Sunday, October 26, 2008


This weekend, after many postponements and a whole lot of inadvisable back-burnering, I finally sent all 370-odd pages of the LP Sweden guide to Australia, where it belongs. Just got an email confirming that the maps have arrived, too. Hooray! I'd leap into the air and shout, if only my leg muscles hadn't completely atrophied beneath this laptop.

Anyway - so that's done, at least until the edits come back. I can now get back to worrying about grad school, with accompanying bursts of panic about the murky gloom that awaits me immediately afterward. Am currently revising an essay about how my very immature lifestyle choices are in fact somehow artistically or creatively or socially productive. My main argument is that the people who made all the smart moves - buying a house, investing in stocks, planning for the future - are suddenly going, "Holy crap! Recession!," so maybe those of us who were too busy stealing good dialogue from the barflies at the Sandy Hut to invest in anything bigger than a lottery ticket will turn out to be winners after all. Haha. We shall see how that one goes over.

Meanwhile, I've been reading a lot.

These are some of my required books for this semester (others are waiting optimistically on the bedside table). A few are from last semester, and there are six books in the stack that have nothing to do with school. Any guesses?

Speaking of reading...I nearly fainted in the bookstore the other day. Keep in mind that I faint at the drop of a hat. Still. For my class on polemics I had to buy a copy of Against Love, by Laura Kipnis. This mission sent me deep into the bowels of The Strand, which normally I'd find the pinnacle of happy Friday-night activity. However. Against Love, it turns out, is filed under "Relationships." It's not an inconspicuous row of shelves hidden discreetly in a corner, either. No. There's a Huge Sign, with big black letters: RELATIONSHIPS. Implication: Bad At; Hopeless In.

I couldn't find the book right away. So there I am, frumpy little dame in her 30s all alone on a Friday night in Manhattan, staring in desperate panic at the shelves of The Most Embarrassing Section Ever to Appear in Any Bookstore. I felt woozy. Suddenly the whole room seemed to be full of vaguely attractive men, all of them staring at me, like, Jesus, there's a one-way ticket to Sadtown. The world went fuzzy at the edges, and I had to duck over into Self-Help for a minute, take a few deep breaths and calm down. "Relationships." The horror.

In other news, I went to a free screening of the Swedish vampire movie, "Let the Right One In." It was excellent - bleak, weird, icy, hilarious in that typically Swedish way that's always also uncomfortable. I hadn't thought of the Swedish sense of humor being a perfect match for a horror film before, but it totally is. Anyway, go check it out. Good times.


  1. Anonymous8:55 AM

    Magic for Beginners??? BH

  2. Haha - your mortifying Strand experience sounds like a more ruffled, less yuppie version of that bookstore scene from "When Harry Met Sally." Which, of course, makes you Meg Ryan. Somehow.

    As for your lifestyle, the word "immature" is completely inappropriate in your case. You take responsibility for your actions and don't shirk obligations just to act upon puerile whims. So-called "grownups" who excessively leveraged their otherwise sane mortgages just so they could, y'know, take a pricy vacation or buy a jumbotron TV set are far more immature than a woman who manages to be a published author and a grad student simultaneously.

    Finally, if "The Pisstown Chaos" isn't a band name yet, it should be. I'll start printing the t-shirts....

    - JG