29 February 2012

0 february: a revue

"it wasn't until about an hour in that my friend noticed that the black lights weren't being very kind to me."

"i don't recall being embarrassed too badly, but i do remember looking around and noticing this wide open space around me, as though no one wanted to be seen near The Boy Who Wore Sperm."

"you always make me proud, caroline."

"i really like that you have decided i am going to marry tim tebow even though i said that i don't want to marry tim tebow anymore."

"could we put his heart/soul into ryan gosling's body/penchant for disney and then have that person come fall in love with me? c'mon- you're supposed to be in the business of making dreams come true!"

"please appreciate that in a single year, my future husband has gone from being james franco to nick carter."

"she was like, 'don't you dare distract me from my misery!'"

"is there some way for me to get a job where i just get to talk to people and laugh a lot?"

"i've got to say, KE$HA may be a hot mess, but she's not stupid."

"i must confess something and i'm choosing you because, well, i seem to confess everything to you of late."

"but really, the geeky lit major with a cool hobby/skill set (whether it be comic books or carpentry or lindyhopping) is always going to steal my heart."

"i think my threshold for birth year would probably be 1984, though, because anything after orwell would just seem so very, very wrong."

"i had a file this morning whose email was cheese_burger_human@[domain].com - i can only assume that this is the hamburgler's son."

"or, you know, i can become the office hussy, but in a classy, mrs. robinson sort of way."

"i kind of hate everything unless it has to do with my husband or kid."

"all future received recipes from this person are hereby officially invalid."

"it is painfully obvious that your single-ladies-in-the-city nights are much more refined than our shrieking-8th-grader giggle fest."

"i ended up having too many wines."

"it's amazing, right? i mean, for reals. every year at thanksgiving that turkey makes me reconsider my thinking on not having children solely because i want to have a family for whom to cook that damn bird."

"the parallel, of course, is that deep down, everyone secretly wanted the 8th grade boy or baby. though i'm not sure which would be more terrifying to admit out loud."

"please appreciate that i misread 'traveling' as 'time traveling', and i was momentarily STUNNED."

"i will be busy taking over the world of biography and learning french while doing it."

"godwilling, tonight you and i will be eating the same food!"

"all that remains is a naked green monster."

"was this the last podcast of the season?"

"so the movie. i LOVED. i loved that a movie like this was able to make me feel such a spectrum of emotions. i loved how the sound at the end made me appreciate the previous 90 minutes of silence & music that much more. i loved peppy. i loved peppy’s hair. i love that the actress is married to the director. loved jean dejardin, like, the whole time. pensive, angry, dancing. sigh."

"i kept forgetting to pick up the meds, and then by last night when i got them, i was healed. MUHRacle!"

"don’t you have a whole bunch of dead nerves up in that part of your head?"

"i blame it more on the weather though. it was sleeting then it was warm. and then it was windy. and then it was winter. and today it is spring. that's obviously a lot for glands to have to deal with."

"that, my friend, is not a treat!"

"he barely remembers the Clinton years."

"caroline is the only person i know who has a landline."

"i don't know how to make 1989 capitalized, BUT IT SHOULD BE!!"

"we do not do things like this."

"really am not SUPES thrilled about going to a “BUY SOMETHING” event anyway, but will go just this once to be supportive, blah blah."

"i may buy some 'everyday' silver earrings. or i may eat a piece of chocolate & go home."

"and what’s up with your sea of doom?"

"i feel like my schedule is a tetris game, maneuvering blocks of time just right to get it to all fit perfectly."

"how was the good-bye?"

"part of me is really hoping the matching socks and general quirky brilliance does result in his being gay. that would solve all of my problems, at least in this area of my life."

“you people and your biblical baby names. is it going to be shocking when my 15-year-old red-headed french twin stepdaughters are named marchelaine and emmelienne?”

"they are a tanish color and they are like a very non-committal cat-eye."

"i don’t need to see jean dejardin on french sight gag tv shows anymore, but i want to see him in everything else."

"who the hell are these women who spell my name with multiple Ls and singular Ss and excess Is? WHO THE HELL ARE THESE WOMEN RUINING IT FOR THE REST OF US???"

"i would so have his twin 15-year-old daughters."

"are you the person who loves aardvarks? if not, then this is entirely inappropriate."
"i don't know...AM I the person who loves aardvarks?"

"that's how lessons work when you learn them."
"i feel like this conversation belongs in a berenstein bears book."

"of course, it doesn’t really count when you 'dream predict' things that are likely to happen in the course of that person’s life anyway."

"yo! yo! yo! hey, baby!"
"oh my god, don't ever do that again. it's like you just threw up on me with words."

"HOW is so much of your life SO sitcom-y?"

"ah, to be the chancellor's peanut minion."

5 an open letter to lindsay lohan

dear lindsay lohan, 

what the eff is up? 

i know, i know. DRUGS. 

no, no, no, you say, because you're all clean and shit now. to that i say, nuh uh. 

but still. i don't think drugs alone are responsible for this. you are twenty-freaking-five and, i kid you not, my first thought upon seeing this photograph from your one-on-one with matt lauer was... 

DAMN. what the hell has happened to kim cattrall? 

kim cattrall, li.lo. kim cattrall. 

mind you, kim cattrall is an incredibly hot lady, but that is not my point (ps. what is happening here with your face = decidedly NOT hot). my point is that you are twenty-freaking-five. kim cattrall is fifty-freaking-six. she's got 31 years on you. my whole lifetime stretches between your ages and yet i have just mistaken you for her. 

kim cattrall owns her age, yes, and i think she owns it without having had a shit-ton of work done like everyone else, which i applaud all around. but never should i ever have cause to look at your 25-year-old face and think i am looking at kim cattrall post-botched plastic surgery. 

do you see how that should never ever be? why it would be worrisome? because it is appalling? 

please, li.lo, get off the crack. bring back your real hair. for the love of god, don't do that liz taylor lifetime movie. and leave your face alone.


0 Movies You Really Should've Seen By Now If You Want To Consider Yourself A Grown Person: Reality Bites

[and forgive me in advance... this is going to be a smorgasbord of nostalgia.]

you need to see reality bites to be a grown person primarily because reality bites reenforces the fact that we are, indeed, grown people. by which i mean, OLD people. file this under those movies we watched after grad school (ie. kicking and screaming) that made us go: "fuck, i'm 25 and those characters are all 23."

28 February 2012

3 k.clen and i are going to the opera

as is the case with most everything we ever do, we are going to the opera primarily as an excuse to dress up. a secondary benefit of our going to the opera? i will likely spend the next month telling people that, rather than seeing verdi's aida, we are going to see "adia", the sarah mclachlan song from 1997.

0 w/e

if you don't make a regular habit of reading finding jackie (which is totally understandable as why on earth would anyone opt for "professional" over the random grab-bag of marvels that is OitC?) but you are curious about madonna's much-maligned directorial debut, you may wanna wander over HERE.

0 ...

"in life, you can either ask for what you want and suffer the possibility of judgment, or you can pretend you want something else and almost certainly get it."

27 February 2012

0 awesome.

4 solving problems with 90210: "this isn't about the color of people's skin or how much money they have. it's about gunshots."

this week, per jmills's request, we will be discussing portrayals of gang warfare, street violence, swear words, censorship, the editorial rights of writers and interracial dancing in the classic 90210 episode "home & away." SO MUCH! let's dive right in.

very important subplot #1: brenda is organizing the pigskin prom. 

very important subplot #2: sue scanlon (the sister of scott scanlon, who's self-inflicted gunshot death we'll come back to shortly... so much gun violence in beverly hills!) is totally coming on to david. 

very important subplot #3: donna is pissed. 

main plot: west beverly high's Big Game against shaw high school next weekend. 

25 February 2012

1 this is true

the whole plan here is to write about jackie in a new way. because the old ways don't work. so i need to tell an old story in a way i've not yet invented. and i need it to be good enough that people who are familiar with the old story see how people 20 or 30 years younger than them might be bewitched by the new.

i often wonder if i'm making this a bigger deal than it is, but then, looking at the project condensed to its essentials in sentences like that, i'm reminded that the bigness of this is maybe legit. if i can pull it off.

once, i came close. way back in may, i got out a whole paragraph. the fact that the old school biographer to whom i showed it three months later completely excoriated that paragraph would suggest it was heading in the right direction. the fact that that paragraph didn't show up until around three in the morning after five whiskey sours is problematic.

it has, on more than one occasion, occurred to me that developing a drinking problem might well be the easiest in to writing about jackie in this way that does not yet exist. but that's too easy.and i've a reputation to uphold of always opting for the path of most resistance.

this ties into my god shit, because it's only in writing that i consistently [insert appropriate verb here] god.

this ties into my love shit too. because together my writing shit and my god shit and my love shit form a trinity of things into which i do not want to delve too deeply. accordingly, they are what i most consistently write about.


24 February 2012

0 $5 @ 7/11

bandit, sangria juice box.

0 six years

i've been in chicago for six years. that is one year shy of being the longest i've lived anywhere. which is shocking. because when i moved here it was kind of on a whim. i don't think i thought i'd be staying. i certainly didn't think i'd stay this long.

chicago is the best city on earth and yet i'm forever attempting to leave it. time and again i fail and, though so very many of my people have gone, here i am. still. it's funny how you can think you're done with something only to realize that it isn't done with you.

23 February 2012

0 lipstuck

some weeks ago, k.lo and i went to a winter fete. i wore red lipstick.

things we now know: i'm a glass spinner. i spin my glass while holding it in my hands and therefore do not drink from the same spot every time. thus, i leave traces of lipstick ALL OVER THE GLASS. and when i drink from one side, the lipstick on the other side transfers to my face.

how do we know this? within twenty minutes of our arrival at the winter fete, k.lo looked at me and said, um... oline, how did you get lipstick on your nose? 

0 oh, paris

last summer i went to paris and a story sat down next to me. so i lived it and wrote about it and submitted it everywhere. and, of course, it met with rejections all around. embittered, i ignored it for five months. last week, it caught my attention again.

this is how writing goes. you get words down on the page and then you tear that page to shreds. from 1,100 words you pare it down to 497. you let it sit for five months and then you think, no, wait. this could really do something at 1,500, and so you go back in and blow it back up like a balloon. then you make tiny tweaks here and there, all the while hoping that the seams don't show, that the air doesn't get out. praying that, in the end, its frankensteinishness won't be as obvious to everyone else as it is to you.

and so what i've got now is four pages. four pages that are maybe 85% there writing wise, and yet thematically completely jacked. there are four themes in those four pages. and i'll readily admit that is absurd.

this is the part of writing that is like painting. the part where you go back in and add the colors and shadows and depth. secretly, i love this stage. it's the only time in my life that i ever feel like bob ross.

22 February 2012

2 awkward

mailman: didn't you just have a baby?

oline: um... not even slightly.

mailman: i was about to say because damn, you bounced back real nice.

4 if shoes could speak

"i am a representative of the aboriginal people"

"stick 'em up!"

"cold men will enjoy my hot love."

"vieve is dead."

0 Movies You Really Should've Seen By Now If You Want To Consider Yourself A Grown Person: Meet Me in St Louis

some background is needed... as a child i was obsessed with this movie. i remember watching it on the 10" black and white tv in our guest room perched atop a throne of moving boxes. i literally watched it every day. this scared the shit out of my mother as, at that time, our family was preparing to move to atlanta and she was afraid that our lives presented too close of a parallel to that of the fictional smith family- a family preparing for a move to new york city that ultimately doesn't take place. she was afraid that i would think our move wouldn't take place because theirs didn't. i, of course, thought nothing of that and was simply beguiled by the pretty clothes. 

two things you need to know about MMISL that are particular to my viewing of it and which go a long way in explaining why it is dear to my heart...

21 February 2012

2 a brief love letter, if you will

there's a moment in every relationship when you know you're in it for good. for real, for the long haul. through any and all awful shit.

in june 2001, kbg came to see me at summer school. that night, we drove around the darkened campus of mississippi state blasting u2's "discotheque." what i remember is the bass, the stadium, the stars and her bare feet dangling out the window of my mazda. and feeling, for the first time, that other people can feel like home.

shortly after that, we stopped talking. for years.

there are people who are fundamental. i say that a lot because it's true. (and because i've been blessed with more of these people than i have any right to be.)

there are people who are fundamental and, no matter how many times you run round in stupid circles like a loon, you will ultimately circle back to them. they are home base. the destination towards which you are always, consciously or unconsciously, returning. for a respite, for reassurance, for love, for laughter.

in the midst of all my circles and foolishness, kbg showed up in my mailbox and on my doorstep and at the north carolina state fair. she has always, always shown up for me. in texts, in prayers, on the other end of the phone line at the end of long, long nights.

we are very different, kbg and i, but in wigs we look like twins. and when her letters come in the mail, her handwriting strikes my heart like a cooling wind on a warm afternoon. 

0 done.

last night, my amazing friend liz staged her amazing play
so k.clen and i went to the THEATAH.
and... done.

2 sir anthony

i'm sitting in row 38. sir anthony hopkins is to my left.

because if you're sir anthony hopkins, that's obviously where you're going to be. in economy, in a middle seat on a continental flight out of orange county.

i'd seen sir anthony before. hollywood descended on hyde park for the filming of proof just as i arrived for graduate school and so my early days at the university of chicago were bizarrely studded with stars. gwyneth paltrow and jake gyllenhaal and sir anthony were all there. but sir anthony was the only celebrity i saw in the flesh.

one morning, as a friend and i walked to social sciences 122, sir anthony was traversing the quad. he was wearing a tan suit, drinking an orange smoothie and wearing orange makeup a solid inch thick. the overall effect was one of extreme technicolor, as though he had been shot through a tangerine filter while we were living in plain old black and white.

so i knew what sir anthony looked like. which is how i knew he was sitting next to me on continental flight #436.

after a multitude of furtive glances, i was absolutely convinced of it and began wracking my brain for a suitably obscure performance to compliment at the end of our flight- when he would have so enjoyed the 3 hours and 25 minutes of a privacy i had allowed him that my brief violation of it to acknowledge his contributions to film would simply make him appreciate, in retrospect, the spectacle of my in-flight discretion.

i'd just decided on bobby over proof when sir anthony stood up and said in the loudest, most american voice i've ever heard: excuse me, ma'am, i have to go to the bathroom.

so maybe i don't know what sir anthony looks like after all.

20 February 2012

1 33

1 ha.

downton trading cards.


2 the secret life of la vieve

0 solving problems with 90210: "you can't just seduce a girl in her car... can you?"

let's talk about sex. ie. the classic, unfortunately titled 90210 episode "everybody's talkin' 'bout it". 

dude, MAJOR controversy!!! the dastardly california liberals wanna conduct a sex survey at west beverly hills high!!! can you believe it?

19 February 2012


1 ouch

i'm trying to procure promises of cover blurbs from various incredibly famous biographers. obviously, i began with KK. because KK  has been my girl-crush since last may, when we ran arm-and-arm through the halls of the national press club looking for the cash bar.

and so i wrote KK asking for a blurb for my book and she wrote me back saying yes, yes, but that she couldn't do it right now because her husband has just died.

this news absolutely breaks my heart. like, shatters it into a million pieces for reasons i do not even know.

17 February 2012

2 the existential crisis

march is my favorite month. because march is my new year. when everything starts. when all things biographical seem to shift into high gear and a whole spring of possibilities opens up.

in contrast, january and february are a dark, oppressive world of emotional drear. (and this existential emodrama is now in its third year, so it's apparently going to be an annual event. something to look forward to...) a time of waiting, of wanting it to be march, of being still. as such, they should be months of great productivity and nonstop accomplishment. and so they might be were i any good at stillness.

i am not good at being still. words flow easily when i'm wandering in other cities or on planes and trains. they clog when i am where i am. because when i'm still, i feel stuck. when i'm stuck, i can't write. when i can't write, i think of all the writing i should be doing because i'm still and then i only feel more stuck. less able to write. unable to move.

this is a situation best expressed by marsha's husband wally in a pivotal scene from a very brady christmas, when he has lost his job and is grinding his teeth because he has lost his job and is stressed about the dental bills he's going to incur from grinding his teeth, which he's not going to be able to pay because he has lost his job, which is why he was grinding his teeth in the first place.

that is how january and february feel.

i am grinding my teeth.

0 34

13 February 2012

0 things we only know because i went to see partner and we wound up, briefly, watching "the voice"

cee lo can rock a red sequin suit.

2 sometimes us weekly covers occur in real life.

1 solving problems with 90210: "there's nothing wrong with getting a little competitive edge"

today, class, we're going to be talking about steroids, as portrayed in the classic season 2 90210 episode, "a competitive edge."

there are things for which nothing less than video will do. i will hereby risk time in jail for copyright infringement because this is one of those things. 

listen to your oline: WATCH THIS (with sound)...

as illustrated in this opening montage of actors grunting their way through sports they do not play in real life, this episode's going to be about athletics, ya'll. 

10 February 2012

0 37

1 it's basically a day of "omg, read this!"

that said: omg, READ THIS.

it's applicable because (1) it's hilar, and (2) i spent much of the first 20 minutes of coriolanus thinking, this just really looks so familiar. now i know why.

4 things it seems really important to point out for those of you who do not read gossip magazines

lindsay lohan is 25
and wearing The Worst Coat of All Time.

2 t-minus 589

there were two things i wanted to accomplish in the next six months: (1) to take french lessons; (2) and to work my ass off to get a literary agent.

for a full week, this seemed manageable. i signed up for a french class and then last sunday i spent a solid three hours working on jackie at such a rate that i was reminded of the good old days in maph when i could write about her for hours on end.

for a twinkle of a moment, i allowed myself to think: i have got this covered. as is nearly always the case, at that precise moment, a wind blew through and my house of cards fell apart.

and it'll be fine, i'll be fine, because this is all a part of a process- the defining and refining of an idea. it's an adventure and that's what i claim to prize above all else. but i'd be a liar not to admit that there's a corner of my ungrateful heart that's getting tired. a part of me that looks on this not as the exciting journey that it is but as a creative ordeal of great emotional price and thinks: merde. here we go again.

09 February 2012

0 38

0 done.

in things that did not get done in the fall and which i have subsequently spent the last month trying to coerce everyone i know who isn't k.clen into doing with me because it really needed to get done this winter... karyn's. inevitably with k.clen. because k.clen makes dreams come true

oh, and, vegan sloppy joe? yes.

2 hmmm...

~ The San Francisco Call; Sunday, September 22, 1912