“I remember a conversation I had with Kanye every time I sit down to write now. Every single time I sit down, I remember him asking, ‘What is it that you wanna say? It’s not about rhyming words, it’s about what you really wanna say.’ The fact that he wasn’t even looking at me when he said it—he was on the computer looking at naked girls, I think—it was just a life-changing experience.”—Nicki Minaj, from Complex (via Perpetua). I can’t think about anything but this album lately. Today I decided to give it a break because I think it’s making me depressed!
I loved this post about people’s “comfort music” picks; I listen to music for comfort a lot. Sometimes you listen to music to listen but other times you’re listening to blot out consciousness or enhance it or maybe you just want music to make you feel safe and cozy and understood. When my central nervous system feels jangled (like, say, on the eve of a travel-intensive holiday) I listen to the Carter family. Part of the comfort comes from feeling grateful that my problems are in fact so first-world, unlike the problems of “motherless children” who “ask for a piece of bread/and are told to go to bed.” :(
On my old commute, before I descended into the L train at Grand Street, I would reach for the free daily and on the plexi glass of the receptacle holding the paper was hand written graffiti reading Fuck Smeller. It never failed to amuse me. Fuck Smeller. Is that the person who likes to smell…
Someone has been writing “You Would” on a lot of stuff in my neighborhood. I guess probably a Pratt student. I appreciate it.
“What I’m trying to say is that it creeps me out that everyone I know is sending you their resume because I want experience to count for something, and right now it seems like it has never counted for less.”—my open letter to Tavi and Jane is up at the Hairpin. As job applications go it is probably not very persuasive.
Last night I got to fulfil a fantasy I didn’t even know I had, which was to be one of the people who get to sample Top Chef contestants’ dishes. That’s right, I was on Top Chef! Okay I wasn’t really on Top Chef. But the vibe of the Eater party (Doree took me as her +1), with its tables full of excellent little bites dished out by chefs who then necessarily sort of watched you eat their stuff, was so Top Chefesque. Also Eric Ripert was there and, well, I stood near him when I was in line to get my coat back from the coat check. What an awesome celebrity anecdote. He looked great, duh.
Anyway the reason I relate this story, besides, obviously, to brag, was that while I was in a queue that had formed around the table dishing out pork rillettes and homemade sauerkraut on pretzel chips (if only I had thought to carry a purse with secret tupperware compartments built in!) I overheard a conversation about “apps.” I listened to it for about a minute and a half, while waiting to get at the pork pretzel things, without its ever becoming clear whether the people were talking about “appetizers” or “applications, ie for an iPad.” I still don’t even have a guess, really.
The gift bag was also good: fancy wine accessories, a cocktail shaker, and a certificate that entitles the bearer to a box of pears.
I worked in an office yesterday. I started doing this a little bit toward the end of the summer because, fiscally and psychologically, I needed something stable in my life. When I started I knew I would have the day where the whole enterprise stopped seeming exotic and anthropologically fascinating and started seeming like nothing more or less than my life. Yesterday was the day. Winter might have had something to do with it — coming in when it’s light, leaving when it’s dark — and also I now have a key-card to swipe at the security gate. I’m not visiting; I really (sort of, sometimes, once a week or so) work there.
It seems miraculous that I’ve managed to support my and my cat’s profligate rent-paying, dentist-going lifestyle this long without ever having had a “day job,” but maybe this says more about my inability to compartmentalize than anything else. Whatever I’ve done, I’ve brought my whole self to the table, for better or worse. So it feels schizo to have a job where I just deploy a fraction of myself, and in a way, it’s kind of fun.
But it’s also weirdly draining. Also I spend a lot of time on the Internet at my desk there, in a different way than I usually do. I think the difference is between participation and observation, partially? I’d thought I would come home last night and work but instead I sat right down on the couch and watched an hour of True Life: I’m Pregnant on MTV. “We’re naming him Chance because what were the chances I’d get pregnant?” said the 19 year old who’d been about to break up with her alcoholic sketchball boyfriend when she’d learned that her birth control had failed. By the end of the episode, Chance was three months old and the breakup had finally occurred, though the couple was still living together.
I turned on my computer and instead of using it to work I tweeted something about 16 And Pregnant and abortion that got RT’d widely enough that right-wing loonies with cat avatars (such a misuse of cat avatars!) felt compelled to weigh in. This spooked me so much that I finally bid farewell to the Internet for the day. I got into bed, reread part of Elisa Albert’s wonderful black-comic novel The Book of Dahlia and fell asleep.
Asleep, I dreamed that Molly McAleer had invited me to a party at her house, which was an impressive albeit grimy duplex condo. But her friends were trying to punk her by flooding the bathroom, which they thought would be funny. They giggled “Shh! Don’t tell her!” I wanted to do the right thing so I went upstairs, where Molly was lying on her messy bed, and told her what was happening. We both realized we were too drunk to do anything about it though and then we lay down on the bed and fell asleep.
I think this is a cautionary tale but I’m not sure exactly what I’m trying to caution you against.
“Even authors who achieve what probably seems like Nirvana to the average NaNoWriMo participant — publication by a major house — will, for the most part, soon learn this dispiriting truth: Hardly anyone will read their books and next to no one will buy them.”—