September 30, 2008

Last night I had a dream

that I was Harry Potter, and I woke up with my heart thudding because Voldemort was after me. From then on I slept with my back to the wall just in case anyone might try to alohomora my room. It was utterly awful; brought back repressed memories of my recurring childhood nightmare that the Joker had kidnapped me.

In other news, they're building tree houses in Madison Square Park.

September 29, 2008

France in the Pants

I've been holding off telling you because I was so worried something would bungle it up, but nothing has! I'm going to visit Katja in Paris in December!

I will stay with her in her little Parisian flat, and stuff my face with brie and baguette morning, noon, and nuit. And while she's in class, I'll wander around doing my best not to speak if I can help it, which I can, except to say, "Une baguette, s'il vous plait," or "Un cafe, s'il vous plait," and then maybe "Merci" if I get what I want.

I'm really scared to pay for things. Must brush up on my counting.

December also seems like a lovely time to visit. Fewer tourists, Christmas decorations, strolling with a frothy cappuccino warming my hands...

But before I drift off into macaron wishes and pain au chocolat dreams, I've got work to do.

-practice speaking
-find my passport
-read Down and Out in Paris and London, The Flaneur, Paris to the Moon, and possibly a guidebook
-watch A bout de souffle, Amelie, The Dreamers, Last Tango in Paris, 2 Days in Paris, and maybe for the hell of it, In Bruges

I'm also really concerned about my footwear.

But mostly, whenever I see a big-bellied airplane gliding into LaGuardia (which is often) I get all shivery and excited and picture myself in a beret. Paris! France! Beret!

September 16, 2008


All my Publishers Weekly e-mails had mention of David Foster Wallace today. It's like everyone had to collect their breath yesterday and could finally talk about him today. 

I'm rather ashamed to say I've never read anything by him, which is why it's strange to me that I feel as bad as I do, which is certainly not as bad as someone who knew him well, or someone who loved his writing, but still. 

I met him once, extremely suddenly, when he came to F&M to read. His was our Big Reading of the Year, the one with the fellowship attached, and many hands in the voting ring. Tickets to the reading sold out in what had to be record time for an English department event. I volunteered to tear tickets at the door, because that guaranteed me a seat, and it also earned the Dispatch $7 an hour. 

All of the posters promoting the event turned passages from his books into gorgeous, color-soaked, drippy-typewriter-fonted bits of art. If I had been more thoughtful, I would have swiped one or two from the Writers House. In any case, not one had a picture of him on it. It was all about his words.

So when the day of the reading came, and I stationed myself at the right-hand-most door to the auditorium, I stopped a man with a long, straggly ponytail and one leg of his jeans tucked into his untied boots from going in without a ticket. Cookie, the English department secretary, made it very clear to me that tickets were sold out and under no circumstances were people to be allowed in without a ticket. So I did not let him in. And when I asked for his ticket, he merely said, "Oh," and patted his shirt pocket, and turned to his friend, who produced a ticket, and then David Foster Wallace gave me a ticket to his own reading, and thanked me.

It wasn't until he got up on stage, and the lights dimmed, and hundreds of people clapped that I realized who he was, and I blushed from my collarbone to my hair in the dark.

September 15, 2008

Should the unthinkable happen

here's what I propose: somehow, possibly with the help of a SWAT team, swap Sarah Palin with Tina Fey. John will never notice if you hide his glasses--plus, he's only met SP, what, four times now? The real trick will be convincing all those cynical, sharp-eyed 30 Rock fans that Liz Lemon's sudden conversion to Pentecostalism is part of the script. I'll let them worry about that.

I, meanwhilest, continue to worry about taking the subway. On Friday some nutso jumped in front of my train, and I, sitting happily in my usual seat in the front car, felt the bump and was thrown forward when the driver slammed on the breaks, and sat there with my hands over my eyes, literally, as the NYPD climbed along the outside of the train and yelled into their walkie-talkies to get the EMS, the guy's alive, he's bleeding from the head, we're going to have to bring him into the train, wait--evacuate the customers, OKAY, EVERYBODY OUT. MOVE.

When I finally made it out, the subway station was filled with firefighters in full gear, and dozens of cops, and those flat wooden stretchers with the buckles dangling. I walked the rest of the way to work, shaking like a chihuahua in January.

I've decided the middle of the train is my new best spot.

September 10, 2008


I needed to get that off my chest last night. I slept so wonderfully, too. Had dreams of hugs, and angels on guidewires, and clotheslines, and being Zooey Deschanel. It was seriously the most lovely dream I've had in ever and ages.

Today is my one year anniversary at work. My general thoughts about this are: has it really been two years since I started my last year of college? can I have my own office now? Mostly I just feel like skipping. It feels like way more of an accomplishment than it is, but I don't need your approval or agreement! I will celebrate anything! I took myself to lunch at Tablespoon and had a salami sandwich and a cranberry soda that was pink like my old bedroom, and I read Walk Two Moons, which I wish I had written.

Now I am back at my desk, eating Dove chocolates hand over fist and writing this post in the body of an email because I'm too chicken to actually 'blog' at work. Copy and paste and sign out. Bye!

September 9, 2008

Talk soft so you fall asleep,

cook you dinner, but you would not eat.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down continue to suit my every mood.

John McCain's VP pick has resulted in me not watching cable news, or The News Hour (which I pretty well love), or The Daily Show, or The Colbert Report, or completely any t.v. between the hours of six and eight a.m. 

She scares the pants off me, frankly. And that's putting it quite nicely. 

When I think of her square, nasal accent, I get a headache.

When I think about her trying to have books banned in Wasilla, and then firing the librarian who merely upheld the First Amendment (and stood up to the mayor, oooOOOoohh), I get flashes of V for Vendetta and worry about my Harry Potters. 

When I consider what the love child of the Republican ticket would look like, I see one HUGE jaw bone, and I have a waking nightmare that I (and my medical privacy) am a gumball. 

When I think about her hypothetical hope that, should her daughter be impregnated after being raped, she'd "choose life," I get downright nauseous. 

When I think about her glorification of motherhood combined with her beliefs/ideals/ethics/what have you, which would effectively shoot the feminist movement, and gender equality, and any semblance of civil rights point blank in the kneecaps, I begin to plan my escape route. I also throw up.

What kind of palm-greasing would it take to stockpile birth control pills?

How long does it take for a work visa to come through?

Not that I'm planning to have an abortion anytime soon, but hypothetically, should I be raped, what is Canada's policy on abortion? Will I have to have documented proof that it was a rape? Will I have to provide a detailed description of the outfit I was wearing at the time of the rape? Will I have to take the blame?

I fully admit that my current MO is modeled off the ostrich. I am not proud; I'm scared. But because I like to sleep through the night and keep down my meals, I will continue to keep my t.v. off, and my deepest hope for Barak Obama burning burning burning.

September 5, 2008

Hurricane's a-comin'!

So they say.

I went out and bought milk because that's what you do when there's a storm coming. I also bought Lipton tea bags (we've been out all week, can you believe I let it go this long?), decaf tea, and pancake mix, the just-add-water kind. Prior planning prevents poor performance.

At lunchtime today I strolled down Fifth Ave. to Books of Wonder/the Cupcake Cafe because all week I've been feeling nostalgic-like. My morning walk to the subway coincides with the parade of elementary kids in their empty-looking backpacks with their names written in thick permanent marker down the straps: Jasmine F.; Alex B.; Emanuel D. 

On Tuesday they were all with cheery parents who made them stand by the fence and take first-day pictures. They looked petrified, or maybe just embarrassed. It made me feel that horrible new-thing nausea that made me cry each morning for the first two weeks or so, until I realized that my new teacher wasn't actually Miss Viola Swamp, and then I loved it. Until there was a spelling test or field day or something else to keep me up at night.

So I was thinking about the alphabet reading rug in Mrs. Sager's classroom, and the plywood Terabithia in Mrs. Bivaletz's, and I desperately wanted to be surrounded by safety scissors and thin books with large print. So I went to Books of Wonder.

I think if someone were to ask me, "What's your favorite place ever in the city?" I actually might say, "Books of Wonder the Cupcake Cafe."

Spent my entire lunch hour browsing the aisles, found the NEW CLARICE BEAN BOOK (Clarice Bean, Don't Look Now), and I bought it! Children's books are much more affordable than adult ones, you know. Put me in such a good mood that I went back after work for a cappuccino and some quality time in the ladybug chairs with my new read. As I was sitting there minding my own business, two bakers came out of the back with four gigantic trays of cupcakes that looked like huge dahlias. 

They had to use my table to box them, which I didn't mind one bit because I got a FREE cupcake as a thank-you.

That place is magical. 

September 4, 2008

For a short week, it's been a long one.

Suffice it to say, Philadelphia was excellent, delicious and historic. A gold star start to a completely back-to-school week. 

In Philadelphia: Brie was eaten, wine was drunk, one utterly incredible cat was introduced--and I am NOT a cat person, this accolade is not to be taken lightly, Panda--dancing went down, house plants went flying off banisters (by revelers who shall remain nameless), and it was all over in a whirl, before we even knew what hit us, which is the way the best things usually happen.