31 March 2011
"i just didn't know how big the squirt was."
"i love you for thinking that love of your own straight hair was heretical."
"look at you all moving forward to stalk a new woman's family. i love that you have skills in that."
"i always like hearing mothers call their kids jerks."
"i googled symptoms and thought of you all weekend."
"we're going to talk about vietnam and God and all kinds 'o business."
"i applaud your filters."
"will candelabras override clubbiness?"
"it's a christmas miracle."
"your new money is really working out well for me."
"if i'm not in a raft in my u.s. flag bathing suit drinking pbr, then the terrorists win."
"the noble horse theater... where many things are re-imagined on horseback."
"chinese delicacies... that means a lot of animal parts."
"i mean, that one girl looked a little serious but she's not a professional. if you're a professional, you're not going to go to the millennium park free skate."
"with spectacles, he looked like harry potter on morphines."
"would anybody like to pillorate me?"
"it is nascent. at best."
"this person, worse than being jewish, was not english."
"the c.s. lewis people are as rabid and territorial as any group of fandom i've ever come across."
"dead people are fair game."
"i'm going to try to sum up today in remarks that i wrote last weekend."
"she seems like someone who would go with someone who went by their full name."
"you don't do it early in the drive."
"i'd pray to a pig god."
"i would never be so vindictive as to name a child doug, in this day and age."
"sex... it's just like nyquil but without the hangover."
"publication is publication and your portfolio is being built so this is a good path for your sex tobaggon to go down."
"this is your literary muffin."
"i love that you have k.clen and her car."
"i find this stony silence following my chicken inquiry troubling."
"never underestimate the impact of a blood donation. super noble and wonderful, yes, but it will effing ruin half of your week."
"does this make me a bad person?"
"honey, i'm making my livelihood out of dead people. i will never judge you."
"to summarize, i wish you were as rich as you were talented, and i also applaud your creating potential toboggan paths."
"i am such a woo girl when i bowl."
"look at that pin action!"
"i need a ten pounder with really big thumbholes."
"only heartbreak can happen, not death."
"you should probably take that to africa and get some people saved."
"listen! homeless people are on the radio!"
"i feel really defeated by this meal and i'm ok with that."
"yes, that required an emoticon."
"thus concludes my lin-duh moment of the day."
"i love wine, but i don’t MAKE love to it."
"ew, but better than prickly legs or puddly thigh-highs."
"it tastes fuhlish so i'm counting it as a victory."
"i APPLAUD the brilliance of your cooking philosophies!!!!!!!"
"for now i'll just mush the beans and complain that it tastes off."
"people like you need food blogs."
"there are just some places i don't want to go, and it sounds like page 7 with elizabeth wakefield is one of those!"
"partner like a husband or friend."
"last night was spectacular except, and this is a key lesson learned, one should never follow up two glasses of wine with a glass of milk."
"the number of planes increases exponentially as volcanoes in iceland erupt."
"how's my redhead?"
"now you totally look like someone who knows what they're talking about when they talk about sex tobaggons."
"your life is just exploding right now! with fireworks... not with bombs."
filed under: soundbites
kantor is romancing a vegan. which means when we gather for Never On A Monday dinner it's, like, an unreasonably insane orgy of meat.
for example, the maude's meal, which involved cows, pigs, ducks, chicken and force-fed geese.
we pay our respects to old macdonald and then we take out his whole fucking farm.
everything's locally sourced, mind you, but still, the reality is that small villages could exist on the menagerie murdered for our meal.
that said, last night we went to the pork shoppe and slaughtered some animals. trust me, they did not die in vain.
the beef brisket melted like butter. the pulled chicken was to die for. the pastrami left tears of grease on our hands.
and the texas sheet cake? oh my god. i'm from tennessee, but still, it tasted like home.
filed under: adventure in the city
30 March 2011
two more things.
one: i have a rate. a rate ten bucks beyond what i expected and fifty dollars more than the astonishingly low amount i would have been willing to accept.
because i am an english major, i initially worked this out into a math problem of words ÷ words per page = # of pages ÷ estimated # of chapters ÷ hours per chapter x rate, which equated to roughly $16,800 for 50 hours of work. alas, um... no.
regardless, at this rate, i will be earning a mere 1/3rd less than what the highest earner in my area of expertise would earn. for a girl who got her start earning $13.95, being 33% shy of the maximum ain't half bad.
and here's the two: i have a contract.
an actual, legally binding document. yes, i'm operating on the assumption that signed word documents with the word "contract" in the file name are legally binding, but regardless, my time is now valuable enough to warrant a $100 cancellation fee.
dear actual biographical income, why, hello there!
i love you.
there was a time when
-thanks to your angelic musical stylings
in the background of "heaven tonight"-
i totally wanted to be you.
with your curly red hair and your bass
and your backup singing.
when i was a senior in high school wearing tapered leg jeans
and dating a gay man,
you were my ideal version of the me i wanted to be.
sadly, you are now my nightmare.
let's break this down:
tights w/ romper? check.
scarf worn as a veil? check.
omg, melissa auf der maur.
it's as though none of your clothes
can decide what they want to do.
dear melissa auf der maur,
you are standing next to courtney love
and you look like the train wreck.
please note: that is never good.
29 March 2011
jackie and i've been together for 18 years. since the badly xeroxed women's history handout in mrs. pavlick's 6th grade english class.
18 years and i never once thought to ask "why jackie?" now, i can't stop wondering.
because i have no answer. i've had 18 years, a book and two big projects to come up with one and i've got nothing.
well, that isn't entirely true. i've staked 3/4s of everything i've ever written on the theory that she is the twentieth century's archetypal female, a tabula rosa onto which, even after her death, we can still project our own experiences to find meaning.
but that's the pretentious, academic answer. i was only twelve when i met her. back then, i would've mispronounced tabula rosa as tabitha rose and mistakenly believed the concept to be a transfer student of european descent.
if we examine the fact that what i remember most about that handout through which i met her is that it was badly xeroxed, we might conclude that i wasn't so much captivated by jackie's story as impressed by the poor quality of the page middle school duplicating equipment.
but there's more to it. the other thing i remember about the women's history handout packet is that jackie was clearly a last minute addition. the pages on florence nightingale, madame curie and sacajawea were all stapled together and bound in a folder. jackie was a separate sheet, as though she were tossed in at the last minute. as though there were a question of whether she really belonged.
in the pyramid of powerful women jackie stood out because the paper on which her story was printed was physically separate from the others, but she seemed set apart in time and space as well.
with their ruffled blouses and bunsen burners, these other women belonged on badly xeroxed handouts, but jackie's feathered bouffant bespoke a modernity uncharacteristic of historical heroines. she was clearly a renegade.
the sketch of her that appeared on that handout was from a period that i would later know to identify as "the onassis years." why jackie? because her earrings were enormous.
28 March 2011
if i were asked to cite the one major side-effect of note in the process of becoming a biographer, i'd have to go with the identity crisis. because, man, is it ever acute.
bear in mind, i'm progressing at a snail's paces towards a there that is, likely, not there. this is a process into which i've barely dipped a toe, and yet, at nearly every turn there seems to arise some monumental ethical question that demands the establishment of a particular truth that will set the tone for the type of biographer i am to be.
this has come up in matters large and small. but most importantly, it has arisen in the matter of my name.
i've been on a bit of a lucky streak. you wouldn't know it because everything i've done has been done under different names. my portfolio reads hilariously schizophrenic.
on a saturday morning several weeks ago, during an unexpectedly long walk through blistering winds to an endpoint that was not located at the intersection of state and 47th, jmills grilled me on what i was doing with all these names. why, in my professional pursuits, was i faffing about as faith eaton and faith caroline eaton and f.c. eaton? why on earth wasn't i just being oline?
i laughed and made excuses. but, when i thought about it later, what she was saying made an enormous lot of sense. because of flannery o'conner.
who could ever, upon hearing it, forget the name flannery o'conner? really, would she have been so well remembered if she'd stuck with mary?
i am trying to be a biographer for, like, for real, and while i actually quite like my name, as the tremendous anxiety it has prompted indicates, it is not working for my purposes here. i've been trying to write as faith caroline eaton and i simply cannot.
so i am going to be oline. officially. professionally.
as in, i emailed the people in london and asked them to change my name with enough conviction that they wrote back profusely apologizing that they had initially gotten it wrong.
there is no going back now. it would be unconscionable to make them to change it again.
26 March 2011
25 March 2011
3 soundbites from the naked lady bar: $1 anal, the fuckgun, the skeptical hippo, the shady lane, the horse with 3 hooves, palestinian bears and social sciences 122
"you are really wearing those jeans! i look at those jeans on others and i think 'why?' but you are really pulling them off."
"she just got carded for a shirley temple."
"my hair was so bad that it looked like i had no hair."
"everything was too 'urban barber shop.'"
"there are too many ghosts in this room and they have weird eyebrows."
"i'm supposed to talk about college life in america- which has nothing to do with the university of chicago."
"no, no, the fuckgun... it's like a holdable thing that moves like a penis would."
"women just come out looking bored and do things really apathetically to their vaginas."
"i was like, 'this involves vaginas and cake- two of my favorite things- and yet i'm just really sad.'"
"hey, it was a cauldron of terror and sadness."
"i feel like that's also an accurate description of social sciences 122."
"if i can speak and make somebody throw up... oh my god... then would mean i've arrived."
"that's also a strategy. rather than picture the audience naked, imagine them covered in vomit."
"they're vestigial, like men's nipples."
"yeah, the anus is totally just for looks."
"i was just thinking we should go anal at some point."
"yes, we all just went anal together here in this bar."
"and it was the least fun anal i've ever had."
"i think that is about as romantic as gollum would ever be."
"i'm proud to represent the bottom of the barrel."
"the fucksaw is more like this..." [mimed vaudevillian hand gestures]
"it's just like a penis on a gun."
"at u of i, they would just pelt condoms at you when you walked down the quad."
"i don't really want to think about gallagher when i lose my virginity."
"i feel like austin's sex life has been revealed as awesome."
"my mental picture in my mind of big foot was satisfied."
"i smiled at many things."
"dana screamed the word 'anal' and a man brought her a dollar!"
"yeah, that was better than anything i saw at superpussy and i paid a lot of money to be there."
"dana, i've waited my whole life for a woman to say i had a few extra inches."
"yes, but i only meant in terms of your urethra."
"that was challenging, syntactically."
"austin's penis makes me lose my grasp on the english language."
"i didn't know tamale guy was quite this generous."
"as far as brooms go..."
"like, this horse had a plan and what i'm wondering is if this broom has a plan too."
"it's good... more jewish."
"i think it's better in the way that surgery is better when they've cut you open and start fixing things."
"it went from being a skeptical hippo to being an old horse dragging dana through a tree and eventually it'll be a unicorn."
"it's like intellectual mud-wrestling."
"which is typical, but not nearly as bad as what happened to your penis earlier."
"i think you need to ride that unicorn into the narrative arc."
"oh my god, you and i are so on the same page right now."
"those would be words that we used to describe Jesus and yet still that is not good enough?"
"i can't say of klan members, 'oh klan members are not white people because white people wouldn't do that.'"
"i think youth group should be illegal."
"i don't even believe in your God, but you don't fucking walk into His house wearing jeans! Jesus Christ."
"be sure you got the Jesus."
"i don't know, maybe narnia fucked me up."
"washing each other's anuses would be a much bigger sacrifice."
"shady lane... it was very funny... you had to be there."
"that's pressure is what that is. my name is dana and it sometimes stresses me out. if my name was 'faith', i'd be fucked."
"have you been performing lesbian abortions?"
"you're like a cohen brothers movie here."
"what if i am becoming a religious writer? oh no. that's horrifying."
"when you're alone and fucked, God is there."
"yes, there's this very human moment and then there's bad science fiction."
"biologically, would there have been bears?"
"earlier, humans had emotions and you were amazed."
"no, no, i was pro that."
"you're being very disablist right now."
"...and i feel that's not being prejudice against handicapped horses."
"he starts to run like you can run when you have a fourth foot..."
"i feel like there's no isreal desert in california- not even in southern california."
"i don't know why i thought the bear was of such limited scope."
"no, they're a fairly widespread species."
"that way people can hear about my penis and see my tongue! it's too bad i'm not single. i would be rolling in women if i were."
"i think you overestimate my readership."
k.clen is rooming with me for the weekend,
which aligned neatly with our plan to start friday elly's breakfasts.
what we did not count on, however, was that after waking up at 5:45,
walking a mile to the restaurant,
eating omelets and potatoes with sides of pancakes
and drinking copious quantities of caffeine,
by the time we headed to work, it would feel like 5 p.m.
24 March 2011
i wrote the sister again.
yes, the sister has already informed me she does not give interviews about jackie, but considering i have very little to lose beyond pride and dignity and all that shit that i'm pretty sure i shouldn't value quite so much as i do, i wrote her again.
this brings me the closest to groveling that i have thus far come. and i can proudly say with some dignity, i don't feel the least bit bad about it.
filed under: reading in the city
you can never go back.
you can do something you've done before, yes, but it will be different. it will not be the same.
this is a fact of life.
i do not like it. but then you probably already knew that given that nearly everything i write reflects upon the past.
march is busy and it's filled with a flurry of events that have become borderline liturgical in their unfolding every year. much of what i have been doing this month has mirrored what i did last year. and yet, this is not last year.
last year, i ice skated. this year, i fell on my ass. last year, new york was transformative. this year, it was equally transformative in totally different ways.
you can do the same things, but you can never go back.
i know that, i just don't approve.
filed under: deep thoughts in the city