27 February 2017

0 what a weird, weird world

STZ and i have a podcast.

STZ is the sister of one of my ex-boyfriends.

for this week's episode of this podcast, STZ and i interviewed a man,who happened to be the ex-boyfriend who was my boyfriend before i dated STZ's brother.

when was the last time you spoke to him? STZ asked me prior to our connecting his call.

a strange question, i thought, as said, um... on the tuesday in 2009 when he called to dump me. 

this was the point at which i realized that, in our haste to procure a male guest for our podcast and this particular ex-boyfriend being the one who was most game, i'd somehow told STZ none of the details of our story.

after the interview is over, we both marvel at all of this. that we just interviewed my ex-boyfriend... that she and my ex-boyfriend are now facebook friends... that she and my ex-boyfriend may some day meet if ever he and his wife are in boston.

22 February 2017

0 cornered

in an effort to continue being able to pay to live, i'm working in a bookshop.

there's a bit of a disconnect between my experience of working in a bookshop and the way this particular bookshop views working in a bookshop. for it is not that i work in a bookshop. it is that, in working in a bookshop, i have now become a bookseller.

that was before you became a bookseller, a colleague noted in relaying a story of an episode that pre-dated my having come to work there.

this strikes me as tremendously odd, given that i've never once thought of myself- in my time working in a bookshop- as a bookseller.

i am a writer, a biographer, a podcaster, a host of things, a reader. i, um..., put things on the shelf and ring them up. i can apply a discount. i can, when someone walks into the shop and says, "i need a book for a 60 year old man whom i know nothing about," attempt to find a book for them to buy. but i don't think i'm a bookseller.

is this because i'm an american? does being a "seller" of anything automatically sound like being a "car salesman" to american ears?

i am, i realize, perhaps a little too quick to attribute things to my being an american.

the other day, in the bookshop- because a ginormo component of bookselling is gift-wrapping (who knew?!)- i was wrapping a gift.

there is, i have learned in working in a bookshop, something about the way that i, in wrapping a gift, do corners, which is amazingly commendable. seriously. multiple people have commented in tones of awe.

i am prone to hyperbole but this is not exaggeration. the level of their admiration is so out of proportion with the menial task in which i am engaged that i have, repeatedly, blushed at being so lavishly praised for having wrapped a gift in the only way i know how.

they stand back on their heels and, with the pinched lips that betray a (perhaps unconscious) desire to release a slow whistle of admiration, they behold my ability to do corners in a way they have never seen corners done before.

i never would have thought to do them like that! is the common response.

and i've genuinely no idea what they mean, because i don't know what it is that i'm doing because this is how i have always wrapped gifts. ever since i was the kid who everyone in the family paid to wrap their christmas presents. (because i was a young, entrepreneurial capitalist or they were extremely lazy? and/or both??)

i so admire your corners, a woman said to me the other day.

the student feedback on my teaching was unprintable ("um... she tried?") and, hearing this woman say this, i wonder if perhaps it might be added to my CV.

the woman next to her nodded approvingly and joined it: i was just thinking the same! 

and i replied that it was maybe some wacky american thing as everyone around here seemed to be taken by surprise. and, inevitably, these two women wound up being americans and were all no, no, no, we never learned to wrap like that, that's not the american way of wrapping.

that is uniquely you, i think, the second woman said.

a kind response that seems so hugely philosophical that it is profoundly ridiculous that it has come in response to my gift-wrapping techniques.

so if all else fails career-wise, apparently there's always gift-wrap.

20 February 2017

0 burvil

if you've been around here for even the briefest of hot seconds, you know that burvil is the best, that she is a rock star and that she is the love of my life.

them's just be's facts, as garebear would say.

after our podcast interview with her on saturday, STZ and i both were like WHOA. and we spent the remainder of the weekend mulling over so many of the gems she'd dropped upon us, tagged with #TeamBurvil, applying them to our own lives and asking #WhatWouldBurvilDo?

i think one of the most staggering things about loving someone is the ways in which, even when you've known them your whole life, they still surprise. they still say things that take you completely aback and make you realize that they are even more wonderful, more flexible, more STAUNCH than you ever knew.

17 February 2017

0 "brave woman"

for the last month, i've been receiving calls from someone associated with my phone carrier trying to sell me a phone i do not need. finally, today, in the midst of trying to write three applications, i took the call in the hopes of making them go away.

given their persistence in not reaching me, i should've seen this was a bad idea.

first, i couldn't remember my "memorable place" or my "memorable name" to verify the account. then, when "paris" wasn't my memorable place and all of the prompts seem to involve the word "memorable," i wondered if this wasn't a scam. (it wasn't, but my phone carrier sure as hell needs to work on appearing legit.)

when the guy asked for my bank account to verify my identity, i was nearly certain this was a scam, a sensation only heightened by the fact that the text attesting to the authenticity of our call had not arrived. he was shocked! astounded! how could the text not have arrived?!

finally, three minutes into an exchange that had already gone on for three minutes too long, the guy asked, is there anyone else in your family on a pay-as-you-go contract?

there is no one else in my family. i have no family, i replied, passive-aggressively being impolite by implying everyone around me who might own a phone has died. (little do they know we are on contract with sprint until The End of Time.)

so you live alone? this man from my phone company asked.

and before i could conclude that telling a stranger that i live alone maybe wasn't the wisest move (it seems equally possible that either my identity has been stolen or i will be murdered it in the night), i said, adamantly, with great defiance, YES, i live alone.

to which he giggled and then replied, brave woman! brave woman! 

and there's one universe in which this is a compliment. where i am, in fact, a brave woman for having both the liberty and the choice to live alone.

but that is not the universe in which i live.

because hearing him say this, actually- hearing him repeat it (because it was somewhere in the repetition that it slid from being a compliment into being a joke)- i felt diminished.

not that it was sad to be a woman living alone, but that it was faintly ridiculous.

10 February 2017

0 high quality shade

09 February 2017

0 the do-over

the other day, i signed with a literary agent. this is my second. it is a sign of how jaded i have become about this process that i actually do not remember which day this was.

the first time there was champagne. this time, i was like yeah, he seems good. why the hell not? it's got to be better than nothing. 

today, i actually had the thought: oh no. what if he doesn't work out and i need to get a THIRD literary agent?! then i'll have had three agents by the age of 36!!! 

before drawing consolation in the fact that there are people who've had three marriages by the age of 36 so, surely, i could survive three agents if it comes to that.

01 February 2017

0 that moment when

in the midst of googling yourself to find the headshot you had two hard drives ago, you realize that conversation you had three years ago is in an article in a book...
assorted thoughts...
(1) "left the united states": god, that sounds dramatic!
(2) currently, literally none of my time is devoted to independent research.

0 claude, part 2

S calls. when i say i'm still in bed, he asks if i'm with claude.

he tells me, you're not going to be the cat lady, you're going to be the blanket lady.

it's beginning to feel a bit like the men in my life have cast me in a long-term serious relationship with a personified fur blanket.