The graveyard of personal literary ambition.
There is only one of me, but I am Legion.
(lazy dot reviewer at gmail)
…to all of you who have sent me such thoughtful and detailed responses to my feedback call. Each and every one of them gave me something to think about, including ones that were, like, “that one with the picture of the horse should have been on your Tumblr instead,” because, well, yeah, probably you’re right! Also, I just visited Jezebel a few days later, and they had that picture up, and I was all “THAT IS MY HORSE, STEP OFF,” even though she is not my horse. You are all great, and generous with your time. Thanks for reading my content.
I am surprised that that is not the headline. Who wouldn’t have sex with a robot? I already do, it’s made by the Japanese and shows no sign of becoming sentient and turning us into an organic energy source. Obviously our great-grandchildren will have sex with really incredibly gifted robots, and I’m happy for them. Just this morning, I thought “I wish the Michael Fassbender android would have sex with someone in this movie.”
But, that’s just me. What do you think?
Where Fassbender is talking to the bummed-out super hot male scientist who is all whiny because they have only found a alien structure and a dead alien and a gorgeous mural? But no one has shown up to say: “hi! I am God! You are my favorite!”
I’m like, oh, I’m so sorry! I can see how disappointing it must be for you to have only made the single greatest discovery in the history of science. To have traveled through space. To have seen an alien sun rise on the horizon of a new planet. To have seen the face of IDRIS ELBA.
Get over yourself. Newsflash: you should enjoy this moment, because things are about to turn nasty.
I would love to talk to you about that! Could you tell me which posts you used to really like? What things do you not like? I’m nicole dot cliffe at gmail dot com. You do not have to email me, but if you have some downtime, I’m really interesting in giving the site a booster shot. And if your answer is “I find you, personally, grating,” that’s okay too. I can introduce you to my ex-boyfriends and anyone who has to spend meaningful amounts of time with me, to be honest.
I have a new books post there. Reading The Hairpin is a great way to signify that you are a woman who is both fun and cool, but also vulnerable and self-aware and smart enough to like challenging books, but also dorky enough to watch Doctor Who and Sherlock and post music videos you loved in the late 1990s. And you care about social justice, and your feminism is intersectional. Or, right, that you’re a guy that straight women or gay men want to bone. Or, if you are an advertiser, it’s the sort of site that people between the ages of 14-106 read regularly to find out what sort of things they should spend their huge sums of disposable income on.
But, no, seriously, do you read The Hairpin? Genuinely curious!
Industrious is out of town for a couple of days, and I am lost. I don’t even know when to go to bed. Last night for dinner I ate a bunch of caramel pull-apart rolls my friend brought over, and five slices of bacon. It turns out I’m not really an adult without witnesses.
Just saw that idiotic new Pro-Glide commercial in which Kate Upton and other attractive young women inform the male viewers about how purchasing an item to assist with manscaping all body hair below their eyelashes will improve their chances of bedding a sexy lady, and Industrious was all “oh, my God, what the hell?” and I was all “welcome to the last two hundred years of women’s advertising.”
So, I am now two days out from the end of my Zen ski camp, and it’s been hard to shake. So hard, in fact, that I spent about two hours Facebook chatting with another attendee, and had two other attendees who extended their stay over to the house for dinner last night, with plans to meet up to ski on Wednesday.
For me, the difference in my skiing (without having received a single piece of actual skiing advice) has been immeasurable, for others, it was relatively slight. The reason being, I think, is that those of us who were being hamstrung in our skiing by our brain experienced a massive shift, and those of us who were genuinely not being held back by their own neuroses had less to gain.
Ski-wise, at least. We were all pretty shaken.
“Wait, you cried? At a ski clinic?”
“Yes. A lot.”
“How does that even work?”
“It just did.”
“What was it like to spend time with the world’s greatest female extreme skier?”
“Different. Incredible? She looks like a 46 y/o Olivia Wilde and she is exquisitely kind and smart and funny and alive.”
“Did you watch her ski?”
“What was the best thing she said to you?”
“She told a story. She had walked away at the height of her career, because she’d had a series of increasingly insistent near-death experiences and was profoundly unhappy, right, and was moving in a different direction. And a few years ago, she ran into two guys, now professional skiers, who had had posters of her on their wall, and were all I’M GONNA SKI WITH KRISTEN ULMER, and she said, oh, sure, why not. And they immediately started ripping these crazy lines in some nasty terrain, high as kites because they were skiing with KRISTEN ULMER. But she was on the body preservation program now, after a bunch of ACL repairs, and really, truly, did not have anything to prove. She peaked physically in her sport at 33. She is now 46. Every year, she says, she’s a worse skier than the year before, and accepting that is very freeing.
But, anyway, she picks her lines with care and meets at the base of the run a full minute after the guys. Who were clearly disappointed, and surprised, having probably expected her to huck another 70ft cliff while popping a Red Bull. And she wanted to make excuses (I’m 46! I’m retired! My knees! The terrain!), but she didn’t. She didn’t say one single word about being slower. She just smiled and asked what they wanted to ski next.”
“And that was transformational for you?”
“You kind of had to be there.”
“Was it just a bunch of rich douchebags from the city?”
“It was some lovely rich non-douchebags from the city, a black guy from France who is starting a story-telling company and who was better than the rest of us put together, a wise-cracking DC dyke whose girlfriend is a firefighter, a designer from Ralph Lauren, a couple of non-profit leaders, some lifelong locals. Two people getting divorces. One quitting his job to write a book. Two married couples who love each other very much. A fourteen year old. It was a little like the Breakfast Club. Kristen has never turned anyone away who wants to attend, and she’s paid for lodgings and accomodations and waived all fees for people who couldn’t attend any other way.”
“Should I go?”
Guys, I need to unload some books. There is a book donation box in every grocery store parking lot in Utah, which is amazing and heartening, but I thought I’d give away some to readers. Some are just review copies of novels I have never had the time to get to, some are doubles of books I love, and here are the ones I’d like to go to a good Tumblr reading home. Message me your address and the book you would like, the first person to respond will eventually receive it in the mail.
Bee Season, Myla Goldberg
The Intuitionist, Colson Whitehead
Apex Hides the Hurt, Colson Whitehead
House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus III
Sex and God at Yale, Nathan Harden (it’s fucking awful, but I really enjoyed reading it!)
Dressage in the Fourth Dimension, Sherry Ackerman
Color of the Sea, John Hamamura
The Predators’ Ball, Connie Bruck
The Commonwealth of Thieves, Tom Keneally
Beautiful Boy, David Sheff and Tweak, Nic Sheff (will give out as a pair, like kittens)
Veronica, Mary Gaitskill
Are You Happy?, Emily Fox Gordon
Scattered, Justine Blau
The New Rules for Blondes, Selena Coppock (I’m a brunette, there’s a war on, but this was actually kind of fun, so if you are blonde or a friend of a blonde…)
Return to Peyton Place, Grace Metalious
Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and the Marriage of the Century, Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger
This Wild Darkness, Harold Brodsky
Okay! There you go.
Industrious and I are both sleepers. We sleep a lot. We’re pretty into it. Lifelong, committed sleepers.
And, now that the baby is 17 months old, she’s demonstrating an interest in following in our footsteps on this front. I mean, she’s always been a hell of a sleeper. It wasn’t great for breastfeeding success, because she would have cheerfully starved to death and kept sleeping. We had to wake her for every feeding. So, you know, we wound up with formula and five hour sleep stretches, which is a trade-off I feel pretty good about.
Anyway, bedtime is now 7:30pm. Last night at 7:17, tonight at 7:09, the baby got off our laps, handed us the book we were reading, walked to the bedroom door, and held up her arms to be taken to bed.
Our next baby is going to be a firemonster in retaliation for this.