I was an immature asshole. Will you take me back anyway?

I’m so sorry to have a to write a cliche like this. Such self-indulgent dibble on blogs makes me want to tear my eyes out, but hey, it’s 2017 and what’s life without a little hypocrisy? That’s right mother fuckers. Welcome to The Relaunch.

If you’ve noticed my blog blackout over the last six months, do not be alarmed, I wasn’t maimed by a bus and comatose. Unless, the bus was called Writer’s Block and the treatment was a whiskey IV. After an essay I had written got some press in Seattle and Portland, someone I deeply care for expressed a disappointment in how they were portrayed and it made me reconsider how I was writing. Hence, I decided to dick around Portland, not take any freelance work, and decide what I wanted this to look like moving forward.

Since I’ve had this blog for 10 years and never done any maintenance, these posts were chronicled in an immature and frankly annoying way. Even my non-relationship posts had my relationships painted all over them. It’s not a bad thing exactly, that was just the way I wrote in college. To read over them now, it’s kind of fun to see how in love I was with my ex, which freshman philosophy classes made me feel like big shot, and the way my friends and I have grown. That’s what happened though, I had grown. Go figure – people actually can grow up!

Using this writing as a professional portfolio didn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s what it was starting to try to be. It was like handing in my diary as my resume. Oddly enough, it worked quite a few times. Which is why I feel comfortable keeping some highly trafficked posts up here. Maybe it’s because you’re 22 and going through some shitty breakup, or maybe you’re just a misery tourist, but I’ll keep my popular posts like What to do When You’re Ex Gets Engaged and How to Cry at Work archived, but everything else got rek’d.

I just can’t write that way anymore. I just don’t act that way anymore. Especially with the way our country is right now, it’s important to be completely honest and completely yourself, so that is what I promise you. Also, for some reason you people think I’m relevantly discussing pre-22, A Million Bon Iver, so that’s staying.

If you’ll give me a chance, new words will be here and I’d love for you to read them. Plus, you know I still have my own stories. I still write my characters’ fiction. I still hope I can make you laugh and maybe feel something more too.

Or maybe I’ll just go drop a bunch of acid in John Day and write about that. Are people still dropping acid?

XOXO. Victoria.

p.s. I let my domain name expire while I was out there “finding myself” so give me a break while I shop for a new one.

The Best and Worst Bon Iver Songs

We’re all hoping, in light of recent news, for some new tracks from Justin Vernon with Bon Iver. To be frank, we’ve been hoping for it since that ever fateful day in 2012 when our sad little hears were shattered with hiatus news. I mean, Conor Oberst and Justin Vernon were every hispter girl’s dream men in 2008. Further, For Emma, Forever Ago is definitively one of the best albums released in the 00’s. Our minds were afloat with imagery of JV frantically scribbling away in Wisconsin like Ted Kaczynski and letting words and memories flow from his heart and soul. That story is one fans will never forget. So, in celebration of Bon Iver announcing tour dates, let’s rank the best and worst songs:

My Topsies: 

1. “Towers” is my actual favorite Bon Iver song. I’d even say it’s top 10 in all my favorite songs. Listing it here is pretty pointless though, because I have literally no idea what it’s about or what it means. “Well, youʼre standing on my sternum don’t you climb down darling. The sermons are the first to rest.” I guess maybe that’s the point.

2. “Blood Bank” – One of the more mainstream ones, but still a pretty big favorite. Is too silly to include all the title tracks as my ultimate? It was different for fans when this four song EP came out after For Emma, but it worked really well and saw some great commercial success.

3. “Skinny Love”: It reminds you about long drives with that guy you fell in love with for a month in 2011 who had the epic vinyl collection. It might not be the most complex or emotional track, but it’s certainly the most famous. No one can forget when this was performed on Letterman and pushed the band forward to the ever elusive “household name” so many people look for.

4.”Perth”: Honestly, it’s is the only choice for the first song on Bon Iver. They style change felt drastic enough to where you knew it was a new vibe and new sound for the band, but you got that sultry confusing J-Vern vocal that we know and love. Even more confusing is the actual geography of the places and lyrics here. Maybe it’s the strange compelling nature of everyones’ inevitable triviality, but there’s something nondescript that makes all of these tracks about the whole contents of the world.


5. “Holocene”: At least this song mentions Christmas? This was written with the location theme, but it’s the biggest disappointment in Portland, Ore. and I cannot and will not endorse anything that mentions that bacterial cess pool that serves adults drinks in plastic cups. Also, let’s be real here: Justin Vernon is a tool and you’d probably run into him at Holocene. On the other side, he’s like a hammer or a chainsaw or something. He’s everyone’s favorite tool.

6. “Fall Creek Boys Choir”: This is most likely James Blake’s fault. Lesson learned. CMYK doesn’t blend well with bon bon. Sorry team.

Bonus Track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViGNBLQpGWE

Vernon appears in “I Am A God” with King Kanye – which is just amazing all around.

What To Do When Your Ex Gets Engaged

In September, my many exes ago ex told me he was engaged…and the wedding was a month away. Since I’m a big fan of How-To guides, here’s how to and how to not deal with this.

First things first, tell yourself that your behavior for the next four weeks, doesn’t really matter. You have a free pass until the wedding! Do you know how often those come around? You only have one first love and they (maybe?) only get married once. This is the real one that got away. Or whatever.

Day One: This is going to get really really ugly. You’re going to cycle through emotions like a Snapchat story and painfully grasp for closure – which you absolutely won’t get. He tells me at about 9:00p.m. on a Monday. So, immediately afterward, I drag my glorious roommate to our neighborhood bar and get black out drunk. I had so many questions, and obviously had to ask them all. And because I’m not not psycho, I started with these:

  1. Why so fast? Is she pregnant? You’re an adult, have you learned nothing?
  2. You know you’re going to get divorced, right?

Also, he had completely reasonable responses to all of these. Like “This isn’t fast. I just avoided telling you because I knew you’d get upset.” and “Of course I love you, you’ve been my best friend, but we’re growing up.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Pro Tip: Make sure your drunk texts are extra pathetic. You won’t regret that at all later.

Day Two: Stalk his fiancée on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Insta, whatever you can get your hands on. Learn about her hometown, where she went to school, pictures of her with her ex boyfriends. Her food pictures suck and you’re obviously better at cooking and your IQ is probably way higher. Decide no grown woman who isn’t going through a major life crisis has bangs. Drink half a bottle of Grey Goose and show your dog pictures of her and laugh together about how she’ll have bangs in her wedding photos. HAH. STILL FUNNY.

Day Three: You fucked up and invited a friend from out of town to come visit, so you have to hold it together for three days because they’re staying with you. Solution? Continue this bender through the end of the week so you don’t have to deal with your feelings. Scare the hell out of said hometown friend with your coping mechanisms. You already had the time off work anyway and got a bunch of great photos.

Day Five: Go to a huge event with all of your friends. Remember you’re not a bad person and tons of people love you. You’ll run into people you haven’t seen in a while and see that your conversational skills aren’t just naturally repulsive because that’s totally what you’ve been thinking. Hey, strangers think you’re pretty! The world is okay!

Day Seven: You have to go back to work tomorrow. Have a Get Your Shit Together Sunday. Go to the gym, wash your laundry, respond to emails and get a jump start on the week. Then decide not to because it’s Harry Potter weekend and you already have wine. Remember what I said up there? You have a free pass. Tell your friends, strangers, your mom, whatever, and warn them of the storm to come.

Week Two: You’ve made it a whole week! That wasn’t so bad! Sure, you never actually dealt with anything other than a hangover, but that’s okay. Tell yourself you can heal slowly. Up next? Get ready to listen to A LOT of Tom Waits. I chose Ruby’s Arms and Kentucky Avenue. Speaking of music, post 500 snapchats of you singing I Really Don’t Care by Demi Lovato and Whatever Forever by The Mowgli’s because you know that little bitch is going watch every single one. Also, add All Your Favorite Bands by Dawes to every playlist you have. You are an adult and you wish him nothing but the best, after all. Maybe even drunk text him the lyrics to that. 

Week Three: After you go to Seattle for the weekend and spend the monthly income of a family of four on things you don’t really need because capitalism is great for dulling pain, get ready for a Mount St. Helens type breakdown. All those feelings you were avoiding are suddenly all popping up. And you are going to be ANGRY. Get on the phone with your mom for an hour and talk about how mad you are. Throw a light up ice cube at your roommate’s head because “HE DOESN’T DESERVE TO LIVE IN A WORLD WITH LIGHT UP ICE CUBES OR BATMAN.” Get mad at yourself for being a good friend when you should have walked away. Remember you haven’t actually eaten in two weeks. Unless you count that saltine cracker from two days ago. Cry to said roommate and she’ll make you lunch all week. Talk about him on the podcast. Dropkick a gingerbread house. Maybe cut back on the wine nights.

Week Four: After your breakdown/epiphany, you’re going to feel a lot better. Week Four goes alright, and you are actually capable of dealing with things now. Realize this hurts, and hurt for a while. It’s going to be incredibly tough, but sometime it’s going to stop. As personal as this feels, it’s not really about you, which sucks in itself. Someone you held out hope for, isn’t thinking about you because they love someone else now. But you’ll move on too, because that’s life and that’s what we do.

Also, under NO circumstances should you text him all of the lyrics to “I Will Always Love You” when you’re drunk. You should also absolutely not call him and leave it on his voicemail. You should also listen to this playlist I made. 

Your Definitive Guide to Crying at Work in 10 Easy Steps

Over and over, I hear most of the professional women I know tell me how they cry at or on the way into work, at least once a week. We work hard, in high stress jobs and are constantly striving to live up to #GIRLBOSS favorites. Because it’s Portland, we’re mostly in advertising or tech. No one likes feeling like they failed and on top of that, every article ever says avoid crying at work like the plague. So, consider this a guide to doing something natural that society hates, in a low-key way.

Here are 10 easy steps to convincing your coworkers you’re functional.

Step One: Can you cry on the inside, like a winner? 
Then do it. Hold it in and take it out on someone you care about tonight. They’ll forgive you later.

Step Two: You need to preplan for this.
You graduated college and are an adult.  If you’re feeling especially emotional, you may not want to wear eyeliner. The #1 Rule is bring touch up make-up to work. I’m a lucky crier. Water just basically falls out of my eyes and my nose gets a little red. To make sure no one knows what just went down, I carry mascara, eyeliner, and power foundation. It works like a charm. If you get Kim Kardashian cry face, you’re going to need a full-on war paint kit.

Step Three: Decide how much you are going to cry.
Will it be longer than your standard trip to the bathroom? If so, say you need to get coffee. That way, you can have your breakdown in the Starbucks bathroom, and come back with coffee.  Pro tip? If it’s cold or windy outside and you forgot your cry kit, go get coffee anyway. People will think the weather is why you look slightly disheveled.

Step Four: If you’re still reading, you are probably absolutely 100% committed
to turning on the waterworks, and you’ve decided to go with the bathroom, not Starbs. Get there now. Unless someone is talking to you, or worse, yelling at you, focus on a weird mole or something like the one I have on my cheek. You can’t control how people react, so just focus on that mole until you can get to a bathroom.

Step Five: Congratulations! You have made it to the bathroom.
Your next steps are probably going to depend on the type of office building you have. If it’s small and people can hear you, cover your mouth and try not to make any sobbing sounds. This goes for a building with echo noises too. If it’s a larger one, feel free to make all of the noise you want. This will also shorten your total bathroom time because it’s more cathartic.

Step Six: Time Check
You guys, I keep emphasizing this. The key to crying at work is to not let anyone know you did. If you’ve been in there longer than five minutes, you are finished. It’s time to go. If you went with the coffee shop route, you have some more slack, but if you are 50 ft away from your coworkers, I highly recommend closely monitoring the clock.

Step Seven: Make Sure You’re Really Done
If you need to go to the bathroom immediately after going to the bathroom, you look shady. If you don’t think you can hold it in for the rest of the day, decide you’re using a sick day, then run right back to the bathroom. Damn that taco truck. If not, something like “There is something in my eye” and “Ugh, I think I’m getting sick” are excellent when necessary. But don’t overuse those – only so many things can just randomly jump in your eye.

Step Eight: Clean up this shit show.
Take your kit from Step Two, and use it. You might feel like you want to splash some cold water on your face, but don’t do it. This will extend your time in the bathroom and someone most likely already noticed you’ve been in there awhile.

Step Nine: Plan your next 15 minutes.
If you have a detailed plan of what to do, it will easier to be focused and forget what just happened. Whatever you do, don’t keep thinking about why you were crying. If you have a report to type, or something you can really concentrate on, it’s going to make it easier. Listen to my playlist and maybe even yell at someone.

Step Ten: This, and you, are normal.

Remember, there are probably dozens of women crying in their cars, coffee shop or work bathrooms across your city at any given moment. You are not alone, and one of them will probably go to happy hour with you later. If you’re calm, you can now go back to work and kick ass.

Track Bonus: Here’s a playlist to put a pep in your step for the hour after you’ve totally lost it.


Snobbery, Capitalism, and the Olive Garden with Dr. Michael Hurd

You may remember last week, when I posted a Facebook status that said, “If you genuinely like the Olive Garden, you probably have an STD.” That is obviously a joke. However, the reactions I received were everything from “Oh my god yes” to “I only like the Olive Garden ironically” to “Wow, that’s so rude” to someone
deleting me as a friend. Sensitive much?

To understand this dialogue and it’s place in our culture, I talked to a world renown psychotherapist, radio host, and author. You’ve seen his books and his articles in Capitalism Magazine. Please join me in welcoming an expert on snobbery, capitalism, and politics: Dr. Michael Hurd. 

Let’s dig right in. Why did everyone get so emotional about the Olive Garden?

Eating is personal. Also, when you insult or even disagree with someone’s preferences, they take it personally. They feel like you’re attacking THEM, when you’re really only attacking the Olive Garden (or whatever the preference is).

Of course, with a comment this strong, it does sound like a personal attack, which is probably why you got such a strong reaction. If you had kept the focus on, “I don’t like the Olive Garden” rather than, “There’s something wrong with people who like the Olive Garden,” then you would have had a less intense reaction.

It seems to me that because of the varying responses, it identifies who my actual peers are, rather than the wide variety of people connected with me on social media. Is that accurate?


After reading some of your articles, I understand what I said was pretty terrible, but not the most terrible. How does something that small relate to social metaphysics?

Social metaphysics refers to looking to what “the group” or one’s peers think of something in order to form your own conclusion. Let’s say you were watching the presidential debates. Instead of forming your own conclusions, you’d wait to hear what other people are saying, and go along with them. Or perhaps you go to a movie with three friends. Instead of forming an opinion for yourself, you wait to hear what others think (like/dislike) before deciding on what YOU think.

Metaphysics refers to the nature of reality or existence. When your metaphysics is “social” it means you get your definition of truth/reality from others, rather than from your own (hopefully) objective and rational conclusions.

Would you say it’s more beneficial or less beneficial to go against a group and social metaphysics by forming and broadcasting a strong opinion?

It depends on your purpose. If you’re trying to articulate or accomplish something important, than the negative reaction to the strong opinion is part of the price. If what you’re seeking to accomplish or get across is more important than the “price” of the negative reaction, then that’s one thing. On the other hand, if you’re trying to get a negative reaction for the mere sake of getting a negative reaction, that’s immature or adolescent, and it’s not really accomplishing anything.

Is there an automatic connection between being a snob and a narcissist?

Snobbery is a likely consequence of being a narcissist, but not the underlying cause. A narcissist is someone who cares about himself — his own needs, wants, desires — but does not respect the need and right for others to ALSO care about their own wants, needs and preferences. A narcissist wants to have an “I” (which is legitimate), but does not want anyone else to have an “I”. Narcissists usually do not admit this, but that’s how they are, and if you are close to the person, you will know it.

When you see snobbery in someone else, it does not automatically mean the person is a narcissist. It could be less serious — immaturity, thoughtlessness, carelessness, trying to fit in with the group. These are not laudable traits, but they’re not narcissism, either. You have to know someone well before you can establish they’re narcissists, or at least know personal things about them.

I really enjoy reading your political articles. Is there a connection between day-to-day tastes or capitalist choices and political

Capitalism and free markets permit the greatest number of choices and options. Go into a grocery store. Grocery stores and food, in Western societies, are for the most part free markets. Choices rule. Now look at education. In America and elsewhere, it’s a government monopoly. You have some choices, but not as many as you would in a free market. Look at health care in most Western nations. It’s socialized; few or no choices. In America, it’s getting that way. Look at retirement insurance; mostly monopolized by the government, so not a lot of options for retirement savings, other than the rocky and unstable stock market.

There’s not a direct connection between day to day tastes and capitalism. Day to day tastes have to do with a person’s personality, preferences, values, spending capacity, family or cultural habits, and many other factors. But in a free market those preferences are allowed maximal “breathing room,” and come into play as competing companies try to persuade people to spend their money on their options.

Sadly, a lot of people find capitalism distasteful, but they’re too ignorant or thoughtless to realize that by denouncing capitalism, they’re killing freedom of choice – including, ultimately, their own.

Thank you to guest Dr. Michael Hurd. Click to read an excerpt from his latest book, Good Therapy, Bad Therapy.

Slim Aarons’s 8 Best Wintertime Photographs

Since it’s fall, I’m of course already thinking about winter and Christmas. Typically, we think of Slim Aarons as the iconic leisure photographer. With mostly beach scenes featuring California celebrities and socialites, it’s easy to forget some classics. Let’s remember these eight favorites:

1. Kings of Hollywood, December 31, 1957
Left to Right: lark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart
The is definitively the shot Slim Aarons is most famous for. It’s been highly celebrated since it was taken. First of all, it’s candid. Second of all, the are our dream men. It’s the glamour and sophistication of old Hollywood charm, combined with a devil-may-care lifestyle. You wish you could have a NYE like this.

2. Christmas Swim, 1954
In this photo, Rita Aarons, wife of Slim, is pictured collecting Christmas bulbs in the couples’ California pool. The concept is hilarious. Such a huge tree actually sitting in a pool is strange. But, leave it to a renown photographer to show up your Christmas card.

3. Princess Bianca, 1985
Screenshot 2015-10-12 11.33.35
This frame is the kind of thing all winters should be about. Princess Bianca Hanau-Schaumburg sits at her Gstaad chalet enjoying a glass of champagne in the snow. Plus, that 80’s snow suit is so on point.

4. Verbier Vacation, 1964
I love this photograph because it’s so typical of Aarons’s style, but with snow. There’s a poem by H.P. Lovecraft that said “the stars emit a kinder light, above the drifted snow” and it reminds me of this.

5 and 6. Winter Wear, Cortina d’Ampezzo, March 1976
Screenshot 2015-10-12 14.50.39 Screenshot 2015-10-12 14.51.18
These two favorites are from a trip Manuela Bormanero and friends took to the , Cortina d’Ampezzo resort during the winter of 1976 in Northern Italy. The absurdity of hosting and catering a dinner party in the snow is so completely absurd to me, but I’d absolutely love to do it.

7. Bacall and Bogart, December 24, 1951
Screenshot 2015-10-12 15.19.05
This is a very rare moment captured on film. The love story or Bogie and Bacall is truly captivating. Lauren was one of the first movie stars I ever fell in love with. Her look, her chin tilt, and her sparkling eyes are actual genetic perfection.

“My son tells me, ‘Do you realize you are the last one? The last person who was an eyewitness to the golden age?’ Young people, even in Hollywood, ask me, ‘Were you really married to Humphrey Bogart?’ ‘Well, yes, I think I was,’ I reply. You realize yourself when you start reflecting—because I don’t live in the past, although your past is so much a part of what you are—that you can’t ignore it. But I don’t look at scrapbooks. I could show you some, but I’d have to climb ladders, and I can’t climb.”
-Lauren Bacall, 2011, Vanity Fair

8. Beauty and the Beast, 1959
Screenshot 2015-10-12 15.44.45
I think this picture is so beautiful and so badass. It’s Lady Daphne Cameron (Mrs George Cameron) on a tiger skin rug in the trophy room of socialite Laddie Sanford’s home in Palm Beach, Florida. I couldn’t find a record of the month it was taken, so I’m not sure about how well it fits on a “winter” list, but I felt like I could let it slide. What’s life without a few mysteries?

Saying Goodbye to a Legend

“You have to create something from nothing.”

If you’re going to use everyone’s favorite buzzwords like “innovator” or “visionary,” you’d be hard-pressed to find a better man to describe. He sold neckties to his friends in high school, dropped out of business school, and served in the United States Army, all before he was 25. Now, 50 years after Neiman Marcus bought their first collection of ties, Ralph Lauren is still a powerhouse in American design.

Laruen lived a fascinating Steinbeck-esque novel with an unreal plot and surprising twists. His story has incredible Khalifa Tower highs and some plunging lows.It’s filled with Sisyphean struggles and you’ll feel the strength of dreams and love on each page. He’s survived a brain tumor while giving us his passion and inspiration. Not only is he a sparkplug, he’s the whole engine. His reliable multibillion dollar annual revenues prove just how well the machine runs. So, why is it so emotional for fashion girls around the world to give Mr. Lauren this well deserved relaxation period?

Saying goodbye is impossible. As last year’s article in The Telegraph noted, “Watch Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief tomorrow, next year, whenever – you would still want to be him at the end of it. And a woman will want to be Grace Kelly. That’s timeless.” As millennials, we grew up being able to craft him as our idle, just like Oscar de la Renta, so our connection is beyond emotional. It is complicated achievable aspiration. The main reason I always looked up to him was his ability to produce while still being a dreamer. A living remind of what a dream can do is taking a step back. But he’s not dying, and neither is his work, but stepping down as CEO to his brand is a way to tell the world there is a chapter that closes. No one wants a fairytale to end. But stories do end, because they have to

Style is forever. As is the house Lauren. Here’s looking at you, Stefan Larsson.

“The clothes that I design and everything I’ve done is about life and how people live and how they want to live and how they dream they’ll live. That’s what I do.” -Ralph Lauren