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About Zuska



Originally from the West Coast, Zuska has lived in Washington DC and New York City for the past ten years. Her mission is to bring creativity and randomness to the dreary world of politics. Ever an idealist, she believes that the current political logjam could be easily settled if the Republicans and Democrats simply sat down and engaged in some hardcore Halo. This, along with her dream of a turtle revolution (don’t ask), has led her to shelve her PhD work in politics, at least for the time being, and get her “ya-yas” out in the exciting world of Social Media where being slightly insane is actually a bonus. She doesn’t know her left from her right (seriously) and is also a surprisingly atrocious speller. Her life philosophy is that every problem, whether big or small, can be solved with a piping hot cup of coffee. Zuska writes about social media, international politics, geekdom, marriage, religion, and general randomness. While she wanders far and wide, her home base will always be Think Coffee in the Village. She currently resides in New York City with her husband and three cats- Tonks, Luna, and Ginny.

Posts By zuska

Hermit Life Forever: Ode To Being An Introvert

March 19, 2014 | , , , , , and

If you haven’t noticed, the writers of Literally, Darling are by and largely introverts. We like sitting around without pants reading a book generally more than going out and socializing, and from what we’ve heard from our readers, many of you fall into the same boat. That’s why we decided to just call a spade a spade, and admit to our hermit lifestyles and tell our introverted tales.

Kirstie: Hermit Status: Likes Dogs More Than People

I will choose sleep and/or Netflix over pretty much anything. Go out? Why? I have the world at my fingertips. Between Tumblr, Twitter, books, Netflix, napping and pizza delivered right to my door, why would I EVER leave my apartment?! My friends → Read More

Being Irish

March 17, 2014 |

St. Paddy’s day— It’s the national day to get drunk on Guiness, wear “Kiss me I’m Irish” shirts and pinch those not wearing green. It’s a day of tacky shamrock pins, green glitter, and fake accents. Now don’t get me wrong—I don’t begrudge the general populace a day of fun but BEING Irish is about much more than drinking, singing and talking with a lilt. It’s about knowing and remembering the past. It’s telling that almost every Irish-American will be able to tell you about their family’s emigration to the United States. I’m no exception. The quest to understand my great-grandfather’s story has done quite a lot to shape who I am today. My family story is complicated. But it’s →

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5 Tips For Surviving A Long-Distance Relationship

March 11, 2014 | 2

In September my husband left to do a six-month research fellowship in the UK. We’ve done long-distance before. Less than a year into our relationship he studied abroad (which is how both of us met editor-in-chief Katie, but that’s another story). Later on, actually a few weeks after we got engaged, we spent the summer apart—I headed to Serbia to do research and he headed to Peru to volunteer at a shelter for men with HIV. I’m not going to lie. The distance can be overwhelming. I’ve spent many an evening curled up in front of Netflix with Chinese food for one (the $10 minimum is a royal pain when it’s just you). The distance also does take a toll →

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A Twenty-Something’s Guide to LinkedIn

March 4, 2014 | 2

LinkedIn. You probably joined it as a thing that everyone did while you were an undergrad. You’ve updated it a few times, sent requests, but other than that there it lies, dormant. But guess what? That’s a MAJOR missed opportunity particularly in this volatile job market. Think of LinkedIn as an insurance policy. It’s a way to create a network that can benefit you in the future. Whether you want to start a side business, go freelance, or find yourself in the horrible situation of being suddenly unemployed, building your network is crucial to success.

BUT all of that being said, LinkedIn has its own etiquette and if you fail to follow that your networking attempts can actually backfire so →

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27 Books That Changed Our Lives Forever

February 18, 2014 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , and 1

Twenty-Something Tuesday

Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden

Katie: This book is singlehandedly responsible for my majoring in international relations, studying war history and making me realize there is a whole big world outside my little portion of it. Following soldiers on a peacekeeping mission to Somalia, Bowden through  brilliant nonfiction narrative storytelling really captures the soldiers, the complicated dichotomy of peacekeeping amidst a despot starving his people, and the untenable position of a no-fire mission going hot.


Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

Katie: If you want to discuss falling in love with the power of words, look no farther than “Speaker for → Read More

15 Euphemisms For Your Period

January 28, 2014 | , , , , and

Twenty-Something Tuesday

Somehow talking about your period became an unbreakable vow of silence—thou shall not directly state you are bleeding from your vagina every 21–28 days. Why? Because it’s gross? Because it makes us feel like death warmed over? I mean, without this monthly visitor life as we know it would cease to exist. The next generation could not be born unless we are forced to endure this thankless process, so how do we discuss it? By making up ceaseless euphemisms for menstruation. Everyone calls it something different, movies have made iconic references, and for this Twenty-Something Tuesday we’re sharing our favorite descriptions (really as an excuse to throw in a Cher quote…)

Read More Not So Fab After All

January 10, 2014 | 19

As a millennial, I consider myself worldly wise when it comes to Internet scams. I never buy anything on eBay that ships from China, I double check any Amazon marketplace purchases I make and Google the heck out of reviews before purchasing any tech refurbs.

But last October I succumbed to Apparently, the chink in my armor was personal recommendations. My aunt recommended it to my mom who recommended it to me. Basically, it’s a subscription-based shoes and accessories site along the lines of Your subscription fee of $39.95/month gives you a credit to purchase anything on the site that’s $39.95 or less. Your introductory purchase is $19.95. (They just changed it to 20% off.)

I was about →

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I Just Got Laid Off. Now What?

December 27, 2013 |

On Nov. 1, I answered a call from my boss and 90 seconds later hung up in a daze. I had just been laid off. I’m an A-Type personality who always has a plan, a back-up and sometimes a back-up to the back-up. But I had absolutely no idea that this was coming down the pipe and therefore found myself plan-less. To say I was in a state of shock is an understatement. It took a case of hard cider, a “Bridget Jones”marathon and a good cry before I finally felt like I could face this new reality. Armed with my trusty yellow pad and favorite Lamy pen I searched the Internet for as much information as possible about what →

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57 Charities For A Meaningful Last-Minute Christmas

December 23, 2013 | , , , , and

You have two days left until Christmas, you have no hope of getting anything shipped in time and the thought of facing the mall fills you with more dread than Satan visiting you in the night. You’ve exhausted all possible ideas for your remaining friends and family and everything you’ve thought of just seems like meaningless space-wasters that in the grand scheme of not just their life but this Christmas, will be infinitely forgettable.

What can you do? How about instead of just giving, you give back. Give your loved ones something that can make a difference and have lasting effect on not only their lives, but others. Give the gift of charity. On the selfish side, you → Read More

10 YouTube Clips To Get You Into The Holiday Spirit

December 23, 2013 |

Need a holiday buzz? Well, look no further. From the quirky to the crazy, I’ve got you covered with my top 10 personal favs!

1. David Tenant Appears as the Ghost of Christmas Present on This Holiday Special for the Catherine Tate Show. Warning: Beware of Strong Scottish Brogue!

2. Pheobe’s Christmas Song

3. Will, Karen, & Jack sing Christmas Carols to Hotel Staff

4. This Family’s Crazy Video Christmas Card

5. Santa Claws by Simons Cat

6. No list is Complete Without Adam Sandler’s Hannukah Song

7. WestJet’s Christmas Flash Mob—FTW!

8. Muppets Ringing the Bells Featuring Animal, Beaker, and the Swedish Chef- not to be missed!

9. 30 Rock—It’s a →

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Discovering Christmas: A Tale Of Survival And Recovery

December 21, 2013 | 1

Christmas: it’s complicated, to say the least. Beneath the Joy, Good Cheer, and Peace on Earth, the reality is often anything but. From the anti-corporatization movements to the annual “War on Christmas” spat between Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly, it’s hard to say it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Let’s not forget the road rage, travel delays, and just all around frustration. Is it any secret that we have so many pop songs themed around the true meaning of Christmas?

I have mixed feelings writing this post, so let me try to get one thing straight. The following is not meant to gloss over any of these issues, but rather to share a personal experience of discovering Christmas.

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The 17 Best Christmas Movies Of All Time

December 17, 2013 | , , , and

Lifetime and ABC Family have been doing their damnedest to take over the Christmas movie genre, and yes, sometimes they do have some solid contributions. But let’s be honest, nothing can compare to the classics. Those flicks that it’s just not Christmas unless you’ve popped them in for the hundredth time, you’ve quoted and sung along with it, and reflected on memories of holidays gone by while doing so (can Santa even come without Bing Crosby singing?). Therefore we could not pass by the opportunity to share our own best Christmas movies of all time on this Twenty-Something Tuesday in hopes that in case you haven’t seen them, you’ll soon to make new memories with them. 1. White Christmas  2. It’s → Read More

Aural Fixation: Guilty Pleasure Christmas

December 16, 2013 | , , , , , , , , , and

Christmas is so close, we can taste it! Are you darlings excited?! As you can see… we surely are! While there are certainly Grinches out there who love to hate on the constant stream of Christmas Carols in grocery stores, waiting rooms or elevators, we all have those guilty pleasure favorites that while we might publicly scoff… we secretly kind of love!

All I Want For Christmas Is You—Mariah Carey

Grown Up Christmas List—Amy Grant

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)—U2

Louisiana Christmas Day—Aaron Neville

12 Days of Christmas—Straight No Chaser

Santa’s Got an Airplane—The Beach Boys

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How To Give A DIY Gift

December 11, 2013 |

Whether you want to make a thoughtful gift or are just short on cash, DIY can be a great way to go for Christmas gifts. Now before you get the wrong idea—I’m the antithesis of a Martha Stewart or even a DIYer blogger/ Etsy aficionado. Don’t expect any blow-by-blow instructions for making the perfectly designed Christmas cookie. There are plenty of resources out there from really skilled DIYers for that. But I haven’t found many that talk about how to give a DIY gift. Often the assumption is that since it’s handmade you can’t go wrong. Ummmmmm. Yeah. That’s bull. And you’ll find that out the moment you give your handwoven-basket-for-putting-impossibly-long-and-narrow-things-in to someone who isn’t your mom. BUT when done →

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My Favorite Go-To Gift Sites

December 4, 2013 | 2

I do all of my Christmas shopping online. I know that many people like to shop for gifts online since it’s simpler than wading through the crowded malls. But my approach is a bit different. I like to find the perfect unique gift for everyone on my list. My rule is that it has to be something that they would want but wouldn’t buy for themselves.

Over the years I’ve bought a travel mug shaped like a Canon SLR Camera Lens for my father-in law who’s a VP at Canon America, as well as a bottle opener consisting of a magnet, a piece of wood, and a nail for my dad the structural engineer. Both of these gifts have now →

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#Shutdown: Why Congress Doesn’t Give a Damn About Your Opinion

October 4, 2013 | 1

We are in Day 4 of the government shutdown, and according to experts, it’ll get worse before it gets better. Never before has the divide between the ruling elite and the rest of the country been clearer. Congressional approval is hovering at 10 percent, but none of them really seem to care. Disillusion, particularly among twenty-somethings, is a matter of record. We tend to stay out of politics and the voting booth in general. “My vote doesn’t matter,” we say, and unfortunately, this current mess is total proof of that.

So how did this happen? Our federal system means that actual representation of your individual views depends on where you live. This is the dirty secret that rears its head every four →

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Millennials: Collateral Damage Of The Government Shutdown

October 1, 2013 | 1

My little sister woke up this morning to a dubious employment outlook. She’s nanny to two young boys, both of whose parents work for the federal government. Thanks to the intransigence of our beloved Congress, for the time being, the parents won’t be going to work. My little sister is simply collateral damage—“secondary effects” seems to be the technical term.

The economy of the Washington Metropolitan Region depends upon the federal government. Think of Los Angeles during the 2007–2008 writers’ strike and New York City during the 2008 financial crisis. The retail landscape of these areas were shattered by the loss of the core economic engine. This is bad news in particular for, you guessed it, us—the generation that can’t →

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Listen to the Voices From Egypt

August 16, 2013 |

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
― Mahatma GandhiRead More

We’re Too Young for This

June 18, 2013 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and

In your twenties, you’re in an odd place: thrown into the adult world, but with limited knowledge and experience. All of the sudden, there are all these new things happening you may not be ready for. The gestalt shift into “adult” just hasn’t quite happened yet. Here at LD, we’re still flummoxed occasionally by experiences, responsibilities, and tasks of the adult world. We find ourselves sometimes saying, “I’m too young for this.”

Here’s our list of 20 such things.

1. Quarter-life crisis–are you kidding me?

2. Finding grey hairs.

3. Contributing to my 401(k).

4. Watching all my friends get married.

5. Knowing that once I turn 27, I can no longer share my → Read More

20 Signs You’re Not a Functioning Adult in Your 20s

June 4, 2013 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and 1

Let’s face it: we buy our big kid clothes, we set up bank accounts, we finally learn to check our oil. But a lot of us are still struggling with the whole adult thing. We’ve made a few transitions- we update our iTunes ocassionally, and we have those fancy signatures at the end of our emails. But there are plenty of signs we’re still far from functioning adults.


  1. Using the telephone is still a terrifying endeavour.

  2. You base your furniture purchases on how easily it will fit in a UHaul.

  3. You dread your 26th birthday, not because it means you’re officially in your mid to late 20s, →

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