Saturday, December 27, 2008

And I'm off

I've been scrambling to finish chapters, fill in at odd jobs, wrapping up an article and enjoying my family for Christmas (quiet this year, just us and I glazed a ham and help bake a cranberry-walnut pie). And tomorrow at 4:30 AM, for all intents and purposes TONIGHT, I leave for South America!

First up, Colombia...with many many stories to come, hope you are all having a wonderful holiday and I'll tell you how Cartegena does New Year's...

And I'm off...but not gone by a longshot...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Japanese Cat Humiliation

Today I've got lunch with a Top Chef judge (we go way back) and must get my book in halfway decent shape and printed out for my writing partner to look at while I get tan on the beaches of Colombia for the next few weeks.

Life is pretty cool. But, there is so much to do before the holidays, the birthdays that fall right on or before the holidays (that's a few people in my life) and the book (have edited and really tightened and now love pages 1-148, the second half is in shambles and I cannot vouch for it, but have cut about 23 pages in total by going through every page and cutting a line here and a line there)

But then, how can I do any work when it's snowing outside my window and there's Japanese Cat Humiliation to watch?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

A great quote from my dad who used it when I would plaintively point out that he was breaking a cardinal rule he set forth for me: get your chores done before you engage in any play (little did I know that every phone call he ever took was about work--I saw the phone as made only for planning playdates not scheduling the electrician), don't skip meals (here he was too busy doing chores to eat--what can I say, I've never met harder working folks than both my parents), and so forth.

I'm hardworking too, I swear. But the economy doesn't want me to be: full-time writing jobs slashed across all magazines in the building, even my fun and very regular food-writing has vanished (and my boss, and my boss's boss--gone in a flash). So I'm going in a flash. To Colombia and Panama for 3 weeks. More backpacking, more money I don't have. Because I've got the time and at 27 years old, do I ever have any time?

And at 28 and 29 I'll be paying for it. I should be deep in the throes of pre-30s depression by then so hey, why not.

So, any of you been? Have recommendations? Remember, I survived Nicaragua and I'm only going to the safest of places in Colombia...

Anyone else just up and doing something crazy since the job market tanked?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Can't stop watching this.

Yes I know by now it's totally played out, but by now I know all the words and I'm a Lonely Island fan ever since "The 'Bu". Did you know Andy Samberg is dating Joanna Newsom? This is true--I'm just glad Peach, Plum, Pear didn't leech into this.

I love this on so many levels...

My favorite line is "Got a few things from the grocery, do things alone now, most-ly."

Am I the only one who might actually buy this album?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Editing a book is hard

"The limitation of the great stylists--Henry James, say, or Hemingway, is that you remember their voices long after you've forgotten the voices of any of the people they wrote about. In one of the Psalms, God says, 'Be still and know that I am God.' I've always taken that to be good literary advice too. Be still the way Tolstoy is still, be still the way Anthony Trollope is still, so that your characters can become gods and speak for themselves and come alive in their own ways."

--Frederick Buechner

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Ever have an encounter that you thought you could essentially handle and then when it comes upon you, you've been prepping yourself by drinking glasses of wine on an empty stomach in a sparkly dress and catching up with your best friend and then you're finally confronted by a confusing slapdash of film shorts that may or *may very well not be* brilliant in any form and you run into your ex who you prepared for seeing for three months and even a few short hours before had spoke to on the phone and laughed about seeing each other and it was really, really weird and you felt like you had to explain why things were the way they were, or ended how they did, or where you are now and who you spend your time with instead, and all that comes out is some sort of broken whimper and an awkward joke and both of you leaving the party reeling?


Oh, ok, just me then. This is why I need to stop dating, settle the hell down like the rest of my friends and start having babies. But then, I really, really like my apartment.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


My bff is applying to business school. She's got some essays. She wants some advice. Enter in Pandora's Box.

This just happened with an article I wrote. I showed it to someone after it had been factchecked, changed by my editor to fit the magazine's style (while retaining the most choice lines). I asked someone to check it out, thinking that they would want to hire me for something else.

Wrong. They didn't like the style of the article. But that was the whole point of the article (seriously, I'm the first one to admit when I write crapola--it happens more than I'd like to think).

So, back to the business school essay. Or the person who doesn't have the balls to quit their job, break up with the boy, move to the new city. Do they want to bitch or do they want advice?

Or do they just want you to tell them they're right? Judging from my own experience, I say they want you to tell them they're right. Brilliant. That they can't change a word or a single situation without a whole deck of cards falling. Sad perhaps, but very true.

Now off to tell an essay is brilliant! Because at this point, it's going to be handed in tomorrow. At this point, being the a-hole who has suggestions on changing the entire theme is going to make me the bad guy, not the hero. Because at this point, my friend is a beautiful person, and if her essay doesn't reflect that, hell if I'll be the one to tell her...

Call me a coward all you like...but don't tell me you wouldn't do the same, late in the game? Once the article has been published, once the package is in the mail, once the talk has been had and the email has been sent, what the hell else are you supposed to do? I'll tell you. You say this, "I've done this. I'm sharing it with you because I'm insecure. The only thing, and I repeat, the ONLY thing I want from you is to tell me it's amazing. Cool?"

The world might be a better place if we did these things, don't you think?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Quote of the Day

"You know there is something wrong in the twenty four hours between sharing homemade pumpkin pie and creamed parsnips you find another girl's panties in his apartment."

All guys scumbags? No, no, no that can't be true!

"Here's the thing, if I believe him, that's the first line I'd say on a Jerry Springer episode where the audience would boo. You know, 'He said it proceeded me, he didn't remember it was there,' and then every overweight person in the studio would go, 'Fool!""

Such a cliche to say men are dogs, but then, why do they do such oblivious things as this?