September 12, 2010
1. Here is something wonderful: I walk to and from work every day. I live in a big, crowded city and I see, I don’t know, maybe 500 people each time I walk to or from work. Maybe more? (Maybe I should count one day, because I really have no idea.)
2. For a long time—and I sort of mean the first twenty-eight or so years of my life—when I saw people in passing I would immediately rank them: yes, I would like to be that person. No, I would not. Usually it fell about 50/50 yes and no; everything from a cute pair of shoes to a particularly well-composed outfit could make me vote yes. Anyone with spectacular hair was an automatic yes, as was anyone with a lanky, runway-ready figure.
3. Here is the wonderful thing: I realized this summer that I don’t want to be anyone else. I don’t want to be half of the people I see every morning, I don’t even want to be a single one of them. I don’t want to be you, even if you are gorgeous, even if those jeans make your ass look magnificent, even if you are famous and articulate and well-groomed. I am perfectly happy being myself.
4. I am not sure if everyone else is born feeling this way or you all had to come to the realization gradually, like I did, but it is an amazing feeling. I accept myself. Even though my ass looks terrible in these jeans, even though I’m single and portly and I cried all summer, even though I’m divorced! and my best friend is dead and my dog (my dog) suffers from anxiety.
5. I feel two ways about this revelation. One, I am absolutely delighted. Two, I am terrified that I am one Soy Boy brand not-dog away from becoming an insufferable hippie full to brim with love. And for that, I apologize. I have never been a fan of hippies. And neither have you.
April 28, 2010
1. Confession: I don’t have an iron or an ironing board and in the rare event that I need something de-wrinkled I just take it to the dry cleaner.
2. That usually happens before business trips; on my last personal trip I brought three pairs of yoga pants and a sign that said no, seriously, fuck you.
3. Confession: I have been struggling lately, by which I mean, I feel as if everything has been a struggle. Work has been excruciating in a way that I won’t talk about on the internet. I’m unhappy and I keep thinking YOU ONLY GET ONE LIFE and then I punch myself in the face. Mostly because only giant douchebags walk around saying YOU ONLY GET ONE LIFE even if it is actually true.
3. Confession: I have been pretty much obsessed with buying a gigantic diamond ring for myself. I will probably buy a lab-made diamond or maybe something synthetic because I would prefer that this be a ridiculous purchase rather than a genuinely foolish one. But still. I cannot stop thinking about this. Crazy old lady with gigantic diamond ring YOUR TABLE IS READY.
January 10, 2010
1. So I recently bought this tote in grey from Lululemon and it is wonderful.
2. The tote came in a reusable shopping bag, which is a fine and reasonable thing, except that one side of the reusable bag was covered with earnest inspirational sayings (“BREATHE DEEPLY!”), which is also fine and reasonable except that most of the earnest inspirational sayings were 100% bullshit.
3. Ergo, “Do one thing a day that scares you.” Many things scare me, chief among them crossing a busy street with my eyes closed, eating food that I find on the sidewalk, going to bed with my front door unlocked and open, asking my ex-husband if gee wouldn’t he like to marry me all over again. Doing things that scare you is stupid. There is a reason they scare you.
4. On the other hand, I am tempted to do the Lululemon reusable shopping bag one better and simply obtain a full-grown, untrained puma, store him in my bathroom and spend every single day in full-blown terror! I mean, if you’re going to do it YOU SHOULD GO ALL THE WAY, right?
5. One of the other ridiculous bullshit sayings is so profoundly disturbing I don’t even want to write about it and yet. I kind of have to. The saying, in full, is “Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let know how great children are until you have them.”
7. I mean.
8. It’s not okay to have “children” and orgasm” in the same sentence unless you are discussing your post-partum sex life with your partner, your best friends or your gynecologist. Other than that it’s pretty much gross and/or creepy.
9. Further, it’s not like children are something that only happen behind closed doors. There are children everywhere and they are often wonderful and joyful and very frequently they wear adorable outfits. It seems obvious to me that kids are great. And it seems obvious to me that orgasms are something completely and totally different.
10. Although — if any of your orgasms have learned to ride a bike, fly a kite, or jump double-dutch, please let me know. I am always happy to stand corrected.
January 3, 2010
1. I am going to try to write every day for a little while, even if that little while is just this one single day.
2. Tomorrow is the first Monday of the new year which means it feels like a new beginning. It’s also colder than a fucking bitch outside, so cold that I was forced to buy my dog a pair of dog boots to wear on his feet EVEN THOUGH HE IS A DOG.
3. I never imagined that I would become that person, the sort of person who buys footwear for an animal and then I did.
4. (The very worst part of this, of course, is that by purchasing footwear for my dog I now have to write a note to his dog walker to tell him oh, hey, before you take this animal to the park so he can crap on the ground would you mind just strapping these tennis shoes to his feet? BECAUSE THAT MAKES SENSE.)
5. So tomorrow is the first Monday of the new year and it feels like a new beginning. A new year in which I become a person I never imagined becoming, again and again.
6. I guess I am starting with dog boots and moving on to bigger things, better things, matters of the heart, maybe.
December 31, 2009
1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did. And I will. At the end of last year my primary goal was to officially end my marriage, find a new apartment and move out. And I did those things. I mean, in a way the resolution is a little lame because I had a whole year to move out and find an apartment but you know what? It was really hard, and I did it.
My resolution for this year is to be warmer; several months ago a friend told me that I was not a warm person and I was absolutely astonished. I had always thought that I interacted with the world in a warm and sincere way. I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about what she said–and this was months ago–so I’m resolving to be warmer. To people I know and people I don’t know. Maybe to myself. Who knows.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister is in labor right now.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Just the US (I went to California and NY each a handful of times).
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A promotion. A good local (local!) friend.
7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Moving out. It took the movers twelve minutes to load all of my stuff into the van. Then I drove downtown. It was exhilarating and terrifying but mostly awesome.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
A lot of hard and painful things happened and I just kept trucking. Seriously. I would cry myself to sleep, cry and throw up on the way to work and then once I parked my car and walked into the building it was ON, MOTHERFUCKER. I excelled at my job and I did good work and even now I am a little impressed at how well I did.
9. What was your biggest failure?
When I was deeply, profoundly frustrated with a particular person, I allowed that to show. I should have kept it under wraps.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Well. I have been throwing up really frequently for about a year and I’m not sure why. So, yeah.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hands down, every cent of money I ever paid to my cleaning woman.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
14. Where did most of your money go?
Setting up a new household. Trying to find foods that would not make me throw up. Dog walker, dog walker, dog walker.
15. What did you get really excited about?
A few weeks ago I started to get really excited about taking a big trip. About halfway through the year I also got really excited about what I was wearing.
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Not a song, but a quote: don’t be afraid of failing; be afraid of succeeding at the wrong thing.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier, by far.
– thinner or fatter? Fatter or the same.
– richer or poorer? Probably a bit poorer, since I moved from being half of a DINK couple to being single.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
More long walks with my dog, more going to bed early with a good book.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I wish I had slept with my ex less.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Heh. Oh, Christmas. Part of my job involves working about 18 hours a day the week before Christmas and then a good 6 or so hours on Christmas Day. So that’s what I did. I also took a long nap.
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
With myself, pretty much. With Toronto.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Glee, How I Met Your Mother and Project Runway. All very high-brow, of course.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, actually, there’s a whole lot less hate in my heart.
24. What was the best book you read?
I read a real live print book that was published by an actual publishing house that I edited. That was pretty much tops right there.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Uh. Tom Petty. Tom Petty Live.
26. What did you want and get?
A wonderful apartment, a really good pair of black boots (and a really good pair of red heels), a pair of gigantic sunglasses. That kind of thing.
27. What did you want and not get?
Of course I wanted to make headway on my Real Written Work; I think everyone on the internet does.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I am woefully, hopelessly behind on watching movies that people watch. I don’t think I have an answer for this.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had just come back from a business trip to Santa Barbara. I worked, and then I took myself to the movies to see 500 Days of Summer. I had some genuinely terrible movie theater popcorn, perhaps the worst movie theater popcorn of my entire life. Close to midnight I took myself out for a drink and a cheeseburger. I turned 29.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Second half of the year it was skirts, boots, sweaters.
32. What kept you sane?
The internet. My dog. Being really good at my job. My bank account.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Obama, pretty much.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I was really not stirred by any political issue, one of the main benefits/drawbacks to living in Canada.
35. Who did you miss?
I missed the person my sister used to be and the person my husband used to be.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
I’m a giant asshole so I don’t really have an answer for this.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Pls. see above about being a giant asshole.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I am really not a song lyric person. REALLY.
November 1, 2009
things I hate
1. Condiment bottles that are mostly empty.
2. Fictional mysteries with no solution; you wrote it NOW TELL US THE END.
3. Cold french fries.
things I love
1. The way my dog is incredibly extra-super soft after he has a bath.
2. Napping with the sun shining directly on my face.
3. Skirts with boots.
October 31, 2009
1. Last month I was on my way back from my birthday business trip when I realized that I could not remember the name of the woman my husband had had an affair with. It was simultaneously astonishing and delicious to realize how far I was from that entire series of events; for months and months I had been consumed by rage towards this person and now I could not even summon up enough energy to think of her name.
2. I remember now, of course (and I would probably stab her without hesitation if given the chance), but the idea of her doesn’t consume me like it once did. And that is really wonderful news — walking around with a belly full of hate for all those months was bad for me, it was like drinking Tabasco straight from the bottle twenty four hours a day.
3. I don’t even know if there is a third thing here. It’s getting colder but it hasn’t snowed yet. Every morning at six or so I leash up the dog and we walk for an hour. My hands have gotten really dry and pretty soon I will have to start wearing winter gloves. Above all I have been trying to fill my life with more love and more joy.
4. Honestly? The pursuit of love and joy are a total bitch sometimes. My goal is kind of to make the joy of other people less cloying and annoying and maybe at some point I will stop punching myself in the face when I encounter pure, radiant joy in my own life.
5. Love, as always, is another story entirely.
July 11, 2009
1. So I am packing. I move a week from today.
2. It has been a total trip. When I say that I sort of half-mean “it has been quite a trip down memory lane!” and I sort of half mean “it has been totally fucking mind-boggling because I am all the sudden looking at eleven years worth of stuff and HEY remember that time I did hospice work FOR TWO YEARS?”
3. When I started I limited myself to three indulgent boxes; one for nostalgia, one for old writing, and one for art supplies and ephemera. For the most part it’s been easy to sort things: a card from one of my students in China that has Delicious Work written on the front in glitter? Nostalgia! Absurdly large collection of scientifically accurate insect stickers? Art supplies!
4. Then I hit something like an old love letter from my first boyfriend and I think, I don’t really need this, I should throw it out. Then the same first boyfriend adds me as a friend on Facebook that very same day and I think NO, I should BURN IT and THEN throw it out.
5. Seriously, I am about as interested in reconnecting with my old boyfriends as I am in reconnecting with a case of head lice.
6. So I am moving. A week from tomorrow.
7. This feels like a big move.
June 3, 2009
1. When I lived in China I reached a point after six or so months where I was bone-tired of every single possible food choice available. Walking around the dark alley markets and modestly stocked grocery stores was less like shopping alone and more like shopping with a petulant toddler. “Do you want chicken?” NO “Do you want broccoli?” NO.
2. Eventually I would buy a single egg, a cup of rice; maybe some fresh (and overpriced) cherries or green beans. Simply thinking about eating was tiring and my kitchen didn’t help: I had a single burner hooked to a propane tank and a refrigerator the size of a breadbox.
3. Right now I’m eight months into the world’s longest divorce. Around month four I started feeling nauseated all the time, later I’d throw up on my way to work, rebound, throw up dinner and feel nauseated all the next day. It went on for months. I took a half-dozen pregnancy test, I limited my diet to applesauce; rice and toast and continued to throw up, I went to the doctor who prescribed some (useless) pills and told me my husband had cheated on me because people are drawn to marry their own parents.
4. Meanwhile pretty much everything made me sick, except pepperoni pizza, gummy vitamins, and Cookies & Cream ice cream. Everything else was hit and miss.
5. And for the record, the idea that we were dating our own parents didn’t even make sense and it was then and there that I dumped my doctor even though his name was Dr. Howie Mandel and HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG with a doctor named Dr. Howie Mandel?
6. So today I am not feeling that great and it took me a long time to decide what to have for dinner (because we were out of pepperoni pizza). But mostly I feel better and for the first time in my epic divorce (which hasn’t actually been epic unless you were living it and then it SURE AS HELL FELT EPIC) I am getting excited about what’s coming next. At first I was loathe to start my whole entire life over from scratch for no reason but now, you know what? I’m taking it as an opportunity to move on to bigger and better things.
7. Also I got a 19% raise at work this week.
April 23, 2009
1. I know you have already heard this story but I have this friend named Catie and every time we talk to each other all day long we start out by saying LISTEN and you know what? We’re already listening. I think we just like bellowing.
2. The bellowing is kind of a recurring theme. I like bellowing, I love it when cars honk uselessly, and you can win my heart forever by unleashing one really good MOTHERFUCKER.
3. This week I have had the sort of week where it is Thursday and I all of the sudden I realize ha ha ha I wore yoga pants to work every single day this week. And then when I come home from work I have to spend quality time with my Secret Television Boyfriend Detective Elliot Stabler who is the sexiest man alive. And then after two-three hours of my Secret Television Boyfriend Detective Elliot Stabler I write and edit and write and edit and whoops, it is 11 PM and I am working from home without really meaning to.
4. And then I go to bed.