29 April 2014

0 obsession

obviously i'd take the racy novel

0 FJ: george clooney is getting married

so as you may or may not have heard, mr. and mrs. nick clooney are gearing up to go to the engravers because their son, george, is getting hitched to amal alamuddin.
AND WE ARE ALL AMAZED. because he’s been saying for twenty years he’d never marry again. (seriously, the daily mail can milk this for a “george clooney proves scientists were wrong: men CAN change!” headline for years.)

28 April 2014

0 a megamix of commercials that make humanity sound incapable of life

0 and then... and then... and then...

so i'm working on this episode- and, because i've moved into the bit of jackie's life that everyone avoids like the plague so that it looks scary before me, i'm thinking in terms of 3-4 page episodes rather than whole chapters right now- about jackie's 40th birthday and the moon landing.

which is explicitly connected by her moon landing earrings, temporally connected by the fact that they occurred 8 days apart, but also- i think- psychologically connected by the fact that the "accomplishment" of jackie remarrying and turning 40 mirrors- on the absolute smallest possible of scales- the accomplishment of landing on the moon and wondering "america, what the hell do we do next?"

for about 24 hours this was THE SMARTEST CONNECTION EVER MADE.

then, around 11 a.m. today, an unease began to set in.

(i should probably also mention that watching CBS's footage of the moon landing, which largely consisted of simulations not clearly indicated as such, i could briefly see how people could think the moon landing was faked, which either suggests i'm becoming a more empathetic person or i'm approaching lunacy. it is very unclear.)

and i began to imagine a horde of baby-boomers coming at me with pitch-forks.

and knives.

and all manner of other instruments with which i could be carved.

it's astonishing how quickly the insecurities set in. how lightening fast you can go from the articulation of a challenging and provocative idea to "omg, am i an idiot???!?"

this is, in the end, a good thing. this anticipation of the arguments and criticisms to come. it will ultimately strengthen whatever it is i'm going to say. but i do wish the high could last longer. i do wish i could enjoy the articulation of the challenging, provocative idea just a few minutes more before the pitchforks come into view.

24 April 2014

0 "watch this space."

seriously, wtf? why is everyone saying this all of a sudden? i am enraged. because it reads as a command and it assumes i have nothing else in my life to do.

which is ridiculous because the function of "watch this space" seems to just be "goodbye." like, instead of saying "all the best" or "talk soon" or "xoxo" or nothing or just um... GOODBYE, instead they say "watch this space." the same person across multiple messages in different social venues. like i'm supposed to be watching my phone and email and facebook and all these different spaces all at the same time in anticipation of any one of these different conversations concluding.


is this the very height of commitment phobia? the unwillingness to end a communication without taking control of its end in a way that doesn't commit to its actual ending?

is this a british thing? are they doing this in america? if not, is this- heaven forbid!- going to creep over into america?!? are we all going to be watching all these spaces all around the world?!

i've only gotten "watch this space" from british people, all of them men. and it's like, guys, GUYS, this is not a billboard. we're not waiting for the feature presentation. this is not a test of the emergency broadcast system. it's just the end of an email or a message or a text that obviously is going to have a follow-up text shortly, the arrival of which will be heralded by a vibration or a beep or a pop-up or some such thing, thus totally negating the need for me to watch this space.

just fucking say goodbye.

(so, of course, this is in my head now...)


0 what did you do today?

"the moon landing, jackie's 40th birthday and her apollo 11 earrings" is the honest answer but gosh it sounds ridic. 

22 April 2014

1 the panic

there were reports that everything would be closed for easter. like, grocery-wise. this wound up not being true, which lessened my panic in NO WAY.

i was going to say this was a distinctly southern thing- this fear of going hungry. y'know, like our relatives starved during the wawah and their panic infects our bloodstreams so that whenever anything- an act of god like snow or an act of kindness like giving employees a day off- threatens to come between us and the freedom to procure food, we go into emotional overdrive and freak out.

i was going to say it was a distinctly southern thing but i'm pretty sure lindear thinks this way, so it must not be. it must be an everybody thing.

anyway, confronting this threat, naturally, i went to the store about nine times on saturday. because, on saturday, i could and, on sunday, i couldn't. or so i thought. this was, in the end, not true. on my walk to church, nearly every grocery i passed had a big sign with an easter egg printed on it with the egg saying the store was open, as though this were an exceptional thing and not something they had all done after threatening not to.

so my emotional drama was, as it often is, purely manufactured. it has, however, led to the realization that i will likely not fare well during any sort of long-term scheduled apocalpyse wherein we had days to prepare our food stores. because, in panic mode, i think only of my most basic needs: milk and bananas.

21 April 2014

0 FJ: ‘marilyn monroe reading’ (hey, ya’ll, let’s murder this phrase)

so i woke up this morning and saw this:
Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 8.03.40 AM
and was- despite a years-long familiarity with the photographs of marilyn monroe reading- for the first time, irrationally infuriated by it.  Continue reading 

18 April 2014

0 a good man

yesterday, my father spent twenty minutes facetiming me while sitting on the floor of a booth in an antique store in memphis going through a pile of jackie magazines, holding the cover of each up to his phone then reading aloud the headline and date.


17 April 2014

0 nancy drewing

the writing is at a wee bit of a standstill whilst i hunt and gather for a bit, so there's been a lot of nancy drewing around these parts these days. a lot of parsing books for names, googling the hell out of those names to determine whether the person's alive and, if they are, to see if they've some indiscrete relative who has posted their address somewhere online.

it's amazing how many people who should be able to afford total privacy have an indiscrete relative who has posted their address online.

debo always likes to make the point that the solution to nancy's mysteries were always in the titles. so, the secret was in the old clock or the clue was in the diary or the hidden staircase would solve it all. if only nancy could've seen the cover of her own stories then her sleuthing would've been smoother.

which is how writing (and let's face it, LIFE) feels some times. if you could only see what you can't then you could move towards it more confidently. none of this dithering, none of the putting it off for days or weeks on end, summoning up the nerve for something that may wind up being nothing at all.

case in point: a solid month ago, i got a phone number for someone i want to interview. because i hate calling people out of the blue and having to explain (1) who i am, (2) what i'm doing, (3) why i'm calling them, and because no matter how many times i speak to people who have- thus far- been names on my bookshelf or characters in biographies it's still really effing daunting, i put off this call for that whole month. yesterday, on a high after a good interview with one of JO's friends, i finally called the number. only to learn that the number had been disconnected, which was something i'd already acknowledged as a possibility in a conversation with a friend weeks before where i was complaining about being such a fool about the phone. so that was ridiculous.

i guess the lesson to be learned is to just DO IT. and get it over with. rather than stewing in the fraughtness of potential dramas for weeks on end.

that said, there's a phone call to switzerland i've been putting off for two weeks and it ain't going to happen today. maybe tomorrow, but not today.

16 April 2014

0 srsly

0 FJ: jackie’s pink suit (ie. things are getting weird, ya’ll)

this post may not amount to anything more than a prolonged exclamation of LOOKIT THIS IS BIZARRE!!! accompanied by pretty pictures, most of them in glorious technicolor… but around the 50th anniversary of john kennedy’s assassination last fall, i noticed something that struck me as incredibly odd: a new cultural obsession with jackie’s pink suit.

10 April 2014

0 visibility

when i was a little girl i had two imaginary friends: rania (pronounced RON-ya, rhymes with tonya) and miner.

miner, my parents knew, came from the name of a kid i went to pre-school with and whose family farm we visited on a field trip. rania? no one ever figured out where i got that from. but they were both around for awhile and then they were gone and no one knew where they went.

last night, i talked to my mum and she said, 'you'll never guess who i saw... rania.'

and i kid you not, i asked, incredulously, 'wait... was rania REAL???'

a question i repeated five times because we got caught in a conversational loop where she kept saying  'you'll never guess who i saw' and i kept asking 'was rania REAL???' because neither of us was getting the response we wanted and we both figured that through sheer force of repetition one of us would prevail.

i relented. she prevailed. and i asked where she saw rania.

turns out my imaginary friend is working at the kroger on winchester. and she's of eastern european descent.

this AMAZED my mother. she evidently made a big fuss at the kroger, telling my father, who was decidedly nonplussed.

'who's rania?' he asked.

hearing her tell me this story, i could imagine the precision with which her jaw would drop in response to his amnesia re: our shared life.

'one of those invisible children we had to buckle in the car for all those years, how could you forget?' my mother told me she told him.

she's telling me this and i'm still trying to deal with the whirlwind of emotions and implications brought up by my initial question, uncertain whether i was asking her if my imaginary friend had been based on this real person or if i had, for a moment, been asking if my imaginary friend had become real, like in that nickelodeon show today's special where all the department store mannequins came to life. (remember?!?!?!?!)  

my mother provides no clarity when she says, sort of dreamily, 'i always wondered what had happened to them when they grew up. apparently they became visible...'

09 April 2014

0 the best sentence in the english language

is: 'i'd be delighted to talk to you.'

closely followed by: 'of course i remember you,' because i mostly assume these people won't. i actually i rather hope they won't as perhaps their lack of memory will erase the memory of my trying to get that jackie in paris project off the ground when all it did was lie there flopping about like a dying fish.

wow. i've apparently some lingering bitterness...

anyway, 'i'd be delighted to talk to you' is amazing. especially coming in that peculiar upper-crust new england drawl (that's borderline southern but obviously can't be because it's coming out of the mouths of people from new york) in a voicemail received on the tube right as a man standing alone says loudly to no one in particular: 'blimey, i missed my stop!'

0 FJ: finding jackie (the initial articulation of my philosophy of ‘life-reading’ [+ angst re: the gossip loop v. silence])

jackie evades me. i’ve been writing about her for ten years and she has never seemed so unclear as now.
this is obvious in my work lately, wherein everyone around her seems vividly alive, jockeying to the forefront as she gets pushed further and further away, into the background, OF HER OWN LIFE. Continue reading 

04 April 2014

0 cosby. sweater.

0 FJ: why harry has to marry RIGHT NOW (cressida = fergie + prince = 1980/81 redux)

is this a new cultural (ie. daily mail) trend? this recent glut of Guys Who’ve Got To Get Married RIGHTNOW
last week it was Guys Who’ve Got To Get Married RIGHTNOW… macaulay culkinedition. this week it’s Guys Who’ve Got To Get Married RIGHTNOW… prince harry. and yes, yes, i realize we probably need more than a pair to constitute a glut, but still. it’s weird. in the tabloid press, men aren’t usually portrayed this way and now we’ve two in quick succession.

02 April 2014

0 some thoughts on my open tabs

(1) i spent the morning researching bobby kennedy's dog to avoid writing about his death

(2) that was a smart move #TeamBrumus

(3) assassination footage should never be identified as 'amazing'

(4) never EVER

(5) there are actually maybe more rfk conspiracy theorists than jfk conspiracy theorists

(6) and i think the rfk peeps have more of a leg to stand on 

(7) jfk's assassination = silent movie : rfk's = OVERLOAD OF SOUND

(8) listening to the assassination of rfk to parse individual sounds =  not fun

(9) finding the words to describe said sounds = even less so

(10) there was a time when i whiled away hours trying to figure out if the rubies mentioned by maria callas were, in fact, regifted by onassis and given to jackie

(11) hours of staring at necklaces!!!!

(12) today was all about pinning down the precise definitions of 'visceral', 'keening', and 'lament' 

(13) hours of listening to primal screams!!!! 

(14) the process of biographical research is comprised only of extremes

(15) the question now: is tonight's talk on 'careers outside academia' going to destroy my will to live?


01 April 2014

0 FJ: girl fight! (ie. the resurfacing of the ‘victoria beckham really wants to be on US vogue and anna wintour ain’t ever gonna let her’ narrative after the kanye/kim vogue)

so i was going to put this at the end of that post about the kanye/kim vogue, as a jab at the idea that vogue (u.s. edition) isn’t still an exclusive dream world. and then i didn’t because, frankly, i’ll take any available excuse to give a shout-out to my girl crush, but also because it seemed semi-worthy of  a post all it’s own.