Wednesday, September 23, 1981

About Me - An Autowin FAQ

[if this shows up on your google reader -- ignore it, it's not a post, just the "about me" page.]

Table of Contents


Q: Who do you think you are, a superstar?
A: I do not know who I am. I have a lot of thoughts, feelings and ideas and I've come to blogging because I need a place to put them. Otherwise my head will explode. I started Autowin in April '06 after six years of private livejournaling and diarylanding and a lifetime of daily paper diary writing -- it just seemed like the thing to do.

Autostraddle launched in December '06 for L Word recaps, which lead to my spot as the episode recapper for number-one-fansite The L Word Online. I now also have a twitter feed, a facebook group, a store (we sell 'zines, t-shirts, boy briefs and t-shirts. so hot!) and a youtube channel.

NOW THE NEW AUTOSTRADDLE 1.0 IS GOING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD.

In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions: I'm a 27-year old bisexual half-Jewish half-Midwestern Farmer's Daughter tall blonde freelance aspirant currently residing in New York City. Graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy (boarding school) in 1999, moved to NY for Sarah Lawrence College, dropped out, moved to Manhattan to be 18, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and then returned to the heartland in late '00 to buckle down, get normal and earn my (so far tangibly useless) B.A. in English from the University of Michigan. Then I came right back to the city. I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing here yet.

My non-blog related work has appeared in magazines like Marie Claire, (winner: 2007 IHHS Best of Media Award ) Curve, College-Bound and Interlude, books including The Best American Erotica of 2007, Dirty Girls and The Bigger the Better, the Tighter the Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image and Other Hazards of Being Female and online on sites including Nerve.com, Conversely, Suspect Thoughts and OurChart.

I'm the star of Showtime's online video series, "Lezberado."

I have no concrete life plans besides to do what I can to make people feel less alone without actually having to go outside. I love comments, music, and developing close relationships with my stuffed animals.

My top marketable skills are Copywriting, Video Editing, Ghost-Writing and Ideas. I freelance in all of these areas, thus enabling a constant state of "living on the edge."

Q: What is your blog about?

Autostraddle - Queer pop culture (teevee) with recaps of The L Word and South of Nowhere, plus occasional insider-info. Looking to expand this site post- L Word into new vast and vacant territories.

Autowin - I want it to be about you, and so I start with memememememe. Being "bi-everything," self-deprecating and second-guessing, attempting to match dreams with realities and grappling with ideas as self-indulgent as all those when I'm actually quite lucky to have food to eat and a place to live and, therefore, to have "had such privilege / and to have wept / admittedly small tears."

The History ...

I started blogging as a relatively happy and employed Williamsburg hipster writing a book about bisexuality who didn't "do relationships." Over the next year I came to identify more strongly with queer culture, moved to Harlem, met my now-best friend and co-vlogger Haviland, snagged my first girlfriend, quit my job, and then ... gradually, then suddenly ... one week in 2007 -- everything external started falling to pieces. I mention this 'cause that's when we really bonded -- my readers and I -- when I hit totes rock bottom, built a cave in my room and eventually didn't leave my apartment for several months.

Things are totes better now, obvs.

(subjects) ...

Topics have included books books books, Tegan & Sara, near mental breakdowns, Planet Harlem, 15 minutes of fame, insomnia poetry, strip club field trips, the Rosie Cruise, Barack Obama for President, dreams vs. televised reality, cyber-culture, Prop 8, clubs that would have me as a member, the gym, Tila Tequila, SATC, navel-gazing, dream jobs, Shane, feminism, the danger of buying couches on craigslist, education policy and sweatpants. And! Sometimes ... the drama unfolds live!

Some Expert Opinions ...


Lesbian Dad says:

"Ebullient, hilarious, very verbally zingy. A pop culture junkie, which predilection she humors in a spin-off blog dedicated to a blow-by-blow of each L-Word episode, complete with the incredulous dialog of her Greek Chorus of chums.

Automatic Win [suggests that a] life of lesbianism can be downright fun ... the madcap world Automatic Win depicts [is] memorably rendered by Riese in loose, inventive language, undergirded with a wry self-deprecation .. a blog's-eye-view of the Younger Generation, the lesbo Sex In The City set. Only the more hipster version. With far more text messaging. And irony. And about ten years younger."

The famous Dave Lozo says:

"Riese is happy and gay. She likes feelings, vlogging and presenting her ideas in list form. She likes to have automatic fun. And when she's not writing the next great American novel, she's probably spending quality time with Tinkerbell, who's a great writer in her own right."

At Autowin/Straddle, I've catered format, outsourced sections and entire posts, employed user-generated content, installed recurring "segments" and established a "cast of characters" (my friends) as familiar to my readers as I am. I still respond to every comment, but I truly aim to create something that's entertaining and meaningful and funny and compelling for everyone who reads it, commenters and never-commenters alike.

For the best possible grasp on the Then Before Now, check out the sidebar "Sometimes I Am Even Cooler Than Other Times."

Assorted "Honors":


Q: Who are all these people you keep talking about?

A: The most spoken for is actress/rising star Haviland Stillwell, my best friend, who I met around the same time I started this blog. She's been a fixture from day one. We do an advice column together as well as the super-popular Haviland & Riese vlogs. She moved to Los Angeles in February but Blackberry Messages me so often it's almost like she's here!

People I met through my blog who are oft-mentioned, live in the NYC area, and often even comment
:
  • Alex /Semicolon/Babypop/Littlefoot/Tegan (met: Oct '07) - graphic designer, gardener and tree climber (in Vlog #22: Whatever You Want )
  • Stef - (met: July '07) professional music marketer, supreme at helpfulness, cartoon recapper and big exit-er. (in Vlog #16: Seasonal Displays of Affection )
  • Carlytron - (met: July '07) best sitcom ever co-writer, SON co-recapper, in another life we've been BFFs since kindergarten (in Vlog #25: Ladies Love Cool Carlytron)
  • Lozo - (met: March '07, met in 3-D: November '07) - my only drunken heterosexual reference point. enjoys the sport. once had a blog. now he does not. (in Vlog #20: Really Lozo) UPDATE: Now he does.
  • Tinkerbell (born: January '08) - my pet dog, born in Miami. Wants a vodka-tonic.
Other People Often Mentioned:
  • Natalie, my current roommate. We met in 2000 at the University of Michigan in English 125, which I was really good at. I raised my hand a lot.
  • My Mom. She's a gay and a social worker. Lives in Michigan.
  • My Dad. He was an accounting professor and researcher, died in 1995.
  • My brother Lewis. Lives in New Orleans and blogs at memo to the man.
  • Angela Chase, protagonist of the 1994/5 teen series My So-Called Life.
  • Sam Anderson, book critic for New York Magazine, my favorite human.
  • Stephen Dunn, my favorite poet.

If I mention someone by name that you don't recognize, don't sweat it. Whatever you need to know you can garner from immediate context, I promise.

Q: Do you have an agent?
A: Yes, Cameron McClure has been patiently awaiting my finished manuscript at the Donald Maass Agency for about three years now.

Q: What kind of work are you looking for? Are you looking for work?
A: I am always looking for more freelance writing, consulting, blogging or video editing work. I love doing all these things, and I'll proofread, edit, spin from scratch, and morph your writing into gold. Anything whatsoever that pays. Email me: marielyn176@gmail.com.

I'm also always looking for more advertisers.

Q: Why is it called "This Girl Called Automatic Win"?
A: I really don't remember. I was thinking about calling shotgun in a car, how you can call things you don't deserve, whomever yells the loudest gets what they want, automatically winning the game, i want to auto win, that girl called it, she's on top of it, she called automatic win, she automatically wins, this girl called automatic win.

I didn't think anyone was going to read it, therefore I didn't anticipate answering this question.

Q: Do you make a living from blogging? How can I make money from blogging?
A: I have absolutely no idea.

I don't profit from blogging, though I've scored many paid gigs via blog-garnered connections, and my readers have done amazing things for me like design work, lemon trees and emotional support -- I'd like to be a profitable blogger though, and I'm determined to find out how, 'cause I love it and want to be able to afford to blog more! But donations can be a G-dsend and have saved me -- literally -- many 'a time. Store purchases also fill me with hope and happiness, and AdSense clicks account for 3 cents a week of additional income.

Q: Can I email you or send you presents?
A: Yes! Yes you can. I'm always accepting long emails about how I've changed your life (seriously) and gifts - Marielyn176@gmail.com. If you're asking a question for the advice column, it's askautowin@yahoo.com.

Q: Isn't blogging kind of self-indulgent? All this memememememe bullshit?
A: Yes. If you ever feel I'm writing about myself in a way that doesn't either say something bigger-than-me or make you laugh, then please do let me know. Srsly. The last thing I want to be is an emo livejournal blog.