control smells and creepily stiff bed linens no matter what time period you’re in.

it me:

Long before the girls wearing “LaCroixs Over Boys” T-shirts this summer were even born, LaCroix was beloved by health-conscious, budget-wise women in middle America. They knew a good thing when they found it, and they were a loyal audience. But most trends trickle inward from the coasts to the Midwest, not the other way around, and so LaCroix’s first 30 years were spent under the radar.

Then sometime in 2015, LaCroix — lightly flavored, sugar-free carbonated water wrapped in a garish can — became an unlikely breakout hit. The New York Times published an essay raving about it. The Awl and Time Out New York ranked its flavors. If you say “LaCroix” to a youngish urban professional, be ready for a possible explosion of enthusiasm, as if you’d shaken up a can of carbonated water.


Obama is extremely proud of his résumé as a parent. He boasts of having read aloud with Malia all seven volumes of the Harry Potter series; in his first fall in office, he also managed to read all of Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi” to Sasha. But performing as a head of household did not come easily to him. As this supremely self-confident man acknowledged in 2006, “It is in my capacities as a husband and a father that I entertain the most doubt.”

A profile of Hope Hicks, Trump’s press secretary:

Still, for all the grenades Hicks has to both jump on and lob, it’s a more quotidian skill set that seems to impress the boss. “If you see her phone going”—he raised both hands and mimicked Hicks answering several devices—“ ‘This is Hope. This is Hope. This is Hope.’ ” He hung up the make-believe phones. “She gets a call a minute, probably,” he said, seemingly pleased with this antiquated barometer of his own popularity.

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