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upfront

contents
3 upfront
lying and the female pickup artist // cara dorris speechless in central europe // mintaka angell

Editor- and Editrix-in-Chief Clayton Aldern Jennie Young Carr Managing Editor of Features Zo Hoffman Managing Editor of Arts & Culture Alexa Trearchis Managing Editor of Lifestyle Rmy Robert Features Editor Kathy Nguyen Arts & Culture Editors Claire Luchette Ben Resnik Lifestyle Editor Cassie Packard Serif Sheriff Clara Beyer Large Plaid Asian Phil Lai Staff Writer Lily Goodspeed Staff Illustrators Marissa Ilardi Madeleine Denman Adela Wu Sheila Sitaram Cover Phil Lai

Were sick. Not like ph-sick, either. It appears the majority of the campus is with us. The Brown plague has struck, everyone. The Brown plague has struck everyone. Through our blubbering eyes and congested everything else, we offer you this weeks Post-. We have shaped it from our blood, sweat, tears, and miscellaneous other fluids. (Too much?) We want the magazine to be everything to you that it is to us. Use it as a coping mechanism as you lay alone hacking in bed. Use it to strike up a conversation in Health Services: Maybe youll end up hacking in bed with someone else. Write a response paper. Use it as tissue. But only after youve memorized the articles. So curl up with your copy, stir a heaping spoonfulor threeof honey into your herbal tea, and get the buzz on Browns Beekeeping Club. Yep, theres a Brown Beekeeping Club; and it has a larger membership than Post-. (So start writing for us, you lazy beekeeping f*cks.) If you are not, by some miracle, sick, dont bother reading us this week. We dont even like you. We are coughing spitefully in your direction. Theres nothing for you here. Passionately and perfunctorily,

editors note

4 feature

a glimmer of knope // tonya riley

5 arts & culture

the secret strife of the brown beekeeper // claire luchette tasteful nudes // gopika krishna

6 arts & culture


waffles and beets // adam davis

7 lifestyle

the girl who ate everything // rmy robert breast protest // MM

8 lifestyle
crossing the threshold // tanya singh post- it notes top ten

jennie and clay

our illustrators

a glimmer of knope Elizabeth Berman speechless in central europe Adela Wu waffles and beets Emily Reif tasteful nudes Sheila Sitaram the secret strife of the brown beekeeper Madeleine Denman the girl who ate everything Marissa Ilardi

dress rehearsal for nudity in the upspace.

upfront

lying and the female pickup artist


a girl by any other name
cara dorris contributing writer
This summer I visited a small-town bar and met a 27-year-old ex-law student. He was angry and lost. He said his university education was a waste. He said he was saddled with endless loans, trapped in a low-paying job in a miserable townafraid he would never get married. He was counting down the days until he could leave: 59 days, only 59 more days. I listened. I said my name was Emily. I was 23 and also out of college, a fashion writer for a non-paying online magazine. My English degree was impractical; my four years at a tiny Midwestern college left me expendable. My hobbies included Bikram yoga and hot wax painting. I hoped to eventually become a flight attendant. These were all complete lies. In fact, I am 19. I am an undergraduate student at Brown University. I can barely operate a hot glue gun and once sprained my ankle slipping on a yoga mat. My fashion sense is subpar. I have bigger dreams than serving instant coffee to uncomfortable passengers. I am not Emily. The things I told him were white lies, stupid lieslies that prevent a hookup from ever turning into a relationship. So why lie? I lied for the same reason many girls lie to guys: fear. I was afraid I would seem too happy, too witty, too nave, too needy, too self-assured. Im not the only one. Economics concentrators pretend they study visual arts. Girls who like rap pretend they love rock. Devout Christians insist they are biannual churchgoers. Sometimes I think a womans greatest fear is being too much. So I made sure I wasnt. I laughed at his cynical jokes and quietly replied with small quips of my own. I made myself unavailable, disappearing when he returned from smoking a cigarette and only reappearing to talk to other people. When I returned, I made sure I didnt touch him. I didnt brush his arm or hands. I didnt talk about myself unless asked. I really wanted to tell him that he was just another victim of the lost generationnot the one that drove Hemingway and Gertrude Stein to Paris, but the one thats driving graduates toward jobs as baristas and cashiers. I wanted to tell him that a college degree doesnt mean much anymore, that marriage may not be the norm for a generation terrified of commitment. I wanted to tell him that he wasnt alone. Instead I avoided the sentimental language. I didnt want to sound too emotional. You need to stop getting so down on yourself, dude. Youre smart. Youre hot. You can do anything you want. He then whispered in my ear the bleakest pickup line I have ever heard: Are we going to your place or mine? How good is your air conditioning? His air conditioner was broken, so we went to my apartment, where the thermostat was locked at 68 degrees. After it was all over and we fell asleep, he wanted to be the little spoon. He took all the blankets and hid himself in a cold, blue cocoon. At 9 a.m. he got dressed and came to the kitchen to say goodbye. I continued typing on my computer, feigning disinterest. He paced the room and opened the fridge. Tapping his fingers on the countertop, he finally asked, So do you want my number? I wanted to say yes: Yes, of course I want your number. Instead I asked, Do you want to give it to me? He scribbled something on a Target receipt and left. The number was useless. It belonged to Emily, not me. And Emily didnt have time for thatshe had to write another blog post about this seasons most stylish socks. I know many girls who lie. Sometimes its for fun. Sometimes its a relief from Facebook and Twitter, from the feeling of constant exposure. But sometimes its not fun. Sometimes we do it because were genuinely afraid that our personalities and desires will be too weird, that were too heavy or taking up too much space. We take note from celebrities. We see female models with male comedians, attractive women with doctors and lawyers. For a girl, being funny or smart is not enoughsometimes its even too much. So we caricature our simplicities and mute our complexities. But you can only lie for so long. One night I called the number on the receipt, not sure what to expect. Peter? Its Emily, I said. Emily? A voice greeted me. But it wasnt Peters voice. It was a little girls voice. And then I wondered if he was lying too.

speechless in central europe


hungary for words
mintaka angell contributing writer
Ummm . I drew out the sound as I desperately flipped through my Lonely Planet pronunciation guide. My decision to only barely learn the International Phonetic Alphabet for my Linguistics exam last semester now seemed criminal. Seep. Oz seep eet. I accompanied this with a vague gesture toward the Hungarian countryside serenely passing by outside the car window, hoping that my absolute butchery of my host mothers language would somehow come across as endearing. The apologetic smile she gave me in return probably mirrored my cornered expression in its awkwardness. Time to drag out my patchy knowledge of a smorgasbord of languages. Schon? Belle? Beautiful? Seep. Seip. Seeb. She sells sea shells by the sea shore. I fail as a human being; Im sorryI swear Im not normally this incompetent at life. She craned her neckalarmingly, as she was still drivingto look over my shoulder at my translation book and then grinned. Ah, beautiful. Szep. Angol: beautiful. Magyar: szep. Thus my education in Magyar the Hungarian languagebegan. Charlemagne once said that to know another language is to possess another soul, which I find to be a gorgeous statement and unfortunate proof that he would find me utterly unimpressive. My embarrassingly long-standing monolingualism came to haunt me this summer when I traveled to some small villages in Hungary and Slovakia to teach English for six weeks. Faced with the prospect of living with host families who didnt speak my language, I naively didnt consider it a great concern. Nor did it ever cross my mind that no one else in the villages would speak English either. It was then a shock to step off the train in Bocflde, Hungary, to find that for the first time in my life I was unable to communicate with anybody at all. Immersion in Magyar was a brutal wake-up call. First, I sounded like a complete idiot. I quickly discarded the idea of learning the fiendishly difficult grammar and devoted myself to expressing concepts in the continuous present tense. I concentrated on learning the words for everyday objects, emotions, and interactions, as well as, of course, for teachingul (sit) and figyeli (listen) were two of the first words I learned. When mastering the phrase szeretem porodiczam (I like tomatoes) was the pinnacle of a days work, I had to adjust to taking things a little slower than I was used to in English. Second, with this more gradual pace came the understanding that it was important to learn not only the words themselves but also the context and nuance that color their meaning and use. Magyar pronouns, for instance, do not differentiate between genders. My initial ignorance of this fact led to complete disaster when I tried to play a game of I am/you are/she is/he is in a class with my younger students. Surrounded by gleeful, riotous children, I recognized that language clearly shapes worldview. How could I expect to teach the English words for gender differentiation without explaining the concept in the first place? Third and most importantly: Communication involves vastly more than merely speaking words. Learning a language in a classroom consists of lists, tables, and tests. Learning a language in its home entails cooking with locals and laughing over each others native words for flour; or playing soccer with screaming, exhilarated kids; or sitting at a barbeque and letting faces tell the stories that the steady stream of words cannot. Ultimately, learning another language requires valuing both effort and silence. Effort: Because nothing beats talking to people in their own language and interacting with them on their terms. This meant taking the plunge and speaking Magyar whenever I could, even though I stumbled over its sounds and clumsily wielded its grammar like a heavy club. Silence: As during one evening when a Hungarian friend and I walked along a lake at sunset. Placing one hand on my shoulder, she pointed with the other to the water and

told me, Oron-hid, which transliterates to golden gate. It took me a moment to realize that she meant not the lake itself but the glistening column of light on its surface. We stood together in shared silence to appreciate the beauty of the suns reflection. There was no speech barrier, no forced pressure to talk. Charlemagne was right. Something had moved between us: not the functional sounds of communication, but its natural spirit. Illustrated by Adela Wu

feature

a glimmer of knope
TONYA RILEY contributing writer
I wasnt going to go. Sure, there were nine interns in my office, and at any given time four of us would be at Pret A Manger or catching up on summer television during work hours, but it was selfish to abandon my coworkers. How could I tear myself away from the D.C. K Street office for even one day? The pretense of journalistic purpose seemed a dubious explanation for the liberal political magazine where I worked. Oh my god, dont be stupid. Just do it. Or tell them there are seven other people here who want to, said one of my fellow interns after I crowdsourced my decision making. And so, with their blessings, two days later I found myself standing outside New York Avenue Presbyterian at 5:30 a.m.an hour early for my casting call as an extra on NBCs Parks and Recreation. I stood around observing the crew, who were drinking bitter food-truck coffee and trading stories about filming in the nations capital. Apparently, unless you are an HBO or Nicolas Cage movie, the task is pretty difficult considering the legal, contractual, and bureaucratic red tape. Maybe that explains why, unless a script explicitly details dark beltway politics or action-packed homeland security missions, D.C. rarely finds itself as a setting for the big or small screen. Even when it does, the wide shots of stoic white buildings are just bookends for scenes primarily filmed in Los Angeles. Most of the other extras didnt roll in until well after call. Apparently, punctuality, a virtue of Washington professionalism, didnt extend to the entertainment industry. I predicted that our group, clad in scarves and coats for the November-set scene, would get a few curious looks when the assistant director finally shuffled us to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to shoot the first scene. Not exactly. The wide-eyed passersby and tweeting fans that I thought would surely be stalking us around every corner were conspicuously absent. Certainly the hardened wonks of the beltway had a secret soft spot for optimistic small-town politico Leslie Knope, right? A Hollywood camera crew should have at least piqued interest. But locals just wanted to ride their red Capital Bikeshare cycles to work without interference from the D.C. police. And tourists wanted pictures with the White House, not Chris Pratt. Much to the crews ire, pedestrians continually ignored the signs blocking off the street. Chalk it up to the celebritization of the District since Obamas election, or simply to general disinterest, but Washingtonians can be just as blas as New Yorkers when faced with camera crews and Emmy-nominated actors. Back at catering in the holding area, I met a strange mix of unemployed locals, retired and newly barred lawyers, and even a former Hillary campaign staffer (who engaged me about partisan politics after noticing I was reading Meghan McCains America, You Sexy Bitch). One girl and I bonded over being Parks and Rec fans who had found the casting call on Politico. And aside from their amusement at my finding a casting call on a political news site, the Screen Actors Guild extras hardly seemed much different from the rest of us. Like true District professionals, they took themselves far too seriously and used the time to network and brag (even if their conversation was about the glory days of The Wire instead of the latest Farm Bill). The last scene of the daya reception of hobnobbing staffers where Chris Pratt displayed impressive improv skills with shrimp kabobswas not a stretch of imagination for my new friend, who had seen guest star John McCain at a House Committee on Indian Affairs event the night before. Parks and Rec seemed to follow Hollywoods classic take on D.C., depicting a transient, flat culture attractive only to J.Crew-clad yuppies, elected officials, and tourists who mob the Red Line Smithsonian stop every federal holiday. This tried-andtrue approach to D.C.-centric entertainment has long influenced the national consciousness of Washingtonianness, particularly in inspiring the current generation of West Wing Babies, a term coined by Juli Weiner in Vanity Fair. Admittedly, although I grew up relatively close to the beltway in western Maryland and read the Washington Post ad nauseum, Hollywood had fueled my ideas about Washingtonianness as well. The premise for Parks and Recs filming on location was that Ben (Adam Scott) gets a job with a congressman in D.C. So it makes sense that the visiting characters confirm every preconception someone from a small town like Pawnee, Indiana, would probably have about the city. Leslie (Amy Poehler) feels self-conscious about the eager young female staffers

going the extra mile in the nations capital

who work with Ben, and Andy (Chris Pratt) spends the entire trip referencing National Treasure. Tourists like Andy and Leslie probably wouldnt visit more lived-in areas like Columbia Heights or U Street (other than to visit Bens Chili Bowl, perhaps). And the fact stands that while D.C. encompasses much more than Hollywood portrays, as the nations capital, its history largely involves politics and young professionals. In some ways, the prevalence of Washingtonian clichs in the episode feels like a loving send-up to people like myself who, despite knowing their limited representations of reality, embrace them. Maybe the same blas attitude directed toward the filming itself was exactly why Parks and Rec chose to film on location in D.C., where the attitude is authentic as it gets. Maybe the producers didnt trust L.A. extras to pantomime drinking fake rum with the impassioned yet worndown manner that comes only with the dayto-day drudgery of trying to pass people standing on the walking side of metro escalators, working insane hours for little pay (but significant prestige), and knowing the coolest thing to do on a Tuesday night is taking advantage of $5 pitchers and trivia in Georgetown or Adams Morganand still loving every high-tax minute of it. Im not sure what picture of D.C. viewers took from the episode, and I didnt make it into the final cut. But by pretending to be one for 14 hours, I strangely felt more like a true Washingtonianand prouder to be onethan ever before. Illustrated by Elizabeth Berman

arts & culture

the secret strife of the brown beekeeper


you wont beelieve his hives
that are feasible that are 20-minute drives away, but because few people have cars, theres no guarantee that we could always access the hives. He also wished people would understand that bees are perfectly safe and wellmannered when they are well bred and cared for. Eric stressed, like a true devoted apiarist, that the little winged workers are brilliant and gentle creatures. As long as the apiary has been cordoned off, he said, the

CLAIRE LUCHETTE arts & culture editor


They dont allow you to have bees in here. Lucille Bluth You dont have to tell Eric Young 13. Like Gob Bluth, who learned the hard way not to bring bees to prison, Eric can testify to the difficulty of finding a sanctioned space to harbor those precious pollinators. Eric is the founder of the Brown Beekeeping Club, a two-year-old organization that is 20-some members strong. The club consists of both novices and experienced hive-cultivators. Eric first started keeping bees when he was 14, and his hobby started with a single hive in his backyard. He now keeps a total of four hives throughout his hometown of Arlington, Virginia. But he keeps no bees in Providence. Eric has been struggling to find a location for the Brown Beekeeping Club to keep hives since the sanctioning of his club in 2011, and the search has been difficult. I interviewed Eric this past weekend. We were both failing to exhibit school spirit by skipping out on the Homecoming game. He spoke of the challenges hes encountered while working to get the Brown Beekeeping Club pollinating. It has taken me a long time to learn how to navigate the bureaucratic structure of how things get done at this school, he said. A lot of people in different departments have jurisdiction over things that involve liability, like bees. Ive had meetings with everyone from the Student Activities Office to the Department of Environmental Safety to the Insurance Office. Eric is frustrated with all the red tape, but he acknowledged that liabilities make sanctioning the hive location difficult. Theyre willing to help me figure things out, but the biggest hitch after getting myself onto their radar is just finding a safe place to put bees. Thats what Im working on now. Its a tricky conundrum because Eric is stubborn about specifics. The perfect location is key in his search for a hive-friendly space. Beekeeping is legal in Providence, but though hes considered placing his hives, also known as apiaries, in community gardens, he said its important for the insects to be in a private place. Eric is insistent that access to the bees should be limited to a small group of knowledgeable students. Until the hives are thriving, he says, he wants to be able to control and ensure their progress. All beekeepers want to do things their own way, and so that is what Im stubbornly asking for here. Proximity, too, is important. The biggest issue is finding a place somewhere on or close to College Hill, he said. This could be a backyard, but landlords wouldnt be stoked about that . There are places public will not be endangered. He insisted that bees are not the naughty nuisances that people believe them to be. Eric wanted to set something straight about insects: If its black and its yellow and it buzzes and it flies, it is not necessarily a bee. But it might be a wasp, the nasty neer-do-well insect that is basically a rude wanna-bee. Wasps give bees a bad rep. The honeybee apis mellifera is a beautiful, docile, kind, loving insectunless its ill mannered, of courseand wasps give bees a bad rep. Where will Erics hives eventually thrive? Hes working on it. He asked me to omit the details about an exciting new option, but if it works out, many parties will benefit. Once he figures out the specifics, hes eager to spread the joy of his passion like honey on toast: I want to share the joy of bees with other people. According to Eric, swarms of bees are perfection: Today is really f*cking beautiful outside, and the only way that a beautiful sunny day in the early fall could improve is if I were in an apiary right now with a bunch of bees. Like Gob, hes thinking about bees again. Illustrated by Madeleine Denman.

tasteful nudes
GOPIKA KRISHNA contributing writer
open conversation around nudity as art and nature. The production was initially the brainchild of Becca Wolinksy 13, later joined by co-coordinator Camila Pacheco-Fores 14. Together, they planned a veritable feast of nude events for the week: body painting, yoga, figure drawing, theater, and performance art (with an open-mic cabaret for dessert). Although both coordinators had been involved in other nude events on campus from parties to modelling, they wanted to create a new space for nudityone that was not only desexualized, as Becca explained, but also a community inclusive of a variety of bodies. Most of the models and actors were friends of the coordinators, recruited by word of mouth and everyday run-ins (fittingly, I heard about the project during a casual summertime naked birthday party). We were also diverse in our experiences and opinions around nudity: Some were seasoned nudity and theater vets, while others were not super comfortable with the idea. This dedication to inclusivity and community was vital in the planning process itself, especially in Fridays devised performance piece. Our challenge was to create something cohesive and fluid out of seven seemingly different narratives dealing with a variety of issues. During our nude rehearsals, between impromptu dance parties and vocal exercises, we would share stories and

uncovering nudity in the upspace


improvise, workshopping through tales of insecurities, empowerment, body image, and biology. The end product? A 30-minute piece that used our bodies and personal anecdotes to bring up diverse yet relatable opinions around nudity. And, lets be honest, if spending nearly two weeks doing naked icebreakers with a group of people doesnt build community, I have little hope that anything else will. Inclusivity was a large part of the audience experience as well. Guests were given the option to be in any state of dress or undress they desired. They were also allowed to choose how they wanted to engage with nudity. In offering events where audience members can actively participate, such as yoga or body painting, or where they can choose to observe, as in the scripted pieces, Nudity in the Upspace made the discussions around nudity accessible to a large group, all of whom had a wide range of relationships and comfort levels around nudity. Said coordinator Camila, I remember a few people who came up to me afterwards and said that this whole nudity thing was not really their scene, but they were really happy they did it. Having an audience was one of the most rewarding parts of my experience with the production. Although Ive been naked in front of others before the event, I never had the experience of performing for other people naked or using my body for art. Most of my initial hesitation came from the feeling that my body shouldnt be on display. As a small, curvier woman of color, I find that naked (or even clothed) bodies that look like mine in film or art are either very rare or are portrayed very negatively. For me, choosing to proudly show myself on my own terms was an incredible moment of frightening empowerment. In the end, I believe that what makes Nudity in the Upspace such a unique experience is its place in Browns own naked culture. Were a school that, at least compared to others, has a fascination with turning the cultural taboo of nudity on its head (naked donut run, anyone?). And while I believe baked goods in the buff are a great addition to any campus, I feel that Nudity in the Upspace, and especially our devised piece, did something extra special with its nude shock value. It presented a complicated picture of nakedness, one that acknowledged laughter and discomfort, self-love and insecurity, and emotional and physical vulnerability, as valid and important pieces of the biological clusterf*ck known as the human body. PW will have an encore presentation of the devised performance piece on October 14. Ticketing and time information TBA. Illustrated by Sheila Sitaram.

Its a Friday night at Browns Production Workshop. The blacked-out Upspace is packed with over a hundred people. Lights go up as The Circle of Life comes on and we all begin to make animal noises. I quickly search the crowd to find familiar faces: housemates, that attractive phe from section, my orgo lab partner from two years ago. And all of them are watching me writhe around the stage floor, completely naked. To some, this may sound like a Freudian vision of the unconscious mind, but for my six castmates and me, it was just another night performing a devised piece at Nudity in the Upspace. A weeklong smorgasbord of nude workshops and performance pieces, Nudity in the Upspace revolved around ideas of safe space and inclusivity to start an

arts & culture

waffles and beets


ADAM DAVIS contributing writer
Thursday nights on NBC were once billed as must-see TV, with classic shows like Friends and Seinfeld airing during the Peacocks comedy heyday. As anyone whos read any entertainment news lately knows, though, NBC is struggling these days. Ratings are down, programs are getting canceled within weeks of their premieres, and worst of all, Whitney is somehow still on the air. Still, this past Thursday night promised the season premieres of two of NBCs most critically beloved comedies, The Office and Parks and Recreation. And surprisingly, NBC deliveredkind of. The Office, like its mother network, has had its fair share of struggles lately. Nine(!) seasons in, its been blasted by critics and fans who say that the show has lost the creative verve that made it so popular in the first place. And with Steve Carells departure at the end of season seven, many wondered why the show was continuing at all. Whats The Office without Michael Scott? After a shaky eighth season (which Ill admit, I couldnt even bring myself to watch), it was time to see if the producers could right the ship and deliver in the final season. And so, last Thursday, I sat myself down in front of the TV hoping for the best and ready for the worst. The pre-credit sequence was goofy, if inconsequential. The highlight was watching Kelly joyously toss all of her winter coats in the air as she heads off to a new life at Miami University. Pretty sure shes going to regret that when she arrives in Ohio. It was a fitting departure for the always-ditsy but always-entertaining Ms. Kapoor. Though its definitely a big loss for The Office (but a big gain for Mindy Kaling, whos moving on to star in her own show on Fox), Kelly was always more of a bit player. She was never really at the heart of the show but was there for some of its biggest laughs (Diwali, anyone?). The problem with the premiere, once it got going, was that politics at Dunder Mifflinthe mundane meetings, the crossdesk gossiphave come to feel stale. Andys power play against Nellie manifests itself too obviously, Dwights constant need for attention feels more childish than ever, and the jokes at the expense of the two new employees lacked a real punch. The premiere wasnt a total miss, despite my griping. In one of the smartest moves the producers have made in seasons, The Office decided to finally dissolve what was left of the fourth wall and show Jim and Pam interacting with the mockumentary camera crew who has, supposedly, now spent over eight years gathering footage for a documentary about the inner workings of Dunder Mifflin Scranton. Dont you guys have everything? I mean, its just a paper company, queries Pam, to which the cameraman responds that their focus now is what unfolds with her and Jim. Good move for The Office to shift focus away from Michaels absence and instead suggest that Pam and Jim have been the shows heart all along. It will be interesting to see how this new dynamic affects the remainder of season nine. Last thought about The Office: Lets hope that Jim is able to convince Pam to move the family to Philly and upend the boring life that Pam claims shes perfectly content with. Weve seen the two struggle to reconcile their relationship and their career aspirations before (remember when Pam went to Pratt?). Fingers crossed, this final season of The Office gives us the satisfaction of seeing Jim and Pam take charge of their lives

the return of thursday night comedy to nbc


and leave behind the mediocre company where theyve toiled for so long. While the light at the end of the tunnel is clear for The Office, Parks and Recreation doesnt seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In its fifth season, the show proved with last Thursdays premiere that its still one of the smartest and sharpest comedies on television. Poehler and Co. have upped the ante this season, with Leslie acting as a newly elected Pawnee City Councilwoman, Ben heading up a major congressional campaign in Washington, D.C., and Ron continuing to eat all of the bacon and eggs (and live pigs) in sight. Where Parks and Rec differentiates itself from The Office is that even the characters originally intended to be one dimensional are given room to grow and surprise the audience. For example, Meredith has always been Meredith. April, though, started out as the sulky intern who would do anything to avoid work and has slowly transformed into a confident, capable employee whos willing to travel to D.C. to intern for Ben. Even a major character like Leslie, who in the first season seemed like a toned-down version of Michael Scott, has developed, proving to both herself and the audience that she is highly intelligent (where did she learn all of that D.C. trivia?), passionate, and caring. The premiere centered on Leslies personal struggle to reconcile her love for Pawnee with the inadequacy she feels as a small-town bureaucrat visiting D.C. After meeting numbers 4 and 26 on Leslies List of Amazing Women (that would be Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snow, who joined John McCain in making cameos), she cant help but feel like she doesnt quite measure up. As I watched her sitting on the verge of tears in the coat closet, I wanted to jump into the TV set and give her a pep talk. I mean, she and Ben are basically the Roosevelts or the Clintons: They even have a signature dance move. Half of the notes I took while watching the premiere are just professions of my love for Leslie. She and Ben (Benslie? Leslen?) are the cutest couple in the history of ever; the fact that Parks and Rec can turn Leslies obsession with Bens butt into something endearing rather than creepy says a lot about their relationship. Speaking of relationships, it seems that Tom and Ann finally realized they werent meant to be. And even though I love the idea of Sparkle Skin (Twinkle, twinkle, big star!) it was pretty clear that their subplot was second banana this week. Tom is one of the shows most consistently funny characters, so Im hoping to see him used for more than comic relief this season. Last seasons attempts to explore his feelings for Ann and his yearning for a relationship were both funny and touching, so lets hope the writers are able to give Aziz Ansari more quality material to work with this season. And, for gods sake, lets get some more scenes with Tom and Jean-Ralphio! Unfortunately for both The Office and Parks and Recreation, ratings from the premieres dropped precipitously from the shows former heights. The Office grabbed only 4.3 million viewers, while Parks and Rec got just 3.5 million. The Office is on its way out anyway, but I can only pray that low ratings dont make this the last season for Parks and Rec. Its too strong of a show to go out like that. So come on, peopletreat yoself, and tune in on Thursday nights. Illustrated by Emily Reif

lifestyle

the girl who ate everything


even olives
RMY ROBERT lifestyle editor
Until 1989, Jeffrey Steingarten was just another puttering old lawyer in NYC. But when his pal Anna Wintour asked him to cut it out with the legal nonsense and become Vogues food critic, well, there was only one real answer to her question. The caveat? In his critical lawyer-y mind, it occurred to him that it may not be fair to subject Vogues expansive and high-minded readership to his arbitrary food phobias: falafel, miso, and coffee ice cream, to name a few of the most absurd. How could his reviews possibly be trusted if they consisted of such petty gripes? So he inventoried all of his food biases and set out to conquer them, one by one, an undertaking whose story he relays in his book The Man Who Ate Everything. The man did his homework and found that, as a species, we are basically predestined to eat anything. (Well, anything but fur, hair, and paper, which are and always have been universally rejected as foods.) We may not fall in love with everything at first bite, but we will accept nearly anything after 8 to 10 tries. Steingarten applied this finding to his own diet and, sure enough, systematically unlearned each and every one of his biases. Now, there isnt a single food he dislikes, nor does he have a particular favorite. He is the god of foodstuffs. Technically, I didnt write an award-winning book about how I ritualistically expunged my gustatory prejudices, nor could I have done so with Steingartens degree of humor and brilliance, but his method is not new to me. For my whole life, I have engaged in this same masochistic-turnedenlightening dinner table procedure. My first and biggest victory was learning to like the huge, wet Gulf oysters that everyone guzzles, raw and by the dozen, in my hometown of New Orleans. As a child, I had more than a few concerns: the bivalves mucusy sheen, their bulbous and translucent flesh, their bracing saltwater liquor, the warning on every menu that people should eat raw proteins at their own risk. There was a little cognitive dissonance attached to the custom of eating something with a legal disclaimer. How foolish was I? The powers of peer pressure invariably won out as my parents, aunts, and uncles collectively coerced me into tackling a platter of the briny buggers. After shucking about six, I had mastered the ratio of horseradish, ketchup, and Tabasco to accompany them. After a dozen, I too was greedily gulping them down. This is partly because I didnt want to be excommunicated from my family, sure, but also because theres something truly addictive and empowering about training your body out of its persnickety hang-ups. I imagine it is akin to the feeling of a runners high, though my many attempts to enjoy running have been epic failures. One epic triumph is that Ive seen the light: Blue cheese, stinky though it may be, is f*cking incredible. Never mind the fact that its moldy. If we want to get all neurotic about cheese, why even start there? Were talking about something thats acidified with bacteria and curdled with an enzyme from animal stomachs. Brie, one of the classiest and most popular cheeses of them all, is encased in a thick rind of white mold. That Roqueforts mold is blue should be of the least concern. Good blue cheese, much like Natty Light, is an acquired taste. Beyond being a preposterous way for me to prove something to myself, teaching myself to like every food has also just made my life easier. Lets be honest, insurmountable food aversions are flat-out inconvenient. No longer am I missing out on pizzas simply because theyre dotted with little black olives: I grew to love them thanks to the Castelvetrano, a bright green, crunchy variety that is basically olive oil-flavored candy. Avocados buttery consistency doesnt freak me out anymorein fact, I adore it on whole-grain toast with sriracha and a squeeze of lime. And now that Ive had a plate of farmers market tomatoes with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar, never again

will I perfunctorily pick the tomato slices off of every sandwich I get. All this is not to say that I will happily devour any food you put in front of me. In the wintertime, for example, I will never ever (ever!) eat tomatoes on my sandwich: There is just no way a tomato in January will measure up, in flavor or consistency, to the ones I eat in July as if theyre apples. And just because Ill tolerate some of those silly canned olives doesnt mean I actively desire or delight in them. But theres something almost wickedly satisfying about sitting down with a menu and knowing Ill be fine with anything on it. The world, so to speak, is my oyster. Illustrated by Marissa Iliardi

n. any political endeavor that uses bare breasts to make a statement


MM sexpert
I dont really want to write an article about Kate Middletons bare tits because that would imply that they constitute news. As you and everyone else with a heartbeat already knows, the Duchess of Cambridge was photographed topless outside a private pool in Provence, where she and her dude were on vacation in early September. Her boobs have been bouncing around the tabloids ever since and have sparked one of the hottest debates about feminine impropriety since, like, August. What I have learned from this event is that Kate Middleton has reddish areolas and that some British people still use phrases like nether regions and swimming costume. Im not interested in rearticulating numberless defensive bloggers arguments that bare breasts are no big deal and perfectly natural because duh. None of our breast manifestoes are going to convert misogynists to the light side of the force. Rather, we can look at Kate as an inadvertent participant in the movement of women exposing their breasts for political motives. Leaders of this trend include members of FEMEN, the Ukrainian feminist group that has staged worldwide topless protests in opposition to everything from Islamist regimes and the conviction of feminist Russian punk band Pussy Riot to Christian orthodoxy and sex tourism. The week after Kates tit pics hit the newsstands, FEMEN moved their HQ from Kiev to Paris, where their housewarming took the form of a barebreasted march through an Islamic neighborhood, urging Muslim women to strip naked to protest gender discrimination. But the bare-breast sector also has far less extreme members. Three weeks ago, Adrienne Pine, a professor at American University, breastfed her baby girl in front of her 40-person anthropology class. As the infant had a fever, Pine did not want to entrust her to her usual childcare provider that morning. The event became controversial when students objected and university spokespeople chastised Pine for exposing her students to the babys sickness, largely eliding the issue of partial public nudity. In her statement, Pine asserted, I fed my sick baby during feminist anthropology class without disrupting the lecture so as to not have to cancel the first day of class. I doubt anyone saw my nipple, because Im pretty good at covering it. But if they did, they now know that I too, a university professor, like them, have nipples. Or at least that I have one. In related news, Israeli women are planning a nationwide public breast-baring event to protest a local post offices treatment of a woman breastfeeding in public. When the Israeli Postal Authority condoned the behavior of the employees who tried to expel Dalit Navon (and her 11-day-old baby) from the premises, Dalit was moved to publicize the event and demand support from other Israeli mothers. In solidarity with Dalit, these women may host a nurse-in, or a kind of breastfeeding flash mob. Especially now that Pussy Riot has been doled its prison sentences for a provocative anti-Putin performance and the Duchess of Cambridge has been spotted sans chemise, the breast question is more pertinent than ever. Some women, such as Adrienne Pine and Dalit Navon, are fighting to desexualize the female breast in the public realm, where oversexualization interferes with issues of public health and gender equality. Other women, such as the members of FEMEN and the notorious topless protesters at Occupy, seek to capitalize on the sexualization of the female breast to shock the public and attract political attention. Still others just want to sunbathe comfortably. However theyre presented, titties are slowly rolling Woody Allenstyle (see Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex ) into the media. In our political moment, with the War on Women waging ever on and the incentive to take action mounting, we have to ask: Is this the dawning of the age of the bare breast?

breast protest

upfront

crossing the threshold


playing house in providence
LILY GOODSPEED staff writer
the never-ending series of towering piles of crap, I dont want to think about what other small creatures might have made their homes down there. And while I should qualify that all of my knowledge of hoarding comes from Hoarding: Buried Alive, one of the several TLC reality shows that Ive wasted countless hours of my life watching, Id speculate that our landlord fits the bill. Side note: If anyones looking for a spare wooden door, feel free to contact me. However, after two years of roommates in close corridors and the monotony of dorm life, Ill take the loads of junk, Hello Kittyesque bathroom, and janky flooring for the freedom that comes with living off campus. While Im no longer a moment away from Thayer and its plethora of quasiMediterranean restaurants, I dont mind the 12-minute walk to campus. After having tried to fall asleep to the debauchery of Wriston Quad on countless Tuesday nights last year, I find the quiet of my neighborhood a welcome treat. In part my excitement stems from having only ever lived in an apartment, due to my New York City upbringing. I was always a tiny bit jealous of my suburban peers. I lived on the 13th floor for the first 18 years of my life, making this is the first time Ive ever had a backyard even if it is made out of concrete. Houses invoke a certain comfort, a burrowing sort of coziness that apartments can never quite fully attain. With the recent return of Providences chilly mornings, I have a growing concern that I might turn into a hermit come winter. For all this nesting and grown-up posturing, I sometimes still feel as though my friends and I are just playing house, so to speak. Its like Im still seven, waiting for my mom to come home from work to find me smearing her lipstick all over my face. Im still financially dependent on my parents. Insurance forms, can openers, and absentee voting all bewilder me. When Im 40, my fridge probably wont be covered in cutout ads of sultry-looking men from Esquire and Cosmo, with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan thrown in for kicks. However, I do feel older since returning to Brown this past month. Perhaps its partly a function of entering upperclassmanhood or leaving the Ratty to fend for myself in the postmeal plan world. I cant put my finger on it. I still have absolutely no clue what I want to do when I graduate, but gaining some distance from campus has made me start to think more critically about what life after Brown might look like. And to be honest, this whole figuringout-your-future thing is exciting, but its also scary and stressful. Lately, Ive been reminding myself not to forget about the present. What I do know is that in the process of transforming this house, not just by painting or scrubbing off a centurys worth of scum but also by forming memories of spontaneous dance parties and failed meals of rubbery chicken, this bastard lovechild is slowly becoming our own. For now, thats good enough. Our house is special. The linoleum bathroom floors are caving in; the ceiling leaks above the toilet. There is currently a sheet of cardboard where my bedroom window should be. Our inherited couch looks like it might have consumed babies and small animals in a previous life. This week we found out that our fifth roommate Horrace, the squirrel who lives inside the wall on our first-floor landing, is actually a rat. And Im currently waging war against an infestation of fruit flies in our kitchen. Its student housing, after all. Most local landlords dont have much incentive to invest in the maintenance and renovations of their rentals. Theres a haphazardly patchedup 2-by-5-foot hole in the living room floor from an ill-fated hockey team kegger a few years back. Moving furniture around the other day, my housemates and I found a wad of duct tape covering a hole someone had punched through the wall. Tape is a frequent home improvement solution of our repairman whos also our landlords brother. It was his decision to paint the bathroom hot pink, complete with a magenta floor, because we female undergrads would be into that sort of thing. I guess this is a girls club from here on out. It seems that the landlord used the house as a gigantic storage unit for broken furniture before we moved in. In the basement alone, there are three headboards, four desks, two armchairs, and piles of textbooks that look like they havent been opened since the 80s. Given the burnt-out bulbs and

music is
Babel-ing.

film is
beating on, boats against the current, into summer 2013.

books is tv is

deciding if we care about The Casual Vacancy. marvelling at Claire Daness chin. wondering where (and what) Radish is. funneling for funsies.

top ten ways we got sick this week

food is

1. Sharing Dirty Shirleys at the GCB. 2. Sam licked all the spoons in the house. 3. Harvard cooties. 4. Plague-ridden rat that lives in the apartment. 5. Love in the time of cholera. 6. Being a dirty Shirley at the GCB 7. F*cking cocaine. 8. Hands too big for germ-free dyson airblade. 9. Had sex with a ghost ... turned out to be Ke$ha. 10. Went in for air kiss, got snogged.

booze is

weekend A Better World By Design five Brown & RISD venues


FRI - SUN Brown-India Initiative Inauguration List FRI 3PM Senior Night at Spats Spats THURS 9PM 3c2c Production Workshop FRI 8PM - MON ADPhis Lush Life ADPhi FRI 10PM

Interese conexe